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In an attempt to reduce costs and get more brands into the field, it's beginning to look like as many as three different race series in Europe, Asia and the United States may adopt a more-or-less common set of rules. The German Touring Car Championship (shown above) is set to introduced a new rules package for the 2012 season and the Japanese SuperGT series looks to be on-board for its GT500 class. Here in the States,. the NASCAR-owned Grand Am series is also considering jumping in, presumably

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Watkins Glen is in for some renovations. The historic road course in upstate New York was once the home of the US Grand Prix, and today hosts races in the Indy Racing League, NASCAR, the Rolex Grand-Am series and the SCCA Speed World Challenge, not to mention several vintage racing series. It's a veritable landmark in American automobile racing, and (nostalgia not being what it used to be) only stands to get better with the new improvements underway.

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This year's Sprint Cup was awarded this past weekend at Homestead, where Jimmie Johnson scored his record fourth consecutive championship with a fifth-place finish behind race winner Denny Hamlin. (Oh yeah, "spoiler alert".) Anyway, on to the interesting part: the oval speedway had some unlikely German visitors for the series finale, leading the motorsport press and the fans to begin asking questions.

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Kia Forte Koup Grand-Am racer – Click above for high-res image gallery

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In a move that's sure to surprise almost no one, Alex Roy – head of Team Polizei, multi-rally champion, author of The Driver and the man responsible for crossing the continent in 31:04 – has officially retired from road rallies. Roy, who hasn't participated in one of the ego-fueled events since his record-setting run, has tried to raise awareness about the inherently unsafe nature of the "sport" over the last few years, Now, he's taking the next step to prove that the time, effort an

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Throughout the history of motorsports several Hollywood actors have had aspirations to be professional racecar drivers. Steve McQueen and the late Paul Newman come to mind, both of whom were very successful, and some modern era actors have also had a go at it too like Jason Priestley, Eric Bana and the annoyingly ignorant Franky Muniz. Adding to that list is Grey's Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey, who has competed in the Daytona 24 Hour Race and the Baja 1000 and has been competing in Grand Am's GT

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Click above to view a high-res gallery of the Dallara Formulino

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Camaro GS Race Car Concept

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The land Down Under hasn't been kind to Nissan when it comes to motorsports. The Skyline GT-R was banned in 1993 from the country's touring car series after three consecutive wins in 1990, 1991 and 1992, and Nissan hasn't returned since.

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The Nissan GT-R GT500 race car from Japan's Super GT series.

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The ladies swoon over Patrick Dempsey on Grey's Anatomy so much that he's garnered the nickname McDreamy on the show. McDreamy himself, however, dreams about ponies - a particular pony, in fact, in the form of a Ford Mustang FR500C built for the Grand Am Road Racing KONI Series. Dempsey recently competed in the Grand Sport (GS) class with co-drivers Joe Foster and Rick Skelton. The season ended on Oct. 7th at Virginia International Raceway, and Dempsey's best finish ended up being sixth place at

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The factory-backed Porsche RS Spyders of Penske Racing have been leading the ALMS LMP2 class and even captured some overall victories this year. In the competing (well, kinda) Grand Am series, the official Porsche engine in the Daytona Prototype class is a 3.8-liter flat-six. The Spirit of Daytona team, however, wants to take a different approach.

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click above image to view more high-res pics of last weekend's racing action

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