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Brawn’s Mercedes future in doubt again


Ross Brawn’s future as Mercedes team principal is in doubt again following fresh stories claiming he will leave the team.

The BBC reported on Tuesday that Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe will take over the running of Mercedes’ F1 team at the end of the season and Brawn will step down.

According to the BBC: “Wolff, the executive director (business), will now run the political and financial sides of the team, while Lowe, the executive director (technical), will be in charge of the sporting and technical aspects. Wolff is also the director of Mercedes’ motorsport operation.”

Brawn’s relationship with Mercedes has been the subject of season-long speculation following the recruitment of Lowe from McLaren earlier this year.

However Mercedes refused to comment on the report when approached by others for comment.

Brawn joined the Brackley-based team in late 2007 when it was owned by Honda. The team endured a troubled 2008 while Brawn focused their energies on preparing a car for the 2009 rules change.

When Honda pulled out of the sport Brawn and Nick Fry spearheaded a management buyout, secured a supply of Mercedes engines and, having renamed the team Brawn GP, won the constructors’ championship with Jenson Button claiming the drivers’ title.

Mercedes then took over the team but took until last year to win another race. They are currently second in the constructors’ championship after three wins and eight pole positions this season.

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