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DATE News (chronologically 1/19/01 to 1/27/01)
1/27/01


Lanina Ickx and Arie Luyendyk Jr.

2nd Generation drivers Ickx and Luyendyk in Miami The U.S. Formula 2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision began a two-day test session at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday, preparing for races during two HMS weekends this spring.  The U.S. F2000 will compete on the 2.4-mile road course on Saturday, March 3, during the Florida Dodge Dealers 400/Nextel 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series/Grand American Road Racing Association weekend.  The series will return for a pair of races on the 1.4-mile modified oval as the support events for Indy Racing April 6-8, during the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami. Among the drivers testing were a pair of second-generation drivers, Arie Luyendyk and Lanina Ickx. It was the first visit to the Speedway for both pilots. “This is not an easy track to learn, but it’s the best infield course that I’ve been too,” said the 18-year-old son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk. “It’s a great facility.” Ickx is daughter of Belgian endurance ace Jacky Ickx, regarded as the finest racer in international sports car history with six victories in the 24 Hours of LeMans. Jason LaPointe turned in the fastest lap in the opening session Friday, which was held on the road circuit, 91.264 mph. Saturday’s session will be held on the modified oval, which uses turns one and two of the 1.5-mile Speedway and the infield section between turns three and four. 
1/27/01


Kristian Kolby

Derek Hill lands F3000 ride, Kolby coming to Indy Lights UPDATE To add on our story on Derek Hill going to DAMS it has just been announced today that Dane Kristian Kolby, who drove for DAMS last year, has signed with Conquest to race in the Indy Lights in 2001. Kolby will be teaming up with Brazilian driver, Nilton Rossoni, the 2000 Barber Dodge champion, for the Belgian-owned Conquest team. "I am very happy to have signed Kristian as he has proven that he has the capability of securing titles, and that is what we will be expecting," said Eric Bachelart, the team owner, "It will be Kristian´s rookie year which will be hard, especially on the ovals, but we have an extensive testing and development program which will help him immensely and it will also help us providing him with the equipment he needs to secure success." Testing will start at Button Willow at the end of January and Kolby is full of confidence for the forthcoming season. "Conquest Racing has proved before that they can win races. Now I hope to make them say that they can win the drivers' championship as well." the Dane commented, "I am not moving to the States to take it easy and learn because whatever I do I want success, and Conquest Racing is a first class organization who presented me with the best opportunity to achieve my ambitions.' Champcars will be Kolby´s eventual goal and he is already in contact with teams about the possibilities of testing duties.  01/26/01 - Jean-Paul Driot’s well-respected DAMS team announced today that it has signed American Derek Hill to drive in the 2001 FIA International Formula 3000 Championship. Speedvision
1/26/01
More bad sponsor news for IRL PPG Industries has declined to renew its sponsorship contracts with Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 2001 season. PPG has sponsored pole and contingency awards for the Indianapolis 500 race, as well as the winner's trophy for the speedway's Brickyard 400 stock car race. The decision to discontinue Indianapolis Motor Speedway participation was driven by changing business objectives and customer requirements, according to Richard Zahren, vice president of automotive coatings. "PPG management concluded that in today's challenging business environment, our greatest priorities are focused on product and service requirements of our customers, and assuring our resources are directed to those priorities," he said. "Our racing programs certainly met their objectives, and we are proud of our part of the exciting tradition of Indianapolis Motor Speedway since the mid-1970s," Zahren added. "But circumstances and objectives change, as does PPG's business portfolio. We have significantly greater involvement today in aerospace, industrial and packaging coatings in addition to automotive coatings and glass. The combination of changing objectives and customer needs require redirection of resources."  Source Pittsburgh Business Wire
1/26/01
CART testing news There has been a lot of CART testing news stories and test times to report.  They can be found here and/or on our CART page.  Test times are summarized on our CART Testing page. MC
1/26/01
Two successful days for Team Kool Green at Phoenix Team KOOL Green and driver Paul Tracy wrapped up two very productive days of testing on Thursday at the one-mile oval of Phoenix International Raceway.  Under sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70's, Tracy and Team KOOL Green completed 273 miles over the two-day test. Tracy posted a fast lap of 21.0 seconds, one of the quickest times posted by the many CART teams testing with Team KOOL Green. The engineers opened the test Wednesday with aerodynamic testing and wind tunnel comparisons before moving to mechanical changes and full fuel runs on Thursday.  "We had two really good days of testing at Phoenix with Paul and Team KOOL Green," said team manager Kyle Moyer. "I am proud of the guys who worked so hard on the car. We learned a lot and finished four days of testing without a single mechanical failure. We've tested hard on both the road course and oval this week and the reliability and consistency of the Honda Reynard has allowed us to get a lot accomplished."  "I'm really excited about the new Honda Reynard we have," said Paul Tracy, driver of the No. 26 KOOL Honda Reynard. "One of our goals this year is to improve our consistency, and with the way the car has been running we are well on our way to meeting that goal. The engineers and the guys back at the shop are really working hard and it is showing in these tests."  Team KOOL Green heads home for a couple of days before Dario Franchitti and the team test the Homestead oval on January 31. MC
1/26/01
Body Dynamics NASCAR bodies fast  The #43 car, fabricated by BODY DYNAMICS RACING BODIES, INC., turned the fastest time on the final day of testing at 184.438 recently at Daytona. This not only made it the fastest Chevrolet, but also the fastest over all the makes that were in Daytona for the Busch Grand National test!  Story.  Turning in the most consistent performance over the two days, Stacey Compton and the Melling Racing team chose to do most all of their testing in just one of the two cars the team had brought to Daytona. The car was outfitted with a Dodge Intrepid R/T racing body fabricated by BODY DYNAMICS RACING BODIES, INC.  Story. PR
1/26/01
Rick Mast says yes to Hal Hick's  A few weeks after entering negotiations to drive the #50 Midwest Transit Chevy, Rick Mast has finally - officially - said yes to Hal Hicks' team. "We kind struck an accord around Christmas," Mast said, "and we've finalized it all now, so we'll just head on down the road and see what we can do with this thing. I'm pretty good at helping start-up teams or teams that need a boost, so I think I can help Hal and his guys." The Midwest team's engine plans for 2001 remain unsettled, which is "kind of dictating when we can test," Conner said. "We've been testing different people's motors in the car on our chassis dyno, so we've been doing a lot of in-house, in-shop testing." Conner hopes the team will get another chance to test its car prior to the Daytona 500. The team's cars for the ensuing three races - Rockingham, Las Vegas and Atlanta - are "ready to go," Conner said. FR
1/26/01
Two successful days for Herta at Phoenix Bryan Herta and the Zakspeed/Forsythe Racing Team wrapped up its final day of testing Thursday at Phoenix International Raceway. Completing over 350 miles in his 2001 Ford/Reynard, Herta felt the two-day test was a success. "We came here with several things we wanted to try. We accomplished everything on our list, and finished the test with a new list of tasks for our next test. We definitely learned a lot, and made developments throughout the day." This was Herta's first time back on an oval since his February test at Phoenix last year. "It felt good to be back on a true oval. I ran at Rio last year, but that has been the closest thing to an oval I have run on since this time last year. The weather was ideal, and we were able to complete several long runs." Herta ran in the top five throughout the two-day test, with up to ten cars on track. The Ford powered cars dominated the test with Papis setting the fastest lap at 20.72. Herta and Brack were also in the 20-second range. "We were right in there in terms of speed. We made several changes yet remained quick. Overall, I am really pleased with the test, and I look forward to testing in Homestead next week." The Zakspeed/Forsythe Racing Team will continue testing throughout February with Herta, and series newcomer Marcel Tiemann. MC
1/26/01
Trouble's ahead for Cheever IRL team? This news item does not bode well for the long-term future of Eddie Cheever's sponsorship. By the way, American Express announced earlier this week that earnings hit a record $2.8 billion, with strong gains in each of their basic business lines. Excite@Home, the broadband internet company controlled by AT&T, is taking a $5.4bn non-cash charge, largely reflecting the plunging value of its online media businesses and its stakes in other technology companies.  In a dramatic strategy shift, the company is also to close or sell a number of internet media units to concentrate in building up its high-speed internet access operations.  Its announcement on Thursday is likely to send a chill through the market and spark fears that other technology companies that made investments at the height of the dot-com boom may have to follow suit with similar write-downs. Excite added to the gloom by cutting its revenue and earnings forecasts for 2001, following the loss of revenue from shut-down businesses and a slowdown in online advertising revenue on its websites.   The company's shares plunged in after-hours trade.  George Bell, chief executive, said the company had taken a hard look at the rate at which it was writing off the intangible assets of its media acquisitions, including the excite.com portal and the bluemoutain.com online card site.  He said it was now highly unlikely that the online media market would ever bounce back to the values that it enjoyed in the late 90s. "There's a very clear message here that the party's over," he said.  The $5.4bn non-cash write-off in the fourth quarter included $600m from its regular write off of goodwill and intangibles. About $4.6bn reflected the additional write-off announced on Thursday, $200m related to the falling value of Excite's investment in other technology groups.  Mr Bell, who plans to step down as chief executive later this year, told analysts he would sell, drop or get out of any businesses that did not contribute to its broadband growth or contribute to profitability. Victims of the cuts would include imall.com, its e-commerce website, and enliven.com, the online advertising operation. "This company has always striven to do more," he said. "Now, we're going to strive to do less."  Excite said this week it was firing 8 per cent of its workforce as it tried to cut costs and accelerate its move to profitability.  In early January Excite also backed out of its plan to buy Pogo.com, the internet gaming site, while keeping a 10 per cent stake in the company.  Earlier this year, Excite also dropped plans to merge its international operations with UnitedGlobalCom's Chello operation.  Excite@Home reported a smaller than expected fourth-quarter loss after the close of trading on Thursday. It said it attracted 2.96m broadband customers, an increase of more than 150 per cent from a year ago.  The company posted a loss from operations of $36m or 9 cents a share, 1 cent better than analysts' expectations collected by First Call/Thomson Financial. Revenues rose to $169.1m from $128.8m a year earlier.  But it warned that first-quarter revenue in 2001 would drop 12 per cent to 15 per cent sequentially from the fourth quarter of 2000. Source FT.com
1/26/01
Lola's dominate at Phoenix The Lola, in the hands of Juan Montoya and Michael Andretti pretty much owned the oval tracks last year and it was widely recognized in the CART paddock that the Lola was the better oval car and the Reynard the better road course car. This year appears to be no different with four Lola's ahead of all seven Reynard's at Phoenix during testing the last two days. Leading the way was Italian driver Max Papis and Brazilian driver Cristiano da Matta turning laps of 20.6 seconds.  Their teammates, Kenny Brack and Christian Fittipaldi, were in the 20.8 second bracket. For a summary of test times see our  CART Test Page. MC
1/26/01
Buddy Rice to race in USA? It was initially thought that 2000 Toyota Atlantic champion Buddy Rice would race in F3000 in 2001.  He even tested for the Super Nova team.  However, the climate in Europe has changed and Buddy was at the CART Sneak Preview last week, still without a ride.  According to Autosport Magazine, French car giant Renault is tipped to link up with Super Nova as part of its staircase of talent to Formula 1.  Renault, which bought the Benetton Formula 1 team last year, may place two of its young drivers with the leading F3000 outfit for the coming season. If Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber sign for the team, Super Nova is likely to change its name to Renault.  Where would this leave Buddy?  Without a F3000 ride.  Buddy said he did not want to run another year in Toyota Atlantics, and his seat a DSTP has already been taken.  However, given that DSTP is very likely moving up to Champ Cars in 2002, would Buddy be best served staying with DSTP this year if they are willing to run him again (as a 2nd driver), knowing that it may be his best ticket to Champ Cars in 2002?  All speculation of course.  Buddy did say he was working on a couple of options.  Stay tuned. MC
1/25/01
Park adds to his Daytona Schedule: MTI Racing announced that Steve Park,  driver of the #1 PENNZOIL Chevy will be driving the MTI #98 C5 Chevrolet Corvette in the 2-hour Motorola Cup season opener to be held at Daytona on Friday Feb. 2 during the Rolex 24 Hour week. This announcement means a large part of the Earnhardt Racing Team has made the move to C5 Corvettes for the Rolex 24 and Motorola Cup races. Dale and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be driving the #3 GM Factory Racing C5-R Corvette in the Grand American Rolex 24 Hour race, and now Park will be driving the #98 production-based C5 Corvette in the season opener 2-hour Motorola Cup (Pennzoil PR)
1/25/01
Watch live Behind the scenes via internet  Catch Behind-the-Scenes Action Today starting at 9 AM.  Watch as the Fox Sports Net film crew works their special effects magic. Body Dynamics Racing Bodies, Inc. state-of-the-art paint booth is being used to film a new opening segment for the "NASCAR This MORNING" television show. You can watch the process live on our "Body Shop Cam", go to http://www.bodydynamicsracing.com/mainmenu.htm and just click on the camera.. MC
1/25/01
New associate sponsor for Andretti Archipelago, a leading electronic communications network and soon to become the world's first, totally open, electronic stock exchange in the United States pending approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, announced today that it will serve as an associate sponsor of Team Motorola for the 2001 CART FedEx Championship season. Story MC
1/25/01
New sponsor for Glen Busch race  Watkins Glen International President, Bryan R. Sperber, announced today that "Little Trees" air freshener is the new title sponsor of the NASCAR Busch North Series race at the track. The "Little Trees" 150 presented by Pepsi will be held on August 11 in conjunction with the NASCAR Winston Cup weekend, August 9-12. "We are very delighted to have the opportunity to team up with a track close to our headquarters in Watertown, NY," said Matt Larrivee, "Little Trees" motorsports manager. "This exciting relationship with Watkins Glen enables us to reinforce our support of stock car racing and serves as a strong tie-in with our sponsorship of the #61 "Little Trees" Busch North Series team." Watkins Glen is thrilled that another New York company has chosen to partner with us and take advantage of the excitement of NASCAR racing," said Sperber. "The combination of the "Little Trees" 150 presented by Pepsi NASCAR Busch North Series and the Global Crossing @ The Glen NASCAR Winston Cup Series races is sure to provide fans with a tremendous weekend of racing." Tickets for the 2001 season at Watkins Glen are now available. For tickets, reserved camping and additional information please contact the Watkins Glen ticket office at 607-535-2481 or log on to the official Watkins Glen Web site at www.theglen.com. MC
1/25/01
Champ Cars under the lights  CART Driving 101, "The World's Fastest Driving Experience," introduces a one-of-a-kind thrill, like no other in the world, "NIGHT RACING!" CART Driving 101, " The Official Driving Experience of Championship Auto Racing Teams" fleet of 20 Champ Cars, consisting of 17 single-seaters and three two-seaters, will be "Racing Under the Lights" at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway beginning on March 9, 2001, for the "Inaugural Night Racing Season." CART Driving 101 Night Racing classes will be held in Las Vegas under the lights at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. for anyone who has a valid driver's license and the need for speed. Following some classroom, trackside and safety instruction, you can drive a full-sized Champ Car at night under the lights. Jon Capps, lead driving instructor at Driving 101, said, "This thrill is one you'll never forget. You get the sensation of being a real race car driver with the lights shining down on you as you race around the speedway at speeds of up to 165 mph." CART Driving 101 is also targeting corporate America, including corporations bringing groups to Las Vegas for conventions, meetings, employee incentives, or team building activities. Robert J. Lutz, president and CEO of CART Driving 101 said, "We provide the most professional and technically advanced driving experience in the world, which is what Corporate Groups are looking for. Corporate clients need a unique and rewarding event for the nights they're in Las Vegas besides gambling after their day's work is done.  Following a successful inaugural season, CART Driving 101 will be opening two additional locations in 2001 at Chicago Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway. For more information on CART Driving 101 or to make a reservation, call toll free, at 1-877-CART-101 or by visiting the CART Driving 101 website: www.driving101.com. All major credit cards are accepted and gift certificates are available. MC
1/24/01
Herta back on track at Phoenix  CART's youngest American driver, Bryan Herta was back in his 2001 Ford/Reynard today, as he completed 138 miles at Phoenix International Raceway. With as many as ten cars testing, Herta's best time matched those of the five fastest cars on track. With the ambient temperature as high as 72 degrees, Herta was pleased with today's outcome. "We were fortunate today, as we had ideal weather for testing. We had a very good morning, and we were able to get a lot of track time. This afternoon we had a few problems which held us back a bit, but I feel positive overall with the progress we made today." Herta and his Zakspeed/Forsythe team will return to the one-mile oval tomorrow, with a full schedule. "We still have a lot we would like to accomplish on this test. Tomorrow we will need to make up a bit of time, as we lost some time this afternoon. The team is doing a great job, and the car feels good. I am looking forward to another solid day tomorrow." MC
1/24/01
Gil de Ferran crashes heavily at Phoenix  Speedvision.com is reporting that Gil De Ferran crashed heavily today at Phoenix suffering heavy damage to his car.  We are hearing the HANS Device worked well as de Ferran was not injured.  We have posted test times from today on our CART Testing page. MC
1/24/01
Montreal - CART vs. F1  One of our readers did a little number crunching to estimate what the lap times for a Champ car would be in relation to a F1 car at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit in Montreal.  Some people think the Champ cars will be much slower because they weigh 400 Lbs or nearly 30% more (with driver).  However, this is what he came up with.  On average a Champ Car is 19% faster than a Toyota Atlantic car on road courses.  Applying that ratio to the lap times the Toyota Atlantic cars ran last year at the Montreal circuit (Pole time 1:38 min.) and the resulting lap time for a Champ car would put it 4th on the F1 grid with a time of 1:18.9.....much higher than we originally thought.  We are trying to get our hands on a simulation program output from one of the teams to see how close our estimates are. Remember too that CART has lowered its engine power for 2001 and F1 is in a tire war situation which will drastically reduce lap times this year. Meanwhile Firestone has gone to a harder compound in CART, slowing the cars, but reducing marbles.   We still think the changes shown in this diagram should be made to improve the chances for overtaking, lengthen the pitlane to accommodate 30+ cars, and avoid a F1 vs. CART comparison. MC
1/24/01
More CART teams schedule tests at TMS  Concerns about the lack of CART testing for the inaugural Texas 600k on April 29 should ease with Tuesday's announcement of several test dates.  CART and Firestone will conduct a joint test at TMS on Feb. 20. Then, PacWest, Team Green and Roger Penske's operation will test from Feb. 21-23. See our CART Testing Page. Newman/Haas Racing drivers Cristiano da Matta and Christian Fittipaldi got their first view of the track they'll be racing on April 29.  The two predicted that race speeds will be higher than the recent test speeds posted by Team Rahal's Kenny Brack (216-221 mph).  MC
1/24/01
Smith wants 2nd Winston Cup date for TMS  Bruton Smith thinks that the Winston Cup schedule will undergo some major changes in 2002 and he is lobbying hard for a 2nd Winston Cup date for his Texas Motor  Speedway track. MC
1/24/01

Winston Cup car is first car to run at Rockingham, England  UPDATE Here is a link to an article giving more details about the test. 1/23/01 - Rick Fadrizzi, president of the Richard Petty driving experience in England, completed 20 laps of the 1.5-mile Rockingham, England track recently in a Winston Cup car, setting a best lap of 41.06 seconds, or 131.6 mph.  The time was done with only the base course of asphalt laid.  The top surface should result in even faster times.  Based on that speed, we estimate the Champ cars will average right around 200 mph when they arrive in September.  The Richard Petty Driving Experience will offer their driving experience at the Rockingham track. We hear the Jim Russell Racing School was going to offer classes at Rockingham, but the Petty contract precluded them.  MC
1/24/01
Tora Takagi quickest at Firebird  Does CART have its first Japanese driver that can win a Champ Car race?  Maybe so.  Tora Takagi is putting up some pretty impressive numbers in preseason testing.  Go to our CART Testing Page.  MC
1/24/01
Jourdain quick at Sebring  We hear Michele Jourdain Jr. driving the Herdez Bettenhausen Lola Ford turned an impressive 51.1 second lap Tuesday at Sebring.  To see how that time compares to other recent test times at Sebring, go to our CART Testing Page. Alex Zanardi was right on the pace too. MC
1/23/01
Mark Blundell in F1 broadcast booth?  An ITV spokesman said there is a possibility that Mark Blundell will work with ITV as a studio analyst for F1 races in 2001. MC
1/23/01
Pi Research turnover  We hear that Pi research, one of the main suppliers of Champ car computer data acquisition and control electronics has had some turnover in staff recently.  We hear their CART and IRL Business Manager, NASCAR Business Manager, NASCAR Support Engineer, and leading wiring guy all recently resigned.  As Pi employs only about 30-40 people in the US, this is quite significant.  To make matters worse for Pi, a new group, EFI, is getting help from Honda to try its hand at data acquisition in CART with Fernandez Racing.  MC
1/23/01
Ganassi duo tests at LVMS  Minassian and Junqueira were in Las Vegas Monday for the first day of a two-day test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Although LVMS will not host a CART race this year, Minassian said he hoped the test would lead to the series going here in 2002. "This is a great track," Minassian said after consistently turning laps at 211 mph in his first visit to a 1.5-mile oval. "It's really a shame we don't race here." Minassian was the only Target/Chip Ganassi Racing driver to test on Monday; Junqueira took to the track today in his Toyota/Lola. Although he wasn't preparing for a race at LVMS, Minassian said the test is giving him valuable seat time at the high speeds at which he will race this season. Full Story.   MC
1/23/01
Team Kool Green invades the desert at Firebird  Driver Paul Tracy and Team KOOL Green invaded Firebird Raceway in Chandler, Ariz., for two days of road course testing, Sunday and Monday, January 21-22. Tracy consistently lapped the 1.2-mile facility in the 47-second range. Sunday saw perfect weather conditions for Team KOOL Green and the team ran 118 miles, while Monday's cooler temperatures and high winds limited the test to only 83 miles. Tracy ran a fast lap of 47.38 seconds early on Monday, which was among the quickest of the test. During the course of the two-day test Team KOOL Green focused mainly on set-up but as the winds picked up late Monday afternoon the team turned their attention to systems tests that weren't adversely affected by the winds. "This was a good test for Team KOOL Green," said team manager Kyle Moyer. "Paul and the team pushed hard and with the reliability and consistency of the Honda Reynard we got all of our goals accomplished. We were able to gather good data and learn a lot about the 2001 car, which at this point in the testing season is very valuable." "We were able to get a lot accomplished, over the last two days at Firebird, " said Paul Tracy, driver of the No. 26 KOOL Honda Reynard. "My new engineer, Steve Challis, and I are really beginning to gel. Steve and the crew were able to make the car better every time we went out and we went through both days with no mechanical problems." Team KOOL Green will spend Tuesday converting the car to an oval track configuration for testing at the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway on Wednesday and Thursday.   MC
1/23/01
Kane lands LeMans ride  British driver Jonny Kane was pleased to confirm that he has signed a deal with MG to race at Le Mans in their new MG Lola. Kane has been racing in America for the last two seasons with Team KOOL Green in their Indy Lights project. During this time Jonny won Team KOOL Green's first ever race in their Indy Lights racing history and also took the crown of Rookie of the Year in 1999. Jonny is very excited about this new stage in his career and is looking forward to driving the MG Lola with the new AER two-litre turbo charged MG Rover engine. He is confident that he will be able to keep up his winning streak with the new MG team and help to develop a race-winning car. Kane has an impressive history of seven championship titles, including British Formula Three Champion and the honor of being B.R.D.C. McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year. He hopes that his partnership with MG 
will flourish and lead to new and exciting opportunities.  "I am very excited about this season. It has always been one of my ambitions to race at Le Mans and to make my first appearance at such a historic event representing MG is fantastic. There will be a lot to learn including racing at night, but I love new challenges. I think the driver line up and the weight of a British manufacturer such as MG will be an impressive combination and should produce great results. I can't wait to get started on the testing program."  MC
1/23/01
BAR testing photos  BAR recently launched their 2001 car and we have included recent testing photos of both Panis and Villeneuve on our F1 page. MC
1/22/01

New colors for Derrick Walker team  

It was a bit strange seeing Derrick Walker's car in anything but blue.  Shown here with Pioneer and Denso colors.  On right is Tora Takagi, Walker's new pilot. Michele Saunders

1/22/01
Badoer suffers big crash  UPDATE Luca Badoer is now back home in Italy after being released from Barcelona's San Cugat Hospital. The Italian is still suffering from the after-effects of his Sunday crash at the nearby Circuit de Catalunya, and has to wear a neck brace because of whiplash injuries and a fractured vertebrae sustained in the accident. He has been ordered to rest for the next two weeks, reducing Ferrari's testing attack to just two cars.  Michael Schumacher tests for the Scuderia in Barcelona today, taking over as planned from Badoer at the Spanish circuit.  1/22/01 - Luca Badoer was rushed to the hospital yesterday after suffering a major accident in testing at the Circuit de Catalunya. The Ferrari driver appeared to lose control at the end of the Barcelona facility's main straight, crashing headlong into the barriers. Medical assistance was quickly on the scene, and Badoer was airlifted to the nearby San Cugat Hospital, where he was diagnosed as having minor injuries. Ferrari has yet to confirm the cause of the incident, although it admitted in an official statement that it was mechanical failure rather than driver error. "Luca Badoer took to the track at 10:20 this morning to work on tire testing and set-up," the announcement revealed, "On his eleventh lap, during his second run, he lost control at the end of the main straight and crashed into the safety barrier. The accident was caused by mechanical failure.  Assistance was immediately on hand and Badoer was taken, first to the medical center and then, by helicopter, to the Catalunya General Hospital San Cugat. An examination revealed that he had no specific injuries. However, he is now resting and will spend the night in hospital under observation. He is scheduled to return to Italy today. MC
1/22/01
Chip Ganassi quote from Sneak Preview  On why he looks overseas for new talent - "We are in the business of racing"... "The headline in the Monday morning paper is who wins the race. As long as there is free agency why wouldn't we take advantage of it?  Everyone should"....."The top level of any business is international."  Julie Andre
1/22/01
Sigma appoints new Chief Engineer  Sigma Autosport has appointed Dave Watson as Chief Engineer. Watson is a respected Champ Car engineer and aerodynamicist. The English native comes to Sigma from Mo Nunn Racing, where he worked as the Chief Engineer on Tony Kanaan’s car.  Cherry said, ”I’ve known Dave Watson for years and am very happy to have such an innovative and experienced engineer on our new team. He brings a wealth of knowledge to Sigma and we couldn’t be happier to have him at the engineering helm.” Dave Watson has worked for Lola Cars International as well as Team Rahal during his Champ Car tenure. Watson is married and has one child.  Mark Cipolloni
1/22/01
Montoya takes pay cut to race in F1  Juan Montoya is reportedly earning £6 million with Williams this season, but says that his passion to race in F1 means that the cash is not important.  "I race because I love it,” he told British newspaper News of The World. “It is my passion to race, my passion to win and push cars to their limits. "I would race for half the money I'm getting. If it was just about money I would not be in Formula One now. I could have earned a lot more by staying in America." MC
1/21/01
More support races announced for CART races in Europe  When CART visits Europe this year at the Eurospeedway, Germany and at Rockingham, England there will be at least two support races for each.  We previously reported that ASCAR (Europe's version of NASCAR) would run the same weekends.  Now comes word that the ISSC, Europe's latest professional single-seater championship, will also run with the Champ Cars.  The ISSC championship also has TV coverage in both Europe (Eurosport) and USA (Speedvision).  Mark Cipolloni
1/21/01
Formula Europa Champion Keith Dempsey gets award  Irish Formula Europa Champion Keith Dempsey was voted Young Sportstar of the Year 2000 at a reception in the Posthouse Airport Hotel Dublin on Saturday 20th January 2001.  The teenager who became the youngest driver in Irish Motorsport history to win an Irish National Championship, at seventeen, was voted the Posthouse / Fingal Independent Young Sportstar of the Year 2000 by the general public in his local area, beating off such challengers as professional footballers, cricket players and successful team managers.  Keith who will compete in the Formula Renault Eurocup in 2001 had broken many records on his way to the Formula Europa title, first of all by becoming the youngest ever driver to compete in a Formula Opel / Europa championship aged 16. He then went on to become the youngest driver ever to win a Formula Opel / Europa championship race overall, when he won at Knockhill in Scotland, in his first ever wet race, winning by 10 seconds, still aged 16. His father and CDR team owner Cliff Dempsey said " I am delighted for Keith. For any driver to come straight out of Junior Kart Racing into Irelands Premier and fastest single seater class and win the Championship on his first attempt is a fantastic achievement. I am delighted that his accomplishments have been recognized, especially by the non-motorsport public".
1/21/01
CART Statistics  You can now find a link to our statistics page for active CART drivers on our main CART page.  We will be tracking Wins, Starts, Winning Percent, Poles, % starts from pole, Wins from pole, % wins when starting from pole, Career laps led to date, and Championships.  Here is a direct link to our CART statistics page.Stats by Steven N. Levinson
1/20/01
Speedvision negotiating for F1 TV contract  One of the major 2001 motorsport television contracts still in negotiation is for U.S. Formula 1 broadcast rights. According to Bob Scanlon, Speedvision senior VP, programming and production, the network remains solidly in the hunt to retain those rights. "We are actively negotiating for the U.S. F1 broadcast rights," Scanlon said this week. "We are communicating daily with Bernie (Ecclestone, the F1 commercial rights holder) and continue talking with Tony George and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (host of the U.S. Grand Prix).  "We are negotiating from strength," Scanlon said, "and are in position to fulfill all of the live programming requirements of the contract. Having held the U.S. rights for the past three years, we have a veteran organization in place to showcase F1 for the American audience." Speedvision
1/20/01
Toronto race date change in 2002  Traditionally CART's Toronto race is run between the 15th and 19th of July.  However, because the Pope will be visiting Toronto that week in 2002, the race will be moved to July 5-7, 2002.  Also, in about two weeks look for the Toronto contract with CART to be extended through 2004. MC
1/20/01
7 or 8 Rookies in CART in 2001  7 or 8 rookies from 6 countries, about 25% of the Champ Car grid, will be chasing CART’s Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year prize and the $50,000 that goes with it. 
1. Brazil - Bruno Junqueira - Ganassi.  F3000 Champion in 2000
2. France - Nicolas Minassian - Ganassi.  Finished close 2nd to Junqueira in F3000
3. New Zealand - Scott Dixon - PacWest.  2000 Indy Lights champion. 
4. Japan - Tora Takagi - Walker.  2000 Formula Nippon champion
5. Germany - Marcel Tiemann - Zakspeed/Forsythe. German Touring cars in 2000
6. Germany - Michael Krumm - Team PRG. 2nd to Takagi in Formula Nippon in 2000
7. Brazil - Max Wilson - Brooke Racing.  Former F3000 and F1 test driver
8. Portugal - Andre Couto - Dale Coyne Racing.  Drove F3 in 2000.  Won Macau GP. MC
1/20/01
Carrier new Crew Chief for Andy Petree Racing  Chris Carrier has replaced the departed Danny Gill as crew chief for the No. 33 Chevrolets that Andy Petree Racing fields in Winston Cup racing for Joe Nemechek. In addition to naming Carrier the interim crew chief for the cars, APR also has tapped Richard Buck to be the team manager. Carrier, 40, led APR's NASCAR Busch Series team over the last three seasons. "I enjoy working here at Andy Petree Racing, but I am here to win races and that is the only reason I am here" Carrier said. Buck spent more than 20 years in the CART series, much of it with Penske Racing. Source: APR
1/20/01
We see a rules change coming in NASCAR.  Recent truck testing at Daytona saw Lance Norick put up a fastest lap at 182.482mph, exceeding the best stand-alone time from the recent Winston Cup tests, the 182.271 of Matt Kenseth in a Ford.  Although the Trucks have the aerodynamics of refrigerators, they use the same compression ratio, displacement and carburetor, with the added advantage of roller rockers. The Cup cars, for reasons of putting on a better 'show' and reduced speed, have been weighted with various aero impediments, such as the roof dams and spoiler bills. The Busch cars, meanwhile, will have increased compression (12:1, equal to Cup) and a bigger carburetor, which combined with less weight raises the possibility that Busch may be the fastest division during Speedweeks. Whether this concerns NASCAR or not is not known. In general, in any racing sanction, the top series is assumed to be the fastest, but NASCAR appears to be under constraints unrelated to reality, such as the network-TV contracts and the continued viability of the increasingly-lame Truck series. Source: Speedvision
1/19/01
More Rockingham Management changes  Rockingham Motor Speedway announced today the appointment of David Grace as Chief Executive of Britain's newest motor racing facility. Rockingham is currently nearing completion on a 300-acre former British Steel brownfield site close to Corby in Northamptonshire. It will host its opening event on 26th May and the prestigious American ChampCar racing series in September.  David will join Rockingham in February on the completion of his commitments to Scottish and Newcastle Breweries. He has enjoyed a highly successful career in the pub and leisure industry, initially with Grand Met and Allied Breweries, then at Scottish and Newcastle Breweries where he was the Managing Director responsible for a £300 million operation. He was additionally responsible for the group's sale of its Pontins leisure business.   In addition David Grace has a deep knowledge of motor sport and is one of Britain's leading amateur drivers. He last year clinched the British Speed Hillclimb Championship title for the fifth time, at the wheel of a single seat racing car, powered by a 650-horsepower engine formerly used in Michael Schumacher's Benetton Formula One car.  "I'm delighted to be offered the chance to become involved with one of the most exciting leisure projects in Great Britain" said Grace. "Rockingham is now facing the challenges of moving from its planning and construction phase to becoming a profitable operating business. I'm looking forward to working with our management team to ensure the ongoing success of the project, offering our customers top class facilities and great entertainment."  David Grace will be joined on the Rockingham management team by Nigel Reed, who is appointed Finance Director, effective 1st February 2001. Reed gained extensive experience of the leisure industry at Thomas Cook, where he was Group Finance Director, as well as automotive experience with Ford, Perkins Engines and Haden MacLellan Holdings plc.  "I am delighted that two individuals with such outstanding business records have agreed to be appointed to these important posts" said Peter Middleton, Executive Chairman of Rockingham Motor Speedway. "This is a big project that has a number of different facets."  "Until now the emphasis has been on the design and build of the facility". Rockingham
1/19/01
Sepang circuit getting facelift  Chairman Haji Basir Ismal told the British newspaper The Independent that curbs are being moved further back at turns 5 and 6 of the circuit ‘to enhance driver safety’, and that larger run off areas are also being created. Planet F1 also reports that sections of the Sepang track have broken up, and that during a recent test, drivers were forced to take avoiding action so as not to drive in to a large hole which has appeared at one of the circuit corners. This serious development is likely to come as a blow to circuit designers as the track is relatively new, having staged its first Formula One race less than sixteen months ago. Consequently the circuit modifications will concentrate on repair work as well as improving driver safety. MC
1/19/01
Happy Birthday Jenson Button  Jenson Button celebrates his 21st birthday today. Today, as Jenson turns twenty one, he has lots to celebrate. Not only has he been marked as a clear talent of the future, with Williams keen to retain his services, he is settling well in to his new role at Benetton; the team celebrating his birthday with a cake and special meal earlier in the week. MC
1/19/01
CART Job Openings Mo Nunn Racing has the following positions available: Truck Driver, Sub-Assy Mechanic, Janitor. Experience desired.  See our Classified Ads page for the details.
1/19/01
CART Car count up 24% for 2001 Jeremy Shaw of Speedvision put it best - With confirmation today that Zakspeed/Forsythe Racing will field a two-car team (for Bryan Herta and Marcel Tiemann) and the formal announcement of the existence of Arciero-Brooke Racing (for Max Wilson), allied to yesterday's announcement that Project Racing Group will field two cars (for Luiz Garcia Jr. and Michael Krumm), it seems that there could be no fewer than 31 cars on the grid for the season-opening Tecate/Telmex Grand Prix Presented by Herdez at Monterrey, Mexico, on March 11. Last season saw a field of 25 cars at most of the races. Whoever said the CART FedEx Championship Series was struggling? 

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