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DATE News (chronologically)

A conversation of confidence with Oriol Servia  "The question is how close you can get to the edge without going over. You are so focused, with such a big desire, that you never feel any fear." -Oriol Servia  Full Story


Mercedes teams excited about new mods  We hear the significantly revised Mercedes engine has made yet another significant leap in power and the Mercedes teams are optimistic about Mid-Ohio next week.  Mercedes doesn't sound like a manufacturer that's going away next year.


Something in the water in Wall Township, NJ  
One of NASCAR's biggest success stories, Ray Evernham, honed his skills on the high banks of Wall Stadium, In Wall Township, NJ. 
Bill White of Wall Township, New Jersey, had a destination in mind when he became a "truckie" for Team KOOL Green and it had nothing to do with steering the team's big rig across North America. Climbing into the cab of an 18-wheel transporter truck had everything to do with his desire to experience the thrill and excitement of pit stops. 

"When I joined Team KOOL Green prior to the 1999 season, it was with the understanding that I wanted a shot at going over the wall again," explains White. His claim to fame is that he is the only person to have worked 'over the wall' for Father/Son Indy 500 winners. White was the vent/air jack man for Al Sr. in '87 when he won Indy 500 and then again for Al Jr. in '94 when he won Indy 500. 

White lives a nomadic lifestyle trucking across the nation, (he will cross the country eight times per season) hauling equipment and race cars for Team KOOL Green race driver Dario Franchitti. It's something he has been doing for nearly 20 years and while life on the road is never dull, he misses his family and friends back in New Jersey. 

"My hometown is only about 45 minutes away from Newark and my family - Mom, Dad, brother & three sisters - still live in, or right around Wall," says White. "My brother was the one who got me into racing back in '82. He went out to the Penske shop to try to get a lawn mowing job... came back & said Penske Jr. was looking for someone to drive the truck for the Super-Vee team. I got the job and one year later moved up to the Indy Car team (Unser Sr.). 

"I've paid my dues and I can honestly say that there's nothing that can compare with the rush you feel during a pit stop. You have to be strong, in shape, accurate and above all else - fast. The car is in and out so fast, about 12 seconds." 

This season, White is armed with an airgun to be used in changing the outside rear tire on Franchitti's #27 car. He's still in charge of getting the car to and from most of the races (splits the duty with Brian Darr), but his focus on race day is one wheel instead of 18. 


German DTM drops Eurospeedway oval plans for this year  The ITR, organizers of the DTM, had planned to run its V8-powered machines with a modified aerodynamic package on the new German Eurospeedway oval on September 3rd, but have cited a lack of potential testing time as the main stumbling block to doing it.  There was simply no possibility to test our cars on an oval prior to the event,” said ITR vice-president Michael Bernard. “We’ve tried everything, but it was a problem with too many unknown factors.”  Instead they will race on part of the oval and part of the road course.  It has been rumored that a German DTM race will be a support race to next years CART race at the Eurospeedway. Source: Autosport


Andretti to test at Gateway August 8th  Michael Andretti will test at Gateway International Raceway on August 8th.  Andretti won last years Gateway race in a stirring battle with Helio Castroneves.  This will be the last year CART will race at Gateway.  It has been dropped from next years schedule.  His next test will be at Laguna Seca on August 24th & 25th - an official CART 'open' test.


Mark Webber gets Benetton testing deal  Reports in the Australian press stated that F3000 driver, Mark Webber has been signed on by the Benetton team to conduct testing duties for them, with his first session reportedly scheduled right after the Hungarian GP. The reports further stated that he'll be in action for a number of sessions in the remainder of the 2000 season, one of which will be an intensive session scheduled after the Italian GP at the Estoril circuit.  It furthermore stated that he might very well also be signed for a ride should the Benetton management decide to dismiss Alexander Wurz, in spite of comments by Wurz to the contrary.  Mark Webber was reportedly quoted as saying: "I was absolutely stoked when they phoned up and confirmed that they were going to give me a run in the car. We've been chipping away at this for a few months now and we've had quite a few conversations with the team and this is the result of those efforts. The September test is very exciting for me and for sure it's going to be a case of grabbing the bull by the horns and doing the best job I can and keeping errors to a minimum." 


Niki Lauda calls Montoya bigger gamble than Button  Former F1 driver, Niki Lauda said that he believes signing on the services of Juan Pablo Montoya might prove a bigger gamble than retaining Jenson Button for the 2001 season.  He added that he doesn't understand why Williams would want to replace Button as they have invested in him and he in turn has done a good job thus far.  Commenting on one of Button's possibilities should Williams decide to sign Montoya, he was quoted as saying: "A move to Benetton is good for Jenson. He has a lot to learn. Benetton will be good next year - good engine, good team and Briatore is clever enough to put it all together." 


McCaws donate $25 million to help children Jolene and Bruce McCaw announced creation of the Talaris Research Institute devoted to the study of early learning. The McCaws stated that the mission of the new Institute will be to determine how the brain works in infants and young children and to provide parents, families, educators and daycare providers the information and tools to enhance early learning, communications and quality of life.   It is anticipated that the start-up costs for the Institute over the next five years will be approximately $91 million. The McCaws have made a gift of $25 million to cover operating costs and a commitment to work with other potential donors and investors to ensure the necessary additional funding is secured. The McCaws are affiliated with 4000 Property LLC, which recently acquired the Battelle property and has granted the use of a portion of the site to Talaris who will develop and construct a fully-equipped, state-of-the-art facility. Talaris has retained the services of NBBJ, a Seattle architectural design and planning firm, for the project.


Testing update from Road America  - 4th UPDATE All times unofficial.

Driver Date Car Time
Dario Franchitti  8/3/00 Reynard/Honda 1:40.67 sec.
Helio Castroneves  8/3/00 Reynard/Honda 1:40.9 sec.
Helio Castroneves  8/2/00 Reynard/Honda 1:41.2 sec.
Gil de Ferran 8/1/00 Reynard/Honda 1:41.7 sec.
Michael Andretti 8/2/00 (PM) Lola/Ford 1:41.8 sec.
Michael Andretti 8/2/00 (AM) Lola/Ford 1:41.9 sec.
Alex Tagliani 8/2/00 Reynard/Ford 1:42.1 sec.
Christian Fittipaldi 8/3/00 Lola/Ford 1:42.1 sec.
Shinji Nakano  8/2/00 Reynard/Honda 1:43.3 sec.

Walker Racing Notes: Nakano - "The track was very nice, it's a good track," Nakano said. "We ran a lot of laps and it was a good test for our team. The track is similar to the track at Spa [Belgium], with the uphill turns and long straights. This is a fun track. It's my favorite CART track so far, and I have good hopes for the race to come." 

Patrick Racing Notes: “The Patrick Racing team had a very productive test at Road America,” said Patrick Racing General Manager Jim McGee. “We ran two days and made some very positive headway with the Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworths for the upcoming permanent road courses.  “Road America is one of the fastest road courses and it has a lot of different types of corners, so a lot of the work we did the last two days will apply to Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca,” McGee continued. “We were able to work on the overall configuration of the car, try a lot of different things and we are coming to a conclusion on what the car wants on these types of tracks. We have had good cars on the road and street circuits throughout the first part of the season, so this test has just added to the data we had and should provide us with the additional information we need. Although we made a lot of changes and tried a lot of different things, we were very competitive. Overall I am very pleased with the results of the test.”  “Because Road America is so long and has so many different types of corners and elevation changes, it is an ideal place to test," Moreno said. "Nothing can compare to testing on a course like Road America in terms of preparing a car.  “It was a very productive test and I am very happy with the way the Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth performed," he said. "We developed a lot of new things and made a big step as far as the setup and the endurance of the car for the road courses." Adrian Fernandez, in the #40 Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth, was equally pleased with the results of the two-day test. “It was a good test for Patrick Racing,” Fernandez said. “Once again Roberto and I were able to work very well together and produce some very positive results.”  “Road America is one of my favorite tracks to race and my favorite track to test," he said. "It is a good place to try different things. You can experiment there and a lot of what you learn will apply to other road circuits.  “We ran a lot of miles and, basically, tried a lot of different things during the test," Fernandez said. "We worked on the brakes, springs, suspension settings and things like that. Even with all the changes were able to run some very quick times and that makes me feel very confident.” 

Franchitti turned the fastest laps of the week on Thursday morning, but it was rumored that time may have been done on development Firestone tires.

Team Kool Green Notes: Franchitti ran more than 300 trouble-free miles over the course of the test, which attracted many of the leading teams in the CART/FedEx Championship. Franchitti completed 36 laps of the four mile circuit in the KOOL Honda/Reynard on Wednesday, turning a best lap of 1:41.89 in the process. The following day, he ran an additional 42 laps and was timed at 1:40.67, unofficially the fastest lap of the test.   “I always enjoy Road America, whether it’s a race weekend or a test,” said Franchitti, who earned his first Champ Car win there in 1998. “It’s my favorite circuit in the CART series.   “This was a good test,” he continued. “Although we unloaded with a good basic setup on Wednesday, the car was unsettled on the bumpy parts of the track. Overnight, (race engineer) Steve Challis worked on some different settings and Thursday the KOOL Honda/Reynard was much better – and it showed.   “That doesn’t mean we can just show-up in a couple of weeks and be guaranteed a spot on the front row. Track conditions change and the series is so competitive that a dozen guys are going to knock a second off their testing times by qualifying. But we’ll go to Road America with a good baseline setup and a pretty good understanding of which direction we need to go to go even faster.”   One team that elected to pass altogether on the Elkhart Lake test was the #26 crew of Paul Tracy.  "We didn't go because the guys were flat-out for three races in a row, and I'm testing at St. Louis [Gateway International Raceway] on Monday and Tuesday," Tracy said. "To change the cars from superspeedway to oval to road course and then back to oval, then finally back to road course trim for Mid-Ohio would have been too much. The guys needed a weekend off, and I needed a weekend off too." 

Ganassi Racing Notes: We originally reported that Helio Castroneves crashed in testing.  It turns out Juan Montoya Juan hit the barrier with the right rear, knocked the corner off the car, and bent the right front suspension. He had run all day, from 8 in the morning until he crashed at 3:30 or 4 in the afternoon. He escaped uninjured.

Team Rahal Notes: Kenny Brack also crashed, ending their test session early. Brack put the Shell Ford/Reynard into the Turn 5 tires after possibly suffering a brake problem

Newman Haas Notes: Michael Andretti had a very productive outing, but Christian Fittipaldi only ran about 1/2 hour before calling it quits, still suffering from his Chicago crash.

Penske Team Quotes: Gil de Ferran - "We had a good test at Elkhart Lake although we really only got in a half day on the track. At the start of the day it took some time to dry the track and then being a green track it took a while for the track to come in. However, once we got running we had a very productive day. We were able to take away some of the questions we had about which way to go on the Marlboro car and I think we'll have a good baseline set-up when we arrive for the race in a couple of weeks."

Player's Team quotes: "I am extremely happy because the car has been fast from the outset and I am able to really push it hard," said Tagliani, who is currently second among CART rookies with 40 points. We have been working mainly on finding mechanical balance in our qualifying set-up and our fastest lap (1:42.1 sec.) ranks right up there with the leaders. I have always loved this track and I can't wait to come back here for the race."

Most of the frontrunners in the CART championship were on hand for this two-day test on the 4.048-mile road course including Michael Andretti, Juan Montoya, Cristiano da Matta, Paul Tracy, Dario Franchitti, Kenny Brack, Max Papis, Adrian Fernandez and Gil de Ferran.

"It's always good to come here and figure out what works and what doesn't so that when race weekend rolls around, we have a solid base on which to start from for our set-ups," said Carpentier, who sits 10th overall in the driver's standings with 65 points. "We have managed to start from the middle of the pack to score valuable points a few times this season, but we need to climb our way back to the front of the grid for us to challenge for the checkered flag."

"We wanted to try out different things in terms of our aerodynamic package, as well as the roll center (suspension), and I am confident that what we have learned here will help us get to where we want to be," added Carpentier.

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