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Thanks for visiting our Hot News 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 9/29/00 to 10/6/00)

10/6/00

The sweetest sounding racing engines anywhere For those fans who are going through withdrawal symptoms because CART has an off weekend, turn up your speaker volume, click here, and enjoy the sweet sound of  900 HP turbocharged Champ Cars as they power their way between the trees at Road America.  Any race fan that has not stood in the woods at Road America and listened to the sound of a Champ Car engine reverberate through the trees should make a point to experience it at least once in their lifetime.  It will be an experience you are likely to not soon forget.

10/6/00

Barber Dodge - Valiante Fastest on Wash-Out Day On a day that was a near wash out in preparation for the 12th round of the Barber Dodge Pro Series at the Racing For Kids Grand Prix, Road Atlanta winner Michael Valiante of Vancouver, B.C. was quickest in the only session worth running. Recent days have seen Southern Florida doused with rains of near Biblical proportions, and today was hardly an exception. Though not nearly as much rain fell today as had earlier in the week, it was sufficient to wipe one session entirely and delay another of the three scheduled. Valiante led the first session, which was the only dry session of the day, lapping the 2.223-mile infield road course at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in 1:21.001 sec. Three one-thousandth of a second behind was championship front runner Nilton Rossoni while third was Sepp Koster. American Jon Fogarty, the other title hopeful finished the day seventh fastest. The day’s second session, which was delayed by one hour as the track was flooded within minutes of the rains falling was run on damp, drying track. Drivers had to withstand track temperatures in the mid-90 degree range and very high humidity. Fastest in that session was Koster, well off the dry track pace at 1:27.675 sec. Floridian Ryan Hunter-Reay finished second to Koster at 1:28.148 sec. with Fogarty in third, two-tenths adrift of Hunter-Reay. The schedule has been altered on Saturday to accommodate one more practice session prior to the two qualifying sessions to be run later in the day on Saturday. Hopefully the rains will abate sufficiently to have a dry qualifying session; however rains are still prevalent in the region. 

10/6/00

Friday Trivia Question: 1) Who won the last race at Trenton Speedway when it was a 1-mile oval, and 2) who won the first race at Trenton when it was expanded to 1.5 miles?  3) Who won the last Indy Car race held at Trenton Speedway before it was torn down and who did he drive for?  What years did those races take place.?  Answer: 1) Mario Andretti won the final race at Trenton Speedway in 1968 when it was still a 1-mile oval.  2) Mario Andretti also won the first race at the new 1.5 mile Trenton Speedway in July 1969.  3) Mario Andretti also won the very last race ever held at Trenton Speedway in 1979 driving for none other than Roger Penske in a car sponsored by CAM2.

10/5/00

FIA World Council rule changes announced

The World Motor Sport Council met in Seville on 4 October 2000. The following decisions were made:
Sporting Regulations (as from January 1, 2001) 
Testing

No testing will be permitted on the Monday following the race on a circuit where a Grand Prix has been held; 

There will be a 3 week gap between races during the month of August and no testing will be allowed during this period;

No testing will be permitted at Silverstone, Magny Cours, Monza and Barcelona for 28 days prior to their respective Events. (All testing is already prohibited on other Grand Prix circuits).

Tires

A maximum of 10 sets of tires (previously 8) will be allowed during practice on Friday. Three of these sets, one of which must be of a different specification, cannot be used after Friday;

A wet-weather tire is now defined as having 5% less contact area than the previous specification. 

Press Conferences

The Friday Press Conference will take place at 15.00 (previously 15.30). 

Practice

The fifteen minutes of supplementary practice preceding the race scheduled in case of climatic conditions different from the ones in which all practice sessions took place has now been abandoned. 

TECHNICAL REGULATIONS (As from January 1, 2001:)

In addition to the Technical Regulations approved by the World Motor Sport Council on 21 June, the following measures will apply:

The loads applied to the rear roll structure have been increased to 50 KN laterally (previously 12 KN), 60 KN longitudinally (previously 45 KN) and 90 KN vertically (previously 60 KN). *A side intrusion test of the monocoque has been introduced.

The rear-wing is now restricted to three aerodynamic sections.

In order to help prevent aquaplaning in heavy rain, wet - weather tire diameter will be increased by 10mm. 

As from January 1, 2002:

The side intrusion test load will be increased to 200 KN (previously 150 KN) and the energy absorption to at least 8000 J (previously 6000 J). * 

In addition to the rear impact test, a push-off test of the rear structure will be introduced. · 10 KN is approximately 1 ton.

10/5/00

Ferrari expanding - Now that it has agreed to provide 2000 spec engines to the Sauber and Prost teams in 2001, Ferrari is expanding its engine shop in Maranello, Italy.

10/5/00

Major Speedway planned for New Orleans  The New Orleans Business and Industrial District is spearheading the development of the New Orleans International Motor Speedway.  The District is soliciting Letters of Interest and Statements of Qualifications from individuals and firms that have the ability to develop such a project in New Orleans.  Responses are due no later than 5:00 PM Friday October 20,2000.

10/5/00

PPI Atlantics operation to be taken over by Bill Margraff  Bill Margraff (Bill Margraff Racing) has come to an agreement with Cal Wells to buy his Atlantics operation.  The new 2-car team will operate out of Auburn, California and we are told two brothers (new to the series) will be the drivers.  The new team hopes to hire some of the existing PPI Atlantics staff.  We hear other team members have had some good job offers from other Atlantics teams.

10/5/00

Up and down year for AAR Atlantics team  The 12 race highly competitive Atlantic Season ended in the streets of Houston on Oct 1st with mixed results for the young AAR team. Alex Gurney finished 8th in the Championship. Alex Gurney: "I've learned a great deal this season and I think that by allowing me to fight at the very front, AAR has certainly made me a better driver. It's been a pleasure to work with some very talented, hungry and dedicated people. We started this team only in February and we were always a little behind the ball on our testing program.  Team Owner, Dan Gurney: "The Atlantic Series has tough competition for drivers and teams, and is a very substantial stepping stone on a career path. Alex not only gained confidence as a driver, but also learned a ton about car set up, driver feedback, etc. on both ovals and road courses. His attitude and mental outlook in the face of adversity and bad luck remained optimistic and focused. Our team manager passed his first season with flying colors also, keeping the team motivated and unified; working hard, showing humor and grace under pressure. We thank our sponsors and loyal fans for their support. 

10/5/00

FIA to issue tobacco ban after 2006 - The Motorsport’s governing body, the FIA, will introduce a worldwide ban on tobacco advertising from the end of the 2006 season. The move pre-empts plans by the World Health Organization to bring in a mandatory ban on all forms of tobacco advertising and sponsorship.  We wonder how this might affect CART or NASCAR?

10/5/00

Five finalists announced for Greg Moore Legacy award  Helio Castroneves and Roberto Moreno of the FedEx Championship Series, Casey Mears and rookie Townsend Bell of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship, and Andrew Bordin of the Toyota Atlantic Championship have been nominated as the finalists for the inaugural Greg Moore Legacy Award. The award, which honors the Canadian star and fan favorite who lost his life in the 1999 season finale, reflects the driver who best typifies Moore’s legacy of outstanding talent on track as well as displaying a dynamic personality with fans, media and within the CART community. The winner will be announced at the CART FedEx Championship Series Awards Banquet on Monday, Oct. 30 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. The award is designed to encompass candidates from the FedEx Championship Series as well as its two development series, the Dayton Indy Lights Championship and Toyota Atlantic Championship. There is a minimum of one driver from each series represented for the award. The voting committee consists of the three series presidents, Bobby Rahal of the FedEx Championship Series, Roger Bailey of Dayton Indy Lights and Vicki O’Connor of Toyota Atlantic; Player’s Forsythe Racing owner Gerald Forsythe; Bob Bexon, President and CEO of Imperial Tobacco Canada, Ltd.; Championship Drivers Association President Mauricio Gugelmin; former CART Chief Steward Wally Dallenbach and two annually rotating members of the media, one representing the print side and the other broadcast. This year’s media representatives are Robin Miller of the Indianapolis Star-News and Paul Page of ABC-TV.  A non-voting advisory panel consisting of Rena Shanaman, CART Vice President of Client Relations; Mike Zizzo, CART Group Manager of Competition Public Relations; and Adam Saal, Indy Lights Public Relations Director, assists the panel.

10/5/00

Birthday wishes to Michael Andretti  A reader writes to remind us that today is Michael Andretti's birthday.  Happy Birthday Michael!

10/5/00

Motorcraft joins Wood Brothers  Motorcraft, the Ford Motor Company brand of automotive components ranging from filters and spark plugs to engines and transmissions, returns to NASCAR Winston Cup racing in 2001 as the primary sponsor of Wood Brothers Racing. Today’s announcement in Charlotte, North Carolina, made by Allen Benson, brand manager for Ford Customer Service Division (FCSD), ended months of speculation surrounding the status of Ford Customer Service Division’s sponsorship plans in NASCAR Winston Cup racing. 

10/5/00

Thursday Trivia Question: What famous and notable drivers raced in the 1978 F3 race at Brands Hatch, as a support race for the British GP.  Answer: (1) Nelson Piquet, (2) Chico Serra; (3) Derek Warwick, (4) Tiff Needell, (5) Andrea De Cesaris, (6) Bobby Rahal, (7) Geoff Brabham, (8) Rob Wilson, (9) Satoru Nakajima, (10) Stefan Johansson, (11) Jim Crawford

10/4/00

2001 F1 Schedule (Events marked with *asterisk include F3000 support race)

Date Event Date Event
March 4
March 18
April 1
April 15
April 29
May 13
May 27
June 10
June 24
Grand Prix of Australia, Melbourne
Grand Prix of Malaysia, Sepang
Grand Prix of Brazil, Interlagos*
Grand Prix of San Marino, Imola* Grand Prix of Spain, Barcelona*
Grand Prix of Austria, A1-Ring*
Grand Prix of Monaco, Monte Carlo* Grand Prix of Canada, Montreal
Grand Prix of Europe, Nurburgring*
July 1
July 15
July 29
Break
Aug. 19
Sept. 2
Sept. 16
Sept. 30
Oct. 14
Grand Prix of France, Magny-Cours*
Grand Prix of GB, Silverstone*
Grand Prix of Germany, Hockenheim*
No testing allowed for 3 weeks
Grand Prix of Hungary, Budapest*
Grand Prix of Belgium, Spa*
Grand Prix of Italy, Monza*
Grand Prix of the US, Indianapolis
Grand Prix of Japan, Suzuka 

10/4/00

Mid-Ohio pictures by Dave Marcoux


Copyright 2000 Dave Marcoux, all rights reserved

10/4/00

Last weekend's TV ratings (Source: Speedvision)

• NASCAR Winston Cup (ESPN, 10/1) 2.93 rating / 7 share / 2.333m households
• CART (ABC, 10/1) 1.0 rating / 2 share (overnight)
• NHRA (TNN, 10/1) 0.6 racing / 1 share / 0.449m hh
• NASCAR Cup Qual (espn2, 9/29) 0.58 rating / 2 share / 0.423m hh
• NASCAR Happy Hour (espn2, 9/30) 0.39 rating / 1 share / 0.285m hh
• NASCAR Modifieds (espn2, 9/30) 0.36 rating / 1 share / 0.263m hh
• ASA (TNN, 10/1) 0.2 rating / 0 share / 0.137m hh
• CART Qual (espn2, 10/1*) 0.11 rating / 0 share / 0.081m hh

10/4/00

Wednesday Trivia UPDATE Answer - The historical GP AT RHEIMS France 1958; Troy Ruttman made his F1 debut, Phil Hill made his F1 debut, Juan Manuel Fangio retired & Luigi Musso met his fate.  Question: In what F1 race did (1) an Indy 500 winner make his F1 debut; (2) a future American World Champion make his debut; (3) a five time world F1 Champion retire; and (4) one of the greats of Italian Motorsports crash to his death.  Answer: Later today

10/4/00

USGP attendance good, but not a record?

Looking back at our records, we found that the last Australia F1 race held in Adelaide drew 210,000 people on race day, which is close to and we believe, slightly more than last weekends USGP at Indy.  Both F1 and CART have successful races in Australia.  The country is so far away and so large, it could easily support two successful F1 or two CART races on successive weekends.  It's too bad Adelaide lost its F1 race.  CART should add it to their schedule the week before or the week after their Surfers race (the two cities are far enough apart).  Why travel so far with all the equipment and personnel for just a single phenomenal event when you can have two phenomenal events (200,000+ attendance) by staying one week longer?  If Canada can support 2 CART races, certainly Australia can given it is the size of the USA.  Let's see how well the ALMS does at Adelaide on New Years eve.  CART would be well served to keep a pulse on Adelaide.

10/4/00

Chat Live with Bobby Rahal

Bobby Rahal will be on ESPN.com live today at 3:00 PM for an online chat.  You can submit your question now.  More

10/3/00
Tuesday Trivia  Did Bernie Ecclestone ever drive in a F1 Race? Answer: No, but he attempted to qualify for the 1958 Monaco GP.
10/3/00 1998 BMW Z3 for sale  Montreal Blue with tan interior and top, heated seats, traction control, CD player, 17" Michelin Pilots, Only 10,000 miles, Perfect condition and under full factory warranty. See Classifieds for details
10/3/00
New format for Dayton Indy Lights banquet  The 2000 Dayton Indy Lights Championship Awards Banquet will feature a new format at a familiar venue when the top performers of this year's season will be honored at the annual season-ending celebration at the Ontario Convention Center in Ontario, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 29.  The banquet, which will culminate with the crowning of the 2000 Dayton Indy Lights Championship winning driver and team, will be held in conjunction with the season-ending Dayton Indy Lights 100 Presented by The Los Angeles Times that will be run at California Speedway that morning.  It is the third consecutive year that the season-ending awards has been scheduled to be held at the Ontario facility, but the 2000 edition will be the first in the 15-year history of Indy Lights to feature a theater-style format and program. More
10/3/00
Getting ready for Australia.  An interview with Team Rahal's Dave Cline  A veteran of several overseas races, Dave Cline, parts manager and shipping specialist for Team Rahal, has the task of organizing and packing the team for the upcoming CART race in Australia. During the season, Cline is one of the team's shop-based foremen responsible for the purchasing of parts, processing incoming invoices and building maintenance. However, when CART heads overseas for a race in another country, Cline not only leads the effort to organize and pack the team's equipment, but is also is in charge of making sure it's unloaded safely at their destination and then repacked for the long journey home. More
10/3/00
Randy Dzierzawski resigns  UPDATE Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. announced today that Randy K. Dzierzawski has resigned his positions as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective October 3, 2000, to pursue other business interests. Thomas L. Carter, who currently serves as Vice President of Finance and Administration of a subsidiary of the Company, has been appointed Chief Financial Officer and will oversee the financial functions until a permanent successor is named. “On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Company, I would like to thank Randy Dzierzawski for over 10 years of dedication and hard work with Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc., and we all wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors,” said Robert W. Rahal, Interim President and CEO of the Company. Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc.  10/2/00 - According to Robin Miller in this article, Randy Dzierzawski has resigned as CART's chief financial officer.
10/3/00
Buddy Rice Press Conference Transcript  Buddy Rice of DSTP Motor Sports; the winner of the 2000 Toyota Atlantic Championship, was the guest today at CART's weekly press conference.  Will he be in Champ Cars next year?  Transcript
10/3/00
Stallone on Access Hollywood  On Monday night, October 2, the television show Access Hollywood featured an interview with actor Sylvester Stallone. The interview took place in Montreal, at the filming site for his movie "Driven". Stallone was dressed in his bright red Nextel race uniform during the five-minute discussion with Nancy O'Dell. Although the interview was centered on how Stallone has recently changed his life, the show spliced in some of the scenes from the upcoming movie. One such scene involved Stallone jumping into a pond to rescue a fellow driver who had run off the track and into the water. With pyrotechnics all around, Stallone attempts to free the driver from a sinking, burning race car. 

10/3/00

Frank Williams - embarrassed that CART has more HP than F1  In a recent interview about Juan Montoya, Frank Williams stated - "I don't think he's done anything but learn and improve by racing in CART for two seasons. After all, those cars have 900 horsepower which is, embarrassingly, more than we have."  Yes, Frank, Champ Car may have more HP now, but they weigh nearly 400 lbs more (including driver) than a F1 car.  When CART reduces the HP over the coming years, Champ cars will not only weigh 25% more than a F1 car. they will also have less HP, making them far slower, far less responsive, and far easier drive.  The F1 wags will have a field day with that statistic.  You might think so, but consider this:
F-1:     825 HP/1323 Lb (with driver) = 0.623 HP/Lb.
CART: 900 HP/1550 Lb (+ driver) = 0.529HP/Lb. (assuming a driver weighs 150 Lb.)
Clearly when one looks at road courses, Champ Cars do not have too much power, in fact they are underpowered compared to a F-1 car.  As many drivers said in Cleveland, "we don't have too much power for road and street circuits".  Taking up to 200 HP out of these cars for road and street circuits would put Champ cars at 0.411 HP/Lb. or 66% of a F-1 car and somewhere around that of an IRL car.  CART will clearly be a junior formula to F1 when that happens.  We can see Bernie Ecclestone smiling now.
10/2/00



Help Wanted - Track Support Engineer  Toyota Racing Development is looking for a Track Support Engineer.  Find out all the details on our new Classified Ad Page.  If you are looking for a job or know of someone looking for a job in an Auto Racing related field, our new Classified page is for you.  If your company or team wants to advertise a job opening, please contact us at contacts@autoracing1.com to place an ad.  With Silly Season upon us, many people are going to be looking for new career opportunities.  Could that be you?  Note: This page is brand new!  Look for new listings in the coming weeks.
10/2/00
Roger Penske becomes new member of legends in Racing  Marlboro Team Penske owner, Roger Penske, along with Eddie Sachs, John Zink and Dan Prudhomme became the newest members of the Class of 2000 in Legends in Racing, the hall of fame of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association. This year's balloting increased the number of individuals enshrined in Legends in Racing to 116. Elected in the Modern Era/Non-Driver Category, Penske was the only candidate of ten to exceed the 70% requirement needed to be elected.  Speaking of Penske, here is a trivia question for you - how many F1 Grand Prix's did Roger Penske start? Answer - Two, 1961 and 1962 US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.  On OCT 8, 1961 he started 16th in a Cooper-Climax next to Olivier Gendebien. at 1.20.6 min. and finished 8th.   On OCT 7, 1962 he started 12th, next to Tim Mayer, in a Lotus Climax, qualifying at 1.21.3 min.  He finished 9th. 
10/2/00
Did you know?  That Emerson Fittipaldi and Graham hill were the guys who stopped and pulled Peter Revson out of his fatal wreck at Kyalami  in a testing crash.
10/2/00
2002 CART schedule nears completion  According to Bobby Rahal this weekend, the 2002 CART schedule will be discussed at tomorrow's CART Board Meeting.  He said the hope is to add 1 or 2 warmer weather venues so the season can start one week after the Super Bowl and end in early fall.  Las Vegas and Phoenix were mentioned as possible new venues, but there is much concern in the CART community that these oval races will suffer similar poor performance as most other CART oval races and give CART another black eye.  The IRL has experienced poor spectator turnout at both events.  Although CART would likely draw more, would it be enough?  The downtown streets of Miami, in early February when the press is assembled in Florida for Speedweeks, is by far CART's best choice for a season opener.  Both Las Vegas and Phoenix can experience marginal weather that time of year, whereas, Miami is delightful.  The question mark regarding Miami is weather Ralph Sanchez would be able to make a downtown Miami event happen once again in time for 2002.  Rahal also stated that the last Nazareth race will likely be in 2001.
10/2/00
Another street circuit, another big turnout   UPDATE  the Sunday crowd was announced as 55,000.  10/1/00 - Even 90 degree air temperature and humid Houston weather could not stop CART from getting another big turnout for a street race.  Once again, nearly all seats were sold out at the Texaco/Havoline GP of Houston.  Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston race officials announced the three-day attendance as 103,200 an increase of 1,700 over last year's total of 101,500.
10/1/00
Did you know?   That Alex Zanardi does commentary for the Italian broadcasts of the CART races?  We didn't either, but that is what David Phillips quoted Jimmy Vasser as saying in this article.  

10/1/00

Mears wins, Indy Lights battle tightens up   The Dayton Indy Lights Championship will be decided in the last race of the year in Fontana California on October 29, after PacWest Racing’s Scott Dixon crashed out of today’s penultimate round on the streets of Houston, Texas.  Dixon, driver of the #17 Invensys/Powerware PacWest Lights entry, was left with “nowhere to go” when he crashed into the stationary cars of Jonny Kane and Derek Higgins on lap 20 – Australian Jason Bright joined the trio to see four of the race’s leading cars eliminated early. Kane had a mechanical problem and dumped oil all over the track before spinning into a tire barrier – Higgins, Dixon and Bright then joined the pile-up, allegedly because no caution flags were flown to indicate a problem at that turn. Dixon will now be left to fight out a three-way race to the championship with Dorricott Racing’s Casey Mears and Townsend Bell who finished 1-2 ahead of Felipe Giaffone today. Dixon, a 20 year-old from New Zealand, now has just a four-point lead in the championship, after having a 42-point advantage just two race ago. Results
10/1/00
Did you know?  That Francois Arthur Goldenberg was killed driving the Tyrell car at Watkins Glen?  True story, because we all knew him as Francois Cevert, but his real name was Francois Arthur Goldenberg.  He was Jewish and changed his name because he thought the racing world would not accept him if he was.  Did you also know that did you know that Jody Scheckter came upon the accident , and poor Jody , another South African Dutch Jew, was overcome by grief.  Mauri Rose, Eddie Sachs, Peter Revson, And Steve Krisiloff were also Jewish race car drivers, but they all kept it quiet from the press.  In fact, although he may try to hide it. Bernie Ecclestone, a former used car salesman  from the east side of London, England, UK, is also Jewish!
10/1/00
Low tire pressure required for Martinsville  Set up at Martinsville requires cars to run with low tire pressures as seen on Robert Pressley's Ford Taurus. Photo Credit: MSI / Brian Czobat.  Blown right front tires have been a big issue the last two years in NASCAR, but it seems more teams are having problems than others leading one to surmise teams are running various tire pressures.  Although this picture is of an left-inside tires, tire pressures are critical at all four corners of that car.

9/30/00

Casey Mears wins Lights pole   Casey Mears (Dorricott Racing/Sooner Trailer) Lola won his second straight road course pole and his second in the last three Dayton Indy Lights Championship races Saturday in the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston. Mears, 22, broke the day-old track record teammate Jason Bright (Dorricott Racing Lola) set in Friday's first round qualifying with a lap around the 1.527 mile street circuit at 84.936 mph (64.722 seconds). Mears' other teammate Townsend Bell (DirecPC Lola) will start second on the grid for Dorricott Racing's third front row sweep of the season. Bell qualified at an average speed of 84.696 mph (64.905 seconds).  Derek Higgins (Mexpro/PrecioBase.com Lola) qualified third to match his career-best showing that he set at Vancouver in 1998."  Jonny Kane (KOOL Lola), who had been quickest in both Friday and Saturday practice, was in the hunt for the pole only to hit the wall halfway through the session.  After giving his teammates a helping hand all the way to the front row, Bright ended up fifth on the grid to give Dorricott three race cars in the top five. He will share the third row with points leader Scott Dixon (Invensys/Powerware/PacWest Lights Lola).

9/30/00

Casey Mears Team Rahal test   Indy Lights star Casey Mears tested for Team Rahal at the California Speedway last week (9/20-9/21) running over 400-miles over two days in the Team Rahal test car. Mears' top speed was a lap of 227.8 mph on the two-mile super speedway in Fontana, CA. The test focused entirely on the Team Rahal race setup an aerodynamic issues with the car. "I had promised Casey he could have a chance to test one of Team Rahal's cars this season and Casey helped us out by testing at Fontana last week," said Team Rahal owner Bobby Rahal. "He certainly proved he is at home in a Champ Car during the test and it allowed us to give Max and Kenny a break during a busy time in the schedule. Casey is one of the bright young stars in open-wheel racing and I have no doubt he has a great future ahead of him in Champ Cars." Team Rahal Technical Coordinator Ray Leto, a veteran Champ Car race engineer, oversaw the test with Mears. "I am impressed with Casey's ability to get up to speed quickly in a car that he wasn't familiar with. He has a great feel for the car and we were able to make small changes and he was able to give us substantial feedback on the differences. Casey displayed a good sense of his abilities for being in a Champ Car for the first time. It didn't take long before he was running flat out and feeling at home in the car." "I felt the test went pretty well," said Mears. "The crew from Team Rahal knows how to get around that place and they have proven they have a great set up for either Michigan of California. I was comfortable because the car was working well and Ray and the rest of the crew really helped make me feel at home. It was a great experience and I just have to say thanks to Bobby for living up to his word and giving me a test." 

9/30/00

Audio Interviews from Houston

Casey Mears (Saturday)- Mears talks about the test with Team Rahal at California Speedway at which he logged 400 miles and posted a fast lap of 227.8 mph (0:38 Min)
Casey Mears (Saturday) -
Mears talks about the differences between his Indy Lights car and Team Rahal's Champ Car. (0:28 Min)

Kenny Brack (Saturday)- Kenny Brack talks about qualifying frustrations at Houston
Max Papis (Saturday) - Max Papis talks about qualifying frustration

Kenny Brack (Friday) - Kenny Brack talks about being happy with his first day on track at Houston (0:14 min.)
Max Papis (Friday) - Max Papis talks about the difficulty he faced during the qualifying session and how the Miller car showed improvement
(0:22 min.)

Kenny Brack (Thursday) - Shell driver Kenny Brack enters the weekend just 19 points out of first place in the FedEx Championship Series point standings. With 22 points available this weekend he could leave Houston the CART points leader. Brack talks about what he expects from the track here in Houston (0:49 min.)
Max Papis (Thursday) - Miller Lite driver Max Papis has finished in the top-five both times he has raced at Houston (5th in 1998 & 4th in 1999). Papis talks about the track in Houston and his goals for the weekend
(0:36 min.)

9/30/00

CART Manufacturers Forum from Houston   Participants: Roberto Moreno (Ford-Cosworth), Oriol Servia (Toyota), Paul Tracy (Honda) talk about HP reduction, Texas Motor Speedway, and other current issues n CART Full Transcript (Adobe PDF file)

9/29/00

Jason Bright takes provisional pole in Houston   Rookie Jason Bright (Dorricott Racing Lola) established the track record for the Dayton Indy Lights Championship Friday at the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston where CART's top-rung development series made its Texas debut. Bright drove one lap around the 1.527-mile track at an average speed of 83.336 mph (65.964 seconds) and topped a field of 16 other drivers. Geoff Boss (Cross Pens/Lacoste/ITIS Lola) had the best run of his 2000 season to take second on the overnight grid with a lap at 83.247 mph (66.035 seconds) while Mario Dominguez (Herdez "Viva Mexico" Lola) nailed third spot with a lap at an average speed of 83.010 mph (65.233 seconds). "We've made key improvements over the last couple of races," Bright said. "A couple of mechanical problems got in our way (in the last street race) at Vancouver. We had a much better car than we showed. We caught up on missed testing after St. Louis. We headed straight to Topeka after Gateway. I think we learned more in that one day of testing than we had in most of our testing for the year. We're finally back to where we were before we crashed at Chicago. We fell in the points in quite a hurry so I'm sure we can move back up in a hurry. We've had some hard times in a couple of races and it's come back to bite me. I've had five podiums out of the seven races I've finished, but three DNFs will kill you every time. This track is certainly bumpy. It's something we addressed at Topeka. We worked to make our shock package as good as it can be on a rough track. We're running a much better shock package than we ran before. The first practice was on a green track. We made a couple of changes for qualifying and the new rubber laid down from the Champ Cars helped. I was able to make my best time on our first set of tires. There's probably more left in the car." 

9/29/00

Buddy Rice takes provisional pole in Houston   2000 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship-winning team DSTP Atlantic and driver Buddy Rice today qualified on the provisional pole for Sunday's Toyota Atlantic race through the streets of Houston. Rice set a new qualifying record time of 1:07.038 to beat his previous Houston qualifying record (1:07.968), which he set last year while driving for Lynx Racing. "We came here with every intention of winning," said Rice, who clinched the Atlantic championship title just two weeks ago at Gateway International Raceway, near St. Louis, Mo. "After this morning's session, we made a lot of changes and went back to our basic street course set up. It definitely put us in the right direction. With a little bit of fine-tuning we should be able to find more speed. But, it's great to be on provisional pole with a new track record." With just three-tenths of a second covering the top five qualifiers, following Rice were David Rutledge (1:07.101), Martin Basso (1:07.206), Alex Gurney (1:07.216) and Andrew Bordin (1:07.323). 

9/29/00

Red Menace Chief Mechanic Andy Green wins "Give Me A Brake" Award Della Penna Motorsports Chief Mechanic Andy Green won the Brembo/CAM "Give Me A Brake Award" last night at the Championship Association of Mechanics' annual Crewmember Awards Dinner. Green received $1000 and a plaque in recognition of the "Give Me A Brake" award, which is given to "the chief mechanic who performs well despite adversity." The winner is selected by all member chief mechanics of the association. When asked whether he was surprised by winning the award, Green replied: "Very much so, yeah. I wasn't ready for it, no speech prepared or anything. The award means a lot to me, and also they guys, because they got me the award too. We started the year having a rough season, and then we got Memo Gidley on board and turned things around."   Among the other awards were the Snap-on Tools/CAM Top Wrench Award in Toyota Atlantic, which went to Jason Robb and Mark Anderson of (DSTP Racing) and the Air Products/High Pressure Awards in Indy Lights and Champ Cars, which went to Kerry Dunn of Dorricott Racing and Kyle Moyer of Team KOOL Green.  The Snap-on/CAM Indy Lights All Star Team consisted of Ed Daood (team manager, Lucas Racing), Sam Goldsmith (chief mechanic, Dorricott), Burke Harrison (data engineer, Dorricott), Tim Shank (gearbox specialist, PacWest Racing), Fritz Kroyer (Dorricott), Rick Wagner (tire specialist, Dorricott), Mark Hunter (transport driver, TKG) and mechanics Ethan Brown (Dorricott), Blair Julian (PacWest) and Tess Brelia (Brian Stewart Racing).  The Snap-on/CAM Champ Car All Star Team included John Anderson (team manager, PacWest), Richard Nault (chief mechanic, Team Rahal), Steve Challis (TKG), Dave Darrow (Shock Specialist, Bettenhausen Racing), Kevin Hanrahan (Gearbox Specialist, Team Rahal), Dan Hare (fabricator, Walker Racing), Troy Anderson (Tire Specialist, Marlboro Team Penske), Robert Christman (transport driver, Della Penna Motorsports) and mechanics Don Oldenberg (Patrick Racing), Eric Vanbibber (Team Rahal), Joe Hedges (Bettenhausen), John Piccinotti, Jr. (Penske) and Douglas Beaulieu (Team Rahal). Source: Della Penna Motorsports and Speedvision

9/29/00

Team Rahal unveils new paint scheme  The familiar No. 7 Miller Lite champ car driven by Max Papis is sporting a new paint scheme this weekend for the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston. The new look is designed to present the latest "Miller Lite theme" with white paint on the cockpit and engine cowling and blue paint on the car's sidepods and rear wing. Team Rahal is competing with the new paint scheme for the final three races - Houston, Australia and California - of the 2000 season in preparation of the 2001 Miller Lite promotional campaign that will include a television commercial with Papis.

9/29/00

Gonzalo family files lawsuit  The family of Gonzalo Rodriquez has filed a negligence lawsuit against CART and Laguna Seca as a result of his death last year at Laguna Seca.  No further details were released, so we can only speculate that the lawsuit claims the corkscrew could have been made safer than it was.  CART had no comment on the lawsuit.

9/29/00

TV Reminder For the first time ever, you can catch provisional CART pole qualifying live on ESPN2 at 3:30 PM ET today.

9/29/00

TV ratings for last weekend (Source: Speedvision) UPDATE NASCAR and F1 did not do so well in the LA market - U.S. GP  0.5 (1 share), NASCAR @ Dover 0.3 (1 share).  While it may be popular elsewhere, Formula One continues to be a complete failure in the US TV market

9/28/00

• NASCAR Winston Cup (TNN, 9/24) 3.2 rating / 7 share / 2.504m households
• NASCAR Busch (TNN, 9/23) 1.1 rating / 3 share / 0.876m hh
• NASCAR Trucks (ESPN, 9/22) 0.69 rating / 1 share / 0.549m hh
• World of Outlaws (TNN, 9/23) 0.4 rating / 1 share / 0.281m hh
• ASA (TNN, 9/23) 0.3 rating / 1 share / 0.227m hh 

 

 


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