среда, 30 мая 2007 г.

Online Fan-Driven Racing Community Fan1st.com Announces New Member Feature Allowing Fans to Receive Text Messages from Drivers, Crew

Fan1st.com sent first message to fans Memorial Day weekend from NASCAR Busch Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C.

Fan1st car NASCAR's Busch Series
Fan1st.com #10 Toyota from NASCAR's Busch Series. (PRNewsFoto/Fan1st.com)

Las Vegas-based Fan1st.com, an online fan-driven racing community that gives fans the opportunity to sponsor and have their name on a Fan1st car racing in NASCAR's Busch Series, today announced a new benefit that allows members to receive instant text messages from the drivers or crew -- live from the racing action.

Fan1st.com debuted the text-messaging feature Memorial Day Weekend with live text messages from driver Dave Blaney navigating the #10 Fan1st.com Toyota at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. during the Carquest Auto Parts 300 Race May 26.

"With this cutting-edge technology, we can now send all of our members instant text messages right to their mobile phones, giving them real-time updates on race day action and unprecedented glimpses into the excitement from the driver or the crew," said Fan1st Founder Edward Collins. "Our members are going to be thrilled when they see a text message pop up from driver Dave Blaney or Jason Leffler -- this is going to be our most popular member benefit."

Members who do not opt-in to receive text messages (standard SMS text-message fees will apply) can choose to receive emails instead.

In addition to text messages or emails from the drivers or crew, Fan1st.com will soon offer its members live webcam views of the Fan1st cars located at Braun Racing in Mooresville, North Carolina, where the Fan1st.com cars are stored and maintained when not racing. Fan1st.com, along with several other companies, sponsors the cars, driven by Dave Blaney, Jason Leffler, Jerick Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Greg Biffle, Jeff Gordon, and Kasey Kahne.

Fan1st.com members also receive their name on the car; a personalized sponsor card offering entrance to special events and offers; the opportunity to participate in polls about the car; access to Fan Forum, which provides unique insight from the crew chief, feedback from the driver and tips and tricks from the pit crew; and the opportunity to participate in interactive polls about non-competition related decisions of the Fan1st team such as paint schemes, uniform designs, and even the official food and beverage of the pit crew.

"This is truly a unique concept that is fast gaining popularity with NASCAR fans, especially as we continue to add new features such as text messages and the webcams," Collins said. "Fan1st.com allows ordinary fans to become a part of the sponsorship of a car by not only having their name on the car but being asked for their opinions on the car and team decisions. If we wreck the cars, our members can even get a piece of that crunched up hood or dented quarter panel to hang on their wall!"

Fans can join Fan1st.com by purchasing a Diamond Monthly Membership for $9.99 a month or a Diamond Season Membership for $99.

For more information, please visit http://www.fan1st.com/

Source: Fan1st.com

FARO, Corvette Racing Rev Up for Le Mans

Corvette Racing Le Mans
FARO, Corvette Racing Rev Up for Le Mans. (PRNewsFoto/FARO Technologies, Inc.)

FARO Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:FARO) , the world market leader in portable computer-aided measurement arms and laser tracker sales, announced that it is increasing its role as technology sponsor for the GTS-champion Corvette Racing Team, which is preparing for the most grueling race of the season, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Corvette Racing, which is run by Pratt & Miller on behalf of General Motors, has used the FaroArm in the design, quality control and race- specification compliance of their vehicles, and will now also use FARO's Gage and Laser ScanArm. The Gage validates parts in their precision machine shop, while the ScanArm reverse-engineers components. This allows the company's engineers and technicians to accurately and efficiently produce everything from small, individual components and sub-assemblies to complete turnkey road and race cars.

"We use the FaroArm, Gage and ScanArm in order to design, construct and analyze 'virtual' components, CFD (computational fluid dynamics), systems, and complete cars - every facet of a project from initial conception to the finished product," Gary Pratt, Vice president of Pratt & Miller said. "The combination of our team's expertise and FARO's portable, computerized measuring technologies offers a total design solution, so we have unmatched time and cost efficiencies, accuracy, and performance."

Pratt & Miller has evolved from a small auto design/production company into highly successful engineering and racing operation. Achievements to date include multiple wins and championship titles at the most prestigious production-based racing events in America and Europe. In 2001, Pratt & Miller's Corvette Racing program earned major international success with an outright victory in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, followed by a one-two finish in the GTS class of the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Since then, Corvette Racing has typically won nine of 10 ALMS races every year since then, except in 2004. That year they were undefeated, as they are thus far in 2007.

"They've consistently beaten top level Ferraris, Maseratis, Aston Martins, Saleens, and Vipers," FARO Vice President Pete Edmonds said. "Pratt & Miller consistently demonstrates that it fields the best GT1 team in the world, and FARO is proud to be part of it."

A Pratt &Miller Race Team Corvette C6.R will be on display at FARO's upcoming tradeshows, including the Quality Show in Chicago this September.

For other appearances, please visit http://www.faro.com/Events

Source: FARO Technologies, Inc.

вторник, 22 мая 2007 г.

Milka Duno Qualifies for 91st Running of Indy 500

Venezuelan rookie makes history: first Latina, first time three women will race at Indy

Milka Duno becomes historic third female for Indianapolis 500, first Latina in sporting event. (PRNewsFoto/CITGO)

Milka Duno, the newest driver and third female in the IndyCar Series, will start the 2007 Indianapolis 500 in the middle of the 10th row from the 29th starting position. Duno's run for the spot held the attention of fans as they watched the IndyCar Series rookie from Venezuela come back from a crash that took place on Friday, May 11th at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"When I crashed, I felt so bad but everyone was very supportive including the team, the IndyCar Series, all the wonderful fans in Indianapolis, my sponsor CITGO and many of the other drivers," said Duno. "I am really grateful. We proved what a fantastic spirit there is in this team. Everyone worked so hard and we never stopped believing, and now we are in!"

During the first week of practice, Duno damaged the #23 CITGO Dallara Honda in Turn One of the oval racetrack. With the backup car not yet assembled, Duno was forced to sit out the first weekend of qualifications while the team worked hard to repair the primary car.

Further hindering her progress, when practice started again on Wednesday weather conditions were challenging with high winds. Therefore, the SAMAX Motorsport team elected to run only a few installation laps to make sure the car was completely repaired. On Thursday, Duno ran a flat running top speed of 213.460 miles per hour. On Friday, the driver improved her speed to 218.025 miles per hour.

The Miami resident was first in line when qualifying began at noon on Saturday, May 19 and ran four laps at an increased average speed of 219.228 miles per hour. From that moment, Duno and the SAMAX team would wait almost 30 hours until the conclusion of the infamous Sunday, May 20th Bump Day to confirm their position in the "Greatest Spectacle of Racing."

"This is the most amazing day of my racing career," said Duno. "I have never experienced so much pressure over the last week or so much tension than the last two days."

Peter Baron, SAMAX team owner, said "I'm so proud of Milka for exceeding everyone's expectations coming into Indianapolis. This has to be the hardest track for any driver and despite the setback in the first week, she really proved what a strong character she is to bounce back and qualify. I'm also really proud of the team for all their hard work this month...we came up with a plan to build Milka's speed and confidence...we stuck to the plan and it worked."

Sponsor CITGO added, "We are so very proud of Milka's determination to make history as the first Latina driver and third female in the Indianapolis 500 and to not let anything stand in her way," said Felix Rodriquez, president and CEO of CITGO Petroleum Corporation. "It's because of her focus on this level of excellence that she continues to be an amazing role model for Venezuelans, Americans and young women everywhere who seek to set goals and make their dreams come true."

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, marketer and transporter of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals, refined waxes, asphalt and other industrial products. The company has been a major sponsor of American racing for 21 years in such series as NASCAR, Grand-Am Racing and now the IndyCar Series. CITGO is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information on CITGO visit http://www.citgo.com/

Reality Racing - The Rookie Challenge Attracting National Attention from the Series Premier on SpikeTV

Reality Racing, Inc. (Pink Sheets: RRGI) announced today that the season opener of Reality Racing - The Rookie Challenge which aired its first episode on SpikeTV Saturday, May 19, 2007 at 9:00 am has attracted the attention of fans from around the country.

Kathy Itchkow, Reality Racing, Inc., Director of Marketing and Promotions said, "Our email boxes and voice messages are overflowing with positive feedback, orders for Reality Racing merchandise, requests to join our Member's Club and mailing list as well as people hoping to become contestants for the second season of Reality Racing - The Rookie Challenge. We've also set up a MySpace page and that has also gotten a lot of attention ... several thousand hits since Saturday's airing of the show."

Ms. Itchkow added, "The entire staff is working hard to respond to everyone and enjoying every minute of it. We love our show and are thrilled to hear from so many of the people around the country who are supporting our efforts. Thank you all and please be sure to tune in to SpikeTV this coming Saturday for the exciting second episode of Reality Racing - The Rookie challenge. Another secret password will be reveled and viewers will have an opportunity to enjoy free offers and a chance to win a walk-on part on the show."

Reality Racing - The Rookie Challenge is part of SpikeTV's high-revving Saturday morning "PowerBlock". Spike TV's telecast of Reality Racing - The Rookie Challenge reaches the United States and its territories, as well as Canada.

In response to the debut of company's reality television show, Reality Racing - The Rookie Challenge, Reality Racing, Inc. President, Lee F. Schaefer spoke to AudioStocks regarding his unique perspective on the television series from inception to realization. The complete audio interview with Mr. Schaefer can be found exclusively at http://www.audiostocks.com/

Reality Racing - The Rookie Challenge combines reality television and stockcar racing, featuring amateur contestants vying for the 'Bobby Allison Cup' in a thirteen-episode series of races and challenges. In addition to the Cup, the ultimate champion in this winner taking all show will receive a prize package that includes a contract with a professional race team, national exposure, a cash purse and a gold ring.

For more information, visit: http://www.realityracingtv.com/

Source: Reality Racing, Inc.

вторник, 15 мая 2007 г.

Lewis Hamilton Second, Fernando Alonso Third at F1 Barcelona

The start: For the third time this season, Fernando and LewIs had qualified second and fourth. At the start, Fernando attacked pole sitter Felipe Massa, but slid off the track at the second corner, regaining the circuit in fourth place. Lewis got past Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) and finished the first lap in second position.

The race: On lap nine Kimi Räikkönen slowed down and came into the pits to retire. Fernando now moved up to third position.

Lap 19: Fernando Alonso came in for his first pit stop (9,7sec) in the same lap as Massa. This allowed Lewis Hamilton to take the lead whilst Fernando was now running seventh.

Lap 22: Lewis Hamilton came in for his first pit stop (8.5sec) and resumed the battle in third position.

Lap 27: All drivers had finished their first round of pit stops. Lewis Hamilton was now second, 10sec ahead of Fernando Alonso.

Lap 42: Second stop for Felipe Massa, which allowed Lewis Hamilton to take the lead again. Until lap 47, he stayed in this position and then came in for his second scheduled stop (6,7sec). Fernando Alonso pitted one lap later and accelerated back into the race after an identical 6.7sec stop.

Lap 49: Lewis Hamilton was second, 10 sec behind Felipe Massa and 17 sec behind the third placed Alonso. After 65 laps, Lewis Hamilton took the chequered flag 6.7sec behind Felipe Massa. Fernando Alonso reduced the gap behind his team-mate by 5sec and wound up third 12sec behind the British driver.


Lewis Hamilton: “Things just keep getting better and I continue living my dream. In the early stages I was struggling to get heat into the tyres and had a bit of oversteer but things improved considerably a few laps into the race but the gap to Felipe was already too big. In the second stint I was a bit unlucky with the traffic but that happens sometimes. Overall I’m happy with the outcome of the race and I want to keep on scoring points. The team has worked really hard since Bahrain and whilst we didn’t win I still think we can take some satisfaction as we are leading both Championships.”

Fernando Alonso: “My chance for victory disappeared after the incident at the first corner. I got off the line OK at the start and was able to get a tow from Felipe and challenge into the first corner as I was already half a car length in front but we touched and I had to go on the gravel to avoid an accident. We were both lucky to finish the race. As a result by the second corner I was fourth. I also sustained a bit of damage to my car which upset the balance for the rest of the race. I lost additional time in the second stint as the tyres were not working as well but I still think the result would have stayed the same even if we had used the softer tyres.”

Ron Dennis, Team Principal: “Coming into the Monaco Grand Prix being first and second in the Drivers’ Championship and leading the Constructors’ battle is a good achievement for the entire team. Our pace was a little weak in the middle sector. Fernando’s race was hampered by having damaged his deflector during his efforts to get past Massa in the first corner. Another solid performance from Lewis. As you would expect we will continue to push hard in our development programme to put the team in the best possible position to win as many of the remaining races as possible.”

Norbert Haug, Vice-President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “It’s great that Lewis and Fernando are at the top of the list in the Drivers’ Championship after the fourth race here in Barcelona. Well done and thank you to all the team members for leading the Constructors’ rankings too. Fernando showed a great and committed manoeuvre in the first corner that unfortunately didn’t pay off. Lewis again did a great job – we will increase our performance further. We are now looking forward to the next race in Monaco in two weeks time.”

Source: DaimlerChrysler

Nissan Named Official Vehicle of New Off-Road Racing Series

Nissan Trucks Take Center Stage of Lucas Oil World Series of Off-Road Racing

Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) today announced that Nissan will be the Official Vehicle of the newly-formed Lucas Oil World Series of Off-Road Racing (WSORR). Nissan Motorsports is concentrating their off-road racing efforts on this challenging series, not only as the Official Vehicle of the series, but also offering contingency awards to Nissan race truck drivers.

As Official Vehicle of WSORR, Nissan trucks will serve as official WSORR pace vehicles. Additionally, Nissan will have an extensive vehicle display and conduct some special events during WSORR weekends.

“Nissan is excited to be associated with WSORR as the Official Vehicle of this new series,” said Nissan Motorsports Marketing and Operations Senior Manager Ron Stukenberg. “Nissan Motorsports has long used competition to improve its vehicles, evident by the rugged Frontier and Titan trucks, as well as our entire adventure-ready SUV lineup. WSORR is an ideal proving ground for Nissan trucks and Nissan Motorsports components.”

Based in the Midwest of the United States, WSORR features high performance, professional truck racing and entry level off-road classes competing at some of the toughest off-road courses in the world.

“WSORR is honored to have Nissan as its official vehicle for our inaugural season,” said WSORR President and General Manager Doug Davis. “WSORR will attract thousands of action-hungry fans seeking to see high-tech vehicles pushed to their limits, and there’s no doubt that Nissan vehicles will continue the success honed over decades of off-road competition around the world.

Nissan also includes WSORR in its extensive 2007 Motorsports Contingency Awards Program, with $1,000 to $2,000 available to registered Nissan drivers during the racing season, with up to $5,000 available for driver championship winners. The PRO 2WD pickup truck class (Nissan Titan) and the PRO Light Pickup class (Nissan Frontier).
“This 2007 WSORR season will be exciting for everyone – the competitors, the fans, and Nissan,” said Stukenberg. “We’re ready for the first event this May.”

WSORR 2007 Schedule
• May 19-20, 2007 - Rounds I and II, Steele County Fairgrounds, Owatonna, Minn.
• June 9-10, 2007 - Rounds III and IV, I-96 Speedway, Lake Odessa, Mich.
• June 23-24, 2007 - Rounds V and VI, Forest County Potawatomi Brush Run Races, Crandon Raceway, Crandon, Wisc.
• July 14-15, 2007 - Rounds VII and VIII, Bark River International Raceway, Bark River, Mich.
• August 11-12, 2007 - Rounds IX and X, Bark River International Raceway, Bark River, Mich.
• August 31-September 2, 2007 - Rounds XI and XII, BorgWarner World Championship Off-Road Races, Crandon Raceway, Crandon, Wisc.
• September 22-23, 2007 - Rounds XIII and XIV, Lucas Oil Speedway, Wheatland, Mo

About the Lucas Oil World Series of Off Road Racing (WSORR)

The Lucas Oil World Series of Off-Road Racing is the newest short course off-road racing sanctioning body in the United States. Based in the Midwest, WSORR features a high speed, high impact off-road racing experience for racers and fans at key tracks in Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. All races will be shown on the SPEED Channel during prime time viewing hours.

About Nissan Motorsports

Nissan has a long heritage of Motorsports success, both off-road and on the track. Nissan’s Contingency Awards Program offers more than $200,000 in available awards to qualifying Nissan drivers in 2007, including those competing in Lucas Oil World Series of Off-Road Racing (WSORR), Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), Grand Am KONI Challenge Series, Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series, Championship Off-Road Racing (CORR), NOPI Drag Racing Association (NDRA) and the Formula Drift Championship.

Nissan Motorsports offers a comprehensive 110-page parts catalog, available through Nissan Motorsports.

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Source: Nissan Motorsports

пятница, 11 мая 2007 г.

Henkel Boosting Reliability, Speed in Constructing the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-22 Formula One Car

Henkel Helps Drive Innovation in Grand Prix Racing

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-22 F1
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes storms ahead in the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship season with a new line-up of drivers and a new car - constructed with the help of a long-standing partner, Henkel. Now in more than 300 different applications covering diverse and time-critical engineering constraints, Henkel products and technologies help drive the continuing evolution and innovation of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-22.

Heading into Fernando Alonso's home turf and holding two of the top spots in a three-way tie for the 2007 Drivers' Championship, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is emerging as one of the teams to beat in 2007. Infused with comprehensive design modifications from more than a year of R&D and wind-tunnel testing, the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-22 is clocking top lap times, delivering consistent peak performance and leading the field in the race for this year's Constructors' Championship. Innovative solutions from Henkel play an invisible yet important part in this.

As an Official Supplier to Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, Henkel provides increasingly more products and technologies used to construct the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-22, helping the team to implement design modifications quickly and reliably. Throughout a 13-year association with the team, the number of different applications of Henkel products on the car has grown from around 50 to more than 300 today.

As part of a continuous testing program, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes engineers have discovered the optimal "grades" of innovative Henkel brand products for new applications -- such as Loctite(R) 246, an adhesive that is specially sourced from the USA and currently used on the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-22 in twelve distinct applications on a variety of 'exotic' materials used in building the components of the car -- from the brake pads, to the driveshaft, to the rear wing assembly. After thorough testing specified by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes engineers and carried out last year by engineers at Henkel in the UK, Loctite(R) 246 has helped the team solve a long-standing assembly challenge: securing components with an adhesive that is strong enough to withstand extreme conditions yet still allows for easy disassembly and re- use of components. Created by Henkel's U.S.-based R&D team, Loctite(R) 246 exhibits superior resistance to high temperatures despite its medium-grade strength. The advantage is that engineers can replace parts easily using standard hand tools during a race weekend or at test sessions -- without having to scrap the parts after removal and with the assurance that the replacements will hold fast for the duration of the race.

"In Formula One racing, change is a constant and innovation is a necessity," said Martin Whitmarsh, CEO, Formula One, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. "In such a fast-paced and unpredictable sport, it is all the more important to have reliability, flexibility and speed in engineering processes. Henkel provides Vodafone McLaren Mercedes with proven, innovative products and technologies that we can depend on to make modifications quickly and flexibly - whether in the race bays at the McLaren Technology Centre or at the circuit just hours before the car takes to the track."

Speed, agility and reliability are important not only on the track. The perfect mix of aerodynamic performance for the straights and optimal downforce for agile and reliable cornering demands ongoing innovation. As up to 80 percent of a Formula One car's grip is achieved by aerodynamic downforce, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes engineers continuously adapt the car's bodywork to the unique characteristics of each track. This can include re-designing molded parts such as the front and rear wings to reduce drag on circuits with long straights or making modifications to improve downforce and grip for tracks marked by a mix of high and low-speed corners, such as Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya.

The Fast-Track and True Course of Ongoing Innovation

Henkel products and technologies play a key role in the team's continual process of innovation to gain the competitive edge in aerodynamics. In wind- tunnel testing, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes engineers determine optimal aerodynamic settings using 60 percent scale models of the MP4-22, created with the help of the Henkel product line used in creating the racecar. For example, Loctite(R) 420 instant adhesive is used to bond plastic parts to the model's rear wing. This low viscosity adhesive quickly "wicks" between the parts, leaving no excess residue that would affect the airflow during testing, enabling engineers to draw reliable results.

Design modifications resulting from wind-tunnel tests are then quickly executed on the car's bodywork moldings, using Henkel's Syncore(R) brand epoxies, which add stiffness to parts and only minimally increase weight. Henkel's Hysol(R) EA9686 film adhesive is used in the "lay-up" of materials, in which patterns are cut to size to form specific parts. This Henkel product is chosen for its excellent reliability and resistance to the extreme conditions on the racetrack.

The newly modified car then takes to the track for testing before race day. Performance analysis of pre-race test sessions are passed on to the design team at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, England. If further modifications are necessary, engineers at the center quickly mold parts to the new aerodynamic specifications -- and ship them to the circuit in time for the race. Through such continual modifications, by the end of any given race season, the car's components can have changed by as much as 75 percent compared to those in the car that started the year.

"Like Henkel's ongoing commitment to leading manufacturers in diverse industries around the world, our engagement with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is more than a one-off contribution," said Alois Linder, Executive Vice President, Adhesives Technologies, Henkel. "This team effort enables us to continually prove and refine the reliability and performance of Henkel products in a racing sport driven by continual change. It also helps us feed the insights gained into new product development and to further innovate the way we support companies of all industries with state-of-the art products, technologies and manufacturing processes."

About McLaren

McLaren Racing, the company behind the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team, was formed in September 1980 as a result of a merger between Team McLaren and Project Four, a British company owned by Ron Dennis, now Chairman and CEO of the McLaren Group. McLaren has won eleven Formula One Drivers' Championships and eight Formula One Constructors' Championships including the 1998 and 1999 Drivers' World Championship. McLaren has competed in Formula One since 1966 and has proven to be one of the most successful Formula One teams of all time with 149 Grand Prix wins. To date, McLaren has raced in 617 Grand Prix races.

For more information, go to http://www.mclaren.com/

Henkel - A Driving Force in the Racing World

Around the world, Henkel has an extensive commitment to motorsports. In 2004, the Henkel logo appeared for the first time on the rear-wing of the Team McLaren Mercedes race cars, thereby continuing the technical association with the team, which began in 1995 through the Loctite(R) brand. As Official Supplier, Henkel provides a wide variety of innovative solutions to the team. More than 300 different applications of Henkel products have been incorporated into the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-22 for its challenge in the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship. For the 16-day, 8,000-kilometer 2007 Dakar Raid through grueling desert terrain, Henkel provided each racing team with an essential mechanical emergency kit containing a wide range of adhesives, sealants, maintenance products, cleaners and bonding tapes.

Henkel, a Fortune Global 500 company, operates in three business areas: Home Care; Personal care; and Adhesives Technologies, which serves the transportation, electronics, aerospace, metal, durable goods, consumer goods, maintenance and repair and packaging industries, and offers a broad range of products for the craftsman and consumer. With brands and technologies, Henkel makes people's lives easier, better, and more beautiful. More than 50,000 employees work for Henkel worldwide. People in 125 countries around the world trust in brands and technologies from Henkel -- "A Brand like a Friend."

Internet: http://www.henkelna.com/

Source: Henkel

Super GT, Le Mans Victories in Japan and Spain Mark Stunning Weekend for Ricardo Transmissions

Ricardo high performance transmissions were used successfully last weekend by the winning teams in the Fuji Super GT 500km and Valencia Le Mans series 1000km races, underscoring the impressive reliability and performance of these advanced competition systems

The Autobacs Super GT series is the premier racing formula of Japan and is hotly contested by leading manufacturer teams including Nissan, Honda and Toyota. The 500km round three of the 2007 Autobacs Super GT series was held at the Fuji Speedway on May 5. This was the first race at which all five Nissan GT500 cars of the Nismo team have been fitted with their new Ricardo transmission, which is in its first year of use. The transmission's technology is based upon Ricardo's enviable record of sportscar racing and is the first time this has been demonstrated in the premier Super GT series. Richard Lyons and Satoshi Motoyama took first place, seconds ahead of teammates Michael Krumm and Tsugio Matsuda.

While Ricardo transmissions were contributing to race winning success in Japan, they were doing so in Europe, too. Competing in the Valencia Le Mans Series 1000km race on May 6, the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP diesel of Pedro Lamy and Stephane Sarrazin took first place. This follows the victory three weeks previously at Monza for teammates Nicolas Minassian and Marc Gene in their identical car. The Peugeot 908 HDi FAP has a bespoke gearbox designed by Ricardo to suit the needs of its V12 diesel engine, capable of delivering substantial torque and power. Ricardo was uniquely experienced to design and develop this advanced transmission, having been responsible for the transmissions which powered Audi to five Le Mans 24 hour victories in the past seven years.

"We congratulate the Nismo and Peugeot teams on last weekend's successes," said Mark Barge, Ricardo director of high performance transmission systems, "and look forward to supporting them within these two competitive race series as the season progresses."

Ricardo plc: With technical centers in the UK, USA, Germany and the Czech Republic, and offices in Shanghai and Tokyo, Ricardo is a leading independent technology provider and strategic consultant to the world's automotive industries. The company's engineering expertise ranges from vehicle systems integration, controls, electronics and software development, to the latest driveline and transmission systems and gasoline, diesel, hybrid and fuel cell powertrain technologies. Its customers include the world's major vehicle, engine and transmission manufacturers, tier 1 suppliers and leading motorsport teams. Ricardo is committed to excellence and industry leadership in people, technology and knowledge; approximately 70 percent of its employees are highly qualified multi-disciplined professional engineers and technicians. A public company, Ricardo plc posted sales of 173 million pounds in financial year 2006 and is a constituent of the FTSE techMark 100 index -- a group of innovative technology companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Source: Ricardo

NASCAR, Starbridge Media Group Release Premier Issue of NASCAR Comics Branded Publication, "NASCAR Heroes"

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and Starbridge Media Group, Inc., announced today the release of the premier issue of the NASCAR Comics brand initiative under the banner of the NASCAR Library Collection.

Working in conjunction with NASCAR, McLean, VA-based Starbridge Media Group has published the first of a series of NASCAR comic books with unique concepts, original characters and varied storylines. The books, which are branded NASCAR Comics, appeal to NASCAR's large and diverse fan base as well as traditional independent comic book consumers. The first issue, titled "NASCAR Heroes," is available nationwide via Books-a-Million stores, independent comic shops, track-side merchandisers, other fine retailers, online.

Through an online balloting contest at http://www.racingone.com/ during February and March, fans had the opportunity to vote for the design and look of the comic book's three main characters. In the first-ever release of "NASCAR Heroes," fans can see the resulting appearances of rookie Jimmy Dash, sinister Jack Diesel, hard-charging Astor Shockington, and a host of other characters.

"We continue to be excited about creating original publishing content and promotions for NASCAR's expansive fan base," said Mark Dyer, NASCAR's vice president of licensing and consumer products. "Having Starbridge Media Group as our publishing partner for the NASCAR Comics initiative enhances NASCAR's opportunity to serve this space and meet increased demand from our fans for new material. Starbridge's background in both sports media and animation production makes them a compelling partner for this new line of publications."

The first issue of "NASCAR Heroes" sets the stage for the story of lowly Team Flatstock and its bumbling crew as it seeks to challenge the hard- charging team of the legendary Jack Diesel. The second and third issues in the series are scheduled for July and September releases, respectively.

"We are excited to release the premier issue of the NASCAR Comics brand in conjunction with the NASCAR Library Collection," said Ken Hutman, president of Starbridge Media Group. "We look forward to publishing compelling and dynamic comic books that will appeal to the core values of NASCAR and its fans for many years."

Source: Starbridge Media Group, Inc.

среда, 9 мая 2007 г.

ING Explains F1's Inner Secrets #4: Formula One Isn't All That Complicated

The Team With the Fastest Car Usually Wins

True to a point... but what are the key elements when it comes to creating a car that gives one team an edge over its adversaries? There is no single magic ingredient -- were that the case, every team would buy it. Rather, it's a question of creating an effective team unit, where egos are kept in check and everybody, from those on the factory floor to those behind the wheel, collaborates effectively in pursuit of a common goal.

Unlike some of his peers, Renault F1 Team managing director Flavio Briatore did not cut his teeth on motorsport's nursery slopes -- while others were fiddling with gear ratios he was developing acute business skills in the retail trade and admits he can't necessarily tell the difference between an oil filter and a coffee filter. He does, however, understand how to assemble a winning team.

In the mid-1990s he was at the helm as Benetton evolved from a Formula One front-runner into a world title winner. And he has been the driving force since Renault bought out the Benetton team in 2001, prior to making a full- time F1 return the following season. Under Briatore, Renault began winning races in 2003 and captured back-to-back double world titles in 2005 and 2006.

"If you come in from the outside, you see things other people don't," he says. "A Formula One team is like any other company. You need the right structure and the right product. That product is the car and the engine, but I don't think the product makes any difference if you are managing the company well. Success is about people and I think we are a human team. We do a job but we are not pretentious.

"There is not one person that makes the company do well, or do badly. A team has a heart and when those people understand their objective, and they are in the right structure, then they work well. A driver is the last act in the play, because he interprets and delivers everybody else's work on the track."

The effectiveness of Briatore's methods can be gauged from the fact that, in an industry where money supposedly buys success, Renault is thought to lie only fifth in the spending stakes.

"Efficiency is the key," says Briatore. "We know you have to prioritise and make the right decisions. If you have an unlimited budget, it can be like going into a restaurant where the menu is fantastic. So you have a bit of that, of bit of this, and end up with nothing. The way we work is like going shopping. You know what you want for dinner, so you buy the ingredients and get the result you want. You have made decisions and your effort is efficient.

"We are a good investment for sponsors: we spend less, which means we ask for less money than our competitors -- but we are winning. In any business, that relationship makes sense."

This F1 insight is provided by ING, the leading global provider of banking, insurance and asset management services.

ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, insurance and asset management to over 60 million private, corporate and institutional clients in 50 countries. With a diverse workforce of over 120,000 people, ING comprises a broad spectrum of prominent companies that increasingly serve their clients under the ING brand.

Source: ING

Chicago Board of Trade Highlights Ethanol, Indianapolis 500 on May 14

100 percent fuel-grade ethanol powers 91st running of historic race

The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) will host Team Ethanol Driver Jeff Simmons and his 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol car in a tribute to the “Greening of Racing” and a salute to the IndyCar® Series — a racing series that features one of the premier sporting events in the world, the Indianapolis 500 — for its transition to 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol in 2007. Jeff Simmons will open the event by driving up in an IndyCar vehicle on CBOT Plaza.

Charlie Carey, Chairman, Chicago Board of Trade
Chris Malo, Executive Vice-President, Marketing and Business Development, CBOT
Terry Angstadt, President IndyCar Series
Tom Slunecka, Exec. Dir., Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC)
Jeff Simmons, #17 Team Ethanol Driver
Thomas C. Dorr, Under Secretary for Rural Development
Patrick Quinn, Illinois Lt. Governor

Monday, May 14, 2007
8:30 a.m. Central Time

Chicago Board of Trade
CBOT Plaza, outside of the Exchange on the East side of the building
141 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604-2994

Source: EPIC

вторник, 8 мая 2007 г.


Sweeps gives tradespeople the opportunity to win a once-in-a-lifetime VIP vacation adventure

EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass., May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- LENOX(R), a leading manufacturer of premium power tool accessories, torches, solder and band saw blades, is offering professional tradespeople in the United States and Canada the opportunity to win big in the EXTRA-MILE EXPERIENCE Sweepstakes with Richard Childress Racing driver Jeff Burton(TM).

One lucky grand prize winner will select one of three exciting, once-in-a-lifetime experiences for him/herself and up to three guests.

They include:

* The All-Star Challenge Race Experience. LENOX rolls out the red carpet for NASCAR fans, giving them a helicopter ride to and VIP suite race passes for the All-Star race in Charlotte, N.C. The winner will be an Honorary Pit Crew Member for the day, and post-race he and his guests will enjoy 5 nights and 6 days at a private cottage on the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C., featuring gourmet meals prepared by a private chef.
* The Ultimate Heli-Fishing Trip. The ultimate in fishing meets the ultimate in luxury. Winner and guests get whisked off in a private helicopter for some of the world's best salmon fishing on Nimmo Bay, British Columbia. They'll stay for 7 days and 6 nights, experiencing the finest accommodations at the world famous Wickaninnish Inn to enjoy the Pacific Northwest's renowned cuisine and sights.
* A Baja Off-Road Adventure. Winners will thrill to the sand, surf and spa experience in this ultimate adventure. After taking command of the desert in a Hummer and catching a trophy or two on a private deep-sea big-game fishing trip, winners will spend 7 days and 6 nights enjoying the ocean views at the luxurious Westin Resort and Spa in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

To go the extra mile, all packages offer the winner and his guests a VIP tour of Richard Childress Racing, including a private lunch with world-class NASCAR driver Jeff Burton, along with $10,000 cash.

"This sweepstakes gives LENOX the opportunity to share the excitement of its NASCAR sponsorship with customers and those in the trades," said Rich Mathews, vice president of marketing for LENOX. "Some lucky winner will have the ultimate LENOX EXTRA-MILE EXPERIENCE, one that will last far longer than the trip itself. And we're happy to be able to give that experience to our customers through this sweepstakes, but more importantly, every day through our products and services."

LENOX will be the primary sponsor of Burton's No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet in two races during the 2007 NASCAR Cup season - May 5 at Richmond International Raceway and July 1 at New Hampshire International Speedway. In addition, LENOX will serve as an associate sponsor of Burton's No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet throughout the rest of the NASCAR Cup season.

Burton, one of the most respected drivers in NASCAR, is in his 14th full season of NASCAR Cup competition. The 39-year-old father of two entered 2007 with 18 career triumphs. He has finished in the top five of the championship standings four times and in the top 10 on two other occasions. He won at Dover International Speedway last season on his way to a seventh-place result in NASCAR's "Chase for the Championship."

Entry forms for the LENOX EXTRA-MILE EXPERIENCE Sweepstakes can be found at participating distributors and dealers nationwide. The sweepstakes is open to tradespeople 18 and over in the United States and Canada and runs from May 1, 2007 to November 30, 2007.

For full rules, visit www.lenoxextramile.com


In 1915, a group of 10 employees began making hacksaw blades under the trade name LENOX. Today, the company employs more than 600 people and manufactures and markets power tool accessories, hand tools, torches, solder and band saw blades and sawing fluids in more than 70 countries around the world. LENOX is a Newell Rubbermaid company.

For more information, contact LENOX at 1-800-628-8810 or visit www.LENOXsaw.com

About Richard Childress Racing

Richard Childress racing (www.rcrracing.com) has earned more than 150 victories and 10 NASCAR championships, including six in the NEXTEL Cup Series with the legendary Dale Earnhardt. It was the first organization to win championships in the NEXTEL Cup Series, Busch Series and Truck Series. Its 2007 NEXTEL Cup Series lineup includes Clint Bowyer (No. 07 Jack Daniel's), Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Shell) and Jeff Burton (No. 31 Cingular Wireless). Its Busch Series lineup includes Clint Bowyer (No. 2 BB&T), Harvick and Timothy Peters (No. 21 AutoZone) and Burton and Scott Wimmer (No. 29 Holiday Inn).

Source: LENOX
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