Russia increasingly saying ‘dah!’ to F1 racing: new track in Moscow announced

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As the country prepares for its first Formula One race 16 months from now in Sochi, Ria Novosti Sport reported Wednesday that that the Russian government will begin construction next year on a permanent F1 race track near Moscow.

“On this track, it will be possible to hold a round of Formula One racing. The rest of the time it could be used by car fans and for motorsport competitions,” said Moscow development official Vladimir Zhidkin.

The track is to be located near Vnukovo Airport, south of the Russian capital. Construction is slated to begin sometime next year, with completion due in 2016.

Sochi, located along the Black Sea, will play host to the upcoming Winter Olympics first early in 2014. Then, nearly nine months later in either late October or early November, Sochi will host the first Russian Grand Prix on a street course that will be constructed around some of the key Olympic venues.

Moscow already has one major racetrack, Moscow Raceway, which opened last year. While that track is certified to hold F1 testing, according to Ria Novosti Sport, it would need upgrades to both access and accommodations.

Moscow Raceway already hosts a number of events, including rounds of the World Series by Renault, the World Superbike Championship and the DTM German Touring Car Championship.

NHRA: New book a celebration of life, love and drag racing

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The overpowering smell from nitromethane that powers Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars in the National Hot Rod Association oftentimes brings fans to tears after getting a whiff of the stuff.

Now there’s a new inspirational book that will also bring tears to the eyes of die-hard drag racing fans.

Veteran crew chief Jim Oberhofer has released “Top Fuel For Life, Life Lessons From A Crew Chief,” a touching homage to both his late wife and persevering and overcoming adversity in the highly competitive world of NHRA drag racing.

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Oberhofer wears a number of hats as vice president of one of the sport’s most veteran and successful teams, Kalitta Motorsports, including serving as crew chief for Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta’s dragster.

Oberhofer relates a number of stories about overcoming adversity in the book, but none more touching than how he watched his beloved wife “Tammy O” lose a long and painful battle to stage 4 metastatic lung cancer.

While Oberhofer has spent his life using wrenches and tools working on 10,000-horsepower engines, his new book shows that he is also a very gifted writer.

Known in the sport as “Jim O,” Oberhofer describes the fight his wife went through in gritty and descriptive prose, but with a foundation built upon what the love of his life meant to him – and continues to mean to him more than two years since she passed away.

“When you take a long hard look at your life, I guarantee you that being a winner has little to do with crossing the finish line,” Oberhofer said. “After many mistakes and a whole lot of heartache, I learned that happiness comes from a deeper, simpler place. That’s the big win.”

“Top Fuel For Life” is available on Amazon for $19.95.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Report: Ecclestone believes F1 could be sold by year’s end

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Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone on Tuesday said the racing series is up for sale and has as many as three potential buyers.

Ecclestone told The Associated Press that a deal could still be struck by year’s end.

“I think so, maybe this year,” Ecclestone said. “There are three people mentioned to buy. So it’s a case of whether CVC or Mr. Mackenzie wants to sell.”

Ecclestone was referring to F1’s largest and controlling shareholder, CVC Capital Partners co-chairman Donald Mackenzie.

But even if F1 is sold, the 84-year-old Eccelstone doesn’t plan on going anywhere.

“The people that I’ve spoken to … have asked me if I would stay,” Ecclestone told AP.

Follow @JerryBonkowski