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Jordan Taylor done for the Rolex? (Update) UPDATE Jordan Taylor just returned to the cockpit of the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette, so this rumor is downgraded to 'False.'
01/30/16 There has been no official announcement from the team. However, AR1 is getting word that Jordan Taylor, co-driver of the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette, will not drive any more in the Rolex 24 at Daytona due to an illness. Taylor was ill prior to the race, but drove the opening stint before giving way to Max Angelelli. And it looks now as though Angelelli, Rubens Barrichello and Ricky Taylor will need to handle the balance of the event for the #10 team.
How could Honda have gained 223bhp? According to Spanish publication AS, the Japanese manufacturer would have achieved a major breakthrough in unlocking 223bhp on its power unit divided up as follows: 60bhp from the internal combustion engine (ICE) and 163 from the energy recovery systems (ERS).
For starters, the ERS comprise four elements: the MGU-H, the MGU-K, the battery, and a pair of control boxes. MGU stands for motor-generator unit. When acting as a generator, the device converts the mechanical and heat energy that it receives into electrical energy. When operating as a motor, it is the opposite.
NASCAR, Sprint Cup teams meet on charters; sides 'close' to deal NASCAR officials and Sprint Cup car owners have been meeting this week, moving closer to resolution on a new charter system intended to guarantee financial stability and security to teams. A source who was present for a meeting Friday said that no deal had been signed, but that the sides were "close."
The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly about the talks. Adam Stern of the Sports Business Journal tweeted that the system was likely to be unveiled in two weeks, which would point to an announcement during Speedweeks.
Bentley appears poised to enter the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the new Daytona Prototype international (DPi) platform, with the British manufacturer reportedly set to begin engine testing next month.
Motorsport.com reports that a test with Bentley’s GT3-based twin-turbo V8 engine, mated to a Ginetta LMP3 chassis, is set to be run in February in Europe.
ETSU to play football game at BMS UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. The ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Bristol Motor Speedway held a joint press conference on Thursday afternoon to announce they have reached an agreement to host ETSU's 2016 Southern Conference football opener at the Last Great Colosseum. The Buccaneers, who are playing a full SoCon schedule this upcoming season, will host Western Carolina on Saturday, Sept. 17.
Overheard at Pocono - CFH in trouble (3rd Update) UPDATE #3
Wichita businessman Wink Hartman is leaving Indycar as an owner for at least this season and maybe longer, due to the instability of the energy market.
Hartman says he is making the move in fairness to his other business interests, at least until energy prices stabilize.
"It was just a matter of, racing takes millions and millions of dollars. It's not wise for me to jeopardize what I've worked all my life to build over racing," Hartman said over the phone. "It's something I have enjoyed, and something I will hopefully join in again. But if not, that's fine. I have well past 15 companies to run."
2016 McLaren-Honda F1 Car Will Have 223 HP More Than 2015 Car (Update) UPDATE
Will Alonso really have 223 more HP in 2016? Wishful thinking by the desperate Spanish media
(GMM) Honda has dismissed speculation it has found more than a whopping 200 horse power over the winter break.
Earlier, the Spanish sports daily AS claimed McLaren's works engine partner had closed the gap to the leading manufacturers for 2016 by improving the internal combustion engine and troublesome energy recovery systems.
"Sakura, the Honda factory in Japan, has worked 24 hour shifts without Christmas holidays," correspondent Manuel Franco wrote.
But Honda told Britain's Sky on Monday: "These reports are unsubstantiated and merely speculative, and we ask fans and media alike to treat them as such."
Audi Poised for Reduced Factory Effort at 24H Spa, Nurburgring The next victim in the fallout from the VW emissions crisis appears to be Audi's hugely successful GT racing program, with official support in the two key GT3 endurance races set to be slashed this year.
Endurance-Info has learned that the German manufacturer is likely to feature a reduced factory presence in both the Total 24 Hours of Spa and Nurburgring 24, with only two works-supported entries instead of the previous four cars spread across two teams.
(GMM) Pirelli secretly altered the construction of its F1 tires in preparation for 2016.
That is the claim of the British magazine F1 Racing, reporting that the addition of the 'ultra soft' compound is not the only change being introduced by the sport's official supplier for the new season.
The report said "major changes" have also been made to the actual construction of the 2016 tire.
Indy 500 signs first ever presenting sponsor (Update)UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with this announcement.
01/21/16 The 100th Indianapolis 500 will have a first in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history - a presenting sponsor.
RACER rumors that Hulman & Company President Mark Miles will announce Thursday afternoon that D.A. Lubricants’ PennGrade1 has signed a multi-year deal to become the first presenting sponsor ever in the storied history of the world’s largest and most famous racetrack.
Damon Hill thinks Williams should switch from the most powerful engine to the least powerful engine in F1
(GMM) Williams' Rob Smedley has played down suggestions the Grove team might be contemplating a shock switch from F1's field-leading Mercedes power.
The speculation first surfaced a few days ago, when Williams' world champion of 1996, Damon Hill, suggested that moving away from Mercedes might be the only way the independent team can recapture its former glory.
"I sort of suggested to Claire (Williams) last year that the problem is they have the same engine as the Mercedes team," he was quoted by Sky.
"I think as a team wanting to win the outright championship, strategically they would be better off with another engine and I think the only other engine you can think of is a Honda," Hill added.
Cassill headed to Front Row? UPDATE(Editor's note: As you read here on AR1 over two weeks ago, Landon Cassill is headed to Front Row Motorsports. This rumor is upgraded to 'Fact.' Announcement below.)
STATESVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 20, 2016) – Six-year NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran Landon Cassill will join the Front Row Motorsports line-up to drive the No. 38 Ford for the 2016 season.
The 26-year-old Cassill has 187 Sprint Cup starts under his belt, most recently competing for Hillman Racing in 2015. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native has raced in all three of NASCAR’s national series, earning XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year honors in 2008.
Charlotte Motor Speedway looking at mixed-use area in turn 2
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Charlotte Motor Speedway is developing ambitious plans to fill the area where its former Turn 2 grandstand once stood with a motorsports-themed mixed-use development that will cost in the high eight to low nine figures, according to sources.
Details on the retail elements of the plan from track owner and operator Speedway Motorsports Inc. were scarce. Sources, though, said a key component is a private area of the mixed-use development that will be called the Apex Club.
Updated IndyCar Silly Season page (2nd Update) UPDATE Dennis Reinbold told Motorsport he is talking to Sage Karam, JR Hildebrand, Oriol Servia and Townsend Bell for his usual 1-car effort for the Indy 500. A 2nd car is an outside possibility. We had Townsend Bell listed for the Dreyer & Reinbold team and have now added the others to our Silly Season page.
01/17/16 We updated our IndyCar Silly Season page again to include Jack Harvey who is talking with Bryan Herta Autosport and Dale Coyne Racing. "It's progressing," Harvey said of his push for an IndyCar drive at the Autosport International show. "At the same time we were talking with SPM, we were still talking with Bryan and Dale, so for sure it's not a back-up plan. Honestly, to end up with any of the teams would be great, they've all shown they can win races and that's what I'm trying to achieve if we can. It's a difficult trail and one that probably every driver is on at some point."
Promising American drivers like Sage Karam have to buy their ride by bringing sponsorship.
After everyone thought he would only run 3 cars in 2016, reports indicate that Chip Ganassi Racing will not downsize its Verizon IndyCar Series roster for 2016, instead continuing to run four cars - and it's worth noting that Sage Karam, the former driver of the previously dropped car, is still searching for a drive.
Karam was released from his contract with Ganassi in December after uncertainty about the future of the No. 8 car he co-drove with Sebastian Saavedra and middling performance on-track. Now Racer says it has multiple sources confirming that the team will indeed bring back the No. 8 next season, with the car set for an unknown preseason test prior to the Mar. 13 season opener.
Meanwhile, Karam also made it known Monday that he has yet to secure another drive in any motorsports league since being let go. In a separate article Monday, the 20-year-old was quoted as saying, "I don't have anything right now to speak of. Nothing's done yet. We're working on some options here." He noted that he had hoped to be in a car for the upcoming Rolex 24 at Daytona, but one look at the entry list for the IMSA opener shows that did not materialize.
Force India F1 team to become Aston Martin (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 Force India COO Otmar Szafnauer said that the F1 team is "unlikely to have Aston Martin branding this season but talks have not been abandoned entirely," according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS.
He said, "We're still discussing. In the short term, meaning 2016, I don't see that type of rebranding happening. But you never know what the future holds thereafter."
Force India's co-Owner and Principal Vijay Mallya, the liquor baron, said last October that the team was "discussing a potential three-way deal involving the British sports car marque and whisky brand Johnny Walker."
Did Renault cheat on their 'dirty' diesels as well? Today police raided Renault headquarters and a number of technical offices, wanting to check equipment that might have been designed to cheat diesel emissions tests similar to what VW did.
Renault said that the there was no evidence of anything of the sort but said that it was cooperating fully with the investigations.
2016 U.S. F2000 Silly Season You've probably seen our 2016 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Silly Season thread. And we should have a Pro Mazda Presented by Cooper Tires thread shortly. Here we'll keep you updated on the driver and team combinations for the first rung on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system with our Cooper Tires U.S.F2000 Powered by Mazda 2016 series Silly Season page.
Stay tuned to AR1 for all the offseason news from the Mazda Road to Indy...
Why is Mercedes mysteriously absent from wet-weather test? (Update)UPDATE
Mercedes to skip wet-weather Pirelli test
Mercedes has insisted that there is "no issue" over its absence from Pirelli's upcoming wet tire test at Paul Ricard, which will be attended by Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren, as part of a three-car limit.
Pirelli has organized the additional gathering at the French track - from January 25-26 - to gain valuable wet-weather running, with a number of prototype compounds to be trailed by the teams.
Only Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren will field cars during the test session, to ensure that the level of water on the sprinkler-soaked track is controlled at all times, while the overall mileage will be capped.
The engine manufacturers will lower their cost for customers. They didn't say how much down on HP the customer engines will be.
(GMM) F1's manufacturers look set to agree to reduce the price of their engines, even if they want to press ahead with the current 'power unit' formula beyond 2017.
After the carmakers rejected Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt's idea of parallel regulations for an independent engine supplier, they were given until January 15 to come up with an alternative proposal.
But according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport on Tuesday, Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda have decided to press ahead with the controversial era of 1.6 liter turbo V6 'hybrid' power units.
"They prefer to supply the current power units at a subsidized price," said correspondent Michael Schmidt.
Mercedes protested against radical changes - why would they want to agree to changes that might jeopardize their dominance
(GMM) F1's plan to radically speed up the cars for 2017 has been watered down.
That is the claim on Monday of the authoritative German magazine Auto Motor und Sport.
It said that at the last meeting of the technical working group, a majority vote decided that the chassis bodywork should not be widened to the planned 180 centimeters, but instead remain at the current 140cm.
Correspondent Michael Schmidt added: "The larger diffuser also appears to be off the table." Earlier, it was planned that it would be 25 centimeters high in 2017, but it will now either stay at 12.5 or be only slightly raised.
Volkswagen Group is rumored to be buying back about 115,000 cars in the United States as a result of the emissions scandal, a German newspaper hears.
VW expects it will have to either refund the purchase price of about a fifth of the 580,000 diesel vehicles affected or offer a new car at a significant discount, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung said a report today.
The automaker expects that the rest of the vehicles will need major refits, incurring significant costs for parts and a long stay at the garage as parts of the exhaust must be reconstructed and approved, the newspaper reported.
Chase Elliott to run his father's #9 in Sprint Cup?
Jayski reports he was sent some images of the #44 Twisted Tea Petty Ford. No name above the door.
Speculation is that Richard Petty Motorsports will be switching from the #9 to the #44 for new driver Brian Scott in 2016 and that Hendrick Motorsports will re-number the #24 Chevy for Chase Elliott to the #9.
Chase's father, Bill Elliott, ran the #9 for many years. Chase ran the #9 in the XFINITY Series as well as other series in the past.
The 2016 Indy Lights field is beginning to take shape.
With yesterday's announcement of Felix Serralles to Carlin, we currently count 8 driver confirmations for the 2016 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season. Team Pelfrey, which took ownership of the Starworks Motorsports cars has also confirmed two cars although no drivers. And other teams such as Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Belardi, and others are expected to announce additional entries in the coming weeks.
Ferrari rumored to launch their new car online for 2016
(GMM) Ferrari is planning an online launch for its 2016 car, it emerged on Thursday.
Citing Italian sources, the Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat said the as-yet unnamed machine will be seen on the internet for the first time on 19 or 20 February, just days before the start of winter testing in Barcelona.
"Ferrari has not decided which of the team's race drivers will test the car first," the report added.
Is Indy Speedway For sale? Q: I keep reading about rumors that IMS is being spruced up for possible sell. As we know from F1 and IndyCar, if there is a rumor then there is some substance to it. Mari Hulman denies this and says that IMS is for her grandkids. We all know that today's grandkids don't know their history nor do they care; and are not as loyal to history as Mari. With that new development being built, the grandkids could easily sell the property once Grandma passes on. Why would they want to keep a property that hosts only three races a year when they could sell it and make MILLIONS?
Will Ford build Google's self-driving car? (Update) UPDATE Google and Ford will create a joint venture to build self-driving vehicles with Google's technology, a huge step by both companies toward a new business of automated ride sharing, Yahoo Autos has learned.
According to three sources familiar with the plans, the partnership is set to be announced by Ford at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. By pairing with Google, Ford gets a massive boost in self-driving software development; while the automaker has been experimenting with its own systems for years, it only revealed plans this month to begin testing on public streets in California. Google has 53 test vehicles on the road in California and Texas, with 1.3 million miles logged in autonomous driving.
Hunter-Reay races Castroneves to the line at Indy to win
How much is an Indy 500 winning car worth to you?
The Gooding and Company classic-car auction is usually dominated by post-World War II European sports cars from Ferrari, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz, or prewar classics from the likes of Rolls-Royce and Duesenberg.
But at this year's auction on Jan. 29 in Scottsdale, Ariz., bidders will find an even more unusual item for sale: Lot 47 is the Dallara-Honda racecar driven to victory in the 2014 Indianapolis 500 by Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Another NASCAR team shutting down? AutoRacing1 is hearing that the #40 Hillman Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team is ceasing operations. The team competed full-time the last two seasons with Landon Cassill piloting the #40 Chevrolet. Apparently, however, the team in now shutting down.
No word yet on what will happen to Cassill, who has a best finish of fourth in 189 career Sprint Cup starts. The shuttering of the #40 team would mark another full-time 2015 entry not making the grid in 2016, in what has been a difficult offseason for NASCAR.
Chevy to take Corvette electric Word about Chevrolet planning an electric variant of the Corvette sports car has popped up again following confirmation General Motors has trademarked the name 'Corvette E-Ray'.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office is reporting that GM has filed to trademark both the "Corvette E-Ray" and "E-Ray" monikers.
It's been a rough start to the Formula E season for defending champion Nelson Piquet Jr.
Formula E team NEXTEV TCR is considering dropping its twin-motor powertrain for season three.
The Chinese team ran Nelson Piquet Jr to the Formula E drivers' title in the championship's single-make inaugural season but its NEXTEV TCR 001 has toiled in season two. It is believed to be the heaviest car on the grid, with each motor weighing at least 20kg, and that has severely compromised performance as the team has scored a best result of sixth across the first three races.
The final homologation of season three powertrains is not due until July 1 but crash testing must be completed by April 1, after which any changes will be limited to fine-tuning. Team principal Steven Lu told Autosport the decision had not been made yet but would be taken before the end of 2015 so the team could test its season-three powertrain on track as soon as possible. "Weight is one of the things we have to improve for season three," he said. "The next thing we have to work on is the efficiency.
Sky Channel 4 to replace BBC for 'free' F1 in Britain (Update) UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Bernie Ecclestone has finally confirmed that the BBC will no longer broadcast formula one on British free-to-air television.
It comes as the BBC, to be replaced in its split deal with pay channel Sky by Channel 4 from 2016, said it made its decision to terminate the deal for budget reasons.
"A significant chunk of BBC Sport's savings target will be delivered through the immediate termination of our TV rights agreement for formula one," confirmed the BBC's sports director Barbara Slater, saying the decision was "tough and unwanted".
Georgia native Sean Rayhall, who scored two victories in a partial-season effort, tested with the team at Sonoma in August. Also, former Formula 1 driver Max Chilton is known to be very well-financed and anticipated to have about a half-season's IndyCar budget.
Could one of the above drivers be joining Ganassi in 2016? Might the team run a time-share similar to 2015? We'll see what happens but it looks as though the #8 entry will continue in 2016.
Bank Of America Not Renewing Deal As Official NASCAR Sponsor
Bank of America will not renew its official NASCAR sponsorship that ends after this year, according to multiple Sports Business Daily sources. BofA has been NASCAR's official sponsor since '07 in the categories of Financial Services, Checking, Savings, Credit/Debit, Mutual Funds and Security Brokerage, Mortgages and Credit Cards.
BofA took over for SunTrust, Home123 Corp. and Centrix Financial, which had the rights divvied up between them through '06. Sources valued BofA's deal in the low- to mid-seven figures annually. Sources noted that in ’14, BofA’s contract was expiring, but the sanctioning body was able to get a one-year extension. However, amid a time of cutbacks across its sponsorship portfolio, the bank is now planning to let the deal expire without a renewal.
Karam Poised to Join Pruett in F Performance Lexus
Sage Karam - IndyCar loses another budding American star
Former Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Pruett and Sage Karam are set to be reunited under the new F Performance Racing team, which is expected to debut its new factory backed Lexus RC F GT3 next year.
Sportscar365 has learned that the 20-year-old IndyCar rising star is tabbed to join Pruett at the wheel of the GT Daytona class entry, creating one of the strongest driver lineups in the Pro-Am class.
Karam, whose contract with Ganassi was not renewed for 2016, is understood to be finalizing a deal with the F Performance team, spearheaded by RSR Racing’s Paul Gentilozzi, which will see a two-car GTD effort in the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
F1 Drivers Could Be Limited To Just Three Engines Per Season
F1 drivers "could be limited to just three engines per season as part of radical plans being considered by manufacturers to cut costs." In a "bid to stave off the threat of an independent engine from 2017, F1's car makers have begun talks to frame a series of regulations that will slash expenditure over the next few years."
The proposals "have to be agreed by January 15 for a presentation to the FIA, after which a decision will be taken by the governing body on whether or not they do enough to ease F1's cost crisis." MOTORSPORT
Claman DeMelo and Gutierrez to Juncos (Update)UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'Fact.' See announcement below.
Indianapolis, Indiana (December 15, 2015) – Juncos Racing is pleased to announce Zachary Claman Demelo will join the team for the 2016 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. Claman is the second driver to join the regaining 2015 Indy Lights Champions line up for the 2016 season.
The 2016 Indy Lights season will mark Zachary Claman Demelo's (Montreal, Canada) first run in the Mazda Road to Indy ladder series. The Canadian native recently made his official debut with Juncos Racing at the fifth annual Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy test. Claman proved to be a strong contender in the Indy Lights series leading the field in the final session and finishing third overall.
Jaguar Expected To Join Formula E For Third Season In '16-17 (Update 2) UPDATE Jaguar today announced its return to global motorsport. In the autumn of 2016, Jaguar will enter the third season of the exciting FIA Formula E Championship as a manufacturer with its own team. FIA Formula E is the world’s first global single-seater championship for electric powered cars.
FIA Formula E offers a unique opportunity for Jaguar Land Rover to further the development of future EV powertrain including motor and battery technology.
Nick Rogers, Group Engineering Director for Jaguar Land Rover, said: “I am proud to announce Jaguar's return to racing with an entry into the innovative FIA Formula E championship. Electric vehicles will absolutely play a role in Jaguar Land Rover's future product portfolio and Formula E will give us a unique opportunity to further our development of electrification technologies. The Championship will enable us to engineer and test our advanced technologies under extreme performance conditions.
Hellmund linked with new US race, F1 team investment (3rd Update) UPDATE #3 In an interview with Sportsbusinessdaily.com, F1 team owner Gene Haas, who is also the co-owner of NASCAR team Stewart-Haas Racing, referenced New Jersey, Anaheim and Long Beach as potential alternatives for a second U.S. grand prix.
One can assume he got this information by talking to either Bernie Ecclestone or Tavo Hellmund at the USGP in Austin in November.
Ecclestone said recently he was having another look at NJ and Hellmund alluded to a possible race in California - imagine a race around Disneyland in Anaheim.
America's future in F1 is not endangered by the problems facing the current US grand prix in Austin.
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