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DATE News (chronologically)
09/19/13
f1

'Silly season' still dominating talk in F1 paddock
(GMM)  The 2014 'silly season' was still the dominant paddock theme on Thursday as formula one geared up for the Singapore grand prix.

First, Kimi Raikkonen stunned reporters with his honesty when he admitted that he only decided to quit Lotus and return to Ferrari because of money.

"They (Lotus) said they haven't got my salary," said the Finn, who hinted he would be perfectly within his rights to simply sit out the rest of the 2013 season.

"I like to race -- that's the only reason why I am here."

Read more & Comment...
09/18/13
f1

Pirelli on cusp of new F1 deal
(GMM)  A huge sign that Pirelli is staying put as F1's official tire supplier emerged on Wednesday.

Earlier, it was thought possible the Jean Todt-favored Michelin could return to the sport next year, just as the contract of F1's controversial current supplier - Pirelli - expires.

But the Italian marque has already done deals with the eleven teams and Bernie Ecclestone's FOM organization for 2014 and beyond, and FIA president Todt hinted at Monza that a new contract with the governing body is now likely.

And this week, the signs have grown even stronger.

Read more & Comment...
09/18/13
irl

IndyCar back to Chicagoland so it can be embarrassed?
The president of Chicagoland Speedway said last weekend he is very interested in IndyCar races returning to the track and that he's had ongoing discussions with IndyCar officials.

Chicagoland president Scott Paddock said he's looking for a multi-year arrangement and raised the possibility of IndyCar being paired with NASCAR Nationwide during the Nationwide's annual stand-alone race at Chicagoland in July [Editor's Note: NASCAR will NEVER allow this.  NEVER].

IndyCar raced at Chicagoland from 2001 through 2010. The race was dropped from IndyCar schedule in 2011. Some blamed a scheduling conflict caused in part moving Chicagoland's NASCAR Sprint Cup race to early September, the traditional time for IndyCar's race there. Others pointed to a cooling relationship between IndyCar and International Speedway Corporation (ISC), which owns Chicagoland Speedway and is itself owned by NASCAR. [Editor's Note: They left because the vast number of empty seats made IndyCar look like a complete and utter loser.]

Read more & Comment...
09/17/13
nassprint

2014 Cup Schedule due out soon (Update) UPDATE The 2014 Sprint Cup schedule is being debated behind closed doors, and some quite interesting twists appear on the table at the moment. Just a few weeks ago it looked like NASCAR didn't plan any major, or even minor, changes for 2014. Now, however, word is things have, for some reason, changed. What NASCAR eventually does with next year's Cup calendar seems up for review, with few sacred cows. Don't make any hotel reservations, but here are some possible moves:

Read more & Comment...
09/16/13
irl
alms

Little chance Baltimore GP will ever come back
Stick a fork in the Baltimore GP, it's done - killed by stupidity
J.P. Grant, the man behind the Grand Prix of Baltimore, said that the inability for organizers to settle on dates for 2014 and 2015 have pretty much put the kibosh on the event ever coming back.

“I’m sad that it’s ending, but so much good has come of this,” Grant said Friday. The race showed Baltimore could handle world-class events, he said.

Grant said it would have been too difficult to bring the race back in 2016 after a two-year hiatus. He used a golf term to describe how tough it would be, calling it “hitting uphill and into the wind.”

Read more & Comment...
09/16/13
f1

Fiat could sponsor Alonso's cycling team
(GMM)  Fiat, the Ferrari-linked Italian carmaker, could step up to sponsor Fernando Alonso's new cycling foray.

It emerged early this month that Ferrari's current lead driver has bought the ailing world tour Spanish cycling outfit Euskatel-Euskadi.

And according to the Catalan daily El Periodico, "Fiat could become the title sponsor".

Read more & Comment...
09/15/13
irl
alms

Baltimore Grand Prix axed (3rd Update) UPDATE #4 Like we said, when in doubt, follow the money.  Andretti Sports Management managing director Kevin Healy was confident that a new date, prior to Labor Day weekend would be secured for the Baltimore Grand Prix when he spoke to RACER on Sept. 6 something appeared to have changed between the city and event owner prior to the weekend.

That something appears to have been the lack of a title sponsor.

"Right now, without a sponsor, it would be hard to confirm a date for 2015," Kevin Harris, spokesperson for the Baltimore mayoral office confirmed. 

Read more & Comment...
09/15/13
nassprint

More cheating exposed in Richmond (3rd Update) UPDATE #3 Following a comprehensive review of all available audio and video communications from last Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, along with interviews with team personnel, NASCAR announced Friday the following decision:
  • Both the Front Row Motorsports and Penske Racing organizations have been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for violating Section 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing).
  • A 13th car - the #24 - would be added to this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

"Based on all of our findings this week, we determined both Front Row Motorsports and Penske Racing organizations would be placed on probation for the remainder of this season," said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Additionally, based upon the totality of our findings, to be totally fair and equitable we decided that adding a 13th car to this year's Chase is the appropriate action.

Read more & Comment...
09/14/13
IRL
nassprint

Montoya to IndyCar with Andretti (10th Update) UPDATE #10
Montoya at Chicagoland Friday.  Happy to know he has landed a new ride?
Photo by Chevy
This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today as Montoya has told Andretti Autosport his is not going to IndyCar.  Once again IndyCar gets egg on its face by pandering to NASCAR and its drivers.  Notice how well Montoya has been qualifying in NASCAR lately so he lands with a new sponsor and team in NASCAR. See related article "Pandering to IndyCar's mortal enemy."

09/09/13 Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti has made it clear that he wants to add 1999 CART champion Juan Montoya to his ranks next season, and as RACER has learned, significant progress has been made in finding the budget to bring the 37-year-old into their fold.

“We're at about 50 percent of what's needed to run Juan,” said John Lopes, the team's senior VP and chief marketing officer. “There's been a lot of interest in him, and with his success in Indy car racing – winning the 2000 Indy 500, his wins in F1, and everything he's done in NASCAR, companies sit up and take notice if you have a chance to work with him.”

Read more & Comment...
09/13/13
f1

McLaren next in line for Pirelli test (Update) UPDATE
McLaren to break out 2011 car for Pirelli
(GMM)  McLaren has admitted it is "likely" to help Pirelli with tire testing at some point in the future.

We reported early this week that the British team could be next in line, after it emerged at Monza that Red Bull will be taking a 2011 car to Barcelona this week to test 2014-specification tires for F1's official supplier.

Red Bull's test, featuring test driver Sebastien Buemi and 2014 racer Daniel Ricciardo, was to take place over two days and 1000 kilometers.

"Pirelli regularly approach all teams to help with their tire testing," McLaren sporting director Sam Michael told GMM on Friday.

Read more & Comment...
09/13/13
f1

Massa's engineer Smedley to also leave Ferrari
Rob Smedley
(GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen's return to Ferrari could spell the end of race engineer Rob Smedley's career at the Italian team.

As rumors of the Finn's signing became clearer at Monza last weekend, some insiders could not hide their sniggering at the thought of Briton Smedley working hand-in-hand with 'iceman' Raikkonen.

"They would have to supply his (Smedley's) headset without a microphone," Germany's Auto Motor und Sport quotes one paddock wag as chuckling.

Read more & Comment...
09/12/13
f1

Sainz to replace Ricciardo (Update) UPDATE
Carlos Sainz Jr. not ready for F1
This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today.  Carlos Sainz Jr has admitted he is not a serious candidate to replace the Red Bull-bound Daniel Ricciardo at Toro Rosso next year.

With Antonio Felix da Costa struggling in the Renault 'world series', and Felipe Nasr now ruled out of the running, it had been suggested the impressive teen Spaniard Sainz might be in pole position to succeed Ricciardo.

But Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost this week said leaping straight from GP3 would be "too big a jump" for 19-year-old Sainz, who he also considers too young for F1.

Read more & Comment...
09/11/13
f1

Massa to Lotus?
Will Lotus salvage Felipe Massa's career?
(GMM)  Felipe Massa has leapt into contention to replace the Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus.

Both the Brazilian's manager Nicolas Todt, and Lotus team boss Eric Boullier, have revealed 32-year-old Massa is in the running for what Todt describes as "the best seat" left on the 2014 grid.

"What is certain is that other teams are interested in Felipe," Todt, speaking after Wednesday's news that Raikkonen will replace Massa at Ferrari next year, told Canal Plus.

Read more & Comment...
09/11/13
f1

Ferrari to announce Raikkonen on Wednesday (13th Update) UPDATE #13 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's news.

09/10/13 Ferrari are expected to announce the identity of their second driver for next season imminently, with Kimi Raikkonen now heavily tipped to make a sensational return to his former team.

Felipe Massa announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he will no longer be a Formula One driver for Ferrari next year.

"From 2014 I will no longer be driving for Ferrari," said Massa on his official @Felipe1Massa account.

"Right now I want to push as hard as possible with Ferrari for the remaining seven races," Massa said. "For next year, I want to find a team that can give me a competitive car to win many more races and challenge for the Championship which remains my greatest objective!" 

Read more & Comment...
09/10/13
f1

Nasr 'knocking' on Toro Rosso door - rumor (Update) UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. Dr Helmut Marko has denied reports Felipe Nasr is in the running to replace the Red Bull-bound Daniel Ricciardo at Toro Rosso next year.

It was reported recently that GP2 frontrunner Nasr, a 21-year-old Brazilian, was knocking on the door of the second Red Bull-owned team with money from Banco do Brasil and Sky Brasil.

But when asked directly if Nasr is in the running, Red Bull's Marko answered emphatically: "No.

"I know him," the Austrian told Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.  "Despite being in the championship for a while he has not won a race."

Read more & Comment...
09/09/13
irl

Could Garfinkel be next President of Hulman Motorsports Properties? UPDATE #2
Tom Garfinkel
This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today.  The Dolphins today named former Padres President & CEO Tom Garfinkel to the same position for the team and Sun Life Stadium. Garfinkel was selected following a search led by RSE Ventures President & CEO Matt Higgins and Turnkey Sports & Entertainment. He will be responsible for all business operations, including budget responsibility. He previously worked for the D-Backs and Chip Ganassi Racing.

07/15/13 “We have a half a dozen excellent candidates, and I’m very optimistic in fairly short order, we’ll have our person,” Miles said. “I certainly want to have that role filled by the end of this season.”

Former San Diego Padres President and CEO Tom Garfinkel has become a frontrunner to become president of IndyCar’s commercial side, said motorsports industry sources.

Garfinkel, who resigned his position with the Padres on July 9, has had multiple conversations with Miles, sources said.

Read more & Comment...
09/09/13
f1

Renault to woo Alonso to Lotus?
Alonso and Raikkonen to swap seats?
(GMM)  As the formula one paddock emptied at Monza, one rumor had moved into the realm of fact -- Kimi Raikkonen is returning to Ferrari in 2014.

The news was being confidently reported by broadcasters, including Germany's RTL, the major daily Bild, and even perhaps the most respected correspondent in the paddock, Auto Motor und Sport's Michael Schmidt.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo will reportedly inform Felipe Massa that his services are no longer required in a personal meeting at Maranello on Wednesday.

Read more & Comment...
09/08/13
nassprint

Montoya to Furniture Row Racing UPDATE Furniture Row Racing has not decided on its driver for 2014 but is continuing discussions with Juan Pablo Montoya, who visited the shop earlier this week. Montoya and Furniture Row Racing General Manager Joe Garone confirmed the Wednesday visit at the team's Denver shop. "We're down to a couple of guys," Garone said Friday at Richmond International Raceway.

"It's just a process. Part of it is you just identify where you want to go - do you want to stay with a veteran or do you want to go with a younger rookie and bring a kid up? We're just trying to get through that decision. You've got to take Juan seriously. He's been around a while and obviously can win races."

Read more & Comment...
09/07/13
ga
irl

Grand-Am team eyes Indy 500 go
Enzo Potolicchio
Grand-Am Rolex Series driver/owner Enzo Potolicchio and former Champion Racing owner Dave Maraj are working on a joint venture that would see the 8Star team race at the "500," possibly as soon as next year reports Racer.com.

“We have that in our business plan,” Potolicchio revealed to RACER at this weekend's Rolex Series race at Monterey. “I have a partner for that, Dave Maraj, and that's his dream. He's always wanted to compete in the Indy 500. It's something I can find the funding to do with sponsors, so we're looking at doing it as early as next year, but 2015 could be the more likely year because we have another program, another series we'll be joining first that's really taking off right now. But doing the Indy 500 is already in our plans.”

Read more & Comment...
09/07/13
nassprint

Stremme out of ride after Richmond? (Update) UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Swan Racing announced that Cole Whitt will drive the #30 Toyota beginning at Chicagoland Speedway on September 15, 2013. Whitt replaces veteran driver David Stremme who drove every race for Swan Racing this season except for the Daytona 500. "We welcome Cole Whitt to Swan Racing as the team builds for the future," said team owner Brandon Davis.

"Cole is a very talented driver with a bright future and we are eager to see him compete for Swan Racing. I also want to thank David Stremme for his commitment to the team and for helping me learn so much about the sport in my first full season in NASCAR." Whitt is currently scheduled to drive the #30 in 4 other races this season including Kansas, Charlotte, Talladega, and Phoenix. The team will finish off the season using as many as two other drivers. Those drivers will be named at a later date.

Read more & Comment...
09/05/13
f1

Williams Venezuela sponsorship money in jeopardy?
Is Maldonado's ride in jeopardy?
Williams’ funding from Venezuela is signed off each autumn to allow the sponsorship to continue for the season ahead. It is thus interesting to see that Venezuelan is running into financial trouble and that the finance minister Nelson Merentes has acknowledged that the economic policies of the late President Hugo Chavez have not yet proved to be successful, even if he says that the living standards of many Venezuelans have improved.

The country is suffering from high inflation, shortages and slow growth. He is calling for economic forms to try to stimulate the economy, such public analysis of the economy would not have been thinkable a year or two ago. Chavez died of cancer in March after 14 years in power and was replaced by his hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro. The country remains highly dependent on oil, which account for around 95% of its export earnings and close to half of the government revenues.

Read more & Comment...
09/05/13
f1

BMW considering F1 return?
(GMM)  BMW has denied the latest rumors suggesting a return to formula one is on the cards.

Internet reports this week said the German carmaker, having pulled out of its works collaboration with Sauber at the end of 2009, is thinking about following F1 returnee Honda back onto the grid as a supplier of turbo V6 engines in 2015 or 2016.

BMW motor sport director Jens Marquardt told Germany's Sport Bild: "The exit from formula one was a strategic business decision.

Read more & Comment...
09/04/13
track news

IMS to eliminate Golf Course and Infield Parking for the Motor Speedway
Word is that Indy Speedway will remove their golf course, all 18 holes. The 4 holes inside the track will be for pedestrian walkways and runoff areas and possibly temporary garages for the road course.

The remaining holes outside of the track will be turned into a parking lot to eliminate ALL parking down the backstretch and turn 3.

Comment
09/04/13
f1

Report - Michelin tried F1 tire at Le Mans test?
(GMM)  Michelin may have been preparing for its possible return to formula one next year for some time.

Rumors the French marque is in the running to either compete against the sport's sole supplier Pirelli next year, or replace the Italian brand altogether, gained in strength recently at Spa-Francorchamps.

But according to the publication Racecar Engineering, Michelin's preparations date back at least to June.

Read more & Comment...
09/03/13
nassprint

Harvick and Newman to swap rides? (3rd Update) UPDATE #3 Wendy Venturini reported at the end of Fox Sports' Race Day that the latest rumor in the garage has Ryan Newman on his way to Richard Childress Racing, but only as the third team, with #31-Jeff Burton moving to a "satellite team" for Childress. The #30 Swan Racing team was mention as the team for Burton, possibly with Caterpillar sponsorship. She also stated that David Stremme, current driver of the Swan Racing #30, is a part owner of that team, possibly complicating the deal.

08/11/13 Mark McArdle has left his post with Furniture Row Racing and will work full time as director of operations for RCR. The move comes at a time when RCR is looking to fill the ride vacated by #29-Kevin Harvick and hoping to retain its technical alliance with Furniture Row and is in exploratory discussions with JTG-Daugherty Racing to add the organization's # 47 team to the fold as well.

Currently FRR is weighing its options with other manufacturers since its contract with Chevy runs out at the end of the year. Toyota has visited FRR in Denver but nothing has been formalized either way. FRR principals have put their driver selection on hold until after the manufacturer decision has been made, which should be over the next couple of weeks. As for RCR, sources say Ryan Newman has taken the lead in the search to find a driver to replace Harvick, who is leaving at the end of the season. A new twist to the story could be the addition of crew chief Matt Borland with Newman as a package deal for RCR. Fox Sports

07/13/13 See related article.

07/12/13 With the 2013 NASCAR "Silly Season" ready to take the green flag, there are already rumors that says Ryan Newman has been talking to team owner Richard Childress regarding, you guessed it, taking over Harvick's soon to be former #29 ride.  Today Tony Stewart announced that Harvick was moving to his team with Budweiser.

Comment
09/03/13
nassprint

JTG Daugherty considering manufacturer change
A less pressing dilemma, but with greater ramifications, is which manufacturer #47-JTG Daugherty Racing will align with in 2014. When the company shared a technical alliance with Michael Waltrip Racing the first two seasons with Marcos Ambrose behind the wheel and Toyota Racing Development engines, the team finished 18th in 2009 and 26th in 2010. Labonte was 29th in the standings the following year and 23rd in 2012. But this year, the JTGD is 30th in the owner standings. As a single-car operation, JTGD has struggled to be a top-20 competitor.

Read more & Comment...
09/02/13
f1

Ricciardo to replace Webber at Red Bull (13th Update) UPDATE #13 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement.

08/17/13 (GMM)  Red Bull has signed Daniel Ricciardo to replace his departing Australian countryman Mark Webber in 2014.

That is the claim of Germany's Sport Bild, whose correspondents Bianca Garloff and Ralf Bach said the news about Sebastian Vettel's new teammate will be announced at the Belgian grand prix in a week.

"Unfortunately, I cannot say any more than that we will make an announcement at Spa," said the energy drink-owned outfit's Dr Helmut Marko.

23-year-old Ricciardo's move to Red Bull ties in with reports Kimi Raikkonen is returning to Ferrari.

Read more & Comment...
09/02/13
f1

Raikkonen still driving 2014 'silly season'
(GMM)  After Ferrari ruled out a driver announcement for its home race at Monza, F1's sillier-than-usual 'silly season' is set to race into yet another week.

A cursory look at the famous Italian team's situation would conclude that only Felipe Massa's expiring contract is under review.

"I know I must have a better second half of the season, after a first one where unfortunately, the results were lacking in some races, but the performance has always been up there," the Brazilian said whilst accepting an award in Italy at the weekend.

"I think I still have a very strong chance of staying with Ferrari."

Read more & Comment...
08/31/13
irl

Overheard in Baltimore - Saturday
Word is the announcement on details of the new body kits and the testing program planned for this weekend has been postponed.  Apparently IndyCar threw Chevy and Honda a curveball when they told them some of their body kits parts have to be sourced through Dallara.  Chevy and Honda said whoa, we are not participating in any press conference then until we understand what sourcing parts through Dallara means.  Each want to make their own parts and not have a possible future body kit competitor getting any of their body kit secrets.

Read more & Comment...
08/30/13
irl

Overheard in Baltimore - Friday (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 Quotes of the day- "There are no more wankers in IndyCar today." Jimmy Vasser

12 is the number. Jimmy Vasser drove the No. 12 in IndyCar, Tony Kanaan won the Indy 500 is his 12th start driving for Vasser.  They pitted in pit No. 12,  his Vineyard is V12 and the night before the Indy 500 Kanaan's car odometer turned to 1112 and stopped.  And now Kanaan has broken Jimmy Vasser's consecutive IndyCar starts record with 212.

"Well obviously as a race car driver you never count laps or count numbers of races, and obviously when this question popped up in the beginning of the year, I thought it was pretty cool for many reasons. I think, we won the 500, and it was all about numbers and stuff, that me and Jimmy got hooked into this thing. All the sudden 212...12 was Jimmy's number, and here we are again talking about it.

"I think I'm thrilled, honestly, at achieving such a record. It proves that, I don't know if I'm a tough guy or not, I've raced through some of the injuries that I've had in the past, but hopefully I'll be able to hold on for like 14 years like Jimmy did. I have some tough competition behind me, young guys that are going to be here forever, so hopefully we'll keep stretching that so it will take a long time to beat."

Read more & Comment...
08/30/13
irl

IndyCar road race in Fort Lauderdale still possible (12th Update) UPDATE #12 This rumor is downgraded to 'false'.  The Ft. Lauderdale race is pretty much dead according to sources.  From what we hear IndyCar got greedy and wanted too much for the sanctioning fee and were told to go pound sand.  OK, maybe those words were not used, but you get the idea how it went down.

08/12/13 RACER has learned discussions between Andretti Sports Marketing, which promotes the Milwaukee Mile oval event and the Baltimore street race, continue to take shape with the city of Ft. Lauderdale.

“We're enthusiastic about the market, and with the constituents we've spoken to, including the city, the IndyCar Series, the drivers, and officials in Broward County, there continues to be a lot of support for the event,” said ASM's John Lopes. “Whether the event occurs or not really comes down to packaging the finances which all sides are currently working on. We've had some recent meetings with all sides and continue to build commercial support to make the race happen.”

With the 2014 IndyCar schedule expected to be revealed in the next 30 days, planning for the southern Florida event could shift to 2015 unless meaningful progress can be made in short order.

Read more & Comment...
08/30/13
track news

Silverstone to be divided by sale?
The rumored sale of Silverstone, allegedly to a private equity firm owned by Lloyds Banking Group, could see the British Grand Prix and other racing 'assets' split off from the land surrounding the famous circuit.

According to Sky News, the deal between LDC and the British Racing Drivers' Club will see Lloyds Development Capital invest 'millions of pounds' in support of a management buyout of Silverstone Circuits, which promotes and hosts the British Grand Prix, while property group MEPC – the buyer rumored in the last round of 'Silverstone sold' stories - acquiring the adjoining land, which has long been earmarked for redevelopment.

Read more & Comment...
08/29/13
f1

Michelin planning F1 announcement - report (3rd Update) UPDATE #3 This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. Bernie Ecclestone has moved to quash rumours that Michelin will replace Pirelli as Formula 1's sole tire supplier next season, after the French company contacted the FIA over the Belgian Grand Prix weekend to register its interest.

FIA President Jean Todt has been at loggerheads with Ecclestone over the choice of the sport's 2014 tire manufacturer for some time, with both known to be in opposing camps. Knowing that his rival faces the prospect of a re-election battle in December, Ecclestone downplayed the Frenchman's role in making the final decision, adding that there is no real interest from the teams in a Michelin return.

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08/29/13
irl

The sucking sound you hear is talent about to leave the IndyCar paddock
What happens when talented drivers are forced to buy their IndyCar ride?  That's right, they leave. This the result of an IndyCar TV package that gets ratings of 0.254 (NBC Sports Network) that leads to teams not being able to land sponsorship.  While the Hulman George family collects a nice sum of money from NBC (that is all they care about) Rome burns. They had the audacity to brag about that rating.  Imagine that!

The amount of talent headed towards the open market in IndyCar continues to grow with the addition of four-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais to a free agent class.

“As far as I'm concerned, I've to get something going on for next year,” he told RACER. “Jay has an option on me, and he would like to continue, but it's really not in his hands. Whatever holds true next year with sponsorship and all that – and I think he's exhausted a certain number of avenues there – I'm looking for other options. The reality is that I could be out of IndyCar in a few months. If I can delay the exit, that is what I want to do. It will be ‘Adieu' for me otherwise. I have a great thing with the 8 Star [Grand-Am] team and if IndyCar is over for me, I am prepared to go to sports cars 100 percent, but I know I can win more championships in IndyCar, so I will keep trying to make that work out.”

Comment
08/26/13
irl

Grand Prix of Baltimore's future in doubt over scheduling conflicts (Update) UPDATE The Izod IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Baltimore currently has a "host of challenges," making it "increasingly possible this may be open-wheel racing's last year in the Inner Harbor," according to Chris Korman of the Baltimore SUN. Event and city officials last week acknowledged that they are "struggling to find" weekends in August '14 and '15 to accommodate the racing festival. Finding another date that "doesn't conflict with events" at M&T Bank Stadium, Camden Yards and the city's convention center has "proved difficult."

Race On LLC partner J.P. Grant, whose company organizes the race, said that he "remains committed to establishing the event as a yearly tradition if it proves economically viable for organizers and the city." The race "still lacks a title sponsor." Grant said that it "needs more financial support from local businesses and both the city and state government."

Read more & Comment...
08/26/13
f1

Now Button joins F1's 'silliest silly season' (Update) UPDATE
Jenson Button
(GMM) Jenson Button has played down suggestions he is on the market for 2014.

The 2009 world champion said he was only being mischievous when, on Thursday at Spa-Francorchamps, he informed journalists that McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has not yet taken up the option on his contract.

Button's comments triggered rumors he might be in the running to move to Red Bull or Ferrari in 2014.

"I was only winding him (Whitmarsh) up," the 33-year-old is quoted by the Daily Mail.

"That was very unfair of me, but I was just stating a fact.

Read more & Comment...
08/26/13
f1

FIA could penalize Spa for Shell protests
Vettel could not understand why they were booing him on the victory podium.  He just had to look behind his head and the sponsor Shell logo
(GMM)  F1's governing body could penalize organizers of the Belgian grand prix, after the extensive Greenpeace protests on Sunday.

Hitting out at race sponsor Shell's apparent plans for Arctic oil drilling, the environmental activists took to the skies with banners, scaled Spa-Francorchamps' main grandstand and interrupted the post-race podium procedure.

"It's a worry," Red Bull consultant Dr Helmut Marko told Bild newspaper.

"Imagine if it was an organization that didn't want to unfurl banners, but wanted to set off bombs."

Read more & Comment...
08/26/13
f1

F1 signs 5-year deal to race in Mexico, which is bad news for NJ (6th Update) UPDATE #6 (GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone is poised to put Mexico back on the F1 calendar.

Having said New Jersey is unlikely to make its scheduled 2014 debut, the sport's chief executive has now revealed a decision about Mexico is due "within a couple of weeks".

"I'm going to try to make it happen," Ecclestone told F1 business journalist Christian Sylt, according to Autoweek.

The race would be held at the rejuvenated former grand prix track in Mexico City, involving figures including Austin GP mastermind Tavo Hellmund, and Carlos Slim Domit. Mexico has money because of the richest man in the world - Carlos Slim and all the companies he owns.  New Jersey, without a government subsidy, has not ben able to raise enough private money.

Read more & Comment...
08/24/13
nassprint

Kurt Busch headed to Stewart-Haas? (3rd Update) UPDATE #3
Kurt Busch
Stewart-Haas Racing continues to work on a deal to put Kurt Busch in a Sprint Cup car for 2014.

SHR Competition Director Greg Zipadelli said Friday that the team began talking with Busch about two weeks ago. The move is a turnaround from SHR’s plans in early July, when it announced that Ryan Newman won’t return next season and team co-owner Tony Stewart said the organization wasn’t prepared to have a fourth team.

It appears that team co-owner Gene Haas is willing to foot at least part of the bill to fund a team for Busch.

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08/24/13
irl

Could IndyCars return to Road America when it really wants a Cup race? (4th Update) UPDATE #4
Road America Turn 6 bridge
As expected, this rumor is downgraded to 'false' today, or it could be 'fact' depending how you want to interpret our rumor title.  In the course of reporting on IndyCar’s interest in global expansion in 2014-’15, Autoweek says IndyCar’s 2014 schedule is set to be announced this weekend at Sonoma.

If that’s the case, Road America won’t be on it.

George Bruggenthies, president of the track in Elkhart Lake, said through a spokesman he hadn’t heard lately from the sanctioning body. Officials were to have called him with news of a race.

Indy cars last raced at Road America in 2007, a financially unsuccessful run by the then-on-its-last-legs Champ Car in 2007.

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08/24/13
irl
f1

IndyCar prepared to replace F1 in NJ for fraction of the cost (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 As soon as a rumor surfaced on AR1.com that IndyCar would be more than happy to take the NJ race at a small fraction of the cost Bernie wants to bring Formula One to town, his tune all of a sudden changed.  Ecclestone, who is a master at playing one race promoter against another to extract the maximum fee for F1, knows that IndyCar could replace F1 in NJ in a heartbeat and the promoter would actually have a chance of not going bankrupt.

08/23/13 Headquartered in lower Manhattan, Verizon would have a real interest in sponsoring the NJ IndyCar race right across the Hudson River.  Verizon sponsors Roger Penske's IndyCar driven by Will Power and recall Roger almost made a CART IndyCar race a reality on the streets of Manhattan with Marlboro as a sponsor.  However, the anti-tobacco movement killed that race.  The Verizon Grand Prix of New Jersey has a good ring to it, but they might have to fight Honda and Chevy for that title.

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08/23/13
f1

Sirotkin signs 2014 Sauber race contract (Update) UPDATE
Sergey Sirotkin
This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' now. Sergey Sirotkin on Friday confirmed reports he has signed a real contract to drive for Sauber in 2014.

Austrian reports on Thursday said team boss Monisha Kaltenborn had confirmed at Spa-Francorchamps that the teenage Russian has finally signed the deal.

Earlier, amid Sauber's crucial Russian rescue deal, Sirotkin's place at Sauber for 2014 was merely an ambition.  He is yet to secure a FIA super license.

"I'm a Sauber driver in formula one for 2014!  Thank you all for your congratulations," the 17-year-old wrote on the Russian social network Vkontakte on Friday.

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08/23/13
f1
irl

Alguersuari eyes IndyCar move for 2014 (Update) UPDATE Jaime Alguersuari has now been added to our 2014 IndyCar Silly Season page.

08/23/13
Jaime Alguersuari
(GMM)  Pirelli test driver Jaime Alguersuari could finally leave formula one at the end of the season.

Since losing his race seat at Toro Rosso at the end of 2011, the Spaniard stayed in the paddock as a co-commentator for British radio, and he still remains tire supplier Pirelli's main tester.

But the Spanish sports newspaper Marca reports that Alguersuari, still just 23, is now eyeing a switch to America's premier open-wheel scene.

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08/23/13
f1

Raikkonen absence was Lotus ultimatum?
Raikkonen with his wife Jenni
(GMM)  Was there more to Kimi Raikkonen's mystery illness on Thursday?

While some believe the reticent Finn skipped his media duties at Spa-Francorchamps because he was actually feeling unwell, others think he was keen to dodge the media spotlight in the heat of his leading role in the 2014 'silly season'.

According to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, however, there is a third paddock theory.

"Either I get my money, or I do not drive," said correspondent Michael Schmidt, imagining a theoretical conversation between the 2007 world champion and his Lotus bosses.

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