Boullier concedes Lotus owe Raikkonen money

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Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has admitted that the team does owe Kimi Raikkonen money, but he has no concerns about the future of the team or its image following this affair.

Having been confirmed at Ferrari for 2014, Raikkonen revealed on Thursday that the main reason for his departure from Lotus was because he had not been paid. Although Boullier did admit this was true, he also revealed that the situation was the same in 2012, with the team paying Raikkonen at the end of the season.

“The truth is that yes, we owe him money so that’s true,” Boullier said. “He’s going to be paid, that’s true too and if you want to have a little bit more of the story, last year in the same period it was the same story: we were owing him some money but at the end of the year he was fully paid. It’s just the way we manage our cash flow.”

Boullier rejected the notion of hiring a pay driver for 2014, preferring to bring in fresh sponsorship to ease the financial situation at Enstone.

“We now want to have more finance, more sponsors because we need to step up and guarantee some stability over a few years.

“That would then allow us to choose drivers on merit which is obviously first choice.”

Following Raikkonen’s departure, Lotus are thought to be considering either Felipe Massa and Nico Hulkenberg as a potential teammate for Romain Grosjean.

Female racer makes history with record finishes in dirt national midget events

Photo courtesy Toyota Racing
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Holly Shelton is riding high after setting a milestone for a female driver in a national midget series feature event on dirt this past weekend.

The Sacramento, California-area resident recorded the highest finish ever for a female dirt national midget series driver with a runner-up finish last Friday at the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League double-header weekend at Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Missouri.

Shelton broke her own national record for top finish by a woman in a national dirt event – she finished third in a USAC race at Lawrenceburg, Indiana, last year.

One night after setting her new national record, Shelton and her Keith Kunz Motorsports Toyota roared back Saturday to finish third (started on the outside pole) in the second half of the weekend double-header, making her the first female dirt driver ever on the national midget circuit to earn back-to-back podium finishes.

“It’s cool making history as a female, but my number one thing is I just want to win,” said Shelton, who will be graduating from Cal-State Sacramento with a B.A. in Criminal Justice this fall. “Truthfully, on the track I don’t even remember that I’m a girl. I’m just racing all the guys with the same goal they have – to win.”

Only one other woman has finished second in either a USAC or POWRi midget feature – Sarah McCune at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway in 1999 – but that was on pavement, not dirt.

The record-setting weekend was great consolation for Shelton, who missed three races earlier this season due to surgery and then sat out three other races last month after suffering a race-related concussion.

“It felt good,” she said of her back-to-back podium finishes. “It builds up my confidence. The car is fast and we keep getting better and we want to build on it.”

Shelton was one of four women that competed in midget competition this weekend. The others were 19-year-old Maria Cofer and 16-year-olds Holley Hollan and Presley Truedson.

“It’s awesome seeing all the little girls come up to me excited to see me at the track,” Shelton said. “Hopefully, it encourages them to pursue their dreams as well and, as the years go on, more girls will get into it.”

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