[Old_MainStuff/menu_hotnews.htm]

Thanks for visiting our News Bits page - news snippets from the world of Auto Racing.  Please visit our Rumors page for all the scuttlebutt.  If you have some news, or can supply more information about one listed here, e-mail us with as much supporting information as possible and we may post it.  User agreement & disclaimer. Newer rumors supercede older ones of the same topic.  Go to our forums to discuss any hot news.  

DATE News (chronologically 05/31/00 to 06/07/00)
6/7/00
Roger Penske on RPM2Night  - Roger Penske will be a guest on RPM2Night on Thursday evening on ESPN2.  We assume one topic of discussion will be his Indy 500 effort next year, as well as his involvement with ISC.
6/7/00
Panoz defies Andretti, will use in-house engines at LeMans  - Mario Andretti had asked Don Panoz to switch to Robert Yates engines after the team had a disastrous outing in the 24-hours of Daytona.  However, Panoz announced today that he will stick with his in-house Elan engines with parts from Yates.
6/7/00
Lenny Kravitz to be celebrity voter for 2000 CART All-Star Team  - Two-time Grammy winner Lenny Kravitz has accepted an invitation from Championship Auto Racing Teams to serve as a celebrity voter on the overall selection committee that will choose the 2000 CART All-Star Team.  Kravitz is the first celebrity chosen this season for the selection committee that is comprised of all current FedEx Championship Series drivers, a select group of motorsports media, three celebrity judges and series fans. The celebrity judges are chosen on their piqued interest in the FedEx Championship Series, and last season esteemed actors Tim Allen and Anthony Edwards and 1999 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Robin Yount served in that capacity. Full Story
6/7/00
Gidley to test for Della Penna (Lynx Racing PR)  - In the wake of Lynx Racing graduate -- current Player's/Forsythe driver Patrick Carpentier's podium finish at Milwaukee, and current Lynx Atlantic driver David Rutledge's fourth-place finish in the CART Toyota Atlantic support race at the Miller Lite 225, other Lynx graduates are on the move. Super Sub Memo Gidley is on the way to Mid-Ohio to test for Della Penna in place of the talented but luckless Norberto Fontana. If all goes as planned, Gidley will drive for the team in Detroit. Della Penna was an early part of the decade-old Lynx program, and driver Richie Hearn had a Lynx on his car while winning the Atlantic "Rookie of the Year' award in 1994. Alex Barron, also a Lynx graduate (he won the Toyota Atlantic series championship and 'Rookie of the Year' award in 1997, and was immediately signed by Dan Gurney's All-American Racers for the 1998 season) is on his way to Texas in hopes of testing for several IRL teams with whom he developed relationships at the Indy 500. If the IRL boys were impressed with Juan Montoya, wait until they get a look at what Barron can do in an open-wheel car. Nice to see these two neglected drivers returning to their proper place in the spotlight.
6/7/00
Toyota wins in only 78th start  - Contrary to the information we were previously provided whereby it was stated that Montoya's win was Toyota's first in 306 starts, their first win actually came in their 78th start.  The 306 number was the total of the number of Toyota powered cars that took the green flag since Toyota came on the scene.
6/6/00
Steve Park to re-up with Earnhardt  - RPM2Night reported that Steve Park has re-upped with Dale Earnhardt's team and an announcement is forthcoming.
6/6/00
IMG to promote new Detroit oval race  - It was reported on RPM2Night this evening that a group of investors will finance the new 1-mile oval to be built at the Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit and IMG, the current Bell Isle promoter, will promote that race as well beginning in 2002.
6/6/00
Future CART star doing well in Europe  - Ryan Walker, the 20-year-old from Okemos, Mich., finished third in the British F3 National division yesterday. In earning third-place points, he moves up into second-place behind only Autosport Young Driver of the Year Gary Paffett, of the UK. This is Walker's first full season racing in Europe after earning the European Formula Drivers Association (EFDA) Winter Series title with two victories in three races this past Fall. In addition, Walker partnered with Paul Edwards to lead the United States to third-place in last year's Nations Cup. 
6/5/00
Mid-Ohio open test next  - The CART FedEx Championship Series will conduct open testing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, on Wednesday, June 7 and Thursday, June 8. The two-day test is in preparation for the Miller Lite 200, happening August 10-13. This event is open to the public.  Twenty-four drivers are tentatively scheduled to test on the 2.25-mile, 13-turn permanent road course. Those slated to attend include Indianapolis 
500 winner and defending Miller Lite 200 champion Juan Montoya, as will current CART points leader Paul Tracy and Hilliard, Ohio-based Team Rahal drivers Kenny Brack and Max Papis.  Other drivers include Michael Andretti, Mark Blundell, Helio Castroneves, Patrick Carpentier, Adrian Fernandez, Gil de Ferran, Christian Fittipaldi and Norberto Fontana. Reigning Mid-Ohio pole sitter Dario Franchitti joins the group as does Luiz Garcia, Jr., Mauricio Gugelmin, Michel Jourdain, Jr., Tony Kanaan, Cristiano da Matta, Tarso Marques, Roberto Moreno, Shinji Nakano, Oriol Servia, Alex Tagliani and Jimmy Vasser.  Due to an expanded 20-event schedule, this test session is the only chance drivers have to prepare for the August CART race at Mid-Ohio. The Miller Lite 200 is Round 13 of the CART FedEx Championship Series.  The garage paddock areas will be open, giving spectators a chance to get in the "locker room" of CART racing. Concession and souvenir stands will also be open. Parking is free. Gates open at 7:00 a.m. and CART drivers take to the track for testing at 9:00 a.m. on both Wednesday and Thursday. Testing ends at 5:00 p.m. on both days. 
Tickets to the CART open testing are $10 per day. Kids 12 and under and Mid-Ohio season pass holders are admitted free. Tickets are available at the gate or call 1-800-MID-OHIO for more information. 
6/5/00
Lausitzring opening ceremony set  - The opening ceremony for the Lausitzring has been set for August 20th.  We would expect someone from CART will be there if the rumor of CART giving them a date for 2001 is true.
6/5/00
Spain & French GP NewsAccording to RaceFax Online, Jerez is planning a $20 million upgrade in an attempt to get the Spanish GP back. The entire surface will be repaved, and the starting line will be moved to the back straight, between the Sito Pons and Dry Sac curves.  The French GP, was expected to shift to Paul Ricard, now that Bernie Ecclestone is involved, but instead will remain at Magny-Cours through 2005, the contract having recently been extended. Apparently there's a dispute with the lease holders at Paul Ricard.
6/4/00
Detroit Fairgrounds race track news  - The General Manager of the state fairgrounds was on the radio today talking about bringing the Grand Prix to the state fairgrounds. He said definitely that they will begin construction on October 1. The main grandstands that are in place now will be demolished this summer. In their place, a new grandstand with 40,000 seat capacity will be erected. Later seating will be added for an additional 30,000. That is the projected limit based on the venue's location. Construction is set for a one-mile flat oval and the road course configuration is still under consideration. There are a number of events that the organizers would like to bring to the new course. In addition to the CART event, they would like to draw the IRL, NASCAR Busch Series and/or Truck series. There was even mention of bringing the American La Mans series. There is still major political issues to overcome. So, we will have to wait and see how things transpire.
6/4/00
Milwaukee Rain-out News  - The race has been rescheduled for Monday morning, with a warm-up scheduled for 9 a.m. ET and green flag slated for 11 a.m. ET. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN2, beginning at 11 a.m. ET.   J. KIRK RUSSELL, CART Chief Steward issued this statement - "Weather conditions permitting, and I must say we don't know, but we will have a Champ Car warm-up from 8:00 to 8:15, a green flag at approximately at 10:05, and the Indy Lights race will be at approximately 12:30. We have some concerns about temperature because of the amount of moisture we had today. We'll slide the schedule as need be tomorrow to get the program underway. We've never had a Tuesday race that I'm aware of, but for whatever reason, we have to try to run tomorrow."  PAUL TRACY, - "I think it's just disappointing for the fans. We all want to race, we don't want to stay around another day and we have to test this week. It's just disappointing when you have 45,000 people here and you have to make a call. I'll race in whatever the temperature is (tomorrow). We're all professional race car drivers and we've all driven in bad weather at some point. I didn't do anything (today). I stood by waiting to go because it was touch and go for a while."   The last rain postponement of a CART event at The Milwaukee Mile was 1981. The race was initially scheduled for Aug. 2 and was run Sept. 5. Tom Sneva was the winner.  The last time a Champ Car event at The Milwaukee Mile was postponed and run the following day was in 1933. The event was originally scheduled for July 16 and run July 17. The winner of the event was Wilbur Shaw.  The Dayton Indy Lights Championship race (100 laps/103.200 miles), which had been scheduled for a 12:30 p.m. start Sunday, will immediately follow the Miller Lite 225. An ESPN2 air time for the race will be announced in the future.
6/4/00
More Milwaukee Rain-out News  - Christian Fittipaldi -"It's too bad they couldn't call the race one hour before so that the fans didn't have to sit around and wait. It's too bad that we couldn't get the race in because many of the fans won't be able to come back tomorrow. The weather isn't cooperating with us this year. We have had three postponements in six races because of the weather. It's frustrating for the drivers, fans and everyone. It was the right decision though because it was too cold for the equipment."  MICHAEL ANDRETTI - "I think it was the right decision to call the race because it was too cold. It was absolutely, 100 percent the right decision. We were going to have more problems because it was too cold for the tires. It's bad for the fans though. Most of them stayed at the track and were behind the grandstands. I hope most of them can come back but the reality of the situation is that they have jobs. Maybe there will be a lot of people calling in sick." 
6/4/00
Chanel Model to make acting debut in CHAMPS - See this article in the National Post Online Estella Warren made her small screen debut as Little Red Riding Hood taming the wolf in a commercial for Chanel No. 5 a short 18 months ago. Now the Peterborough, Ont., native will be making her studio feature debut as a femme fatale costarring with Sylvester Stallone in CHAMPS, a film about open-wheel auto racing directed by Renny Harlin
6/4/00
Milwaukee renovation news - There will be a meeting Wednesday where Governor Tommy Thompson will unveil the Wisconsin State's plan to for refurbishing the State Fairgrounds Park, which is where The Milwaukee Mile is located.  We hear replacing the aging main grandstand is not the top priority.
6/3/00
Penske confirms 2001 Indy 500 effort - Update - We were the first to break this news back on May 27th and now the other media is just getting wind of it.  TSN files this report today.  5/27/00 - Roger Penske confirmed at Nazareth today that he will run his CART drivers in the 2001 Indy 500.  Tim Cindric will manage the effort and will be in the pits at Indy tomorrow to learn all he can for next year.  When we quizzed him about the cost he said it was about $1 million per car to run the one race.  He said he expects the CART schedule to be left open for the Indy 500 again next year so more CART teams can compete if they choose.
6/3/00
Filming continues for CHAMPS  -  Sylvester Stallone and crew continued their filming of CHAMPS here in Milwaukee.  We expect an announcement on who will be the lead performers in about 2-weeks, possibly at the Detroit race.  We are told most of the filming will be completed by October and then the serious acting will begin, and continue through the fall and winter months.  The release date is still on target for next June.
6/3/00
Gonzalo Rodriquez Memorial Fund  -  So that Gonzalo's dream of representing and elevating the colors of his country does not go in vain, his parents have decided to honor his wishes by establishing a fund in his memory to support Uruguayan race car drivers.  Checks can be made payable to - 'Maria Fernandez Rodriquez Bongolt for the Gonzalo Rodriquez Memorial Fund' and sent to:
Banco de Montevideo
Acct. # 709088-2
Tres Cruces Branch
Blvd. Artigas 1825
Montevideo, Uruguay Attn: Mr. Camblor (Tel 598-2-401-1116)
6/3/00
Up close and personal with Nani Rodriquez and Marlo Klain -  On Saturday at Milwaukee, AutoRacing1.com had the opportunity to talk to Nani Rodriquez, sister of the late Gonzalo Rodriquez, and Marlo Klain (R), of ESPN fame.  Go to our Interviews page to hear Nani talk about how her and her family have dealt with the unfortunate tragedy of her brother's death last year at Laguna Seca, and hear Marlo Klain tell us how she became a motorsports journalist and her feelings on working with the Open Wheel racing set after starting out her career working for Inside NASCAR.
6/3/00
Seen at Milwaukee  -  Aldo Andretti, father of NASCAR Winston Cup driver John Andretti, is here at Milwaukee, meeting old friends.  We have yet to see his twin brother, Mario.  Maybe he's home prepping for his LeMans race in two weeks.  Next year, his son John will be driving a Dodge for Petty Enterprises.  For those of you who may not know, Aldo and his brother were both rising up through the motorsports ranks as drivers in the late 50's and early 60's when Aldo was seriously injured in a Sprint car accident that ended his driving career.  Up until that point Aldo was just as successful as his famous brother Mario.  One can only wonder what Also would have accomplished given his brother's success.
6/3/00
Tickets.com sponsor for Mario Andretti at LeMans  -  Tickets.com, the primary sponsor for Al Unser Jr.'s. IRL effort, will be an associate sponsor on Mario Andretti's Panoz Roadster at LeMans.
6/3/00
Michael Andretti crashes in Saturday morning practice  -  Michael Andretti has crashed his primary car exiting the 2nd turn this morning.  He walked away from the crash unharmed, but it looks like Michael will have to use his backup car the rest of the weekend.
6/3/00
Bowling for charity  -  Last evening it was the media vs. CART in a bowling contest to raise money for CART Charities.  A fun time was had by all.  AutoRacing1.com ended up bowling on the CART team as they were short of bowlers.  This event has been going on for several years and has become a Milwaukee race weekend tradition.  The media beat CART this year, after losing to CART last year.
6/3/00
Firestone to make harder tire next year  -  After today's interview with the top-3 drivers, where there was a lot of discussion concerning the continuing tire marble problem, we learned from a Firestone representative that next years tire will produce much less marbles.  We asked why not this year given Goodyear was gone and they have no competition?  Because Goodyear withdrew from competition for 2000 so late in the ballgame, Firestone already had the current tires designed and being manufactured, hence it was too late to make changes this year.  However, by next year expect an improvement.
6/3/00
Juan Montoya requires bodyguards back home  - Juan Montoya has become a true superstar in his home country of Colombia.  He is so popular he requires that bodyguards be with him every minute of the day.
6/2/00
Kurosawa withdraws from Milwaukee Takuya Kurosawa, still feeling the affects of his crash at Nazareth,  was experiencing momentary whiteouts in the turns today.  He wisely decided to withdraw from the race Sunday.
6/2/00
CART Station Child Care makes 2000 debut -  The CART childcare program will make its debut this weekend at The Milwaukee Mile, during the 6th round of the FedEx Championship Series.  CART Station Childcare is a specially designed mobile on-site child care center developed so members of the CART community can bring their children to the track and enjoy the weekend with them.  "We are very pleased to be working the Alphabet Junction to give something back to the members of the CART Community," said Patrick Leahy, Senior Vice President of Marketing for CART. "CART Station Childcare will provide a fun, safe place for CART children while their parents are hard at work around the race track."  The facility can accommodate 25 to 30 children at one time. It is equipped with a nap room, kitchen, bathroom and an infant/toddler classroom for the youngest children. An attached awning and tented area provides classrooms for older children.  In addition to The Milwaukee Mile, CART Station Childcare is scheduled to attend FedEx Championship Series events at the following venues: Cleveland; Michigan; Chicago; Mid-Ohio; Elkhart Lake; St. Louis and the season finale in Fontana.
6/2/00
Observations from morning practice at Milwaukee  -  Juan Montoya and Michael Andretti seem to be the ones to beat.  Both set fast times within minutes of hitting the track and both seem happy with their cars so far.  Andretti is always fast at Milwaukee, no matter where he starts.  Montoya is just fast everywhere.
6/2/00
Ganassi Team Press Conference -  We will have audio from today's Ganassi team press conference later today.  Some good stuff.  Stay tuned.....
6/1/00
Tagliani placed on probation - Update - We have been informed that our source (Autosport) was mistaken and Tagliani is not on probation.  This is as per Kirk Russell.  5/29/00 - According to Autosport, a fact that seems to have been kept low-key was that Alexandre Tagliani has been placed on probation by CART after Rio for his dangerous tire burning smoke-out he did on his first spin and for abandoning his car in the middle of the track on his 2nd spin.
6/1/00
Milwaukee Preview -  For a  preview of this weekends CART Milwaukee Race, please visit our race preview page.
6/1/00

Tom Kristensen tests for Williams againTom Kristensen, who may be trying again to get a ride in CART next year,  completed four days of running at the wheel of a BMW-engined Williams FW21B in early April and four more this month. The test team are trying to accrue as much data as possible in order to evaluate various compounds and constructions. "These first tests have allowed us to confirm the results of all our computer simulation work carried out at our test center," explained Michelin's Manager for World-wide Competition, Pierre Dupasquier. Over 1000km of testing has been completed, the data from which is being processed at Michelin's Head quarters in Clermont Ferrand. No comparisons have been made with rival Bridgestone as yet, however once the initial tests are completed more specific development work can begin. Dupasquier continued: "It is only as our program progresses that we will start to look at specific solutions for individual circuits. For the moment, it is very satisfying that we are not a million miles off the target pace." The test program has been an ideal opportunity for Kristensen to renew his acquaintance with Formula 1. He said: "I am very impressed by the progress. I have really enjoyed both sessions; it's not often you get the chance to put so much mileage on a F1 car." 
5/31/00
Team Target's first Indy 500 win a big one -  Indianapolis -- On a typical weekend, earning two top-ten finishes on the tricky oval in Nazareth, Pa. would be enough to satisfy a race team. But Target/Chip Ganassi Racing is not a typical team, and this was not a typical weekend. Following Saturday's fourth-place effort by Juan Montoya and a seventh-place finish by Jimmy Vasser in the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix, Team Target rushed to Indianapolis to partake in Sunday's Indy 500, its first since 1995. Judging by its performance, it didn't take Team Target long to get reacquainted with the 2.5-mile superspeedway. First-time Indy driver Montoya wasted little time taking over the top spot, passing polesitter Greg Ray on lap 33. From there, the 24-year-old Colombian dominated, setting an Indy 500 rookie record by leading 167 of the 200 laps en route to victory. "This was an amazing win for Team Target," said Montoya, the defending CART champion. "We had some of the best pit stops ever and my guys gave me a perfect car. Going into the weekend, I really wanted to win at least one race. After taking fourth in Nazareth, I knew that Indy would have to be the one. It didn't take too long for me to figure out the track and how to adjust to the traffic. It was very fast and very fun." Montoya took over the lead for good on lap 180 after passing Vasser, who fought a loose car the majority of the race. "I owe a lot to Jimmy," Montoya said. "He was very helpful in the weeks leading up to Indy and even during the race. This is a great win for everyone at Team Target." Vasser, who finished fourth in the 1995 Indianapolis 500, led five laps and earned his second seventh-place finish of the weekend. "Racing two-straight days was a lot of work, but to be back at Indy -- it was worth it," Vasser said. "We tried to stretch our fuel as far as possible, but we had to come in one last time. When that final yellow came out, I thought we had a chance to pull off the victory, but it wasn't quite enough. I'm very proud of Juan and of this whole team. Everyone worked so hard to make a victory possible. This was a great win for Target/Chip Ganassi Racing." That's an understatement according to team owner Chip Ganassi, who raced in the Indy 500 five times in the early 1980s. "I still can't quite describe how good this feels," Ganassi said. It's definitely the biggest win ever for Team Target. What an amazing effort by this whole team. To do what we asked them to do with two races and two totally different cars...this is such a satisfying way to finish up a phenomenal weekend. Both Jimmy and Juan had tremendous races. I couldn't be prouder of them or the whole team." 

Hot News Archives

2000 2001 2002
05/10/00 to 05/31/00
   

Go to our forums to discuss any hot news.

e-mail us:
contacts@autoracing1.com

Back to the top

AutoRacing1 is an independent internet online publication and is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by CART Inc., NASCAR, FIA,  FedEx, Winston, or any other series sponsor. This material may not be published, broadcast, or redistributed without permission.
User agreement & disclaimer

Copyright 1999 - 2000, AutoRacing1, Hamilton, NJ

 


Autocourse CART Yearbook 1999-2000

List Price: $34.95
Our Price: $24.47
You Save:$10.48 (30%)


Autocourse CART Yearbook 1998-1999

List Price: $29.95
Our Price: $20.97
You Save:$8.98 (30%)


Grand Prix Champions - Stewart-Schmacher

Our Price: $24.95


Bobby Rahal: The Graceful Champion

List Price: $34.95
Our Price: $24.47
You Save:$10.48 (30%)


Autocourse CART The 1st 20 Years

List Price: $39.95
Our Price: $27.97
You Save:$11.98 (30%)


Technology Of The F-1 Car

List Price: $19.95
Our Price: $15.96
You Save: $3.99 (20%)