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DATE News (chronologically 1/28/01 to 2/8/01)
2/8/01
ESPN finally seeing the light that NASCAR wants them out  There is a very cold wind blowing between ESPN and NASCAR these days.  RPM2Night reporters have been barred from Daytona, and we presume future NASCAR races.  Fox absolutely does not want RPM2Night people on the Daytona grounds as their show is direct competition for Fox's new Totally NASCAR nightly show.  NASCAR told ESPN they can have credentials for their SportsCenter staff, but not RPM2Night staff.  Today, ESPN basically told NASCAR where to stick those credentials, they refused them.  ESPN's position is that our people apply for credentials as ESPN employees, and we don't distinguish which shows they work for.  Last night, to everyone's surprise, John Kernan, on RPM2Night announced that they will begin to have more extensive CART and IRL coverage, especially on their Open-Wheel Wednesday night.  The Charlotte crew of RPM2Night is having a hard time swallowing the fact that Fox is going to do everything they can to keep them from covering NASCAR because of the direct conflict.  It's too bad, because RPM2Night was setup in Charlotte to cater to NASCAR and now they are being shunned by the very people they helped all these years.  Perhaps it's time the Charlotte studios be moved to Indianapolis where CART and IRL would welcome them with open arms.
2/8/01
Herta makes progress, Andretti quickest in Homestead, Kanaan at Sebring  Pre-season preparations are in full swing for the Zakspeed/Forsythe Racing Team, as they made their debut on the 1.502-mile Homestead oval today. Day one of the two-day test proved to be successful as Bryan Herta, driver of the #77 Ford-Reynard completed 183 trouble free miles, and earned the second quickest time of the day, just behind fellow American Michael Andretti. "Bryan did a good job for us again today," said Steve Dickson, team manager. "We completed somewhere around 122 laps, and his times were right in there, in fact he did one of his best laps towards the end of the day, on high mileage tires." With temperatures in the upper 70's and fairly strong winds, Herta was happy with today's accomplishments. "The guys are doing a great job. I have been able to get a lot out of the car each test day, and with this year's testing restrictions, that is essential." Herta continued, "we made several changes to the car today, and we continue to learn and develop. At the same time, our lap times have been right in there among the quickest. We have full day planned for tomorrow, I look forward to continuing our progress." Herta is one of nine Ford powered CART drivers, representing the manufacturer in it's 100th year of racing.  Michael Andretti emerged fastest in blustery conditions.  Also testing were Franchitti, Servia, Tagliani, and Jourdain Jr.  Meanwhile, up at Sebring, Tony Kanaan emerged the fastest with Alex Zanardi a couple of tenths back.  See all the test times on our CART testing page.
2/8/01
Pat Leahy resigns from CART  Championship Auto Racing Teams announced today that Senior Vice President of Marketing Patrick Leahy has decided to leave the company for personal reasons.  Joseph Heitzler, CART's president and CEO, said the search for a new head of marketing commences immediately.  "Pat poured every ounce of his energy into making CART marketing more effective and we sincerely appreciate all he has done during his tenure," said Heitzler, who took the reigns of the company on December 5. "His dedication and commitment to CART have been a great asset to the organization and we wish him the very best in whatever endeavor he chooses to pursue."  Leahy, who joined CART in December of 1999 after 27 years with Target Stores, said he is considering several possibilities. "CART presented me with several options to stay on and, while some were enticing, I really believe it is in the best interest of Pat Leahy and my family to consider other opportunities," said Leahy. "I am examining a number of career possibilities and I hope to be able to make a decision soon.  "I want to thank all the fine people that I have worked with at CART. There is a great deal of talent, expertise and dedication on the staff and I will miss working with them."  Heitzler indicated CART will retain a search firm to identify qualified candidates for the position. No timetable has yet been established to name a replacement. 
2/8/01
CART-Barber karting scholarships to be announced The Barber-CART Karting Scholarship Runoff wrapped up today Thursday, Feb. 8 at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla. The 16 karters who participated will now await the decision of the four judges who must once again agonize over who to select. As has been the norm in recent Barber-CART Scholarship competitions, the depth and quality of the nominees has made it increasingly more difficult for the judges to make their selections. The 2001 Barber-CART Karting Scholarship Runoff was no exception. Four scholarships will be announced next Tuesday, Feb. 13. The scholarships will entitle each of the winners to a full season in the 2001 Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship Presented by RACER, the Official National Amateur Championship of CART. The total value of the scholarships is $161,000, part of the $260,000 overall that is committed to karters in the $1.3 million Barber-CART Scholarship Ladder. The panel of judges includes Skip Barber Racing School Chief Instructor Terry Earwood, former Barber Dodge Pro Series and Dayton Indy Lights driver Todd Snyder, Formula Dodge R/T 2000 test driver Gregg Borland and Factory Corvette C5-R driver Kelly Collins. All 16 nominees participated in multiple lapping sessions in the Michelin slick-shod Formula Dodge R/T 2000 racecar and were evaluated based upon their on track as well as off track performances. The judges looked not only for outright speed, but also the driver's ability to communicate car feedback to the judges. A driver's all around presentation was also factored in. PR
2/8/01
TMS kicks off racing season With the American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Texas less than 30 days away and the NASCAR Winston Cup Harrah's 500 less than 60 days away, Texas Motor Speedway is shifting into overdrive. The Great American Speedway will give fans a jump on the season with two big events the weekend of Feb. 16-18.  The new Victory Lane Club on the suite level at Texas Motor Speedway will host a giant "Daytona Watching Party" beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 18, to view the spectacular Daytona 500. The first 1,000 fans will be admitted to the club seating area for the race day festivities. Complimentary food and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided for fans.  Also, thousands of fans who visit SportsRadio 1310 "Ticket Stock" at The Plano Center will have the opportunity to visit the Texas Motor Speedway display booth and enjoy the Indy Racing simulator, pick up season schedules, and register to win race tickets and prizes. Fans can stop by the speedway exhibit at "Ticket Stock" on Friday, Feb. 16 (7:00 - 10:00 p.m.), Saturday, Feb. 17 (9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.), and Sunday, Feb. 18 (11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.).  The Victory Lane Club is located on the suite level in Turn Four of the speedway and features 3,200 total seats. Victory Lane Club season tickets include special race day amenities such as VIP parking, VIP pit pass, complimentary race program, subscription to the Speedway Today newsletter, special season ticket holder party, preferred season ticket buyer discounts, free two-week membership at The Speedway Club, 10% discount for all Speedway World souvenir merchandise, and a special $100 discount per ticket (12 seat limit) for 2001.  PR
2/8/01
Rio race cancelled, now back on, or is it?  11th UPDATE Now the Governor is saying he will sue the Mayor and the City to spend the $11.25 million the City has budgeted for the race, which we reported earlier.  Now he is saying it again.  Somehow, someway we still think this race can happen.....a least we hope so.  Tickets sales were running at a record pace. CART Press Release  2/7/01 - Speedvision reports "Sources at Championship Auto Racing Teams have told speedvision.com that a formal announcement regarding this year's on-again, off again Rio 200 is expected by Friday. Indications are the race, scheduled for March 26, will be canceled.  "If I were you, I'd hold off on buying a non-refundable ticket," said one insider."  However, Robin Miller reports on ESPN.com that the race has been canceled.  2/7/01 - An informant in Brazil writes - "On Sunday "O'Globo" Rio's # 1 newspaper had an article showing documents that prove that the city has the money to do the event and that it is approved by the city council. The only reason Mayor Cesar Maia is doing this is political.  Today I heard that he now wants to put up another 1.4 Million for the race. It will look very bad for him when the whole truth comes out. The only problem is that now there is no more time to prepare the road course and the race may have to run on the roval again, if it happens at all."  2/6/01 - The latest out of Rio is this - Garotinho met with Fittipaldi and CART executives about the race yesterday (02/05/01). They both indicated they are fighting to keep the race in Rio. Garotinho said he'll do the best to make this happen, "we can't be the city that once had the race, we can't lose the Rio race.  This event is very important to Rio and its international image" he said.  Our Brazilian source tells us they're doing their best, but nobody knows for certain if the race will happen anymore. Maia wants to cancel it if they don't pay the City all the money it is short. 2/4/01 - The Soap Opera that is called the Rio 200 just gets crazier.  Reports out of Brazil say that Governor Garotinho will bring the case to court against Mayor Maia and City Hall. Garotinho apparently was not at all happy when he heard about the cancellation of the visit by FIA inspector Charlie Whiting at Jacarepagua.  The FIA must inspect the track before any FIA sanctioned race can be held at any track.  All CART races are FIA sanctioned.  He invited Whiting back to Brazil for a meeting on Monday. Meanwhile, according to the Rio Newspaper (O Globo), the state has the budget to cover the costs of the race, but Maia does not want the money because he thinks the race is too expensive.  It was revealed that the event would cost city hall about US$ 9 millions (including reforms at the track) but if they cancel the race, Rio will lose about US$ 35 millions from tourism. Tomorrow Emerson Fittipaldi will make an announcement as to whether the race will go on or not.  2/2/01 - Meetings will go on this weekend and into Monday on this political football, and we should know something by Tuesday as to whether this race will go forward or not. Although the chances of the race happening appear somewhat bleak, we are told that reports of its cancellation were premature.  2/1/01 - Rio Secretary of Sport Ruy Cezar is now saying that it is illegal for the Governor or the Mayor of Rio to incur any more debt as a result of the race and they would risk prosecution if they did.  As far as the Secretary of Sport is concerned, the race is off. The race has become a football because of  the bitter hatred between the two political parties, the Mayor on one side and the Governor on the other.  Making matters worse for Fittipaldi is that he supported the party that lost the election for Mayor, and the new Mayor, Maia, is making him pay dearly now.  Of course Cezar is a Maia appointee and is, therefore, siding with Maia. Lawsuits against CART are even threatened for charging too much in past years.  Nonsense of course, as CART can charge what it likes and the City and promoter can choose to pay it or not.  They chose to pay it in past years.   There have been reports for quite some time that Fittipaldi might relocate the race to the Ayrton Senna track in nearby Goiania, but that won't happen before 2002.  Stay tuned as the soap opera in Brazil continues.  1/29/01 - Garotinho assured Fittipaldi today that the state of Rio will make up the differences.  "We'll give you sponsor and logistical support and make contact with Rio de Janeiro companies to help," said Garotinho, we'll liberate the $4 millions that CART wants. Emerson said that without the support of the state of Rio, the race would be cancelled because Mayor Maia won't pay for the race out of City coffers.  Our Brazilian source says, "now, the city of Rio has the money to confirm the race. It's all okay."  Earlier today - CART issued this press release today stating the race is under review. 1/28/01 - Today, the governor of Rio de Janeiro (Antonio Garotinho) announced that the state of Rio will pay the difference between the money that the major, Cesar Maia, has and what CART's contract calls for. We are told that for him it's question of honor. Garotinho is a political rival of Maia. We are told Garotinho will also pay the reconstruction of the track. Garotinho will talk with Emerson Fittipaldi tomorrow, January 29th to iron out the details. Once the CART contract expires with Rio, perhaps the race should move to the F1 circuit in Sao Paolo, Brazil.  Now that the FIA can no longer restrict where CART races outside North America, perhaps a race at a track where politics don't get in the way would be better for everyone involved. 1/25/01 - As we expected the Rio race will likely happen.  Word from Brazil is that there is a lot of support for the race from everywhere. From Rio's population, Embratur (department of tourism), Ministry of Sports and Culture, Ministry of Development, the press........ but it is a political issue between the new mayor and the previous one. They are from different political parties and the new one is saying that he doesn't want to continue with the contract signed by the previous. Emerson will have a meeting with the President and other important people in the next few weeks and we believe everything will be OK. 1/24/01 Yes, you read that right, but it really is just a lot of political maneuvering in Brazil we hear. Yesterday the Rio de Janeiro Mayor cancelled the race. People are working to try and change the decision.  Some are saying Nelson Piquet is behind this.  Some people are saying that others are telling Cesar Maia (Rio's Mayor) that he is overpaying the CART sanctioning fee for the event. Fittipaldi expects a crowd of 80,000 this year, yet has to endure the unstable politics in Rio.  Stay tuned. MC
2/8/01
Off-season testing continues for PacWest  - PacWest Champ Car rookie Scott Dixon returned to the track Wednesday to continue his preparation for the opening round of the CART FedEx Championship Series on March 11, in Monterrey, Mexico.  Dixon took to the 1.6-mile Sebring road course for the third time this season as the twenty-year-old Kiwi continues to accumulate productive miles in anticipation of his first year of Champ Car competition. Story
2/7/01
Gary Anderson signs with Reynard  Autosport.com reports that recently fired Jaguar Racing technical director Gary Anderson has turned his back on Formula 1 in favor of a switch to Champ Cars with leading chassis builder Reynard.  Anderson was shown the door at Jaguar to make way for American Steve Nichols, who was recruited as part of a wave of changes made to Jaguar's technical staff late last year.   Anderson, who was linked to positions at both Arrows and Sauber, has opted for a move across the Atlantic in favor of sticking in F1 because he wanted to "get involved in some real racing." "I don't want to do F1 anymore because I want to do something I enjoy," said Anderson, "and I don't enjoy F1. My job became a management role and I felt that I wasn't achieving anything. I'm a hands-on person." The 49-year-old, who did a two-year stint in Champ Cars in 1985-86 with Rick Galles' team, is to take up the position of Reynard's North America technical director and chief liaison officer and will start at the beginning of March.  "We are very fortunate to have Gary joining the company," said Reynard managing director Mark Smithson. "He will be a central point of contact for our customer teams and our design office personnel."  He takes Bruce Ashmore's position, who left to work for the Players team.  MC
2/7/01
Castroneves tops Sebring test times  Helio Castroneves turned the fastest lap to date this off-season in testing at Sebring today.  His lap of 50.5 seconds was faster that the 50.8 second lap turned in previously by his teammate de Ferran, and also by Tony Kanaan today.  We have updated the times on our CART testing page. MC
2/7/01
Minardi signs Alonso  Spanish driver Fernando Alonso will race for the Minardi Formula One team in the upcoming season, the team said Wednesday. Alonso, 19, was a test driver for the team in the year 2000. He has never been in competition in Formula One. MC
2/7/01
Elliot Sadler and Elton Sawyer interviews  You can find interview's with Ford drivers Elton Sawyer and Elliot Sadler on our NASCAR page.
2/7/01
Gil de Ferran to miss IROC opener  It was announced today by IROC officials that Gil de Ferran will miss the IROC opener at Daytona due to recent injuries suffered in two testing accidents while driving his Champ car, one at Phoenix and one at Homestead.  Tony Stewart will take his seat, helping to pad the NASCAR advantage. MC
2/7/01
Barber-CART karting talent  Today, 16 of the nation's most talented karters will compete in the Karting Scholarships Runoff at Sebring International Raceway. The young talent on display is vying for one of four Barber-CART Karting Scholarships, which award winners with a seat in the 2001 Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championships presented by RACER. Here's a look at the field of entrants looking for the most effective transition from the world of karting to that of auto racing.  Story MC
2/7/01
Rockingham Construction update


The main grandstand is taking shape nicely (L).  Grandstands adjacent
to the main grandstand are about 50% complete (R)


The road course paving is underway.
All photos courtesy of Rockingham Motor Speedway

2/7/01
Food for thought, shakeup in Detroit about to happen?  2nd UPDATE FT.com reports today that Rupert Murdoch is close to finalizing a $70 billion deal that will leave him with control of DirecTV. What's important in the latest announcement is that it looks as though it would be a share exchange, given the tenor of the story, rather than a capital infusion into GM as we originally surmised.  If Mr. Murdoch can finally secure DirecTV - with nearly 10m subscribers to its US satellite service - he will have put what many see as the missing piece into his global patchwork of TV businesses.   His company, News Corp, has satellite TV interests that stretch from Star TV in Asia to British Sky Broadcasting in the UK.  The company has stakes in pay-TV operators in Germany, Italy and Latin America. But the group lacked US coverage. His Sky Broadcasting company in Europe is broadcasting this years IRL races in Europe.  1/18/01 - Upon closer inspection of the GM thing, we have learned that DirectTV is part of GM Hughes. Worse, its capitalization is only $23 billion, compared with a rumored $40 billion bid from News Corp. The car division still has a market capitalization of $29.6 billion, which is separate. But while the numbers are different from what we'd originally suggested to you, the idea is the same. If News Corp. were to buy DirectTV, GM would still have a lot of cash to reinvest. GM could, of course, take News Corp. stock, but that isn't always the wisest thing for the buyer or the seller. It would be better for GM just to keep the thing instead of selling it, if that is the case. And News Corp. wouldn't want to have GM as its largest shareholder. Still - and this is probably the most important part about this rumor - it appears the market does not believe any deal is going to happen. If it did, we would have seen Hughes' market capitalization rise significantly, to at least $40 billion, over the last couple of days.  01/16/01 - As of the close on Friday, GM's total market capitalization was all of $29.9 billion. It was reported today by the Financial Times that Rupert Murdoch is going to bid $40 billion for DirecTV, the US satellite broadcaster. DirecTV, is controlled by General Motors. Doesn't speak well for the auto biz, now does it? Still, a $40 billion influx of cash will likely force GM to do something quickly - something like buying DaimlerChrysler or returning a huge chunk of cash to shareholders. Our guess is that they will have a big one-time return of capital - say around $10 to $20 billion which will be taxable as capital gains, if we remember my tax accounting correctly - with the remainder going toward some sort of rash acquisition. Regardless of what happens, it may very well stir things up in Detroit. Mark Cipolloni
2/6/01
Food for thought  In this article we argued that CART should be racing in China by 2004 as it was poised to become a world economic powerhouse.  We are not sure if you have been following world affairs, but China is about to be admitted to the World Trade Organization, which will generate private foreign investment projects of all kinds.  More importantly, it will open up China to many of CART's existing sponsors, and bring potential new sponsors to CART.  The track is built, they want a CART or F1 race.  Who will be there first? MC
2/6/01
Sigma off to testing  Keep an eye out for the Sigma Transporter if you live anywhere between Chicago and the Miami-Homestead area. Why? Because it will be leaving the Chicago shop today, at noon (Central time), with the Sigma Lola for its first test since the Fontana CART Sneak Preview activity.  Oriol Servia and the team will test on the oval at Homestead this Thursday and Friday; then they'll pack up and head for Monterrey, California for some road course work at Laguna Seca during the week of February 12th. 
2/6/01
Ecclestone in default on $360 million payment  FT.com reports that Bernie Ecclestone has failed to pay the $360m (£245m) agreed last June for the purchase of long-term broadcasting and other commercial rights to Formula One.  As a result, the world governing body of motor sport is preparing for a sale of the rights directly to a group of leading carmakers.  Such a deal would cast further doubt over the future of EM.TV, the stricken German media group, which owns 50 per cent of SLEC, Mr Ecclestone's family trust holding company.  SLEC holds the rights to Formula One until 2010 and the agreed deal would have extended them for a further 100 years. Without long-term rights, the value of SLEC could be significantly reduced.  The carmakers, led by Fiat chief executive Paolo Cantarella in his capacity as chairman of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), have appointed Goldman Sachs, the investment bank, to advise on a purchase.   The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), motor sport's governing body, is preparing to appoint its own advisers.  The moves coincide with an FIA ultimatum to Mr. Ecclestone to seek a settlement by March 22, when an extraordinary general meeting of the 150-nation FIA General Assembly will consider the issue. Under Mr. Ecclestone's original offer, the $360m should have been paid last June. Documents obtained by the Financial Times show that ACEA pleaded last June to be allowed to put forward an alternative offer. At the time, however, the FIA believed the deal with Mr. Ecclestone had been concluded and would not give ACEA time to table a bid. EM.TV, meanwhile, has been dogged by internal squabbling over whether to agree to the planned rescue by Kirch Gruppe. It emerged on Monday that Thomas Haffa, chief executive, had asked Nickolaus Becker, chairman of the supervisory board, to resign from his position on Sunday. Mr Becker on Monday denied he was opposed to the Kirch deal, but he is said to have favoured an alternative offer involving the outright sales of EM.TV's 50 per cent stake in Formula One to Hellman & Friedman, a San Francisco-based private equity house. Mr Haffa, said to be one of a minority of EM.TV managers in favour of the Kirch deal, would need the supervisory board's approval to go ahead. He wields considerable power, however, since he is also the largest shareholder in the company, with his family holding a little under 50 per cent. 
2/6/01
Reader feedback on CART vs. IRL article Mark, I think your Hatfield's vs. the McCoy's article hit the problem right on the head and is the best answer to the current CART/IRL situation. I attend several CART races every year, but also attend the Indy 500 and this year I will go to the IRL race at Kansas Motor Speedway and Colorado. I think both series can survive and thrive if they work together a little bit and quit trying to put each other out of business. I love the fact that there are more open wheel races now than ever before and I watch every race, practice and qualifying that's on the TV and net. If I wasn't in the Army and in the field a lot I would go to more races. Thanks for the great article and super website, I check it out every day. Major Mel Hull, United States Army
2/6/01
Phil Hill to visits Winston Cup shop  Former World Champ Visits: Phil Hill, the 1961 Formula One World Champion,  got a first-hand look at NASCAR racing when toured the Richard Childress Racing complex on Monday. Hill, the first American to win the F1 World Championship (the second being Mario Andretti in 1978), is North Carolina on assignment for Road & Track. He will be climbing behind the wheel of a current #3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevy on Tuesday at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway  to do a then-and-now track comparison with Junior Johnson and his 1963 #3 Chevy Impala RCR Racing PR
2/6/01
F3000 driver makes immediate impression in Lights Former F3000 racer Kristian Kolby has impressed his new team, Conquest Racing. in his first test since signing for the team at Button Willow Raceway last week.  The Dane was only a tenth off the quickest ever Indy Lights time set there, despite a gearbox failure. Team owner Eric Bachelart said: "Since running [current CART star Cristiano da Matta, I have never felt more confident about my team's championship chances as I do after those two days with Kristian." Kolby himself said: "I am so pleased to work with a really professional team again. My engineer comes from IRL, and you can feel it. He just knows what to do. There is still more to come, so I am looking forward to the season." Source: Autosport
2/6/01
Feedback on DRIVEN article A reader, Mark J. Chavous, writes - "Just read your column about the need for CART to make a major marketing blitz around DRIVEN. Well done. Another thing that might help: A few years ago, Sony Playstation came out with a CART game that was pretty decent. This would have been a great opportunity to revitalize that game with CART's new drivers and also make a connection with DRIVEN. In addition to having the competitors at movie theatres and Blockbuster, CART could use this new game to have drivers take on the fans playing it at Blockbuster to get people excited about playing the game, watching the movie, and going to the races. Of course SONY would have to put something into this but that's ok if it means selling more Playstations and DVD units for later movie rentals.  Another thing would be to have Sly Stallone hit all the winter car shows with CART drivers to promote the movie since many of the engine manufacturers have cars featured there. Each engine supplier should have a Champ car with it's engine in it at the show, along with a promotional video for the movie. And since Firestone supplies tires for the series, some marketing help from them should be forthcoming. They need it too to generate some good press after their passenger car tire problems of the last year. Having discount coupons at Firestone retailer and service shops would help get the word out nationwide.  And by all means, get Mario Andretti involved.  He's a name everyone recognizes."
2/5/01
Team Penske at IRL Test In West The IRL press release today on the Test in the West at Phoenix on February 9-10 stated that Team Penske will participate.  Team Penske is taking preparing for the Indy 500 even more seriously than the Ganassi team did last year.  Even though they will be grossly outnumbered, CART looks to be somewhat well represented. MC
2/5/01
Toyota announces start of F1 testing  Toyota announced today that they will launch their new 2002 F1 car on March 23rd and start testing soon thereafter.  Toyota will join Ferrari as the only manufacturer to design and build the entire car.  Other teams just make the chassis and an engine supplier does the engines.  "After we launch the test car on March 23, testing will begin," said Toyota Motorsport president Ove Andersson. "Later in the year we will also start to gather data around most of the European circuits. 2001 is a test year. Our engineers and drivers need to understand how the car performs at each circuit before we arrive to race there in 2002." MC
2/5/01
Pictorial overview of race body fabrication Body Dynamics Racing Bodies, Inc., the industry's leading out source racecar body fabrication facility is known for creating the opportunity for race fans to view their facility via the internet and LIVE WEB CAMS now they have created a fabrication pictorial of racecar body fabrication, which will allow race fans of professional motorsports to see some of the steps that it takes to fabricate and hang a racecar body. Since coming on-line, www.bodydynamicsracing.com has offered a unique look into professional motorsports racecar body fabrication and preparation and living up to their standards of offering new "Behind the Scenes" content is proven once again.  They have added to their website a pictorial layout of the steps of racecar body fabrication. "The overview covers the main steps in the fabrication process," stated Scott Davis, Media Relations Director. "We wanted to give the fans a broad look into racecar fabrication and possible answer some questions in the process." Not every step is covered in this pictorial but the fan receives up to 34 pictures and accompanying descriptions of the fabrication process from locating the center of the chassis to preparing the car for delivery.  "This is just one of the many aspects of racecar fabrication and preparation that we will be sharing with our visitors and race fans," stated Davis, "We encourage everyone to check back with us regularly to see what we will be showing next, as well as check out our live web cams to see the processes of racecar fabrication and preparation LIVE!"
2/5/01
Max Wilson wins in Brazil, returns to USA for testing  Arciero Brooke Racing driver Max Wilson returns to the US to start his testing sessions with his new team, after winning a big race in Brazil.  "When I got back to Brazil after Fontana (Sneak Preview), some long-time friends called to invite me to race in the 29th edition of the Brazilian 1,000-Mile sportscar race, which was held last Sunday on the Grand Prix circuit of Autodromo Interlagos, at Sao Paulo, Brazil," Wilson said. "Every year they organize this race. This time we drove the #21 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. I qualified the car on pole. The race was delayed 3 hours due to rain. It started at 3:05 a.m. and my teammate Flavio Trindade started the race. I took the car halfway into the race, when we were second and I returned the car in the lead, two laps ahead. I drove the car later and when I returned it, we were still on the first position, 8 laps ahead. Regis Schuch drove the last 15 laps, finishing 12 laps over second-place. We led 215 of the 375-lap race and we set the fastest lap, too," he added.  "It was not easy to win, there were famous names on the grid such as former F-1 driver, Nelson Piquet, current Champ Car drivers Christian Fittipaldi and Tony Kanaan, also former Indy Lights driver Felipe Giaffone. Now I am in Sao Paulo and I am flying to Indianapolis this Sunday (February 4). I am really looking forward to working with my new team. Our first test will be in Putnam Park on February 8 and 9 to shake down the car. Then, we will go to Laguna Seca on February 14 & 15, to work on the road course settings. Finally, we will go to Phoenix on February 21 and 22 to work on the oval configuration." Source: HiTechBulletin
2/5/01

CART Beware - F1 tire war pushing speeds thru the roof  We have written on numerous occasions that a single tire racing series (ala NASCAR and CART by default) is the best way to keep speeds in check and give all teams a level playing field. How bad is a tire war?  Consider this - In the last three days, Michael Schumacher has chopped 1.336s of the Fiorano lap record established by Luca Badoer, little over a year ago.  At Barcelona, Rubens Barrichello has taken a bite of 2.369s out of the pole winning time posted by team-mate Michael Schumacher last May.  While at Jerez, Mika Hakkinen has taken 1.104s off of the fastest time posted in 2000, Eddie Irvine in the Jaguar. And this is despite aero changes to slow the cars.  And it gets worse - it's just off-season testing, wait until the teams return for the for the real race weekend. F1 insiders are already bemoaning this problem. CART is struggling to keep its speeds in check, and have lowered boost pressure from 40" to 37" this year.  So far, that seems to have worked as test speeds are lower this winter.  If CART had a tire war going on, any loss in HP would quickly be negated by better tires. Competition is good, and we fully support it in all aspects of Champ Car and F1 racing......but not the tires. MC
2/4/01
Mexico weekend race schedule set  
Friday March 9
6:00 Participant registration open.
7:00 - 3:00 General registration.
7:00 - 12:00 Technical Inspections
8:00 - Gates opened to the public.
8:30 - 9:00 Support race practice.
9:30 - 11:30 Champ Car practice
11:45 - 12:25 Indy Lights practice.
1:30 - 3:15 Champ Car practice.
3:30 - 4:00 Celebrity race qualifying.
4:15 - 4:45 Indy Lights qualifying.
4:15 - 4:45 Fan activity.
5:00 - 5:30 Support race qualifying.
Saturday March 10
6:00 - Participant registration open.
7:00 - 3:00 General registration.
7:00 - 2:00 Technical Inspections
8:00 - Gates opened to the public.
8:00 - 8:30 Support race practice & qual's
8:45 - 9:25 Indy Lights practice.
  Con't.
9:45 - 11:15 Champ Car practice.
12:15 - 12:45 Carrera Celebrity race, 10 laps
1:00 - 1:30 Indy Lights qualifying.
1:45 - 3:00 Champ Car qualifying.
4:00 - Indy Lights drivers and engineers meeting.
3:15 - 4:15 20 lap support race.
4:00 - Champ Car drivers and engineers mtg.
Sunday March 11
5:30 - Participant registration open.
7:30 - 12:00 Champ Car technical inspection
8:00 - 11:00 General Registration
8:00 - Gates opened to the public.
8:45 - 9:00 Indy Lights warm-up.
10:00 - 10:30 Carrera Mustang support race.
11:00 - 11:30 Champ Car warm-up.
11:35 - Pit road tanks filled with fuel.
12:15 - 12:45 Carrera Celebrity race, 10 laps
1:00 - 2:00 Indy Lights race.
2:15 - Champ Cars driver parade.
3:00 - Start of the Monterrey GP of Mexico MC
2/4/01


Play 2 Win No Fear Challenge  AutoRacing1.com and No Fear are giving away Nomex No Fear Racing Shoes and Driving Gloves in the No Fear Challenge.  To win you must correctly name the top three finishers in either the opening CART, F1 or NASCAR races.  You can enter 1, 2 or all 3 games.  The shoes and gloves aren't just some imitation, they are the real thing, worn by drivers like Michael Andretti and Tony Kanaan.  Don't miss out on this opportunity.  Contest closes midnight prior to each opener.
2/4/01
DSTP has ambitious plans for 2001 and after  Jim Griffith of DSTP (Buddy Rice's Toyota Atlantic championship winning team) reports that they are definitely planning to move up to the CART Champ Car series. The ground work is being laid now. They are building a new facility in the same general area (Chardon Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland). They are planning to stay in the Atlantic series for the foreseeable future, running Joey Hand this year. The team believes in the Toyota Atlantic series as a very valuable driver training aid. Without sacrificing their Atlantics program, they are hoping to run Champ Cars next year or at the latest in 2003. The driver choice hasn't even been considered, but they intend on running an American. In addition, in 2001 they are doing a F2000 program with Daniel Muniz and Bryan Sellars using the Mygale chassis. MC
2/3/01


Mario Andretti wins our Driver of the Century poll
This poll is closed.  A new poll has been started on our home page
Greatest Driver of 20th Century
Who was the greatest driver of the 20th Century?
  
Andretti, Mario  (354)

31%

  
Clark, Jim  (77)

6%

  
Earnhardt, Dale  (97)

8%

  
Fangio, Juan Manual  (82)

7%

  
Foyt, AJ  (80)

7%

  
Nuvolari, Tazio  (11)

0%

  
Petty, Richard  (77)

6%

  
Schumacher, Michael  (39)

3%

  
Senna, Ayrton  (249)

22%

  
Other  (50) User-Suggestions

4%

Total Selections: 1116
2/3/01
CART and IRL speeds comparable, or are they?  A recent article on Speedvision pointed out that recent tests speeds of IRL and CART teams at Phoenix, Homestead and Texas Motor Speedway have been similar.  While it's true the speeds have been similar, they are achieved in a very different way.  The IRL cars are running very high downforce and are essentially running wide-open the entire lap around most tracks. The Champ Cars have almost 300 more HP (for a car that weighs the same) and are running much less downforce with smaller wings and tunnel-blockers.  This of course means the drivers have to lift and brake for the corners, requiring a bit more skill and really should not be overlooked. Shigeaki Hattori is a prime example.  He struggled so much in CART, where he had to drive the car on the edge, that CART pulled his drivers license.  This same driver is doing quite well in the IRL where the cars are much more comfortable to drive.  So yes, CART is a bit more high-tech, and if they ran a higher downforce package like in Greg Moore's day at Homestead, they would be much much faster than the IRL cars, but it's just a coincidence that the lap speeds are similar now....they are achieved in a very different way and it's a fundamental difference between the two series. MC
2/2/01
Tora Takagi taking to ovals like a duck to water  Walker Racing rookie driver Tora (Tiger) Takagi continued his quick adaptation to oval race tracks and was once again one of the fastest drivers at a two-day test on the 1.5-mile track in Homestead this week.  Story   
2/2/01
TV war heats up ESPN was denied entry on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway when its crew showed up to cover the 24 Hours of Daytona. The standard ESPN crew of six individuals was not granted media access, being told that access issues for the sports network are still being discussed by the speedway. Importantly, the crew was there not only for RPM 2Night, but also to cover the racing for ESPNEWS and Sportscenter. Of course, most of the controversy of late has centered around access for RPM 2Night and its coverage of Winston Cup and Busch racing. But this latest plot twist involves standard ESPN coverage beyond RPM 2Night that is inarguably "news" coverage. Additionally, this has nothing to do with Busch or Winston Cup racing. NASCAR still has not given ESPN a definitive "yes" to its request for ESPN Inc. to cover Winston Cup and BGN for shows other than RPM. Representatives of Daytona International Speedway have not yet returned a call with their comments. MotorsportsTV.  AutoRacing1.com comment - when are ABC and ESPN going to realize that NASCAR is not where their future lies, it's with CART and the IRL.  The sooner they realize it, the sooner CART and IRL will get the attention they deserve.  This episode underscores that as far as NASCAR is concerned, FOX and NBC are in, and ABC and ESPN are out.
2/2/01
Plane drops in at Richard Petty Driving Experience The Richard Petty Driving Experience, based just behind the Lowe's Motor Speedway, had unexpected guests just after 10:00 PM last night. A small plane, bound for Charlotte Douglas airport, ran out of fuel and made a crash landing, glancing off the roof of the Petty building and landing against the inside of the surrounding fence. Fortunately, the occupants of the plane suffered only minor injuries and were treated and released from a local hospital. There were no injuries on the ground. MC
2/2/01
Honda powered teams prepare for F1 start  The Honda powered BAR and Jordan teams continued their extensive testing programs in preparation for the start of the 2001 Formula One season.  Story  MC
2/2/01
PacWest Team wraps up Homestead test  PacWest Racing’s Mauricio Gugelmin and Scott Dixon completed two days of testing Thursday on the 1.502-mile oval at the Homestead Motorsports Complex in Florida. See the story on our CART Page and test times on our CART Testing Page. MC
2/2/01

Quote Of The Month-II  Scott Pruett on driving a Winston Cup car vs. a Champ Car - "I was the new kid on the block and they were testing me. It's so easy to spin those cars out but they're so easy to drive when they're right. I don't mean it's easy racing but it's 90 percent car and anybody can drive them when they're right. The biggest problem I had was over-driving them on the short tracks.  Compared to a Champ Car, stock cars were boring to drive. There's nothing like driving a Champ Car."  Nothing like burning a few bridges. CART.com
2/2/01
Autocourse names CART Top-10  We received an advance copy of the Autocourse CART 2000-2001 Annual Yearbook.  Like always, it is the best, most comprehensive recap of the past CART season. A must-buy for any CART fan. As in their F1 Yearbook, they pick the Top-10 drivers of 2000.  And the winners are (you'll have to buy the book to find out why):
1. Gil de Ferran
2. Juan Montoya
3. Michael Andretti
4. Helio Castroneves
5. Paul Tracy
6. Adrian Fernandez
7. Roberto Moreno
8. Kenny Brack
9. Christian Fittipaldi
10.Jimmy Vasser MC
2/1/01
Fiat may be selling Magnetti Marelli  The Detroit Free Press reported today that Fiat is considering selling its Magnetti Marelli. This sale is viewed by many insiders as a precursor to a full-blown sale of their auto unit to GM. A January analysis estimated Magnetti assets at approximately $2-$3 billion. Fiat owns Ferrari...interesting indeed. MC
2/1/01
Mayfield re-signs with Penske racing Jeremy Mayfield has re-signed with the Penske to to drive the #12 Mobil Ford Taurus.  The deal is said to be multi-year. MC
2/1/01

More CART and F1 test times  We have updated our CART Testing page with times from Homestead today where Jimmy Vasser and Maurcio Gugelmin were fastest on 85+ degree weather.  Also running were rookies Tora Takagi, Nicolas Minassian and Scott Dixon. Olivier Panis was fastest today at Barcelona despite crashing and the F1 test times are updated on out F1 Page. MC
2/1/01
De Ferran crash blamed on worn tires  Firestone issued a statement today that de Ferran's crash at Homestead yesterday was because the tire was worn out.  The tire had 57 laps on it and Firestone is recommending only 40 at that track. MC
2/1/01
Newman - another Penske treasure Twenty-one years ago, Roger Penske took a chance on an unknown driver, running him in the spring race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. That unknown driver started seventh and finished second, completing every lap. That unknown driver was Rusty Wallace. Story
2/1/01
Woods to celebrate 50-years together at Daytona Next week Wednesday will mark a very special occasion for the founding member of the Wood Brothers Racing dynasty - his 50th wedding anniversary. Glen and Bernece Wood will celebrate their anniversary week together as they have pretty much every year since their wedding February 7, 1951, at the races. Story
2/1/01
Schumacher happy with new car  Michael Schumacher took the 2001 Ferrari out for the first time today at the team's test track in Fiorano.   He says the car meets all his expectations following 30 trouble-free laps around the track.  "The car drives very cleanly and feels very good," says Schumacher. "The cornering is very stable. The car reacted as we would expect to changes in the set-up."  "Now we have to look at what problems may arise," Schumacher went on to say. "There will be problems and we must find and solve them."  While Ferrari did not release any timing information about the session, the Italian news agency ANSA reports Schumacher lapped at least a half second faster than Luca Badoer's best time at the track in last year's car. ANSA
2/1/01
Villeneuve wedding off  A spokesman for Jacques Villeneuve confirmed Thursday that the Canadian Formula One star is no longer engaged to Dannii Minogue. "They will not be releasing a statement and have no other comment to make," the spokesman said. "As you are aware JV will not discuss his private life." Minogue, 28, released a statement Wednesday saying she wanted to concentrate on her acting career having recently landed the part of Esmeralda in the West End production of Notre-Dame de Paris at London's Dominion Theatre. The pair met at the Spanish Grand Prix in 1999. Minogue moved in with the former world champion from Iberville, Que., in late 1999. Villeneuve, 29, is preparing for the new Formula One season, which starts March 4 in Australia. CP
2/1/01
Bodine fastest on 3rd day at LVMS For the second consecutive day, Todd Bodine set the pace during Las Vegas Motor Speedway's open test session. But Wednesday, Bodine's time was better than any times set during the entire three days of testing. Bodine's fast lap of 31.47 seconds (171.648 miles per hour) easily eclipsed the next best time set by Rusty Wallace, who toured the 1.5-mile superspeedway in 31.700 seconds (170.347) on Wednesday. Those were the only two times better than Elliott Sadler's 31.796-second lap on Monday. There were 13 NASCAR Winston Cup teams present for Wednesday's test. "We've got this car about as good as we could get it," Bodine said. "We have worked hard on this test both days here. We thought about some things last night that we would try today, and everything we thought would work did. We were fast on qualifying set-up and race set-up." Wallace also left Las Vegas feeling good about his return for the March 4 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400. "We were terrible here last year," Wallace said. "We were fast in qualifying trim and in race trim. I know we're going to be a lot better here this year than we were last year." Tim Sauter paced a group of 13 NASCAR Busch Series drivers who were preparing for the March 3 Sam's Town 300. Sauter turned a lap in 32.53 seconds (166.037 mph), which was a lot faster than Marty Houston's second-best time of 33.16 (162.901 mph). Ryan Newman was involved in the day's only incident. The NASCAR Winston Cup rookie made contact with the turn-two wall around noon. Newman spent the remainder of the day testing one of Wallace's back-up cars under the watchful eye of racing veteran Buddy Baker. Here is a complete list of Wednesday's testing times for NASCAR Winston Cup teams: Todd Bodine (31.47 seconds), Rusty Wallace (31.70), Michael Waltrip (31.80), Johnny Benson (31.90), Robert Pressley (32.02), Dale Jarrett (32.12), Jeremy Mayfield (32.20), Robby Gordon (32.32), Mike Wallace (32.30), Ricky Rudd (32.39), Ron Hornaday (32.40) and Ryan Newman (32.61). Joining Sauter and Houston for Busch Series testing were Jamie McMurray, Blaise Alexander, Chad Chaffin, Kevin Grubb, Larry Foyt, Rick Johnson, Rich Bickle, Mike Dillon, Bobby Hamilton Jr., Michael Waltrip and Mark Green. Benson and Mike Wallace will be the only two NASCAR Winston Cup teams scheduled to test on Thursday. Bodine and Waltrip are expected to test Busch cars on Thursday.  FR
2/1/01
Sellout expected in Melbourne  A sellout crowd is expected for the opening race of the F1 season in Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia.  50,000 foreign visitors are expected and the organizers have reportedly sold 80,000 4-day corporate passes already.  That does not count regular ticket sales. MC
2/1/01


Much improved helmets on the way  The FIA is testing new lighter helmet materials which are said to be 20% better than today's best helmets.  A heavier helmet means the neck will have more energy to absorb to stop the head when it moves forward on impact.  An object in motion has kinetic energy. The magnitude of the kinetic energy depends on both the mass and the speed of the object according to the equation:

E = 0.5mv2

where m is the mass of the object and v2 is its speed multiplied by itself.  Although velocity is certainly a bigger factor because it is squared, the mass is certainly a big factor as well.  Reducing the mass, or weight of the helmet, will reduce the stresses on the drivers head and neck, not only on impact, but also from G forces in the corners. This and the HANS Device will go a long way toward reducing the chance of the type of injury that killed Gonzalo Rodriguez, Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin and paralyzed many others. MC

1/31/01
Tunheim Group acquired  The Tunheim Group does a lot of work in CART.  On Tuesday GCI Group said it has acquired the Tunheim Group, the fourth-largest public relations firm in the Minneapolis market.  GCI is one of the world's largest PR firms.  Terms were not disclosed.  Tunheim Group had annualized fee revenue of $6.5 million last year. The firm's clients include Target Corp., Andersen Windows, Medtronic, Supervalu, the Minnesota Twins, Microsoft and Kohler. Tunheim was founded eleven years ago and has 69 employees.  President Kathy Tunheim says the firm chose to become part of the GCI network so it could keep growing and give its more opportunities to work with clients worldwide.  AP
1/31/01
CART officials visit Monterrey  J. Kirk Russell, Dennis Swan and Wally Dallenbach were at the Monterrey track in Mexico today making recommendations to the organizers on security, track safety, emergency equipment required and the like in preparation for the 2001 CART season opener on March 11th.  MC
1/31/01
Quote of the week  Bobby Rahal - "The most successful open-wheel races in the US - forget Indianapolis – are the road courses and the street courses, and the IRL doesn't believe in that. I don’t know why CART wouldn't just focus on street and road courses and let the IRL have the ovals."  MC
1/31/01
Alesi fastest again, Scheckter slowest again Jean Alesi topped the charts in testing again today at Barcelona in his Prost/Ferrari.  Tomas Scheckter again brought up the rear of the charts (by a wide margin) in his Jaguar leading many F1 regulars wondering if he has what it takes to cut it in F1.  All test times can be found on our F1 page. MC
1/31/01
Junqueira tops the test times at Homestead Continuing the trend of road racers having an easy time adopting to ovals, CART rookie Bruno Junqueira topped the timesheets at Homestead today with a 26.7 sec. lap.  See our CART testing page for a rundown on all CART test times.  MC
1/31/01
De Ferran crashes again For the 2nd time in less than a week, defending CART champion Gil de Ferran has crashed and walked away unharmed.  Last week it was at Phoenix, this week at Homestead.  He again banged up his left foot, but nothing was broken.  The same can't be said for his car.  Both crashes ended his testing early.  MC
1/31/01
LVMS Open House Las Vegas Motor Speedway's third annual Open House is slated for Feb. 17. Free track tours, race car displays, autograph sessions, discounted merchandise and food and games for children are all on the schedule for the event, which will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. NASCAR Winston West Series champion Brendan Gaughan and local Late Model Stock driver Chuck Trickle will sign autographs from noon-2 p.m. Several show cars including George Marnell's Pro Stock, Gaughan's No.16 NAPA/Martin Senour Chevrolet, and Trickle's NASCAR Late Model will be on display.  Fans are invited to visit displays from the Richard Petty Driving Experience, CART Driving 101, Derek Daly Academy, and 600 Racing. The Richard Petty Driving Experience will be on track that day offering rides at $99 for three laps, where passengers will reach speeds of 165 miles per hour. Fans also can register to win ride-alongs and driving experiences, which will be given away each hour. The grand prize of the day is being donated by the Derek Daly Driving Academy and is a one-day driving school valued at $900. Worried about missing the big race at Daytona? LVMS has it covered with a tent and a big-screen TV. There will also be huge savings on concessions, including $1 dogs and $.50 sodas. There also will be discounted merchandise in the Speedway World Gift Shop. Children's activities will include an inflatable "sea monster" obstacle course and other contests with chances to win prizes. KOMP 92.3-FM also will be on property broadcasting from 9 a.m. until noon.  FR
1/31/01
Ferrari re-signs key brain trust  Autosport.com reports that double Formula 1 World Champion Ferrari has re-signed the three men credited with bringing the drivers’ title back to Maranello for the first time in 21 years – sporting director Jean Todt, technical director Ross Brawn and chief designer Rory Byrne. MC
1/31/01

Improvements at Gilles Villeneuve circuit It is believed that the organizers of the Canadian GP (headed by Norman Legault) and now the CART race at the same circuit on the Isle of Notre Dame, will ask the government to permit the temporary structures to remain in place between the two races, one in June, the other in August, 2002. For some years now Legault has been under pressure from F1 to improve the facilities - the paddock, race control and the media center don't meet current F1 standards. Having a 2nd race will reap more money for the organizers to help pay for the improvements, Keeping the structures in place between races will save them a lot of money as well. The issue is that the island and the water which surrounds the track is used by sunbathers during the short Montreal summer. Some of the structures are erected along the waters edge.  MC
1/31/01
Williams and BAR to test at Kyalami  Williams and BAR will test in Kyalami South Africa from february 8 to the 13th in an effort to get some warm weather testing in before Melbourne on March 4th. MC
1/31/01
Sauber to build their own wind tunnel  Sauber has confirmed it is investing in its own wind tunnel, having had to buy time in the Swiss aerospace wind tunnel at Emmen. The Sauber aero team spent 35 weeks (out of 52) in the Emmen tunnel to produce the new Sauber C20. Work on the new tunnel will start in April. MC
1/31/01
Paul Newman also in 24-hours of Daytona race CART team owner Paul Newman, who turns 76 next month, will co-drive with teenager Gunnar Jeanette and Michael Brockman in a GTS class Porsche GT-1 in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona this weekend at Daytona Int'l Speedway.  Newman, who won two Sports Car Club of America National Championships and a class victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, was asked whether he felt comfortable with the car.  "I don't wan to feel comfortable with this car-I want to feel fast," said Newman..  MC
1/31/01
ISC reports strong financial numbers  International Speedway Corporation Tuesday reported record results for the fourth quarter and record revenues and operating income for the year ended Nov. 30, 2000. During the fourth quarter, total revenues increased from $104.6m for 4th Qtr.99 to a record $122.9m with operating income jumping from $29.3m (4th Qtr.99) to a record $37.4m. Net income amounted to $17.8m ($0.34 per diluted share), up from $14.2m ($0.27 per diluted share) in 4th Qtr.99.  MC
1/31/01
Steve Park also in 24-hours of Daytona race NASCAR driver Steve Park will also race in this years 24-hours of Daytona.  ISC owns the Grand-Am series and as NASCAR does with Busch and Trucks, they get their Cup drivers to run in the lower series to help bolster them up.  Hence why so many Cup drivers are in the 24-hour field this year.  MC
1/31/01
Michael Andretti on Disney Channel  Michael Andretti will appear in an upcoming episode of "The Jersey" titled "3 Boys and a Nephew" which airs on the Disney Channel. The original airdate and time for the show is Thursday, March 8, 2001 at 5:00pm on the Disney Channel. Reairs of the show will take place on Wednesday, March 14, 2001 at 5:00pm, Tuesday March 20, 2001 at 5:00pm, and Monday, March 26, 2001 at 5:00pm. 
1/30/01
Driven movie already showing in theaters  Some of the release dates for the CART's DRIVEN movie are as follows (posted in our forums by someone).  We are waiting for CART's massive marketing effort geared around this movie to kick in.  Will it?
Belgium - 6 January 2001 (Already released and showing)
USA - 27 April 2001 
Denmark - 4 May 2001 
Netherlands - 14 June 2001 
France - 20 June 2001 
1/30/01
Forsythe backs USF2000 team  The Forsythe Racing Champ Car team has linked up with USF2000 Team AIM Autosport to run Paul Dana in the series this year.
1/30/01
Paul Stoddart takes over Minardi  2nd UPDATE Millionaire businessman Paul Stoddart has completed his takeover of Formula 1 Minardi Team. After weeks of speculation, the Italian team has finally announced that Stoddart has bought Gabriele Rumi’s majority shareholding in the team.  The deal means that Minardi’s F1 operation will be split between their Faenza base and the Ledbury headquarters of the European Aviation F3000 team, which is also owned by Stoddart.  1/24/01 - Expect an announcement today that Australian millionaire Paul Stoddart will today announce he has taken over Minardi in a deal valued at £35 million. The team is expected to use Ford V10 engines, re-badged European V10s. The driver line-up will be headed by Fernando Alonso, with Enrique Bernoldi the favorite to partner the young Spaniard.  1/21/01 - European Aviation chairman and F3000 team owner Paul Stoddart has admitted that he is attempting to secure the funds to take over the Minardi F1  Stoddart previously backed the Arrows team and fielded Lolas for Mark Webber and Christijan Albers in last year's FIA International F3000 Championship as the Arrows junior team.  Stoddart, who has aspired to be an F1 team owner for years, acknowledged his interest in Minardi.  "We are looking, and I think it's fair to say that we are Minardi's only chance," he said. "I am quite confident, but it would be wholly wrong to say any more than that at this stage."  With the first race March 4th, no new car for 2001, and no testing, one can be sure that the Minardi team will run at the back of the grid each and every race; to which we say, why bother when you can spend 1/4 of the amount of money and have a chance to win races in CART?
1/30/01

Daimler-Chrysler to Slash 26.000 Jobs Will this have any affect on their NASCAR and F1 programs? DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler group on Monday announced plans to cut 26,000 jobs over three years and close or cut production at 13 plants to staunch its financial bleeding. 
The massive job cuts, amounting to 20 percent of Chrysler's global work force, are part of a wider plan the automaker will unveil on Feb. 26 to reverse course from losses expected to total around $1.75 billion for the second half of 2000.  MC
1/29/01
Food for thought With all FIA restrictions on where it can race now lifted, might CART be better served racing on the road course at Eurospeedway and the oval at Rockingham this year and then reversing the two the following year?  Alternately run both races on the ovals this year and the road courses next year.  This gives CART the ability to test which type of circuit European fans prefer, and hence are willing to buy tickets to see.  Need we remind CART that Mr. Bernie Ecclestone owns a very nice road course in south France called Paul Ricard that is in dire need of a big time race.  Might CART get in Bernie's good graces running at his track so he has an opportunity to recoup some of his money?  Perhaps that makes too much sense.  Back-to-back-to-back (England-Germany-France) European races in 2002?  What about adding Monza in 2004 and complete our proposed 4-race European swing (England-Germany-Italy-France)?
1/29/01
More NASCAR drivers enter 24-Hours of Daytona Scott Pruett and Anthony Lazzaro will join with Trans-Am pilots Paul Gentilozzi and Johnny Miller for this weekend’s Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
1/29/01
Montoya quick in Barcelona Former CART champion Juan Montoya was easily fastest today in testing in Barcelona.  We have updated the test times from Barcelona and can be found in tabular format on our Formula One page. MC
1/29/01



Chris Economaki's wife dies Tommye Economaki, wife of Chris Economaki, died Sunday morning following an extended period of declining health.  The Economakis met in Des Moines, Iowa, her hometown, in 1944 when Chris was stationed at Drake University. They were married after the War and moved to northern New Jersey, where Economaki launched a career that would eventually make him the dean of American motorsport journalists. For years, Tommye went to races with her husband, becoming as much a fixture as Chris.  Tommye Economaki is survived by her husband Chris, editor emeritus of National Speed Sport News, two daughters – Tina Riedl and Corinne Economaki - and grandchildren Alexis and Christopher Riedl.  Viewing is scheduled for Monday evening, between four and seven pm at Feeney Funeral Home, 232 Franklin Street, Ridgewood, N.J. The funeral Mass will be held at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at The Church of the Nativity on Prospect Avenue in Midland Park, N.J.  The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Tommye's name to the Foundation at Bergen Regional Medical Center, 230 East Ridgewood Ave, Paramus, N.J. 07652. Speedvision
1/29/01
Fittipaldi and da Matta comment on Rio race situation 
Christian Fittipaldi
, driver of the No. 11 Kmart Toyota-Lola: "I am disappointed in this announcement not only as a Brazilian driver but also as a member of the CART FedEx series in general. The race in Rio is not only important to me personally but it is also a good event for sponsors in CART. Brazil is a big growth market for Texaco and it is good for us to race there. It would be especially disappointing not to race in Rio because of the success of the Brazilians in the series. Not only have we run competitively in the series, but the Champion is also a Brazilian. I think the race would be a big success this year because of the success of the Brazilians and because of what my uncle (Emerson, event promoter) has done for the past two years. He has really stepped up the game. I hope the new administration will reinstate the race in time for the March 25 date. The fact that the race is televised in most of the countries in the world is good, positive exposure for the city. I know that CART and my uncle will work hard to get the race back on the schedule."  NOTE: Fittipaldi won the pole for the 1999 Rio event. His highest finish at Rio is a third place in 1999.  Cristiano da Matta, driver of the No. 6 Texaco/Havoline Toyota-Lola: "To be honest, I don't think Brazil has had such a strong presence in an international racing series. Never has Brazil had a better percent chance of winning the Rio race. I was looking forward to racing there with Newman/Haas as well and know the race is important to my new sponsor Texaco/Havoline. With live TV coverage of the races this year and the media hype, I am surprised this happened. I hope they can reinstate the race in time for the series to run in Rio. I was looking forward to racing on the road course. I liked running on the oval but I have run on the road course and was looking forward to going to a track where not all of the drivers had driven yet."  NOTE: Da Matta's highest finish in Rio is a fourth place in 2000.  MC
1/29/01
Reverend Jesse Jackson to back black driver  The Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and Dr Pepper will sponsor a NASCAR Weekly Racing Series team this season featuring a black owner and black driver.  Morty Buckles of Stone Mountain, Ga., will drive a Pontiac for Philadelphia-based Miller Racing Group, the team said Friday. This team will race out of Concord, N.C.  In an announcement which was part of the fourth annual Wall Street Project Conference in New York, the companies said they would work together to develop minority NASCAR drivers.  The NASCAR Weekly Racing Series consists of about 100 tracks throughout the country, divided into 10 geographic regions.  MC
1/28/01

Fontana Tickets on sale tomorrow California Speedway's 2001 individual race tickets for the April NASCAR weekend and the November CART/NASCAR Truck Series weekend will go on sale by phone starting Monday, January 29th at 9:00 a.m. by calling 1-800-944-RACE. In addition, fans can purchase their tickets online! Individual tickets can also be purchased in person at the speedway ticket office beginning Tuesday, January 30th at 9:00 a.m.  Details
1/28/01


Juan Montoya

Montoya will push himself to get quick results  Juan Montoya, speaking at the launch of the new Williams-BMW Montoya says he expects to push for results early, even though he is a rookie.  "I want to do well," said the 1999 Champ Cars champion.   "I am not here to drive around a circuit for 60 or 70 laps and not do well.   "I am here because I want to win races. I hope to be on the podium. I may be new to a lot of the circuits but I can still go fast.   "I went to Valencia for the first time and I was faster than Ralf."   Montoya admits there is much work to do before results can be seen on the track.  "There is still a lot of testing ahead to do and the first few races will be very difficult with the new circuits and working with a new team.  "Things are going well but when it gets to the real thing, then it really counts."   The bottom line question will be whether the Williams team has caught up to Ferrari & McLaren.

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