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DATE News (chronologically 9/4/01 to 9/15/01)
9/15/01

Special RPM2Night tonight  We are told there will be special edition of RPM2Night at 7:30PM EST on ESPN.  In light of the tragic events of today, perhaps they decided to have a special show to cover what happened in Germany.

9/15/01

Update on Tagliani  X-rays and cat-Scans proved negative for Alex Tagliani.  He will be kept under observation for 24 to 48 hours.  It is hoped he will race in England next Saturday.

9/15/01

Audio from Germany (Real Audio)
Tom Michaels race wrap-up
Kenny Brack on the Zanardi accident.

Kenny Brack commenting on a high-speed incident early in the race with Memo Gidley

Max Papis about his emotions in such a tough week and the tough way to end the race

Dr. Steve Olvey, CART Director of Medical Affairs, on the conditions of both Zanardi and Tagliani within minutes after completion of the race. Both drivers were transported by helicopter to a Berlin hospital for further examination.

Tom Michaels
previews the race 
Michael Andretti, on what fans in Germany can expect to see from the CART/FedEx Series 
Michael Andretti on racing on two oval tracks in Germany and England
Bryan Herta who turned a few demonstration laps at EuroSpeedway last year
Kenny Brack on what it will be like racing in Europe 

9/15/01

Statement from Mo Nunn  "We are devastated by the extent of Alex's injuries. But we are so very thankful that he is on his way to surviving such a tremendous impact. All of our thoughts and prayers are with Alex and his family. He has quite a battle ahead of him, but knowing what a fighter Alex is, we're confident he' ll be able to return home to be with his family and friends very soon."

9/15/01

Zanardi loses both legs  5th UPDATE  Alex lost one leg above the knee and one below.  He is stable and still undergoing a long operation. He also has a possible broken pelvis. He is breathing on his own, and has no other apparent internal injuries.   Earlier - Now that we have watched the replays, we have a better description of the accident. Zanardi came out of the pits on cold tires.  He lost control on the warm-up lane and spun up onto the track in the first turn.  While the car was spinning on the track and coming to a stop, Tagliani careened at about a 45-degree angle into the left side of Zanardi at full speed right in front of the cars cockpit opening.  Zanardi's car went hard into the outside wall and Tagliani continued down the track toward the exit of the first turn.  Tagliani got airborne momentarily. Carpentier just missed Zanardi before Tagliani hit him.  It is though Tagliani did not see Zanardi spinning because he was right behind his teammate. We hear he has two broken legs.  Earlier - Official CART statement - According to Dr. Steve Olvey, CART Director of Medical Affairs, Alex Tagliani was awake and alert when he arrived at the track medical facility. He reported lower back pain, had feeling in all four extremities, he is headed to Klinikum Berlin-Marzahn (hospital) for x-rays and further tests. Alex Zanardi is in extremely critical condition with injuries to both lower extremities, and a significant loss of blood. He is breathing on his own, and responding to direction. He is being airlifted to Klinikum Berlin-Marzahn for treatment of his injuries. Your prayers are needed.  Earlier - Paul Page was just on ESPN ...they played the accident. He reiterated that Zanardi has severe trauma to the lower legs, severe blood loss and in extremely critical condition. He has been transported to a top level trauma hospital in Berlin.  9/15/01 - We now hear Zanardi is critical but stable, with injuries to both legs and severe blood loss.  He is responding to doctors.  9/15/01 - We are getting reports that Alex Zanardi is in very critical condition.  Stay tuned and say your prayers.....please.  Zanardi was airlifted to a hospital after he was hit by Tagliani at almost 200 mph  while inching onto the oval coming out of the pits. His injuries were "very serious," CART officials said. Alex Tagliani, the Canadian driver who struck Zanardi, was reported to be "awake and alert." Zanardi was leading the race with about 15 laps to go when the accident happened, scattering debris across the track.

9/15/01

Forums back up  UPDATE Our forums are now back up.  Earlier - We fried one hard drive in our server RAID disk array for our forums.  No data loss.  We should be back up and running today.

9/15/01

Very large crowd turns out for German race  UPDATE We now have official word from track personnel.  Today's attendance is 87,689. Is there still any question left as to the FACT CART's future lies as a true global world series? You can see a hint of how large the crowd in the photo to the right.  Grandstands go 3/4 way around the track (Photos by Jonathan Ferry and Robert Laberge courtesy Motorola).  Total weekend attendance was 148,853, very stout for an oval.  9/15/01 - The grandstands that go 3/4 of the way around the track are largely full today.  We await the official announcement on attendance but it appears it may be CART's largest first-year attendance for an overseas race, except for Australia, but that is a road course and to be expected.


Pre-Race ceremony photos

9/15/01

Ferrari President sees China as a key market  Just as we here at AutoRacing1 recognize China as a key market, and a place CART absolutely should be racing, on Thursday in Maranello, Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo met a group of international Formula 1 media and had this to say - "F1 needs to be a worldwide Formula, which is why I mentioned China, which is going to become a very important market for everyone."  We ask, who will get there first, CART or F1?

9/15/01

Schumacher, ferrari, lead final practice at Monza  Michael Schumacher gave the tifosi something to cheer about for qualifying at Monza today by nipping rapid rookie-sensation Juan Montoya by 3/10ths of a second to lead final practice Saturday morning.  Jarno Trulli was 3rd.

9/15/01

Weather cooperating, Kanaan leads warm-up  So far the weather is cooperating in Germany under pertly sunny skies and 57 degrees F.  The pre-race warm-up session for today's inaugural American Memorial at the 2.023-mile EuroSpeedway tri-oval is now complete. Mo Nunn Racing's Tony Kanaan recorded the fastest time of 35.288, with an average speed of 206.382 mph. Alex Zanardi was second at 35.570 (204.746 mph), and Paul Tracy third with a fastest lap of 35.675 (204.143 mph).

9/15/01

CART TV broadcast moved to Monday  2nd UPDATE CART tells us FedEx pulled all TV advertising for this weekends sporting events and that, and out of respect for the WTC families, CART and ESPN decided to move the race to a Monday tape delay.  9/14/01 -  We now learn that a number of the CART drivers threatened to not race if the race was shown live here in the USA given what has happened this week and given all the other races were cancelled.  We find this surprising as NASCAR and the IRL only postponed because everyone could not fly in for the race on time.   9/14/01 -  ESPN announced late this afternoon on RPM2Night that tomorrow's German American Memorial 500 will not be shown live on ESPN at 7:30 AM EST Saturday.  Instead it will be shown taped Monday afternoon at 1:00 PM when everyone is at work.

9/15/01

CART community to make donation to WTC fund  Championship Auto Racing Teams, on behalf of its entire community, will make a donation to a designated World Trade Center Relief Fund that is equivalent to the race purse for today's American Memorial event at EuroSpeedway in Lausitz, Germany. The standard purse for a CART event is $500,000 and will be the amount of the donation. The Championship Drivers Association, which consists of the CART drivers, also has exhibited its support of the WTC Relief Fund with a donation of $50,000. "With our community being more than 4,000 miles away from home, we frequently have felt helpless in being able to help our families and our country through this terrible tragedy," CART Chairman and CEO Joseph Heitzler said. "This is the CART community's way of showing its support and concern for all those involved while we are abroad. Our hearts continue to go out to everyone and we as a community look forward to returning home soon and becoming more involved in the healing process with our family, friends and communities."   Team Walker statement.

9/15/01

Saturday scenes from Germany

Andretti Photos by Robert Laberge/Allsport courtesy Motorola
Remaining photos courtesy Toyota Motorsports

9/15/01

German weather looks promising for Saturday afternoon  By the looks of this forecast Saturday afternoon should see partly sunny skies and only a 20% chance of showers.  Everyone is keeping their fingers crossed.

9/14/01

CART fans fuming over no live German TV broadcast  We put up a new poll on our home page asking fans if they want the CART German race broadcast live on Saturday.  We never had a poll get so many votes so fast.  Based on what we are seeing, the fans are very upset with the decision not to broadcast the race live.  You can tell ESPN how you really feel at http://espn.go.com/rpm/rpmcomments.html

9/14/01

CART's EuroWing explained (Courtesy Team Kool Green)

9/14/01

IRL sponsor woes continue, Fisher loses sponsorship  And they want to start a support series to suck off even more sponsorship money?  Perhaps the IRL's biggest name, Sarah Fisher, of Team Walker, has lost Kroger as their sponsor after this year.  Easily the most marketable name in the IRL paddock, it comes as a surprise that the sponsorship was lost. With many teams having little sponsorship, we expect the startup of the IRL "Lights" series to siphon off even more money from the IRL teams.  Bob Reif quit and one reason he did was because he argued against starting a support series for this very reason, but Brian Barnhart assured Tony George he could make it work.  So Reif is out and the IRL sponsorship woes continue.

9/14/01

German 500 renamed American Memorial  The following joint statement was issued Friday by Hans-Jorg Fischer, president and CEO of EuroSpeedway Lausitz and Joe Heitzler, CART chairman and CEO: “Since making our announcement yesterday [Thursday] regarding this weekend’s event at EuroSpeedway, we have been contacted by the President of the State of Brandenburg, Manfred Stolpe, and the German government. We truly appreciate the support they have shown for our race weekend. As part of our discussion, a request was made of EuroSpeedway and CART to rename this weekend’s German 500 race The American Memorial in honor of the victims in the United States. This decision illustrated the solidarity between the German people, CART and those impacted by the tragic events in New York City, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. It also reinforces the importance of people everywhere returning to a normal course. Our hearts are full of grief in this difficult time and everyone impacted by this event remains very much in our thoughts. The renaming of the race, coupled with the variety of special pre-race activities we announced yesterday, will offer the proper respect in this situation. We welcome the opportunity to make the victims of the tragedy the focus of The American Memorial, and want to say ‘Thank you’ to all the fans, both at EuroSpeedway and those watching around the world on television, for their concern and support as we begin to recover from this terrible tragedy.” An assortment of special pre- and post-race activities have been scheduled Saturday as a tribute to Tuesday’s victims. In other news - The Championship Drivers Association, working through its Benevolent Fund, announced a donation of $50,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to aid the victims and families impacted by Tuesday’s terrorist acts. The Championship Drivers Association represents those drivers who compete in the FedEx Championship Series and the Indy Racing League Northern Light Series. FedEx Championship Series driver Mauricio Gugelmin (Nextel PacWest Toyota) of the PacWest Racing Group serves as CDA chairman. 

9/14/01

How Andretti made it to Germany  Michael Andretti (Motorola Honda Reynard) of Team Motorola arrived in Lausitz Friday morning after an overnight flight in a private jet from Allentown, Pa., near his Nazareth home. Andretti, whose scheduled commercial flight from the United States on Tuesday was delayed due to that day’s tragic events in New York, Washington and western Pennsylvania, departed Allentown at 4 p.m. aboard a GIIB Gulfstream after receiving clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration and the United States Department of Defense. Traveling with Andretti were his wife, Leslie; CART Chaplain Rev. Phil DeRea; Newman/Haas Racing co-owner Carl Haas, co-owner of Newman/Racing, and his wife, Bernie; and J.F. Thorman, Andretti’s business manager. The plane stopped in Shannon, Ireland for refueling en route from Allentown and arrived in Dresden at 7 a.m. local time. Andretti, CART’s all-time victory leader with 41, stands fourth in this year’s FedEx Championship Series with 103 points 

9/14/01

Big crowd expected in Germany  2nd UPDATE CART's popularity outside the USA continues.  On a work day 38,627 Germans showed up to watch nothing more than a practice session.  Typical Friday crowds at USA ovals are in the 100's at best. The track confirmed with us today that about 80,000 are expected on race day and 150,000 for the three days. 9/13/01 - Further underscoring the demand for CART outside the USA, the track announced today that 21,517 German fans came to watch the opening day of practice with rain falling.  That's more fans than some USA oval events get on race day!  Image if it had not rained.  9/13/01 - Underscoring AutoRacing1's push for CART to go more international, was the announcement today by the Eurospeedway President, Hans-Jorg Fischer, that they have pre-sold 69,000 tickets for the German 500, and a big walkup crowd is expected as well, despite the rain today and tomorrow.  We expect to see over 80,000 in attendance on Saturday (weather permitting).  When was the last time you saw CART draw that kind of a crowd for an oval race in the USA?  Just Fontana we believe, and the USA 500 the one year it was run.  Even the IRL's 2 for 1 ticket deals with Winston Cup don't bring that many through the turnstiles.  Only Japan, 73,000 this year, and Brazil, a sell-out last year, are really doing well as CART oval events, but they are outside the USA.  Our crusade for CART to become a true global world championship series will continue.  The evidence is all there that there is a healthy demand for CART outside the USA.  We continue to recommend a 24-race CART schedule - 12 races in the USA, 3 in Canada,  2 in Mexico,  with the remainder in Europe (4), Asia (2) and Australia (1). That's 17 of 24 (70%) in North America, or 30% overseas.  By comparison, F1 has 6 out of 17, or 35% outside the European continent, so the distribution would be about right for CART to call themselves a true global world series.

9/14/01

Scenes from Germany on Thursday (Courtesy Toyota Motorsports)

9/14/01

Friday Germany musings  Seen and heard around the Eurospeedway today.  Many Kenny Brack fans in attendance with hair dyed yellow and blue, Sweden colors.  Once the weather cleared up, it turned out to be a very nice day in the afternoon.  Many teams just concentrated on full-load race day setups, because the grid was set yesterday based on point standings.  Mo Nunn Racing was fast the entire session.  Sustained lap speeds with a heavy fuel load were in the 200 MPH range.  The top lap speeds were done with a tow or with a light fuel load. The grandstands, which go around 3/4 of the track, although not full, had people in every section today.  A lot of attention was put on scrubbing tires for the race. Because of a green track and cool temperatures, drivers struggled with grip.  Because of the no-tobacco advertising laws in Germany, Marlboro Team Penske carried normal colors but no Marlboro name, KOOL Cars just carried "OO" without the K and L, the Players cars had all mention of Players removed. MC

9/14/01

Most CART drivers make it to Germany  UPDATE Michael Andretti arrived in Germany early on Friday morning and will join the other Champ Car drivers for free practice once the 2.0-mile EuroSpeedway tri-oval is dry. Andretti gained FAA clearance to depart from Allentown, Pennsylvania in a leased Gulfstream G2-B private jet at 4:00 PM EDT Thursday. After a refueling stop in Shannon, Ireland, Andretti and others touched down in Germany at around 7:00 AM local time on Friday morning. "I'm glad to have arrived safely," remarked Andretti, who added that he could see smoke from the World Trade Center disaster from his home nearly 100 miles away. "My thoughts are with the families and friends of those who are missing."  9/12/01 -  To the best of our knowledge, all the CART drivers have made it to Europe for Saturday's German 500 except possibly Michael Andretti.  However, we believe he has made alternate plans to get there, and may already be enroute, using the Andretti private jet.  However, that would need special FAA clearance, so there's a possibility he may get there late for practice that starts early Thursday morning.  If he is still in the USA today (Wednesday), it's very likely he will miss opening practice. However, with rain in the forecast, he may not miss a thing. MC

9/13/01

CBS/Speedvision lineup not the first  UPDATE We are now told to look for less joint CART/Trans-Am weekends, not more, because CART insists that only it's Champ Car race be shown on live TV on any given weekend. We are told we will see more joint ALMS/Trans-Am weekends.  This report is unconfirmed.  9/8/01 - CART will be televised on CBS and Speedvision for the next several years.  Did you know that the Trans-Am series was televised on Speedvision and CBS this year?  Yes, three races in June/July on CBS, the rest on Speedvision.  What series is Trans-Am closely tied with, sharing quite a few weekends together?  That's right, CART.  At one point, there were talks of CART taking over control of the Trans-Am series.  Don't be surprised if you see more joint CART/Trans-Am weekends in 2002 and beyond.

9/13/01

F1 teams want to rid themselves of Ecclestone dictatorship, model after CART  Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo met the chairman of the manufacturers at the Frankfurt Motor Show earlier this week to discuss the plans for staging a rival championship. He summarized what was discussed at the meeting: "We are not talking of the possibility between now and 2007 to have, like in the United States, a parallel or different formula (CART vs. IRL). We have signed an agreement, we will respect the contract. (In 2008) the deal with the FIA (International Automobile Federation), for the TV rights, for the commitment with the organizers is finished.'' On the management issues surrounding such a venture, he said: "Instead of Mr. Ecclestone, a good management group will be appointed...and all the revenue will go back to the teams. Instead of investing huge amounts of money, generate from the competition the money to invest in their own teams. Today the cake is divided between the new owners, with a big percentage, and a small percentage for the players. In the future it can be completely different and this will be used...to give even small teams a possibility to be more competitive and to give to the car manufacturers the possibility to generate the finance to invest in the competition from the competition itself.  It's not such a big job to organize a championship. We cannot accept to give the potential financial utilization of our own activity to somebody else.''  MC

9/13/01

Toyota unveils F1 logo  Here at the Frankfurt Motor Show, a new milestone has been reached in Toyota's Formula 1 preparations. Mr. Akihiko Saito, Executive Vice President, Toyota Motor Corporation, responsible for overall Toyota Motorsports activities including F1, unveiled the new Toyota F1 logo.

This new logo will be the distinctive sign of Toyota's presence in Formula 1. As every logo has its own significance, the meaning of Toyota's new logo is:
- The whole shape of the mark represents 'T' as in Toyota
- The top and left parts represent '1' as in Formula 1 and n° 1 and expresses speed
- The left and right parts form a 'V' as in victory.
- Right part represents 'F' as in Formula 1 or Flame. It images flame and expresses Passion. 

9/13/01

IRL banquet to go on as scheduled  Even though its last race won't run until October 6th now, the IRL Championship Banquet scheduled for Monday night at the TMS Speedway Club will also go on as scheduled.  Sam Hornish is the champion, but what about the other points positions?  How many will be affected by the last race of the year?  Will some drivers have to return their trophies if the standings change?

9/13/01

Fire erupts in Petty shop  A small storage room located at the famed Petty Enterprises race shop caught on fire late Wednesday afternoon leaving two crew men with injuries and burns. The fire was believed to be caused when the two crew men, Mike Root and Rich Parks, were cleaning up a gasoline spill and a flash fire erupted. Root suffered second and third-degree burns to his arms and legs. He was taken to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem to be treated for his injuries. Root was kept overnight where he remains in stable condition. Parks suffered a laceration to his head and a minor burn to his hands. He drove to High Point Regional Hospital where he was checked and released. The famed A-frame shop at Petty Enterprises suffered minimal damage. "Our thoughts and prayers are both with Mike and Rich this morning," said Kyle Petty, who serves as the CEO of Petty Enterprises. "Things could have been a lot worse than they were, and we’re grateful that both are going to be ok."

9/13/01
Industry News

SCCA loses two members in terrorist crash   It is with extreme regret that I have been called by United Airlines who informed and confirmed to me that Linda Gronlund F&C Chief - NNJR and Joe DeLuca Race Control - NNJR, two of our SCCA family have perished on United Airlines Flight 93 which crashed near Pittsburgh as part of the terrible terrorist attacks upon the United States of America. All the members of the SCCA family extend their prayers and condolences to the families and their friends. At the Runoffs we will have a card of condolences that we can share our feelings with the families. 
Dick Coburn, National Administrator 
SCCA Flagging and Communications 
8325 Riverside Dr E Suite 1204 
Windsor ON Canada N8S 1E8

9/13/01

Texas races cancelled   [Editor's note - we are told NASCAR postponed the Truck race first, so the IRL had no choice but to postpone their race too].  The Silverado 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race is rescheduled for Friday, Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. (CDT), and the Chevy 500 Indy Racing Northern Light Series season finale will be Saturday, Oct. 6 at 3:00 p.m. (CDT). Tonight's Wolf Brand Chili Challenge UDTRA late model races and the Friday and Saturday night O'Reilly Texas Showdown Pennzoil World of Outlaws sprint car races at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track have been cancelled. "Obviously, this has been a difficult process for us all from the very beginning, " said speedway general manager Eddie Gossage. "Opinions have been mixed, but it seemed clear from the fans' response the races should go on as planned. However, with airport operations still in limbo, it is logistically impossible for all of the teams and fans to even get here. After more discussions today, we all agreed this was the appropriate thing to do."   We wonder if either race's attendance will be affected by the other race being so close.  Perhaps that is why the IRL race is on a Saturday.  Maybe fans will take in both races on the same weekend.....if it does not rain out at TMS on Saturday.

9/13/01

NASCAR postpones New Hampshire till November   NASCAR ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT SUNDAY’S 300-LAP NASCAR WINSTON CUP EVENT AT THE 1.058-MILE NEW HAMPSHIRE INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY HAS BEEN POSTPONED. THE POSTPONEMENT RESULTED FROM THE EVENTS TUESDAY IN NEW YORK CITY AND WASHINGTON, D.C.   JOHN ANDRETTI, Driver, #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge: "Under the circumstances, this is the right thing to do. There were a lot of choices that could have been made but, in my opinion, this was the way to go. It’s the right thing to do and it’s the best thing to do. "Outside of my family, nothing on earth has meant as much to me as driving a race car, since I was a little kid. That’s all I’ve ever done and all I’ve ever wanted to do. When somebody like me is wondering whether I really want to race on a weekend or not, then a lot of people must be having some pretty serious doubts. "Everybody is going to have to readjust and re-evaluate with the new date, and it’s going to probably be pretty cold in New England when we do run. But the inconvenience we’re facing is pretty slight compared to what so many people have undergone this week in our country."
NOVEMBER? NEW HAMPSHIRE? It's freezing cold there in OCT, it's suppose to be only 65 this weekend in NH. A lot of questions will arise: 
1: How is this going to effect NHIS losing out on money and tickets to people who won't travel in November. 
2: How is this going to effect the population of people making it to NHIS on the day after thanksgiving it being the biggest shopping day of the year. 
3: How many fans would be interested in coming to a race where the championship winner is pretty much a done deal by the time Atlanta comes? 
4: What are the concerns for the track being raced in this kind of weather. Normally in NH the weather doesn't go above 50-55 in Nov? how is this going to effect the set-ups for the cars as there will be no grip to the track? (they will sell a lot of fleeces that weekend) 
5: What happens if it snows? Do they cancel that too? 
6: How does Atlanta feel about having the race finale ending pushed off them onto NH and taken away from them?

7.  In essence NASCAR and its fans are getting burned because they have no open dates in their schedule for unforeseen events such as this.

9/13/01

NASCAR tracks plan crash victim events   New Hampshire International Speedway will provide bus service for its guests to the Concord Chapter American Red Cross Blood Drive on Friday, September 14 beginning at 12:30 p.m. at the New Hampshire State Armory. The Concord Chapter, American Red Cross has advised that although the Armory is large, due to the grand support of American citizens, there may be delays. Also, please note that due to security procedures, all prospective blood donors entering the Armory must present photo identification. The bus with a "BLOOD DRIVE" sign will be on a constant rotation from the Texaco Station at Oil Rogers Highway (speedway south entrance) and Route 106 from 12:30 p.m. with a last return from the New Hampshire State Armory at 7:30 p.m. For those wishing to use private transportation, the N.H. Armory is located on Pembroke Road in Concord which is just off Loudon Road and behind the Wendy' s. Directions from the speedway is to take Route 106 south to Loudon Road; Loudon Road west to Pembroke Road and Pembroke Road south to the Armory. Donations accepted to benefit children - Speedway Children’s Charities and Lowe’s Motor Speedway will accept monetary donations during the Food Lion AutoFair Sept. 13-16 to benefit children victimized by the New York City and Washington, D.C., terrorist attacks. Donations will be presented to the American Red Cross and other victims’ assistance programs benefiting children. Patrons of the Food Lion AutoFair who wish to make monetary donations should report to the Speedway Children’s Charities display located near the North Entrance of the white Pavilion tent on pit road. The Food Lion AutoFair hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday – Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

9/13/01

CART plans Germany activities in memory of crash victims  The victims of Tuesday’s tragedy in the United States will be commemorated throughout the race weekend during Championship Auto Racing Teams’ German 500 at EuroSpeedway Lausitz. CART and EuroSpeedway officials have redirected celebratory events and activities planned for the inaugural FedEx Championship Series race at the German track to focus on remembering the victims of the tragedy in the United States. In the first of several race weekend tributes, CART officials, as part of a countrywide observance, stopped the initial practice session for five minutes Thursday morning in memory of the victims of the incidents in New York City, Washington, D.C and Pennsylvania. Cars did not make it on track Thursday because of the rainy conditions. “Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims of this terrible tragedy,” said Joe Heitzler, CART chairman and CEO. “They are very much in the thoughts of all of us in the CART community. “Like our government leaders, we believe it is important for all of us to begin moving back to a normal course and we hope our race here Saturday will help Americans, and people throughout the world, to do just that while memorializing the victims. We will be racing with a great sense of sadness and compassion but also with a great deal of respect as we remember those affected by this tragedy.” The schedule of events has been altered to include two practice sessions on Friday and starting positions for Saturday’s race will be determined by driver position in series points standings. On Saturday, several pre-race activities have been established to focus on remembering the victims of the tragedy. The memorial portion of the pre-race ceremonies will begin with an invocation followed by a minute of silence. That will be followed by the Scottish Volunteer Bagpipers’ rendition of ‘Amazing Grace.’ The U.S. National Anthem will be sung by American Barbara Tucker and the German Choir of Coalminers of Brieske will then sing the German anthem. Once the cars receive the command to start engines, they will circulate for several parade laps, including a ‘Lap of Remembrance,’ in memory of the victims of Tuesday’s tragedy. On the special lap, the cars will slowly move down pit lane. A German fireman, assigned to each team’s pit area, will step forward with the German flag, as will a crewman from each team who will be holding an American flag. The cars will then return to the track to get up to speed to start the race. Several other events are planned in remembrance of the victims. CART plans to distribute red, white and blue ribbons to all participants. CART also is asking teams to carry a black decal on the bodywork below the cockpit of each car, displaying representation of the red, white and blue ribbon and the date “September 11, 2001.” Over the past two days, special services have been conducted at the track in memory of the victims. An additional moment of silence and remembrance is planned tonight in a special area behind the main grandstand, where a flagpole is flying an American flag at half-mast amid candles, flowers and wreaths that have been placed there by members of both the CART and local communities.

9/12/01

Audio from Germany  
Tom Michaels previews the race 
Michael Andretti, on what fans in Germany can expect to see from the CART/FedEx Series 
Michael Andretti on racing on two oval tracks in Germany and England
Bryan Herta who turned a few demonstration laps at EuroSpeedway last year
Kenny Brack on what it will be like racing in Europe 

9/12/01

China is booming, will CART seize the opportunity?   In this article by Allan Ng and this article by Mark Cipolloni, you have read about the best venue for a CART race - Shanghai.  Today in a USA Today special report, by Steve Friess, we read more evidence of why CART should take a serious look at China:
1.  China, once the capital of communism, now has the world's hottest market economy. The most populous nation, almost immune to the slowdown gripping the USA, Europe and most of Asia, is on pace for 7% growth this year. Japan, by contrast, is struggling with negative quarterly economic results.
2.  Ford Motor announced this spring it would plunge $49 million into a $98 million joint venture with a carmaker in the central city of Chongqing for a factory that will eventually crank out 50,000 passenger sedans annually. Those cars are intended for domestic sales, not as exports.
3.  McDonald's, which spent the 1990s cautiously edging into the Chinese market, plans to open more than 100 restaurants each year for the next several years. That's a dramatic surge; the fast-food giant had opened just 295 from 1990 to 1999.
4. China overtook the USA this summer as the nation with the most cellular phones in use, at about 120 million. About 5 million new subscribers sign up each month. By 2005, 300 million phones may be in use, which must make market-leader Motorola giddy.
5.  Even as major foreign companies hunker down at home and warn about earnings, they're risking millions for a shot at enticing 1.3 billion Chinese customers with decades of pent-up desire for consumer products. Foreign direct investment is now on track to hit $45 billion this year, up from $41 billion in 2000, according to Chinese government statistics.
6.  ''The 1990s in China proved to be a massive growth period, and companies that came in and accelerated it turned out to be correct,'' says Kim Woodard, chairman of Javelin Investments, a consulting firm advising midsize U.S. companies on China, citing Motorola, Volkswagen and Procter & Gamble as huge successes. ''It's my personal belief we're in for another strong decade in the Chinese economy.'' MC

9/12/01

Schumacher thinks CART will struggle in Europe   In this weeks Autosport magazine, World Champion Michael Schumacher says that he thinks CART will have a hard time making an impact in Europe because F1 is so strong.  He's keeping his eye on CART's debut in Europe at the Eurospeedway in his home country of Germany.  We here at AR1 believe there is some truth in what he says, and compounding the struggle is CART's lack in ability to help lineup rides for a big-name German driver as well as a 2nd British driver (Dario Franchitti is from Scotland, so he counts too). The European racing publications largely ignore CART, giving it very little coverage.  CART will need to work on these two fronts to improve its European popularity in years to come. MC

9/12/01

Texas races get green light   The Chevy 500 Indy Racing Northern Light Series event will take place this weekend with a revised schedule, officials from the Indy Racing League, NASCAR and Texas Motor Speedway announced today. The season-ending Chevy 500 will start as scheduled at 3:30 p.m. (CDT) Sunday. A practice session from 10-10:30 a.m. will precede the race that day. Though NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series practice and other Texas Motor Speedway activities will take place Friday, MBNA Pole Qualifying has been canceled. The field will be set by entrant points, according to Indy Racing League rules. 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series champion Sam Hornish Jr., who drives for entrant points leader Panther Racing, will start from the pole. An open Indy Racing practice session will take place from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (CDT) Saturday. The Silverado 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race will start as scheduled at 3 p.m. Saturday. "Our thoughts, prayers and sympathy are with everyone affected by the tragedy Tuesday in New York and Washington," said Tony George, president and CEO of the Indy Racing League. "We will race at Texas with sadness and compassion for those who are suffering across the country and around the world due to these events, and we think that this abbreviated schedule is the proper way to carry on during this very difficult time. President George Bush has kept the offices of government open and has pledged that 'the American economy will be open for business.' In this spirit, we are moving forward." 

9/12/01

Italian GP to go on as planned   A spokesman for the world motorsport's governing body, the FIA, has said today that there are "no plans" to cancel this weekend's Italian Grand Prix in light of the terrorist attacks in America on Tuesday.

9/12/01

CART President Joe Heitzler makes statement on tragedy, German race   The following remarks were made by CART Chairman and CEO Joseph F. Heitzler at a press conference Wednesday at EuroSpeedway at Lausitz regarding this weekend’s CART German 500. Thank you for joining us here today. The last 24 hours have been a difficult time for all of and, particularly, those of us who are here from America. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by the terrible tragedies that occurred in New York City, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere in the United States. I would ask that you join me in a moment of silence to honor those who were injured or lost their lives yesterday in these catastrophes. It is important that you know that we are continuing to plan and prepare for our race weekend as it has been scheduled. With that said, we are working closely with the U.S. government and, specifically, with the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Dan Coats, in order to ensure that we conduct ourselves in the most appropriate manner relative to this situation. I also want to let you know that measures have been taken by both the U.S. and German governments to ensure the safety and security of the CART contingent here in Germany. I want to thank all the government officials who have worked closely with us to assist us in this situation. We will continue to assess the situation and as soon as we have more information, we will make a determination if any additional action needs to be taken regarding our race weekend. Finally, I want to reiterate our concern and sympathy for those people impacted by these tragic acts. While our racing is something we all love and take very seriously, we also recognize that, particularly in times like these, there are other matters that take precedence. I would ask that you keep that in mind as we go forward. Thank you.

9/12/01

FOX sources say Sunday New Hampshire race to be cancelled   Although sources have indicated to FOX Sports Net's Totally NASCAR that Sunday's Winston Cup race at Loudon, N.H., will be cancelled, NASCAR announced only Friday's qualifying at Loudon is cancelled. If the Winston Cup Series does race at Loudon Sunday, the starting order will be set by point standings. A test at the new Kansas Speedway was cancelled this morning. All teams, including Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Bobby Labonte, are driving the nearly 1,000 miles between the Kansas City, Kan. facility and their Charlotte, N.C. team headquarters. (FOX Sports)

9/11/01

So far races still on in Texas   As details continue to surface on today's tragic events in the nation, preparations are continuing for the race week activities at Texas Motor Speedway. A final decision on the status of the RPM Week-Texas events will be announced on Wednesday. "We are all deeply saddened by this national tragedy and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families," said speedway general manager Eddie Gossage. "We have been in discussions with both the Indy Racing League and NASCAR and are discussing the possible options. At this time, we are moving ahead as planned for the Chevy 500 race week events."

9/11/01

NASCAR qualifying cancelled, reactions from NASCAR drivers   Activities scheduled for Friday, Sept. 14 at New Hampshire International Speedway, Loudon, N.H., for NASCAR’s Winston Cup Series have been cancelled, officials announced today. Qualifying for Sunday’s New Hampshire 300 was scheduled for Friday. The 43-car field for Sunday’s New Hampshire 300 will be set according to the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book. “Our country has experienced a terrible tragedy today,” said NASCAR’s President, Mike Helton. “All of the NASCAR community offers our sincerest sympathies to all those who have suffered losses. We will continue to monitor and evaluate this situation and make the appropriate decisions as the week progresses.” At this time, Saturday and Sunday track activities remain unchanged. JEREMY MAYFIELD, Driver, #12 Mobil 1 Taurus: "I think for everybody in the NASCAR community, our hearts and prayers are with the families of those injured and those who were lost on Tuesday. If NASCAR had decided not to race at all, then we should have not raced only in their honor and only because of them. "Just because we are racing doesn’t mean we aren’t still concerned and we’re not still thinking of their losses. Racing means we think the business of the country should be decided by people in this country, and not by terrorists. "As horrible as Tuesday was, we need to keep moving forward. The easy thing would be the stay home, crawl into bed and pull the covers up over our heads. The hard thing, like this, is usually the right thing to do." ANDY PETREE, Car Owner, #33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet (Joe Nemechek): "With all that is going on in the country right now and with all that happened Tuesday, your heart says to stay home. "As difficult as it may be, the best message we can give to terrorists is that nothing will beat this country. We’re going to keep going and nothing is going to get us down. "Racing this weekend isn’t going to be easy but I think everybody in the country needs to show the world what we’re made of. I appreciate, and I think everyone with the teams, appreciates the way NASCAR handled this situation."

9/11/01

CART could learn from KFC and McDonalds in China   CART could learn a thing or two about doing business in China from this LA Times article.  It talks about two American companies meeting with great success in China - KFC and McDonalds.  How big of a market is China? Fathom this - Since becoming the first foreign fast-food chain allowed to enter China in 1989, Dallas-based Tricon Global Restaurants Inc., KFC's parent company, has built 490 stores in 120 cities, nearly all company-owned, and is still expanding. Just to meet its goals for the 100-plus stores on the drawing boards, Tricon will have to finish a store every three days. McDonald's, which recently announced plans to begin franchising in China in 2002, lags behind by at least 100 stores. KFC is hoping to reach 5,000 stores within two decades. The colonel's statue still is found only in China's most populated regions, leaving at least 400 major cities crispy chickenless. In Hunan Province, which has a population of 100 million, there are just three KFC stores. This chicken blitzkrieg already has made KFC the most recognizable foreign brand of any kind in China, ahead of such staples as Coca-Cola, Mickey Mouse and Nestle, according to a survey last year by AC Nielsen. In the United States a basic KFC meal can be bought for less than an hour's work, even at the minimum wage. In China, an Original Chicken meal costs nearly $3, the equivalent of six hours of work for the average person. Despite that bar, KFC's China operations claim the highest per-store sales in the world, 20% above the U.S.  Perhaps KFC wants to sponsor the CART race in Shanghai.  

9/10/01

NASCAR announces 2002 Winston Cup schedule   The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) has announced a 36-race schedule for the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. For the first time in the 54-year history of NASCAR’s premier series, the schedule will end in the state of Florida.  The season begins with the 44th running of the Daytona 500, Feb. 17 at Daytona International Speedway. The season finale is set for Nov. 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Full Story

9/10/01

CART announces termination of Lights series   CART announced today that, in an effort to provide a more viable and effective system of racing development for open-wheel racing teams and drivers, it will consolidate its operational and marketing efforts behind a single, top-level development racing series beginning in 2002.  The development series, based on the current CART Toyota Atlantic Championship formula, will have an enhanced race event purse structure as well as a significant season-ending points fund that CART officials believe will attract a greater number of teams and drivers. As part of the decision, CART will no longer conduct its Dayton Indy Lights Championship.  Full Press Release (PDF)

9/10/01

Fernandez named new IRL marketing chief   Jeff Fernandez has been named assistant vice president of marketing partnerships for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing League, said Tony George, president and chief executive officer. Fernandez, a native of Rockland, Mass., is responsible for sales of all IMS and Indy Racing League products, including league marketing rights, television programming on ABC and ESPN, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. In addition, Fernandez will oversee the sales of Indianapolis Motor Speedway marketing rights, including sponsorship, signage and media for the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and SAP United States Grand Prix, the three largest single-day motorsports events in the world. "We're pleased to welcome someone of Jeff's ability to lead our sales team," George said. "His vast experience in professional sports will be a big asset for our company and our corporate partners as we continue to grow the Indy Racing League and enhance the status of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the greatest motorsports facility in the world." 

9/10/01

Enge to sub for Burti   Formula 3000 driver Tomas Enge will make his F1 debut for Prost at Monza this weekend, standing in for the injured Luciano Burti. Enge, 25, was confirmed for the Italian GP at a press conference in his native Czech Republic this afternoon. Burti is still recovering from the head and face injuries he sustained in his crash at the Belgian GP just over a week ago. "This is something I have been dreaming of for the past six or seven years!" said Enge, who impressed during his maiden tests with the team at Magny-Cours last week. "Ten years ago, the situation in the Czech Republic kept us a million miles away from this level of motor racing. Today I am happy and proud to be the first Czech driver in F1." 

9/10/01

CART is listening  2nd UPDATE Kurt Makse writes - Based on what I saw while visiting the site recently, I drew a yellow line on the aerial shot of the Denver circuit area showing what I though could see changed to the circuit. The part I'm pretty sure of was the part on the bottom because of the heavy work going on.  They are not only widening, but also improving the road and area around there. There is a lot of work clearly going on.  They seem very close to finishing the portion next to the tracks "the backstraight". Of course I might be wrong and they may just be improving the roads and everything in the 5th and 7th street area for the media compound or the support paddock. Either way I think the circuit will be an excellent layout.  

9/9/01 - A reader writes - I was in Denver about 2 weeks ago and took a look at the area around the Pepsi center and there is a flurry of road work going on in the entire area. From what I saw I believe the circuit will be changed to probably at least 2.0 miles long based on the large area that was having road work done to it, especially the area of 5th and 7th street.  9/9/01 -  In this article back in early June, we summarized our visit to the site of the new Denver GP circuit.  In that article we expressed concern with the layout of the track in that it afforded little opportunity for over taking.  Our concern was expressed to CART directly as well.  AutoRacing1.com has learned that apparently these recommendations are taken seriously as the track has been reconfigured from what was published in the local Denver newspapers.  We suggested some possible changes, shown in black in the diagram. The 'official' revised configuration will be published when the official date is announced.

9/9/01

Audi wins ALMS again   For the second time in a row Audi has won the title in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). After a 1-2-3 victory at Laguna Seca (California), Audi has already clinched the Manufacturers championship. Also Team Audi Sport North America cannot be overtaken in the Teams championship in the finale at Road Atlanta. And only the four Audi works drivers Frank Biela, Rinaldo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Emanuele Pirro can win the Drivers title.

9/9/01

NASCAR gave Republicans $15,000 in Florida after law passed   According to this AP article, NASCAR gave $15,000 to Florida's Republican Party the day after a judge upheld a new GOP-supported law and refused to unseal autopsy photos of Dale Earnhardt, according to a report Sunday. Campaign records show the GOP reported the check on June 14, though a NASCAR official said Friday the donation came in conjunction with a June 9 fund-raiser in Orlando featuring Vice President Dick Cheney, according to a Gannett News Service story published by the Pensacola News Journal, The News-Press in Fort Myers, and Florida Today in Melbourne. The law was adopted in March after Earnhardt was killed in the Daytona 500 on Feb 18.  The article insinuates that this was a pay back for siding with NASCAR.  NASCAR of course denies it.  We have seen NASCAR also try to throw its weight around in Miami to try and stop and ALMS and possibly a CART race on the City streets.  They quickly found out they have far less clout in southern Florida, than northern.

9/9/01
Industry News

Earthquake "ROCKS" 30th Annual "Gilmore Roars Again "Party   The 30th Annual and final "Gilmore Roars Again" Party held at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California shook at nearly 5:00PM Sunday evening as a result of the 4.2 earthquake that was centered within 2 miles of the Museum which is located at the corner of Fairfax and Wilshire Blvd. The annual affair was the "labor of love "of Carmen Schroeder, wife of late and former 1940's era driver Gordon Schroeder. Carmen passed away earlier this year. The party was organized to help defray medical expenses for Driver Billy Garrett who was paralyzed as a result of a Champ Car crash at Milwaukee during the mid 1950's. Every year, the party would honor a former driver from the greater Los Angeles area in the Midget and Sprint Car ranks. It is hoped that this tradition will continue in some form in the future perhaps by the Justice Brothers. (Note: The Southern California Sports car Crowd is well served by members of the "Fabulous 50''s"club which annually hosts a Christmas party" also, held at the Petersen Museum. Phil Hill and Dan Gurney have been two of it's most recent honorees.)  Steve Levinson

9/8/01

CBS/Speedvision lineup not the first   CART will be televised on CBS and Speedvision for the next several years.  Did you know that the Trans-Am series was televised on Speedvision and CBS this year?  Yes, three races in June/July on CBS, the rest on Speedvision.  What series is Trans-Am closely tied with, sharing quite a few weekends together?  That's right, CART.  At one point, there were talks of CART taking over control of the Trans-Am series.  Don't be surprised if you see more joint CART/Trans-Am weekends in 2002 and beyond.

9/8/01

IRL TV ratings continue to flounder   Comparing apples to apples, let's look at the latest 'cable' final TV ratings for CART and the IRL.  The last IRL race on cable was Gateway August 26, on a day when there was no Winston Cup race on TV.  The IRL rating was a paltry 0.43 rating / 1 share / 0.356m households.  The last CART race on cable was Vancouver last weekend, and it was on ESPN2 which is available in less households than ESPN.  Even with that handicap, and even though there was an IRL and Winston Cup race on the same day, CART pulled a 0.50 rating / 1 share / 0.402m households.  Typically CART has beat the IRL ratings all year when both have been on either network or both on cable TV.  Are either ratings stellar?  Nope.  However, CART is humble enough not to brag about their ratings, taking a more professional "yeah, we know they are bad, but we are working to change them," attitude.  However, in the IRL camp we hear "the IRL is gaining momentum."  In fact it is not.  The so called sell-out races were sell-outs because of fans being forced to buy an IRL ticket with their Winston Cup ticket.  At Gateway, Phoenix, Homestead, Atlanta, and Colorado Springs, where there was to Winston Cup to prop it up, the IRL attendance was paltry to match its TV ratings.  The IRL is not gaining momentum, in fact if anything it's stagnant or going backward.  Perhaps that is why Bob Reif is no longer with the IRL.  He promised big improvements and didn't deliver.  Although we hear Mr. Reif is a pretty sharp marketing guy, he didn't have much to work with.  An all-oval open wheel series is a flawed concept that isn't going to work, as we have said on numerous occasions.  Now we hear the IRL, recognizing it's never going to become big-league racing on just ovals, and recognizing that destroying cars against concrete walls is bankrupting teams, is now looking at doing some road races. The irony of it all. MC

9/8/01

Champ car drivers come back home to England   CART boasts a truly international field of drivers, with nine Brazilians, four Americans, three Canadians, two Mexicans, two Italians, two Japanese, one Swede, one Spaniard, one Briton and one New Zealander. Many of the drivers in Champ Cars have raced in the United Kingdom earlier in their careers and are looking forward to coming back to what they regard as their second home. Michael Andretti spent time in Woking, during his season of racing in Formula One with McLaren, while Christian Fittipaldi, Alex Zanardi, Tora Takagi and Roberto Moreno all lived in either London, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire or Oxfordshire. The reigning Champion, Brazilian Gil de Ferran went a step further. He lived first in Milton Keynes then after meeting and marrying his English wife Angela, moved to Battersea in South London! British interest of course will center around Dario Franchitti who, despite his Italian name, hails from Edinburgh. Dario is a leading contender for the 2001 drivers crown, a position he is familiar with after tying on points with current Williams Formula One driver Juan Pablo Montoya in 1999, only to lose the title to the Columbian when race wins were taken into consideration.

9/8/01


New Mario Andretti book - Mario Andretti: A Driving Passion   We have seen the book.  It is a must read.  Mario did it all and it captures the stories, and the passion with incredible photos and text.  Relentless determination, unrivaled charisma, and the ability to climb into any type of race car and win has made Mario Andretti a household name for more than thirty years. His accomplishments include four USAC and CART titles, the 1978 Formula One World Championship, winning the 1967 Daytona 500 and 1969 Indianapolis 500, and three victories in the grueling 12 Hours of Sebring sports-car race. Mario achieved his dream against enormous odds. As a boy in Italy he and his family lived among Nazis under Communist occupation, lost everything they owned, and emigrated to America in 1955. As a teenager he built his first Hudson stock car and won his very first race. His unmistakable talent soon earned him seats in better, faster cars. Just six years after his first race, he drove to his first USAC championship and was Rookie of the Year at the 1965 Indy 500. For the first time, his extraordinary life story is presented through exclusive interviews with Mario, his family, and the drivers and teams he raced with. In-depth descriptions of his greatest races and cars, combined with behind-the-scenes team photos and commentary by Mario himself, provide an insider’s perspective on the progression of racing technology and the teamwork behind a winning effort. Mario Andretti: A Driving Passion documents the toughness, intelligence, and humor that makes Mario the man so compelling and reveals the remarkable mixture of determination and luck—both good and bad—that defined his career as the most versatile and accomplished racer of all time. 

Mario Andretti:
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9/8/01
TV networks losing money on NASCAR  According to a report in www.sportbusiness.com, "Televising NASCAR races is keeping leading US networks in the red as they struggle to find advertisers, the president of sports sales and marketing at Turner Sports says."  Everyone brags about all the money NASCAR is getting for its TV deal, but when it is all said and done, the only one making any money might be NASCAR.  NASCAR TV ratings are at an all-time high, but even with that they are losing money.  Worse yet, can they sustain or increase them from year-to-year?  If they drop, ad revenues will decrease and the networks will be even further in the red.  Only time will tell.  MC
9/8/01
Feedback on CART's future  A major CART stockholder writes - Dear Mark Cipolloni,  My name is Jon Vannini. I currently own 4.9% of the common stock in CART [Editor's Note:  For those of you who don't know, Vannini has been buying CART stock at a rapid pace in recent months and, at last report, was actually the 3rd largest shareholder of CART stock].  I have been reading your op/ed pieces and, frankly, I have agreed with virtually every syllable you have written. Everyone in the CART community needs to recognize that the market exists for their product...although not in the traditional places. NASCAR has beaten all comers to the oval scene...they own that market (with the exception of Indy), more or less, lock, stock and smoking barrel. That is an economic and market place fact that all stakeholders in the CART community would be wise to accept. The market for CART, as I see it, will be largely outside our borders. In my judgment, CART should stage no more than 8 -10 races domestically and the vast majority should be street races with a few road course events. As a participant in the Barber Dodge Pro Series, I see first hand what works and what doesn't and which promoters make the grade and which don't. As a racer, I loved Nazareth. As a capitalist, I hated it. 24,000 people on Sunday? I literally had more people at my college graduation. Mexico City will have more people on Sunday than Nazareth, Michigan and Detroit combined. Moreover, replacing those venues with Montreal, Mexico City and Denver will be vastly more profitable for CART in the process. CART's financial success and health is a key ingredient to the long term growth and viability of the series and the product. Kill CART's profit and you kill CART. Simple as that! I see the changes to the schedule over the last few years and culminating with the changes to the 2002 as the clear and obvious way that CART should go. Monterrey was huge. Montreal will be huge. Mexico City will be huge, as will Denver. I just hope that they heed your advice and more to secure venues in Miami, D.C., Europe, Shanghai, etc.  These events will all draw massive crowds which, in turn, will mean that promoters can afford to pay CART very big sanctioning fee's. CART can then start using those profits to help further promote our sport. It becomes a virtuous circle. If CART modifies the schedule such that they have 22 events which, on average, draw crowds of 100,000 +/- on Sunday, they will be hugely profitable. Corporate sponsors will be tripping over each other to get to these people and eventually TV ratings and revenues will follow. But it all starts with the schedule as you have correctly observed and noted. In this regard, CART is clearly moving in the right direction. There remains, however, a half dozen races which need to be abandoned in favor of the venues (and others) you have identified in order for this process to be completed. I say the sooner the better. This is the market place reality for CART in 2001. We should all accept it and unite behind management to see that this vision is realized as soon as possible. Chasing the market realities of 20 or 30 years ago will be suicide. A rear view mirror is not needed here. The future is obvious and clear. Those who refuse to see it will find themselves relegated to the ash heap of motorsports history. Jon Vannini
9/7/01

F1 announces tentative 2002 schedule, will CART go for open weekends? UPDATE It seems the calendar below is not an official FIA release so don't pencil in those dates just yet.  It should be close,  however. 9/7/01 -  Here is the tentative 2002 F1 schedule put out by the FIA today.  There has been some speculation that CART may try to schedule its two European races on off-weekends for F1.  There is a 2-week opening between Germany and Hungary at the beginning of August, or between Italy and Japan if you consider that F1 is in the USA instead of Europe on September 29th.  Might CART's two European races be scheduled for 9/21/02 (Saturday) and 9/28/02 (Saturday) in 2002?  However, it might be wetter the later CART stages those races.
1. AUSTRALIA, Melbourne 3/3/02
2. MALAYSIA, Kuala Lumpur 3/17/02
3. BRAZIL, Sao Paulo 3/31/02
4. SAN MARINO, Imola 4/14/02
5. SPAIN, Barcelona 4/28/02
6. AUSTRIA, Zeltweg 5/12/02
7. MONACO, Monte-Carlo 5/26/02
8. CANADA, Montreal 6/9/02
9. EUROPE, Nurburgring 6/23/02
10. BRITAIN, Silverstone 7/7/02
11. FRANCE, Magny-Cours 7/21/02
12. GERMANY, Hockenheim 7/28/02
13. HUNGARY, Budapest 8/18/02
14. BELGIUM, Spa 9/1/02
15. ITALY, Monza 9/15/02
16. USA, Indianapolis 9/29/02
17. JAPAN, Suzuka 10/13/02
9/7/01

Will CART beat F1 into China?  Ecclestone says no to Zhuhai  It seems Bernie Ecclestone agrees with our recommendation, that Zhuhai does not have the infrastructure to support big time open wheel racing with 200,000+ in attendance. Hence why AutoRacing1.com has endorsed Shanghai has the venue of choice for CART.   In the Hong Kong imail newspaper, Luke Pachymuthu reports, China's hopes of staging a Formula 1 Grand Prix in the near future have suffered a major blow.  Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said yesterday that the Zhuhai International Circuit was not being considered as a Grand Prix venue because it failed to meet international standards. ``We are not looking at China as a venue for now,'' Ecclestone said. ``And it will not be considered in the future unless they can develop a better facility capable of hosting a Formula 1 race. ``I imagine that it will take at least two to three years for that to happen.'' With at least three European venues at the tail-end of their contracts with Formula 1, many countries outside Europe, including China, are hoping to make a successful bid for a coveted spot on the racing calendar. However, Ecclestone's words must come as a major blow to Chinese organizers, who have spent more than nine years developing the Zhuhai racing circuit. But they have only themselves to blame for this latest evaluation. In 1996, after a major international race was held in Zhuhai, reports revealed that the city's infrastructure was substandard.
9/7/01
Tony George fires Bob Reif  2nd UPDATE In this Indianapolis Star News story, Bob Reif claims he was not fired, he quit.  Reif will become president of IEG Sponsor Direct, a New York-based company he owns with Mark Rockefeller, his college roommate at Princeton and the son of Nelson Rockefeller, the former U.S. vice president. Reif had until Sept. 30 to take the job, he said. "That's ridiculous," Reif said from Jackson Hole, Wyo., where he was on vacation. "What is Tony going to say, that I didn't grow the league? That we don't have unprecedented momentum? That I got more press than he did? Of course not.  9/6/01 - A reader writes - "I can guess why Bob Reif was fired by Tony George.  Reif made it clear to Tony that there was not enough sponsorship to support the new Lights series and that it would take away from the IRL.  Brian Barnhart came out strongly against Reif and said I can make it happen.  Barnhart won the battle and the series was recently announced.  I think Tony fired Bob because he became a doubter and perhaps there was a little in-fighting between Reif and Barnhart. Tony probably does not want any doubter on his team.  When he says he wants to do something, he does not want to hear it can't be done.  Barnhart told him what he wanted to hear, Reif did not.  I am only guessing but feel free to post this if you want."  9/6/01 - According to this Robin Miller article, Tony George has pulled the plug on an out of control Bob Reif.  He has been fired.  "I can't confirm or deny that," said Fred Nation, the vice president of IMS corporate communications. Reif, the No. 2 man in the IMS chain of command behind George, couldn't be reached for comment, but a source inside the speedway confirmed he had been terminated. 
9/7/01

And you thought CART's sanction fees were high!  Did you know that Bernie Ecclestone charges $16 million per race in sanction fees for an F1 race, making CART's $4 million it's getting for Mexico City appear like a complete steal.  There has been some speculation that CART's fees for a race such as Shanghai, China will be in the $6 - $7 million range.  As CART makes its mark on the international scene and begins to draw 200,000 to 300,000 on race day in places like Mexico City and Shanghai, F1 promoters are going to begin to take a step back and say, wait a minute.  We do have an alternative in CART.  It won't happen overnight, and it will take a reshaped CART organization that thinks and operates like a true international power to be successful.
9/6/01
Drivers become test subjects  Roush Racing drivers Mark Martin and Matt Kenseth will be doing more than just racing Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway. They will be the subjects of a study conducted by Gatorade's Sports Science Institute (GSSI). The study will determine sweat loss, cardiovascular responses and heat stress on Martin and Kenseth during the 400-lap event. Gatorade also tested the two drivers during a half-day test session at Chicagoland Speedway in June. The results were intriguing to the scientists involved, and they decided to see what could be learned during actual race conditions. "We want to learn more about the actual conditions inside the car and what the drivers are put through during a three-hour race," said Scott Paddock, sports marketing manager for Gatorade. "Based on the results of these tests, our GSSI scientists will provide recommendations to the drivers and teams so they will know what to do to stay better hydrated during a race which will help them to perform at peak levels." Scientists will be on hand during the race to analyze the amount of fluid lost by Martin and Kenseth, along with their heart rates and the temperatures inside the cars. During the test in Chicago, both Martin and Kenseth lost significant amounts of fluids. The results of this test could help drivers in every racing series learn how to stay better hydrated. 
9/6/01
Fernandez comments on Mexico City announcement  Adrián Fernández comments on CART’s announcement of a second race in Mexico: “This is wonderful news and it shows what a great event we had in our first race in Monterrey. This will complement that first race fantastically because there were so many fans that could not attend the Monterrey race. This gives us the opportunity to divide the country, and all the fans that we have in the South and in the city will now have the opportunity to see us race. I believe this will be one of the biggest events in the history of CART. “It will be fantastic to race in my hometown, especially at a track where I have won so many races in the past. It is the track where I did my first few laps as a race car driver. There will be a lot of memories. My father’s business is very close and all of my family is there, so for sure we will have a lot of support.”  
9/6/01
Highlights of today's Mexico City Press Conference
  • In-depth studies to track. Some design and safety changes required - Ron Dixon in charge of that work.
  • Date for the 2002 race still up in the air
  • $4 million is the sanction fee per year for 5 years
  • September 10th - TV rights will be announced
  • Attendance - 300,000 people minimum for the weekend, fully expect a lot more
  • 2002 schedule probably out 1st or 2nd week of October
  • CART and TMS actively engaged in negotiations
  • 2nd largest sports event in Mexico's history behind only soccer's world cup
  • Dramatic upgrades to garages, press facilities, etc., on par with other world class tracks
  • CART taking great strides to grow promoter base and to help promoters be successful
  • One caller asked, why doesn't CART dump the weaker races that pay low sanction fees for bigger races like Mexico City?  We here at AR1 endorse that and point to Shanghai as a potential good addition.
9/6/01


TV Ratings for last weekend (Source: Speedvision.com)
A few things to note.  1) Winston Cup still rules the airwaves, 2) the IRL's rating will go down once the finals come out, 3) CART did better than expected given the race was on ESPN2, but still nothing to brag about, 4) a better comparison of CART vs. IRL can be seen in the qualifying ratings, both on ESPN2, where CART had almost twice the number of viewers, 5) CART and IRL ratings run true to form - on network TV they are about 1.0, on cable about 0.4 to 0.8.
 
• Winston Cup, Darlington (TNT, 9/2) 4.4 rating / 11.8 share / 3.738m households
• Busch Series, Darlington, (TNT, 9/1) 1.4 rating / 4.1 share / 1.190m hh
• Winston Cup Happy Hour (TNT, 9/1) 1.2 rating / 3.3 share / 1.014m hh
• IRL, Joliet (ABC, 9/2) 1.1 rating / 3 share (overnight)
• CART, Vancouver (espn2, 9/2) 0.50 rating / 1 share / 0.402m hh
• CART Qualifying, Vancouver (espn2, 9/2#) 0.18 rating / 1 share / 0.145m hh
• IRL Qualifying, Joliet (espn2, 9/2#) 0.10 rating / 0 share / 0.084m hh 
9/5/01
Did you know? Arciero-Blair Germans return home  Arciero-Blair Racing is excited to race in Europe for several reasons. Max Wilson was a Formula One test driver there before joining Arciero-Blair Racing.  Team owner Matthias Czabok is German and was born in Nuremberg and lived there until 1998, then lived in Munich before coming to the United States in 1999. Engineer Mark Vallon and his family lives in Frankfurt. 
9/5/01
Texans join forces in Texas  1999 Indy Racing champion Greg Ray will return to the Indy Racing Northern Light Series at the Chevy 500 on Sept. 16 at Texas Motor Speedway, driving an Infiniti-powered car owned by four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt. Ray, from Plano, Texas, will drive the No. 11 A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. Ray has missed the last two Northern Light Series events after being released by Team Menard in mid-August. This will be Ray's second stint with A.J. Foyt Racing. He drove for Foyt for two races in 1998 as a replacement for the injured Billy Boat. "I wanted to explore some options for next year," Foyt said. "Greg Ray is a strong competitor, especially at Texas, and with it being our home track, it's a good opportunity to work together again. "I also wanted to try the Nissan engine firsthand, and they agreed to let me. There won't be any decisions made about next year until this season is over." This will be the first time Foyt has used an Infiniti in one of his cars since the engine entered the Indy Racing League in January 1997. Ray won the zMAX 500 on April 28 at Atlanta and four MBNA Poles this season in 10 starts with Team Menard. "A.J. has been a mentor to me, and I have always enjoyed working with him," Ray said. "With our Texas heritage and competitive natures, this should make for a great race weekend." 
9/5/01

IRL moves in on CART's old turf at MIS  Scott Sharp and Robbie Buhl each turned laps of 221 mph during a Firestone tire test Sept. 5 at Michigan International Speedway, the first laps turned by an Indy Racing League car on the 2-mile oval. The Indy Racing Northern Light Series will compete at MIS for the first time July 28, 2002. 1996 Indy Racing co-champion Sharp was the first driver on track and needed just four laps to produce a 220-mph speed in his No. 8 Delphi Automotive Systems Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. Both Sharp and Buhl, driver of the No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone, consistently turned laps in the 218- to 220-mph range. "The Indy Racing League has been really strong at meshing speed and raceability in their cars," Sharp said. "We've gone to other places where other series can't do very well as far as putting on a good show, and we're two- and three-abreast and putting on the best show around. "Here, obviously, the speeds are going to be pretty high. It will be probably the second-fastest track to Indianapolis. So with that, even though you're going to be up above 220 in average lap speeds, you still want to have a car that can run two-, three- maybe four-abreast at times." [Editor's Note - read that put so much downforce in the car anyone could drive it, and anyone can drive in any lane wide open the entire lap.  It's not about skill, it's about "The Show", the side-by-side entertainment for the fans.  It's similar to driving side-by-side on the highway every day.  Anyone can do it, only here the stakes are much higher and things happen a bit quicker.  Indy is not that way.  It's much more of a drivers track.  Perhaps that is why the CART drivers made fewer mistakes at Indy this year.  They are accustomed to driving on 'the edge' every race, and perhaps one of the reasons they swept Indy and did not lose control of their cars on cold tires when it got a bit out of shape.  One can argue the wide-open, high downforce racing the IRL drivers experience all year, dulls the senses, adds a bit of complacency perhaps.  CART racing and F1 racing is much more about quick reflexes and taking it to the limit and just beyond].  Indy Racing League Vice President of Operations Brian Barnhart and Technical Director Phil Casey worked with Sharp and Buhl on different aerodynamic packages, including a superspeedway setup with a 4-degree rear wing and a 1-inch wicker.  Strengthening the theory that ISC is siding with the IRL, "Brian, make yourself at home," Shelton told Barnhart at the start of the press conference. "You're (Indy Racing League) going to be here a long time." MC
9/5/01
Cornerstone of CART comes to The Glen, what about CART itself?  An integral person in CART history will be visiting this weekend's Zippo U.S. Vintage Grand Prix weekend, September 7-9, in the form of CART team owner Bobby Rahal. Rahal will take on the role of racer, having entered two Porsche's in the weekend's festivities, a 906 and a 908.  The Porsche 906, once driven by Ken Miles and Scooter Patrick, holds some sentimental value to Rahal. "My father raced a Porsche 906 back in 1969, 1970 and 1971, including at Watkins Glen in the Six Hour Endurance event," he explained. "I love these older cars from the Sixties and Seventies and in fact, my car has been painted to imitate the car my father drove."  Rahal's other entry is just one of 22 Porsche 908's built in 1969 and is a 3.0-liter prototype. Of the 22 cars that were built, only two were sold for private use, including Rahal's. The remaining 20 were kept for factory use. Rahal's 908 was raced sporadically at smaller endurance events throughout Europe.   Rahal currently owns two CART teams with David Letterman, driven by Kenny Brack and Max Papis. Rahal is a three-time CART series champion (1986, 1987 and 1992), who concluded his 17-year FedEx Championship Series driving career in 1998 with 24 career victories and 18 poles. He ranks third on CART's career list with 264 starts, which produced 177 top-10 finishes and 199 top-five efforts. A two-time Driver of the Year, he became the first rookie owner/driver to capture the series title in 1992 as a partner in Rahal/Hogan Racing. He founded Team Rahal following the 1995 season. He is on the Board of Directors of Road America, The Huntington National Bank, Central Ohio Children's Charities and The Bobby Rahal Foundation. Rahal also owns numerous automobile dealerships. He served as interim president and chief executive officer of Championship Auto Racing Teams from mid-June through November, following the resignation of Andrew Craig.  The Glen will be featuring the Shelby marquee to commemorate and celebrate the infamous Carroll Shelby, with special guest Dan Gurney on hand throughout the weekend.
9/5/01
CART to announce new venue tomorrow  UPDATE This Reforma article confirms that the announcement tomorrow will indeed be for Mexico City. 9/5/01 - Tomorrow, September 6th, CART will make a major announcement of a new venue for 2002.  We expect that announcement to be the Mexico City race. 
9/5/01
Food for thought as England race approaches  Over the past decade, the vast majority of Champ Cars have been built, not in America but here in Great Britain. Two of the most successful, Lola and Reynard are based less than 50 miles from Rockingham in Huntingdon and Brackley respectively. Other major Champ Car operations include Penske Racing, which is based at Poole in Dorset. Race-winning engines have been provided to the series by companies even closer to Rockingham. Ilmor Engineering have won 166 Champ Car races from their base at Brixworth, Northamptonshire, just eight miles from Rockingham. Ford, who celebrate their Centenary in motor sports this year also build all their Champ Car engines at their Cosworth subsidiary in Northampton. Many other key components such as gearboxes, suspension parts and electronics also come from companies in the UK. It is a little known fact that Britain's motor sports industry is one of the country's biggest export earners, bringing in over a Billion pounds every year. 
9/5/01
HP to buy Compaq, will it affect Williams? UPDATE We now hear two separate stories regarding Compaq and F1. The first is that the deal will not be renewed because Compaq USA does not want to foot their part of the bill. There isn't enough exposure in the USA for it. The second story, which contradicts the first, is that the deal will be renewed and Compaq USA, which is contributing some marketing money, is looking into means to activate the relationship in the USA so that they can receive more coverage, which is exactly what CART sponsors need to do when the series races in other countries.  9/4/01 -  It was revealed over the weekend that Hewlett Packard has bid to buy Compaq Computer for $25 billion.  HP is involved with the Rahal CART team.  Would they continue to shell out the big money for the Williams F1 sponsorship after the merger, or move the sponsorship into CART that is beginning to have the same worldwide reach at a much lower cost than F1?
9/5/01
No tobacco sponsorship on cars in Germany and England  Tobacco legislation in Germany and England preclude cigarette names on the sides of race cars.  In fact it has been this way in Germany since the late 70's.  Hence when CART unloads in Europe next week, all the cars sponsored by tobacco companies will have the cigarette names removed.  One would have thought the CART teams and their sponsors would consider putting another product sold by that company on the side of the car.  For example, did you know that Philip Morris, who sponsors the Marlboro Team Penske also sells the these Kraft products, these international Kraft products, and these Miller products, among others?  Surprised you didn't it?  Hmmm, now lets see, which of those products have red and white as their brand colors.  Actually, Team Kool Green will run as Team Green, Marlboro team Penske will run same red and white colors without the Marlboro name, like they did at Indy, and the Player's team will run their familiar blue colors with some sort of Canadian reference.  We wonder what Hollywood will run.
9/5/01
Recent NASCAR audio (Windows media format)
Jeremy Mayfield talks about what happened at end of Southern 500 (159 KB download)
John Andretti previews Richmond (459 KB download)
Jeremy Mayfield previews Richmond (239 KB download)
Sterling Marlin previews Richmond (245 KB download)
9/4/01
Lopes named senior VP of racing Operations  Looking to retain an individual with racing experience on a variety of levels, Championship Auto Racing Teams announced today that it has named John Lopes Senior Vice President of Racing Operations for the open-wheel racing sanctioning organization. More
9/4/01
Patrick racing announces 3rd car for Bell  U. E. "Pat" Patrick announced today that Patrick Racing will field a third car for Dayton Indy Lights Championship Series leader Townsend Bell at the German 500, September 13-15 at EuroSpeedway in Lausitz, Germany and the Rockingham 500, September 19-22 at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby, England. Bell, who successfully tested for Patrick Racing at Mid-Ohio on August 12 and Chicago Motor Speedway on August 22, will drive the #19 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard. He will join Roberto Moreno, who pilots the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard, and Jimmy Vasser, who is behind the wheel of the #40 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard, in the three car effort. "We are very please to have the opportunity to run Townsend at these two overseas races," Patrick said. "He has done an outstanding job in the Dayton Indy Lights Championship Series, which I created specifically for young drivers to give them an opportunity to showcase their talents. Townsend has clearly demonstrated his ability in the Indy Lights. He leads the series in points, wins and poles. Additionally, both his tests with Patrick Racing went extremely well. Putting him in one of our cars for the next two races is the next logical step for both him and Patrick Racing," Patrick concluded. Bell drives the #30 DIRECWAY Dorricott Racing Lola in the Dayton Indy Lights Championship Series. The 26-year-old resident of San Luis Obispo, California leads the championship standings by 22 points, 131-109, with three races remaining. He has four wins and five poles in nine Lights races this year. Bell has six career Indy Lights wins and was the "Rookie of the Year" in 2000. "Needless to say I am ecstatic about running my first race in the FedEx Championship Series," Bell said. "It is something I have been working towards for several years. I want to thank Mr. Patrick for this tremendous opportunity. I would also like to thank all of my sponsors and supporters who have stuck with me over the years. In particular I would like to thank Dorricott Racing for providing me with the means to show my abilities." Bell continued by saying, "The Visteon/Patrick Racing team clearly has put great cars on the track this year and I am confident I will have the tools I need to do the job. I am cautiously optimistic about showing well in my first race." Patrick Racing Technical Director Ed Nathman, who also serves as Jimmy Vasser's race engineer, will move over to work with Bell, while Technical Coordinator Mike Sales will step in as chief mechanic. Sales, was the chief mechanic for Raul Boesel in 1996 and Adrian Fernandez in 1997 and 1998, before being elevated to his current position. The crew will consist of existing Patrick Racing team members plus some members of Dale Coyne's team.
9/4/01
Will Marconi cutbacks affect Cleveland race sponsorship?  According to this article,  The chairman and chief executive of Marconi PLC announced their resignations today as the troubled telecommunications company said it would lay off an additional 2,000 employees, or about 5 percent of its work force. Marconi aims to slash costs in its core network communications business by cutting 2,000 jobs on top of the 8,000 already slated for elimination. Parton said 1,000 jobs would be cut in the United States, 600 in Britain and the remaining 400 in continental Europe, Central America and Asia.
9/4/01
Speedvision still trying to win 2002 F1 rights war with ABC  Although Tony George and the rumor mill have made overtures that ABC and ESPN will carry all the F1 races in 2002 in the USA, apparently that message has not made it to the Speedvision announcers.  On Sunday's broadcast of the Belgium GP at Spa, they mentioned twice that Speedvision is still negotiating for the 2002 F1 broadcast rights.  Tony George is not one to make overtures unless it's pretty much a done deal, so we expect F1 will not be on Speedvision next year....leaving Speedvision to focus on CART and NASCAR (no NASCAR races, just special features).
9/4/01
Burti has big crash at Spa  UPDATE  Burti was taken to Liege hospital in Belgium right after the accident where he underwent a brain scan and was kept overnight. Following further tests Monday morning, doctors have decided to keep Burti in until at least the end of the week. "He is recovering really fast and woke up normally by himself this morning," said a spokeswoman for the Prost team. "He will stay in the hospital in Liege until the end of the week and possibly over the weekend."  9/2/01 - The Belgian GP at Spa had to be red-flagged then restarted after an accident which saw Luciano Burti's Prost and Irvine's Jaguar collide sending Burti head-on into the tire barrier at Blanchimont at 180mph. Burti's car was buried in the multi-layer tire barrier, but dragged out by a circuit mobile crane. The Brazilian, who the FIA confirmed was conscious after the impact, was treated at the scene by medical director Professor Sid Watkins and transferred to the track hospital. Initial reports say Burti is alert and that the car stood up well to the impact. He has no broken bones.
9/4/01
SVT1 to broadcast both European races live  SVT1 just announced that the German 500 and Rockingham 500 will be aired live in Sweden from 13:30 to 16:00. Janne Tromark will be commentating.  We believe this is the first live network coverage since Johansson was in CART (TV 4). 

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