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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)
6/15/00
Road Atlanta beautiful -  On RPM2Night this evening they showed quite a lot of footage of Mario Andretti ringing out the Panoz Roadster at Road Atlanta a few weeks ago in preparation for LeMans.  It is quite evident a lot of work has been done to improve the circuit.  It looks generally ready for a CART race and can be best described as one beautiful circuit that would a great addition to the calendar.
6/15/00
Burt Reynolds added to CHAMPS cast -  From TV Guide Online: Burt and Sly — together again for the first time! Britain's Press Association reports that Burt Reynolds and Sylvester Stallone are teaming up for their first movie, a racing flick titled Champs, set to begin filming in July. Stallone also wrote the script. Reynolds plays a wheelchair-bound former driver and Renny Harlin will direct. 
6/15/00
Dry weather forecast for LeMans - The three-day forecast says both Friday and Saturday will be partly cloudy, with a high of 81 degrees Fahrenheit (27.2 Centigrade) and a low of 63 degrees F (17.2 C).  Such hot conditions put extra stress on tires, as they deteriorate quicker, and turbochargers, which work better in cooler conditions.
6/15/00

New oval planned in Canada -  A new Super Speedway race track is in the works for the Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, area.  Supposedly they have big ideas and are interested in having CART, NASCAR, IRL and Dragsters run there someday, with Dragsters being the first in August 2001. Construction on the drag strip and amenities should begin this summer
6/15/00
Charlotte races to be shortened -  Charlotte's two Winston Cup race weeks will each be shortened by one day next season, with pole qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600 and UAW-GM 500 moving to Thursday nights. 
6/15/00
Evernham Dodge ready by August -  Ray Evernham says that he will have a fully-raceable Dodge Intrepid prototype ready by August, according to the Associated Press. Evernham and Casey Atwood are testing today at Greenville-Pickens Speedway to get some miles on the new Dodge Winston Cup motor. 
6/15/00
Herzog Motorsports to run Glen race -  Stan Herzog of Herzog Motorsports(#92 Attel BGN Chevy) confirmed that his team might race in Winston Cup as early as the Aug. 13 race at Watkins Glen. That will probably be contingent on how well BGN driver Jimmie Johnson performs June 25, when the BGN is at Watkins Glen. Herzog plans to field a Winston Cup team in at least five races next season and will have a full Winston Cup team in place by 2002. 
6/15/00
Job Openings -  Cosworth Racing has job openings in its Northampton, England office for CART Development Engineers with a Mechanical or Automotive Engineering degree, preferably with engine development or mechanical systems experience.  Be part of the team as they work toward the 17,000 rpm barrier in the coming years
6/15/00
Job Openings -  The McLaren F-1 team has the following job openings in their Woking England headquarters - Finite Element Analysis Engineer, Design Engineers, Electrical/Harness Technician, and Chief Accountant.  The Jordan F-1 team in Silverstone England has the following job openings - Test & Calibration Technician, Electronics/Control Systems Engineer.
6/15/00
Juan Montoya look out Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske's participation in the Barber Dodge Pro Series support race at Detroit this weekend will be a busy one. Not only will she participate in the CART driver autograph session at 4:45 pm Saturday in pit lane, but she will also throw up the tip-off ball at the WNBA Detroit Shock game at 6:00 pm Sunday evening after the race, and will sign autographs during halftime. 
6/15/00
Mild Seven cigarettes to pay Benetton more in 2001 -  The Japanese cigarette company Mild Seven will pay the Benetton team over $25 million more in 2001 than 2000 for the privilege of having the cars painted in their livery.  Supposedly the cars will revert to yellow and gray in 2002.  Yellow and gray is the color of Renault, the company that will own Benetton when it returns to F-1 full-time.
6/15/00
NASCAR struggles outside USA -  The immensely popular-in-the-USA NASCAR has been a flop outside American soil.  First it failed in Japan, and now Australia.  A source from Australia writes - Unlike the US, where there is a ready market for Chevrolet Monte Carlo's, Ford Taurus's etc,  US bodied cars for Bob Janes NASCAR franchise were not readily taken too by the fans here.  NASCAR racing went from a show that could draw 40,000 people to the Thunderdome Superspeedway,to watch 25 NASCARS, 35 AUSCARS and 75 other cars in the early 90's, to a sad spectacle that drew about 2000 last year. The rise of V8SUPERCAR is another major cause of NASCAR's decline. V8SUPERCAR is the fastest growing sport in Australia and is already challenging stick and ball sports for TV ratings. Links: Aussie NASCAR  V8SUPERCAR  Go to our forums to discuss this item
6/15/00
CART Philadelphia race -  With today's announcement that CART and Dover Downs/Chris Pook will be pursuing races in major cities, including Philadelphia, a reader writes - "I was pleased to hear that CART and Chris Pook have announced they are looking at street races. I think that the Philadelphia Naval Yard is a lot more logical than Manhattan or Washington, D.C. There is the potential for real racing (passing) on a semi street / airport circuit that does not exist at many street races. Chris Pook's e-mail to me said that he would explore the idea of a Philadelphia race with the CART Board.  Not very long after came this announcement. Time will tell. However, I think CART is committed to giving Dover Downs Entertainment a replacement race for Gateway if Pook can make it happen. Why not? Long 
Beach is CART's most successful race. I think Pook can make it happen again because the race could benefit Philadelphia Mayor Street's growth policy in the same way a CART race helped redevelop Long Beach (Los Angeles harbor). There needs to be a motivation to the city that makes economic sense. A race in Philadelphia could be a very big event. Lots of clubs, restaurants and hotels, and very accessible."  Editor's note - and last we checked Philadelphia is in the NE where CART needs a successful race.
6/15/00
Michael Schumacher to tour US on Motorcycle -  Michael Schumacher will ride a motorcycle with wife Corinna in tow into parts of the USA this week as he tries to clear his mind in preparation for the Canadian GP in Montreal.
6/15/00
No tire changes for 2001 -  F-1 will not change tire specs for 2001 as previously desired by Max Mosely to slow the cars.  The tires will stay with 4 grooves.
6/14/00
Mario Andretti report from LeMans Thursday -  Driver-of-the-Century, Mario Andretti, will be a guest on RPM2Night Thursday Night (7:00 PM ET) to talk about the LeMans race this weekend where his Panoz sits 4th on the grid after 1st day time-trials.  Americans will be cheering for the American Team - his Panoz car and engine are built in the USA and of course Mario is America's most famous driver.  Can the 60-year old driver bring home the bacon at that age?  It would have folks talking for quite some time.
6/14/00
Filming for CHAMPS to continue at Detroit -  Franchise Pictures, the production company for the Champ Car-based film preliminarily entitled "Champs", will continue shooting footage for the feature at this weekend's 19th Annual Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit.  Sylvester Stallone, featured star and producer of the film, will be at The Raceway on Belle Isle to continue work on the project. Cast members joining Stallone at Detroit are supermodel Estella Warren and German actor Till Schweiger.  The focal points of this weekend's filming will be post-race celebrations and Victory Circle activities. This will occur after the formal victory ceremonies for the CART FedEx Championship Series race on Sunday afternoon. Additionally, over 200 film crew members will gather aerial footage from helicopters over Belle Isle, shoot on-track action from the pace cars, and do work in the pits throughout the race weekend which is sanctioned by Troy, Mich.-based Championship Auto Racing Teams.  "Champs" is scheduled for release to more than 3,000 movie theaters in the 
summer 2001. The film is being distributed by Warner Brothers.
6/14/00
Reminder - Juan Montoya on Letterman tomorrow -  Target/Chip Ganassi Racing driver Juan Montoya, who won the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day, will appear on the Late Show with David Letterman at 11:30 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, June 15. The visit will mark Montoya's second appearance with Letterman, who is part owner of Team Rahal, which also races in the CART FedEx Championship series. Model Naomi Campbell is also scheduled to appear on the Late Show on Thursday. Montoya, the defending CART champion, will race for his third straight victory of the season on Sunday at the Grand Prix of Detroit. 
6/14/00
Kenny Brack to throw out first pitch at Detroit tonight -  Kenny Brack will throw out the first pitch Wednesday night at the Detroit Tigers' game.  In his new USA Today diary entry, he compares his pitching abilities to Juan Montoya.
6/14/00
Casey Mears tests PacWest car -  Casey Mears, who competes in the 2000 Indy Lights championship, had a test this past Tuesday in the Putnan Park circuit, nearby Indianapolis, with a car from the PacWest team.  The test is a part of the team's program to evaluate and develop young talents. Mears is the nephew of Rick Mears, one of the great legends of American racing (3 times Indy champion and 4 times Indy 500 winner).
6/14/00

Did you know? -  Did you know that most F-1 cars carry a longitudinal gearbox, whereas, Champ cars carry a transverse box?  The primary reason - a transverse box is easier to work on and works better with a sequential shifter, hence Champ cars carry this design.  A longitudinal box offers some aerodynamic advantages and with F-1 mandating flat-bottom cars, the F-1 designers try to clean up the airflow out the back of the car as much as possible by using a long slender design.  Under the rear bodywork area of a F-1 car, around the gearbox, is where a lot of their downforce is generated.
6/14/00
Did you know? -  Did you know that the 2000 Lola is the only CART chassis to use an advanced composite rear bulkhead?  Rivals Reynard and Swift are fitted with the traditional machined aluminum rear bulkheads.
6/14/00
Jason Bright Update -  Jason Bright tells us they are hoping to do another race as well as Australia.  They were aiming for Houston but with the Indy Lights race now at Houston it makes that option difficult because the money would have to be secured much sooner. Elkhart Lake is the only other race that they could possibly do that doesn't clash with Indy Lights and it would give him a bit of a head start for his Gold Coast debut.  He has fingers crossed something can be put together.
6/13/00
Firestone to use Long Beach tire at Detroit -  Jon Beekhius reports that Firestone will use it Long Beach tire at Detroit.  Driver had very little complaints about tire marbles at Long Beach.  Similar good results are expected at Detroit which might help the racing.
6/13/00
Benetton to build new car around new Renault V10 -  Benetton will build a totally new car around the all-new Renault V10 slated for 2002 when the French company returns to F-1.  The new compact and lightweight engine is said to feature a major design breakthrough.
6/13/00
Rockingham news -  Did you know that 28 foot high earth walls will be built up around the outside of the track to suppress noise?  How about the fact that the track surface will be laid to a tolerance of 1 mm+/1 (that folks is a smooth surface).  Whereby most US ovals have a single access tunnel to the infield, Rockingham will have three!
6/13/00
GP of Russia takes a step closer to reality -  The Russian government has given approval for plans to build a GP circuit adjacent to the capital city's Molzhaneyevsky airport.  Now all that is required is a private investor to make it happen.
6/13/00

Stock Price button update -  Whereas originally our Stock Price button on our main menu only returned CART's current stock price, it now returns CART, International Speedway Corp. (ISC), Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports (TRK), and Dover Downs (DVD) which owns tracks such as Long Beach, Gateway, and Dover Downs.
6/12/00

Roberto Moreno to chat online Tuesday -  Roberto Moreno will be online for a live chat tomorrow, Tuesday on CNNSI.com at 4:00 PM ET.  Please tell your friends and ask Super Sub all those questions you always wanted to.
6/12/00

New DTM race series a success, important for CART  The new German DTM race series was an instant success when 56,000 fans paid to see the opening round at Hockenheim on June 4th. Air horns honked continuously, fireworks erupted, smoke bombs were hurled and every incident was cheered.  Fans camped at the circuit the whole weekend and parties lasted into the night.  It once again proved that Germany's appetite for touring car racing is healthy.  That sounds like the weekend atmosphere that is missing from most CART oval track events.  This may be important to CART as some folks feel the support race for a CART event at the Lausitzring (rumored to be starting in 2001) should be DTM to help ensure a successful weekend.  The DTM series died four years ago, but has been resurrected again.  
6/11/00

Montoya's Letterman appearance to be rescheduled  UPDATE  According to this website, Juan Montoya will now appear on David Letterman's The Late Night Show this Thursday evening.  Interestingly, F-1 driver David Coulthard will appear Monday night.  
6/6/00
- Due to the rain delay at Milwaukee, Juan Montoya was not able to make his scheduled appearance on the Late Night Show with David Letterman yesterday.  It will be rescheduled. 
6/11/00

Engine power bands  - Did you know that the current generation of CART engines have a power band of 2,000 to 4,000 on short ovals, street, and road courses?  We bet you didn't know that Honda builds an alternate version of its engine for superspeedways with a power band as narrow as 600rpm.  Oh and did we forget to mention that although current CART engines are just now breaking the 16,000rpm barrier, at least one manufacturer says 17,000rpm is doable in a few years, even with the limitation on technology CART imposes.

6/11/00

All but two teams using same damping system  - All CART teams are using the Ohlins TT-44 damping system in 2000, all except Newman Haas and Rahal.  Newman Haas Lola's have access to an exclusive development contract with Ohlins Racing AB of Sweden.  What is different about their system is top-secret, but if you look at their dampers you will see more hydraulic tubing and control units than used by the other teams.  Some people suspect that the dampers may actually be driver controlled.  The Rahal team is using custom dampers made in-house by Tom Janiczek, formerly with Penske Racing Shocks.

6/11/00

Lola's harder to pass  - Patrick Carpentier was on RPM Radio this morning.  We found something he said very interesting. He said that there is more turbulence when following the Lolas with the new Handford wing.  Hmmm...could this be why it is so hard to catch and pass Montoya when he is leading?

6/10/00

Rockingham Update  - Work continues at a feverish pace to get Rockingham ready for a rumored CART race next fall.  Here are a couple of new construction photos courtesy of Rockingham Motor Speedway


Footings for the oval wall (L), Tunnel/Underpass construction (R)

6/9/00

CART Pace Car Driver website launch  - The official site of race car and CART pace car driver Marybeth Harrison has been launched!  If you haven't visited yet, feel free to do so at http://www.marybeth-harrison.com

6/9/00

How soon we forget  - Our Jim Allen writes - I was snooping around for a long-ago saved file when I came across this gem. It is from a story reported on Championship Racing Magazine's Web site on Nov. 17, 1998 that uses these quotes from Leo Mehl, former Executive Director of the IRNLS. The story described the IRL's switch to the current 3.5 litre engine formula and went on to discuss how it was a better formula for racing than CART's engine leases. The paragraph's below report on Mehl's poo-pooing an idea to have CART teams run at Indianapolis. Given the events of this past May, I think you'll agree these comments go a long way in showing the thinking and arrogance of the IRNLS' top brass was way off the mark. Some talk has also centered around the possibility of CART teams racing against IRL teams in the Indianapolis 500. Mehl believes that CART teams would be at a disadvantage if they were simply going to compete at Indy, and he admits that he's not particularly interested in having CART teams race just at Indianapolis. 
"I can't imagine why we would want people to do a one month show," Mehl said. "You've got to understand that we've got a series here, and we want additional competitors. Maybe it's okay to do a one month show, and we have plenty of equipment and engines available right now for that. We've not had any takers. It's important for us to have teams that are running the whole series.  "I personally think that the level of our competition is such, with the restrictions we have, that it'd be a tough ball game for somebody to come in here and run two weeks in the month of May and be competitive and be able to win against the talent we've got right now. Our guys race ovals every week. We're not looking for one month wonders." 

6/8/00

New Forum  - We have added a Sportscar forum to our list of available forums, for those of you who would like to discuss that aspect of our sport.

6/8/00


Ashley & Dario

Franchitti's contract is up, eying F-1 in 2001  - Dario Franchitti's contract with Barry Green is up at the end of 2000 and Dario has made it clear F1 is what he wants next year.  He hasn't hid that from anyone, including his fiancée, actress Ashley Judd.  Barry Green is said to be ready to offer Dario a new 3-year contract to stay in CART, but we suspect if one of the three F1 offers Dario is reported to have pan out, he will be in F1 next year.

6/8/00

Gidley outpaces Fontana at Mid-Ohio  - Memo Gidley was 7/10ths of a second faster at Mid-Ohio today than Norberto Fontana in the same Della Penna car.  We don't know if the times represent each drivers best effort, but it does underscore the fact that Memo Gidley 'belongs'.  Click here to see all the test times from today at Mid-Ohio.

6/8/00
Mario's countdown to LeMans begins  - The countdown to the 24 Hours of Le Mans has begun. Mario will co-drive the #11 Panoz Ford with David Brabham and Jan Magnussen on June 17-18. Tune in to Speedvision for live, continuous television coverage of the action from start to finish beginning at 9:30 am Eastern on Saturday, June 18.  Following is the schedule of events in local time: 
Wednesday, June 14
7:00-9:00 pm Qualifying practice
10:00 pm-12:00 am Qualifying practice 
Friday, June 16 
6:00-7:00 pm Drivers parade in Le Mans city center 
Thursday, June 15
7:00-9:00 pm Qualifying practice 
10:00 pm-12:00 am Qualifying practice
Saturday, June 17 
9:00-9:45 am Warm up 
1:00 pm Presentation of drivers
3:51 pm Start of formation lap 
4:00 pm Start of race

Sunday, June 18 
4:00 pm race concludes 

6/8/00
New Super-Sub, Memo Gidley, likely to get another chance  - RPM2Night stated last evening that Memo Gidley has a very good chance of substituting for Norberto Fontana at Detroit.  We spoke with Memo at Milwaukee and he said his first choice is to land a full-time Champ Car ride and has been seen at every event waiting for an opportunity.  One came up with Della Penna and he is testing the car this week at the Mid-Ohio open test, and hopefully will race it next week at Detroit.
6/7/00
Click to enlargeCART Popoff Valve Man, one of many volunteers that help CART  - We had the pleasure of bowling with Rich Ziegert, one of CART's volunteer Popoff Valve inspector's on Friday Night at Milwaukee where it was the media up against CART to raise money for the CART Ministries.  A fun time was had by all.  CART has many unsung hero's like Rich who give countless hours of their time to help the sport they love.  These people pay their own travel expenses and accommodations to the races for the chance to rub elbows with the people on the inside of the sport.

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