misano_supersic
The 4.180-kilometer Misano World Circuit in Santamonica, Italy was completed in 1972 and has been host to Moto GP's San Marino Grand Prix since 2007. But beginning this month, the track will now be known as the Misano Simoncelli World Circuit, named after the late Italian Moto GP rider Marco Simoncelli.
 
Simoncelli was born and raised in Cattolica on the Adriatic coast of Italy, which is situated less than eight kilometers from the Misano World Circuit. Sadly, the young 24-year old lost his life in a tragic accident at the Malaysian Moto GP last October 23, 2011. The fallen Italian rider might not have passed away in Misano, but he considered the circuit as his home track. Thus, the circuit's Board of Directors voted unanimously to change the track's name as a tribute to Simoncelli.
 
total_redbull1Once again, Total demonstrates its dominance in motorsports as the proud parter of two of the world's most successful racing teams. Even before the 2011 Formula 1 and World Rally Championship (WRC) season has ended, both the Red Bull Racing Team and Citroën Total World Rally Team have already won the constructor's title. On top of those victories, Sebastian Vettel took home his second Formula 1 driver's world championship with four races to spare, while seven-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb is on his way to an eighth title with only one round left in this year's calendar.
Words by Jose Carlo R. Sapera | Photos courtesy of Mercedes-Benz
 
hakkinen_gt3
After a four-year absence in motorsports, Double Formula One World Champion and Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) driver Mika Hakkinen is set to return behind the wheel as a guest driver for the season finale of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup on November 13, 2011 in Zuhai, China. The Flying Finn will be driving a Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT3 in the six-hour race together with Mercedes Benz DTM drivers Cong Fu Cheng and Lance David Arnold. Entered by the independent squad Customer AMG Sports Team China, this will be the first time that the race-tuned SLS AMG GT3 will be racing on Chinese soil.
 
audidtm_tomczyk02On its 84th and last outing, the Audi A4 ended its eight-year career in DTM the best way possible it knows how: capturing both the driver's and team's championship for Martin Tomczyk and the Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline in Hockenheim Ring, Germany. Since 2004, the A4 has clinched five out of eight championship titles, 44 pole positions, 31 fastest laps, and 34 race victories - a record that the A5 DTM will have to step up to in 2012. 
 
"You can’t really wish for more than this,” commented Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport. "It’s truly been a perfect year for Audi.”
 
thompsonf1_main
Days after our interview with Gary Thompson, the 19-year old Dubliner flew to Taiwan and got behind the wheel of a two-seater Formula 1 car for the grand opening of all-new Penbay International Circuit. The outing was not a full-on test, but rather served as a demonstration run where distinguished guests got a piggyback ride around the 3.5 km circuit. 
 
Despite the wet conditions, Thompson enjoyed his time behind the wheel of the Minardi Formula 1 two-seater which produced in excess of 700hp from its race-derived 3L Cosworth V10 engine.
 
simoncelli_memorial02On lap two of the 2011 Malaysian GP, MotoGP rising star Marco Simoncelli met a fatal accident while battling with Alvaro Bautista for fourth position. Simoncelli lost control of his Gresini Honda and inevitably veered across the track at turn 11, straight into the path of Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi. Both riders collided with Simoncelli, knocking his helmet off in the process. As Simoncelli lay motionless on the track, the race was immediately red-flagged.
 
Edwards likewise fell but escaped serious injury, while Rossi managed to stay on his bike and return to the pits. The 24-year old Italian rider was taken by ambulance to the Sepang circuit's medical center, but at 4:56 pm local time Simoncelli sadly succumbed to his injuries.
Words by Christopher Kho
 
toyota_lmp1
After a 13 year absence, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) have announced that they will finally make a return to the Circuit de la Sarthe in 2012. Competing with a gasoline-electric hybrid LMP1, Toyota is entering their prototype in the inaugural season of the FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) World Endurance Championship. Although Toyota might not have intentions to contest in all of the series' rounds, winning the Le Mans 24 Hours is certainly on the top of their priority list. 
 
The LMP project will most likely be headed by Cologne-based Toyota Motorsport GmbH, the same people behind the Panasonic Formula 1 team and the Toyota GT-One (codenamed TS020) - the Japanese giant's last attempt at Le Mans in 1999. With over four decades of experience, eight of which were spent in Formula 1, they should have no trouble taking on Peugeot and the unstoppable Audi's. It'll be quite interesting though how the petrol-electric hybrid will fair up against the more popular turbo-diesels.
Photos courtesy of Indycar Series and Sam Schmidt Motorsports
 
wheldon_memorial
On lap 11 of the inaugural IZOD IndyCar World Championships held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway last October 16, 2011, 15 cars were involved in a terrifying fiery pile up which forced officials to red flag the race. Paul Tracy, Buddy Rice, Alex Lloyd, E.J. Viso, Charlie Kimball, Timas Scheckter, Jay Howard, Wade Cunningham, James Jakes, and Vitor Meira all climbed out of their mangled vehicles relatively unscathed. Will Power, Pippa Mann, and JR Hildebrand, on the other hand, were brought to the hospital for evaluation and treatment. 
 
Sadly, the 200 lap race turned mournful as quickly as it started when IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard announced two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Daniel Clive “Dan” Wheldon from Emberton, England, who was driving the No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins race car for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, was pronounced dead after succumbing to injuries suffered in the crash.
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