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DATE

News (chronologically 4/13/02 to 4/19/02)

4/19/02

Fernandez takes over for Big Mo   In a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Championship Drivers Association, Inc., with primary offices in Indianapolis, Indiana, veteran driver Adrian Fernandez was chosen to fulfill the term of office vacated by the retired Mauricio Gugelmin. In accordance with the by-laws of the Championship Drivers Association, the Board elected Adrian to fill the term of office until December 30, 2004. Directors are permitted to serve a two-year term of office and are elected by the members. If a director vacates that post, the Board then selects his replacement. Directors may only serve two concurrent terms in office. Gugelmin served the CDA as its Chairman for the past two years and began his second term in January of 2002. His retirement brought about the necessity of replacing him with an active and competing driver. Gugelmin brought a business savvy to the CDA and worked tirelessly to improve driver safety, working conditions, and salaries during his term. He is very respected by all the drivers and the officials in the CART community, where he competed. Mauricio will remain as an advisor to the board. Adrian, likewise, will bring a great deal of business savvy to the table. He is an owner as well as driver. He has distinguished himself as a gentleman and proved his effectiveness as a leader in forming his own racing team in 2001. Adrian has been a competitor in the FedEx CART series since 1993. He started racing at age eight. He is the only competing owner/driver in the CART series. The Board of Directors consists of Robbie Buhl, Vice Chairman for IRL affairs and Jimmy Vasser in addition to Adrian, who will function as CDA Chairman. Jon R. Potter, in his twenty-third year as Executive Director will remain in that post and handle the day-to-day activities from the CDA offices.  CDA

4/19/02

FedEx ships CART series around the world to Japan   The CART FedEx Championship Series is ready to take a 6,500-mile whirlwind trip around the globe with the assistance of series title sponsor, FedEx. This weekend, FedEx MD-11 aircraft will transport Champ Cars and equipment from the U.S. to Japan for the Bridgestone Potenza 500, Round 3 of the CART FedEx Championship Series on Saturday, April 27.  Story

4/19/02

Soft Wall tidbit  UPDATE  This News Journal Online article says that "All of the tracks that are owned by ISC are very aware of what we're doing, where we're going," Brian Barnhart said. "The thought here is we'll see what happens at Indianapolis," ISC spokesman David Talley said. "We're excited and encouraged by the fact that this technology is so close to hopefully being an answer to some of the questions that have been out there. As far as a timeline, as far as what track will be implementing this technology, we don't know that yet." Talley said it would be "premature" to assume these barriers will don the walls at the Speedway by the 2003 Daytona 500. It's funny that our Mark Cipolloni proposed soft walls on oval tracks way back in 1998 in a series of articles, and people laughed at him, said it couldn't be done.  We're happy to report, it can be done, and will.  4/19/02 - Two more tests at the University of Nebraska are left before IMS installs the soft walls for May. This system will cost 3/4 of a million dollars, is some extremely high technology and has been tested in stock and Indy car crashes at over 150 mph. The soft walls will only be placed in the turns, where head on and back-in accidents are most common and will taper off so they do not interfere with the racing line. Salazar hit in a place where he would have missed the soft wall by several feet at least.

4/19/02

Pook has no doubt he will save CART In this Autoweek article Chris Pook makes it clear -  For those who say CART is already dead but simply hasn’t realized it yet, Pook says “Look, it is what it is. I can’t change the past, but I am going to change the future.”  Pook sees a period of peaceful coexistence between CART and the IRL, and perhaps cooperation at some point: “We’ve eliminated the major point of contention, the engine and chassis. We’re as close as we can ever get.” Pook even leaves open the possibility of a revival of the old oval triple crown, with some form of joint sanction. But he dismisses a real reunification: “I’d love to sit down and have a beer with Tony. We could talk about a lot of things, including the weather. I’m happy to entertain any talks. But in the meantime, I am 300 percent focused on moving this company forward. They have their job to do, and we have ours.”

4/19/02

Sirius Satellite radio to sponsor MIS Cup race  Michigan International Speedway announced today that Sirius Satellite Radio, the premier in-car entertainment satellite radio broadcaster, will host the inaugural Sirius Satellite Radio 400 on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16. As part of its new marketing relationship with International Speedway Corporation facilities, Sirius joins one of the most popular facilities in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. With MIS based in the backyard of the Motor Capital of the World, the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 will provide an entertainment showcase for the satellite radio broadcaster. “Located in the backyard of the automotive capital of the world, Michigan International Speedway is proud to carry the Sirius Satellite Radio brand to our hundreds of thousands of customers,” said Brett Shelton, President of Michigan International Speedway. “Having a Sirius Satellite Radio in your car is similar to attending a summer race at MIS – it’s an experience you’ll never forget” “Hosting the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 at Michigan will allow us to showcase our service and entertainment value to thousands of fans who attend this popular race,” said Joseph Clayton, chief executive officer of Sirius Satellite Radio. “This event also will provide a great opportunity to host all of our automotive partners and give them a front row view of the way Sirius and NASCAR go hand in hand.”  MIS  [Editors Note:  NASCAR Radio is on XM Satellite Radio the competing satellite network.  They must probably are not too happy right now that their competitor is moving in on their turf]

4/19/02

Fittipaldi and Manager part ways CART Champ car driver Christian Fittipaldi and manager Fernando Paiva have agreed to end their driver/manager relationship they way they began it - as friends -- after working together for over seven years. Paiva will be pursuing other opportunities in motor racing. "Fernando and I will continue to be the best of friends beyond our professional involvement, as has always been the case," said Fittipaldi, who met Paiva in 1990 while both worked in Europe. "Actually, no one should be surprised to see us work together again in the near future." Accomplished businessman and commodities trader Roberto Martins took over Paiva's duties, effective Monday, April 15th. Martins will be moving from London to Miami, near the location of the Fittipaldi International offices after most recently holding the title of Vice President for Louis Dreyfus Corp., a leading trading company, in London.  CFFP

4/19/02

Miami race gets final approval  It is now official and nobody (ISC) can stop the race! Yesterday, Raceworks received a new racing permit from the City of Miami along with the multi-year agreement.  As we reported in this article - 'ISC making enemies in Miami', there's more than one way to skin a cat.  As one Florida pundit put it to us this morning - "It's a great victory for the CART, ALMS and Hispanic communities of South Florida,  and Raceworks, over the ISC monopoly."

4/19/02
Industry News

Ferrari to launch new FX  From Ferrari Press and Barchetta.cc - the FX (F-60?) will be officially launched at the Paris Salon in the Fall and shown at the Ferrari Racing Days event at the Nürburgring soon after. An article about the car appears this week in the German motoring publication Auto Motor und Sport.

4/19/02

Eli Lilly sponsors CART team long-term  This AP article in the Washington Post talks about Eli Lilly's sponsorship of the Newman Haas team.  For now, the CART cars driven by Christian Fittipaldi and Cristiano da Matta sport the company's cursive "Lilly" logo. But it may not be long before the cars replace that emblem with one for Cialis (pronounced see-ALL-iss). "You've got to think that the Lilly car will become a Cialis car," said Robert Hazlett, a pharmaceutical industry analyst. "Lilly's brand awareness will significantly increase with the launch of Cialis." FDA rules bar Lilly from promoting Cialis pending government approval, which the company expects in the second half of this year. Lilly spokesman Ed West declined to say whether Cialis might eventually appear on the cars. But he said that Lilly's sponsor space could someday take on a new look.

4/19/02

Rockingham, England oval being resurfaced  UPDATE We have more info on the resurfacing for you.  The entire oval is getting a new 35mm wearing course, which will take 5 days to lay. The track will be dried, a bitumen sealant put down and then new wearing course will then be laid. This action will effectively cure the weeping problem with the Rockingham oval circuit.  4/19/02 - Rockingham’s opening event of 2002, the BARC Championship race meeting scheduled for the weekend of the April 27th / 28th, has been postponed following a decision to accelerate a resurfacing program on the 1.5 mile banked oval track. The event was scheduled to use a combined infield road course, which also uses Turn 4 and the start line straight of the oval. Following consultation with the track's engineers and the BARC, the decision has been made to accelerate the surfacing program that was scheduled for mid-May. This will place a new wearing course of hard bitumen on top of the sealing surface of the banked oval, which will effectively remove the problem of damp patches experienced at last year's ChampCar event. Work is due to commence on Tuesday 23rd April and will take five days to complete, but, regrettably, this will mean the postponement of the BARC meeting to allow this work to be carried out. "We have decided to commence the re-surfacing work as soon as possible" said Rockingham Chief Executive David Grace, who has also been a member of the BARC for twenty years. "Although that means track activities, including the BARC meeting and ASCAR Spring Training, will be postponed, our priority is to solve the problem with the ‘weepers’ on the oval and we will do whatever is necessary to make that happen." RMS

4/19/02

Senna's Williams not destroyed  Contrary to reports in the European press this week, a Williams spokesperson has told Reuters that the Williams F1 car that Ayrton Senna was killed in has not been destroyed.

4/19/02

BAR boss hints at more cutbacks  BAR boss Dave Richards is now saying more cutbacks may be coming at BAR.  One has to wonder if the team has much of a future.

4/19/02

As expected, Reynard being snapped up  Andrew Maitland reports on F1NewsWire.com that Reynard Motorsport is being bought-out by International Race Management, another British company. Reynard’s rights to their Formula Nippon and 02S-P675 prototype designs have already bought by IRM, and the company are currently in negotiation for the remainder of Reynard’s assets and the 021 Champ Car. "We have taken over the heart of the company and we are now looking very strongly at CART," said IRM boss Paul Shakespeare. "Michael Andretti's win [in the Team Motorola/Green Reynard] at Long Beach shows that the car is there. We believe that there is a market that will continue into 2003." IRM have restarted production of the Formula Nippon chassis, and intends to run the British company fundamentally as it was before collapsing in debt.

4/19/02

Montreal improvements underway  Yesterday at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal, our Canadian sources had the chance to see the work on the changes on the circuit. The exit of the pit lane has been lengthened for F1 and CART (naturally). Now, the cars will exit outside the Senna turn, what was called Turn 2. The track is now 13 feet wider there so that will make overtaking a bit easier. These changes were asked for by the FIA. The second change is in the Hairpin at the other end of the track. They shortened the hairpin by over 90 feet to give more room in the runoff. Therefore, the hairpin will be wider too, so it should be a great spot for overtaking. Five runoff areas will be paved with asphalt this year. They are already completing the assembly of the grandstands around the track. There is not a lot of good tickets left for the F1 race June 9th but the sale of the CART tickets has been great, according to the promoter. They expect a crowd of 180 000 fans for the 3 days but they will be ready to add seats if all the tickets are sold by June or July. Some people are speculating now that the CART race could equal or outdraw the F1 race.

4/19/02

Foyt loses more than just Salazar  Salazar also took the Bank of Chile sponsorship off the track with him so Foyt is running a blank car for this weekend until he can strike a deal with Conseco.

4/19/02

Roger Penske speaks to Mexican press, impressed with Pook  In this El Norte article, Roger Penske had some interesting things to say at the opening of a new Toyota dealership in Monterrey, Mexico (too bad Roger doesn't race there any more).  Our Manuel Olave provides the translation from Spanish to English:

"Sí, siempre extrañas las carreras en circuito urbano con CART, pero se trataba de una decisión de negocios, es una desgracia que las dos ligas (CART e IRL) no se asocien, pero esperamos poder llegar a México en cierto momento al menos con una de las dos ligas", dijo Penske.
"Yes you always miss the street circuits with CART, but it was a business decision. Its a tragedy that both leagues aren't together, but we expect to come back to Mexico at some point, at least with one of the two leagues."
"Al tocar el tema de CART, Roger no quiso ampliar la entrevista y se limitó a decir que su nuevo presidente, Chris Pook, es un líder que puede guiar a la serie por el camino correcto."
Regarding CART, Roger refused to comment further, and limited himself to saying that its new president Chris Pook, is a leader that can guide the series to the right path.
"No podemos tener dos series de autos Indy, tenemos que tener una, pero tenemos dos, por lo que desafortunadamente esto limita el número de pilotos, sabes, son muy buenos pilotos en CART y muy buenos en IRL, pero nos gustaría que fusionaran.
"We can't have two Indy Car series, we have to have one, but we have two that unfortunately limits the number of drivers, you know, there are very good drivers in CART, and good ones in the IRL, but we would like a merger"
"En CART no conozco todas las problemáticas relacionadas. Creo que tenían problemas para operar su compañía pública", dijo.
"I don't know all the problems related to CART, I think there is a problem operating as a public company"

4/18/02

Schumacher gives HANS Device a thumbs up, scared of CART  Ralf Schumacher has tested the latest HANS Device and gives it two thumbs up.  It will be mandatory for every driver in F1 next year.  In a report on the Jaguar Racing site he says, "I really can't see the reasons for this. I didn't have any problems with it," he said. "In principle, I think that all systems and precautions which help to improve the safety of the drivers make sense. This goes for HANS as well and I hope that the drivers who have a problem with the system can get this under control relatively soon. Safety plays a big part. I know that my job is dangerous, but I'm not tired of living and I really like to come home to my wife and my son." When asked if he would ever contemplate a move to CART racing in the United States shortly after former team-mate Alex Zanardi’s accident, Ralf’s answer was emphatic. “I would not like to race in America because for me, ChampCars are far too fast and far too dangerous. I want to be able to walk away from motorsport at the end of my career.” Sauber’s Felipe Massa is another driver to have given positive feedback on the device after testing and is tipped to be the first driver to wear the HANS system during a grand prix.

4/18/02
Industry News

UPS beats earning estimates  United Parcel Service, Dale Jarrett's NASCAR sponsor, reported first-quarter net income of $563m, or 50 cents per diluted share, exceeding the expectations of analysts and the company's internal forecasts.

4/18/02

Hornish helping fundraiser  Sam Hornish Jr. Behind Wheel of Young Life Clubs Fundraiser: Young Life of Indianapolis announced recently that Sam Hornish, Jr., defending Indy Racing League champion and driver of the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, will raise funds for the not-for-profit organization as he competes in the 86th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race on May 26. Young Life has been an outreach ministry for youth since it was founded in 1940. With every lap that Hornish completes, Young Life kids will gain in pledges allowing kids to attend camps this summer. For information on how to participate in Hornish’s Young Life fundraiser, call (317) 923-1319. Young Life is on the Internet at www.younglife.org.

4/18/02

Penske cars to honor Penske Racing  In recognition of Marlboro Team Penske’s achievement as the winningest team in Indy-style racing history, the team's cars will have a new look at the Firestone Indy 225 at Nazareth Speedway on April 21. The Marlboro Team Penske logo, which currently adorns the drivers’ helmets and other team equipment, now will appear on the rear wing, side pods and nose cones of both cars.

4/18/02

Nazareth race watching party in Indy  A Firestone Indy 225 race watching party has been organized by a group of Indy Racing League fans. It will be held at the Flag Room lounge, located in the Brickyard Crossing Resort and Inn at 4400 W. 16th St. on the southeast corner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway grounds. Doors open at 11 a.m. (EST) April 21, and admission is free. The race starts at noon (EST).

4/18/02

Hearn to replace Salazar  It was announced today that former CART driver Richie Hearn from Las Vegas, will replace the injured Salazar in Foyt's #11 at Nazareth.  Hearn drove for Sam Schmidt at the last IRL race in Fontana and was happy to fill in for Salazar as he looks to resurrect his fledging career.  Foyt said Salazar's accident really shook up the team because he had been with them for quite some time and had become a friend.

4/18/02

BAR boss says he's paying Villeneuve too much  UPDATE Speculation in Europe today is that Villeneuve might end up quitting the BAR team rather than put up with F1 politics and a team that has no chance of winning races.  4/17/02 - According to this TSN.ca article, British American Racing boss David Richards told Motorsport News that BAR may be paying the former Canadian champion too much, given the performance to date of the team. He'd like to see more money directed towards development of the car rather than a driver's salary. "To be blunt about it I’m going to need the best drivers in the long term," explains Richards. "It’s foolish having Michael Schumacher driving a Minardi. It’s better to get the car right, and then go and employ Schumacher later."  Anyone want to wager that Villeneuve won't be driving for BAR next year?

4/18/02

NASCAR drivers to test new Sears Point track  Ricky Rudd and six other Winston Cup drivers will test the renovated Sears Point Raceway April 23-24.  Rudd will be joined by Matt Kenseth, Kurt Bush, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman and Ron Fellows on the 10-turn 2-mile course.

4/18/02

Blair Racing lines up Rayovac and Barron  Blair Racing announced today at Nazareth Speedway that Rayovac Batteries will be the primary sponsor on the #44 1-car effort with driver Alex Barron in the remainder of this years IRL races. A former CART team, Blair Racing is a rookie team in the IRL this year.  Rayovac intends to use racing as a platform to launch their new Maximum Plus AlkalineBAR line of batteries.

4/18/02

Salazar crashes at Indy, hurt seriously  3rd UPDATE We are happy to report Salazar's operation was a success and he is resting comfortably in satisfactory condition.  He's facing a long recovery because his chest cavity had to be opened up to reach the torn artery. Salazar said thanks to all those who called and left get-well messages. 4/17/02 - Our worse fears, it was a serious accident, victim of another concrete wall.  Our prayers are with him (shown at right in better times with AJ Foyt).   Indy Racing League driver Eliseo Salazar underwent successful emergency surgery Tuesday night to repair a torn vertebral artery in his chest, a result of a testing accident April 16 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Dr. John Fehernbacher, a vascular surgeon, performed the operation. Salazar is listed in stable condition in the critical care unit at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, said Dr. Henry Bock, medical services director for the Indy Racing League. The accident occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. (EST) April 16 during private testing for the 86th Indianapolis 500. Salazar, who drives for A.J. Foyt Racing, made contact with the outside retaining wall in Turn 1. He was driving teammate Airton Daré’s No. 14 Harrah’s/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. At the time of the accident, Salazar was transported by ground to Methodist for further evaluation. He was awake.  More updates will follow as details become available.  4/17/02 - We have had a lot of requests asking for an update on Salazar.  We have reports ranging from "he's just being held overnight for observations" to "the accident was very very bad and he has internal bleeding."  We don't want to speculate as to what is condition actually is until we get an official report. Our well wishes are with him.  One thing is for certain - those hard concrete walls on oval tracks have injured far too many drivers. We hear that more and more drivers are beginning to question whether the risk is worth it when they can drive on road courses, which are far safer.  4/16/02 - Spring testing continued Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as three former winners, seven veterans and a rookie all took part in private tests in preparation for the 86th Indianapolis 500 on May 26. The drivers turned 703 laps and 1,757.5 miles. No speeds were available. The only incident of the day occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. (EST) when A.J. Foyt Racing driver Eliseo Salazar made contact with the outside retaining wall in Turn 1. Salazar was driving teammate Airton Daré's No. 14 Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. According to Indianapolis Motor Speedway Medical Director Dr. Henry Bock, Salazar was transported by ground to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis for further evaluation. He was awake and alert. Damage was extensive to the rear of the car. Indy Racing League drivers are adapting to the new "diamond-ground" asphalt surface. The high-tech grinding process smoothed bumps in the surface and added grip, preparing it for what many track and team officials predict will be one of the most competitive Indianapolis 500's in the 93-year history of the Speedway. "There's a lot more grip than before," said Daré. "There are no bumps at all. The track is very good."  IRL

4/18/02
Industry News

Goodwin going to trial for Thompson murder  The judge heard the final arguments today and then agreed there is sufficient cause for Mike Goodwin to go to trial for the murder of Mickey and Trudy Thompson.  Goodwin will stay in jail with no chance for parole.  The next date for setting the trial is April 30th.

4/18/02

Flanders to announce 12 CART races  Bruce Flanders, the long-time voice of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach public address system, will be providing his unique and often humorous commentary to fans at 12 CART FedEx Championship Series events in 2002, series officials announced today. Flanders' deep baritone voice will be heard over the public address systems at every 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series event in the United States as well as the Molson Indy Vancouver and the Rockingham 500 at Rockingham Motor Speedway in England. "I've known Bruce for many years through our mutual association with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach," said CART President and Chief Executive Officer Christopher R. Pook, who founded the Long Beach Grand Prix in 1978. "Fans who attend the race every year know Bruce as the 'voice of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.' Now, Champ Car fans everywhere will get to know him as the 'voice of CART.' I strongly believe that Bruce's entertaining style on the P.A. is one of the reasons that the race in Long Beach has become such a successful event, and we expect that he will contribute to making every CART FedEx Championship Series race a big event." Flanders, 56, has been the public address announcer since the inception of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in 1978. His professional announcing career began with a Speedway Motorcycle event on June 13, 1969 at the Orange (Calif.) County Fairgrounds, and he has also announced at several past and present CART FedEx Championship Series venues including Gateway International Raceway, the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and Road America.  We reported this last Friday.  Now it is official.  This is one of the best moves CART has made in a long time.  Flanders makes fans laugh and keeps them interested even during lulls in the action.

4/18/02

Open wheel racing is alive and well  2nd UPDATE Another reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1, After reading the front page sports section article in the USA Today newspaper yesterday, where it showed what small crowds many baseball teams are drawing (as low as 4,000 per game in Miami, for example) it's clear that fans have an aweful lot of choices these days as to where to spend their entertainment dollars.  The fact that CART can draw 1/2 million fans in just two races just underscores how well positioned CART is for the future.  Sellout in key markets, win new fans.....who then watch other races on TV.  4/17/02 - A reader writes,  Dear AutoRacing1.com, You forgot to mention that CART is doing very well on oval tracks outside the USA where NASCAR has not monopolized the market. CART is expecting 80,000 to 90,000 in Japan and had 87,000 their first year in Germany.  4/17/02 -  Talk that Indy Car/Champ Car racing is dead and NASCAR is king, certainly might be true on ovals, but when it comes to street and road courses, CART's races are a booming success.  Take a look at this photo from Long Beach (courtesy of Toyota Motorsports) and note that not only are the grandstands packed full of fans, people are lined up 10-deep along the fence the entire length of the long straight.  CART has street races that draw even more than the 100,000 that were in Long Beach on Sunday, and looks to continue building at new races in St. Petersburg, Denver and Miami.  Open-wheel races at oval tracks with near-empty grandstands is depressing for the participants and even more so for the sponsors.  Five new engine manufacturers who were in Long Beach to scope out CART, came away thoroughly impressed we hear....especially with the enthusiasm of the fans who stood and cheered all the way around the track lap after lap as Vasser and Andretti battled down to the wire.

4/18/02
Industry News

FIA may force USA Motorsports to drop tobacco sponsorship after 2006  UPDATE A well positioned informant tells us that they hear Marlboro intends to pull out of the IRL when their F1 sponsorship ends after 2006.  4/18/02 - The FIA is now talking about forcing all FIA recognized racing organizations to ban tobacco advertising worldwide. They could do it by taking away their approval of races.  Could this mean the IRL, CART and NASCAR must implement similar rules, banning tobacco advertising after 2006?  If so, gone would be Winston (NASCAR), Marlboro and Hollywood (IRL), Kool (CART), etc.  The FIA statement -  “On entry into force of the World Health Organization's proposed Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the FIA will introduce a world-wide ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship in international motor sport from the end of the 2006 season as originally envisaged by the Directive (98/43/EC) of the European Union Member States”. A new FIA policy document ‘Tobacco sponsorship of motor sport - Achieving an effective ban by world-wide agreement in 2006’ has been published which explains the development of the FIA’s policy on tobacco sponsorship.  FIA Statement (PDF format)

4/18/02

Atlantics: Trammell to test  UPDATE This test has been delayed. She was to test with Hylton Motorsports in the 08 car, which is last years spare car. However, because there are no spare transmission cases...if they broke one, they wouldn't have a spare for their regular drivers. So, once again, the date is put off until a spare transmission is obtained..  4/15/02 - Rhonda Trammell, wife of CART Doctor Terry Trammell, and CART pace car driver, will test with an existing Toyota Atlantics team this coming week.  Rhonda is looking to land a full-time Atlantics ride, as is Danica Patrick.  Both are looking for sponsorship.

4/18/02

Atlantics:  Moran Jr. and Yasukawa visit kids  Rocky Moran Jr. and Roger Yasukawa visited the first grade class at Meadows Elementary in Manhattan Beach, California the Monday after the LBGP. Both were great guys and the kids absolutly loved it. CART and its feeder series need to start getting to the future fans before NASCAR does.


Photos by Kevin Salk

4/18/02

Buckshot Jones fired  Buckshot Jones was fired Wednesday by Petty Enterprises and replaced by Steve Grissom, who will begin driving the team's Dodges this weekend in Talladega, Ala. "We have not performed to our expectations, and we felt like it was time to make a change," said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. "Sometimes you change the coach, and sometimes you change the quarterback. This time we decided to shake up the chemistry by changing the quarterback."

4/17/02

Barber CART Scholarship Drivers Take Part in Long Beach Pre-Race Festivities  The 2002 Formula Dodge National Championship Barber CART Scholarship drivers took part in pre-race festivities for last Sunday's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The drivers, Scott Poirier, Colin Fleming, Craig Baltzer, Charlie Kimball, Ward Imrie and Scott Speed (2001 Stars of Tomorrow Champion), rode in the driver parade around the famous 1.968 temporary street circuit. The estimated 100,000+ fans packing the circuit cheered the young drivers, giving them inspiration to get back to the track one day as a Champ Car competitor. "This was amazing," commented Fleming, a native of Southern California. "I have never been in front of so many people. For the lack of better words, this was so cool!" Earlier in the day, the Barber CART Scholarship drivers joined the rest of the 2002 FDNC field in a meet and greet session with CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. Pook spent about 20 minutes with the young aspiring drivers, giving them an idea of the future direction of CART and how important they are in that future. Drivers were given the chance to also take part in a question and answer session with the head of CART.    CART

4/17/02

Earnhardt blisters MIS  Earnhardt, who holds the MIS NASCAR qualifying record at 191.149 mph set in August 2000, notched speeds in excess of 187 mph during the second day of a two-day test session at the historic two-mile oval. Chad Little, testing BACE Motorsports equipment, also completed the two-day session Wednesday. Both will attempt to qualify for the Michigan 400 on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16, at MIS. “We’re pretty happy,” said Earnhardt Jr., who has a NASCAR Busch victory but no top-10 Winston Cup finishes at MIS. “We worked on our set-up for here and for California, but mostly for California. We ran about as fast as we did last year for qualifying here, and that’s with the new motor rule that limited horsepower for the test.” After posting times in the 39.9- to 40.0-second range – about 180 mph – during the first day, Earnhardt Jr. let loose the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet under humid conditions. The day’s only break in testing came when Little’s engine began smoking at 10:15 a.m., about the same time rain started falling at the Speedway. After a two-hour break to let the track dry, the cars went back out. Earnhardt stressed the importance of performing well at MIS, which sits in the backyard of the Motor Capital of the World and attracts executives from all manufacturers.

4/17/02
Industry News

Philip Morris profits increase  This AP article in the Washington Post reports that Philip Morris Cos. Inc. said Wednesday its earnings climbed 33 percent in the first quarter, citing improvements in each of its main businesses – tobacco, beer and food. The results from the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, Miller beer and Kraft cheese narrowly beat Wall Street expectations.

4/17/02
Industry News

Ford loss not as bad as expected  This AP article in the Washington Post reports that Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday reported a loss of $800 million in the first quarter, as sales fell and the company absorbed a big charge for a change in accounting standards. The loss before the charge was smaller than Wall Street expected, however.

4/17/02

Tony Furr steps down as Crew Chief of #25  Tony Furr today stepped down as crew chief of the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) team to pursue other opportunities in NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition, HMS general manager Jeff Turner announced. Furr, crew chief of the No. 25 team since the beginning of the 1998 season, will be replaced on an interim basis by Director of Competition Ken Howes, who oversees all aspects of competition for HMS's four Winston Cup and two Busch Grand National teams. Howes, who has been with HMS since 1985, served as crew chief of the No. 25 team for four years beginning in 1992. "There comes a time when you have to make a change and that time has come," said Furr, who has more than a decade of experience in NASCAR competition. "I've enjoyed my years with Hendrick Motorsports and I regret leaving, but the decision was mutual after we sat down and evaluated the direction we were headed. It's just time to move on." "No one has worked harder than Tony to bring the No. 25 team to the level of performance we owe to our sponsors and fans," said HMS president John Hendrick. "At times he's had some of the best cars fielded by our organization. He's a talented crew chief and I have no doubt he will be successful."

4/17/02

Honda renews with CART  American Honda subsidiaries Honda Motorcycle and Honda Power Equipment have extended their affiliation with Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (CART) through the 2002 season as the "Official Motorcycle and Power Equipment" of CART and the CART FedEx Championship Series. "We are pleased to continue our partnership of Honda Motorcycle and Power Equipment with CART," said Tom Elliott, executive vice president of American Honda. "This program, now entering its seventh year, helps introduce our wide range of motorcycles, ATVs and power equipment to an enthusiastic, and performance appreciative audience. And through the efforts of our demonstration riders at selected CART events, we are able to add to the entertainment value offered by CART at their race weekends."  Honda Motorcycle provides scooters for CART officials and a number of the CART FedEx Championship Series drivers, while generators from Honda Power Equipment are frequently utilized at Champ Car venues around the world. In addition to Honda serving as "Official Motorcycle and Power Equipment," the company also supports the sanctioning body through the "Honda Fast Lap Award," which recognizes the CART FedEx Championship Series driver who sets the fastest race lap at each event and, in turn, presents the driver who records the most fast laps of the season with a Honda motorcycle at the season ending awards banquet. Honda is also a four-time winner of the CART manufacturers' championship, has six consecutive CART drivers' championships (1996-2001) and recorded seven victories in the 2001 season. "Not only is Honda a valued competitor in the CART FedEx Championship Series, but they are also a great sponsor partner and we are delighted to welcome them back for another season," said CART Vice President of Marketing Steve Fusek. "The main reason any company enters into a sponsorship agreement is because it is able to derive good value and reach its customers. The fact that Honda has signed on for a seventh season of CART sponsorship speaks to the fact that CART fans are also some of Honda's most loyal customers. We're committed to helping Honda reach its customers in 2002, and hopefully for many years to come."    CART

4/17/02

CART draws almost 1/2 million fans for first two races  Packed grandstands have been the rule in the first two events of the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series, as the estimated combined attendance for the season-opening Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix and last Sunday's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach approached half a million spectators. Over the three-day race weekend in Monterrey, Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix officials estimated that 236,000 race fans passed through the turnstiles, including 95,000 fans on race day. While the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach and its parent company, Dover Motorsports, Inc. does not announce attendance figures, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported estimates in today's edition that the event drew nearly 250,000 fans for the weekend and as many as 125,000 spectators for Sunday's 28th running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. "The race fans in Monterrey and Long Beach have spoken loud and clear, and reports that the CART FedEx Championship Series is dead or dying are completely false," said CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. "In fact, when you combine today's attendance news with the news over the weekend that MG Rover Group has come on-board to supply engines in 2003 as well as other exciting announcements that we've got in the pipeline for the coming weeks, this company is moving forward. Make no mistake, we've still got a lot of work to do, but we are clearly headed in the right direction." In just under two weeks, the CART FedEx Championship Series pays its annual visit to Japan's Twin Ring Motegi for the Bridgestone Potenza 500 (SPEED Channel, 12:00 Noon ET - Saturday, April 27). The event has seen steady growth in attendance, and records are expected to be broken again in 2002. Last year, 72,000 race fans witnessed then-Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack score his first career Champ Car win.  CART

4/17/02
Industry News

Delphi cuts jobs  This AP article in the Washington Post reports that Delphi Corp., North America's largest auto-parts maker, announced Wednesday it planned to cut 6,100 jobs. The cuts came as the former General Motors Corp. subsidiary announced it sharply cut its losses in the first quarter and said it was starting to see results from earlier cost cuts.

4/17/02

Senna's helmet returned  Italian authority's have finished investigating Ayrton Senna's death at Imola, Italy and have returned his helmet to the family who agreed to have it destroyed to prevent collectors from trying to buy or sell it for a lot of money.

4/17/02

Sale of Miller Brewery may bring Miller back to CART  UPDATE According to this AP article in the Washington Post, Beer industry analysts say Philip Morris Cos. may soon announce a sale of Miller Brewing Co. Some analysts say the announcement could come as early as Wednesday, when Philip Morris was scheduled to release first-quarter earnings. "It would be a natural time to announce it," said David Kathman, a food and beverage analyst with Chicago-based Morningstar Inc.  4/5/02 - This article talks about the pending sale of Miller Brewery by Philip Morris to South African Breweries PLC (SAB).  SAB recently moved into markets like China, where it is the largest foreign brewer; China leads the world in beer consumption, which is still growing there at 6 percent to 7 percent annually.....as CART continues to examine Shanghai.  With the sale, will SAB push Miller in more overseas markets?  Does CART all of a sudden make a whole lot more sense?

4/17/02

Cabela's becomes title sponsor for Busch race at MIS  One of Michigan's biggest attractions for outdoor sportsmen and women and the state's biggest sporting facility are coming together in the fast-paced world of auto racing.  Cabela's, the "World's Foremost Outfitter" for nearly 40 years, will be the title sponsor of the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division race Saturday, August 17, at Michigan International Speedway, officials from both companies announced today.  The Cabela's 250 is scheduled for 125 laps at the historic MIS' 2-mile superspeedway as part of a weekend doubleheader of NASCAR action. The Pepsi 400 presented by Farmer Jack NASCAR Winston Cup Series race takes place Sunday, August 18. All seating for the Cabela's 250 will be sold on a reserved basis with children 12 and under admitted free.   "We have been looking closely at the motorsports market for a few years," said Kevin Werts, Director of Cabela's Promotions. "With the opening of our largest store in Dundee, Michigan, which is 30 miles from Michigan International Speedway, the opportunity to sponsor this race seemed like a perfect fit. We're very excited about the doors this partnership could open." "Cabela's is a world-renowned merchandiser whose retail stores are not just for selling merchandise but are a family attraction on their own," said MIS President Brett Shelton. "That's what makes this relationship so natural. We both have unique properties that are centered around family entertainment." Michigan Speedway

4/17/02

News on German 500  From one of our German members - This is the latest an the German500 and the EuroSpeedway track und Germany. EuroSpeedway Lausitz and CART did a new deal for the German 500.  The German 500 takes place for sure from 2002 to 2005, and there is an option for 3 additional years, taking it through 2008.  Also the EuroSpeedway did a deal with Deutschen Motor Sport Bund e.V. (DMSB) for a supporting series for the German 500. There will be 3 supporting races during the weekend.

  • Internationale Deutsche Formel 3-Meisterschaft (together with British F3, the best Formula 3 in Europe)

  • Formel BMW ADAC

  • British ASCAR Stock-Car-Oval series

We're not quite sure if all of these series will run on the oval or on the road course course. CART has supposedly decreased the sanctioning fee for the German 500 but will now get a share of the earnings. The Eurospeedway is currently building four scoring pylons around the track so the fans can see the standings at any time. For 2002, the German 500 gets the 'EuroSpeedway-Radio'. With a normal FM Radio you can tune in to a special programming for the German 500.

4/17/02

IRL teams trying to tap Fernandez  We missed this one, but someone on our Forums did.  In an article written by JOSÉ ANTONIO CORTÉS in the Grupo Reforma, Adrian Fernandez revealed the following - Adrian states he was interested in both proposals, more so Hornish's, but felt that Competing in the 500 would divert resources and cause his Operation to lose focus on the CART championship, something they can not do in their sophomore season. Preparing a third car, would also divert resources from both his and Shinji's car, quote: "We would have to convince Honda to authorize another engine, they would have needed another engineer, more mechanics, more people in general, as well as more space in the trailers and the teams shop, something that at this point, complicated us too much." He says he would probably be in a better position to do it next year, and would like to do it.

4/17/02

Ganassi Racing tests at Indy  On Monday and Tuesday, Team Target driver Kenny Brack turned his first laps in an open-wheel car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway since his victory in the 1999 Indianapolis 500. Brack turned a quick lap of over 226 mph in the No. 22 Target G Force/Chevrolet. Joining Brack at the two-day test were full-time Chip Ganassi Racing driver Jeff Ward and CART teammate Bruno Junqueira. Brack was happy to back at the legendary 2.5-mile oval. “It’s great to be back at Indianapolis,” Brack said. “What a great feeling to turn laps at the site of my greatest achievement in racing. We got a lot done over the two days. We weren’t after top one-lap speeds, we were just trying to make the car comfortable to drive and I think we got that accomplished. The main thing is to make the car race ready. It’s a long race and a lot can happen during those 500 miles. It’s been a long 3 years, but it’s worth the wait.” Full-time Chip Ganassi Racing IRL driver Jeff Ward also turned laps on the 2.5-mile oval, recording a fast speed of over 224 mph. Ward, who has three top-5 finishes in 5 starts at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, felt that the test was a step in the right direction for the team. Second year driver Bruno Junqueira joined Brack above the 226 mph plateau. Junqueira, who finished fifth in his first Indy 500 last year was excited to return to the cockpit of the Target G Force/Chevrolet. “It was a good test for us,” Junqueira said. “We learned a lot about this year’s car and what we’ll need to do when we come back here next month. I have a lot more confidence this year and I think that we’ll be a contender for a victory this year.”  Ganassi Racing

4/17/02

Andretti team fined, car too low  2nd UPDATE Here is more info for you on the rule in question - the '2-inch underbody ground clearance rule' is measured before the race using a laser at 16 points under the car.  If even one of these points is too low by 0.01 of an inch, the car will not pass the inspection.  After the race the car is inspected again at the same points.  If only one of those points is too low by a very low margin, the car may pass if the chief technical inspector deems it had not performance advantage.   4/16/02 - A reader writes, asking us to explain why Andretti's was only fined and the win allowed?  Answer:  Just as NASCAR does in this situation, they allow some 'slack' in the rules for ride height because a car that measures properly before the start of the race (Andretti's did), may settle a little during the race because the springs may compress slightly during the race from riding the bumps, or the crew, or even Andretti may have jumped or sat on the cars sidepod during the victory celebration, causing the sidepod to droop slightly. Because of this uncertainty as to what caused the height to not meet the minimum, the win usually stands but the team is fined money.  i.e. they make it hurt a little, but enough to make them cry.  4/15/02 - Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (CART) has fined Team Motorola $20,000 after post-race inspection at Sunday's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach revealed that the team's race-winning #39 Motorola Honda Reynard did not meet the minimum underbody height requirement. Specifically, Team Motorola was penalized for violating CART rule 9.4.6B which is more commonly known as the "2-inch rule." The #39 entry conformed to this rule in a pre-race inspection. In accordance with CART rule 10.2.1, the penalty was assessed by CART Director of Technology and Competition Lee Dykstra with the concurrence of the CART stewards. Both Team Motorola and race winning driver Michael Andretti will retain the Long Beach victory and all earned championship points in the event.

4/16/02

NASCAR issues penalties  NASCAR officials have announced penalties for two NASCAR Winston Cup crew chiefs and a NASCAR Busch Series driver. Jimmy Fennig, crew chief of the No. 97 Ford Taurus, received a $1,000 fine for a rule violation found during pre-race inspection prior to Sunday’s Virginia 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Fennig was penalized under Section 12-4-Q in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book, “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules: deck lid.” Charley Pressley, crew chief of the No. 55 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, received a $500 fine and was penalized under Section 12-4-W, “Weight attached in a location that was not acceptable to NASCAR Officials.” NASCAR Busch Series driver Ashton Lewis, driver of the No. 46 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, received a $2,500 fine and was placed on probation until June 12, 2002 for rough driving in Saturday’s Nashville 300 at the Nashville Superspeedway. NASCAR

4/16/02
Industry News

NASCAR sponsor Caterpillar posts big loss  Caterpillar Inc., sponsor of the Bill Davis Winston Cup team, winners of this years Daytona 500, said Tuesday that low sales of heavy machinery and engines contributed to a 51 percent decline in first-quarter earnings that fell just below Wall Street expectations. Net earnings were $80 million, or 23 cents per share, in the January-March period, down from $162 million, or 47 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2001.

4/16/02
Industry News

Motorola posts big loss again  Motorola Inc., sponsor for the CART Team Motorola, winners at Long Beach last weekend, extended its long losing streak Tuesday with a first-quarter loss of $449 million, the result of a 21 percent plunge in sales that reflects continuing struggles in its cell phone and semiconductor businesses. It was the company's fifth straight money-losing quarter.

4/16/02
Industry News

Penske and Kmart settle in court on shutting stores  This AP article says that federal court on Tuesday approved an agreement between Kmart Corp. and Penske Corp. on how to shut down Penske's auto service centers at more than 550 Kmart locations nationwide.

4/16/02

PWR Championship Racing announces new sponsor  AirEight Inc. and PWR Championship Racing, owned by Bruce R. McCaw, announced a partnership deal for the 2002 CART FedEx Championship series. Under the terms of the deal, AirEight becomes the sponsor of the #17 Toyota Lola driven by Oriol Servia. "AirEight makes fast data and document access possible from wireless devices, what better way to get that message across to the world than with one of the fastest cars in all of motorsports," said Oriol Servia, who piloted the #17 AirEight car at Long Beach. Servia is no stranger to the telecommunications business - he drove in 2000 for Telefonica, the top wireless communications company in Spain and Latin America. In addition to sponsoring Servia's car at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, AirEight will also be the primary sponsor on the #17 car at Motegi, Japan and will then serve as an associate sponsor for the remainder of the 2002 season. "PWR Championship Racing has a long history of partnership with telecommunications companies. Sponsors of the team over the years have included Motorola and Nextel. Our connections in that industry are a natural fit for AirEight. This is more than a sponsorship deal, it is a business partnership," said Mike Lowry, Senior Vice President for PWR Racing. "AirEight is very much an international product. We work in all languages and are creating partnerships and customers in every world market. The branding possibilities with CART's 980 million television viewers worldwide will help us deliver our message and achieve our goals for 2002 and beyond," said AirEight CEO and President Richard Boyd.

4/16/02
Industry News

Will Target save money for their racing programs?  Target Corp. expects capital expenditures of between $3.3 billion to $3.5 billion for the year ending Feb. 1, 2003, up 4.3% to 11% from its capital spending of about $3.2 billion the previous year. The company said the expenditures will go toward expanding its Target stores and for the distribution infrastructure to support the growth.  Racing must be good for business if they are building this much after just coming out of a recession.

4/16/02

Infiniti Pro: Kelley signs actor Priestley  Indy Racing League front-runner Kelley Racing will field the No.7 HomeMed Pharmacy entry for actor Jason Priestley in the 2002 Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series, team owner Tom Kelley announced April 16. "When I became involved with open-wheel racing six years ago, I knew that we were becoming involved in one of the most thrilling racing series in the world - the Indy Racing League," said Kelley, who fields a two-car Indy Racing League effort with two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Al Unser Jr. and 1996 Indy Racing League co-champion Scott Sharp. "Each day presents more exciting challenges, and I can't express how pleased we are to be announcing our entry into the Infiniti Pro Series. Jason has proven himself as a competitive racer, and I'm delighted to have such an excellent company as HomeMed coming on board to complete the picture." Priestley, 32, has competed in various forms of motorsports, including IMSA, the SCCA Pro Rally Series, the Magna Enduro Series and the FIA World Rally Championship. In 1998, he earned his first career victory driving a Grand-Am sportscar at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and finished 10th in the 24 Hours of Daytona for Multimatic Racing. "I'm really excited to be racing in the Infiniti Pro Series with what I deem the premier team in Indy Racing," said Priestley. "It's going to be a big challenge for me learning another discipline in racing, but I'm certainly going to get a lot of help from Al Unser Jr. and Scott Sharp. It's going to be great having those guys around.

4/16/02

Overnight LB TV ratings  2nd UPDATE Response from CART: Dear AutoRacing1.com, We would love to know on what outlet your readers were watching. We are looking at an air check from Detroit and the only problem we have seen is that the lip Sync is off. In cases of audio problems, the master control would always inform us of problems and there was only one time that they did this at the beginning of the broadcast. We are very concerned over the fact that the audio portion of the program was a problem for viewers and once we know the outlet they were watching on we can further explore the cause of the problem. The people at FOX/Speed Channel want nothing but the best when it comes to both our pictures and sound. As you know, audio is a very important component of our broadcasts. The fact we have gone to stereo surround sound is evidence of that. From the video side, Conrad our director and myself continued to tweak camera positions all weekend long. Our entire staff, both CART and SPEED, are committed to making this the best televised racing in the world. We appreciate your support and hope you will continue to support us. We have clearly shown that we are committed to making CART television broadcasts the best they have ever been. While we are still working out some of our kinks, we are committed to constant improvement. CART TV staff  4/16/02 - We have also been bombarded with e-mails saying FOX did absolutely no promotion of the event in their viewing area, whereas with NASCAR it's hype, hype, hype.  Is it any surprise that the CART race was not shown on FOX at all in South Florida where NASCAR is trying to prevent CART and ALMS from racing in downtown Miami?  We have received a number of emails from the conspiracy theorists as to why the mic was left open and why there was no promotion of the event.  We'll leave it up to your imagination as to what they are suggesting. 4/16/02 - The overnight TV ratings for CART's race in Long Beach this past weekend came in with a not-so-stellar 1.0/2 share overnight on FOX.  However, it was up against Tiger Woods and the Masters, the end of the NASCAR race, and last, but certainly not least, audio for much of the race that sounded like someone left a mic open and the roar of the cars was all but drowning out the TV announcers.  Would FOX have let something like this happen for a NASCAR race?

4/16/02
Industry News

Ford looking to sell Hertz division  Financially strapped Ford Motor Co. is looking into selling all or part of the Hertz Equipment Rental Corp. division of its wholly-owned Hertz Corp. car rental subsidiary. The equipment rental operation supplies rental construction, earthmoving, industrial, and electrical equipment and operates in the United States, Canada, France and Spain. Ford said it has hired the financial firm JP Morgan to assist in its evaluation of the sale. AP

4/16/02

Marc Gene crashes, but walks away  BMW WILLIAMS driver Marc Gene hit a tire barrier at high speed while testing at Silverstone at 10:15 am this morning, damaging both the front and rear ends of his car. He walked away from the crash without injury. The car first hit with the backend and then spun with the nose hitting next. The car is said to be history.

4/16/02

NASCAR legend Buck Baker dies  Buck Baker, a two-time Winston Cup champion who was included on NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers list, has died. He was 83. Baker died late Sunday night at Carolinas Medical Center. Family members said he was in the hospital for a procedure involving a pacemaker that had been implanted earlier.

4/16/02

Hornish continues to struggle at Indy  The only incident of the day in testing at Indy on Monday involved defending Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr., who was uninjured when his No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone spun exiting Turn 2 and slid down to the inside apron of the track. The car made light contact with the inside retaining wall, causing minimal left-side damage. "The back end got out from under me in (Turn) 2," said Hornish. "(It's a) tough track. We're going to come back in May and change some things around."  If you recall he spun in the race last year at Indy.

4/16/02

CART is so much more than one team  A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, after looking at your CART/IRL attendance meter of races to date, and how CART's race attendance dwarfs that of the IRL, I realized that CART is so much more than just one team.  The mighty Penske team left for the IRL and CART's attendance went up instead of down (everyone predicted CART was doomed when Penske left), while the IRL's attendance at all three of their races has been a complete and utter disaster.  What is Marlboro thinking?  Mordichai Rosen, LA, California

4/16/02

Seeing double  Scott Pruett is seeing double, double Andretti that is, in the picture to right (look at the reflection in Scott's glasses) snapped by Photographer Bill Kistler at Sunday's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.  Michael Andretti won at Long Beach for the 2nd time, and it was the sixth time an Andretti won there.  Father Mario won four times, once in a F1 car in 1997, and three times in a CART Champ Car (1984, 1985, 1987).  Long Beach is a family affair.  The Unser family has also won at The Beach six times.

4/16/02

Dismore turns down Cheever ride for Schmidt ride According to this Indy Star article, Mark Dismore has tuned down an offer to drive for Team Cheever in the Indy 500, and will drive for Sam Schmidt racing.

4/16/02

More Kirch collapse fallout  UPDATE Word is that Bernie Ecclestone is working with the bankers and to offer a 30% ownership by the manufacturers in SLEC.  In return, they will meet the demands of the manufacturers and avert a rival F1 series being formed.  One thing you can be sure of, somehow Bernie Ecclestone will come out smelling like roses in all this, i.e. richer.  4/8/02 - In a press release today, EM.TV stated they may have to write off the value of its stake in Formula 1.   EM.TV said a worst-case scenario would see them having to completely write off its 16.7% stake in KirchMedia which is currently valued at 256 million euros.  This Washington Post article goes into a lot of detail into just how far in debt Kirch is.  We're glad we're not in his shoes.

4/15/02

NASCAR comes down hard on Harvick  NASCAR also put Harvick on notice during this probationary period “that if there are any actions, in NASCAR’s opinion, that are deemed detrimental to the sport or disruptive to the orderly conduct of an event, he will be suspended indefinitely.” Harvick, already on probation following an incident March 23 during the NASCAR Busch Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway, was initially “parked” by NASCAR officials after an on-track incident with Coy Gibbs during Saturday’s Advance Auto Parts 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. The penalty was then extended to include Sunday’s Virginia 500 NASCAR Winston Cup event. Following further review of the incident by NASCAR officials, a fine was levied and Harvick’s probation, originally scheduled to conclude Aug. 28, was extended through the end of the calendar year to Tuesday, Dec. 31. Childress Racing response: "NASCAR had to do something in response to Kevin's actions during the Truck race yesterday, but I think their response was completely wrong. I have not seen the clip of Kevin's actions  during the Truck race so I can't comment on what he did. He has had problems in the Busch and Truck Series and had been on probation for his actions, but the decision to 'park' him during the Winston Cup race is wrong. NASCAR should keep the actions and punishments separate to each series. This should be Kevin's punishment only, but what NASCAR is doing is punishing the tens of thousands of race fans who probably didn't know until they got to the track this morning that Kevin won't be allowed to race today. NASCAR is also punishing the entire No. 29 team and all of Richard Childress Racing for one person's actions. NASCAR is also punishing GM Goodwrench Service, who has been nothing but loyal to RCR and the sport for many years. This is only my opinion. "I will sit down with Kevin Monday morning to discuss what happened and how we will proceed from here."

4/15/02

NASCAR announces iN DEMAND service  The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and iN DEMAND have partnered to launch ‘NASCAR IN CAR on iN DEMAND,’ a multi-channel season-long television package that offers fans, for the first time ever, flag-to-flag in-car camera coverage for NASCAR Winston Cup Series events. ‘NASCAR IN CAR on iN DEMAND’ was developed by NASCAR Digital Entertainment and iN Demand in conjunction with NASCAR’s broadcast partners to complement NASCAR’s live event coverage on FOX, FX, NBC, and TNT. The package offers fans five dedicated channels of in-car cameras, live team audio communications and real-time race car performance data displayed on animated dashboards. This multi-year agreement between NASCAR and iN DEMAND runs through the 2004 NASCAR season. “Our races will always be available free on network and cable television broadcasts for our fans,” said NASCAR President Mike Helton. “This package is just like NBA LEAGUE PASS and NHL CENTER ICE, it gives our fans more choices.” ‘NASCAR IN CAR on iN DEMAND’ consists of seven sequential digital channels. The first channel will duplicate the free live network event broadcast from NBC, TNT, FOX, or FX. Five additional channels will feature dedicated in-car camera coverage with on-screen enhancements from Sportvision, a leader in sports media technology. Features include a real-time animated dashboard with needles, gauges and information including the driver’s name, car position, miles-per-hour, and RPMs, and each in-car channel will also include a mix of ambient car sounds and/or team communications. The seventh channel will feature additional event information and in-car camera perspectives. In-car cameras are provided by Broadcast Sports Technologies, a leader in microwave transmission and custom remote controlled miniature camera systems. The broadcast network commercials will be aired across all channels in the package. ‘NASCAR IN CAR on iN DEMAND’ will offer digital cable customers an annual package with as many as 36 races. The green flag is scheduled to drop on Sunday, June 16, 2002, from Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The 2002 package will be offered at $99 for 22 races, although there will be an early promotional offer of $89 if purchased prior to June 22, 2002. The complete season packages for 2003 and 2004 will offer 36 races. ‘NASCAR IN CAR On iN DEMAND’ will be offered on AT&T, Time Warner, Comcast, Cox and other Multiple System Operators throughout the country.   Further information about the company can be found on the Internet at www.indemand.com

4/15/02

Cleveland tickets to go on sale  IMG Motorsports and Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) announced today that tickets to the 2002 Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by Firstar will go on sale to the public Tuesday, April 16, at 10:00 a.m. EDT. The 21st annual Grand Prix, part of the CART FedEx Championship Series, is scheduled to take place at Burke Lakefront Airport July 12-14. "We are pleased to announce that due to feedback from our dedicated race fans, we have introduced several new and innovative ticket options. These include the adoption of a three-tier pricing structure for grandstand seating and the creation of the Grand Prix Club," said Bud Stanner, President of IMG Motorsports.  Grandstand tickets are valid for admission all three days of the race weekend and range from $35 to $120. General Admission Standing Room Only tickets are available for individual days and are priced $5 to $20. Pit and Paddock, Paddock Only, and Camper passes are also available. New for 2002, race fans can enhance their race weekend experience by joining the Grand Prix Club, which includes hospitality on Saturday and Sunday, a reserved parking pass, race program, and a commemorative gift. Children 12 and under receive free general admission access when accompanied by an adult holding a General Admission ticket. Groups of 20 or more are eligible for a 10 percent discount on ticket purchases. Special discounts are also being offered to CART Winners Circle Fan Club, Society of Automotive Engineers, and Team Ford Racing members.   In addition to action from the CART FedEx Championship Series, the weekend schedule features the Trans-Am Series, CART Toyota Atlantic Championship and Barber Dodge Pro Series. Highlighting some of the unique fan activities happening off the racetrack are the CART Fan Forum on Friday and the CART All-Driver Autograph Session on Saturday.  Race fans have four easy ways to purchase tickets:
* Call the Grand Prix ticket office at (800) 498-RACE
* Call Ticketmaster at (216) 241-5555 or visit any Ticketmaster outlet
* Fax a completed order form to (216) 522-1145
* Mail a completed order form to IMG Motorsports Cleveland Inc. Ticket Office at IMG Center, Suite 100, 1360 East Ninth Street, Cleveland, OH 44114-1782

4/15/02

Fisher back to IRL Indy Racing League driver Sarah Fisher will drive the No. 24 Team Purex/Aventis Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone in the Firestone Indy 225 at Nazareth Speedway April 21. Fisher, voted the Indy Racing League's Most Popular Driver in 2001, will substitute for owner/driver Robbie Buhl as he continues to recover from injuries received in a qualifying accident March 23 at California Speedway. "Sarah Fisher is not only one of the most talented race drivers available, we truly believe that she shares our values and appreciation for what we are trying to build at Dreyer & Reinbold Racing," Buhl said. Fisher, 22, drove for Walker Racing in 2000 and 2001. The team has not competed in 2002 due to a lack of sponsorship, and owner Derrick Walker recently released Fisher from her contract. IRL

4/15/02

Revised St. Petersburg layout  AutoRacing1.com obtained a revised layout of the new St. Petersburg track that CART will debut in February, 2003.  The new layout shows the changed track portion in green, the grandstand locations, the paddock locations, and the temporary boat slips that will enable race fans to park their boats and Yachts adjacent to the circuit ala Long Beach and Monaco.  Anyone who has been to Long Beach or Monaco can appreciate the festive atmosphere that exists in these waterfront road courses.  Since this race will be in the Winter, a lot of northern vacationers are expected to get away from the cold and attend this race and perhaps the Daytona 500 the week prior.

4/15/02

Gentilozzi wins thrilling Trans-Am race  The Trans-Am race run in conjunction with the 28th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday came down to a final-lap shootout among Paul Gentilozzi, Boris Said and Justin Bell. The trio went into the next-to-last turn three-wide. After a bump here, a spinout there, and a sigh of relief later, Gentilozzi, the three-time and reigning series champion, had driven to his fourth career victory in Long Beach. "Trans-Am has the most exciting racing,'' Gentilozzi said. "This is kick-butt stuff.'' The fans who stayed following the featured CART race and watched the Trans-Am race couldn't deny that.

4/15/02

Honda appoints first VP  Honda Racing Development, Ltd, the UK base of Honda’s Formula One program, announced today (Monday) that it has appointed Otmar Szafnauer as its first Vice-President with immediate effect. Working closely with President Shoichi Tanaka, Otmar will be involved in the overall operation of HRD and represent Honda as its delegate to the F1 engine manufacturers working group. He will be responsible for its relationship with the FIA and its two partner teams, British American Racing and Jordan Grand Prix. He will also represent Honda at FIA Press Conferences. Having worked as Operations Director of British American Racing (1998-2001) and previously Ford Motor Company (1986-1998), Otmar has a wealth of experience in both the motor sports and production car industries. Trained as an engineer, and holder of an MBA from the University of Detroit, Otmar has also raced as an owner-driver in the USAC Formula 2000 championship (1993 & 1994). Commenting on the appointment Otmar said: "It is an honour to be joining Honda Racing Development. Having worked closely with many of the Honda engineers over the past three years I am looking forward to being part of the Honda family itself and helping the company to achieve its goal of winning the Formula One World Championship." Shoichi Tanaka – President, Honda Racing Development, said: "I am very pleased that Otmar has joined us at HRD. He brings an enormous amount of engineering and management skills with him as well as being an excellent communicator. I am sure that this appointment will strengthen our F1 base in the UK."  Honda

4/15/02

Grandstands packed at Long Beach  UPDATE Track officials told the LA Times that the attendance was 90,000 on race day and 210,000 for the three days.  We have used those numbers to update our CAT/IRL attendance meter below. The Long Beach Press Telegram reported over 100,000 for the race, but we will use the lower number reported by the LA Times.  4/14/02 - Not only was just about every grandstand seat filled for today's Toyota GP of Long Beach but there were more people standing in the General Admission areas and hanging off balcony's overlooking the track than we have ever seen.  There appears to be in the neighborhood of 100,000 in attendance.

4/15/02

Team Rahal and Shell announce TV Guide deal  Team Rahal, a franchise member of Championship Auto Racing Teams ("CART"), and Shell Oil Products US and Motiva, LLC, announced today a partnership with TV Guide and a marketing initiative that will utilize Shell driver Jimmy Vasser and the Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola throughout the 2002 season. The TV Guide logo will be placed on the Champ Car of Vasser, the 1996 CART champion, beginning with the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Vasser captured the pole position for the Grand Prix of Long Beach on Saturday afternoon. "We are very excited to have formed this partnership with Team Rahal and Shell," said Kevin McAuliffe, senior VP, marketing of TV Guide. "Motorsports is a great platform for our brand. It allows us to reach fans, our cable affiliates and our advertisers in a unique and exciting way. Team Rahal and Jimmy Vasser are true champions and we are thrilled to be involved with them this season."

4/15/02

Atlantics: Trammell to test  Rhonda Trammell, wife of CART Doctor Terry Trammell, and CART pace car driver, will test with an existing Toyota Atlantics team this coming week.  Rhonda is looking to land a full-time Atlantics ride, as is Danica Patrick.  Both are looking for sponsorship.

4/15/02

Eddie Gossage statement  Statement by Texas Motor Speedway General Manager EDDIE GOSSAGE regarding comments made by Martinsville (Va.) Speedway President Clay Campbell: "We were disappointed by the uncharacteristic comments made by Clay Campbell, president of Martinsville Speedway, to media members attending this weekend's Virginia 500. Mr. Campbell said that Texas Motor Speedway officials had recently told the media that Martinsville Speedway should not be on the NASCAR Winston Cup schedule. No such statement was ever made. "I spoke with Clay Sunday evening by telephone and he admitted that he had not seen or heard any such statement, only that he responded to rumors that a quote of that nature appeared in either The Dallas Morning News or on television last weekend. I told Clay that we made no such statement - it simply does not exist. "We are disappointed by his comments; however, Clay Campbell is a good friend and an important figure in our sport. Personally speaking, races at Martinsville Speedway rate among my favorites. Today's race was another exciting Martinsville event and we are proud that it was won by a native Texan -- Bobby Labonte."

4/15/02

2002 Attendance attendance meter (Updated through CART race in Long Beach)
IRL 1-Day 3-Day CART 1-Day 3-Day
Homestead 24,000 25,000 Monterrey, Mexico 95,000 236,000
Phoenix 16,000 20,000 Long Beach 90,000 210,000
Fontana 15,000 16,000 -    

Average

18,333 20,333

Average

92,500 223,000

Note: To date - IRL numbers are for oval races.  CART for road course races.  We doubt CART's oval races will fair much better than the IRL's, maybe by 25%.

4/14/02
Industry News 

Race driver dies in New Jersey   A concrete oval track wall has claimed another victim. Race driver Mike DeSantis died Saturday after crashing at Wall Township Speedway. DeSantis, 53, of South River, crashed his mini stock car into a wall on the eighth lap of the Legends feature race, said Charlie Roberts, a spokesman for the speedway. A nursing supervisor at Jersey Shore Medical Center, who refused to identify herself, said DeSantis was pronounced dead at the hospital. We do not know if he was wearing a HANS Device.

4/14/02

Jeff Horton leaves CART  As we understand, and CART has yet to confirm it, CART electronics honcho Jeff Horton has departed and may be headed to the IRL.  We hear he may have been unhappy since Kirk Russell departed.

4/14/02
Industry News

New road course built in Italy  A new state-of-the-art road course has been built in Adria, Italy, near Venice.  The track is currently 1.7 miles long but the design plans allow for it to be lengthen if they can land a major race like CART.  The entire paddock is covered, the first of its kind anywhere in the world.  The track expects to receive FIA approve soon.

4/14/02

HANS F1 update  The Head and Neck System will be used in F1 in 2003 but only after several issues have been resolved. "We now have quite a bit of experience from the United States," said FIA president Max Mosley, "where they have been using it, and the case now for using it is, I think, overwhelming. The only remaining difficulty is that we as the FIA will not bring it in to Formula One or to Formula 3000, unless we are in a position, should we wish to do so, to bring it in other forms of motor sport, Formula 3, for example, and sports cars, whatever. And that means we need to be clear about who has what license and what terms. What we cannot do is give any organization a monopoly of supply on something that is compulsory. So we either have to be very clear as to the terms on which it is obtainable, that it can be got at reasonable cost by, say, a Formula 3 driver, or we have to make it voluntary, in which case everybody does what they want. Before we make it compulsory we have got to know whether people can get it on proper sensible commercial terms." IMS

4/14/02

Red Bull to help Americans get to F1  Former Indy 500 winner and F1 driver Danny Sullivan revealed in an exclusive interview with Speed Channel that Red Bull will back a program to help young American drivers on the climb to Formula One. The program will spot talented young U.S. drivers and help sponsor them in Formula One feeder racing series in Europe such as Formula 3 and Formula 3000. Red Bull, an energy drink company, currently sponsors the Sauber and Arrows F1 teams and Eddie Cheever's Indy Racing League team.

4/14/02

CART appoints Octagon for worldwide TV and marketing  Officials from CART and Octagon confirmed today that they have established a worldwide strategic partnership to service CART's growing international needs.  The appointment will see Octagon provide a wide range of services from television distribution and production, sponsorship and media sales, marketing and public relations, event staging and promotion, gaming and the creation of new events. In addition, Octagon will be utilizing its sister agencies within the Interpublic Group (NYSE:IPG) to assist in the delivery of other specialist services. Story | Audio from Press Conf. (Real Audio)

4/14/02

Forsythe meets with Lola  We spotted Players team honcho Gerald Forsythe in a 20-minute meeting with Lola reps at Long beach today.  Afterward all said goodbye with big smiles on their faces.  Therefore, don't be surprised if the Players team switches to Lola before to long.

4/14/02

Atlantics:  Michael Valiente beats Gurney in Long Beach  Michael Valiente made a spectacular pass on leader Alex Gurney in the first turn and went on to win today's Toyota Atlantic race in Long Beach.  Jon Fogarty was third.  Grant Ryley and Rocky Moran Jr. rounded out the top-5.

4/14/02

Seen at Long Beach  Former IRL driver Greg Ray is here in Long Beach making the rounds and talking to old friends.  Perhaps he is trying to lineup a ride for next year..

4/14/02

CART to make International TV announcement today  CART has scheduled a press conference this morning in Long Beach to announce an international promotions deal and give an update on their international TV package.

4/14/02

NASCAR comes down hard on Harvick  Bad-boy Kevin Harvick has been barred from today's Virginia 500 for unsportsmanlike conduct. The penalty is the result of Harvick's banging with Coy Gibbs during Saturday's truck race at Martinsville Speedway. Richard Childress will put Kenny Wallace in the car toady. Harvick, on probation through Aug. 28 because of a skirmish with Greg Biffle during and after a Busch race at Bristol in March, will only be forced to sit out Sunday's race, NASCAR said in a statement Sunday. During Saturday's race, Harvick and Gibbs collided several times, with Harvick finally ramming Gibbs' truck as they entered the backstretch after a restart on lap 188, causing Gibbs to spin out as Harvick drove on.

4/14/02

CART Ladder: Imrie gets first win, Unser 4th   Barber-CART Karting Scholarship Winner Ward Imrie benefited from some front-of-field attrition to capture his first ever Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER victory over hard-charging Burt Frisselle and perennial front-runner Scott Poirier. Imrie led 19 of the 23-lap race on the modified California Speedway road circuit. Frisselle, by virtue of his third podium in four races, maintains his Series points lead with a significant 63 points. Imrie, the top qualifier, maintained his advantage in the early going but succumbed to relentless pressure by Robbie Montinola, who eclipsed him for the point on lap 7. Montinola paced the field for four laps before his Supertrap fell-off, requiring him to pit immediately. He returned to the action quickly, following some expedient work by the pit crew, but the Californian was now out of contention. Imrie benefited, of course, and now towed Poirier around the 1.2-mile track as the pair broke from the field. As the pair pulled away, Jonatan Jorge was on a furious tear through the pack. Jorge was effectively overcoming his poor qualifying effort. The 16th place starter had advanced 13 positions by mid-race and was starting to put the pinch on Poirier. On lap 16, Jorge looked for an opening in turn-1 but carried too much entry speed and failed to defy the laws of physics. The Brazilian subsequently crashed and retired from the race, elevating Burt Frisselle to third. Tenth place starter Al Unser, who struggled in Round 3, came home in fourth just ahead of Aurelio Lopez, in fifth.
FINISH/CAR#/DRIVER/RESIDES/LAPS/POINTS
1/50/Ward Imrie, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada/23/21
2/42/Burt Frisselle/Kihei, Hawaii/23/16
3/70/Scott Poirier/Deerfield Beach, Florida/23/14
4/35/Al Unser/Corrales, New Mexico/23/12
5/83/Aurelio Lopez/Mexico/23/11

4/14/02

Scott Dixon leads Sunday warm-up  PWR driver Scott Dixon turned in the fastest lap in Sunday morning warm-up for today's Toyota GP of Long Beach.  Tony Kanaan, Cristiano da Matta, Kenny Brack and Alex Tagliani rounded out the top-5. MC

4/14/02

Long Beach Saturday attendance makes big leap  The Long Beach Press Telegram stated today that the estimated Saturday attendance was 80,000, significantly up from last year.  With the 50,000 on Friday, the combined total so far for the weekend is 130,000.  Sunday's attendance is estimated to be in the 90,000 or higher range putting the 3-day total at over 220,000. MC

4/14/02

CART office move date set  UPDATE Steve Ballad reports in this Star News article that CART has leased office and warehouse space through 2004 in the Park 100 complex that sits between Georgetown Road and Zionsville Road north of 71st St. The address is 5350 Lakeview Parkway South Dr. Five team owners have their race shops in the same part of town: Gerald Forsythe, Chip Ganassi, Barry Green, Pat Patrick and Derrick Walker. 4/13/02 - CART has set a date of May 17th for their office move.  Their current office in Detroit will close May 17th and the new office in Indy will be open for business on May 22nd.  MC

4/13/02

Atlantics: Hand wins Long Beach pole  Joey Hand (DSTP Motorsports/BG Products Swift 014.a) captured his second career CART Toyota Atlantic Championship pole in Saturday’s final qualifying session at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Hand won his first pole in the final race of the 2001 season at Laguna Seca. With Hand’s fast time today combined with yesterday’s qualifying win by Ryan Hunter-Reay (Hylton Motorsports/Medlock Ames Winery/Autobytel/U.S. Print Swift 014.a), the duo became the first American drivers to set on the front row of an CART Toyota Atlantic Championship race since Case Montgomery and Buddy Rice completed the feat in 2000. "I love this place,” said DSTP’s Joey Hand. “That session went well for us. We've had a great car all weekend, be we hadn't had a chance to show it. The crew kept plucking away and standing behind me every session even though we were down on the charts. We finally got the one flyer we had been missing out on all weekend and it was just what we needed. The traffic has been my biggest problem, but I finally got a
clear opening and was able to lay down a good time. Long Beach is where I started last year, and was a good start to the season. Tomorrow is going to be a great race."
1. (27) Joey Hand, 79.290, 90.494 mph.
2. (19) Michael Valiante, 78.317, 90.463 mph.
3. (1) Ryan Hunter-Reay, 78.439, 90.322 mph.
4. (32) Jon Fogarty, 78.518, 90.232 mph.
5. (34) Alex Gurney, 78.565, 90.178 mph.  CART

4/13/02

Six drivers pass Indy Rookie Orientation  Six rookie drivers earned the opportunity to qualify for the 86th running of the Indianapolis 500 after completing the Rookie Orientation Program Saturday, April 13, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. John de Vries, Anthony Lazzaro, George Mack, Laurent Redon, Tomas Scheckter and Rick Treadway, who all are competing full-time in the 2002 Indy Racing League season, each passed the speed phases Saturday afternoon after rain cancelled all of Friday's activity and Saturday morning's session.
Driver Time Top Speed Total Laps
1. Tomas Scheckter 39.8133 226.055 89
2. George Mack 40.3991 222.777 104
3. John de Vries 40.7669 220.767 76
4. Anthony Lazzaro 40.9430 219.818 128
5. Rick Treadway 41.0680 219.149 58
6. Laurent Redon 41.5040 216.847 55 IRL

4/13/02

MG Rover enters Chinese market  After hearing the news about MG/Rover, we decided to check out their website ... There is a fairly big story there about MG's entrance into a partnership with a company in China. Sounds like they are really trying to break into the Chinese market, and are even going to be building MGs in China ... Pook has been talking about China, and MG has big interests there.  We think it all adds up to CART getting very serious about racing in China. "The MG Rover GP Of China" may not be all that far off. Jason Hoehn

4/13/02

Japan ticket sales soar  Japan ticket sales for this years CART race are not just ahead of last year, they are, and we quote two sources, one from Japan, "way ahead of last year at his point."  If you recall, the race had 73,000 in attendance last year on race day (a Saturday).  One would expect, therefore, that attendance will be between 80,000 and 90,000 this year. MC

4/13/02

MG Rover test dates  John Judd will have the all-new MG Rover CART engine ready for dyno testing in June and it will be delivered to teams in October.  The engine will be just for CART for the time being, no IRL plans...yet.  MC

4/13/02

Scott Speed wins CART ladder race, Unser 10th  Scott Speed's early lead in Round 3 of the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER proved too much to overcome. The CART Stars of Tomorrow Award Winner threatened to turn today's race at California Speedway into a yawner, building a four-second margin at one point. Only Scott Poirier was up to the challenge.  Story

4/13/02
Industry News

Danica Patrick takes pole for Celebrity race  UPDATE Tommy Kendal qualified 2nd at 1:46.767 and Sarah Fisher 3rd at 1:46.909 min.  The top-3 are separated by just 0.3 sec. 4/12/02 - Potential future CART star Danica Patrick out qualified all other professionals to take pole position for the Toyota Pro-Celebrity race.  Although she might have less seat time than Tommy Kendall and Sarah Fisher, she didn't let that stop her, turning a lap of 1:46.606 min.  The Celebrity pole sitter is Olympic swimming medalist Dara Torres, who turned a very respectable 1:48.46 lap.  The professionals will start tomorrow's 10-lap race with a mandatory handicap of 30 seconds.

4/13/02

Big Friday crowd in Long Beach  UPDATE The Long Beach newspaper announced the Friday (a work day mind you) attendance at over 50,000, and it certainly appeared that way with all grandstands 1/2 to 2/3 full.  4/12/02 - We have been coming to Long Beach for many years and never can we recall seeing this many people here on a Friday (a work day).  The paddock and expo are wall-to-wall people and the weather is overcast, i.e. not ideal.  Our staff stationed around the track reports that there are 3 or 4 times as many people in Long Beach today then the IRL drew at Fontana a few weeks ago for their Sunday race........such is the popularity of CART over the IRL....or is it road and street circuits vs. ovals?......You decide.

4/13/02

CART 2002 Scanner Frequencies  AutoRacing1 has updated their CART scanner frequencies page to include the 2002 frequencies for all drivers plus CART Control, Safety crew and TV.

4/13/02

New Middle East venue moves forward  According to this Autosport article, Dubai is a step closer to hosting a grand prix after plans for a five-kilometer track, to be completed in 2003, where unveiled today. Anis al-Jallaf, chairman of United Arab Emirates property firm Union Properties, said in a statement that the 7.5 sq km Dubai Autodrome and Business Park would also house indoor and outdoor kart tracks, an off-road driving course and special circuits for motorcycle racing.

4/13/02

CART Aussie race to be even bigger  Our Aussie sources tell us that CART will be co-sharing the race for the first time with the V8SUPERCARS. Unlike previous years where V8SUPERCAR teams, made do with poor facilities. This time the V8SUPERCAR teams will use the same pits as the Champcars. As well to reflect it's improved status, the V8SUPERCAR races have been extended in length (100miles) and the whole event is now counted as an official round of the V8SUPERCAR series.  Expect enormous crowds (even bigger than before) and a quality V8SUPERCAR grid, no "second cars" and missing teams.  Speaking of Australia, at the Philips Island touring car event this weekend, Max Wilson qualified well in 7th, with 6th, 7th and 8th all qualifying on the same lap time of 1.46.0.   Wilson is quickly coming to terms with Australian Touring cars and is faster than his other 2 more experienced teammates in similar cars. The top 10 before the "top 10" shootout are: Marco Ambrose (Ford) on pole with a lap time of 1.44.8, next were Mark Skaife (Holden) on 1.44.9, Jason Bright (Holden) Russel Ingal, 1.45.6 , Paul Radisich (Ford) 1.45.7, David Besnard (Ford) 1.46.0, Max Wilson (Ford) 1.46.0. Stephen Richards, (Ford) 1.46.0, Todd Kelly (Holden) 1.46.1 and Jason Bargwanna (Holden) on 1.46.1. This is the best Ford qualifying result for some time with 5 Fords and 5 Holdens in the top 10.

4/13/02

No Ford back in CART or IRL  We spoke to Ford's Dan Davis last night.  Don't expect to see Ford back in Indy Car racing in the foreseeable future.  The demographics are such that Ford buyers are more interested in NASCAR.  We asked him who he thought might put their name on the Cosworth engine.  While we both agreed that Jaguar made the most sense, he gave us no indication that would happen.  Mazda, maybe, but our other sources tell us they are only going to go as far as buying a lot of air time for the CART race at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca right now.  However, the door is still open.

4/13/02

Rockingham England to sellout  The Rockingham England folks are here in Long Beach and assure us of a sellout at their track this year.  They are restructured their ticket prices and expect to pick up a lot of pissed off F1 fans who either can't buy a British GP ticket, or can't afford it.  Their scoring pylon still doesn't work, if you can believe that.  The company who built it apparently went belly up.  W/o the pylon the fans can't figure out who is in what position.  CART needs to insist it get fixed, or replaced with a new one..

4/13/02

CART to announce TV special soon  We don't have all the details yet, but CART will soon announce a TV show called Addicted to Speed which will air worldwide.  Overseas the show will be 13 half hour segments.  In the USA it will be anywhere from 5 to 13 segments.  The film crews will shadow drivers every move at and away from the track.  As we understand it, some of the people involved with Survivor are also involved here.  We will have more details soon.

4/13/02

More news from Long Beach  For those of you who were not online all weekend, you may want to check the archives below as we had a lot of CART Hot News from Long Beach this past Friday (4/12/02).

  Much More...click on 2002 archives button below

Hot News Archives

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