February 2011
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RACE NEWS & VIEWS
Latest news is at the bottom
Kubica Out At Renault F1
Feb 6 - Robert Kubica crashed while racing in an Italian road rally, breaking his right arm, leg and hand.  His co-driver was not injured.  This
leaves the door open at Renault for one of the test drivers to step up and race at the beginning of the season.  Expect to see either
Bruno Senna
or
Romain Grosjean. Kubica is 26 years-old and hails from Poland.
Robert Kubica
Tom Carnagie Died Today
Feb 11 - One of the things that Tom Carnagie was known for
was being "The Voice of The 500."

From 1948 until 2006, Carnagie performed the role of
announcer at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the
month of May.

I remember so many years of hearing his distinctive deep
voice come through the loudspeakers at the track,
announcing the "play by play" as cars qualified for and raced
in the most famous race in the world.

It might be hard to hear him during the race with so many
cars making so much noise, but it really stood out during
qualifying when there was only one car on the track.  

As a qualifying driver would accelerate to top speed for his
4-lap qualifying run, Tom's voice would rumble around the
track announcing, "And he's on it!" as the driver took the
green flag.

Back in the 60's and 70's, he would also often be heard to
utter this most popular news for the fans, "And its a new track
record!"

Besides just hearing his voice, fans would often see him
around the track talking to fans.

Tom Carnagie died today at the age of 91.  He will be missed
by all Indy 500 fans.
1968 - Joe Leonard (driver of a turbine car) and Tom Carnagie
1993 - Tom Carnagie with A.J. Foyt when he retired
Heidfeld Will Race For Lotus
Feb 15 - Nick Heidfeld, who raced for Sauber towards the
end of last season, had been selected to replace
Robert
Kubica
at Lotus Renault.  Kubica is beginning a lengthy
rehabilitation after being seriously injured in a crash during
the Ronde di Andora rally on Sunday.

Heidfeld, 33, has been in the sport since racing for Prost in
2000, going on to have spells with Sauber, Jordan, Williams
and BMW Sauber and racking up 172 starts.

Kubica is likely to miss the whole of the 2011 season after
partially severing his right hand and suffering breaks to his
elbow, shoulder and leg in the accident.

He has since undergone a seven-hour operation to re-attach
his partially severed hand and was kept in an induced coma
following the procedure.

The surgery to repair Kubica's hand was hailed a success by
specialist Igor Rossello.

"The operation was perfectly successful," he told Sky Italia.

"It's a great result because the operation was long and very
complex."

Kubica won a F1 grand prix in Canada in 2008,
Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld
Team-mates in 2009
Pippa Mann Gets IndyCar Test
February 15 - Conquest Racing will once again be giving an
up and coming driver the opportunity to test her skills behind
the wheel of an Indy car when
Pippa Mann takes part in a
one-day test at Texas Motor Speedway on February 28.

The test will be the first in an Indy car for the London born
race car driver who has competed in Firestone Indy Lights
the past two seasons. Mann made history in 2010 by
becoming the first woman to qualify on pole at the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy Lights Freedom
100.

"It feels like it has been an extremely long off season this
winter, and I cannot wait to finally get back behind the wheel
of a race car," said Mann. "We have been working
exceptionally hard throughout the off-season on putting
together a program for me to run in the IZOD IndyCar Series,
and while our main focus has been on the Indy 500, we would
obviously like to run as many of the 2011 races as is
possible. We are most likely now looking at a full oval
program, which will hopefully bridge the gap to a full-time
drive in the series in 2012.

"The upcoming test will serve as my rookie test for the IZOD
IndyCar Series, and also work as a good preparation for the
program we are trying to put together.
Eric Bachelart and
Conquest Racing have been especially interested in what we
are trying to achieve, and I'm extremely excited to have the
opportunity to drive one of their cars."
Mann has racing experience on both sides of the Atlantic -
having competed in the World Series by Renault and the
Firestone Indy Lights Series. She raced in Formula Renault
3.5 in 2007 and 2008, where she became the first female to
start from pole, and score a championship point in the series.

"I've watched Pippa race in the Indy Lights series and she's
constantly progressed over the course of the two seasons.
I'm pleased to be able to give her the opportunity to drive
Indy cars for the first time and I can't wait to see how she will
perform behind the wheel of the Dallara. From a team
perspective it will be a special moment as she will be the first
woman to test with us. I'm looking forward to it," concluded
Conquest Racing team owner Eric Bachelart.

In 2009, Mann competed in the Firestone Indy Lights Series
with Panther Racing, securing three top ten finishes during
her debut year. The following season she moved to Sam
Schmidt Motorsports with whom she inscribed her name in
the Indianapolis history books.

That same year, despite breaking her hand during practice
for the Toronto 100, Mann took her first Firestone Indy Lights
victory just seven weeks later at Kentucky Speedway - where
she led the race from start to finish. Mann scored three pole
positions, four top five finishes, and a dominant win during
the 2010 season, seeing the young Brit finish fifth in the
driver's championship
Eric Bachelart
Conquest IndyCar Team Owner
Pippa Mann won two pole positions last year in Indy Lights.
NASCAR's Daring Technology Enters 1970s
Feb 15 - NASCAR Sprint Cup series will switch from
carburators to fuel injection in 2012.  

McLaren Electronic Systems will be providing the ECUs for
the units, as they do in Formula One.

NASCAR's other racing divisions will not be receiving fuel
injection.
Excited NASCAR fans rejoice
Tony George Is Back
Feb 17 - Tony George has been reinstated on the board of
directors of Hulman & Company, the umbrella that funds and
administers the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IZOD
INDYCAR series and Clabber Girl Baking Powder.  He rejoins
his other relatives on the board:  
Mari Hulman George and
her three daughters -
Nancy George, Josie George and
Kathi Conforti-George.
Fuel Injection
Daytona 500 Kicks Off Racing Season
Feb 20 - 20-year old Trevor Bayne scored an upset victory
in the 53rd edition of the Daytona 500. Driving for the  Wood
Brothers team, he gave the team its first NASCAR victory in
10 years.

Bayne's victory came on a record setting day for lead
changes (74), leaders (22) and caution flags (16).

For Ford, the manufacturer earned its 600th Cup Series win
and its 12th overall in the Daytona 500.

This was Bayne's 2nd NASCAR race.  He became the
seventh driver to make the Daytona 500 his first Sprint Cup
victory. And he became the youngest winner of the Daytona
500, and he did it by leading the final six laps.

He drove the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford entered by the
Wood Brothers. Without a full-season of sponsorship
commitments, the team has 17 races on its program, but that
could change after today's achievement.

The Wood Brothers won the Daytona 500 for the fifth time
and the last one came in 1976 when David Pearson beat out
Richard Petty in a dramatic finish.
1st F1 Race of Season Cancelled
Feb 21 - The Bahrain Grand Prix has been called off
because of anti-government protests in the Gulf kingdom.

Scheduled for March 13th, the race would have opened the
new season, but had been in doubt for more than a week
because of the civil unrest.

Instead, the 2011 campaign will begin in Australia on March
27th.

Demonstrators in Bahrain are demanding that the ruling
monarchy gives up its near-absolute control over key policies
and positions.

"We must focus on immediate issues of national interest and
leave the hosting to a later date," said the Bahrain crown
prince.

Bahrain, an island linked to Saudi Arabia by a causeway, is
the strategically sensitive home to the American Fifth Fleet.
More than half its 750,000 population are Shia, but its ruling
elite are Sunni.   The country's authorities are almost entirely
Sunni muslim police force and army.

The unrest in Bahrain started on February 14 amid
successful uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

At least five people were killed and 230 injured as police
opened fire on protesters on Thursday.

The protests continued on Friday but were cracked down by
police. At least 23 people were injured. Between 60 and 80
people were hurt on Saturday as police again attempted to
force the protesters from the square.
In addition to Tony, three other men will be joining the board.
The new members are HHGregg Inc. Chairman
Jerry
Throgmartin
, LDI Ltd. Chairman Andre B. Lacy and
Michael L. Smith, a former WellPoint Inc. executive.

I wonder if any of these guys are worried now about their
jobs:  CEO of IMS (
Jeff Belskus), CEO of Indycar (Randy
Bernard
) or  president and CEO of Hulman & Co. (Curtis
Brighton
).
Indy 500 Will Start At Noon
Feb 22 - The start time for the 2011 running of the Indy 500
has been changed again to noon.  

The race began at 10 a.m. from 1911 to 1941.  After WWII
the race began at 11 a.m. up to 2004.

With Indiana switching to Daylight Savings Time, the race
began at noon in 2005 and 1 p.m. since.
Texas F1 Track Hires Horse Track CEO
Feb 22 - Steve Sexton, former President of Churchill
Downs, is now president of the management team for the
Formula One track being built in Austin Texas.

The course should be 3.4 miles long, offer elevation changes
and have 20 turns.  They hope to be racing in 2012.
IndyCar Finalizes 2011 Schedule
Feb 22 - The IndyCar series announced today that their
season ending race will be in Las Vegas on October 16th.

While most IndyCar races will be broadcast on Versus, This
race and St. Petersburg, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and New
Hampshire will be broadast on ABC.

The Las Vegas race will be 200 laps and start at 3:30 p.m.
(ET).

The IRL raced at Vegas from their opening year, 1996, until
2000.  Champcar also raced their in 2004 & 2005.

Click for
2011 IndyCar Schedule
IndyCar drivers Ryan Briscoe, Marco Andretti, Will Power and Ryan
Hunter-Reay
IndyCar Issues Challenge
Feb 22 - IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard challenged other
race car drivers to a high-stakes shootout on the high-
banked oval of Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Bernard said, “We showcase our drivers as being the very
best, fastest and most versatile in the world and we are
putting our money where our mouth is. If any race car driver
in the world outside of the IZOD IndyCar Series can win the
Vegas race, we will give you
$5 million. We will accept five
entries for this challenge, with entrants being determined by
a selection committee by mid-summer.
Bernard wasn't finished. He also announced that fans
purchasing a ticket to any INDYCAR race during the 2011
season are eligible to receive a
complimentary ticket to the
championship races. Full details for the ticket promotion will
be announced March 1 on indycar.com and 866-INDYCAR.
Tickets to the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships go on
sale Feb. 25th.
The fourth and final round of testing was due to take place in
Bahrain on March 3rd, but this has been cancelled and
rescheduled for March 8-11 in Barcelona Spain

F1 has raced in Bahrain since 2004.

So, Melbourne Australia is back to hosting the first race of
the season this year.  However, the Australian Grand Prix
may be nearing its end.

Federal MP Michael Danby declared in parliament, "The
Grand Prix may have been a good deal in 1996, when it cost
the government only A$1.7m; but, with falling crowd numbers
and taxpayers footing a A$50m-a-year bill, the government
should cut its losses and walk away."

Last month Melbourne's lord mayor Robert Doyle also called
to not continue the event after the contract expires in 2015.
Bahrain Road Course
Stoner Stuns at MotoGP Test
Feb 24 - Factory Honda rider Casey Stoner smashed the
two minute barrier on final day of the second official MotoGP
winter test at Sepang, Malaysia as did his teammate
Dani
Pedrosa
with San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco
Simoncelli
ending the final day in third.

Stoner set a stunning time of 1m 59.665s on just lap two of
day three on his RC212V and amazingly the 2007 MotoGP
champion was still testing a number of settings while posting
the time - the fastest ever MotoGP time around the Sepang
circuit.