Brian Barnhart Jim Haines

INDYCAR announced today that Vice President of Competition Brian Barnhart has been named Race Director and will lead the Verizon IndyCar Series’ three-steward Race Control system in 2015. Barnhart was a key member of the INDYCAR Race Control system implemented in 2014 that stipulates all in-race penalties are decided by a two-thirds vote among the respective stewards officiating each event.

“We believe that based on his extensive experience in Race Control, combined with the three-steward system, Brian Barnhart is a good fit as INDYCAR Race Director,” said Derrick Walker, INDYCAR President of Competition and Operations. “The process allows the Race Director to focus on running the race, without the double-duty of reviewing multiple replays and simultaneously trying to make a call. In terms of determining penalties our process defines that a majority vote amongst the three stewards is required, which ensures a jury-like process. Last year we found that this was a fair system when making difficult judgment calls.”

Barnhart was a Race Control steward throughout the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season and was previously INDYCAR Race Director from 1997-2011.

“This is a position and a role that I’ve done for a number of years and I take a great deal of pride in being Race Director of the Verizon IndyCar Series,” Barnhart said. “One of the things that excites me the most is the steward system we implemented last year. That was a great advancement in how we review and make discretionary decisions, and having that assistance in making calls is a big improvement to the way we officiate INDYCAR events.”

As Vice President of Competition, Barnhart oversees the Race Control staff, the sporting regulations of the rulebook, the Holmatro Safety Team and medical personnel, security and INDYCAR Timing and Scoring. He has been a part of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and INDYCAR since 1994.

“The technological improvements we’ve made in Race Control have expanded the amount of information available to us,” Barnhart said. “The additional cameras, the replay system and assistance from other stewards provide us with additional tools to do our job better. I’m excited about this opportunity and look forward to doing it again.”

INDYCAR’s Race Control system allows any of the three stewards to call for a review of a potential on-track incident. Upon review the stewards will deliberate on the violation using all available resources – which includes video replays, timing and scoring data and rulebook references – in rendering their decision. Following the review each race steward votes for, or against, the issuance of a penalty and the majority vote then decides if a penalty is issued. Once that determination is made the senior steward, as determined by Walker before each race, dictates the severity of each penalty.

Source: IndyCar
Photo: Jim Haines / IndyCar Media

January 29, 2015 IndyCar

Marc Coma Dakar 2015 3

The last day of this ultra-challenging Dakar Rally had one final surprise left in store for competitors who had braved the conditions to make it that far. Torrential rainfall created a dangerously slippery piste that led to race organisers shortening today’s timed special stage. It turned out to be good news for the overnight leaders of all four race categories as they were able to hold their positions on the route into Buenos Aires.

Walking away with his fifth bike title after a display of consistent speed combined with immense race management know-how is Marc Coma. The biggest threat came from Joan Barreda who led the race by over 12m from Marc in the first week. The Red Bull KTM Factory Team captain successfully chased down Joan to score this extra special win as it’s the first time he’s been able to string together back-to-back victories.

The Spaniard is now without doubt among the pantheon of Dakar greats, alongside his “best of enemies” Cyril Despres who also collected five bike wins. It would now appear to be Marc’s choice of how many more bike wins he wishes to rack up before switching to four-wheels.

Joining Marc in bringing their KTM 450 RALLY bikes over the finish-line were Ruben Faria, sixth overall, and Kuba Przygonski, 18th overall after overcoming mechanical problems on the final stage. There was a tactical play from Honda bikers Joan Barreda and Hélder Rodrigues as they waited on the stage for team-mate Paulo Gonçalves before accompanying the Portuguese biker to the finish-line to ensure his second place overall.

Marc Coma’s dominant display on two-wheels to give KTM their 14th consecutive Dakar title was matched in the car class by Nasser Al-Attiyah as the Qatari led the race from the second day before toasting victory at the conclusion of the final stage. The Qatar Rally Team racer and co-driver Matthieu Baumel have been the personification of cool from beginning to end, controlling the race, going fastest on six stages and never finishing a stage lower that seventh (with Nasser suffering from altitude sickness on that occasion). It will be some celebration tonight as Nasser is crowned Dakar champ for a second time and Matthieu scores his first win on his birthday of all days.

Also holding the same overall position since the second stage of the car race was Giniel de Villiers as the former Dakar champion records his third runner-up finish and fifth podium at the desert classic. It was a rally that steadily improved for Dakar debutants Team Peugeot-Total who quickly got over the disappointment of Carlos Sainz rolling out of the race in the first week to start putting together some real consistency. Stéphane Peterhansel recorded eight top 10 stage results to finish up 11th overall while car-race newcomer Cyril Despres’ rapid education saw him rise up the rankings in the final stages to eventually place 34th in the general classification. Marek Dabrowski, always willing to show grit and determination at the Dakar, battled through extremely tough circumstances to finish the race with the 23rd best time among the cars.

While the bike and car races provided masterclasses in how to lead from the front, the most emotion-packed victory was to be found in the truck class. Ayrat Mardeev followed in his late father’s footsteps in becoming a racing driver for Kamaz Master and today he managed to achieve the dream that always eluded Ilgizar Mardeev, who passed away six month ago – winning the Dakar Rally. The Russian team were visibly overcome by the result as they embraced at the finish-line with Kamaz Master trucks parked in all three podium positions – thanks to previous Dakar winners Eduard Nikolaev and Andrey Karginov who ended the race second and third respectively.

With a trio of category winners among the Red Bull family at this year’s Dakar we also extend our salute to all the guys who made this edition of the race so memorable. Highlights included Dakar debutant Matthias Walkner’s incredible win on stage 3 of the bike race. We’ll now be counting down the next 50 weeks until the toughest rally on the planet gets underway again, and with it, all that blood, sweat and tears.

Final results (Cars):
1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) Qatar Rally Team 40h 32m 25s
2. Giniel de Villiers (RSA) Toyota All Speed +00:35:34
3. Krzysztof Holowczyc (POL) Mini +01:32:01

11. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) Team Peugeot-Total +05:19:15
23. Marek Dabrowski (POL) Toyota +11:08:43
34. Cyril Despres (FRA) Team Peugeot-Total +15:38:07

Final results (Bikes):
1. Marc Coma (ESP) KTM 46h 03m 06s
2. Paulo Gonçalves (PRT) Honda +00:16:53
3. Toby Price (AUS) KTM +00:23:14
6. Ruben Faria (PRT) KTM +01:57:50
12. Hélder Rodrigues (PRT) Honda +04:00:00

17. Joan Barreda (ESP) Honda +05:54:35
18. Kuba Przygonski (POL) KTM +06:21:12

Final results (Trucks):
1. Ayrat Mardeev (RUS) Kamaz 42h 22m 01s
2. Eduard Nikolaev (RUS) Kamaz +00:13:52
3. Andrey Karginov (RUS) Kamaz +00:51:00
5. Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS) Kamaz +02:24:32

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

January 29, 2015 Dakar Rally

It’s been 22 years since McLaren and Honda last raced together, forming a near-unbeatable partnership that dominated Formula 1 in the 1980s and ’90s. The racing landscape may have changed immeasurably since the days of Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, but there are still clear links that bind the two manufacturers together.

Take a close look at the brand-new MP4-30 chassis – the car that will contest the 2015 FIA Formula 1 World Championship – and discover how Honda and McLaren’s racing DNA links this car to one of its most illustrious forebears, 1991’s McLaren-Honda MP4/6.

The successes of our first era together serve as a permanent spur for everybody at McLaren and Honda of the standards we want to achieve together in the future.

Via: McLaren F1 / YouTube

January 29, 2015 Formula 1

Rafal Sonik Dakar 2015

Sonik Team’s Rafal Sonik has claimed his first Dakar victory on the Yamaha Raptor 700. Securing two stage wins, four second places and one third place ensured he was a favourite to win the 2015 Dakar. Sonik was a contender from the outset, finishing the race with almost a three hour lead over his closest rival.

The Polish rider had a consistent start to this year’s Dakar, which proved to be key. Finding his groove over the first three stages, he soon took over the lead in the general standings from fellow Yamaha Raptor 700 Rider Ignacio Casale and dominated the fourth and fifth stage.

The quad category turned into a heated duel between the two Yamaha riders and as expected Casale didn’t give up easily. Sonik managed to hold on to the overall lead for most of the Rally and managed to build his four-minute overall lead to almost three hours as key rivals withdrew.
Rafal Sonik

Over the last three stages, Sonik’s biggest enemies became the elements. Rain and storms made the roads slippery, but he kept his focus and cautiously cruised back to Buenos Aires to claim victory.

Sonik’s passion for Dakar and quad racing was never shaken as he waited seven years to see his dream come true. In 2000, he created Poland’s quad federation, ATV Polska. Nine years later he entered his first Dakar, finishing in third place, an amazing achievement that he repeated in 2013 when he also founded the Poland National Team.

Last year ‘Super Sonik’ came very close to his first win, but in the end had to be satisfied with second. Having matured from his previous Dakar experiences, he learned many valuable lessons about racing and himself, which he used to his advantage this year.

“I’ve been looking forward to this moment for seven years and I never stopped believing. This victory’s for everyone who dreams of the Dakar but can’t take part in it. I want to share this victory with Yamaha and all the people in my team, who’ve never stopped dreaming of the Dakar. I think they deserve this victory too.” said Sonik.

January 29, 2015 Dakar Rally

“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads, but we do need racetracks…”

McLaren-Honda drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button get ready for the 2015 season with an unlikely encounter with something that looks more than a little reminiscent of one of the movie world’s most famous time machines.

Equipped with a shiny silver McLaren 650S, the duo are faced with the ultimate question on the lips of any racing driver: ‘Would I rather have driven in grands prix gone by, or should I cast my eyes to the horizon and aim for the future?”

The answer, they learn, is clearcut – but can they fit the MP4-30 with a flux capacitor…?

(via McLaren F1 on YouTube)

January 29, 2015 Formula 1

In her new video for sponsor Coca Cola, Danica Patrick talks about her thoughts about social media and internet. Watch as she shares her story and her thoughts on how to #MakeItHappy, the new campaign from Coca Cola.

January 27, 2015 NASCAR

Eliseo Salazar Daytona 24H

An impressive showing was displayed by Eliseo Salazar and his teammates (Derek Deboer, Kriss Wilson and Max Riddle) in the TRG Aston Martin N°009 at the Daytona 24 Hours where they finished in the eight position in the GTD class. The overall was won by Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray, Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon. The GTD category was earned by Dominik Farnbacher, Ben Keating and Al Carter with a Dodge Viper.

“It was a great physical effort, and could not lose concentration for the large number of cars that had. Having an incident was very easy “I slept only two hours.” said Salazar who added, “We lost 21 minutes in the pits repairing the failure. After that, my partners Riddle and Deboer handled their last shifts to a more conservative strategy, and in the last 30 minutes, the team decided that I closed the race. I went to eighth in the last two minutes of running, passing a Viper. It was really fantastic. Since only on Wednesday, when I was in Santiago, I received the call to run. It was a car that I had never driven and the most powerful Aston Martin have been made to compete. We were the best representatives of the brand and a top ten finish is something that fills me with joy. It’s my second best result here. ”


Photo: Press, Eliseo Salazar

Marc Coma Meta Dakar 2015

The Dakar 2015 is over. It was tough, it was very hard, especially the final stages at Uyuni and even the closing stage with some rain near Buenos Aires. This are the winners and podium finishers of this edition of the rally:


  1. Marc Coma (KTM, Spain)
  2. Paulo Goncalves (Honda, Portugal)
  3. Toby Price (KTM, Australia)


  1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (MINI, Qatar)
  2. Giniel de Villiers (Toyota, South Africa)
  3. Kryzstof Holowczyc (MINI, Poland)


  1. Rafal Sonik (Yamaha, Poland)
  2. Jeremías González (Yamaha, Argentina)
  3. Walter Nosiglia (Yamaha, Bolivia)


  1. Airat Mardeev (Kamaz, Russia)
  2. Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz, Russia)
  3. Andrey Karginov (Kamaz, Russia)

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

January 27, 2015 Dakar Rally