November 2010
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RACE NEWS & VIEWS
Latest news is at the bottom
Tony Kanaan Out At Andretti
Nov 2 - After a 8 year relationship, Tony Kanaan is leaving the IndyCar team Andretti Autosport.  Kanaan joined the team as one of its original
drivers in 2003 when it began competing in the IndyCar Series and he has made 131 consecutive starts since then. Kanaan delivered the team its
first championship in 2004 and won 14 series races in his eight seasons, making him the winningest driver in the team's history.  I think when
7-Eleven announced they would pull out as Kanaan's main sponsor, it started this situation.  Kanaan is now free to find another team.  Maybe this
time he'll find a team that can help him finally win an Indy 500.

Andretti Autosport did re-sign
Ryan Hunter-Reay to a 2-year contract,
but no sponsers were announced.

Hunter-Reay enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2010 that was
highlighted by a popular win at the Grand Prix of Long Beach and a
career-best seventh-place finish in the series standings. Hunter-Reay's
season also included a runner-up finish in the season-opening Sao
Paulo Indy 300, three podiums, six top-fives and 12 top-10 finishes in 17
starts.
Edmonton Dropped From 2011 IRL Schedule
Nov 3 - After three years of racing on a temporary City Centre
Airport circuit, the IZOD IndyCar Series won't return to
Edmonton, Alberta, in 2011.

INDYCAR released the following statement regarding the
cancellation of its Edmonton event:

"We are disappointed that the city and the promoter were
unable to reach an agreement on the venue changes."

Octane Motorsports Events Inc. sought to retain the original
course, but the city closed Runway 16-34 a week after the
Honda Indy Edmonton and moved air traffic to Runway 12-30,
which was repaved prior to the IZOD IndyCar Series' initial visit.
Retaining the circuit would close the airport - primarily used for
cargo, by the military and private pilots - during the three days
of the event.

The sticking point is who would cover the financial obligation -
projected at $3.2 million (Canadian) -- for repaving and site
improvements on the closed runway and taxi roads at the
airport a mile from the city's hub.
Vitor Meira during practice at Edmonton last July
IndyCar Notes

I've been using the term "IRL" all year and I guess they did
away with that name some time ago.  Pity.  It's easier to type.  
Anyway, you can call 'em the IZOD IndyCar Series and the
Firestone Indy Lights instead of the Indy Racing League.

The
Star reports that Cheverolet is planning on supplying
racing engines for the 2012 IndyCar series!  (There, I didn't
say IRL.)  It will be great to have some competition in that
category again.  Honda plans on staying and some Euros
might joln, such as VW or Renault.

Jacques Villeneuve was inducted into the Canadian Sports
Hall of Fame.  The 1995 Indy 500 and CART champion also
won the 1997 F1 world championship. He and
Mario
Andretti
are the only drivers to win the 500 and both the F1
and IndyCar titles.
Jacques Villeneuve in 1992
before he joined CART
New IndyCar Will Be Built In Speedway
Nov 16 - Italian race car builder Dallara is building a $7 million,  
100,000 sq ft factory in Speedway Indiana.  It will produce the
new IndyCar chassis that will debut in 2012.

In addition, the building will include public viewing areas
allowing race fans to see into the shop where cars are being
assembled, and they can take a turn in a race car simulator.  
There will also be a museum and a restaurant.
Hamlin Takes Sprint Cup Points Lead
Nov 7 - Winning his 3rd race in a row in Texas, and his 8th
win of the year,
Denny Hamlin has pulled into the points
lead in NASCAR with just two races to go.  
Jimmie Johnson,
champion of the last four NASCAR seasons, slipped back to
2nd place.
Formula One Title Comes Down To Last Race
Nov 14 - After an epic Formula One season, a season which
had 19 races on the calendar and will without a doubt become
a classic season in the 60-year history of the sport, Red Bull
driver
Sebastian Vettel was crowned World Champion after
the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The freshly crowned German
champion, the youngest champion in the history of Formula
One as he was 23 years and 134 days old when he crossed the
finish line in first position, is the third German to win the title,
Jochen Rindt and Michael Schumacher are the only other
Germans who have won the Formula One Drivers'
Championship before.

It is often said that championships are not won during the first
lap of a race, but unfortunately for
Fernando Alonso and
Mark Webber, at the Yas Marina circuit the championship was
decided during that very first lap. Things already went wrong
when
Jenson Button passed Alonso in the first corner, Alonso
chose to play it safe and did not defend his position all too
fiercely, probably thinking he would deal with Button later, as
the McLaren driver was not in the race for the championship.

But it was the crash in Turn 4 between
Michael Schumacher
and
Vitantonio Liuzzi that opened the door for Vettel and
Lewis Hamilton, but shattered the dreams of Alonso and
Webber. The seven-time World Champion was locked into a
battle with his German team colleague
Nico Rosberg,
unfortunately Schumacher was a bit too eager to stay ahead of
him, hit the accelerator too early in an attempt to fend off
Rosberg's attack, and spun his car. "I went off the line, spun
and because of the dirt there, the back of the car just came
around," Schumacher explained.

While the Mercedes was facing the track in the wrong way,
several cars managed to avoid a collision, but not Liuzzi, who
was suddenly confronted with the Mercedes when the cars
ahead of him moved out of the way. The Force India slammed
into the Mercedes, narrowly missing the head of Schumacher.

The safety car came out. The race resumed at the end of lap
five, Vettel was still leading, with Hamilton, Button, Alonso,
Webber and
Felipe Massa right behind him.

On lap 10, Webber rubbed the wall and ended up back in 16th.

The biggest mistake Ferrari made was to follow the strategy of
Webber, as they during the race still believed he was Alonso's
biggest threat, but Webber's early pit stop proved to be a
disastrous decision. Alonso pitted four laps later, and rejoined
the race in 12th position, just ahead of Webber. Both Alonso
and Webber were now stuck behind the Renault of
Vitaly
Petrov
, who drove the race of his life and kept both drivers
behind him. Both title contenders were now in a hopeless
position, no point.
Vettel won the final two races and the World Driving
Championship for Red Bull Renault.

Vettel's title was a worthy conclusion of the 2010 season, a
season already hailed and deemed by many as the most
exciting Formula One season ever. After a boring start at
Bahrain, all experts called for changes, as they believed it
would become a boring season, but they couldn't have been
more wrong. The FIA, now presided by Frenchman
Jean Todt,
had banned refueling and the 2009 double diffuser, but new
technical innovations, combined with Bridgestone's very radical
tyre compound allocations, made this a season to remember for
all drivers, teams and fans.

The re-introduction of the KERS system was postponed until
2011, but McLaren's secret weapon, the F-Duct, provided
plenty of extra speed to overtake on long straights, the clever
wing stalling device was soon copied by all teams. The weather
gods also played an important role during this season's 19
Grands Prix, and many races turned into a real slipping and
sliding spectacle, difficult conditions for the drivers, but a joy to
watch for the fans.

Many crashes and collisions and the resulting safety car
interventions determined the outcome of many races, and
thanks to the high safety standards, no one was injured. Teams
had to juggle with the limited number of 8 engines to complete
the season without a grid penalty.

There were also plenty of controversies involving driver rivalry
at the three leading teams Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari,
which provided plenty of food for thought, and especially the
media were very keen to speculate about who was, and who
wasn't, the second driver within the team. The much heralded
return of Schumacher was anything but a success, and
although it must be said the Mercedes was not exactly the
fastest car on the grid, Schumacher was regularly outclassed
by his younger team colleague Rosberg.
Links:
Lotus Throws Hat In The Ring
Nov 18 - A third automobile manufacturer will join the IZOD
IndyCar Series in 2012, as Lotus will build an engine and aero
kit for the next-generation car in the series.

Lotus, based in Norfolk, England, has competed in a variety of
motorsports disciplines since the legendary
Colin Chapman
founded the company in 1952, including Indy car racing,
Formula One and sports cars.
Jim Clark drove a Lotus chassis
to victory in the 1965 Indianapolis 500, and Lotus sponsored
the KV Racing Technology car driven by rookie
Takuma Sato
in the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series.
Johnson Won 5th Straight NASCAR Championship
Nov 21 - Jimmie Johnson finished the Homestead race in 2nd
place behind
Carl Edwards.  Coming into this race, Denny
Hamlin
and Kevin Harvick had a chance to win the title, but
Johnson pulled it off for a record 5th time!  

Hamlin had 8 wins to Johnson's 6 wins this year, however
Johnson had 5 more top 10 finishes.

Jeff Gordon has 4 championships to his credit.  Dale
Earnhardt
and Richard Petty own 7 each.
Cale Yarborough won the NASCAR championship 3 years in a
row.
Jimmie Johnson
Ed Carpenter Lands IndyCar Ride for 2011
Nov 29 - Race car driver and team-owner Sarah Fisher
announced that she will not be driving in next year's IndyCar
series.  She said that
Ed Carpenter will take over her driving
duties at Sarah Fisher Racing.  

Fisher, 30, is a nine-time starter in the Indianapolis 500. She is
the fastest female driver in the 101-year history of "The
Greatest Spectacle in Racing," with her one-lap (229.675 mph)
and four-lap (229.439) qualifying speeds in 2002. She won the
pole for a race at Kentucky Speedway, but she never won an
IndyCar race.

She formed Sarah Fisher Racing in 2008 to compete in the
IZOD IndyCar Series. The team has fielded up to two cars at
events, attracting sponsorship from such major corporations as
Dollar General and Service Central, the service brand for Big O
Tires, NTB, Tire Kingdom and Merchant Auto Centers across
the United States.

Ed Carpenter needed a ride after
Tony George folded Vision
Racing before the start of the season.
Ed Carpenter & Sarah Fisher