This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:00 AM. Or, you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parse it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?
We let Matt take the morning off to recuperate from his Birthday celebrations, so that means y'all are stuck with me grinding these gears since I'm not sure how a clutch works.
I'm kidding, of course. I'm not exactly sure what a clutch is!
Let's get down to it.
S1st Gear: Chevy Keeps The Distance From Ewanick
Remember Joel Ewanick, GM's old marketing chief that got ousted over a number of decisions people didn't agree with? One of those was the use of an alliance between McCann and Goodby to be partners in Chevy's marketing efforts.
That's over. McCann has emerged as the lead advertising account for Chevy. Goodby, which was part of a 50/50 split, has bowed out and sold its half to McCann. McCann and Chevy say it will have no effect on the brand's marketing efforts.
S2nd Gear: Obama Wants $2 Billion In Vehicle Tech Funding
Obama is going to ask Congress for $2 billion in funding to aid the development of advanced vehicle technologies today.
The $2 billion would be set aside over the next decade from royalty revenues generated by oil and gas development in federal waters. It won't be easy to get Congress to do this. For one, it isn't easy to get Congress to do anything. Secondly, electric car sales haven't been all that great lately. Maybe this will help?
S3rd Gear: Honda Gets All Recall-y
Braking issues? Honda has a problem.
About 250,000 Hondas and Acuras worldwide, 180,000 in the US alone, are being recalled for braking issues. In the US, it looks like the Acura MDX, Acura RL, and Honda Pilot are impacted. Stay safe out there.
S4th Gear: Audi On Top — For The Last Time?
The 12 Hours of Sebring is tomorrow. Practice sessions were held yesterday and guess who was on top?
Audi, you fools. With a sweep of every session, the R18 e-trons are looking like the cars to beat in P1, yet again. In P2, temporarily displaced IndyCar ace Ryan Briscoe set the pace (SO MANY RHYMES) in his Honda HPD ARX-03b. The Corvette C6.R was fastest in GT with Olly Gavin behind the wheel.
Problem is, with ALMS' merger with Grand-Am on the horizon, the P1 category will be eliminated for 2014, which means Audi will be bidding farewell after cleaning everyone else's clocks for 10 years, according to SPEED. Here's what Allen McNish told them:
"Sebring this year will be a little bit special because it will be the final one of this era,” McNish said. “I think everybody's looking forward to it, as a celebration as well as the actual race itself. There is one extra reason to go to Sebring and that's to win the race. It's an important race. If it's possible to chalk up a fifth Sebring 12 Hour victory, I would be very proud to do that."
S5th Gear: FORMULA ONE IS BACK
Did you stay up late to catch F1's first sessions of 2013? No? Well, you missed Sebastian Vettel at the top of the time sheets. That's a new spot for him. It looks like Mercedes have a fast car this year, with a quick time pipped in by Nico Rosberg during P2.
And don't count out the Lotuses either. Kimi Raikkonen and Romain "Big John" Grosjean were right up there as well. As for the backmarkers? Well, seems to me that Marussia and Caterham have better cars this year, but worse drivers.