NASCAR’s Gene Haas confirms plans to enter an F1 team (UPDATED)

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File this in the “out of left field” and “we’ll see if this actually happens” categories, but judging by Gene Haas’ pursuit of Kurt Busch last summer, you can’t rule anything out with his ambitions or desires for his race team.

A German report from Auto Motor und Sport identifies Haas’ Haas Racing team as wanting to submit its own entry for the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship. The FIA has opened a selection process for a new 12th team.

According to this report, the team would be run in-house in Charlotte by former Red Bull team manager Guenther Steiner, with cars initially built by Dallara and engines and transmissions from Ferrari. Haas’ operation does have some of the necessary elements to run an F1 squad, as he is the world’s largest manufacturer of CNC machines, and is also near the Windshear wind tunnel in Concord, North Carolina.

The other two teams identified by the AMS are Colin Kolles’ team and the mysterious StefanGP operation. Kolles has been in-and-out of F1 with the Jordan/Midland/Spyker/Force India and HRT teams, while StefanGP had applied for a grid position in 2010 but was denied.

If you’re skeptical about the American presence, you have good reason to be. The USF1 saga of 2009 into 2010 saw Peter Windsor and Ken Anderson attempt to set up a Charlotte-based squad to enter the 2010 F1 championship, but for a variety of reasons, primarily down to a lack of resources and an unfinished chassis, the team was forced to withdraw before ever turning a wheel.

Haas, Tony Stewart’s partner at Stewart-Haas Racing, is co-owner of the four-car NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team with Stewart, Busch, Kevin Harvick and Danica Patrick as drivers. He is not related to Carl Haas, who ran the Beatrice Haas Lola F1 team in 1985 and 1986, and was also co-owner of one of North America’s most successful race teams, Newman/Haas Racing with the late Paul Newman.

UPDATE, 2:30 p.m. ET: Haas confirmed the report. Yes, he’s interested.

“We have responded to the FIA’s ‘call for expression of interest’ regarding a Formula One entry on behalf of Haas Racing Development,” the statement read. “We respect the FIA’s evaluation process and will share more details in the coming weeks.”

And now we begin the wait for more.

MRTI: Telitz gets creative to help racing career

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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To say that Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz has endured a difficult start to the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season would be an understatement. The Wisconsin native only completed four corners through the first three races – Races 1 and 2 at St. Petersburg, and Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park – with St. Pete being especially problematic.

He took the pole for Race 1, but a crash during qualifying for Race 2 prevented him from actually starting. What’s more, the damage was so severe that the Belardi team needed a brand new chassis, with Telitz’s Dallara IL-15 damaged beyond repair.

They also had to borrow a car from Carlin for Race 2, but Telitz’s race ended after he got tangled up with Victor Franzoni in Turn 2 on Lap 1.

With the damage bill well into the six figures as a result, Telitz has taken to some unique, or rather, creative ways to raise money in the aftermath to help cover the costs. “Creative,” in this case, meaning Telitz is using his art skills.

An artist in his spare time, Telitz has begun selling his own original paintings to help raise money.

 “I’ve been to a lot of art shows and I see stuff and I go, ‘Holy cow, someone’s going to pay a thousand dollars for that thing?’” Telitz quipped in a story posted on the Milwaukee Journal.

In discussing his artistic abilities, Telitz added, “I’m working at getting better. I’d like to be able to paint some animals, those types of things. I got a request from Alexander Rossi to see if I could paint his dog. Unfortunately I can’t do that yet.”

Further, in a partnership with The Styled Garage, Telitz is selling his own merchandise, and accepting donations, to help his cause.

Telitz finished fourth in Race 2 at Barber on Sunday, and sits seventh in the Indy Lights championship, 59 points behind leader Pato O’Ward.

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