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Volume 6 No. 212


Sources close to the McLaren F1 team said that Honda "will return" to F1 in '15 as McLaren engine partners, replacing Mercedes, according to Shirouzu & Kubota of REUTERS. Honda, which "quit the sport at the end of 2008," hoped F1's new engine regulations for '14 "would help develop technology for its mass volume road cars." The source added, "That incubator aspect of the sport makes Honda's participation worthwhile." Honda spokesperson Shigeki Endo said, "There is nothing we can say at the moment." The link-up with McLaren, the second-most successful team in the sport after Ferrari in terms of race wins and drivers' titles, "would revive one of the greatest Formula One partnerships." Honda "had little success with their own team," but powered McLaren to multiple championships with the late Brazilian triple champion Ayrton Senna and French four times champion Alain Prost between '88-'92 (REUTERS, 5/15).

Scottish Third Division Rangers have announced a freeze on season ticket prices, which is a reward to fans "for their unrivalled and unwavering commitment to the club,” according to the SCOTSMAN. After its relegation to the Third Division, the Ibrox club cut adult season tickets by one third and juveniles by 50%. Prices for next season, which include all 18 Irn-Bru Second Division home games, start from £258 ($392.7) for adults, £65 ($98.9) for children and £179 ($272.5) for concessions. The club said that "season ticket renewal and purchase details will be communicated to supporters in advance through club communications and the media." Meanwhile, Celtic has announced it will play Bundesliga side Borussia Mönchengladbach in a preseason match that will be part of the season-ticket package (SCOTSMAN, 5/15).

Australian Ice Hockey League Sydney Bears GM Wayne Hellyer says the main issue facing his semi-pro club "remains gathering crowds worthy of a fine team playing in an excellent facility," according to Will Brodie of THE AGE. Hellyer: "We’re hoping to build our home spectator base to something where there will be a bit more atmosphere." It is "a familiar refrain for ice hockey in Australia" -- once the uninitiated see the game live, "they are often hooked." However, "getting them there in the first place is the battle." A great weapon in that battle "are the weekly telecasts of the game of the week on Fox Sports." Hellyer said that he is "already getting positive feedback" from the new pay-TV deal that he hopes will "open the door" for more sponsors and fans. Hellyer said three other factors can help the club build a stronger fanbase: The standard of the league "has 10% improved on last year," more "mainstream outlets and social media are covering the game by the week," and there is an int'l exhibition series in June "which has sold out in Sydney and Melbourne" (THE AGE, 5/15).