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DATE

News (chronologically 3/10/02 to 3/16/02)

3/16/02

Sebring 6 Hours, Audi's 1-2-3 The Audi of Dindo Capello, Johnny Herbert and Christian Pescatori held the
lead at half distance - completing 173 laps.
1. - Capello/Herbert/Pescatori - Audi R8 - 173 laps
2. - Biela/Kristensen/Pirro - Audi R8 - 173 laps
3. - Wallace/Lammers/Johansson - Audi R8 - 172 laps
4. - Herta/Donohue/Auberlen - Panoz Motor Sports - 169 laps
5. - Matthews/Smith/Goossens - Riley & Scott - 168 laps
LMP675 - Dayton/Field/Durand - MG Lola - 9th outright
GTS - Fellows/O'Connell/Gavin - Corvette - 7th outright
GT - Luhr/Maassen - Porsche - 12th outright

3/16/02

Sebring 3 Hours, Audi's dominate, Panoz falters Panoz Motor Sports' attack on the 50th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring faced disappointment after two hours with the #50 car retiring from the race with an engine component failure. Jan Magnussen had just climbed behind the wheel of the car after David
Brabham had double-stinted the opening portion of the race.
1. - Biela/Kristensen/Pirro - Audi R8 - 89 laps
2. - Wallace/Lammers/Johansson - Audi R8 - 89 laps
3. - Capello/Herbert/Pescatori - Audi R8 - 88 laps
4. - Herta/Donohue/Auberlen - Panoz Motor Sports - 87 laps
5. - Matthews/Smith/Goossens - Riley & Scott - 86 laps
LMP675 - Knight/Lally/Kane - MG Lola - 8th outright
GTS - Fellows/O'Connell/Gavin - Corvette - 10th outright
GT - Luhr/Maassen Porsche - 14th outright Panoz

3/16/02

Atlantics: Hunter-Reay in last minute 12-Hour of Sebring drive  CART Toyota Atllantic driver Ryan Hunter-Reay will drive for the Ferrari factory backed JMB Motorsports of Paris, France in this weekend’s prestigious 12 hours of Sebring Sports Car event. Hunter-Reay, 21 of Boca Raton, Florida along with teammates Andrea Montermini of Monte Carlo, Monaco and Peter Argetsinger of Weston, Florida will pilot the #31 Aprimatic/Giesse Group Ferrari 360 Modena, the same car CART stockholder Jon Vaninni is piloting. A Ferrari Challenge test driver, Hunter-Reay competed in and won the six-hour Ferrari Challenge endurance race at Homestead, which led to his opportunity this weekend with JMB Motorsports. The sole Ferrari factory GT team, JMB Motorsports has invited Hunter-Reay to drive for the team at Le Mans, however his full-time job as driver of the #1 us print/Medlock Aimes/Toyota/Swift for Hylton Motorsports in the CART Toyota Atlantic Series will prevent him from accepting the offer as he will be competing in Portland the weekend of the Le Mans event. The JMB Motorsports team has completed five practices this week in preparation for the endurance classic, including a practice Thursday night, where Hunter-Reay set the fastest time of his class, it was his first-ever night practice. The GT class is the largest field in the event, there are 21 competitors including the Porches and Corvettes.

3/16/02

CART will be looking to steal some IRL employees?  Maybe.  Only about 45 of CART's current employees will be making the move to Indy when CART relocates its offices there.  The other 40 are staying behind in Michigan for various reasons.  Therefore, CART will be looking to hire 40 new employees from the Indy area and like in any other business, sometimes the best place to snag the most qualified people is right out from under your competitors nose.  The Indy workforce is plenty large enough to serve both series, but who gets and retains the cream from the top remains to be seen.  Working in CART's favor is the chance to travel to some glamorous places around the world with a world-class sanctioning body that, under Chris Pook, is already making some significant strides upward.

3/16/02
Industry News

Bravo Tony George - funds soft walls at IMS  Finally a track owner with the nerve to take the initiative and fund the testing and installation of soft walls on an oval track.  As this Star News article explains, "The soft walls, designed with NASCAR's input, are being built in 20-foot sections. Lining the Indy Speedway's walls (turns only) will take 212 sections. Brian Barnhart said the cost is an estimated $150 per foot, which equates to $636,000 for the 4,240 feet that will be covered. The sections are 20 inches deep but will not affect the racing line, Barnhart said. But the extension of the wall will require a modification of the overhang fence, which must also be extended 20 inches."

3/16/02

Some guys have all the fun March in Florida is famous for spring break and legendary sporting events such as the 12 Hours of Sebring. But today, Panoz Motor Sports had a unique combination of both events. Five of the Panoz stars took part in the Sebring Beach Volleyball Challenge doing battle with the Hawaiian Tropic girls. Beach Volleyball at a racetrack??? Yes, that¹s right it is all part of the unique spring break parties which take place in the infield at this unique event. With a huge crowd in attendance of course, purely to watch the athletic prowess of the drivers the Panoz crew proved too skilful for their opponents. This was despite the fact the Hawaiian Tropic girls dragged in a few ring-ins including Audi rival, Tom Kristensen. "I used to play beach volleyball every day when I was in college, but today was a lot of fun," Bryan Herta said. "I was actually pretty impressed with our skills and Bill Auberlen really threw himself into things. "The reaction from the crowd was a lot of fun. However, I don't really believe everybody was there to see us!" Famous for the pre-race visits to the grid at the Le Mans 24 Hour in France, the Hawaiian Tropic girls will visit the grid at every American Le Mans Series race in 2002.

3/15/02

New timing and scoring and media center planned for Mexico City  A new compound is being built right behind the pits of the Mexico City track.  The Media center, timing and scoring, and broadcast will be in one building right in the paddock.  The media center in Monterrey, Mexico made all the media centers in the USA look like 18th century relics.  Not only were there 100's of PC's available for the media to use, they were all on a super high-speed network connected to the internet, so uploading and downloading information was a breeze.  All USA track promoters take note - the Mexican's are making you look bad!

3/15/02

IRL appoints Bill Long to marketing post  Motorsports and automotive marketing veteran Bill Long has joined the Indy Racing League as assistant vice president, marketing, series officials announced March 15. Long will be responsible for all marketing and promotional activities for Indy Racing and supporting the league's goals of increasing event attendance and television ratings. He will report to Ken Ungar, vice president of business affairs for the Indy Racing League. IRL

3/15/02

CART SPEED Channel ratings surprise many  2nd UPDATE We are trying to get an official TV rating for CART in Mexico, but this just in from our media sources in Monterrey - One third of the country was tuning in at some point during the race, a massive rating only achieved by soap operas at prime time. Mexico has a population of about 100 million, so that means about 33 million Mexicans watched part or all of the Monterrey race. 3/14/02 - We are getting unofficial reports from Mexico that over 25 million households tuned into CART's Monterrey race Sunday in Mexico, and they say it may go higher, possibly as high as 50 million households.  We are told with Fernández on the pole, everybody in Mexico was aware of the race. As expected, Mexico viewership dwarfed the USA CART, NASCAR and IRL viewership, unless the Neilson ratings are severely flawed.  3/14/02 - Most predicted that CART's ratings on SPEED Channel (see SPEED Hot News item below) would amount to under 100,000 households, some estimates as low as 50,000.  When you total up the number of households that watched all SPEED Channel programming for the Monterrey, Mexico race (Qualifying, pre-race, race, post-race, and replays) the number is 588,000 households, which equates to over 1 million viewers.  Not taken into account are some of the reruns.  The cumulative Neilson Rating for Monterrey (again, including all the shows) was 1.17.  Perhaps the biggest shocker was the fact CART's qualifying show pulled down a 0.20 rating in prime time Friday, and an even higher rating of 0.28 during prime time for the Saturday qualifying.  These numbers are significantly higher than the ratings CART used to get for qualifying on ESPN2.  People who watch SPEED are true blue race fans that likely watch the entire race, commercials and all. This is a much better value to a sponsor than a channel surfer who gets counted in Neilson's ratings on network TV but only tunes in for a minute or two, then surfs away as soon as a commercial comes on. SPEED Channel is going to end up being very good for CART. The audience will be very targeted, very measurable, and very dedicated to the sponsors who support racing. When a company buys 30 seconds of advertising on SPEED, they will know what they are getting and can target their commercials accordingly. SPEED will be THE place for every motorsports fan in a few short years.  MC

3/15/02

CART wings for 2002 

VENUE

FRONT WING

REAR WING

CHICAGO

Super Speedway

2002 Short Oval

CLEVELAND

Road Course

2002 Road Course

DENVER

Road Course

2002 Road Course

ELKHART LAKE

Road Course

2002 Road Course

EUROSPEEDWAY

Super Speedway

2002 Short Oval

FONTANA

Super Speedway

Handford MkI with 3” extension

GOLD COAST

Road Course

2002 Road Course

LAGUNA SECA

Road Course

2002 Road Course

LONG BEACH

Road Course

2002 Road Course

MEXICO CITY

Road Course

2002 Road Course

MIAMI Road Course 2002 Road Course

MILWAUKEE

Super Speedway

2002 Short Oval

MID-OHIO

Road Course

2002 Road Course

MONTERREY

Road Course

2002 Road Course

MONTREAL

Road Course

2002 Road Course

MOTEGI

Super Speedway

2002 Short Oval

PORTLAND

Road Course

2002 Road Course

ROCKINGHAM

Super Speedway

2002 Short Oval

TORONTO

Road Course

2002 Road Course

VANCOUVER

Road Course

2002 Road Course

3/15/02

Detroit reels in CART move to Indy  In this Detroit Free Press article, CART spokesman Adam Saal confirmed CART's move to Indy Thursday after weeks of speculation that the open-wheel racing organization would leave the Detroit area. "We will be gone by the end of May and ready to do business in Indianapolis June 1," Saal said. There were mixed feelings at CART about leaving Michigan, he said. "We've had an outstanding stay in Detroit for the last two decades," Saal said. "It has been a great host city for us, but, for business reasons, it is time for CART to leave." The primary reason for the departure was the access in Indianapolis to race teams, drivers and suppliers based there, Saal said.  Here's a similar article from the Detroit News.

3/15/02

Phoenix happenings 


(Left) IRL cars circulate before empty grandstands.  Oval tracks (CART and IRL) continue to draw hardly any attendance on Friday and Saturday, meaning the teams wear out engines and go through a lot of expense droning around lap after lap while no one is there to watch.  Zero exposure for the sponsor, zero exposure for the teams.  (Center) More empty grandstands keep watch as IRL President Tony George talks to USAC standout Ed Carpenter.  (Right)  Panther Racing crew works on behemoth Chevy engine before installing it in Sam Hornish's car.  Photo credit: IMS Photo Ron McQueeney

3/15/02

Walker Racing announces Matt Cleary  Matt Cleary has been named Marketing Communications Manager for Walker Racing. Cleary, a graduate of Hamilton College, brings a wide variety of experience in the motorsports industry to the Walker organization, having worked with the PacWest Racing Group, Skip Barber Racing School, and Lime Rock Park before joining Walker Racing. In his new role, Cleary will liaison with all team marketing partners, serve as the day to day contact for the media and will manage all team and driver appearances for Tora Takagi and Sarah Fisher. He will also be responsible for creating team media content, managing team and partner ticketing, overseeing the show car program, and will be responsible for Walker Racing hospitality at the track. "Matt has a proven record of working with the media and with team partners. With his marketing background, he also will be bringing an eye for identifying additional business opportunities for the team and for our partners," says team owner Derrick Walker. "We think that is going to be a big benefit to our marketing efforts." Walker Racing

3/15/02

CART announces new licensing agent Officials from Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. and CMG Worldwide - the global leader in marketing and managing many of the biggest sports and entertainment properties of all time - announced today that CMG has signed an agreement to become the exclusive licensing agent for the multi-national racing series. CMG Worldwide's responsibilities - which began in February - include working with all of CART's teams, drivers, sponsors and promoters, as well as product manufactures around the world. "CMG Worldwide has a proven track record in sports and entertainment, and we are proud to have them on board as our exclusive licensing agent," said CART Vice President of Marketing, Steve Fusek. "We are extremely confident in CMG's abilities to help us build our name recognition and brand awareness, and we feel that this is a win-win proposition for everybody involved. CMG Worldwide represents many 'household names' in the world of sports and entertainment, and we look forward to working with CMG in our efforts to make CART and its drivers and teams household names, as well." With clients such as Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Princess Diana, Johnny Unitas, Chuck Berry and Sophia Loren, CMG Worldwide has positioned itself as one of the most respected marketing and management companies in the world. By adding CART to its already impressive client list, the company continues to expand its racing division, which includes marketing and licensing duties for NASCAR's Evernham Motorsports, Bill Elliott, Robby Gordon and Buddy Baker, as well as open-wheel legend Emerson Fittipaldi. More information about CMG Worldwide is available at its corporate web site, www.CMGWorldwide.com. "We firmly believe in CART, and we think the future of open-wheel racing is very bright," said Mark Roesler, Chairman and CEO of CMG Worldwide. "Our experience in managing major sports and entertainment properties on a global basis will allow us to execute a strategic program for CART that enhances the overall marketing effort of the series." CART

3/15/02

Fike to drive in Infiniti Pro Series  Teen-age USAC ace Aaron Fike will drive the Hemelgarn 91/Johnson Motorsports entry in the 2002 Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series, Indy Racing League championship team owner Ron Hemelgarn and USAC Silver Crown team owner Roger Johnson announced March 15. "Aaron is young, extremely talented and loves to win," said Hemelgarn of Fike, a 19-year-old Midget and Silver Crown standout. "He reminds me of Buddy Lazier and Paul Tracy, who also drove for me at age 19. I look forward to helping Aaron fulfill his goals." Hemelgarn has owned an IRL team since the series' inception in 1996. He fields the No. 91 Coors Light/Life Fitness/Tae-Bo/Delta Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone driven by Buddy Lazier, who won the 1996 Indianapolis 500 and the 2000 Indy Racing League championship. Hemelgarn has partnered with Indy Racing newcomer and Silver Crown team owner Roger Johnson for the inaugural Infiniti Pro Series campaign. "(Aaron) has already made a mark in USAC competition," Johnson said. "I was impressed with his Silver Crown win at Richmond last year. He should do well under the Hemelgarn 91/Johnson Motorsports banner." Fike began his motorsports career in karts and was racing midgets by age 15. He was named the 2000 USAC Midget Rookie of the Year and finished fifth overall in the 2001 Midget championship. In June 2001, Fike became the youngest driver to ever win a national Silver Crown race, at Richmond, Va. He was named the 2001 USAC Silver Crown Rookie of the Year and finished 10th in Silver Crown points. IRL

3/15/02

Big Goo Goo Dolls planned for Long Beach race The Goo Goo Dolls will bring their unique musical style to the 28th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race weekend, headlining the Pioneer Rock-N-Roar Concert Series on Saturday, April 13, at the conclusion of on-track activities. The concert will be held on the Pioneer Rock-N-Roar Concert Stage, located in front of the Terrace Theater at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center and is free to all Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Saturday ticketholders. "Thousands of fans were treated to a great show at last year’s Pioneer Rock-N-Roar Concert at the Grand Prix of Long Beach,” said Ed Sachs, executive vice president of mobile entertainment for Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. “We’re excited to see an even bigger crowd this year as we bring a great band like the Goo Goo Dolls to entertain CART race fans.” The Goo Goo Dolls – featuring John Rzeznik on guitar, Robby Takac on Bass and Mike Malinin on drums – will release their eighth album, “Gutterflower,” on April 9. The first single, ‘Here is Gone,’ was released to radio this month and quickly became the #1 added song on the modern rock, rock, Top 40 and album adult alternative formats. The band’s previous albums include “Goo Goo Dolls” (1987), “Jed” (1989), “Hold Me Up” (1991), “Superstar Carwash” (1993), “A Boy Named Goo” (1995), “Dizzy Up The Girl” (1998) and “EOAC” (2001). In 1998, the band’s compelling ballad “Iris” appeared on both the soundtrack for the film ‘City of Angels’ and on the band’s sixth release, “Dizzy Up The Girl.” For more information, visit www.googoodolls.org. “We are delighted to have Pioneer – a Long Beach-based company – back to sponsor the Rock-N-Roar weekend and look forward to hosting the Goo Goo Dolls on stage after the race activities on Saturday,” said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “Entertainment is a major factor in the success of the Toyota Grand Prix and the addition of the Goo Goo Dolls assures that this year’s event will set another milestone in this regard.” The 28th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which runs April 12-14, will feature the second round of the CART FedEx Championship Series along with the 26th Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race which will take place Saturday prior to the Goo Goo Dolls’ performance. For tickets or information on the 28th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, call toll-free, (888) 82-SPEED, visit the official race Web site at www.longbeachgp.com or any Southern California Ticketmaster location. GPALB

3/15/02

Franchitti completes successful test at Fontana road course Following his second place finish in Monterrey, Mexico last weekend, Dario Franchitti and Team KOOL Green went right back to work Wednesday and Thursday (March 13-14) testing a 16-turn 1.5-mile layout on the California Speedway road course. Franchitti completed 202 miles with a quick time of 60.2 seconds during the test. Wednesday got off to a wet start as rain showers limited Franchitti to just 55 miles. Team KOOL Green took advantage of the limited track time to re-check the car in preparation for the Long Beach Grand Prix. Franchitti and the team then spent Thursday trying to find more aerodynamic grip, testing a new front wing from Reynard that showed marked improvement, and working with Honda on traction control. "Now that CART has legalized traction control, Honda is working really hard to develop the best system," said Kyle Moyer, team manager. "Honda learned some things in Monterrey and we were able to apply some of that knowledge during the test. We will have another chance to work with the traction control before Long Beach with Paul Tracy (on the road course at Firebird), so I think we will be in good shape." "I'm really proud of my Team KOOL Green crew," said Franchitti. "They have been working hard all winter and their preparations showed in the first race. We qualified and raced well then came straight to Fontana where the KOOL car performed flawlessly. It shows you that we are not going to rest on our podium finishes but continue to find ways to make the car and the team better." The #27 Team KOOL Green crew heads back to its Indianapolis shop to begin preparations for the single day March 27 test on the oval at Homestead-Miami Speedway while the #26 team prepares for a single day test March 25 at Firebird International Raceway. Team Kool Green

3/15/02

Only 43 cars for Carolina Dodge Dealers 400  Only 43 cars showed up to qualify for this weekends Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway, so everybody there will make the show. Those names sometimes not found on the starting grid include Rick Mast who will drive the Duke's Mayonnaise / Sauer's Ford, and Andy Hillenburg who will field the Marci Racing #71. Rookies Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson and Shawna Robinson will all make the field as well.

3/15/02

Allmendinger wins pole at Sebring  American A.J. Allmendinger drove to his first career Barber Dodge Pro Series pole in only his fourth start at Sebring International Raceway. The rookie racer gained a championship point in accordance with the new CART qualifying formula when on his final lap he stopped the clocks at 2:06.599 sec., averaging 105.214 mph. In fact, Allmendinger eclipsed his own mark set on the previous tour of the circuit. Brazilian Nilton Rossoni, the over night polesitter will start second, again as a result of the new qualifying rules which dictate that the provisional polesitter earns a point and a guaranteed front row starting position. Davy Cook will start the race from the third starting position. "I knew within the first few laps the car was good today, so I just tried to save my tires," commented 18-year-old Allmendinger from Hollister, Calif. "I knew that with about three laps to go the fuel load would be light and the car would be better, so I just tried to stay smooth and fortunately I did. "I'm going to be thinking about the start all night tonight. I probably won't get much sleep. I watched the start of last year's race so I want to get a good start and not get bunched up in the middle of the big pack, get through the hurricane, and then really start the race from there," added Allmendinger.  Top 10: Pos/Car/Driver/Hometown/Time/Speed
1/29/A.J. Allmendinger/Hollister, Calif./02:06.599/105.214 mph
2/36/Nilton Rossoni/Curitiba, Brazil/02:07.234/104.689
3/16/Davy Cook/Tallahassee, Fla./02:06.974/104.903
4/94/Marc Breuers/Philadelphia, PA/02:07.086/104.811
5/21/Julio Campos/Curitiba, Brazil/02:07.095/104.803
6/15/Memo Rojas/Mexico City, Mexico/02:07.222/104.699
7/31/Leonardo Maia/Oakland, Calif./02:07.548/104.431
8/19/Dan Di Leo/Markham,Ontario/02:07.560/104.421
9/34/Christian Szymczak/Oakland, Calif./02:07.572/104.412
10/14/Carlos Lievano/Neiva, Colombia/02:07.650/104.348 
Track Length: 3.7-miles Qualifying Record: 2:06.296, 105.467 mph-Alexandre Sperafico, March 2001 Skip Barber

3/15/02

Andretti completes successful test at Fontana road course Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti continued their testing program for the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series season with a two-day test (Wednesday and Thursday) on the California Speedway road course. Team Motorola ran 202 laps on the 1.5-mile road course with a quick time of 60.1 seconds during the course of the test. Team Motorola's focus for the two-day test was to work with Honda on traction control as well as develop suspension geometries, aerodynamic set-ups and damper information for the upcoming Long Beach street course. Team manager Tony Cotman oversaw the test and was fairly pleased with the results. "We got off to a slow start on Wednesday with rain in the morning and the track had installed some bleachers in an area of the road course we were hoping to use," explained Cotman. "So we basically diddled around most of the day and Michael only managed to get in 66 laps. We did get an opportunity to get work done with Honda on the traction control so the day wasn't a total wash and on Thursday we ran a very full day with no down time, so all-in-all I think we accomplished a lot." On Thursday Team Motorola was able to complete much more on their to-do list and left the test feeling quite happy with the information that was gained. "We ran Michael for 136 laps on a very busy, 16-turn, 1.5-mile course on Thursday and his fitness and stamina was very impressive," said chief engineer Eddie Jones. "We didn't have any mechanicals over the course of the test and overall I'm happy with the progress we made on the cars set-up and I think we are all looking forward to the next race in Long Beach." Andretti left Fontana Thursday evening in good spirits. "Wednesday was a little bit of a grind but on Thursday I really think we got a lot accomplished," said Andretti. "Now I'm hoping what we learned here will translate into quick times for the race in Long Beach." 2002 marks Andretti's 19th season in Champ Car racing and he currently holds the record for most career victories (41) and most career starts (291) for active Champ Car drivers. Team Motorola will now return to their Indianapolis shop and begin preparations for their next test, which will be March 26-27 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway oval. Team Motorola's next race will be in Long Beach, California on April 14, 2002. Team Motorola

3/15/02

Sebring honors Gurney with Turn name One of America's greatest racing legends now has a turn named in his honor at one of America's most famous racing tracks. Dan Gurney, a charter member of the Sebring International Raceway Hall of Fame, has been further honored by the naming of the famous "Big Bend" portion of the Sebring circuit "Gurney Bend." The winner of the Sebring 12-hour race as a driver in 1959, and again as a car owner in 1992 and 1993, Gurney is a living legend in motorsports. He has won in Formula One, Indy Cars, NASCAR and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Despite the numerous honors in his illustrious racing career, the Sebring honor marks the first time that he has had a portion of a race track named for him. Gurney is one of more than 30 former winners of Sebring who are participating in ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of the classic race this weekend. In addition, over 20 Sebring-winning cars will be on hand, including the Maserati that Juan Manuel Fangio drove to victory in 957; the OSCA MT4 which Stirling Moss piloted to a stunning win in 1954; the Ford Mark IV Mario Andretti and Bruce McLaren drove to victory in 1967 and the Porsche 962 driven to the win in 1985 by A.J. Foyt and Bob Wollek. ALMS

3/15/02

Marco Andretti gets first national podium result  Expected to enter CART's official ladder system next year, Marco Andretti is starting to make a name for himself (pictured at right with father Michael Andretti).  Andretti competed in two classes at the World Karting Association Winter Nationals held last weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina and compete he did, brining home a third place finish in the Formula Y Jr. Class and a respectable 6th overall in the Jr. Super Can Class. This was Marco’s first podium at a national event. On Saturday in the Jr. Super Can Class the races were delayed due to rain, which eliminated the heat race and took the karters directly into the final race. Since there wasn’t any racing for qualifying positions, positions were drawn out of a hat. Marco started 9th out of over 41 participants in a feature race that consisted of 20 laps. Marco managed to work his way up to 6th place, but was involved in a small incident on the start and lost the lead draft. He drove a great race driving his kart to a 6th place finish overall. On Sunday, Marco competed in the Formula-Y Jr. class of 41 participants. This event consisted of a qualifying race, followed by a heat race which determined the starting spots for the feature race. Marco was very strong throughout this entire event. He qualified third going into the heat race and was only 2 tenths off of the pole. He got a great start and jumped into second. Marco drove a smart and consistent race and passed for first on the 5th lap, but was eventually passed back. He passed for the lead on the final lap to win his heat race. By winning the heat race, Marco started on the pole going into the feature race. He fell back to second on the start and the leader stretched out a small lead. Marco was then passed by the third place car. Together they were able to work together and catch the leader. The race was red flagged with five laps to go and Marco felt the car getting a little tight in the final laps which caused him to settle in for a very impressive third place finish. He was very happy with his results. This was his first national podium.  Andretti.com

3/15/02

Raikkonen fastest in Friday practice In hot and humid conditions at the Sepang circuit, the two McLaren’s of Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard set the pace closely followed by the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher and the Williams of Ralf Schumacher. Mika Salo (Toyota) and Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams) completed the top six positions.  Results


(L to R) Fisichella (2), Sato and Villeneuve all struggled on Friday.  Fisichella was fastest in 14th
Photos courtesy of Honda

3/15/02

IRL happenings  Foyt's 500th: Indy Racing legend A.J. Foyt will make his 500th Indy Racing start as either an owner, driver or owner-driver March 17 at the Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.


Sports celebrities coming to Phoenix: 310 Racing will play host to a number of sports celebrities during the Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200 on March 17 at Phoenix International Raceway, supporting the team and its driver, rookie George Mack.
Among the athletes scheduled to attend the race as guests of 310 are Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway, Shawn Marion and Bo Outlaw, all stars of the NBA's Phoenix Suns; and Ray Lankford of baseball's San Diego Padres. The Padres conduct spring training in the Phoenix area.


Helping hand: Air Force Senior Airman Mike Nelson, of Rockwell, N.C., will join the Red Bull Cheever Racing crew March 17 to assist with Eddie Cheever Jr.'s pit stops during the Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. Nelson was invited as part of a promotion by the team to thank the men and women serving in the Armed Forces. Red Bull Cheever Racing will invite members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to be a part of the crew at each Indy Racing League event leading up to the Indianapolis 500.


Foyt heading to D.C.: Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt and his son Larry will join executives from Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., in Washington, D.C. on March 20 when they will help the Meals on Wheels Association launch the "March for Meals Campaign" to raise awareness for senior meal programs.


Hot laps: 2001 Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves leads the voting for the IRL Crew Most Popular Driver Award after the first round of fan voting during the 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway. 1


Indy Racing veteran Tyce Carlson flew in a U.S. Air Force F-16 Flying Falcon fighter jet March 14 at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. Carlson drives for PDM Racing, which has longstanding links with the U.S. Air Force. The team's car is painted in the same color scheme as the U.S. Air Force's Thunderbirds precision flight team.  IRL

3/15/02

Night action thrills Sebring fans Race cars sizzled through the darkness Thursday night as American Le Mans Series cars conducted night practice for Saturday's 50th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge, at Sebring International Raceway. With thousands of early-arriving fans on hand, the cars that will participate in Saturday's 12-hour sports car endurance race practiced for one hour to give drivers the opportunity to experience night driving conditions to prepare for the race. With the event starting at 10:30 a.m. and ending 12 hours later, at least four hours of it will be run in darkness. The Audi R8 of Johnny Herbert, Rinaldo Capello and Christian Pescatori set the fastest time in the night session with a lap of 1:51.059. The Champion Audi of Andy Wallace, Jan Lammers and Stefan Johansson was second-fastest at 1:52.905, while the Panoz LMP-1 of Jan Magnussen, David Brabham and Eric van de Poele was third with a lap of 1:53.105. Fans had the opportunity to see the American Le Mans Series' revolutionary new position light system utilized in a unique display just for them during the night practice. The lights on the GT cars were turned on for a few laps, then turned off and the GTS car lights were turned on. A few laps later, the GTS lights went off and the LMP 675 lights went on, followed by the LMP 900. At the end of the practice, all lights were turned on together. ALMS

3/15/02

Politic shenanigans in CART's move to Indy 2nd UPDATE According to this Indy Star article, "Indy mayor Bart Peterson and CART president Chris Pook talked by phone Wednesday and resolved to continue negotiations."  However, Tony George is irked, saying in the article, "They're only renting office space and that doesn't qualify for incentives as far as I know. It seems kind of strange that they're even (asking) for it. It's not like they're building a building. They're renting."  3/8/02 - CART plans to pack and move during May, and be fully in place in Indy by June 1st.  They have no races during that month, so it's the perfect time to do it.  The Indianapolis Economic Development Commission (a public-private group) website lists the "top ten reasons to relocate a racing business in Indianapolis." Items 6 and 10 seem to directly contradict the city officials' claim in the linked article below. Looks like indeed there may be some Hulman-George influence at work as we suspected.  As always, AR1's detectives are on the case in search of the whole truth.
6 Tax abatements & regulatory assistance
7 Site location assistance
8 Creative financing
9 Skilled workforce, manpower assistance
10 State sales & use tax exemption for racing businesses
(see www.iedc.com, click the motorsports link).   3/8/02 -  According to this Steve Ballard article in the Indy Star, CART's board approved the move to Indy Saturday and employees were notified Monday of the decision. But Thursday, CART president Chris Pook said "a message was delivered to us" that puts the move in jeopardy. A meeting is scheduled today between officials from the city and the racing organization. Pook is in Monterrey preparing for Sunday's season-opening race and won't attend the meeting. "The mayor (Bart Peterson) doesn't want to support us with incentives," Pook said. "We clearly want to move to Indianapolis, but we don't want to be discriminated against." CART is counting on the same tax incentives and city support afforded new businesses coming to town and expects the same treatment given the Indy Racing League. But the city is not interested in providing incentives.  Is it possible the Hulman George family, who clearly have strong political ties in Indy, have put pressure on the mayor's office to not help CART in any way?  Nah, why would they do that?

3/14/02

At Compaq it pays for employees to work hard  As part of its sponsorship deal with the Williams F1 team, 25 Compaq employees will be awarded the opportunity to drive around a race track with Juan Montoya in a 2-seat F1 car for their outstanding performance on the job.  Now that's what we call a good employer.

3/14/02

Rossoni wins overnight pole at Sebring  Nilton Rossoni made a little bit of Barber Dodge Pro Series history today in qualifying for the first round of the Series at Sebring International Speedway. As Barber Dodge adopts the new CART qualifying rules whereby the fastest qualifier in the first session earns a championship point and a guaranteed front row starting spot, Rossoni becomes the first driver to close one season and open another as the Series' points leader. Rossoni won the Barber Dodge Pro Series title in 2000, before sitting out 2001. Setting the time to beat for final qualifying where another championship point is available, Rossoni lapped the 17-turn 3.7-mile circuit in 2:07.361 sec. Second quickest was Marc Breuers with Christian Szymczak ending up third quick. Pos/Car/Driver/Hometown/Time/Speed
1/36/Nilton Rossoni/Curitiba, Brazil/02:07.361/104.585 mph
2/94/Marc Breuers/Philadelphia, PA/02:07.484/104.484
3/34/Christian Szymczak/Oakland, Calif./02:07.693/104.313
4/16/Davy Cook/Tallahassee, Fla./02:07.741/104.273
5/21/Julio Campos/Curitiba, Brazil/02:07.859/104.177
6/29/A.J. Allmendinger/Hollister, Calif./02:08.134/103.954
7/31/Leonardo Maia/Oakland, Calif./02:08.344/103.784
8/19/Dan Di Leo/Markham,Ontario/02:08.637/103.547
9/14/Carlos Lievano/Neiva, Colombia/02:08.723/103.478
10/15/Memo Rojas/Mexico City, Mexico/02:08.807/103.411  Skip Barber

3/14/02

Fernández Racing announces new Team Manager  Fernández Racing Co-owner and Managing Director Tom Anderson today announced that Gustavo del Campo has been hired as team manager. Del Campo begins his new role today, taking over the position formerly held by Bob “Buckwheat” Adie, as the team prepares for Round Two of the CART FedEx Championship Series to be held on the streets of Long Beach, Calif., April 14. “I am very pleased to have Gustavo join Fernández Racing in the capacity of team manager,” said Anderson. “Gustavo brings with him a tremendous wealth of experience and a fantastic relationship with Adrián. It is also a valuable asset that we have someone of his mechanical experience that speaks fluent Spanish working daily with our team here in Indianapolis. I believe this will help bring our sponsors Tecate, Quaker State and Telmex even closer to the team. “I have already seen that Gustavo has a great desire for structure and success. Together, we are looking forward to the future success of Fernández Racing.” Born in Mexico City, the 48-year-old del Campo has been involved in motorsports for 22 years both as a team manager and chief engineer. He most recently worked in the Dayton Indy Lights Championship Series, serving as team director/engineer for the Mexpro Racing Team with drivers Rudy Junco and Derek Higgins during the 2000 and 2001 seasons, and Team GO Motorsports with drivers Jorge Goeters, Mario Dominguez and Higgins in 1998 and 1999. “This is very, very exciting for me,” said del Campo. “I have known Adrian for many, many years. I worked directly with him once in 1992, when he came to Mexico to help my team out by filling in for our driver Carlos Guerrero in Formula 3. Adrián won that race, and I still have the trophy. I am very honored to be a part of this team, a team that has the potential and talent to become a championship contender.” Del Campo had worked in the motorsports community in Mexico since 1980, beginning his career in Formula Ford competition with the Marlboro Racing Team and driver Bernard Jourdain. “I have known Gustavo for over 20 years,” said Fernández. “We competed against each other in the different series in Mexico. I have always had a lot of respect for him. He is very dedicated and has achieved a lot of success in his career, both in Mexico and here in America. I am very excited to have him as part of our team.”  Fernández Racing

3/14/02

Team Rahal enters Vasser in Indy 500  Rahal/Letterman Racing and primary sponsor Miller Lite have officially entered driver Jimmy Vasser in the 2002 Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 26. The entry marks the first time that the open wheel racing team owned by 1986 Indy 500 champion Bobby Rahal and television talk show icon David Letterman has entered a car in the May classic. The Rahal/Letterman Racing entry (#19 Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone) will be piloted by veteran driver Jimmy Vasser. Longtime Team Rahal sponsors Shell, Hewlett-Packard and Timken will also participate in the Rahal/Letterman Racing Indy 500 program. Vasser who also drives the Shell car for Team Rahal in the CART FedEx Championship Series has recorded two fourth-place finishes in his six Indianapolis 500 starts. The 36-year-old California native who now resides in Las Vegas has won a pair of 500-mile events during his open-wheel racing career, with victories at the 1996 U.S. 500 at the Michigan International Speedway and the 1998 Marlboro 500 at the California Speedway. “The Indy 500 is an American tradition and we are very proud to return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway again with Miller Brewing,” said Rahal. “Miller also has been a tradition at the Speedway and bringing them back, as well as David, to this hallowed ground is very special. Having a tremendous driver like Jimmy behind the wheel for our team and Miller Lite means we will be among the top contenders for the coveted Borg Warner Trophy.” “Miller Brewing is pleased to return to the Indianapolis 500 in 2002,” said Steve Lauletta, Miller Brewing Company's Director of Sports and Event Marketing. “It's the world’s most famous auto race and having Rahal/Letterman Racing and Jimmy Vasser in the race gives our Miller Lite brand an outstanding opportunity to win this prestigious event. Miller has a great heritage at the Indy 500 and we believe that Bobby, Dave and the whole Rahal/Letterman organization will make it 'Miller Time' this May in Indianapolis.” “To be part of a team racing at Indianapolis is the kind of thing I dreamed about as a kid,” said Letterman. “I couldn’t hope to be in better company than Bobby Rahal. This is what springtime in Indiana is all about.” “I have raced in the Indianapolis 500 and there isn’t another event like it in the world,” said Vasser. “The chance to race at Indy and represent not only a great company like Miller Brewing but a great team like Rahal/Letterman Racing is an honor. I think Bobby and Dave have assembled the elements to be successful this May.” As part of the preparation for the 2002 Indianapolis 500, Vasser and Rahal/Letterman Racing will participate in the upcoming Indy Racing League event at California Speedway (March 22-24).  Miller

3/14/02

CART Pit Stop Competition update from Sigma  Sigma Autosport’s pit crew, the fastest overall crew returning for 2002, kept pace as one of the best units in Champ Car with their performance at Sunday’s Tecate/Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix. The Sigma Autosport team, led by crew chief Tom Howatt, had the sixth fastest cumulative pit time during the race. Sigma driver Max Papis stopped three times during the race, twice under green and once under the yellow caution period. The total pit time for Sigma was 1:57.456. As a result, Sigma Autosport earned eight points towards the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge. CART teams compete all season long to see who has the fastest pit crew. Throughout the year, all pit stops are timed and points are awarded with lower times meaning more points. At the season finale at California Speedway, the four top teams in points, plus a wildcard entry, will meet in a shootout to determine the best of the best. The 2002 Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge champions will walk away with $50,000 in cash, a Waterford Crystal Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge trophy and bragging rights as the best pit crew in CART. Last year, Sigma’s pit crew were finalists in the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge. Here are the top six teams and times from the Tecate/Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix:
TEAM________________________________TIME__________POINTS
1. Team Motorola (#39)__________________1:53.218______ 20 points
2. PWR Championship Racing (#17)_______1:53.703_______16 points
3. PWR Championship Racing (#7)________1:54.027_______14 points
4. Newman-Haas Racing (#11.)___________1:55.820_______12 points
5. Team Rahal (#9)_____________________1:55.820_______10 points
6. Sigma Autosport (#22.) _______________1:57.456_______8 points

3/14/02

Vote for NASCAR most popular driver award  The NASCAR Winston Cup Most Popular Driver Award is considered one of the most prestigious in the sport. Established in 1956, it began as a vote of drivers, eventually increased to include all NASCAR licensed members. Several years ago, the process was opened to all NASCAR fans and is now administered by the National Motorsports Press Association. Grands! Biscuits, a product of Pillsbury (General Mills), is sponsoring the award this year. Currently, all voting is taking place through the web site established for this award (click on image), though later voting may take place through in-store displays, etc. The main goal is to open the voting to as many fans as possible, and include as many as possible in the voting process.

3/14/02

Reynard Champ Car parts for sale  Reynard North America has for sale left over CART Champ Car spare parts including body work, suspension pieces, and gearboxes. These parts are for chassis years, 2000 & 2001 cars.  You can find more details on our Classified Ad page.

3/14/02

Monterrey Postscript


(Left) The Monterrey Victory Podium was elevated and directly across from the grandstands for all the fans to see.  Now if they would just allow the fans to gather underneath like F1 does.  Any promoter who does not provide a victory podium equal to or better than this should be taken to task immediately.  Related article.  (Center 2 photos) Fans were lined up 2 and 3 deep all the way around the 2.1-mile circuit.  In additional, all grandstand seats were sold out.  The promoter even built more general admission grandstands the night before the race.  (Right) CART pace car driver Rhonda Trammell (and wife of CART's Dr. Terry Trammell) gives a thumbs up while waiting for the race to begin.  Rhonda hopes to work her way up the CART series ladder from the CART Barber Dodge Pro Series to the CART Toyota Atlantic series.  She's looking for a sponsor.  Please take time to find out more about her at this website

3/14/02
Only two 2003 Daytona 500 tickets left  We have just two prime location tickets for the 2003 Daytona 500 left for sale.  They are in the Weatherly Tower and afford a full view of the entire track and pit lane.  The price is $175 each (i.e. face value). Don't get stuck sitting on the back straight where you can't see the pit action. These are premium seats. If interested send an e-mail to feedback@autoracing1.com   Grandstand Map

3/14/02

Hattori buys ride with Bradley team UPDATE And Infiniti says - Japanese driver Shigeaki Hattori will use the Infiniti Indy 35A engine starting at the Yamaha Indy 400 at California Speedway on March 24. Hattori will drive for Bradley Motorsports for the 2002 Indy Racing League series. In addition to primary sponsorship from EPSON America, Inc., Hattori will also be backed by NISMO, the motorsports division of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. in Japan. "I am very excited to be working with Bradley Motorsports," said Hattori. "I am proud to be representing, not only EPSON, but also Infiniti. The Infiniti Indy engine has proven to be very powerful, and I believe it will be the dominant engine in the IRL soon. I think this will be my best opportunity for success in the IRL."  3/13/02 - Shigeaki Hattori is back in the IRL with Bradley Motorsports, who were parked due to lack of sponsorship. Hattori will be in the Bradley Motorsports entry at Phoenix this past weekend.  Hattori, who had his driving license yanked by CART a couple of years ago for his inability to handle safely the more powerful CART Champ Cars, has found a new lease on life in the IRL, and has qualified quite well on a number of occasions.

3/14/02

Panoz nipping at Audi heels at Sebring Panoz Motor Sports' attack on the 50th Anniversary Twelve Hours of Sebring continued to make strong strides in the opening day of official practice today. Jan Magnussen led the attack to the leading Audis, stopping the clocks at 1 minute, 51.583 seconds in the morning practice session. Magnussen, David Brabham and Eric van de Poele all sampled the car during the morning session while Bryan Herta left the #51 machine to his new team-mates, David Donohue and Bill Auberlen. "We are still able to squeeze a reasonable time out of the car but we still have a bit of work to do to improve the car," Magnussen said. "The guys were set to try a few more changes in the afternoon but we had a half-shaft failure. The bumps give the car a really hard time at this circuit and that is probably what caused the problem. "We were going to change the rear end for tomorrow's qualifying anyway, but it was unfortunate because we lost a little track time." With Donohue having only previously sampled the Panoz for a brief test in December and Auberlen never having driven the car before this week's race - both new drivers were given extended sessions aboard the #51 car. "I have become a lot more comfortable in the car today with some extra laps under my belt," Auberlen said. "The car makes fantastic downforce through the fast corners and I am really starting to enjoy the car. "It was important for David and I to get comfortable with the car before Bryan gets stuck into qualifying tomorrow." Qualifying for the prototype cars for the 50th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring - Presented by Dodge, kicks off at 2.30pm tomorrow. The team will also enjoy a one-hour practice session during the morning as well as a the first night session tomorrow evening for an hour at 8.00pm. Saturday's 12-hour marathon begins at 10.00am.
WEDNESDAY COMBINED TIMES
1. - Biela/Kristensen/Pirro, Audi R8 - 1:49.001
2. - Capello/Herbert/Pescatori, Audi R8 - 1:50.486
3. - Brabham/Magnussen/Van de Poele, Panoz Motor Sports - 1:51.583
4. - Bernard/Collard/Lehto, Cadillac - 1:51.765
5. - Wallace/Lammers/Johansson, Audi R8 - 1:51.943
6. - Taylor/Angelelli/Tinseau, Cadillac - 1:52.621
7. - Matthews/Smith/Goossens, Riley & Scott - 1:52.640
8. - Herta/Donohue/Auberlen, Panoz Motor Sports - 1:52.826

3/13/02

Dan Gurney on Speed Channel  On Thursday March 14th CART founding member Dan Gurney will be on the show Car Crazy on the SPEED Channel.  The show airs at 8:30 PM and 1:30 AM EST.  It was filmed at Gurney's AAR shop in Santa Ana, California and the host is Barry Meguiar.

3/13/02
Industry News

Historic racer killed in Australia  UPDATE The driver was Spencer Flack from Rickmansworth in the UK. He was a well known historic racer from the UK and he recently acquired the car, a 56 BRM front engined F1 car from the Rothchild familly collection at a reputed cost of A$4.5 million. The car was the last remaining model and was the actual car which gave BRM its 1st Grand Prix win.  2/24/02 - 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

3/13/02

CART support series update  The CART Driver Development Ladder System got off to an exciting start to the 2002 racing season under its newly-established alignment this past weekend, with CART Toyota Atlantic Championship action in Fundidora Park in Monterrey, Mexico and a double race weekend for the Formula Dodge National Championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.  Story

3/13/02

Spénard named Director for Skip Barber Racing School  Richard Spénard has been named Director of Canadian Operations for Skip Barber Racing School as operations expand into Canada this spring at the newly renovated Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Québec. Spénard, one of Canada's foremost race drivers, has also been a top racing instructor in North America. In his racing career, which began in 1974, he perennially won Canadian championships, until the early 1990s. The Montreal native started his instructional career in 1980 in California, learning the ropes with driver Jacques Couture. "There is a lot of depth and knowledge at Skip Barber and I'm very excited about being a part of bringing all that they offer to Canada. Going back to Mont Tremblant is like going back to my roots and just as my career grew from here I believe that Skip Barber will also grow in Canada, offering Canadians and Americans as well a very unique and memorable racing experience," said Spenard. In 1985, Richard founded the Spénard-David Racing School at Shannonville, Ontario, with Ray David. His teaching methods, experience and ability to recognize raw talent and develop up-and-comers into future stars made his school one of the most sought-after in Canada. After spending several seasons as Driver Development Manager for Player's/Forsythe Racing in the CART series, Mr. Spénard is looking forward to heading this new operation.  The Skip Barber Racing School at Mont Tremblant will offer students several courses including Introduction to Racing, Three Day Racing Schools and Advanced Two-Day programs as well as custom tailored Corporate Programs. Following extensive renovations to the historic track, Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant opened its doors last summer. The 4.26-kilometer track was rebuilt and upgraded to current FIA safety standards but retained the traditional character and ambiance of the original circuit. Among the renovations to Canada's second-oldest existing road course were an enlarged, paved paddock and a vastly improved pit lane. The track was widened to 11 meters and fully re-paved. A crossover between turn 6 and 10 enables the running of two separate racetrack activities. Nestled in the splendor of the Laurentian Mountains and in the shadow of the majestic Mont-Tremblant, the Skip Barber Racing School offers students the unique ambiance of the magnificent Mont-Tremblant Resort only minutes away from the track. Mont-Tremblant is located 135 km northwest of Montréal and connected by an expressway. Skip Barber

3/13/02

Construction update near TMS  In November 2001, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) began work to repair and overlay main lanes of Interstate 35W. Although the project is about 17 miles long and stretches from I-35E to the Tarrant-Denton County line, the construction is not expected to hinder traffic during the April 4-7 NASCAR races at Texas Motor Speedway. The concrete pavement repair is near completion, and TxDOT is currently upgrading the bridge railings. Traffic has been limited to one lane at various locations in this project. However, when TxDOT planned the project, provisions were included in the contract stating that the contractor would have all lanes open Wednesday through Sunday of the NASCAR races. "TxDOT puts the traveling public first," Linden Burgess, TxDOT Traffic Operations Specialist, said. "It's been a part of the project's plan from the very beginning to have barricades moved and all lanes open for that week of the NASCAR races." According to Chris Behnke, TxDOT Denton County Assistant Area Engineer, the contractor is on target to have all the lanes open for race week. TxDOT officials advise travelers in this area to continue driving with caution. Though lanes will be open, this is still a construction area. They ask drivers to stay alert to traffic control devices applicable to partially completed work on the shoulders and in the ditches.
The contractor, Austin Bridge and Road, Inc. of Dallas, has set an estimated completion date of Spring 2003 for the $7,215,679 project.  TMS

3/13/02

CART debuts on SPEED Channel with decent Neilson Ratings  SPEED Channel proved itself fast out of the box, delivering a 0.53 rating on its first live race broadcast of a CART FedEx Championship Series event -- the Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix on Sunday, March 10. The 0.53 rating is 18 percent higher than ESPN’s 12-race season average of 0.45 in 2001. “We are ecstatic with the effort put forth by SPEED Channel this past weekend in Monterrey,” said CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. “They established an aggressive and positive tone in their first broadcast of FedEx Championship Series qualifying on Friday and managed to carry that momentum all the way through the race on Sunday. The insightful commentary and aggressive camera angles are welcome additions to CART Champ Car television coverage. The beauty of this is the fact that we’re just scratching the surface with SPEED Channel, but the way the shows were presented drew rave reviews from virtually all corners. That we exceeded our average rating from last year is the icing on the cake.” SPEED Channel’s .53 rating translates into 264,000 households, with prime time programming adding a .11 (56,000 HH) and late-night programming adding a .05 (25,000) for a cumulative rating of .69 or 345,000 households. "The numbers are no surprise to any of us at SPEED Channel and we feel they are simply the starting point,” said network President Jim Liberatore. “The sole focus of SPEED Channel is racing and speed. Consequently, when you combine expert analysis and production with some of the world’s most exciting racing, positive results are inevitable. “This summer, much speculation and many questions were asked about the SPEED Channel TV deal, and its impact on CART,” Liberatore added. “After one week, a sold out crowd in Mexico and a larger audience watching the weekend CART programming than last year, it is safe to say we are off to a strong start in answering those questions. Our commitment to CART and to CART fans will be evident throughout the season."  CART qualifying on March 8-9 delivered a solid .20 (102,000 HH) and .28 (141,000 HH) in prime time, with SPEED’s live race coverage topping ESPN2’s NHL regular season game by nearly 40 percent (.38). SPEED Channel’s ratings were up 179 percent over the same time period last year (.19).  SPEED TV [Editor's Note - since SPEED is in fewer households than ESPN, the ratings are even better than expected, though certainly not stellar]

3/13/02

Vasser entered at Fontana As a tune-up for the Indy 500, CART's Team Rahal has entered Jimmy Vasser in the Yamaha 400 at Fontana.  Vasser will drive the same Miller Lite car that he will drive in the Indy 500.  Yamaha will be the title sponsor of the inaugural Indy Racing League event at California Speedway on March 24, track and Yamaha officials announced March 13. The Yamaha Indy 400 is the third race in the 15-event Indy Racing League schedule in 2002. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. (EST) March 24 and will be televised live on ESPN. "The excitement for our upcoming Indy Racing League event continues to build, and to add Yamaha as the event title sponsor increases the overall prestige of the weekend," said Bill Miller, president of California Speedway.

3/13/02

Parity in NASCAR  Via his victory last Sunday in the MBNA America 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Tony Stewart became the fourth different winner of this NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, and also the 12th different winner in the last 13 races, dating to Kansas, in September 2001. Only Sterling Marlin has repeated during that span. (He won at Charlotte, last October; and Las Vegas, March 3.)

3/13/02

Menard team looking for another Phoenix pole In the vast expanses of the Arizona desert, there's a certain circular, one-mile area known as Phoenix International Raceway, racing folk refer to it simply as - PIR. For Team Menard it's been a target, a target that has produced the last three Indy Racing League pole positions at PIR. As one of the original IRL tracks, Phoenix has been on the Indy Racing League schedule since its inception in 1996, and since that time, there has been no better qualifying team than Team Menard at PIR. On top of capturing the pole in 1999, 2000 and 2001, add the 1997 pole to the tally and Team Menard cars have led the start 4 of the 6 years this race has been held. For Jaques Lazier, the table has been set. Can he add a fifth and take his Johns Manville/Menards Chevy Dallara to the top of the scoring tower Friday? "No pressure or anything!," laughed Lazier, a two-time pole-winner in 2001. "But yes, I do think we have a good shot at the pole, certainly if we can set the race car the way we know we can. Given that, you just might see a fourth straight from Team Menard. Also, the experience this team has winning poles is a great help. We have a lot of knowledge to draw on at this track and we're all keyed up to make this race a success every session we go out." Team Menard

3/13/02

Guy Smith's lap around Sebring Briton Guy Smith will contest the opening round of the ALMS series, the 50th 12 Hours of Sebring on March 16th. Guy, runner-up in the recent Daytona 24 Hours in the Matthews Racing Riley & Scott, will team-up with team owner Jim Matthews, with the third driver yet to be announced. Here the 27 year-old from Hull gives his views on the classic Florida circuit that will host America’s oldest sports endurance race. Lap

3/13/02

New track planned in Perth, Australia  According to Autosport, a Formula One and CART standard track is planned for Perth, Australia, adjacent to the airport.  If you are not familiar with Perth, it's on the far western coast of Australia, and is as far from Surfers Paradise as California is to NY City.  With that said, besides Adelaide, CART will have yet another venue with which to choose to race in Australia (in addition to Surfers).  The track is awaiting government approval, and will come in two flavors - 2.4  and 3.8 mils in length.  We don't see CART adding a 2nd race in Australia unless some healthy Australia sponsorship money materializes in the series.  MC

3/13/02

Phoenix team shows up in Malaysia by surprise UPDATE The new Phoenix team's bid to race in this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix appears to be dead. A statement released by the FIA says that Phoenix has no entry to the 2002 Formula 1 World Championship. The statement reads: "Having examined the judgment of the Tribunal de Commerce de Versailles the FIA's advisers have noted that the court has not transferred Prost Grand Prix itself nor made any attempt to transfer the Prost Grand Prix entry in the 2002 Formula 1 World Championship, either to Phoenix Finance Ltd, or to Mr Nickerson." If Phoenix wants to enter the 2003 championship, they will have to pay the mandatory $48 million. Bernie Ecclestone said last week that all Phoenix had bought was some "show cars".  3/12/02 - The new Phoenix F1 team, formed by buying out the bankrupt Prost Team, has surprised everyone by showing up with the Prost cars in Malaysia with the hope of starting this weekends race at Sepang. Gaston Mazzacane will drive if the team is permitted to run.

3/12/02

Beechler worse than expected, concrete wall may end another career  UPDATE As we suspected when we first posted this most unfortunate news, a concrete wall may have ended another drivers career, as Donnie Beechler discusses retirement in this Jack Arute article. "The racer part of me says, 'Come on. In a couple of weeks we will be ready to go,'" Beechler said. "The other part of me asks is it really worth jeopardizing what I have right now. I don't want to end up like some other racers. "I've been reading up on head injuries and my wife has been reading up on them. I'm 40 and you don't recover as quickly."  Being an all-oval open-wheel series, the IRL will struggle with retaining drivers and building any sort of long-term fan following, as drivers likely won't be able to remain in the series long-term. We have seen a lot of serious career-ending injuries in the IRL since it's inception a short 5 years ago, and one impact with the hard walls at high-speeds can be all she wrote.  We're not saying that CART drivers are any safer on ovals, they're not.  But CART races on very few ovals.  The IRL is 100% ovals and, therefore, the odds are against the drivers that they will meet their destiny sooner rather than later.  3/7/02 -   Donnie Beechler suffered a concussion in a practice crash March 1 and wasn't cleared to drive by Dr. Henry Bock, Indy Racing League director of medical services. Beechler will not be cleared to drive at the upcoming Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200 on March 17 at Phoenix International Raceway, Bock said.   "I spoke to Donnie and just told him he needed to take some time to heal up," Foyt said. "He took a very hard hit, and it doesn't make sense to take chances. He is one of the nicest guys in the sport, and I'll admit it, I feel bad for him. He took it well and understood that we have his best interests at heart. I am looking forward to working with him at Indy."

3/12/02

Team Penske loses a team member UPDATE Here is a link to a Team Penske release on Buckner.  He was a young 43 years old and leaves behind three children.  Very tragic.  Our thoughts go out to his family and friends. 3/9/02 - Although we have no details, we are told that Gary Bucker, Gil de Ferran's tire man, at the Penske shop in Reading, Pa after being stricken with a possible heart attack late Friday afternoon.  We are trying to get further details.

3/12/02

Ford Cosworth Champ Car engines for sale  Cosworth Racing has an assortment of XB and XD turbocharged CART Champ Car engines in partial to complete condition for sale.  You can find more details on our Classified Ad page.

3/12/02

IMS signs agreement with Bombardier  Bombardier, the world's third-largest manufacturer of civil aircraft, has entered a multi-faceted sponsorship agreement with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing League that includes naming rights to the Speedway's landmark Pagoda control tower, Speedway officials announced March 12. The five-year, multi-million dollar agreement marks the first time a major aerospace company has entered the open-wheel racing sponsorship arena. In addition to the naming of the Bombardier Pagoda and signage on the 13-story, 50,000 square-foot building, Bombardier has been named an Official Sponsor of the Indy Racing League and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Bombardier Aerospace will sponsor the $50,000 Indy Racing League Rookie of the Year Award and contribute to the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race's lucrative prize fund. IRL

3/12/02

IRL not live in Europe either  UPDATE A reader writes - Actually, IRL is live – in the UK anyway. Sky Sports are into their 2nd year covering the races live. The panel of ‘experts’ slag CART at every opportunity!  Hmmm....sounds like a bad TV partner for CART, doesn't it?  Another reader writes - IRL and CART are both live on the French channel AB Moteurs throughout Europe (in French, but at least you have the video, and can get the audio from CART.com), free on the Astra digital satellite. 3/12/02 - Much is being made in our forums about CART not being live on TV in Europe and most other countries around the world.  However, a reader writes to say that Eurosport is only showing 1-hour taped highlights of IRL races in Europe, so they are no better off.  However, the IRL does not race in Europe, CART does.  CART must have all races live in all countries in Europe, or the attendance at both Rockingham and Eurospeedway will suffer.  The primary way CART builds a fan base in Europe, Japan, and Australia (i.e. all fly-away races), is by viewers becoming 'true' fans and following their favorite drivers on TV.  No TV, no fans, no ticket sales, no race sponsors, no driver endorsements, and no hospitality sales.  It's called racing economics 101.  MC

3/12/02

Letterman sticks with CART TV partner  Despite efforts by IRL TV partner ABC to steal TV host and CART team owner David Letterman from CBS, Letterman has decided to stay with CART TV partner CBS.

3/12/02

Judgment day beckons for Jaguar  "They've made no progress - in fact they've made it even worse, which I find strange," said Johnny Herbert. "It's down to Eddie and the team to work together, but it doesn't seem as though they've had a conversation. "It's just ridiculously bad considering the resources that they have compared to Minardi - yet Minardi aren't too far behind at all."  Says Jaguar boss Niki Lauda, "We haven’t taken any decisions yet as to what will happen after Malaysia and given that our race pace in Melbourne was significantly better than our qualifying performance, it is obvious that we have yet to unlock R3’s true potential over a proper one hour qualifying session. Judgment day (as to whether to scrap their new car and with it a wasted $50 million and return to last years car) beckons, as they say!"

3/12/02

Ticket sales up for Sepang  Organizers of the Malaysian Grand Prix are hoping for their biggest ever race this weekend. ‘There has been a huge increase in purchase and interest over the week and we even had to add a few more fax machines at the ticketing counters to cater for the increase in demand,’ said Sepang circuit boss Ahmad Mustafa. ‘We've sold 52,000 tickets so far and I am confident that our target of 100,000 spectators for Race Day can be achieved.’ ‘We can expect a huge crowd at the circuit this weekend,’ added Mustafa. ‘We have lots of enquires and purchases this week and we look forward to the numbers going up.’

3/12/02

Improvements by Sepang for Renault  "Overall we are pretty confident," said Technical Director Mike Gascoyne . "I believe the team is in a comparable position to where we finished last year and, for us, Melbourne was a harder circuit than Sepang at which to succeed. We will take encouragement from our performance in the first race and believe we should perform strongly in Malaysia." "For this race we will have new aerodynamics and mechanical items, which will represent a good step forward," explained Gascoyne. "We have a new diffuser, a new rear wing and several new items on the rear suspension." Executive Director of Engineering Pat Symonds is confident that the high temperatures, which reached 51 degrees Celsius last year, will help the team this weekend. "The high track temperatures represent a different challenge to the tires but as we are running on Michelins, we are not at all worried about that, it actually favors us," " said Symonds. "The R202 appears to be a good car in most situations and I wouldn't say we have got any particular shortcomings. Specifically, it performs well in the fast corners and there are a number of those in Sepang. I really do feel that we will be taking those corners flat out this year."

3/12/02

A lap around Sebring with David Brabham Sebring is a fantastic venue to kick off the championship because the place has so much history. My dad actually clinched his first Formula One World Championship at Sebring - so the Brabham¹s have been doing battle here for a long time. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the place. The layout of the track is brilliant and the entire event is such a spectacle, but it is one of the bumpiest circuits in the world. It is very physically demanding for the drivers and extremely tough on the cars - if you can survive Sebring, then Le Mans shouldn¹t be a problem. The main straight is an old concrete runway and is very bumpy. Turn one is a very fast fourth or fifth gear corner - which gear you use depends on how the car feels. The entry to the turn is very fast and wide and there are a variety of lines you can use. You try to almost brush the concrete wall on the inside and the road is very rough on the exit - you can really feel the car dancing around. The entry to turn two leads on to a series of esses, but it is very easy to out brake yourself here. You have to get the first bit right to maintain your speed through turns three and four which have now been resurfaced. It is very easy to rush in there a little quick. You then run down to the Hairpin near Chateau Elan. You can actually brake quite late for what is the slowest corner on the track - first gear. The run up through the next series of esses is quite easy as you change up through the gears. Turn ten requires heavy braking and it is bumpy on the exit. You are then flat-out through to turn 13 which is another big push on the brakes. The road is slightly off-camber and it is really really bumpy here. You can gain quite a bit of time through this section if the car is right. Turn 15 is quite quick, but it narrows slightly on the exit. You take this in third. You stay in third gear for the next left and right hand section and then you set yourself up for a wide entry on to the back straight. You can use the kerbs here, but you have to be careful that you don¹t get pad knockoff. You have to give the brakes a bit of a touch before the braking zone to make sure they are still there at the end of the straight. The final turn - turn 17 - is the toughest on the track. It is really wide and fast and there are only a few lines you can use because of the bumps. The exit is quite wide as you swing back onto the straight to complete the lap.

3/12/02

Brayton files Indy 500 entry Brayton Racing filed an entry March 11 for the 86th Indianapolis 500, with rookie John de Vries named as the driver. de Vries, from Las Vegas, will drive the No. 37 Pit Bull Energy Drink/Rhino Cleaning Products Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. de Vries first must complete the Rookie Orientation Program on April 11-13 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Norm Johnson is the chief mechanic, and Todd Brayton is the team manager.

3/12/02

Miami to get more grandstands  With the addition of CART to the weekend events in Miami, it has been decided to build much higher grandstands to accommodate the larger crowd.  We also understand they are looking to add grandstands. AR1 has also learned that the final turn before the main straight (Paddock Suites turn) will be widened significantly to make for various racing lines.   Below is the grandstand layout before CART was added:


Click on  rectangles to see enlargement

3/11/02

Audi leads opening session at Sebring The factory Audi team that has won the past two runnings of the 24 Hours of Le Mans set the fastest time Monday as unofficial practice opened for the 50th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge. The Audi R8 Prototype driven by Frank Biela, Tom Kristensen and defending American Le Mans Series champion Emanuele Pirro was the fastest of the 37 cars that turned timed laps in Monday's session. The day's fastest lap on the 3.7-mile road racing circuit was 122.250 mph (1:48.957), just slightly slower than Biela's track record of 1:48.825 that was set in 2000. In addition to two consecutive wins at Le Mans, the trio also won the Sebring event in 2000 and finished second last year.  CART stock holder Jon Vannini was 32nd in his Ferrari 360 Modena, running in the GT class.
1. Biela/Pirro/Kristensen, Audi R8, 1:48.957 (122.250 mph).
2. Capello/Herbert/Pescatori, Audi R8, 1:50.661 (120.368).
3. Wallace/Lammers/Johansson, Audi R8, 1:50.805 (120.211).
4. Matthews/Smith/Goossens, Riley & Scott MkIIIC, 1:51.566 (119.391).
5. Bernard/Collard/Lehto, Cadillac LMP 02, 1:52.437 (118.466).
6. Taylor/Angelelli/Tinseau, Cadillac LMP 02, 1:52.489 (118.412).
7. Herta/Donohue/Auberlen, Panoz LMP-1, 1:52.999 (117.877).
8. Lienhard/Theys/Baldi, Dallara-Judd, 1:53.617 (117.236).
9. Lupberger/Bell/Kolby, Ascari-Judd, 1:56.290 (114.541).
10. Neuhaus/Macaluso/Brickell, Lola B2K10-Judd, 1:57.199 (113.653)

3/11/02

Sarah Fisher and Danica Patrick enter Long Beach race  Toyota Motorsports announced its exciting lineup for the 26th annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, held in Long Beach, Calif. on Saturday, April 13. The 10-lap race, held on the 1.99-mile Champ Car track, will be part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race weekend. The expected field of 18 features an eclectic group of entertainment personalities, internationally renowned celebrities, and figures from sports and media.  Stars driving in the race include: James Cameron (Producer, Director "Dark Angel," "Terminator" and "Titanic"), Angie Everhart (Supermodel, Actress "Jade"), Patrick Stewart ("Star Trek's" ‘Captain Picard'), Goran Visnjic (‘Dr. Luka Kovac' in NBC's "ER"), Bill Goldberg (Actor, Former WCW Champion Wrestler), Dulé Hill (‘Charlie Young' in NBC's "West Wing"), Thomas Gibson (‘Greg' in ABC's "Dharma and Greg"), Christopher Kennedy Masterson (‘Francis,' FOX's "Malcolm in the Middle"), Christopher Titus (FOX's "Titus"), Jacob Young (‘Lucky Spencer,' ABC's "General Hospital"), Brian Cranston (‘Hal,' FOX's "Malcolm in the Middle"), and Dara Torres (Olympic Gold Medal). Returning to defend his title is the 2001 Toyota Pro/Celebrity race champion, Tom Rudnai, the first Toyota dealer to win the race. Rudnai, the VP and GM of Longo Toyota and Lexus in El Monte, Calif., will compete in the professional category at this year's race. Additionally, four other professional drivers competing for the checkered flag are Sarah Fisher (rising Indy Racing League star), Danica Patrick (rising open wheel star), Tommy Kendall (Trans Am Champion) and Mark-Paul Gosselaar (ABC's "NYPD Blue" and a former race participant).

3/11/02

ISC putting screws to CART again? UPDATE California Speedway contacted us to explain the situation - California Speedway has two Season Ticket Packages - The Ultimate Season Ticket Package, which includes a ticket for every day of racing during the April 26-28 NASCAR Weekend and the November 1-3 CART FedEx Championship Series Weekend. It does NOT include a season ticket for the new events added in 2002. We also have the Sunday Season Package, which includes a ticket for the April 28th NAPA AUTO PARTS 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race and the November 3rd The 500 Presented by TOYOTA CART FedEx Championship Series race. May I also add that our Season Infield Reserved RV sites are sold for the NASCAR and CART weekend only as a package. We have an unbelievable renewal rate on these sites for the NASCAR AND CART Weekend. The other assurance I can provide is that California Speedway and International Speedway Corporation will continue to promote ALL of its races with the same intensity that we have since this speedway opened in 1997. We owe that to our corporate partners, drivers, teams, sanctioning bodies and most of all, the fans. Our in-market advertising is currently focused on our three upcoming spring events. We will begin advertising for the CART Season Finale The 500 Presented by TOYOTA this summer and fall as we have the last five seasons.  California Speedway  3/11/02 -  A fan writes - I am a season ticket holder in California for the Fontana track. As is normal I received in the mail the 2002 season ticket order form just this week. While looking thru it I noticed not one mention of the season ending CART race in November. The order form does not even indicate if tickets are for sale, how much, etc. This would not be normal as Cal Speedway would always offer to new ticket purchasers a Season Package for both CART and NASCAR. This years Season Package includes NASCAR, the IRL and Grand AM races. Just another indicator of ISC driving CART away. I also was recently in Southern California were on the local TV I did see advertisements for the April IRL race. I would hope that CART would get out and promote their own race in November. It sure won't be promoted by ISC. The Fontana track remains a great facility, hats off to Penske, but it's changing more and more every year that ISC owns it. Not for the better.  Thank You, and keep up the good work. Steve King 

3/11/02

CART scraps Legends Series  CART has decided to scrap the Legends Series that they announced last year featuring past CART drivers in identically prepared Ford Cobra's.  It seems the plan was not well thought out, and the company supplying the cars and organizing the events missed a critical early deadline.  Having driven Cobra's ourselves, from Day 1 we had serious reservations about the safety these cars would have afforded the drivers, and think it's best the program was cancelled.  Perhaps one day the idea might be resurrected if the situation was right.

3/11/02

Update on Mexico City  2nd UPDATE We forgot to mention when we updated this rumor yesterday, that if it's decided not to run the track through the middle of the baseball stadium in 2002 due to lack of time to build it, they may not put a chicane before the Peraltada turn.  Instead it might remain as it was in the F1 days, and when CART was last there in 80-81.  The turn will then be much like a Milwaukee or Chicago turn, but run in the opposite direction.  3/10/02 - We now hear the promoter is rethinking the idea about having the track go through the center of the baseball stadium.  They really do not want to lose those potential 40,000 seats. CART's Martyn Thake is flying from Monterrey directly to Mexico City after the race today to meet and try to finalize this issue.  Martyn did confirm with us that construction has begun on all the new grandstands and pit upgrades. We have added a diagram to show what the track will look like if it winds through the baseball stadium.  After each race, the track will be covered with a membrane and then soil to allow baseball to resume the rest of the year. And yes, we are still being told that attendance for this race will likely exceed 300,000 on race day alone.   2/26/02 - Over the past several months AR1 has presented a few different versions of the Mexico City track layout as it was going through several iterations of changes.  We now present to you the configuration that was recently submitted to the government officials in Mexico City for approval.  The only change to the track from the 86-92 F1 layout will be a chicane just before the dangerous Peraltada Curve (where Ayrton Senna almost killed himself by flipping over after losing control) to slow the cars down.  They will then accelerate all the way through the fast 180-degree Peraltada and down the very long main straight where speeds will approach 230 MPH before braking for the first turn.  As you can see from the old photo on the left, the cars exit the Peraltada and enter the main straight that goes on forever into the distance.  The very long series of esses on the back section are going to put a huge strain on the drivers neck muscles.  This track is going to likely be the most challenging of all tracks on the CART circuit.  The track was 2.763 miles before the addition of the chicane.  The new estimated track length is 2.85 miles and the fast way around will be finding the right balance of low downforce for the long straight and high downforce for the multitude of turns.  MC

3/11/02

RPM2Night on-site at Indy Throughout the month of May, RPM2Night will originate live from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as it continue to get behind and support the IRL.  We hear the live nightly shows on ESPN2 during the month of May will be reduced or eliminated because ratings were not high and having RPM2Night on-site will reduce the need for separate nightly show. 

3/11/02

Improved safety at Sepang Clerk of the course Jeff Amin said new safety fencing is in place for the race marshalls for this years race. "The marshals are now more comfortable because they know the emphasis will be on their safety," Amin told the Star newspaper. "Their reaction time will be slower, but certainly safer," he said. Amin said FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) officials had visited the circuit, situated some 75kms outside of Kuala Lumpur last month and asked the organizers of the Malaysian GP to put up the new safety fences as barriers for the marshals along the track. "Previously, they stood behind smaller crash barriers," Amin said.

3/11/02

Toyota execs happy  We spotted a few Toyota execs in the pit lane in Monterrey talking to Chris Pook and the Mayor of Monterrey.  They were quite impressed with what they saw, and were beaming from ear to ear.  Although Toyota has not yet formally committed to supply CART engines in 2003, by the looks on their faces, we have little doubt they will opt out, especially after one of their cars won the race.

3/11/02

Fittipaldi off to NASCAR test  After finishing up post race media duties in Mexico Sunday, Fittipaldi hitched a ride on the airplane of former teammate Michael Andretti which was bound for Andretti's home in Pennsylvania. He was then scheduled to board a flight to Bristol, Tenn. to test his mike's hard lemonade BGN car on Monday

3/11/02

Scenes from Monterrey, Mexico  2nd UPDATE Sunday pictures have been added. 3/10/02 - We have updated the page with pictures from Saturday.  3/9/02 - Here is a link to our photo page from Monterrey, Mexico.  We will be updating it with photos from each day as the weekend progresses.

3/10/02

Monterrey crowd  2nd UPDATE With Sunday's attendance announced as 95,000, the three day total was 236,000.  Not too shabby, but down slightly from last year, due in part to the economy, Saturday rain and now two races in Mexico (Photos: Motorola/Getty Images)  3/10/02 - We were told by the track that Saturday's attendance was a tick over 80,000, 20,000 of which were General Admission tickets sold, rain and all.  Sunday's crowd lined the track 2 and 3 deep all the way around.  We expect Sunday to be announced at over 100,000.  3/8/02 - The estimated crowd that showed up in Monterrey on a work day today was 56,000.  That is double the IRL got for the entire weekend in Homestead last week.  With Fernandez on provisional pole, and if the weather stays good, Saturday and Sunday will see a full house, meaning over 250,000 will likely come through the turnstiles this weekend.

3/10/02

Mexico City tickets go on sale Monday  Tickets for CART's Mexico City race will go on sale Monday March 11th.  The race's website can be found here.  The promoter, CIE,  felt it best to complete the Monterrey race before putting the Mexico City tickets up for sale, where a race day crowd of over 300,000 is expected.  However, keep in mind that the date may change - see rumors page.

3/10/02

Burt Frisselle wins 2nd leg of CART Skip Barber Formula Dodge Burt Frisselle punctuated a strong weekend at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca when he pulled away from hard-charging Al Unser and Grant Maiman mid-way through Round 2 action en route to a masterful win in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER. Frisselle, by virtue of his qualifying prowess, secured his first series win and now leads the Official Amateur National Championship of CART by two points over Maiman, of New London, Wisconsin. Rain and fog that had dampened the qualifying session earlier had abated, giving way to sunny skies and a drying track.

3/10/02

Panoz adds Auberlen and van de Poele Panoz Motor Sports' assault on the 50th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring - Presented by Dodge, has been boosted with the addition of experienced sportscar aces Bill Auberlen and Eric van de Poele to its driving roster. The team had originally planned to attack Sebring with a two-driver line-up in its pair of "Spirit of America" LMP1-Evo machines, but the availability of Auberlen and van de Poele, coupled with the expected fierce competition for the 12 hour marathon, resulted in a revised plan for the event. "We fully expect Sebring to be a 12 hour sprint and after consultation with our drivers, we believed having three guys in both cars was going to be the most effective way to tackle the race," Panoz Team Manager, Andy Waldrep said. "This team already has some of the fittest athletes in the series, but having the extra driver will enable them to be at their absolute peak for 12 hours." Auberlen will join Bryan Herta and David Donohue in the #51 car for an all-American line-up. Van de Poele will drive with David Brabham and Jan Magnussen in the #50 machine.

3/10/02

Scenes from Monterrey, Mexico  UPDATE We have updated the page with pictures from Saturday.  3/9/02 - Here is a link to our photo page from Monterrey, Mexico.  We will be updating it with photos from each day as the weekend progresses.

3/10/02

3rd generation Unser does well in CART ladder opener  Another of CART's ladder series was in action this weekend.  Second year driver Grant Maiman captured his first ever Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER victory in the series opener at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, leading 16 of 17 laps and holding off a determined charge from aptly named Scott Speed and polesitter Burt Frisselle.  Up and coming 3rd-generation CART Champ car driver Al Unser finished 5th.  Story

3/10/02

Chat live during Sunday's Monterrey GP  A live chat page has been developed for trial purposes, for the Monterrey, Mexico race, to allow fans who can't watch the race live on TV, the opportunity to watch CART timing and scoring and chat with other fans.  Once there, the chat room should load within a couple of minutes. Visitors will automatically be logged in. You can then change their username, away from the default given, by typing '/nick myusername' (without quotation marks, substituting myusername for the desired alias).

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