Newey remains committed to Red Bull, ending Ferrari rumors

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Adrian Newey has poured cold water on the rumors linking him with a big money move to Ferrari by telling journalists in Monaco that he remains committed to Red Bull for the foreseeable future.

The 55-year-old aerodynamacist has played a big part in the team’s success over the past four years, designing cars that have outclassed the rest of the field and taken Sebastian Vettel to four world championships.

However, Ferrari – who hasn’t won a world championship since 2008 – was thought to be looking to make Newey an offer that he could not refuse by tripling his Red Bull wage to come and try to revive the prancing horse’s fortunes.

When asked about the rumors in Spain, he remained coy, saying: “There’s always rumors, isn’t there? What can I say? It’s the silly season.

“We’re all under contract, so at some point I’ve got to think about the future, but my focus at the moment is trying to get back on top of those silver cars.”

However, this time around, Newey was quite clear that, for the time being, an offer from Ferrari would not be considered.

“I remain committed to Red Bull for the foreseeable future,” he said on Wednesday in Monaco.

This will come as a bitter blow to Ferrari, who had labelled Newey as the one person who could revive its fortunes and take it to the front of the grid. In recent years, there have been few issues with the driver line-up, with Fernando Alonso usually outclassing his mediocre car. Instead, it has been the design of the car that has cost the team a real chance of winning the championship.

However, technical director James Allison is yet to have made an impact. He was not heavily involved in the design of the F14 T after only arriving at Maranello midway through last season. 2015 will be the first year that he has greatly invested in, and it could mark an improvement by Ferrari.

It is unlikely that the Newey-to-Ferrari rumor will go away, but for the time being, it’s time to put it on the back burner.

Attention NASCAR teams: IMSA drivers available for Daytona!

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NASCAR will be making its debut on the Daytona International Speedway road course next month, and there’s a big fan who’d like to join the historic weekend.

This fan actually has impressive credentials, too — a few thousand laps around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile layout that annually plays host to the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.

In 2014, the winning GTLM team in the sports car endurance classic included IMSA Porsche driver Nick Tandy, who rabidly has followed NASCAR for more than 30 years since growing up in England.

So why not try racing NASCAR? Especially because Tandy has the weekend of Aug. 14-16 free.

He’s not picky, either — offering up his services on Twitter (as well as those of Porsche teammate Earl Bamber) for an ARCA, Xfinity, trucks or Cup ride.

Tandy’s affinity for American stock-car racing runs deep.

His first trip to the World Center of Racing was as a fan attending the 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, 2008. During Rolex testing in January, Tandy, 35, said he hadn’t missed a Cup race on TV in 15 years.

Among his favorite NASCAR drivers: the Earnhardts, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch. When IMSA ran the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in 2014, Tandy stayed a few extra days at the Brickyard and bought Kyle Busch gear for himself and his children.

He briefly took the stage during a NASCAR weekend last October. After IMSA’s season finale at Road Atlanta, Tandy made a few demonstration laps and a burnout in his No. 911 Porsche before the Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.

He also has some experience in stock cars, having raced Modified-type grass-roots series on England’s quarter-mile short tracks.

Couple that with a Daytona road course record that includes two consecutive podium class finishes (including last Saturday) and a sports car resume with 13 IMSA victories and an overall win in the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans … and maybe a NASCAR team should take a look.

And Tandy isn’t the only IMSA driver who likely would be available.

Corvette driver Jordan Taylor, who won the 2017 Rolex 24 overall title with Jeff Gordon as a teammate (and the inspiration for his Rodney Sandstrom persona), also tweeted his availability for the weekend on the high banks.

Sports car veteran Andy Lally, a GTD driver with multiple class wins in the Rolex 24 as well as 38 Cup starts (he was the 2011 rookie of the season in NASCAR’s premier series), also hung out his shingle.

There also is AIM Vasser Sullivan’s Jack Hawksworth (who just won at Daytona last Saturday), the Englishman who teamed with Kyle Busch at the Rolex 24 in January and made an Xfinity start at Mid-Ohio last year with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Many sports car drivers (such as Taylor) already live in Florida, and many are hunkering down in the Sunshine State with IMSA returning to action at Daytona last week and Sebring International Raceway next week. Because of COVID-19-related travel concerns and restrictions, several IMSA stars who live outside the country are riding out the pandemic within a few hours of Daytona with nothing to do.

Why not a weekend at the World Center of Racing?

Over the years, scads of “road-course ringers” (including some Formula One veterans) have tried their hands in stock cars at Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International.

How about considering the many sports car drivers who already have reached victory lane at Daytona by making a few right-hand turns, too?