December 2009
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RACE NEWS & VIEWS
Latest news is at the bottom
Raikkonen Not In Formula One In 2010
Dec 5 - Former Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen will compete for Citroen in the World Rally Championship next season.  The
team announced Friday that the Finnish driver would compete for its Red Bull-backed Junior Team in 2010.  Raikkonen, who won the 2007 F1
championship, left Ferrari at the end of the 2009 season to make way for the arrival of
Fernando Alonso.  The one-year contract keeps alive
the chances of Raikkonen returning to F1 in 2011.
FIA confirms Manor to be called Virgin Racing
Dec 1 - The new British team Manor's takeover by the Virgin brand is definitely set
to proceed. Although the parties have not yet announced a tie-up, the FIA said on
its entry list for the 2010 season that the team featuring
Timo Glock in car number
24 will be known as 'Virgin Racing'. Virgin, headed by the flamboyant billionaire
Sir
Richard Branson
, sponsored Brawn in 2009 but has been widely tipped to jump
ship to Manor, one of four new teams in Formula One. Manor had to lodge its
official team title with the FIA now, because a subsequent change would require
the unanimous agreement of every other competitor. For example, Brawn wants to
change its name to Mercedes Grand Prix, but the Brackley based constructor was
listed as 'Brawn Mercedes Benz' on Monday's provisional FIA list. The governing
body said the 2009 world champions have "indicated its intention to change its
team name to Mercedes Grand Prix prior to the start of the 2010 season". This
must be agreed at the forthcoming F1 Commission meeting and then ratified by
December 11's World Motor Sport Council. The entry list also confirmed that Red
Bull will still be powered by Renault engines in 2010.
Alonso plays down effect of F1 refuelling ban
Dec 8 - Fernando Alonso has played down suggestions the
ban on refuelling for 2010 will force drivers to dramatically
alter their driving styles.

Because the cars will have to carry enough fuel for the entire
race distance next year, the weight of the cars at the start
and the end of grands prix will be dramatically different.

It has been suggested that drivers will therefore need to drive
more strategically, by putting more attention into managing
the use of fuel and tyres.
But 2005 and 2006 world champion Alonso, who will be
Felipe Massa's Ferrari teammate next year, said: "I do not
believe it (the refuelling ban) is going to be decisive or
change the races very much."

In quotes published by Spain's Marca from a Santander
event in Madrid, the 28-year-old Spaniard acknowledged that
the tires will be more stressed when the fuel weights are high.

"The important thing will be to look after them in the first 10
or 15 laps, the first stint," said Alonso.

"But just because of that I don't believe the driving styles are
going to change too much," he added.
Racers' Road To Indy
Dec 11 - The Indy Racing League has launched the "Road
To Indy," a defined developmental ladder system to give
beginning race car drivers a path to follow to reach IndyCar.  

The feeder series will consist of the USF2000, the Star
Mazda Championship and the Indy Lights series.

The Indy Racing League, which will now sanction USF2000
National Championship races.

All three series will race on ovals, road courses and
temporary street circuits and program participants will have
the opportunity to showcase their drivers and teams in front
of IndyCar teams and owners each year. In 2010, all three
series will join the IndyCar Series at race weekends in St.
Petersburg, Fla., (March 26-28) and at Iowa Speedway (June
18-20).

Additionally, all four series will conduct events Memorial Day
weekend in Indianapolis -- the USF2000 National
Championship and Star Mazda Championship racing at
O'Reilly Raceway Park at the "Night Before the 500," while
Indy Lights (Freedom 100) and IndyCar Series (Indianapolis
500) race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Race fans can now determine where to watch for tomorrow's
stars.

Interestingly, Firestone provides tires for IndyCar and Indy
Lights, Goodyear provides tires for Star Mazda and Cooper
tires for USF2000.
How IndyCar Drivers Faired in A1GP
Dec 12 - A1GP is an open-wheel series that pits nation against nation.  The cars are powered by Ferrari.

Here are some of the drivers we know and how their team did:
Netherlands
France
New Zealad
Australia
Britain
USA
Mexico
South Africa
Brazil
Italy
Germany
Canada
Czech Republic
4th
5th
7th
8th
10th
11th
13th
14th
15th
16th
21st
last
?
Robert Doornbos, Arie Luyendyk, Rj., Jos Verstappen
Franck Montagny, Nicolas Prost
Wade cunningham, Scott Dixon
Ryan Briscoe, Will Power
Darren Manning
Marco Andretti, Phil Giebler, Bryan Herta, JR Hildebrand, Ryan  Hunter-Reay, Buddy Rice, Scott Speed
Michel Jourdain, Jr.
Tomas Scheckter
Christian Fittipaldi, Bruno Junqueirar, Raphael Matos, Vitor Meira, Nelsinho Piquet
Vitantonio Liuzzi
Nico Hulkenberg
Patrick Carpentier
Tomas Enge
Team                    Standing     Drivers
Racing Month of May Shortened
Dec 15 - The Indy Speedway is once again shortening the
length of time that make up the Indy 500-mile race, by
moving opening day forward and changing the number of
qualification days from 4 to 2.  They last did this in 1999.  
And another year, they had 3 qualification days.
It is obviously part of their new efforts to conserve money.  
This should also save money for the race teams.

What is good about this is that the whole week leading up to
qualifying will be practice days.  I used to be annoyed that
nothing was going on during Mondays and Tuesdays.
2010 Indy 500 Calendar
Renault Stays in F1
Dec 17 - A partnership is announced by Renault F1:

Renault has decided to maintain its commitment to Formula
One and welcomes the perspective of a strategic partnership
with
Genii Capital, a Luxemburg based firm specialized in new
technologies, brand management and motor sport. Following
the proposed sale of a large stake of Renault F1 Team to
Genii, both partners will operate the team together. The letter
of intent signed by the two companies should be concluded
in early 2010.

In 2010, the team will retain its name, its identity and the core
ingredients that led to the successes achieved in 2005 and
2006. The team will continue to be supplied with engines by
its sister company in Viry-Châtillon, which is also pleased to
have received a renewed commitment from Red Bull Racing
for the 2010 season.
Camaro to Pace 2010 Indy 500
Dec 18 - The Chevrolet Camaro SS will pace next year's Indy
500, as it did this year.

The first year for Camaro to pace the Indianapolis 500 was in
1967, the year the Camaro made its debut. Camaro has
since paced the race in 1969, 1982, 1993 and 2009.

This year's pace car is equipped with a stock 400 hp 6.2-litre
V-8, an RS appearance package and leather interior with
Inferno Orange interior accents. It features an Inferno
Orange Metallic paint scheme with White Diamond rally
stripes that travel from the front to the rear over the top of
the body, as well as extending to the interior dash. The
design is a modern interpretation of the original rally stripe
that debuted on the 1969 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car.
7-Time World Champ to Return to Formula One
Dec 30 - German Michael Schumacher is returning to an
F1 car after a 3-year hiatus.  But instead of driving for
Ferrari, he will join fellow German driver
Nico Rosberg at
the all German team, which won the 2009 championship,
while known as Brawn F1.  
Ross Brawn, who accompanied
Schumacher through his wins with Benetton and Ferrari, will
be by his side at Mercedes.

Schumacher reportedly will be paid $10 million for 2010, with
an option to run two more years.  He is 41.
Briscoe Ties The Knot
Dec 19 - Indycar driver Ryan Briscoe married ESPN anchor
Nicole Manske in Maui.  The couple kicked off their tropical
wedding celebration yesterday treating each of their 100
guests to a traditional luau celebration. Today, the Team
Penske driver and Manske said their vows during a cliff-side
ceremony under the Hawaiian sunset.

The couple chose Hawaii as the location for their wedding
because it was roughly the midpoint between their two
hometowns of Sydney, Australia (Briscoe) and Roscoe,
Illinois (Manske).

The newlyweds will spend their honeymoon in Fiji before
visiting Sydney for a few days. The couple will then return to
their home in Charlotte, N.C. before Manske resumes her
hosting duties for "NASCAR Now" on ESPN and Briscoe takes
his place behind the wheel of the No. 6 Team Penske
Dallara/Honda in January for pre-season testing.

Briscoe finished third in the 2009 IndyCar Series standings
after he recorded three wins and four poles for Team
Penske.  
Castroneves Procreates
Dec 28 - Adriana Henao, girlfriend of Helio Castroneves,
gave birth to a daughter,
Mikaella.
New Driver
                 2009 Recap
After a terrible season in NASCAR, Dario
Franchitti
returned to IndyCar and won
the frickin CHAMPIONSHIP again!

The new
Brawn GP team won the F1
championship!

F1 lost more factory teams.

Jimmie Johnson won his 4th Nascar
championship in a row!

Tony George is no longer the president
of the Indy Speedway.

Nelson Piquet disclosed cheating by
Renault resulting in the banning of
Flavio
Briatore
from racing.

Helio Castroneve's year may have
started off rocky, but his luck soon
switched and he leaves 2009 with another
Indy 500 win and his first child.