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DATE News (chronologically 10/25/01 to 11/2/01)
11/2/01

Lights - Quintanilla sets pace on Friday  Setting the pace on the same track where he made his series debut in 1999, Rolando Quintanilla (Telmex/Roquin Motorsport, L.L.C. Lola) was the surprise pacesetter Friday in the opening day of practice for Sunday's Dayton Indy Lights Championship race at California Speedway. Quintanilla lapped at an average speed of 187.986 mph (38.856 seconds) around the 2.029 mile superspeedway. He was closely followed by the Dorricott Racing duo of Damien Faulkner (Dorricott Racing Lola) and recently crowned Dayton Indy Lights Championship titleist Townsend Bell (DIRECWAY Lola). Faulkner's best lap averaged 187.062 mph (39.048 seconds) while Bell clocked in at 186.756 mph (39.112 seconds). 

11/2/01

Opinion piece - The time is ripe for a standard engine formula  UPDATE This Reuters article today points out that the F1 engine manufacturers are quite fed up with the current situation in F1. Would they be amenable to a unified engine proposal?  It opens by saying - Formula One carmakers are ready to start up a company that will set up their own series should they fail to reconcile differences with rights holders Kirch. "The manufacturers will in a few days found a company that is capable of starting and running a series of races," DaimlerChrysler board member Juergen Hubbert said at Mercedes headquarters. He said this series would only happen if there was "no final solution and final agreement" with Germany's Kirch group, who recently secured 75 percent of the shares in Formula One holding SLEC.  11/2/01 - In these hard economic times, rest assured the almighty F1 may be in for some hardship in the days ahead when engine manufacturers realize the amount of money they are spending on a 2-car F1 team is, shall we say, ludicrous.  CART's talking to IRL engine manufacturers about supplying 3.5 L N/A engines for their series.  Are they barking up the wrong tree?  In the world's eyes, CART would be better served having a F1 like engine, than an IRL engine.  Does CART have the wherewithal to say to all the F1 engine manufacturers - "Let's develop a lower cost, yet still high revving engine that could be used in both series?"  As an example, the 1.8 L turbo formula is small, lightweight, and very versatile.  It can be used in CART and F1 at the same boost pressure (to give about 750 to 800 HP max), but F1 cars would still be faster because they weigh less.  Using less exotic materials than what F1 allows, plus with the added stipulation that you must race the same engine all weekend and only cost a set amount to buy, would cut rebuild costs for both series, and limit the rate of runaway engine HP.  More importantly, the 1.8L turbo platform would be good for at least 10 years (reducing boost pressure slowly over time to offset HP gains and keep HP at 750 to 800 for 10 years), it would sound good because it would rev higher than today's larger 2.65L turbo engines that sound pretty good already, and enable an engine manufacturer to participate in both series because the engines would be 100% identical.  In a world marketplace, which is where CART is playing whether you want to accept that or not, CART is far better served with a high-revving, proper sounding race engine, than an IRL formula. Just ask any CART fan - they all dread the day their beloved Champ Cars should as bad as an IRL car.   A F1 fan would be hard pressed to say CART's engines are not high-tech enough. The same can't be said when most fans talk about IRL engines....most cringe.  Will Bernie Ecclestone like CART's proposal?  He will if the F1 engine manufacturers say he will.  They are already making overtures about starting their own series.  Perhaps a cost saving proposal that would give the added value (CART plus F1) is just what the doctor ordered. Almost all stock car racing series have standardized on the 350 cubic inch pushrod engine used in NASCAR, with some minor tweaks between series.  Perhaps now is the time for the open wheel crowd to standardize on one engine platform as well, and we would have a difficult time selling the IRL engine formula as a worldwide standard to anyone, for fear of being laughed right out the door. Does it have to be turbocharged?  No, but it's absolutely the best way to keep HP at one level for 10 straight years yet still challenge the engineers who design them.  MC
11/2/01

FOX/Speedvision/Speed Channel to advertise CART on Super Bowl  Just as FOX did with NASCAR last year, CART's new TV partners have taken out two 30-second ads for this years Super Bowl as a lead up to the 2002 CART season.  We spoke to some CART team marketing folks today who told us they are quite pleased with what they heard today from the new TV partners. They are very enthusiastic about next year.  Although Speedvision does not reach as many households as network TV or ESPN, they are the 5th fastest growing channel and big things are expected of them in coming years.

11/2/01

Kanaan stays with Mo Nunn  Brazilian driver Tony Kanaan will return for his third season with Mo Nunn Racing in 2002 and will pilot the team's Pioneer/WorldCom-sponsored entry in the CART FedEx Championship Series, it was announced today at this weekend's 2001 CART finale at California Speedway. "I'm very happy to be back with Morris so we can take care of some unfinished business and start winning races," said the 26-year-old Kanaan, a veteran of four Champ Car seasons who drove the team's Hollywood-sponsored car the past two seasons. "We are still a relatively young team, but we've been knocking on the door more often than not this season. It's been a little frustrating because we have been so competitive, but I think a third season together is going to push us over the top, and I'll be very proud to do it wearing the colors of Pioneer and WorldCom. They've been so good to CART, as has Honda. We want to give Honda the best possible send-off from CART by helping them win another manufacturers championship." 

11/2/01

CART worldwide TV viewership higher than expected  For quite some time we have published estimated TV viewership numbers for CART of between 1 and 2 billion per year.  Although we were very conservative in our estimates, some still refuted the data.  We have learned today at Fontana that the German race alone had 157 million worldwide viewers and we will have a fully documented report next week to substantiate these numbers.  The top German TV research firm was hired to do the in-depth analysis.  Is there any reason to believe the other 19 races didn't get similar numbers? If we say 150 million per race, for 20 races, you can do the math. MC

11/2/01

Rick Mears Press Conference  Former CART and Indy 500 champion Rick Mears was this weeks guest on the CART media teleconference.  Transcript (PDF)

11/2/01
Lights - Official Development Series" Of CART Comes To A Close With Fontana Race  Racing for the final time on the type of high-banked big track that has showcased the series at its best, the Dayton Indy Lights Championship will come to an end after 16 years of competition on Sunday with a 50-lap sprint race at California Speedway. The Dayton Indy Lights series finale is scheduled to start at 10:15 a.m. and will set the stage for the featured Marlboro 500 CART Champ Car finale that afternoon. The Dayton Indy Lights race will air on ESPN2 in same day coverage at 10 p.m. PT (1 a.m. ET, early Monday morning, Nov. 5).  More (PDF)
11/2/01
Industry News
Scott Speed Wins 2001 USAC Formula Russell Championship  Sears Point Raceway, Sonoma, CA - Scott Speed locked up the USAC Formula Russell Championship with a second place finish in the 18th race of the 20 race series. Last December, Speed won a free season of racing in Russell's 2000 Graduate Run-Off's. He capitalized on that opportunity with 10 wins, 3 seconds and 2 third place finishes. Speed secured his championship with 1 weekend to go in the season. He is also the 2001 Rookie of the Year. Brazilian Victor Hugo Queiroz and Phil Carlson are currently second and third in the Russell Championship Series, with 244 and 202 points, respectively. Speed is a nationally recognized kart champion and races for the JM / Tony Kart Racing Team. He captured his first IKF championship in 1995, and went on to win over 6 karting championship in both 80cc and 125cc shifters. He is also a finalist in the prestigious Team USA Scholarship Program. If he is successful in winning this scholarship, Speed will earn a spot in the prestigious New Zealand Formula Ford winter series as one of the two Americans selected for Team USA. By winning the USAC Formula Russell Championship, Speed earns a test in a US F 2000 car and a free season of racing in the 2002 Russell / USAC Triple Crown Pro Series. "Jim Russell has given my racing career a tremendous boost," said Speed. "Because of Russell's ladder system, at last year's Grad Run-Offs I was able to win a free season of racing in the USAC Formula Russell Championship. Now Russell is helping me in my next career step by providing me with the opportunity to race in the Russell Triple Crown and in getting a test with an F2000 team." "Speed is one of the better racing talents in the nation," said Mark Wolocatiuk, Russell's Chief Instructor. "He is focused, consistent and has great car control." Speed is 18-years-old and lives in Manteca, California.
11/2/01
NASCAR changes aero rules for big tracks  NASCAR officials announced today a new aero-combination for the February 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series events (Budweiser Shootout, Twin 125s and Daytona 500) at Daytona International Speedway. The new Daytona “spoiler” package will include a 55-degree spoiler angle rather than the 45-degree spoiler angle used at Talladega two weeks ago. This new package will allow a maximum spoiler height of 6 ½ inches and a maximum width of 57 inches. The size of the restrictor-plate remains at 7/8s. The roof air deflectors and forward-facing flange on top of the spoiler used during restrictor plate races since last October will be removed. NASCAR President Mike Helton made the announcement following a two-hour meeting with NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers, owners and crew chiefs. This meeting was held at the Joe Gibbs Racing complex in Huntersville, N.C. “The meeting was extremely positive,” said Helton, afterwards. “There was a lot of conversation and the guys stayed focused on what we were trying to accomplish during this meeting. “The competition at Daytona and Talladega has been a benchmark of our sport. And while we want that to continue, we also want to place the drivers and crews in a position so their talents in driving and setting the race car chassis, play a bigger role in the outcome. We’re confident the decisions made are steps in the right direction.” Teams will test this new combination in January during their scheduled testing period at Daytona International Speedway.
11/2/01

Heitzler thinks a CART/F1 doubleheader would be a hit  2nd UPDATE A reader writes - I have read with interest your daily update of the crowd numbers at the CART race in Surfer's Paradise. While it is difficult to argue that the numbers are terrific, it should be pointed out that the crowd is there not just to see the CART cars and drivers. In Australia there is a HUGE following of the domestic V8 Sedan Touring Car Series. On a per capita basis, it is easily as popular as NASCAR is in the United States. Fans travel from one part of the country to the other (Australia is the same size as the United States but with a population of only 16 million) to a race weekend that is anchored by the V8 series. This series consistently has the most amazing races on road and street courses with door to door racing lap after lap. The action puts CART, NASCAR & F1 to shame. The race cars are based on the Ford (Falcon) and GM Holden Commodore) production cars. They are modified to be full blown racing cars but they truly possess the street recognition of the original street car (as opposed to NASCAR that looks nothing like the original). Part of the problem with the profitability of the F1 race in Melbourne is that the V8 series does not run there. It is my understanding that for 2002, there is some discussion whether the V8 series will continue to be included on the Surfer's program. In my mind, if there is to be a huge attendance as has been experienced in the last few years, then they had better be there. Regards, Brian Knight, From Sydney living in Indianapolis  11/1/01 - The Australian F1 GP has reported a substantial loss of almost $6 million for the 2001 season.  Although we at AR1 feel a CART/F1 doubleheader at Sao Paolo Brazil makes a lot of sense, we can see the possibility of it happening in Australia if the F1 race there is taking a financial bath. Again we ask, but which Australian venue would get the race, Melbourne or Surfers, or would they alternate years?  With both the CART race and F1 race in Brazil on even shakier grounds, we still think that venue makes most sense to try this idea first. It certainly would get a lot of worldwide attention.  However, CART would have to forego the IRL N/A engine idea or risk being laughed at for making such hideous noises during a F1 weekend.  Oh and the lap times with an IRL engine vs. F1 cars....forget about it.  CART would put itself in an image killing position while the whole world looks on. They certainly don't need that right now.  10/28/01 - Commenting in Surfers Paradise at this weekends CART Honda Indy 300, CART President Joe Heitzler commented that he thought a CART/F1 doubleheader weekend (CART Saturday, F1 Sunday) would be perhaps the biggest racing event in the world.  He stated he would welcome a discussion with F1 about this.  AR1 wouldn't mind considering another alternative as well.  Why doesn't CART consider racing on back-to-back weekends in Surfers Paradise and Adelaide, Australia.  Adelaide has perhaps the best 'street' circuit in the world, drew incredibly large crowds when F1 raced there, drew and very large crowd when the ALMS raced there, and the two cities are far enough apart not to affect the attendance at either event.  What it would do is literally cut the freight costs (shared equally between promoters) in half to fly three Jumbo Jets with all the equipment to Australia, and give CART yet another 'grand' event on the calendar.   MC
11/1/01
Will British GP ticket woes help England CART race?  Due to pressures from the FIA to improve traffic in and out of Silverstone, the crowd at next year's British Grand Prix is to be restricted to 60,000 (down from 90,000), and admission prices are rising accordingly.  At $300 to enter the grounds, plus grandstand ticket, plus parking, plus meals, fuel, and hotel accommodations, a visit to the British Grand Prix is now going to be beyond what the average Brit can afford, especially if a family of four are attending. CART only drew 38,000 their first year in England, partly because their ticket prices we so high, though nowhere near the cost for the British GP. The Brits were so impressed with the CART race last year at Rockingham, we are starting to hear many saying they will bypass the British GP in favor of the CART race.
11/1/01
CART drivers race media at Universal Studios  Today at a media event sponsored by Marlboro, some of the CART drivers and media got together for some go-kart racing at Universal Studios.  In attendance were Kenny Brack, Max Papis, Gil de Ferran, Helio Castroneves, Michel Jourdain Jr., Roberto Moreno, Cristiano da Matta, and Dan Wheldon.  Also in attendance were former drivers Jim McElreath, Danny Sullivan and Rick Mears, and CART CEO Joe Heitzler.  The winners of the race will be announced this weekend at Fontana.
11/1/01
NASCAR Phoenix ratings up 82%  Sunday’s exclusive coverage of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Checker Auto Parts 500 presented by Pennzoil on NBC from Phoenix International Raceway generated a 4.0 national rating/9 share (2:43-6 p.m. ET), according to figures released today by Nielsen Media Research. This represents an 82 percent increase over last year’s 2.2 converted national household rating on TNN. Sunday’s rating peaked at a 4.7/10 from 5:30-6 p.m. ET as Jeff Burton took the checkered flag for the second time this season. The NASCAR on NBC pre-race show continued its strong showing, delivering a 2.3/8 from 2-2:43 p.m. ET. 
11/1/01
Roger Bailey hired by IRL to run Lights program  Roger Bailey has been named as executive director of the new Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series, Indy Racing League officials announced today. Bailey will start in his new position Nov. 5. He will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the Infiniti Pro Series and will report to Brian Barnhart, vice president of operations for the Indy Racing League. "Roger brings a tremendous depth of experience in managing an open-wheel racing support series, and he is uniformly respected in the racing community for his integrity and professionalism," said Tony George, president and CEO of the Indy Racing League. "We are enthusiastic at the opportunity to bring a man of Roger's talents on board, and we are confident he will contribute to the growth and success of the Infiniti Pro Series." Bailey most recently was the president and CEO of American Racing Series, Inc., which managed a development series for CART. That series will run its final race Nov. 4. His career in motorsports dates back to 1959, when he began building and maintaining cars for the Jim Russell driving school. Bailey broke into motorsports competition building Cooper chassis and went on to work for noted Formula One car owner Ken Tyrrell, the Ford Motor Company and its Le Mans GT program, and worked briefly with Roger Penske in the Can-Am series in 1967. 
11/1/01
Greg Ray signs with Kelly Racing  Standout Indy Racing League team Kelley Racing has signed 1999 Indy Racing champion Greg Ray to a multiyear contract, team general manager Jim Freudenberg announced Nov. 1. Ray will join 1996 Indy Racing co-champion Scott Sharp as Kelley's drivers for the 2002 Indy Racing Northern Light Series season, which starts March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "It's hard to find the words to express how excited I am about this opportunity," Ray said. "I've spent a lot of a time with (team owner) Tom Kelley and Jim Freudenberg discussing the racing business and what makes a team successful. Successful businesses and relationships are all about surrounding yourself with good people. "I can't think of a better team, from A-to-Z, that has such a good foundation and race program than Kelley Racing." 
11/1/01
NASCAR Phoenix ratings up 82%  Sunday’s exclusive coverage of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Checker Auto Parts 500 presented by Pennzoil on NBC from Phoenix International Raceway generated a 4.0 national rating/9 share (2:43-6 p.m. ET), according to figures released today by Nielsen Media Research. This represents an 82 percent increase over last year’s 2.2 converted national household rating on TNN. Sunday’s rating peaked at a 4.7/10 from 5:30-6 p.m. ET as Jeff Burton took the checkered flag for the second time this season. The NASCAR on NBC pre-race show continued its strong showing, delivering a 2.3/8 from 2-2:43 p.m. ET. 
11/1/01
Andretti voted 2002 WorldCom Driver of Year  Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) and WorldCom announced today that Team Motorola driver Michael Andretti has been voted by FedEx Championship Series race fans as the 2001 recipient of the WorldCom Most Popular Driver Award.  Additionally, it was announced that Spike Mancuso, 47, of Sharpsville, Pa. is the winner of the Most Popular Driver Sweepstakes. Mancuso and his son, Tony, will travel to California Speedway for this weekend's 2001 season-ending Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota in Fontana, Calif.  Full Story
11/1/01
Rockingham bids to become an official F1 test track  Organizers of Rockingham, Britain’s new speedway, are set to submit an application to the FIA, Formula One’s governing body, for hosting Formula One testing there next year. The new facility in Corby, Northamptonshire, features the oval which hosted the country’s first ever CART race there earlier this year, and a 4.1 kilometer infield road course. MC
11/1/01

F1 to upgrade safety crew, but still not as good as CART's  We know that CART has the best safety crew in motorsports. Each of the four Simple Green vehicles at CART races has a doctor, paramedic, firefighter, and rescue worker -- all experienced. We thought you'd like to know that F1 is considering doubling the number of medical vehicles at some of its longer races next year from one vehicle to two! (only).  F1's medical cars aren't as functional as the Simple Green altered pickup trucks, but you have to admit F1's Mercedes are more stylish.  NASCAR?  Forget about it.  They're still in the stone ages when it comes to safety vehicles and fulltime medical staff.  They don't have any, relying instead on local paramedics at each race.   MC
11/1/01
Is Ford Cosworth favored to win at Fontana?  Although this weekend's race marks the end of just its second season of competition, the Ford-Cosworth XF engine has clearly established itself as the dominant powerplant in 500-mile races. In last season's Marlboro 500 at the California Speedway, Ford-powered teams swept seven of the top eight positions, including winner Christian Fittipaldi and runner-up Roberto Moreno. The Ford-Cosworth XF has also been strong in its two races at the Michigan International Speedway. The engine for three of the top six finishers in 2000, the XF powered four of the top six finishers this season, including winner Patrick Carpentier, who earned his first career CART victory, and third-place finisher Michel Jourdain, Jr., who earned his first career CART podium appearance.
11/1/01
McLaren to switch to Michelin  McLaren will switch from Bridgestone tyres to Michelin rubber next season, the team has confirmed. The long-term agreement resurrects a successful partnership between the two – McLaren have won 17 races on the French rubber and took Michelin’s last world championship back in 1984. But the deal signals the end of McLaren's four-year association with Bridgestone, during which the team won 27 races, two drivers' titles and a constructors' championship.
11/1/01
Industry News
Skip Barber Exec to speak in Monaco at Motorsport conference -  Jim Bowie, Director of Marketing for Skip Barber, Inc. has been invited to speak at the first ever Motor SportBusiness World Conference on December 13-14 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. The event will tackle the issues that are likely to have an impact on motorsport around the world, ranging from restrictions on tobacco advertising and sponsorship to how car manufacturers get value for money from investing in the sport. Bowie, a 17-year veteran of the motorsports sponsorship challenges, will speak on the topic of "Why Say No To Motorsport: What Needs To Change?" on the first day of the two-day seminar. The intent of the discussion is to offer an insight on why prospective sponsors reject proposals for motorsports marketing partnerships. "The idea that a sponsor's needs must be put front and center is long overdue. This seminar will focus on new ways of thinking on this and other business issues that are critical to the survival of our sport," said Bowie, who recently lectured on the topic of finding the value proposition before pitching a new sponsor at the first ever Skip Barber Motorsports Marketing Seminar in Indianapolis, Ind. "As the cost of motorsports continues to rise, and competition from other entertainment sectors for marketing budgets of potential sponsors encroaches, the value proposition motorsport offers must keep in step." Bowie will join racing industry luminaries from BMW-WilliamsF1 and British American Racing as well as representatives from CART, NASCAR, World Rallying, Superbikes and virtually every other form of global motorsport. Also on hand will be members of the corporate sector that have major involvement in motor sport including representatives from Bear Stearns, Compaq, Orange, Michelin, Octagon Motorsports and others. Skip Barber Racing School is the Official Racing School of CART; the Dodge/Skip Barber Driving School is the Official Driving School of CART; the Skip Barber Race Series is the Official Amateur Race Series of CART; the Barber Dodge Pro Series is the Official Entry Level Professional Race Series of CART.
11/1/01
Industry News
Speedway Motorsports makes Forbes list -  Forbes magazine has added Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports (SMI) to its '200 Best Small Companies' list. The list was published in the October 29 issue and ranking is determined on six equally measured factors, including return on equity, sales and earnings-per-share growth. "The fact that SMI has been included on the list in three of the past five years strongly confirms the validity of our business strategy,” said H.A. Wheeler, chief operating officer and president of Speedway Motorsports. The Forbes 200 Small Companies has a median five-year average return on equity of 15 percent, earnings-per-share growth of 29 percent and sales growth of 22 percent. Less than 1 percent of those companies eligible made the elite list. SMI owns and operates six motorsports facilities: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Sears Point Raceway, and Texas Motor Speedway.  SportsBusiness.com
10/31/01
Heritage IRL team history. Is Herbert out of ride too ? -  We guess this means Johnny Herbert is out of an IRL ride.  Heritage Motorsports has disbanded its Indy Racing League team and will not compete in 2002, team officials said Tuesday. The Indianapolis-based team, which fielded Jeff Ward during the 2001 season along with Stephan Gregoire in the Indianapolis 500, was formed a year ago by Jim Rathmann Jr. and John Mecom III. But the owners could not land a major sponsor. Team manager Mitch Davis will sell the team's assets, Rathmann said. Davis said he is trying to package a program for himself, Ward and the crew with another owner next season.  
10/31/01

Bridgestone brand instead of Firestone to supply tires to CART in 2002 -  CART races around the world and Bridgestone sells tires around the world.  USA brand Firestone is better suited to the IRL, a USA based series, and Bridgestone, their parent company, is better suited to CART.  Bridgestone tires compete in Formula One competition and will be joining the CART series for the first time next season.  While Bridgestone tires have been competing on racetracks around the world since 1963, the brand has had limited exposure to racing fans in the U.S. CART CEO and President Joe Heitzler said his organization supports Bridgestone/Firestone's decision to begin using Bridgestone tires in the series' competitions. The Bridgestone Potenza racing radials for CART will be produced primarily at the Bridgestone/Firestone technical center in Akron, Ohio; some tires will be manufactured at the Bridgestone Technical Center in Tokyo, Japan, and imported into the United States by Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.  “We’re very excited about featuring the Bridgestone brand in a major open-wheel racing series that has its roots in the U.S.,” said Shu Ishibashi, President of the Bridgestone/Firestone U.S. Consumer Tire Group. “From 1998 through 2001, the Formula One World Driver’s Championship has gone to Bridgestone-equipped drivers, providing excellent exposure for the Bridgestone brand in European markets and other countries. Since CART has evolved into an international program and the Bridgestone brand is involved with international racing, we believe CART and Bridgestone make a perfect match. We’re confident using Bridgestone tires in this demanding series in 2002 will reinforce the brand and complement Bridgestone’s exposure in F1.”  The Bridgestone Potenza racing radials for CART will be produced primarily at the Bridgestone/Firestone technical center in Akron, Ohio; some tires will be manufactured at the Bridgestone Technical Center in Tokyo, Japan, and imported into the United States by Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. “CART is unique in that it races on oval tracks in dry conditions and on road and street courses when it’s raining or dry,” Ishibashi said. “We’re sure the Potenza racing tires will be up to the challenge, and that CART will provide a great showplace to reinforce our message about Bridgestone’s advanced technology to vehicle manufacturers, independent tire dealers, our own retail stores and, ultimately, consumers. To support this exposure on track, we’re planning a complete marketing program that includes advertising and drive and learn events using CART drivers.” 
10/31/01
Industry News
Renault/Nissan alliance gets stronger - As you know, Renault has a strong alliance with Nissan as we reported previously. In fact there was some speculation that Renault would badge the Nissan IRL engine as a Renault for the CART series. Yesterday, Renault announced a far-reaching cross-shareholding agreement with Nissan on Tuesday, but has ruled out a full merger according to Renault's chairman Louis Schweitzer. The shareholding agreement reached on Tuesday will see Renault increase its shares in Nissan to 44.4% while Nissan will take up a 15% share in Renault. Schweitzer was quoted by The Financial Times saying that a full merger would create more problems and complexities than it would solve and will put both companies' financial performance at risk. "I do not foresee a full merger, it is not on the agenda and I'm not convinced it would lead to better performance." 
10/31/01

Parnelli Jones interview - Part 2  Parnelli Jones was one of the most versatile and successful racers of his generation, winning races in virtually every type of car he drove.  Jones was one of several legends of motorsport who participated in Ford Racing's Centennial celebration, October 13th and 14th in Dearborn, Michigan.  Jones talks about the differences in speed and technology in today's Champ Cars and lends his thoughts on whether we'll ever see a reunification in open-wheel racing in part two of a two-part interview. 
10/31/01
Buhl tops 175 mph at Nazareth  Robbie Buhl and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing were the first Indy Racing League team to turn laps at Nazareth Speedway, completing a test session Oct. 29-30 at the unique 1-mile oval. The Indy Racing Northern Light Series will compete for the first time at Nazareth on April 9-21, 2002. Buhl topped 175 mph in his No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G-Force/Infiniti/Firestone Oct. 30 on a cool, sunny day in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. "Nazareth Speedway is a place where I have had success," Buhl said. "I am really looking forward to the April race. I have won a couple times (1991 and 1992) in the Indy Lights here, and in 1992 this is where I clinched the championship."  By comparison, CART's Champ Car's, thanks to ridiculous low downforce wings, qualified at only 173 mph in May, way down from the record of over 190 mph set back in the late 90's by Patrick Carpentier.
10/31/01
Industry News
United Airlines and Ford both oust their CEO's UPDATE Niki Lauda has come to say Ford's woes won't affect the Jaguar F1 program because he has charted a course for Jaguar Racing to wean itself off of Ford backing over 5-years starting in 2002. What Lauda fails to realize is that Ford owns Jaguar, and as easy as they gave, they can taketh away....overnight. 10/30/01 -  We wonder if the Ford announcement will affect their racing involvement.  It also shows how fast a company's board will replace the President and CEO if the company is not performing.  Yesterday it was announced that United Airline's board of directors ousted their CEO over the weekend.  Last night Ford Motor Co. replaced Chief Executive Jacques Nasser with Chairman William Clay Ford Jr. after the second-largest carmaker lost more than $1 billion in the past two quarters, a person familiar with the company said. Ford, 44, is the great-grandson of the founder and the first family member to run the company in 21 years. He takes over after Nasser, 53, was undone partly by tire recalls that eroded public confidence in the Explorer sport-utility vehicle, falling sales, delayed model rollouts and after the company cut dividends in half. Ford posted a $692 million third-quarter loss on Oct. 17. ``He blew it,'' said Art Spinella, an auto analyst with CNW Market Research in Oregon. He said his research showed the Explorer slipped from the top sport-utility in terms of public perception to among the lowest. ``Every boss has setbacks, but it never seemed like he could rein them in and deal with them.'' Nasser officially will retire.
10/31/01
Food for thought in Australia  Our sources in Australia tell us that the V8SUPERCAR's won't be racing in Australia next year in conjunction with the CART race.  Seems they feel like 2nd-rate citizens having to share rather poor facilities with other support series and refuse to go back unless they get better ones.  We can tell you that a lot of people go to see the V8SUPERCAR's, perhaps as much as the Champ cars.  If CART doesn't look into this detail (the devil is in the details you know), they might be faced with drastically lower attendance in Australia next year.  MC
  Fittipaldi to attempt to qualify for NASCAR race UPDATE Here is an update on Fittipaldi's test, complete with post-test interview. 10/29/01 - Christian Fittipaldi, current driver with the Newman/Haas ChampCar team, will attempt to qualify and race in the NASCAR Busch Series event at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 10th, 2001 in an entry fielded by Innovative Motorsports. The team will be sponsored by Mike’s Hard Lemonade and will be a second entry to the Innovative Motorsports’ No. 48 Goulds Pumps Chevrolet driven by Kenny Wallace. “This is very exciting for me and I hope to be well received by those in NASCAR. I have long admired their racing and welcome an opportunity to be a part of it,” said Fittipaldi. Fittipaldi, nephew of racing legend Emerson Fittipaldi, joins a very small fraternity of drivers who have raced in Formula One, ChampCar and NASCAR. “We are very happy to provide Christian with this opportunity” said George DeBidart of Innovative Motorsports. “We welcome his talents to our race team and respect his desire to attempt to race in NASCAR. He is as pure a racer as we have seen, and we believe that his talent will translate to stock car racing,” added DeBidart. 
10/30/01
Zanardi leaves Berlin hospital  Autosport reports that former CART champion Alex Zanardi has returned to his Monte Carlo home today (Tuesday), seven weeks after he lost both his legs in a horrendous crash at Eurospeedway Lausitz in Germany. The 35-year-old Italian was discharged from hospital in Berlin today, flying to Nice with wife Daniela and their three-year-old son Niccolo. He suffered terrible leg injuries in his crash, which occurred when his Mo Nunn Racing Reynard spun leaving the pits and was struck at high speed by Alex Tagliani's Team Player's car. After losing 70 percent of the blood in his body, Zanardi required 14 separate operations since the crash. He will be evaluated at a clinic in his hometown of Bologna, Italy, for prostheses later this week to enable him to learn to walk again.  Full Story
10/30/01
Barber-CART Karting Scholarship Nominees Announced  Skip Barber today announces the 16 nominees for the 2002 Barber-CART Karting Scholarship Runoff, which is set to take place on January 3-4, 2001 at Sebring International Raceway. Four Scholarship recipients will be chosen at the conclusion of the runoff, earning a full season in the 2002 Formula Dodge National Championship Presented by RACER, the Official National Amateur Championship of CART. Each Scholarship has a value of $45,000. They are: 
Michael Abbate, 16 Craig Baltzer, 17 Las Vegas, Nevada Bettendorf, Iowa 
Jason Bowles, 18 Chris Carmody, 17 Ontario, California Valencia, Calif. 
Travis Firing, 17 Colin Fleming, 17 Whitehall, Penn. North Hills, Calif. 
Ward Imrie, 18 Matt Jaskol, 17 Winnipeg, Manitoba Las Vegas, Nevada 
Charlie Kimball, 16 David MacDonald, 17 Camarillo, California North Canton, Ohio 
Berek McEwen, 17 Benny Moon, 16 Flower Mound, Texas Shingle Springs, Calif. 
Tim O'Brien, 19 Preston Peebles, 16 Lebanon, Ohio Lubbock, Texas 
Scott Speed, 18 Steve Welk, 19 Manteca, Calif. Franklin, Wisc. 
The nominees were selected, after submitting applications, based on their karting performances in 2001 and interviews with a Skip Barber panel. "Every year these selections get more difficult to make, and this year's was certainly no exception," said Rick Ratajczak, Barber Dodge Pro Series and Karting Scholarship Director. "We certainly don't expect the final decision on the four Scholarships to be easy as a result. Whatever the case, the talent pool on the early rungs of the Barber-CART Ladder is very deep indeed." The 16 nominees will compete for the coveted Scholarships, over two days of on-track activity and personal interviews with the panel of judges. All of the on-track activity takes place in a Formula Dodge R/T 2000, the same winged and slick shod racecar in which National Championship racers compete. Each of the 16 nominees has received a Skip Barber Three Day Racing School in order to prepare for the runoff. For many, it will be their first taste of racecar. The cumulative value of the Three Day Racing Schools and Runoff is over $105,000. The Barber-CART Karting Scholarship is the first rung on the $1.3 million Barber-CART Scholarship Ladder that culminates with the $255,000 Career Enhancement Award that goes to the Barber Dodge Pro Series Champion used to advance to the CART Toyota Atlantic Series. 
10/30/01
Chevy Indy V-8 completes first 500-mile test  Seven months before the start of next year's Indianapolis 500, the new Chevy Indy V8 has already successfully completed its first 500-mile race -- not on the immense 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, but on a computer-controlled engine dynamometer in suburban Detroit. "Our first prototype Chevy Indy V8 completed a trouble-free 500-mile simulation test," said Joe Negri, GM Racing IRL/Road Racing Group manager. "To reach this milestone at such an early stage in the development program gives us confidence in the ultimate success of the new Chevrolet powerplant. "In addition to achieving our durability and reliability goals, we also have met our initial performance targets for horsepower and torque," Negri continued. "Based on these results, we believe that the new Chevy Indy V8 will be more than competitive with the Infiniti 35A next season."  GM Racing is simultaneously designing an all-new "Gen 3" Chevy Indy V8 to meet the new IRL engine rules that will take effect in 2003. The 2003 version will be even lighter and smaller than next year's engine. "The 2002 Chevy Indy V8 will provide a benchmark as we move toward an even more refined engine package for the 2003 season," said Roger Allen, GM Racing lead engine designer. "By combining real-world test results with powerful engineering tools such as computer-aided design, finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics and three-dimensional solid modeling, we are rapidly developing the next-generation Chevy Indy V8."
10/30/01
NASCAR to meet with teams to discuss aero rules  NASCAR meets this week with teams and drivers to discuss ideas for a new aerodynamic package in response to complaints about superspeedway racing. The meeting is scheduled for today at Joe Gibbs Racing's headquarters. All drivers, crew chiefs and car owners have been invited to attend the brainstorming session, NASCAR spokesperson Danielle Humphrey said. The session is a result of driver complaints following the race at Talladega Superspeedway two weeks ago. Because of the current aero package and the use of restrictor plates, racing at Talladega and Daytona consists of tight packs of cars that often lead to violent multicar crashes.
10/30/01
Atwood youngest to ever qualify for Bud Shootout  At 21, Casey Atwood became the youngest pole winner in the modern era of NASCAR when he won the Bud Pole for last weekend's Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. In the 23rd annual Budweiser Shootout on Feb. 10 at Daytona International Speedway, Atwood, driver of the No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T for Evernham Motorsports, will become the youngest competitor in the race's history. 
10/30/01
Pepsi back to F1  PepsiCo Beverages International is making a return to F1 in 2002 as official soft drink partner to the Williams team. Pepsi signed a three-year agreement with Williams and while it only covers off track activities, team boss Frank Williams told Reuters that it was an important cooperation, which could grow over time. He was quoted saying: "The money is not major sponsorship but it is important to the company because Pepsi is an immensely well-regarded international brand. It's a good news story definitely but I would suspect there will be other good news stories coming out into the open in the next two or three months. I've seen the comments from some of the teams that it's very hard and it is very hard for everybody from top to bottom. But business is meant to be hard, business is never easy.''  “Formula One is one of the hottest, fastest growing sports in the world today and the BMW WilliamsFl Team leads the pack based on its racing heritage and dynamic brand personality,” said Antonio Lucio, Chief Marketing Officer, PepsiCo Beverages International. ‘The BMW WilliamsF1 Team partnership is the perfect fit for PEI because it provides world-class stature for the refreshing appeal of 7UP. Formula One racing’s excitement made 7UP the clear choice to lead our return to this global property.”
10/30/01

EU ends F1 probe, but will monitor  One of things the European Union did when they charged the FIA with monopolistic practices was to force them to allow CART to race on any circuit in the world, and to be recognized as an official World Championship racing series, though why CART refuses to call itself such is beyond us.  After about two years of pressuring the FIA, the European Commission announced today that they have ended their long running investigation into Formula One following certain concessions made by the FIA. An EU statement read: "the parties agreed to make changes which limit the FIA to a regulatory role, so as to prevent any conflict of interests, and remove certain commercial restrictions put on circuit owners and TV broadcasters.'' The statement furthermore said that close tabs will be kept on Formula One to ensure compliance and also that to prevent any conflict of interest, the FIA has sold its rights to the F1 world championship and will allow the creation of potential competitors to F1.
10/29/01
Nazareth significantly lowers ticket prices for IRL race UPDATE A reader writes to say - Unless they give the tickets away for free, they probably won't draw a big crowd.  Even Michael Andretti and Mario Andretti were not able to draw big crowds to their 'home' track. Steve Levinson  Another reader writes to say that CART's sanction fees were too high for Nazareth to lower their prices....to which we say, then Nazareth wasn't the right market for CART.  10/29/01 -  Not able to draw a big crowd for CART races, and not willing to lower them for a CART race, ISC is doing that for the IRL.  The Indy Racing Northern Light Series will headline a unique weekend of open-wheel racing April 19-21, 2002, at Nazareth Speedway. Also competing that weekend at the D-shaped, 1-mile oval in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania will be the top three USAC divisions: Silver Crown, Sprint Car and Midget. Reserved advance purchase adult tickets for Sunday are only $45, and a Sunday general admission ticket costs $35. A general admission ticket for children 12 and under is $15. General admission tickets for Saturday are $20 for adults and $10 for children. Tickets for the inaugural Indy Racing League weekend will go on sale Saturday, Dec. 15, 2001. A limited number of reserved Sunday seats will be available....the rest will be G/A we suppose.
10/29/01
Appeals panel rejects Haas Carter appeal  On October 29, 2001, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Larry A. Carter of Haas Carter Motorsports. The appeal concerned a $10,000 penalty issued by NASCAR to Larry Carter for an infraction of Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Rule Book (Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Involved in an altercation in another competitor’s pit area). This stemmed from an incident during the NASCAR Winston Cup Series race held at Talladega Superspeedway on October 21, 2001. During the hearing, the Appellant readily acknowledged that the infraction occurred. He asked that the Commission consider the magnitude of the fine and the possible financial results of the fine on the Appellant. During deliberations the Commission determined that the fine was correct for the infraction, given that the incident occurred in the hot pit lane during a green flag pit stop by another team. The Commission also notes that the infraction was committed by a crew chief who, per Section 9-4 of the NASCAR Rule Book, assumes responsibility for the actions of his team and should therefore strive to set an example. Section 14-4.F. of the Rule Book clearly states that the relevant item in each appeal shall be the correctness of the decision in light of the facts and not the results of the ruling. Therefore the question of the financial impact of the fine on the Appellant was deemed moot. It is the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the penalty assessed by NASCAR. The Appellant has the right, under Section 15 of the NASCAR Rule Book, to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.
10/29/01
Dixon wins CART Rookie-of-the Year PacWest Racing's Scott Dixon, driver of the #18 Nextel Powerware Panasonic PacWest Toyota, finished 15th and scoreless Sunday, but clinched the $50,000 Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year Award in the process. With a 98-56 championship points lead over Bruno Junqueira of Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Dixon holds an insurmountable 42-point advantage heading into the final round of the CART FedEx Championship Series season in Fontana this weekend. Dixon has built his rookie title on six top-five finishes and 11 top-10 finishes to date, including a victory at Nazareth, which made him, at age 20 years, nine months and 14 days, the youngest driver ever to win a major open-wheel event. Dixon is currently seventh overall in the CART championship point standings. "I wish I could have finished higher in Australia, but I'm very happy to have earned the Rookie of the Year title this season," said Dixon. "This year has been a big learning experience for me, and I couldn't have done it without the help of a great teammate in Mauricio (Gugelmin), and an excellent crew both at the track and back in the shop. One of my goals heading into this season was to win Rookie of the Year, and the accomplishment is a testament to all the hard work we've put in since the end of 2000. My engineers have given me really good cars all year to compete with and I can't say enough about the Toyota engine and it's reliability. I just want to thank everyone at PacWest, and also my family who have supported my racing career since I was running Karts in 1990. I also want to thank my sponsors, Nextel, Powerware and Panasonic for their support this year. Of course, every driver competes to win championships and I think that next season my PacWest team will be even stronger. 
10/28/01
Ryan Arciero plans on contesting 2002 Toyota Atlantics series  For 2002, Ryan Arciero is planning to participate in the CART Toyota Atlantic Series if sponsorship is found, or another series if that money develops instead.. Only a few weeks after taking his first pole position in the Ultra Wheels Super Truck series, Ryan qualified and finished 2nd. The race was an exciting dual between Ryan and #7 Jim McGill, going three-wide at times on the half-mile paved short oval. Of course, given that it was only the team's (and Ryan's) fifth race on an oval, everyone was pleased, and the abbreviated season ended on a good note. Ryan gained a great deal of experience and knowledge of oval, stock car racing, and will continue racing the truck next year. For a picture of the Super Truck go here.  For some video of Ryan's Toyota Atlantic test from a couple of years ago click here.
10/28/01
Justin Wilson will be at Fontana looking for 2002 ride  2001 F3000 Champion Justin Wilson heads to the US this week in seach of a CART drive for 2002 and a means getting into F1 via the same route as Jacques Villeneuve and Juan Pablo Montoya. Wilson told British newspaper The Sunday Mirror: "A test drive in Formula One is still an option for next season but I would prefer to keep racing, so I want to find out what is available in the States." "Formula One is my target and it's just that I may have to try to get there by a different route. I'm going to America with an open mind." The Brit added: "It was disappointing not to land the Jordan drive, especially after my tests with them went so well. But I knew it wouldn't be easy for me to get into Formula One and I just have to keep plugging away."  MC
10/28/01
CART, IMG & Queensland look to extend race through 2008  According to this article in the Australian, CART chief executive officer Joe Heitzler was locked in delicate negotiations with Honda Indy 300 officials at the weekend and is "buoyantly optimistic" about the event's future. "We need to work on how CART can work with its partner to make this a better event (financially) - although it's an oxymoron to say that because this is one of the best events in the world," Heitzler said. "But we need to sit down and work out ways we can improve our position and I'm very confident we will do that." The Honda Indy 300 is already contracted for 2002 and 2003, but Heitzler and his team are anxious to conclude a new five-year deal, which would take the event to 2008. Heitzler said part of a new TV package would include advertising for Queensland, and the Gold Coast in particular, on CART-associated TV coverage in the US. . MC
10/28/01
Another road race, another success story  5th UPDATE A Sunday crowd of 110,187 was announced putting the weekend total at 286,610. That is an increase of 16,720 from last season when the total was 269,890. It was the biggest sporting event in Australia, bigger than the F1 race in Melbourne.  How big was that crowd?  To put it in perspective, except for the Indy 500, the Australia attendance was bigger than all the IRL races by a wide margin, and it wasn't even CART's biggest event.  Sure is better for a a sponsor like Honda to put their name on big events like this, than say a Phoenix, Gateway, Homestead, Nashville, etc. where total attendance is lucky to break 30,000. We hear Toyota is interested in being the title sponsor for next years CART race in Mexico City, expected to draw 300,000 on race day. CART's goal is to shed all the small, poorly attended races and replace them all with 'grand' events like Surfers.  10/27/01 - As we predicted yesterday, Saturday's attendance would be over 70,000, it was 74,858 to be exact.  These numbers are up 4,578 over last year.  So far the 3-day total is 176,423, an increase of 14,318 over last year's three-day total of 162,105..  Almost 130,000 are expected for race day.  10/26/01 - Despite miserable weather on Friday, the track has announced an attendance of 53,551, up from 50,788 last year.  So far the Thursday and Friday total is 101,565.  Perfect weather is the order of the day today (Saturday), so look for more attendance records to fall. We expect over 70,000 in attendance today. 10/25/01 - The track announced today that last year on Thursday the attendance was 41,447. This year 48,014 fans came out to see just support event stuff. How do they get such success?  For one they have over 70 support PR events prior to race weekend.  Other promoters take note! 10/24/01 - Joe Heitzler confirmed from Australia today that IMG, the Australian promoter, confirms that indeed ticket sales are up over 20% from last year and this years attendance is likely to shatter all previous records, with over 300,000 expected for the weekend. This is only one CART race, and except for the Indy 500, is far larger than any IRL on the schedule. Oh, did you know that next years CART Mexico City race will have a larger attendance than the Indy 500?  Now you know. So much for those people who would have you think CART is dying.  Did you catch the Target team rumor?  Contrary of rumors that they are moving to the IRL, they indeed are staying in CART and recognize the value. 10/12/01 - Ticket sales for this years Australian CART race at Surfers Paradise on October 28th are running ahead of last year. Last year, 270,000 fans attended the four-day event, including 107,000 on race day. This year, they are shooting for over 300,000 for the weekend and comically people still question CART's international success.  Let's see, 300,000+ for Australia, 500,000+ for Mexico City, 300,000+ for Monterey Mexico, 200,000 for Long Beach, 170,000+ for Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, 500,000+ for Shanghai (if CART ever goes), 200,000 for Miami, etc. etc.  CART must shoot for creating 'Grand' events, each one building on the next.  The days of racing before half empty grandstands must cease. MC
10/27/01
CARA Charities and CART combine for online auction  Race fans and motorsports enthusiasts can get the first chance to bid on a full slate of truly priceless CART-related collectibles and memorabilia through a new online auction that was unveiled this week by CARA Charities and CART. The auction, which can be viewed now at http://cara.cmagic.com, is part of the overall fund-raising efforts by CARA Charities and CART to support the New York Police and Firefighter's Widows and Children's Benefit Fund. Created and hosted by Seventh Gear.com and their partners Cinemagic, the online auction features many of the same items that will be available at next Friday's Runway Madness "Red, White & Blue Celebration" Presented by FedEx, the annual season-ending super party that will be held for the fourth straight year in Ontario, Calif. Fast acting CART fans and collectors can get a jump start on the competition by accessing the site now to place bids on one of more than 80 items available. New items will be added daily and something can be found in every price range. The auction is open now, continues through the Runway Madness "Red, White & Blue Celebration" event next Friday and will close on November 12. Several items will be available through the 12th while others will be up for grabs only through Runway Madness. Interested buyers are encouraged to log on the site right away to check the status and bidding deadlines of their favorite items. Here is a sampling of just some of the available treasures:
- Autographed driving suits from Dario Franchitti, Paul Tracy, Bruno Junqueira, Christian Fittipaldi, Roberto Moreno and Adrian Fernandez.
- Full rear wing assemblies from Patrick Racing signed by U.E. "Pat" Patrick and Scott Pruett and Target Chip Ganassi Racing signed by Chip Ganassi, Memo Gidley, Bruno Junqueira and the entire Target team.
- The original art work of the "Legends" lithograph by Canadian artist David Arrigo that will be autographed on stage by the attending Champ Car driving legends at Runway Madness.
- A California Speedway Experience for next weekend's Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota. Includes rooftop VIP access at the track for two at the season-ending race.
- Dozens of additional autographed items including driving shoes and gloves, helmet visors and other team gear and authentic race car parts.
The online auction is just one element of a new and revamped Runway Madness event that will be one to remember with its new patriotic theme. A super-party extravaganza, Runway Madness features food and refreshments and a full line-up of entertainment featuring FedEx Championship Series drivers, other members of the CART community and celebrities from Hollywood and the music industries. All of these elements are being put through last minute changes to reflect the new Red, White & Blue theme of the event. This year's honorary co-chairs of Runway Madness - A Red, White & Blue Celebration, are FedEx Championship Series star Dario Franchitti and fiancée Ashley Judd. Legendary actor and CART team owner Paul Newman has also confirmed his attendance and participation this week.
10/27/01
Audio from Australia (Real Player)
Tom Michaels does a wrap-up of qualifying

Roberto Moreno on his effort to capture his 2nd career pole

Roberto Moreno tells how his teammate predicted he would get pole position

Gil de Ferran as he watched Moreno grab the pole while he served penalty

Kenny Brack on his qualifying. 

Max Papis on his qualifying effort. 

Kenny Brack on the Gold Coast 300 and championship hopes. 
Max Papis on Gold Coast 300 and brining momentum from Laguna Seca win. 
Max Papis on his goal to finish in the top-five for the 2001 season
Adrian Fernandez on playing the right game with fuel strategy
Michael Andretti talks about what he likes about racing on the streets of Surfers
Tom Michaels previews the Surfers race
Adrian Fernandez on what it's like racing down under
10/27/01
Jordan team wins USGP appeal  Jarno Trulli’s fourth place at the US Grand Prix has been reinstated following a successful appeal to the FIA. Jordan now take fifth place in this year's Formula One world championship, ahead of British American Racing. The decision was based on appeal on the grounds of "a breach of the right of defence". The FIA statement read. "The international court of appeal has allowed the appeal of Jordan Grand Prix on the grounds that a steward was absent during the hearing of the team at the United States Grand Prix," "The court found this was a breach of article 134 of the International Sporting Code [which provides that all decisions by the college of stewards should be taken collectively] and thus a breach of the right of defence." Trulli was excluded after his car’s skid block failed a post-race technical inspection. Jordan argued that his car sustained damage in a scrape with Sauber’s Kimi Raikkonen. The decision means that the Silverstone based outfit now have 19points in the constructors’ championship that sees BAR slip to sixth.
10/27/01
$50,000 Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge Shoot Out  Sunday's Honda Indy 300 will represent the final opportunity for FedEx Championship Series pit crews to qualify for a berth in the $50,000 Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge Shoot Out, to be held next Saturday, November 3, following qualifying for the season-ending Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota at California Speedway. Now in its third season, the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge was instituted in 1999 to recognize the efforts of the mechanics who build, maintain and service the race cars. Champ Car teams have competed all year, scoring points according to the same scale used to score FedEx Championship Series drivers, but based on least time spent in the pits at each CART event. The top four teams at the conclusion of Sunday's Honda Indy 300, along with the wildcard entry from the PacWest Racing Group car driven by Mauricio Gugelmin, will qualify for the season-ending Shoot Out. Gugelmin's crew earned its wildcard berth by spending the least time in the pits during the July 22 Harrah's 500 Presented by Toyota at Michigan Speedway. The shootout will consist of two timed pit stops per entrant, with the fastest time claiming the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge Trophy and $50,000 in cash. Heading into Sunday's Honda Indy 300, the top four contenders for the Shoot Out include the Marlboro Team Penske crews of defending FedEx Championship Series champion Gil de Ferran and reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves (Marlboro Honda Reynard), with 150 and 140 points, respectively; the Sigma Autosport crew of Oriol Servia (Sigma Autosport Ford Lola), with 112 points; and the Team Rahal crew of Kenny Brack (Shell Ford Lola) with 109 points. Still in contention for Shoot Out berths are the Newman/Haas Racing crew of Cristiano da Matta, fifth with 98 points, and the Fernandez Racing crew of Adrian Fernandez (Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda Reynard), sixth with 90. The Team KOOL Green crew of Paul Tracy (KOOL Honda Reynard) is the two-time defending Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge champion.
10/26/01
Vannini and Forsythe issue clarification statements related to SEC filing (related article Jon Vannini: "My filing does not call for the removal of the company's chairman and CEO [Joe Heitzler]. I am in complete support of Joe's chairmanship and stewardship as well as his strategic plan and all those efforts to realize that plan [Editor's Note: notice he did not state 'Presidency and/or CEO", which is consistent with his SEC form 13D filing]. The crux of this filing deals with other issues that were addressed in that filing and are interfering with the growth of this company. I am in frequent discussions with Joe and other members of the board to identify and resolve these issues for the betterment of the company." Gerald Forsythe: "As the majority stakeholder in this company, I continue to pledge my complete support to Joe Heitzler and his strategic planning. In conversations as recent as today with Jon Vannini, we are in complete agreement that Joe has 100 percent of our support and that the issues of the growth of this company are first and foremost in our minds. I have a significant interest in this company and I have entrusted Joe with the responsibility of the nature of that investment."  Editors Note: From these two statements it's clear both want Mr. Heitzler to remain in a leadership role with CART, our guess is as Chairman of the Board. We shall see how all this plays out in the next couple of weeks. MC
10/26/01
De Ferran tops Saturday morning practice in Australia  The sun was out, the track was finally dry, and the Champ cars took to the track in earnest today.  Points leader Gil de Ferran topped the speed charts to pace Saturday morning practice for Sunday's Honda Indy 300 in the streets of Surfers Paradise. His best lap of 1:33.511 min. just beat 2nd quick man Cristiano da Matta and Dario Franchitti. De Ferran is a man on a mission and looks set to lock up the championship this weekend. He's off to a good start.  Coming up next is qualifying, scheduled to begin at 11:45 p.m. EDT. 
10/26/01
F3000
2002 F3000 transmission based on Champ Cars  On the new 2002 Lola F3000 car the gearbox will be an all-new design based on the highly successful Lola Champ Car unit. Utilizing a drop gear on the input shaft raises the gear train out of the underbody. This also allows for a simple overall ratio change by swapping the drop gears, rather than changing the final drive. The gearbox has six speeds and ratio changes will be possible without removing the underbody. MC
10/26/01
Champ Cars are awesome pieces of machinery  During the Saturday morning practice session in Surfers paradise, the massive downforce created by the 900HP Champ Cars created so much turbulence it broke an overhanging tree branch that came falling down onto the race surface, bringing out the yellow flags. As can be seen from the picture by Derek Moore on the right from Surfers Paradise, they even fly through the air.  It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a Champ Car. That's Players driver Patrick Carpentier driving. MC
10/26/01
Montoya appointed UN Ambassador  The United Nations has appointed a number of celebrities as ambassadors to raise awareness, including Michael Douglas, Geri Halliwell, Muhammad Ali and Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya. Montoya has been appointed UN ambassador to Bogotá and his main contribution will be to highlight the plight of Colombian children. "My small contribution will be to try and help solve the problem of the hunger suffered by some Colombian children. We have to concentrate our efforts on our children, they are our future." 
10/26/01
Industry News
Steve Horne news from Australia  Steve Horne ex Tasman and Truesports owner,has bought into the Gibson Motorsport team (main Driver Craig Lowndes). He has been wanting to get involved for some time. Neil Crompton who drove the Tasman Super Touring in the tiny NASCTC got him involved. As well the team will be have the former Jordan F1 manager joining them as well, in what capacity, who knows. This sort of development shows how much V8SUPERCAR is growing in Australia. 
10/26/01
Industry News
Skip Barber Racing School Comes To Daytona International Speedway  Skip Barber Racing School now offers its world renowned programs at Daytona International Speedway, the World Center Of Racing. Skip Barber Three Day Racing School and Introduction to Racing courses will take place on a brand new road course contained within Daytona's world famous tri-oval. Using parts of the infield portion of the 24-hour course, a new circuit has been created to form a 1.68-mile nine-turn road course. New paving has created a billiard smooth surface. "Personally, I am very excited about this. I can remember being a young boy and attending an SCCA regional school taught by my father here in 1959 and wanting to drive at Daytona," said Terry Earwood, Chief Instructor for Skip Barber Racing School. "Now fans who have always dreamed of road racing Daytona will have the first opportunity to participate in a professional racing school there. This course is going to be an exciting and challenging course. It's a great mix of slow and fast corners." 
10/26/01
Vannini advocates major overhaul to rescue CART series  All the bad news about CART this past season has shaken the entire organization to the bones.  There is so much uncertainty about CART's future, even from the ranks within, it's an organization that's begging for someone to right the sinking ship. A series with so much potential, yet with so many problems, has the outside world scratching their heads and saying how and why can this have happened? Jonathan Vannini to the rescue.   Story
10/26/01
Andretti explains why he skipped Friday practice at Surfers  Well, it's a disappointment that we didn't run today but we felt that since the weather forecast is for dry weather for qualifying and race day that there wasn't much to be gained by running around in the rain today. We took both cars out this morning and ran an installation check but beyond that, we didn't even run a timed lap. Not running was also a big disappointment for the fans that came out today but they always seem to enjoy the Honda Indy atmosphere rain or shine. There's been a huge crowd at the bandstand behind our engineering hut and it doesn't look like the rain bothered them at all. The weather is supposed to move through tonight so I'm sure we'll get on track tomorrow. You always hate not to be able to maximize your time on the track but on the other hand, I'm not too worried about not running today because everyone is pretty much in the same boat. There are some areas on the track that have been resurfaced so we'll get a look at that tomorrow during practice." 
10/25/01
Doobie Brothers to perform live at Fontana  Legendary American rock and roll group the Doobie Brothers will perform live during the Marlboro 500 Presented by TOYOTA on the CART Concert Stage, Saturday, November 3, 2001, during the season finale weekend for the CART FedEx Championship Series. The performance is free for every guest with a Saturday speedway admission ticket. Tickets can be purchased for $35 or $45 by calling 1-800-944-RACE or via the web at www.californiaspeedway.com . The Saturday Night Infield Musical Performance, which is located in the infield near the water tower, has been a fixture on the California Speedway weekend event schedule since the facility opened in 1997. Past acts have included such greats as Chris Isaak, Peter Frampton, Eddie Money, Paul Rodgers and Company and The Marshall Tucker Band. Saturday at California Speedway features CART and Dayton Indy Lights qualifying, as well as the season finale Auto Club 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, which rolls off at 1:30 p.m. Off the track, the day is highlighted by the induction of the 2000 Marlboro 500 Presented by TOYOTA winner Christian Fittipaldi into the speedway's Walk of Fame at Gate 14 at 9:30 a.m., the Champ Car Legends Autograph Session from 9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m. at the Toyota tent near the turn four tunnel and the CART "Fan Appreciation" current driver autograph session from 3:15 p.m.-3:45 p.m. in the team motorcoach area. All of this leads up to the opening act at 5 p.m. on the CART Concert State--RPM (Racing Powered Music)--featuring current Champ Car star Kenny Brack on guitar and former Blue Oyster Cult drummer Rick Downey, along with Elizabeth Fornal (lead vocalist) of CART's Marketing Department and Laz Denes (bass), publicist for Mo Nunn Racing. The Doobie Brothers are starting their fourth decade of performing. Formed in San Jose in 1970, the band has been awarded two Grammy's; 16 top 40 hits (including two at number one), 11 multi-platinum albums, 13 gold albums and one of the most rare distinctions in music--the Diamond Award for the sale of more than 10 million units of a single title, "Best of the Doobies Vol. 1." Classic Doobie Brothers hits include: "Takin'It To The Streets," "Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me)," "Listen to the Music," "China Grove," Long Train Runnin," and "Black Water" to name a few. Sponsoring the stage this weekend is the CART FedEx Championship Series. A fireworks show by Pyro Spectaculars will follow the Doobie Brothers concert. 
10/25/01
Talladega gets high TV rating  Coverage of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series EA Sports 500 on NBC from Talladega Superspeedway generated a 4.8 national rating/11 share (1:09 p.m.- 4:37 p.m. ET), according to figures released today by Nielsen Media Research. This represents a 60% increase over last year’s 3.0 converted national household rating on ESPN and is the highest national rating ever for any auto race in competition with professional football. The previous record rating for an auto race televised at the same time as a pro football game was the 4.7 rating/11 share delivered by NBC’s coverage of the inaugural NASCAR Winston Cup race from the new Kansas Speedway on September 30, 2001. This marks the third time NBC’s coverage has tied or surpassed the record established by the 4.5 national rating for CBS’ coverage on October 12, 1997.
10/25/01
Mario Andretti talks CART & IRL  This link takes you to yesterday's ESPN chat with Mario Andretti.  Some keys questions/responses
1. Would you consider forming an IRL team? I wish you would! Mario Andretti: No
2. Do you think CART will adopt the Ford spec engine introduced? And, can you take over to run CART? I think you could put them back on top! Mario Andretti: I think there could be worse things than having a Ford spec engine for a while. I don't think there's any reason to despair in any way about the engine situation. Over the years, I've seen periods of uncertainty. The solution will always come forward. In this particular situation, there was too much talk about the formula. Each manufacturer was given too much voice over what they wanted, so each manufacturer had a different agenda. Two were going to be upset, no matter what. CART has to be firm and determine a path to pursue. Hopefully the manufacturers will like it .. if not... someone will, and that's the way it will have to be. One way or another, CART will be fine. As for running CART, I'm not looking for a job -- certainly not that one.
3. Would you be in favor of CART dropping ALL ovals and leaving those venues to the IRL? Mario Andretti: No. The strength of CART has been the diversity. I think there should be a balance. There are great ovals -- like St. Louis, Homestead -- and current ones, like Milwaukee -- maybe back at New Hampshire ... that CART should be running. The two races in Europe, except for the weather, were quite a success. They will continue. I'd like them to achieve a balance -- maybe 1/3 ovals on the schedule and the rest road racing.
4. Would Michael be willing to move to the IRL if the CART engine mess doesn't get worked out? And, if so what would you think of that? Mario Andretti: Michael is contracted to Green for next two years. I don't see Michael going to the IRL -- I don't see why he would. Give a big NO to that. 
5. How much has the international prestige of Indy suffered since 1995? Mario Andretti: I know it's suffered tremendously because it's no longer considered such a prestige event -- the best oval drivers available aren't competing there any longer. I've been in Europe for a couple of runnings of Indy and couldn't find any results. When I was a teenager in Italy, it used to be on the radio. I know Eurosport dropped the broadcast. I don't see how at Indy they don't see what damage they've done to the event by creating that new series. 
6. How do you feel about the current situation with the cars being "too fast?" In your career, is there a point where you would have refused to race due to too much speed? Mario Andretti: No, I think that every sanctioning body is realizing where the plateau of speed should be . The cars aren't too fast now, but they could be if we don't regulate like we do each year. We know how to make the cars go faster than the human element can deal with. The challenge is to circumvent the penalties the rules committees are imposing and maintain the status quo. I think it's incredibly fascinating to see from year to year to see ... like how cars should lose downforce, but through development they regain all but 2 or 3 percent. It's really getting the most out of the talent these engineers possess. The sport is in good hands. Have I ever refused to race because the car is too fast? Hell, no! 
10/25/01
Industry News
Acordia Motorsports Insurance claims exceed $2,000,000.00 In our fifth year of insuring the CART Champ Car family of series for "On Track Physical Damage" Acordia will pay its CART Team clients well over $2,000,000.00 in claims for the 2001 season. We currently insure 50% of the starting grid and our customer list includes established and new CART teams as well as Atlantic and Indy Lights teams. We are pleased that Acordia has the ability to offer this valuable coverage as CART'S insuring partner, and plan to expand our coverage in 2002. Acordia has insurance products available that cover every facet of insurance necessary to conduct the business of operating a race team in any series. These include the basic "Off Track" coverage such as General Liability, Automobile, Building and Property, Inland Marine, Workers Compensation and Umbrella. There are also many "specialized" products available including Prize Indemnity Coverage, Contractual Bonus, Cancellation and Personal Accident Coverage. With the ability to provide the necessary "Off Track Coverage" as well as "On Track Coverage" for our Clients in all Major Open Wheel series in the USA, both here and abroad, Acordia is your only single source for the above coverage's Worldwide. Acordia Motorsports is a division of Acordia Inc., the fourth largest Insurance Broker in the World, with offices in California and Indiana to serve you. Acordia
10/25/01
Malaysia may become official F1 test circuit  With only five official test circuits (ones that meet all safety standards) around the world – Monza, Mugello, Magny Cours, Silverstone and Barcelona – Sepang could become the first such circuit in Asia. "We have hosted many motor sport races like the F1, the World Motorcycle GP, Japan GT Association and Merdeka Endurance in Sepang and the time has come for us to get it test circuit status,’’ said Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein, claiming that Sepang had some of the world's best facilities. “I will meet International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Max Mosely during the Malaysian F1 race next year to discuss the matter.’’ 
10/25/01
Jordan release 2002 testing schedule  F1 rules prohibit preseason testing until January 1st, then all hell breaks loose.  The Jordan team is first to release their testing schedule.
January
9, 10, 11 - Barcelona
15, 16, 17 - Valencia
22, 23, 24 - Silverstone
29, 30, 31 - Barcelona
February
1 - Barcelona
5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 - Valencia
18, 19, 20 - Silverstone
10/25/01
Ralf Schumacher gets married, Villeneuve engaged 2nd UPDATE The Schumacher's have decided to name their son David.  10/24/01 - Ralf's spokesperson Heiner Buchinger confirmed that Cora gave birth to the couple's first child, a boy, on Tuesday at a clinic near the couple's home in Austria. Mother and baby are both doing fine. No name has been announced for the baby as of yet. 10/7/01 -  Spokesperson for Ralf Schumacher, Heiner Buchinger confirmed on Friday that Ralf Schumacher has married his girlfriend Cora Brinkmann on Friday in a private civil ceremony in Austria. The newly wed couple are expecting their first child in November and according to Buchinger, are planning a church wedding after the birth.  Jacques Villeneuve's official website confirmed on Thursday his engagement to Elly Green, but did not give any specific date for the expected wedding.
10/24/01

Food for thought UPDATE Preliminary work is just about complete on several key areas of the $50 million Modernization Plan as construction crews work at a feverish pace to prepare the "new" Sears Point Raceway for the 2002 racing season. Excavation is finished on the two underground pedestrian tunnels that are being built, one under start/finish and the other under Turn 10. Actual construction of the tunnels will tentatively begin the first week of November. Each tunnel will be 20-feet wide, with the start/finish tunnel spanning 128 feet, while the Turn 10 tunnel will be 270 feet long. The tunnels will help expedite pedestrian traffic flow around the property on busy event weekends, as well as provide spectators with dramatically improved sightlines of the racing action. The tunnels replace the bridges that were used as thoroughfares at start/finish and Turn 10. "Our goal was to reinvent the Sears Point Raceway experience for our customers while maintaining the tradition of superlative competition on the track," said Steve Page, president and general manager of Sears Point Raceway. "I believe we will present motor racing in a setting where the overall experience will be a positive one for the fans." Grading is also complete above Turn 7 on the road course and workers will soon begin construction of hillside terrace seats in that area. These will be the same hillside terrace seats that were embraced by fans above Turns 2-4 on the road course for the 2001 season. Each seat will be 24 inches wide, which is 33-percent wider than the average bleacher seat. Fans will also have three feet of leg room for comfort. Terrace seats will also be built above Turn 9 once the grading is complete in that section of track. Another major project is the new permanent grandstand on the west side of start/finish. Crews will begin laying the foundation in early November, which will lead to the construction of the grandstand. The grandstand will feature flip-down stadium seats with cup holders. These seats will offer fans tremendous sightlines of road-race action, plus they will be situated right above pit row. This will give fans a view of pit stops unparalleled in motorsports. Other projects still pending are the repaving of the drag strip, creation of a 660-foot concrete launch pad for drag racing, enlargement of pit road to accommodate a 43-car starting grid, increased run-off at Turns 8, 8a, 9 and 10 and the construction of a go-kart track on the south side of the property. Most elements of the Modernization Plan will be complete by the Dodge/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Winston Cup weekend, June 20-23. 10/23/01 - There was talk of CART possibly racing at Bruton Smith's Las Vegas track as part of a cancelled TMS race settlement.  Smith is spending $50 million to upgrade Sears Point into a premier road course venue.  Too bad other road course owners didn't make those kind of investments.  With CART moving toward being the premier road racing series in the USA, wouldn't it have made more sense to race the Champ Cars at Sears Point rather than Las Vegas or at Laguna Seca given the poor promotion and poor attendance at that venue.  At one time we would have said the track is too narrow, but the upgrades include widening the track.  It would need further safety upgrades to host the ultra fast Champ Cars, however.  Mark C.
10/24/01


USA Motorsports market soon to be even more over saturated  And the IRL really thinks there is going to be anything left for open wheel racing to grow?  Think again.  Announced previously, the TRAC stock car series looks like it's going to happen after all.  CART should continue its focus on both USA road courses and international events. New US stockcar racing league Team Racing Auto Circuit (TRAC), has signed a deal with race car manufacturer, Riley & Scott Race Car Engineering to design and manufacture the cars for its motorsports debut in 2003. The development and production of the cars will begin immediately at the Riley & Scott manufacturing facility in Indianapolis, Indiana. Since the announcement of TRAC five months ago, league officials and consultants have been researching various car designs and manufacturers. Riley & Scott Race Car Engineering has served as consulting engineers for the NASCAR Winston Cup teams of Rick Hendrick Motorsport, Robert Yates Racing and Richard Childress Racing. Bill Riley, vice president of Riley & Scott, said: "We believe Team Racing Auto Circuit can add a whole new perspective to stock car racing and broaden the fan base for this sport." The firm will produce approximately 100 race cars for TRAC for the 2003 season. Initially, the league will consist of ten, three-car teams that will be located in major US cities with motorsports venues in the area. Each team will represent its city or region and will participate in a season-long schedule of races, concluding with a season-ending championship race.
10/24/01
CART and TMS reach settlement regarding cancelled race 2nd UPDATE Per today's 3rd Quarter Financial statement CART reported the settlement cost them $3.5 million.  That coupled with the loss in Sanction of fee of about $2.1 million means canceling the TMS race cost CART $5.1 million.  10/16/01 - We hear a settlement in the $3 to 5 million range but that is hearsay right now and we don't know what that might include. 10/16/01 - Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) and Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: TRK) announced today they have reached a settlement regarding the litigation surrounding the April 29 CART FedEx Championship Series event at Texas Motor Speedway. The announcement was made by Joseph F. Heitzler, chairman and CEO of CART, and Speedway Motorsports Chairman and CEO Bruton Smith. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Additionally, a condition of the agreement is that neither side comment on the settlement publicly beyond the formal announcement. CART brought its Champ Car series to Texas Motor Speedway in April to conduct a 600-kilometer race on the 1.5-mile oval with 24-degree banking in the circuit's corners. As drivers lapped the track at average speeds in excess of 235 miles per hour, they began to experience lightheadedness and were becoming disoriented. As CART evaluated the situation, it determined that the safety of the drivers and fans was the top priority and that it was most prudent to postpone the race. With the settlement, the race is officially cancelled. "We have reached a favorable agreement and are glad to have this behind us," said Smith. "We're very happy for this to be concluded." "We are pleased to have reached a settlement on this matter so both sides can now move on with our business," said Heitzler. "We were disappointed to not be able to showcase our racing to all the fans who came out at Texas Motor Speedway and we again apologize to our fans for any inconvenience caused by our decision to not race. However, under the circumstances, we believe it was absolutely the proper choice." 
10/24/01
CART releases 3rd Qtr. Results UPDATE When they paid $10 mil initially, that was a capital investment and most likely amortized over maybe a 10-15 year period. Therefore, every year there is a charge in expenses for the purchase. Since they are discontinuing the series, they have to take whatever is left of that unamortized $10 mil and take it all in the current period. So the $8.5 mil was part of the $10 mil. It was the part of the $10 mil which had not been expensed yet.  10/24/01 -  CART today announced revenues, expenses, net income and earnings per share for the third quarter ended September 30, 2001.  What we find most alarming is the fact they actually had to pay $8.5 million to get rid of Indy Lights, after paying $10 million to buy is a few years ago.  Since when do you pay to get rid of something?  Story
10/24/01
2002 CART schedule UPDATE The tentative schedule has been updated from yesterday.  Bold lines are confirmed dates. 10/23/01 -  You can pencil in some more dates for 2002.  The Laguna Seca race will be June 7-9, 2002 and the Germany race will be September 5-7, 2002.  Tentative 20 to 22-race 2002 CART races. 8 ovals, 14 Road Courses  Spring Training is 1/20  Bold = Confirmed dates

2/24 Las Vegas, Oval, or Miami (50% Chance)

3/10 Monterrey, Mexico, RC

3/24 Rio, Brazil,  Roval (50% Chance)

4/14 Long Beach, California, RC

5/5 Motegi, Japan, Oval

5/12 Indy 500 Pole Day (IRL)

5/26 Indy 500 (IRL)

6/2 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Oval

6/9 Laguna Seca, California, RC

6/16 Vancouver, Canada, RC

6/23 Portland, Oregon, RC

7/7 Cleveland, Ohio, RC

7/14 Toronto, Canada, RC

7/28 Chicago, Illinois, Oval

8/11 Mid-Ohio, Ohio, RC

8/18 Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, RC

8/25 Montreal, Canada, RC

9/1 Denver, Colorado, RC

9/7 Eurospeedway, Germany, Oval (Sat.)

9/14 Rockingham, England, Oval (Sat.)

10/6 Mexico City, Mexico, RC

10/13 Houston, Texas, RC

10/27 Surfers Paradise, Australia, RC

11/3 Fontana, California, Oval

10/24/01
An encouraging word  We receive a lot of e-mail at AR1, but this recent one, though not racing related, was rather touching and was not too different from the outpouring of warmth the CART family felt when they visited Germany back in September right around the time the terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Centers.  Below is an e-mail from a young ensign aboard the USS Winston Churchill to his parents. (Churchill is an Arleigh Burke-class AEGIS guided-missile destroyer, commissioned March 10, 2001, and is the only active U.S. Navy warship named after a foreign national.) "Dear Dad, "We are still at sea. The remainder of our port visits have all been cancelled. We have spent every day since the attacks going back and forth within imaginary boxes drawn in the ocean, standing high-security watches, and trying to make the best of it. We have seen the articles and the photographs, and they are sickening. Being isolated, I don't think we appreciate the full scope of what is happening back home, but we are definitely feeling the effects. "About two hours ago, we were hailed by a German Navy destroyer, Lutjens, requesting permission to pass close by our port side. Strange, since we're in the middle of an empty ocean, but the captain acquiesced and we prepared to render them honors from our bridge wing. As they were making their approach, our conning officer used binoculars and announced that Lutjens was flying not the German, but the American flag. As she came alongside us, we saw the American flag flying half-mast and her entire crew topside standing at silent, rigid attention in their dress uniforms. "They had made a sign that was displayed on her side that read, "We Stand By You." There was not a dry eye on the bridge as they stayed alongside us for a few minutes and saluted. It was the most powerful thing I have seen in my life. The German Navy did an incredible thing for this crew, and it has truly been the highest point in the days since the attacks. It's amazing to think that only half-century ago things were quite different. "After Lutjens pulled away, the Officer of the Deck, who had been planning to get out later this year, turned to me and said, 'I'm staying Navy.' "I'll write you when I know more about when I'll be home, but this is it for now. "Love you guys." And here's a picture of what that scene looked like.
10/24/01
Montoya voted Man of The Year  F1 Racing magazine voted  Juan Montoya as their 2001 Man of the Year. He received the most votes for Overtaking Maneuver of the Year and for Personality of the Year.  "This is great! I was really surprised and pleased to hear that I had won this award. It shows that there is a lot of support out there for me and I really appreciate that. I would like to say 'thank you' to all the people who voted for me" The results for the two categories were as follows:
Overtaking maneuver of the year 
Juan Pablo Montoya on Michael Schumacher (Brazil) - 57.77%
Rubens Barrichello on David Coulthard (Hockenheim) - 24.54%
Mika Hakkinen on Michael Schumacher (Silverstone) - 9.56%
David Coulthard on Michael Schumacher (Brazil) 8.13%
Personality of the year 
Juan Pablo Montoya - 50.15%
Eddie Irvine 19.91%
Niki Lauda 10.88%
Bernie Ecclestone 10.67%
Eddie Jordan 8.39%
10/24/01
British GP to sell 30,000 less tickets  In order to keep a date on the 2002 F1 calendar, Octagon has proposed selling 30,000 less tickets to the race to ease severe traffic jams. Imagine that, some USA Indy Car races are lucky to get 30,000 attendance let alone chasing 30,000 away.

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