GM starts construction on new race engine facility outside Detroit

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General Motors has begun work on a brand-new facility that will be home to development of race engines for its teams in NASCAR, IndyCar, the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, and other series.

The new GM Performance and Racing Center, which will be situated in Pontiac, Michigan and is scheduled to be fully completed in 2016, will also house a new electric motor laboratory and gear center.

“The GM Performance and Racing Center will serve as a resource to help our race teams and drivers continue to win races and championships,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, in a statement.

“It will also help advance technical sharing between racing and production engine programs.”

The facility is part of a major investment from GM to create a centralized powertrain engineering center in Pontiac.

The 138,000-square-foot addition is expected to bring 400 jobs there, and its 100 racing engineers currently based in Wixom, Michigan are expected to move into the Pontiac campus by mid-2015.

“The GM Performance and Racing Center…will continue to develop some of the world’s winningest race engines for Chevrolet and Cadillac,” said Steve Kiefer, vice president of GM Global Powertrain, in his own thoughts.

“Connecting our race engineers with our global powertrain engineering teams will improve our customers’ powertrains in terms of efficiency, reliability and durability. The center will also provide exciting career opportunities for our engineering organization.”

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”