Ferrari chiefs discuss 2014 regulation changes at Santander event

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The heads of Scuderia Ferrari outlined their hopes and expectations for 2014 with the pending regulation changes at a Santander partner event last night here in Austin.

Where Ferrari starts in 2014 will be, in part, determined by its final finish in the 2013 Formula One Constructor’s Championship. Heading into this weekend’s United States Grand Prix (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, NBC), Ferrari ranks third, 11 points behind Mercedes and 26 up on Lotus-Renault.

“This year, we started with a car that was not the best, and what we missed was the development,” explained team principal Stefano Domenicali. “When the tires were changed, we did not do the second step.”

Ferrari hasn’t won a driver’s title since 2007 (Kimi Raikkonen) or a Constructor’s title since 2008. The changes throw a curveball at the entire field, and the team’s new technical director James Allison expanded on that.

“The aero is fundamental for the cars to go quick, and the sideshow is the set of aero changes for next year the largest since 2009.”

Allison will work in harmony with chief engineering director Pat Fry, who suggested 2014 could be an even bigger strategy game based on how frequently teams can push at max power.

“It’s going to be a big pace difference. The question will be when to go flat,” Fry said.

Luca Marmorini, engine and electronics director, added a bit on the power unit although his three colleagues had the floor for the majority of the session.

As the technical side works to develop a season-long race winner and championship contender, the team’s commercial side is in good hands with Santander committed to sponsoring Ferrari through 2017.

The world’s sixth largest bank recently announced a change as all of its Sovereign Bank branches would switch their name to Santander, to create a unified force on that front. Here in the U.S., Santander operates in nine states, mainly in the Northeast region, and has 102 million customers worldwide.

Get your motor running: American Flat Track’s new season premieres Sunday on NBCSN

Photos courtesy American Flat Track
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If you like racing two-wheel style, make sure you catch the debut of a new multi-year TV broadcast deal featuring the American Flat Track motorcycle racing series on NBCSN.

The 18-round series debuts this Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN with the season-opening race that was held at Daytona International Speedway on March 15.

Going forward, all 18 rounds of the series will be televised on NBCSN in highly-coveted weekend afternoon programming slots without two weeks of each event.

Last season, AFT drew nearly two million viewers on NBCSN with regular primetime coverage on Thursday nights.

This season, the one-hour, tape-delayed telecasts will be part of NBCSN’s regular weekend programing, following or preceding coverage of NASCAR, INDYCAR and Pro Motocross.

AFT is now in its 65th season, with two distinct classes: powerful, twin-cylinder rides in the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines division, and the competition in the 450cc AFT Singles division.

“We are very excited to kick-off our second season of AFT on NBCSN,” NBC Sports Group Senior Director of Programming Jeff Macaluso. “The 2017 season provided us with some incredible racing and showed us how passionate the riders and fans are of this historic sport.

“The move to weekends this year, around other marquis motorsports properties, is sure to raise the level even higher.”

Here’s the 2018 AFT schedule on NBCSN:

Round Track, Location Track Type Premiere Time (ET) Time (PT)
1 Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL TT Sun, 3/25 2:00 PM 11:00 AM
2 Dixie Speedway, Woodstock, GA Short Track Sat, 4/14 5:30 PM 2:30 PM
3 Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, TX Half-Mile Sun, 5/06 4:00 PM 1:00 PM
4 Calistoga Speedway, Calistoga, CA Half-Mile Sun, 5/20 12:00 PM 9:00 AM
5 Turf Paradise, Phoenix, AZ Mile Sat, 5/26 3:00 PM 12:00 PM
6 Cal Expo, Sacramento, CA Mile Sun, 6/03 2:00 PM 11:00 AM
7 Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL Mile Sat, 6/09 5:00 PM 2:00 PM
8 Red Mile, Lexington, KY Mile Sat, 6/16 12:00 PM 9:00 AM
9 Remington Park, Oklahoma City, OK Mile Sat, 6/23 5:00 PM 2:00 PM
10 Allen County Fairgrounds, Lima, OH Half-Mile Sat, 7/07 2:30 PM 11:30 AM
11 Weedsport Speedway, Weedsport, NY Short Track Sun, 7/15 6:00 PM 3:00 PM
12 Buffalo Chip Campgrounds, Sturgis, SD TT Sat, 8/11 12:30 PM 9:30 AM
13 Black Hills Speedway, Rapid City, SD Half-Mile Sat, 8/18 2:00 PM 11:00 AM
14 Peoria Motorcycle Club, Peoria, IL TT Sat, 9/01 3:00 PM 12:00 PM
15 Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL Mile Sat, 9/22 2:30 PM 11:30 AM
16 Williams Grove Speedway, Mechanicsburg, PA Half-Mile Sun, 9/23 5:00 PM 2:00 PM
17 Canterbury Park, Shakopee, MN Mile Sun, 10/14 5:00 PM 2:00 PM
18 Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, NJ Mile Sun, 10/21 2:00 PM 11:00 AM


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