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DATE

News (chronologically)

6/5/02

IRL Hot Laps  Fox Sports Southwest television network is following Texan Greg Ray during the Boomtown 500 this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. 1999 IRL champion Ray will drive the No. 11 A.J. Foyt Racing/Harrah’s Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone in the race … Indy Racing standout Robbie Buhl visited young patients at the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas on June 5 as part of his work as national spokesperson for Racing For Kids. Buhl will drive in the Boomtown 500 on June 8 at Texas Motor Speedway in nearby Fort Worth … Pikes Peak International Raceway, site of the Radisson Indy 225 on June 16, has entered into multiyear sponsorship and marketing partnerships with Clear Channel, Coca-Cola, Chipotle, Denver Newspaper Agency, KKFN-AM in Denver, KUSA-TV in Denver, KOAA-TV in Colorado Springs, Colo., Kubota Tractor Corp. and Waste Management Inc.  One lucky fan may become a Texas Motor Speedway “Fan 4-Ever” after the Boomtown 500 on June 8 at Texas Motor Speedway. Four fans will be selected randomly June 8 to participate in the special contest that pairs each fan with one of the top four qualifiers for the race. If one of the top four starters wins, that fan will win Texas Motor Speedway Season Tickets for life, a lifetime membership to The Speedway Club and a $1,000 shopping spree at the Speedway World gift shop. In addition, all four fans and up to three guests will watch the race from special “living rooms” set up adjacent to Victory Lane in the speedway infield. Four four-foot-high platforms will be furnished with a comfortable living room setting – complete with television – for the four fans and friends to watch their drivers compete in complete comfort. Rent Way, the second largest rental/purchase company in America, will provide the furniture. The company has more than 1,100 stores in 41 states and rents brand-name furniture, appliances and electronics. IRL

6/5/02

Minardi hires test driver  KL Minardi Asiatech has signed Jirko Malcharek as test driver for the remainder of the 2002 racing season, the Faenza-based Formula One team announced Wednesday. Team founder Giancarlo Minardi said the Czech driver will primarily be used for aerodynamic testing work.

6/5/02

Ecclestone says Villeneuve let greed ruin him  Bernie Ecclestone says Jacques Villeneuve blew it by staying with British American Racing the past few years. Ecclestone tells Motorsport News he believes Villeneuve will never again drive for one of the top teams. "Jacques would be an ideal driver for any big team," said Ecclestone. "But he has preferred money to the competitiveness of the car, so it's difficult to turn back." Villeneuve, who is reportedly the second highest paid driver in F1, tried to downplay the money issue on Tuesday by saying, "(It's) important is to be considered among the top drivers and to do that, you have to win races."

6/5/02

CART Rule Change #1  After two days of productive meetings with its Franchise Board, Championship Auto Racing Teams announced several rule changes slated to take effect during the 2002 season that will further reduce costs for teams and improve the competition on the race track. Further to recent cost-saving measures, the Franchise Board voted to freeze aerodynamic development on major components beginning later this month and running through the conclusion of the 2003 CART FedEx Championship Series. Development of major aerodynamic components for road course cars will be frozen following the G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway on June 16, while oval packages will be frozen at the conclusion of the CART Grand Prix of Chicago on June 30. At that time, teams will declare to CART their aerodynamic parts inventory for oval and road course events. Major components covered by the freeze include each chassis' underbody, main side pods, rear wing assembly, engine cover, oval and road course nose, and the oval front wing assembly. Components that will still be open for development after the freeze include small aerodynamic body components, and the front wing assembly on road course chassis. "The CART Franchise Board continues to act in the best interest of our sport in facilitating cost cutting measures going forward," said CART Vice President of Racing Operations John Lopes. "Today's development freeze, which is actually a limitation on major areas of development through 2003, helps reduce the development expenses our teams wrestle with each season." Previously, the Franchise Board approved a hard cost cap of $2.7 million on engine programs for 2003, restricted testing to eight days for 2003, grandfathered the 2002 chassis for use in 2003, and determined that selected races will be two-day events.  CART

6/5/02

CART Rule Change #2  Another rule change and safety innovation that will take effect beginning with the CART Grand Prix of Chicago will be the implementation of a new, two-stage pit lane speed limiter. The new speed limiter will maintain a 50 mile per hour limit the first time the button is pushed by the driver, 85 miles per hour on the second push, and full control on the third push. This technology was successfully tested by Ford at The Milwaukee Mile, and all teams are expected to have the two-stage limiter for the Chicago event. The new speed limiter will be used in the oval events at Chicago Motor Speedway, Rockingham Motor Speedway, and EuroSpeedway Lausitz in an effort to get the cars returning to the race after pit stops up to normal racing speeds faster, and enabling the cars to blend safely back into the race. The final major rule change approved by the Franchise Board will take effect beginning with the CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio-Round 11 of the 2002 CART FedEx Championship. The new rule requires that all cars will be weighed along with their respective drivers. Previously, cars were weighed without the driver, leading some competitors to believe that teams with lighter drivers held an advantage. "The Franchise Board voted to compensate for weight in the total vehicle, so each car/driver combination has an equal weight," said CART Director of Technology and Competition Lee Dykstra. "There are a number of racing organizations that do the same thing, Formula One does it, the Atlantic series does it, so essentially it will tend to make things more competitive. This is something that has been talked about for years, but it's difficult to police so we've got to have systems in place to enforce the rules."  CART

6/5/02

Shell also offers tickets for Chicago  We hear Shell has a race ticket deal.  You must buy gas three or four times you qualify for a ticket to the race. Furthermore, CART is ramping up promotion on WCKG 105.9FM. There have been numerous Simple Green and Shell commercials. Christian and Bruno were even on the radio on Monday during the Kevin Matthew's show (Kevhead.com).

6/5/02

Simple Green and Ace Hardware free qualifying tickets for Chicago  Simple Green is handing out free Saturday qualifying tickets to the Chicago Grand Prix at all Ace Hardware Chicagoland stores to every customer that buys any Simple Green product.

6/5/02

NASCAR off to Indy to see SAFER Wall  NASCAR is sending a delegation of officials Thursday to Indianapolis to meet with open wheel racing's top reps for a SAFER barriers briefing. NASCAR president Mike Helton will lead the group on the fact-finding mission. "They're going to talk to Tony George and Brian Barnhart and those folks," said Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of communications. Dr. Dean Sicking from the University of Nebraska designed the SAFER barriers and has been analyzing crash data from IMS accidents. "We're going to listen to what Dean Sicking has to say," Hunter said. Sicking has said the SAFER barrier needs design tweaks for each individual track application. NASCAR officials say the barrier system won't be used at its member tracks until Sicking has digested all Indy data and conducted additional tests with stock cars. "How quickly any of that (SAFER barrier technology) will be put into play will depend on what Sicking learned at the Indianapolis 500 and in the weeks leading up to the race," Hunter said.  Daytona Beach News Journal

6/5/02

Coughlan set to join McLaren before Arrows folds  Mike Coughlan, the Arrows Technical Director, will shortly be announced as a new addition to the McLaren technical staff. Strengthening these reports is that he will not be at Montreal for this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix because he is serving leave so Arrows can protect its technical information.  He will work alongside Adrian Newey

6/5/02

Stock watch
Today’s NYSE trading in MPH * * * All Times Eastern * * *
Abbreviated Reporting & Trades Over 20,000 Shares
Closed at $8.05 on Tuesday 06/04/02
$7.43 Bid - $8.39 Asked just at close 06/04/02
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Open at $8.05
As of 09:34AM $8.20 Volume 005,200 Up tick
As of 09:45AM $8.17 Volume 008,500 Up tick
As of 10:00AM $8.29 Volume 018,000 Up tick
As of 10:30AM $8.25 Volume 023,400 Down tick
As of 11:00AM $8.26 Volume 036,900 Up tick
As of 12:30PM $8.32 Volume 056,000 Down tick
As of 01:30PM $8.24 Volume 063,800 Up tick
As of 02:30PM $8.24 Volume 073,800 Up tick
As of 03:30PM $8.23 Volume 107,800 Up tick
A flurry of activity just at the close.
6,600 shares at $8.20 at 02:50PM

28,100 shares at $8.21 at 03:30PM

11,300 shares at $8.35 at 03:40PM

159,200 shares at $8.10 at 03.55PM
22,300 shares at $8.01 at 03:55PM
Session Low/High $8.00/$8.43
MPH Value Change +0.00%
END
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

6/5/02

Free tickets for uniformed personnel  The CART Grand Prix of Chicago, the seventh race of the CART FedEx Championship Series, returns to Chicago Motor Speedway in Cicero, IL for an action-packed weekend, June 29 – 30, 2002. Championship Auto Racing Teams would like to thank all uniformed personnel for their hard work and dedication in protecting our city during a year of turmoil and in return, the CART Grand Prix of Chicago would like to offer all Chicago uniformed personnel FREE ADMISSION to this year's race. This offer is being extended to all uniformed personnel including the Police and Fire department staff, the armed forces and the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America. Along with this free race day ticket, uniformed personnel may also purchase up to three additional tickets at a 25 percent discount. The ordering process is simple: 1. Prior to race day, call the Chicago Motor Speedway ticket office at 708-656-6300 and identify yourself as uniformed personnel to receive one free ticket. At this point, you will also be allowed to purchase up to three additional tickets at a 25 percent discount.* 2. On race day, go to the Chicago Motor Speedway Ticket window and show your affiliate ID to pick-up your ticket order. * The 25 percent discount applies to 100 Level Reserved ($35) and 200 Level Reserved ($80) tickets. They invite you to show your association with uniformed personnel by wearing a T-shirt, hat, jacket or similar unifying identification.  CART

6/5/02

Villeneuve dreams of driving for Ferrari  BAR driver, Jacques Villeneuve, has admitted his ultimate ambition to follow in his late father's footsteps with a Ferrari Formula One drive. Just days before hitting the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for his home Canadian Grand Prix, the former world champion commented that 'If I had the chance to drive for Ferrari one day it would certainly be an interesting offer. 'Every driver wants to win,' continues the French-Canadian. 'And Ferrari are the winning team at the moment.' Despite his urge to grace a winning Ferrari, however, little Jacques has no intention to cede defeat to number-one team mate, Michael Schumacher. 'I couldn't follow team orders and give way to Michael', he chirped. 'I would not join a team if I was going to be told to make way for Michael at some stage. Therefore, it would depend if Michael was still there or not.  'Jacques' famous F1 father, Gilles Villeneuve, was killed at the wheel of a scarlet racer while practicing for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder. In one of the most popular F1 victories to date, however, the feisty Canadian wowed his home-town crowd by driving to victory at the Montreal street circuit in 1978. 'I would love to win at home', said Jacques. 'But that's not very likely now, is it?'

6/5/02

Four-groove tires to change? Formula One's tire suppliers, Bridgestone and Michelin, are working on modifications to the current four-grooved formula. Michelin's Head of Motorsport, Pierre Dupasquier, has revealed to us that FIA President Max Mosley is seeking both companies' help in reducing the Formula One car's ever-increasing lap speed. 'Michelin, being part of the F1 community, has accepted all the regulations of the FIA to date', said the Frenchman. 'The [FIA] President, under his responsibility of those rules, has asked the tire manufacturers to elaborate proposals with the aim of containing or reducing the F1 performances. 'All kind of suggestions are under consideration and in discussion'. Despite rumblings to the contrary, a return to slick tires is not on the short-term agenda for Formula One. 'The slick tires will certainly increase the performances and are not likely to be applied.' Dupasquier added. Modifications to the sport's aerodynamic regulations, introduced last year, have failed their objective in curbing the performance of Formula One.  It's also a fact that the engines make too much HP now, and without a turbo to reduce boost, F1 will have to reduce displacement down to 2.5 L to slow the cars.

6/5/02

FIA would regulate breakaway series  Max Mosley has confirmed that the FIA will regulate the proposed 'breakaway' series should it rear its head in 2008. The FIA President, referring to the manufacturer's GPWC series, says that the motorsport governing body has no influence over the business of either championship. 'If they want two championships we will regulate two championships,' Mosley said. 'Our job is to be the general regulator of all motorsport. We cannot control the business.' The Briton added, however, that a series split at the pinnacle of motorsports would do irreparable damage to the commercial image of both series. 'That is what we are worried about,' he added. 'Sponsorship is the key, and having two championships is not attractive when contemplating commercial exposure in motorsport. F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, is working feverishly to convince the manufacturer's group to shelve their plans for GPWC. 'My first priority is to try and sort out the whole business of the demise of Kirch,' said the 71-year-old, 'And try to get that put to bed. 'Then we must stop the manufacturers going around saying they want their own series - which they probably don't. We have to try to get them onboard with us and make everyone happy.' 'They have asked me to defect and come with them if they start a new championship,' he added.

6/4/02

What's the odds?  Bruno Junqueira and Cristiano da Matta are the two top qualifiers in CART this season with average starting positions of 4 and 5.5, respectively. That the duo drive Toyota-powered Lolas is not the only thing they have in common as each share the hometown of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Ironically, relatively small Belo Horizonte featured neither a major race track nor go-kart track for them to learn to race on. The major advantage each did have was growing up the son of a race car driver. The two have known one another since childhood. Heading into Laguna, Junqueira and da Matta share the distinction of being the only drivers in the FedEx Championship Series to qualify in the top 10 in each race this season, both have a race win, and each currently sits in the top 10 overall in CART FedEx Championship points.  Toyota

6/4/02

Toyota gaining in F1  First-year F1 team sensation Panasonic Toyota Racing heads to Montreal this weekend and team boss Ove Andersson hopes new aerodynamic parts tested at Silverstone last week will aid the team's progress. "We have new aerodynamic parts for Montreal, which we hope will be a step forward," he said. "We had a difficult test session in Silverstone last week due to unsettled weather, but we were able to test some new rear and front wing assemblies for Canada." "We qualified well in Monaco, but we failed to get either car to the finish," he said. "We must try to put that right this weekend." "Montreal is a great city for a race," said Salo. "The track should suit the TF102 because we have a good engine and the car is stable under braking, both of which are important here. I ran some new aerodynamic parts at Silverstone last week, which improved the balance of the car, so I hope that we can aim for the top ten in qualifying."

6/4/02

Honda struggling in F1  The once all-powerful Honda (remember the Prost and Senna days) is struggling to keep pace in F1 these days.  New-comer Toyota is already said to have a more powerful engine than Honda, and it's just their first year.  Now comes word that the Honda engine that will be used this weekend in Canada is based on the existing unit and Honda will not debut a more powerful version of its V10 Formula 1 engine as it had previously hoped to do. The 2002 powerplant has produced disappointing results thus far. "Following the tests at Paul Ricard and Silverstone last week with the next step engine which we had planned to use in qualifying at the Canadian Grand Prix, we have decided to carry out additional testing before the final implementation," said Shuhei Nakamoto, Honda Racing Development's race and test team manager.  "We will race in Canada with a further developed engine with increased performance based on the engine used for qualifying in Austria. We will continue with the development program over the next couple of races and are optimistic for increased performance."

6/4/02

Almost 'free' ticket giveaway at TMS  The Kroger “Family 4 Pack” is available for the Boomtown 500 and consists of four reserved frontstretch tickets to the race, four hot dogs, four soft drinks and four Keebler snacks for only $79 (note when CART was there, one ticket cost about this much). This represents a savings of $113 over the retail value if purchased separately. Coupons redeemable for the “Family 4 Pack” are available at Kroger grocery stores in north and east Texas and Bossier City-Shreveport, La. The coupon, along with one UPC code from Keebler snack products 10 ounces or larger, must be presented for the special price at the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office or at Gate 5 on race day. Free tickets for MBNA Pole Qualifying on Kodiak Qualifying Night on June 6 can be picked up at participating Diamond Shamrock and 7-Eleven stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, at Brookshire Brothers Supermarkets in east Texas and Tobacco Barn locations in east and south central Texas.  A special “Racing and Rangers” ticket package, presented by Chevrolet and Dickies, is available for the Boomtown 500. The deal includes four reserved frontstretch tickets to the Boomtown 500, four frontstretch tickets to the O’Reilly 400 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event on Friday night, June 7, four VIP pre-race party passes to the Hospitality Village good for both Friday and Saturday night race events and four ticket vouchers good for select Texas Rangers home games at The Ballpark in Arlington. The package is just $199 and is available by calling (817) 215-8500. IRL

6/4/02

Lewis Frank to anchor F1 radio  Respected motor sport journalist, Lewis Franck, will provide play-by-play commentary for the U.S. Formula One Radio Network’s coverage of the Canadian Grand Prix. Franck has been a regular guest on U.S. Formula One Radio Network broadcasts throughout the year and brings a wealth of experience and an American perspective on Formula One to the Network. "I am delighted to be presenting the Canadian Grand Prix,” said Franck. “Formula One is set to grow in North America and it is good to be a part of it.”

6/4/02

CART and CBS off to good start  The new relationship between CART and CBS Sports got off to a positive start as the network's first broadcast, Sunday's Miller Lite 250 at the legendary Milwaukee Mile, drew the best overnight rating of the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series to date. Despite being pre-empted by a telethon in eight key markets, the overnight Nielsen rating for the Miller Lite 250 was 1.3 with a four share. According to the Nielsen system, the rating means that more than a million households tuned in to see Team KOOL Green pilot Paul Tracy pick up the 19th CART FedEx Championship Series victory of his career. "It was encouraging to see that our first broadcast with CBS garnered a solid rating," said CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. "We've clearly got a tremendous product, and with the assistance of our new partners at CBS, SPEED Channel and Lingner Group Productions, close to two million fans throughout the country were able to see our shows this past weekend. We've still got some work to do in order to grow our television audience, but the on-track product is fantastic and the new and creative ways in which our story is being shown on television is absolutely terrific. We'll continue to grow from here." In addition to Sunday's two-and-a-half hours of network coverage on CBS, SPEED Channel aired an additional six-and-a-half hours of CART FedEx Championship Series programming throughout the weekend. This includes live coverage of Friday's final practice session, the CART Friday Night program and Saturday's live qualifying broadcast. The final CBS rating will not be available until later this week, but it appears likely that the Miller Lite 250 will be the highest rated CART FedEx Championship Series television broadcast since the 2001 event at Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport, which drew a 1.4 rating. The Miller Lite 250 also appears to be the most-watched Champ Car race of 2002, eclipsing the FOX network broadcast of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 14, which drew a 1.0 Nielsen rating opposite Tiger Woods' third victory in the legendary Masters golf tournament.  CART

6/4/02

CART Milwaukee TV Ratings  UPDATE The 1.3 rating was with eight big TV markets missing.  The overnight would have been closer to 1.5 if not for that.  Given that, CART is hopeful the final rating will come in above 1.0, and perhaps close to 1.3. ALMS and Trans-Am have always gotten decent ratings on CBS, and we would expect this fact not to be missed by CART management when they plan to move more races to network TV in 2003.   6/3/02 - CART pulled in a respectable 1.3 overnight TV rating for its CBS broadcast.  This is much higher than what it had been getting on SPEED Channel, and if it holds, bodes well that CART races, when shown on network TV, are every bit as valuable to a sponsor as IRL races.  It also underscores the fact that CART must move as many races to network TV (Either FOX or CBS) in 2003.

6/4/02

CART shareholder meeting report  UPDATE The Board Members elected/re-elected were Pat Patrick, Chris Pook, Ralph Sanchez, Fred Tucker, Derrick Walker, James Grosfeld, James Hardymon, Carl Haas, and Jim Henderson.  As planned, Chip Ganassi, Gerald Forsythe and Barry Green are now 'former' board members.  6/4/02 - CART held its shareholder meeting this morning, with about 36 people in attendance.  As expected, there was no earth shattering news to come out of this meeting.  Just an election of Officers, auditors and Board Members, which we will report on later. Chris Pook did his usual wrap-up of the state of CART.  The only serious question from the floor came from the Bettenhausen Team who stated they were the third largest 'team' shareholder and questioned the recent 'no response' to the stock share price slide, and suggested CART consider selling the company.  He said the no-response caused the share price to fall further.  He also asked if there was a poison pill clause in the bylaws, that dissuade an unwanted takeover, it be removed. The Board said they would take it under advisement. The CART Board meeting was to follow, and that is a closed meeting, which may yield some more interesting results. Mark C.

6/4/02

CART stock watch

MPH closed at $8.50 on Monday 06/03/02
This mornings NYSE trading in MPH . . . . All Times Eastern . . .
Abbreviated Reports . . .
MPH opened at $8.55 up $0.05
44,400 shared traded at $8.50
53,200 shares traded at $8.49
10,500 shares traded at $8.30
18,400 shares traded at $8.20
16,300 shares traded at $8.20
18,200 shares traded at $8.16 at 12:50PM
33,500 shares traded at $8.18 at 01:00PM
9,100 shares traded at $8.10 at 03:15PM
12,200 shares traded at $8.09 at 03:20PM
12,200 shares traded at $8.05 at 03:25PM
5,500 shares traded at $8.01 at 03:30PM
11,600 shares traded at $8.05 at 03:50PM
13,400 shares traded at $8.05 at 03:55PM
35,200 shares traded at $8.05 at 04:00PM
$7.43 Bid in the closing seconds of trading. $8.39 Asked.
Session High/Low $8.65/$8.00
As of 03:07PM $8.07 Volume of 421,100 shares Up tick
As of 03:30PM $8.00 New low Volume of 455,600 shares Down tick
As of Close $8.05 -$0.45 Volume of 529,100 shares Down tick
MPH Value Change -5.29%
END

6/4/02

A seasoned traveler comments on CART TV  UPDATE While this is true, this was only true until the beginning of this season except 2000. Eurosport's CART coverage was in all the European countries, with commentators in around 8 languages. However, after Chris Pook decided that each country should have a individual coverage, the European coverage, which is only in Uk, Sweden, France (both of the very limited) and eastern Germany, is non-existent. This is not acceptable, and it makes me angry when Chris Pook said in a press conference at Long Beach that the European coverage was better than ever. It is simply not true. Best regards, Olav Malmin, Norway 6/3/02 - Dear Autoracing1, Thanks for the good information coming out of your website. Just to let you know that the local Seattle CBS outlet chose to preempt the first 30 minutes of the race broadcast with a Washington DC type weekly news program. Thus they joined the race about fifteen minutes after the start. At least they didn't preempt it completely. My home base is Chicago and over the last several years the local ABC station would preempt several races each season. I moved to an apartment this year and no longer can get Speedvision, so this is the first race that I have been able to see (I did go to Long Beach). I did like the CBS coverage. It did seem fresher than previous years with ABC/ESPN. Last season I watched several CART broadcasts from both the UK and Romania.  I really enjoyed their TV coverage as the local broadcasters instilled a genuine sense of excitement into the race (also a lot less commercials!). Dean F. Sonntag

6/4/02

Why is Barry Green wasting his time?  Dear AutoRacing1.com, While I admire his tenacity, I think Barry Green is wasting his time appealing the Indy 500 decision to Tony George.  That's like getting a fox to watch your hen house.  I just read that Brian Barnhart stated, after looking at the data for a week, "In fact, I'll echo what Barry said. The more I look into it, the more convinced I am (that Helio won)."  It does not matter that the video shows Tracy in front when the yellow flashed.  It does not matter that the evidence is undisputable that Tracy won.  It does not matter that the yellow light Helio says he saw on his dash was probably his low fuel pressure light.  It does not matter that IRL posterboy Sam Hornish even says Tracy was in front.  Tony George is going to sit back, listen to all the arguments and then rule that the evidence is not conclusive.  If anyone thinks that Tony is going to reverse the result in favor of a CART team, and against his friend Roger Penske (who together are trying to destroy CART), had better go pay a visit to their psychologist.  It ain't gonna happen.  Sam Levy, New York

6/4/02

Schumi Confident For Canada  Defending World Champion, Michael Schumacher, is targeting a return to winning ways at this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix. The German, with a good track record at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, reveals that the heavy-braking, high-speed nature of the Montreal circuit is not a personal favourite. 'I like the circuit a lot, even if it is not one of my outright favorites,' Schumacher said. 'But for whatever reason, I have always gone well in Montreal, even if the circuit does not particularly suit my driving style. 'I tend to prefer fast corners and there are none of these, so I can't really explain it'. After a lull in maximum-points at the Monaco Grand Prix, Schumacher's ultimate goal remains to extend his ever-expanding championship lead. 'Monaco went well for us and the most important thing was that we increased out advantage in the championship. Nothing is certain. 'There are too many factors involved and tires are obviously enormously important on a track like Montreal, which is not a true permanent racetrack. 'We saw in Monaco that tires can be the decisive factor. On the other hand, we also did well in Imola, a circuit that did not suit us last year. 'Therefore I think we can be reasonably optimistic for Montreal. We just have to wait and we will only have a clearer idea after Friday's first practice session'. After losing to brother Ralf last year, the Ferrari driver is hoping the new F2002 can re-affirm its dominant grip on the current season of racing. 'Last year, we did not go so well in Canada, but hopefully things will be different this time around. 'It means the car is better and does not give the tires such a hard time. Furthermore, the temperatures are not as high as before and this means the lap times have improved'. Schumacher leads the driver's chase by 33 points; the German odds-on to net his fifth world championship this year.

6/4/02

Berger: 'Williams Weak In Aero'   Joint BMW Motorsport Director, Gerhard Berger, has called a weakness in Williams' aerodynamics as the team's only obstacle to ultimate success. The former Grand Prix winner has controversially claimed that the Grove-based team has fallen behind its rivals in terms of aerodynamic development; adding that 'two steps' are now needed to topple Ferrari from the winner's rostrum. 'Williams have built a winning car this year, but they've got a bit left behind in aerodynamics over the past two or three years', said the Austrian. 'They're now struggling to catch up and at some point they're going to have to make two steps,' he added. 'One step won't be enough because the other teams are also making one step. I see this area as the biggest weakness at the moment'. Despite the criticism, Berger is satisfied that Williams have proved their worth by improving deficiencies in pit-stop efficiency, while praising the team's massive three-car testing efforts. 'If you look, last year's pitstops were slow, yet this year they've been fantastic', he said. 'Then take a look at last winter's test program. We tested three cars, which requires a hell of a lot of organization. 'When we started will Williams, we struggled to test with one car. 'All we need now is some good drivers!', he joked. Berger has praised the pairing of Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya, calling the combination the 'strongest in Formula One'.

6/4/02

Jordan Still Unsure About Honda   Team Principal, Eddie Jordan, has refused to speculate on reports which place his team's future with engine supplier Honda in jeopardy. When asked over Honda's purported severing of ties with the Silverstone-based team from 2003, the Irish boss did admit that the technical partnership is in doubt. 'I can't answer that question', Jordan said. 'You can see that Honda seem to be working well with [BAR boss] David Richards - better than they were previously'. Honda are rumored as wanting to concentrate on an exclusive BAR-Honda partnership amid hopes to restructure the Japanese engine manufacturer; yet to taste success in their modern Formula One assault. 'I have a contract with Honda for next year and I'm happy with them', added Eddie Jordan. 'They'd like my car to be better; I'd like their engine to be lighter and faster. 'But these are normal things; Honda are a very good partner. Like us, they need fairly radical changes. 'If Honda want to run with one team, they will do so. You enter contracts in good faith and do your very best to honor them'. Adding to the strained Jordan-Honda partnership has been a number of reliability and performance issues with their latest EJ12 contender; not to mention nearly 60 redundancies from the team's Silverstone base. 'We're not in great shape at the moment', EJ admitted. 'Some of it is down to Jordan, some of it is down to Honda, some of it is down to bad luck. But I do need to push Honda to make a better engine. 'If that can happen, then of course I'll be happy to stay with Honda'. Jordan believes a Honda take-over of his team would ensure an improvement over the current situation. Scotching claims that he would not consider 'selling out' to a manufacturer, Eddie added that 'The way I see it, the only way out of this is that Honda should buy the whole team'. 'But Mr Tanaka says that this is not the way Honda think. Of course I'm not going to say that we'd be far better off without Honda. 'F1 is tough, but I'm a survivor'. Jordan are enjoying a boost to their motivation in the form of two points finishes in Austria and Monaco, leaving BAR-Honda the only outfit scoreless in 2002.

6/4/02

Michelin Quietly Optimistic   Michelin Motor Sport director, Pierre Dupasquier, has played down suggestions that the French supplier's tires will prove superior to rival Bridgestone on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Despite claiming an impressive victory at Monaco, Dupasquier is adamant that this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix meeting will present an entirely different challenge to the company's French rubber. 'A repeat of success would certainly give us a great deal of satisfaction, but you mustn't lose sight of the different factors that can influence the outcome of F1 events,' Dupasquier said. 'Monaco is a small track - just 3.3 kilometers long and with average lap speed of about 150 km/h, while Montreal measures 4.4 km and average speeds are much higher, at about 200 km/h per lap. 'The main problems at Monaco are generating grip and moderating rear tire wear. Here in Montreal teams are concerned about brake fade and tires overheating because of the extreme loads placed upon them at high speed. 'As a result, the overall package that won in Monaco has little in common with that you will need to be successful in Canada'. Good traction, stability under braking and driver fitness are elements of this high-speed Montreal event which the little Frenchman is emphasizing are absolutely crucial to on-track success. And, although Ralf Schumacher fought off brother Michael to win for Michelin last year, Dupasquier refuses to rest on past success. 'It's true that we won in Montreal last year, but remember we won in Imola, too, without being able to repeat that result earlier this season. 'We will approach the race much like we did in Monaco, with two tire compounds from the 'softer' end of our tire range. One has been used before, it will serve as a yardstick, the other is newer and, we think, it will prove to be even more competitive'. The French supplier's past success has not gone unnoticed by Dupasquier, reflecting on past golden moments on the streets on Montreal. 'It would give me a great deal of pleasure if we could win here this weekend. The track is named after the late, great local hero Gilles Villeneuve, who scored the maiden win of his grand prix career here in 1978. 'It was our fifth victory of the campaign and he was driving a Ferrari'. Michelin have scored two race triumphs in 2002; Ralf Schumacher's Malaysian success and David Coulthard's recent win at the Monaco Grand Prix.

6/4/02

Wet'n'Wild Weekend In Montreal?   Following a relatively dry first half of the 2002 season, Formula One looks set for a wet'n'wild weekend at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. As we speak, drizzle is falling on the Il Notre Dame in Montreal's late evening; and weather prognosticators are predicting a rainy Sunday Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Mid-teen and showery conditions are expected to clear later this week; the Formula One action heading for a mostly sunny introduction on Friday and Saturday. As the F1 pilots rise on Sunday morning, however, they will more than likely peer upward to grey, ominous skies; Isolated Thunderstorms and 21-degrees tipped for the June 9 running of the Canadian Grand Prix.

6/4/02

F1 bosses to meet   UPDATE Formula One team bosses will meet this weekend to decide whether or not to alter the sport's regulations. Following proposals by the FIA to reduce Formula One's escalating costs, the regulations require that teams vote unanimously before any changes are ratified by the World Council. FIA President Max Mosley's latest plans include a proposal to limit track testing, giving teams of modest budget the option to test at the Grand Prix venues prior to the official race weekend. Another mooted idea is to grant F1's major players the ability to supply whole chassis, gearbox, and assorted componentry to the minnows of the pitlane, thus reducing the cost of going racing. A third 'manufacturers' world championship is also set for discussion at the meeting of team bosses, a proposition framed to entice engine manufacturers to supply more than one F1 outfit. According to McLaren team boss, Ron Dennis, any changes to the F1 regulations will not be considered unless they comply 'uniformly' to all Grand Prix outfits. 'I'm not keen on changes that will assist the struggling teams but undermine the competitive edge of us big players', the Briton said in Monaco. The FIA World Motorsport Council will meet on June 26, making this weekend's Montreal Grand Prix meeting the last opportunity for team bosses to discuss cost-cutting proposals. Despite the convergence on Canada, June 13 is also being tipped as a possible meeting date, back on European soil. F1 is reacting to a so-called financial 'crisis' within the sport; up to three outfits tipped to collapse before the season is out.   6/3/02 - The 11 Formula 1 team bosses are to meet in London next Thursday, June 13th,  to discuss potential changes to the sporting regulations for the 2003 season. Included on the agenda are the following discussion points: teams being able to sell their old chassis to rival teams, the engine manufacturers supplying more than one team and potential testing restrictions. Both Bernie Ecclestone and FIA president Max Mosley will be present to chair the meeting.

6/3/02
Industry News

GM increases business in China  General Motors will take a stake in a US$100 million mini-vehicle venture in China, gaining a foothold in what company officials say is the most promising segment of the country's car market. After three years of talks, GM announced it will pay US$30 million for a 34 per cent stake in SAIC-Wuling Automobile based in the impoverished western province of Guangxi. "What GM gets out of this is a foothold in the fastest growing vehicle segment in China - what is currently also the largest vehicle segment in China," chairman and chief executive of GM China Group, Philip Murtaugh, said. The official signing ceremony will be held Tuesday in Nanning, capital of Guangxi province. Mr Murtaugh said the investment would complement GM's two other production operations in China, one making passenger sedans and the other sports utility vehicles. The move marks a rare foray into China's lagging west by a foreign car maker. The other partners in the venture include one of China's biggest car makers - Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC), which is already GM's partner in its Shanghai passenger car plant.

6/3/02

CART Ladder Series News Roger Yasukawa outlasted Hylton Motorsports teammate and polesitter Ryan Hunter-Reay as well as the rest of a strong field at the Milwaukee Mile on Sunday to earn his first CART Toyota Atlantic victory in only his second career start, placing himself squarely in the Championship battle. Yasukawa, who started 2nd, battled a dominant Hunter-Reay for the first half of the race, taking the lead on Lap 12 before relinquishing it back to his teammate on Lap 14 as the two negotiated lapped traffic. Hunter-Reay, who lost an engine in the morning warm-up, built a 5.4 second lead before again suffering an engine malfunction on Lap 44 that led to his retirement from the race.  More...

6/3/02

Team Green Press Release  Team Green Inc. has officially appealed the decision of the Indy Racing League’s (IRL) vice president, racing operations denying its protest of the results of the 2002 Indianapolis 500. The appeal was initiated today by Barry Green, owner and founder of Team Green.

Pursuant to IRL Rule 12.1 (Initiation of an Appeal), Team Green Inc. as entrant of car #26 in the 2002 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race appealed the protest decision entered on May 27 by Brian Barnhart, vice president, racing operations, Indy Racing League. In that decision, Barnhart denied the protest filed by Team Green on May 26 which alleged that errors in the officiating of the 2002 Indianapolis 500 were made. At issue is whether Car #26 driven by Paul Tracy passed Car #3 driven by Helio Castroneves under green light conditions in Turn 3 on lap 199 and therefore was in the lead when racing subsequently ceased as the result of a caution period.

Team Green believes that Barnhart's protest decision is not supported by the facts, is in conflict with IRL Rule 7.14 (which reads, The yellow caution period starts with the display of the yellow flag and/or yellow lights and ends with the display of the green flag and/or green lights. Racing ceases immediately upon display of the yellow flag and/or yellow light.…”) and should therefore be reversed. Team Green believes Car #26 (Tracy) properly passed Car #3 (Castroneves) on lap 199 and was in first position before the display of the yellow track light.

Barnhart determined the denial of the protest on the basis that Car #3 led Car #26 … 1) at the last time line of scoring before the caution; 2) at the time of the accident of Car #34 and Car #91 and, 3) at the time that race officials called for a caution."

Team Green believes Barnhart's reasons for denial are in error and that the only relevant time for determining the position of Cars #26 and #3 under Rule 7.14 is the time when the yellow track light is displayed.

Objective evidence presently available to Team Green demonstrates that Car #26 clearly passed Car #3 between timing lines T3 and SS2/Section 6 while the green track light was displayed and was in the lead when the yellow track light was first displayed and racing ceased. This evidence includes videotape footage and IRL timing and scoring data.

The relief requested by Team Green includes: 1) staying the protest decision and the decision awarding the first place finish to Car #3 until the appeal is finally determined; 2) requesting that Tony George (Indy Racing League CEO) refer this appeal for investigation by an advisory committee of disinterested persons designated by ACCUS-FIA; 3) requesting an investigation of the facts that are relevant to the decision to be made under IRL Rule 7.14; 4) providing the opportunity for Team Green to present videotape footage, expert testimony and other evidence, and 5) reversing the protest decision and declaring Paul Tracy the winner of the 2002 Indianapolis 500 if evidence establishes that Car #26 properly passed Car #3 on lap 199.

"I said straight after the race that if the facts warranted it, I would protest," Green said. "I have facts and I did protest. Since the protest, I have said that if anyone can show me facts proving I was in second place, I would go away. No one has shown me those facts. In fact, the deeper we dig, the more positive we are that we finished in first place.

“As a result, and after careful consideration, we are appealing the denial of our protest. I look forward to presenting and reviewing all the relevant evidence in order to arrive at a fair and unambiguous conclusion to this matter.” Team Green

6/3/02

Team Green appeal teleconference highlights  On today's teleconference, Barry Green said that the video clearly shows Paul Tracy was past Helio Castroneves when the yellow light came on.  Barry stated it is black and white, and that many experts have contacted him saying the pass was clearly completed.   When you break down the professional quality video (from ABC) frame by frame, and match it up from various cameras they all show the same thing, that Paul was past.  Carol Wilkins from Kool, and Kim Green from Team Green, were the first ones to see the tapes in the ABC trailer, right after the race.  Barry says the video is the only concrete evidence anyone has.  Dario Franchitti and Sam Hornish have both said their cockpit light was not on until after the pass was made.  When asked if he felt he will get a fair trial (appeal) from the IRL, Barry said he felt the IRL has been very fair and professional in all dealings up until now, but he feels the Chief Steward made the incorrect call after the race in declaring who the winner was.  Barry has asked to receive additional data and wants it 10 days before the actual appeal date.  As late as this afternoon, and up to the time of the formal appeal, Barry says he sees no evidence that shows Paul finished 2nd and he owes it to Paul, his team and his sponsors to fight this.  Barry ended by saying maybe someone is hiding data that when presented will convince him he finished 2nd, but at this time, with all the data available he feels strongly they have won and, absent any contradictory data,  if the ruling goes the other way, he will always feel they were cheated out of one. Mark C.

6/3/02

Team Green continues appeal  Team Green submitted a final written appeal June 3 to Tony George, president and CEO of the Indy Racing League, appealing the decision to uphold the results of the 86th Indianapolis 500.

The final appeal was submitted at 2:20 p.m. (EST) June 3 to George’s office. The appeal was submitted to George in his capacity as chief executive officer, per Indy Racing League Rule 12.1. George was out of the office and could not comment on the appeal.

On May 27, Indy Racing League Vice President of Operations Brian Barnhart denied Team Green’s protest of the results of the Indianapolis 500. According to Indy Racing League Rule 12.1, Team Green had until 5 p.m. (EST) June 3 to appeal Barnhart’s decision.

As chief executive officer, George has the exclusive jurisdiction to resolve all appeals. George may select an individual to resolve an appeal (Rule 12.2).

An advisory committee may be created to assist in making a determination on an appeal (Rule 12.3). If a committee is designated, the members of the committee shall consist of individuals involved with automobile racing but who do not have a financial interest in the outcome of the appeal.

Within 30 days, George can convene a hearing to hear results from any investigation into the matters surrounding the appeal. However, there is no deadline for the issuance of a decision by the chief executive officer (Rule 12.8).

A decision on a hearing date and if a committee will be formed will be made in the near future.

The appeal decision will be final and binding (Rule 12.9).

Team Green protested the final results of the 86th Indianapolis 500, contending that the No. 26 Team Green 7-Eleven Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone driven by Paul Tracy passed the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone driven by Helio Castroneves under green-flag conditions during Lap 199 and led when racing ceased under caution due to an accident between the No. 34 Mi-Jack Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone driven by Laurent Redon and the No. 91 Coors Light/Life Fitness/Tae-Bo/Delta Faucet Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone driven by Buddy Lazier on that lap.

That protest was denied under these grounds, according to a signed statement from Barnhart:

Hearing Decision

It is indisputable that Car #3 led Car #26 at the following relevant times:
1) At the last time line of scoring before the caution;
2) At the time of the accident of Car #34 and Car #91;
3) At the time that the race Officials called for a caution.
The facts demonstrate that Car #3 led Car #26 when the caution light on the race car dashboard turned yellow. There is also evidence that Car #3’s response to the yellow permitted the subsequent pass by Car #26. The evidence presented on behalf of the protest does not support the contention that the race Officials did not exercise appropriate discretion in determining that racing had ceased prior to Car #26’s pass on Car #3. The protest is therefore denied. IRL

6/3/02

Redon cleared to drive  Indy Racing League rookie Laurent Redon has been cleared to drive in the Boomtown 500 on June 8 at Texas Motor Speedway, said Dr. Henry Bock, Indy Racing League director of medical services. Redon, from Chamond, France, was released May 27 from Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after suffering a concussion May 26 in an accident with Buddy Lazier in Turn 2 on Lap 199 of the 86th Indianapolis 500. IRL

6/3/02

CART stock watch  UPDATE  Championship Auto Racing Teams (MPH US) was downgraded to ``sell'' from ``hold'' by analyst Timothy A Conder at A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc.
MPH closed at $9.24 on Friday 05/31/02
This mornings NYSE trading in MPH . . . .
09:35AM $8.78
09:40AM $8.65
09:45AM $8.70
09:50AM $8.68
09:55AM $8.80
10:00AM $9.10
As of 10:16AM $8.91 down $0.33 on volume of 120,900 shares
As of 10:31AM $8.80 down $0.44 on volume of 155,100 shares
As of 10:37AM $8.55 down $0.69 on volume of 183,900 shares
As of 10:45AM $8.55 down $0.69 on volume of 195,600 shares
As of 11:00AM $8.50 down $0.74 on volume of 273,600 shares
286,400 shares trade at 11:25AM at $8.25 (low of session)
As of 11:35AM $8.28 down $0.96 on volume of 654,500 shares
As of 11:52AM $8.29 down $0.95 on volume of 694,500 shares Session High/Low: $9.20/$8.25
As of Noon $8.27 down $0.97 on volume of 701,700 shares
As of 12:16PM $8.30 down $0.94 on volume of 723,500 shares Zack’s reports 14.7M shares of MPH outstanding.
As of 12:25PM $8.35 down $0.89 on volume of 740,500 shares 40% held by Institutions - 21% held by CART Insiders.
As of 12:50PM $8.41 down $0.83 on volume of 783,000 shares
As of 01:00PM $8.37 down $0.87 on volume of 786,800 shares
As of 01:15PM $8.35 down $0.89 on volume of 819,800 shares
As of 01:45PM $8.36 down $0.88 on volume of 870,400 shares
As of 02:00PM $8.36 down $0.88 on volume of 913,500 shares
As of 02:16PM $8.36 down $0.88 on volume of 1,039,100 shares
As of 02:37PM $8.40 down $0.84 on volume of 1,057,500 shares
125,100 shares trade at 2:10PM at $8.36
As of 03:00PM $8.32 down $0.92 on volume of 1,067,500 shares
Session High/Low $9.20/$8.25 with 1 hour of NYSE trading remaining
75,000 shares trade at 3:10PM at $8.35
As of 03:30PM $8.45 down $0.79 on volume of 1,147,900 shares
75,200 shares trade at 3:10PM at $8.35
61,400 shares trade at 3:35PM at $8.50
45,200 shares trade at 3:40PM at $8.50
16,500 shares trade at 3:55PM at $8.50
As of 4:00PM $8.50 down $0.74 on volume of 1,286,300, a value change of -8.01%
Session High/Low $9.20/$8.25 on the close of NYSE trading.
Remember: for every Seller there is a Buyer.

6/3/02
Industry News

DaimlerChrysler staying long term in China  DaimlerChrysler AG and Beijing Automotive Industry Co. signed a contract to extend their joint venture in China by 30 years until 2033. The joint venture, Beijing Jeep Corp., was established in 1983. In a press release Friday, DaimlerChrysler said Beijing Jeep will produce at least two new models in the next two years. . AP

6/3/02

Open-Wheel oval races continue to struggle  The IRL is not the only open wheel series suffering poor oval track attendance.  Milwaukee Mile officials announced a weekend attendance of 36,820, which is consistent with a downward trend of more than five years for CART events at the facility. "We've been battling the weather," track general manager Jim Melvin said. "From a spring standpoint, no one's had a mind-set for going outdoors, I think. We had a pretty strong walkup, but we just couldn't make up from the shortfall of where we were going into the weekend."  CART has to rethink whether ovals are for them.  When they draw more on a Friday for a street or road course, than an entire weekend crowd at an oval, one has to ask the inevitable?  When will CART focus on street and road courses in the USA, and just run ovals in Europe?  Chicago is coming up in a few weeks.  We expect another dismal crowd, though we hope we're pleasantly surprised. MC

6/3/02

No Dale Coyne for 2002 We ran into Dale Coyne in Chicago and quizzed him on his plans with the Rodriguez Brothers.  He said this year does not look likely, though a one-off race in Mexico City is still a possibility.  MC

6/3/02

Zhuhai has ambitious plans  Zhuhai has no shortage of ambitious plans, a prime example being the bankrupt Zhuhai airport, built on an unrealistic forecast fuelled by political ambition. Keeping with the trend, last week Zhuhai announced it would invest 10 billion yuan (about HK$9.44 billion) to transform the quiet coastal city across from Macau into China's "most romantic city" and a regional resort centre. The idea is to make it China's Riviera.  Zhuhai Deputy Mayor Guo Khuhai said: "We found that Zhuhai shares similar geographical and climate characteristics with the Riviera.  The coastal city's proposed future is strikingly remote from what it is today. Zhuhai retains the nature of a quiet and uneventful suburb.  The shelving of a super-bridge linking Zhuhai and Hong Kong in 2000 has not only saved the city from getting into another financial black hole, but also saved the natural habitat of thousands of birds living in the mangrove preservation zone on the northern tip of the island. Zhuhai's slow pace and lack of commercial activities have cast a shadow over tourism - a clean industry, which the city aims to rely upon to buoy its economy. One of the biggest hurdles facing tourism officials is that most travelers to the city do not stay overnight. Most overseas visitors are from Taiwan and Hong Kong who go to Macau to gamble for a day before turning home. The plan is to make Zhuhai a regional holiday resort and conference centre. It includes taking advantage of 25km of coastal foreshore and 144 islands, developing the beaches into resorts and venues for water and ocean sports. The tourist bureau is also talking about negotiating with a few large American entertainment companies to set up theme parks on Hengqin island - the island that has direct access to Macau.

6/3/02
Industry News

Alcatel Shanghai Bell eyes No. 1 China role  Paris-based Alcatel has plans to use its integrated manufacturing operations in Shanghai to transform the company into the mainland's top telecommunications gear maker. The firm last week launched Alcatel Shanghai Bell (ASB) to form its main manufacturing, research and development arm in China, with an eye to challenging fast-growing Chinese firms Zhongxing Telecom (ZTE) and Huawei Technologies as well as to stave off old rivals Nortel Networks and Lucent Technologies. Alcatel China chairman and chief executive Dominique de Boisseson said: "We are now on track to lead both the Chinese and global telecommunications equipment markets." Alcatel Shanghai Bell will become one of our major global R&D centers, developing core technologies for both domestic and international markets in advanced fixed-line and mobile networks," Mr de Boisseson said. With more than 300 million lines delivered worldwide on digital switching systems, Alcatel connects one out of five telephone subscribers in the world. Backed by ASB, Alcatel expected to play a significant role in helping Chinese authorities deploy a digital communications platform when Beijing hosts the 2008 Olympic Games. "In 2008, Beijing will have the best communications infrastructure in the world," Mr Boisseson has said. In forming ASB, Alcatel is the first international telecoms equipment supplier to consolidate its businesses in China in a single company. Alcatel holds 50 per cent plus one share in the company, with Chinese entities taking up the remaining shares. Ben Perez

6/3/02

F1 Hot News
Frentzen 'Better Than Ever'
Toyota Target More Points
Zanardi In No Hurry
McLaren's Canadian 'Challenge'
Fisi Fancies His Chances
Button 'Learning From Mistakes'
Renault Closing In On McLaren
Coulthard Missing Hakkinen
Irvine: 'I'm Not Abrasive'

6/2/02
Industry News

Ford may sell Aston Martin  Ford Motor Co. may sell luxury British carmaker Aston Martin, Britain's Independent on Sunday newspaper reported. The paper, citing internal company sources, reported that Ford Chairman William Clay Ford Junior had said the sale was "worth thinking about". It added that Ford last week had denied am impending sale. A spokesman for Ford Europe described the report as speculation. "As a matter of policy, we don't comment on speculation," he told Reuters. Ford, struggling to return to profitability this year after losses of $5.45 billion last year, is counting on its luxury brands to generate one-third of its earnings by mid-decade.

6/2/02

Atlantics: Yasukawa wins Milwaukee   In just his second Atlantic race, Roger Yasukawa earned his first victory. Yasukawa ran strong all weekend and started on the front row, next to his teammate, Ryan Hunter-Reay. Yasukawa and his teammate pulled out a 15 second lead over the rest of the Atlantic field, both rookies making their oval debut. Yet they battled one another for the lead, resembling veterans. Yasukawa took the lead on the 12th lap but was passed by Hunter-Reay on lap 15. He retook the lead on lap 43 when his teammates engine expired and took the checkered flag 27 laps later with a 2.733 second margin of victory. Yasukawa jumped from ninth to fourth in the championship points standings with a total of 29 points. His victory marked the third straight victory for Hylton Motorsports on an oval.

6/2/02

Team Green to announce Indy 500 intentions  Team Green will hold a press conference on Monday after noon to announce its intentions regarding their Indy 500 protest.  We expect them to announce they will take the protest to the next level.

6/2/02

Some readers prefer SPEED Channel  Gentlemen, The idea that CART might move more races from the Speed Channel to network television in 2003 sends shivers down my spine. Our local CBS affiliate here in Houston decided to show a telethon rather than broadcast the Milwaukee race. I ponied up the extra bucks to install digital cable this year to insure that I could see every CART race including pre and post race events- not the butchered versions delivered up by ABC. Now I hear that next year's domestic races may be transferred to network TV which means that instead of a guaranteed broadcast I'll be subject to the whims of some bozo at Channel 11. What if the local affiliate decides that none of the CART races are worth broadcasting? I know Speed Channel doesn't reach as many homes as do the networks, but at least they are on our side! Steve Dannenbrink, Houston, TX  [Editor's Note: While races never get pre-empted on SPEED, CART still gets far better TV ratings on network TV and that is important for the sponsors.]

6/2/02

CART race in Columbus Ohio on digital network  Seems the local CBS affiliate in Columbus, Ohio, WBNS-10TV will not be showing the CART race today. They will be showing the Children's Miracle Network Telethon instead. They have moved the broadcast to their "digital" network, which, on the local cable service, is a subscription channel.  The race was not shown in the big Orlando, Florida market (top 50) either.

6/2/02

Jaguar F1 exhibition  The Jaguar team in association with London's Proud Galleries have announced a joint project in "Formula One™, The Exhibition," which they describe as the first definitive photographic exhibition to encapsulate all the elements of the sport. According to a press release, the Formula One Exhibition showing from July 3rd - September 8th at the Proud Camden Moss Gallery, London, will exhibit 50 years of motor racing decade by decade. Hand-selected by a team of experts from an archive of over 500,000 images, the pictures should include the greatest, most memorable and breathtaking moments of Formula One history since its inaugural race in 1950. Also included in the exhibition will be an exclusive look at Stewart-Ford Grand Prix, Jaguar Racing and other shots covering Ford Motor Company's thirty-five year presence in Formula One. Photography never before exhibited will be on show from Allsport, Darren Heath, Paul Henri-Cahier, Rainer Schlegelmilch, Keith Sutton, Steven Tee (LAT) and the legendary Bernard Cahier. "Jaguar's motor sport heritage is something that we are very proud of," commented Niki Lauda, Jaguar Racing's CEO and team principal. "Over the past 50 years, Jaguar has dominated in virtually every competition from Le Mans to Daytona. Formula One is the ultimate challenge for Jaguar and we are determined to establish a reputation as the British Ferrari. Our involvement in Formula One is very much part of this undertaking and we are proud it is taking place in Britain." Themes within the exhibition will include "Behind the scenes", "Images from the first race", "The technology behind the technology", "35 years of Ford Motor Company in F1", "Crashes - those that walked away", "Champagne moments", "Fans and fanatics - the Tifosi Ferrari Fans", "Drivers' lives - images of a young Damon Hill" and "The Circuits - from Monaco to Silverstone".

6/2/02

New bleachers at Milwaukee Mile UPDATE With the new bleachers nearly complete, construction work will turn to demolition of the old main grandstand and construction of a new two level main grandstand in time for 2003.  Work on that will be gin right after Labor Day. Assuming funds remain after the center grandstand is replaced, they could be used for other upgrades, such as scoreboards, restrooms and a media center.  The media center is a series of temporary trailers and is definitely one of the most inadequate facilities in the country.  Hopefully they will install high-speed data communications when if they ever build a proper media center. 5/31/02 -  These photos show the new first and fourth turn bleachers that have been constructed at The Milwaukee Mile this past year as part of the first-phase renovation program underway.

6/2/02

Tony George visits Milwaukee Mile  Tony George was at The Milwaukee Mile on Thursday, the day before CART opened for practice, to look the place over to see if it was conducive for an IRL race.  As in Japan, Tony purposely timed his visit to steal some headlines from CART.  The IRL is said to want an August date, as CART is expected to keep its traditional first week in June date.

6/2/02

F1 Hot News
Mark Webber: 'No Regrets'
Mosley Hopes To Leave His Mark
Team Green Will Appeal
Courtney Shines Again
Wilson A "Few Inches" Too Tall

6/1/02

IRL trying to undermine CART at every turn  UPDATE In last Friday's 500 special section in the Indy Star, CART also took out a number of full-page B&W ads advertising for Milwaukee and Chicago (discount ticket package if you buy both) and a generic one featuring headshots (but no names?!?) of the 8 CART drivers in the 500 (thematically very similar to the TV spot).  6/1/02 - This weekend, while CART is racing at The Milwaukee Mile, the IRL has taken out a full page ad in the local Milwaukee newspaper and have used almost the same slogan as CART's new 'Real Racing, Real Sport' slogan to promote their series.  Of course CART got their digs in by running their new TV ad during the Indy 500 broadcast in markets where CART races.  It looks like the gloves are off now....

6/1/02

Americans well represented at Le Mans   The 70th running of the world’s most famous endurance race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has attracted entries from 23 American racing drivers. The sports car racing event will be run June 15-16 at the Circuit de la Sarthe in France. Americans have competed at Le Mans for many years, but only 12 have tasted overall victory in the 69 previous runnings of the event. Interest in Le Mans by Americans had waned until the birth and growth of the American Le Mans Series, which started in 1999 as a series of sports car races in North America using the same rules and many of the same drivers and cars that compete at Le Mans. Because of the relationship that exists between the American Le Mans Series and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), organizers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, racing teams that regularly compete in ALMS events receive special consideration in the Le Mans selection process. Thirty-one of the 50 teams that will compete at Le Mans also competed in the Sebring 12-hour event that opened the 2002 ALMS season in March.

6/1/02

Atlantics: All-Hylton front row   Right from the start when the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship teams took to the track on Thursday afternoon, Ryan Hunter-Reay (Right) has been the man to beat. Nothing changed in Saturday afternoon’s qualifying as Hunter-Reay shattered Grant Ryley’s 2001 record with a time of 24.762 seconds (150.036 mph) to earn his first career $1000 Toyota Pole award.” “This pole is great,” said an excited Hunter-Reay. “I have to thank my team and engineer, Kyle Brannan. This team gives 100%, 100% of the time and I am really happy to have been able to get the pole for them, and hopefully, I can give them a win tomorrow. They gave me a great car and the set-up was very good. I was really able to use all of my tools in the car with no problem.” Hunter-Reay’s teammate, Roger Yasukawa (Hylton Motorsports/Autobacs U.S. Print Swift 014.a) completed the sweep for Hylton Motorsports with a time of 24.882 seconds (149.313 mph) which was also under Ryley’s 2001 record of 24.962 seconds (148.834 mph). The pole is the first for Florida’s Hunter-Reay and the second spot will be the best starting position for Yasukawa. “The session was great,” said California’s Yasukawa. “Obviously, I would have liked to have won the pole and I was really going for it, but it is terrific to give Hylton their very first front row. We finally found a perfect handle on the car this morning. The track was better than I expected it to be this afternoon. I think we might have been just a little too conservative with the car setup this afternoon.” Alex Gurney (Dorricott Racing/Behr Castrol Swift 014.a) followed up his April runner-up finish at Long Beach with the third fastest time today. Gurney’s time of 25.210 seconds (147.370 mph) edged out Canadian, Jonathan Macri (P-1 Racing/NTN Bearings Miller Genuine Draft Swift 014.a), who posted a time of 25.233 seconds (147.236 mph). Scotland’s Ryan Dalziel (Michael Shank Racing Swift 014.a) rounded out the top five with a time of 25.339 seconds (146.620 mph).
1. (1) Ryan Hunter-Reay, 24.762, 150.036 mph.
2. (9) Roger Yasukawa, 24.882, 149.313 mph.
3. (34) Alex Gurney, 25.210, 147.370 mph.
4. (31) Jonathan Macri, 25.233, 147.236 mph.
5. (28) Ryan Dalziel, 25.339, 146.620 mph.
6. (32) Jon Fogarty, 25.341, 146.608 mph.
7. (11) Rodolfo Lavin, 25.146, 146.176 mph.
8. (4) Rocky Moran Jr, 25.435, 146.066 mph.
9. (33) Luis Diaz, 25.481, 145.803 mph.
10. (3) David Wieringa, 25.516, 145.603 mph.

6/1/02

IRL Texas car count down  We looked on the IRL web site and see the entry list for next weeks race at Texas Motor Speedway has only 23 entries so far.

6/1/02

New look for CART.com  CART.com, the official web site of the CART FedEx Championship Series, debuted an exciting new look this week. The new look is consistent with CART's 2002 "Real Racing. Real Sport" campaign, which was developed as part of CART's global marketing partnership with Haymarket Publishing. The site was designed and is maintained by VFX Digital Solutions in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. Navigation of the site has been improved, and several new features have been added, such as the new "CART Tech" section which provides users with a Champ Car glossary, Champ Car specifications, and the "Anatomy of a Pit Stop." The site uses same colors and fonts that were used in 2002 promotional materials such as the "Wide Open" CART FedEx Championship Series Fan Guide, the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series Media and Resource Guides, and numerous print and television advertisements. Traffic to CART.com has increased every year that the site has been in operation. In 2001, the site received more than 11 million visitors and over 241 million page views. CART

6/1/02

2nd team for PPI?  According to this Winston Salem Journal, Tide car owner Cal Wells confirmed he's working on adding a second team to his operation.  Past reports have PPI looking to switch to Pontiac in 2003.

6/1/02

Will Andretti leave Petty?  This NASCAR.com article says - Kyle Petty said on Saturday that he hopes John Andretti returns for a sixth season in the #43 Cheerios Dodge, but also acknowledged that Andretti is exploring other options. "John's been out talking, and that's a fact of life in Winston Cup racing," Petty said, " We want him to stay. We would be remiss to change drivers." Andretti's contract with Petty Enterprises is up at the end of this year. It's been a frustrating season for Andretti, 39, who has scored just three top-20 finishes in 12 races this season and is currently 32nd in points. He was 31st last year. Petty also said that the improvement of the #44 Dodge -- Steve Grissom finished eighth at Richmond, that car's best finish since 2000 -- has sparked interest among other drivers. Petty is also busy solidifying the future of his own #45 Dodge, whose contract with Sprint runs out at the end of the year. Petty's other two cars, the #43 and the #44, are fully sponsored for 2003.

6/1/02

Atlantics: Russo involved in accident  CART Toyota Atlantic driver, Carl Russo (Performance Development Racing Swift 014.a), was injured this morning in a practice accident in preparations for Sunday’s 70-lap Atlantic race at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. Russo. 45, made hard contact in turn 4 in the final moments of Saturday morning’s 45-minute practice session and slid along the wall down the front straight. The CART Simple Green Safety Team arrived on the scene immediately to assist Russo who’s badly damaged Swift came to rest near the start/finish line. Initially, Russo complained of pain in his lower back as he was being taken to CART’s on-site medical center. “Carl is perfectly awake and alert,” said Steve Olvey, Director of Medical Affairs for Championship Auto Racing Teams. “We don’t think he has had any injuries, but he does have some mild pain in his lower back so we are going to send him in for a precautionary X-Ray for that, but it looks like everything is OK.” Russo was transported to Froedert Memorial Lutheran Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for further observation. CART

6/1/02

Milwaukee hoping for good walkup crowd  Attendance for CART at the Mile has slumped through a pair of cool and rainy weekends in the past two years. Track general manager Jim Melvin is hoping for a rebound, although he says sales so far are "down slightly" compared to last year. "We haven't had a lot of real (good) weather to play off of," Melvin said of this spring. "With the weekend sales and the walkup, we'll be in good shape." The track announced ticket sales of about 39,000 for the race last June, and actual attendance was estimated at less than 30,000. The track reached a peak of about 45,000 in the mid-1990s. Milwaukee Journal Online

6/1/02

Heidfeld slams bird  Nick Heidfeld escaped injury Thursday while driving his Sauber at Silverstone when a bird hit his helmet as he was going through the high-speed Bridge Bend.  Heidfeld was reported to be shaken.  Drivers have been killed in the past with similar impacts.

6/1/02

Chris Pook's mother dies  Mary G. Pook, the mother of Championship Auto Racing Teams President and CEO Christopher R. Pook, passed away Thursday in Long Beach, California after battling complications from a January stroke. Pook, 93, had relocated to California from her native England just before Christmas in 2001 but had suffered a stroke in January. Condolences can be sent to CART's new Indianapolis office at:
Championship Auto Racing Teams
5350 West Lakeview Parkway, South Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46268
Tel: (317) 715-4100

Our condolences go out to Chris and his family from the staff here at AutoRacing1.com.

6/1/02

Fernandez to dump Honda after 2002  This Autosport article talks about Adrian Fernandez and his engine situation.  Fernandez says he will not follow Honda to the IRL next year, and will have to find a replacement for Shinji Nakano, who is funded by Honda.  Fernandez will use different CART engines in 2002.  We bet Toyota makes a run at him if they stay in CART.  Toyota now sells cars in Mexico and when CART races before 300,000 fans in Monterrey, and 500,000 fans in Mexico City, Honda's loss will be Toyota's gain.  Fernandez is of course a big hero in Mexico.  Win on Sunday, sell lots of Toyota's on Monday.

6/1/02

F1 Hot News
Sri Lanka Enters F1 Race
Da Matta Boasts About F1 Ride
Rare Test For Minardi
Soft Tires For Canada
Honda Withhold New Engine
Telemetry Wins Monaco Race
Theissen's 'Hardest Challenge'
BAR Welcome Back Mark Ellis
Ferrari Team 'Closer Together'
Brawn: 'Its Not Over Yet'
Alonso Delighted With Attention
Things Looking Up At BAR?
Williams Target Montreal Victory

6/1/02

Sportsman Park woes This Chicago Sun Times page has a number of links to articles highlighting what is happening with Sportsman Park in Chicago, home of the soon to be defunct Chicago Motor Speedway.

5/31/02

CART begins new era with CBS  CBS will take over race broadcast chores for the CART FedEx Championship Series this weekend at the Miller Lite 250 at the Milwaukee Mile, marking the network's return to Champ Car racing and the first in a six-race slate for CBS in 2002. The network is no stranger to racing coverage of all types but will be showing its first CART event in seven years, the last one being of Emerson Fittipaldi's 1995 win at Nazareth Speedway. Story

5/31/02
Industry News

New Head and Neck restraint devices  According to this Atlanta Constitution Journal article - New restraint devices on market: The two companies that provide the head-and-neck restraint devices used in NASCAR's top divisions have new models on the market. Trevor Ashline, the engineer who invented the head-and-neck restraint known as the Hutchens device, is putting the finishing touches on a new model called the D-Cel Harness. Ashline has tested the device in simulated crashes, and several drivers have tried it in test sessions that were not part of a regular racing event. The new restraint differs in that the straps pull more from the driver's pelvis, and there are fewer adjustments needed once the driver puts the device on. The D-Cel, which is recommended for sprint car and go-kart drivers, will sell for $400, while the Hutchens is $325. NASCAR has not yet approved the D-Cel for use in competition. The makers of the HANS device also have a new model out. It is almost identical to the device now in use, except that is costs less and weighs more. The newer model costs $975 versus $1,275, but is heavier because the materials used to build it are less expensive. Both HANS devices are legal for use in NASCAR.

5/31/02

Sadler granted release  Wood Brothers co-owner Eddie Wood confirmed Friday the Wood Brothers have granted an early release to driver Elliott Sadler so he can leave the team at the end of this season. Sadler had a contract to drive for the team through the 2005 season but earlier this month asked the team for an early release. Sadler, 27, has been with the Wood Brothers since joining the Winston Cup series in 1999. He earned his first career victory last March at Bristol, Tenn. "Elliott will be here until the end of the season like we said to start with," Wood said. "It's all fixed and bandaged up." Wood said his team has started the process of searching for a new driver, but hasn't done too much since the team didn't originally think it would be in this spot so soon. "It's hard to do all that and race, too. We're looking," Wood said. "We got all the mess done and we're trying to go on with business. The car has been running great. As far as I'm concerned, it's business as usual."

5/31/02

Atlantics: Hunter-Reay sets pace in Milwaukee  "It has been a good day for us.  We are happy with the results we've had and we are doing our best to stay ahead of everyone.  There is a lot of practice time scheduled here, so we need to keep progressing.  We have been consistently fast throughout the sessions, so I am confident we are in good shape for qualifying and the race. Traffic is our biggest issue.
Thursday Test: 1st 25.162 147.651 MPH
Friday Morning Practice: 1st 24.875 149.355 MPH
Friday Afternoon Practice: 1st 24.994 148.644 MPH

5/31/02

Barber Dodge announces Portland & Mexico Dates  In light of the recent amendments to the CART FedEx Series calendar for 2002, the Barber Dodge Pro Series has added a race in support of the G.I Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway on June 16, 2002, becoming round 4 of 10 in the 2002 season. The series had been scheduled to conclude in support of the Mexico Gran Premio 2002 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City; however, that round is now slated for November 17 as a non-championship invitational round. Thus the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series finale will now be the Molson Indy Montreal on August 25 on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec. "Thanks to Michael Nealy and the G.I Joe's Grand Prix for the help in putting the Barber Dodge Pro Series on their schedule with such relatively short notice. Portland is certainly a great event and we very much look forward to racing there," said Jeremy Dale, Managing Director of the Barber Dodge Pro Series. "Mexico City will be a great opportunity for Barber Dodge and for the five Mexican drivers in our series this year. We are thrilled to be going and that it has remained a part of the 2002 season." An added bonus of ending the season in Montreal at the end of August and one week before the Toyota Atlantic Series is that it allows Barber Dodge drivers making the step up more time to finalize their plans for 2003. The Barber Dodge Pro Series last raced in Portland in June of 1999. The Mexico Gran Premio 2002 will be the Series' first visit to Mexico.

5/31/02

CART vs. IRL  Dear AutoRacing1.Com, There is a big difference between “motorsports” fans, “CART” fans, “IRL” fans and “Indy 500” fans. Those of us subscribing to this site are motorsports fans. We’re not one dimensional, we appreciate all forms of the sport but have specific depth of knowledge and interest in one or two disciplines. Many of us are CART fans. Fewer are IRL fans. CART fans watched the Indy 500 on TV or taped it. The IRL fans went to the race. The Indy 500 fans made it to the one “car race” they go to every year. These are the folks who have had their tickets handed down through multiple generations of 500 fans. These people attend the 500 more from civic responsibility than interest in motorsports. A kind of annual pilgrimage. If, due to some act of God, all the “Indy 500” fans were prevented from attending the race then the stands would have been jam packed with the same 2,500 or so IRL fans that ABC has been trying so diligently NOT to show on camera at every other IRL event. Good move Honda! By the way, you can kiss that 2002 Odyssey purchase good-bye! Hello Audi! James N. Anderson, LaGrange Park, IL

5/31/02

CART stock continues plummet  UPDATE CART's reaction to stock price.  5/31/02  - CART's stock price continues to drop like a lead sinker, down again today 16% at mid-day to an all-time low of $8.50 per share.  At that price CART is ripe for a takeover.  For every one of the 604,000 shares sold so far today, there has been a buyer.  Stay tuned, if you think about the dynamics of what is happening in the sport, the behind-the-scenes power plays going on, all setting the stage for the future of the sport.  We live in interesting times indeed.  Mark C.

5/31/02

Chris Pook to address media We understand that CART is trying to arrange a time on Saturday for Chris Pook to address the assembled media in Milwaukee.  Everyone has questions regarding CART's future.  AR1 will bring you all the news as it happens.  Mark C.

5/31/02

Dixon takes first laps in Target car Scott Dixon took his first laps in his new Target Chip Ganassi Lola Toyota this morning in Milwaukee.  Mark C.

5/31/02

PWR not in Milwaukee...yet  PWR Championship Racing in not here in Milwaukee yet, and Oriol Servia is standing on the sidelines.  However, we hear PWR and Toyota are talking about a possible deal.  Oriol appeared to be upbeat given the circumstances, and is optimistic things will eventually work out.  Stay tuned.....

5/31/02

Monaco gets decent rating on ABC  Bernie Ecclestone and ABC should be very happy about the 2.0 rating and 6 share for the tape-delayed Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday. That's a solid result for a taped race on an over-the-air network.  Of course, a lot of it was carryover from the Indy 500.  It remains to be seen how they do for the Canadian GP. In LA, F1 beat NASCAR:
Monaco GP (ABC) 2.7
NASCAR Charlotte (FOX) 2.4

5/31/02

Indy 500 Ratings plummet 17%, NASCAR scores big win  The Indy 500 ratings might need a soft wall and Tony George might want to hold off a little while longer before he starts celebrating a victory over CART. The final ratings for the Indy 500 are in and it's not a pretty sight. Billed as the best race and the best lineup in years, it appears that the infighting in open wheel racing has taken its toll on Brickyard ratings. The final rating is a disappointing 4.8 and 15 share, falling big from the overnight rating of 5.3. This means that the race did especially poor with the 35% of the population in smaller markets not measured in the overnight ratings. Last year's race turned in a 5.8, meaning this year's ratings fell a whopping 17% from last year's historically weak showing. This gives NASCAR a huge TV win, with the Coca-Cola 600 achieving a 5.1 final rating, 6 percent better than the supposed "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." The only sports events for the week with better ratings than NASCAR were the Friday and Sunday NBA playoff games between the Lakers and Kings. We'll say it again - the open wheel powers need to come together to save open wheel racing. This dreadful rating, by historical standards, shows that very few people but the racing diehards care about the Indy 500 any more. The Daytona 500 ratings bury the Indy 500.  MotorsportsTV

5/31/02

Brack leads opening CART practice in Milwaukee  Defending race winner Kenny Brack was quickest in the Friday morning practice session for Sunday's Miller Lite 250, Round 4 of the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series. Driving the Target Toyota/Lola, Brack toured The Milwaukee Mile at Wisconsin State Fair Park with a top time of 22.535 seconds, good for an average speed of 164.864 miles per hour. Rookie Mario Dominguez was second fastest in the Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola and Adrian Fernandez was third in the Tecate/Quaker State Honda/Lola.  Rounding out the top five (not counting Brack's second car) were Tora Takagi at 22.753 seconds (163.284 mph) in the Pioneer/Denso Special Toyota/Reynard and Bruno Junqueira at 22.788 seconds (163.033 mph) in the Target Toyota/Lola.

5/31/02

Lola statement regarding CART & IRL  [Editor's Note: Reps affiliated with Lola tell us it was definitely Lola's decision not to go with the IRL because they could not live with the certain terms and conditions in the IRL contract.  Any stories you may read to the contrary simply are not accurate we are told/]  Lola was unable to come to a mutually acceptable agreement with the Indy Racing League regarding 2003-2005 chassis construction within their time deadline. As you might expect, we had gone a long way toward construction, committing nearly $1 million in design and development and were on the road to producing another Lola oval winner. Ben Bowlby and his design team produced an excellent car, one which had superb figures in wind tunnel testing. Based on that, Lola had verbal commitments in hand from several teams for our new Indy Racing chassis. Given the likely implications of this loss of business and the effects on [over] capacity, we will not venture into questions about future new products at this time. For the next few weeks, our efforts are focused on winning at Milwaukee, Laguna Seca and Portland, as well as fashioning good results at LeMans. That said, we are delighted to be so deeply committed to our CART program. The FedEx Championship is a great series, one that has no true horizons, has new engine partners and new opportunities.  Lola

5/31/02

Castroneves on Letterman Show  Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves will appear on the David Letterman show June 4th, 11:30 PM EST.

5/31/02

NASCAR now most expensive USA series  Our inside NASCAR sources tell us it takes a minimum of $10 million in sponsorship to qualify and run one car in the back half of a Winston Cup race. On top of that the sponsor needs a few million more to pay FOX for some commercials so they'll get some air time (ever notice that UPS and Bud cars always get featured even if they're three laps down?), plus the requisite corporate goodies like T-shirts, hospitality tents, etc etc. Therefore, you need a sponsor with roughly $15 million to spend on NASCAR just so they can run mid-pack and get a few mentions on TV. You'll notice that even McDonald's can't afford NASCAR anymore. We have to wonder if NASCAR is due for some rude awakening if they keep going down this road, which takes them further and further from their "working class blue collar" roots.  Tim Wohlford

5/31/02

Where's the justice?  Dear AutoRacing1.com, Do you know what's been lost in this whole CART/IRL debacle, It's the plight of the small teams. You know, the ones who bought Tony George's shuck and jive line about creating an All American Oval series just for them, I am talking about the Foyt's the Treadway's, Kelly's and drivers like Dismore, Ray and Boat. These guy fell for Tony George's rap hook line and sinker about providing opportunity to grass roots Sprint Car and Midget racers and bringing American drivers back to Indy.  Well boys, your window of opportunity is closed, thanks for playing, and we'll be sure to give you a call if anything opens up at the back of the grid, and by the way, you might want to brush up on your Japanese in case something becomes available.  Look I am a CART guy, I like right as well as left turns, but even the IRL faithful must be disturbed by TG's two faced double talk and out and out lying.  I mean what has he done to further the career of US racers, what has he done to support Sprint's and Midgets. I don't know about you but I don't think the are too many Honda and Toyota Sprint cars around. In 1995 The last real Indy 500 was won by a Canadian with Team Green who beat Team Penske. In 2002 A Brazilian with Team Penske may or may not have beaten another Canadian with Team Green. That's what I call progress. Joshua Weiss Oak Park IL

5/31/02

F1 Hot News
The All-New Monaco
Ferrari 'Ready' To Supply Engines
All-New BAR For Canada
Stewart Denies Return To Top
Time Running Out For F1?
Ferrari Festival At Brands Hatch
Pre-Montreal Testing Update
Renault To Retain Button
McLaren Back David Coulthard
Jordan Salvage Taku's Wreck
Rubens Reflects On Poor Weekend

5/30/02

NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 TV ratings  UPDATE The final rating was a 5.1/11 share, up from the 4.8 overnight, but down 4% from last year.    5/29/02 - The overnight ratings from the Winston Cup race at Charlotte show a 4.8 rating and 10 share. This is down 2% from last year's race in the overnights (4.9/10). However, expect a solid small market bump when Thursday's final numbers come out, probably a 5.3 or 5.4. Last year's race finished with a 5.3 rating and 11 share. MotorsportsTV.com

5/30/02

Indy winner on the move  Helio Castroneves has been on a whirlwind tour since becoming the first driver to win in each of his first two Indianapolis 500 starts. After capturing the checkered flag on May 26, Castroneves collected a record $1,606,215 at the Victory Celebration May 27. On May 28 he headed to New York City were he participated in several radio, TV and print interviews before heading to a media lunch at the famous Tavern on the Green in New York’s Central Park. He then was whisked off to Wall Street where he rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Castroneves next tried his hand at America’s pastime by throwing out the first pitch at the New York Mets/ Philadelphia Phillies game at Shea Stadium. The Brazilian woke early the next morning to appear on “Live with Regis and Kelly” before flying to Richmond, Va. to test in preparation for the June 30 SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway. On May 31, Castroneves will take part in a media lunch at the Speedway Club at Texas Motor Speedway in preparation for the June 8 Boomtown 500 at TMS.

5/30/02

Tagliani gives Atlantic drivers tips  Player's/Forysthe Racing driver Alex Tagliani, a graduate of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, took a few minutes out of his schedule at The Milwaukee Mile earlier today to brief all of the current Atlantic competitors on the intricacies of oval racing. Tagliani, driver of the #33 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone in the CART FedEx Championship Series, enjoyed a record of success in Toyota Atlantic Championship from 1996 through 1999 that included six victories and eight pole positions. "As someone who came up through the Atlantic series, I enjoy having the opportunity to retrace my racing roots and speak to the drivers who are in the process of making their way up the ladder," said Tagliani. "It's a way of giving something back to the series that played a big role in my development as a driver. I see that this year there are three Canadian drivers in the Atlantic series who are in the same position I was a few years ago, and I want to do anything I can to help them and the other Atlantic drivers on the career path." To that end, Tagliani also spent approximately 45 minutes on The Milwaukee Mile front straight with the three Canadian drivers-Michael Valiante, Jonathan Macri, and Stephan Roy-for a pre-race pep talk.   CART

5/30/02

IRL testing news  Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves and Felipe Giaffone finished a two-day test at Richmond International Raceway May 30, while Indy 500 Bank One Co-Rookie of the Year Alex Barron tested at Kentucky Speedway. Castroneves and Giaffone completed 190 laps of testing at Richmond International Raceway May 29-30 in preparation for the SunTrust Indy Challenge on June 28-29. Castroneves, driver of the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske/Dallara/Chevrolet, stopped in Richmond in the middle of the Indianapolis 500 Winner’s media tour, which also included stops in New York City and Dallas. “It’s been quite an exciting and interesting experience,” Castroneves said of his first laps around the ¾-mile D-shaped oval. “I’m amazed because Indy is so big; it’s two and a half miles, and you have time to eat an ice cream. But here, oh boy, things happen so fast. I tried to watch some NASCAR races here last year and of course, we go much faster through the corners here. The banking is not as high as I heard it was, but we are still pulling four or five G’s. “It’s a very tough track. The sudden turns can be a real challenge, and it’s going to be a real handling racetrack. It’s going to be very interesting and exciting, and I will watch (the 2001) race before I return.”

5/30/02

Rumors of Labonte death false  Rumors of an accident and/or the possible death of 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte are completely and totally false. Earlier today, reports of Labonte being involved in some sort of accident were being spread nationwide. Contrary to these reports, Labonte has spent the entire week close to his family's side following the untimely death of his father-in-law this past Sunday. In addition, Labonte spent today with his son for an end of the school year party when the rumors started to circulate. Needless to say, it has already been an emotional week for he and his family and this has just compounded an already fragile situation. "To hear these rumors floating out there today is very unnerving," said Labonte. "I am very upset and disappointed to see this happen again. It has been a very emotional week for my family with the passing of Donna's father and to think someone could start a rumor like this is just tasteless. I am not really sure how to respond to be honest except to say this makes me very angry. I would think someone would want to have all the correct information before either reporting it or saying anything to anyone else and contributing to the 'rumor mill,' but I guess we don't live in that type of society anymore. Everyone just wants to be the first to report something no matter if there is truth to it or not." When asked if he knew how it might have gotten started, Labonte responded, "No, I have no idea. We went through this same thing last year during the California race weekend and unfortunately we never really figured out how that got started either. It's just a shame people are not more considerate. When there's a rumor like that out there, I would think that you would want to call the proper people who would have reliable information and get some type of verification, but that never seems to happen anymore. Now it's just gets so spread out it becomes a big catastrophe I guess you might say. It's very sad and disturbing and it has not made the week any easier for my family."

5/30/02

CART hires Mauk as News Manager In looking for someone to deliver the news of the CART FedEx Championship Series, Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) Vice President of Communications Adam Saal decided to bring someone onboard that has been delivering racing news nearly every day for the past four years. CART named Eric Mauk as its new News Manager today, hiring the former RACER magazine writer and SPEED Channel website Managing Editor to replace Nate Siebens, who has moved to the newly-created position of Creative Production Manager. In his new role, Siebens will continue to be responsible for the day-to-day operation of CART.com, the official web site of the CART FedEx Championship Series, and will oversee all production of the company's in-house creative department. "We're happy to have Eric on board, and he brings a great deal of experience and professionalism to our department," said Adam. "At the same time, we're happy to be able to move Nate over to a new, and what we believe will be an important role in not only CART communications, but the entire company. We feel that we've assembled a strong team in CART communications, and the addition of Eric has made our team even stronger." Mauk, 37, will be responsible for all editorial assignments related to CART open-wheel racing in addition to running the department's press room operations on race weekends. He will also be tasked with the release of all news and happenings to the media on race weekends. The change will be in effect for this weekend's Miller Lite 250 at The Milwaukee Mile and for the rest of the season, although Mauk will still be a contributor to the Speedtv.com website through June 30. The Ohio State University graduate and former member of the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division, joined RACER in September of 1999, taking the job after three years as a sportswriter for Suburban News Publications in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to that, the Roaming Shores, Ohio native served as a sportscaster for WBNS-AM Radio in Columbus and was also the public address announcer for OSU ice hockey and Columbus Clippers baseball.  CART

5/30/02

Minardi team to fold?  In this Autosport article, Minardi boss Paul Stoddart says that his team does not have the money to complete the season. Less than four months after Prost Grand Prix went bankrupt, Stoddart has revealed he is fighting to prevent his team being forced out of the sport in the second half of the season, which begins at July's British GP. If Minardi withdraws it will leave F1 with just 10 teams, the lowest number since 1971. Stoddart believes he has been denied money owed to him following the collapse of Prost. He may be forced to sell some or all of the team to engine partner Asiatech. Arrows' future in the sport maybe under threat as well.

5/30/02

CART hopes its problems are behind it  In this Milwaukee Journal article Chris Pook says, "Like any business, it's cyclical. If they're not managed properly, you have a problem, and if you get them back under control you can grow them. "We're in a cyclical mode, but the key thing is I don't think any one of those 250,000 folks in Mexico were disappointed or any one of those quarter-million people in Long Beach or the 100,000-plus people in Japan were. "The quality of the field is such that you've got really strong talent and any one of 15 guys can win a race. So when we get to Milwaukee, it'll be a standard dogfight. That's what customers want to see, and they want to see the most talented driver and team win. Our job will be to deliver them that."

5/30/02

CART fans smell a conspiracy  This Buffalo Times article says, the ongoing feud between the IRL and CART takes this decision to the conspiracy level in the eyes of CART followers. Every CART team owner, driver and fan will believe Tracy was a victim of some seedy back-room cover-up by the IRL officials.  The fact that Roger Penske, Castroneves' team owner, switched from CART to the IRL this year, makes it even more irritating for CART backers. CART drivers won the last two Indy 500s, the only race where they go head-to-head with the IRL drivers. A win by Tracy would have made CART 3-0 against the IRL.

5/30/02

Brian Barnhart is one reason for IRL's recent success  This Hoosier Times article says, the way Barnhart has run the competition in the IRL and at Indy is one huge reason you're seeing that exodus from CART.  If there is one single main reason why the IRL is where it is now, clearly emerging as the winner of the battle for open-wheel racing supremacy with CART, it's Barnhart.  And there could be a lot more defections next year if CART chairman Chris Pook carries out what would truly be a lame-brained, shoot-your-own-foot scheme he mentioned over the weekend. This year, CART didn't schedule anything during the Indy 500 period so any of its teams that wanted could compete. But next year, Pook says there's no guarantee that CART won't schedule races in May. If he does, it will be the height of folly. With Indy restored to full luster as the race — not just in Indy car racing but in racing, period — there is going to be even more pressure on CART's second tier of teams from their corporate sponsors to show up at Indy too. But if CART races would preclude that, you just might see some corporate sponsors tell their teams, "We'd rather have you running the IRL than CART, if that's what it takes to be sure we're at Indy." And once they saw that IRL's operating costs for a year are half those of CART's, the decision would be a no-brainer.

5/30/02

Lack of Open-Wheel Racing fans puzzles Rahal  This Hoosier Times article says Bobby Rahal is puzzled each time he studies auto racing attendance figures. He wonders why oval-track racing, which is the staple of NASCAR's Winston Cup Series, appears to be the least popular type of racing among open-wheel cars. The Indy Racing League runs all of its races on ovals, but only the Indianapolis 500 has proved to be immensely popular. The rival CART series, where Rahal is a car owner, draws its largest crowds for road races.  "For the past five years the racing at Michigan has been staggeringly good," he said. "If quality of racing was the criteria there should be a million fans in the stands. "But it's show. It's theater, and NASCAR is very good at theater. They've done a good job with that. "Maybe the road-racing fans aren't so interested in theater and are more interested in racing." Rahal credits the late T. Wayne Robertson and the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. for helping NASCAR climb to its present popularity. "They created this marketing powerhouse," Rahal said. "They did a tremendous job. NASCAR had the product, without a doubt, but did an unbelievable job of creating a juggernaut, and that's what it is right now." With the exception of Indianapolis the ovals are problematic for open-wheel cars," Rahal said. "It's not based on the quality of the racing, that's for sure. If you based it on the quality of racing the last couple of years on the CART races at Fontana and Michigan I don't know if it gets any better than that. I don't think it does." Rahal is puzzled because the quality of racing on the ovals still doesn't seem to attract open-wheel fans. He believes NASCAR fans probably are attracted more by personalities of the driver than by good racing. "I think it's the good guys and the bad guys, the white hats and the black hats," he said. "You don't have that here. Some of it is the merchandising of the series. It's like the drivers in NASCAR are more important than any one single aspect of it. More than the manufacturers, more than anything else.  Rahal said CART and IRL have had multiple discussions about working out their differences. "I think any talk of reconciliation is just a waste of time," he said. "There have been plenty of opportunities for it to happen and I don't think it's going to now."

5/30/02

Open-Wheel Racing was the real loser  This Chicago-Sun Times article talks about Open-wheel racing, which has been a messy business for several years, is at it again. In the latest example of a once-majestic sport spinning out of control, the Indianapolis 500, which should have been a celebration Sunday, has wound up as an embarrassing, bewildering controversy over who won open-wheel racing's showcase event.

5/30/02

More F1 vs. Champ Car comparisons from da Matta  "It would take all day to explain how different it was," said da Matta. "Completely different. I never realized how different it would be. The cockpit is a lot smaller, even for me. I couldn't get as far away from the steering wheel as I wanted. "Acceleration in first, second and third gear is faster than my Champ Car. Fourth gear is equal. In fifth and sixth the Champ Car is faster. I think because the Champ Car is heavier, it takes a little more to get it going. The F1 has more drag so it's tougher to accelerate at higher speeds." "Fast corners was the toughest part. You can go so fast it takes a little while to get confidence. But they were also the most fun. The groove tires are a little more forgiving than the slicks. On a Champ Car you feel it's going to lock, and then it locks. In the F1 car the tires give you a lot of advice, 'Hey I'm going to lock…I'm going to lock.' And then it locks."

5/30/02

F1 Radio deal  Craig Company, owner of radio rights in the US to the Formula One world championship - has signed a deal with network radio syndication company Jones MediaAmerica. Said former CART CEO and ISL executive Andrew Craig, president of the Craig Company: "Jones MediaAmerica has an exceptional track record in radio syndication and sales and I am very confident that they will help grow the US Formula One Radio Network."

5/30/02

Will sale of Miller Brewery may bring Miller back to CART?  2nd UPDATE  South African Breweries PLC has agreed to buy Miller Brewing Co. for $5.6 billion, the Milwaukee brewer's parent company announced Thursday. The new company, called SABMiller PLC, will become the world's second-largest brewer, after Anheuser-Busch Cos. The deal is expected to close in July, pending regulatory approval, said Philip Morris Cos. Inc., Miller's parent company. Philip Morris chief executive Louis Camilleri said in a statement that SABMiller would have "arguably the best geographic footprint among all global brewers." London-based South African Breweries, brewer of Pilsner Urquell beer and a strong player in emerging markets, confirmed last month it was in talks with Philip Morris. SAB will keep its London headquarters and buy a 64 percent stake in Miller for $2 billion in assumed debt and $3.6 billion in stock. Philip Morris will initially keep a 36 percent stake in Miller. The company will also keep Miller's corporate headquarters in Milwaukee and continue operating Miller's seven U.S. breweries, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday. South African Breweries is the world's fourth-largest brewer by volume, after St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch, Belgium's Interbrew and Heineken NV of the Netherlands, according to data from 2000 compiled by British beverage consultancy Canadean. Miller ranks sixth in the world. Philip Morris has wanted to sell its beer business because Miller Brewing has started losing market share over the past decade, analysts say. Now more global, will Miller come back to CART, or stay in the IRL.  Since Roger Penske still sits on the Philip Morris board, and Philip Morris still owns a 36% stake, we doubt it.   4/17/02 - 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?

5/30/02

F1 Manufacturers meet again  The automobile manufacturers involved in Formula 1 met again at Monaco on Saturday to keep in touch with the latest developments with regard to the Kirch situation. The meeting marked the first one at which representatives of Toyota and Honda were present in addition to the European automobile manufacturers. Neither Japanese has yet agreed to join the GPWC but they are expected to make a decision shortly. "This business cannot drag on too much," Renault Sport boss Patrick Faure told Autohebdo magazine in France. "The more time that passes, the more our move towards a completely new championship becomes irreversible. We are going to start to spend a lot of money on that."

5/30/02

Roush to open new headquarters  Roush Racing is expected to open its new state-of-the-art world headquarters in early 2003. The three story, 83,000 square foot building will be located in Concord, N.C., on 25 acres near the Concord Regional Airport. The new corporate headquarters will consolidate several buildings and over 100 employees, currently located throughout North Carolina. The building will house departments such as sponsor operations, licensing, show car and event operations, the business office and internet marketing. JR's Garage and Team Caliber, the collectibles and merchandising arms of Roush Racing, will also move its warehouse and distribution center to the new location. The structure will have several sustainable building systems including solar shades on southern exposure to reduce solar heat gain and glare, reducing the amount of artificial building cooling required and a system for capturing and containing rain water run off for landscape irrigation reducing the need for potable water. Roush Racing's teams have achieved over 250 racing victories while competing in a variety of racing series. Roush Racing operates nine teams; five in NASCAR Winston Cup with drivers Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch and Greg Biffle; two in the Busch Series with drivers Burton and Biffle; and two in the Craftsman Truck Series with Jon Wood.

5/30/02

Changing NASCAR race car looks quickly  Do you ever wonder how a NASCAR racecar can change paint schemes from one week to another like a chameleon? In the case of the No. 99 CITGO Ford Taurus, it's because of Rick Rausch. Rausch is responsible for painting and decaling the No. 99 CITGO Ford each week. In the last two weeks alone, Rausch has painted and decaled the No. 99 two times. Jeff Burton drove car number 41 at The Winston with the original CITGO paint scheme. Rausch then spent Monday and Tuesday repainting the car with the "Peel Out, Reel In & Win" paint scheme for the Coca-Cola 600. On the Monday after the 600, he did it all again to bring car number 41 back to its original CITGO paint scheme. For Rausch it's all in a days work. "It takes about 45 minutes to strip the decals off a car," said Rausch. "When we painted the car for the Coke 600 for example, it took us from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to sand the car down and repair any damage. We then primed, re-sanded and painted from 4:00 to 8:30 p.m. It then took about seven man hours to decal the car." During the sanding process, it's important to slim down the car as much as possible to help keep the weight down. Because a racecar is repainted to some extent after every race, weight can be added very easily which can put the team at a disadvantage. On average, when a racecar returns from a race, 99 percent of the car needs to be repainted and decaled, basically everything except the roof. This puts Rausch's average at two to three cars a week that he paints and decals. This is nothing compared to the feat Rausch and his co-workers pulled off earlier this year in Daytona. When Burton hit the wall during a Tuesday practice, Rausch and four others flew down from Charlotte with a half hour notice to re-build, repaint and re-decal the driver's side, rear bumper and half the front bumper of the No. 99 CITGO Ford. The process began about 3:00 p.m. on a Tuesday and finished at 11:30 a.m. on a Wednesday and Burton never missed a practice. The No. 99 CITGO Ford will go through approximately 55 complete sets of decals, which includes all the sponsor logos on the car along with the striping. When you do the math that comes out to approximately 385 hours of decaling alone.

5/30/02

Sadler will continue relief for Mast  Hermie Sadler will drive the No. 90 Donlavey Racing Ford in the MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover International Speedway this Sunday and in the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 9. Sadler finished 29th in the Coca-Cola Racing Family 600 in his first assignment for Donlavey Racing this past Sunday. Sadler is temporarily spelling Rick Mast, who is ill. Sadler is the 72nd driver to have qualified for a Winston Cup event for legendary team owner Junie Donlavey.

5/30/02

F1 Hot News
New Rule In Name Of Safety
Trulli Never Doubted Renault
Button Wants To Stay Put
Coulthard 'Calm' About Future
Sir Frank Backs Montoya
McNish's Mixed Monaco
Pre-Montreal Testing Update
Sato Remains Confident
Montreal Memories For Jacques
Trulli Is Not A 'Poor Racer'

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