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12/23/01 to 12/31/01)
Gidley Karting Clinic to start With his third annual Karting Clinic approaching next weekend, Memo Gidley arrived at Honolulu International Airport Sunday afternoon - shortly after a potential security breach resulted in the entire facility being shut down and evacuated for two hours. After dodging this drama, he stocked up on fireworks for tomorrow's New Year's celebration, then did what any good racing driver would do to kick off a vacation - head for the nearest computer and spend several hours playing the Papyrus NASCAR 4 simulation. If only there were a current Champ Car simulation
game to keep him occupied. Actually, CART is close to signing
a deal for a new 'true' simulation game for the PC, though
procrastination has delayed the game from hitting the shelves until
the start of the 2003 season. Of course if CART were wise, it
would have it on the shelves in time for Christmas 2002 season to
take advantage of the obvious benefit. We talked about
branding below. Computer games help do that, if they are done
correctly, if not, like many CART games before, they quickly become
shunned by the market segment that buys these products. We
hear the recent Sony Playstation 2 game called 'CART Fury' has
gotten bad reviews. Did CART shoot off another toe because of
this? BTW, Memo Gidley has tested a beta version of the new
CART simulation and gave it a two thumbs up.
needs more sponsors like Simple Green While FedEx refuses
to put even a hint that they sponsor CART on their trucks or
packages, Simple Green views their relationship with CART important
enough to place a CART logo on all their new packages saying they
are the Official Cleaner of CART. The company's Pacific Rim office/warehouse is in Honolulu, and they are one of the sponsors for Memo's Karting
Clinic (see Hot News item above). Their involvement as associate sponsor for Memo's 2001 Indy effort helped pave the way for this deal.
Most NASCAR sponsors put NASCAR logos on their products (even Purdue
Chicken) and it is a major reason why the average Joe on the street
recognizes NASCAR. It's safe to say that NASCAR is a branded
name now, and this is one way they have accomplished it. It's
about time CART and its teams negotiate this sort of co-promotion
with all their sponsors. If NASCAR and its teams can do it,
then the CART community can too. Just imagine how much
exposure CART would get if all FedEx packages had even a small 1
inch high logo on them stating 'FedEx the Official Sponsor of
CART'? Better yet, sign a long-term 25 to 50 year contract
with FedEx whereby CART would change the name of their cars to
'FedEx Cars' (giving FedEx a huge amount of exposure worldwide) in
exchange for a small CART logo with a picture of a FedEx car on all
their packages. This not only helps CART piggyback on FedEx's
brand recognition, it helps to brand the term 'FedEx Cars'.
CART and FedEx should be synonymous with 'speed'. Winston Cup
cars. FedEx cars. Get the idea? MC
reaches 2 million visitor milestone, where is CART? Shanghai estimates that this year, for the first time, it attracted more than two million foreign visitors - despite the impact on global tourism of the September 11 attacks in the United States. There was an 11 per cent year-on-year rise in visitors from outside the mainland, which included Hong Kong and Taiwan, and tourism receipts reached US$1.8 billion - a rise of 12 per cent. Tourism officials said the number of arrivals from the US and Europe showed less dramatic growth, with a 17 per cent slump in US visitors in October. "Since then we have been strengthening our marketing in Japan," Tourism Administrative Commission head Yao Mingbao said. He conceded the momentum might be difficult to maintain next year with the weak global economy and a sliding yen making travel for Japanese tourists more expensive.
Mainland China authorities have allowed two more travel joint ventures with foreign companies, including American Express, as part of efforts to open up the domestic market. American Express will team up with China International Travel Agency Service, and Rosenbluth has linked up with China Comfort Travel, according to
economy surges, where is CART? China's economy grew 7.3 per cent this year, higher than the 7 per cent target Premier Zhu Rongji set for the five years to 2005 but less than last year's 7.9 per cent.
State Statistical Bureau chief Zhu Zhixin yesterday told Xinhua preliminary estimates suggested gross domestic product for the year would hit 9.58 trillion yuan (about HK$8.97
trillion, about $1.1 trillion USD). Mr Zhu Zhixin said the economy maintained healthy and sustainable growth, despite the global downturn. Between January and November, retail sales were up 10 per cent on last year to 3.35 trillion
yuan. Industrial production had surged 10 per cent year-on-year, and the profits of industrial enterprises reached 406.9 billion
yuan, up 7.4 per cent over the same period last year.
Did you know that China (1.2+ billion people) has 4.5 times as many
people as the USA. However, the USA has the world's largest
GNP, while China is 7th, but is about to pass Italy, England and
France to move up to 4th in a year or two. It still has a way
to go to reach the USA, which has a big lead over #2 Japan and #3
Germany with $7+ trillion. Several years ago, the Dallas Fed's annual report featured an essay entitled "The Churn." The churn is their term for what economist Joseph Schumpeter called "creative destruction." A dynamic economy like ours can grow and make room for the new only if we allow parts of the economy to shrink. Unprofitable firms and industries must be allowed to fail and go out of business so their workers and other resources can move into firms and industries whose products are more favored or needed by consumers. This is, as the essay's subtitle says, the paradox of progress. As the most populous country on the planet, China has been experiencing the mother of all churns. Although still a communist country, its market reforms over the past two decades have produced tremendous growth and change. Using conventional measures, at present growth rates China will soon replace Japan as the world's second largest economy. China's churn—already huge—will only grow as the country becomes part of the world trading system. The pain will be great, but so will the rewards.
Zanardi wants to drive a Champ Car again This
reports that Alex has been driving a car modified for his needs since his release from the hospital in Berlin seven weeks ago, and in a recent interview with the BBC, Alex explained that this process has helped his recovery enormously. He also spoke of his hopes to be back in active competition again one day, but not just any racing, he wants to return to CART and although it could prove to be a very difficult accomplishment, for Alex, it seems nothing is impossible.
24x7x365 blows F1, IRL & CART away A reader writes - Flipping the dial this morning, I find another inherent CART,
F1 & IRL problem. As we all know, CART & F1 drivers
are somewhat viewed as prima donnas, not willing to go the extra
mile to be on TV in one form or another. They want to be paid
for every appearance. NASCAR drivers are willing to use their
own plane and fuel to get to a TV appearance. They view it as
an investment in their career. The lack of American drivers with a
'winning' personality is also an issue to some extent here in the
USA. Not only does this hurt CART, F1 and IRL's general perception among U.S. fans, but it also limits the opportunities that CART,
F1 and the IRL has for exposure outside the race track. As I flip through ESPN2, what do I see.....but Ernie Irvan on some fishing/outdoors type show. With the NASCAR guys, it's
24x7x365 -- with the other guys it's 3 days at a race track 20 times a
year with an occasional appearance on David Letterman. And
they wonder why NASCAR is blowing them away. I thought I read
last year that Joe Heitzler was going to make the CART drivers heroes.
I'm still waiting - they're still just as invisible on TV as always.
Andretti to be featured in ad campaign for Allstate Insurance Mario Andretti, through an agreement with Allstate Insurance, will be featured in a print advertising campaign for the company. The campaign, to feature the "hands and names" of people who have achieved uncommon successes, will be photographed by Anne
Lebowitz. Lebowitz is responsible for several prestigious campaigns including Got Milk and American Express. Mario's name and image will be featured in all categories of print advertising, marketing and public relations materials for Allstate.
from the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez Circuit Below are
a few scenes taken at the Autódromo
Hermanos Rodríguez Circuit in Mexico City, where CART will
be visiting in October, 2002. The photos were taken from a
Formula 3 race, a Formula de las Americas race and a truck
race. Note the large attendance even for these junior series
races. In the picture to the far right, note the large
grandstand sticking up behind in the lane suites. That is the
baseball stadium that was built inside the Peraltada
corner. It is a very large stadium and can accommodate a
lot of spectators. The Champ Cars will race right through this
stadium and and only part of the original Peraltada curve.
Why? Because the curve was deemed too fast and unsafe.
Upgrades are planned before the Champ Cars arrive as we previously
death voted #1 AP sports story of the 2001 AP and its
member newspaper sports editors have named the death of NASCAR
legend Dale Earnhardt as the #1 Sports Story of 2001, even bigger
than Barry Bonds setting a new Major league Baseball home run record
for a single season. In the stick-and-ball sport dominated
USA, auto racing (especially NASCAR) has finally arrived race fans,
unfortunately it had to take such a tragedy to get the average
person on the street to look up and notice.
Plus The NASCAR Winston Cup Series was dominated by Gordon in terms of the point standings, but the winner's circles amounted to a revolving door. Gordon won the most races, six, but at season's end there were 19 different winners, a modern-era record. There also were five first-time winners. Qualifying exhibited the same competitive balance: 18 different Bud Pole winners, with six of those first-timers on the pole.
open wheel cars We thought you might find this website
worth bookmarking. It's called a 'Field Guide to Open Wheel
Race Cars' and does an excellent job of comparing the various forms
of open wheel race cars.
quote of the year In the January 2002 issue of Road &
Track Magazine, Bob Judd writes about the last lap, last corner pass
DeFerran made on Brack at Rockingham, England in September -
"On a track where it's tough to pass and on Brack who is even
tougher to pass, De Ferran's move wasn't the equal of Hakkinen's
slick run inside Schumacher at Spa last year. It was
better. At 210 mph it was at least 40 mph faster, closer to
the edge and it was done within reach of a concrete wall - all while
the car was sliding. It was a Villeneuve move. A Montoya
maneuver. It was what you have to do to be a champion in this
will use new car in Australia Ferrari will start the 2002 Formula One season in Melbourne with a completely new car, world champion Michael Schumacher told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
today. "It will be a new car, a new chassis and a new engine," said Schumacher who wrapped up his fourth world title with the Italian team last season.
|Younger Wieringa Surprises With Impromptu Champ Car Run
Dave Wieringa got more than he bargained for at his recent Toyota-Atlantic test in Homestead, Fla.
Wieringa, who was testing for the Sigma Autosport Atlantic team for the first time, took a spin in the 2001 Sigma Autosport Champ Car in an impromptu appearance. It was his first experience behind the wheel of a Champ Car.
“It was an awesome experience,” said Wieringa. “It definitely was a lot different than running in an Atlantic or Barber Dodge car.”
Wieringa took to the track in the Lola during a break in the Atlantic test.
“I would say he impressed everybody there,” said Tom Wieringa, owner of Sigma Autosport and father of Dave. “I asked him if he was up to it and he said sure. Since he was between test sessions, he got in and took it out for a few laps.”
The younger Wieringa ended up running a total of 10 laps in the #22 Sigma Autosport Lola-Cosworth/Ford and he did so at a credible pace. In fact Wieringa risked getting “grounded” as he ran more than two seconds faster than his father, who was testing new components in the Lola.
“He really did a nice job,” marveled Wieringa. “Here I am, running several laps at what I think are good times, and here he comes doing faster times.
“I’m in awe.” Wieringa practiced on the Homestead road circuit. After his run, he reentered his Atlantic car and ran fast times in the Swift. Wieringa said it seemed like he was moving in slow motion.
“It was strange,” admitted Wieringa. “I had the (accelerator) pedal all the way to the floor, but it really looked like everything was going slow and not fast like it normally does. It was a unique chance.”
Wieringa said that while the Champ Car “tryout” was fun, he admits he is not quite ready to take on the role as Sigma’s second driver or even as a test driver. Wieringa said he would like to get more racing experience in the Atlantic series for a few years, and then try his hand in the CART FedEx Championship Series.
“Overall I had a great time and one that I’ll remember,” said Wieringa. “I wouldn’t mind taking another run in a Champ Car again in the future.”
The future might be closer than he thinks. AR1 is pretty
certain that dad Tom will put his son David in his 2nd Sigma Champ
car if David does well in Atlantics this year.
it possible someone at CART finally saw the light? 4th
UPDATE We decided to do a little research into the exact
classification of CART. Is it truly classified as a World
Championship? This is what we found. It's a bit
complicated, so bear with us - 1) While the FIA is the World
Motorsports Governing body, it wears a 2nd hat - that of a
sanctioning body, just like NASCAR, CART and the IRL are sanctioning
bodies. Here is a complete
list of races series the FIA itself sanctions. The list is
quite lengthy, and surprised even us. And you thought NASCAR
was big? 2) The FIA recognizes specific race series as 'International
Series', including - Formula One, FIA International F3000 (Note
- not Formula Nippon and others, they are just National Series),
CART, World Rally, the American Le Mans series, and a few
select others. Note - the IRL and NASCAR are considered 'National'
Series, not 'International.' As an International Series,
CART can race on any circuit in the world it so chooses and it can
hold races in any country it so chooses, per the FIA regulations,
provided it registers all its races with the FIA through ACCUS, the
USA arm (called ASN or National Sporting Authority) of the FIA.
The FIA can choose to reject a CART race if it is scheduled too
close to another FIA International Series event in the same country.
For example, if CART tried to schedule a race at Imola, Italy on the
same weekend as the Italian GP at Monza, Italy, the FIA would not
approve the CART race. A maximum of one points paying
event of a national championship series (such as NASCAR) may be run
outside its national territory, provided it meets certain
conditions. 3) After an exhaustive look at the FIA regulations
we could find no FIA definition for the term 'World Championship,'
nor any FIA claim to the rights of the term World Championship.
Hence, it's not the FIA that defines whether or not your race series
is a 'World Championship,' you do. All the FIA
classifies is International vs. National. For example the FIA calls
its F1 series 'Formula One World Championship Series.'
It calls its rally series 'World Rally Championship Series.'
What it all boils down to is the fact you can't misrepresent
yourself. CART can call itself a 'World Championship'
series because it is an international series that races worldwide
(in a previous article we proved CART is just as international as
F1). However, NASCAR, a National Championship Series, would be
misrepresenting itself if it called its series a World Championship
because it is NOT an International Series nor is it a World
Championship Series, just a Stock Car National Championship of the
USA. In conclusion, because CART is recognized as an official International
Series by the FIA (See this World Motor Sport Council Bulletin
put out on April 6, 2000) it is free to call itself the CART
World Championship Series, or the CART FedEx World
Championship Series. Of course it may not call itself the FIA
World Championship series, because the FIA doesn't sanction CART's
races, CART does. Therefore, it must be clear in the title
that it's a CART series. Now its up to CART's Marketing
Department, and Chris Pook as to whether they want to start calling
their series the CART World Championship Series, or forever
be known as just the CART FedEx Championship Series. Leaving the
word 'World' out would be a serious omission, and grounds for
immediate inclusion in the now very long list of major CART
- It's reported that the CART tee-shirts say 'World
Championship" on them as well. It appears CART has begun to use
this throughout their product line. 12/27/01 - Another reader sends the four pictures
below. Talk about fan confusion, each patch on the jacket
calls the series something different. 12/27/01 - Don from Ohio scanned the logo from his new CART jacket. See
image to right. 12/27/01 - For years we have harped on CART,
questioning why they did not call themselves "World
Championship" in their logo, and in every piece of literature
they put out. In fact they should stress it. Why do you
ask? Because the FIA now recognizes CART as a World
Championship series, the same level of recognition as F1, yet that
important title appeared to be totally lost on CART. Lo and
behold, a reader writes today - "I got a CART jacket, and the CART
symbol was the usual CART with an oval around it, but the lettering around the oval said WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, not Championship Auto Racing Teams. Is this the
rumored name change, CART World Championship?" Don from Ohio
Editors Note, Don - Perhaps CART is finally getting
it. Let's hope it wasn't a manufacturing error, and their
Merchandising folks finally realize CART World Championship
carries much more significance than CART - Championship Auto
Racing Teams, which is what all their merchandise stated up
until now. Now that their Merchandising folks appear to have
caught on, perhaps their PR and Marketing departments will catch on
(L to R) FRONT, BACK, LEFT SLEEVE, RIGHT
Bush grants China favored status More proof of why CART
needs to be in China to satisfy existing sponsors and gain new ones
- Beijing has welcomed the decision by United States President George W. Bush to formally grant China most
favored nation treatment, known as permanent normal trading relations (PNTR), the final step in
normalizing relations and its reward for joining the World Trade Organization. The White House on Thursday said
Mr. Bush had signed the proclamation granting China the same low-tariff levels the US extends to most other nations, effective from January 1. After a fierce debate last year, Congress approved giving China permanent status. Then-president Bill Clinton signed it into law, conditional on China joining the WTO, which it did on December 11. Tao Wenzhao, deputy director of the US institute at the China Academy of Social Sciences, said
Mr. Bush's decision was made because the US had become China's second-biggest trading partner and China had become the fourth-largest of the US. "The US is the largest investing country in China. According to recent surveys by the US Chamber of Commerce, more than 90 per cent of the American firms doing business in China are optimistic about the future of bilateral relations,"
Mr. Tao said. HSBC (Jaguar F1 team sponsor) will today sign a deal to acquire an 8 per cent interest in Bank of Shanghai, making it the first foreign lender to take an equity stake in a mainland bank after China's entry to the World Trade
Organization. Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp, the SAR-based unit of London-headquartered HSBC, yesterday said it planned to sign an agreement to acquire the holding in the Shanghai-based small commercial bank for a "consideration of 517.92 million yuan [about HK$485.39 million]". The long-awaited deal will see Hong Kong's biggest commercial lender become the first privately run overseas bank to benefit from the mainland's move to further open its highly controlled banking sector to foreigners after its WTO accession.
Fittipaldi has another accident UPDATE
A reader writes, how come you didn't report yesterday that Emerson
Fittipaldi was involved in a bike accident and was injured?
AR1 is always on top of the news? Eric from Indiana
Dear Eric - we reported this news on December 22nd, some 4 days
earlier. It took everyone else 4 extra days to get wind of the
news. We do our best to bring you the news first. Thanks for
writing. MC 12/22/01 - Emerson Fittipaldi had a
career ending accident on the oval at Michigan International
Speedway years ago. Then he was involved in a near-death
accident in a small plane crash in Brazil. Today he had
another accident. This time he had a bicycle accident in Key
Biscayne, Florida leaving him with a broken hand and clavicle
(collarbone). Apparently he ran over another bicycle laying on
the ground. We're glad to hear Emerson will be OK, but perhaps
he should stick to walking. MC
not camless engines? A reader writes - why doesn't CART adopt the IRL engine lock, stock and barrel except for one difference - allow (as an option) camless engines?
This means different heads and software. Leave everything else 100%
IRL for now. It's the talk of the automotive industry right now with many companies close to making them work in production vehicles. If racing is supposed to challenge engineers who work for manufacturers, then why not give them another reason to compete in CART, to develop cleaner burning, higher output, better fuel economy engines. Renault is developing them for their F1
engines and are rumored to be using a camless engine in F1 this
coming year. Here are some examples of what car companies are saying - "The camless engine is very intriguing to us," says Vance
Zanardelli, manager of the transmission and engine-systems department at Ford's research laboratory in Dearborn, Mich. "We've had one running in a test cell in our lab for more than a year, and we think the camless design can provide a fuel-economy improvement of 10% to 15%, along with some other important benefits." Floyd Allen, vice president of power-train product engineering at DaimlerChrysler in Auburn Hills, Mich., says his company has been working on camless engines for several years in the U.S. and Germany. Allen foresees camless engines in production cars "perhaps in about five years." The aim of all this effort is liberation from a constraint that has handcuffed performance since the birth of the internal-combustion engine more than a century ago. The engines powering today's vehicles, whether they burn gasoline or diesel fuel, rely on a system of valves to admit fuel and air to the cylinders and to let exhaust gases escape after combustion. Rotating steel camshafts with precision-machined egg-shaped lobes, or cams, are the hard-tooled "brains" of the system. They push open the valves at the proper time and guide their closure, typically through an arrangement of pushrods, rocker arms, and other hardware. Stiff springs return the valves to their closed position. Such valve trains, as they are known, are complicated but reliable. Yet they have the major disadvantage of inflexibility. Like a very simple software program that contains only one set of instructions, the cams always open and close the valves at the same precise moment in each cylinder's constantly repeated cycle of fuel-air intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust. They do so regardless of whether the engine is idling or spinning at maximum rpm. As a result, engine designers can achieve optimum performance at only one speed. An engine designed for impressive high-rpm power may be a wimp at low rpm, and vice versa.
Ford's Zanardelli sees a handsome list of potential benefits beyond the camless engine's fuel savings. The better breathing that a camless valve train promotes at low engine speeds can yield 10% to 15% more torque, he says. That could pep up performance or give engineers the alternative of reducing engine size and weight. There's more. Ford believes camless engines can slash nitrogen oxide, or
NOX, pollution by about 40% by trapping some of the exhaust gases in the cylinders before they can escape. The most intriguing prospect Zanardelli offers is momentarily shutting off individual engine cylinders by stopping their fuel supply and cracking open their valves to spoil the compression. "We call this the variable-displacement concept," he says. "It's a way to save fuel when an engine is running under a light load. The electronics are so fast that we should be able to selectively shut off cylinders in a way that will be imperceptible to the driver." Before a new generation of no-cam engines can get into mass production, everyone in the field agrees, engineers need to whittle away at the energy consumption of today's prototype camless valve-train components. Ford says that continued development should bring the camless valve train's energy requirement into line with that of the camshaft system it replaces. Another item on the agenda is eliminating the clatter and premature wear caused by electrically actuated valves, which tend to slam shut very briskly. Engineers think they can lick the "soft landing" challenge, as it's known. Using position sensors to detect when the valves are almost closed, the control chip would briefly reverse the current to the solenoid to ease the valve's touchdown. With prices higher at the gas station, work on the camless engine may move ahead much faster than it would have only yesterday, when fuel was cheaper than club soda. To the blessings already described can be added yet another. No-cam motors may be a cheaper answer to fuel conservation and pollution control than hybrid piston-electric drive trains like those powering the new Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight.
Hector Gomez from Dallas
improvements to now begin, race length extended to 250-miles According
to this Milwaukee Journal article
- in a letter dated Saturday and mailed Monday to current ticket-holders, the
Milwaukee Mile promised to have 20,000 new, permanent bleacher seats in place for the coming season of racing at State Fair Park. According to the letter, the 67-year-old main grandstand will remain in place for one more season but will be replaced the following year. That would coincide with the track's 100th anniversary. The projects will be a joint venture of the state, which owns the facility, and Carl A. Haas Racing Teams, Ltd., which leases the rights to promote motorsports at the Mile.
Also, the CART race is to be extended from 225 laps to 250, the second increase in distance in three years.
[Editor's Note: unless they promote the race better, how do
they plan on preventing those shiny new bleachers from being just
that, shiny? One would hope that Milwaukee fans don't come to
the races because of new bleachers. Let's hope extra money
will be sent on promotion to go along with those new bleacher
expenditures. With venues out there wanting a CART race that
can draw 100,000+ people, it's getting harder to justify Milwaukee
from a financial standpoint. NASCAR eventually stopped going
to North Wilkesboro for this very reason. One more thing this
article misses - State Fair Park officials point out that despite assurances by the Milwaukee Mile this week that the track's bleachers will be replaced for 2002 and the grandstand for 2003, funding is not in place, bids for the work have not been solicited and no contracts have been signed
to get big facelift UPDATE
The government has approved the permits for the work to begin.
Groundbreaking will be January 2nd. Work will be done in time
for the July 28th race. 12/7/01 - Plans are underway for the Hockenheim
circuit to get a £18 million facelift that will see the circuit reduced by 30
per cent. The German Grand Prix venue is set to revise its track layout, which will
see much of the forest section through the Ostkurve removed. The circuit length will be reduced from 4.2 miles to 2.7 miles.
The redevelopment, which will be completed in time for the 2002 German Grand
Prix, is essential for the track to renew its license next year to hold the
race for the following 10 years. The motor club which owns the circuit, which received its' last major update
in 1966, insists the financing is available to upgrade the track from its current 75,000 seating
But if the plans fall through, the new Eurospeedway track near Berlin is ready to replace Hockenheim as the new venue for the German Grand Prix in
2002. " Eurospeedway will host a CART race in 2001.
sue hospital According to this AP article,
the illness that left Al Unser Jr.'s daughter paralyzed from the waist down was diagnosed within 36 hours, but a lawsuit alleges that wasn't fast enough. According to a complaint filed Dec. 5 in district court against Presbyterian Hospital and Dr. Michael C. Shannon, intensive steroid therapy was ordered too late "to have any therapeutic value" for Cody Unser. The daughter of the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, became ill Feb. 5, 1999. The rare disease was diagnosed the next day as transverse
cost in Hong Kong is driving firms to Shanghai More proof
of why CART can't overlook Shanghai - The high cost of doing business in Hong Kong is prompting some of the world's largest multinationals to relocate their administrative functions to the mainland.
This is despite Hong Kong's modern trade transport infrastructure and mature regulatory environment. Helmut Merkel, executive board member of German retailer Karstadt Quelle, which imports more than US$2 billion worth of goods a year, said China's accession to the World Trade
Organization was inducing multinationals to relocate procurement offices across the border, mirroring the exodus of the manufacturing sector a decade ago.
If Karstadt Quelle moves to the mainland, it will be the second recent defection
after the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart. The retail giant, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, which sources US$4 billion in goods from China each year, said last month it would sever ties with Hong Kong purchasing agent Pacific Resources Export in February and move to Shenzhen.
Pittsburgh track dead Last April we reported
that a proposed indoor Pittsburgh
auto racing complex had received approvals and was well on its
way to becoming a reality. According to reports in the Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette, plans for a $400 million world's first indoor race track, to be built at Pittsburgh International Airport, are in limbo because of the inability of the developer to finalize financing for the ambitious project.
Greetings All the staff at AutoRacing1.com would like to take this opportunity to wish our visitors a very
Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. May Santa make all your racing
wishes come true. MC
to do Fran-Am 2000 engines Arden Weatherford, Fran-Am Director of Operations, today announced that Loyning's Engine Service will be an official engine service provider for the 2002 Fran-Am 2000 Championship series. Loyning's, based in Portland, Oregon, has been authorized to maintain and rebuild the sealed 2.0-liter
186 HP motors (see picture to right) used in the professional racing series throughout the United States and Canada. "We're delighted to partner with Arnie Loyning as we seek to provide a level playing field for all Fran-Am competitors," said Weatherford. "We not only needed someone with a great deal of experience with high performance engine applications, but also someone who was committed to the high standards of our other partners. Arnie is well respected within the racing community and shares our goal of providing a high quality, consistent product at a contained cost." While the motor is capable of running an entire season without being rebuilt, a base rebuild for the Fran-Am 2000 engine is capped at $3,500. Loyning's Engine Service has been an industry leader in CART Toyota Atlantic and Formula Ford competition for more than 25 years. Loyning's engines have captured more than 20 victories at the annual SCCA Run-Offs, as well as two professional Atlantic titles.
On track, the Fran-Am 2000 race cars feature a spec-Tatuus carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, sealed 2.0-liter/186-horsepower motor, 6-speed sequential gearbox, and spec-Michelin Sport racing tires. Since gear sets are pre-determined, race weekend adjustments are basically limited to wings, spring rates, ride height, castor, camber and tire pressure. Each race begins with a standing
start (something we have been trying to get CART to do at selected
races for years), and culminates after 50-60 miles.
Pook in charge, CART's stock rebounds From a low of just
under $12 per share recently, CART's stock value continues to inch
higher, now trading at over $17 per share today. The
announcement of Chris Pook as President has had a positive effect on
Kool stayed in CART Kool is now available in more than 45 countries and is one of the fastest growing brands in Japan. Introduced in 1933, Kool is popular in the United States, Japan and also a number of Latin American countries.
Therefore, CART's worldwide reach certainly does help the Kool
Stearns stays positive on CART and Pook Reprinted with
permission from Bear Stearns:
Mr. Pook addressed the investment community and media in order to provide his preliminary thoughts and views on the various issues and tasks related to CART’s future. It is clear, in our view, that Mr. Pook intends to pay close mind to the key parties that can influence the success or failure of the series. This includes the sponsors, the promoters, the teams, and the broadcasters. We sense that there will be a significant and immediate effort launched to corral support for the series and regain the respect of these constituents. We would not be surprised to see further management changes and paradigm shifts in terms of the future direction of the company, though any major efforts in this regard would take time to materialize, if at all. Mr. Pook has a reputation of respect within the industry and given his solid background as the founder and operator of the very successful Grand Prix of Long Beach, we continue to believe that CART is in good hands in terms of rebuilding the brand and the series, which is what is needed to create long-term shareholder value, in our view.
WHAT ARE POOK’S MAIN OBJECTIVES?
- According to Mr. Pook , it appears as if CART will embark on a brand new business plan that will first involve the strengthening of the company’s staff and realigning the long-term objectives and focus of CART employees. Mr. Pook specifically commented that he believes that his first and most important plan of action at this point would be to realign (improve) the company’s management team.
- Also, a number of board members have already either resigned or indicated their intentions to resign in order to clear the way for a more objective and evenly split (outside and internal) board of directors. Yesterday, Gerald Forsythe, a rather influential board member, announced his own resignation simultaneously as Pook was named to his new post. Pat Patrick, another significant board member and contributor to the company, has also indicated his own willingness to resign his position if it would facilitate a faster and more precise execution of CART’s plans under Pook’s new leadership.
- Pook stated that he remains committed to the current CART business model and will look to continue to develop the brand as an international, multi-course, multi-track racing circuit. In terms of expansion, he noted that the company has identified a number of markets in which CART would be interested in placing on the schedule and has every intention of making the necessary overhaul to the schedule over the next few years in order to the best mix of events that provide value for the company’s constituents (i.e. sponsors, suppliers, manufacturers, etc.).
- On the media front, Pook indicated that despite the consensus opinion, he believes the current TV deal for the upcoming 2002 race season with FOX’s speed channel and CBS has great potential that the talent and ambitions of FOX should not be underestimated. While we agree that FOX may be a very talented and committed partner, the fact of the matter in the near term is that CART’s ratings will likely not be able to command high advertising rates, while at the same time battling a very difficult advertising market. This does not bode well for 2002 TV-related revenues, in our view.
- When asked about plans, if any, for the company’s cash balance, Pook indicated that he is not in a hurry to put it to work. In our view, once Mr. Pook has time to get fully integrated and begin executing on a new business plan, we believe he will maintain prudence and ultimately do what is best for shareholders. This includes strategic alternatives, in our view.
F1 pricing itself right out of business? 2nd
UPDATE We now have further word that the high cost to
participate in F1 (with no chance of winning) was driving Reynard
right toward bankruptcy, much like it did to Lola. We hear Rick
Gorne was brought in specifically to save the financially strapped
company. It probably explains why the 2002 CART update kits
are priced as high as $250K, not far from the cost for an all-new
car. Reynard apparently made minor changes to just about every
piece on the 2002 car so teams have to buy the entire expensive
update kit, i.e. they are looking at making as much money as they
can on the CART program so they can funnel it into the Black F1
hole. With many CART teams now switching over to Lola because it is
perceived as the better car, Reynard is likely to see less sales,
and hence, the CART program isn't going to be the cash cow it once
was for the company. Insiders tell us that because Reynard isn't
focusing enough development on the CART program, the cash cow is
going the way of Lola. Can Reynard survive, or will they
eventually be forced to abandon F1 much like Lola did (and others
before them) and stick to race series whereby they can turn a profit.......to
survive? For companies like Reynard that depend on customer
car and part sales for revenue, there's no money to be made in F1
where everyone must build their own car. 12/2/401 - Niki Lauda's heart must have skipped a beat last week when he learned that their primary sponsor for the Jaguar F1 team, HSBC, was facing potential
big losses in the wake of the Argentine economic meltdown. Business analysts in London are estimating that HSBC's total exposure in the failing South American country could be as much as $5 billion. While HSBC could be facing its largest-ever write-off, a bank spokesman claims that HSBC's exposure in Argentina is less than one per cent of its total assets.
As F1 budgets spiral out of control, it's increasingly likely we
will see some teams go out of business if sponsors pull their money,
and the field become more divided by the haves and the have nots.
The teams who don't have an engine manufacturer pumping some $100
million per year (i.e. ludicrous sums) into the team have zero
percent chance of winning. Must be disheartening to the
drivers in the have not teams. 12/23/01 - It certainly
would seem so. The Prost team is in bankruptcy, but other
teams are also close to it. "Our situation is not very different from that of other teams, except that we are really in need of immediate funding and the timing is
unfavorable," Prost told the rival Financial Times, "The sponsors keep hearing from the media that only the large car makers will make it
through the crisis, so naturally they do not come to us." Britain's Daily Telegraph this week reported that several other midfield teams may find it hard to make ends meet in 2002, according to
rumors circulating at the recent Motor SportBusiness congress in Monaco. Those mentioned in the report included expected stragglers Arrows and Minardi but also, more surprisingly, the names of midfield frontrunners Jordan and Sauber. The Swiss team has been particularly
hard hit, with Red Bull defecting, ironically, to Arrows, and its other major backer, Credit Suisse, being hit by the
September 11th attacks on the USA. What happens when Tobacco
is banned in 2006? This is why the engine manufacturers want
to take over the sport after the Concorde agreement expires in
2007. They are spending the lions share of a teams budget and
want a say in how things are run. If CART were smart, they
would court some of these weaker F1 teams who don't have enough
money to do F1 with any hope of ever winning, but could participate
in CART quite comfortably, and actually win races.......what a novel
idea. We doubt they can remember what that means. CART,
under Chris Pook, is going to have to turn the image of the series
around such that teams and sponsors want to participate. As it
is right now, we heard people, such as retiring F1 driver Jean
Alesi, say that he would not even consider CART because it was about
to fold. That's how bad things had become for CART in the last
12-months. CART and its fans got the best Christmas gift they
could have hoped for - Christopher R. Pook. MC
Players team testing schedule Below is the 2002 off-season
testing schedule for the Players-Forsythe team
|| Laguna Seca
|| Tagliani 13 & 15/Carpentier 14
|| Homestead Oval
|| Homestead RC
|| Tagliani & Carpentier
to react, likely to get beat to Shanghai by F1 2nd
UPDATE It looks as
though CART and F1 now have two choices in Shanghai, China. Reports in China in the “South China Morning Post” indicate that if plans are approved, a
$1 billion (USD) racing circuit meeting FIA standards for Formula One will be ready by 2004, Shanghai's Deputy Mayor Jiang Yiran said yesterday.
Construction would start in 2002. A consortium is said to have the money to finance the deal. The Shanghai Daily said the city's plans were to construct the track around the Volkswagen factory in suburban Anting. Earlier this year there were hints that various groups were considering proposals for the circuit after the Zhuhai course
built in 1996 in the country, while already built and to Formula One standard, never made it onto the calendar and is now reportedly run down and requiring an expensive upgrade.
We already know about the street circuit we previously reported on,
so it appears there are competing interests in Shanghai. China, the world’s most populous country, is the next best thing since apple pie for Formula One and CART because of its less stringent tobacco laws and massive, untapped audience. And Shanghai, a city of 12 million people, is seen as an ideal host, with considerable involvement from major car manufacturers with many production factories and high tech surroundings (see our previous reports listed below).
Might we see F1 on the natural terrain road course and CART on the
City streets, or vice versa, or will both race on the same track? 12/1/01
reports in its latest issue that Formula One sources say
negotiations for a F1 race in China have now turned away from Zhuhai
and Beijing, and toward Shanghai. They are looking for a race in
2005 or sooner. AutoRacing1.com has said all along that
Shanghai is the place to have a motor race in China if you were
going to have one. Now F1 has seen the light as well. We
had two feature stories on Shanghai. The first, 'Why
Shanghai is the Best Venue', by Allan Ng; and the second, 'Is
Shanghai in CART's future, by Mark Cipolloni. We don't know how
to put it any simpler than this - if CART gets beat to Shanghai by
F1, it will be one of the biggest blunders in CART's entire history,
especially when CART could have been in Shanghai as early as 2002 if
the right effort was put into helping Norman Lee secure the right
Lee, President of Auto Racing Legends (ARL) returned recently from Shanghai
with a 10-year contract with the government to put on two races per year in
the streets of Pudong, a province of Shanghai. ARL, a California Corporation, has been contracted by the Shanghai City Government to co-organize this event.
We have written on numerous occasions that China is going to be a
major economic power in a few short years, and Shanghai will be
their lead commercial center, a place where every major USA
corporation does or will do business. Perhaps if the rumors
are true that Chris Pook may take over as President and CEO of CART
in the very near future, and with Pook being a super race promoter
who understands a good 'market' when he sees one, this important
matter will get the attention it deserves.
report on Shanghai China UPDATE Our
report by Steven Levinson can be found here
as promised. 12/7/01 - With F1 now talking to Shanghai,
and since CART was doing its usual procrastination act,
AutoRacing1.com made a special visit to Shanghai, China this past
week. On numerous occasions we have printed reasons why
Shanghai is a 'must' market for CART, however, even we were blown
over by what we found in Shanghai. It was more spectacular
than one could have imagined. To whet your appetite, we have
included a teaser photo of the Pudong Shanghai skyline to the
right. The Grand Hyatt Shanghai hotel, located right next to
the proposed track, is the 'highest hotel in the world' (located on the 53rd to 88th floors of the Jin Mao
Tower, the tallest building in the photo), with spectacular views of the
Bund, Huang Pu River and downtown Shanghai from all its guest rooms.
In case you did not know, the Jin Mao Tower is the third tallest building in the world.
We will have a special report on
our visit in the coming days, so stay tuned.
Valiante cements Lynx ride Canadian standout Michael Valiante has cemented his deal with Lynx Racing for the 2002 Toyota Atlantic campaign, and will act as team leader in his second season in the class. Valiante, who scored two podiums and two top-five finishes in five starts with the Lynx team in 2001, finished ninth in the overall championship and will replace the graduating David Rutledge as driver of the team's traditional #19 car. Rutledge is working on a deal to take himself into the senior CART series, a process the team will assist with, as it has with previous graduates including Patrick Carpentier (Player's/ Forsythe), Memo Gidley (Target Chip Ganassi) and Alex Barron (Arciero-Blair). For 2002, Valiante will be teamed with Grant Ryley, a 28-year old Californian, who will race a car fielded by Lynx and sponsored by the Kart2CART
program of Microsoft executive Rick Waddell. "Lynx is a legend among young drivers looking for a way to graduate up into CART, and I'm thrilled to be chosen for the team," Valiante said, "The five races I drove with the team this season were a real education in how a top team operates and what it takes to compete at this level. "My goal this year was to satisfy both myself and the team that I can learn and run fast at the same time, and I feel I've achieved that. As for next year, the team is ready and able to win another championship, and I'm going to do my best to give them what they want. I'd also like to thank Lynx for the opportunity, David Rutledge for his generosity and help this year."
Pook interview On our home page
we have provided video of an interview with Chris Pook and Patrick
Carpentier. We now provide video four ways - high resolution
(cable modem and DSL users), low resolution (dialup users), and both
Real Media and Windows Media format. We believe that should
meet everyone's needs. If you still have trouble, please let
us know. MC
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