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Daniel Ricciardo – 12th: “I think I overtook more people in this race than in any other in my whole career! It was particularly fun at Turn 1, which became a favourite passing spot for me, especially one lap when I managed to pass two cars at once. Until today, the whole weekend had not gone that smoothly and of course, I was particularly disappointed with how qualifying went yesterday. Because of that, I was even more determined to go well today. I gave it everything I’ve got this afternoon, although it was not enough to finish in the points, but twelfth was probably the best result we could have got today. At the start, the dirty side was indeed very slippery and the two Marussias got ahead and I touched with one of them. I thought I’d damaged the front wing, but I managed to keep going as the car was okay and after that I think we got the maximum out of the car. It was very competitive on the Option, but once I switched to the Prime it seemed that tyre also worked better than expected, which meant I lost some of the advantage we had hoped to have by running a very long first stint. Deep down, I know I did my best.”

Jean-Eric Vergne – DNF: “I got a really good start and I had about a tenth of a second to decide whether to go to the left or the right going into the first corner. Everyone seemed to be going right, so I went left aiming for the inside of the hairpin, as I was much quicker. But it didn’t pay off, because I lost many positions and got stuck behind other cars and therefore could not warm up my tyres properly. Despite this, I was able to fight and make up some positions. Unfortunately, the suspension broke and the team told me to park the car rather than risk bringing it back. A shame, as this new circuit is fun to race on.”

Franz Tost: “First of all congratulations to Red Bull Racing on securing the Constructors’ championship this afternoon. It leaves the way clear for a thrilling final battle for the Drivers’ title in a few days time in Brazil. As for our race, Daniel produced a good performance, given that after his qualifying was compromised by yellow flags, he came from eighteenth on the grid to twelfth at the chequered flag. It was very tight in terms of pace between ourselves, Sauber, Force India and Williams. We chose to run long on the Options as the car was running competitively on these tyres. Daniel did everything he could to close the gap to those ahead when he was on the Prime and managed to get near to Perez in the final stages, but there were not enough laps for him to pass. With Jev, we had a suspension problem and told him to park the car. We still need to investigate its cause. We have one more opportunity to pick up points this season as we head for Sao Paolo and what is often an exciting and unpredictable race.”


Romain Grosjean Olivier Grouillard Brian Gubby André Guelfi


Rosberg sure he can end points drought Nico Rosberg is certain Mercedes has a good chance of ending its points drought in the United States Grand Prix after being buoyed by his car’s form in Friday practice at Austin.

Mercedes’ last points finish came with Rosberg’s fifth place in Singapore nearly two months ago.

Having taken seventh place in Friday practice, Rosberg reckoned his team had regained a little ground.

“For us it has been a relatively good start,” he told reporters in the Austin paddock. “We’re looking better than normal compared to the front.”

Asked to assess Mercedes’ race prospects, Rosberg replied: “Better than usual. It will be possible to score some good points here.”

But Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug was more pessimistic, suggesting there was no reason to anticipate any upturn.

“Whilst our laptimes looked consistent during our long runs at the end of the second session, we do not think that our competitiveness is different compared to the last races,” he said.

“Having said that, we still have room for improvement which we will try to use tomorrow.”

Rosberg’s team-mate Michael Schumacher felt unable to properly evaluate his car’s outright potential as his practice day was disrupted by tyre issues.

“We had a bit of difficulty because we lost basically both sets of tyres,” said the seven-time Formula 1 champion.

“One delaminated and one got a puncture, so we only got tyres that we ran this morning and that compromised our session.”


Kyle Eugene Petty Floyd Anthony Raines Scott Russell Riggs Hiroshi Fushida

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Fiat 500 Abarth Convertible video screen capture

In addition to the electric 500e, Fiat will be debuting a new 500 Abarth Cabrio under the lights of the Los Angeles Auto Show later this month. And to get everyone excited about the scorpion-stung droptop, Fiat has launched this promo video showing the cars zipping around a track at the hands of Ferrari Formula One drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.

Fiat confirmed the car’s LA debut in its one-sentence description of the video on the company’s YouTube channel.

The Scuderia Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa tested the Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio in Austin, Texas, in anticipation of its North American debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.

There’s a lot to love about the 500 Abarth – we’ve enjoyed it on several occasions – and we can only assume that this new Cabrio model won’t disappoint. And how could it? After all, one of our favorite parts about the Abarth experience is the utterly amazing sound that shoots out of the tailpipes, and that aural pleasure will only be enhanced with the roof flipped back.

Scroll down to see the short video for yourself, and stay tuned for the full details as part of the LA Auto Show festivities.

Continue reading Fiat confirms 500 Abarth Cabrio for LA with F1-inspired video

Fiat confirms 500 Abarth Cabrio for LA with F1-inspired video originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 16 Nov 2012 16:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Daniel Juncadella Prema Macau F3 2012

Daniel Juncadella was allowed to start Saturday’s qualification race for the Macau Grand Prix from his grid position of fourth, despite failing a fuel-sample test after qualifying.

The statement from officials regarding the 2011 Macau winner’s Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes read: “The result of the fuel analysis shows that the fuel used in car #1 does not match the analysis of the reference sample which had been approved for use in this event as required by Article 24.4 of the sporting regulations”.

AUTOSPORT understands that Prema has requested a further test.

There is no FIA-approved laboratory in Macau so this will have to be carried out in Europe at a later date.

Juncadella finished fifth in the qualification race, and is still in contention for victory in Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Prema team manager Rene Rosin said: “We do not agree with the result. We are sure that we have not done anything to the fuel.

“That is why I want a second test to be done in an FIA-approved laboratory. I am sure we are OK.”

Carlos Sainz Jr’s Carlin car also underwent the test, and his sample was pronounced fully legal.


Tony Gaze Geki Olivier Gendebien Marc Gené

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Roland Sands Yamaha TMAX

What you see above was once a mild-mannered Yamaha TMAX 530 scooter (right), turned by Roland Sands Design into the naked wonder you see above. Yamaha is having fun with the introduction of the 2013 TMAX, asking various motorcycle personalities tune its innovative new scooter, which has its engine mounted in the frame, motorcycle style, as opposed to the swingarm.

Roland Sands, an ex-AMA racer and champion, went with inspiration from his racing days, whereas French motorcycle maven Ludovic Lazareth went with a stealth chopper theme. You can watch Sands’ take on the TMAX in the video below.

Continue reading Roland Sands builds stretched Yamaha scooter

Roland Sands builds stretched Yamaha scooter originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 17 Nov 2012 14:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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John James Jean Pierre Jarier Max Jean Stefan Johansson

Shane Lewis
Dubai 24H
DUBAI – December 29, 2011

American to Start 31st Career 24-Hour Race at Middle East’s Premier Event

Shane Lewis celebrates in victory lane 417.jpgShane Lewis to Make Dubai 24H Debut 416.jpgShane Lewis began his career running open wheel races that lasted 30-minutes. Today, he has become one of the sport’s most sought-after endurance specialists being called on to compete all over the world. When the Jupiter, Fla.-resident takes the green flag in the Seventh Edition of the Dunlop 24H of Dubai January 13, Lewis will add his 31st career 24-hour race-start to a resume which already boasts multiple victories. Lewis will join longtime endurance race teammate Vic Rice (San Rafael, CA) as well as Germans Karl Pflanz and Kim Hauschild in the No.125 Hamburg Racing Team (HRT) Aston Martin Vantage GT4. The Middle East’s premier endurance touring and grand touring (GT) race marks the debut of Lewis in the event and at the Dubai Autodrome.

While Lewis is new to the Dubai event, the circuit and even the region, he will be well acquainted with two of his three co-drivers. The multiple American Le Mans Series and Rolex Series race winner has teamed with Rice in numerous sports car races for 15 years and joined with Rice and Pflanz to capture victory at the 2010 24 Hours of Nürburgring. The quartet will race in the SP3 class on the 3.35-mile/4.39km, full Formula One circuit of the Dubai Autodrome. The Aston Martin they will share is a Nürburgring 24 (N24) edition of the Vantage GT4 car built by the factory and tuned by HRT for endurance racing. It will be Lewis’s first time driving the legendary British marque in competition.

In his career, Lewis has piloted every major class of sports car from prototype to touring car in 24-hour races. He has made three starts at the “grandfather” of all endurance races, the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1999, 2000, 2003) leading his class in 2003 and he has 14 starts at North America’s only professional 24 hour race, theRolex 24 At Daytona (’97-’02, ’04-’11). Lewis has four starts at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring (’04, ’05, ’10, ’11) winning his class in ’10 and taking podium finishes in ’04 and ’11. Other endurance race starts include six Petit Le Mans (’98-’01, ’03, ’10) and seven 12 Hours of Sebring (’97-’98, ’00-’03, ’10).

As many as 90 entries are expected to take the green flag for the 2:00 p.m. (local) start on Friday, January 13. Currently, of the potential grid of 360 drivers, seven are from the United States including Lewis and Rice as teams and drivers from all over the world are placing the Dubai 24H on their “To-Do” lists for the year. Open testing is scheduled to start on Wednesday, January 11 with the first of two official “free” practices coming on Thursday. Qualifying for all classes takes place at 4:00 p.m. that same day, followed by an SP3 qualifying session at 5:00 p.m. Night practice begins at 6:00 p.m. Cars take to the grid at 1:00 p.m., Friday, January 13. The race will take the checkered flag at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 14.

Lewis has raced every major class of sports car in every major international series. In 2011, he captured a podium in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring and a class victory in the Six Hours of Nürburgring.

Shane Lewis

About racing in his 31st career 24-hour race:

“To be planning my 31st career 24-hour race is pretty amazing and pretty cool. I don’t think anyone is more surprised by that than I am. I started out driving open wheel cars. The longest race I ever thought I’d be in would be 500 miles! It was a complete fluke I ever agreed to drive in a 24-hour race. But, the opportunities and then all of the success started coming in endurance racing and now I can’t imagine ever wanting to limit myself to just 500 miles. I really love these endurance races. They are so challenging as a driver and that is really what drives me. Being able to hit this milestone at an event as unique and as exciting as the 24 Hour of Dubai makes it even more special. I’ll never forget it.”

About the opportunity to race in the 24H of Dubai:

“I am really excited about this chance to race at Dubai. I’ve raced all over the world but never in the Middle East so that is going to be exciting. The fact that this race has so quickly become one of the major endurance races on the world calendar adds to that. I have great teammates for this race. Vic and I have raced together so many times I have lost count. There aren’t many guys out there as quick and as reliable as Vic is and you can’t ask for more in a teammate. Vic and I raced together with Karl Pflanz at Nürburgring and had a lot of success and I have heard really good things about Kim Hauschild. HRT is really experienced. They know their stuff and they have put us into one of the hottest rides out there. The Aston Martin Vantage is a legendary car and one of the few makes I have never run. I can’t wait to race the car!”

About the challenges of Dubai:

“The challenges for Dubai are exciting. New car, new circuit, new team and 90 cars on a three-mile lap! HRT is a well-run team with plenty of experience. Michael Budde, the team owner, has been to Dubai recently to look everything over: the track, the pit box, the lighting, everything so we will have a leg-up on that. We’ll also have the added benefit of working out of the Team Oryx garage in Abu Dhabi the week before the race. Vic and I are all over YouTube watching lap-after-lap of in-car footage to learn the circuit. The track looks like it has a nice flow. So, with all the cars and the momentum of the lap, working traffic is going to be the biggest deal. If we can stay out of trouble, I think we have a great shot in the Aston Martin.”

Vic Rice, About the longtime driving relationship with Shane Lewis:

“Shane and I have been friends, teammates and sometimes friendly competitors for more than 15 years. It’s difficult to quantify exactly why we are so successful together but to use a well-worn cliché, the chemistry just seems to work. For endurance races it’s always about finding a comfortable balance for a long run rather than outright single-lap speed. As race car drivers we are obviously competitive by nature but our competition with each other is only to push the other to be the best we can be on a given day at a given track. The 24 Hours of Dubai is becoming a classic. I’ve had opportunities to go in previous years but not in cars or teams capable of being class winners.”

For more on Shane Lewis, visit: Follow Shane Lewis on Twitter @Go_Shane_Go and Facebook at Shane Lewis – Athlete.

To follow the Dubai 24H, visit Listen live to practice, qualifying and the race at


Bill Holland Jackie Holmes Bill Homeier Kazuyoshi Hoshino

Robert KubicaRobert Kubica says he is not getting ahead of himself when it comes to a top-level competition return ahead of his first outing in a Citroen World Rally Car.

The Pole will drive a title-winning Citroen C4 on two national events this month, including this weekend’s Rally di Como.

Kubica is still recovering from the injuries he suffered in a crash at the start of 2011 and that meant he has missed the last two Formula 1 seasons.

Despite stepping up his efforts in WRC machinery, Kubica insists he is still taking it one step at a time and not thinking too far ahead.

“For the, let’s say future, I don’t have any plans up until now,” Kubica told the Reuters news agency. “In the end, I am still at the stage of rehabilitation but for sure I would love to compete in a high level championship, or in a rally or on a circuit.

“Let’s see, until now I did some rallies, I did some testing on the race track and I hope my hand will improve and my general condition will improve.”

The former grand prix winner admitted his contacts in F1 are now very limited, having been away from the sport for so long.

“It is has been a long time unfortunately [since] I stopped with Formula 1, so my contacts are very limited because in all these months I have been concentrating on coming back and getting my health and body back to the best condition,” he said.

After his outing in Italy, the Polish driver will compete in the Rallye du Var in France next weekend.


Richie Ginther Yves Giraud Cabantous Ignazio Giunti Timo Glock