Hot News

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DATE

News (chronologically)

6/11/02

Pook recognizes Tony George is the enemy  This ESPN.com article summarizes what everyone but CART has recognized for a long time, that Tony George is the #1 enemy of CART.  However, there is a lot more that is going on behind the scenes that ESPN is not even remotely aware of.  As we stated below, we are not at liberty to report that at this time.  All in due time....stay tuned.

6/11/02

Boesel out, Dismore in at Menard  In the continuing musical chairs in the IRL, Raul Boesel is out of his ride at Team Menard after just two races and Mark Dismore is in for the rest of year.

6/11/02

 

Team Rahal announces signing of Danica Patrick UPDATE  We have added the full audio of this press conference to our audio page. 6/9/02 - Team Rahal announced at Laguna Seca today that they have signed Danica Patrick for three Barber Dodge events for 2002 and a fulltime Toyota Atlantic ride for 2003. It has been nearly 30 years since Formula/Toyota Atlantic has seen a female driver. (1974 Watkins Glen). Patrick is scheduled to test a Pro Series car on June 25-26 in Sebring, Fla. and plans are formulated to begin Toyota Atlantic testing in July. “We are very excited to bring Danica to Team Rahal,” said Rahal. “Her racing credentials are outstanding with championships in karting and impressive runs in England and Europe. This lady has the talent to get to champ car racing. She has the determination and abilities to race in CART for many years.” Patrick indicated that her future goal is ultimately to drive a champ car in CART. “I have to thank Bobby and his staff for giving me the opportunity to return to the United States and compete in CART. The CART Ladder system is a great way to get to the champ cars and I’m an anxious to drive in both the Barber Dodge Pro Series this year and the Toyota Atlantic Series in 2003. I’m very excited for this chance. Julie Andre

6/11/02

CART Stock watch
MPH closed at $8.74 up $0.23 on volume of 199,600 shares.
$8.12 Bid - $9.06 Ask on the close.
Session Low/High $8.50/$8.80
MPH Value Change +2.70%
END
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

6/11/02

NASCAR sponsor pulls plug According to this Autoweek article, C.F. Sauer Co. has pulled the plug on its NASCAR sponsorship sooner than expected.

6/11/02

Lawsuit against NASCAR picking up steam UPDATE According to this Dallas Forth Worth newspaper article, the lawsuit that seeks a second Winston Cup race for Texas Motor Speedway moved a step closer to a possible court date Monday, when the legal team representing Francis Ferko filed a response to NASCAR's motion to dismiss. Ferko is a shareholder in Speedway Motorsports Inc., the company that built and operates TMS. Ferko, a Plano resident, sued NASCAR on Feb. 13, accusing NASCAR of breaching express and implied contracts with SMI for a second Cup date at TMS. But NASCAR, in its April 10 filing, made four claims: that no agreement for a second date ever existed; that race sanctioning agreements with SMI make void any previous agreements and offer no guarantees for future dates; that SMI, through its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, admits that NASCAR awards races on a year-to-year basis; and that the four-year statute of limitations on Texas common-law claims has expired since the first TMS Cup race in 1997. Ferko's response, filed in U.S. District Court, attacks those claims and counters NASCAR's attempts to refute Ferko's charge that the sanctioning body monopolizes stock-car racing.  5/26/02 - According to this Newsday article, A federal lawsuit is gaining momentum in New York, Washington, D.C., and Texas, threatening NASCAR's financial fiefdom and accusing the stock-car racing body of operating as an illegal monopoly. Bill France Jr., the son of late NASCAR founder "Big" Bill France, is up against some of America's most feared lawyers in a suit that could force unprecedented disclosure of NASCAR's closely guarded balance sheets. Johnnie Cochran is the high-profile front man. Another name, well known only in American's legal and corporate circles, signifies that Cochran is hoping for a long, fierce fight. Washington lawyer Michael Hausfeld took on Microsoft, sued Swiss banks on behalf of Holocaust victims and was recently named the most feared attorney in D.C. Now he is challenging NASCAR in a case that has sports antitrust experts watching closely. "The essence of it is the stranglehold that [NASCAR has] on NASCAR-type racing," Sam Cherry, the lead plaintiff's attorney, said in an interview at the Cochran Firm's office in lower Manhattan. "You cannot have a NASCAR-formatted race without the blessing of NASCAR."

6/11/02

When everything is Made in China  During the past few months, Intel Corp. announced a $100 million investment in Shanghai to assemble Pentium 4 microprocessors. Dell Computer Corp. moved its giant PC-making facility from Kuala Lumpur to Xiamen. The provincial government of Shenzhen said it would provide $5 billion to boost its integrated-circuit industry. It's not hard to connect the dots. "China is becoming a manufacturing superpower," Kenneth Courtis, Goldman, Sachs & Co.'s vice-chairman for Asia, says, "and the momentum seems unstoppable."  Whether you are a race fan or not, we suggest you read this article.  If you are CART (Chris Pook) or F1 (Bernie Ecclestone), you now step up your efforts to be in China sooner rather than later.

6/11/02

CART engine article  This Autoweek article summarizes what AR1 has been reporting since last week, and further puts into perspective why CART has decided to make the change.  However, there is a lot more that is going on behind the scenes that Autoweek is not even remotely aware of.  We are not at liberty to report that at this time.

6/11/02

Cal Wells at crossroads  According to this Sporting News article, Owner Cal Wells faces some big decisions in the coming weeks. Should he stay with Ford, where he always will be behind Jack Roush, Roger Penske and Robert Yates in the pecking order, or accept a lucrative offer from Pontiac, where he would have more clout? "There's a lot of upside to the General Motors relationship, but the power solution (engines) is the biggest factor," Wells says. Wells has been ecstatic with the motors he has received from Yates and would be hard-pressed to find a comparable deal, but Richard Childress has offered his support should Wells convert to GM. Wells also is courting four sponsors for a possible second team, but the Pontiac deal is not contingent on Wells fielding two cars.

6/11/02

NASCAR TV ratings up, Canadian GP so-so  The Canadian Grand Prix turned in a 1.3 overnight rating, according to the Sports Business News.  The Winston Cup overnight ratings from Pocono on Fox turned in a 4.6 rating and 11 share. This is a 7% increase over last year's overnight of 4.3 according to MotorsportsTV.com.

6/11/02

America's next F1 driver?  This article says, Phil Giebler has done everything that a young American racing driver should and must do to make into Formula One," said Sullivan. "He moved to Europe at an early age, raced and won in karts, ELF/Formula Renault and French Formula 3. He learned French, sacrificed everything, and [he] has proven he has the talent and drive to make it all the way to the top. The only thing standing in his way of becoming the first American to make it to the top rung of world motorsports in years is proper sponsorship.

6/11/02

Montreal attendance  This past weekend's Canadian GP was a big success with a new attendance record of 326,000 spectators in 3 days (101,000 on Friday, 108,000 on Saturday and 117,000 on Sunday) compared to 304,000 last year.   Now, the promoter Normand Legault will concentrate his efforts on the promotion of the first CART Molson Indy of Montreal. He's hoping for a good first-year weekend crowd of between 150,000 to 200,000.

6/11/02

F1 Hot News

McLaren Form Minardi Opposition
Schumacher: My Lead 'Not That Large'
Toyota Fail To Secure McNish
DC Rules Out Second Place
Irvine: We're Wasting Our Time
Schumacher: F1 Not Suffering
Schumi Unconcerned With Struggling Teams
Canadian Crowd Dislike Schumacher
Prime Minister Visits Sauber
Dennis: No Pressure Helps DC
McLaren Admit Tussle For Coughlan
Kreyer Will 'Never' Join McLaren
JPM Robbed Of 'Real Battle'
Schumacher Rules Out Le Mans

6/11/02

One loyal CART fan speaks his mind  Dear "Motorsports Sponsors" to whom it may concern! I buy a lot of stuff everyday, every year and every chance I get! I very much support the companies that support automobile racing because one good turn deserves another!  I am not a NASCAR fan either! Whether you win on Sunday or not, I buy on Monday regardless. The gas I put into my car, the car I drive, my groceries and virtually everything I consider purchasing is the result of my loyalty to those who are loyal to my sporting interests! Why else would you sponsor? I am a devout fan of CART and, therefore, yesterday I sent out a letter FedEx rather than using UPS! With my meals I open a can of excellent Herdez salsa and I will wash it down with a Tecate!  I look for Chevron gasoline now for my car!  My loyalty to these companies is endless!  I now ask my pharmacist for Lilly rather than generic as well! Speaking of cars, I have bought many brand new automobiles in the last twenty years, and I am getting ready to buy a couple of new ones! I will NOT be considering a Honda or a Toyota this time because they have abandoned my favorite series and have tried to damage the series in the way that they have chosen to depart! Nor will I ever use a Penske truck and never will I smoke another Marlboro since I am switching to KOOL! Target remains my favorite store and of course I use Shell products all of the time now! Tomorrow I will start looking at Ford cars as well! Hell, I have already bought five of them in the past! I'd even buy a Lola if I could! What is the point of my letter? WARNING!!! You political consumer companies that try to hurt my "family" and I will simply stop buying your products! To leave is one thing, but to try to harm and damage my "family" is another!  Go to the IRL and you won't ever find me in the Indianapolis grandstands ever again, nor will you find your products in my shopping basket either! Sincerely, David Siller

6/10/02
Industry News

Discussion forums top 10,000 members  Our racing discussion forums have busted through the 10,000 member mark (10,173 as of this time) and are growing quickly.  Membership has more than doubled in the last 12-months and the amount of discussions have reached a fever pitch

6/10/02

Dale Earnhardt, Gordon Johncock to be inducted into Hall of Fame  Stock car icon Dale Earnhardt, two-time Indy 500 champion and CART driver Gordon Johncock, drag racing king Eddie Hill and pioneering open-wheel racer Gaston Chevrolet will lead a class of eight racing legends into the Motorsports Hall of Fame when the organization stages its annual enshrinement ceremony, June 12, 2002 at the State Theatre in Detroit. These four, along with racing engine designer Fred Offenhauser, sports car champion Brian Redman, international motorcycle road racing ace Eddie Lawson and air racer and Hollywood stunt pilot Paul Mantz, will join the 122 racers already enshrined in the Motorsports Hall of Fame. "The names of those elected this year reads like the book of racing royalty," says Ron Watson, president of the Motorsports Hall of Fame. "Combined, they represent well more than 24 major championships, three Bendix air racing trophies, world speed records and a half century of engine design." Earnhardt, whose death in a crash during last year's Daytona 500 shocked the racing world, was a seven-time NASCAR champion who compiled 76 wins and $40 million in prize money. Johncock amassed 25 Indy car race wins, including two visits to the Indy 500 winner's circle and an Indy car season championship. Hill, a drag racer in both boats and cars, reached 229 mph in 1982 for a world water-speed record and later set numerous National Hot Rod Association speed and elapsed time records, capped by a top fuel World Championship in 1993. Chevrolet, the youngest of three racing Chevrolet brothers, won the 1920 Indy 500 driving a car built by his brother, Louis, who was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1995. Offenhauser built the dependably fast four-cylinder "Offy" Champ Car and midget car engine that dominated open wheel competition for more than a half century. Redman is best known for his reign over the Formula 5000 road racing series in the 1970s, winning the title in 1974, 1975 and 1976 with 10 race wins and five second-place finishes in that span. Lawson won the 500cc motorcycle FIM World Road Racing Championship in 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1989. He also won four championships in other classes throughout his career.

6/10/02

Chris Pook fired up In this CART.com article, Chris Pook makes some pretty strong statements:
• You're either in or out in 2003, but he ain't begging.
• He's going to lower the cost of racing and make it appetizing for anyone who craves open-wheel racing.
• Tony George and the Indy Racing League have been identified and are definitely the enemy.
• CART will answer the bell next year in its current format of ovals, street circuits and road courses.

• “We've got three brand new guys who want to come here and one is already financed. There are two more very interested and I know we've got some guys on the fence
He wouldn't discuss the details, but he did leave little doubt where he stood on the IRL.   "I'm tired of holding out an olive branch," he said. "We tried to be compatible with the other series by changing our engines and chassis and they summarily rejected it. So now we'll go about it our own way.  “I mean why should we destroy our quality of racing for someone else? They are trying to destroy us. Two or more entities are trying to destroy our company. But we're not going away.  “When I was young and someone hit me in the side of the head, I made sure to hit back harder.”

6/10/02

CART Stock Watch
MPH closed at $8.51 down $0.28 on volume of 109,000 shares.
$7.88 Bid - $8.84 Ask on the close.
Session Low/High $8.32/$8.92
MPH Value Change -3.19%
END
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

6/10/02

Three IRL drivers nominated for ESPY  Indy Racing League standouts Sam Hornish Jr., Helio Castroneves (former CART driver) and Gil de Ferran (former CART driver) were among the seven nominees in the Best Driver category for the 2002 ESPY Awards. Indy Racing League competitors received the most nominations in the category, with three. Other nominees are defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon, 2001 NASCAR Busch Series champion and Winston Cup Rookie of the Year Kevin Harvick, defending Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher and defending NHRA Funny Car champion John Force. The 10th annual ESPY Awards will take place at 9 p.m. (EDT) July 10 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood and will be televised live on ESPN. Actor Samuel L. Jackson will be the host of the prestigious ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) Awards program.

6/10/02

Montreal musings  UPDATE  A reader writes: I was at qualifying on Saturday, in Montreal, and right after qualifying ended, on the big screen TV's there was an ad played for CART showing all the drivers 3 by 3, and then the CART date here in Montreal this year.  6/9/02 We haven't seen any advertising for the CART race here in Montreal during he F1 weekend, but there's certainly talk about it. The various press conferences have been full of questions; I was talking to a Williams mechanic this morning, and he told me that "It will be great to find out, at last, which is faster. CART or F1".  Our immediate response was "F1!  By 8 to 10 seconds". We'll see, but the CART Champ cars are grossly overweight and underpowered, and the F1 lap times will make a mockery of the Champ Cars, unless of course CART was wise enough to allow the turbo boost to return to 40 inches for this race.  Road courses don't require the pathetically low 34 inches of boost, it's the ovals that require the low boost, and hinder CART's road course product.  It's ironic that CART's worse attended events control its on-track product.  It's time for CART to focus on road courses and optimize its product for them. And please, put those overweight beasts on a diet.  We took a trip round the circuit on Thursday evening on a mountain-bike, and the pitlane HAS been changed dramatically. Where it used to chuck the cars out before turn 1 (very dangerous, high-speed), it is now extended all the way through the first two corners. They actually had to move the white line (pit speed limiter) because the cars were re-entering too fast (faster than the normal traffic). But, as a result of the first two corner 'short-cut', pitstops will be quicker this year (opening up the chance for a different pit strategy). So watch out for that. There's also changes at the hairpin and the turn 13 wall. Mark C. & John Bell. contributed to this article

6/10/02

Racer's Group Ready for Le Mans  The final preparations have been completed here in the United States as The Racer’s Group left for France this past weekend to compete in the 70th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 15 and 16. The Racer’s Group will now see if its setup, planning and preparations will stand up to the ultimate challenge of running the grueling 24 hour race. Kevin Buckler, who is the owner of the No. 81 GT Porsche and also co-driving with Porsche factory drivers Lucas Luhr and Timo Bernhard, is confident that the team is ready.

6/10/02

2002 Indy Racing Celebration  The 2002 Indy Racing League Championship Celebration will take place Oct. 5 at House of Blues in Chicago, league officials announced June 10. The event, which salutes the stars of the Indy Racing League, also will feature the teams and drivers of the league’s new Infiniti Pro Series. The highlight of the evening is the presentation of the Indy Racing League Cup and $1-million bonus to the Indy Racing League’s championship-winning team and driver. Festivities will start with a reception at 6:30 p.m. (CDT), followed by a championship celebration and post-event concert. The celebration will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis, with air time and date to be announced later.

6/10/02

Le Mans on SPEED Channel  SPEED Channel takes to the French countryside in June with 14 hours of live coverage from the historic 70th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, beginning at 9:30 a.m. (ET) on June 15 as the cars take to the grid for a 10 a.m. start. "Coverage of the world's premier endurance race takes a special dedication to motor sports television," said network president Jim Liberatore. "Our team is in the game very much like the teams on the track, and when we tell the racing world that 'no one gets you closer than SPEED Channel,' this is where we are given the opportunity to prove it." A look at SPEED Channel's live coverage (all time Eastern):
The start -- 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Dawn at Le Mans -- 12:30 a.m. - 4 a.m.
The finish -- 7 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

6/10/02

Third car for Bill Davis  According to this Roanoke Times article, Bill Davis Racing might field a third Winston Cup car for Scott Wimmer in selected races this season, Mike Brown said. Wimmer is driving a limited BGN schedule. The team fields [#23] Pontiacs in the BGN but has Dodges in the Winston Cup series, so what Wimmer's team learns at some tracks does not relate to the Winston Cup teams. Also, a third car gives the team another car to help promote its Cup sponsors. Wimmer's first race might be at the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis in two months. If that goes well, he could go to other Cup races.

6/10/02

ESPN plays hardball with TMS sponsor  That was the Boomtown 500 that you were watching on ESPN Saturday night, even though broadcasters called it the Texas 500. TMS officials said the network changed the name during the broadcast after Boomtown Casino and Hotel declined to buy commercial airtime.  Where have we heard that before?

6/10/02

Rahal's son in action  Here are some photos of Graham Rahal, Bobby's son in action in Texas. He came in second two weeks ago in the 80cc class at the SKUSA Austin event.


Photos by Bill Kistler

6/10/02

Go-kart deal falls through  [Editor's Note: Just another black eye for CART].   eRacingvision announced today that its agreement in principle to acquire a controlling interest in the CART Stars of Tomorrow series had fallen through. Financial commitments related to previous sponsor agreements terminally affected the conditions of the new ownership. “As we understand it, the title racing organization for the Stars program had made substantial commitments to back the series. Those commitments represented the operational backbone with which we based our plan and agreement with Stars,” stated Glenn Holland of eRacingvision. “This is very disappointing to us, as we had already started to make a positive change to the program. We think the concept of a premier national series based on FIA-CIK regulations is a good one and we will continue to support those efforts in American karting.” Bryan Herta, founder of the series, commented, “I’m very disappointed that this new partnership did not materialize. I have a great deal of faith in eRacingvision, and their involvement surely would have helped the Stars program. Unfortunately, commitments from CART have not been honored and that affected the nature of our understanding. I am still fully committed to having Stars succeed. This will not affect Stars running of our regional programs, or of the Road America National or Las Vegas Grand National events as promised.” All Stars of Tomorrow website is: www.cartstars.com. eRacingvision is a sister company to Ekartingnews.com, the largest media channel for karting, and eRacingoutlet, a racing products distributor and online store. eRacingvision focuses on multimedia public relations, marketing, promotion, and design. Its clients include the North American Karting Association, Team Rahal, Miller Brewing, Tom Blattler Communications and drivers such as A.J. Allmendinger, Colin Fleming, Matt Jaskol, and Scott Speed. More information can be found at www.eracingvision.com. eRacingVision

6/10/02

Ford would be wise  A reader writes - Assuming the rumor about Ford badging all the CART engines is true, here is an idea.... how about Cosworth supplies CART but Ford badges the engines in one of three brands... 1/3 of the field for each: Jag, Mazda and Ford. Yes, I know they might not want to compete against each other.. but imagine all the track signs with Mazda, Ford and Jag.. along with displays. To the casual observer - they would not even realize they would be the same engine. And it lends a bit more credibility to the series than saying they are all Fords. Answer:  That makes too much sense, so we doubt they would do it.  Hopefully CART and Ford will do the right thing and allow other manufacturers to badge the engine for a tolling fee.  Mark C.

6/10/02

F1 Hot News

Driver Analysis: Canadian GP
Ferrari Notch Up 150th
More Team Orders In Canada
Barrichello And Coulthard Clash
Coulthard: Monaco Not My Best
Montoya: F1 Paddock Better Than CART
No Sympathy From Coulthard
The Pace Of Development
Ferrari Or Bridgestone?
Chaos Behind The Scenes
Hakkinen Set For Shock Return?
De La Rosa Slams 'Lunatic' McNish
Webber Linked To Toyota

6/9/02

M&M's to leave NASCAR  According to this Winston Salem Journal article, M&M Mars is looking to move on at the end of the season, according to team sources. But the company doesn't plan to leave the Winston Cup series, just move to another team. That lucrative sponsorship may be the one behind that proposed third Robert Yates team and that proposed second Cal Wells team and that proposed fifth Rick Hendrick team. All three operations are pushing hard to add another team, and it seems unlikely that there are three companies in these woods willing to write long term contracts for $12 million to $14 million a year.

6/9/02

Emerson still thinks he can make a Brazil race happen  We spoke with  Emerson Fittipaldi this weekend at Laguna Seca and quizzed him about a CART return to Brazil.  He said there are Presidential elections this year.  After that he will be in a better position to tell us if a return by CART is possible.  We asked him where, and he said Salvador, Rio, and Sao Paolo are among the possibilities.

6/9/02

Mazda Raceway's lack of advertising  UPDATE Dear AutoRacing1.com, You reported the lack of advertising for the CART race at Laguna Seca today. I live in California's Central Valley about three hours from Laguna Seca. During today's race, and several times in the last week, I have seen television commercials for the upcoming motorcycle race at Laguna Seca. However, I have seen NOTHING about CART.  And you wonder why the motorcycle race outdraws the CART race?  Tim Hubbel  6/9/02 - Could the pathetic attendance at the Laguna Seca's CART race have anything to do with their LACK of ANY newspaper advertising? Not one single ad was seen in both the Bay Area's two largest newspapers (San Francisco Chronicle & San Jose Mercury News). Laguna was "upstaged" in Thursday's Mercury News when SEARS POINT RACEWAY placed a 8 page "pullout section" announcing there upcoming NASCAR race later in the month..

6/9/02
Industry News

Larry Henry joins MIS  Larry Henry, one of the most recognized voices in sports broadcasting in the Detroit area, will be part of the public address announcing team for the summer season of racing at Michigan International Speedway, MIS President Brett Shelton announced today. Henry, the sports director at WWJ News Radio 950 in Detroit, will debut as one of the "Voices of MIS" during the historic speedway's opening this weekend, June 14-16. He will join veteran MIS announcer Jim Mueller, a former television anchor and voice of the Cleveland Browns, when the ARCA RE/MAX Series and NASCAR Winston Cup Series come to town with practice and qualifying on Friday. "We're thrilled to welcome someone of Larry's talent and ability to our broadcast team at MIS," Shelton said. "Many race fans know him from his open-wheel experience and from his excellent work in Detroit. He's certainly no stranger to motorsports or MIS."

6/9/02

Sperafico wins first ever Barber Dodge Pro series  Barber Dodge Rookie of the Year Rafael Sperafico made the most of his pole position, converting the top starting spot into his first win in the Barber Dodge Pro Series. Mexico's Memo Rojas followed Sperafico across the line with AJ Allmendinger coming home in third, growing his points lead in the championship to 23 points over Sperafico. Christian Szymczak and Davy Cook rounded out the Top-5. Sperafico was overjoyed with his first win and with the 22 points he earned this weekend. "I was pushing very hard on every lap," said Sperafico, "and just trying to concentrate and not make a mistake. This is a good result for the championship and I am looking forward to racing again in Portland."

6/9/02

Atlantics: CART hands down fines  CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Stewards, led by Chief Steward, K.C. Van Niman, levied a total of $10,000 in fines, three probations, and one suspension following Saturday’s Round 4 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship race at the Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca. Grant Ryley (Lynx Racing/Northwest Speedwerx Cupertino Electric Swift 014.a) was fined $5,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct according to rule 1.7.4. of the CART Toyota Atlantic Rulebook. Ryley must pay $2,500 immediately with the remainder of the $2,500 to be held in abeyance. If the rule is broken again during the remainder of the 2002 season, Ryley will pay the rest of the fine plus any additional penalties levied by the Chief Steward. Also fined $5,000 was Alex Figge (Worldspeed Motorsports/Wine Country Motorsports Glycomax Airtrix Swift 014.a), for his involvement in the first lap incident in Turn 2. Figge was fined for unjustifiable risk according to rule 8.13. of the CART Toyota Atlantic Rulebook. Figge was also placed on probation for the remainder of the season. Like Ryley’s penalty, $2,500 will be held in abeyance based on actions for the remainder of the season. Bob Siska (RJS Motorsports Swift 008.a) was suspended for the next two races which take place at Portland International Raceway and Chicago Motor Speedway for his involvement in the contact incident with Ryley late in Saturday’s race. The suspension was based on unjustifiable risk according to rule 8.13. of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Rulebook. Siska was also placed on probation for the remainder of the 2002 season. Finally, Eduardo Figuero (Scuadra Fortia/Aviacsa Royse Maizoro Millenio Swift 014.a) was placed on probation for the next four events for his part in cumulative on-track actions and incidents.

6/9/02

John Della Penna in IRL camp now  John Della Penna has been keeping busy this season working for ESPN Latin America. This weekend Della Penna was at ESPN headquarters in Conn. doing the color commentary for the IRL's Texas 500.

6/9/02

 

Team Rahal announces signing of Danica Patrick Team Rahal announced at Laguna Seca today that they have signed Danica Patrick for three Barber Dodge events for 2002 and a fulltime Toyota Atlantic ride for 2003. It has been nearly 30 years since Formula/Toyota Atlantic has seen a female driver. (1974 Watkins Glen). Patrick is scheduled to test a Pro Series car on June 25-26 in Sebring, Fla. and plans are formulated to begin Toyota Atlantic testing in July. “We are very excited to bring Danica to Team Rahal,” said Rahal. “Her racing credentials are outstanding with championships in karting and impressive runs in England and Europe. This lady has the talent to get to champ car racing. She has the determination and abilities to race in CART for many years.” Patrick indicated that her future goal is ultimately to drive a champ car in CART. “I have to thank Bobby and his staff for giving me the opportunity to return to the United States and compete in CART. The CART Ladder system is a great way to get to the champ cars and I’m an anxious to drive in both the Barber Dodge Pro Series this year and the Toyota Atlantic Series in 2003. I’m very excited for this chance. Julie ANdre

6/9/02

Interview with Dale Jarrett  Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 88 UPS Taurus, is in 13th place in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings heading into tomorrow's Pocono 500. Last week, he finished in fifth place at Dover - his fourth top-10 in the last seven races. In 30 career starts at Pocono, he has two victories and 16 top-10s.  Interview

6/9/02

Earnhardt to fire Waltrip & Park?  Dale Earnhardt Jr. could be looking for two new teammates next season, if not sooner. He said Saturday that Michael Waltrip has been informed that Dale Earnhardt Inc. -- the race team founded by his late father -- is looking at a possible replacement.  "His job is in his hands, so to speak," Earnhardt said of Waltrip. "It's been a tough situation over the past several weeks for us. We tried to deal with it as best we can."  The 39-year-old Waltrip is in his 18th season in a Winston Cup car. He has only one victory -- the 2001 Daytona 500, on the day the elder Earnhardt was killed -- in 511 starts.  Also in jeopardy of losing his ride is Steve Park, who sat out most of last season and the first four races this year with a head injury.  "It's not going too good right now for Steve," Earnhardt said. "They can't get their cars to do what they need them to do.  "We're definitely going to have to take a hard look at that situation, too. If we can't make it work, we've got to make a change, and nobody is immune to change.

6/9/02


 

CART in IRL out A German fan writes -  As far as German goes, Marlboro will probably regret that they have moved to the IRL because of the global exposure on TV. The German TV channel PREMIERE which covered all races, has decided to stop with the broadcast immediately after the Indianapolis 500. TV Figures were dramatically low, that they had no other option as to stop with it. However, the CART series will be broadcasted live from Milwaukee onwards by both German public TV companies in a build up to the German 500, and an apparent enormous request from the fans to get those races back live, after the paneuropean Eurosport channel did broadcast delayed tapes for more than one week. It is clear that European fans back the CART series.  Wilhelm Gunther, Berlin

6/9/02

F1 Hot News

Driver Analysis: Canada Qualifying
CR4 Success For Jaguar
Restructure Continues At Jaguar
Honda In For The 'Long Run'
News From Canada
Jacques Happy With New Car
Jacques Dubious Over New Honda
Panis Chooses To Look Ahead
FIA Is Schumacher's Biggest Worry?

6/8/02

Chris Pook press conference with Ladder drivers  Every year, the Skip Barber ethos comes to life in the Barber - CART Scholarship Ladder, establishing a clear pattern of progression from Karting all the way through to the CART Toyota Atlantic Series. More than 45 deserving drivers with aspirations in motorsports benefit from the assistance offered through scholarships at every level of the development path. The ladder system provides coaching and financial assistance to the tune of $1 million annually.  More

6/8/02

Da Matta fined  CART assessed pole sitter Cristiano da Matta a $10,000 penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct because when he blew his engine in the closing laps of qualifying at Laguna Seca today, he stayed on line and oiled the track so no other driver could better his time.  Chip Ganassi, team owner of 2nd faster Kenny Brack was livid afterward and said what he saw was unsportsmanlike conduct.  Da Matta lost power with nine minutes remaining and was urged to continue back to the pits and not lose the quick lap. "I was trying to stay off-line but my guys told me to come in quickly. I'm pretty happy to be on pole and lucky the time held to the end. Some guys may be mad that I put oil on the track. It was a tense situation." Brack wasn't pleased, nor was team owner Chip Ganassi. "You really can't go faster with slick conditions like that. We have a chance to do well tomorrow," Brack noted. "It's difficult to overtake here, so starting up front is important."

6/8/02

Atlantics: Ryan Hunter-Reay puts in commanding performance again  Every once in awhile a driver comes along that stands out above all the rest.  Based on his recent performances, people are starting to say 'Champ Car' material about Hunter-Reay.  He dominated the CART Toyota Atlantic race today at Laguna Seca for an easy win over Rocky Moran Jr.  Story

6/8/02

Ticket sales up at Laguna Seca  We spoke to the Promoter of the Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca who informed us that advance ticket sales are up 5% over last year.  We are told corporate sales are down slightly due to the economy.  Mark C.

6/8/02

Sperafico remains on pole at Laguna Seca  Brazilian driver Rafael Sperafico almost matched his Friday pole lap time of 1:27.371 min. at the legendary 2.238-mile Laguna Seca track with a 1:27.373 min. lap on Saturday to retain the pole for the CART Barber Dodge Pro Series race.  Championship points leader A.J. Allmendinger qualified second. Story Mark C.

6/8/02

Double Duty for Todd Bodine  Todd Bodine shuttled back and forth between Nashville and Pocono today as he flew in this morning to practice the No. 26 Haas-Carter Discover Card Ford Taurus. Bodine left for Nashville immediately after Happy Hour to participate in the Busch Grand National race at Nashville Superspeedway. Bodine is expected to return to Pocono Sunday morning, but older brother Geoffrey Bodine will be on hand to race the car if Todd is delayed.   Frank R.

6/8/02

Martin leads Happy Hour at Pocono  Mark Martin turned in the fasted time in race trim with a speed of 165.755 mph, Ricky Rudd and Jeff Gordon posted the next quickest times. In their first visit to Pocono, rookies Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman continued to impress as they were 4th and 6th quickest in the field of 43. Kurt Busch had the fifth fastest time. While there were no mishaps during practice, the Robert Yates Racing entry of Ricky Rudd underwent an engine change after happy hour and will start from the back of the field for tomorrow's Pocono 500.   Frank R.

6/8/02

Laguna Seca to announce 2003 schedule  UPDATE The 2003 Laguna Seca race will be broadcast on CBS and be the same weekend, or within one week of the current June date.    6/8/02 - Laguna Seca will announce their 2003 race schedule in about 30 minutes, including their 2003 CART FedEx series date.  Like we told you, CART is close to finalizing their 2003 race schedule.  Mark C.

6/8/02

Danica Patrick to announce 2002 and 2003 race plans  Sunday at noon Pacific Time, 20-year old sensation Danica Patrick will announce her 2002 and 2003 racing plans.  We fully expect her to announce a CART Toyota Atlantic deal.  Mark C.

6/8/02

TMS puts it to NASCAR fans  UPDATE Editor's Note: Many towns have ordinances that prevent tickets from being sold on the grounds of the event.   6/8/02 - Dear AutoRacing1.com, I see that Texas Motor Speedway has had an ordinance passed to prevent any NASCAR fan that was stuck having to buy an IRL ticket as part of a package deal, from selling the tickets at even face value.  I hear that most of the sales for tonight's race are actually NASCAR fans who have zero interest in the IRL race.  To prop up attendance figures, they are preventing NASCAR fans from selling these tickets at face value so fans arriving just for tonight's race must buy another ticket.  I believe that if a fan were to challenge this ordinance in court, they would win.  To sell a race ticket at face value is not against the law.  If someone is sick and can't go, saying that ticket can't be resold is a farce.   I hope some fan sues TMS on behalf of all the other fans.  Samuel A. Smith

6/8/02

Sigma adds Sonoco as sponsor  Sunoco announced today that it has signed with Sigma Autosport to be an associate sponsor for the remainder of the 2002 CART FedEX Championship Series. Sunoco is the largest supplier of racing gasoline in the world and home of Ultra 94, the highest consumer octane grade gasoline. “Sunoco is pleased to sponsor Max Papis and his team. We have great admiration for the determination and courage shown by Max and look forward to being part of a winning tradition,” said Bob Owens, Senior Vice President of Sunoco. Currently, Papis is third in the CART Drivers Championship with 32 points. Papis has scored two podium finishes for Sigma Autosport this season, including two of the past three races. Papis, 32, who drives the #22 Sigma Autosport Lola-Ford/Cosworth, was third at the Long Beach Grand Prix and also at last week’s Miller Lite 250 at Milwaukee. In addition, Papis has three career wins in the CART FedEx Championships Series. “We’re very proud to have a company like Sunoco join us for the season,” said Tom Wieringa, owner of Sigma Autosport. “They are known internationally for the quality of their products. We are looking forward to representing them in the CART FedEx Championship Series.”  Sigma

6/8/02

Cars on track in Pocono  Crews worked into the night installing drainage pipes and ditches to help drain water from under the race track at Pocono. By early morning the water had stopped seeping up from the track and the first Winston Cup practice session went off without a hitch at 9:30 this morning. Ironically, Sterling Marlin was quickest at 166.64 mph. Rounding out the top five from morning practice were Ricky Rudd, Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson and John Andretti.  Frank R.

6/8/02

F1 Hot News

Friday Driver Comments
Quick Quotes From Canada
Brakes Crucial At Canada
The Search For US Talent
Another Attack From Little Jacques
Coulthard's Motivation Intact
Montoya's Style Remains
World Cup Versus Formula One
Ferrari Will Get 'Slap On Hands'
Nurburgring Debut For FW24B?
News From Canada
Bridgestone 'Disappointed' With 2002
Irvine's Future Pinned to R3
Schumacher 'Tired' After Austria
Villeneuve 'Fully Motivated' At BAR
New Honda Set For Nurburgring?
All-New Jaguar For Silverstone
'Fast Eddie' Eyeing Up Retirement

6/7/02

CART stock - Forsythe increases his position  In this SEC Form 13G filing, Gerald Forsythe now owns 2,150,000 shares of CART stock, and 14.61% of all outstanding shares.  He can't buy more than 15%, because there is a poison pill in the CART bylaws that prevent one entity or person from taking a majority position and take over the series.  His latest purchases amounted to $2,424,680.
5/03/02  12,900 shares @ $14.03
5/06/02   4,600 shares  @ 13.66
5/28/02 75,000 shares  @ 13.03
5/29/02 10,000 shares  @ 12.03
5/29/02 15,000 Shares  @ 12.03
5/31/02 100,000 Shares @ 9.03

6/7/02

CART Ladder: Sperafico quick in Barber Dodge  2001 Barber Dodge Rookie of the Year Rafael Sperafico made the best of his Michelin tires, a clear track, and his burgeoning talents to card the fastest time in Friday's qualifying session with a lap of 1:27. 371 sec. at the legendary 2.238-mile Laguna Seca track. Championship points leader A.J. Allmendinger qualified second with Memo   More...

6/7/02

Fence and wall go up in Mexico City  The famous Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez located in Mexico City is receiving a complete makeover since late last month and work is proceeding at a fast and furious pace. This week work crews started positioning the protective wall and fencing that will isolate the track on both sides. They started at the end of the long 1.1 kilometer straight, which according to estimates from experts will allow CART Champ Cars to reach an estimated 215 mph speed before braking.  More...

6/7/02

Ryan Hunter-Reay again  Third time’s a charm? That is what Atlantic rookie, Ryan Hunter-Reay (Hylton Motorsports/Medlock Ames Winery Autobytel U.S. Print Swift 014.a), is hoping for this weekend in the Round 4 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship race at the Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca. Hunter-Reay’s lap of 1:19.433 seconds (101.429 mph) earned him his second provisional pole of the season, and more importantly, his third straight start from the front row.  More...

6/7/02

Honda would have stayed  UPDATE We had a long talk with Honda's Robert Clarke as well.  He to sounded sad that Honda had to leave CART, and he too expressed hope that CART survives.  He said that when CART changed their rules in October, they could not be ready in time for 2003.  It was that disregard for the cutoff dates CART itself had imposed, that made Honda management think they were dealing with a sanctioning body that could not be relied upon to keep their word.  They didn't feel they had any control of their destiny, and then dropped CART.  They had already decided to do the IRL engine with Ilmor, so it was that vote in Houston, and that vote alone that drove Honda out. Honda still sees value in CART, and it sounded like Honda might still return to CART in the future, provided the door is still open.  6/7/02 - We had breakfast with Honda's Tom Elliott who assured us that Honda would have remained in CART had CART not changed its engine rules in the 11th hour last year year in Houston.  They had already done a deal with Ilmor to do an IRL engine, and the plan was to allow CART's Honda drivers to run in the Indy 500 with those engines.  Then CART changed their rules, thoroughly pissed off Honda of Japan, and the rest is history.  Tom did tell us he hopes CART survives because it's too good of a series for it to go away.  Mark C.

6/7/02

Promoters voice support for CART UPDATE The press release has been revised.  More promoters have voiced their support.  6/7/02 -   Following a successful meeting at Championship Auto Racing Teams Inc. operational headquarters on Thursday, the promoters and race organizers of the CART FedEx Championship Series have stated their full support for CART and the administration of President and CEO Christopher R. Pook for not only the remainder of the 2002 season, but well into the future.  Story.

6/7/02

Toyota to increase its presence in China   We have been pounding China down CART's throat for two years now.  We have criticized for thinking CART should race in China.  Now we hope you understand why we were doing it all this time.  We saw the writing on the wall through our key China contacts.  According to this Financial Times article, the emergence of China as the latest battleground for automotive industry was underlined on Thursday when Toyota Motor, the world's third-largest carmaker, said it was considering an alliance with China First Automotive Works (FAW), one of the country's leading manufacturers. The company said that nothing had been decided, but added it was logical for the company to increase its exposure to China as the market represented a key part of its expansion plans. Toyota's burgeoning interest in China is being matched by other Japanese manufacturers, tapping into growing domestic sales and the country's potential as a low-cost manufacturing centre. Nissan Motor, Japan's second-largest manufacturer, is poised to sign an expanded alliance with Dongfeng Motor, its existing partner. Mitsubishi Motor agreed this week to manufacture vehicles at a plant owned by DaimlerChrysler, which has a 37 per cent stake in the Japanese company.

6/7/02

Indy 500 appeal date set  A hearing has been scheduled for 10 a.m. (EST) Monday, June 17 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to consider the final appeal of the protest filed by Team Green, Inc. contesting the official results of the 2002 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. The hearing will be conducted by Tony George, president and chief executive officer of the Indy Racing League, under the rules of the league. Both Team Green and Penske Racing will have an opportunity to make opening statements, present relevant evidence and question witnesses. It is expected that the hearing will conclude on the same day. While there is no deadline for the issuance of a decision by George on the final appeal, according to Indy Racing League rules, a decision normally is issued within 30 days as also stated in the Indy Racing League Rule Book. The hearing will be private, as mandated by Indy Racing League rules.

6/7/02

Rain delay at Pocono  UPDATE Qualifying at Pocono has been officially cancelled and points leader Sterling Marlin will start from pole.  6/7/02 - The four plus inches of rain at Pocono over the last two days have put a damper the first practice session and threaten to delay qualifying as water is weeping thru the track in turn three. The rain has stopped and the weather is forecast to be clear for race weekend, qualifying may be moved to tomorrow.  Frank R.

6/7/02

CART stock watch  
MPH closed at $8.79 up $0.49 on volume of 135,100 shares.
$8.14 Bid - $9.09 Ask on the close.
Session Low/High $8.20/$8.79
MPH Value Change +5.90%
END
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

6/7/02

Barrichello tops charts in Montreal  Rubens Barrichello clocked a fastest lap of one minute 16.930 seconds, 0.061 quicker than his teammate, at the end of the hour long first practice session in Montreal. Italian Giancarlo Fisichella was third fastest for Jordan nearly a second adrift of the two red cars on a bright and clear morning at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The McLarens of David Coulthard and Finland's Kimi Raikkonen followed on the timesheets while German Heinz-Harald Frentzen had the sixth fastest time in his Arrows.

6/7/02

Cristiano da Matta leads opening practice in Laguna Seca  Chevron Lola/Toyota driver Cristiano da Matta was fastest this morning in opening practice at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca.   Tony Kanaan and Kenny Brack were 2nd and 3rd.  Max Papis and Patrick Carpentier rounded out the top 5.

6/7/02

Wallace has broken foot  What was thought to be fractured toes on Rusty Wallace's left foot after his wreck in The Winston, has now been diagnosed as a broken foot.  While filming some commercials for the 2003 Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach, Fla. on Wednesday, Wallace started to feel extreme discomfort on the top part of his foot, after X-rays it was found that Wallace found out that two bones on the top of his foot were broken. Although Wallace said he can still drive the car, he feels discomfort after extended periods of walking.

6/7/02
Industry News

Another internet site bites the dust  Now we hope you understand why AR1 went to a subscription based model.  The 'free' internet voodoo economics model does not work for long.  As of yesterday (Thursday), it appears that RacingOne.com (not to be confused with AutoRacing1.com) is out of business.  Sources tell us that they have been sold to RMG3 and their entire full time staff and free lance employees have been let go. 

6/7/02

New Sponsorship for Fittipaldi   Christian Fittipaldi is carrying additional sponsorship. Fortune Magazine is larger than Lilly on the sidepods, and Field & Stream Magazine is on the front wings.  The car is still a "Lilly" car but the team has several sponsors in the wings and will be rotating associate sponsorship from time to time.

6/7/02

CART tidbits  Cristiano da Matta will fly the ChevronTexaco colors this weekend instead of Havoline.  Mario Dominguez has changed numbers.  He will now run number 55.

6/7/02

Final CART TV rating up 20% for Milwaukee  UPDATE The CART race received a very respectable 5 share 1.8 final rating in the big Los Angeles market.  6/7/02 - CART's overnight CBS TV rating for Milwaukee was a respectable 1.3, and the final rating held almost steady, for a 1.2, up 20% over last years 1.0 on ABC.   Since a lot of major markets preempted the show for a Charity fund raiser, it's likely the final rating could have been a 1.3 to 1.5.  1,260,000 households tuned in, which puts the number of viewers probably close to 2 million (i.e. typically a little less than two in a family of four will watch).  Still, NASCAR dominates the USA scene.  The live coverage of the MBNA Platinum 400 on FOX FX came in with a 4.7 rating, reaching 3.65 million households and 5.6 million viewers.  One thing is clear - all CBS and FOX owned channels continue to show rising motorsport TV ratings, while ABC and ESPN continue their downward trend.  CART and NASCAR chose the right horse it appears.

6/7/02

CART bloke snatched by IRL  Just saw that British driver Danny Wheldon has been signed by Panther Racing and will run the last two races of this season in anticipation for joining Hornish as a teammate next year. Multiple race winner and Rookie of the Year in both Atlantic and Lights by the age of 22. Very talented and would have been a nice addition and attraction at CART's Rockingham race. Too much home-raised talent getting away......Barron, Rice, Wheldon -- all big-time winners at the Atlantic or Lights level....all ending up in the IRL.  Why?  Because CART has been downsizing while the IRL has been growing, opening up new seats.  Of course the IRL, because it's an all-oval series, has seen drivers injured at an alarming rate, which has also done a lot to open up seats for other drivers, even if only temporary.

6/7/02

Red Bull American F1 driver search  This initiative directly addresses the current lack of an effective "minor league" system in which young American drivers can hone their skills in order to reach F1.  The goal is to find, fund and nurture aspiring, up-and-coming American driving talent by sending them to race in Europe¹s junior racing championships.  The program also involves assistance in the various tangential aspects that are critical to success in Europe: physical training, language and culture, media skills, team dynamics, etc.  More....

6/7/02

Coulthard thinks seat is safe  In this interview from Canada, David Coulthard says his McLaren drive is not under threat from Mika in 2003. “Car No3 (his) is contracted for the future so there's no question of trying to fit two drivers into that!” Then, asked what feeling he himself got from Hakkinen in Monaco, DC straight-batted the question with: “Feeling? I didn't feel him. He was missing those two round bits that I normally like to play with…” Coulthard said that a less competitive year at McLaren had not blunted his ambition. “Your goal doesn't change, that's a constant, but your realistic expectations change from circuit to circuit. The feel-good factor of being quick or quickest at most of the tracks isn't there, but you know that the team can do it, that the key ingredients and personnel are there. You just have to be patient."

6/7/02
Industry News

Honda and BMW look to expand China business  Honda is negotiating with the Guangzhou municipal Government on the construction of a car plant with initial annual production capacity of 300,000 units. The proposed plant would export its output to Japan and other countries, and probably would be in the city's export processing zone, the Guangzhou-based Nanfang Daily reported yesterday. The project would be Honda's second car plant in Guangzhou, following its 50:50 joint car venture with state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group whose annual production capacity will be expanded to 120,000 units next year. The new plant will let the Japanese car-maker further leverage the mainland's cheaper production costs and reasonably skilled workforce in Asia, now that China is emerging as a global manufacturing powerhouse. According to the Nanfang Daily report Honda "insisted" on holding an 80 per cent stake in the proposed car plant, and will leave the remaining 20 per cent to the Chinese partners. German car giant BMW is also seeking to form a joint sedan venture with mini-bus maker Brilliance China Automotive Holdings in the northeastern city of Shenyang, Liaoning province. Many global car-makers are trying to expand or set up production facilities in the mainland to boost sales to the country's fast-growing market.

6/7/02

NASCAR fan kills trailermate while wives watch in horror  Mark Martin's victory in the Coca-Cola Racing Family 600 was such a hot topic in a Georgia trailer park May 26 that it allegedly led to the shooting death of a NASCAR fan. According to cnnsi.com, 41-year-old James Gregory Fitchjarrell was shot to death at his home while arguing about Martin's victory at Charlotte. According to cnnsi.com, Johnny Ernest Rodgers, 36, of Valdosta, Ga., was arrested on murder charges after the shooting. According to the Web site, the two men, who apparently lived in the same trailer along with their wives, reportedly spent May 26 watching the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola Racing Family 600, drinking beer and arguing. Sometime after Martin's victory, the two men were reportedly arguing over the merits of Martin's victory when, according to the victim's wife, Rodgers went inside and came out with a gun. He allegedly shot and killed Fitchjarrell and was arrested in Florida later that night.  (Winston Cup Scene)  The scene played out above fits the NASCAR 'Bubba' stereotype to a tee, and unfortunately gives other NASCAR fans a bad image.

6/7/02

Drivers like Montreal track changes  The Formula One world has given track alterations at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve the thumbs-up; particularly at the notorious outside wall at the final 'Bienvenue a Quebec' chicane.  The overall distance of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve at Montreal has been shortened from 2.747 miles (4.421 km) to 2.709 miles (4.361 km) because of changes to the Turn 10 hairpin. The pit exit lane has been extended and joins into the track on the outside of the Turn 2 Senna corner. Gravel runoff areas have been replaced with pavement.   Having wandered Circuit Gilles Villeneuve last night, we can confirm that the pitlane exit has been extended past the first series of tight corners, reducing the risk of high-speed collisions as cars re-enter the circuit.  In years past, cars have rejoined the circuit as fast-moving traffic hurtled towards turn one. Mark Webber, a Formula One rookie, allays his concerns on the track modification.  'I had a look at it, I am just interested in where they are going to have us released in terms of the pit limiter running down into that turn on the outside of turn two', the Aussie said.  'Obviously the track is designed for a slow-speed corner here, and if we are released quite close here then we are going to be running down there pretty quick, so I don't know what is going to happen with that.  'It looks safer than what we have seen in the past, where guys are obviously running out and it is really difficult when your mirrors are facing back that way and the other guys are on line'.  The notorious wall at the final turn, scene of many a world champion's demise, has been altered for 2002; the ominous white wall moved back more than a meter and lined with a tire barrier.   Serrated curbing leading into the chicane, usually sitting higher than the ride-height of a Formula One car, has also been reduced in severity this year.  'It looks like they've done a lot of work on the last chicane with the tires there', continued Webber. 'I've seen a lot of cars crash there so it means a lot of respect for that. I'm looking forward to getting out there'.  Ferrari technical director, Ross Brawn, applauded the changes to turn 13. 'It's a spot that has seen many drivers come to grief in the past and it's a good thing the organizers have taken steps to reduce the danger it offered,' he said.  Home-town hero, Jacques Villeneuve, crashed into the notorious wall in 1997 and 1999. 'They've moved the wall?', he quizzed with a grin. 'I guess we'll have to aim at it better!', the French-Canadian joked.

6/7/02

F1 Hot News

BAR Postpone 2003 Design
Arrows' Future Secure
Sato Out, Irvine In?
News From Canada
Sato's Rise To The Top
Winning Not Everything For Schu
Webber On The Move
Webber: Minardi Are Suffering
Montoya Demands Better Traction
Improved McLaren For Canada
Hakkinen 'Not Missing' F1

6/6/02

CART Stock Watch

MPH closed at $8.30 up $0.25 on thin volume of 168,800 shares.
No trade exceeded 7,000 shares.
Session Low/High $8.02/$8.34
MPH Value Change +3.11%
END
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

6/6/02

OrangeArrows to receive financial boost  Tom Walkinshaw has revealed two new deals that will secure the team's immediate future in F1 OrangeArrows has received a financial boost that will secure the team's future at a time when the smaller independent teams are struggling to find the cash to stay afloat. Team boss Tom Walkinshaw revealed in this week's Autosport magazine that he has found two new investors who have taken a stake in the team. Former British American Racing team boss Craig Pollock is thought to be involved with the deals but this has yet to be confirmed. The deals could not have come at a better time. Rumours abounded that the orange squad was in financial difficulty with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone suggesting that Arrows was one of two teams that would not make the end of the year because of the escalating costs involved in the sport. But Walkinshaw poured scorn over the impresario's comments. "I don't think it does any of the teams in the middle of the field any good to have any of these comments, because they are irresponsible," he told the magazine. "None of the teams in the middle of the field are flush with sponsorship. If you talk to any team on the grid then they will say the same: getting sponsors in the current environment is not at all easy. I don't believe it
will get better until a settlement is sorted out between the manufacturers and [F1's majority shareholder] Kirch." Paul Stoddart's Minardi squad, though, is still in a perilous situation and he recently admitted that he would be unable to see out the end of the season unless it received the TV money it is owed following the demise of Prost Grand Prix.

6/6/02

Someone is rating CART's stock a strong buy  Stock Pick Report is rating MPH to outperform.  At current prices one has to think the risk to buy at this time is low because the money CART has in the bank almost equals the current price given the number of shares outstanding.

6/6/02

CART Board meeting notes  [Editors Note: There's more to report, which we will do when we can release what we know.   This is just the standard CART press release.]  Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. completed its annual shareholder meeting this week in Indianapolis. Among the highlights were the appointment of the 2003 CART Board of Directors in the shareholder meeting on Tuesday and a reconfirmation of the corporation's overall business strategy. The 2003 Board, as elected by CART's shareholders, includes one new appointee and eight returning directors. The new appointee is veteran motorsports promoter Rafael A. "Ralph" Sanchez who joins returning directors James Grosfeld, Carl A. Haas, James F. Hardymon, James A. Henderson, U.E. "Pat" Patrick, Fredrick T. Tucker, Derrick Walker and CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. At the shareholder meeting, Pook also delivered his first address to CART's stockholders since accepting the position of President and CEO last December. He cited CART's management restructuring, television programming, marketing strategy and direction, new national advertising campaign and strong event attendance. "The public is responding to the CART product," Pook said. "What we now have to do is massage the product into a format that continues to appeal to the fans and becomes even more attractive to corporate America and beyond, and that is management's task." The company's direction was further solidified in a Tuesday board meeting, which immediately followed the shareholder meeting, and Wednesday's Franchise Board meeting, which produced several rule changes designed to reduce costs and increase competition among the teams. Among the rule changes were a freeze on aerodynamic development, which is slated to begin later this month, the introduction of a two-stage pit lane speed limiter, which will debut with the CART Grand Prix of Chicago on June 30, and the decision to include driver weight in the overall weight of each car, which takes effect beginning with the CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio on August 11.

6/6/02

NASCAR now F1.  Where's CART & IRL?  UPDATE One reader writes to say that CART races should be broadcast on Sirius channel 124: "SPEED Channel Radio" since CART races are broadcast on SPEED Channel.  What about the races on CBS though?  CART needs to work these details out.  6/6/02 - Forward thinking, always ahead of the market, NASCAR, is already on XM Satellite Radio.  Now comes word that Sirius Satellite Radio has been added to the roster of stations airing the US Formula One Radio Network. The Formula One service will be among the first sports properties to air on Sirius. Sirius will air all remaining events in the 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship, starting with the Canadian Grand Prix on June 9.  Satellite Radio will be the way all future Radio is transmitted.  Not only superior quality, but nationwide coverage from one single station.  Talk about an easy way to reach all markets.  We have raised this issue with CART before, but we see no action, no movement.  Once all the channels are spoken for, they will be locked out.....not many people have satellite Radio now, but before long the majority of new cars will offer Satellite Radio as standard equipment.  We suspect the IRL will beat CART to the punch on this one.

6/6/02

NASCAR drivers go fishing  Six NASCAR drivers and six professional anglers teamed up on Tuesday, June 5, for the first annual CITGO BASSMASTER Celebrity Challenge in Orlando, Florida. NASCAR drivers Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle, Todd Bodine, Jeff Green and Hank Parker Jr. paired up with anglers Kevin VanDam, Marty Stone, Gerald Swindle, Jay Yelas, Earl Bentz and Shaw Grigsby for this first ever made for TV event. The teams headed out early Tuesday morning on a four hour bass fishing excursion on the Walt Disney World property. Each team was in a Triton boat and the anglers provided the equipment. The NASCAR driver had to boat the first keeper and the pros could coach their driver partner all they wanted. However, the anglers could not cast, retrieve, or help their driver partner in any other way during the cast and retrieve. Burton, driver of the No. 99 CITGO Ford, said his partner VanDam gave him this advice, "Kevin said in order to win, his strategy was to cast as much as possible. And that's exactly what we did. We threw, and threw, and threw. It seemed to work." Other drivers like Busch, driver of the No. 97 Rubbermaid Ford, had never fished before but managed to come up with some good catches. "It was a lot of fun out there. I think Jay (Yelas) and I did pretty well. We'll find out when we weigh in." Each team was limited to three bass per person for a total catch of six per boat. The minimum length was 13 inches and fish measuring less than this would be culled along with a one-pound penalty at the weigh in. Upon completion of the fishing, the teams headed over to the BASS Pro Shop for the weigh in. Burton and VanDam arrived in the CITGO show car to weigh their fish while the other teams arrived in their respective Triton boats carrying their catches. Each team weighed their six fish and the combined total weight would determine the winner. CITGO would also donate $10,000 in the name of the winner to MDA. The winner will be announced July 27 on ESPN2, when the made for TV show first airs before the BASS Master Classic. In the end, the drivers became anglers and the anglers became NASCAR fans.

6/6/02

Grand-Am

CART teams up with Grand-Am at Mid-Ohio  Grand American Road Racing Association President Roger Edmondson announced today that the Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series would compete at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course during the CART Grand Prix weekend, Aug. 8-11. The race will be the sixth round of the 10-race season for the street stock series. "At the beginning of the year we promised our fans and competitors a 10-race season. We are pleased to be able to have Mid-Ohio round out our schedule," Edmondson remarked. "The CART Grand Prix will be a wonderful opportunity for our teams to return to Mid-Ohio and race in front a large crowd." Grand-Am Cup will run a 2.5-hour race on Mid-Ohio's 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course on Saturday, Aug. 10 immediately following Champ car qualifying for the CART Grand Prix. The street stock series race is scheduled to being at 3 p.m. ET. Qualifying for the race will be held on Friday, Aug. 9 at 4:45 p.m. The Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series is the premier proving ground for many of today's automobile manufacturers. The series features actual production cars with only minimal racing modifications to enhance safety and performance. Four classes of race cars compete on the track at the same time during the Grand-Am Cup event, with drivers competing for top honors in their specified class, as well as the overall win. Grand-Am Cup cars are classified by weight, engine size and model.

6/6/02

NASCAR upholds penalty  On June 3, 2002, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Fred Wanke, Crew Chief for Team Rensi Motorsports. The appeal pertained to a $20,000 penalty issued by NASCAR when the #25 car was found to have been under the specified minimum roof height at the conclusion of the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division event held at Nazareth Speedway on May 19, 2002.The Commission finds the following: The rules violation was clear in light of the fact that both the Appellant and NASCAR confirmed that the car did not meet the minimum roof height requirement specified in Section 20A-12.8.1.A. of the NASCAR Rule Book when measured using the NASCAR measuring device in the standard manner during post-race inspection. The Appellant made a compelling argument that Team Rensi Motorsports has a good record of adherence to the rules and argued that the infraction was the result of the unintentional failure of a suspension component. The Commission found the Appellant’s arguments to be plausible and believable. However, the Commission reaffirms its view that the failure of a part on the racecar does not excuse a car that fails to meet specifications, particularly in a closely contested sport where “equipment failure” might be pre-engineered or caused intentionally in some instances. The Commission notes that Section 8-7 of the NASCAR Rule Book provides latitude for NASCAR Officials to use discretionary judgment in cases where post-race deficiencies are deemed insubstantial. In this case, the Commission concurs the magnitude of the infraction was substantial enough to warrant a penalty. The penalty, while serious, is consistent with penalties for similar rules violations. It is therefore the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the penalty assessed by NASCAR. The Appellant has the right, under Section 15 of the NASCAR Rule Book, to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.

6/6/02

CART announces sponsors for Chicago race  Officials from Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (CART) and the CART Grand Prix of Chicago today announced local and national sponsors for the fourth-annual event, which is scheduled for June 29 and 30. The CART Grand Prix of Chicago is Round 7 of the 20-race 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series and will air live on CBS television at 3:30 p.m. ET. Although the sponsorship list continues to expand, the current list of sponsors includes: FedEx, which is in its fifth year as Title Sponsor of CART's FedEx Championship Series. The year 2002 is the fourth year for FedEx as the Official Shipping Company of CART Grand Prix of Chicago. Shell, which is the Official Gasoline, Motor Oil and Convenience Store of the CART Grand Prix of Chicago for the fourth consecutive year. Shell will be conducting a race day ticket promotion in 300 Shell locations throughout Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana starting May 20. Bridgestone celebrates its first year as the Official Tire of CART and the CART Grand Prix of Chicago. While this is the first year for the Bridgestone brand, Bridgestone/Firestone has been involved with CART and the CART Grand Prix of Chicago for the past four years. In its inaugural year, Simple Green is the Official Cleaner and Degreaser of CART Grand Prix of Chicago, the Title Sponsor of CART's Safety Team as well as Official Cleaner and Degreaser of CART. In conjunction with Ace Hardware, Simple Green will be conducting a Pole Day ticket promotion in 200 Ace Hardware locations throughout the Chicagoland area. Also in its inaugural year, Motorola is the sponsor of Pole Day for the CART Grand Prix of Chicago and is the Official Communications Equipment of CART.   CART

6/6/02

Crew changes at Petty  New crew chiefs were named for two Petty Enterprises NASCAR Winston Cup cars, CEO Kyle Petty announced today. Brandon Thomas has been named crew chief for the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge of driver John Andretti, while Greg Steadman moved from that team to become crew chief for the #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge of driver Steve Grissom. Bryant Frazier will shift into the role of car chief for the #44. Thomas, a mechanical engineering graduate of Virginia Tech University, has been most recently with Joe Gibbs Racing. From 1999-2001, he was at Penske Racing South working on the #2 car. While at Penske, Thomas worked closely with Robin Pemberton, Petty Enterprises’ Vice President and General Manager. Brandon and I worked well together at Penske" said Pemberton. "I’ve seen him with a lot of racers, and he will fit in great with our people. His race experience and background will be a big plus for Petty Enterprises." "This is just another step in continuing our progress at Petty Enterprises," said Petty. "If we take the good people that we have, like Greg Steadman and Bryant Frazier, and add more quality talents like Brandon Thomas, we keep improving all of our teams. We were fortunate that Joe Gibbs and Jimmy Makar were willing to work with us, as they had Brandon under contract. "Coach Gibbs kept asking for a first-round draft choice in 2003 to get the deal done, though," Petty quipped. The crew changes are effective for this weekend's race in Pocono.

6/6/02

Sarah Fisher still without a ride  The IRL moves into Texas Motor Speedway this weekend with their biggest name, Sarah Fisher, still without a ride.  Fisher still can't find a sponsor to back her for the entire season, and the IRL sure could use the extra car because its car count, like CART's, has dropped to its lowest level this season (23 cars).  We typically see a drop off after Indy, as many teams simply are not able to continue if they didn't win enough money in May.

6/6/02

F1 Hot News

Renault: Points Or Bust
The End Of Ferrari's Dominance?
Silverstone Surge For Midfielders
Villeneuve Moving On?
Coughlan Set For McLaren Move
Michelin Teams In 'Open' Relationship
Blundell And Oliver Join BRDC
Money Or Glory For Jacques?
Barrichello Relaxed For Canada
Minardi Announce Unlikely Tester
Sato Visits Indy
Villeneuve Hits Out At BAR

  Much More...click on 2002 archives button below

Hot News Archives

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