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DATE News (chronologically 11/14/01 to 11/29/01)
11/29/01
Townsend Bell and Patrick Racing kick off CART's test season  Except for special tests and rookie tests, CART teams are only allowed to test in the off-season (to save costs).  Patrick Racing and their rumored new driver Townsend Bell got things started with two solid days of testing on the Sebring short course today and yesterday.  Bell turned times in the 52-second bracket, which is competitive with times turned last winter.
11/29/01
Monterrey tickets to go on sale UPDATE A reader writes - Here is a link to a Mexican newspaper, EL NORTE. It's reported that Adrian Fernandez will arrive in Monterrey tomorrow (Friday) to promote/kick-off sales for next March's race. As the article states, sales will not be a problem: " initial sales will begin on the 3rd, but will be limited to buyers using a credit card from a Mexican bank. Sales to everybody else will begin on the 14th." About the Tecate Girl piece,Y ES indeed, TECATE has a mighty grasp of how to sell its goods! 11/27/01 -  Next Friday in Fundidora Park Monterrey, Nuevo León, a press conference will be held to announce opening day for ticket sales of the Tecate-Telmex Grand Prix, which will be run March 10th, 2002. This race will be, for the second year running, the opening of the FedEx CART series, the fastest in the world, and it will be preceded by the Toyota Atlantic series, the next step in the CART ladder system, which returns to Mexico after two decades of absence. Undoubtedly, the star of the conference will be Mexican driver Adrián Fernández, the only driver-owner currently racing in CART with Mexican team Fernández Racing. Adrián, 2000 runner-up in CART, has come to Monterrey exclusively to be a part of this important event, although he will undoubtedly use this opportunity to recognize the track and prepare himself for the opening race of 2002. Adrián will be accompanied by officials from Nuevo León State government, the Grand Prix, and CIE, organizing entity of the TTGP.
11/29/01
Speed Channel to launch NASCAR TV  [Editor's Note - this should help to increase the number of households that get/demand Speedvision, and hence help CART's TV ratings that everyone is worried about with the Speedvision TV deal] Speedvision, the first and only 24-hour cable network devoted exclusively to the excitement and heart-pumping action of motorsports, and NASCAR today announced the launch of “NASCAR TV,” the first channel-within-a-channel devoted to a single sport. NASCAR TV is scheduled to premiere on Monday, Feb. 11, when the cable network now known as Speedvision officially re-launches as SPEED Channel. NASCAR TV features complete “behind-the-scenes” access to NASCAR, enhanced race replays and highlights and qualifying for NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series events. Also included in the exclusive block are classic and historical races, original news and lifestyle programs, season previews and reviews, special event coverage, talk shows, FSN’s TOTALLY NASCAR, NASCAR VICTORY LANE and NASCAR TECH, and coverage of the NASCAR Touring and NASCAR Weekly Racing Series. Available in 45 million homes, NASCAR TV on SPEED Channel provides NASCAR fans with an unprecedented, dedicated block of NASCAR-related programming. NASCAR TV augments the hundreds of hours of NASCAR Winston Cup and NASCAR Busch Series racing and related programs already slated for telecast on FOX, FX, Fox Sports Net and NBC/TNT. Come February, NASCAR TV airs between 3:00 PM and Midnight ET on weekday afternoons and evenings. “It’s fair to say that from this point forward, that due to its amazing popularity, NASCAR programming will drive the SPEED Channel,” said SPEED Channel president Jim Liberatore. “The NASCAR TV, channel-within-in-a-channel, concept is totally unique.” “NASCAR TV is the ultimate television destination for the fans who have been asking for more and more NASCAR programming and can’t get enough of our sport,” said Paul Brooks, vice president of broadcasting for NASCAR. “NASCAR TV will supplement the great event coverage produced by our network and cable partners, and help build momentum to all of our televised events.” SPEED Channel’s NASCAR TV also features the return of the popular INSIDE WINSTON CUP program that provides highlights and results from the week’s NASCAR action and unique, in-depth access to series’ drivers. Other NASCAR-themed programs are in development and should be announced before SPEED Channel’s February re-launch. Speedvision, which celebrates its sixth anniversary in January 2002, is the first and only 24-hour cable network devoted exclusively to motorsports and the human fascination for speed. Speedvision is home to much of the world’s marquee racing events including CART, F1, Classic Cars, LeMans, the American LeMans Series, World Rally and car shows from around the globe. Speedvision was acquired by Fox Cable Networks Group in July 2001  Speedvision/Speed Channel
11/29/01
Ward and Rice reach 219 MPH at Fontana  Eddie Cheever Jr. is in a pleasant predicament after testing veteran Jeff Ward and rookie Buddy Rice for a seat in his second Cheever Indy Racing car for the 2002 Indy Racing season. Both drivers were fast Nov. 28 at California Speedway. In fact, they were almost identically fast. 1997 Indianapolis 500 Bank One Rookie of the Year Ward turned 121 laps in the #51 Red Bull-Cheever Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone with a top speed of 219.78 mph. Former Toyota Atlantic champion Rice, who also tested Nov. 27 with Cheever, turned 22 laps at the end of the session Wednesday with a top speed of 219.85. "It is going to be very difficult to choose a second driver," Cheever said. "Both Jeff and Buddy did a great job this week. "Buddy did remarkably well under difficult circumstances (Tuesday). Jeff did a great job, as well. It is great to see the improvements he has made since he won the Rookie of the Year at Indy for Team Cheever in 1997." Cheever was the leader of the trio, recording a top speed of 220.99 mph during 33 laps on the 2-mile oval. Speeds were faster than Tuesday, as the strong "Santa Ana" winds subsided. Cheever led the speed chart Tuesday at 218 mph. California Speedway will play host to its inaugural Indy Racing event March 24, 2002, a 400-mile race. After two days of testing, Cheever drew comparisons between California and two other tracks on the 2002 Indy Racing schedule. "The track is amazingly similar to the Michigan Speedway," Cheever said. "It is also a very exciting track because it lends itself to very close, side-by-side racing similar to Texas."  Indy Racing League Press Release
11/29/01
CART Charities to benefit Twin Towers Fund  CART Charities, the charitable arm of Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc., announced today that its 2001 holiday sticker campaign will employ a patriotic theme and proceeds will benefit the Twin Towers Fund. More
11/29/01
Will Champ Cars lose their identity?  UPDATE A reader writes - With all of the "to scoop, or not to scoop, that is the question" talk of late regarding the IRL-izing of CART, my memory somehow recalled the Lola F1 project from 1994-1995. The Lola T95/30 (the T95/00 designated Lola's Indy Car for '95) was constructed and tested, but never raced due to lack of funding. It was a normally aspirated Ford V8, but the back of the car looked like it had been stepped on and squashed, not featuring the normal air intake and airbox design.  Here is a link to what it looked like on the 8W website.  11/17/01 - As can be seen in the photo to the right (courtesy of Toyota) showing Gil de Ferran's Reynard/Honda passing Bruno Junqueira's Lola/Toyota at Fontana, the modern Champ Car is sleek looking compared to IRL and F1 cars, both of which have airboxes that extend above the rollover hoop to give the normally aspirated engine fresh air and a partial ram-air effect. CART's current turbocharged engines don't need the ugly airboxes, because the turbos ram air into the engines intake plenum using exhaust gasses that spin the turbos turbine and suck in fresh air in a very inconspicuous location.  The IRL car airboxes (bottom right photo by Robert Laberge/Allsport) are particularly big and awkward and give the car a bloated look. And God help us if they ever get to looking like the 1976 Ligier JS-1 F1 car (Photo to right by LAT) airbox.  If they are really hell bent on having airboxes at all, CART would be wise to mandate the air intake be integrated with the rollover hoop, instead of above it, and with a maximum height, to try and keep the cars looking closer the the F1 style, which are a bit more sleek. See related images by Jason Hoehn and related article by R. Klein. Fans also tell us they like seeing the drivers hands at work (click on photo top right), especially on road courses where you can really see the drivers sawing at the wheel. 

In 1977 Mario Andretti's Lotus Ford (above left Lotus 78) had the sleek air intake on both sides of the drivers head.  By 1978 and 1979 (above center 1979 Lotus 80) Colin Chapman concluded the ram air-effect was negligible and removed them altogether giving the cars an ultra-sleek look.  While the big airboxes are a place to paste on big car numbers (so the fans can better identify the cars) and/or a sponsors name, they really have minimal effect on HP, especially on slow road courses. So in 2003, will CART go this extra step in an attempt to remain somewhat unique with its 'clean and sleek' look, or will they follow the cookie cutter IRL (top right) approach and take another step toward losing any sort of unique identity? CART - are you listening?  Mark C.

11/29/01

Once again, NASCAR shows the industry how it's done  A couple of days ago NASCAR took out a full page ad in the USA Today and other newspapers thanking their three title sponsors, Winston, Busch and Craftsman, for their support.  In today's USA Today (Nov 29), NASCAR has a twenty page advertising insert (you read that right,  20 pages) entitled "NASCAR - Behind the Scenes". Their season has scarcely ended, yet the marketing continues. Wonder if we'll ever see anything like that from CART? It's the off-season, time for CART's annual disappearance from the radar screen. We have hounded CART for years to mandate that teams at least publish their off-season test times (through CART officially) so fans (the paying customers) have some news about their favorite sport.  Instead the media has to rely on word of mouth and endless phone calls and begging to get the information.  Every single off-season F1, NASCAR and IRL test has times published, yet CART teams continue to guard their times as if they're some sort of secret.  Amazing.    MC
11/29/01
Lauda takes on right-hand man  Was this supposed to be Bobby Rahal's role so-to-speak?  Autosport reports that "Jaguar Racing has put another piece of its Formula 1 jigsaw puzzle in place by recruiting the engineering ace from Ford's rally program, Guenther Steiner. He will take on the role of Managing Director as the Big Cat plans to leap up the Grand Prix grid. Steiner's role will be similar to that of Jean Todt at Ferrari, in that he will plot the team's overall strategy and bring the various engineering elements of the team together. He has been chosen for both his management and engineering skills."
11/28/01
Despite big NASCAR TV ratings, FOX and NBC take financial bath  According to this TSN article,  despite being a ratings bonanza, FOX, NBC and Turner Sports lost more than $100-million televising NASCAR races in 2001. According to the Sports Business Journal, ratings for NASCAR races climbed more than 25% this past year. But the downturn in the economy made it difficult for television networks to make money even on their best sports properties. FOX, NBC and Turner just completed the first year of a six year, $2.4-billion deal for exclusive television rights to NASCAR. Both NBC and Turner reportedly lost close to $50-million while FOX, which paid more for rights to show races during the first half of the season, lost considerably more.  Ed Goren, president and executive producer of Fox Sports, says he expects sales to increase next year (he actually thinks he can charge even higher rates than this year), while conventional wisdom says uncertainty in the market and the Winter Olympics will draw sponsor money away from NASCAR and there are doubts the TV ratings can ever rise that mush again.   As the old saying goes, "a deal is only good when both sides are happy."  While everyone pointed to the great TV deal NASCAR got, in reality they oversold themselves and when it comes time to renew, you can bet the bids are going to plummet. ABC/ESPN may have been disappointed they lost the bid after having carried NASCAR for so many years, but we bet right now they are saying behind closed doors, "that's one bid we're glad we lost."
11/28/01
FIA required changes to Interlagos  After this years race the FIA requested improvements be made to the pits, Senna Curves and other areas.  Word from Brazil is that the changes won't be done until race weekend, March 31, 2002, if at all.  The FIA may cancel the race after 2002 if  the improvements are not done.
11/28/01
Roush to carry Olympic torch  NASCAR team owner Jack Roush will have the honor of carrying the Olympic torch through a portion of Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday, December 5. Roush was invited to carry the torch by the Coca-Cola Company. His relay will be a 0.2-mile segment on Wilkinson Blvd., west of downtown Charlotte, as the torch makes its way toward Salt Lake City, Utah, for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Roush will wear the honorary white Olympic sweat suit, but due to the strict dress code, will not be able to wear his trademark hat during his segment. "It is quite an honor to participate in this event," Roush said. "There are not many people in the world who are able to represent their country by carrying the Olympic torch. I am thrilled to be able to do this and thank Coca-Cola for inviting me. This may be the most prestigious thing I've been asked to do in my career in racing. I am proud to carry the torch and pleased to have this opportunity." 
11/28/01
Industry News
Donald R. Bringgold, 74, passes away  Donald R. Bringgolda lawyer whose clients ranged from actresses MacKenzie Phillips, Louise Lasser and actor Gary Crosby to top studio executives; oil men and Dr. Leona Libby, a chemist/author active in atomic energy with Enrico Fermi & Dr. Edward Teller. Although he had prosecuted Mickey Cohen, he also later defended him when in private practice, and Cohen lauded him by telling him that on "either side, you always treated me like a gentleman and treated me fairly." In 1959, Mr. Giesler made Bringgold a full partner and assigned him the case of his lifetime defending CAROLE TREGOFF during the famous DR. BERNARD FINCH/CAROLE TREGOFF murder case. The co-defendants were ordered to stand trail on August 19, 1959 for the murder of Dr. Finch's wife, Barbara in West Covina. The venue had to be moved to Los Angeles when the headlines blared "Near Riot Begins Hearing for Finch's Girlfriend." On December 10, 1959 the trail moved to the largest courtroom in Los Angeles, referred to as the "Circus Room" in order to accommodate the large contingent of reporters from all over the world, including Pamela Mason and Dorothy Kilgallen. However, even the huge courtroom could not handle the overflow crowds that flocked in daily. The crowds extended around the block and Jerry Hulse, Times reporter, said when he'd arrive at 6:00am people were already selling their places in line. The headlines continued as the trial kept going on.  Writers said the real life trial could not be improved upon for dramatic impact by the best of writers. All of the characters involved were high profile, complete with witnesses like actor Mark Stevens, alleged ex-con "hit men", TV producers Gail Patrick and Cornwall Jackson as attendees and even some jurors accused of battling and threats when they became deadlocked. Bringgold battled for Carole for 3 grueling trials, after the first 2 jury's hung, but because the defendant's trials were not bifurcated and Carole was enmeshed with Dr. Finch, the 3rd jury convicted them both and they were given life sentences. Carole was incarcerated at the women's prison in Fontera and has been out for many years. Born in the tiny town of Dodge Center, MN on October 25, 1927 in the middle of farming country, there was not much hope for a brilliant future. After his parents divorced, he moved to Chicago, IL with his father and the two of them were big auto racing enthusiasts. His love for the sport and all the people in it continued throughout his life. He was proud to announce he had been to THE INDIANAPOLIS 500 MILE RACE 47 TIMES, just attending this last May for the last time. He knew EVERYONE - from the guards at the gate to the winners and enjoyed personal friendships with racing greats Mario Andretti, Roger Ward, Phil Hill and Dan Gurney. It was Gurney who said upon hearing of Bringgold's demise, "Don is on the pole when it comes to race fans." He was also proud to say that he drew up AJ Foyt's first racing contract and had him as a lifelong friend. He was a member of the Rolls Royce Club and had owned several Rolls Royces throughout the years. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, JANET and two daughters, KIMBERY (a Los Angeles County District Attorney assigned to Long Beach court) and COURTNEY. His ever-present smile, easy laughter, his charm, grace and presence will be missed by all that knew him. Passed away Friday, November 9th in Newport Beach of abdominal infection with malignant melanoma as an underlying cause. Memorial was held Sunday, November 18, 2001 
11/28/01
Winds hamper Cheever test at Fontana  Strong winds that gusted to nearly 40 mph hampered the first day of Red Bull-Cheever Infiniti Racing's two-day test Nov. 27 at California Speedway. Team owner-driver Eddie Cheever Jr. turned 30 laps on the 2-mile oval in the #51 Red Bull-Cheever Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, with a top speed of 218 mph. Rookie Buddy Rice turned 45 laps, with a top speed of 212 mph. The team was unable to start testing until 2 p.m. (PST) due to the strong "Santa Ana" winds, which also blew dirt and dust on the track surface. Red Bull-Cheever is the first Indy Racing League team to test at the California Speedway, which will play host to its inaugural Indy Racing event March 24, 2002. "It is a great facility," Cheever said Nov. 27. "I'm just sorry Mother Nature didn't cooperate with us. I look forward to tomorrow, when hopefully the winds will subside and we can get down to some serious testing."  Indy Racing League Press Release
11/28/01
Roush Racing Crew Chief changes for 2002  Roush Racing announced today the reorganization of two of its teams, as crew chiefs Ben Leslie (No. 97) and Jimmy Fennig (No. 6) will swap positions within the organization. Fennig has been crew chief of the No. 6 Viagra (sildenafil citrate) Taurus driven by veteran Mark Martin since 1998. Leslie recently finished his first year as crew chief for the No. 97 Sharpie/Rubbermaid Taurus driven by rookie Kurt Busch and has worked for Roush Racing since 1994. Shawn Parker, car chief of the No. 6 team, will also move with Fennig. Leslie is searching to hire a car chief for the Mark Martin program. 
11/28/01
Dupont CEO to serve as Daytona 500 Grand Marshall  Charles O. Holliday, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DuPont, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 44th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 17 and give the command to start engines for the "Great American Race. DuPont will celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2002 and will have a celebratory paint scheme on the No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Chevrolet driven by Jeff Gordon during Speedweeks. Gordon, the 2001 Winston Cup champion and a two-time Daytona 500 champion, will drive the anniversary car in the Budweiser Shootout, the Gatorade 125's and the Daytona 500. 
11/28/01


Chris Pook

Grosfeld also calls for Chris Pook to head CART  UPDATE A little humor to lighten up your day.  A reader writes, "I finally figured out CART's problem.  Too many chiefs and not enough engines."  11/27/01 - CART board member James Grosfeld has filed an SEC form 13D today saying he will seek to have Chris Pook become President and CEO of CART. He owns 10.3% of CART's stock, the 2nd highest.  It reads - "The the Reporting Persons expect and intend to explore and be receptive to opportunities to enhance the value of the Common Stock beneficially owned by the Reporting Persons, including changes to the composition of CART's Board of Directors, management or both, and extraordinary transactions involving CART. Mr. Grosfeld plans to request that the CART Board of Directors consider the appointment of Christopher Pook as the President and Chief Executive Officer of CART."  Another major shareholder, Mr. Jon Vannini, made a similar filing in the past.  The next Delaware Board meeting is December 4th.  One would think this issue will be discussed.
11/28/01

Cosworth appoints Connor CEO  Brendan Connor has been appointed Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Cosworth Racing to form a new leadership team, following the retirement of Trevor Crisp from the position of CEO and Managing Director.  Connor will direct the commercial and business aspects of the Company allowing Nick Hayes, as Engineering MD to develop the technical direction of the engine programs. Story
11/28/01

Schedule conflicts  CART President Joe Heitzler stated months ago that one of his goals was to sit down with the IRL and try to come up with a schedule whereby CART and IRL date conflicts were minimized.  We sat down and did an analysis of the 2002 schedules to see how they turned out.  We see day and/or weekend conflicts on June 9, June 16, June 30, July 7, July 28, August 11, August 25, and September 15.  If CART adds one or two more races as rumored, we might see even more conflicts.
11/27/01
Fiat issues another warning of breakaway F1 series  Fiat chairman Paolo Cantarella issued a press release stating that a new company was being formed to create a rival F1 championship, adding that the manufacturers are "in the process of setting up in the Netherlands a joint company under the name GPWC Holding B.V."  Fiat boss Paolo Cantarella will be in charge, with Jürgen Hubbert of DaimlerChrysler acting as vice-chairman. The rest of the board will consist of Patrick Faure (Renault), Burkard Goeschel (BMW) and Wolfgang Reitzle (Ford).  The engine manufacturers are footing most of the money in F1 and are, therefore, demanding more control when the Concorde Agreement expires after 2007. The current five manufacturers provide engines for eight of the 12 F1 teams (16 of 24 cars). A departure by these companies to the new series would deal a fatal blow to SLEC (actually Kirch, which is a majority shareholder of SLEC) and the current F1 series.  In effect, they are holding SLEC hostage just as they tried to do in CART until CART decided to take control of the engine situation, much like NASCAR and the IRL does.  Meanwhile Bernie Ecclestone is laughing all the way to the bank.  Mark C.
11/27/01
FedEx keeping eyes to ground  FedEx Corp. Chairman Frederick Smith says his company is engaged in one of the most significant transformations in corporate history, one he likens to Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s selling groceries next to dry goods and Dell Computer Corp.'s pitching servers along with personal computers. Story
11/27/01
CART hires Patricia Mills  CART announced today that Patricia Mills will join the organization on Thursday, November 29 in the newly-created position of Assistant General Counsel. Mills will report to Senior Vice President/Chief Legal Officer Deborah Schneider. Mills comes to CART with several years of experience in the Detroit-area public relations industry, and her career includes stints in the public relations departments of WXYZ-TV/Channel 7 and WJBK-TV/Channel 2. She graduated from Wayne State University Law School and is a member of the State Bar of Michigan. Since August, Mills has worked for Ford Motor Company as an attorney on the Firestone Tire Litigation Team. ``We're extremely pleased to welcome Patricia to CART,'' Schneider said. ``She brings a wealth of experience with her, and we were fortunate to find somebody with such a unique and diverse background.'' Mills is an avid horseback rider, and actually served as a deputy sheriff for Oakland County Sheriff's Mounted Division from April, 1995 through May, 1997. She has also been a volunteer for Michigan 4-H Horseback Riding For Handicappers since April, 2001. ``It looks as if I'll be putting the CART before the horse,'' said Mills. ``I just want to say how honored I am to be joining CART. During the interview process I was impressed with the caliber of people I met. It's a group of really bright, dedicated individuals, who are clearly passionate about open wheel racing. I'm proud to be joining the team.''
11/27/01
Atlantics: Orsi earns AARWBA nomination  Reigning CART Toyota Atlantic Series champion Hoover Orsi has been nominated by the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) in the “At Large” category for its 2001 Auto Racing All-Star team. Orsi, who captured the series title in his second Atlantic season, earned his first-ever AARWBA nomination following his outstanding campaign. The Brazilian native not only won his first Atlantic Championship, but helped win a first for his team, Hylton Motorsports. Orsi won five of the season’s 12 races including an impressive four race winning streak which eventually propelled him to the 2001 Championship. In addition to his wins, Orsi won a series high four poles and finished on the podium in all but one event; a feat only accomplished by Patrick Carpentier during his 1996 Championship season. Orsi completed the season with a total of 187 points, 56 ahead of Canada’s David Rutledge who drove for Lynx Racing. The AARWBA All-America Team annually recognizes the top 12 drivers in North American motorsports. The team is split into six categories: Open-Wheel Racing, Road Racing, Short Track, Stock Car Racing, Drag Racing and At Large. Votes are collected from the AARWBA membership to determine first-team, second-team, third-team, fourth-team and honorable-mention (those receiving at least five percent of the vote) selections. The leading vote-getter receives the Jerry Titus Award as the All-America Team's driver of the year. The AARWBA All-America Team honorees will be announced at the All-America Team Banquet in January.
11/27/01
Americans in Europe  As we reported last week Alex Gurney is not sure if he is returning to British F3 next year, he might be returning to Toyota Atlantic's with Dorricott racing. Paul Edwards & Jeffery Jones have not secured rides yet.  Two new Americans are trying to land rides in British F3 for next year, they are British Formula Ford star Patrick Long & Barber Dodge standout "Ryan Hunter Reay".  Unfortunately for Buddy Rice it looks like he may end up in the IRL next year with team Cheever.  He will be testing with them today. 
11/27/01
Buckshot Jones proud father  Buckshot Jones and his wife Gina are the proud parents of a son, Kolton Ray, who was born at 7:10 p.m. (EST), Tuesday, Nov. 26. Young Mr. Jones was 8 pounds, 4 ounces at birth. He is the first child for the couple. Mother and child are both doing well. The elder Jones drives the #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge for Petty Enterprises on the NASCAR Winston Cup stock car racing circuit.
11/27/01
Penske Racing consolidates  Penske Racing, LLC today announced that it will consolidate team operations with Penske Racing South, effective immediately. The result will be a two-car entry in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series with drivers Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman. Miller Brewing Company will be the primary sponsor of Wallace's Miller Lite Taurus while Alltel will be the primary sponsor of Newman's Alltel Taurus. ExxonMobil will be an associate sponsor on both cars with its Mobil 1 brand. 
11/27/01
NASCAR testing soft wall  Safari Associates, Inc., (OTCBB-SAFR) announced that its Molecuthane motorsports “soft wall”, which the company successfully demonstrated on September 26th at the Indianapolis Speedrome, is now being tested by NASCAR. On October 24th , NASCAR officials contacted Safari Associates and asked them to ship the Molecuthane “soft wall” to their new safety facility in North Carolina for extensive testing. The wall was delivered to NASCAR on October 30th . After NASCAR concludes its in-house tests, they plan to ship the “soft wall” to the University of Nebraska for further study. NASCAR has encouraged Safari to continue its own testing as well. NASCAR has agreed to supply Safari with all test data including its test procedures. NASCAR and Safari Associates are working together to study the use of Molecuthane for “soft walls” and applications on and inside the vehicles, wherever high-energy dampening is required for safety or comfort. “Molecuthane represents an entirely new technology, on a par with carbon fiber. It is more than just a new material, it is new technology. It is the most energy absorbent material ever developed.  Molecuthane’s unique properties enable it to store, absorb and disperse energy laterally over a large area. It can be designed to meet almost any application where energy absorption and impact dampening are concerns. The applications are infinite,” said Safari President Morton Berger. Craig Walls, Director of Product Development for Safari Associates, said, “I am confident that our Molecuthane “soft wall” will be able to meet and exceed NASCAR’S criteria. The NASCAR test data will expedite the implementation of our “soft wall” in motorsports at race tracks and wherever driver safety is a prime concern”.
11/27/01
Pollack calls for cost savings in F1  Will F1 eventually go the way of CART, teams can buy a chassis from a chassis manufacturer?  They already buy engines from various manufacturers.  In this Autosport article, BAR's Craig Pollack calls for F1 to start to use 'standard' parts.  First parts, then the whole car. Eventually they will learn that it's too expensive for some teams to build everything themselves, and follow the lead of all other racing series in this world.  With the engine manufacturers now owning a portion of teams (or forming a strong alliance) and spending astronomical amounts to win, the have-nots like Prost and Minardi are hopelessly out to lunch. Mark C.
11/26/01
Australia & Mexico top CART attendance  The inaugural season-opening race at Monterrey, Mexico and the ever-popular event in Surfers Paradise, Australia combined for more than 600,000 spectators in pacing all CART FedEx Championship Series events in attendance during the 2001 season. Story Mark C.
11/26/01
Mario Dominguez news  CART Lights driver and rising Mexican star Mario Dominguez yesterday participated, in the Parade of the Mexican Revolution along with a few other select Mexican sport stars. He was voted runner-up for Mexican Driver of the Year behind winner Rodolfo Martinez Lavín.  Dominguez is expected to announce his move up to Champ Cars in 2002 in the near future. Mark C.
11/26/01
Should CART add Nitro to fuel? UPDATE Did you know that in the 1960's the teams use to run as much as 30% Nitro and 70% Methanol for qualifying?  Yes, and it wasn't uncommon to run as much as 10% in race trim. Therefore, it's proven that an engine can go the race distance on as much as 10% Nitro.  If CART adopts the IRL engine, but if the manufacturers don't want to build a higher revving version for CART, perhaps a little hotter fuel mix will give them a little extra HP CART is looking for. 11/9/01 -  If CART adopts an IRL engine spec, rather than trying to change too much on the mechanical side of the engine to add power, should they play around with the Methanol fuel mix and add some Nitro to significantly increase HP above the IRL's paltry 650?   Nitromethane enables considerable power increases to be obtained (70 percent minimum with proper use). Most often used blended with methanol, in various proportions to provide power increases consistent with engine strength, etc. A tendency to detonation is reduced by an increase in mixture strength, reduction in engine temperature, reduction in compression ratio or the addition of methanol.  Gasoline is a hydrocarbon, and the common chemical formula for gasoline is C8H18. Nitromethane has the formula CH3NO2. Nitromethane is a little like gasoline that has been pre-mixed with nitrous oxide. The fuel comes with its own oxygen atoms to help it burn. It's usually mixed with Methanol. The big advantage of nitromethane is that you can get a lot more power from each explosion inside the engine. Pound for pound, nitromethane is less energetic than gasoline, but you can burn a lot more nitromethane in a cylinder. The net result is more power per stroke. You typically need about 15 pounds of air to burn 1 pound of gasoline, whereas you need only 1.7 pounds of air to burn 1 pound of nitromethane. This means that, compared to gasoline, you can pump about 8 times more nitromethane into a cylinder of a given volume and still get complete combustion. Since nitromethane is not as dense as gasoline in terms of energy, so you do not get an 8-time improvement in terms of power. It is more like a 2.5-time improvement. Still, you can double or triple your engine's horsepower simply by changing the fuel. Of course we would not be looking to double or triple the IRL engine's HP, just add 100 to 150 HP, so we would not want too potent a mix for CART.  An interesting thing about nitromethane is that it does not burn as quickly as gasoline. In fact, there is not enough time to burn all of the nitromethane between when the spark plug fires and when the exhaust valve opens. So the engine is pumping still-burning nitromethane into the exhaust pipe. That's why you see flames shooting out of the exhaust of a drag-racing car. CART wants to add a night race?  Well those flames might be pretty spectacular!  This HowStuffWorks.com page gives a comparison of various fuel types. Mark C.
11/25/01

Could this be Honda's forerunner for CART/IRL?  The new 4.0 liter Mugen V8, normally-aspirated sports car racing engine saw its first on-track testing this week at Japan's SUGO circuit. Former American Le Mans Series driver Hiroki Katoh was at the wheel of a Dome S101M Prototype race car equipped with the Mugen powerplant in the test, which covered 66 laps. Katoh drove for Panoz Motor Sports in the 2000 season of the ALMS. "I know V8 vibration, but I could not feel unusual vibration," said Katoh, who said that the engine had plenty of torque. "The engine is a baby and today was its first run on a circuit. I was driving easy, but it was very powerful and reliable." Mugen project leader Satoshi Katsumata was also pleased with the first test, which was conducted in sunny but cold conditions. "The first test was very, very successful," he said. "The MF408S was running in the test bench just two months ago. I am very happy." Mugen, which has a long history of building racing engines for motorcycles, Formula 3000 and Formula One, is building its first sports car racing engines for customer use in 2002. The company is negotiating with several racing teams about using its engines.  Rumor has it this engine could be the forerunner into Honda's entry back into CART and the IRL.  The last 3.5 L V-8 Mugen produced weighed just 255 lbs, some 40 lbs less than the 2003 IRL spec engine.  The current IRL engine is a heavy boat anchor at 320+ lbs.
11/25/01
New Paul Tracy book 'Never too fast'  Paul Tracy was just a youngster when he discovered fast cars. Growing up in West Hill, Ontario, Paul dreamt of his hero Gilles Villeneuve, and when his father left him at the local go-kart track with a full tank of gas each morning, he retrieved Paul - and the empty tank - at night. Today two things remain consistent - his desire to drive fast, and his desire to win. When you live in a world of speed and danger, a world where success is measured in tenths of seconds and inches can separate winners from losers, one thing is certain: you can never be too fast. You can buy this book in time for the Holiday. Paperback 220 pages.  
List Price: $19.95, Our Price: $13.96, You Save: $5.99 (30%)
11/25/01
CART lets yet another key item go to the IRL  One of the better forms of grassroots' name exposure for CART was the CART Driving 101 schools/experiences.  We reported earlier that CART and the Driving 101 people had parted ways.  You can see from the Driving 101 website, CART's name is no longer on it.  We now hear that they will be changing the cars to IRL bodywork for the 2002 season. Their 2002 schedule will closely follow the IRL series and the IRL may get more involved with them because the IRL already has their own two seater ride along car.  We find it alarming that CART would let that relationship end, and get to a point whereby Mr. Lutz would take his program to CART's biggest USA competitor.
11/25/01

Fosters backs Australia race  Keep in mind that Fosters has said they would sponsor the CART race in Australia if Honda dropped it's sponsorship.  This press release shows what kind of effort they put into their F1 race sponsorship.  CART would be wise to court such an aggressive sponsor. Press Release -  With little more than three months to go until the Formula One grid is unleashed in Melbourne, preparations for the 2002 Foster's Australian Grand Prix are on full throttle. As title sponsor, Foster's will have pole position trackside as more than 350,000 Australian and international spectators stream through the turnstiles over the four days. Internationally, the Foster's Australian Grand Prix race telecast will be visible to 350 million viewers in more than 150 countries. Speaking at the launch of the Foster's Australian Grand Prix, Mr. James King, Managing Director, Carlton and United Breweries said, "This newest partnership between Foster's and Grand Prix is a perfect fit, offering a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase not only Foster's but also our wines and spirits to our home market. "An Official Sponsor of Grand Prix globally, Foster's has enjoyed a rich history with Formula One Grand Prix for almost 20 years. We have significant presence with track-side signage at the majority of races, pouring rights at 12 races, Paddock Club sponsorship at 16 races and naming rights to the Belgian and British Grands Prix." Independent research shows television exposure of Foster's in the past two Formula One seasons to be higher than any other brand associated with the sport, making Foster's the number one brand track-side. Now as the naming rights sponsor of the Australian Grand Prix, Foster's will heighten its involvement from 2002. "We are especially pleased that this new commitment means we are able to bring our experience with Grand Prix to the birthplace of Foster's where our roots were established more than 100 years ago." Outside the circuit, preparations are well underway for Foster's to share the excitement of this premier sporting event with the community and beer drinkers alike. Over 2 million specially marked cases of Foster's and Foster's LightIce products will be distributed in the months leading up to the event, to both heighten awareness and promote event ticket sales. With the proven success of Foster's promotions and marketing efforts surrounding the 2001 global Formula One Grand Prix calendar and 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, the team is well prepared to show both locals and visitors what it's like to party with Foster's. Around the world the Foster's marketing and sales teams have already been leveraging the new sponsorship agreement. Activities have included Foster's Grand Prix displays in Shanghai during the recent Asia Pacific Economic Corporation meeting and global Foster's promotions like Fostralia, which offers more than 1000 Foster's drinkers the holiday of a lifetime Down Under, focusing on the opportunity to experience Foster's Australian Grand Prix first hand. The Foster's Australian Grand Prix is sure to be an outstanding world showcase for Foster's, for Melbourne, for Australia and for Formula One. Fosters
11/24/01
Foyt vs. Andretti - Did you know?  Excerpt from the new book 'Mario Andretti - A Driving Passion' -  1967 LeMans 24 Hour Race, the year Foyt and Gurney won for the Ford team.  Mario and Lucien Bianchi were in a sister Ford car.  "That could have been a pretty interesting second [place], for sure, and maybe first, because I was so much quicker than Foyt," Mario says.  "I busted my ass putting time between us because Lucien would go against Foyt's teammate Dan Gurney, and Dan would be quicker than Lucien, but I was miles quicker than Foyt.  I had a stint [around 3 hours] in the wet against Foyt, and I put a lap and a half on him [i.e. he pulled away some 13 miles ahead of Foyt in 3 hours]."  Mario and Lucien would eventually fall out of the race when Mario crashed hard right after a driver change because the mechanics installed the new brake pads in backwards.  "I was going over the hill just before the Dunlop Bridge," Mario recalls, and "I downshifted and braked, and the car just turned right, head-on into the wall."  The car bounced back into the track and took out two other sister Ford factory cars.  Mario suffered two broken ribs and badly bruised shoulders.
11/23/01
Cheever to test Buddy Rice and Jeff Ward  1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr. will test his #51 Red Bull-Cheever Infiniti car Nov. 27-28 at California Speedway, learning the secrets of speed about the 2-mile oval and testing drivers Buddy Rice and Jeff Ward for a second Cheever Indy Racing entry in 2002. Red Bull-Cheever is the first Indy Racing League team to test at the California Speedway, which will play host to its inaugural Indy Racing event March 24, 2002. "We are now six weeks into the 2002 season and have already had two successful tests at Indy." said Richard Caron, team general manager. "We are really looking forward to testing in Fontana where we understand it is a phenomenal track." 
11/23/01
Renault continues history of innovation UPDATE Autosport says: "Speculation that the French company will be adopting a revolutionary electromagnetic valve system to do away with the engine's camshaft appear to be wide of the mark."  11/18/01 -  You certainly won't see this on dumbed-down Indy cars where engineering prowess takes a back seat to low cost.  Renault has a proud history of innovation in Formula 1 engine building. The company pioneered turbocharging in F1 back in the late-Seventies (yes, at one time Indy cars were innovating things before F1. Not anymore)  and went on to introduce pneumatically operated engines valves in 1986. Now they are doing it again. Next year’s Renault Formula 1 engine will continue the manufacturer’s history of innovation by doing away with camshafts. All conventional engines use camshafts which control the opening and closing of the inlet and exhaust valves. The new Renault engine will use an electronic system which will employ solenoid valve to perform this function. Mercedes is rumored to be working on a similar system.
11/23/01
BAR to stick with Bridgestone tires  BAR have extended their contract with Bridgestone, putting an end to rumors that the team was considering a switch to Michelin. The team was linked with the French company earlier in the year but as the F1 tire war heats up BAR may benefit by sticking with Bridgestone. McLaren's defection to Michelin means that BAR will be higher up the pecking order with rivals Bridgestone. BAR boss Craig Pollock is happy to have signed the deal. He said: "I am extremely pleased to make this announcement. Tire development and technology are critical to the sport and I believe that the continuity of our partnership will yield the competitive advantage the team needs to fulfill its racing ambitions."
11/23/01
Sears Point S/F Grandstand taking shape  The permanent start/finish grandstand continues to increase in size as work progresses on this new premier seating venue. Nearly one-third of the grandstand’s rows have been constructed, with the installation of the tallest steel scheduled to begin next week. The permanent grandstand, located on the west side of the start/finish line of the road course, will be ready for the 2002 season beginning in April with the Goodguys Nitro Nationals. Fans will find that grandstand provides all the amenities found in modern sports venues, including flip-down stadium seats, cup holders and ample legroom. Situated directly above pit road, the grandstand also offers fans a front-row seat for exciting pit stops. Following the installation of forms for the sides and roof of the start/finish underground pedestrian tunnel, the concrete structure has been sprayed into place. Work continues on the Turn 10 pedestrian tunnel. These tunnels will help expedite pedestrian traffic throughout the facility and provide easy access to popular spectator areas. On the south end of the property, preparations continue for the construction of new tenant shops and the Sears Point Karting Center. The Karting Center is expected to be operational by March 2002 and will feature a track that is three-quarters of one mile in length, 28 feet wide and capable of up to five different track configurations. The facility will offer a variety of karting classes through the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School, national and international karting events and open days.
11/23/01
Andretti warehouse sale & Mario book autograph sessions  Saturday November 24th at Andretti Enterprise, 630 Selvaggio Drive, Nazareth, PA  From 9am to 4pm. This is your opportunity to purchase official Andretti merchandise and have it signed by two of the greatest drivers in the world. Mario will be there between 10am - 12 pm. Michael will be there between 12pm - 2pm. For more information please call 1-800-324-1321.  Also, Mario will be autographing his new book at the following additional locations - Thursday, Dec. 6, 2001 12:30 pm- 1:30 pm Barnes & Noble - Rockefeller Center 48th Street & 5th Avenue New York, New York (212) 765-0590. Saturday, Dec. 8, 2001 2:00-3:00 pm Borders Books & Music The Court at King of Prussia 640 DeKalb Pike King of Prussia, PA 19406 (new store). 
11/23/01
Industry News
Philip Morris proposes name change to Altria  Philip Morris sponsors race teams with its Marlboro and Miller brands.  Philip Morris Companies Inc., parent to tobacco, food and beer producing companies, announced it will ask shareholders to approve changing its name to Altria Group, Inc. (Logo to right is proposed also). The corporation stressed that its operating companies; Philip Morris USA, Philip Morris International, Miller Brewing and Kraft Foods will retain their current names. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey C. Bible told employees the change is being proposed for two reasons: The first is a need for clarity, he said. The parent company currently shares the name Philip Morris with its two tobacco companies. “Our parent company’s new name, which we propose to be 'Altria Group, Inc.' should help clarify our corporate identity, making it clear to people how to refer to our tobacco companies and how to refer to the parent company,” he said. The second is the evolution of Philip Morris Companies Inc. “We are not the same family of companies we were just a few years ago. The Nabisco acquisition and the Kraft initial public offering are the most recent evidence of our growth and evolution,” said Bible.  The significance of the name, “Altria,” Bible said, is derived from the Latin word “altus,” which reflects the corporation’s desire for its family of companies to always “reach higher” in striving to achieve greater financial strength and growth through operational excellence, consumer brand expertise and a growing understanding of corporate responsibility.  The next step will be to ask shareholders for their approval of the proposed new name at the annual meeting in April 2002. Shareholders will be notified through the company’s proxy statement of the proposed change.
11/22/01
Prost to sell or file bankruptcy UPDATE After it was announced the Prost team was in receivership, the team released this statement11/22/01 -   French television station LCI reported on Wednesday evening that the Prost team has been unable to pay its considerable debt, estimated at $27 to $36 million, and the only way the team can continue would be to find a buyer. Reports on Formula1.com stated on Wednesday that negotiations with a Canadian group is at an advanced stage to purchase the team with its debt.  The Prost Team has been put in receivership by the French courts according to the latest reports. A court in Versailles near the team’s Guyancourt factory has placed the order on the team after creditors demanded action over $27million (£19 million) worth of debt.
11/22/01
Premier1
A sign of VooDoo economics in Pemier1 already  In this article, Steven Levinson talks about voodoo economics in the IRL and other racing series.  I think we are about to see it in the Premier1 series too.  Rio's famous soccer club Flamengo, rumored to be one of the soccer clubs supporting the new Premier1 Grand Prix series, is reportedly three (3) months in arrears in its $170,000 monthly salary to Yugoslavian soccer star Petkovic!  Now if this is the case, how is it that Flamengo will financially be able to enter the Premier1 GP Series in support of its Brazilian drivers, whom we are told will lure thousands of fans to Jacarepagua next November 10th? Perhaps this is some of the same creative financing, aka Voodoo Economics as practiced in Tony George's IRL? There are obviously Deep Pockets involved in the Premier 1 Series, rumored to be one Mr. Ecclestone, very much behind the scenes!  Steve L.
11/22/01

American IndyCar series - the irony of it all  UPDATE  To be more specific...AIS is holding the preview at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, on the road course on Dec. 8th, followed by a reception at the Stratosphere Hotel & Casino. It was temporarily called the United States Speedway Series last year. 11/21/01 -   Tony George allows the American IndyCar Series (AIS) to continue to use the word "IndyCar" but CART had to cease using it.  Well AIS is back in the news, and it means Indy Car racing will become further diluted in the USA, and why CART must emphasize a global approach in this terribly over saturated USA market.  The American IndyCar Series (AIS) announced new management to run the AIS operations. Former Championship Auto Racing Team (CART) owner Barry Brooke, of Carmel, Ind., was tabbed as the President and CEO of the AIS. In addition, Bobby Brooks, of Honolulu, a former SCCA racing series champion and team owner has been named as the Senior Vice President of AIS operations. "We are thrilled to have the new AIS series operators hire Barry and Bobby to come in and run the day to day operations of the series" said Bret Decker former AIS series manager. "Their extensive background as owners, both in CART and SCCA, give Barry and Bobby the knowledge and background necessary for the AIS to grow as a premier sanctioning series for INDYCARS". According to Brooke and Brooks, current rules for the AIS will remain intact. "We look forward to a positive working relationship with the current drivers and teams, whom have been very loyal in supporting the AIS while these agreements were put in place" said Brooke. "We realize their investment into the series as serious, and want to work closely with the all the drivers and teams," added Brooks. Additional press information regarding television contracts, series sponsors, and the official 2002 AIS Racing schedule will be released at a "2002 Season Preview" reception, which will be held in late November, in Las Vegas. AIS
11/22/01
2002 Ferrari to feature radical engine/trans combo  Ferrari designer Rory Byrne has said the team’s 2002 challenger will be a radical step forward from this year’s all-conquering car. It has been rumored for some time that Ferrari were planning to integrate the F2002’s engine and gearbox into one unit. Byrne has now confirmed the news, saying that the new design is "pretty special." He told Autosport magazine: "The 2002 car will be very different from this year’s. "When you see it, you’ll understand why. It is pretty special. It will run a unitary engine/gearbox and will have been developed in our revised wind tunnel."
11/21/01
TNT to broadcast NASCAR banquet live  TNT presents live coverage of the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Awards Ceremony from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 30. NBC and TNT will launch the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season with coverage from Daytona, beginning with Bud Pole Qualifying Feb. 9 on NBC; continuing with the Budweiser Shootout and the Gatorade 125s on TNT; and culminating with NBC’s coverage of the Daytona 500 at noon on Feb. 17.
11/21/01
NASCAR teams hurting for sponsorship, costs rise  As this CNN Money article points out, although NASCAR's popularity has risen, the cost to run a non-winning 1-car team is now $8 million per year.  If you want to win, it's $10 to $15 million per year. On top of that, numerous teams have not secured sponsorship for 2002.  The economy and Sept. 11th is affecting all forms of racing.  "Earlier this season there were 44 full-time teams who showed up at every race," said Lake Speed Jr., spokesman for Melling Racing, which is looking for a sponsor to replace Kodiak chewing tobacco. "Now there's 42, and many of us don't have sponsors for next year."
11/21/01
IRL to top out at 17-races per year   Indy Racing League Vice President of Operations Brian Barnhart recently delivered the keynote address at the annual IRL Crew banquet in Indianapolis, giving a sneak preview about the positive future of the IRL. Barnhart called the 2001 Indy Racing League schedule a "watershed season." He also indicated that future Indy Racing League seasons would be capped at approximately 17 events, citing cost containment and "quality of life" issues. Regarding the 2002 season, Barnhart said interest is strong in the new Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series. More than 140 information kits detailing costs, specs and rules for the new developmental series have been sent to prospective participants, Barnhart said.
11/21/01
Paterno's feat thrills Indy Racing marketing executive   When Penn State's Joe Paterno recently became the all-time win leader among college football coaches, there was some cheering going on at Indy Racing League headquarters in Indianapolis. Matt McCartin is the director of Indy Racing marketing. He also is a former three-year starter for the Nittany Lions at offensive tackle. "He's (Paterno) just an outstanding individual," said McCartin, who played in three bowl games, Cotton, 1988; Fiesta, 1989; Orange, 1990. "Even 10 years after I played there, he always remembers your name, he'll take your call, he's always there for you. And he looks out for his players, which you don't see a lot in college sports. "He wants to make sure you graduate, that you attend your classes. You're a student/athlete, but you're a student before you're an athlete, and he was always stressing that to us in everything he did." Paterno emphasized that each of his players isn't going to make it to the pros and that a degree will lead to a good job, McCartin said. After beating Indiana on Nov. 17, Paterno's career record (all at Penn State) is 326-95-3. He tied Paul "Bear" Bryant's record of 323 victories on Oct. 20 with a win over Northwestern, then set the mark when his team beat Ohio State, 29-27, on Oct. 27 in the Buckeyes famous "Horseshoe" stadium. 
11/21/01
Dare to tie knot   2000 Indy Racing Rookie of the Year Airton Dare will be married to his longtime girlfriend, Daniela Urmenyi, on Nov. 24 in the couple's hometown of Bauru, Brazil.  
11/21/01
PacWest prepares for 2-car 2002 Champ Car assault   Following completion of the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series season, PacWest Racing Group is busy preparing for its run at the 2002 CART series championship. 2001 brought success back to the PacWest stable as rookie Scott Dixon captured the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year Award. Along the way, Dixon became the youngest winner of any major open-wheel racing series with his victory in Nazareth at the age of 20 years and nine months. His early success has lifted the PacWest team as it prepares for the winter testing season - fully committed to the CART series and a 2002 championship. "We believe CART offers a strong, viable product to PacWest and its sponsors," said PacWest Senior Vice President Mike Lowry. "We remain very supportive of the business model advanced by CART CEO Joe Heitzler and his tireless commitment to make our series the best open-wheel racing series in the world. Hopefully, our winter preparation will give us the advantage necessary to win the CART championship in 2002. Our expectation is to field a two-car effort in CART next season. We are also considering participation in the Toyota Atlantic series. PacWest has been a supporter of CART's Indy Lights development program for the past five years. Development of young driving talent is what has made CART so special. Among the notable graduates of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship is PacWest Champ Car driver Scott Dixon and seven other drivers who raced in CART's season finale two weeks ago at Fontana. That say's a lot about the importance of CART's driver development program." Although PacWest has yet to announce their engine and chassis lineup for 2002, an announcement is expected shortly. PacWest will also be introducing their slate of sponsors for the 2002 season, including its traditional core of high-tech companies and the possibility of a new primary sponsor to the team's mix. PacWest sponsors are expected to not only add support to the team's championship run, but also be integrally involved in development of business opportunities with CART and its corporate partners. 
11/21/01

FIA confirms tobacco sponsorship ban.  Will it apply to USA series too?   We have said that CART teams need to start finding replacement for its tobacco sponsorships before they are outlawed.  The handwriting is on the wall.  The FIA, the world governing body of motor sport, confirmed today that tobacco advertising and sponsorship by cigarette makers will be banned from the end of the 2006 season. Does this mean all FIA sanctioned races are included? One would think so. Currently, five of the 12 F1 teams rely primarily on tobacco sponsorship; Ferrari (Marlboro), Jordan (Benson & Hedges), McLaren (West) and Benetton (Mild Seven) while BAR are owned by tobacco maker British American Tobacco and sponsored by Lucky Strike. "Sponsorship by the tobacco industry of motor sport teams and events has occurred for over thirty years," a FIA policy statement said on the eve of the launch of the Tobacco Free Sports campaign which will take place in Geneva on Thursday. "Today tobacco sponsorship remains an important source of revenue for a number of Formula One and World Rally Championship teams. The precise value of such sponsorship is hard to estimate but probably exceeds 350 million dollars per annum," added the statement. The issue of tobacco sponsorship in motor racing has caused major controversy in recent years with some European nations insisting that all tobacco advertising be removed from cars taking part in races in their countries. "Only a worldwide agreement to control tobacco advertising and sponsorship will be fully effective," said the statement. "International motor sport championships such as the FIAs Formula One World Championship or the World Rally Championship (CART too we think) consist of a series of events held in countries all around the world. By far the largest audience for these events are television viewers rather than the spectators attending the race or rally. "In any individual country, therefore, television viewers during the year are watching events from all around the world. These events are subject to very different rules regarding tobacco advertising and sponsorship. "The current ban on tobacco advertising in France, for example, limits the exposure of French television viewers to tobacco sponsorship by just a single event whereas the same French audience watches sixteen other races during the course of the year. Of these races only two run without tobacco logos." "The problem remains, therefore, that legislation by a single country or region will not result in an effective ban on tobacco sponsorship in any international sport that is widely televised. "That is why it is necessary to establish an international agreement to control the impact of tobacco advertising and sponsorship."
11/21/01

Schumacher beats out Rockingham track for award It took the most successful Grand Prix driver of all time to pip Rockingham Motor Speedway to the post at today’s Autocar Magazine Awards in London. Michael Schumacher fought off a strong challenge by Britain’s newest international motoring racing venue to lift the prestigious ‘Motorsports’ trophy. There were four nominees in the Motorsport category. Four times World Champion Michael Schumacher, the BMW Williams F1 team, the Bentley Le Mans team and Rockingham Motor Speedway. Rockingham received a commendation by the panel of expert judges, with Autocar editor Rob Aherne saying, “In twelve short months Rockingham has been for turned from a building site into one of Britain’s most exciting sporting venues.” The German driving ace was awarded the trophy in recognition of his dominant performance this season for Ferrari, which saw him break many long-standing Formula One championship records. “It is a privilege to have been beaten to the checkered flag by Michael Schumacher,” said Rockingham’s Chief Executive David Grace. “It’s a huge honor just to receive the nomination at the prestigious Autocar awards and is a mark of the standing of Rockingham Motor Speedway within the whole of the motor industry, both here in the UK and in Europe.”
11/21/01
Time for Max Mosley to retire?  FIA President Max Mosley is getting old.  As such, he seems to have lost touch with reality.  He was recently quoted as saying "As for the overtaking in CART which is terrific, but once you're seen it, you've seen it."  Our belief is that racing is all about overtaking.  Perhaps Mr. Mosley's idea of a race is a gentle easing onto the start grid, a clean standing start, followed by a 2-hour long nap, er, uh ....we mean procession, followed by the checkered flag.  And this man is the top guy in all of motorsports?
11/21/01
Orange has 1-year left on Arrows contract  Orange has one year left on their sponsorship with the Arrows team, and already there is speculation Renault will take over sponsorship in 2003.  An Orange spokesperson says they have not made any decisions as to whether they will continue their sponsorship as of yet.
11/21/01
Michael Schumacher opens karting center  UPDATE A reader writes - About the Hot News article on Michael Schumacher having built a $4 million karting center. There is one in Atlanta, Georgia that the Andretti family built that cost $4.5 million. I've been there several times and it is really cool. Here's a link. 11/21/01 -  Formula One World Driving Champion Michael Schumacher has opened a $4 million go-karting center near Hamburg Germany.  At $4 million, it must be one heck of a center.
11/20/01
Tom Kristensen book  Nils Finderup has written the first of what we may expect to be several books about the career and life of Tom Kristensen (roughly translated title) "The Life of a LeMans Winner". "The Life of a LeMans Winner" is scheduled to be released widely on Thursday in Denmark and features 200 pages of wisdom, humor and hard work. The book is about how Tom manages to balance an incredible racing career and raising a young family. There are 48 pages of pictures some of which feature the work of young American photographer Barton Workman. The book is written in Danish so English readers will have to also obtain their own Danish/English dictionaries as there are no plans currently to publish the book in English.  We believe it is being published by M! publications.
11/20/01
Billy Boat teams up with Agajanian  Billy Boat had two immediate goals to fulfill at the end of the 2001 Indy Racing season: He wanted to continue his success in the IRL and also bring a team to his hometown of Phoenix. Boat didn't need to look far to fulfill both goals. 1998 Indianapolis 500 pole winner Boat will compete in the entire 2002 Indy Racing season as driver and co-owner of the new Curb/Agajanian/Boat Indy Racing team. Recording industry mogul Mike Curb and renowned motorsports businessman Cary Agajanian are co-owners with Boat of the team, which will be based in Phoenix. Curb, Agajanian and Boat worked together with the team for which Boat drove and co-owned in the 2001 Indy Racing season. 
11/20/01
Groups ban together to overturn Earnhardt autopsy ruling  The Society for Professional Journalists, the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors, the First Amendment Foundation, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the Student Press Law Center filed a  brief Monday with the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach.  The five journalism advocacy organizations are asking a state appeals court to declare unconstitutional a law limiting access to autopsy photos. The Florida Legislature passed the law in March, weeks after the death of NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt in a last-lap crash in the season-opening Daytona 500. 
11/19/01

NASCAR and Coco Cola renew contract CART would die for  Read this and ask yourself how come CART can't land this type of beverage maker sponsorship.  This is the kind of sponsor that helps to build brand awareness. - The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and The Coca-Cola Company, who have successfully teamed together to bring the passion and excitement of NASCAR and the refreshing appeal of the world's favorite soft drink to millions of NASCAR fans, have extended their partnership designating Coca-Cola as the Official Soft Drink of NASCAR.  The new multi-year deal expands the relationship to add Dasani as the Official Water of NASCAR and Minute Maid as the Official Juice of NASCAR. The cornerstone of Coca-Cola's involvement in NASCAR, the Coca-Cola Racing Family, is a collection of the most popular drivers on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and a few of the sport's rising stars. Extended family members also include team owners and spouses. Members of the Coca-Cola Racing Family make public appearances and are featured in print, radio, television and online advertising campaigns in addition to appearing on vending machines, packaging, billboards, Coca-Cola merchandise and collectibles and life-size display signs. The drivers also have demonstrated their acting talents in fun pre-feature entertainment pieces, seen in more than 10,000 movie theaters across the country. "Coca-Cola's relationship with NASCAR is one that the entire sport can point to as a truly successful partnership," said Brian France, executive vice president of NASCAR. "Coca-Cola has played an integral role as one of the sport's most active partners. We are thrilled that one of the premier global sports marketers continues to enjoy a strong return on its investment in the sport, and that it sees even greater potential in its future involvement." As part of its NASCAR relationship, Coca-Cola will continue to aggressively market the relationship through NASCAR-themed packaging, point-of-sale, advertising (including dedicated media on both television and Internet), promotions and premium merchandise.
11/19/01
A Champ Car driver in the making?  A.J. Allmendinger won his first Formula Dodge National Championship Series race in round 10 at Laguna Seca Raceway.  After setting the track record at 1.38.639 three weeks previous at the Skip Barber Western Region event, Allmendinger qualified on the outside of row one. The young Californian native got a great start taking the lead into the first corner. Allmendinger would comfortably lead all 17 laps and win by a margin of .512. Allmendinger is the only driver to have finished in the top five in all 10 rounds of the season. The 19-year-old rookie received 20 out of the possible 21 points and is second in the championship seven behind the leader. " I am very excited to finally get my first victory of the season. I drove an excellent race and most importantly I gained more points in the championship. I want to thank my sponsors, Barber-CART Karting Scholarship, Paul Tracy Karting, Arai Helmets and Sparco." PR Allmendinger Racing
11/19/01
Castroneves 'Sexiest Man Alive'  As a follow-up to his appearance as Cosmopolitan Magazine's "Hunk of the Month" in November, Marlboro Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves is currently featured in People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive - 2001" issue. Castroneves is named "Sexiest Race Car Driver" in the special edition now available on newsstands. In addition, Castroneves was also recognized in the "Accomplishments" section in the "Best of 2001" issue of People en Espanol which is also available now on newsstands.

 

11/19/01
Renault to keep Briatore  Contrary to reports of his ouster, Flavio Briatore has said he expects to remain on as team boss of Renault Sport’s Grand Prix operation now that they have taken over his Benetton team. He said he had the support of Renault executives in the role, and stressed criticism from detractors meant nothing. ‘I have no intention of letting go,’ he said, according to the Grand Prix site. ‘I am an integral part of Renault - having an Italian boss doesn't please everybody, I know, but even Ferrari has a French boss. ‘I am their choice and today things are going very well.’
11/18/01
Tommy Cantino wins Formula Dodge final at Laguna Seca  Barber-CART Karting Scholarship winner Tommy Contino emerged from ninth and used a last lap pass to snatch victory away from polesitter and fellow Barber-CART Karting Scholarship winner A.J. Allmendinger, marking the second time in two days that a racer had taken his maiden win in Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER magazine competition. Allmendinger, who led 16 of 17 laps, leaves Monterey having collected 37 of a possible 42 points and puts a dent in championship leader Julio Campos' points advantage. Fourth place starter Tophie Stewart picked up a position to finish third, rounding out an all-California podium. The race was not without controversy. Contino benefited from a mechanical situation in which the supertrap to his #14 car fell off, reducing back pressure and handing a performance edge to his R/T 2000 on lap 5. From then on, his car was unstoppable. Through no fault of his own, his car outperformed the field for the balance of laps, handing Contino a sweet, but arguably tainted victory. Formula Dodge National Championship rules do not address such a situation so the win stands, despite murmurs and grumbling among a few competitors. 
11/18/01
F3
Sato wins Macau GP  New Jordan F1 Japanese driver Takuma Sato dominated Sunday's Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix. The Japanese ace won both the preliminary qualifying heat and the main event. "I am totally happy now," said Sato, who showed his delight by doing his trademark jump on the podium. "This is obviously my last major F3 Grand Prix race ever and I am so happy to come back here. It is always difficult to race here but in the end I drove so hard, enjoyed my racing and won."
11/17/01
Formula Dodge
AJ Allmendinger wins at Laguna Seca  A.J. Allmendinger wrestled the point from polesitter Robbie Montinola before the first turn and never looked back, motoring to his first-ever Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER magazine victory at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca. Championship leader Julio Campos was the only one of the 19 pilots to challenge Allmendinger, following the Californian around the 11-turn circuit for 16 of the 17 laps, eventually falling in line for second place. Dan Di Leo picked up third place honors to round out the podium. Allmendinger never put a wheel wrong, confidently leading all laps and keeping any threat to his victory behind him. While the result affords him a smile, Campos' second place ensures that his points gain is minimal. Montinola was relegated to third by lap 2 and he remained behind Campos for most of the contest, checking his mirrors and doing everything he could to fend off a hard charging Dan Di Leo. But the Canadian proved too strong for him. Di Leo, in his second year of the National Championship, successfully executed a daring pass on turn 2 of lap 12 to take third position, a spot he would maintain until the checkered flag. 
FINISH/CAR#/DRIVER/RESIDES/LAPS/POINTS 
1/44/A.J./Allmendinger/Hollister, California/17/20 
2/52/Julio Campos/Parana, Brazil/17/16 
3/4/Dan Di Leo/Markham, Ontario/17/14 
4/71/Robbie Montinola/Laguna Niguel, California/17/13 
5/73/Leonardo Maia/Oakland, California/17/11
11/17/01
ARCA
Kerry Earnhardt easily wins ARCA race in Atlanta  Kerry Earnhardt easily won today's contest in the ARCA ReMax series, "Pork, the Other White Meat 400" at AMS. Taking the lead for the final time on lap 144 of the 162 lap race, Kerry finished 6.313 seconds ahead of second place finisher Shane Hmiel. Only seven cars finished on the lead lap of the seasons longest race for these ARCA drivers. Earnhardt started the race in third position in the Diamond cut jeans Chevy Monte Carlo and either lead or was in contention for the lead for most of the race. The Thirty year old eldest son of Dale Earnhardt Sr. is said to be headed to a Busch Series ride next year in, what else, a DEI car. Today's purse was a series record $209,709 and oh yeah, winner Kerry Earnhardt was treated to some freshly grilled pork chops provided by the National Pork Board hot off the 'barbie' right in Victory lane. Kerry seemed to enjoy scarfing down the "other white meat " and tossing a few chops to crew members caught off guard by the flying meat. Tim Barrett
11/17/01
Will Champ Cars lose their identity?  As can be seen in the photo to the right (courtesy of Toyota) showing Gil de Ferran's Reynard/Honda passing Bruno Junqueira's Lola/Toyota at Fontana, the modern Champ Car is sleek looking compared to IRL and F1 cars, both of which have airboxes that extend above the rollover hoop to give the normally aspirated engine fresh air and a partial ram-air effect. CART's current turbocharged engines don't need the ugly airboxes, because the turbos ram air into the engines intake plenum using exhaust gasses that spin the turbos turbine and suck in fresh air in a very inconspicuous location.  The IRL car airboxes (bottom right photo by Robert Laberge/Allsport) are particularly big and awkward and give the car a bloated look. And God help us if they ever get to looking like the 1976 Ligier JS-1 F1 car (Photo to right by LAT) airbox.  If they are really hell bent on having airboxes at all, CART would be wise to mandate the air intake be integrated with the rollover hoop, instead of above it, and with a maximum height, to try and keep the cars looking closer the the F1 style, which are a bit more sleek. See related images by Jason Hoehn and related article by R. Klein. Fans also tell us they like seeing the drivers hands at work (click on photo top right), especially on road courses where you can really see the drivers sawing at the wheel. 

In 1977 Mario Andretti's Lotus Ford (above left Lotus 78) had the sleek air intake on both sides of the drivers head.  By 1978 and 1979 (above center 1979 Lotus 80) Colin Chapman concluded the ram air-effect was negligible and removed them altogether giving the cars an ultra-sleek look.  While the big airboxes are a place to paste on big car numbers (so the fans can better identify the cars) and/or a sponsors name, they really have minimal effect on HP, especially on slow road courses. So in 2003, will CART go this extra step in an attempt to remain somewhat unique with its 'clean and sleek' look, or will they follow the cookie cutter IRL (top right) approach and take another step toward losing any sort of unique identity? CART - are you listening?  Mark C.

11/17/01
Retired F1 driver Jean Alesi confirms DTM ride  Jean Alesi has confirmed he will drive for the works AMG Mercedes squad in DTM series next year, even though it won’t be officially announced for some time. ‘No firm announcement will be made for some time, but Norbert Haug generously invited me and I am pleased to accept,’ said Alesi.
11/17/01
Formula Dodge
Skip Barber Formula Dodge Laguna Seca Qualifying  Californian Robbie Montinola used local knowledge to push aside all championship contenders at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca and capture his first ever Formula Dodge National Championship pole. Montinola set the standard for Round 10 with a best time of 1:39.563 sec., over .2 sec. faster than perennially strong qualifier A.J. Allmendinger. Previously, his best qualifying effort had been 13th at Indianapolis Raceway Park in Round 3. Allmendinger, one of four Barber-CART Karting Scholarship winners contesting the season, will also line up on the front row for the first time in FDNC play. Canadian Dan Di Leo overcame some technical difficulty to qualify third with championship leader Julio Campos and Landon Yee rounding out the top-5.  Al Unser Jr.'s son, Al Unser, qualified 15th out of 19 drivers with a time of 1:40.703 min.
11/16/01
Ferrari signs Burti as test driver  Former Prost Grand Prix driver Luciano Burti has joined Ferrari as a test driver for 2002. The Brazilian, who suffered head injuries in an accident at this year's Belgian GP, will work alongside the world champion team's long-established tester Luca Badoer next year.
11/16/01
Industry News
Meadowlands, NJ race track dead for good?  Recent elections in New Jersey saw Bill France's ISC group dealt a serious setback to get a track built at the Meadowlands Sports Complex, home to the NY Jets and Giants Football teams, as well as a horse race track and basketball stadium.  Bergen County voters defeated a referendum to use public money to improve roads and other infrastructure by a whopping 26,908 to 4,850. votes. Nearby Carlstadt Borough defeated the measure by similar proportions.  On top of that, Democrat Jim McGreevy was elected governor, and it was incumbent Republican Donald De Francesco who supported the NASCAR track, while the Democrats opposed it.  We have our doubts the track will ever get built with all the tree-hugging environmentalists opposed to any more filling in of the Meadowland wetlands.  The entire Meadowlands complex was built years ago by filling in thousands of acres of wetlands.  Could you imagine something like that ever getting approved today?  Interestingly, I was part of an engineering field trip to the complex when it was being built back in the 70's.  They constructed a 50-mile long, 10-foot diameter pipeline just to pump a sand slurry from the NJ shore area to fill in the wetlands, rather than bringing it all in by truck. Mark C.
11/16/01
Fosters wants to pick up Australia race sponsorship  There has been some speculation as to whether Honda would continue their sponsorship of the Surfers Paradise race after their contract expired if Honda no longer supplied engines in CART.  Not to worry.  Carlton & United Breweries, which owns Fosters Beer, has gone on record saying they will gladly pick up the sponsorship if Honda drops it.  Fosters sells a lot of beer at the Surfers race, which is one of the biggest races on the CART schedule with a weekend attendance of 286,610 in 2001.  And if Honda stays on, which we believe they will?  One would think CART would attempt to get them to sponsor a Champ car team.  Nah, that makes too much sense. MC
11/16/01
Injured Rudd crewman improving  According to team owner Robert Yates, crewman Bobby Burrell is improving after suffering a serious head injury Sunday in a pit road incident at Homestead, Florida. Burrell was transferred Friday from Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami to Carolina's Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. "He's very clear," Yates said of Burrell. "He's very sharp and didn't forget anything. After he woke up, he remembered everything, except what month it is, and in racing you really don't do things by months."
11/16/01
Team Green plans on three car Indy 500 entry  This Indy Star article states - Officials at Team Green aren't sure when their news conference to announce an Indianapolis 500 program will be, but they are planning to field three cars at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May.
11/16/01

Galles & Unser lose sponsor.  NASCAR, F1 and CART hurting too  UPDATE This Indy Star article highlights just how bad things are out there in the sponsorship world. Galles doesn't have a primary sponsor, can't afford to keep the high-priced Unser and refuses to compete without the funds for a proper testing program. In short, as of last week he was through with racing and apparently OK with the decision. He even released several of his team members. "I wasn't feeling sorry for myself (for losing $2 million last year), but I decided I wasn't going to do it again," he said. But something gave him optimism for 2002. Galles won't provide specifics. He has extended the deadline for finding money to Dec. 1, and he said Unser is willing to wait until that date, too. 11/8/01 - Marlo Klain reports on RPM2Night that Galles racing has lost Starz as their sponsorship.  Unless they find a new sponsor, Galles says he will not have enough money to field a car and would release Al Unser Jr. from the last year on his contract. As this AP article points out, even the ultra-successful NASCAR is not immune.  A lot of Winston Cup teams are hurting for sponsorship.  One has to wonder how much the new IRL Lights series will suck off the already sponsorship poor IRL teams?  One has to wonder if now wasn't the right time to start that series given the poor economy.
11/16/01
Holmatro renews with CART through 2003  CART announced today that Holmatro Incorporated has extended its relationship as Official Supplier, Official Rescue Tool of CART, and Official Rescue Tool of the Simple Green CART Safety Team through the end of the 2003 racing season. As part of its ongoing relationship with CART, Holmatro provides CART with powerful, lightweight extrication and rescue equipment vital to maintaining the expertise of the Safety Team, making it the best and most advanced unit in motorsport. The tools greatly reduce the time involved in extricating a driver from the damaged cockpit of a Champ Car. “All of us at CART are truly excited to continue the partnership with Holmatro Rescue Tools,” said CART Senior Vice President of Marketing, Rich Henley. “Holmatro has been a long-standing partner with CART since 1990 and has provided a considerable amount of leadership in ensuring that our Safety Team has the best rescue equipment available to do its job quickly and safely. The equipment and technical support provided by Holmatro Rescue Tools allows CART to remain at the forefront of motorsports safety.”
11/16/01
Is CART's new TV partner really a partner?  A reader writes - I noticed on the racing section of the Speedvision.com website that they place the CART section down below F1, NASCAR and now even the IRL.  I thought CART was supposed to be their new TV partner so-to-speak?  I can see F1 and NASCAR being above CART since Speedvision broadcasts, or will broadcast F1 and NASCAR content, but the IRL being above CART just goes to show where CART stands with Speedvision. Tim from Chicago [Editor's Note - yes that does seem rather strange.  We are surprised CART has not called them out on that.  Some readers have suggested the sections rotate based on which story is newest, but why then is CART is never at the top?]. 
11/16/01
Mayfield joins Evernham  Evernham Motorsports and Ultra Motorsports announced the formation of a new partnership today. The agreement for 2002 outlines plans for Evernham Motorsports to field the No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T with Bill Elliott as the driver as well as the No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T with Jeremy Mayfield as the driver. Ultra Motorsports will field with the No. 7 Dodge Intrepid R/T with Casey Atwood as the driver, with a sponsor to be named later. The partnership, which joins Dodge's Winston Cup Series development partner with the manufacturer's lead Craftsman Truck Series team, involves support from team owner Ray Evernham and Evernham Motorsports for team owner Jim Smith and Ultra Motorsports. This support includes the transition of rookie driver Casey Atwood to the No. 7 Dodge, production of engines for the No. 7 team, and support from Evernham Marketing Services for sponsorship development. Ray Evernham also will provide consultation and management of competition personnel.  Story
11/16/01
CART must be careful  It's the Silly Season so a lot of rumors you hear won't necessarily come true, but we can't help but notice the increasing number of Latin Americans moving into CART, or at least trying to.  CART must be careful to maintain a balance of drivers from around the world.  We have said this before and we will say it again, CART needs more European drivers for its European races.  They have at least one Brit, Dario Franchitti, but they need at least one Germany driver and why was no effort made to land someone like Johnny Herbert or Jean Alesi?  On top of they they have now lost both Italian drivers, Alex Zanardi and maybe Max Papis.  CART's Italy got decent TV ratings.  Will they with no Italian drivers in the field?  While we don't suggest CART teams just hire anyone to drive to keep the balance, more of an effort is going to have to be made to reach out to European drivers (from which there is a very talented pool available) if CART wants to succeed in Europe. Mark C.
11/16/01
Premier1
Premier1 series gaining ground UPDATE In an article published in the Financial Review, Robin Webb, Premier1's Director, stated that the first season's costs are estimated at $180 million and that they are working on a three-year plan. "It's man against man, equal equipment so we'll know who the best driver is. We expect to break even in the second year and in the third year we would expect to pay off the debt, which will be owing to the investors. We would probably expect to go public during that period." He also said the teams would compete for a share of the $1 million prize money and that by 2003 they anticipate a 15 race calendar, with a growth to 18 events with 30 teams ultimately. 11/15/01 -  The new Premier1 Grand Prix series have signed another leading European soccer club – with four other clubs close to agreeing terms. Dutch side Feyenoord have signed a three-year deal with Premier1, which will see Formula 1-style cars in the colors of European soccer clubs stage a series of races around the world. Meanwhile, Premier1 says it has agreements ‘in principle’ with Valencia, Lyon, Bordeaux and Anderlecht. 

11/15/01
Della Penna and Cal Wells sue CART  Yesterday, CART filed a 10-Q report and it shows that John Della Penna and Cal Wells filed a $2 million dollar lawsuit against CART on November 8th... part of  the 10-Q reads; On November 8, 2001, two former team owners, DellaPenna Motorsports and Precision Preparation, Inc., filed suit against the Company in the Circuit Court for the County of Wayne, State of Michigan, each alleging damages in excess of $1.0 million for breach of contract, promissory estoppel, misrepresentation, and tortious interference with contract and business expectancy. The Company intends to vigorously defend itself in this lawsuit. Management does not believe that the outcome of this lawsuit will have a material adverse affect on the Company's financial position or future results of operations."  From what we understand, Della Penna's and Well's beef has something to do with CART not enforcing their engine supply rules resulting in them losing out on engines and forcing them to fold up their Champ Car teams.  While the Heitzler Administration was not around when Della Penna and Wells folded, why couldn't this be settled out of court?  How many lawsuits is CART going to have filed against it in one year?  We wonder if Mr. Vannini is going to use this against Mr. Forsythe in his argument to bring Chris Pook in as COO to help Joe Heitzler handle all the things on his plate and settle potential lawsuits in the board room and not in the court room.  Mark C.
11/15/01
Forsythe responds to Vannini  Gerald Forsythe has filed a Form 13D with the SEC.  In it he responds to Jonathan Vannini's recent filings.   He agrees with disbanding the Franchise Board and getting the team owners off the Delaware Board, but disagrees with hiring Chris Pook.  It looks like we have a fight brewing.  It reads - "The Reporting Persons have reviewed the Schedule 13D filings made by Jonathan P. Vannini on October 25, 2001. The Reporting Persons continue to support strongly senior management of the Company and, in particular, the stewardship and actions of the Chief Executive Officer. The Reporting Persons do not believe that any additions to senior management are currently needed. The Reporting Persons believe that current management is acting properly and in an exemplary fashion dealing with ongoing matters and issues relating to growth of the Company. The Reporting Persons consider the suggestion that the Company hire Mr. Christopher Pook is inappropriate as, among other reasons, Mr. Pook is presently under contract to another company. Also, the Reporting Persons strongly believe that, if additional senior management is needed, the initiative should come from the Chief Executive Officer of the Company. The Reporting Persons agree with and similarly advocate the resignation and/or removal of certain members of the Company's board of directors whom might have actual and/or potential conflicts of interest with the Company. Additionally, the Reporting Persons intend to explore taking actions to disband the Company's Franchise Board."  In the same Form 13D Forsythe reports buying more shares of CART stock.  It's a race between Forsythe, Grosfeld and Vannini to see who can buy shares faster and increase their voting power if the two sides (Grosfeld + Vannini vs. Forsythe) duke it out.  We see a proxy fight brewing.  And you thought the off-season was going to be boring?  In CART, there is a never a dull moment....perhaps at times on the race track, but never in the political arena. Mark C.
Date | Shares | Cost per Share
10\25\01 25,000 $ 12.45
10\25\01 25,000 12.50
10\30\01 40,000 12.747
10\30\01 5,000 12.75
10\30\01 5,000 12.70
10\31\01 50,000 12.50
11\07\01 50,000 14.249
11\07\01 23,700 14.00
11/15/01
He is the Champion  Although he hasn't done it yet, Jeff Gordon will likely clinch the championship this Sunday during the NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and fans are already clamoring for their new 2001 Jeff Gordon championship apparel. Atlanta Motor Speedway is prepared. As soon as he clinches - whether it's on the 44th lap or the 165th or not until the last lap - 2001 championship hats and T-shirts will be available at all AMS souvenir stands. Gordon only needs to finish 32nd or better at Atlanta to clinch; he has a good chance, as he has not finished outside the top 10 in the past four races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In fact, in 18 races at the quad-oval, he has only finished worse than 32nd twice. 
11/15/01

Premier1
Premier1 and CART dates don't conflict  In looking at the 2002 Premier1 schedule (see below) CART is lucky that their dates do not conflict with England on Sept. 14th and Germany on September 21st.  What's interesting is that Brno in the Czech Republic expressed interest in hosting a CART race the week following Germany and England, but there is no strong commercial push to go, not like there is for Shanghai.  This beautiful circuit (see image to right) would have been a popular stop for the CART circuit, but does CART have the stomach for being out of the USA for 3-straight race weekends in September?  We suspect if they did, a visit to France or Italy would be higher on the list.  Also note, the Premier1 Rio date is one week after the 500cc MotoGP motorcycles race at Rio. We wonder if it is easier for them to organize a race after a big event like the MotoGP's, or if it will be hard to sell tickets for two events on back-to-back weekends?
2002 Premier1 schedule:
Jul. 14, Estoril, Portugal
Aug. 4, EuroSpeedway Lausitz (road course)
Aug. 11, Dijon, France
Aug. 25, Donington Park, England
Sept. 8, Zandvoort, Holland
Sept. 29, Brno, Czech Republic
Oct. 6, Misano, Italy
Oct. 20, Valencia, Italy
Nov. 3, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Nov. 10, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
11/15/01
Industry News
3rd annual Memo Gidley Karting event slated  On the heels of a successful half-season behind the wheel of the #12 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Toyota Lola, American driver Memo Gidley will return to Hawaii in January for the third installment of the Memo Gidley Karting Clinic. After two well-received years at private facilities in Leeward Oahu, organizers succeeded in finding a very public venue on the opposite side, securing use of a sizeable parking lot at Windward Mall in Kaneohe (Windward Oahu's largest shopping complex) for the weekend of January 5-6. The Clinic serves as the marquee event for the Pacific Karting Club, a 41-year-old organization which held its 2000 season races on one of Ford Island's historic runways. But with the US Navy beginning its extensive redevelopment of the island, the club wound up spending much of 2001 - like Gidley - searching for a new place to race. The club sees this year's Clinic as the latest step in its ongoing public campaign to secure a permanent facility for 2002 and beyond. Meanwhile, Gidley continues his campaign for a full-time CART seat for next season, buoyed by his recent streak of podium results. Gidley will also make a number of public appearances around town in the days leading up to the Clinic, including his annual autograph session at All Star Hawaii in Waikiki, where his DirecTV uniform from the 2000 CART season sits on display amid a plethora of non-racing sports memorabilia. On Monday following the Clinic, he will head to Oahu's North Shore and visit the Strong Current surf shop, Gidley's benefactor in his very first board excursion last year. During CART's annual trip to Surfer's Paradise, Australia in October, Gidley hit the waves again, amazing the locals who could not believe it marked only his second time hanging ten. "Well, last time it was great to be able go surfing," he recalls. "So I'll probably go surfing again, enjoy the warm water and just relax a little bit." 
11/15/01
Industry News
Andrew Craig to speak  Andrew Craig will be among the guest speakers to be featured at the inaugural Motor SportBusiness World Congress to be held on December 13-14 in Monaco. Craig, who was Chairman and CEO of Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. from 1994 to 2000 will share his perspectives on the potential for Formula One in the U.S. market place and on the opportunities and challenges facing the global motor sports sponsorship business. “We are delighted to welcome Andrew Craig as a speaker at Motor SportBusiness” said Kevin Roberts, Editorial Director, SportBusiness Group. “His first-hand knowledge of the U.S. motor sport scene plus his very extensive background in international sports marketing will ensure that he makes an invaluable contribution. Motor SportBusiness is shaping up to be a high-quality, two-day program with delegates from around the world signing up to participate.” Andrew Craig, 53, is President of The Craig Company LLC, a U.S. based sports marketing and representation business. The company’s primary focus is to provide marketing support and representation services in the USA for European corporations and sports organizations. The Craig Company has a strong focus in motor sports and represents both the Sauber Petronas Formula One Team and Bentley for its Le Mans Program in the North American market place. 
11/15/01

CART drivers, community, can learn a lot from NASCAR's Jeff Gordon – NASCAR superstar Jeff Gordon says he does not want to criticize NASCAR in public because he does not want to hurt the sport.  "I don't like controversy," he says.  And you wonder why NASCAR is so successful and CART is floundering?  While the CART community airs its dirty laundry in public, subsequently driving away sponsors and fans, the NASCAR community and the IRL community heaps plenty of praise upon themselves.  Certainly NASCAR is not without controversy, but it tends to be controversy between drivers (which gets the fans all riled up, which in turns drives up TV ratings and attendance) and not the drivers vs. NASCAR.  Even as everyone else was criticizing NASCAR for lack of safety, the drivers pretty much took the high road and waited patiently for NASCAR to do something.  Sometimes the CART community is its own worse enemy.  If Paul Tracy was a NASCAR driver and said what he said about CART at Laguna Seca to the press about NASCAR, we suspect Mr. Tracy would quickly find himself looking for another series to drive in, rather than the slap on the wrist he received from CART.  The image of CART has been tainted, now it's up to CART management to pick up the pieces and turn the series around, and it must do so quickly and decisively. MC
11/14/01
NASCAR TV ratings up again NBC reported a final overnight rating of 3.8 for the Pennzoil Freedom 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, a 16-percent increase from 2000, when the event also was televised by NBC. The broadcast had an 8 share, a 14 percent increase from 2002. These numbers were provided by Nielsen Media Research. 
11/14/01
What Gordon needs to clinch championship NASCAR Winston Cup Series point leader Jeff Gordon takes a 305-point lead into this Sunday's NAPA 500. If Gordon finishes 32nd or better, he will clinch his fourth NASCAR Winston Cup championship. Gordon also can clinch if he merely starts the final two races of the season (Atlanta and New Hampshire).
11/14/01
Greg Ray crashes at Indy again UPDATE Here is what the official press release says - 1999 Indy Racing champion Greg Ray escaped injury Nov. 14 in a testing crash at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during his on-track debut with Kelley Racing. Ray, 35, was starting what was to be a two-day "introduction" test when the rear end of his car came around as he entered Turn 1. The car then hit the outside wall, became airborne after its front wheels began sliding on the inside grass and did a complete roll in the air before landing on all four wheels. Shaken but unharmed, Ray climbed from his Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone machine without assistance. "After impact, the back of the car collapsed," Ray said. "The car did a pirouette in the air and landed back on all fours. I still had the motor running, came to a dead stop, turned the motor off and crawled out. "Luckily, I'm in good enough shape and cars are of such high-tech construction you walk away from something like that." Team general manager Jim Freudenberg agreed that Ray's fitness helped him avoid injury in the accident. Ray, who signed with Kelley Racing only two weeks ago, and Kelley veteran Scott Sharp are lean drivers who work out regularly. The accident happened at 11:50 a.m. (EST), only minutes after Ray drove onto the track where he won the Indianapolis 500 pole in 2000.  11/14/01 -  Unconfirmed reports say Greg Ray, after five laps, made contact with the 1st turn outside wall at Indy today and destroyed one of the Kelly cars. After backing into the wall and crushing the gearbox the car hit a second time and either landed upside down or did a complete roll over. Ray escaped unhurt. Not a way to make a good impression with your new team.
11/14/01
EFI partners with Ganassi Racing We don't know if it was because we reported they were using something less than the latest data acquisition system or not, but we are now happy to report the Target Chip Ganassi team has stepped up their game.  Here is the press release - EFI Technology Inc. is pleased to announce a technical partnership with Target Chip Ganassi Racing to supply and develop Data Acquisition Systems for all their CART, IRL and NASCAR programs. Mike Hull, Team Manager of Target Chip Ganassi Racing, commented, “We are delighted to be working with EFI. Their efforts this year have proved that their Data Acquisition Systems are up to the high standards we demand. We are looking forward to developing new ideas with them to enhance our engineering strength. EFI’s Systems combined with our new driver line-up will strengthen our drive for the championship in 2002.” EFI Technology was a newcomer to the CART paddock in 2001 with Fernandez Racing and has now successfully broken the monopoly that existed in this top-level series for many years. Rick Wilkinson, EFI Vice President, states, “EFI has always been committed to designing, building and supporting the highest quality electronics for all levels of racing. Our partnership with Target Chip Ganassi Racing enables us to expand our engineering efforts to increase the versatility and effectiveness of our Data Acquisition Systems. We look forward to winning with them next year and in turn, helping all our customers in each series gain a competitive advantage.” 
11/14/01
Industry News
New soft wall tests well  On September 26, 2001, Safari Associates, Inc., demonstrated that its Molecuthane(TM) energy dampening soft walls can reduce deaths and injuries caused by motor sports drivers crashing into concrete walls at high speed. They did this in a controlled, monitored crash of a racing vehicle into a Molecuthane(TM) soft wall at the Indianapolis Speedrome. Molecuthane is an amazing, new material with unique energy dampening properties which tremendously reduces impact G-force. Safari's recent motor sports soft wall test, monitored by GMH Engineering of Oren, Utah, a leading forensic engineering firm, concluded that the expected G-force from the crash was reduced by more than 70%. As an extra precaution, Brian Van Deman, president of No Limit Racing Adventure, who drove a NASCAR-type truck into a section of the track's concrete wall covered by Safari's Molecuthane(TM) soft wall, also wore Safari Molecuthane(TM) harness pads. After the crash, Van Deman said, "It was really amazing. I felt the impact, but it was much less than I anticipated. It was a fraction of the force I expected. I used Molecuthane(TM) harness pads also, and felt nothing in my shoulders or collarbone. I would normally have been bruised or injured to some degree." 
11/14/01
What, no video games? UPDATE We were reminded that Midway Sports Asylum and developer Midway Games Inc., announced back on May 30th that CART Fury, the only open-wheel racing game officially licensed by Championship Auto Racing Teams, shipped for the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system. CART Fury features 15 world-champion CART drivers – including Michael Andretti, Christian Fittipaldi and Jimmy Vasser – going head-to-head on real CART tracks from around the world, as well as fantasy tracks. The difference between this game, which appeals to a general audience, and the other new game in the works, is the level of sophistication.  The other game will be a true 'simulation' game whereas Fury has five different game modes: simulation (near), arcade, season, Driving 101 and Sub-games (Sub-games: Last Man Standing, Duel, Block Your Opponent, Time Trial/ Practice Mode, Follow the Line, Lock On).  Both target different audiences for the most part. Fury CART Drivers: Michael Andretti (USA), Christian Fittipaldi (Brazil), Gil de Ferran (Brazil), Adrian Fernandez (Mexico), Mark Blundell (Britain), Juan Montoya (1999 Season Champion) (Columbia), Jimmy Vasser (USA), Max Papis (Italy), Bryan Herta (USA), Tony Kanaan (Brazil). Secret Drivers: Danny Sullivan, Willy T. Ribbs, Bill Lester, Jenny Sheehy, Juliana Chiovitti Features 18 different tracks, seven official tracks and 11 fantasy tracks: CART Tracks: Chicago Motor Speedway (oval), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (road oval), Houston, Texas (street course), Long Beach, California (street course), Toronto, Canada (street course), Road America (road course), Surfers Paradise, Australia (street course) Fantasy Tracks: California Speedway (road course), Airport Raceway (racing around airport terminals), Frankfurt, Germany (downtown Frankfurt at night), Chicago, Illinois (downtown Chicago and the lakefront), The Skyway (a highway construction zone), Miami, New York, Alpine Raceway, Boston’s Big Dig, The Moon (stunt track), Driving School Track. 11/9/01 -  A reader from Europe writes - As a CART viewer in Europe it disappoints me to see such events as engine manufacturers pulling out and predictions of CART's non-existence in a year from now. Anyway this is not my point. I wanted to highlight the lack of CART input in the video game market.  NASCAR games seems to come out every year, Formula 1 many more than that, but no CART games.  What's the problem you might ask? Video games are not very important you may say. Perhaps you would be right, but I know of all the people over here who played the last CART game released and instantly became interested in the series as a whole. Its typical of the whole CART situation. Not enough done to inform people, to promote the series worldwide. I am hoping things will change, you have a very good base to work with. I am hoping my English is to a high standard. Thank you, Merk Cafone.  [Editor's Note, work is being done on a new state-of-the-art CART PC simulation game, but unfortunately, another Holiday season is upon us and no CART simulation is on the store shelves.  CART does have a new Sony Playstation game out, but that is a video game, rather than a true simulation.  Sadly CART has essentially been out of the merchandising and game business for about a year, and while it's not the only reason, it certainly contributes to its falling TV ratings.  NASCAR is everywhere.  Almost every retail store has something NASCAR to offer.  You can even buy NASCAR Chicken.  And you wonder why Americans think racing is NASCAR?]
11/14/01
Work begins on Monterrey track  Faced with not finishing construction of all grandstands in 2001 until race day morning, work has already begun in preparation for the 2002 CART opener at Fundidora Park in Monterrey, Mexico. Grandstands are being constructed and soon work will commence on the track reconfiguration we reported weeks ago.  More grandstands are being built in 2002.  Attendance will be up significantly next year. MC
11/14/01
Audi uses new direct fuel injection technology  In 2001 the direct petrol injection [FSI] engine technology was introduced at Le Mans and in the ALMS by Audi. Ulrich Baretzky, head of engine technology at Audi Sport, claims - "Thanks to FSI technology a new era has begun in engine construction." The FSI engine has three decisive advantages over its predecessor with a conventional induction manifold injection system, with lower fuel consumption, an increase in performance over the rev band which is important for racing, and a considerably better throttle response. Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, head of Audi Sport, condenses the objectives, which came true with the FSI racing unit by Audi motor engineers, by claiming: "Reduced fuel consumption, more power, better drivability." The FSI engine offers a better combination of fuel and air, with the mixture forced into a more intense cylindrical movement by a special intake geometry. In a conventional engine, the intake air and fuel mix in a solid ratio in the intake tract, before the mixture reaches the cylinder. In contrast, in an FSI engine, the exactly required amount of fuel is directly injected into the combustion chamber applying pressures of around 100 bars – up to twenty times higher than in a conventional configuration. "The engine responds like a normally aspirated engine, this makes the car much easier to control on the wet surface," enthused Emanuele Pirro, double Le Mans winner and the newly-crowned ALMS champion. "The advantages are greater than we initially expected, and because we are in the early stages of development, the engine still has potential," explained Dr Ullrich. "We are convinced of the success of direct injection," explains Wolfgang Hatz, executive director of powertrain development at Audi AG, "The progress in comparable with the introduction of the TDI technology for diesel engines."
11/14/01
Mugen to enter sports car racing Mugen, a Japanese company with a successful history in motorsports, will enter sports car racing in 2002 with a new type of racing engine that it has been developing. The MF408S will be a four liter V8 engine which Mugen has designed for sports car racing and has equipped with a number of technologies developed through Mugen's long involvement in racing. Mugen is currently negotiating with several sports car racing teams for engine supplying. The company said that it will supply engines to any team in any racing series as long as there is a demand and that it has no plans of running a "works" team. Founded in 1973, Mugen began its motorsports involvement in motorcycle motocross racing. In 1987, it began supplying racing engines for F3000 and F3 racing and was by then firmly established as a racing engine builder and developer. In 1992, Mugen began participating in Formula One racing as an engine supplier. Four years later, Ligier-Mugen-Honda won its first F1 event in Monaco, and then Jordan-Mugen-Honda achieved a 1-2 finish at the Belgian Grand Prix, the second victory for Mugen and the first for Jordan. While being active in racing, Mugen has also developed and introduced many tune-up and sports parts for Honda cars. "Mugen has a confidence that our engine will be very competitive and able to win races against the competitors," said Hirotoshi Honda, president of Mugen Co. Ltd. 
11/14/01

Alesi rules out CART UPDATE In an interview with Autosport, Alesi's manager Mario Miyakawa ruled out more than just the CART series: "I can absolutely say no about ChampCar, because there is too much confusion. IRL is not on the list either, but we do have a very serious offer from the American Le Mans series. DTM is definitely an option, too. Mercedes are interested the test was very good and Jean found the level of professionalism very high in the team." 11/9/01 - Does CART have a severe image problem?  You bet.  What are they doing to reverse it?  The French sports daily L'Equipe quoted Alesi saying: "One thing is for sure -- I will race next season. I'm just looking for a category". Despite not knowing in which category, he did rule out the CART series - "I've 99 percent given up on CART. Honda and Penske are pulling out of this championship, which is close to implosion. What's more, there is no money to be made. And I won't go there for fun. You don't have fun driving at 400 kph on ovals".  It's most likely Alesi will drive DTM for Mercedes in 2002. MC
11/14/01

Premier1
CART can't get Rio, but F1 support series does  UPDATE We now hear Emerson Fittipaldi is behind the Rio race (the same Fittipaldi who could not make a CART race happen again in Rio).  The race will be run on the road course in Rio, i.e. the circuit Emerson was trying to get CART to race on this year (rather than the Roval).  We hear the very large and wealthy Red and Black Brazilian Rio Flamengo soccer team (The Pride and Joy of Ipanema and the club of the wealthy cariocas!) has decided to back one of the Premier1 teams, hence the race in Rio makes perfect sense.  Also, we are now told that CART's arch nemesis Bernie Ecclestone is indeed secretly behind the Premier1 series (listen to the screaming sound of the 750 HP V-10 cars when you go to the Premier1 website.  Sound a bit better than CART's soon-to-be IRL engines?).  Now that he is selling off his stake in F1, he has to have somewhere to put his money. Bernie had a keen interest in soccer a long time ago, but never broke into it. Does it come as any surprise to you, therefore, that the Premier1 series is tied directly into soccer teams? BTW, this is the same Bernie who would not let the CART promoters in Europe run CART ads in the F1 race programs. Does CART realize the war they are in - being attacked on all sides by the IRL, ISC and Bernie?  Joe, it's time to take the gloves off, and it probably wouldn't hurt if Chris Pook was in your corner.  There's a lot of work to be done, and done quickly.  11/13/01 - As seen in this Speedvision article, the new Premier1 series, with less technology than F1 cars, but more technically interesting (screaming 750-HP V-10 engines) than CART's dumbed-down 2003 IRL-like cars, has landed a race in Rio, the very city CART tried to go back to but wasn't able to.  And what about Dijon, France and Brno, Czech Republic, two more tracks that have expressed an interest in CART?  Just as Bill France created the Grand Am series to divide and conquer the ALMS, just like Tony George was urged to create the IRL to divide up Indy Car racing and kill that off, the Premier 1 series looks to take away possible overseas CART races with technically more interesting, and certainly much faster road racing cars than Champ Cars will be in 2003.  In other words, is there something more to the Premier1 series than meets the eye, i.e. to stop CART's overseas expansion before it makes too much inroads into F1 turf? F1 could not satisfy the world's demand.  It was there for CART's taking, but CART, being too slow to react, now has Premier1 cherry picking races right out from under them.  All speculation of course, but at the end of the day, the divide and conquer strategy may mean Bernie and Bill someday rule auto racing worldwide.  Does CART have the wherewithal to react quickly?  It had better, or even Shanghai will be pulled right out from under them as well.  We understand there is an issue of adequate financing for the promoter in Shanghai.  Gerald Forsythe, they need you as a partner in Shanghai!  MC

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