2013 Daytona 500

January 30, 2013 by  
Filed under events

Covering a distance of 500 miles, the Daytona is a epic endurance race carrying the largest purse on the NASCAR calendar. This will be the 55th running of the Daytona 500. For more information visit www.nascar.com

Date: 24 February 2013
Venue: Daytona International Speedway
City: Daytona Beach
State: Florida
Country: United States

India Prepares for Inaugural F1 Grand Prix

September 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Features

As India prepares to host the inaugural Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix taking place on 28-30 October 2011, President and CEO of Formula One Management, Bernie Ecclestone, has been reported as saying that F1 authorities are happy with the progress at the newly constructed Buddh circuit located outside New Delhi. This comment came after the World Motor Sports Council met on Friday prior to the Singapore Grand Prix, which was won by Sebastian Vettel, with Jenson Button taking second place, and Mark Webber in third.

The 5.137-kilometer Buddh circuit on the outskirts of New Delhi’s Noida suburb has been designed by German engineer and auto racer, Hermann Tilke, with extensive input from representatives of the Formula One teams that will be competing in the much-anticipated event. The track has a number of gradient changes and other interesting and challenging features, and is considered to be on a par with other Formula One venues.

Race organizers, Jaypee Sports International, have revealed that American pop star Lady Gaga will be performing at the concert scheduled to take place after the race on 30 October, and US heavy-metal band Metallica will take to the stage in the F1 Rocks concert on 28 October in nearby Gurgaon. A host of other entertainment events will take place throughout the three-day Formula One weekend.

In the run-up to the Indian Formula 1 Grand Prix, auto racing fans are being offered the opportunity to view Formula 1 cars up close. One of the Red Bull Racing F1 cars has been spotted on the streets of Noida, while Ferrari unveiled their F1 car at a shopping center in Saket. It is expected that a number of F1 racing teams will be appearing at special events being staged to generate interest in the race. Judging by the enthusiasm with which each new development is greeted, local racing fans are more than ready to support India’s entry into this popular high-speed sport.

Spectators traveling to India for the event should be sure to set some time aside to explore both new and old Delhi. As the ancient city blends with the new, this popular tourist destination in India boasts historic landmarks, fascinating history and colorful culture.

A Tale of Two Motorsports: Comparing NASCAR and Formula One

February 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Features

Comparing NASCAR and F1 racing is a popular topic on the Internet. NASCAR is simple. All left turning in bulky, simple cars. F1 is complex. Left and right turning in sleek, technologically sophisticated cars. NASCAR is rough and tumble. Bumping and jostling add to the excitement. F1 is refined and elegant. Contact between cars spoils the precise aerodynamics and handling. As for the drivers, it is said that the best race in F1 and the rest race elsewhere. The comparisons by bloggers and racing analysts, no matter how erroneous, go on and on.

As shown in the table below, there are clear physical differences between the two motorsports. Less clear is whether there exists performance differences – that is, differences tied to the drivers’ and their teams’ performance – between the two sports. To address this question, we look back at the results from the 2009 NASCAR and F1 seasons.

Physical Differences: NASCAR and F1 Racing in 2009

Characteristic NASCAR F1
Number of Drivers 43 20
Number of Races 36 17
Design of Cars front-engine, “stock” car, heavy (3,300 lbs) mid-engine, open-wheel, light (1,322 lbs)
Technological Sophistication of Cars relatively simple mechanical engineering advanced electrical and mechanical engineering
Racing Tracks and Circuits oval-shaped speedways circuits and road courses
Width of Tracks and Circuits relatively wide, side-by-side racing is common relatively narrow, side-by-side racing is rare
Length of Tracks and Circuits relatively short (0.53 mi to 2.60 mi) relatively long (2.08 mi to 4.35 mi)
Location of Races 23 locations in USA 17 countries in Asia, Australia, Europe, South America
Turning all left turns 34 of 36 races left and right turning
Overtaking and Lead Changes relatively common relatively rare
Final Practice occurs after qualifying occurs before qualifying
Ability to race in wet weather cannot race in rain under any circumstances can race in rain with tires designed for this purpose

What is the relationship between a driver’s performance during the final practice before a race and his finish position?

Former NBA star Allen Iverson’s rant aside (“We’re not talking about the game, we’re talking about practice!”), coaches and sports psychologists say that athletes should practice like they play. The same is true for the 43 drivers who normally start a NASCAR race. An analysis of these drivers’ ranking in final practice and their finish positions throughout the 2009 season revealed statistically meaningful correlations or relationships between their practice performance and their finish positions in 81% of the races. The better someone performed in practice, the better his finish position. This was not the case for the 20 drivers who make up the starting field of an F1 grand prix. These drivers’ performances during final practice and their finish positions were related in only 41% of the grands prix. Interestingly, there was an even less reliable relationship between a driver’s practice performance and finish position if the results from only the top 20 points-leading NASCAR drivers before a race are considered. For these drivers, practice performance and finish position were related in only 22% of the races.

What is the relationship between a driver’s performance during qualifying (and thus his position at the start of a race) and his finish position?

“Qualifying is key” is a phrase that is heard often by drivers, crew chiefs, and racing analysts. The better a driver performs in qualifying, the closer to the front of the field he will start a race. For the 43-driver starting field of a NASCAR race, a statistically meaningful relationship between their performances in qualifying and their finish positions occurred in 75% of the races. For F1 drivers, the correlation between qualifying position and finish position was even stronger and occurred more often. But, for the top 20 points-leading drivers in NASCAR, a meaningful correlation between qualifying performance and finish position was uncommon.

What is the relationship between a driver’s points-standing (a measure of his performance in previous races) and his finish position?

Historians remind us often that the past is the best predictor of the future. This appears to be true for the 43 drivers who start NASCAR races. The higher a driver’s position in the points standings, the better his finish position. In contrast, a statistically meaningful correlation between F1 drivers’ performance in previous grands prix and their finish positions occurred much less often, and even less often for the top 20 points-leaders in NASCAR.

What is a more reliable predictor of a driver’s finish position: His performance during a practice, his performance during qualifying, his overall success prior to a race or a combination of these variables?

Overall, the best predictor of a NASCAR driver’s finish position was his points-standing. For F1 drivers, the best predictor of their finish position was their performance during qualifying and thus their position at the start of a grand prix. For the top 20 points-leaders in NASCAR, there were no reliable predictors across the races held in 2009.

Based on the analyses of the 2009 NASCAR and F1 racing seasons, we can now build a new table that summarizes performance differences in these two motorsports. Surprising, perhaps, is that the most noticeable differences were not between NASCAR and F1 drivers, but between the best NASCAR drivers and everyone else.

Performance Differences: NASCAR and F1 in 2009

Characteristic NASCAR F1 NASCAR (Top 20)
Finish position generally correlated with practice performance Yes, 81% of races No, 41% of grands prix No, 22% of races
Finish position generally correlated with qualifying performance/starting position Yes, 75% of races Yes, 82% of grands prix No, 28% of races
Finish position generally correlated with overall success in season Yes, 86% of races Somewhat, 59% of grands prix No, 19% of races
Best overall predictor(s) of finish position Points-standing before a race Qualifying performance (starting position) None of the performance variables studied

Article written by Kathleen Silva and Francisco Silva

Silverstone Classic 2010

July 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Features

Promoted as the world’s biggest classic racing festival, the Silverstone Classic is set to take place on 23-25 July 2010 at the renowned Silverstone Circuit between the Northamptonshire villages of Whittlebury and Silverstone in England. Legendary British racing driver, Sir Stirling Craufurd Moss, OBE, will be one of the guests of honor at this three-day celebration of auto racing, which includes activities and entertainment to suit the entire family.

Having recently hosted the Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix as part of the 2010 Formula 1 Championship series of events, the Silverstone Circuit will play host to a series of events representing five decades of auto racing heritage during the festivities. More than 800 cars will make an appearance on the track for the 22 race program. These finely-tuned machines will include Grand Prix classics, sports, saloon, GT and single-seater cars, some going back to the 1930s. Motorbikes, including the legendary Harley-Davidson, will also feature on the weekend’s action-packed program.

Event director, Nick Wigley, noted that spectators can expect an unrivalled quality of racing as 60 years of Formula One Championships are celebrated and the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars is launched. This sixty-minute event features early 60s racers with two of the rarest Aston Martins among the competitors. The program also includes two twenty-minute events for HGPCA Pre-61 Front Engine GP Cars and two twenty-minute HGPCA Pre-66 Rear Engine Cars, as well as two Formula Junior events featuring cars from the 60s. These trips down memory lane are a vivid reminder of just how far, and how fast, the sport of auto racing has progressed.

Friday evening’s highlight on the racetrack features radio, TV, music and entertainment celebrities competing for the checkered flag in a fund-raising effort for the Bobby Moore Foundation. Among the celebrities driving the fleet of Fiat 500 Abarths will be BBC Radio 2 presenters Richard Allinson and Johnnie Walker, celebrity chefs Heston Blumenthal and James Martin, and dancer Brendan Cole.

Entertainment for the weekend includes performances by 60s and 70s British bands Dr Feelgood and the Yardbirds, with the Rick Parfitt Junior Band and Stars from the X Factor taking to the stage on Saturday. Certainly, organizers are going to great lengths to ensure a family-fun weekend for auto racing enthusiasts of all ages.

2010 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix

December 17, 2009 by  
Filed under events

The Formula 1 season kicks off in Bahrain. The race consists of 57 laps around a 5.412 km circuit, totaling 308.238 km. Practice sessions begin on Friday 12 March, with qualifying taking place on Saturday afternoon. Bahrain Grand Prix will then begin at 15h00 on Sunday 14 March 2010.

Date: 14 March 2010
Venue: Bahrain International Circuit
City: Sakhir
Country: Bahrain

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