Saturday, December 26, 2009

Schumacher, Rosberg, Brawn and Mercedes

The title of this quick article really says it all. This team had proven itself last year, and now we have the assembled talent to form a German team that can roll over all the opposition.
The only possible problem is redesigning the cars. For 2010 we have no pit stops for fuel and, therefore, a vary full fuel load at the start of the race. If any team can come out of the chute at the beginning of the season with a major redesign and win, this is the one I would pick.
I think only, in order, Ferrari, McLaren, and possibly one of the new for 2010 teams, have a chance against the juggernaut at M-B.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Virgin Racing - A new team for a new era

Part of a Press Release From the Virgin Group 12-15-09

Notting Hill, London

The Virgin Racing team was officially launched in London today, where it was confirmed that one of the sport's four new entrants, the LDC backed Manor Grand Prix, has teamed up with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin - to mount a serious challenge in one of the world's most prestigious sports - Formula 1

Virgin Racing is a new team for a new era of Formula 1. It combines the firepower of one of the most recognised, respected and exciting brands in the world with a racing team concept that looks to exploit and capitalise upon F1's new economic dawn and the challenges of resource restriction that is redefining the sport.

Virgin Racing also heralds a new breed of team ownership. Designer Nick Wirth returns to F1 after a decade, having enjoyed remarkable success in Indy Racing and Le Mans sports car development in the USA with his innovative and low-cost design approach. As Technical Director for Virgin Racing, Nick will apply the expertise, experience and resources of his progressive engineering group, Wirth Research, to the research, development, design and manufacture of F1's first all-digital car design - the Virgin-Cosworth VR-01. Based in the heart of the UK's motorsport valley in Bicester, Wirth Research has gained an international reputation for pioneering a purely CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) approach to car development, wholly designing, building and testing race cars in computer simulation without the need for expensive and resource-heavy wind tunnel testing.

Nick has joined forces with one of the very best names in national and international motor racing, John Booth, whose Manor Motorsport operation in the North of England achieved unrivalled Formula 3 success and played a major role in the development of several of today's greatest motor racing talents. Former F1 Champions Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton both graduated from the John Booth school of excellence. John brings 20 years of motor sports pedigree to the Virgin Racing team and in the role of Sporting Director, he will lead the 45-strong race team - a team that is lean and mean consistent with the sport's new resourcing limitations.

Alex Tai, formerly Director of Special Projects for the Virgin Group, becomes Team Principal for Virgin Racing. Virgin Racing intends to be different and innovative on all fronts. Not only will the car design and economics reflect the new era , the team and it's management intends to engage it's stakeholders differently too. All the sponsors will be in an unique position to best benefit from the scope and scale of Virgin's brand and associated companies. In addition the team will strive to emulate the values of the core Virgin brand and its many achievements on the global business stage: value for money, good quality, brilliant customer service, innovation, competitively challenging and fun. And last but most importantly -- the fans. Virgin Racing has serious on-track ambitions and an engaging marketing programme, set to roll out in 2010, will invite F1 fans along for a thrilling , close up and personal ride.

Etienne de Villiers, non-executive Chairman brings a wealth of business, media , marketing and brand experience as a result of his 15 years spent at the Walt Disney company and recently as chairman of BBC Worldwide. He also has considerable experience in the world of professional sport, serving as a director of Saracens Rugby, and SLEC, the former holder of F1's commercial rights. He was also President of the ATP World Tour, the body representing men's professional tennis. He said:

"Formula 1 is one of the greatest international sports franchises and offers great rewards to those that get it right. It is a remarkably challenging environment that pits the best against the best in an ever changing landscape. The new limitations and entrants makes it even more demanding but also more attractive .I am really confident that the mix of resources, experience, skills and values that Virgin Racing bring to the party will surprise a few and hopefully entertain and reward many"

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Firm FIA GT Calendar for 2010!

2010 GT1 World Project Calendar
Round Date Country Circuit
1,2 Sunday, April 4th 2010 United Arab Emirates Yas Marina
3,4 Sunday, May 2nd 2010 Great Britain Silverstone
5,6 Sunday, May 23rd 2010 Czech Republic Brno
7,8 Sunday, July 4th 2010Provisional France Paul Ricard HTTT
9,10 Sunday, August 1st 2010 Belgium Spa-Francorchamps
11,12 Sunday, August 29th 2010 Germany Nürburgring
13,14 Sunday, September 19th 2010 Portugal Algarve
15,16 Sunday, November 7th 2010Provisional South Africa Durban
17,18 Sunday, November 28th 2010 Brazil Interlagos
19,20 Sunday, December 5th 2010 Argentina San Luis

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Schumacher & M-B

The German press is reporting all but the signatures are on a deal between Michael Schumacher and M-B for F1 (The former Brawn team). This according to "Bild" and "Focus".
The deal is for 3.5m Euros according to "Focus". 1/10th of his reported earning in his last season with Ferrari, and is considered a first step in a long term relationship with Mercedes.

F1 - New Points, New Rules, New Management Method

The below article in by Berthold Bouman explains it all very well.

Been on vacation so now I'm back. :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

F1 News

David Richards Prodrive organization and Genii Capital, a Luxembourg investment fund, are vying for the Renault F1 organization. That is if Renault decides to sell out.
Seems the French company is wisely considering all options in the face of the economic situation all of the industry is facing.
Meanwhile, Michael Schumacher is talking with his people about his future in racing. He is meeting with his manager Willi Weber in Stuttgart. Just happens to be the home of Mercedes-Benz. This is according to "Bild" newspaper this AM.

A Lot of Automotive News!

Bob Lutz has had his role expanded in product development at GM, along with Mark Reuss, formerly with the Australian Holden division, and Susan Docherty in Marketing.
This sounds like a tem that can get things headed in the right direction at GM.
Let's hope it is not too late.
Fiat is reconsidering the role of Alfa Romeo in the company and one of the suggestions is to use Chrysler platforms to replace older Alfa 159 and discontinued 166 platforms.
"Sergio Marchionne also stressed the need to adopt – and stick to – a long-term strategy with Alfa, in order to turn it into a profitable company, citing the company's numerous reinventions in recent years.
"We need to stop doing it. You cannot be a newborn Christian every four years. It's the same religion, eventually you need to own a religion and carry it to conclusion," said Marchionne.
Interesting perspective.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

McLaren, Brawn and Mercedes

It has been reported in many publications that Mercedes has sold it's 45% interest in McLaren, bought 75.1% of Brawn and Button, getting a big pay raise, is going to McLaren.
Now we learn Heidfeld is going to Brawn, and Rosberg will join him.
Brawn will now be Mercedes GP with Ross B. still team principal.
McLaren will have MB engines through 2015.
There will be a test, so write all of this down!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Unrest in Formula 1

On November 4th, Ferrari released a statement that compares the "bailing out" of F1 big name teams and Bridgestone to Agatha Christies mystery novel, "Ten Little Indians.
No one knows, in that novel, who the murderer is until the last person is killed.
The comparison Ferrari makes is that everyone blames the economy, when in fact it is the rule makers and promoters of F1, the FIA and Bernie's group, that keep changing the 'playing field'.
Ferrari also states that the addition of new teams is not raising the level of F1 but simply filling the grid. This is an indirect slam at the new teams, starting from scratch, saying they are not worthy to compete at this level.
Some would say "Wait, Brawn did it!", but Brawn had a solid F1 basis of Honda and a proven leader like Mr. Brawn, to achieve in 1 year what Honda hadn't ever accomplished.
One cannot expect that of any of the new teams, IMHO.
I think Ferrari is correct.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Toyota Team Going to LMP Program?

Yesterday Auto Motor Und Sport reported the F1 operation in Cologne is not closing down, but laying off 550 employees but retaining 150 for a LeMans program.
My guess is LMP1. Good fit.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Asian LeMans Series

The 1st and 2d Asian LeMans Series races Saturday and Sunday combined for one overall result and had some interesting competiotn and racing.
Here is the link to the Asian LeMans Series site for the full report.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Asian LeMans Series Qualifying

The Drayson Lola-Judd LMP Coupe, with extensive repairs after the huge rear ender after the end of the race at Laguna Seca, proved how quick it can be by securing the first ever Asian LMS pole for LMP.
In GT Aston Martin took both GT1 pole with the Japanese entered DBR9 and GT2 when Tomas Enge put the V8 Vantage on the pole.
However, in post qualifying tech inspection both the Aston Martin's rear wings were in violation so the final GT1 pole is held by the Team Larbre Saleen SR7 and GT2 by the Prospeed Porsche 997 GT3 RSR.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Is it Time for FOTA to Dump CVC and Uncle Bernie?

A quote from
"The situation (on the British GP) is far from clear after a report in Britain's Daily Express newspaper on Wednesday suggested that Donington Park leaseholder Simon Gillett had paid outstanding money to Bernie Ecclestone – although it was not clear whether or not this had been completed before close of business on deadline day. Furthermore, Silverstone sources have indicated that the track will only commit to a deal with Bernie Ecclestone if the commercial terms make sense – and the two parties remain some distance apart on the finances so far."
Martin Whitmarsh of McLaren thinks F1 would be better off with a British GP, and who can argue?
Bernie cost the US an F1 race (along with Mr. George's inadequate leadership) by asking for the moon when it was just beginning to catch on in the Midwest. Not to mention crowds equal to or greater then most European GP's.
Turns out the sponsors would have coughed up the money if Mr George had asked them.
I suggest F1 (FOTA) and the FIA find a way out of putting up with the CVC and Bernie's stupid demands and move on with racing at venues where both crowds and TV will enjoy success.
FIA GT has proved that sponsors like live streaming of events as well as broadcast TV links, so quit dithering and get going. Time is short as a continued economic slump will soon stop the rich countries, who do appreciate F1, from continuing to do business in this arena by buying races at any price.
If I'm wrong, let me know.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Round 6 and Final of the FIA GT3 Championship

After some scoring problems the results are in and the Audi R8 LMS driven by Haase and Mits are the Champs!

Results: 2009 Round 6 - Zolder
Race 2 Result (Top 10)
Pos Car# Class Drivers Car
Gap Laps Avg.Speed
1 8
F Bontempelli/Gattuso Ferrari 430 Scuderia 1:00:56.226 34 0 134.10
2 24
B Walter/Huertgen BMW Alpina B6 GT3 1:01:31.779 34 35.553 132.80
3 2
FGT Mamerow/De Doncker Ford GT 1:01:43.217 34 46.991 132.39
4 26
AU Haase/Mies Audi R8 LMS 1:02:26.509 34 1:30.283 130.86
5 35
B Petit/Fumal BMW Alpina B6 GT3 1:02:27.001 34 1:30.775 130.85
6 3
AM Accary/Rodrigues Aston Martin DBRS9 1:02:32.130 34 1:35.904 130.67
7 18
P Lappalainen/Palttala Porsche 997 GT3 Cup S 1:01:03.165 33 1 LAP 129.91
8 32
AU Armindo/Campanico Audi R8 LMS 1:01:09.138 33 1 LAP 129.69
9 28
FGT Nygaard/Gruber Ford GT 1:01:18.127 33 1 LAP 129.38
10 12
P Lanik/Forsten Porsche 997 GT3 Cup S 1:01:38.730:33

Sunday, October 25, 2009

FIA Approves the 2010 GT1, 2 and 3 Schedule

2010 FIA GT1, GT2 and GT3 World Championships

4/4 - GT1 - UAE, Yas Marina**
18/4 - GT1 - South Africa*
2/5 - GT1 + GT2 + GT3 - UK, Silverstone Supercar 2010
16/5 - GT1 + GT2 + GT3 - Czech Republic, Brno
30/5 - GT1 + GT2 + GT3 - France, Paul Ricard
20/6 - GT2 + GT3 - Germany, Oschersleben
4/7 - GT1 - Canada*
1/8 - GT1 + GT2 - Belgium, Total 24H of Spa-Francorchamps*
29/8 - GT1 + GT2 - Germany, Nürburgring
12/9 - GT1 + GT2 + GT3 - Portugal, Circuito Algarve
3/10 - GT1 + GT2 + GT3 - Hungary, Budapest*
17/10 - GT2 - Belgium, Zolder
14/11 - GT1 - China*
28/11 - GT1 - Brazil*

*Subject to the ASN’s confirmation
**Subject to the homologation of the circuit.

FIA GT Titles

GT 1 is decided with the win of the #33 Maserati MC 12 Vitaphone sponsored car, but the Championship goes to Michael Bartels, in the #1 Maserati.
A race long battle determined the Championship in GT1 by 2 points over Mike Hezemans in the #4 Corvette C6.R GT1.
In GT 2 it came down to Richard Westbrook, driving the ProSpeed Porsche 997 GT2 RSR #60, winning the race and the Championship over his closest Championship rival, again by 2 points, Gianmaria Bruni in the AF Corsa Ferrari F430 #50, who finished 4the in the race.
THe GT 3 Championship goes down to the final race this afternoon, as the race this AM just made the Championship closer when Christopher Hasse won in the Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS.
2009 FIA GT3 European Drivers Championship:
Pos Name
1 Christopher Mies 49.5
Christopher Haase 49.5
2 Nicolas Armindo 42
Cesar Campanico 42
3 Thomas Accary 40
Julien Rodrigues 40

Friday, October 23, 2009

FOTA Welcomes Jean Todt

FOTA PRESS RELEASE 23 October 2009
FOTA welcomes Jean Todt to the FIA Presidency
The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) today congratulated Jean Todt on his victory in the FIA presidential election, and welcomed him to his new position. Speaking after the result of the election had been announced in Paris,
FOTA Chairman
Luca di Montezemolo said: "I would like to send my best wishes to Jean Todt in his new role, as I have always appreciated his ability, dedication and commitment. I am sure that, under his guidance, the Federation will be rejuvenated and will restore a climate open to dialogue and constructive collaboration with the teams and FOTA, thus ensuring stability of the regulations and the whole environment”. “Formula One is about to embark on a new phase: all the stakeholders must work together with an eye to the future, to increase the credibility and interest generated by this sport, tackling the technical and environmental challenges that await it, while keeping unchanged, those characteristics that have made it one of the most popular disciplines on the world stage”.
FOTA Vice Chairman John Howett added: ”I extend my best wishes to Jean Todt as he takes on this demanding but crucial role. I am convinced that Jean Todt’s presidency represents an opportunity for all Formula One’s stakeholders to unite under his leadership and work together to strengthen our sport. FOTA is looking forward to supporting him to broaden the appeal of our sport among fans and sponsors while respecting Formula One’s great heritage to which he has contributed enormously".

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kyle Busch to US F1 in 2011?

NASCAR star Kyle Busch has been singled out as a key target of the new Team US F1, as the outfit continues its preparations to enter grand prix racing in 2010.

Although US F1 is unlikely to field an American driver for its debut campaign, the team is keen to get a home-grown driver in for 2011. Sporting director Peter Windsor has said that Busch is high on his list of contenders for 2011 – and would like him to test the car next year.

Speaking to USA Today, Windsor said: "If he wanted to drive for us in 2011, we'd certainly be keen on that. I think there'll be a lot of speculation about that as time goes on. If I was Kyle, I'd be saying to myself, 'Yeah, those guys all talk the talk, let's see what they do, let's see what the car's like. Let's see what the race shop is like.' Fair enough. We're going to do a good job. I know when Kyle gets to see it, I'm pretty sure it'll get his pulse rate going."

He added: "I've watched him a lot and have massive respect for him. I know people who know him very well. I believe Kyle can win a World Championship in Formula 1. I think he's got exactly the right talent, the right approach. I'd love to see him in a Formula 1 car.

"If he wants to jump in our car next year for doing some demonstrations here in the States, he's very welcome to do that."

Windsor has revealed that he has already met with Busch's business team, and he is well aware that the American driver's contract with Joe Gibbs Racing expires at the end of next season.

Busch himself said earlier this year that he would not totally rule out a switch to F1, providing he achieved title success in NASCAR.

"It's definitely something I wouldn't shoot down," he was quoted as saying shortly after the official launch of US F1. "If I could win a championship (in NASCAR) in the next two or three years, then I wouldn't mind going doing (F1) for a few years and coming back.

"I think I'd still be young enough that if I could win a championship by 25, go run Formula 1 for a few years and be back (in NASCAR) by 28."

This article originally appeared in

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Donna Mae Mims Passes

Donna Mae Mims passed away Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2009 at the age of 82. This legendary female sports car driver was known by many as the "Pink Lady,""Think Pink," and"Donna Amazing".
Ms. Mims started racing in 1958 and was the first woman driver ever to win a Sports Car Club of America National Championship H Production 1963.
She worked for Yenko Chevrolet and Yenko sports car division as executive secretary for both and was the liaison for design and production with the Yenko sports car division with such cars as the Deuce, Camaro, Nova, Chevelle and Corvair. She worked closely with Zora Arkus Dontuv, Ed Cole and the pioneers of Chevrolet Racing. Her career and involvement in Yenko led her to racing such cars as the Camaro, Austin Healey, MG, Corvette and Corvairs.
She raced many times at Sebring, Daytona and Riverside, and many other tracks throughout the US.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Scott Sharp Forms New Ferrari GT2 Team

2009-10-10 20:21:00by PR

Champion race car driver Scott Sharp, who has made his mark everywhere from Trans-Am and Champ Car to IndyCar and the American Le Mans Series, announced Saturday his latest venture in motorsports. The Patrón Highcroft Racing star has created and will own a new race team called Extreme Speed Motorsports that will compete in the American Le Mans Series’ GT2 class.

The team will race a Ferrari 430 GTC and be sponsored by The Patrón Spirits Company (Tequila Patrón) and supported by Ferrari Corse Clienti. Sharp has also named the team’s first driver - Ed Brown, currently a Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama driver and American Le Mans Series GT Challenge class driver with ORBIT Racing. Co-drivers will be announced at a later date.

“I’ve worked very closely with Ed for the past three years, and I’m impressed with his growth and maturity on the track,” said Sharp, who leads the American Le Mans Series’ LMP1 championship with David Brabham heading into the season’s final race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “The GT2 field will undoubtedly be very tough, but I’m confident that Ed’s approach will prove successful for the team. And I am ecstatic that our new team will be partnered with such iconic brands as Patrón Tequila and Ferrari Corse Clienti. We’ve had a great year at Patrón Highcroft Racing, and I’m looking forward to combining my own racing with Brabs and the boys with team ownership next year.”
Sharp has scored three victories with teammate Brabham for Patrón Highcroft Racing in the 2009 American Le Mans Series and also contested this year’s Indianapolis 500 aboard a Patrón-sponsored entry.

Team sponsor Patrón is a longtime supporter of motorsports, and brings a popular presence at American Le Mans Series races.

“Scott’s impressive career has made him one of the most accomplished competitors in racing. It’s a tremendous honor to drive for his new Extreme Speed Motorsports team,” said Brown, whose best finish in GT Challenge class this season was a runner-up position at Lime Rock Park.

“Ferrari Corse Clienti is committed to keeping the Prancing Horse name at the highest levels of racing in the U.S., and we’re excited to count among our rows the new Extreme Speed Motorsports team,” said Ferrari’s Maurizio Nardon. “We welcome Scott and his team, and look forward to a long and fruitful cooperation.”

"We’re excited and proud to associate the Tequila Patrón name with Extreme Speed Motorsports and Ferrari,” commented Matt Carroll, Patrón’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Our association with motorsports, and the iconic brands and top-notch teams in this premier racing series, fits perfectly with our ultra-premium Patrón brand. We’re looking forward to another great season in 2010.”

Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the American Le Mans Series added, “The announcement of this new team fulfills the vision we had when we launched the Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama. This is especially gratifying because it involves individuals who have participated with us at other levels of competition, and are ready to do battle now in the Series’ most competitive class.

“When we created the GT Challenge class, it was designed so those drivers could progress to GT2. Clearly that’s what has happened in this case, and it is evidence that the plan is working. Ed and Scott form a unique team. They are the perfect pair to be the first to announce a venture of this type. I suspect this is only the first example of a new American Le Mans Series program growing out of the IMSA and Series ladder system."

The American Le Mans Series opens its season in 2010 with the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida on March 20.

Source : ALMS

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Final Points Standing for the LeMans Series 2009

The Final Points Standing of the season (Top 3 Teams in each class only.)
N° Cat. Team Car Points
007 "LM"P1 Aston Martin Racing Lola Aston Martin 39

16 "LM"P1 Pescarolo Sport Pescarolo - Judd 26

10 "LM"P1 Team Oreca Matmut AIM Courage-Oreca LC70 - AIM 23

40 "LM"P2 Quifel ASM Team Ginetta-Zytek 09S - Zytek 33

33 "LM"P2 Speedy Racing Team Sebah Lola B08/80 Coupé - Judd 24

29 "LM"P2 Racing Box Lola B08/80 Coupé - Judd 23

72 "LM"GT1 Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette C6.R 44

50" LM"GT1 Larbre Competition Saleen S7R 34

55" LM"GT1 IPB Spartak Racing Lamborghini Murcielago 18

77 "LM"GT2 Team Felbermayr Proton Porsche 997 GT3 RSR 36

92 "LM"GT2 JMW Motorsport Ferrari F430 GT 35

84 "LM"GT2 Team Modena Ferrari F430 GT 24

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

FOTA Press Release

FOTA Formula One Teams Association Blvd du Theatre, 2 - 1211 Geneva (CH) Tel: +41.22.3108203 / Fax: +41.22.3108205 Monza, 9 September 2009
The FOTA Executive Committee, chaired by Luca di Montezemolo, today enjoyed a productive meeting in Monza. FOTA re-affirmed that all teams competing in Formula One are able to join the association. FOTA therefore welcomes back into full membership both Williams and Force India. The Executive Committee also looks forward to welcoming the new entrants to join the association whilst they continue to prepare for next year’s championship. The FOTA Executive Committee looks forward to working with the FIA and Commercial Rights Holder to promote a healthy, dynamic and sustainable sport. To this end, FOTA intends to now enter into open discussion with the Commercial Rights Holder with the wish to confirm arrangements beyond 2012. Furthermore, FOTA will now arrange a seminar, open to representatives of the major stakeholders (including Media, Sponsors and Promoters), to discuss how working together we can develop the show creating a more attractive spectacle for the fans.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

ALMS Anounces New Class Structure for 2010

ALMS Press Release Posted 08.16.09
Four classes going forward but addition of LMP, GT Challenge groups
In a progressive step designed to keep ahead of the rest of the industry, the American Le Mans Series today announced plans to overhaul its four-class structure beginning with the 2010 season. The four classes will be Le Mans Prototype (LMP), Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC), Grand Touring (GT) and Grand Touring Challenge (GTC).
Scott Atherton: "We are the first movers to embrace a value-based new set of classes while at the same time retaining the core elements of what has made the American Le Mans Series the benchmark professional sportscar racing series in modern times."“In today’s changing environment, choosing the status quo over evolution is a potentially serious mistake,” proclaimed American Le Mans Series President and CEO Scott Atherton. “Our sport has always been about evolution, and our plans for 2010 and beyond reflect it.“We intend to stay ahead of the rest of the industry. We are the first movers to embrace a value-based new set of classes while at the same time retaining the core elements of what has made the American Le Mans Series the benchmark professional sportscar racing series in modern times. The automotive industry is going through radical changes, and the same can be said for most of the motorsports industry.
With today’s announcement we are adding value-based opportunities that expand accessibility to a broader base of competitors, manufacturers and teams.”The announcement is supported by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), the organization that operates the 24 Hours of Le Mans and establishes the rules and regulations for Le Mans style racing worldwide.LMP1 and LMP2 cars will compete as a single LMP class in 2010 with exception of the endurance classics - the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans Powered by MAZDA6 - that will continue to adhere to the ACO technical rules for LMP1 and LMP2. Among the LMP race cars eligible worldwide will be the Acura ARX-02a, Acura ARX-01b, Ginetta-Zytek 09HS (hybrid), Lola B09/86 Mazda, Lola B06/10, Radical SR9, Porsche RS Spyder, Audi R15 TDI, Peugeot 908, Aston Martin Lola and Pescarolo.
LMP Challenge, an exciting new class, was introduced earlier this year as part of the Le Mans Series in Europe and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans through the collaborative efforts between the ACO and ORECA/DPPI. In Europe, the ORECA Courage FLM09 that comprises the class has a minimum weight of 900 kilograms similar to its LMP brethren, but its horsepower is 450 hp which is considerably less than the LMP cars which range from 500-700 hp. The LMP Challenge car is a true Le Mans prototype, but represents an affordable “value engineered” entry to Le Mans prototype racing. The FLM09 is a very sophisticated race car with a full carbon fiber chassis, carbon brakes, and an Xtrac sequential gearbox with paddle shifting. All LMPC cars will race on single-supply tires.
LMP Challenge, a car built by ORECA, will debut in the American Le Mans Series in 2010.LMP Challenge cars will make their debut this fall with a display during this year’s Petit Le Mans weekend. On September 27, the Sunday following the race, IMSA will provide an opportunity to test the LMPC ORECA-Courage LMF09 at Road Atlanta. It is currently taking reservations from qualified teams and drivers. The LMPC class is expected to debut at the American Le Mans Series’ opener in 2010, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (March 20).
The GT class will follow specifications of the existing ACO / Le Mans GT2 class. Current manufacturers and models competing include Corvette C6.R, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Ferrari F430 GT, Jaguar XKR, BMW M3, Panoz Esperante, Ford GT, and Dodge Viper. The GT Challenge class was introduced earlier this year at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City. Currently, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars from the Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama are eligible. In 2010, competition will be open to other versions of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars as well. Other manufacturers are likely to be added in the future.
LMP1 and LMP2 cars will compete as a single LMP class in 2010 with exception of the endurance classics - the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans Powered by MAZDA6.The class restructures are not unprecedented. After the 2003 season, the ACO and American Le Mans Series modified the LMP classes. At that time the two prototype classes were recognized as LMP900 and LMP675 in a reference to the minimum weights in both classes. Both classes competed equally for the overall win at Le Mans. In 2004 those minimums changed along with class designations to LMP1 and LMP2.
The last time the GT class was modified was in 2005 when Grand Touring classes went from GT and GTS to GT1 and GT2. The ACO-spec GT1 class has essentially come to an end as manufacturers have elected to compete in the ultra-competitive and technology-relevant GT2 category, which will be known simply as “GT” in the American Le Mans Series beginning in 2010.
“The new format for 2010 will create more opportunities for more teams and manufacturers to participate in the American Le Mans Series, while at the same time providing fans with the chance to see new cars, teams and drivers in both prototype and GT competition,” said Atherton. “There is no question that developments in the economy - and especially the auto industry - have changed the business environment now and for the foreseeable future. For any organization to remain ‘status quo’ is a likely death sentence. The global economic situation has created a new paradigm that is requiring all businesses to take innovative approaches to how they must operate going forward. We believe we have implemented changes that will enable the Series and our participants to thrive,” continued Atherton.“The Challenge class that was created in GT competition this year has been a great success so far,” added Paul Ritchie, President of Porsche Motorsport North America. “We wholeheartedly endorse the American Le Mans Series expanding on the concept and creating a legitimate, top-level development opportunity for teams and drivers in multi-class competition. We know from experience that with the guidance of IMSA we will have a very strong, cost effective and competitive platform for the big step up to endurance racing.”
In the end, noted Atherton, the new class structure is designed to retain the core attributes of what has made the American Le Mans Series the most successful professional sports car racing series around the world - world class Le Mans prototypes and GT cars - while also adding new high-value opportunities that expand the accessibility of this platform to new participants. All classes of cars will continue to race on alternative fuels or powertrains such as low sulfur clean diesel, E85 cellulosic ethanol, E10 and E10/gas-electric hybrid. Recognized as the Global Leader in Green Racing, the American Le Mans Series continues to work with the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, SAE International and the Series’ automobile manufacturers to develop innovative fuel efficient cars that excel in overall performance, fuel efficiency and environmental impact. The American Le Mans Series is the only racing series that meets all the green racing protocols set by the EPA and DOE. “As I have said previously,” Atherton concluded, “I think the American Le Mans Series is ideally positioned to benefit from the current and future focus of all auto manufacturers. Recent announcements by major auto manufacturers and our government leaders confirm that racing series which provides opportunities to showcase and develop relevant new technologies - with an emphasis on the environment - are the future. We have never been more confident in our positioning and look forward to expanding our green racing initiatives to better serve the teams and manufacturers competing with us."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Three Aston Martin P1's at the Nurburgring.

Press Release from the LeMans Series:
2009/08/12 16:29
Three Astons or nothing!
It is official now: three Lola Aston Martins will be present on the Nürburgring track next week.
The ADAC 1000 Km of the Nürburgring are one of the most awaited rounds of the season, and the fourth one, just after the wonderful night race which took place two weeks ago in Portugal. And for the first time, three prototypes of the British manufacturer will be present on the starting grid!
Regarding the drivers line up, the internationality is of bet: two Czechs, two Britishs, one Portuguese, one Swiss…and a German driver of course: Stefan Mücke!
10 LMP1s will therefore fight for the victory during this last but one race, before the final round at Silverstone in September.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

FOTA Welcomes Concorde Agreement

FOTA Press Release:
FOTA welcomes Concorde Agreement and looks to the future.
Geneva, 5 August 2009
The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) today welcomed the successful
conclusion of negotiations leading to the signing of the 2009 Concorde Agreement.
Signed by all Formula One teams, with the only exception of BMW-Sauber AG, the
FIA, and Formula One Administration (FOA), Concorde 2009 lays down the
commercial and regulatory guidelines for Formula 1 whilst guaranteeing the teams’
until the end of the 2012 season.
FOTA will support any initiative which would allow BMW-Sauber AG to reapply for full
participation within the new Concorde Agreement.
All Formula One teams have together reached a voluntary agreement on their own,
which will put into practice FOTA’s long-standing objective gradually to reduce overall
spending, eventually to around the levels of the early 1990s.
The terms of Concorde 2009 will reinvigorate the role of the Formula 1 Commission,
and various other Working Groups. The Formula 1 Commission will henceforth be a
key decision-making body for change in Formula 1.
FOTA’s attention will now turn to other issues we believe to be in the long-term
interest of F1: racing at the best tracks, in front of the biggest audiences and
expanding F1’s reach.

New Corvette C6R (!) GT2 Revealed

"One of the many benefits of the Corvette Racing program has been the opportunity to demonstrate the technology transfer between the race car and the production car," said Mark Kent, GM Racing manager. "The global movement toward a single GT class will allow us to compete head-to-head with more marketplace competitors while increasing both the production content of the Corvette C6.R race cars and the relevance of racing to our customers. This is a step that positions Corvette for the future of production-based sports car racing worldwide, and a move that is perfectly aligned with GM's marketing and business objectives in racing."

Saturday, August 1, 2009

New F1 Concorde Agreement Signed

“Following approval by the World Motor Sport Council, late last night FIA President Max Mosley signed the 2009 Concorde Agreement, heralding a renewed period of stability for the FIA Formula 1 world championship,” said an FIA statement.
“The WMSC has also approved a slightly revised set of stable sporting and technical regulations (to apply from the 2010 championship onwards), which have been agreed by the FIA and the teams and which will be published shortly on the FIA’s website.
“The new Concorde Agreement, which runs until 31 December 2012, provides for a continuation of the procedures in the 1998 Concorde Agreement, with decisions taken by working groups and commissions, upon which all teams have voting rights, before going to the WMSC for ratification.”
In addition, as agreed in Paris on 24 June 2009, the teams have entered into a resource restriction agreement, which aims to return expenditure to the levels that prevailed in the early 1990s,” said the statement.
“With the 2009 Concorde Agreement and the resource restriction agreement in place, the FIA looks forward to a period of stability and prosperity in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.”

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Massa Will Race Again!

Felipe Massa's doctor, Dino Altmann, affirmed his believe that Mass will race again.
“I have no doubt Felipe will race again,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’m sure of that. The situation is still delicate, but I believe his life is not in danger anymore. From the beginning I felt that the trauma wasn’t as extended as it was believed, but the improvements of the last hours have gone beyond our wildest expectations.”

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Michael Schumacher to Return to F1!

Ferrari issued a statement today that Michael Schumacher will return to the team to replace the injured Felipe Massa.
Schumacher was quoted as saying: “The most important thing first: thank God, all news concerning Felipe is positive. I wish him all the best again,” said Schumacher. “I was meeting this afternoon with Stefano Domenicali and Luca di Montezemolo, and together we decided that I will prepare myself to take the place of Felipe.
“Though it is true that the chapter of Formula 1 has been completely closed for me for a long time, it is also true that for loyalty reasons to the team I cannot ignore that unfortunate situation. But as the competitor I am, I also very much look forward to facing this challenge.”
Massa is expected to return at least by next season, according to sources.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wendelin Wiedeking Toppled as Porsche CEO

From The London Times Today at 00:45
"Volkswagen, Europe’s largest car manufacturer, is set to fold Porsche into its expanding empire after toppling Wendelin Wiedeking, Germany’s highest-paid executive, from the helm of the sports car company yesterday.
Mr Wiedeking, who leaves with a €50 million (£43 million) payoff, told Porsche workers in an emotional farewell that he had fought to the last for the company’s independence. Uwe Hueck, head of Porsche’s works council, said: “They treated you as if it were a public execution.” The crowd roared its approval when Mr Hueck promised to launch a “galactic battle” against VW if the company tried to cut jobs.
The battle metaphors were appropriate: the ousting of Mr Wiedeking and the inevitable takeover by VW spells the end of a fierce power struggle not only between giant and tiny carmakers, but also between feuding strands of the Porsche family.
Mr Wiedeking built a 51 per cent holding in VW last year and had obtained options for another 20 per cent of stock. The aim was to secure such a thumping majority that it could not only transform what he saw as the sleepy VW management ethic, but also gain access to its cash reserves.
However, Porsche overreached itself and became saddled with €9 billion of debt. VW, under Ferdinand Piech, its supervisory board chairman,moved swiftly to mount a reverse bid.
Mr Piech, 72, is the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, who designed the VW Beetle and established the sports car company that bears his name. For Mr Piech, the bid answered the question of what mattered most: the continued independence of his grandfather’s once highly profitable, but now debt-heavy company with its racy 911 Carreras, or the sacrifice of some entrepreneurial freedom in return for the financial security of belonging to the VW group.
One industry analyst said: “Piech had to decide three things: what was best for Porsche’s survival — after all he also sits on the Porsche board, as a family member, he’s not just a VW man; what was best for his grandfather’s historical legacy; and what was best for his own legacy.” In the end, it seems that Porsche will become one of VW’s ten marques, alongside the likes of Audi and Bugatti, with some autonomy. Most experts see that as a clear victory for Mr Piech."

Best Comment About Racing in 2009

This comment was made by David Malsher, an editor for, about the Indy Car Series but can apply to NASCAR, and to some degree, F1 as well.
" To my mind, these underperforming ICS teams have a choice. They can either continue making internal changes that are merely swapping like with like (which, over time, looks increasingly like rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic), and then spend 2010 wondering why they’re flatlining."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Henry Surtees Dies

Henry Surtess, son if former Motorcycle and F1 Champion Sir John Surtees was killed in a tragic Formula 2 crash at Brands Hatch Sunday morning.
The 18 year old was proving to be a fast and competitive driver and it is because of an apparently needless accident that he died. A wheel came off another car after a crash, which with the safety rules tethering wheels to the suspension, should not have happened.
Our condolences go out to the Surtees family.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

FOTA Press Release Today - The War is On Again!

8 July, 2009

Representatives of all FOTA teams attended a meeting of the Sporting Working Group at the Nürburgring today.

During the course of this meeting, the team managers were informed by Mr Charlie Whiting of the FIA that, contrary to previous agreements, the eight FOTA teams are not currently entered into the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship and have no voting rights in relation to the technical and sporting regulations thereof.

It will be remembered that all eight active FOTA members were included on the “accepted” entry list as endorsed by the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) and communicated by FIA press statement on June 24.

In light of these claims, the FOTA representatives requested a postponement of today’s meetings. This was rejected on the grounds that no new Concorde Agreement would be permitted before a unanimous approval of the 2010 regulations was achieved.

However, it is clear to the FOTA teams that the basis of the 2010 technical and sporting regulations was already established in Paris.

As endorsed by the WMSC and clearly stated in the FIA press statement of 24 June “the rules for 2010 onwards will be the 2009 regulations as well as further regulations agreed prior to 29 April 2009”. At no point in the Paris discussions was any requirement for unanimous agreement on regulations change expressed. To subsequently go against the will of the WMSC and the detail of the Paris agreement puts the future of Formula 1 in jeopardy.

As a result of these statements, the FOTA representatives at the subsequent Technical Working Group were not able to exercise their rights and therefore had no option other than to terminate their participation.

The FOTA members undertook the Paris agreement and the subsequent discussions in good faith and with a desire to engage with all new and existing teams on the future of Formula One.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Federal Court in Charlotte, NC ruled in favor of Jeremy Mayfield, yesterday. He is now able to race in NASCAR sanctioned races after NASCAR, based on a questionable drug test, suspended him indefinitely. Mayfield had said the a combination of over the counter drugs had contributed to the blood test indicating methamphetamine use. This was backed by some physicians.
"In the court filings, Judge Graham Mullen said that the financial harm to done to Mayfield preventing him from racing, substantially outweighs the potential harm to NASCAR.
NASCAR officials stood by their arguments while respecting the court ruling. However, they plan to continue to fight Mayfield’s case in the courts." (
If this ruling stands NASCAR needs to rethink it's drug testing program to make sure of it's accuracy before ruling against a driver or crew member and ruining their personal and business lives.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

F1 And FIA Agree - Breakaway Series Cancelled

The FIA and the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) came to an agreement this AM with FOTA accepting the 2010 rules with a budget cap to be worked out over 3 years.
At the same time Max Mosley agreed not to run for FIA President at the end of his term in October.
My opinion is that meant more to the FOTA teams than the agreement, as the 2010 rules are now the 2009 rules to be "carried forward". This along within two years the budget will go back to the "early 1990's" level of spending. If you adjust the $ of, say, 1993 to today's $, that is not a huge change.
Hopefully the FIA can find a way to reign in Bernie Ecclestone's desire for more money by "selling" long standing venues such as the Canadian and US Grand Prixs, for sites in areas that can pay him more money, but permit few spectators to from making more races and end up being broadcast at 0 dark 30 in North America.
FOTA would have done that with a new series.
With the addition of 3 more teams for 2010, and the return of the regulars, it should be an interesting series. Look what ha happened this year!
What do you sy?


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