November 2009
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RACE NEWS & VIEWS
Latest news is at the bottom
Formula One Loses Manufacturers
Nov 4 - The world's No. 1 automaker, Toyota, announced its immediate withdrawal from Formula One. The decision once again caught
Formula One by surprise, as the team had signed the 2009 Concorde Agreement, and the team was thought to be fully committed to Formula
One until the end of 2012. company president Akio Toyoda told the press the TMC would withdraw from Formula One because they "needed
to cut the costs and needed to focus on its core business", and added that this was "a very painful decision for the company.  I apologize to our
fans from the bottom of my heart. I made the decision myself."

Earlier in May this year, the company reported a record loss of $4.4
billion, while in the same period the year before, the company made a
historic record profit. Like other car manufacturers Toyota had to cut
production when car sales dramatically declined as a result of the
economic crisis. At the start of the 2008 and 2009 Formula One seasons,
Toyota F1 boss John Howett admitted that they were under pressure and
very desperately needed to score good results, to convince the board of
directors they should stay in Formula One.

But Toyota claims it was a decision based upon the current economic
climate, and had nothing to do with the poor results of its Formula One
team this year or last year. Toyota officials also admitted the withdrawal
from Formula One was permanent, and claimed that even when the
economic climate would improve, a return to the sport would be very
unlikely.
The complete withdrawal also means Toyota will no longer
supply engines to Formula One teams, and Williams team
principal Sir Frank Williams probably knew -- or at least
suspected -- what was about to happen, when he on Monday
announced his team would be using the Cosworth engines in
2010. In the past Toyota supplied engines for Williams,
Jordan, and when Eddie Jordan sold his team, to the Midland
F1 team.

Despite an estimated budget of $300 million per year, Toyota
failed to win any of the 139 races it entered since they joined
Formula One in 2002. They managed to secure a few
podium positions, but this season, although they made a very
promising start, they ended in sixth place in the Constructors'
Championship with 59.5 championship points.

And to add to the misery in F1, a few weeks ago BMW also
decided to end their Formula One activities. Ex-team
principal Peter Sauber and capitol investor Qadbak have now
taken over the team, but have sofar the new Sauber-Qadbak
team failed to secure a slot on the 2010 grid.

Last Monday, Japanese tire manufacturer Bridgestone also
decided to end their Formula One activities after the 2010
season.
Is Totoyta F1 Team president Briton
Howett to blame for the team's demise?
IndyCar Gets Title Sponsor
Nov 11 - After being official clothing manufacturer in 2009 for
the IndyCar series, IZOD steps up for 2010 and becomes the
title sponsor.  The IRL hasn't had a title sponsor since 2002,
when the sponsor was Northern Lights.  Before them, the
sponsor was Pepboys.  Izod has signed a 6-year deal.  It is
reported that they will contribute about $2.5 million to IndyCar
teams in 2010, which equates to about $100,000 per car.




Nov 11 -
Ron Green, the director of public relations for
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was released from his position,
as IMS begins making some staff reductions.
One Day Your In, The Next Day Your Out!
Nov 16 - Mercedes is buying the World Champion Brawn F1
team and changing the livery to silver and black.  They are
keeping
Ross Brawn and other senior management in
place, but Mercedes competition chief
Norbert Haug is
switching from the McLaren garage.

McLaren Group will buy back Daimler's 40 per cent stake by
2011, with Mercedes to control the majority of Brawn and
rename it Mercedes GP.

Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche said the relationship with
McLaren was effected as McLaren independent move into
the sports car arena. I assume he refers to their upcoming
supercar.

For the first time since their partnership began in 1995,
McLaren will be paying for its Mercedes engines in 2010 and
beyond, although the silver in its car livery will be retained for
now.

On the driver front, with German
Nico Rosberg expected to
be confirmed for one Mercedes GP seat, Haug said he hopes
an announcement on the full 2010 lineup can be made within
the coming days.
Button Leaving Championship Team
Nov 20 - New world champion Jenson Button has said he is
leaving Brawn GP and will be joining
Lewis Hamilton at  
McLaren F1 next year!  He says he is taking a pay cut to do
it, but wants the challenge of something new.


With
Fernando Alonso heading to Ferrari and pushing Kimi
Raikonnen
out of a ride, it was thought he'd go back to
McLaren.  Reportedly they had been in serious talks, but
they disagreed about Kimi's salary, sponsor duties and his
freedom to race in rallies.  So, he wont' be racing F1 next
year. Raikkonen's severance deal with Ferrari means that he
stands making more money by taking a year off in 2010 than
he would if he had stayed in F1.
Johnson Makes It #4
Nov 22 - At the Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday
evening,
Jimmie Johnson made history when he won the
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship for the fourth
consecutive time. Going into the Ford 400, the Californian
only needed to finish 25th or better to earn the lucrative title,
but he pushed hard, as always, to finish a strong fifth in the
36th and final race of the grueling season.

"I am blown away with the things we have been able to
accomplish in the last eight years in this sport," the newly
crowned champion said. "Obviously, what we have
accomplished in the last four years is unbelievable. To love
this sport the way I do and respect it and its history, to
include the pioneers of this sport and the many eras you
have to look at, and to do something that no one has ever
done is so amazing. I had no clue this would happen.

"Winning the championship four times in eight years is
unbelievable, and I can't wait to see where this will end up.
Years ago my goal was to win one Sprint Cup race and now
this has happened."

The victor drove the Lowe's Chevrolet owned by the
renowned Hendrick Motorsports team, which secured its ninth
car owner's championship in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
competition, tying the organization with Petty Enterprises for
the all-time lead. Car owner
Rick Hendrick has won nine of
the past 15 Sprint Cup titles.

In the final point standings, Johnson finished 141 markers
ahead of teammates
Mark Martin, who finished 12th in the
race, and 179 points in front of
Jeff Gordon.

Martin came in 12th and said he had no complaints with the
outcome. "I got beat, but it also means we were better than
anyone else other that Jimmie Johnson. We had a
tremendous year, and I am the luckiest guy in the world."
"I don't know how this guy here hasn't won a championship,"
wondered car owner Hendrick. "He has raced and finished
second to some of the all-time greats when they were in their
prime, from Jeff Gordon to
Dale Earnhardt. Has anyone
(else) ever raced against that many champions in their prime
and finished second?

"He would have to be considered one of the all-time greats."

Joey Logano scored a 24th-place finish, and he clinched
the Raybestos Rookie of the Year award. He becomes the
third Joe Gibbs Racing driver to win the coveted award.
Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin