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DATE News (chronologically  1/25/02 to 2/3/02)
2/3/02
Pook out to help promoters  Coming from a race promoter background, Chris Pook certainly understands the issues race promoters face.  He has stated that under his tenure, CART will work with the promoters more.  We now hear CART is looking to fill positions in their Promoter Relations Department, which means Chris is already at work fixing this long standing problem.  And of course, anyone who gets hired must be willing to live in Detroit and then Indy, as Chris wants everyone under one roof now.  Before, CART had staff scattered all over the country, and everyone knows you can't run a business effectively that way. MC
2/3/02
New oval planned for Sweden UPDATE See the tracks website link below for the latest on this oval planned in Sweden that we reported way back in 2000.  They are now in the final costing phase. With possible races in Shanghai, Italy and France, we wonder if Sweden would ever get a CART race. 10/25/00 -  A new 1.5 mile oval and 3-mile F1 road course is planned for a site some 30 miles west of Stockholm, Sweden.  The Viking Motorsports Park would become Europe's 3rd oval track, joining Rockingham in England and the Eurospeedway in Germany, both new CART venues for 2001.  The tracks owners are not courting a CART race at this time as they doubt CART is ready to expand into Sweden.  They do, however, intend to run ASCAR races - Europe's version of NASCAR that comes online in 2001.  The facility would also include a drag strip, a racing school, karting center and rally staging area.
2/3/02
Grand-Am
Doran Lista Regains Lead When Intersport Halfshaft Breaks  Any sleepy race fans were quickly awaken this morning when the leading #37 Judd Lola of Intersport Racing pulled off course after running 580 laps. Team owner Jon Field had just entered the Lola when it stopped in turn three. Race officials quickly towed the car to behind the pits, where the Intersport crew went to work replacing a broken halfshaft. Within only 17 minutes, the crew replaced the broken part and replaced the Lola's front end. However, the speedy work of the crew was not enough to keep the Doran Lista #27 Judd Dallara from taking the lead. Field took the Lola back out onto the track at the close of the 20th hour of racing, trailing the Dallara by four laps. The Jim Matthews #36 Elan Riley & Scott remained in third place, while the Rand Racing #8 Nissan Lola led the SRPII class in fourth place overall. The #09 Corvette, #66 Porsche and #3 Jaguar continued to hold the lead in their respective classes.  Hourly Updates
2/3/02
Grand-Am
16-hour mark of Rolex 24, Interscope Lola leads  The Banana Joe's #37 Judd Lola stayed on top as the dwindling field at the Rolex 24 At Daytona raced through the 16th hour. The Doran Lista Dallara remained in second place, nine laps behind the leader, while the SRPII leading #8 Nissan Lola of Rand Racing moved up to fourth place overall. After a tight battle with the #3 Jaguar, the Bytzek #00 Porsche pulled out to a nine-lap lead when the Rocketsports Jaguar was forced into the pits for brake repairs. The Racer's Group Porsches continued to dominate the GT class, with the #66 and #68 cars holding the top-two spots in the class, as well as the eighth- and ninth-place positions overall. The #09 Corvette of Flis Motorsports reclaimed the lead in the American GT class when the #82 Corvette was forced into the garage with continual tire-rubbing problems. After a strong start which saw British sportscar ace Guy Smith temporarily lead the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the Jim Matthews Riley & Scott suffered a broken alternator which had to be changed, dropping the team 20 laps behind the leader. The 27 year-old continues to make good progress to catch the leaders though, and has managed to reduce the advantage to just 9 laps and currently lies in third place behind the Judd Lola and Judd Dallara. “Everything was looking good, we’d had routine tyre and fuel stops and had got into the lead. The car was generally running well but you know sometimes these things happen. It’s not over yet though, we’ve still got 10 hours to go and anything can happen in that time.”  Hourly Updates
2/3/02
Valient effort by Americans comes up short  Today just wasn't Bryan Sellers' day. The 19-year-old American needed just one third-place finish from either of the final two races to secure the New Zealand International Formula Ford Championship. But the fates simply were not on his side. In the first event, Sellers passed pole-sitter Kenny Smith at the start and led the first four laps, but then was taken out by rival Nick Ross. In Race Two, after the Crawford Services team had battled against the odds to repair his badly damaged car, Sellers rose from the back of the grid to be in third place before a broken driveshaft forced his retirement just two laps shy of the checkered flag. "All I needed was to finish, and there we were [in place to win the championship]. There was no problem at all, and then it just stopped. I had no drive whatsoever," reflected Sellers after a sensational drive. "I gave it a go, but unfortunately it just wasn't meant to be." Rival Fabian Coulthard, who was excluded from the last round at Pukekohe two weeks ago for running an illegal engine, profited from Sellers' heartbreak to win both races and secure the championship. Sellers' teammate, A.J. Allmendinger, also was out of luck. He had worked his way impressively from ninth on the grid to third in the first race before being overtaken - with yellow caution flags waving -- on the final lap. Justice, however, prevailed when Ross later was assessed a 15-second penalty, which elevated Allmendinger to a well-deserved podium result. Later in the afternoon, after ceding third place to Sellers in the late stages, Allmendinger was left with nowhere to go when Sellers' car suddenly broke. His car, too, suffered damage, although he battled back from a lurid moment on the grass, with his Van Diemen's nose askew, to salvage a sixth-place finish. "I'd have liked to have the day turn out a little better at the end," said Allmendinger, "but overall it was a lot better than how the weekend started. My car was really working well in the second race and I was right with Coulthard and [Nelson] Hartley. I was so much faster than them through the corners, but they were still leaving me on the straightaways. As I say, it was disappointing how it all ended, but for how it started and how far back I was, it was good." "It's sad it's over," said crew chief/engineer Andy Neale, himself a former winner in Formula Ford who has spent the last few years as a chief mechanic on one of 1997 Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve's British American Racing (BAR) F1 entries. "The boys have done a sensational job and they've been a pleasure to work with. Plus, I think they've learned a hell of a lot. Everybody here [in New Zealand] says they've livened up the series so much. Everyone's really happy -- except us, of course, but I guess you've got to take the knocks. "The ironies are everywhere," continued Neale. "As it turned out, the second race went two laps longer than it should've. There was a big accident on the first lap, so the officials red-flagged the race at the end of lap two and elected to start it over from scratch, which they're quite entitled to do. But the sad thing is that Bryan's car broke with just two laps remaining. At the end of the day we were (expletive) out of luck." Support for the Team USA Scholarship has been provided by CART, Steve and Christine Horne, The Craig Company, American Honda, Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Prappas Company, Klein Tools, Las Vegas Karting Center, Road Racing Drivers Club, Sparco USA, Skip Barber Racing, Jim Russell Racing Drivers School, Buttonwillow, Speedstar and Racer. JS
2/2/02
It's official, Mauricio Gugelmin retires  One report had him taking a 1-year sabbatical from driving a Champ Car, but Big Mo has decided to retire from CART for good....as a driver.  It's all spelled out in this report by Robin Miller.  However, we don't think we have seen the last of Big Mo, as we expect he will reemerge in some capacity, and we hear as a Champ Car team owner if he can put the sponsorship together for 2003.  Meanwhile, if CART does decide to race in Miami, and with Big Mo living there, perhaps he will get involved in helping to promote that event.  All of us here at AR1 wish Big Mo a happy retirement from driving, and thanks for all the wonderful memories.  MC
2/2/02
Grand-Am
8-hour mark of Rolex 24, Papis leads  CART driver Max Papis has worked to a full 1-lap lead at the 8-hour mark in the #27 Doran Dallara Judd. Meanwhile, NASCAR driver Tony Stewart took over driving duties in the Crawford Racing #2 Judd Crawford. The car finished the hour running fourth overall and in the SRP class. Another NASCAR driver got behind the wheel in hour eight. Kyle Petty took over driving duties in the Orbit Racing #43 Porsche GT3 R. Nearing the end of hour eight, the Doran Lista Racing #27 Dallara, the Intersport Racing #37 Lola, and the #2 Judd continued to hold down the top-three positions in, separated by six laps. Leading the SRPII was the Rand Racing/Risi Competizione #8 Lola. In the lead for GTS was Rocketsports Racing #3 Jaguar. The Racers Group #66 Porsche GT3 R led the GT class and the Flis Motorsport #09 Corvette led in the AGT class. Hourly Updates
2/2/02
Grand-Am
Risi Ferrari takes lead at 2-hour mark of Rolex 24  The Risi Competizione #13 Ferrari 333SP took the lead near the end of the second hour of racing during the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The Doran Lista Dallara lost the lead during a driver change and penalty for speeding in the pits. Dyson's #20 entry lead for a brief stint, but could not hold off the Risi Ferrari. The Rocketsports Jaguar relinquished the lead for a while to one of the Saleens, but took its place back in front of the GTS class. Rand Racing's #8 Lola led the SRPII class for most of the hour, and the #57 Porsche of Seikel had the front of the GT class. Flis Motorsports held the top-two AGT spots, with the #90 Corvette leading the #09. Hourly Updates
2/2/02
Formula One team summary  After being clearly the fastest contenders during this week's Barcelona tests, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello both crashed their Ferrari F2001s heavily within an hour of each other at around lunchtime on Wednesday. Neither of the badly damaged cars could be repaired at the circuit, so Ferrari packed up and returned to base.  Story
2/2/02
Honda powered teams return to Barcelona  Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda and Jordan Honda were back in Barcelona this week to continue their pre-season testing programs in warm, dry conditions at the Circuit de Catalunya in Northern Spain.  Story
2/2/02
Why it's easy to believe CART gets over 2 billion TV viewers per year  In the past we have taken some heat for throwing out figures of over 1 billion TV viewers per year for CART, dwarfing NASCAR and the IRL.  Last year, in an interview with former CART TV exec Keith Allo, he told us the number is probably closer to 2 billion, but because it is so hard to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt from the study they commissioned, they conservatively published the 1 billion number.  Today we came across this little factoid, and as you read it remember that CART is broadcast on pretty much all the same networks in only 8 less countries. [The annual total of television broadcast hours for MotoGP continued to grow in 2001, with 3,246 hours of coverage screened across 208 countries around the world. An average of 144 million viewers in 192 countries saw live or same-day-delayed transmissions of each Grand Prix through 42 networks, and a further 38 outlets offered edited or highlight packages to take the total average viewers per GP to 329 million. During 2001 the main networks that had acquired the rights from Dorna Sports to broadcast MotoGP were Ten and Fox (Australia), NHK and NTV (Japan), France TV (France), Channel 5 (Great Britain), MDR (Germany), RAI (Italy), TVE (Spain), Globo (Brazil), SuperSport (South Africa), Speedvision (USA and Canada) and Center TV (Russia). For 2002 all these countries will have the same coverage. The only major change will be in Italy, where Mediaset takes over from RAI for the live broadcasts. Last season's MotoGP events received pan-continental coverage offered across Europe (Eurosport), Asia (ESPN-Star), Africa (SuperSport) and Latin America (ESPN-Latinamerica and ESPN-2), with 278 million homes across the globe reached via cable or satellite. Thanks to this extensive coverage, the full amount of television viewers for the 2001 MotoGP World Championship totaled a massive 5.271 billion people.]  Given the above, is it totally inconceivable that CART's worldwide TV reach is more than 2 billion?  You decide. One thing is for certain, it's about time CART hire a firm to do a thorough worldwide analysis of its TV figures, for we suspect the value of a CART sponsorship far outweighs NASCAR, and may be closer to F1 territory where annual sponsorship figures run in the $100's of million. Mark C.
2/2/02
American Poised to Win New Zealand International Formula Ford Crown  Bryan Sellers today put himself in a perfect position to clinch the prestigious New Zealand International Formula Ford Championship by qualifying his Canterbury Motor Racing School/Crawford Services-prepared, Team USA Scholarship Van Diemen on the front row of the grid for the first of two series-deciding races at Manfeild Autocourse on Sunday. "I ran by myself the whole session [today in qualifying] and went faster than everybody, except for one lap set in the draft by Kenny Smith," said Sellers, 19, from Centerville, Ohio. "It was pretty uneventful actually. The car was good, and very consistent." Sellers will therefore line up on the outside of the front row of the grid, alongside veteran polesitter Kenny Smith, who, at the age of 60, shows no sign of slowing down. The gifted young American currently holds a handsome points lead, 168-122 over another New Zealander, Fabian Coulthard, after six of eight races. "The game plan is just to finish decent," said Sellers, who is seeking to clinch the fourth championship in as many years for the Team USA Scholarship program. "If I finish in the top three, it's all done. Otherwise, just finish, really, because two top-10s will do." Teammate A.J. Allmendinger, by contrast, has suffered a couple of thoroughly dispiriting days at the fast and technical Manfeild circuit. His efforts during practice on Friday were thwarted by a blown engine. The team worked wonders to hustle a replacement motor overnight from its shop near Christchurch, on the South Island, to the track this morning, but it proved to be drastically down on power, leaving the 20-year-old from Hollister, Calif., a frustrated ninth among the tightly packed grid. "I'm almost as disappointed as I could be," said Allmendinger this evening. "It's no one's fault, everyone on the team has worked their butts off, but the motor's nowhere near where it needs to be. I drove the car as fast as it could go and that was the best I could do. But we're not giving up. We'll sit down, figure out what our options are, and hopefully come back strong tomorrow." Top-six qualifying times: 1. Kenny Smith (NZ), 1:12.289; 2. Bryan Sellers (USA), 1:12.312; 3. Fabian Coulthard (NZ), 1:12.462; 4. Nelson Hartley (NZ), 1:12.477; 5. Simon Gamble (NZ), 1:12.479; 6. Brady Kennett (NZ), 1:12.793; 9. A.J. Allmendinger (USA), 1:13.054. (All run Van Diemen chassis.) Support for the Team USA Scholarship is provided by CART, Steve and Christine Horne, The Craig Company, American Honda, Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Prappas Company, Klein Tools, Las Vegas Karting Center, Road Racing Drivers Club, Sparco USA, Skip Barber Racing, Jim Russell Racing Drivers School, Buttonwillow, Speedstar and Racer.
2/1/02
Kmart pulls the plug on NASCAR team UPDATE Kmart announced Friday that it will continue its sponsorship of two Winston Cup teams for the start of the Winston Cup season (2 races). Haas-Carter Motorsports fields a pair of Fords, driven by Joe Nemechek and Todd Bodine, which each carry Kmart sponsorship. The corporation says that the Nos. 26 and 66 will run with Kmart sponsorship for the season-opening Feb. 17 Daytona 500 and Feb. 24 North Carolina 400 at Rockingham. Bodine will also drive the No. 66 Kmart Ford in the Feb. 10 Bud Shootout at Daytona. Reports had previously indicated that Kmart would withdraw sponsorship for the cars and its presenting sponsorship of the Daytona 500. "We regret that we will not be able to support our NASCAR Kmart racing program this year as we had hoped," Kmart CEO Charles Conaway said in a statement released Thursday and obtained by Thatsracin.com. "... However, at this critical time in our company's history, we are forced to look at every aspect of our business. Right now, we must concentrate on servicing our customers."  1/31/02 -  Bankrupt Kmart has pulled the plug on both Haas-Carter Winston Cup cars effective immediately on Thursday.  The team is now scrambling for new sponsorship.  Kmarts contract with Carl Haas's CART team ended after 2001 and now he has been dealt this double blow. ThatsRacin.com
2/1/02
Alex Gurney completes Dorricott lineup  With a year of British F3 under his belt, Alex Gurney will drive a Swift/Toyota for Dorricott Racing  in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship in 2002. His teammates in the three-car operation will be Jon Fogarty and Luis Diaz.  "He was quite impressive in our testing sessions, and got up to speed as quickly as anyone we’ve ever tested," said team owner Bob Dorricott. "Alex not only proved his capabilities of racing, but also demonstrated to us that he possesses the tangible skills and intangible traits required to win and consistently run at the front."
2/1/02
Team Kool Green heats up Florida  Team KOOL Green and driver Paul Tracy took advantage of some warm weather Wednesday and Thursday in south Florida to test the 2002 #26 KOOL Honda-Reynard at the 2.17-mile road course at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Tracy ran 240 flawless miles during the two-day test with an unofficial time quick time of 68.3 seconds. The Team KOOL Green crew worked on finding more mechanical grip by trying variations in the rear geometry along with shock changes. Also turning laps in Homestead were Tony Kanaan, Townsend Bell, Patrick Carpentier and Scott Dixon. "Overall the test went well, we didn't go as fast as I would have liked because we were working out some kinks in the new KOOL car, but we did learn some things," said Tracy. "We've still got some work to do and there is a little more than a month before the first race at Monterrey, Mexico which makes next week's Sneak Preview testing even more important. I'm confident Steve (Challis, race engineer) and the rest of the guys are already studying the data to see where we can improve." The 80-degree temperatures also allowed Tracy to assess his off-season conditioning program and team manager Kyle Moyer is really impressed with the results. "Every time I see Paul he looks to be in better shape. We worked him pretty hard these last few days and he was able to handle it without any problems. He is really dedicated to his new fitness program and you can see it is working."  Following the completion of the test, Team KOOL Green headed back to Indianapolis to prepare for CART Sneak Preview on February 7-10 in Monterey, California. Sneak Preview combines two-days of driver media availability with two-days of on-track testing at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca.
2/1/02
Sato crashes at Barcelona too  Takuma Sato crashed heavily into the barriers at turn 11 at Barcelona today, the same corner that wrecked Michael Schumacher's Ferrari on Wednesday - but this time it was not because of 'driver error'. The Japanese pilot was unfortunate to have a front suspension break on him after just 12 laps.
2/1/02
7-race Infiniti Pro Series schedule 
July 7 Kansas Speedway 1.5-mile oval
July 20 Nashville Superspeedway 1.33-mile oval
July 28 Michigan International Speedway 2-mile oval
Aug. 11 Kentucky Speedway 1.5-mile oval
Aug. 25 Gateway International Raceway 1.25-mile oval
Sept. 8 Chicagoland Speedway 1.5-mile oval
Sept. 14 Texas Motor Speedway 1.5-mile oval
2/1/02
NASCAR does it right  A reader writes - "I was reading my paper this morning and noticed the Winn Dixie insert had something about the Daytona 500. So I looked through it... Every product that is (apparently) an official sponsor of the Daytona 500 had the Daytona 500 logo next to it in the ad. Gatorade, Cheez-It, there were probably a dozen products that proudly displayed the logo. It's amazing how this sport has taken off the way it has."  No, what's amazing is how NASCAR understands branding of products and why the NASCAR logo (and in this case the Daytona 500 logo) appears on just about every ad from sponsors involved with NASCAR or its teams.
2/1/02
Sigma Team lands big sponsor 2nd UPDATE AR1 has learned that not one, but two big named companies are involved with this deal, but we promised we would not reveal their names out of respect for Sigma and the companies until the press release comes out.  Both are significant.  Stay tuned. 1/29/02 - Gerald Forsythe mentioned yesterday in Monterrey there will be an announcement at CART's Spring Break regarding a major European company.  He may have been referring to Sigma of course, but our sources say it's a USA company that does a lot of business both in the USA and abroad.  We spoke to Mr. Hermsen yesterday who told us negotiations are still ongoing for the 2nd car, and he remains hopeful.  They are trying to make sure they will have adequate engine supply from Ford since this deal came together late.  This week old story should be all laid out by Feb. 1st, Spring Break at the latest.  1/22/02 -  AutoRacing1.com has just learned from new Managing Director Gerard Hermsen that Sigma Autosport will announce a new multinational Champ Car sponsor on February 1st.  One car is definite and a 2nd car is looking very very good at the moment.  The sponsorship is a full 3-year deal. Roberto Moreno is one of the drivers being considered for the 2nd seat.  There are others.  All we are at liberty to say until the announcement is that the company will surprise a lot of people.  Since the 2nd car is looking pretty good, Mr. Hermsen told us they are going to be looking for more mechanics ASAP.  If you feel you are qualified for such a position, send us an e-mail at contacts@autoracing.com and we will provide you information where to send your resume.  Our hat's off to Sigma Autosport.  A new team who finished third in the pitstop competition their first year in CART, and has now landed a big multinational sponsor, something many established teams have been unable to do.  This is exactly the type of sponsor CART teams need more of, sponsors who sell product worldwide and recognize the value of the worldwide reach CART brings. We have updated our 2002 CART Silly Season Page Now do you get the feeling things are starting to turn around for CART? Mark C.
2/1/02
2002 Williams a waste of $50 million  Costing as much as $50 million to develop, the 2002 Williams car is turning out to be not any faster than the 2001 car.  In fact, it appears to be a bit slower.  Speaking about the car during this week’s test Schumacher said: "I'm pleased, but I'm more impressed by the engine than the chassis. It's not as good as I'd have hoped for." The car looks to be very much an evolution of last year’s successful FW23, which was good on tracks with long straights because of all the BMW HP, but was less happy in slow corners. Montoya was just as reserved about the car. He said: "It's getting better, but I hope there's still a lot to come from it."  $50 million wasted. 
2/1/02
Formula Dodge: 2002 schedule announced   Determined to build on the phenomenal success of its two previous seasons, the Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER rolled out its 2002 schedule, its second full season as the Official National Amateur Championship of CART. This year, the series features three new venues, a new track layout at California Speedway, the Superspeedway at Nashville, Tennessee and the Circuit de Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Canada. One of the most competitive and cost-effective championships in existence, the Formula Dodge National Championship was designed for the aspiring professional racer. Talent and a proven track record are the credentials one must present for this invitation-only series. The 13-round runs in conjunction with many Skip Barber Race Series weekends and in support of select marquee events.  The 2002 National Champion will receive a scholarship to the 2003 Barber Dodge Pro Series. Drivers who finish in positions 2-10 in points will compete in a three day runoff for a variety of selected scholarships to the 2003 Barber Dodge Pro Series.
March 8, 9, 10 ... Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca [2 races; Friday, Saturday, Sunday]
April 11, 12, 13 ... California Speedway [2 races; Friday, Saturday, Sunday]
May 9, 10, 11 ... Putnam Park [2 races; Friday, Saturday, Sunday]
June 13, 14, 15 ... Indianapolis Raceway Park [2 races; Friday, Saturday, Sunday]
August 2, 3, 4 ... Mont Tremblant, Quebec [2 races; Friday, Saturday, Sunday]
September 27, 28, 29 ... Nashville Superspeedway [2 races; Friday, Saturday, Sunday]
October 11, 12 ... Lime Rock Park [1 race; Friday, Saturday]
2/1/02

Miami Track Grandstand and Suites details  As can be seen when you click on the 'Hot Spots' of the map below, spectator grandstands (black dashed rectangle) for the upcoming ALMS race are located along the main straight.  The remainder of the track has numerous suites and general admission areas.  If CART races in Miami we expect more grandstands will be added.  Note the portable docks situated along the waterfront behind the Biscayne Bay Suites (red rectangle), ala Monaco and St. Petersburg.  The site is absolutely spectacular as can be seen from these overhead pictures.  A potential first class addition to the CART schedule.  Note - the cars will race counterclockwise on the 1.54-mile circuit.


Click on  rectangles to see enlargement

1/31/02
MIS adds Infiniti support race   Michigan International Speedway and the Indy Racing League will add another open wheel race to the July schedule at MIS - the IRL's new Infinity Pro Series - MIS and IRL officials announced today. The 100-mile IRL support series race at the historic two-mile oval will be the first on a superspeedway for the Infiniti Pro Series and will be run on July 28, the same day the IRL makes its debut at MIS for the Michigan Indy 400.
1/31/02
Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing to use Infiniti power   Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing has confirmed that French pilot Laurent Redon will spearhead the team’s assault on the Indy Racing League in 2002, propelled by Infiniti engines. Redon and the team made their IRL debut in 2001, entering two races and finishing 7th and 11th. “We were impressed with Redon last season and we are excited that we can continue together for a full season,” said Mike Lanigan, President of Mi-Jack Products, Inc. “He’s shown himself to be a very competitive driver, and we can’t wait to get started.” Team owner Eric Bachelart also is optimistic about the partnership with Infiniti. “The Infiniti engine package came on strong at the end of 2001, and with Tom Walkinshaw Racing preparing the motors, we are confident in the level of quality and performance,” Bachelart said. “Also, Infiniti has installed Bernard Dudot as Program Director for the IRL. Dudot was the man behind Renault’s championship-winning involvement in Formula One with Williams and Benetton. He is highly respected within the industry.” Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing also announced the appointment of Craig Perkins as Chief Engineer. Perkins has been with Conquest for three years. Veteran IRL engineer Jeff Braun will take on the role of Technical Director.
1/31/02
Fan plans coming together for Sneak Preview   Several fan activities have been planned for the two days of on track activity during Sneak Preview next week at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The track is open to the public on Saturday, February 9 and Sunday, February 10 with a five dollar-per-carload charge to enter the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca grounds. Fans may gain paddock access by joining the CART Winners Circle Fan Club, and Fan Club members will be able to attend the All-Driver Autograph Session in the paddock at 12:15 p.m. on Saturday. Other activities planned for the Winners Circle Fan Club members include pit tours, drawings for CART Fast Laps pace car rides, and "tech talks" at CART Technical Inspection. Fans interested in joining the CART Winners Circle Fan Club may do so in person at Sneak Preview, by calling the WCFC hotline at (800) 356-5922, or on CART.com. The cost to join is $14.99 per person for residents of the United States, $19 for Canadian residents, and $29.99 for residents of any other country.
1/31/02
Industry News
Theys captures pole for Rolex 24   Didier Theys, of Phoenix, captured the pole position during first-round qualifying for the 40th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The 1998 Rolex 24 winner piloted the #27 Judd-powered Dallara of Doran Lista Racing to a 1:42.058 lap at 125.576 mph. "We are very pleased. The team did a very good job preparing the car," commented Theys, who qualified in the near record-high weather conditions. "We didn't want to change the setup for the warm weather, because we heard the weather would be cooler over the weekend. I think we have a good car for the race. The pole is one thing. It's good to start on the front row, but the race is more important. That's what the next step will be." The Doran Lista car was only the first of three Judd-power prototypes to fill the first three spots on Saturday's starting grid. Earning the outside pole position was South African Werner Lupberger in the Team Ascari #49 Judd-powered Ascari with a 125.454 mph lap. Dutchman Jan Lammers, co-driver to NASCAR Winston Cup driver Tony Stewart, captured the third spot in the Crawford Racing #2 Judd-engined Crawford. Lammers recorded a 1:42.478 lap at 125.061 mph. Starting Grid
1/31/02
Atlantics: Hylton Motorsports Signs Hunter-Reay   Hylton Motorsports announced today that Ryan Hunter-Reay will drive the #1 u.s. print/Medlock Ames Winery/Toyota/Swift in the 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic season. Hunter-Reay, 21 of Boca Raton, Florida joins Hylton Motorsports, the defending CART Toyota Atlantic Champions from the CART Barber Dodge Pro Series. A 9x National Karting Champion, Hunter-Reay was awarded the inaugural Skip Barber Karting scholarship advancing him to 2 liter racing at the age of 16 and went on to win the Skip Barber 2L National Championship. Hunter-Reay was then awarded a full scholarship for the 2000 CART Barber Dodge Pro Series, in which he won the Rookie of the Year honors and finished fifth in the championship. In his 2001 BDPS sophomore season, Hunter-Reay recorded two victories and six top-five finishes. An example of the CART ladder system at work, Hylton Motorsports team owner Keith Hylton is pleased to introduce the talented young American to Formula Atlantic competition, “I don’t believe I have ever met a more motivated and determined young driver and I have great confidence we have selected a solid driver we can build our 2002 effort around.” Hylton continued, “This is a seasoned and very talented team who will bring out the best in Ryan’s talent. In the few short days that Ryan has been with us I have watched the chemistry begin to build within the team. Defending our championship title with a rookie may make us a dark horse in some people’s view, but it is exactly where I want to be.” A proven front-runner, Hunter-Reay will be one of five Atlantic rookies competing for the 2002 Atlantic title. “This is by far the best opportunity for me to advance my career. I realize I have big shoes to fill piloting the #1 Hylton car, but it is exactly the opportunity I wanted and with this team the opportunities are truly unlimited.” Hunter-Reay continued, “The 2002 Atlantic field is extremely deep, it will be a fantastic fight for the championship and I am honored to be a part of it. I can hardly wait for the season to start, particularly at the series’ first race in Mexico.”
1/31/02
Beechler to drive #14  A.J. Foyt has named Donnie Beechler as the driver of the No. 14 Harrah's car for the 2002 Indy Racing League season, filling one of the most coveted seats in open-wheel racing. Eliseo Salazar returns to the Foyt Racing team for his third straight season after finishing the last two years in the top five in the Indy Racing League point standings. He will drive Foyt's No. 11 Indy car, which marks the return of a full-time two-car team for Foyt Racing for the first time since 2000. "I believe we will have a really strong season in the IRL this year," Foyt said. "We've worked with Eliseo for two years now and with Donnie for most of last year. We know what they want, and they know what I expect." Beechler and Salazar will test their Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone cars Feb. 5-6 at Phoenix International Raceway. Foyt hired Beechler, a USAC short-track standout from Springfield, Ill., to drive after a nearly season-long "audition" last year. Beechler competed in nine Indy Racing events for Foyt on a race-by-race basis starting with the Indianapolis 500. He posted six top-10 finishes, with his best finish of third coming in July at Kansas Speedway. "Last year, I came to Indy looking for a ride," Beechler said. "When A.J. hired me back then, it was just a one-race deal, but it turned into a great deal for me. "I'm thrilled to be driving the Harrah's No.14 car and working with A.J. and the team on a full-time basis. Harrah's is a fun sponsor. However, they take their business seriously, and they take our business seriously, which is a great combination for a race team. We are going to have a good time this year." Salazar, a Chilean native who lives in Miami, will drive the No.11 car with Banco de Chile - his home country's largest bank - as an associate sponsor.
1/31/02
Coors Light to be primary sponsor for Lazier  TaeBo steps down to just an associate sponsor role for the team while Coors Light will increase its affiliation with Indy Racing League championship team Hemelgarn Racing and 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier, committing to the primary sponsorship role for the 2002 season. Since 1998, Coors Light's involvement with Hemelgarn Racing and Lazier has resulted in much success, including the 2000 Indy Racing League championship and a runner-up series finish and record four race victories in 2001.  "We are delighted to have Coors Light continue their support of Hemelgarn Racing, Buddy Lazier and the Indy Racing League," team owner Ron Hemelgarn said. "We have achieved many victories together, including the 2000 series championship, and I look forward to many years together." Coors Light is the fourth-best selling beer in the United States and Coors Brewing Company's most popular brand. "Buddy and the entire Hemelgarn team won the 2000 championship and had a tremendous year in 2001, not to mention their great track record at the Brickyard," said Andy Krakauer, Coors area vice president. "They have proven to be a winning team over the years, and Coors Light wants to be affiliated with winners. We expect great things this upcoming season." In addition to sponsoring Colorado native Lazier, Golden, Colo.-based Coors Brewing Company recently announced it would support Indy Racing by continuing as the Official Beer of the Indy Racing League.
1/31/02
Williams adds Lego as sponsor One of the world’s premier toy brands, the LEGO Company, today announced a major licensing agreement with WilliamsF1, one of the most respected names in Formula One. The three-year collaboration is based on LEGO Company’s Racer products, and will provide children with an educational insight into the engineering, design and experimentation processes that are vital to success in Formula One.
1/31/02
Heidfeld blisters Barcelona Nick Heidfeld ended the fourth day of testing in Barcelona at the head of the timesheets after setting a blistering pace in the Sauber C21. Heidfeld's best lap of 1m17.891s was quicker than either Ferrari driver managed yesterday Wednesday. "I think there's still more to come," he stated. "We're still working on the set-up. I can't wait for the next test, I'm very happy with the car."
1 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas* B 1m17.891s 73
2 Felipe Massa Sauber-Petronas* B 1m18.605s 67
3 Marc Gene Williams-BMW M 1m19.233s 63
4 Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW* M 1m19.680s 64
5 Allan McNish Toyota* M 1m19.831s 72
6 Mika Salo Toyota* M 1m20.245s 34
7 Takuma Sato Jordan-Honda B 1m20.351s 69
8 Antonio Pizzonia Williams-BMW M 1m20.557s 65
9 Jarno Trulli Renault* M 1m20.834s 44
10 Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Honda* B 1m21.091s 36
11 Fernando Alonso Renault M 1m21.440s 50
M = Michelin
B = Bridgestone
* denotes 2002 car
1/31/02
Ganassi makes it final - no Brack at Daytona  “Yeah, that’s pretty much put to bed,” Ganassi said on a teleconference Tuesday. “It’s getting a little late. We’ve got to be at Daytona here in another 10 days or so. I would say that’s unfortunately gone by the wayside.” Brack would have driven the No. 42 Intrepid as a teammate to Sterling Marlin and Jimmy Spencer.
1/31/02
Gugelmin to sit out 2002  Mauricio Gugelmin has decided to take a year off from racing in 2002, although the 38-year-old denies that he is retiring. The one-time CART winner informed AUTOSPORT of his decision to step down from his position at Pac West. "I have decided not to race in 2002, but I will be involved in the sport in a way that I will announce soon," he said. After spending five seasons in Formula 1, Gugelmin switched to Champ Car in 1993. He moved to Pac West in 1995 and recorded his only win in the series two years later at Vancouver. Our sources say he is trying to start his own Champ Car team.  Oriol Servia will take his spot at PacWest in 2002.  Mark C.
1/31/02
Industry News


The Turn 10 underground pedestrian tunnel will provide easy access from the entry and shuttle stop at Gate 3 to the Turn 10 vendor area.

Sears Point completes tunnels  Construction work is complete on two underground pedestrian tunnels at Sears Point Raceway and both will be operational for the 2002 main-event season. The tunnels, which are part of Sears Point Raceway's $50 million Modernization Plan, will expedite pedestrian traffic flow around the property on major-event weekends, including the Dodge/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Winston Cup and NHRA FRAM Autolite Nationals. One tunnel will be located on the west side of start/finish line adjacent to the new permanent grandstand. The start/finish tunnel will connect the paddock with the Turn 10 vendor area. The other tunnel will be located in Turn 10 and connect that area to the Gate 3 fan entrance and shuttle stop. The location of the tunnels will give fans much better access to the facility. Each tunnel will be 20 feet wide, with the start/finish tunnel spanning 270 feet long. The tunnel under Turn 10 is 130 feet long. The tunnels replace the bridges that were previously used at Sears Point Raceway in those areas and will increase the sightlines of the road course and drag strip dramatically. Fans sitting in the new permanent grandstand at start/finish will now see about 65-percent of the road-course action, including the most high-speed segment of the circuit at Turn 10. "These tunnels are going to be a huge plus during our major events," said Steve Page, president and general manager at Sears Point Raceway. "The strategic placement of these tunnels will enable our fans to better circulate around the property, whether it's to get to their seat in the new permanent grandstand, or to board a shuttle bus to move around the facility. Fans will also enjoy the tremendous sightlines that have opened up as a result of these tunnels. This will be unlike any other road course in that you will be able to see a large majority of the racing." Sears Point Raceway began its comprehensive modernization project in September, 2000, and since that time more than 8,000,000 cubic yards of dirt has been moved. The project will be nearly complete by the Dodge/Save Mart 350 in June and it will transform Sears Point Raceway into one of the premier motorsports and entertainment venues in the country. Sears Point

1/31/02
Barber Dodge Links Up With Dynojet  A pair of industry leaders linked up today when the Barber Dodge Pro Series and Dynojet Research, Inc. announced a five-year marketing partnership. Dynojet is the world leader in the development and manufacturing of performance enhancement products and tools. At the disposal of the Barber Dodge engineering staff will be a model 248 Chassis dynamometer, which can accurately diagnose performance or drivability problems in vehicles with anywhere from 20 to 1200 horsepower at the drive wheels. Dyno runs can be done at speeds up to 200mph, providing safe, reliable road testing right in the shop. "The Barber Dodge Pro Series is built upon the foundation of providing all drivers with equally prepared cars. After 17 seasons we feel that we do it better than anyone does. Having said that, in teaming up with Dynojet, an industry leader in the field of diagnostic equipment, we are now in a position to take it to another level. It's another example of how we are committed to and strive toward ensuring that Barber Dodge is unsurpassed in giving young drivers the most level playing field for showcasing their talent." The Dynojet Automotive Dynamometer features 48" knurled, precision-balanced drums. The large drum diameter provides a virtually flat, stable surface for tire contact, eliminating unnecessary slippage and tire deformation. Advanced engineering delivers the precise horsepower measurements a technician needs to make quick and accurate evaluations of engine and drive train performance. "Dynojet Research, Inc. is very proud to have been chosen as the dyno of choice for the Barber Dodge Pro Series," said Shawn Arnold, VP Sales and Technical Support for Dynojet. "We are looking forward to working with an industry leader that prides itself on the equality of the cars they provide to their drivers. Aligning ourselves with them gives us yet another credible substantiation of our product." "We now have yet another tool in our tool box for providing every Barber Dodge Pro Series driver a car capable of winning every race. In a series where the first fifteen cars routinely qualify within one second of the pole time, the quest for equality means getting it right not just to thousandth of a second but to ten-thousandths of a second, " added series engineer Louis D'Agostino.
1/30/02
Audio from Team Rahal/Gigante announcement  (Real Media format)
  • Bobby Rahal talks about the partnership with Gigante (Heh-gon-tay) and the signing of Michel Jourdain Jr. Length: 1:19
  • Michel Jourdain Jr. talks about the opportunity to drive for Team Rahal. Length: :35
1/30/02
Record payoff at Daytona  In the first Daytona 500 back in 1959, Lee Petty collected $19,050 in prize money for taking the checkered flag. Second-place finisher Johnny Beauchamp earned $7,650. The purse for the race totaled $67,760. This year's 44th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 17 will award the winner of the "Great American Race" a minimum $1,327,030 with the race's entire purse exceeding $12 million, an increase of more than a $1 million from last year. The runner-up finisher in the Daytona 500 will receive a minimum $928,100 while the driver that finishes in the 43rd position will collect a minimum $114,236
1/30/02
Sigma Autosport’s Max Papis & Tom Wieringa Talk Racing at MIT  Sigma Autosport’s Max Papis and Tom Wieringa were given an “A” from the students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where Papis and Wieringa were the featured guest speakers Monday. The two spoke during the course, “The Art and Science of Car Racing.” Story
1/30/02
Penske forfeits CART franchises, keeps numbers  AutoRacing1.com has learned that Team Penske has forfeited their two CART franchises, but have asked to retain their two team numbers.  #2 and #3 were assigned to Team Penske.  Take that for what you will, but it looks like Roger may be leaving the door open for a possible return to CART in the not too distant future. Mark C.
1/30/02
Delphi renews with Kelley  Kelley Racing officials announced two deals that will shape its future for the next four Indy Racing League seasons, as Delphi has extended its primary sponsorship of the team's No. 8 car and driver Scott Sharp through 2005, and Toyota has signed Kelley as its initial team for its inaugural IRL season in 2003. Sharp's No. 8 Delphi Automotive Systems entry also will have AT&T as an associate sponsor this season, while Futaba Corporation has re-signed as a primary sponsor of the car through 2005. "Delphi's involvement in racing has proven to be extremely successful from both a marketing and product development standpoint," said William A. Lafontaine, director of marketing customer development for Delphi. "We have made several advances with the products we develop and test on the IRL circuit, and we look forward to four more years of progress with Kelley Racing. Delphi has been the primary sponsor of Sharp's car since 1998, the first full Indy Racing season for Kelley Racing. 1996 Indy Racing League co-champion Sharp has six career victories. He finished third in the series standings in 2001 and also won the coveted Indianapolis 500 MBNA Pole last May.
1/30/02
Three Indy legends to be inducted Three icons of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race will assume their place among the legends of the Brickyard in the Auto Racing Hall of Fame induction ceremonies at 7:30 p.m. (EST) May 17. Longtime "Voice of the 500," the late Sid Collins, and winning car owners Andy Granatelli and Roger Penske will become the newest members of the Auto Racing Hall of Fame, which honors drivers, car owners, mechanics and event officials who have made significant contributions to the success and colorful history of the sport. The event will take place in conjunction with the annual Indianapolis 500 Oldtimers Club Banquet/Hall of Fame Inductions at the Adam's Mark Indianapolis Airport hotel in the Hall of Champions banquet room.
1/30/02

Highlights from Team Rahal press conference

  • Bobby would not reveal how many years the deal is for, only that it’s a sizeable sponsorship that he hopes will continue for many years. “They have the power and the resources to be in this sport for many, many years to come,  we tend not to get involved with a deal like this for just one year.”

  • Still just a 1-car effort for Jimmy Vasser at Indy with Miller Beer.  Rahal stated, the Gigante Group and Michel have a lot to focus on already. We are not going to dilute our effort with Jimmy. We could probably make a quick buck, but we’re concentrating on winning with Jimmy.”
  • Over 150 journalists turned out in Mexico City for the announcement. It was a very big deal in Mexico.
  • NAFTA and the blurring of borders helped to make this deal a reality. Gonzalo Barrutieta of Gigante stated that adding a 2nd race in Mexico this year helped justify their involvement in CART.  Rahal said, ‘What is an American?’ We’re a melting pot. The Hispanic population is one of the fastest growing in the United States…And when you really look at it, the United States and Mexico are one as a trading partner and with the marketing issues we’re confronting. I think you are going to continue to see those [international] borders blur. Motor racing always goes beyond borders.”
  • Michel Jourdain is happy to have a teammate for the first time in his Champ Car career. He is also happy that he will again be in a Lola/Ford combination. This will help him since he has had no testing up until now.  “I’m not worried about that [missing testing]. Jimmy’s [Vasser] been testing and he’s been very fast. We also have testing in Laguna [next week]. Jimmy said the car is very, very good. So I’m not worried.” Jourdain should have a smooth transition.  Michel will also have seasoned engineer Tim Reiter to help set the car up.
  • Office Depot will be an associate sponsor as well.  Gigante has a lot of Office Depot stores in Mexico.
  • Bobby stressed the importance of CART's international appeal in landing this deal.
  • Jourdain's Lola-Ford will be white with red trim and will carry number nine (why not seven?). Vasser's Shell-sponsored car will be number eight.
1/30/02
Industry News
IS Motorsports see strong racing market  Faced with a looming down turn in the US market place, and uncertainty in the US Auto racing scene, IS Motorsport set up shop in Indianapolis in June 2001. After six months, the distributor of high performance racing components has so far exceeded expectations. "We are ahead of what we projected for this point in the year," said IS Motorsport's Business Manager, Jeff Kitchen. "We see quite a bit of activity in all series, especially in the IRL, CART, ALMS and NASCAR. We recently brought on an additional employee to help us continue to meet the needs of our growing customer base." Based in Indianapolis, at 286A Gasoline Alley, IS Motorsport is poised to meet the challenges presented by all those who participate at all levels of motor sport. By supplying a variety of electromechanical, wire, cable, tubing, and connector products while offering new levels of service and support, IS Motorsport has already become one of the leading suppliers in the industry. "Despite what some people are saying, the motorsport industry is strong and provides plenty of opportunities to those who look to properly meet the needs of the customers" Kitchen added. "This is especially true for the open wheel market, which has been so demonized in the press. The CART teams continue to explore the limits of technology, while the IRL teams have benefited greatly by an increase in sponsorship, leading to greater investment in their engineering and racing programs. With all the ongoing activity, I look forward to a very exciting race season in all series." "Indianapolis was a natural choice for us, as it represents a global focal point for all forms of motor sport. While we expect to grow into other regional markets, Indianapolis will remain as our base of operation." IS Motorsport will have some limited trackside services in the IRL, CART and ALMS as it broadens its potential to sufficiently serve those markets. Over all, the new venture is viewing the US motor racing market as a success, and looks forward to meeting the challenges that lie ahead. IS Motorsports
1/30/02
CART lands another multinational company  With the announcement that Team Rahal has landed Gigante as a sponsor for Michel Jourdain Jr., and with another multinational company to be announced for Sigma (Friday we believe) it's becoming apparent that racing in other countries is beginning to pay off for CART.  We have long maintained that CART and its teams must go after companies like Gigante who appreciate CART's international exposure.  More and more companies in F1 will begin to realize they can get almost as much worldwide exposure in CART as F1 brings, at a fraction of the cost and with a real chance to win races.  It should be noted that it was the addition of a second race in Mexico which helped bring Gigante on board.  Hence, this is one of the reasons why we maintain that a 2nd race in Australia (Adelaide race added back-to-back with Surfers) and a 2nd race in Asia (China race added back-to-back with Japan) would go a long way toward bringing in sponsors from those continents, because one race per year may not be enough to get the attention of the corporate giants there. Need we remind you that Sigma, PacWest and now Rahal are landing new big sponsors in a very weak economy. MC
1/30/02
Gigante to sponsor Jourdain Jr. Team Rahal, a franchise member of Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART), and the Gigante Group, one of the leading self-service retail chains in Mexico, announced today a primary partnership that will place Michel Jourdain Jr. in a Team Rahal Ford-Cosworth powered Lola Champ Car featuring Bridgestone Potenza tires for the 2002 FedEx Championship Series season.  Story
1/30/02
Cheever delays driver announcement Cheever Indy Racing postponed its driver announcement scheduled for this Friday after deciding to take more time to select a driver for the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti. "If we could have a four-car team, our problems would be solved," said General Manager Richard Caron. "Unfortunately we only have one seat to fill and we want to make sure we hire someone that will be a perfect match for this team." The team, owned by 1998 Indy 500 champion Eddie Cheever Jr., will further evaluate potential drivers at the Indy Racing League Test in the West next week. Testing takes place at California Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Feb. 6, and Phoenix International Raceway on Feb. 8 and 9. Red Bull Cheever Racing will officially roll out the 2002 team colors and announce a new sponsor during a press conference at 3 p.m. (PST), Feb. 5 at the pre-season media day at California Speedway.
1/30/02
Michael Schumacher crashes in Barcelona UPDATED Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher escaped serious injury in a testing accident at the Barcelona circuit on Wednesday. He has had a number of crashes the past two years. Schumacher crashed at turn 11, severely damaging his F2001. His spokesperson Sabine Kehm was quoted: "He hit the tire barriers with the back end of the car. He's absolutely fine but the car was quite badly damaged.'' His teammate also crashed out and both cars were not fixable at the track. Test times for Wednesday from Spain:
1 Rubens Barrichello Ferrari B 1m18.112s 37
2 Michael Schumacher Ferrari B 1m18.465s 17
3 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas* B 1m18749s 86
4 Marc Gene Williams-BMW M 1m19.171s 21
5 Olivier Panis BAR-Honda B 1m19.182s 77
6 Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW M 1m19.266s 84
7 Giancarlo Fisichella Renault M 1m20.109s 27
8 Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda* B 1m20.312s 62
9 Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW* M 1m20.344s 27
10 Felipe Massa Sauber-Petronas* B 1m20.379s 82
11 Marcel Lasee Jordan-Honda B 1m20.531s 38
12 Jarno Trulli Renault M 1m20.571s 48
13 Jenson Button Renault* M 1m20.832s 38
14 Mika Salo Toyota* M 1m21.628s 73
15 Takuma Sato Jordan-Honda * B 1m22.048s 30
16 Allan McNish Toyota* M 1m22.090s 47
B=Bridgestone
M=Michelin
* denotes 2002 car
1/30/02
Prost comes under heavy criticism from French  Jean Alesi has blamed the failure of the only French-based F1 team squarely on the shoulders of Alain Prost. "Alain has only himself to blame," Alesi told daily Le Figaro. "Everybody was behind him, including me as I left Sauber to join him. But he ruined everything." Prost has had little sympathy from the rest of the French racing community. Prost’s former Renault team-mate Rene Arnoux also blamed Prost for his team’s demise. "It's not because you're a great driver that you end up a good manager," said Arnoux. "There is such a big difference between the life of a driver and that of a businessman. You need talent, motivation, energy, the right environment. Not everybody can be Jean Todt."
1/30/02
Jourdain to announce 2002 Champ Car plans Wednesday 2nd UPDATE We neglected to mention yesterday that we have updated our 2002 CART Silly Season Page with this information.  CART now has 21 drivers confirmed for 2002, and the number could go higher.  And yes, we show Servia as 'fact' at PacWest/Racesport, as we have for weeks.  1/29/02 - We now have it on good word this is a Jourdain to Team Rahal announcement. 1/29/02 - Michel Jourdain will hold a press conference Wednesday to announce his 2002 Champ Car plans.  It was previously rumored that he was talking to team Rahal, but could this be something else?  Stay tuned.
1/30/02
Cheever & Hornish to visit USS Washington 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr. and 2001 Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr. will be special guests aboard the USS George Washington nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 30-31. The USS George Washington is part of the Commander Naval Air Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet, out of Norfolk, Va., and is in final preparations for deployment off the coast of North Carolina and Virginia. The ship's commanding officer is Captain William J. McCarthy, a native of Teaneck, N.J. Cheever and Hornish will depart Norfolk and land on the ship Wednesday and tour it for 24 hours. After observing flight operations and meeting with some of the more than 6,000 Navy personnel on board, the drivers' small military plane will be launched from the deck and return to Norfolk on Thursday.
1/29/02
Infiniti Pro Series releases logo  Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series officials unveiled the official logo for the Indy Racing League's new development series Jan. 29. The vibrant, new logo incorporates the red, white and blue colors synonymous with the Indy Racing League into a graphic representation of the Infiniti Pro Series race car. "We wanted the logo for the Infiniti Pro Series to be clear, colorful and consistent with that of the Indy Racing League, and I think we've achieved that," said Roger Bailey, executive director of the Infiniti Pro Series. The Infiniti Pro Series will debut on July 7, 2002, at Kansas Speedway. The Kansas race will be the first of seven anticipated Infiniti Pro Series events in 2002. Races will take place at the same track and on the same weekend as Indy Racing League events, with every Infiniti Pro Series race distance set at 100 miles. Infiniti Q45 engines will power new Dallara Automobili chassis built for the series, with Firestone Firehawk tires used exclusively on all cars. The V8 engines will produce approximately 450 horsepower for the single-seat winged chassis, providing an ideal training ground for the 650-horsepower, single-seat winged cars of the Indy Racing League.
1/29/02
2002 IROC ready to roll  One of the most anticipated days of Speedweeks will be February 15th, when both the Craftsman Trucks and the True Value/IROC series makes its seasons debut on the legendary high banks of Daytona International Speedway. The trucks lead off the doubleheader in the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 where Joe Ruttman is the defending champion. Concluding Friday's activities will be the True Value/IROC Series, which will kick off its 26th season with a 40-lap sprint race. The invitation-only all-star race is a Speedweeks staple and features 12 of the world's best drivers from both the stock car and open-wheel ranks turned loose in identically prepared Pontiac Firebirds. Among the drivers competing in this year's True Value/IROC Series are 2001 Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish, Jr., 1996 IRL co-champion Scott Sharp, 2001 Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves, 2001 Busch Series champion Kevin Harvick and IROC defending champion Bobby Labonte.
Lineup for the 2002 True Value IROC Series:
Name: Representing:
*Helio Castroneves Indy Racing League
*Kevin Harvick NASCAR Busch Series
*Sam Hornish Indy Racing League
Dale Jarrett NASCAR Winston Cup Series
Bobby Labonte NASCAR Winston Cup Series and reigning True Value IROC Champion
*Danny Lasoski World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series
Buddy Lazier Indy Racing League
Sterling Marlin NASCAR Winston Cup Series
Scott Sharp Indy Racing League
*Jack Sprague NASCAR Truck Series
Tony Stewart NASCAR Winston Cup Series
Al Unser, Jr. Indy Racing League
* Indicates True Value IROC Series rookie.
1/29/02
Course construction full steam ahead in Miami Organizers of the return of street racing to Miami are moving full speed ahead toward the Grand Prix of the Americas, scheduled for April 5-7. The American Le Mans Series will be the featured event of the weekend on Sunday, April 7. Though Miami was the home of some of the world's most successful street races in the 1980s and into the 1990s, the music of race cars has not echoed against Miami's downtown skyscrapers since 1995. Raceworks, LLC, a group of Miami businessmen working with the full cooperation of the city, has brought street racing back to the popular resort city. Construction recently got underway on what will be a 1.54-mile temporary racing circuit that will include part of Miami's famous Biscayne Boulevard and the city's Bayfront Park. Cars will travel south on Biscayne, make a brief loop to the north, and then turn into Bayfront Park. The circuit will wind through the park and then rejoin Biscayne. Pit road and the paddock area will be on Biscayne Boulevard. While racing through the park, the cars will have scenic Biscayne Bay in the background, with dozens of yachts and other boats moored in the water. Large cruise ships will be visible in the distance at the Port of Miami. The world-famous Grand Prix of Monaco has similar nautical scenery. The American Le Mans Series, a series of sports car endurance races that features many of the same world-class drivers and cars that compete in the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans, will join the international and cosmopolitan atmosphere of Miami. Sports cars are extremely popular in Miami, and most of the old street races in the city were sports car events. "I'm really excited about racing in Miami," said Tom Kristensen of Denmark, a three-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and a driver for the powerful Audi factory team. "We presented our new Audi in Miami two years ago and the people were very excited to see it. It's a lively city with lively people, and the event will be very exciting." "I raced in the last street race in Miami in 1995 and it was great," said California's Bryan Herta, who has joined the Panoz factory team for 2002 after a stellar career in CART racing. "It's an exciting city to be in and a great place to hold a street race." Construction underway includes roadway surface and drainage improvements along Bayfront Park roadways and service roads. More than half of the barrier walls have been built and will be shipped to the site on February 15. The Grand Prix of the Americas weekend in Miami will also include a race for the popular Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, along with a race for historic sports cars, including many that actually competed in previous Miami races. Also part of the weekend will be a celebrity race, with participants to be announced in the coming weeks. Ticket information for the Grand Prix of the Americas is available online at www.miamirace.com or by calling 1-305-373-3333 (toll-free in Florida 1-888-248-7223).
1/29/02
Industry News
And you thought we were kidding when we said China wants to be a world sports powerhouse? UPDATE President Bush was recently in Shanghai.  He's going back to China next month.  When was the last time a USA President visited the same country twice in such a short time?  Still think China isn't important? 1/29/02 -  China has stunned observers by entering the bidding to host the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. China - which last year won the race to host the 2008 Summer Games - was an unexpected late bid. It is hoping the north east city of Harbin will follow in the footsteps of Beijing and win the support of IOC officials. However, the chances of the IOC giving two of its key events to the same country within such a short time span seems unlikely. Other countries bidding include: Berne, Switzerland; Kangwon province, South Korea; Jaca, Spain; Salzburg, Austria; Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzogovina; and Vancouver, Canada.  Eventually it will dawn on CART and its sponsors that China is a place to be.
1/29/02
Villeneuve unhappy with new BAR, ready to bolt?  Jacques Villeneuve's second impressions on the BAR 004 proved to be quite negative today "I'm not pleased," he said. "The car doesn't feel as good as it did three weeks ago – there's been no progress. I had a problem with the seat, but that's normal with a new car. I don't know when the team is going to have a new chassis ready and I'm not sure that we are going to be good enough in time for Melbourne."  Will he finally say enough with being a backmarker?
1/29/02
Ferrari to the front in Barcelona
1 Michael Schumacher Ferrari B 1m18.470s 105
2 Rubens Barrichello Ferrari B 1m18.637s 67
3 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas* B 1m18.817s 95
4 Antonio Pizzonia Williams-BMW M 1m19.240s 91
5 Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW* M 1m19.430s 28
6 Felipe Massa Sauber-Petronas B 1m19.513s 75
7 Marc Gene Williams-BMW M 1m19.754s 24
8 Jarno Trulli Renault M 1m20.082s 58
9 Jenson Button Renault* M 1m20.097s 33
10 Anthony Davidson BAR-Honda B 1m20.155s 91
11 Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda* B 1m21.098s 43
12 Mika Salo Toyota* M 1m21.358s 18
13 Allan McNish Toyota* M 1m21.684s 41
14 Takuma Sato Jordan-Honda* B 1m22.599s 46
15 Marcel Lasee Jordan-Honda B 1m22.889s 80
16 Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW* M 1m46.189s 16
M = Michelin
B = Bridgestone
* denotes 2002 car
1/29/02
Sepp Koster to Contest 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship with Michael Shank Racing Michael Shank Racing (MSR) announced today that it has signed Sepp Koster, the second-place finisher in the 2001 Barber Dodge Pro Series (BDPS), to drive in this year’s CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. A native of Heemskerk, The Netherlands, the 24-year-old Koster will pilot MSR’s #5 Swift 014.a, which will be sponsored by Blue Bay Golf Resort, Uitert, Respons, Stora Drain, and Aria Helmets. As a fourth-year driver in the BDPS in 2001, Koster missed winning the ultra-competitive CART development series’ championship by just four points, posting three wins, three pole pole positions, and setting four fastest race laps in 12 events. Koster leaves the BDPS as its all-time points leader with 451. His BDPS career also includes a third-place finish in the championship standings in 2000, a fifth-place effort in 1999, and a ninth-place showing in 1998. “I’ve very happy to get into such a high-profile series,” said Koster. “I think it will finally give me the opportunity to show what I can do in a faster car and a more-competitive environment; it’s really a challenge that I’ve been looking forward to. And I’ve signed with one of the top teams, so I feel I should be able to get some good results. I don’t think we’ll have many problems on the technical side, which means it will be up to me to get the best out of the package they can offer.” “I’m extremely pleased that we’ve been able to add Sepp to our driver line-up for 2002,” said MSR team owner Michael Shank. “He came real close to winning the Barber Dodge Pro Series championship last year, so he certainly deserves the opportunity to move up to Atlantics. With the addition of several new teams to the series this year, we know it’s going to be tougher than ever to do well and win races, but with Sepp’s talent, experience, and desire to succeed, we think he’s going to be more than ready for the challenge.” Koster currently resides in Antwerp, Belgium, and is studying mechanical engineering at the University of Technology in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Also driving for MSR in 2002 will be Mexico’s Rodolfo Lavin, who is returning to the team for a second-consecutive season. The driver of a third MSR entry in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship is expected to be named shortly. The 12-race, 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship season begins on March 10 with the Tecate Telmex Grand Prix presented by Herdez at Fundidora Park in Monterrey, Mexico.
1/29/02
Team Cheever test Tomas Scheckter, announces press conference UPDATE Did you know that Scheckter was sacked by Jaguar F1 as test driver last year after being arrested for soliciting a prostitute in the UK?  Perhaps he is using the IRL to try and get his career back on track, but some sources say Al Unser Jr. may get the 2nd Cheever seat.  As with other drivers, Cheever put Tomas through PitFit's driver fitness testing program. He did extremely well. While they don't give out specific numbers, he broke the record on the V02 max treadmill aerobic capacity test, and this was after the poor kid flew in on a redeye with only one hours sleep. Excellent level of fitness. 1/23/02 -  The Red Bull Cheever Racing crew completed their first test of 2002 at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Jan. 21 and 22. "The purpose of this test was two-fold," said General Manager Richard Caron. "First to continue our testing program with Eddie, in preparation for the 2002 Indy Racing League championship, and second to hold our final evaluations of drivers for the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Infiniti." Tomas Scheckter, a 21-year-old racer from South Africa, joins Jeff Ward, Buddy Rice, and Dan Wheldon as drivers that have tested for the coveted second seat at Cheever Indy Racing. Tomas, the son of 1979 Formula One World Champion Jody Scheckter, passed his Indy Racing League rookie test by completing 85 laps, and reaching a top average speed of 210.7 mph. His unofficial speed was several miles per hour faster than the pole position (208.502 mph) for the last IRL race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in April 2000. "The first few sessions were unbelievable with the g-forces I felt," said Scheckter about his first oval track experience. "Driving an average speed of over 200 miles per hour was a great feeling, similar to a roller coaster. I got used to the feeling pretty quickly, and with guidance from Eddie, was able to do some good lap times. The team was very professional. Hopefully they feel as good about the test as I do." Currently the runner-up in the European Formula Nissan championship, Scheckter spent part of last year as a test driver for the Jaguar Racing Formula One team. His racing resume also includes championship titles in go-karts and the European Opel Lotus series, and second in the 2000 British F3 standings with two victories. In addition to monitoring Scheckter's rookie test, team owner Eddie Cheever Jr. drove 35 laps during the two-day test, focusing on engine development with the Infiniti Indy 35A. "The proverb, the apple does not fall far from the tree, is very much the case with the Scheckter family," said Eddie Cheever Jr., owner and driver, Red Bull Cheever Racing. "Jody was a phenomenal driver, and Tomas is following in his footsteps. He didn't miss a beat and was very methodical in his approach." Cheever Indy Racing will announce the driver of the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Infiniti during a press conference at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum at 10 a.m. (EST), Feb. 1. The new colors of the Red Bull Cheever Racing cars will also be unveiled at the event.  Nissan
1/29/02
Telstra backs Mark Webber  The largest Australian company, telecommunications giant Telstra, will be one of the sponsors on the Minardi team in 2002, backing Australian driver Mark Webber in his first year in F1.  F1 now has Fosters and Telstra, yet CART has been unable to land a big Australian sponsor for the series in all these years of racing in Australia with crowds bigger than F1 gets in Australia.  Perhaps because F1 sells itself as a true international series, it has been able to land these compnaies.
1/29/02
Prost liquidation sounds an F1 warning bell  We have maintained that costs and F1 are way out of hand and eventually it's going to be their downfall.  The head of Peugeot Sport Corrado Provera perhaps put it beat, "We don't regret our decision to pull out of Formula One at all, given the situation at the time. Even more so now, given the continuously increasing costs in the sport.''  We have also long maintained that if CART can get its house in order, F1 manufacturers will find CART a much cheaper proposition with the same worldwide reach.
1/29/02
Sigma Team lands big sponsor UPDATE Gerald Forsythe mentioned yesterday in Monterrey there will be an announcement at CART's Spring Break regarding a major European company.  He may have been referring to Sigma of course, but our sources say it's a USA company that does a lot of business both in the USA and abroad.  We spoke to Mr. Hermsen yesterday who told us negotiations are still ongoing for the 2nd car, and he remains hopeful.  They are trying to make sure they will have adequate engine supply from Ford since this deal came together late.  This week old story should be all laid out by Feb. 1st, Spring Break at the latest.  1/22/02 -  AutoRacing1.com has just learned from new Managing Director Gerard Hermsen that Sigma Autosport will announce a new multinational Champ Car sponsor on February 1st.  One car is definite and a 2nd car is looking very very good at the moment.  The sponsorship is a full 3-year deal. Roberto Moreno is one of the drivers being considered for the 2nd seat.  There are others.  All we are at liberty to say until the announcement is that the company will surprise a lot of people.  Since the 2nd car is looking pretty good, Mr. Hermsen told us they are going to be looking for more mechanics ASAP.  If you feel you are qualified for such a position, send us an e-mail at contacts@autoracing.com and we will provide you information where to send your resume.  Our hat's off to Sigma Autosport.  A new team who finished third in the pitstop competition their first year in CART, and has now landed a big multinational sponsor, something many established teams have been unable to do.  This is exactly the type of sponsor CART teams need more of, sponsors who sell product worldwide and recognize the value of the worldwide reach CART brings. We have updated our 2002 CART Silly Season Page Now do you get the feeling things are starting to turn around for CART? Mark C.
1/28/02
Americans Set Hot Pace in Manfeild Test Session  Team USA Scholarship winners A.J. Allmendinger and Bryan Sellers continued their excellent form Down Under by posting some impressive lap times during a test over the weekend at Manfeild Autocourse in the township of Feilding, near Palmerston North, on New Zealand's North Island. The one-day session gave the two young Americans an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the fast, flowing, technically demanding, 1.88-mile track in preparation for this weekend's final round of the Talley's New Zealand International Formula Ford Championship. Sellers currently holds a commanding lead in the title chase after six of the eight races. "I had a good day," said Sellers, after posting a lap time of 1:12.8, which according to observers, was very close to the existing Formula Ford lap record. "I don't see going much quicker there really; I think it was a pretty good lap. "It's a neat place," continued the 19-year-old from Centerville, Ohio, "and different to anything I've ever driven on before. There are a lot of looping corners -- kind of like a bunch of ovals attached, all going in different directions. It's intimidating, and really gives you something to work at." Allmendinger was not far behind, turning a lap at 1:13.2 in his similar red-white-and-blue Van Diemen, while local driver Brady Kennett, who won one of the races last weekend at Pukekohe, posted a 1:13.5. "Today went OK," said Allmendinger. "I'm just not real comfortable in the car. I don't trust it in the middle of the corners, so that's hurting me. It's frustrating, especially with how well Bryan's doing. He's really doing a great job and I've got to get up there with him." The weekend off between races at Pukekohe and Manfeild also has allowed the two young Americans an opportunity to build upon the friendships they have made during their extended visit to New Zealand. Prior to the Manfeild test, they stayed in Auckland with the family of Nick Ross, who won the second event at Pukekohe, and then were due to stay with Brady Kennett prior to next weekend's pair of races. "That's one of the things that's been so enjoyable about this trip," said Allmendinger. "We race hard on the track but we've met some great people. All in all, it's been a great experience." Support for the Team USA Scholarship is provided by CART, Steve and Christine Horne, The Craig Company, American Honda, Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Prappas Company, Klein Tools, Las Vegas Karting Center, Road Racing Drivers Club, Sparco USA, Skip Barber Racing, Jim Russell Racing Drivers School, Buttonwillow, Speedstar and Racer.
1/28/02
Ralf Schumacher quickest Monday in Barcelona
1: Ralf Schumacher – Williams - 1:19.280 (2002 car)
2: Juan Pablo Montoya – Williams - 1:19.373 (2001 car)
3: Antonio Pizzonia – Williams - 1:19.383 (2001 car)
4: Olivier Panis – BAR - 1:19.915 (2002 car)
5: Anthony Davidson – BAR - 1:19.929 (2001 car)
6: Eddie Irvine – Jaguar -1:20.477 (2002 car)
7: Jarno Trulli – Renault - 1:20.495 (2001 car)
8: Mika Salo – Toyota - 1:20.782 (2002 car)
9: Jenson Button – Renault - 1:21.089 (2002 car)
10: Allan McNish – Toyota - 1:21.271 (2002 car)
1/28/02
Bear Stearns speaks favorably of Pook's progress  We believe that the results of the latest CART board meeting are evidence that Mr. Pook continues to make solid progress in his efforts to realign and improve the company’s management structure and bring stability to the CART franchise. The latest changes in the CART structure should allow the company to enhance its relationships with sponsors, franchises, its media partners and other important stakeholders, given that they create an environment that promotes a more stable, long-term outlook for CART and open-wheel racing. In our view, Pook’s established relationships continue to show signs of helping the company at this point, particularly as it moves forward with its plans to develop the St. Petersburg event. The race will be run in conjunction with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Association, which is affiliated with the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, established by Pook himself. We continue to believe that Mr. Pook should prove invaluable as he moves forward in executing his plan of refocusing the company’s objectives and improving strategic relationships. Given that, we believe CART is in good hands, several outstanding issues are still at large (TV and sponsors for the upcoming season) adding a moderate degree of risk to the story. However, it appears as if Mr. Pook wants to and is looking forward to tackling these issues head first, and we believe that he will continue making major changes to CART’s business. Progress made next season will be very key to CART’s success, in our view as Pook contemplates and executes his plan to cultivate the current CART business model and works to ensure value for the company’s shareholders, participants, and constituents.  -Bear Stearns
1/28/02
Industry News
Lola helps British bobsled team  Lola Cars International Ltd, the world’s leading racing car designer and constructor, has placed substantial resources within its design, technology and manufacturing capability behind the British bobsleigh team. Lola, whose cars won 3 Championships around the ties believe can take us to the top, with the clear target of a gold medal at Turin in 2006 – and some World Cup wins along the way". Bruce Ropner, Chairman of the BBA, welcomed the new technical agreement. "This is just what we need. Our bob drivers and athletes are already world class in terms of their physical, competitive and mental approach. Now this agreement with Lola Cars International Ltd should give us, over the years to come, the extra speed we need to compete with the world’s best. This next month in Salt Lake City, we will be watched by top designers and engineers from Lola, studying the effects of what they have already done in modifications - and working with us to plan the technological future of British bobsleigh." Neil Scarisbrick, driver of GB1 in the 4 man squad, said:- " We’ve already had a day at Lola’s headquarters, seeing their fantastic technical resources."  -Lola
1/27/02
Barber grad Montoya learns from World Champion  Skip Barber grad Juan Pablo Montoya learned a lot about Formula One last season and one key lesson to help him challenge for the title came from Michael Schumacher. "There is one area where he has greatly improved and continues to do so," said team principal Frank Williams, discussing the Colombian's first season at the launch of the new FW24 car. "He understands that when Michael [Schumacher] leaves the circuit, his mental application doesn't diminish at all. He's always thinking about how to make himself, his car and his team better. "Juan is gradually spending more and more time doing a similar thing." The 1994 Barber Pro Series racer, who won rave reviews for three memorable overtaking maneuvers on Ferrari's four times world champion, stood out in the second half of the season with a first victory at Monza in September. The most exciting South American driver since the late Brazilian Ayrton Senna starts the season in Australia in March capable of matching Schumacher in and out of the car as Williams set their sights on the championship. "If the car works and we work together then there's a possibility we could do it," said Montoya of Williams's chances of winning the constructors' crown. Montoya also maintained it was the team boss who had first taken him aside and suggested he adopt a more focused approach: "He's the one who came and told me 'you know, you've got to really think about it and do this and do that.'" Montoya, recently linked to Ferrari as a possible replacement for Schumacher when the German retires, admitted he might earn more money at another team but declared himself satisfied with his current deal. He added that he could see himself staying at Williams long- term, possibly building up a similar environment to that enjoyed by Schumacher at the Italian team. "I wouldn't mind. I think Williams and BMW have got a good relationship and a few years to go together still," he said. Skip Barber Racing
1/27/02
Industry News
Noted car designer Ron Tauranac honored in Australia  Ron Tauranac, designer of the Formula One cars in which Australia's Sir Jack Brabham and New Zealand's Denny Hulme won world titles in the 1960s, has been awarded an Order of Australia (the country's highest non-military honor) in today's Australia Day Honors. Tauranac, 76, was at one time the world's most prolific constructor of open-wheeler racing cars through his Ralt company. The peak of his career was the creation of the Repco-Brabham cars in which Sir Jack Brabham took his third F1 world title in 1966 and the late Denny Hulme his crown the next year. Tauranac was born in Kent, England, of French origins, but spent much of his life in New South Wales -- initially at Newcastle and then in Sydney -- before settling in England, where he still lives at Woking. Mike Kable, the late Motoring Editor of The Australian newspaper, wrote in Motor Racing Australia magazine in 1993 that Tauranac was "one of the most influential, most respected persons" in motor sport. Kable described Tauranac as a "quiet, self-effacing and decidedly gracious man, who deserves a huge place in motor racing posterity when its 20th century history is written". Tauranac was Brabham's partner for many years and after the triple world champion driver retired at the end of 1970 ran their F1 team alone for a year until selling it to Bernie Ecclestone. Tauranac played a major part in persuading Japanese motor giant Honda to enter motor racing -- a move which led to it becoming the dominant engine supplier in Formula One in the late 1980s and early 1990s, repeatedly powering the Williams car of Nigel Mansell and then the McLarens of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost to victory. He has been the mentor to many of the great F1 designers of the past 40 years, including Patrick Head (Williams team), Gordon Murray (Brabham and McLaren) and Australian Ralph Bellamy. He remains a consultant to Honda. Sir Jack Brabham said he was "extremely pleased and proud that Ron Tauranac's talents have finally been publicly recognised". "The work that Ron has done for the international motor and motor racing industries, and the Australian-honed skills that he has demonstrated for so long around the world, have not previously been acknowledged as they should have been. An Order of Australia is a fitting reward for a very talented and exceptional man," Sir Jack said. -www.grandprix.com.au
1/27/02
Max Papis to speak at MIT  Max Papis has been invited by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to participate in a special lecture series hosted by the Boston based university. Papis, along with Sigma Autosport team owner Tom Wieringa, will attend the lecture on Monday, Jan. 28th at as part of the “Art and Science of Car Racing” class. Papis will deliver a speech on the “Racing Spirit” and will be followed by Wieringa that gives MIT students a perspective from a team owner standpoint.  Both speeches will emphasize the importance of technology and passion as the fundamental make up of motor racing as we see it. The MIT class surveys the basic aspects and engineering principles behind car racing. It investigates the role and operation of the tires, the general dynamics of car behavior (understeer, oversteer and neutral steer) and the different mechanisms that make up the chassis (frame, suspension) and powertrain (engine, transmission) of the car. During class sessions time is also devoted to racing from the drivers prospective as opposed to the designers perspective. The last lecture will take the students to a local go-kart facility; interesting how these are the venues where professional drivers make their first attempts. Papis himself started his career driving go-karts at the age of 13. “I am honored to be taking an active part in these lectures” said Papis. “I feel as it is my way of giving back to the younger generation that is interested in auto racing. I’m therefore happy to share a passion and a commitment with students that, in a few years, could even be a member of my engineering team”.  As part of his speech on the “Racing Spirit,” Papis will talk about what has lead him to be a driver and how car racing is a perfect blend of both the art of driving and the science behind it. "This is certainly an honor and a wonderful opportunity for Max and myself,” added Wieringa. “To have MIT College students interested in racing, specifically the CART FedEx Championship says a lot for our series.  This is something we are looking forward to doing."
1/27/02
Miller Beer may become more global  According to this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, under a proposal that could be announced as early as March, Miller Brewing Co. would merge with two foreign brewers to form a new company that spans the globe while retaining Miller's Milwaukee headquarters, industry sources said. The new company, a combination of Miller, Scottish & Newcastle PLC and South African Breweries PLC, would be the world's largest brewer, making it bigger than industry giants Anheuser-Busch Cos. and Heineken NV. It would combine Miller, the second-largest U.S. brewer, with the strong European and African operations of Scottish & Newcastle and South African Breweries. As part of the deal, Miller's Milwaukee corporate headquarters - and its roughly 1,000 jobs - would likely remain intact, beer industry analysts said. A final agreement has not been reached between Philip Morris (parent company of Miller) and the two foreign brewers, sources said. While an announcement could come as soon as March, it's still possible that negotiations could fall apart, one source said. If the merger happens, this might be excellent news for CART as it attempts to get Miller back as a Rahal team sponsor.  The global company should be happy with CART's global reach, assuming CART and Team Rahal talk to the merged enterprise about global marketing and don't dig themselves in a hole again by just talking to the USA entity who only care about USA sales.
1/27/02
Roger Penske now dumping ISC stock too  Roger Penske sold all his CART stock a couple of years ago.  Now Roger has registered with the SEC his intentions to sell 2.5 million of the 4.6 million shares of ISC he owns.  Assuming he sells them all, that would leave him with 2.1 million shares remaining, or 8.37%.  ISC stock closed Friday at $39.67 per share.  The 2.5 million share sale amounts to about $99 million, quite a hefty sum.  We wonder what Roger plans to do with the money.  Perhaps he plans on a large purchase of CART stock now that Chris Pook is in charge which may very well result in a complete CART turnaround.  We have a new poll on our home page, do you think Chris Pook will lead CART to success?
1/27/02
Max Papis talks about Safety Conference  The 2002 International Council of Motorsports Sciences (ICMS) and the FIA World Wide Motorsports Safety Symposium was recently hosted by CART and Dr. Steve Olvey, who serves as director of medical affairs for CART.  Hosted Jan. 17-19, the symposium brought together the top medical professionals from throughout the motor racing world.  Olvey; CART chief orthopedic consultant, Dr. Terry Trammell; FIA safety and medical commissions president, Professor Sid Watkins; IRL director of medical services, Dr. Henry Bock, were among the presenters as key issues facing motorsports were addressed.  More than 150 medical professionals attended the symposium in Olvey's hometown of Miami.

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1/27/02
Changes in store for Monaco?  Reconstruction work at Monte Carlo harbor could lead to a modification of the famous Formula 1 circuit. The Principality's existing harbor is to be extended to make it 50% larger. When the marina is enlarged, the neighboring swimming-pool section may also be rebuilt. And that would also change the shape of the slowest of all Formula 1 circuits, possibly even leading to a new pit lane. The reason is that the alterations would involve changing the course of the coast road from the Tabac bend. The high-speed section past the swimming pool would then be bypassed, and a new approach to the pits near the starting/finishing line would become necessary. It is almost a foregone conclusion that the new section would give racing drivers more room to maneuver. The Grand Prix circuit is already under fire from safety experts for its lack of grassy escape zones. Nelson Piquet, who won the 1983 world championship in a Brabham BMW, criticized the layout of the Monaco circuit two decades ago: "It's like flitting about the living room in a helicopter". It would certainly be a relief for present-day racing drivers if the course were modified. Space is at a premium there: it is rare for drivers to be able to overtake on the Circuit de Monaco, only 3.367 km long.
1/27/02
Formula Team roundup  Rubens Barrichello was in Mugello Friday shooting an advertisement and will be back there on Monday for testing. Both he and Schumacher will be at Barcelona from 29 January to 1 February testing electronics and tires. Bridgestone is currently involved in a large development program with new tires incorporating new compounds and constructions. The new car is nearly ready and will be launched on 6 February in the brand new factory which will be used to assemble engines for both Maserati and Ferrari production cars. Story
1/26/02
Four (4)  Sold Out 2002 Daytona 500 tickets for sale 2nd UPDATE All four Daytona 500 tickets are sold.  Thanks to all those who inquired.  1/25/02 - Two of the four tickets have been sold.  We have just two left.  1/2/02 - We have four prime tickets for the 2002 Daytona 500 for sale.  They are in the Weatherly Tower and afford a full view of the entire track and pit lane.  The price is $170 each (i.e. face value). Don't get stuck sitting on the back straight where you can't see the pit action. These are premium seats. If interested send an e-mail to feedback@autoracing1.com   Grandstand Map
1/26/02
Montoya: I want to drive for Ferrari some day  Montoya said at the launch of the new Williams F1 car on Friday that he was attracted by the mystique of the Ferrari name, which is the most famous in Grand Prix racing. "One day Ferrari would be good. It's a bit of a myth. But it's not that I would leave Williams now and go to Ferrari," Montoya said. Montoya's contract with Williams runs out at the end of this season, but the team have an option on him for 2003 and 2004. Williams also has Ralf Schumacher under contract until the end of 2004, and an option to bring Jenson Button back from Renault at the end of this season. BBC
1/26/02
Pook named Chairman of Executive Committee of Board  With Chris Pook's appointment of Chairman of the new Executive Committee of the CART Board of Directors, he has now been given full support to run the company.  Joe Heitzler had retained the role of Chairman of the Board when Pook was voted President.
1/26/02
Prost Team to become Italian outfit?  We learn of the Prost team's fate on Monday (hopefully), but team boss Alain Prost has hinted that the team's future might not include him. Bloomberg quoted Alain Prost on yesterday: "If the team could be saved by my walking away, I would do so. I'm more concerned for my employees than about what might happen to me.'' Reports in Europe say the best offer came from a group of Italian investors and a sports analyst Giovanni Palazzi said that the group included up to 30 Italian companies and he was quoted: "The idea is for Prost to retain a minority holding and remain as team manager".
1/26/02
Montoya gets new Race Engineer  Juan Montoya will have a new race engineer for 2002 and at the team's launch of their 2002 car, said that he is confident of a good working relationship with new race engineer Tony Ross. "The relationship with him is evolving really quick, and I think that is helping out a lot. It is going to be his first season as the main engineer, so it is going to be a tough job for him, but he wants to do it well so badly that he is pushing it really hard and it is really paying off.''
1/26/02
Schumacher manager under investigation  This is probably going to go away as quick as it came, but German publication Bild reported yesterday  that German prosecutors have launched an investigation against the Schumacher brothers' manager Willi Weber regarding alleged financial irregularities surrounding the liquidation of a merchandising company. Prosecutor Volker Bewernick was quoted: "All I can say is that decision-makers at the Pole Position Marketing GmbH (PPM) have been placed under suspicion". The report stated that Weber sold PPM with an annual turnover of 13.8 euros and debts of 4.5 million euros to his lawyer Nils Harder, who liquidated the company and transferred merchandise worth 1.2 million euros to one of Weber's other companies. They also quoted Weber: "As far as I know everything went according to the law. The affair will be cleared up soon."
1/25/02
PacWest team renamed to RaceSport  We have received numerous inquiries about a name change of the PacWest Team to RaceSport, and where the RaceSport name came from.  Bruce McCaw currently serves as the president of RaceSport Management Company, which he founded in 1993.  It would appear Mr. McCaw is going to name the team after this company.  Perhaps he has plans to grow this into a known sports management company.  His wife Jolene is a Director of the company.
1/25/02
Trans-Am tidbits  Three Trans-Am champions, including reigning titlist Paul Gentilozzi, will combine to pilot a Jaguar XKR in the celebrated Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance classic, Feb. 2 and 3 at Daytona International Speedway. The entry, co-sponsored by Johnson Controls and Homelink, will be co-driven by former Trans-Am champions Scott Pruett and Brian Simo, as well as by distance racing specialist Michael Lauer. Between them, Gentilozzi, Pruett and Simo own six Trans-Am titles, Gentilozzi leading the way with three, in 1998, ’99 and 2001. Pruett owns two series championships (1987, ’94), while Simo claimed the 2000 Trans-Am crown. Pruett and Gentilozzi drove to the overall victory in the 1994 Rolex 24 in a Nissan 300ZX GTS, sharing driving duties with Steve Millen and Butch Leitzinger. Leitzinger was recently announced as driver of the Tommy Bahama-sponsored Chevrolet Corvette entered by Tom Gloy Racing in the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup. Veteran driver Tony Ave, who owns over a decade of driving experience in a variety of motorsports disciplines, has been named as driver of the LAC Motorsports Panoz Esperante for the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BF Goodrich Tires Cup. The car will receive primary sponsorship from Wickes Lumber. The announcement was made by LAC Motorsports owner Kerry Alexander.
1/25/02
Highlights of CART Board Meeting  Taking the first step in creating an improved environment in which automobile manufacturers and sponsors can justify a long-term business commitment to the FedEx Championship Series, Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. President and CEO Christopher R. Pook announced today a new four-year period of CART Champ Car rules stability that was overwhelmingly supported and adopted by both the Board of Directors and the CART team owners Franchise Board in a pair of meetings held Tuesday and Wednesday in St. Petersburg, Fla.  Story
1/25/02
Team Rahal & Vasser pleased with progress  Team Rahal and Shell driver Jimmy Vasser took another significant step in their quest for the 2002 CART Championship with two days of testing at Sebring International Raceway on Wednesday and Thursday. The test allowed the team to build on the solid groundwork laid at their initial Sebring test two weeks ago. Most encouraging for the Shell team is the fact that Vasser topped his previous fast time by nearly a full second. Once again the "unofficial" lap times placed the Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola among the quickest cars on the track during the two-day test. Team Rahal logged over 300 miles during the two days as the team continued to gain familiarity with the Lola B2/00 chassis and the 2002 version of the Ford-Cosworth XF engine. This was also the team's second test with the new Bridgestone Potenza tire that all CART teams will utilize in 2002. "It has been encouraging to be as quick as we have been at the first couple of tests considering our main focus has not been on speed but trying different set-ups and building an understanding of the capabilities of this package," said Vasser, the 1996 CART champion. "There is a sense of unfinished business about this team and you can feel the hunger in everyone that is involved with the operation. The atmosphere around this team and the attention to detail has made my transition to Team Rahal easy."
1/25/02
Williams team secures FedEx sponsorship  FedEx logos will appear on the front wings of the Williams cars in 2002, similar to Ferrari.  Robert W. Elliott, FedEx President Europe, Middle East & Africa said: "We are absolutely delighted with the sponsorship. The sport so closely reflects our core values of speed, reliability, technology and teamwork it is an amazing fit for us, and it is great to be associated with BMW WilliamsF1 Team, the team that will be challenging for the World Championship title in 2002." Team Principal Frank Williams remarked, "We are honored to be able to add a truly impressive global corporation and Fortune 500 mainstay corporation to our sponsorship portfolio. For many years we have been aware of FedEx's presence in F1 and I am delighted that they have agreed to join the team for the next three years."
1/25/02
More Brazilian stars in CART's farm system? 2nd UPDATE How well respected is this Jonatan Jorge?  Click on his photo and you will see a Montoya Racing decal on the side.  He is sponsored by Juan Montoya and his father.  The Montoya's decided to sponsor him because they said, and we quote, "he is really good."  He is 18-years old and has been racing go-karts for 9-years.  He now lives in Miami and is looking forward to a future career in CART.  Based on his recent performances, and looking at all the big sponsors he has plastered all over his uniform, it may be sooner than you think.   1/24/02 - We have added a pictures of Jonatan Jorge to the right.  1/22/02 -  Brazilian driver Jonatan Jorge (Montoya Racing/Dedgewater Construction/TL Racing) won the 6th Round of the Formula Barber Dodge - Southern Championship / Group 1, this past Sunday in Daytona, FL, after starting in the last position in the grid. Jorge was the pole sitter, but another driver's crash into the back of his car at the starting line interrupted the race. As Jorge's car needed repairs, forcing him to start from the back of the pack. Demonstrating an amazing adaptation to both the car and the circuit, Jonatan Jorge had a spectacular start and - in the 8th lap - took over the lead and held it until the end of the race. On Saturday, in the 5th Round, Jorge also scored the pole as well as winning the race with a start-to-finish lead. Jorge, who also set the fastest lap during both races, maintains the lead of the championship in points, with five wins (in six races), one second place, five pole-positions as well as scoring the fastest lap in five events. Jonatan Jorge, remember that name!  Other Brazilian drivers with good performances were Christiano Piquet (related to Nelson), who also won both rounds after starting on the pole in Group III, and Eduardo Marques Jr. (related to Tarso), who attained a second place in Group II on Saturday, after securing the pole. On Sunday, in an audacious move for the lead, Marques dropped to last, but finished the race in 8th - marking a nice overall, recovery performance. The next event will be held in Sebring, FL, in February.
  Much More...click on 2002 archives button below

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