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DATE

News (chronologically 2/18/02 to 2/26/02)

2/25/02

Detailed 2002 F1 and CART TV Schedules UPDATE We have added the ALMS schedule as well  2/25/02 -  We are happy to provide you 2002 SPEED Channel TV schedules for both F1 and CART, including practice, qualifying, pre-race and race times.  We will fill in any gaps as they are received. All times are Eastern Standard time
 CART  |  Formula One | ALMS

2/25/02

Early invitations mailed for 86th Indy 500   Entry invitations for the 86th Indianapolis 500 were mailed Feb. 22 to race teams eligible to compete in the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on May 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Entries must be postmarked by April 3. All drivers will compete for one of the 33 starting spots in the world's most prestigious auto race. Drivers expected to compete for a starting spot include six past Indianapolis 500 champions: 1990 and 1997 winner Arie Luyendyk, 1992 and 1994 winner Al Unser Jr., 1996 winner Buddy Lazier, 1998 winner Eddie Cheever Jr., 1999 winner Kenny Brack and 2001 winner Helio Castroneves. Pennzoil Panther Racing also is expected to file an entry for defending Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr. Other past Indy Racing champions expected to compete are 1996 co-champion Scott Sharp, who won the MBNA Pole for last year's race; 1996-97 champion Tony Stewart; 1998 champion Brack; 1999 champion Greg Ray and 2000 champion Lazier. Other anticipated drivers include two-time CART champion Gil de Ferran, now competing full time in the Indy Racing League with Marlboro Team Penske teammate Castroneves; 1997 Bank One Rookie of the Year Jeff Ward; 1999 Bank One Rookie of the Year Robby McGehee; 1998 Indianapolis 500 pole winner Billy Boat; 2001 Indy Racing League Chevy Rookie of the Year Felipe Giaffone; IRL veterans Eliseo Salazar and Donnie Beechler, driving for Indianapolis 500 legend A.J. Foyt; Indianapolis 500 veterans Michael Andretti, Jimmy Vasser and Paul Tracy. Indianapolis 500 rookies will participate in the Rookie Orientation Program on April 12-14 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Opening day for the Indianapolis 500 is Sunday, May 5. Pole Day is May 11, with the second day of qualifications May 12. The final day of qualifications - Bump Day - is May 19. Coors Carb Day is May 23. Practice will take place May 6-10 and May 15-18. There will be no track activity May 13-14, May 20-22 and May 24-25. The 86th Indianapolis 500 will be broadcast live by ABC Sports and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. Reserved seating for the race is sold out. General admission tickets for practice, qualifications and race day can be purchased in advance by calling (317) 492-6700. IMS

2/25/02

Team Rahal wraps up preseason tests   CART franchise member Team Rahal wrapped up a highly successful 2002 preseason testing schedule with three days on track last week (2/20-2/22) on the road course at Miami/Homestead Speedway. Team Rahal serves as the factory Ford team so drivers Jimmy Vasser and Michel Jourdain Jr. spent considerable time working with Ford-Cosworth's technical people fine-tuning the recently sanctioned traction control for the 2002 XF engine. The two Rahal drivers logged nearly a thousand miles as the team finalized its preparations for the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series opener that is less than two weeks away in Monterrey, Mexico (March 8-10). "Coming out of the final test I think our team is focused and ready for Monterrey, Mexico," said Bobby Rahal, Team Rahal owner. "Considering that we have two new drivers and new faces in engineering and on the pit crews, I fully expected that we might be further behind at this point, but everyone has worked very hard and this team has come together very quickly. When I walk through the shop there is a sense that we have some unfinished business from last season. The hunger that is evident on the faces of everyone at the team reflects the focus of this team on winning the CART championship." In 2001 Team Rahal led the CART FedEx Championship Series in wins (6) and laps led (843) and captured seven pole positions, all Team Rahal records. However the biggest prize, the Vanderbilt Cup and the CART championship, eluded the team as drivers Kenny Brack and Max Papis finished second and sixth respectively in the championship. Shell driver Jimmy Vasser, considered a preseason favorite to contend for the CART championship, logged the fastest laps at the test on the first two days and the second fastest lap on the final day.

2/25/02

Team Kool Green and Dario Franchitti wrap up preseason tests   Dario Franchitti and Team KOOL Green wrapped up their final test of the preseason on Sunday, February 24 at the 1.5-mile Homestead Miami Speedway oval. It was an extended weekend as Franchitti and the #27 team tested the 2.17-mile road course on Thursday and Friday, February 21 & 22. Franchitti completed 316 trouble free-miles on the road course posting a best lap of 67.9 seconds, while Sunday's oval test was limited to just 27 miles because of mechanical problems. Team KOOL Green headed to the Homestead road course looking to build on last month's test there by teammate Paul Tracy. The crew performed ballast tests (adding weight to the front and rear of the car) on Thursday and also concentrated on the rear suspension. On Friday, the crew continued working on the mechanical grip of the car and posting consistent lap time times. The team had a long checklist to complete on Sunday, as it was Franchitti's first oval test this year. But mechanical problems hampered the test and did not allow them to accomplish many of their goals. "We really learned a lot on the road course those first two days," said Kyle Moyer, Team KOOL Green team manager. "Dario and Allen (McDonald, race engineer) are working well together and we accomplished our project list. Unfortunately we can't say the same about Sunday. We wanted to try some things on the oval that we weren't able to, but sometimes you have to take the bad with the good." With preseason testing complete for Team KOOL Green and the start of the season less than two weeks away, Moyer says he can sense a change in the team. "The guys are starting to get excited about the season opener in Monterrey," said Moyer. "There is a buzz in the shop as the crews finish preparing the cars. It's been a busy winter and everyone at Team KOOL Green is looking forward to getting started on a successful season." The #27 Team KOOL Green crew now heads back to Indianapolis to finalize preparations for the CART FedEx Championship Series season opener in Monterrey, Mexico on March 10.

2/25/02

PacWest Racing Group has a new name   PacWest Racing Group announced today that they have officially changed their name to PWR Championship Racing. Along with the name change, PWR will be launching a new website (currently under construction), www.pwrracing.com, which will consist of many new and exciting improvements. An official announcement regarding the website launch will be coming soon! Through the evolution of these changes there are key factors that will not change - PWR's commitment to the CART FedEx Championship Series and delivering success both on and off the track. PWR, owned by Bruce R. McCaw, competes in the CART FedEx Championship Series. The team enters their 10th season in the series in 2002 and is currently preparing for the CART FedEx Series opener on March 10, 2002 at Monterrey, Mexico, which will be broadcast live on Speed Channel at 4:00PM EST.

2/25/02

Kenseth's car found to be illegal  Matt Kenseth's Ford was found to be a quarter of an inch too low during post-race inspections of the car. NASCAR has decided that the win will stand, but the team will most likely be given some sort of penalty later this week.

2/24/02

Panoz courting ex-Prost designer for G-Force  Faced with increased competition in the IRL from Lola and Reynard, and with a possible eye toward CART, G-Force owner Don Panoz is courting designer Jean-Paul Gousset.  Gousset is from the Prost F1 Team that recently went into bankruptcy and folded. Even Dallara has pretty much had a lock on the IRL market, and if Panoz doesn't do something quickly to make his car faster, he will soon find himself out of the Indy Car market.

2/24/02
Industry News

Historic racer killed in Australia  At the Historic race meeting at Philip Island, Australia over the weekend, a driver was killed following an accident when he ran into the back of a slower car. The car he was driving was a rare historic BRM open wheeler, believed to be one of only 2 in the world, and was built of magnesium. The driver was thrown out of the car which then caught fire and was totally destroyed. It is believed the car was insured for over $1 million USD.  The drivers name has been with-held but he was a well known overseas historic racing driver and was to take part in the historic car demonstration races at the Australian GP this coming weekend. It's sad that this should happen in a class of racing that's meant to be fun.  J. Burch

2/24/02

Sunday Times of London thinks in the end Bernie will buy back F1  Contrary to denials by Bernie Ecclestone, a story in today's The Sunday Times of London, reports that "Bernie is still the favorite to buy back F1 from Kirch," says one source. "Despite what they say, the manufacturers want him to take it back because they realize he is the only person who can gather everything together again." For now Ecclestone holds all the cards. Not only is he the logical buyer for the stake, but the longer he waits the less he will have to pay.  In another article in the same paper, Richard Rae writes - "The 90% of fans (non hardcore) for whose interest motor sport must compete with every other national and international sport, that F1 must address itself. It is not easy to pour thousands of millions of pounds into a notionally competitive contest and not produce something worth watching, but for the non-partisan spectator, that is too often the reality. And that is why the liquidation of the Prost team last month, after going into administration with debts reported to be around £19m, may be the wake-up call the sport needs. It is not enough simply to reduce costs, critical though that is for the future of the smaller teams on the grid. The opportunity is there to do so in such a way that will also produce a more competitive and therefore attractive sport.......As ever, the central role will be played by Bernie Ecclestone. Few would bet against the puppet-master brokering some sort of deal, probably involving buying back the TV rights from Kirch, whether directly or indirectly, and then involving the manufacturers in their future exploitation. If, by that time, he can offer them and their sponsors the prospect of a more genuinely competitive spectacle on the back of which to raise their profile, so much the better for all concerned. Including those of us who watch and admire. Because in there really does sit a man." Amen! Sunday Times

2/24/02

Williams Team Australian GP preview  After one of the most intensive winters on record during which the BMW WilliamsF1 Team has covered over 20,000km of testing in Europe, the speculation about the 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship will finally come to an end as teams assemble in the Victorian capital of Melbourne for the start of the new season. Despite being the curtain raiser to the 17 race series, the 5.3km city circuit that borders Albert Park Lake is widely regarded as one of the highlights of the season. After a strong finish to the 2001 Championship, BMW WilliamsF1 Team drivers Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya will be looking to sustain that momentum and kick start the 2002 campaign with a strong performance in the opening race. Ralf Schumacher: After the intense test program over the last two months we are supposed to be better prepared than ever before, especially as we have done some race distances too. The most important thing for the first race of the season is always to finish it. I think, if we see the chequered flag we should have a chance to score a podium position as well. I like the Melbourne circuit a lot. Considering that it is a street circuit, it is very well done. Furthermore Melbourne is one of my favorite towns of the GP calendar. I will travel to Australia already on Saturday to have time enough to acclimatize.  Juan Pablo Montoya: I must admit, I didn't really fancy racing at Melbourne for the first time last year, but once I got the hang of it, it was a pretty good place to compete. It is quite different from your average track as it is comprised of fast straights followed by slow corners. As Melbourne is the first race of the season, there will be a big question mark over everyone's speed, even though I think we will be alright. We have done miles of testing recently, but despite this, I always want to do more before the first race.  Williams

2/23/02

The Andretti boys  UPDATE A reader writes to say the photo was taken in 1967 at the Indy 500. 1967, the year Michael's father Mario won the Daytona 500, 12-Hours of Sebring, and the his 2nd-straight USAC Champ Car championship. He also sat on the pole at Indy that year, setting a new one and four lap record.  2/21/02 - We thought you might get a kick out of this old photo of the Andretti boys taken sometime around 1969.


From left to right: Mark Andretti, Michael Andretti, John Andretti
and Jeff Andretti. Already, the foursome looks ready to race.
Photo Credit: IMS Photo Ron McQueeney

2/23/02

Visteon/Patrick team conclude 5th test  Visteon/Patrick Racing completed its fifth preseason test in preparation for the start of the 2002 FedEx Championship Series season running for three days, February 20-22, on the road course in Homestead, Florida. With the season opening Tecate Telmex Grand Prix just over two weeks away, and the first two races both on road/street circuits, the team used the three-day road course test to fine tune their setups and work extensively with traction control, which was recently approved for competition during the 2002 season. Rookie Townsend Bell (photo to right by Michelle Saunders - AutoRacing1.com) drove the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard approximately 320 miles during the test turning a fast lap of 68.02 seconds. The time was among the fastest run of the cars testing. "Overall, I was pleased with the way the test went," Bell said. "The Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard was consistently among the fastest cars when we were on the track and I think we learned a lot about running with traction control," the native of California noted. Commenting on the start of the 2002 FedEx Championship Series season Bell said, "I have learned a lot during the preseason. The Visteon/Patrick Racing team has made a big effort to help me make the adjustment to champ cars. As far as the car is concerned, the Toyota engine has been both reliable and powerful, the Reynard chassis handles great and Bridgestone has, once again, produced some tremendous tires. Based on our preseason-testing program I think we have a very good setup for the first two races of the season, which are both on road/street circuits, so I am confident heading in the start of the 2002 FedEx Championship Series season." Patrick Racing General Manager Jim McGee expressed similar sentiments saying, "We had a good test the last three days at Homestead. We worked extensively with traction control, which was approved for competition a couple of weeks ago, and got a lot of good information. We will probably run another day at Homestead on Tuesday (February 26) just to confirm some of the data we developed and to explore further how best to take advantage of traction control. Other than that I think we are ready for the start of the season." Regarding preseason testing and the upcoming start of the season McGee said, "Our preseason testing program has gone extremely well. We achieved our main goal, which was to get Townsend as many miles as possible, however we have also been competitive at every test. The Visteon/Patrick Racing crew has done a great job preparing the car and making sure it is reliable, the engineers have done a good job with the setups and Townsend has worked very hard. I think we look good heading into the start of the season based on our testing. Of course, racing is different than testing. Townsend did a good job last year racing for us, but the experience he will gain in these first few races will be very valuable. It is going to be an exciting and interesting season," McGee concluded.

2/23/02

Christian Fittipaldi debuts new Fittipaldi Kart  Quietly and without much fanfare, Newman-Haas Champ Car pilot Christian Fittipaldi recently debuted his new Fittipaldi Kart at the first two rounds of the SKUSA Florida Winter Tour. Like many professional drivers, Christian keeps his racing skills sharp by karting, yet now he does so on a chassis that bears his famous family name. Story.  No doubt about it.  The first rung on CART's development ladder is Shifter Karts, where you learn to race on a road course and shift gears at an early age.  Now more than ever, Champ Car drivers are getting actively involved in karting and this can only help the lower echelons of the sport and get kids involved at an early age.  If CART is going to reach grassroots America, it's going to probably be its efforts with go-karting that will help most.  But are they doing enough?  We think not.  The sport at the lower levels is highly fragmented and it's confusing as to which series to enter.  There needs to be a sanctioning body that can pull the sport of go-kart racing together (the split hurts go-kart racing as much as it hurts CART and the IRL), give it some better organization, and make efforts to make it a high-school sport.  Can you imagine if every high-school in America had a go-kart team that competed in local, regional and national championships, what that would do for the sport of open wheel racing?  MC

2/23/02

More on Marco Andretti's karting endeavors  – The photo to the right is 14-year old Marco Andretti taken last summer at the WKA Nationals in Dousman WI.  Digital image by Clare" www.racer-pix.photoreflect.com.  In this race Marco did run towards the front, and made passes where he should.  Unfortunately, the equipment he was running at that event failed him in the final, where he broke in the first several laps.  Marco tested with a CRG kart in December and as in everything else, the right equipment (and pit crew) often means the difference. Look for Marco's 2002 kart to have similar livery as Dad's CART ride. Note in the photo, it already carries the same #39.  As for Marco's kart breaking at the WKA Nationals....does the Andretti luck continue with yet a third generation?  Marco Andretti has gone on record.  His goal?  To be a professional race car driver.

2/22/02

Fernández Racing Closes the Book on Pre-Season Testing  – Fernández Racing wrapped up its pre-season testing program today with the conclusion of a three-day outing at Homestead Miami Speedway. The next time Adrián Fernández and Shinji Nakano take to the track will be on Friday, March 8, for the opening round of practice at the Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix, the start of the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series.  “We are ready for Monterrey,” said Fernández, who put the #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone through an abbreviated, but scheduled, 50-mile test day. “We learned a lot about the new package during these three days and had no mechanical problems. Hopefully we can apply what we learned and be competitive. I’m ready to race. I’m ready for Monterrey.”   Shinji Nakano handled the bulk of the testing duties today aboard the #52 Alpine/Mitsuba Honda/Lola/Bridgestone, bringing the team’s total distance around the 2.1-mile road course to just over 900 miles.  “We have a much better understanding of the changes we made and how they affect the car,” said Nakano. “There is a lot of learning involved to understand a new car, and these three days have been very important. I still have a little bit of understeer, but it was much better today. I feel pretty comfortable heading into the first race.”  Co-owner and Managing Director Tom Anderson elaborated on the team’s progress: “I think we are coming away from this test with a good baseline. We concentrated on chassis adjustments and mapping the suspension to look for mechanical options to use at Monterrey. It was a good day, and a good conclusion to our pre-season testing. We’ll load up, go back home and prepare to head to Mexico.”

2/22/02

Investments in Shanghai continue  If CART's race in the Pudong district of Shanghai ever materialize,  the CART contingent will be amazed at what they see.  Today the Shanghai government signed a series of agreements for key investment projects that will pour more than US$375 million into the Pudong financial district.  This on top of the $ billions already being invested.  Pudong is the place to support, so money flows to Pudong,” said a Chinese financial professional. And the trend is unlikely to change soon - both President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji are former mayors of Shanghai.  Not all of its population of more than 14 million is sharing in this new wealth, of course. But the sudden emergence of a Chinese city as a world fashion center, for instance, is striking.  Tony Zhang, a 32-year old Shanghai resident who lived in the United States for many years, runs Park 97, a chic new tapas bar and club in Shanghai’s Fuxing Park. “Entrepreneurship is in the blood of the Shanghainese,” Zhang said.

2/22/02

Newman Haas team completes pre-season testing  Christian Fittipaldi completed the second of a two-day test at the 2.1-mile Miami-Dade Homestead road course today as well concluded the pre-season test program for Newman/Haas Racing. The team has now switched their focus to defending their 2001 season-opening CART FedEx Championship series victory in the Tecate-Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix on Sunday, March 10 and scoring their ninth win in a season-opener in their 20th year. During the test, Fittipaldi ran trouble-free for both days and logged a total of 85 laps on Thursday and 95 today in his Toyota-Lola. Over the two days, his best lap time was 1:08.0 on the road course. "Overall the test was good because we ran the maximum amount of time possible and were able to learn some things," said Fittipaldi. "Since it was our last test before the start of the season, we didn't concentrate on overall speed as much as we concentrated on different set-ups. After analyzing the strengths and weaknesses from last season, we concentrated on specific areas that needed improvement and we have made some gains in those areas. There is more depth to our already strong engineering department and the crew is as motivated as ever even after many late nights. We're all ready for this season to start. Right now, everyone can be the 2002 CART FedEx Champion. If we can have the kind of consistency we had in the first half of 1999 we can be a contender at the end of the year." Fittipaldi's teammate Cristiano da Matta, driver of the Havoline Toyota-Lola, completed his final pre-season testing on February 12 and 14 at the Firebird East road course after setting the fastest laps times in each of the four sessions at the annual CART Sneak Preview. Following that, da Matta made a brief promotional appearance for CART in Monterrey, Mexico on February 18-19 before heading south to his home in Belo Horizonte, Brazil for a final visit before his challenge for the 2002 Championship. Newman Haas

2/22/02

Herdez Team wraps up final pre-season test  Herdez Competition and rookie driver Mario Domínguez completed their pre-season testing schedule yesterday with a two-day test at Sebring International Raceway in Florida. Completing 107 laps on Wednesday and another 87 on Thursday, the team posted a new best time of 51.20 seconds for this track (see updated CART Sebring Test Times page). “Overall, I think the test went very well”, Domínguez reported. “The car we had when we got to Sebring was very good but we made it a lot better during the test. We improved our best time by a tenth of a second – which was great since the track was not nearly as fast this time around with only two cars testing.” The focus of these two days was fully on preparation for the CART FedEx Championship Series opener in Monterrey, Mexico in just two weeks (March 8-10). While not everything went according to plan, everyone was pragmatic about the teething problems. “We had planned to do a full race-distance simulation”, Domínguez explained. “But that was cut short by a fuel pump problem. It was a little frustrating but it’s better for this to happen at a test than during the actual race! We were able to practice some ‘hot’ pit stops – I’m pretty good at getting out of the box but I’m still working on coming in. We did do some work on the traction control system with the help of our Ford-Cosworth Engineer, Nadine Haupt. As a driver, I think you need to be careful with it because if you use it too much, it will slow you down rather than help you. It’s not 100% fine-tuned yet but we made good progress and it was a good experience for me.” Domínguez continued, “I came away from the test very happy with the results. Of course I’m still learning about driving a Champ Car but the more I drive, the better I feel. I’m very confident on the engineering side of the equation with the team at Herdez Competition. Especially in the last couple of tests, we have learned so much and made a lot of progress. I’m comfortable with the car, the team, the engineering. The team has really made me feel at home. I feel ready for Monterrey.“ Herdez Competition Managing Director declared the test a success. “Considering the conditions, the improvement we made in the lap time was probably more significant than one-tenth on the clock. I’m really quite pleased with the progress we’ve made recently. We learned some very interesting things in these sessions relative to the variations that stem from the differences between the 2001 and 2002 Lola chassis. Mario seems more confident every time he goes out so we’re feeling pretty confident that we’re ready for the season opener in front of our sponsors’ home crowd.” The team returned to their Gasoline Alley race shop today and will complete final preparations for Monterrey during the next week.

2/22/02

Record TV ratings for Daytona 500 in northern California  The San Francisco and Sacramento markets earned record television ratings for last weekend's Daytona 500, which signaled the opening to the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season. The event earned a 5.8 rating (15 share) in San Francisco, making it the highest-rated NASCAR Winston Cup race ever broadcast in the market. Lower than other parts of the country, but a record nonetheless.  The rating was up by 12-percent over last year's 5.2, which had been the all-time high. Sacramento, meanwhile, posted a 14 (30 share), up by 106-percent over last year's 6.8, the previous record. The ratings in both markets continue an upward trend as San Francisco posted a 17-percent gain, while Sacramento was up 20-percent from 2000 to 2001 for races on network television. Nationally, the Daytona 500 earned a 10.9 rating (26 share) on NBC, making it the highest-rated and most-viewed broadcast in NASCAR history. A show's rating indicates the percentage of U.S. homes tuned in to it, and a share represents the percentage of television sets tuned in. All data used was obtained from Nielsen Media Research.

2/22/02

MBNA extends pole award deal at all IRL events  MBNA America Bank, N.A. has signed a five-year extension to sponsor the MBNA Pole Award at all Indy Racing League events through 2006, including the coveted pole position for the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials announced Feb. 22. The winner of the MBNA Pole Award at the Indianapolis 500 - the most prized pole position in motorsports - earns $100,000 and a gold, silver and glass trophy. Scott Sharp won the MBNA Pole Award for the 2001 Indianapolis 500 with a four-lap average of 226.037 mph, joining Indy legends such as A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, Johnny Rutherford, Rick Mears, Arie Luyendyk and Al Unser Jr. as "500" pole winners. MBNA Pole Award winners at all other Indy Racing events earn a glass-and-silver trophy and $10,000. MBNA has been an Indianapolis Motor Speedway sponsor since 1994 and an Indy Racing League sponsor since the league's inception. MBNA began sponsoring the pole award at all Indy Racing events other than Indianapolis in 2000 and took over the Indianapolis 500 pole sponsorship in 2001. "We at MBNA are very happy to continue our association with the Indy Racing League and IMS," said John R. Cochran, president of MBNA America Bank, N.A. "It is an unbroken link that started with the inception of the IRL."

2/22/02

Toyota hires a 2nd test driver  Stephane Sarrazin has been hired by Toyota as a test driver for their new Formula 1 team. He joins young Australian Ryan Briscoe in the role. "I am really happy to be given the opportunity to test drive for the Toyota team," said Sarrazin. "It is not only a big step for me personally but also a huge boost for my career, and I can't wait to get started."

2/22/02

Verstappen to be test driver for Sauber  Jos Verstappen lost his ride at Arrows in a last minute charade to Heinz Harald Frentzen. The Dutchman has had a seat fitting at Sauber in Switzerland. "The team is interested in me as their official test and reserve driver," Verstappen said on his official website. "That's why I got invited by Sauber for a seat fitting. There will be some modifications needed though to sit comfortable in the car."

2/21/02

Fernández Racing Continues Progress at Homestead Test   Fernández Racing wrapped up day two of a scheduled three-day test outing, with Adrián Fernández and Shinji Nakano adding another 360 miles to their tally on Homestead Miami Speedway’s 2.1-mile road course. With the CART FedEx Championship Series season-opener – the Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix – right around the corner, the team has been focusing on race weekend preparations for the March 10 venue, one of its major events. “We’re making good progress on our learning curve to become familiar with the Lola and learn the different attitudes of the car and how it responds to changes,” noted Tom Anderson, co-owner and managing director. “We are really focusing on getting a good baseline for the cars as we get ready to head to Monterrey. While we are not totally focused on speed at the moment, that’s obviously our ultimate goal.” Both Fernández and Nakano felt positive about the day, although Nakano lost a bit of track time with a mechanical problem in the early afternoon. “I still have too much understeer, so we are working on changes to the car to make this better,” said Nakano. “I had a small mechanical problem that cost us some laps, but we still had a good day.” “It was a good day,” echoed Fernández. “We worked on a lot of things including pit stop practice and full-tank runs, and are focusing more toward race weekends so we will be ready.” “Friday will be a ‘50-mile’ day for Adrian,” added Anderson. “We planned on saving test days for each driver that we will use at the Homestead oval in March, and at Milwaukee and Elkhart Lake in May. Shinji’s already used his 50-mile day, so he will have a full day of running tomorrow. Our winter testing program is rapidly coming to a close.” Note: CART regulations permit a maximum of 10 complete days of testing for each driver, plus one day in which a driver can cover no more than 50 miles.

2/21/02

TV - 54 billion for F1, how many billion for CART? UPDATE If F1 had a total of 1.5 million minutes of F1 footage shown on TV in 2002, then to get 54 billion viewers they would need 36,000 people watching each and every minute worldwide. The below figures are calculated on the basis of the number of times viewers around the world saw anything featuring Formula 1, whether via live coverage, stories on news bulletins, sports features or highlights packages. 2/21/02 -  The latest reports on TV numbers say F1 has a cumulative total of over 54 billion viewers per year.  If the data is valid, then of course the next logical question to ask is whether CART's worldwide audience is 1 billion, 2 billion or actual even more than that.  Even if it is only 1 billion, it stills dwarfs NASCAR's TV numbers, but somehow that continues to get lost on many.  So everyone understands, you must divide the 54 billion by the number of races (plus practice, qualifying, weekly news shows) to get the number of unique people or fans.  The total number of minutes of F1 footage shown on TV in 2001 was just over 1.5 million and the sport was broadcast in 200 countries.

2/21/02

Unser to drive for Kelley Racing with new sponsor  Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. will drive the No. 7 Kelley Racing entry in the Indy Racing League through the 2004 season with sponsorship from automotive aftermarket company Corteco, team owner Tom Kelley announced Feb. 21. "The Unser name has been synonymous with racing for a long time," Kelley said, "but Al Jr.'s accomplishments stand alone, and we're proud to have him aboard." Unser will drive the No. 7 Corteco Bryant Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. He will team up with 1996 Indy Racing League co-champion Scott Sharp, the driver of Kelley Racing's No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. This will be the third Indy Racing League season for Unser, one of the most accomplished drivers in American motorsports history. Besides his Indianapolis victories in 1992 and 1994, Unser won CART titles in 1990 and 1994 and was on the winning team at the Rolex 24 sports-car endurance classic in 1986 and 1987. Unser also won the True Value IROC championship in 1986 and 1988 and is tied with the late Dale Earnhardt as the winningest driver in the history of that annual all-star series. "I'm happy to be joining Kelley Racing," Unser said. "It's been a long time coming. They're the most impressive team in this business, and I feel that I'm with the best team. I'd also like to welcome Corteco into the Indy Racing League and hope that our relationship is beneficial for everyone." Corteco specializes in automotive aftermarket sealing and vibration control products. Corteco was established in 2001 as the aftermarket business of the world's largest supplier of original-equipment (OE) automotive gaskets and seals, Freudenberg-NOK. Freudenberg-NOK pioneered the total powertrain sealing concepts that automakers around the world have adopted for dry, warranty-free engines and transmissions. Corteco's focus in the aftermarket business is to deliver that same level of OE quality and technology.

2/21/02

Scottrade to sponsor Cahill Racing  Scottrade, Inc., an online stock brokerage firm, will sponsor Cahill Racing and driver Robby McGehee during the 2002 Indy Racing League season. Scottrade, based in St. Louis, is one of the top 10 online stock brokerage firms and can be found on the Web at www.scottrade.com. The company also has 147 local branches across America, combining unmatched online and local service with a personal touch. "We are very excited about working with Scottrade, Inc. this year," said Dan Ridenour of Cahill Racing. "Cahill Racing and the IRL are committed to helping Scottrade, Inc. achieve its marketing objectives beginning with the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 2."

2/21/02

Paul Tracy and Team Kool Green Run Final Preseason Tune Up  Team KOOL Green driver Paul Tracy and the #26 crew ran their final preseason test on Tuesday and Wednesday (Feb. 19-20) at California Speedway's new road course. Tracy completed 170 miles on the 1.09-mile layout posting a best time of 36.9 seconds. Fifty miles into the test on Tuesday Tracy spun off-course and the team spent the rest of the day repairing minor damage to the car. On Wednesday morning, mechanical problems came into play after Tracy had completed only a single lap. Once the Team KOOL Green crew got the car back on the track in the afternoon Tracy and his engineers concentrated on improving its mechanical grip. "With the limited amount of time I had in the car, I'm happy with the changes Steve (Challis, race engineer) and Stu (Kenworthy, data & damper engineer) came up with for the KOOL car," said Tracy. "We were able to put together some good laps and the car was responding well. We ended the test on a positive note and hopefully we've gotten our mechanical problems out of the way so we can challenge for the win in Mexico." Tracy shared the track with technical partner Michael Andretti as both drivers worked to find baseline setups for the Monterrey race. TKG engineer Steve Challis was glad Andretti was there so the team could gather more information from the test. "I'm glad we learned some things and the car reacted well to the changes we made but we weren't able to complete everything we wanted to," explained Challis. "That's one of the advantages of being a multi-car team, we'll have a look at the data from Michael's car and hopefully well find even more speed for the #26 KOOL car."

2/21/02

Cadillac and Ascari enter Sebring 12-Hours  Entries from factory Cadillac and Ascari racing teams have bolstered the Prototype class for the 50th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge, which will be run at Sebring International Raceway on March 16. The sleek and exotic Prototypes are the fastest cars in the American Le Mans Series, which will kick off its 2002 season at Sebring. Team Cadillac has entered a pair of Cadillac Northstar LMP02 machines in the Golden Anniversary edition of America's oldest sports car race. In its third year of involvement in sports car racing, Cadillac has an all-new car that will make its racing debut at Sebring. Eric Bernard of France, JJ Lehto of Finland and Emmanuel Collard of England will share the driving duties of the #7 Cadillac, while the #8 will be driven by Wayne Taylor of Altamonte Springs, Fla., Max Angelelli of Italy and Christophe Tinseau of France. Taylor (1996) and Lehto (1999) are former overall winners of the Sebring classic. Team Ascari, affiliated with the British road car company, has also entered two cars in the Prototype class. The Ascari KZR1 machines will be powered by Judd engines as the company makes its American Le Mans Series racing debut at Sebring. T.J. Bell of Sparks, Nev., will co-drive the #19 Ascari with Werner Lupberger of England, while Ben Collins and Christian Vann, both of England, will be the drivers for the #21 Ascari.

2/21/02

Andretti and Team Motorola wrap up final pre-season test  Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti ramped up their preparation for the 2002 season opener in Monterrey, Mexico with a two-day test (Tuesday and Wednesday) on the California Speedway road course. Team Motorola ran 286 miles with a quick time of 37.2 seconds during the course of the test. Team Motorola chief engineer Eddie Jones configured a 1.09-mile road course with corners that replicate what the team will see in Fundidora Park in March. "Our goal was to get some hard data with the 2002 Reynard on a course that we feel is similar to what we will see in Mexico," explained Jones. "I think we accomplished that goal and we were able to establish a good baseline on our set-up for the Monterrey race." Team manager Tony Cotman had a project list prepared for the two-day test in Fontana but that was slightly altered when CART announced Friday that traction control would be legal for the 2002 CART FedEx season. "We had planned to mainly work on the mechanical set-up of the car for Monterrey and our other road courses," said Cotman. "But with the CART announcement, Honda had some things they wanted to work on with traction control so we worked that into the test as well. It was a very interesting test and I think both Honda and Michael learned a lot about how traction control will affect the race car. Overall, we got a heck of a lot of work done in the last two days." Andretti also felt there was a lot gained from the test. "We got off to a bit of slow start on Tuesday since the track wasn't rubbered in, but once we got going we got a lot of work done," said Andretti. "Working with Honda on the traction control was definitely a learning experience and I'm sure there will be some adjustments once we get to Monterrey. But I have to say, I am really happy with the way our testing has gone and I think Team Motorola is in pretty good shape for Monterrey." 2002 marks Andretti's 19th season in Champ Cars and he currently holds the record for most career victories (41) and most career starts (290) for active Champ Car drivers. Team Motorola will now return to their Indianapolis shop and continue their preparations for the CART FedEx Championship Series season opener in Monterrey, Mexico on March 10, 2002.

2/21/02

IRL and Reebok announce new partnership  The Indy Racing League and Reebok International Ltd. (NYSE:RBK) have formed a multiyear partnership naming Reebok the Official Outfitter of the Indy Racing League. As part of the agreement, Reebok will provide custom-designed, co-branded Reebok-Indy Racing League apparel to IRL officials and selected teams. The Reebok brand also will receive exposure through logos on race cars, team uniforms, transporters and other IRL promotional programs included in the promotional rights agreement. Reebok-Indy Racing League co-branded merchandise will be sold at all 15 Indy Racing League events in 2002, including the Indianapolis 500, and also at all other events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Authentic co-branded Reebok-Indy Racing League merchandise will be available at all IRL events, via online, mail-order catalog and through select retail outlets. The addition of the Indy Racing League enhances Reebok's impressive lineup of official supplier agreements, which includes the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the Women's National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Development League - the NBA's fledgling minor league.

2/21/02

Upgraded Paul Ricard circuit gets rave reviews  We have long maintained that for political and sponsorship reasons, CART should approach Bernie Ecclestone about a possible race at the Paul Ricard circuit, a circuit Ecclestone not only owns, but one in which he is pumping a lot of money into.  Toyota has made it their official F1 test track.  This week the BAR team tested there, and Olivier Panis had this to say - "I have very good memories of the old track", Panis said. "I won the Elf Winfield school here in 1987 and lived nearby for four years when I was competing here in the Formula Renault and Formula 3 Championships. I think the changes they have made to the circuit are incredible. They've changed the layout but the old Paul Ricard is still recognizable. There are some very difficult and challenging corners so it's a great circuit for testing." "The run-off areas are very hi-tech," Panis continued. "There are different grades of colored tarmac which are clever - they slow the car down at very high speed but you can still recover the car and get back on the track very easily. There aren't any gravel traps so if you do go off there is no damage to the car. This is great for testing because it helps you to maximize track time but, more importantly, a lot of thought has been given to the safety aspect. It's a great circuit and it would be nice to see a race here one day." With Magny Cours hardly producing the most exciting racing in the world, many fans feel that F1 Racing would be better suited to the long Mistral Straight and the circuit of Paul Ricard. We addressed the Paul Ricard circuit in this past article.

2/21/02

Giaffone and Kanaan wrap up successful tests Felipe Giaffone and the #10 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Chevrolet G-Force wrapped up preparations for the 2002 Indy Racing League season opener with two solid days of testing at Homestead Miami Speedway on Monday and Tuesday. Giaffone put in 335 miles over the two days on the 1.5-mile Homestead oval - 152 on Monday and 183 on Tuesday. He clocked a fast lap of 27.0 seconds the first day, 26.6 seconds the next. Other drivers testing those days and their unofficial best laps included Helio Castroneves (26.4) and Jacque Lazier (27.14) on Monday, and Lazier again (26.8) on Tuesday. Giaffone returned to the Homestead facility on Wednesday for a full day of pit stop practice. The 2002 IRL season opens March 2 at Homestead.  Kanaan, a fifth-year CART veteran, also tested on the Homestead oval on Monday, turning a fast lap of 26.3 seconds during 182 miles behind the wheel of the #10 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard. After a day of pit stop practice Tuesday, Kanaan and the Pioneer-WorldCom crew switched to the Homestead 2.2-mile road course for full days of testing Wednesday and Thursday. The CART season opens March 10 at Monterrey, Mexico.  [Editors Note: Look at the similarities in lap times between the Champ car and IRL car on an oval.  One with high downforce and low HP, and one with low downforce and high HP, yet times are very similar.  Which one do you think is harder to drive?]

2/21/02
Industry News
Drivers ready to test new Sears Point karting center  UPDATE A group of drivers tested the racing surface for the first time on Monday at the new Sears Point Karting Center, and the reviews were positive. It was the first time karts were allowed on the racing surface, which had received two layers of asphalt within the last month. Drivers on the recently completed three-quarter mile, 16-turn course included instructors from Jim Russell International Karting and Sears Point Raceway. Racers used Trackmagic karts, with the fastest shifter karts reaching speeds up to 90 mph during the session. The day’s activities were designed to test the durability of the track’s recently laid asphalt under race conditions. "Everybody really seemed to like it and we didn’t have any trouble with the track surface," said Mark Wolochatiuk, one of the track testers who is also an instructor of Jim Russell International Karting. "The course is wide, fast and smooth, with enough straightaways to pick up speed and give you a break." 2/15/02 - Crews have completed the final layer of asphalt on the new Sears Point Karting Center kart track, and a select group of drivers are scheduled to test the course early next week. The Center is scheduled to open in early March, but drivers will test the surface of the new three-quarter mile, 16-turn course on Monday, February 18, to ensure that the pavement holds up to race speeds. Among those racing the first laps on the course will be instructors from the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School, including American Le Mans Series competitors Tyler McQuarrie and Dave McEntee. The drivers will run laps at full speed. The Sears Point Karting Center will be operated by Jim Russell International Karting and will feature a kart track, pro shop and kart storage. The Karting Center will open to the public in March with a variety of karting programs, testing schedules and open days. The Jim Russell School has been based at Sears Point Raceway since 1996. The newly designed Center is expected to one of the top three karting facilities in the country. The 28-foot wide track is designed to meet CIK/FIA standards for safety and performance, which makes it suitable to host national and international karting events.

2/20/02

CART success assured in Australia  After last years hugely successful CART weekend in Australia, the V8 Supercar folks were mad because they did not get acceptable pit and paddock facilities, and threatened not to come back.  The V8 Supercar series is very popular in Australia. "We feel like 2nd-rate citizens, one source said."  All is well again.  Fans will be treated to the biggest weekend of Australian motorsport when rounds of both the FedEx Championship Series and the V8 Supercar Championship Series are contested in a massive "Double Header" at the Honda Indy 300 on the streets of Surfers Paradise in a world first from October 24-27. Queensland Premier Peter Beattie was flanked by some of the country's leading V8 Supercar stars on the steps of Parliament House in Brisbane today as he officially unveiled the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge which will double as round 11 of a now 13-round V8 Supercar Championship Series.  "I guess this is the ultimate win-win situation," said Cowley. "Both our organization and AVESCO realize the enormous benefits of the V8 Supercars returning to the streets of Surfers Paradise. "The V8 Supercars have been an important part of our program for several years and the fact that they are returning to contest a round of the championship takes the show to a whole new level. "We are going to be offering one of the best four days of racing value ever seen with fans witnessing the penultimate round of the FedEx Championship Series and round 11 of the V8 Supercar Series it doesn't get much bigger than that."  "We are pleased that we have been able to enter into a brand new arrangement with the Honda Indy 300 board which provides the V8 Supercars and Champ Cars equal billing," said Cochrane. "We have always considered the event at Surfers Paradise would be a fantastic location to contest a Championship round and after months of negotiations we are delighted with this outcome, especially for our fans. "Logistically it was one of the most difficult decisions to make, but we are confident that the professional level of all our teams will enable this addition to our championship calendar to be a great success." The Gillette Company is the world-leader in male grooming products utilizing superior performance and technology to be a market leader in every category in which it competes. Gillette has been a corporate supporter of the Honda Indy 300 for several years and laid a foundation for today's announcement with naming-rights sponsorship of last year's Gillette Young Guns support event. Business Manager Gillette Australia, Mike Abbott, says the sponsorship of the V8 Supercar Challenge was a natural progression for his company. "The Honda Indy 300 has gone from strength to strength in recent years and Gillette has been delighted to increase our own commitment on an on-going basis," said Abbott. The official opening round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series will be at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide on March 15-17 [Editors Note: CART and the V8 Supercars should do a doubleheader in Adelaide too]

2/20/02

Panoz makes key address in Washington DC  Dr. Don Panoz, founder of the American Le Mans Series, was a guest speaker Wednesday at one of America's most prestigious and exclusive locations, the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. In a venue that has been the site for addresses by world and national political leaders, famous entertainers and Hollywood stars, as well as war heroes, corporate executives and even some sports celebrities, Panoz spoke to the membership of the Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA). The nation's capital will be the site for the July 21 National Grand Prix of Washington, D.C., the first major auto race in the city. American Le Mans Series cars will race on a temporary circuit constructed adjacent to RFK Stadium. Interest by the membership of the WAPA in the event led to Panoz' invitation to speak to the group at the National Press Club. Panoz, a successful entrepreneur, described to the WAPA audience the circumstances that led to him founding the American Le Mans Series. His involvement in racing came as a result of his son Danny's building and selling of the Panoz Roadster sports car through the family-owned Panoz Auto Development. Father and son agreed that sports car racing could be a way of infusing heritage into the Panoz automotive emblem and launched a racing team. The Panoz GTR-1 started racing in 1997 and Panoz found that his new racer was penalized under the ever-changing rules in sports car racing at the time. His frustration with the state of the sport led to his founding of the American Le Mans Series, with a license granted by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), organizer of the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans. The license granted the use of ACO technical rules, which would be in force without constant changes, and the Le Mans name. The first use was the inaugural Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in 1998, and the series launched the next year. After Panoz spoke to the WAPA group, Chris Lencheski, Founder and Chairman of National Grand Prix Holdings, described the multi-year process involved in bringing racing to Washington. Panoz and Lencheski answered questions from the group at the conclusion of their remarks.

2/20/02

Doing business in Canada a smart move by CART  This PR Newswire article says Companies in the Chicago area and across the United States have long sought ways to minimize the costs of doing business. For some, this has meant examining opportunities within U.S. borders; for others, it has meant looking to America's neighbor to the north -- Canada -- for solutions.  A new study of business costs by the international consultancy KPMG confirms Canada's cost competitiveness by ranking it the least expensive place to do business among nine major industrial countries.  According to the study, Japan is the most expensive country in which to do business, followed by Germany. The United States is ranked as the third most expensive country among those surveyed.  Among the cities studied, Chicago is ranked the 13th most cost competitive out of 26 industrial cities with populations of more than 2 million. Chicago also has the lowest transportation costs among all cities in the Midwest region. Montreal is the least costly city among the 26 heavily populated cities and, Edmonton, Canada, has the lowest business costs among all 86 medium and large cities in the study.  What's all this have to do with racing?  Really just to point out that CART is the only top-level racing series that delivers the NAFTA market, and as more and more USA companies want to do business in Canada, CART will be even better positioned than it is now.

2/20/02
Industry News

Study shows branding impact of internet ads  We knew there was a reason your company should advertise on AutoRacing1.com!  This AdAge.com article says that the first study to analyze the combined effects of online, print and TV advertising in a single product campaign found the online component significantly increased the campaign's measurable brand awareness impact, according to Forrester Research.  The study -- a six-week analysis of a Unilever mixed-media campaign for Dove Nutrium bar soap -- concluded that spending 15% of the campaign's TV/print/online budget on the Web resulted in a 24% lift in branding impact, according to a Feb. 15 briefing paper prepared for Forrester's clients by senior analyst Jim Nail with Charlene Li.  "This study applied media mix analysis and modeling techniques to a live, in-market TV, print and online campaign to quantify Jim Nail, senior analyst, Forrester Research. "Basically," he told AdAge.com in a phone interview from his Cambridge, Mass., office, "the findings show that by increasing the online part of the Unilever campaign to 15%, the marketer was able to burn the brand into consumers' minds much better than if they hadn't used an online component in the same advertising media mix."

2/20/02
Industry News

SMI shareholder sues NASCAR and TMS According to an AP report, a shareholder of the group that owns Texas Motor Speedway has filed suit against his own company and NASCAR because of the lack of a second Winston Cup race at the Fort Worth track.  Francis Ferko's lawsuit against Speedway Motorsports Inc. and NASCAR was filed Feb. 13 in the U.S. District Court in Sherman.  The 21-page lawsuit, which provides only one side of a legal argument, seeks to have NASCAR grant a second Winston Cup race to Texas Motor Speedway.  The suit accuses NASCAR of breach of contract and antitrust matters, claiming that NASCAR promised SMI a second race date for Texas Motor Speedway, but reneged on the promise and instead granted races to tracks owned by International Speedway Corporation, which is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. The France family that owns NASCAR has a controlling interest in ISC.  Hmm...antitrust matters.  Is Ferko accusing NASCAR of acting like a monopoly?  Sure sounds like it given the France family controls ISC and ISC tracks seem to get favoritism as far as getting race dates.  Sounds like this investor thinks he has lost share value because TMS didn't get another Cup date when new ISC tracks did.  He'll probably use the argument of the ISC lawsuit to stop the race in downtown Miami as another example of NASCAR throwing their weight around, i.e. acting like a monopoly.

2/20/02

Chip Ganassi Racing to run full season in IRL Chip Ganassi Racing announced today that Jeff Ward will pilot the No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet/G-Force for the 2002 Indy Racing League season. Ganassi, who currently fields two cars in the CART FedEx Championship series and two cars in the NASCAR Winston Cup series, will become the first car owner to run a full season in the three major American racing series. Ganassi is looking forward to the challenge.  “I’m looking forward to this season,” Ganassi said. “However, I want to be cautious about this year because it is going to be a learning year for us. The main thing that we are trying to do is to gather information and expertise about these cars. It is going to be an exciting year for everyone involved in our team. I’m excited to have a driver like Jeff (Ward) with us because he has a lot of experience in these types of cars. I’m also looking forward to racing with some of my old friends in the Indy Racing League.  ”Ward, a veteran driver in the IRL brings an impressive resume to the Chip Ganassi Racing driver stable. In his 5 seasons in the IRL, Ward notched 11 top-5 finishes including a 2nd place finish in the 1999 Indianapolis 500. The 40-year old from San Juan Capistrano, CA is excited about the opportunity to drive for the 2000 Indianapolis 500 and 4-time CART champions. “This is what I’ve been shooting for my entire career,” Ward said. “I’m extremely excited to be running with a first class operation here at Chip Ganassi Racing. I feel that I have a great chance to win some races, most importantly, the Indy 500. IRL

2/20/02

Atlantics: Montgomery named Team Manager of Hylton Motorsports  Hylton Motorsports owner Keith Hylton announced today that Bob Montgomery has been named as the Team Manager and Race Engineer for the defending CART Toyota Atlantic Championship team. Montgomery will handle day-to-day team operations and provide engineering assistance to 1999 and 2001Championship winning Race Engineer Kyle Brannan. Montgomery joins Hylton Motorsports from Swift Engineering, where he was the Toyota Atlantic Program Manager for the past two years. In addition to his Management role at Swift, Montgomery assisted in the development of the new Atlantic chassis, the Swift 014.a, and served as the Technical Liaison to all Atlantic teams. “I am extremely pleased to have Bob Montgomery join Hylton Motorsports, I know both his motivation and experience will serve our team well,” said Hylton. “This team is always seeking that competitive advantage and Mr. Montgomery will be adding to that.” A mechanical engineer by degree, Montgomery began his engineering career in the aerospace industry. After a five-year detour from engineering as a professional pilot, Montgomery joined Swift Engineering in 2000. Hylton

2/20/02

Firestone to sponsor Nazareth race The inaugural Indy Racing League event at Nazareth Speedway on April 21 will be called the Firestone Indy 225, officials from Firestone Racing, International Speedway Corporation and Nazareth Speedway announced Feb. 20. The competition is the fourth event on the 2002 Indy Racing League schedule and will take place on the famous 1-mile banked Nazareth Speedway, nestled in the beautiful rolling hills of Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley. The race will be televised live on ABC. Nazareth's asphalt track is essentially a tri-oval, offering drivers three demanding corners and a long back straightaway. "It's an exciting place to race, and we're proud the Firestone brand is title sponsor," said Al Speyer, executive director of motorsports for Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC. "The Northeast is an important market for Firestone, and we are delighted that our many associates, customers and fans will have the opportunity to enjoy the IRL's fierce open-wheel competition at Nazareth in 2002. "The Firestone Indy 225 is a perfect showcase for our Firehawk race tire technology. Every driver in the race will explore the ultimate handling limits on Nazareth Speedway's technically demanding track. It will be an awesome show for the fans as they get to see many of the world's top oval-track drivers competing tire to tire. The next race after the Firestone Indy 225 is Indianapolis, so all drivers will be giving every effort to carry winning momentum into the Indy 500."  IRL

2/20/02

Jerry Jones to buy Winston Cup team?  Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones may become a part owner of a Winston Cup team next season. Andy Petree, who owns the No. 33 and No. 55 cars, said Sunday that he and Jones have been negotiating for months and continued their talks before the Daytona 500. "We've been talking for quite a while," Petree said. "We've kept it kind of quiet until now, but it's hard to keep it quiet when we walk in here together. "He [Jones] is a good man. We've spent a lot of time together, and we're looking forward to doing some things together."

2/20/02

Herdez team announces ex-Williams F1 manager as new Team Manager  In support of ongoing efforts to strengthen the structure and competitiveness of the Herdez Competition team, today they announced the appointment of a new Team Manager, Bryan Lambert.  Story

2/20/02

2002 NASCAR Scanner Frequencies  We have received many requests for 2002 NASCAR Scanner Frequencies.  We have added a link to our NASCAR page, or you can click here.

2/20/02

The wait is almost over for IRL teams The weeks of waiting and wondering are nearly over. Indy Racing League teams have worked during the off-season on every aspect of their programs. Engines. Chassis. Some have added new drivers and crew members. Some are joining the league for the first time. Most have turned hundreds and hundreds of miles of test laps. Story

2/20/02

Minardi announces new sponsor  CART says it can't get an Australian sponsor in the series.  Well how about getting an Australian driver a ride first, like Minardi did with Mark Webber?  The Minardi team has announced a sponsorship deal with Australian food manufacturer HealthyCo. The Melbourne-based health food company become the first Australian sponsor to sign up for Paul Stoddart’s team. He is hoping they will not be the last. "It’s gratifying to see corporate Australia starting to get behind the team," Stoddart said. "I’d like to think we’re starting to see a recognition of the huge collective effort and battling spirit that is powering this team in its quest to become a serious Formula 1 contender in the years ahead." HealthyCo founder Ashley Perry added: "The team is one of the sport’s smaller players at the moment, but it has big ambitions and is Australian-owned, just like HealthyCo. "Add in the fact that we also feel we’re doing our bit to support up-and-coming Australian driver, Mark Webber, and it becomes clear why the decision to get involved was an easy one for us. "We’re really looking forward to our first experience of Formula 1."

2/20/02

Cash-strapped Kirch group wants upfront payments for F1 broadcasts  UPDATE We still say Bernie Ecclestone will somehow come out of all this holding the trump cards when it's all said and done. Today it was announced that Kirch Gruppe will sell its Formula 1 television rights to help hold off filing for bankruptcy. The announcement could pave the way for Bernie Ecclestone to buy back the business for around $900 million, a fraction of what he sold it for. DaimlerChrysler and Fiat may partner with Bernie because they want a piece of the F1 pie. Another potential beneficiary of the Kirch break up is media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who already does business with Bernie, and who owns FOX and many other news and broadcasting outlets. According to The Financial Times, Kirch owes Murdoch a substantial amount of money and its only way of honoring the payment may be to offer a stake of the company, which also holds the international broadcasting rights to the 2002 and 2006 football world cups. A deal with Murdoch would give Murdoch a strong foothold in the European pay-per-view TV market. This year his bSkyb channel will broadcast interactive digital coverage of Formula 1 in England, and the opportunity to extend these rights across Europe can only excite Murdoch.  2/19/02 - The cash-strapped Kirch Group is seeking up-front payments from TV broadcasters in return for an extension on its Formula One contracts. According to the Financial Times newspaper, Kirch is in dire need of cash to meet short-term obligations and is rumored to be seeking an up-front payment totaling $200milion from the broadcasters around the world.

2/19/02

Trulli leads Tuesday testing at Silverstone 

P.

Driver

Team

Tire

Laps

Time

Gap

1

J Trulli

Renault

M

43

1:24.110

2

H Frentzen

Arrows

B

10

1:24.133

0.023

4

G Fisichella

Jordan

B

52

1:24.533

0.400

5

T Sato

Jordan

B

74

1:24.635

0.102

6

J Button

Renault

M

45

1:24.956

0.321

7

E Bernoldi

Arrows

B

7

1:25.075

0.119

8

P de la Rosa

Jaguar

M

38

1:25.748

0.673

9

J Villeneuve

BAR

B

26

1:25.776

0.028

10

A Davidson

BAR

B

13

1:36.180

10.404

2/19/02

Da Matta may have been fastest, but....  Patrick Carpentier let it be known today that the Ford teams did not yet have traction control installed on their cars at CART's recent Spring Training, but the Toyota of Da Matta did.  Cosworth is scrambling to put their F1 traction control system on their Champ Car engine prior to the first race in Monterrey. Full Transcript

2/19/02
Industry News

AutoRacing1.com forums blast past 7,000 member mark  Our discussion forums are going hot and heavy these days with membership now surpassing the 7,000 mark and climbing at a steady rate of about 20 to 25 new members per day.  We invite all to join in the lively discussions about all forms of auto racing.  Use your real name, or a fictitious one, doesn't matter to us.  Racing is the game, no matter what your name.

2/19/02

Shawna Robinson's Crew Chief axed  BAM Racing announced today the release of crew chief Eddie Sharp. The decision was made in an effort to improve and continue growing the new team. Team Manager Eddie Jones stated, ³BAM Racing appreciates all the work Eddie Sharp did to prepare the new team for Daytona and we wish him the best in his future endeavors. Car Chief Teddy Brown was selected to over see the preparation and car¹s setup for the upcoming Las Vegas race.

2/19/02

Michael Andretti's car for sale - 1 day left  If you are interested in bidding on Michael Andretti's 1992 Lola Champ Car on eBay you had better do so now.  Time is running out.  You can see the car here.

2/19/02

So you want to work on stock cars?  The Carolina Motorsports Tech Center has announced it's spring schedule of Motorsports Technology classes starting March 2nd with a Short Track Aerodynamics Class with Robert Yates Racing's Scott Chinn. Scott has been lead body technician with Mark Martin for 6 years previous to joining the RYR Busch Grand National effort. Scott has spent hundreds of hours in the wind tunnel and will cover topics including, CD, Downforce, Frontal Area, Balance, Body Placement, Rules Interpretation, and Panel Documentation. Carolina Motorsports Tech Center's Fabrication, Metal Body Building, and Chassis Design Dynamics classes start March 4th with Motorsports Welding and Race team operations starting March 5th. The "Irvan-Smith" Fabrication Lab, the "Metalcraft Tools" Metal Shaping Lab and the "Lincoln Electric" Welding Lab will be ready for March’sclasses. MATCO Tools, UNI-JIG, Ellis Saws, Race Scan, Klingspor Abrasives, Fastway Racing Products, and Heintz Performance have all stepped up and put in place the needed supplies for us to start spring classes on time, "states Motorsports Director, Mark Davis". Many long hours have been put in creating the jigs, fixtures, and workstations necessary to meet the student needs and now we have a state of the art training facility that focus on Motorsports Technician training from the minute you start the classes. Many training facilities highlight Motorsports after you take Automotive Training but at Carolina Motorsports Tech Center you walk into the environment, immediately. The Carolina Motorsports Tech Center classes also includes the nationally known Team Concept Race Team that competes in the USAR Pro Cup Southern Series. This 20-race program is designed to give technicians valuable racetrack experience. Students technicians build, maintain, pit and repair the cars for the professional touring series. For information check out the Carolina Motorsports Tech Center web site at www.carolinateamconcept.com or email cmtcrecruiter@hotmail.com.

2/19/02

Richard Petty on Good Morning America  Richard Petty is scheduled to appear live on ABC's Good Morning America Wednesday, February 20, from the museum in Level Cross, N.C. A specific time for the feature-type interview has not yet been determined.

2/19/02

Mike Wallace to drive Petree's #33 at The Rock  Although unsponsored, the #33 Chevrolet of Andy Petree Racing will compete in Sunday's Subway 400 NASCAR Winston Cup stock car race at the 1.017-mile North Carolina Speedway. Petree made the announcement Tuesday. "The fact that we won the last Winston Cup race at Rockingham and the fact that there are a lot of potential sponsors still looking at us led me to believe the best thing we could do is run at least this race," Petree said. Mike Wallace will drive the car, continuing the stint he began last week at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The #33 car had a strong week at Daytona, qualifying sixth and running among the leaders in its qualifying race Thursday. In fact, Wallace was among the top three most of that race and in the top five virtually every lap. An electrical problem plagued the team throughout the Daytona 500 but Wallace and the team were still able to notch a 21st-place finish

2/19/02

Fans angry with NASCAR and Turner  A number of fans have been contacting NASCAR to protest the decision to charge for RACECAST services on the NASCAR.com website. Last year RACECAST was free, and a number of fans were caught off guard when they had to pay  the $4.95 to access RACECAST for the Daytona 500. From what we hear, the program had many technical problems and left many fans disgruntled. Many were angry they had to pay the $5 fee, then became even more disturbed when things didn't work. The decision to charge for RACECAST services was made by TURNER, who ultimately paid more than $100 million dollars to NASCAR for the rights of running NASCAR.com for the next five years. Unfortunately for the fans, those little die cast ads on the website just won't pay the bill so you can pay $4.95 a month or $30 for the complete year for NASCAR.com's TrackPass service, which includes RACECAST. A representative for Turner Sports Interactive, Drew Reifenberger, said the subscription service was a "necessary part of the business plan". Some of the complaints leveled by the fans were that the RACECAST telecast would time out and say "technical difficulties, please stand by", and that some of the drivers frequencies were not available, or were switched among other drivers.  F. Ryan

2/19/02

Observations from Daytona  [Editor's Note - this reader, whose name shall remain anonymous, has a long history in the open wheel ranks.  He writes this after his visit to Daytona this past weekend]  Dear Mr. Cipolloni,  I liked your article this morning. As you know, I am not a fan of the CART cheerleading. You were spot on this time though. Daytona and NASCAR are making open wheel look ridiculously small, and there needs to be one series...which is my only point of differentiation from your article. The Daytona 500 this weekend was nothing short of a spectacular show. Does it have the same excitement of the Indy 500? Not to me. The 500 seems to have more tradition and certainly gets me more excited. But this place was packed. And the display areas were overflowing with souvenir trailers...probably about 100. It seemed as if at least one member of each group of people walking around was carrying souvenirs. But the display were particularly interesting. There had to be a dozen team sponsors with massive interactive display trailers, complete with giveaways, music, attractive young women, interactive games, etc. Off the top of my head, XM Radio, GNC, Home Depot, Newell Rubbermaid, Coleman were just a few. Pepsi had an entire stage. The auto manufacturers had huge displays, and Dodge's was an entire parking lot. There was a smokers insurance company there, and of course, Winston...everywhere. The things that were happening outside the track make an open wheel race look pathetic. [Editor's Note - that's what happens when you engage the fans and become a 'branded' product, and why we maintain CART and the IRL had better wake up to reality, or risk the extinction of open-wheel racing in the USA.  Secretly, NASCAR would probably like nothing more than three forms of racing in the USA be left standing - NASCAR Trucks, Busch and Cup.  Like the old Henry Ford cliché, you can have any form of racing you want, as long as it's NASCAR].

2/19/02
Fran-Am

Fran-Am series announces more races  Fran-Am Sport today announced that the Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship has added three more races to its 2002 schedule including events at Mosport International Raceway, Mid-America Motorplex and Firebird International Raceway. The series recently announced that it will be part of the 2002 Molson Indy Vancouver CART FedEx Championship weekend in Vancouver, B.C., Canada as well. "We're delighted to announce that these events will be part of our inaugural 2002 season," said Arden Weatherford, Fran-Am's Director of Operations. "The series is generating substantial interest from a number of promoters and we hope to finalize several more events in the coming weeks. Our goal is to have a ten-race schedule for the 2002 season."  The Fran-Am series joins with CASCAR at Mosport on June 14-16, and will be the featured event at Mid-America Motorplex on September 6-8, with the series finale at Firebird International Raceway on December 1. The Molson Indy Vancouver race is scheduled for Saturday, July 27.  "Molson Indy Vancouver is both happy and proud to host the Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Series during its inaugural season in 2002," said Stuart Ballantyne, General Manager, Molson Indy Vancouver. "I was especially pleased to learn of Fran-Am's commitment to attract and promote Canadian drivers. That in itself is sure to keep our home-town fans on their feet."  The 2002 Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship is expected to include ten races, with additional events announced in the coming days.
Fran-Am competitors will race for a purse of $25,000, with the 2002 overall series champion winning a fully-funded seat with a leading European team for the 2003 Formula Renault series. Formula Renault is recognized worldwide as a primary feeder for the Formula One stars of tomorrow.  Recent graduates include McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen as well as Sauber's Felipe Massa.

2/19/02

Jaguar F1 team lands another American sponsor  [Editor's Note: Proving once again that reaching a worldwide audience is beneficial to a large USA corporation, the Jaguar Racing team announced today (Tuesday) its second new USA sponsor signing in the space of a week in the form of DuPont performance Coatings. While American companies DuPont and EDS could have chosen CART, they decided to go into F1 because CART is still trying to decide what it wants to be, a domestic series or a global series.]  DuPont Performance Coatings will become a major sponsoring partner of Jaguar Racing starting with the Australian Grand Prix on March 3. "DuPont is delighted to build upon its partnership with the Ford Motor Company," commented Marty M. McQuade, vice president of the automotive original equipment coatings division of DuPont Performance Coatings. "Jaguar Racing will benefit through our advanced technologies to boost the durability, aesthetic appeal and environmental compliance of coatings. We will also serve as a window to other DuPont materials technologies for advanced electronics, vehicle safety and performance that can be proven out in the demanding and highly competitive environment of Formula One." The announcement comes only days after the Milton Keynes based squad joined forces with new technical partner EDS. "Welcoming Dupont as a Jaguar Racing partner is a good boost for our team because of their complimentary values and outstanding reputation in material science," added Jaguar Racing boss Niki Lauda. "This will help deliver many benefits to Jaguar Racing both on and off the track. We couldn't be happier about the fit and the mutual benefits we see in the relationship going forward." Jaguar  As the giants of Formula One tear round the world's most famous circuits, you might be surprised to know that EDS is one of the driving forces behind several of the top teams. PLM Solutions, EDS' new line of business, has been working with Formula One (F1) designers and technical teams for more than 10 years. Jaguar Racing, BAR Honda, Williams and Jordan use PLM Solutions Computer Aided Design, Data Management and Collaboration technology to design and develop their cars. The Formula One teams work in a fast design cycle. One day the car is being designed on screen, and the next it's being tested on the track. The designing and rebuilding goes on and on until the car performs to perfection. "F1 is a great example of technology in action," said Jim Duncan, who leads PLM Solutions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. "The technology and expertise provided by EDS, and our ability to keep pace in the fast moving world of F1, are an integral part of the overall package that enables F1 teams to remain competitive. Design changes can slice milliseconds off lap times and give the team that vital edge over their competitors. It's the difference between a position on the podium or defeat in the pits. "Shortening 'time to market' is a key selling feature of our technology, and F1 is a vivid demonstration of this capability with major design changes often having to be achieved in the two weeks between races during the season." EDS' involvement in Formula One, however, is now no longer confined to the computer screen thanks to the sponsorship deal with Jaguar Racing announced Thursday. Jaguar has been a client for five years, since former owner Jackie Stewart created the team. The team's original car was the first Formula One vehicle designed on a computer. And this year, CAD/CAM technology from PLM Solutions is behind the evolution of the 2002 Jaguar Formula One car. As the cars battle for glory, the EDS logo will whiz round the track on the front spoilers and side panels of the new Jaguar car, as well as on Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa's overalls. It will also be displayed in the pit lane and on the pit crew's overalls. "We're delighted to grow our partnership with Jaguar in this way, " Duncan said. "Because of our existing relationship with Jaguar Racing - as their key technology provider - a sponsorship arrangement was considerably more affordable. And when you consider the 27 weeks of global brand exposure EDS will achieve through one of the most high profile sporting events on the planet, it was an opportunity we could definitely afford to say yes to." EDS

2/19/02
More Brazilian stars in CART's farm system? 4th UPDATE We have now confirmed that Cristiano Piquet is indeed related to 3-Time World Champion Nelson Piquet, he's his cousin. Cristiano doesn't have the support from Montoya or any other big driver. He traveled alone to United States last year and got good results (how many young American drivers are willing to go and race in a country where they don't know the language and have no family?).  The picture to right is from his victory at Lime Rock last year. He will race in the CART Barber Dodge F-2000 series this year and he is one of the favorites to win the championship.  If CART ever does race in Brazil again, the Piquet name will serve them well.  2/18/02 - Jonatan Jorge leads and has boosted his advantage in the point-standings. Jorge, (Montoya Racing/ Edgewater Construction/ TL Racing) increased his dominance in the Formula Barber Dodge - Southern Series, this past weekend in Sebring, FL. With problems in his RT-2000's gearbox, Jorge did not qualify well and started in 9th place on the grid. With spectacular overtaking, Jorge finished the race in second place, with Robbie Montinola coming home the winner. For the 8th Round, on Sunday, the crowd expected to see a great duel between the two drivers, but Jorge was forced to change cars due to continued mechanical problems, and did so without testing the new car. Starting off in second, Jorge took the lead before the first turn, but Montinola overtook him shortly thereafter. A spinout in the 5th lap slipped Jorge into the fourth spot after which, in an amazing display of skill - and with the fastest lap of all groups in the event (2'26"083) - Jorge finished the race in second, just .48 seconds behind winner Robbie Montinola. "It was one of the most exciting weekends that I've had here. I've gained an enormous boost my confidence. I could have won the race on Sunday, but I pushed too hard without evaluating the behavior of the new car during the race... I hit the brakes too hard and spun out. The two 2nd places put me in the lead of the championship with a 38 point advantage," said Jorge after the race.  1/25/02 - 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.
2/19/02
Colin Fleming - one bright and busy star in racing UPDATE Here is a link to the story on Colin Fleming's (and Chris Carmody's) situation for 2002. There is a variation to the rumor as the drivers will be racing under the Pitts Performance team banner with help from JM Racing and running TonyKarts.  2/5/02 -  Colin Fleming, one of the brightest new prospects on the motorsports scene, has a full plate of racing for the winter 2001-02.  From his ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ Champ Car test, his first  Formula Dodge race and victory, to the Skip Barber Karting Scholarship win, Colin is making his presence known.  Story
2/18/02
Industry News
USA F1 Radio Network to launch with Australian GP The U.S. Formula One Radio Network will be on the air for the first time at the upcoming Australian Grand Prix weekend. Broadcasting direct from the track, the Network will provide U.S. motor sports fans with reports covering all on-track activity on Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2, a live two hour broadcast of the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday March 3, plus post race reports on Sunday evening and on Monday morning, March 4. The Network broadcast team is lead by Inga Stracke of Pole Position Reports GmbH. Stracke, a Formula 1 radio veteran, brings a proven track record of success to the project. She will take on the dual roles of Executive Producer and Pit Reporter. "I am very excited to be a part of the U.S. Formula One Radio Network," said Inga Stracke. "I have a passion for Formula One and for radio and I believe that we can provide U.S. F1 fans with a greatly enhanced level of live coverage from each race. As well as overall production responsibility, my job in the pits is to make sure that I am among the very first to bring listeners the inside story of what is going on in the race. You can only do this if you are right at the heart of the action." Live play by play will be presented by Justin Hynes who brings an established reputation in F1 journalism to the U.S. Formula One Radio Network team. "I have been reporting on F1 for a number of years and I still get just as excited before the start of each race as I did when I first started in the sport," said Justin Hynes. "I want to make sure that U.S. fans hear the whole story of each race as it happens. Additionally, there are so many stories behind the scenes in Formula One and we plan to put together features and profiles that will take fans into a world that combines technology, glamour and raw ambition to create the most exciting race series in the world." Supporting each broadcast, Sibylle Kloser will act as paddock reporter and assistant. New to Formula One, Sibylle is an experienced radio journalist. Syndication of the U.S. Formula One Radio Network is being managed by Creative Broadcast Consulting. The Chicago based company has long record of success in the syndication of sports and other radio properties. Commenting on the Network, Chris Witting, President of Creative Broadcast Consulting, said "The response to the idea of broadcasting Formula One has been remarkably strong and particularly so when you consider that this is the first time ever that Formula One has been offered to the radio industry in the U.S. We think that, as the races start to air, we will be able to quickly take the Network to its full national potential." Race fans will be able to find out all the details about the U.S. Formula One Radio Network by visiting usf1radio.com that will go on line on February 25. Visitors to the site will be able to meet the broadcast team as well as find out details of local stations carrying the Network. The site will provide links to every F1 team and racetrack to enable fans to quickly access the very latest news about the sport.
2/18/02
Brembo named official brake of ALMS Brembo, a global supplier of rotors and other brake system components, has been named the "Official Brake of the American Le Mans Series," officials of Brembo and the series have announced. Brembo brake systems are used by many of the teams that compete in the American Le Mans Series, a series of sports car endurance races in North America that is patterned after the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Audi Sport North America team, which captured driver, team and manufacturer championships in both 2000 and 2001 on the series, is a Brembo user. As part of the new relationship, Brembo will feature its affiliation with the American Le Mans Series in its advertising and promotions. "This new marketing partnership between Brembo and the American Le Mans Series is a natural fit," said Mike Clark, Vice-President of Marketing for the Panoz Motor Sports Group. "Brembo products help our racing teams perform at the highest level on the track, and Brembo will now bring its marketing clout to enhance the growth of the series off the track." "We are now directly involved in the American Le Mans Series," said Mark Cornwell, Manager of of Brembo's Racing Business Unit for North America. "We've had many customers in the past from the series and have appreciated their support. This new relationship allows us to be involved with the teams and the series." Established in 1961 in Bergamo, Italy, Brembo S.p.A., is a world leader and design innovator of automotive brake technology.

2/18/02

Daytona 500 gets record TV rating  Sunday’s NASCAR Winston Cup Series Daytona 500 earned a 10.9 rating/26 share for NBC’s inaugural broadcast of the ”Great American Race” becoming the highest-rated and most-viewed broadcast in NASCAR history. NBC’s telecast eclipsed the previous Daytona 500 high of a 10.5 in 1979, as well as last year’s 10.0/24 rating by nine percent. Thirty-five million viewers watched all or part of NBC’s coverage of the Daytona 500, surpassing last year’s previous record of 32 million viewers. "It’s important to us that we maintain our position in the sport’s marketplace and we are fortunate to have a passionate and loyal audience that continues to support our drivers, teams and tracks in-person and via television each week," said Paul Brooks, vice president of broadcasting for NASCAR. "NBC and TNT have brought incredible television production, features and commentary to our sport as well as significant promotion for the Daytona 500 during the Olympics on NBC, and in multiple sports and entertainment programming on TNT. This has created incredible awareness and continued momentum for the sport.”

2/18/02
Five Toyota Atlantic races to be televised live in 2002  We reported this last week.  Here is the official announcement - With all the things new and changing for the 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, it was only natural that the series television package got an overhaul as well. President and CEO of the series, Vicki O’Connor, announced today that beginning with the March 9th running of the Tecate/Telmex Grand Prix of Monterrey, five CART Toyota Atlantic Championship races will be shown live on Speed Channel with the remaining seven races to be shown as same day tape-delay telecasts. Story

2/18/02

Burton Gives Up No. 22 Dodge To DAYTONA USA  A day after winning the 44th annual Daytona 500, Ward Burton gave up his No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge to DAYTONA USA, the official motorsports attraction of NASCAR. Burton met with the media on Monday morning and then visited his car, which now rests in Gatorade's Victory Lane inside the attraction. Burton strolled around the car that remains in the condition it was when it pulled into Victory Lane on Sunday afternoon. The South Boston, Va., native peeked inside the windows and penned his autograph on the front hood. Burton's Bill Davis Racing crew signed the car in Victory Lane on Sunday. "I want to jump back in it and make sure it feel right," Burton said. Burton, in his eighth Daytona 500 start, became the first Virginian to win the "Great American Race." He now owns four NASCAR Winston Cup Series victories.

2/18/02
ASCAR

ASCAR drivers ready for a good tussle Jason Plato and John Mickel arm wrestling on the bonnet of an ASCAR at the Series Launch yesterday.  An 18 round, exclusively oval calendar has been announced by ASCAR for the 2002 season. The calendar includes support races to both of the European rounds of the FedEx CART Series

2/18/02

Dale Earnhardt vigil set for tonight  DEI said in a statement that Earnhardt's widow, Teresa, organized the event to offer fans an opportunity to remember the seven-time Winston Cup champion at the facility he created. In the days after his death, thousands of fans showed up at the shop to mourn his death. Each fan will be given a candle and asked to stand in silence on the lawn at DEI. A signature board will be available and later erected inside the showroom.

2/18/02

Dodge wants to win championship bad  Dodge has given its teams an extra incentive to win the Winston Cup championship this year, pledging a $1 million bonus to the team and a 2003 Dodge Viper to the driver who can pull it off.

2/18/02

Pontiac to submit new body template  Pontiac will have a brand new Grand prix out for 2003 and GM will be submitting the new template for approval by July 1st for the 2003 season.  We find this rather comical because the real body template has absolutely nothing to do with the one NASCAR approves for racing.  The cars all pretty much fit the same template as NASCAR is not going to let one manufacturer gain an aero advantage over another.  Don't believe us?  Just look at the real Taurus trunk line and then look at the racing version.  It's pretty much down to where NASCAR may as well issue a standard template for everyone and allow each manufacturer to apply their headlight decals to distinguish what car it is.  NASCAR is nearly 100% IROC now.  Who are they fooling?  Their goal is to make all cars 100% equal and let car setup, pit work, and driver skill win the race.  That formula appears to be working quite well for them as evidenced by NASCAR's huge popularity.

2/18/02

Sauber test notes  Team SAUBER PETRONAS continued its three-day test at Italy's Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello Sunday, in the final run before the cars are flown out to Melbourne for the Qantas Australian Grand Prix on March 3. Felipe Massa set the quicker time in 1m 24.984s over 72 laps, but Nick Heidfeld spun on his 53rd lap and damaged his car after posting a best lap of 1m 25.119s. Only Felipe will complete the test Monday as a result. Willy Rampf (Technical Director): "Our original plan had been for Nick to focus on more aerodynamic assessment work today and for Felipe to go for another race run, but with the poor weather at the start of the day we changed our program. This morning Nick did three back-to-back comparisons with different types of Bridgestone wet weather tire, and also had a run on intermediates. The conditions improved a lot this afternoon, but unfortunately, following Nick's accident we have decided to send his C21 back to Hinwil for repairs in time for Melbourne, so only Felipe will run tomorrow."   Nick Heidfeld: "The weather was dreadful this morning, but at least it gave us a good opportunity to do the tire comparison work. The car was handling very well even though we didn't do anything special to tune it for the conditions. I was really hoping for good conditions so that we could do the final preparations for Melbourne, but when the car oversteered in Turn Six this afternoon I didn't catch it in time and spun. I'm very disappointed." Felipe Massa: "I'm glad that the weather improved this afternoon, so that I was able to complete my third Grand Prix distance. The car was working well, and I gained further valuable experience which will be a big help when I get to Melbourne." Sauber

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