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Today, on 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis Kyle Busch said that if he wins this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, he would like to run the 100th Indianapolis 500 next May.
Busch has to our knowledge not discussed the idea of running the Indy 500, publicly at least in the past. Of course his brother Kurt Busch ran the 2014 Indy 500 for Andretti Autosport, finishing an impressive 6th. However, reports have suggested that team owner Joe Gibbs has told Busch he could run the 500 only if he won the NASCAR title. Therefore, Busch’s suggestion that he might run IF he wins the championship would appear to confirm previous reports.
(GMM) Rob Smedley has been linked with a move to the Haas team for 2016.
That is the claim of the Italian magazine Autosprint, referring to the 41-year-old British engineer who last year followed his friend and long-time colleague Felipe Massa from Ferrari to a prominent role at Williams.
Another notable move is also shaping up in F1, the publication claims.
Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon doesn't want the team to run American Alexander Rossi because he feels Rossi is as good as Vettel and belongs in F1
According to Racer.com, Alexander Rossi's GP2, Racing Engineering, is investigating a possible IndyCar venture in 2017.
Racer reports that the Spanish team, owned by Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon, claimed the 2008 and 2013 GP2 championships, currently sits second in the standings with American Alexander Rossi, and is in the midst of a feasibility study to determine if an IndyCar program should complement its ongoing European open-wheel programs.
"We're looking into it, but it looks unlikely before 2017 if we're doing it on our own because of another project we're going after right now," Orleans-Borbon told RACER.
"Are we interested? Absolutely. We're not in a position to enter the series today, yet, because I don't have any drivers in GP2 or other series that are prepared to help make it happen. And I would be open to working with an IndyCar team that has one car and we could come together to put a second car in the series. That's where we are."
To the right is the original 1.9+ mile Champ Car San Jose circuit that was never approved back in 2005. An expanded version of this layout (1.9-miles is too short for F1) could possible work and it does fall partially within a park. The HP Pavilion sits inside the circuit and would make for a great expo facility
It was a wet weekend at COTA last month and a financial bloodbath. Could this mean a new venue for the U.S. GP.
11/16/15 You may remember Bernie Ecclestone saying during the recent United States Grand Prix weekend that Formula One was looking at a California venue, although he wouldn't say where. Of course, questions surrounding the future of the U.S. GP at Circuit of the Americas have arisen in light of the rain-soaked weekend last month and economic difficulties for the track.
Well, AR1 did some digging and were told to rule out San Diego as a possibility due to the inability to construct a viable circuit in that area. We also haven't heard much lately on the idea of F1 to Long Beach.
Will the NASCAR charter program begin in 2016 as planned? As the Sprint Cup season nears an end, some team executives privately are questioning if NASCAR's charter program to provide organizations with long-term equity will begin next year as intended. One source who was heavily involved in the negotiations but not authorized to speak publicly about them told NASCAR Talk that a "deal isn't imminent.''
Another source said that plans remain to have the charter program in place before next season begins. The deal was likened to the glacial pace that it took NASCAR to release the 2016 schedule last month because of new five-year sanctioning agreements with each track. The Sprint Cup schedule was released two months later than a year ago.
Is Mercedes determining who wins F1 races? (Update) UPDATE "From Singapore onwards there's been a change to the car," said Hamilton. "Whether or not that's made a difference, I don't know really."
Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda said after the Brazil race, "Very strong performance from Nico, as in Mexico. At the moment he is simply the better man. He already proved before that he is as fast as Lewis, but right now he is completely free in his head."
Free in his head, or faster because Mercedes engineers make him faster now?
With Ford Performance and Chip Ganassi Racing yet to officially confirm any of its drivers for 2016, and Tuesday marking the start of a two-day IMSA-sanctioned test at Daytona, where the pair of Ford GTs will be present, the identities of at least a handful of drivers will soon become public.
Ford has, understandably, kept a tight lip so far, with an official announcement revealing its much-anticipated driver lineup for both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship programs to come as early as next Thursday.
Paul Page to retire after the 100th Indianapolis 500?
AutoRacing1 is hearing that IMS Radio broadcaster Paul Page may retire after the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 this year. Page, of course, has enjoyed a storied career in both radio and television. He joined the IMS Radio Network in 1977 and was the 'voice of the 500' from 1977-1987.
The popular Indiana native was the lead anchor on CART broadcasts for ABC, ESPN and NBC at various points between 1979-2004.
After a foray into drag car racing from 2006-2012, Page returned to the IMS Radio Network as part of the Indianapolis 500 broadcast team in 2009. In 2014, he took over for Mike King and became the 'voice of the 500' again.
Nicole Scherzinger sparked rumors she had reconciled with ex-fiance Lewis Hamilton, after the two were spotted on a night out in London. Both Nicole and Lewis were at The Box on Friday night, where John Newman was performing, with reports claiming that when his performance was over they spent several hours in a private room.
A source told The Sun newspaper: "The Box's security were not allowed in Nicole and Lewis's room and told to not let anybody else in.
"They stayed well after the club shut. Staff were desperate for them to leave!"
IndyCar looking to extend life of DW12? Barring anything unforeseen, or any radical changes such as the X1 Series proposal, AR1 is hearing that INDYCAR is looking at ways of extending the life of the Dallara DW12 in the coming years. In fact, senior series officials held discussions with former F1 engineering talent late this summer and discussed ways in which the car could be modified. How formal or informal those discussions were, we don't know for sure.
However, the premise of the discussion seemed to be based on the notion that it would be more cost-effective to adapt the current platform than mothball the car in exchange for a new model. We also know that amongst the topics discussed were the aesthetics of the car, the removal of winglets and other costly parts, getting more air to flow under rather than over, and less aerodynamic grip in the hopes of making the cars more difficult to drive.
Choi to run Lights for SPM AR1 is hearing that 31-year-old South Korean driver Heamin Choi will test for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in the upcoming Chris Griffis Memorial Test at Circuit of the Americas November 21-22. Choi has run U.S. F2000, Pro Mazda and a variety of other series in the past. In 2015, he contensted the final Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires doubleheader round at Laguna Seca for SPM, finishing 12th and 11th in the two races.
Update: Trulli to miss Putrajaya? (Update 2) UPDATE (Editor's note: The team tweeted earlier this week they had received their equipment and would be racing in Putrajaya. However, it appears their finally-arrived cars did not meet specification. This rumor goes from false to fact.)
There will be just 18 drivers on the entry list for tomorrow’s Putrajaya ePrix, round two of the FIA Formula E Championship.
As was the case for the season-opener in Beijing, the two drivers from the Trulli team are absent from the official entry.
Gutierrez and Grosjean to be Haas' F1 drivers (10th Update)UPDATE #10
Gutierrez eyes his sponsor decal in the Mexico City paddock, ready for his big announcement later today.
Esteban Gutierrez eyes the Claro sponsorship decal that he has brought to the Ferrari team. Claro and Telcel will pay for his ride at Haas next year. Both Mexican companies are owned by the richest man in the world, Carlos Slim, who is funding the ride for both Gutierrez and Sergio Perez.
Recognizing that in order for the Mexican GP to be successful, there must be Mexican drivers in good cars so the Mexican fans have someone to cheer for, Slim opened his checkbook and made it happen.
Meanwhile the only American on the F1 grid is in the slug Manor car, which is all he could get with the money he had.
21-year old Matt Brabham is closing in on an IndyCar deal for 2016, which will include the Indy 500.
"I'm pretty confident we can get it all done for the Indy 500," he told Motorsport.com.
"I'm definitely a lot closer than I was last year. Obviously the Indy Lights stuff didn't quite work out this year; I got in for a couple of races but then ran out of budget to finish of the season.
"Going into next year we have a full program together, and we're working night and day and throwing everything we have at it. We've had way more response this year, going into next year, than we had last year."
Did Mercedes switch off Rosberg's traction control?
AR1.com caught Wolff and Lauda laughing as soon as Rosberg loses traction and almost spins. Did they tell the engineers sitting in front of them to turn off Rosberg's traction control?
Nico Rosberg says that that Mercedes has determined that a freak gust of wind caused him to go off and lose the lead in Austin. We here at AR1.com do not believe that for a minute.
As soon as Rosberg ran wide Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda were laughing as if to say, it worked perfectly. We caught them laughing (right) as soon as it happened on lap 49 of 56. By then the track was dry, so no reason for the wheel spin.
We suspect they told the engineers to turn off his traction control for a split second (or some other technology change) so Hamilton could pass without being accused of team orders and clinch the title.
This ensured that both the driver's title and manufacturer's title were locked up early and the rest of this year's races will be spent testing pieces for 2016 without worry of a failure costing them the title.
Ricciardo to try NASCAR Rumor has it that Dale Earnhardt Jr. has invited F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo to test one of his NASCAR Xfinity cars on a road course and Ricciardo said yes. Next August at Watkins Glen or Mid-Ohio, during F1 summer break, were mentioned as possible venues.
FIA to launch tender for new F1 engine supplier (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 The BBC's Andrew Benson wrote Ecclestone and FIA President Jean Todt are "pushing a plan that could kill the turbo hybrid engines introduced last year." Ecclestone and Todt are working toward a cheap customer turbo engine under an "equivalence formula" in '17. The road-car manufacturers in F1 "want to stick with the turbo hybrids and have rejected plans to introduce a cost cap on the engines for customers." The risk "is the rules would be adjusted to make their units uncompetitive." Top-level sources said that their concern "is three-fold:"
Only Mercedes and Ferrari "have competitive engines, reducing the number of teams competing at the front of the grid"
The two manufacturers' dominance "is increasing their political power in F1 at the expense of Todt and Ecclestone"
The cost of the engines "is proving difficult for customer teams to afford"
NASCAR needs Earnhardt in the Chase to help their sagging TV ratings, rumors are he will get 'the call' on Sunday. His car will be so fast he will run out front all day and avoid any wrecks.
Buried in points after back-to-back subpar finishes, Dale Earnhardt Jr. fully understands he's in a must-win position Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway if he's to advance in the Chase for the Sprint Cup playoff.
But while Talladega, a restrictor-plate track, isn't regarded favorably by many within the garage due to its propensity for instigating multi-car wrecks due to a driver's inability to separate from the pack, Earnhardt holds the opposite viewpoint.
"When we come to all the plate tracks we feel confident we can do well and feel confident in the car," Earnhardt said Friday. "The confidence that you have in the car is really where it all stems from.
2016 IndyCar Schedule (Update 11)UPDATE #11 AR1 is hearing that the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule will be announced this coming Tuesday October 27th.
10/14/15 We already reported below that Pocono will give IndyCar one more try, and now racer.com is saying Pocono will indeed be on the 2016 IndyCar schedule. They will be paying a lower sanctioning fee as Mark Miles is finding out that by running the sport into the ground when the IRL was created by Anton George, and putting races on NBCSN where the sport is invisible, IndyCar races are largely unprofitable. today - miniscule crowds and miniscule TV ratings.
Every year races drop off the calendar, replaced with recycled races that failed in the past. Miles is also finding out that selling IndyCar overseas under the current formula is a dead end. The series needs to be sold to an entity that can grow the sport, not shrink it as the current regime is doing.
Project Brabham eyeing Formula E Championship Australian driver David Brabham said that the Project Brabham initiative "could become involved in the Formula E championship in the future," according MOTORSPORT.
He said, "At the moment, I can say that Formula E is a series I am very interested in. In the medium and long term, yes, we would like to be involved and the interest from our side is high, but in the short-term we need to get established first. We've definitely got an eye on it." One of the existing Formula E teams "could be available to purchase by the end of this calendar year."
Who was behind failed $29M bid to buy V8 Supercars?
Could it have been Roger Penske? The speculation always was that Penske went to the V8 series secretly for the France family to eye up a purchase as they look to NASCARize racing worldwide
An "ambitious" A$40M ($28.8M) bid to buy the controlling stake in V8 Supercars "has failed," according to James Phelps of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH.
A millionaire close to a current V8 Supercars team "made the secret bid to buy a 65 percent stake in the business for a low-ball amount" that was understood to be somewhere close to A$40M. The "clandestine offer was made to investment group Archer Capital," which bought the controlling 65% stake in the sport in '11 for A$180M in a private equity deal.
Australia’s Ryan Briscoe tipped to drive a factory Ford GT in 2016 If the rumors are true, and they usually are, Ryan Briscoe who has been a co-driver for Corvette Motorsport for the long-distance events at Daytona, Sebring, Le Mans and Road Atlanta. will be moving to the Ganassi Ford camp for 2016 A few days back, Corvette announced that the factory General Motors squad had resigned all its four full-time drivers, but there was little said about the co-drivers.
That carefully worded release only added more fuel to the fire that is Briscoe's apparent connection to the Ford GT program being spearheaded by Chip Ganassi Racing in America. The program will field entries in both the United Sports Car Series in America and the FIA World Endurance Championship, which, of course, counts the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the jewel in its crown.
Felix Serralles tested yesterday for Carlin at Road America. The 23-year-old Puerto Rican, who won this past year in Milwaukee driving for Belardi Auto Racing, appears to be in line for a seat at Carlin, who last week announced the re-signing of Ed Jones.
(GMM) Kevin Magnussen will not be in Austin or Mexico.
Before McLaren announced its impending split with the Danish reserve driver, Magnussen stopped coming to grands prix due to breaking his hand in a cycling accident.
But that was almost 6 weeks ago, which according to some is long enough for a hand to heal. Not only that, chiefs Eric Boullier and Ron Dennis had indicated Magnussen would receive specialist care to speed up his recovery.
Word is 2015 Pro Mazda Champion Santiago Urrutia is lined up for an Indy Lights test at Sebring in the not too distant future with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. SPM, which has already confirmed Ethan Ringel and RC Enerson as two of its drivers in 2016, has run four full-season entries each of the last two seasons. And with a $500,000 scholarship courtesy of Mazda, the 19-year-old Uruguayan seems like a good possibility to join the team in 2016.
NASCAR's Initial Proposal For Long-Term Equity Would Grant 36 Guaranteed Spots
NASCAR's initial proposal to team owners regarding building a form of long-term equity in the sport "would give team owners of 36 cars guaranteed spots in a Sprint Cup field reduced from the current 43 cars to 40 cars," according to sources cited by Bob Pockrass of ESPN.com.
Those 36 teams "would be awarded 'charters' -- NASCAR's word for what many would term a franchise -- that could be sold if a team owner wanted to get out of the sport or cut down the number of full-time cars it fields."
Green-white-checkered policy to change for Talladega (Update)UPDATE As the Chase elimination race at Talladega Superspeedway quickly approaches, it appears NASCAR is ready to change the green-white-checkered procedure ahead of this weekend's race.
NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O'Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's "The Morning Drive" changes would likely be announced by Wednesday.
Rahal team testing at Phoenix today (Update)UPDATE Upgrade this rumor to Fact, as Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced on Twitter that Graham Rahal is tire testing today for Firestone at Phoenix International Raceway. We also hear Chip Ganassi Racing driver Tony Kanaan is at the test.
Expect an official announcement of IndyCar's much-anticipated return to PIR shortly.
10/20/15 Rumor has it that ahead of IndyCar announcing a race at PIR for 2016, the Rahal IndyCar team is testing at Phoenix International Raceway today with Graham Rahal behind the wheel.
Coletti not returning to IndyCar (Update)UPDATE AR1.com has learned that Coletti will take his $1 million check and race in Formula E instead of IndyCar. Formula E's global TV audience dwarfs IndyCar so it's money well spent.
10/19/15 AR1 is hearing that the #4 KV Racing Technology entry will have a new driver in 2016, as Stefano Coletti is pursuing interests in other series for 2016. The six-time GP2 winner finished 19th in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series standings with a best finish of 8th at the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. The Monegasque placed second in the rookie of the year standings to Gabby Chaves.
Kurt Busch staying at Stewart-Haas Racing (2nd Update) UPDATE #2
Stewart-Haas Racing has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday. They are expected to announce a contract extension with Kurt Busch.
10/5/15 In the midst of his second season with Stewart-Haas Racing, Kurt Busch appears bound for a third year with the organization in 2016. Although a new contract to keep Busch at SHR beyond 2015 has not been finalized, a team spokesman has corroborated recent comments from team co-owner Gene Haas that the 2004 Sprint Cup Series champion will be back in the #41 SHR Chevy next year. "What Gene said is accurate," team spokesman Mike Arning wrote in an email to FOXSports.com late Tuesday. "He has a handshake agreement with Kurt and once the contract is signed, we'll let everyone know it's official." Fox Sports
Formula One Closes In On $8.5B Sale To U.S.-Qatari Consortium (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 Chinese investors "are in pole position to shape the future" of F1 as one of the country's largest investment firms backs an $8.5B takeover bid for the sport, according to Mark Kleinman of SKY NEWS.
China Media Capital is leading a group of Chinese firms that want to invest roughly $1.5B in an offer being assembled by NFL Miami Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross. Ross's consortium is "understood to be planning to write in the coming days to CVC Capital Partners, F1's controlling shareholder, to seek a 90-day period of exclusivity" during which it would hold "detailed talks" with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone and undertake due diligence.
Kevin Magnussen's check wasn't big enough for money strapped and near sponsorless McLaren. They are searching for a driver with a bigger check to keep team afloat.
McLaren will not be renewing the contract of Formula 1 reserve driver Kevin Magnussen at the end of this season, Autosport reports.
After two years as part of McLaren's F1 outfit, including a full-time race seat in 2014, Magnussen will part company with the team following the final race of the campaign in Abu Dhabi, leaving the 23-year-old now with limited opportunities to bag a drive for next season.
New GP2 champion Stoffel Vandoorne is set to take on the role of reserve to Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso for 2016.
Only last month racing director Eric Boullier confirmed McLaren would not stand in the way of Magnussen securing another drive elsewhere.
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