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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 8/23/00 to 8/31/00)

8/31/00

Did you know? - That Kenny Brack is engaged to marry Anita Gabrielsson?  That Cristiano da Matta's father's name is Antonio and can be seen at just about every race in the PPI pits?  Last quiz for the day - what is Luiz Garcia's wife's name?  Answer - Patricia.

8/31/00

Takuma Sato - remember that name - UPDATE - Can't say we didn't tell you so.  According to this article, Japan could have its very own rising son in the near future as Formula 3 ace Takuma Sato looks to be in line for a Formula 1 test contract, probably for Honda.  8/30/00 - Sato won his 2nd European F3 race in a row last weekend at Silverstone, beating highly regarded Brazilian Antonio Pizzonia and Tomas Scheckter, son of Jody. He started from pole and set fastest lap as well.  Toyota and Honda must have their eye on this kid.  8/24/00 - He is a Japanese F3 driver in the European F3 series and some Europeans are calling him the most exciting talent to emerge since Juan Montoya.  Is he the driver Japan has been waiting for?  Will he end up in CART or F1?  Time will tell.

8/31/00

Dodge Body Templates approved - NASCAR has approved and delivered to the teams the body templates for the 2001 Dodge Intrepid. The first cars with legal body's could hit the track in about 10 days.  The first on-track tests will focus on restrictor plate tracks as mid-sized tracks now use almost identical body contours between makes. 

8/31/00

CSS Stellar signs US racing sensation, Dan Wheldon - CSS Stellar have announced the signing of US racing sensation, Dan Wheldon, to their Sports Management portfolio.  Wheldon (22) – originally from Northampton, England – has taken the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship by storm. Graduating to the series at the start of 2000, the PPI Motorsports driver arrived in style, winning his first race.  Dan, currently based in California, stepped up to Toyota Atlantic having dominated the 1999 US F2000 Championship. Six victories from a total of eleven podium finishes earned Dan the Championship coupled with the ‘Rookie of the Year’ award and the ‘Road to Indy’ title.  Twice a finalist in the prestigious ‘McLaren Autosport Young Driver’ awards, Dan’s immediate aim is to win the 2000 Toyota Atlantic Championship and claim the ‘Rookie of the Year’ award.  Announcing the signing of Wheldon, CSS Stellar Chief Executive, Julian Jakobi, commented: ‘Dan is an extremely talented young man with all the necessary attributes to succeed in motor racing. His potential is evident.

8/31/00

McLaren to buy Dart parts maker - McLaren Performance Technologies' McLaren Engines subsidiary will acquire privately held Dart Machine Ltd. of Oldcastle, Ontario. Financial terms weren't released but McLaren plans to complete the deal by year-end. Dart Machine, with 60 employees, makes powertrain parts such as cylinder heads. It generated 1999 sales of 6 million Canadian dollars. McLaren Engines plans to use the acquisition to bolster its high-volume manufacturing capability. McLaren Performance had 1999 sales of $4.86 million.  (NOTE: This is not the same McLaren as in F1) McLaren P.T., formally McLaren engines is a designer and builder of powertrain components and systems for the auto and racing industries. They're big into Drag racing and LSR, especially those using turbocharging. They do concept vehicle design and build as well.  Dart Heads (aka: World Products) is a leading manufacturer of aftermarket performance cylinder heads, induction and other engine components.  Speculation? A McLaren-branded line of race engines, possibly for IRL or maybe even Indy Lights (badged with someone else's nameplate). The purchase of Dart gives McLaren mass-production capabilities in-house as the release suggests.

8/30/00

Tom Kristensen - F1's gain is CART's loss - Tom Kristensen could be the Next Big Thing in Formula One. He is rumored to possibly drive for the Jaguar F1 team next year.  He's paid his dues and proven his talent, and now just needs a final break to make it into the front line of motor racing. He's out-driven Hakkinen, Montoya, Irvine, Villeneuve and Zonta, among others. In 1993 he won the Japanese Fuji F3 World Cup Championship, ahead of Alex Wurz, Giancarlo Fisichella, David Coulthard and Jacques Villeneuve. In 1996, Kristensen tested for Team Bettenhausen, handily topping Jörg Muller, Alan McNish and Patrick Carpentier (the latter won the ride). The following year he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, setting two fastest laps and a new track record -- after joining the Joest-Porsche team just one week before the race, and with no prior track experience. This year, he won the 12 Hours at Sebring (in the No. 78 Audi) and the 24 Hours at Le Mans (in the No. 8 Audi), he's been conducting F1 tests for Michelin and along with piloting an Accord in British Touring Car Championship.  He has logged 6,000 miles of F1 testing so far this year.   He's done all that yet CART owners have overlooked him.......so far.  Tom recently slowed down long enough for an interview with Vanessa Hill of iZoom.com.

8/30/00

Watkins Glen gears up for return of Formula One - Watkins Glen International announced today that eight of the 39 Formula One cars scheduled to return to Watkins Glen September 8-10 will be former Formula One Grand Prix winners. The Formula One reunion is the feature event in this year’s Zippo U.S. Vintage Grand Prix. Headlining the entry list for the Zippo weekend are two co-Grand Marshals - two-time World Champion, Emerson Fittipaldi, and three-time World Champion, Jack Brabham. Fittipaldi won the 1970 Grand Prix event at The Glen in a Lotus 72 and is making a rare personal visit to the historic 3.377-mile road course. Jack Brabham is better known as “Sir” Jack Brabham. His name is synonymous with Grand Prix motor racing and he is the only driver in history to be knighted by the Queen of England for his services to motor sport. Several Grand Prix winning cars are scheduled to the attend the event including a 1969 Brabham BT-26. Originally driven by Jacky Ickx, the Brabham won the ‘69 Canadian Grand Prix and finished 2nd in Mexico. The Brabham BT-26 is now owned and driven by Bob Baker of Sun Valley, Idaho. Francois Cevert’s 1971 Tyrrell 002, a winner of The Glen’s ‘71 U.S. Grand Prix, will be returning to the site of its only victory. This special car only competed at Watkins Glen once and is now owned and driven at vintage events by John Delane of Redondo Beach, CA. The 1978 World Championship Lotus 79 driven by Mario Andretti is also scheduled to participate. A visitor to Watkins Glen last spring, Mario Andretti was reunited with his historic championship car and photographed for the current September issue of Road & Track magazine. The Lotus 79 won the Dutch Grand Prix and qualified on the pole at Watkins Glen, but crashed during warm-ups. It was then used as a spare for the 1979 event at Watkins Glen. Two Grand Prix winning cars originally driven by Alan Jones are on the entry list. The 1977 Shadow DN8, winner of the ‘77 Austrian Grand Prix, and the 1981 Williams FW07D, winner of the U.S. Grand Prix at Las Vegas. The Williams car was also driven by Mario Andretti at the U.S. Grand Prix in Long Beach but was involved in a crash. Cars driven by World Champions James Hunt, Alan Jones and Keke Rosberg are also scheduled to attend. Ferrari 312's driven by Niki Lauda and Jody Scheckter will make the trip to the Finger Lakes area of upstate New York. A 1976 Ferrari 312-T2 driven by Lauda to two Grand Prix wins is now owned by Bruce McCow from Bellvue, Washington. Jody Scheckter’s 1980 Ferrari 312-T5 was originally built for teammate Gilles Villeneuve. Now owned by Bud Moeller of Danville, California, Scheckter’s Ferrari was driven to its best finish, fifth, in the Long Beach event. Thirty-nine Formula One cars and five display-only cars are scheduled to attend the September weekend at Watkins Glen. Additional cars and photos will be available throughout the weekend on The Glen’s official website

8/30/00

Belle Isle may keep CART race.   According to this article in the Detroit News, Promoters of the Detroit Grand Prix race are seriously considering a proposal that would keep it at Belle Isle after receiving a detailed plan for improvements at the island park from Mayor Dennis Archer, they said Tuesday.  The promoter, IMG,  now say they are impressed with Archer's plan, which includes building concrete work areas for the race cars and concrete walkways for spectators.  Bud Stanner, vice-president of motorsports at International Management, said his group hopes to make a decision this week.  "We now have a detailed proposed plan for improvements for Belle Isle from the mayor, and we're in the process of digesting it," Stanner said Tuesday from his Cleveland office. "In the next very few days, we'll be reviewing those with CART. By the end of this week, I'm hoping we're going to know whether or not we're going to enter into a formal arrangement with the city to effect those improvements (for 2002)... It has been very well thought out by the mayor's staff." The news comes in the same month that developer Joseph Nederlander abandoned plans for a $200 million race course and entertainment complex at the Michigan State Fairgrounds that would have played host to the Grand Prix in the future.  

8/30/00

Last weekends TV ratings, NASCAR down slightly, IRL bad - (Source: Speedvision)
NASCAR Winston Cup (ESPN, 8/26) 3.66 rating / 7 share / 2.877m households
NASCAR Busch (ESPN, 8/25) 1.14 rating / 2 share / 0.894m hh
NASCAR Trucks (ESPN, 8/27) 0.86 rating / 2 share / 0.673m hh
IRL (ESPN, 8/27) 0.58 rating / 1 share / 454m hh
NASCAR Qualifying (espn2, 8/25) 0.53 rating / 1 share / 0.380m hh
ASA (TNN, 8/27) 0.3 rating / 1 share / 0.232m hh
IRL Qualifying (espn2, 8/26) 0.22 rating / 1 share / 0.156m hh 

8/30/00

Toranosuke (Toro) Takagi wins Formula Nippon title - F1 driver Toranosuke Takagi returned home from F1 to win Japan's version of F3000, the Formula Nippon title with three races yet to run.  His latest win was at Motegi (on the road course) where he beat Michael Krumm (who set fastest lap) and Satoshi Montoyama.  Will he stay in Formula Nippon next year after running in F1 or will he possibly look to CART with Toyota or Honda (as has been speculated about Sato below, but Toro has more links with Honda)?

8/30/00

Ayari abandons Indy Lights plans Soheil Ayari has pulled out of his planned return to the CART Indy Lights program due to budget problems. The Frenchman will instead concentrate on preparations for the F3000 2001 season. Ayari left the Brian Stewart Racing team earlier in the year to concentrate on his F3000 program, but had planned to return when the F3000 season ended. Ayari scored just one point this season, splitting with Coloni to join WRT towards the end of the year. 

8/30/00

Charlotte will use soft walls 2nd UPDATE This article (and this one) describes how today's tests went.  8/28/00 - Tomorrow, in a demonstration at Lowe's, production cars will be lifted by a crane and dropped approximately 60 feet to test some new soft walls.  - 8/15/00 - Lowe's Motor Speedway will be the first oval to use soft walls for a leading motorsports event.  When the Winston Cup cars arrive there in October they will find the exit of turns 2 and 4 to have a vinyl covered Styrofoam material placed in front, we believe sold by Simpson Safety products.  Our hat is off to Lowe's Motor Speedway for being at the forefront of trying to make oval racing safer.  We challenge all other oval tracks to follow suit.  When compared to a life, the cost is minimal.

8/29/00

Did you know? That Juan Montoya was flat through the kink at Elkhart Lake every lap in the race, full fuel load or not. It explains why he made many passes going into Canada corner that day.  Taking the kink flat on full tanks is not for the faint of heart.

8/29/00

An interview with Patrick Carpentier Read what Patrick Carpentier had to say about his season, his teammate, a CART race in Montreal and a lot more.....  Transcript 

8/29/00

CART weekly interview: Read what Adrian Fernandez had to say about who he will drive for next year, more Mexican involvement in CART, this weekend's race in Vancouver, and a whole lot more.  Transcript 

8/29/00

Papis looks for strong stretch run in last six CART races: Miller Lite driver Max Papis won the first race of the 2000 CART FedEx Championship Series last March and dedicated the victory to his late friend Greg Moore. But Papis' luck hasn't been the same since that exciting victory at Homestead, Fla., as Papis, who placed fifth in last year's CART standings, has suffered through seven DNF finishes in 14 starts. It will be an emotional weekend in Vancouver for Papis and his fellow CART drivers at the Molson Indy. It marks the first time Papis returns to his Moore's hometown since the Canadian's death last October in Fontana. "I have to think of the good things I did with Greg," said Papis. "He was a special friend and person, and we will all remember him in our own way. I talk to Greg's parents regularly. They know we all still care about all of them very much. I'd love to win the Vancouver race." Papis is also hoping to repeat his great stretch run of last year that included two seconds (Australia, Fontana), one third (Laguna Seca) and one fourth (Houston). "We had a very good test last week at Laguna," said Papis. "We learned a lot about our road setup and our test at St. Louis oval was excellent. I'm anxious for these next races." 

8/29/00

Bräck Comes To New Tracks But Still Wants A Victory: Shell driver Kenny Brack has faced the same challenges all season on the CART FedEx Championship Series. Th 34-year-old Swede has been racing on new tracks with a new car and against new competition. But Brack has been as close as possible to victory lane in the Shell Ford Reynard. He has a second, two thirds, a fourth, two fifths and a sixth but not his first win. "We have been close (to winning) this year," said Brack, currently fifth in the FedEx standings with 102 points, just four pints out of third. "Twice this year I was leading and stalled in the pits. It is very frustrating. I've had a car to win. Now I want to prove we can put the Shell car in the winner's circle. I haven't seen some of the upcoming tracks but I think we can continue to be in the championship fight. Getting a victory or two is our goal. Now we're coming back to my background - road circuits. I've never been to Vancouver nor have I seen the track. But I like Canada a lot."

8/29/00

Rahal Felt The Excitement At Road America: At Elkhart Lake, Wis., last week, CART president and three-time driving champion Bobby Rahal returned to one of his childhood stomping grounds, the picturesque four-mile road racing course. Having attended and raced on the legendary circuit for over 40 years, Rahal got excited like the little kid that watched his dad race there in the 1950s. "I was standing on the pit wall, watching the champ cars going over 200 (m.p.h.) on the front straightaway," said Rahal. "It was the first time since I retired (in 1998) that I want to get back in a champ car again. It was electrifying to me -- those cars on that track. Just thrilling."

8/28/00

Rockingham and Eurospeedway locations  In case you were wondering exactly where the two new European tracks are located that CART will race on next year. 


Click on left map to see location of both tracks.  Click on right mp to see detailed location of Rockingham

8/28/00

Ford wants to build facility at Silverstone  Ford would like to build a Motorsport Campus at the Silverstone circuit.  Silverstone is slated to lose the British GP rights to Brands Hatch in two years, but could remain a major test facility not only for its F1 cars, but also for testing of its CART Champ Car engines.

8/28/00

Petrobas re-signs with Williams  Brazilian petroleum company, Petrobas, has announced a two year extension to their partnership with the BMW Williams team.

8/28/00

Herdez team has productive test at Laguna Seca  Michel Jourdain Jr., "On Thursday we ran a few laps, because our transporter had a problem and got the track until Thursday morning. However, the Herdez/Bettenhausen Motorsports Team worked hard to have the car ready to run that day."   "On Friday we practiced in the morning and in the afternoon. Being 12th in the first one with a best lap time of 1'09.206 at 116.418 Mph. In the afternoon we were 8th and our best lap was 1'08.892 at 116.948 Mph. In the combined times we were placed 11th, which is good, because we were not concentrated in lowering times, we mainly were working on a good setup for the race."   "We worked on aerodynamics, testing new wings. Also we worked on springs and suspension. I think we really needed to test and these sessions were very productive, we learned a lot. After the testing I went back home (in Mexico City) and until Thursday I will fly from Mexico City to Vancouver, to participate in the next weekend's race."   Joe Ward, Team Manager, Herdez/Bettenhausen Motorsports: "Overall, our testing was very productive and we will take advantage of it for the race in Laguna Seca. At the moment, we are high motivated and we are looking forward the next race at Vancouver on September 3." 

8/26/00

Junqueira beats Minassian for F3000 title Brazil's Bruno Junqueira (Petrobras Junior) is the 2000 FIA International F3000 champion, despite finishing only ninth at Spa today. The race was won by the mercurial rookie talent Fernando Alonso, the Spaniard dominating the race to head an Astromega 1-2 finish. Marc Goossens was second for his first points since 1996, while Junqueira's title rival Nicolas Minassian (Super Nova) drove a strong race to finish a close third. Ultimately it was not enough, as the only way he could overcome Junqueira's points lead was to win the race.  Junqueira trailed home in ninth, but Minassian's failure to win ensured he took the title with 48 points to Minassian's 45. Mark Webber clinched third in the championship despite being classified only 16th after his collision.  Junqueira is a strong favorite to fill one of Target Chip Ganassi's open seats.

8/26/00

Help Wanted - PPI  The PPI CART and NASCAR teams are looking to hire the following individuals:  Fabricators, Mechanics, Sub-Assembly Technicians, Composite Technicians, Electronics Specialists, Machinists, Technical Services Administrator, Truck Drivers, Engineers, Paint & Graphics, and Aerodynamicists.  Send resume to the office in Santa Margarita, CA (Fax # 949-589-9078)

8/25/00

Get "Greg Moore: A legacy of spirit" at a discounted price

Greg Moore: A legacy of spirit
List Price: $29.95
Our Price: $23.96
You Save: $5.99 (20%)

This item will be published in October 2000. You may order it now and it will be shipped to you when it arrives. 

8/25/00

Castroneves breaks record at Laguna Seca - Marlboro Team Penske's Helio Castroneves (Marlboro Honda Reynard) established a new unofficial course record Friday in the final day of a two-day CART open test at Laguna Seca Raceway.  Castroneves, who has claimed two FedEx Championship Series victories this season and currently sits eighth in the season points standings (81 points), posted a quick lap of 67.602 sec. (119.180 mph) in today's afternoon session. The previous track record at Laguna Seca was set in 1997 by Bryan Herta, who turned a lap of 67.895 sec. (118.666 mph) to claim the pole position for that season's CART event. Full story

8/25/00

Latest Rockingham construction photos


The left two photos show the steel framework for the garages going up.  
The right picture shows the concrete pitlane being poured.

8/25/00

Off to the Races! Place your bid... The South Carolina Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators has 4 tickets "with Pit Passes" to the September 3rd (Sunday) Southern 500 Race!  The value is $140 for each ticket and the proceeds will go to the Palmetto Awards for our Scholarship fund!   You may bid on-line through Wednesday, August 30th. Highest bidders will be calculated on that Wednesday and the winners will be notified. All bids from all sources will be accepted. Please tell your friends and associates about this opportunity!  Place your bid!   Make your bid for 2 or 4 tickets and you could be off to the races!

8/25/00

Sigma Champ Car Team website - The new Sigma Champ Car team has launched their new web site.  We will have a full story about the new team, with some interesting insider photographs, this weekend.  Look for it.

8/25/00

Adam Andretti 2nd in points - After six races, John Andretti's brother Adam is currently 2nd in the USF3 point standings. In the last two races he finished 4th and 3rd respectively.  With good road racing experience from F3, is he CART or NASCAR bound?
1 STUART CROW USA 92 points 
2 ADAM ANDRETTI USA 81 points 
3 GEORGE FRAZIER USA 67 points 
4 SKIP WELD USA 61 points 
5 LUCIANO GOMIDE BRA 42 points 
6 PAUL JENKINS USA 22 points 
7 ROBERT SOLLENSKOG SWE 15 points 
8 DAVID ROSENBLUM USA 6 points 

8/25/00

CART & Formula 1 odds - In case you had not noticed, we now offer race fans both CART and F-1 race, pole qualifying and year-end championship odds, updated live everyday through our association with UnitedBet.com.  The odds viewer can be found in the right-hand column of our home page.  More detail is provided on our new Race Odds page.  Odds provided on AutoRacing1.com should be considered as (editorial) entertainment only, and does not constitute an encouragement to wagering at UnitedBet.com.  Check local laws before wagering online.  Many countries and states do allow it, some don't.

8/25/00

Unser and Andretti to race at USGP - According to this Autosport article, Al Unser Jr is to drive a works VIP car in the Porsche Supercup race supporting the US GP at Indianapolis.  Unser will go head-to-head once more with former CART rival Mario Andretti, who is driving a third entry for the Infineon/Obermaier team.  The deal was finalized in Spa on Friday, while the series regulars prepared for the penultimate round of the 11-race series. Dario Franchitti and Michael Andretti were both contenders for the drive, but busy schedules meant that they were unable to take up the offer.

8/24/00

Carpentier sets the pace at Laguna Seca - Patrick Carpentier (Player's/Indeck Ford Reynard) of Player's Forsythe Racing turned a quick lap of 69.133 sec. (116.541 mph) Thursday on the first day of a two-day CART open test at Laguna Seca Raceway. Carpentier's top time was set during the afternoon session on the 2.238-mile permanent road course. The Marlboro Team Penske combination of Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves continued their recent road course success during the first day of testing. De Ferran (Marlboro Honda Reynard), who had the top time in the morning session, recorded the second-fastest lap of the day at 69.162 sec. (116.492 mph). Castroneves (Marlboro Honda Reynard) posted the third-fastest lap of 69.293 sec. (116.271 mph).  Another full day of activity is on tap for Friday with testing scheduled to get underway at 9 a.m. PT. After a short lunch break, the test will conclude with an afternoon session slated for 1:30-4:30 p.m. PT.  Full story

8/24/00

Quote of the day - OK, so it's not CART, but it came from CART owner Derrick Walker's IRL driver Sarah Fischer when talking about this weekends IRL race at the new Kentucky track - "We are wide open all the way around this place".  Where have we heard that before?  Answer - most IRL events.

8/24/00

Melbourne keeps F1 race - Melbourne has signed an agreement to host the Australian GP through 2010.

8/24/00

Compton Hurt, may need relief: Veteran NASCAR driver, Bobby Hillin, has agreed to stand-by for Stacy Compton in preparation for this weekend's Cup race at Bristol. Compton, driver of the #9 Kodiak/Melling Racing Ford Taurus, sustained a broken right collar bone this week while playing racquetball as part of his regular aerobic workout routine (Melling PR)

8/24/00

Did you know? - That CHAMPS movie Director, Renny Harlin lives in LA and on weekends races at Willow Springs and other west coast tracks.  It's good to hear the Director is a true race fan, someone who understands the sport.

8/24/00

Quote of the week - Gordon Coppuck - 63-year old Gordon Coppuck, former McLaren F1 and Indy car designer had this to say to AutoSport recently when talking about CART, where he currently works for PPI - "I really enjoy the sport element of motor racing, which is very strong in the States" he said.  "I also enjoy the slightly lunatic, seat-of-the-pants engineering that is still possible over here" (here being the USA).

8/23/00

CART signs Simple Green as sponsor - Championship Auto Racing Teams announced today that it has entered into a three-year agreement with Simple Green, the non-toxic cleaning formula, to serve as the primary sponsor of the CART Safety Team. Beginning in 2001, the elite group will be recognized as the Simple Green CART Safety Team. Simple Green also joins CART's list of official partners as the "Official Cleaner and Degreaser" of the FedEx Championship Series, the Dayton Indy Lights Championship and the Toyota Atlantic Championship. "We are delighted to have Simple Green join CART as the primary sponsor of the CART Safety Team," said interim CART President and CEO Bobby Rahal. "Safety is a priority at both CART and Simple Green and it's great to have a company like Sunshine Makers, Inc., and its Simple Green product line join the CART family to raise the awareness for CART racing and our shared commitment to safety." Simple Green first entered motorsports this season with the sponsorship of the SCCA Trans-Am Series Rapid Response Team. The Simple Green family of products, manufactured and sold globally, are non-toxic cleaning solutions currently used both in the home and for industrial purposes. The partnership will reinforce the strong commitment to safety held by both CART and Simple Green. "We are very proud to announce this partnership with CART," said Mark Carter, Director of Marketing for Simple Green. "The one-of-a-kind Safety Team that CART fields provides an outstanding podium for Simple Green to promote its industry-leading cleaning solutions and our absolute commitment to safety. We view this as a truly winning combination."

8/23/00

Dennis playing mind games with Ferrari - McLaren team owner Ron Dennis is starting to play mind games with Schumacher entering this weekend. Dennis insists the Ferrari driver shouldn't be worried by the McLaren's performance advantage. McLaren cars have won three of the last four Grand Prix events, while Schumacher has lost a 24-point lead in the driver's championship. "If Michael says he is worried then he shouldn't be," said Dennis with his dry British personality. "There are five races to go and anything could happen. The championship could be decided by reliability as well as performance." Dennis has his drivers, Hakkinen and David Coulthard, 1-3 in current driver points and McLaren is first in constructor points. Schumacher captured the first three races of the 2000 Grand Prix season and has five wins overall. But since the Montreal win, Schumacher has scored just six points in four races. Ferrari and McLaren have six wins each.  · Schumacher talked before about the importance of a designer and engineer. If rumors persist, Ferrari might come up with the best in the business by next year. Renowned design engineer Adrian Newey, who has led both Williams and McLaren to World Championships in the 1990s, is said to have been offered a massive three-year, $36 million contract by the Italian car maker. "It is clear that if you have success in F-1, sooner or later you go to Ferrari," said Newey, currently with McLaren. "This is because everyone in F-1 dreams of working at Maranello (Ferrari's headquarters in Italy) at least once. If Ferrari makes me an offer, why not? I would have to think about it very seriously." 

8/23/00

Schumacher returns to site of 1st GP victory - Ferrari's Michael Schumacher has a special place in his heart for the legendary Spa Grand Prix circuit in Belgium. The two-time World Champion captured his first Formula One race in 1992 on the Spa-Francorchamps when he defeated Nigel Mansell in a Benetton. "I love racing at Spa for lots of reasons," said Schumacher, who returns this Sunday (August 27) in an effort to regain the F-1 point lead. "It's a challenging and therefore very satisfying circuit to drive while it also demands a good job between the driver and engineer to get the car working well. It's also the closest circuit to where I grew up, so it's almost a home race for me. Winning in Spa is as satisfying as winning at Hockenheim." Schumacher trails Mika Hakkinen by two points (64-62) with five races remaining. The German driving star didn't drive at Spa last year due to injuries.

8/23/00

Brack closing in on points lead - Shell driver Kenny Brack is making a believer out of the CART FedEx Championship trail after another impressive drive to the victory podium last Sunday on the picturesque four-mile Road America circuit in central Wisconsin. Brack, starting ninth, avoided some wild action on the track and took the Shell Ford Reynard to a third place drive in the 55-lap contest. Brack made a sensational charge in the last five laps but just fell short in his effort to overtake second place finisher Adrian Fernandez. Brack recorded his seventh Top Five finish in 14 starts this year and closed in on point leader Michael Andretti for the coveted FedEx title. Kenny sits fifth in points (102), just 23 markers out of Andretti's top position. "In the end, I clearly was closing on Adrian (Fernandez) but getting by him was another story," said Brack, who still seeks his first CART win. "I knew my engine sounded funny at the end, but it was running strong. I clocked some pretty good laps late in the race. It was a header problem, not the engine." Brack, the leading rookie in CART this year, is attempting to become the third CART rookie to win the FedEx Championship. Nigel Mansell won in 1993 and Juan Montoya won in 1999. "I haven't seen some of the upcoming tracks but I think we can continue to be in the championship fight," said Brack. "I'm happy with the first year at Team Rahal. Getting a victory or two is our goal. I'd feel better if I had wins right now than race for the championship."

8/23/00

Herta to run Laguna Seca - In an LA Times article today regarding a ride at Laguna Seca, Herta said "I think people will be surprised, " Herta said of the deal, which involves an existing team entering an additional car for Herta rather than having him substitute for an injured driver.

8/23/00

Jason Watt to drive Panoz Word from our Danish sources has it that Jason Watt is set to enter an event at the Nürburgring driving a Panoz LMP-1 partnering Karsten Ree and sponsored by Ben Blå Avis (a Danish publishing concern) in the Sports Racing World Cup series. For those who don't know, Jason Watt was a contender in the International F-3000 series (winning at Spa-Francorchamps in '99) but was paralyzed from the chest down after a tragic motorcycle accident in Copenhagen which occurred during a photo shoot last Fall. The amiable black Dane was being considered for CART and F-1 rides before the horrible accident sidelined his racing career.  Jason has recuperated extremely well and has been taking part in Danish Touring Car Championship (DTC) events driving a Peugeot 306 GTI with an articulated throttle/shift/brake mechanism with some very good results, inspiring Danish racing enthusiasm and aspiring young black drivers Internationally.  Criticism of Jason Watt's re-entry into racing has come from Danish racing veteran John Neilsen who has voiced open concern regarding Watt's race fitness and what may happen in the case Watt's car is involved a racing incident or catches fire as it takes several minutes to remove Jason from the car.  Ironically, John Neilsen co-drives the sister Ben Blå Avis Panoz LMP (to the) car Watt is scheduled to drive at the Nürburgring. Interesting enough, Watt's times are usually within .001/second of Neilsen's in nearly identically prepared cars at their DTC appearances.  For more information on Jason Watt have a look at his website (in Danish with some English text) .

8/23/00

Atwood to run three Cup races in 2000 Motorola announced it will be the primary sponsor of Evernham Motorsports with driver Casey Atwood in three Cup races this year, marking the debuts of Ray Evernham as a team owner and Atwood as a NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver simultaneous. The #19 Motorola Evernham Motorsports Ford will compete at Richmond, Martinsville and Homestead-Miami. Atwood, who will turn 20 on Friday, will pilot a Ford Taurus establishing the groundwork for the 2001 Dodge team, since the Dodge chassis will not begin its re-entry into NASCAR competition until the Daytona 500 in February 2001. Atwood will test the Motorola car at Richmond Aug. 28-29 in preparation for the Race at Richmond. You can see a transcript of the announcement on RPM 2Night at Desiree's Ray Evernham Page.

8/23/00

Herta in Walker Champ Car wows 100,000 at Eurospeedway If the indications of the 100,000 fans at the new Eurospeedway racetrack are any indication, the new race on the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series schedule at the German racetrack will be a smashing success. The champ car that is owned by Walker Racing became the first open-wheel car to ever run on the new 2-mile Eurospeedway oval with driver Bryan Herta at the wheel. Walker Racing sent team members Ron Catt, Rich Howard, and Andy Lewis over to set up the car for the demonstration. Walker Racing's regular driver Shinji Nakano was running at Road America this weekend, so CART driver Bryan Herta was the one to take the historic laps around the 2-mile superspeedway. Herta subbed for Nakano at Long Beach and Rio earlier this season when Shinji was recovering from injuries sustained in a private testing accident at Milwaukee.  Full Story | CNNSI (AP) Story

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