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Beau Brandenburg, Joe Tanto and Jimmy Bly talking about saving each other from burning methanol infernos or something of the like in the 2001 flop Driven
We're not exactly sure what to make of this. But according to the 5150 Studios website, some sort of IndyCar movie is in the works.
Our Hollywood-based informants also hear the movie is in pre-production and that Ryan Gosling is a candidate for the lead role. We'll pass along more info as we receive it.
OUT ON THE ROAD is the story of a prodigy and a screw up, both trying to make it in the highly competitive world of IndyCar racing. CASE KIFFEN’S entire life has built toward racing and winning the Indianapolis 500. While other kids shipped off to college at 18, Case was on the track. In fact, all of Case’s teenage years where spent behind the wheel of a car, missing out on a lot of the normal teenage experience.
Heads to roll at Tesla in China (Update) UPDATE With yesterday's Wall Street Journal report that Apple is working on designing a car, we wonder what impact that will have on Tesla.
2/10/15 Tesla Motors Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk is prepared to fire overseas executives, people with knowledge of the matter said, after weak Chinese sales of the company's luxury electric cars cast doubt on his ambitious global expansion plans.
Tesla sold about 120 cars in China last month, one of the sources told Reuters, well below the company's aggressive targets. Musk has previously said he expected China sales could rival those in the United States as early as 2015.
Two top China managers left the company in 2014, Tesla said last year.
2015 IndyCar Silly Season coming to a close The 2015 IndyCar Silly Season is coming to a close as the first race of the year is a little over one month away, but there are still a number of drivers to be confirmed. Check it out on our updated 2015 IndyCar Silly Season page.
Scott Speed to test Andretti IndyCar Scott Speed tweeted this photo of him getting a seat fitting in the Andretti Autosport IndyCar of Carlos Munoz. Speed races for the team's VWs in the Red Bull Global Rallycross.
He also was having the seat fitting in preparation for a possible IndyCar test.
A team spokesperson told NBC sports, no date has been set yet for a test. However, the spokesperson confirmed Andretti may use Speed for a test if a conflict arises for one of its full-time drivers. Generally speaking for conflicts, the team would prefer to keep testing in-house among its drivers.
Hamilton smiling knowing that with Mercedes power he will be World Champion again in 2015.
Trap speeds obtained by Autosport.com at last week's Jerez F1 test reveal that Mercedes powered cars are fastest on the straights despite sandbagging with full tanks of fuel and doing long endurance runs. Raikkonen, who was fastest for Ferrari on light fuel loads, was 7 km/h down on speed. Wait until the Mercedes cars run qualifying laps as they will bury Ferrari and all the Renault powered cars. Last year the Mercedes were up at least 50 HP on everyone else and this year it appears they may have widened the gap to 100 HP.
Trap Speeds Jerez F1 test, February 1-4
1 Felipe Massa (Williams-Mercedes) 307.6 km/h 2 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 307.6 km/h 3 Pastor Maldonado (Lotus-Mercedes) 306.8 km/h 4 Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso-Renault) 303.3 km/h 5 Marcus Ericsson (Sauber-Ferrari) 303.3 km/h 6 Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 300.8 km/h 7 Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull-Renault) 294.2 km/h 8 Jenson Button (McLaren-Honda) 277.6 km/h
Jeb Burton to BK Racing (Update)UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. An announcement will be made Monday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in downtown Charlotte, N.C.
"It's really exciting for me and my family," Burton said. "I didn't even know if I was going to race and then for BK Racing to give me a call and give me an opportunity and to believe in me to further my career and get me to the top of the racing world, it's a dream come true.
"I've wanted to be in Cup ever since I was a little kid. Now I have an opportunity to do it, set some goals to win Rookie of the Year, try to finish top-25 in points and go to Daytona (500) and make the field, have a good day and keep my nose clean throughout the season."
IndyCar to file for bankruptcy? No (2nd Update)UPDATE A 2nd official statement from IndyCar has been received by AR1.com: The INDYCAR article posted yesterday on the Autonet blog is blatantly inaccurate and irresponsible. INDYCAR has experienced positive financial momentum in the last calendar year, including the addition of several new partners, highlighted by a title sponsorship agreement with Verizon. The series also experienced substantial increases in TV ratings, viewership and several other key metrics. We look forward to the continuation of this upward trend as we approach the start of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Derrick Walker says IndyCar is not filing for bankruptcy
02/07/15 UPDATE AR1.com received this official response to this rumor started by the French Canadian publication noted below: "There is absolutely no truth or credibility to the article whatsoever. IndyCar's season opener will be at St Pete on March 28th and with the increases in excitement expected by the introducing of aero kits, 2015 looks every bit on target to be another great IndyCar season of racing." Derrick Walker, Director of Competition
02/06/15This story is loosely translated from this French Canadian website. The Indy Racing League IndyCar might declare bankruptcy shortly. This is what we have just learned exclusively. It's not a secret that the car series has difficulty (since Tony George destroyed the sport by splitting it).
F1 insider claims Force India 'insolvent' (6th Update)UPDATE #6 (GMM) Force India has hit back at reports it could be the next team to spin out of formula one.
The Silverstone based team missed the Jerez test and will also not have its 2015 car at the forthcoming Barcelona session.
According to Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt, it has triggered rumors Force India has "no chassis, no fuel tank, no engine, no gearbox and no wind tunnel time" due to a financial crisis.
But chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer insists all of that is untrue.
Marussia sold? Will race in 2015 (10th Update)UPDATE #10 AutoRacing is hearing that Marussia's bid to use their 2014 car was rejected by the F1 Strategy Group earlier today in Paris. Of course, AutoRacing1 has outlined the structure of the new Strategy Group, and its potential effect on the sport going forward. In particular, smaller teams such as Marussia have no seat on the Strategy Group, nor any formal means to introduce changes.
Further, because the Strategy Group is composed of bigger teams and Formula One Management, the likelihood is that cost-saving type measures that would help the cash-strapped teams such as Marussia and Caterham are likely to be ignored. Keep in mind, both Bernie Ecclestone and the larger teams have been very adamant about their disdain for any sort of cost cap.
As for Marussia, they may ultimately make it to the grid in Melbourne. But you can rest assured, it won't be because of any assistance from the F1 Strategy Group.
AR1 Staff Report
Former Sainsbury's boss Justin King
(GMM) Rumors are now swirling around the future of the ailing backmarker formerly called Marussia.
It emerged on Wednesday that the John Booth-founded 'Manor' outfit is planning to exit administration later this month ahead of an effort to return for the 2015 season.
According to speculation, however, the first obstacle may be met as early as Thursday, despite reports a consortium headed by former Sainsbury's boss Justin King is powering the revival effort.
On Thursday, the sport's powerful strategy group will meet in Paris, and it is there that Manor may fail to secure unanimous support to allow it to run the old Ferrari-powered 2014 car this season.
Hamilton could retire after new Mercedes contract - report
Lewis Hamilton (R) and Nico Rosberg check out the latest Blackberry brick
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton is on the cusp of agreeing a new deal that could see him live out the remainder of his F1 career at Mercedes.
The reigning world champion has at Jerez been locked in tough talks with team chiefs Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff, amid speculation Mercedes might be eyeing Fernando Alonso while Hamilton is lining up Ferrari as an alternative.
Publicly, however, Hamilton and Mercedes have been making mutual declarations of love, and the major German daily Bild claims they are now close to agreeing a new deal for 2016 and beyond.
de Silvestro, not Daly, to SPM? Much has been made of U.S. Driver Conor Daly testing for the Schmidt Peterson Motorsport (SPM) team alongside Canadian James Hinchcliffe on Tuesday at Sebring International Raceway. The son of former formula One and IndyCar driver Derek Daly, the 23-year-old would be a nice addition to the IndyCar line-up, but it may not be with the SPM team. It is thought that former IndyCar racers Simona de Silvestro has the inside line to be Hinchcliffe's teammate in 2015. Globe and Mail
Four-time world champion Alain Prost seems keen on testing a Formula E car in the near future
Formula 1 legend and e.dams-Renault team owner Alain Prost says he will test the Formula E car ‘at the next opportunity'.
The four-time world champion retired from single-seater racing following his fourth title in 1993, but he's keen to get back behind the wheel to experience the Spark-Renault SRT_01E so that he has a better understanding of how the world's first all-electric single-seater racing car works.
"I'm never tempted to do that normally, but I think as soon as I have the opportunity I would like to do it," he said. "Just to see how it works it would be very interesting for me. Even when I talk to the engineers and the drivers I want to see what it is, and next time I have the opportunity I'll do it."
Andretti to run #27 in 2015? Marco Andretti will apparently change numbers this year, and run the #27 Andretti Autosport Verizon IndyCar Series entry. Andretti changed from #26 to #25 prior to the 2013 season, and apparently will now switch again.
UPDATE #2 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with the announcement below.
Luca Filippi, who has made eight Verizon IndyCar Series starts over the past two seasons, will drive the No. 20 Fuzzy's Award Winning Vodka car in Verizon IndyCar Series road/street course events this season, the team announced.
Ed Carpenter, the only owner/driver in the series, will continue to contest the No. 20 car at the oval events. CFH Racing's two-car effort is rounded out by Josef Newgarden, driver of the No. 67 car in all races.
"It's a great feeling. I can't wait to race and share the No. 20 with Ed this year," said Filippi, who will join Newgarden for testing Feb. 3-4 at Sebring International Raceway. "I have to thank Ed, Fuzzy's Vodka and CFH Racing for this fantastic opportunity and I look forward to the successes we will enjoy this season."
Daly again eyes IndyCar, to test with SPM UPDATE Thanks to Marco Andretti who put up $3K to help pay for the test, American Conor Daly is getting his first test in a Dallara DW12 in almost two full years next week.
Daly, who tested for and later raced for A.J. Foyt Enterprises in 2013, will step into the second Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda alongside friend James Hinchcliffe, the team's first confirmed driver for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
"This is the chance I've been working toward for a long time," Daly told NBC's MotorSportsTalk. "I know Sam has always had a strong team and I hope to show them what I've learned over the last four seasons in Europe. It will be very helpful working with an experienced teammate and friend, James. I can't wait to get on track again."
Chaves to drive for Herta 2014 Indy Lights champion Gabby Chaves is expected to be announced as Bryan Herta Autosport's full-time driver within the next week according to racer.com. Racer reports the young Colombian (big check), who tested for the team during the off-season, earned the nod over Italian GP2 ace Luca Filippi (smaller check) and will pilot the Honda-powered No. 98 when the season begins in March in St. Petersburg, Florida.
McLaren to test 2015 car with black livery (GMM) McLaren looks set to debut its Honda-powered 2015 car on Sunday with an all-black livery, according to the Spanish sports daily Marca.
Late on Tuesday, photographs started doing the rounds on Twitter depicting team returnee Fernando Alonso equipped with his new Honda-branded white overalls.
McLaren's 2015 driver uniform, also sported by Jenson Button on Tuesday for pre-season multimedia activities, is nearly identical to the ones raced last year by Button and Kevin Magnussen -- with a couple of differences.
Is a NASCAR TV analyst career in Jeff Gordon's future? (Update)UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Jeff Gordon's TV career will start this year, as the soon-to-be-former Sprint Cup Series driver will serve as a rotating analyst for FOX Sports' Xfinity Series broadcasts. Gordon will switch off his Xfinity Series (formerly called Nationwide Series) analyst role with defending Cup champion Kevin Harvick and former Cup champ Brad Keselowski. Those are just part of many changes for FOX, which goes into this season splitting TV broadcasting duties with NBC. The news will officially be announced Monday. USA Today
01/24/15 Would Jeff Gordon trade his helmet for a headset after exiting his #24 Chevy after the 2015 Sprint Cup Season? The four-time series champion said Friday morning he would consider a career as a TV analyst in NASCAR after he leaves full-time competition this year. "I love the sport," Gordon said during an interview with "The Morning Drive" on SiriusXM Radio's NASCAR channel.
"I'm very passionate about it. I love to critique it. I think I could do a good job with that. I don't think it's an easy job. I'll be honest. I have a lot of respect for those that do it from radio and TV. I'd entertain it."
Will Spyder be Hinchcliffe's primary sponsor for 2015? Spyder hits the track with James Hinchcliffe & Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports during testing in Sebring, Florida. Rumor has it Spyder will be a key sponsor for Hinch in 2015.
Piedrahita to Belardi (Update)UPDATE This rumor as reported by AR1 earlier this week has been upgraded to 'Fact.' See announcement.
AR1 Staff Report
01/23/15 AutoRacing1 is hearing that Juan Piedrahita is a good bet to land at Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires 2014 championship outfit Belardi Auto Racing. The 22-year-old Colombian is a five-year veteran of the Mazda Road to Indy. Last year, Piedrahita contested the full Indy Lights calendar for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports finishing seventh in the standings and scoring a best finish of fifth at Mid-Ohio and Sonoma.
Karam to replace Briscoe at Ganassi? (Update 2)UPDATE #3
Below is a quote from Sage Karam, who co-drove the #01 Ford EcoBoost Riley for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in today's Rolex 24 at Daytona. The 2013 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Champion was asked what his chances were of securing a 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series ride with Chip Ganassi Racing.
"I know everyone wants it to happen, I think it’s just the extra little bit of funding just to get the seat at the level we need it at to start the season. I know Chip is really pushing for it, my main sponsors are really pushing for it, and pretty much all of the main guys at Chip Ganassi Racing are really pushing for it. Testing went really well, couldn’t me more happy with that, and everyone wants it to happen. Everything’s been positive, so I think it’s going to happen, we just need that last little push with funding."
Wal-Mart to sell NASCARbernet wine? WAL-MART announced that, on January 1, 2015, it will begin offering customers a new discount item - WAL-MART's own brand of wine.
The world's largest retail chain is teaming up with Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery of California to produce the spirits at an affordable price, in the $2- $5 range.
Wine connoisseurs may not be inclined to throw a bottle of Wal-Mart brand into their shopping carts, but "there is a market for inexpensive wine," said Kathy Micken, professor of marketing at University of Arkansas, Bentonville. She said: "But the right name is important."
Customer surveys were conducted to determine the most attractive name for the Wal-Mart wine brand.
(GMM) Ousted former long-time Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo's next project could be to secure the 2024 summer Olympics for Rome.
Ansa news agency and La Repubblica newspaper said the 67-year-old Italian, now chief executive of the Alitalia airline, could be unveiled in the role shortly.
"It's not my job to (choose) but I have to say he's perfect, because of his experience in international sports and business," international olympic committee member Mario Pescante told the Associated Press.
The AP report said Montezemolo also headed the organizing committee for Italy's successful bid to host the FIFA world cup in 1990.
NASCAR considering multiyear track contracts (Update)UPDATE "I think it's fair to say we have had discussions with the tracks about multiyear agreements," NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O'Donnell told USA TODAY Sports. "We're not there yet. If we can put something together where it's helpful for fans to know, our goal is to get the schedule out as early as we can. That helps fans making plans for going to tracks. Some fans travel a long way. If we can make that better through a multiyear (deal), that is something we're considering."
01/21/15 After a longtime policy of one-year engagements, NASCAR is poised to enter long-term relationships with its racetracks.
There have been multiple meetings after the 2014 season to discuss the concept of multiyear sanctioning agreements that effectively would set much of the Sprint Cup schedule beyond the current season for the first time.
After the races in Miami and Long Beach, the Formula E schedule conflicts with the Marco Andretti's regular Verizon IndyCar Series work.
Andretti Formula E has fielded a series-high five different drivers in the first four events of the all-electric racing. Montagny finished second in Beijing, with Charles Pic coming home fourth. Mazda Road to Indy star Matthew Brabham ran the Putrajaya round alongside Montagny, then at Punta del Este in tandem with Scuderia Ferrari tester Jean-Eric Vergne. Vergne earned a stunning pole position in his debut at Punta del Este and was in contention for the win prior to his car expiring on the penultimate lap.
Mikhail Aleshin won't return to IndyCar in 2015 (Update)UPDATE
This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Injured Russian driver Mikhail Aleshin will not be returning to IndyCar for in 2015.
Ongoing struggles in the Russian economy, as well as United Nations sanctions against the Russian government, have forced Aleshin to forego his return to Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, according to a report by SportsCar365.com.
The 27-year-old will switch to the FIA World Endurance Championship for the upcoming season, competing for SMP Racing's LMP2 effort, according to a recent interview SMP principal Sergey Zlobin had with Russian sports website Sports.box.ru.
Mercedes to begin 2015 with 'old' F1 engine (update)UPDATE (GMM) Mercedes has reportedly dismissed claims it will begin the 2015 season with its 'old' V6 engine of last year.
With the FIA agreeing to allow a development loophole under the existing 'freeze' rules, the sport's engine makers are currently contemplating how best to deploy their 32 upgrade 'tokens' throughout the 2015 season.
One rumor this week suggested Mercedes, having utterly dominated last year with its title-winning turbo V6, in fact planned to start the season with the 2014 unit in order to strategically upgrade to a 2015 specification over time.
Honda vetoed Alonso's 2015 Le Mans plans Honda scuppered Fernando Alonso's plans to drive for Porsche in the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours "at the last second", according to German media.
Alonso's future was the subject of much intrigue last year, with a sabbatical in sports cars mooted as a possibility before his move to McLaren-Honda was confirmed in December. But, according to German website Auto Motor und Sport, the Spaniard retained an interest in racing in Le Mans and hoped to secure a joint deal which would have allowed him to compete alongside his F1 duties, only for Honda to veto the deal at the eleventh hour.
Malaysian F1 Grand Prix Could Start Earlier As Safety Precaution Sepang circuit boss Razlan Razali said that this year's Malaysian F1 Grand Prix "may start earlier as a safety precaution following Jules Bianchi's horrific crash in Japan last October." Razali, speaking after contract renewal talks in London with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, said that "they discussed returning the race" to a 3pm local time slot from 4pm last season. That "would mean less likelihood of the tropical downpours that have affected some recent races, including the 2009 race." Reuters
FIA could allow Honda to join 'unfreeze' (GMM) It remains possible the FIA will do a u-turn after excluding Honda from the new engine development 'unfreeze'.
McLaren and its new 2015 works partner Honda were undoubtedly unimpressed recently when the FIA agreed that last year's engine makers - Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari - will be allowed to develop their turbo V6s this season.
That is because F1's governing body argued that Honda, as a new competitor, will be the only one that has to stick to the 28 February homologation date, just as the 2014 suppliers did.
Red Bull F1 flirting with VW engine switch (4th Update)UPDATE #4 This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. Porsche chief Matthias Muller has rubbished speculation parent group Volkswagen could soon be on the F1 grid.
Last week, Muller said the Porsche brand, despite now thriving at Le Mans with the likes of Mark Webber and in 2015 Nico Hulkenberg, has no interest in formula one.
"We think LMP1 is the future," he said, explaining that F1 in contrast appears to be "in more and more difficulty".
Mercedes offers Hamilton 40% of what Ferrari is paying Vettel
(GMM) Mercedes is positioning to keep world champion Lewis Hamilton well beyond the 2015 season.
Talks over the Briton's expiring contract were scheduled towards the end and then just after the 2014 season.
But in what was interpreted as a 'hurry up' to the 30-year-old, boss Toto Wolff recently declared that Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas are first in line for Hamilton's seat should he leave the Brackley team late this year.
Now, Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Mercedes "has prepared a three-year renewal (of the deal) for a fixed EUR 20 million per season".
The report speculated that the deal to be presented to Hamilton, who is currently not represented by a manager, is for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018.
(GMM) Ferrari is spending a whopping EUR 40 million as it steps up its off-track technology at Maranello.
Having struggled in 2014 and subsequently undergone a revolutionary shakeup, the fabled Italian marque is now spending big on a dynamic platform that will allow in-factory testing of the entire car-plus-engine package.
Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport said the move is part of Ferrari's new collaboration with the Austrian giant AVL, even though the research and simulation specialists were formerly closely aligned with Red Bull.
European Commission to investigate F1 Strategy Group?
FIA President Jean Todt
We'll have an article out this week, explaining the relationship between the FIA and Formula One Strategy Group, that will help explain this in a little more detail.
However, the European Commission, which is the executive body of the European Union may soon be investigating F1 Strategy Group for anti-competition practices. Of course, the financial difficulties of Formula One's smaller teams during the 2014 season has been well-documented. However, other constituencies have apparently been effected by recent changes in F1, with a number of manufacturing groups in England feeling the financial effects.
Recently, British European Parliament member Anneliese Dodds has written the EC regarding the matter.
Andretti Autosport to run 5 IndyCars in 2015? (Update)UPDATE
Racer.com reports that a fascinating IndyCar 2015 rumor involves McLaren Formula 1 driver Kevin Magnussen, who has been moved out of his race seat in favor of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso. The Honda-powered team serves as the Japanese brand's sole partner in F1, and with Andretti Autosport atop the marque's pecking order in IndyCar, the concept of placing the 22-year-old Dane in a car for non-conflicting events (he's on call as McLaren’s reserve driver) could be possible.
Andretti and McLaren did not part on good terms in 1993, and if something were to happen between Michael and his former F1 team, one can only assume Honda would be the driving force.
"It's only been 20-something years, right?" Andretti told racer.com. "I can't comment on any of them. I would say there will be some good things coming. I think there are a few names in there that are a possibility. And there are some that aren't on your list."
(GMM) Lotus was late to pay the FIA entry fee for the 2015 world championship, according to reports in Spain and Italy.
The Enstone team's place on the 2015 entry list recently was marked by the governing body with a "subject to confirmation" asterisk.
Reports suggested this may be connected to rumors Lotus is looking to change its name, perhaps because its license agreement with Lotus Cars is to end or because the name of a title sponsor might shortly be added.
Wilson not returning to DCR? (Update)UPDATEQ: What’s the real story with Justin Wilson? I've been a fan of his since he came to Champ Car and, other than Newman-Haas, he's never got a ride to match his ability. Is there any hope for him having a good full-time ride in 2015? Steve Schaeffer, Tustin, CA
Robin Miller Mailbag/Racer.com: Spoke with Justin last night and he's "cautiously optimistic" something good is going to break for him but wouldn't go into any detail. I know Jimmy Vasser wants him for the second car at KVSH if they can find the money but I also keep hearing Andretti will have JWil in the fourth car and that a fifth car is in the works with Zach Veach on the ovals and Jean-Eric Vergne handling the road races.
Meira to drive in Brasilia?, possibly Indy? (Update 1)UPDATE As first rumored by AutoRacing1 this past September, former IndyCar driver Vitor Meira is working on a possible ride for this season's upcoming race in Brasilia, and possibly the Indy 500 as well. Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star mentions this in today's IndyCar Q & A.
We expect Meira, who finished second 8 times without winning during his IndyCar career, to race with a Honda team.
Former IndyCar driver Vitor Meira hopes to race next March in Brasilia.
Vitor Meira was pointing out features of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course to Agnelo Queiroz, Governor of the Federal District of Brazil, in May, relaying in Portuguese how Brasilia would benefit from hosting a Verizon IndyCar Series race.
“It was cool to race in Sao Paulo and one of the greatest times I had, but racing in Brasilia will be something else,” said Meira, who has campaigned to have the Verizon IndyCar Series return to Brazil – specifically to his hometown – after a one-year absence.
That was confirmed Sept. 18, when the Governor and Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles announced that the Brasilia Indy 300 would be contested on March 7-8, 2015, on the revamped Autodromo Internacional Nelson Piquet near the heart of the capital city.
And Meira, who competed in 131 Verizon IndyCar Series races between 2002 and 2011, will campaign to drive in the race.
(GMM) The FIA could be set to rethink its decision to leave Honda outside of the new engine development 'unfreeze'.
A loophole in the existing rules will allow 2014 suppliers Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes to develop their turbo V6s within the season this year.
But because McLaren's 2015 works partner Honda is a newcomer, the FIA's Charlie Whiting ruled that it will have its power unit homologated or 'frozen' on 28 February, just as the 2014 manufacturers did almost a year ago.
McLaren told us this week that, in response to the ruling, the British team has been in contact with the governing body.
Ferrari sticking with inferior 'pullrod' suspension in 2015
As AR1.com told its readers when they first introduced the pullrod front suspension three years ago - back then we predicted Ferrari would not be fast because of it. And they have not been. Now comes reports they will stick with that layout in 2015 and they will remain uncompetitive.
(GMM) Ferrari is sticking with its unique 'pullrod' front suspension layout for a fourth consecutive season, according to Italy's Autosprint.
The Maranello team has persevered with the approach since 2012, despite the fact pullrod suspension had not previously been seen at the front of a F1 car since Minardi in 2001.
It was reported throughout 2014 that Ferrari's pullrod suspension might explain Kimi Raikkonen's notable deficit compared to Fernando Alonso last year.
The Finn shone with the responsive and easy-to-tweak front of the 2013 Lotus, but he identified the front handling of his Ferrari last year as a key complaint.
A pullrod layout can mean a lower nose, suspension and centre of gravity, but it is also known to be difficult to tune and less responsive to setup changes.
Consider the 2015 F1 season over. Lewis Hamilton will again be World Champion as the huge Mercedes power advantage will continue. Expect he and Rosberg to cakewalk ever race
(GMM) Delaying a start-of-season engine 'freeze' may be nowhere near enough for Mercedes' rivals to catch up in 2015.
Although the rule 'loophole' championed by Ferrari and Renault will now allow them to develop their turbo V6 engines beyond February 28, it will also apply to Mercedes, F1's dominant champions of 2014.
"We're not going to give up," Christian Horner, boss of the Renault works team Red Bull, is quoted by Russia's f1news.ru.
"But given the size of our deficit, as well as the fact that Mercedes are going to develop as well, significantly reducing the gap in 2015 is going to be difficult.
Could McLaren return to a white paint scheme again?
(GMM) At least two top teams will enter the 2015 season with fundamentally different color schemes, it has emerged.
Spain's El Mundo Deportivo reports that new reigning champions Mercedes intend to switch from silver to a striking mirror-like chrome paint-job this year.
The report said the special chrome paint for the 2015 livery is called 'Kromo', and will also be supplied to wheel supplier OZ for the title-defending W06 raced by world champion Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
NASCAR's lone trading card manufacturer, Press Pass, reportedly will be ceasing operations. "Sports card manufacturer Press Pass is closing its doors. Hard to stay healthy these days," tweeted ESPN Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovellon Friday afternoon. Messages to Nick Matijevich, who had worked as the VP of Operations since February 2013 after a previous four-plus-year stint with the company were not yet returned.
Other calls and messages into the Huntersville, N.C.-based company's offices were not answered. Founded in 1992, Press Pass released more than 300 products for auto racing, football, basketball, baseball rodeo, non-sports and multi-sports programs during that run. Its primary focus for years had been NASCAR, particularly since the company lost college logos for its popular basketball and football draft picks sets when the Collegiate Licensing Company license went to Upper Deck on an exclusive basis in 2010. Beckett
Lotus could change name in 2015 - report (Update)UPDATE A long time ago, it was Toleman. Then Benetton. In the early part of the new millennium, the French Renault car company made it a works team, which it won two titles in 2005 and 2006 with Fernando Alonso. Then without warning, a controversial move by then manager Flavio Briatore caused it be penalized by the FIA, which resulted in sponsors on the squad to leave. By 2010, the team was sold to Luxembourg financial company Genii Capital, which a year later, got permission to call it Lotus. After all these seasons, this current team has had more controversies than any other squad. So why is it not surprising that it could fold by the end of the year?
Just two years ago, the team had such characters as Kimi Raikkonen and director Eric Boullier. But at the conclusion of the 2013 season, Raikkonen left suddenly when it was revealed that he was not paid in full by team manager Gerard Lopez. The Finn gave Lopez enough time to get his payment to him, but finally settled on moving on to Ferrari, where he is today. Boullier on the other hand, was the racing director. But he too, had a feeling that the ax would drop and moved on to Ron Dennis and McLaren.
According to AR1.com sources, Hamilton has not accepted the Mercedes offer to renew early because it's nowhere near the rumored $75 million per year salary Vettel is said to be getting at Ferrari.
Talks between Hamilton and Mercedes to thrash out a fresh deal were put on hold until after last season, so that the discussions would not get in the way of the title battle between the Briton and his team-mate Nico Rosberg.
AUTOSPORT revealed last October that Alonso was on Mercedes' radar and although renewal talks began with Hamilton last November, with both parties seeing no reason why a fresh contract cannot be sorted out, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has suggested that Alonso is a fall back option in the event that talks break down.
"There's no hurry, we'll discuss it during the year," he told Gazzetta dello Sport, with Hamilton's current deal running out at the end of 2015.
Did Vettel’s contract contribute to the end of Dodge/SRT Motorsports? One needs to ponder the question, "did Sebastian Vettel's signing with Ferrari contribute to the demise of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Dodge/SRT Motorsports program?" It is widely known that Fiat is struggling in Europe while Chrysler is setting records with sales across all its brands. As of November 30, 2014 Fiat European sales equaled 543,616 vehicles while Chryslers North American brands sold 1,885,017 vehicles.
One also has to remember that Ferrari limits its sales to 7,000 vehicles per year. Sebastian Vettel's contract has been reported to be over $75 million per year and the sales of 7,000 cars a year is not going to generate the monies needed to run the Ferrari Company and the Formula 1 program. That money needs to come from some other source.
Pagenaud to drive Corvette (Update)UPDATE AR1.com sources have confirmed Pagenaud will drive the Corvette so this rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today.
12/30/14 Rumor has it according to RACER magazine that Verizon IndyCar Series star Simon Pagenaud will likely drive front-engined Corvette C7.R at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring.
It's believed Pagenaud’s new alliance with General Motors (he will drive Roger Penske's Chevy powered IndyCars) has opened the door to join Corvette Racing for the first two rounds of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup.
Michael Schumacher and his wife Corinna in better times
(GMM) Michael Schumacher often cries when he hears the voices of his family members, according to a report in the Italian magazine Autosprint.
This week, the F1 legend's manager and doctor hit back at claims by former driver Philippe Streiff, who declared that while Schumacher is unable to speak, he is "starting to recognize those close to him".
Official information has been thin on the ground throughout the full year since the former Ferrari and Mercedes driver's skiing crash last December.
But as the authoritative Autosprint's editor-in-chief Alberto Sabbatini writes, the health and future of one of the world's greatest ever sportsmen is "on everyone's mind".
Rumor has it that Ryan Phinny, 25, an American driver out of Los Angeles who ran five Indy Lights races this past season, three with Bryan Herta Autosport before switching to Belardi Auto Racing for the Sonoma doubleheader season finale, may be close to landing a fulltime IndyCar ride for 2015.
He has backing from Casamigos, an American tequila company who has three partners, George Clooney, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman and we have updated our 2015 IndyCar Silly Season page accordingly.
Phinny's racing resume is impressive and includes an extremely successful national level karting career that all started when he began racing at the age of eight. Ryan has a great deal of open-wheel experience coming in Formula BMW and Star Mazda, and he also ran a single Indy Lights race in 2011 at the Grand Prix of Long Beach. In 2008 and 2009, he competed in the Rolex Sports Car Series and American Le Mans Series.
Phinny is excited and energized to represent and promote the cast of supporters that will see their logos adorn his car. Casamigos, which stands for 'House of Friends', was launched in 2012 by George Clooney, Rande Gerber, and Mike Meldman. Additional associate sponsors include 'The Thermal Club / Private Pavement' - a private motorsports facility in California, DripDrop - elite hydration science, Jason of Beverly Hills - a trendsetting designer of diamond pieces, and the Discovery Land Company. Ryan will be taking a break from all of his current film industry endeavors until the end of the racing season in order to give full focus to this program to ensure that he enjoys successful return to open-wheel racing.
"I really want to thank Mike Meldman, George Clooney, and Rande Gerber for bringing me into the 'House of Friends' and giving me the opportunity to represent the Casamigos Tequila brand," Phinny continued. "I've always wanted to merge the Hollywood aspect of my life with racing, it's really a great fit. I'd also like to thank former Indy 500 champion Danny Sullivan for all the support and advice he has given me throughout my career thus far."
In a related report Phinny told NBC MotorSportsTalk. "Tequila is a Mexican product but Casamigos is an American company; it's a very pro-American business. So we sat down and it was, 'This is what I can offer you,' and we worked at it.
Ferrari set for late January launch Ferrari will take the covers off their 2015 challenger in late January with the launch set to take place online. The Italian marque are yet to confirm the name of their new car with the team codenaming it 666, but new team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has already warned that 2015 will be a difficult year.
Adding during the team's Christmas media address: "We started late with the 2015 car, certain choices and strategies that were made by others and that, in retrospect, I don't necessarily share."
The new contender has already passed the mandatory FIA crash tests and Italy's Omnicorse has revealed that it will be launched live on the Internet with the car set to make its debut at the first pre-season test at Jerez on February 1.
IndyCar Silly Season update According to AR1.com inside sources, Justin Wilson is signing with KV racing for next season to drive alongside Sebastien Bourdais. As previously rumored and now confirmed via another source, Alexander Rossi, having given up on the F1 money pit, will definitely drive for Dale Coyne Racing.
We are told Pipped Mann is still working on driving the ovals. Not sure Carlos Huertas will be back at DCR because of the ovals.
Bryan Herta owed $1.5 million by Integrity Energee? (Update)UPDATE
Jack Hawksworth leads the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis in the #98 Integrity Energee Drink Honda
This website explains how Integrity Assets Group might be running a Ponzi scheme and how Herta was probably duped.
12/24/14 (Editor's note: According to this TMZ article, IndyCar team owner Bryan Herta has sued Integrity Energee Drink for over $1.5 million in unpaid sponsorship fees in 2014. Integrity logos were on the #98 Honda piloted by Jack Hawksworth for a series of races starting at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. However, the logos came off the car during the Iowa weekend, and did not return. And the article below may explain why.)
An IndyCar team owner -- whose driver won the Indy500 in 2011 -- claims he's being hosed by his biggest sponsor ... who bailed on a $2 million deal AFTER he covered his car in their logo.
Expected entries for 2015 24 Hours of LeMans The deadline to compete in the 2015 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans isn't until Jan. 27, but Sportscar365 and Endurance-Info have formulated a list of projected entry requests for next year's twice-around-the-clock French endurance classic.
Please note that the following list of 73 cars is not final or officially representative of what has been submitted to the Automobile Club de l'Ouest. The race will again feature a total of 56 cars, meaning not all of the listed cars would be eligible to receive entries.
LMP1 (14 cars)
There will be four manufacturers on the grid next year with the addition of Nissan, joining the premier class alongside Toyota, Porsche and Audi. Rebellion Racing and Lotus, formerly of the LMP1-L class, which now gets absorbed back into LMP1, are both expected to return but with some likely changes. A number of driver lineups have yet to be confirmed.
Bob Bell to start Ferrari role in March? (Update)UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. New Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene denied speculation Bob Bell will be the next high-profile arrival at Maranello.
"The team is there," he insisted. "There is no great news to be announced, no surprises. We have to believe in the people we have."
(GMM) Mercedes' former technical chief Bob Bell looks set to start work at Ferrari in March.
That is the claim of Italy's authoritative La Gazzetta dello Sport, referring to the Ulsterman who stepped down from this year's title-winning Mercedes team earlier this year.
Bell's official tenure at Brackley, however, ended mere days ago, the report said.
He has reportedly now signed a Ferrari contract and will start work just as the 2015 race season begins.
Jock Clear to leave Hamilton for Vettel (3rd Update)UPDATE #3 Jock Clear, Lewis Hamilton's performance engineer at Mercedes, is on his way to Ferrari with the Italian outfit confirming they have recruited him.
The 51-year-old Clear has been part of Hamilton's technical team for the past two seasons and played a major role in his Drivers' Championship success this year.
However, he will swap Brackley for Maranello with new team principal Maurizio Arrivabene revealing at Fiorano that he will replace Pat Fry as head of engineering.
One person who will not be joining the Ferrari revolution is Bob Bell, who resigned as Mercedes technical director in December 2013. Arrivabene feels Ferrari now have the right technical staff.
Caterham fate to be decided today? From Racer -- Britain's Sunday Expressnewspaper reports that a meeting of the bankrupt Caterham team's unpaid creditors is to take place on Monday, which unpaid creditors will be asked to approve a potential sale of the team.
Caterham lapsed into bankruptcy administration earlier this year with debts of a £16.2m ($25.3m), according to court documents, which forced it to skip races before returning for the season finale in Abu Dhabi. The Express says that at tomorrow's meeting in London, creditors will be asked to approve the administrators' proposals which include "asking creditors to consider establishing a creditors' committee."
Caterham's prospects of continuing as an F1 entrant may be better than fellow bankrupt team Marussia, which recently auctioned off most of its assets, after it managed a return to the grid in Abu Dhabi by raising emergency funds via a crowdfunding scheme. It remains to be seen, however, whether the administrators will be able to revive the team under new ownership or be forced to liquidate its assets to pay the creditors.
Mercedes rivals can develop engines in-season - reports
A look at the outside of the Mercedes F1 engine reveals how complicated and expensive the latest F1 engines are
(GMM) F1 engine suppliers Ferrari and Renault appear to have won a battle in the long-running 'freeze' saga.
Mercedes' struggling V6-making rivals have been pushing hard for changes to the existing homologation rules, where performance improvements of the 'power units' is tightly restricted during the season.
The next 'freeze' deadline was believed to be February 28, where all four 2015 makers - Ferrari, Renault, Mercedes and Honda - must present their engines to be homologated by the FIA.
But Ferrari and Renault had reportedly argued that a loophole existed in the rules, where they could start 2015 with last year's engine and then introduce improved new power units at a later date during the season.
Audi recruit adds more fuel to F1 rumors (4th Update)UPDATE (GMM) Audi appears to be taking more steps towards a potential F1 foray in the near future.
Rumors of a project were fuelled recently when ousted Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali resurfaced at the German carmaker, where the Italian is reportedly conducting a feasibility study into a turbo V6 design for the VW-owned brand.
Now, it emerges that former Honda, Brawn, BMW and Williams technical chief Jorg Zander will start work as Audi Sport's new head of technology on 1 January.
Volkswagen's brands, however, have consistently played down speculation of a F1 project, and Bernie Ecclestone said earlier this month that he thinks a foray is unlikely.
Vergne eyes switch to IndyCar (6th Update)UPDATE #6 Jean-Eric Vergne was announced as Ferrari's new F1 simulator driver on Friday, but told racer.com it will not stand in the way of any Verizon IndyCar Series opportunities that may arise.
"I'm still working on some things right now, but they aren't done," he said. "I'm doing the simulator work, but I will have some opportunities to race. There's nothing more I can say. Things are looking good." [AR1.com: Some opportunities to race? Sounds like his Ferrari gig will indeed stand in the way of a full-time job now won't it. Maybe he will find a way to do a partial IndyCar season.]
12/20/14 This rumor is downgraded to 'false' with today's announcement that Vergne will be a Ferrari F1 test driver in 2015, leaving no time for a full-time IndyCar ride.
(GMM) Jean-Eric Vergne has revealed his next move could be to Indycar.
After three seasons with Toro Rosso, the 24-year-old Frenchman has been replaced for 2015 by the young rookie Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr.
He told the official website of America's premier open-wheeler series: "I would be really interested in racing in America in Indycar. I think it's a great championship.
Indycar.com said Vergne has already contacted the teams Andretti and Ganassi.
"I'm working with a manager who works with a few drivers in America, Julian Jakobi, and at the moment, it seems like it is quite hard to go to a top team right away, but I am very interested to see what type of seats are available," Vergne added.
F1 to have new engine rules in 2016 (Update)UPDATE
Bernie says either the teams agree to change the engines or he will dictate what they will be. Is there any doubt who calls the shots in F1?
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed reports he remains determined to shake up F1's engine rules.
We reported that, at Thursday's Strategy Group meeting in Geneva, the F1 supremo did propose to scrap the turbo V6 regulations for 2016 but it did not produce a "definitive result".
But according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, he made clear his strong desire for 'louder, more powerful and cheaper' engines for 2016, perhaps to be normally aspirated, 1000 horse power and costing just 10 million euros for a customer supply.
"An expert group must deliver results (on the proposal) by the end of January," claimed correspondent Michael Schmidt.
But Ecclestone told The Independent newspaper late on Friday that at the meeting, in emerged that in fact "Nobody wants to change the engines, they are all happy".
Mercedes eyes HQ move south Although commercial real estate watchers have told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that German automaker Mercedes-Benz has looked in the metro Atlanta area for a site to relocate their US headquarters to, other experts suggest the Germans’ southward glance may be a ploy to get more favorable concessions from their current home base in the country.
The AJC talked to a senior state official who felt the company’s scoping out of real estate in Georgia and North Carolina is a move designed to win more incentives from the State of New Jersey, the current site of the company’s US division.
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