Hot News

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DATE News (chronologically 1/1/01 to 1/6/01)
More troubles for Minardi  Minardi has suffered another blow with two of their leading engineers defecting to rivals Prost. Gabriele Pagliarini and Jean-Francois Sinteff have left the team at a time when they have not even announced their engine supplier, driver line-up or sponsor for 2001.  This does not bode well for the team.
Jaguar announces new PR structure  Jaguar Racing announcea a new PR structure with the appointment of Nav Sidhu as Manager, Communications and Public Affairs for the Jaguar Racing team. Cameron Kelleher moves to the new position of Manager Partner PR and Marketing. James Thomas' position !s unchanged as Manager, Motorsport Communications, Jaguar Cars. Nav will join the team in March from BMW Williams where he 1s currently Media Manager. In the interim period, James Thomas will be the main point of contact for the media on 311 matters relating to the rate team and will coordinate a11 aspects of the launch of the Jaguar R2, Formula One car, on 9 January.   "We are very pleased to have someone of the caliber of Nav J d n the team," commented Bobby Racal, CEO and Team Principal, Jaguar Racing. 'I look forward to working very closely with him as soon as he is released from his Williams contract.'   Commenting on these changes. Stuart Dyble, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Jaguar Cars and Jaguar Racing sold: 'We have made these changes to improve focus and to streamline operations with the object of providing a better service to the media." 
Karting even on tap January 8th

WHAT: " Karting Challenge" A 10-week Karting League involving Indy Car Teams and other motorsports-related companies
WHERE: Stefan Johansson Karting Center 3649 Lafayette Road, Indianapolis (317) 297-5278
WHEN: Mondays starting January 8th, 4-6:00 pm
WHO: Bettenhausen Racing (2), C & R Racing, Hemelgarn Racing, Indianapolis Motor Speedway,IUPUI Formula Lightning Electric Car Series, Mo Nunn Racing, Panther Racing, Stealth Motorsports, Team Cheever, Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, United States Auto Club 
ADMISSION: A $1 donation will be asked at the door for all non-participants, with all proceeds being donated to Riley Hospital For Children in Indianapolis.

Test your NASCAR IQ (Check back in a day or two for the answers, and try your luck at five more questions.) 

1.What does a blue flag with an orange stripe signify?
A enter the pits
B start/restart of the race
C slower/lapped traffic must move over
D one lap to go
2. How old do you have to be to race in a NASCAR sanctioned event?
A eighteen
B twenty five
C twenty one
D sixteen
3. How many crew members are allowed over the wall in a NASCAR Winston Cup Series pit stop?
A five
B eleven
C seven
D as many as the team wants
4. What make of car won the first NASCAR Winston Cup race?
A Monte Carlo
B Lincoln
C Hudson Hornet
D Thunderbird
5. What was the first year NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams raced in Japan?
A 1995
B 1997
C 1984
D 1996

Test your NASCAR IQ (Check back in a day or two for the answers, and try your luck at five more questions.)  Update - the answers are now added in bold.

1. What was "Fireball" Robert's first name?
A. Jeff
B. Matt
C. Bo
D. Glenn
2. Who was the youngest driver, at age 19, to win a stock car race at Daytona International Speedway?
A. Jimmy Foster
B. Lyndon Amick
C. Jeff Gordon
D. Bill Rexford
3. What is the name of the backstretch grandstand at Rockingham?
A. Elliott
B. Pearson
C. Fireball
D. Hamlet
4. Who is credited with coming up with the name "NASCAR"?
A. Richard Petty
B. Bill France Sr.
C. Joe Weatherly
D. Red Vogt
5. What year was Watkins Glen International built?
A. 1945
B. 1956
C. 1963
D. 1969

F1 testing page added  Because F1 teams build completely new cars each year, all the teams except Minardi are frantically testing in the short off-season.  Therefore, we have added a F1 Testing Schedule page that will be updated regularly.  You can find the link on our main F1 Page.

Kyle Petty also in Daytona 24-Hours Kyle Petty will join Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Grand American Road Racing Association’s season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona on Feb. 3-4. Petty will drive a brand-new GT-class Porsche GT3RS fielded by Rodger Hawley's Orbit race team, a long-time entrant in road racing competition. He will be joined in the entry – appropriately wearing No. 43 – by Leo Hindery (former president of TCI Cable, Global Crossing and a business partner of Richard Petty), Gian Luigi Buitoni (former president of Ferrari of North America) and Peter Baron. This will not be Petty’s first foray in the Rolex 24, as he co-drove a Ford Mustang for Roush Racing at the classic enduro in 1986 with fellow NASCAR drivers Bill Elliott, Ricky Rudd and Ken Schrader (Source - Speedvision).


NASCAR Preview in Charlotte tomorrow  The 12th Annual T. Wayne Robertson NASCAR Winston Cup Preview is scheduled Saturday, January 6, 2001. This unique event, named in memory of its creator, T. Wayne Robertson, is the largest single-day charitable event in North Carolina. In it's 11 year history, the Preview has raised more than $2 million for charities. Attendees have the opportunity to meet their favorite drivers, see show cars up close, and make purchases from souvenir trailers. The event will begin on Saturday, January 6 at 9 AM. Coliseum doors will open at 8:30 AM. Armbands for driver autographs will be available beginning at 9 PM on Friday, January 5. Armbands will be limited to one per person. Parking areas will be open at 6 PM on Friday, January 5. RV parking is allowed but no electric or water hook-ups are available. Parking fee for RV's will depend on size of RV. Parking for event is $5. Driver interviews/auction/entertainment will be in the Coliseum. Showcars will be on display in the Coliseum Annex. Vendors will be set-up in the adjacent Education Building.


Three NASCAR drivers named to 2001 IROC series  2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Bobby Labonte, reigning IROC Champion Dale Earnhardt and 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Dale Jarrett, were announced as participants in the twenty-fifth anniversary season of the True Value International Race of Champions.  Also previously announced were NASCAR Busch Grand National Champion Jeff Green, and NASCAR Winston Cup drivers Jeff Burton and Ricky Rudd. Final driver selections will be announced next week.  Once again NASCAR drivers will dominate the field and will, therefore, win the series championship based purely on odds and the fact the series is run with NASCAR type car and on NASCAR tracks (i.e. all ovals).  We have long called IROC to be run in equally prepared Indy Lights cars, and on both ovals and road courses, so the series title INTERNATIONAL RACE OF CHAMPIONS would mean what it says and not really mean NASCAR RACE OF CHAMPIONS, which is what it essentially is.  And how come there are no F1 drivers in the field?  Perhaps a change to open wheel cars would prompt them to give it a try.

Reynard and Riley & Scott part ways  Riley & Scott and Reynard Motorsport recently reviewed their relationships and have agreed to a split, with Riley & Scott reverting back to being an independently owned company. Adrian Reynard, Chairman and Chief Executive, Reynard Motorsport, said this week, “We have been in discussion with Riley and Scott with regard to the future for several weeks now. We’ve been looking at the fit of the two businesses and believe that it is advantageous to both companies for us to go our separate ways amicably. The true potential of Riley & Scott and its expertise within its marketplace is not being realized through the association with us. We need to let Riley & Scott focus on its strengths, while Reynard needs to put all its efforts into its own core markets.” Bob Riley, President, Riley & Scott, adds, “We are directing our business towards evolving our sportscar product and other engineering projects, which has led to us working independently. We now need to move forward, while maintaining an informal alliance with Reynard and our existing joint activities. It is in all our interests that we continue to have an association.” Reynard Motorsport and Riley & Scott currently both manufacture for the sportscar markets with the Reynard O1Q sports racing car, an update of the 2KQ-LM introduced this year and the Riley & Scott MKIII, soon to be superseded by the all-new MKIII Series C for 2001. In addition, Reynard Motorsport dominates in the US Champ Car Series and Japanese Formula Nippon Championship. 
Monterrey, Mexico lap speeds estimated  Modeling of the new 2.1-mile, 12-turn Monterrey, Mexico CART circuit shows lap times to be in the 65 second range and average speeds around 116.3 mph.

Jordan Chief Designer leaves for Benetton team  Jordan chief designer Mark Smith has quit the team to be reunited with technical director Mike Gascoyne at Benetton.  Gascoyne quit Jordan last year to join Flavio Briatore’s team. The lure of linking up again with his former boss has proved too much for Smith, who will take up the same role at Benetton that he had with the Jordan team.  A spokesman for Jordan said Smith’s departure only two months before the new season was a big blow.   He said: "Mark has been at Jordan for 10 years, since the team began. It is a big loss for us, there is no doubt about it."  Smith is the third employee to leave Jordan in a matter of months. As well as Gascoyne, race engineer Sam Michaels has left to join Williams.   Smith has finished work on Jordan’s 2001 challenger, the EJ11, which is due to be unveiled in two weeks’ time.  Arrows chief designer Eghbal Hamidy has agreed to join Jordan but his contract with his current team runs for another 18 months and Tom Walkinshaw is refusing to release him.

CART testing page added  Because of CART's rule change that no in-season testing is allowed, all the teams are frantically testing in the short off-season.  Therefore, we have added a CART Testing Schedule page that will be updated regularly.  You can find the link on our main CART Page.  Also, if you count the number of drivers on that page, you will find that there will be a minimum of 30 cars on the starting grid this year, and possibly as many as 32 if the Swift Hartmann team materializes.  In either case, more than any other time in recent history of the series.
Herdez/Bettenhausen team to run Ford engines in 2001  The Herdez Bettenhausen Team announced today that they have reached an agreement to run Ford powered Lola's in 2001.  The team was running Mercedes engines last year but they pulled out of CART after the 2000 season.

India wants F1 race  The West Bengal, India  government has been asked to support the construction of a F1 track.  If approved, India will join the long list of countries wanting a F1 or CART race.


New track planned for South Africa  A new F1 track is planned for Welkom, South Africa, a town about 140 miles south of Johannesburg.  While Kyalmai has hosted the South African GP in the past, the track needs upgrades and the owners can't afford them.  The idea behind the Phakisa Freeway Track is to attract tourism to the area.

Tony Cicale leaving Team Kool Green, goes to Players Team  UPDATE The official press release (PDF) finally came out on Cicale's move. 12/22/00 - Paul Tracy's race engineer, Tony Cicale is leaving team Kool Green to perform similar duties for Alex Tagliani at the Players Team.  Cicale has been credited with helping calm down Paul Tracy and to drive smarter, and the Player's team hopes he can do the same with Tagliani.  Kool and Players are owned by the same tobacco company, and it looks like this move may have been done to benefit the Players Team which has struggled the last couple of years.  If you recall, there was some consider recently of moving Tracy over to the Players team in place of Patrick Carpentier.  Of course that never happened.  Instead his race engineer moved over.

Gorne leaves BAR  Rick Gorne, one of the partners of British American Racing and a driving force behind the success of Reynard Racing Cars, will leave the team this week.  Gorne, a founding member of the BAR Formula 1 team in 1998, was active in bringing BAR to a reality for the start of the1999 Formula One World Championship season, but feels it is time to move on, “I have personally achieved all that I can at BAR. It has been one of the most exciting, rewarding and challenging projects to have been involved with,” he said.  “Helping to create a Formula One team was a major achievement and I'm proud to have been part of it.”   Gorne added, “However, it's time for me to move on. I have many opportunities ahead of me and I'm looking forward to new challenges".


Craven to replace Pruett  UPDATE In a press release today, it was confirmed that Craven will indeed replace Scott Pruett. Earlier today - The Charlotte Observer reports that Cal Wells, owner of PPI Motorsports, has scheduled a teleconference for 3:30pm/et on Wednesday, January 3rd, to make what the announcement calls team/driver announcements. The teleconference should answer questions surrounding the #32 Winston Cup team for which Scott Pruett drove in the 2000 season. There has been speculation that Pruett will be replaced in that ride, perhaps by Ricky Craven, for 2001, but the team has officially said only that Pruett was under contract for 2001.  The PPI is also supposedly expanding to a 2nd car in 2001 with McDonalds sponsorship for Rookie Andy Houston.


Minardi confident of fielding a team in 2001  UPDATE It looks like the Minardi team is saved. French industrial giant Mecachrome has agreed to buy them and supply them Supertec engines.  Rookie Fernando Alonso will likely be one of their drivers.  1/2/01 - Although they have no sponsor, no drivers, and no new car to test like the other teams are already doing, Giancarlo Minardi said over the weekend that he is confident he will field a F1 team in 2001.  With only 20 cars certain for 2001 so far, it's a safe bet that Bernie Eccelstone will do whatever it takes to get the two Minardi cars on the grid.


Atlantics - Hylton appoints Brannan  Hylton Motorsports today announced the addition of Mr. Kyle Brannan as Director Engineering to the team. Kyle brings more than 15 years of professional racing experience including CART, Indy Lights and Toyota Atlantic to the team. "we are confidant that Kyle’s engineering and Hoover’s driving will ensure quite a few podiums, and strong chance of a Championship" said Richard Raeder - Team Manager. "We have been actively pursuing Kyle for sometime and are extremely pleased he has joined our team…..His winning record of the 1999 Championship, 2nd and 3rd place in 2000 along with Rocky of the Year for Dan Wheldon speak for themselves" mentioned Keith Hylton - Team Owner. " I am confident Kyle will ensure we run in the front, and be close to race set up when we arrive at the track" said Hoover (The Mover) Oris - Drive of Car #9 for Hylton. Hylton is currently reviewing Car #10 driver options. Kyle joins Team Manager/Crew Chief - Richard Raeder who has also won a Toyota Atlantic Championship in 1993 and competed in Le Mans, F3000, Indy Lights, F3 and holds a Honors Degree in Automobile Design. Hylton Motorsports is a premier open wheel racing team featured in the Toyota Atlantic Championship Series and is dedicated to the development of a championship team and drivers. Hylton Motorsports partners and sponsor is US Print Corporation a global leader in the printing of manuals and computer disks.


Fernandez Racing news  Look for Fernandez Racing to announce the sponsor of Shinji Nakano's car this week sometime.  Also, has learned that their car numbers will be #51 and #52.


Honda will win at least one F1 race in 2001  Honda President Takeo Fukui has stated that his goal is the Honda to win at least one GP in 2001.  When Honda puts their mind to it, they seldom fail.  While most car companies race to sell more street cars, Honda sells street cars to win more races.  Don't expect them to fail.


Japanese circuit war  With Toyota recently buying the Fuji circuit and announcing plans for major upgrades, Honda has announced that it is pumping $25 million in upgrades to the Suzuka circuit to ensure that it keeps the Japanese F1 race there.  There are 3 circuits that now want the Japanese GP - Fuji, Suzuka and Motegi.  Track upgrades are planned at Suzuka to ensure it keeps the Japanese GP. The Fuji circuit was recently bought by Toyota and there was speculation they would mount a bid to steal the race.  Run-off areas at the S-corner, Dunlop corner and Degner curve will all be widened to reduce the chances of drivers being hurt. The work is expected to be completed by March.   The pit-lane and paddock areas will be improved with an enlarged media center, extra pit garages and improved team suites being added.   There are also plans to increase the capacity of the grandstands, but that work will not be completed until the 2002 race.  Suzuka will host the season finale again next season after losing out to Malaysia this year. 


Minardi confident of fielding a team in 2001  Although they have no sponsor, no drivers, and no new car to test like the other teams are already doing, Giancarlo Minardi said over the weekend that he is confident he will field a F1 team in 2001.  With only 20 cars certain for 2001 so far, it's a safe bet that Bernie Eccelstone will do whatever it takes to get the two Minardi cars on the grid.


Team PRG likely to run 2 cars in 2001  We spoke with Team PRG today and were pleasantly surprised to hear they will definitely run Garcia Jr. in 2001 and they are pushing forward with running a 2nd car for Michael Krumm as well. The team will run Reynard's with Ilmor engines (yes, you read that correctly).  There is an outside possibility they will run a different chassis, but it will likely be Reynard's.  They hope to make an official announcement within 2 weeks.  See our CART, NASCAR and F1 main pages for the latest on who will be driving where in 2001.  We have also updated our 2001 Silly Season Page


Atlantics - Active Motorsports debuts new website  CART Toyota Atlantic team Active Motorsports has debuted their new website.  In other news, Daniel Incandela has been promoted from Team Manager to Operations Manager.  They will soon announce one of their drivers for 2001.


Jim Gilmore killed in car accident  Longtime AJ Foyt sponsor, Jim Gilmore, was killed in Michigan over the weekend after his 2000 Nissan pickup truck hit a patch of ice, flipped over, and crashed.  The passenger was able to escape with minor injuries.  The truck skidded on the driver side for some distance, filling the drivers compartment with snow.  Rescuers had to dig Gilmore's body out.  Our condolences to Jim's family and friends.  He truly was an important part of our sport.  Here is a link to a local newspaper report.


Jaguar plans get tentative OK  Jaguar's plan for a new facility located at the Silverstone circuit have been given a tentative green light except for one issue - they have been asked to reduce their request for 1,200 parking spaces and have been asked to consider having their employees car-pool or come in by bus.


Barcelona to get seating upgrade  Work will begin next month on the addition of 20,000 more permanent grandstand seats along the pit straight for Spanish GP track in 2001.


Who really was the greatest driver?  Happy New Year and New Century.  Contrary to what some might think, today begins the 'official' start of the 21st Century.  Who do you think was the greatest driver of the last Century? - Mario Andretti, Jim Clark, Dale Earnhardt, Juan Manual Fangio, AJ Foyt, Tazio Nuvolari, Richard Petty, Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna or someone else?  Cast your vote on our home page.

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