Monday, February 28, 2011

In The Pits: NASCAR off to a fast start (PA SportsTicker)

By JENNA FRYER AP Auto Racing Writer


Max Jean Stefan Johansson Eddie Johnson

Retromorphosis: XKR-Based Vizualtech Growler E Packs 600 hp

Jaguar?s recent, wholesale abandonment of retro design has opened the door for boutique carmakers and design firms to step in and reinterpret Jaguar?s historic design language for themselves. At least two such examples take the stands at the 2011 Geneva auto show: We’ve already seen�Bertone’s D-segment Jaguar concept, and now a Swedish design firm called [...]

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Francois Migault John Miles Ken Miles

F1: Rain delays Rigon?s first Ferrari test

Rain delays Rigon's first Ferrari test Monday, February 28th 2011, 18:45 GMT Davide Rigon's first test in a Formula 1 Ferrari was postponed today when the Ferrari Driver Academy curtailed its planned Fiorano running due to extremely cold and wet weather. Superleague Formula star Rigon - who has taken both Beijing Gouan and Anderlecht to titles in the football-themed series - will carry out development work with Ferrari this year, primarily in the team's simulator Related posts:
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Dennis Taylor Henry Taylor John Taylor

Californication - Lights, Camera, A...

Hank takes a gig rewriting dialogue; Marcy tells Stu she is pregnant.


Jim Crawford Ray Crawford Alberto Crespo

Testing teams get to grips with new technology


At the end of the first Formula 1 pre-season test, three teams emerged as pace-setters for the hotly-anticipated new season.

It was no real surprise to see Red Bull's world champion Sebastian Vettel become the first to lay down a marker before Fernando Alonso went faster for Ferrari the following day.

But there were also intriguing early signs in Valencia this week that Renault have taken a competitive step forward over the winter.


Kubica set fastest time seen so far in winter testing on the final day in Valencia Pic:Getty

The team had produced a self-proclaimed "brave" design concept over the winter and in Spain they revealed the so-far unique approach of having the exhausts exit at the front of the sidepods either side of the driver.

Robert Kubica went on to show it was not simply style over substance by scorching to the fastest time seen so far in winter testing on the final day.

The Pole's time was 0.163 seconds quicker than Alonso and 0.625 secs ahead of Vettel's best.

F1 insiders calculate those three leading times were all set on similar levels of fuel, even though Kubica and Alonso set their times on a five-lap run while Vettel's best came over 10 laps.

Those runs were not in qualifying trim and so all three could, in theory, have gone even faster.

Kubica also encouragingly showed good pace over a 25-lap run with most tours in the 1:16s bracket, while Mark Webber exhibited consistent pace for Red Bull on Thursday in a 20-lap run which mainly consisted of 1:15s.

Kubica, Alonso and Vettel may have tantalised the top of the timesheets but in testing headline lap times don't tell the whole story.

Valencia was the first opportunity for teams to trial their technical updates for the 2011 season.

Yet another raft of rule changes - the return of the Kers energy boost system, the introduction of a moveable rear wing to aid overtaking and the removal of the double diffuser and F-duct aerodynamic aid - has meant a major re-think for design departments.

On top of that there is the problem of understanding how to tease performance out of the Italian Pirelli tyres, back in F1 for the first time since 1991 as single supplier in place of Bridgestone.

It is, in fact, the tyres that have leapt to the top of the teams' concerns about what fortunes lie ahead.

"Tyres are more of an unknown," commented Ferrari technical director Aldo Costa, throwing back an espresso in a single gulp.

"It is a very, very big job to develop the car around the tyres because they have a lot of implications on the car consistency and performance."

Even Red Bull's seemingly unflappable design guru Adrian Newey described it as "difficult to design for the Pirellis".

To a man, the drivers agreed that the Pirellis "went off" - reduced significantly in grip - much quicker than they were used to.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton said the new rubber did not have "as much grip as the Bridgestones" and was "harder to control over a longer stint".

Kubica agreed with that assessment, adding: "That is why I think the tyres will play a crucial role. You may have to adapt your car set-up, or make the tyres last longer, or work better - that can make a big difference."

Pirelli has been asked to deliberately design less durable tyres in the hope that this will spice up the racing.

The company's motorsport director Paul Hembery batted away the drivers' disappointments.

"There will be no developments [to tyres] made following this test," he explained. "The teams now have to work out how to get the best out of the tyres."

Eight teams rolled out the first interpretations of their 2011 challengers in the Valencia sunshine, while McLaren, Force India, Virgin and Hispania ran last year's cars.

The main priority for teams with the fledging class of 2011 cars was to find out if the new parts were reliable. Only much later will it become clear how much, if any, performance they have added to the car.

"Looking only to our car, yes we are very happy," Costa said. "It needs to be a very balanced approach to be a fast and winning car.

"About the competitors, it's very difficult to understand where they are because it is difficult to see if they are using Kers or not, the rear wing or not, what kind of tyre they are using, how much fuel..."

The teams fiercely protected their secrets behind towering screens, guarded garage doors and under billowing sheaths. When Felipe Massa dramatically stopped on track on Thursday, crimson-clad Ferrari employees remarkably managed to hang a concealing cover underneath the car.

As always, the teams were keeping their cards close to their chest about the specifics of their programmes.

Most teams testing the 2011 cars had Kers installed for the majority of the running, even if they weren't actually powering it up.

Ferrari, Renault and Red Bull ran smoothly while Mercedes reported their Kers system was behind some of their teething problems, even though Mercedes had the most reliable when it was last deployed in 2009.

"We've got some areas that were getting a little bit too hot," Mercedes boss Ross Brawn said coolly.

The moveable rear wings also seemed to be a relatively trouble-free addition. The concept is such an integral part of the design rules that even if the wings played a passive role in testing they were still worth having on the car.

It will be up to the drivers to master the devices and with more buttons to press on the steering wheel that may not be quite so straightforward.

"In terms of all the other things we are operating from the cockpit, last year we had quite a bit to do and that was quite a challenge," Webber said.

"It's no big surprise to us that we might have to learn some new techniques this year but as long as you can still watch the road, that's the most important thing."

In less than a week, round two of testing begins in Jerez, where McLaren will also introduce their new challenger - which is being unveiled on Friday - to the pack.

Teams vying to rein in Red Bull talked with a beguiling mix of mystery and confidence about unspecified new developments in the pipeline.

But the clock is already ticking and there are just 12 days of testing left before the teams face up to reality in Bahrain's opening grand prix.


Robert Allen Labonte Terrence Lee Labonte Randy Joseph Lajoie

Kyle Busch 2-for-2 at Phoenix


Kevin Cogan Peter Collins Bernard Collomb

5 Questions Before ... Subway Fresh Fit 500


Gimax Richie Ginther Yves GiraudCabantous

2011 Formula One Calendar


Jason Leffler Great Clips Toyota Paul Menard

Nissan ESFLOW Concept Revealed in Early Photos

Nissan has already released nifty renderings of the ESFLOW electric sports-car concept that’s headed for the upcoming Geneva auto show, but pictures from AllCarsElectric bring us the real deal ahead of schedule. (Check out AllCarsElectric’s full exterior and interior galleries from a pre-show event.) It looks damn good, don’t you think? The teaser images showed [...]

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5 Questions After ... Daytona 500


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NHRA: Dixon's record pass leads way


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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lotus Renault GP names Substitute Driver ? Kubica has third successful Surgery


BigSpot com Toyota Carl Long Millennium Fuel Energy Drink Chevrolet

Bertone Creates Special Jaguar Concept for Geneva Auto Show

Famed Italian styling house Bertone has taken it upon itself to pen a special Jaguar sedan, called the B99, for the upcoming�Geneva auto show. Bertone says it is pitching the car as a design proposal to Jaguar, with an eye toward the British company re-entering the D-segment against the BMW 3-series and Audi A4. [...]

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2011 Formula One Calendar


Jack Brabham† Bill Brack Ernesto Brambilla

Williams were prepared to boycott Bahrain Grand Prix | F1 Fanatic round-up

In today's round-up: Adam Parr says Williams would have boycotted a race in Bahrain.


Bertil Roos Pedro de la Rosa Keke Rosberg†

Edwards keeps qualifying mark


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Kubica begins rehabilitation process

Robert Kubica has begun his rehabilitation and is in "pretty good" condition mentally following his accident, one of the the doctors treating him said on Tuesday.


Geki Olivier Gendebien Marc Gené

Michael Schumacher has no regrets


Michael Schumacher has admitted he "feels good" about his decision to race in Formula One again.

The German driver, who won the world Drivers' Championship seven times, has had a disappointing 2010 season. He had been expected to challenge for the title but ended the season ninth in the standings with 72 points.

He couldn't even beat his team-mate Nico Rosberg, who finished 70 points ahead of him in seventh place.

This ...


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Kyle Busch Leads Final 107 Laps of Phoenix Truck Race

By Reid Spencer Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service (February 25, 2010) AVONDALE, Ariz. ? Win the race off pit road. Win the race. After taking the lead under caution on Lap 44 of Friday night?s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway, Kyle Busch led the final 107 to post his second win at the [...]


Troy Ruttman Peter Ryan Eddie Sachs

We Are in Valencia


Hermie Sadler III Virginia Commonwealth University Ford Brian Scott

Clint Bowyer Wins Pole for Nationwide Race at Daytona, Danica Fourth

Filed under: , , , ,

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Up until the final few minutes of Friday's NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying, it looked as if IndyCar star-turned-NASCAR newbie Danica Patrick may just have landed herself the pole position at stock car's most famous track, Daytona International Speedway.

Midway through the session Patrick laid down the fastest lap of the afternoon bumping veteran Carl Edwards off the top spot and igniting a buzz around the garage area. Had her lap stood, she would have been the first woman to win a Nationwide Series pole since Shawna Robinson did it in March 1994.

Instead, another newcomer, Landon Cassill, knocked Patrick out of the top spot only to have Sprint Cup Series veteran Clint Bowyer come in and better them both. Bowyer's lap of 180.821 mph in the Kevin Harvick-owned No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet earned the former series champ the pole position for Saturday's DRIVE4COPD 300 and stifled the building frenzy around a possible Patrick front row start.

Cassill will start alongside him while another late qualifier Dale Earnhardt Jr,. took the third position. He'll start next to Patrick on the second row; he owns both cars.

This is only Patrick's 13th Nationwide Series start in her highly-publicized racing double as a full-time driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series and a part-timer in NASCAR's second-tier Nationwide circuit.

"It's been a fast car the whole time we've been here,'' Patrick said, as she watched the remaining few cars qualify. "No matter what happens now, it'll be a good starting position. This is a big deal and for it to come at Daytona, it's 10 times a bigger deal.''


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David Carl Allison Gregory Jack Biffle David Lee Blaney

2012 Jaguar XKR-S Official Photos and Info ? Auto Shows

One pissed-off cat.
Jaguar has been promising for some time that it would use this year?s Geneva auto show to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its iconic E-Type. Many expected this nod to the company?s heritage would include the announcement of a new small sports car. That is not the vehicle you see [...]

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WTCC targets event with US series

The World Touring Car Championship is working on plans to hold a round in the United States. Series boss Marcello Lotti has been targeting an event in the USA for a couple of years, but has now met with US Touring Car Championship boss Ali Arsham to discuss a future co-operation. "The US market is very important for car manufacturers and this is why we are seriously taking into consideration the idea to hold a WTCC event here," Lotti said.


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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Red Bull RB7 launch pictures (1st of February)


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2011 WSS Phillip Island QP1 Result: Foret Edges Salom

Results of the first session of qualifiying for the World Supersport class at Phillip Island:

Race Details

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Real horsepower in Austin

The United States Grand Prix in Austin has appointed Steve Sexton as its president. Sexton has been involved in management of major sports venues for more than 25 years, beginning at Santa Anita Park, a thoroughbred racetrack in Los Angeles in 1983, he moved on to become assistant marketing director at Canterbury Downs, and then [...]


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Texas GP project appoints president

The organisers of the new United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, have appointed former Churchill Downs race course chief Steve Sexton as the project's president. Sexton's background is in running horse racing venues, most recently as president and CEO of Churchill Downs Entertainment. US GP chief Tavo Hellmund said: "Steve brings more than 25 years of major sports and entertainment management experience to our project


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Video: The Final Lap Recap ? Trevor Bayne Wins Daytona 500

Check out our VIDEO RECAP of this years Daytona 500, rookie Trevor Bayne grabs the victory and the glory. (HD)


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How Hard Will the Senate Fight Back Against House Spending Cuts?

Members of Congress worked all day Friday, until 4:42 Saturday morning, to finish voting on hundreds of amendments and, finally, the final HR 1 bill to set spending levels for the rest of 2011.
John Boehner and House Republicans voted to strip funding from several programs, including critical sources of financial support for transit.
In the end, [...]


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Ducati MotoGP Press Release After Jerez Private Test

While the factory Marlboro Ducati team were testing in Sepang at the official IRTA MotoGP tests, Ducati's test team was taking part in a private test at Jerez, working on solutions to take to Qatar, a necessity given the worrying results at Sepang. Test rider Franco Battaini spent time trying out some electronic and chassis setup changes, under the watchful eye of Ducati Corse director Filippo Preziosi. Below is the press release issued after that test:



read more


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Mebius International Lonestar Sleeper Cab!

Check this out!  Dave Metzner of Moebius just put this pic up:




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Just Finished--69 Charger built from leftover parts

....built from leftover parts from a "Vintage" Charger 500 Build.....I had a lot of donor kit parts leftover so thought instead of just throwing them into the parts box, I decided to build something up with them.

I'll post pix of the other build one (the stock Charger 500) of these days....

Here is the blog on building this:

BTW Charger 500 blog is here:



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TV Schedule Feb. 25-27


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The Continental: Next Cayman Could Go Racing, Audi Quattro Production Talk, and Driving Carlsson?s C25 Supercar

Each week, our German correspondent slices and dices the latest rumblings, news, and quick-hit driving impressions from the other side of the pond. His byline may say Jens Meiners, but we simply call him . . . the Continental.
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Kirks, Looney join IMS as Brickyard 400, Red Bull Indianapolis GP Brand Managers

Indianapolis Motor SpeedwayINDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Feb. 25, 2011 ? Mike Kirks and LeeAnne Looney recently joined the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as brand managers for the Brickyard 400 and Red Bull Indianapolis GP, respectively. Kirks and Looney will be responsible for promotional and marketing planning, logistics and execution for the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and MotoGP...more»


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Friday, February 25, 2011

Volvo to Unveil Diesel-Electric V60 Plug-In Hybrid at Geneva Auto Show [UPDATED]

Volvo has announced that it will unveil a ?virtually production-ready? diesel-electric plug-in hybrid version of the V60 wagon at the Geneva auto show, and the company has has confirmed it will be offered for sale in European markets beginning sometime in 2012. The hybrid system is befitting of the car?s complicated description, and represents a [...]

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Frank Gardner Billy Garrett Jo Gartner

Campaign launched to save Team Lotus

© Save Team Lotus
One side of the Lotus naming dispute has been put forward on a new and in-depth webpage called The basic background is that the Lotus Racing F1 team had its naming rights revoked for next season by Group Lotus and, in order to keep racing under the Lotus name, bought the Team Lotus brand off David Hunt, who had owned it since the original team?s last race in 1994. Group Lotus has now taken Lotus Racing to court to try and stop it using the historic name in Formula One next year. The issue has been a source of constant confusion for many fans and the new webpage offers a breakdown of David Hunt?s and Team Lotus? side of the argument.


Tomáš Enge Paul England Harald Ertl

Gearing up for new F1 season

Since that sweltering Sunday sunset in Abu Dhabi almost three months ago where we saw a man who looked about 12 years old being crowned the composed, confident, champion of the world, it's been a case of counting down the days until I can dust off the passport and embark on season three as the BBC's F1 presenter.

And this time, as we take the first steps of the few thousand miles we will be travelling to bring the 2011 F1 season to you, I need your help.

Read on to find out how.

The last three months have been a mix of highs and lows for me. Hosting Sports Personality, but being struck down by a vicious flu bug the following day. Going for a New Year's Day walk with my wife Harriet but inadvertently pulling her into the River Thames up to our waists (don't ask!), and just spending time at home, despite locking myself out of the house on three separate occasions!

And now, the wait for us all is almost over. I'm currently penning this blog in bed, Sunday Love Songs is on the radio, (what an old romantic eh ;-) and it's 13 month to the day and I will be swapping Radio 2 for team radios, my home for hotel rooms, the middle of Richmond for the Middle East.

Sebastian Vettel

Vettel won the 2010 title in the final race of the season at Abu Dhabi. Picture: Getty images

I remember when I first met Martin Brundle, it was winter 2008 and we were at our first meeting ahead of the 2009 season and I asked him what he was doing with the winter. His reply was 'seeing the dentist, going to the doctor, cutting that grass...all the things I can't do during the season' and now I know how he feels.

Mind you, and I mustn't say this too loudly for fear of offending my lovely wife and all the friends I've enjoyed catching up with, I can hardly wait for that first flight to Bahrain.

Flights to grand prix races are usually 80% full of F1 faces from Bernie and team principals at the front with the drivers, to press officers, engineers, and a few fans too who can hardly believe their luck that they've also booked on to the same flight we've all chosen.

The two flights that seem to create the best atmosphere are the last flight home as we all breathe a collective sigh of relief that we've survived another season, and the first, as everyone quietly hopes that this is their season.

And this year, there is a palpable air of excitement. And I place a huge amount of credit for that at the door of 'social media'.

In seasons gone by there would be very little news from testing unless you looked at specialist websites. There was no way for drivers to converse directly with their fans. 'Trending topics' were the kinds of thing you read about in Smash Hits magazine.

These days we have drivers tweeting how their car feels the moment they hop out of the cockpit, teams uploading snaps of their speed directly to the internet, thousands of fans using hashtags to discuss the latest news from Valencia or Jerez, and far from giving us F1 overkill, it merely seems to heighten expectations as Formula 1 unsurprisingly grasps a technological development and makes the most of it.

In the past week alone #robertkubica, #bbcf1, #jerez and #formulaone have been among the most talked about topics on Twitter, most team launches were simulcast online this year, and you may have already topped up Bernie's wallet with the 2011 F1 timing app.

When the BBC got the F1 contract one thing I was really keen to do was bring the F1 fans closer to the sport that ever before. Yes, walking into a garage, touching the cars, unscripted chats with the team members and having a certain effervescent Irishman grabbing anyone he likes in a headlock is the kind of revolutionary approach you all seem to enjoy, but I think blogs, websites, apps and tweets have done just as much.

So, one month to go before we see the 24 new cars roll out into the blazing Bahrain sun. A month until Schumi looks to prove 2010 was just an anomaly, one month until we have three British drivers on the grid with Paul di Resta joining the elite.

So Paul will line up in the Middle East, sadly though, Kubica won't. I heard about Robert's accident while in Wales waiting to host live football and at first it didn't seem too serious. However, as news started to emerge it became clear it had been a very unfortunate, freak accident and his racing future would be in some doubt.

However, almost immediately social media was on the scene as people updated us from the hospital and from within the team. I was really moved by how quickly messages of support started to appear online and I know that Renault will have passed on all your good wishes.

Well this year, for the Bahrain GP in particular I want to use social media to help get the whole of the country watching the first race of the season...and that is where you come in.

The BBC's F1 following is incredible and the viewing figures since the sport returned to what I consider its natural home have been record breaking.

However, F1 is the kind of sport where the more you know the more you want to know. I still get tweets, emails or people stopping me in the frozen food aisle saying 'isn't it just cars going round in circles?'

Well of course it is, but there is the unseen drama of the tactics, the split-second decision making, the mind-boggling physics that keeps the car on the track...and then there is the actual racing.

I honestly can't believe that with the stunning locations, incredible driving talent, danger, bravery and political manouverings on and off the track that the whole country isn't sitting down at 1210 to watch the racing.

So, here's what I'd love you to do. I want you to bring a friend to BBC F1.

Essentially all this means is that you pick a mate or even better a bunch of mates who you know don't normally watch F1. Maybe offer to make Sunday lunch, or host an F1 party. Get them in front of the TV and let us do the rest.

With a Kers boost button and new rear wings to aid overtaking, a brand new tyre manufacturer coming onboard that could result in multiple-pitstops in the first few races, 12 teams and five world champions on the grid, is there a better time to bring a friend to BBC F1?

I'll be tweeting about my campaign too, so feel free to add the #bringafriendtobbcf1 hashtag to your tweets, tweet me and let me know what you are organising for 13 March and let's see what we can achieve together.

Time to induct a whole new legion of potential F1 fans. We know the sport we love is amazing. Are you ready to spread the word?


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In Treatment - Laura-Week Five

Laura makes several unexpected revelations.


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British GP: "Number Two" driver, Webber takes perfect win


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The Continental: Next Cayman Could Go Racing, Audi Quattro Production Talk, and Driving Carlsson?s C25 Supercar

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Sauber C30 launch pictures (31st of January)


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British GP: "Number Two" driver, Webber takes perfect win


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Rockenfeller promoted to Abt team

Le Mans 24 Hours winner Mike Rockenfeller will get the chance to drive the latest generation of Audi A4 in the DTM after being promoted to the Abt team.


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Sami Selio And Mad Croc Capture Driver And Team Title's In '10!

F1 H2O / F1 Powerboat News ABU DHABI, U.A.E. ? December 31, 2010 Finland's Sami Selio scored 50 of his 94 total points in his final three races of the 2010 season in a brilliant come from behind performance to...


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NORCAL Fans Honor Daytona 500 Winner


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Video : A Lap around Silverstone with Mark Webber


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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Safety-Kleen Renews Partnership With NASCAR

Safety-KleenDaytona Beach, Fla. (Feb. 23, 2011) ? The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) announced that it has reached a multi-year agreement to renew its relationship with Safety-Kleen as an official partner of the sport. Safety-Kleen, a NASCAR official partner since 2004, provides on-site trackside support with its NASCAR performance cleaning products and...more»


Ricky Stenhouse Jr Citifinancial Ford Michael McDowell

FIA announces new F1 rules


Teams will no longer be punished for using team orders, the FIA has announced.

were found guilty of using team orders last season during the German Grand Prix when was instructed to let his team-mate Fernando Alonso pass him.

Alonso was in the running for the world drivers' championship and picked ...


Kyle Busch Toyota Kimmy Z Line Designs Toyota Carl Edwards

2011 WSBK Phillip Island Test Day 2 Session 1 Results - Checa Dominates Again

Results of the morning session of the second day of testing for the World Superbike class:

Race Details

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Dennis Poore Alfonso de Portago Sam Posey

J.J. Yeley, 2011 NSCS SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500

Whitney MotorsportsHarrisburg, N.C. ( February 24, 2011) ? After fighting the odds just to make the Daytona 500 and succeeding, J.J. Yeley and the Whitney Motorsports team have spent the days following the Great American Race trying to come to grips with the disappointment of being the first car out in the biggest race of...more»


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Team Lotus' aborted livery


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F1 2011 Teams and Drivers


James Christopher McMurray Casey James Mears Juan Pablo Montoya

Five ways to improve F1

Emerson Fittipaldi in his heyday © Sutton Images
In an interview in the Times, former world champion Emerson Fittipaldi?s outlined his five-point plan to enhance Formula One. Cut costs ?They spend a fortune in wind-tunnel testing alone. Reduce costs and the slowest teams would catch up and make it more even.? Limit downforce ?They need to reduce enormously the downforce in the cars, the only way to bring back overtaking. We need more mechanical grip so that you have longer braking areas, can set up the car coming out of a corner, get in the slipstream and then overtake.? Close the pitlane ?When the safety car goes out they should close the pitlane. Now it?s just a lottery.? Lift ban on team orders ?It is a very stupid rule. It?s why they are called teams, it?s why they have two cars. If a driver is leading in the championship, everything has to go in his favour. What is wrong with that? It?s so easy for teams to camouflage their orders anyway. All they need to do is tell one guy on the radio he has a problem with his brakes. They can bend the rules very easily. In the old days they would even swap cars, so why do we have this ban now?? Retain traditional grands prix ?These places are the soul of racing. The Americas are under-represented. We have Canada back, but there is no USA, no Argentina, no Mexico. We need to stay in the heartlands.?


Alex Zanardi Emilio Zapico Ricardo Zonta

No GP as Bahrain has other priorities says Crown Prince

The Bahrain GP is now officially off, although it remains to be seen if and when it will be rescheduled. The Crown Prince said this afternoon: “We felt it was important for the country to focus on immediate issues of … Continue reading


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Bahrain GP is? postponed

An impeccable source has told me that the Bahrain GP has been postponed – rather than cancelled. Incredibly, because of the commercial implications Bernie Ecclestone is going to try to squeeze it into the schedule at the end of the … Continue reading


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Trevor Bayne chased the dream at 15


Azdrubal Fontes Bayardo Carl Forberg Gene Force

Rookie Bayne wins Daytona 500

NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie Trevor Bayne took a shock victory in the Daytona 500 - only his second start at NASCAR's top level. The relatively unknown 20-year-old's win gave his legendary Wood Brothers team its first Cup triumph in 10 years. Bayne held on at the front of a tight lead pack as the race came down to a green/white/chequered flag finish following a series of late incidents, doing just enough to fend off a final-lap charge from Carl Edwards and David Gilliland, who finished second and third


Tony Gaze Geki Olivier Gendebien

Roush Fenway Racing Daytona 500 Advance


Yuji Ide Jesús Iglesias Taki Inoue

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Barrichello sets fastest lap overall on final day in Jerez

Rubens Barrichello of Williams has set the fastest lap of anyone over the four days of Jerez testing as it came to a close at the Spanish circuit. The veteran Brazilian went over half-a-second faster than anyone else had managed throughout the entire four days,...


JeanChristophe Boullion Sebastien Bourdais Thierry Boutsen

Tom Walkinshaw - an obituary

Tom Walkinshaw, who has died of cancer aged 64, was one of the most powerful personalities in motorsport for nearly 30 years and, latterly, an influential figure in English rugby.

Walkinshaw's famous TWR racing team won championships in touring cars and sportscars, as well as claiming the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1988, giving Jaguar its first win in the race for more than 30 years in the process.

But Formula 1, motorsport's pinnacle, proved a tougher challenge. Although the Scot was instrumental in the success of the Benetton team with Michael Schumacher from 1992-4, his attempts to conquer it with his own team eventually led to his downfall and exit from top-level motor racing.

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Watch highlights of Walkinshaw's Arrows nearly winning the 1997 Hungarian Grand Prix

When Walkinshaw joined Benetton in 1991, after nearly two decades of often controversial successes in touring cars and sportscars, his reputation preceded him.

He was known as an uncompromising and controversial character whose granite jaw reflected his determination - he pushed things to the limit, didn't mind who he upset to get his way and used his imposing physical presence to its full effect.

Walkinshaw was not a tall man but he was immensely broad and stocky, and he was not afraid to employ his physical strength to his own ends.

At a sportscar race once, he sought out a journalist to whose reporting he had taken exception, dragged him across the pit lane and hung him over the pit wall as cars passed by at nearly 200mph while he verbally harangued him.

But Walkinshaw had brains as well as brawn. He was a very competent racing driver in touring cars in the 1970s but he was a far better team boss.

One of the people he employed at Jaguar was Ross Brawn, later to transform Ferrari into the most efficient winning machine in F1 history, but then an ambitious young designer.

Walkinshaw took him on to apply F1 expertise to sportscars and the result was a game-changing car that won the world sportscar championship.

With that conquered, only F1 remained and the flamboyant new Benetton team boss Flavio Briatore, an intimidating character himself, decided that Walkinshaw and Brawn were the men he needed to turn Benetton from also-rans to winners. Walkinshaw was installed as engineering director, Brawn as technical director.

It didn't take long for Walkinshaw's ruthlessness to emerge.

He had witnessed Schumacher's talents driving for Mercedes in sportscars and when the 22-year-old German made an electrifying F1 debut for Jordan at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix, Walkinshaw told Briatore this was the driver they needed. By the next race in Italy Schumacher was in the cockpit of a Benetton, the fact that he had binding contract with Jordan a minor inconvenience.

Together, Benetton and Schumacher made a formidable team and success was not long coming - by 1994 they were world champions. But, just as in the other categories in which Walkinshaw had competed, the whiff of controversy followed him to F1.

Benetton were accused of cheating. They were found to have illegal driver-aid software in their cars, but were not punished because the sport's governing body, the FIA, could not prove it had been used. Then, after a refuelling fire during the German Grand Prix, Benetton were found guilty of taking a filter out of their fuel hose without authorisation.

Jos Verstappen's Benetton catches fire in the pits at the 1994 German Grand Prix

Benetton's 1994 pit fire led to the end of Walkinshaw's career with the team

They blamed it on a "junior member of staff", but the rumour was that Walkinshaw had authorised it.

Benetton agreed with the FIA to part company with certain unidentified staff as an act of good faith. It was an open secret that a deal had been brokered behind closed doors that Walkinshaw would leave the company at the end of the year.

He moved first to run Benetton-linked Ligier, before in early 1996 taking over Arrows.

Such was the regard in which Walkinshaw was held that he was expected to make a success of a team that had never won a race in its 20-year history.

He pulled off a coup by convincing world champion Damon Hill to join the team for 1997 but the car was uncompetitive. Hill took a somewhat freak second place in Hungary but left the team at the end of the year.

From then on, it was largely all downhill, despite a few flashes of hope, namely when investment bank Morgan Grenfell bought into the team in 1998 and Walkinshaw signed a high-profile sponsorship deal with mobile phone network Orange in 2000.

Generally, his Arrows years were a struggle against the odds, and they ended in 2002 with the ignominy of a High Court battle with Morgan Grenfell and a damning judgement, in which Mr Justice Lightman described proposals Walkinshaw had made trying to ensure the survival of the team as "underhand and improper, indeed downright dishonest".

Why did it go wrong for him in F1?

Some said Walkinshaw too often had his eye off the ball, concentrating on his other business interests, such as his TWR engineering group and Gloucester Rugby Club, to the detriment of his F1 team.

Walkinshaw found money and new partners hard to come by, despite his long history in the car and motorsport industries - or perhaps because of it, some believed.

Walkinshaw was a hard-nosed businessman and sportsman, always viewed as the ultimate survivor, the man who could be guaranteed to pull off the last-minute saving deal.

But his failure with Arrows spelt the end of his association with top-level motorsport, although he did continue to run a touring car team in Australia.

He turned his business acumen and tough negotiating skills to a new role in rugby.

Related or not, the collapse of Arrows coincided with Walkinshaw's tenure as chairman of Premier Rugby, the top-flight clubs' umbrella body, from 1998-2002.

Later, he led the clubs' team negotiating with the Rugby Football Union over the release of England players, the details of which are now enshrined in an eight-year agreement that has largely ended what for a while were very bitter wrangles over the management of the men playing for the national side.

As chairman of Gloucester, he is remembered fondly for pumping in lots of money and keeping the team at the forefront of the game, even if he never quite achieved his ambitions either domestically or in Europe.

Walkinshaw was a complex figure who aroused mixed emotions but, although he had a dark side, plenty of people will remember him as a warm-hearted and generous man.

BBC F1 analyst Martin Brundle, whose long relationship with Walkinshaw included winning Le Mans and the world sportscar title, says: "He was a mentor to me.

"I wrote to him and asked him for a drive when he didn't know me from Adam and he gave me a chance. If he hadn't done that, I'd still be selling Toyotas in West Norfolk, for sure. He was an entrepreneurial racer and a great tactician."

And Hill, now president of the British Racing Drivers' Club that owns Silverstone, adds: "He was a very big-hearted guy who put everything he had into motor racing in all its forms. He loved motorsport and he liked business, too.

"Tom had competitive spirit and there were a lot of good things about him. He genuinely wanted to compete. He wanted things to turn out right.

"I certainly believed in Tom and his sincere desire to build a team. But it didn't work out.

"He was a major player in motorsport for a long time and that will be his testimony."


Rudolf Krause Robert Kubica Kurt Kuhnke

Rosberg tops Barcelona day three

Nico Rosberg put Mercedes on top with a rapid late lap in a Barcelona testing session that began wet before later drying. A shower at the start of the morning and a combination of high humidity and low temperatures meant it was not until the eve of the lunchbreak that drivers were able to try slick tyres, and even then conditions remained treacherous, with lap times five seconds off yesterday's fully-dry pace even on slicks. But by the afternoon only a few off-line damp patches remained, and Rosberg made the most of the clear running to go quickest with a 1m23.168s on a single-lap, qualifying-style, run with a quarter of an hour to go.


Nico Hülkenberg Denny Hulme James Hunt

STPC Kicks Off Late Model Season

Sunday, February 13th� saw the Short Track Pro Cup series kick-off its new online racing season in the Late Models at USA Speedway.� In three separate skill- matched divisions the green flag dropped at 9:15pm EST with some great drivers lined up for the challenge. In the Premier Division, the pinnacle of STPC Late Model Racing, Tony Dugan took the checkers in a hard-fought battle.� With Toby Jenkins starting on the pole, the race opened with over 50 laps of green flag racing before the first caution flew allowing everyone to pit for tires and fuel.� When racing resumed the lead changed five times between three drivers, with Jenkins leading a race high 93 laps.� But, Jenkins was forced to drop from the race with just 22 laps remaining, leaving [...]


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Mercedes-Benz Taking Over U.S. Smart Distribution from Penske Automotive Group

Mercedes-Benz has announced that it will take over American Smart distribution from Penske Automotive Group; Penske has served as�the sole importer and manager of the brand in the U.S. since its 2008 launch. This was a unique arrangement, since in every other country where Smart cars are available they are imported and sold through the [...]

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Rossi?s opinion of the Lorenzo negotiations

This quote comes from the Spanish language website The message and the sentiment are clear: “You aren’t worth what I get paid Jorge”.
From, translation by Fans.Moto.GP (Thanks!):
What Jorge is looking for seems presumptuous to me: Arrive at Yamaha, and in his second year ask that he be given the same treatment as me. [...]


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Jaguar XKR-S announced for Geneva debut

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the E-Type, Jaguar has announced plans to introduce the XKR-S at the Geneva Motor Show.


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