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Monday, June 23, 2008

IndyCar aiming to open up the shop?

An interesting array of manufacturers are set to sit down with IndyCar officials to discuss the future of power for the series.

Audi, BMW, Mazda, General Motors, Honda, Ilmor and Cosworth are expected to attend the roundtable session put together by former Ford technical chief Neil Ressler, SpeedTV.com’s Robin Miller reports.

“Maybe we'll be able to arrive at a consensus to move forward and be aligned with more than one manufacturer,” Speed reports Fred Nation, Indianapolis Motor Speedway executive vice president of communications, said.

Honda has been the sole engine supplier since 2006. GM, Nissan and Toyota have all participated at some point since the CART/IRL split. Illmor has long been involved in U.S. open wheel racing, as has Cosworth, which most recently powered Champ Car in its final years.

Enticing other engine manufacturers to join the series is a step in the right direction. In combination with more road and street courses, IndyCar can get back to developing the talent of potential F1 hopefuls, perhaps even the next decent American F1 driver. Let's hope they do something about those bathtubs they run around in at the same time.

Hamilton shows his stiff upper lip

Lewis Hamilton won’t give up the ship, despite two penalty-filled races which have seen him lose ground in the drivers championship.

Hamilton goes into his home race in desperate need of points to keep his challenge afloat.

“I absolutely 100 per cent aim on bouncing back there (Silverstone). Regardless of what's written in the papers I will go back to the workshop, push with the team, focus on the next race and hit 'em hard,” Fox reports the Briton said. “Racing is racing. I'm going to keep battling. I don't care how far I am behind. Kimi (Raikkonen) was 17 points behind with two races to go (last year) and he still won it. If I'm 20 points behind I don't care, I will still come back.”

Force India to get rad

Autosport reports Force India are set to test radical upgrades to the car ahead of the British Grand Prix.

Mike Gascoyne told autosport.com new bodywork, sidepods, diffuser, front wing, engine cover, front inerter damper and suspension modifications are to be tested on the VJM01.

Force India is the only active team on the grid yet to score points this season.

Donington in talks to replace Silverstone

Autoweek.com reports Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed that Donington Park could replace Silverstone as the home of the British Grand Prix in 2010 at the expiration of the current contract with the British Racing Drivers' Club.

“We're discussing the possibility of reaching an agreement with Donington [because] we're trying to save the British Grand Prix, and we want it to be staged at a venue which befits an event of its stature," Autoweek reports Ecclestone told The Times. "I've been in negotiations for a long time, and I don't know whether we're going to do a deal with [either] Donington or Silverstone. Donington have said they're going to build everything we want. Have they got the money? Only time will tell. But I think there's more chance of Donington having the money than the BRDC."

Think Bernie would relish the chance to tell the BRDC where to get off? Oh, yeah.

GPDA won’t strike at Silverstone

The Grand Prix Drivers Association has moved to deny reports in the media it could strike at the British Grand Prix in protest of the rising costs of superlicense fees.

In January, the FIA raised the fees €10,000 ($15,500) plus €2,000 ($3,100) for each World Championship point from €1,725 ($2,700) in 2007 plus €450 ($700) per point.

"We're quite surprised by all the news about going on strike [at Silverstone] and that sort of thing, because it isn't something that has come from any driver," Autoweek reports GPDA chairman Pedro de la Rosa said. "We've never discussed going on strike. It's just an ongoing issue with the superlicence fee that we're discussing with the FIA, and that's about it."

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