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DATE

News (chronologically)

6/30/02

Biela and Pirro win at Mid-Ohio  Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro took victory in Sunday’s American Le Mans Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after their Audi team car driven by Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello ran out of fuel on the last lap of the event. Kristensen, who did not pit during the final caution period in the two-hour, 45-minute race and therefore inherited the lead, was approximately two seconds ahead of Pirro when he started the final lap. However, the Audi R8 Prototype’s engine sputtered entering turn 3, allowing Pirro to catch and pass. With the engine stopping and starting, Kristensen managed to coast around the 13-turn circuit and finish second, 6.248 seconds behind Pirro. “I was very surprised when Tom did not pit on the final yellow flag,” said Pirro, who teamed with Biela and Kristensen to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the third straight year two weeks ago in the same car. “I thought that Frank and I had the fastest car, but the other car would have won had it pitted.” David Brabham and Jan Magnussen finished third in a Panoz LMP-1, the car suffering damage late in the race when Magnussen was battling with Pirro for second place.

6/30/02

Marco and Michael Andretti to compete together for first time  Marco and Michael Andretti will compete for the first time together at the same venue when the CART series visits Road America in August for the Motorola 220.  Marco will compete in the CART Stars of Tomorrow go-kart race while father Michael competes in the CART Champ Car race.  MC

6/30/02

Mario Andretti switches to Chevron  Spotted on Mario Andretti in Chicago - a Chevron insignia on his shirt, rather than the Texaco Havoline Insignia he normally wears.  Cristiano da Matta's car has switched insignia's, as well, depending on the market.

6/30/02

Ryan Hunter-Reay wins again  The 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship season is now officially half-way over and who the Champion will end up being is no clearer now than it was when the season started. With temperatures hovering in the upper 90’s, Ryan Hunter-Reay (Hylton Motorsports/Medlock Ames Winery/Autobytel/U.S. Print Swift 014.a) scorched the 1.029-mile Chicago Motor Speedway for his second win of the season. “It’s great to give Keith (Hylton) a 1-2 finish,” beamed Hunter-Reay. “It is also nice to get a win in front of our new sponsors, Autobytel, who are on board with us here and in Denver. I knew I had a car capable of winning the race. It was just a matter of biding my time through the early yellows and being patient.”  Hunter-Reay, Roger Yasukawa, who was 2nd today, and the Hylton team have quickly made their mark on the Toyota Atlantic series, and looking at the scale of their operation, they certainly are Champ Car material, though we hear they will still run the Atlantics series in 2003.

6/30/02

Tony George's nephew moves up to Toyota Atlantics  Kyle Krisiloff, son of former CART driver Steve Krisiloff, and nephew of Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George, announced today that he will compete in the CART Toyota Atlantic series beginning at the Molson Indy Toronto.  Steve Krisiloff was married to George's sister Josie.  Krisiloff will drive for the 21st Century Technology team with sponsorship from the USGP and Patrick Racing.  The team will be managed by his father Steve, with associated support from Patrick Racing.  He is expected to run the remainder of the season.  Krisiloff most recently competed in the SCCA National Formula Atlantic series where he captured two pole in just three races, setting track records each time and finished on the podium all three times, including two wins.  The native of Indianapolis, Indiana began racing at the age of three on BMX bicycles. He competed in the six and under division until he was four. Moving to inline speed skating he was also competitive, but after being introduced to Quarter Midget racing he quickly found a home. Over a four-year period Krisiloff earned over 320 Feature wins, nine Grand National Championships and posted 20 track records. Graduating from Quarter Midgets he moved into 80cc Shifter Karts where he acquired a taste for road racing. Krisiloff competed for KLS Racing as a factory driver finishing tenth in the 1999 SKUSA World Finals. In 2000 he won two SKUSA races taking the pole twice.

6/30/02

Danica Patrick to make Barber Dodge Pro debut at Toronto  Team Rahal, a franchise member of Championship Auto Racing Teams (“CART”), announced today that Danica Patrick, who signed a multi-year driving contract with the team earlier this month, will make her Barber Dodge Pro Series debut at next week’s Molson Indy Toronto. Patrick, a rising star in open-wheel racing, will make her debut in the CART Ladder System with the race. Patrick will drive for Team Rahal’s newly formed Toyota Atlantic team in 2003. She was originally slated to run three Barber Dodge races in August, but her success in testing a Barber Dodge car last week at Sebring International Raceway in Florida has accelerated that timetable. She is now scheduled to run five Barber Dodge events this season. “A million things are going through my mind right now,” said Patrick, a 20-year-old native of Roscoe, Illinois. “Obviously the test went well enough that everyone felt I was ready to compete in the series now. By starting now I get a chance to run on a couple of street courses this year which will better prepare me for the opportunity next season. This is something I have been working towards for a long time and obviously I am excited, but I have a lot of work ahead of me in the next week to be ready to race. I have never seen the track in person, only on TV so I will spend some time trying to become familiar with the circuit. This is a great opportunity, an opportunity that probably wouldn’t be happening if it wasn’t for the CART Ladder System and for Bobby Rahal.” “Danica has worked very hard to get to this point,” said Rahal, a three-time CART champion. “I have had the chance to help a number of young drivers over the years and it is rare to come across a driver that has her determination and abilities. Certainly there has been a lot of attention focused on her because she is a young lady in racing, but the bottom line is she has to be competitive as a driver. I feel she has the talent to get to Champ Car racing and she has proven again and again that she is just plain fast.” Team Rahal

6/30/02

IRL Richmond attendance down Last year attendance for IRL's Richmond race was publicized to be 50,000 (though we questioned that).  This year some Richmond newspapers were saying the attendance was 35,000, which of course is quite optimistic given the track seats 99,000 and it was perhaps 25% full. Attendance was off at least 25%, possibly more.  More accurate estimates put this years attendance at 25,000, 6,000 of which were Marlboro giveaways.  CART will have similar mediocre results today in Chicago as interest in open wheel oval racing wanes.

6/30/02
Contest

AutoRacing1.com contest  The first 25 people to identify 1) who drove the car shown in the pictures below from the AutoRacing1.com archives, 2) what year the pictures were taken, and 3) where the car is going, will win four (4) free tickets to this weekends CART race at Chicago Motor Speedway, courtesy of Simple Green and AutoRacing1.com.  You only need to get 1 of 3 questions correct to win.  Hint - the car is a Champ Car.

Answer:  The car is a 1963 Hotel Tropicana Novi owned by Andy Granatelli being loaded at LAX and headed to the Indy 500 where it was driven by Bobby Unser.  He crashed on lap 2 and finished last.  Congratulations to the following winners who had one or more answers correct and won four free tickets: Eric Zehnbauer, John Downing, Chris Brown, Steve Fisher, David Smith, Michael Panosh, Michael Crane, Mike Jablo, David Martin, Ken Morris, Amy Schroeder, and Stuart Tiller.

6/29/02

Leitzinger wins   Rookie Butch Leitzinger of Tom Gloy Racing refused to wither under oppressive heat and the determined challenges of his three closest pursuers Saturday, and as a result, he claimed his first career Trans-Am Series victory in the Trans-Am Buckeye 100 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Leitzinger (#88 Tommy Bahama Chevrolet Corvette) started from the pole and led 41 of the race’s 45 laps, but his victory was not as dominant as that might suggest. Following a late-race restart necessitated by an off-course excursion by Craig Shafer (#39 Somerset Door and Column Chevrolet Camaro) in the Mid-Ohio carousel, Leitzinger was forced to hold off the victory bids of a trio of Trans-Am veterans, headed by three-time and defending series champion Paul Gentilozzi, also the winner of the past three Trans-Am races contested on Mid-Ohio’s 2.238-mile permanent road course. The final three laps saw Leitzinger, Gentilozzi, series points leader Boris Said and Johnny Miller – who entered the day second in the championship – run nose-to-tail through several of Mid-Ohio’s 13 turns before Leitzinger finally generated enough breathing room to finish 0.540 seconds ahead of Gentilozzi. Said finished third, 0.975 seconds back, while Miller was fourth, 1.441 seconds off the pace.

6/30/02

F1 Birthdays: Schumacher turns 27  Today, German ace Ralf Schumacher celebrates his 27th birthday. Born in Kerpen, Ralf hit Formula One in 1997 for Eddie Jordan's Silverstone based team, at the tender age of 21. The feisty but unrefined talent took a few years to mature, but a move to Williams sees him today a highly-rated, established name in the current world championship. Brother to quadruple world champion Michael, Ralf Schumacher has netted 4 career wins, the first of which at the Grand Prix of San Marino, last year. On this day, we remember Nino (Emilio Giuseppe) Farina, the Italian driver killed 36 years ago after a six year Grand Prix career. Born in Torino, Farina contested 37 races for Alfa Romeo and Ferrari. The last day of June also saw Lotus score their tenth win - 39 years ago. Jim Clark notched up the accolade, in the 1963 Grand Prix of France.

6/29/02

TMS date to move  According to this Dallas Fort Worth article, Texas Motor Speedway's lone Cup race date on the 2003 schedule apparently is on the move from its early-April slot. TMS' combined BGN and Cup races occupied the April 6-7 slots on the series' 2002 schedules. But fans who attended the Busch/Cup weekend at Talladega April 20-21 received a letter from track officials this week inviting them to renew their tickets, at the same prices, for NASCAR events scheduled on April 5-6, 2003. The offer came with the advisory that dates for the BGN race and the Cup race at Talladega are subject to change. While NASCAR traditionally releases its full Cup and Busch schedules in late summer, individual tracks increasingly have been allowed to announce dates during the season to drum up ticket interest in each market. Texas Motor Speedway's BGN/Cup weekend could be moved back to March 29-30, the track's traditional spot since opening in 1997. Eddie Gossage, TMS' executive vice president and general manager, could not be reached for comment Friday.

6/29/02

Irvine to quit F1 if new Jag bad  According to reports on the BBC, Britain's Eddie Irvine warned he would quit Formula One racing if Jaguar's new car is not competitive. The 36-year-old is disappointed the Jaguar car has languished near the back of the grid all season, with Irvine's three points in Australia their only success in this year's campaign. "If the car comes out and it flies then I am going to want to stay in Formula One," said Irvine, who is the oldest driver on the circuit. "If it doesn't then it doesn't bode well for the future. I am thinking that this package is going to be good. We are going to turn up there and surprise people and we are going to enjoy that. But the race is going to be one of the defining factors in my future. It is going to let me know what to do.”

6/29/02

Hylton announces Autobytel sponsorship  Hylton Motorsports, the 2001 CART Toyota Atlantic Champions are pleased to announce that Autobytel Inc., the leading Internet automotive marketing Services Company, has become a primary team sponsor. Autobytel’s sponsorship will adorn the #1 Autobytel/Medlock Ames Winery/Toyota/Swift driven by Ryan Hunter-Reay for Round 6 of the 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship at Chicago Motor Speedway and Round 12, the series’ final event, the inaugural Grand Prix of Denver.  More

6/29/02

Fogarty wins pole for Toyota Atlantics race  Alex Figge (Worldspeed Motorsports/Northern Trust Redline Wine Country Motorsports Ironclad Swift 014.a) posted the fastest times all day during practice at the Chicago Motor Speedway and was the favorite to win his first career pole for Round 6 of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. But it was points leader, Jon Fogarty (Dorricott Racing/Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards Swift 014.a), who stole the show and in turn, won his first career Atlantic pole on Saturday afternoon. Fogarty’s time of 26.978 seconds (137.312 mph) barely edged Figge’s time of 26.986 seconds (137.271 mph) earning him his first $1000 Toyota “Pole Award” and earned Dorricott Racing’s its third pole of the season. Teammate, Luis Diaz (Dorricott Racing/Telmex Swift 014.a) won poles earlier this season at Monterrey, Mexico and Portland. Most importantly, Fogarty earned one more point in a tight Championship battle. Fogarty now leads Michael Valiante by three points heading into tomorrow’s race set to start at high noon. Valiante will line up right behind Fogarty in third after posting a time of 27.355 seconds (135.419 mph).  CART

6/29/02

Biela and Pirro win pole at Mid-Ohio  Audi driver Frank Biela, two weeks after winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the third straight year, set a track record to take the pole position Saturday for Sunday’s American Le Mans Series event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The German driver, who will co-drive in Sunday’s sports car race with Emanuele Pirro of Italy, turned the 2.258-mile circuit in 1:14.169 (109.598 mph), beating the record lap of 109.057 mph that was set last year by Tom Kristensen. The Audi R8 Prototype that Biela and Pirro are using is the same car that won Le Mans.  More...

6/29/02

Kanaan leads opening practice at Chicago  Tony Kanaan had the fastest time to pace Saturday morning practice for Sunday's CART Grand Prix of Chicago. The race is Round 7 of the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series. Driving the Pioneer/WorldCom Honda/Lola, Kanaan had a top time of 23.326 seconds around the 1.029-mile Chicago Motor Speedway oval, good for an average speed of 158.810 miles per hour. Tora Takagi was second fastest in the Pioneer/Denso Toyota/Reynard and Patrick Carpentier was third in the Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard  CART

6/29/02

Sigma out for season  We confirmed today that Sigma won't e back in Champ Cars in 2002, but would try to come back for 2003.

6/29/02

CART needs to look after Max Papis  A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I see all that CART is doing for next year and that's great! BUT they have a great team in trouble with one of CART's most popular drivers in Max Papis! The board needs to get together and vote on a rescue package so Max doesn't become one of the IRL's most popular drivers. This is a team that wants to be racing in all aspects of CART and coming out with some form of emergency help so they can make it to next year would be smart for CART especially now. You can not afford to let Max Papis race some where else , especially now that the elsewhere is now been officially designated "THE ENEMY". CART should try to assist in finding emergency loans to this team and also help find some form of international sponsor. Sigma is a team that will win ( if they can stay )and should be turned into a two car effort for next year, with all the new deals coming up and people like Memo Gidley still looking for a ride!!! CART needs to recognize this team with it's Atlantic effort as well is vital to CART in it's long term goals and in light of what more bad press can do. The IRL waits for moments like this and you can be 1000% sure Tony George will pay to get Max signed if he can get Max to hold a nail for him. Don't forget how upset Max was at Portland! Bottom line Sigma stays CART looks even better and more positive press will come of it. Max goes and another nail goes into the coffin by way of Mr. George's hammer, and it is May all over again. Brian Defreese

6/29/02

Tracy - more convinced now that he won Indy 500  This Chicago Sun Times article, says - Tracy and Green are more convinced than ever that Tracy won the Indy 500. In their most detailed effort yet to prove that Tracy passed Castroneves before a yellow flag came out with less than 1-1/2 laps to go, they made their case last week before IRL officials. For Tracy, who hadn't seen the evidence because Green wanted him focused on the busy stretch of CART racing that followed Indy, seeing the videotape and other data Team Green compiled rekindled the frustrating feelings he had when Castroneves was handed the Borg-Warner Trophy after the race. "It's been harder for me lately, sitting around and thinking about it now that I've seen everything,'' Tracy said. "I felt that I'd won. I felt that I was ahead of him, but I didn't really get the opportunity to see all the video and photography stuff that Barry put together until the day of our hearing. I've been on pins and needles, but our presentation went really well. All we can do now is wait.'' Green remains confident Tracy will be named the Indy 500 winner. "To me, it's so clear Paul won that race that I'd be devastated if it's not turned over,'' Green said. "I can't think of a good reason for Paul not to get the win.''

6/29/02

Tony George - "I'm best suited to do it"  In this Indy Star article Tony George promised to provide "a summation" of the facts when his ruling is made public. But George said he stands by his decision to hear the case himself. He had the option to hand it over to someone else. "That would have just added (unnecessary) time," he said. "Besides, I'm best suited to do it."

6/29/02

Sarah Fisher complaining about Team Penske  In this Indy Star article Sarah Fisher says if we had a $20 million budget like Team Penske and was testing every week we would be running 168 MPH too, but we only have a $3 million budget!  There's a clear separation between the haves (Team Penske) and the have-nots (the rest of the IRL field).

6/29/02

More F1 Hot News 

The FIA Want Your Help
Team Orders Are 'Rational'
F1 Teams To Discuss Calendar
Safety Fears At Albert Park
Jaguar Play Down New Package
Jaguar Impressed With Webber
Ferrari Sold To Investment Bank
Pre-Silverstone Testing Update
Renault Pay-Cut For Jenson?
F1 News In Brief (Saturday)
F1 Birthdays (Saturday)

6/28/02
Fran-AM

Fran-Am teams with CART and F1 in Montreal  Fran-Am Sport, organizers of the Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship Series sponsored by Michelin International, today announced that the series will participate in both the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix and CART FedEx Championship weekends at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, beginning with this August's Molson Indy Montreal. The five-year agreement positions the Fran-Am 2000 series sponsored by Michelin International as a leading support event at two of Canada's premier races through 2007. "Competing at both the Formula One and CART weekends in Montreal is a natural extension of our worldwide championship philosophy," said Arden Weatherford, Fran-Am Sport's Director of Operations. "These are two of the premier motorsports events in North America and we're certain that both dates will attract a number of the finest aspiring drivers in the world to our series, as well as showcase our product to some of the greatest racing fans around. We're looking forward to a long-term future with Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve and the promoters of these two outstanding events." "We couldn't have asked for anything more than to join with the Molson Indy Vancouver and now, the Molson Indy Montreal and Canadian Grand Prix," said Andrew Field, President of Fran-Am Canada. "For many years to come, Fran-Am will be bringing some of the most exciting motor racing in the world to Canada and having three of the greatest events in North America provides a tremendous opportunity for Canadian drivers and spectators to experience our series."  The Fran-Am 2000 race car features a spec-Tatuus carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, sealed 2.0-liter/186-horsepower motor (capable of running an entire season without a rebuild), 6-speed sequential gearbox, and spec-Michelin Sport racing tires. The spec nature of the series has proven to keep operating costs to a minimum, while providing a level playing field to all competitors. Since gear sets are pre-determined, race weekend adjustments are basically limited to wings, spring rates, ride height, castor, camber and tire pressure. When permitted, races begin with a standing start and run for a 50-mile duration.

6/28/02

IRL speed jump through the roof  Marlboro Team Penske never ran at Richmond before.  They were at a disadvantage going into Richmond this year.  However, an oval is an oval, not to worry.  De Ferran blew away the year-old track record by more than 8 mph, winning the pole with a 168.705 mph lap.  The 8-mph increase in one year raised more than a few eyebrows up and down pit road.  With no turbocharger to turn back HP, the IRL will definitely need to reduce RPM in 2003 to keep speeds from running out of control.  It's strongly rumored next year they will be at 10,300, down from 10,700 this year.  And 2004?  Perhaps we'll see the RPM down to 9,900.....Winston Cup pushrod, 1950's technology territory.

6/28/02

Cracks starting to show in Hornish armor  Sam Hornish was the latest IRL super hero, or so he was made out to be.  However, with Team Penske now on the scene fulltime, all of a sudden Sam isn't looking so super and Team Penske has begun to dominate everyone.  Is Sam succumbing to the pressure of a top CART team and Brazilian drivers like Team Penske?


Hornish crashes again, this time in practice at Richmond, wiping out his left front suspension
Photo Credit: Ron McQueeney/IMS

6/28/02

New Jaguar slowest again in Barcelona 

F1 testing, Barcelona - day 4 (unofficial timesl)
Pos Driver Chassis-engine Tires Time Laps
1 Alexander Wurz McLaren-Mercedes M 1m17.60s n/a
2 Heinz-Harald Frentzen Arrows-Cosworth B 1m18.25s 63
3 Jenson Button Renault M 1m18.68s 62
4 Kimi Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes M 1m18.69s 29
5 Antonio Pizzonia Williams-BMW M 1m18.77s 101
6 Marc Gene Williams-BMW M 1m18.96s 140
7 Pedro de la Rosa Jaguar M 1m19.69s 64
8 Mark Webber Jaguar M 1m19.72s 56

Photo of new Jag Courtesy Getty Images/Mark Thompson

6/28/02

CART stock watch 

A big day for CART today . . .
MPH closed at $9.85, + $1.15 on volume of 173,500 shares.
$8.68 Bid - $9.80 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $8.60/$9.85
MPH Value Change + 13.22%
END
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

6/28/02

Kristensen and Audi fast at Mid-Ohio  Picking up where he left off two weeks ago at Le Mans, Tom Kristensen set the fastest lap of the day Friday as American Le Mans Series teams practiced for Sunday’s event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.   Kristensen, who was part of the winning team for the third straight year in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, turned the 2.258-mile circuit in 1:15.410 (107.795 mph), fastest of the 30 cars that practiced Friday. The Dane piloted an Audi R8 Prototype that he will co-drive in the race with Rinaldo Capello of Italy.  More...

6/28/02

Pook talks about non-turbo gasoline engines (V-10?) for CART  Ed Hinton writes in today's Chicago Tribune that Chris Pook has a long-range engine plan that should regain favor with some of the world's top automobile manufacturers. By 2005, Chris wants a normally-aspirated engine instead of a turbo-charged engine. "And in all probability, it will be gasoline-fueled," he says, "because that's what the world's automobile manufacturers understand." In doing so, CART cars will then use the same fuel as is used NASCAR and Formula 1. He's also doing this to: a.) reduce costs to stop teams from leaving the CART series; and b.) stop trying to create engine rules that are compatible with the IRL, which the IRL has rejected anyway

6/28/02

Payton was Jourdain's mentor  In this Chicago Tribune article, Michel Jourdain Jr. talks about his mentor, Walter Payton, whom he met when Michel drove for the Payton-Coyne Racing team in the 1990's. "I had the best relationship with him. He was the best guy ever," Jourdain recalls. "I miss him a lot. He was a big influence in my life. The way he was, the way he was with people, he was just the best. He was so famous, he was the best ever at what he did, and still he was so good with people, so down to earth, very smart." When Michel entered the CART series in 1996 with Payton-Coyne, he was only 19 years old, the youngest person ever to complete in the series. Michel has used his relationship with Walter and his experience at Payton-Coyne to propel him to a position where he's now driving for a front-running team, Team Rahal.

6/28/02
Industry News

Penske - the $11 billion man  Did you know that the Penske Corporation reports annual revenues of more than $11 billion. The company employs more than 35,000 people worldwide in several automotive-related ventures, including car dealerships, truck leasing and auto service centers.

6/28/02

CART stock watch 

An interesting open in MPH this morning.
By 11:10AM EST MPG was up $0.50 per share to $9.20.
22,100 shares already traded. Session low is $8.60..
END
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

6/28/02

New sponsor for Barrichello  Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello will be sponsored by the technology recovery firm Neverfail Group. As part of the deal, the Neverfail logo will appear on both sides of Barrichello's visor. The Neverfail Group is the first software company to sponsor a Ferrari driver.

6/28/02
Industry News

Microsoft makes major China investment  USA companies continue their march to China. Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer on Thursday announced an investment of 6.2 billion yuan (about $743 Million USD) in China's software industry. After his arrival in China on Wednesday, Mr Ballmer met premier Zhu Rongji and other government officials to discuss information technology co-operation. Microsoft and the State Development Planning Commission (SDPC) agreed to the 6.2 billion yuan software project, which will cover investments in education, training, manufacturing, outsourcing, exports and domestic software companies. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and SDPC chief Zeng Peiyan will head a joint committee to oversee the investment. The plan was announced yesterday as the firm signed an agreement with the Chinese Ministry of Education and five major universities to further software education in China and boost its image after a decade of increasing competition. Microsoft's Great Wall Plan calls for spending 200 million yuan over the next three years for basic funding, equipment, internships and instruction, including 150 lecturers. The company also pledged to invest four million yuan to set up a software college at Shanghai's Jiaotong University, one of the five beneficiaries.

6/28/02

Fiat sells part of Ferrari  Fiat has sold a 34 percent share of Ferrari to investment bank Mediobanca instead of going public with the company. According to the Financial Times, the deal, worth around £500 million, will allow Fiat to receive a vital injection of cash earlier than anticipated. Mediobanca plans to float the stake in the first half of 2003, according to the Financial Times. The bank has already placed 12.5 percent of Ferrari with a syndicate of investors and is in talks for another eight percent. The sale is likely to have some effect on Ferrari's Formula 1 team given how much money they spend on the program and how many cars they have to sell to make back the money.

6/28/02

More F1 Hot News 

Minardi Paid Prost Money
Team-Order 'Working Group' Set Up
Jordan: We'll Always Be Here
Ferrari: Team Orders Will Continue
Work Commenced On F2003
Pre-Silverstone Testing Update
New Jaguar: Too Early To Say
Ferrari-driver World Cup Showdown!
Montoya Hits Out At Ralf
F1 News In Brief

6/28/02

Mexico City ticket news  So far, tickets have not gone on sale to the general public.  The only people who can buy tickets are Mexican Banamex VISA card holders right now.  7,000 3-day tickets have been sold.  Soon the floodgates will open when sales to the general public begin.

6/28/02

Bad week in Chicago for CART  Looks like CART just ran into some incredibly bad luck in being in Chicago this weekend and the end result is lack of exposure, especially in the newspapers. Between the NBA draft - where the Bulls drafted second and chose the NCAA Player of the Year in Jason Williams, and now the Cubs vs. the White Sox this weekend in inter-league baseball, space for racing has been hard to come by. In talking with local TV, it will be a chore on Sunday as well because local TV stations generally only have 1, possibly 2 cameras to go to sporting events/non news events.....Cubs-Sox will get one, Taste of Chicago will get one.... To date, the two major dailies have done four stories between them on the race -- three questioning CART's future, and the one today about Tracy, which largely consisted of talk of him going to NASCAR or IRL if CART goes under. The Tribune writer submitted 2 or 3 major driver features, but has been caught up in a lack of space with baseball, the draft and World Cup going on.

6/27/02

IRL Hot Laps  Hot laps: Indy Racing League rookie Anthony Lazzaro will team up with NASCAR Winston Cup Series veteran Jerry Nadeau to drive the No. 7 Nissan-powered Lola fielded by Rand Racing in the Jani-King Paul Revere 250 sports-car race on July 4 at Daytona International Speedway. Lazzaro has driven Rand’s No. 8 Nissan-Lola with Terry Borcheller at selected Grand-Am sports-car races this season … Indy Racing League points leader Helio Castroneves is featured in the July/August issue of Sports Illustrated for Women as part of the magazine’s “Sexiest Men in Sports” issue. Castroneves joins such athletes as basketball player Rick Fox, skateboarder Tony Hawk and boxer Roy Jones Jr. in the swimsuit pictorial, available now. Castroneves also is featured in the June edition of Latina Magazine’s “Hot Issue,” which highlights the hottest celebrities in the Latin community. IRL

6/27/02

Delphi extends Chicagoland sponsorship  Delphi Corp. has extended its title sponsorship of the annual Indy Racing League event at Chicagoland Speedway through 2003, company and track officials announced June 27. The second annual Delphi Indy 300 is scheduled for Sept. 8 on the 1.5-mile oval at Chicagoland Speedway, located in Joliet, Ill. Jaques Lazier won the inaugural Delphi Indy 300 last September. “The extension of our partnership with Delphi for the Indy Racing League event at Chicagoland Speedway speaks volumes about our facility and the overwhelming support of the race fans in the Chicago metropolitan area for the IRL brand of open-wheel racing,” said Joie Chitwood III, Chicagoland Speedway vice president and general manager. “The Indy Racing League put on a great show during the inaugural Delphi Indy 300. “To sit in a world-class facility and witness two- and three-wide racing at speeds over 215 mph is unbelievable, and that is what the race fans and motorsports marketing partners in this area are looking for.” Said William A. Lafontaine, Delphi director of marketing and customer development, “Our sponsorship of the Delphi Indy 300 not only stresses our belief in motorsports as a proving ground for future Delphi innovations, it also is a valuable opportunity to build the Delphi brand.” Delphi has been involved in open-wheel racing since 1988. Earlier this year, the company announced an extension of its sponsorship of Kelley Racing’s driver Scott Sharp and the No. 8 Delphi car through 2005. IRL

6/27/02

Four lucky IRL fans  Four winners were selected for a chance to earn $50,000 along with an Indy Racing League driver this weekend at Richmond International Raceway in a special promotion conducted by SunTrust Bank. The four lucky fans are paired with one of the four IRL drivers – Robbie Buhl, Eddie Cheever Jr., Airton Dare and Robby McGehee – for the SunTrust Indy Challenge on June 29 at RIR. If one of the four drivers wins the race, both the driver and fan will take home $50,000, courtesy of SunTrust Bank. If none of the four drivers wins the race, the driver with the best finish of the group still will win $1,000 for his fan. The pairings:
Contestant, Hometown (IRL Driver):
Paul Mayle, Bethesda, Md. (Robbie Buhl)
Bob Harman, Williamsburg, Va. (Eddie Cheever Jr.)
Kathy Short, Baltimore (Airton Dare)
Jennifer Cadden, Baltimore (Robby McGehee)
All four winners will receive a VIP Race Experience on race day, including a meeting with their driver, a garage tour, a gift pack and lunch at the Indy Racing League hospitality pavilion. The winners were selected from entries filled out at SunTrust branches in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

6/27/02

Rudd decides to retire  According to this WSLS article, Ricky Rudd has decided to hang up his helmet at the conclusion of the 2002 season.

6/27/02

Mexico City construction update  At the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, work continues to prepare the track for the closing race of the 2002 FedEx CART series, the Gran Premio Telmex-Gigante which will take place November 17th at this historic track. A new layout will be used, including a couple of turns that will take the track through the Foro Sol baseball field, in an unique experience for the racing fan.  More.....

6/27/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $8.70, + $0.25 on volume of 34,600 shares.
$8.05 Bid - $9.15 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $8.25/$8.70
MPH Value Change + 2.96%
END
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

6/27/02

New Jaguar fails to impress  From Autosport.com - Jaguar's updated version of the R3 failed to shine on its first day of testing at Barcelona in Spain, with Eddie Irvine propping up the times of the nine drivers present. The Ulsterman started the day in the standard car and set his best time of the day, before switching over to the new version at 14.30 in the afternoon. He completed about 15 laps altogether, but never managed a representative time with the modifications in place. Both team principal Niki Lauda and Irvine gave very brief statements after the test. "It's too early to say, but it is encouraging," said Lauda. Irvine echoed his sentiments: "It's very difficult to say anything, because it's a different car. I never got much running in it today, so we've got a lot of work to do."

1. Räikkönen - McLaren - 1:17.755 - 93 laps
2. Wurz - McLaren - 1:17.857 - 54 laps
3. Pizzonia - Williams - 1:18.069 - 94 laps
4. Frentzen - Arrows - 1:18.851 - 68 laps
5. Button - Renault - 1:18.880 - 103 laps
6. Fisichella - Jordan - 1:19.291 - 51 laps
7. Massa - Sauber - 1:19.334 - 92 laps
8. Gene - Williams - 1:19.448 - 80 laps
9. Irvine - Jaguar - 1:19.912 - 51 laps

6/27/02

Andy Petree announces new sponsor  Andy Petree Racing announced today they have signed a one-race deal with 1-800-CALLATT to sponsor driver Mike Wallace in the APR #33 Chevrolet for the NASCAR Winston Cup Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6th. The car’s colorful paintjob will feature 1-800-CALLATT spokesperson and comedian Carrot Top and his trademark red locks on the hood. "It's an exciting opportunity for APR," Petree said. "To be involved with a brand like 1-800-CALLATT in a situation that puts Mike behind the wheel on a Superspeedway - we're certainly playing to our strength. We've got a competitive team and a wild paint scheme for one of the most exciting races of the season - our goal is to put Carrot Top at the front of the field under the lights in Daytona." APR has been without a full-time sponsor for the #33 car since the end of last season. Wallace and the #33 team have run just four races this season with using one-race deals with various sponsors. Wallace had some success ay Daytona. He has posted victories in the ARCA series in 1994 at Daytona and won the inaugural Craftsman Truck Series race in 2000. Wallace qualified 9th quick and started 17th in the 2002 running of the Daytona 500 back in February, and posted a career-best finish of 6th in 2001. “Daytona has been a racetrack that I really enjoy a lot, I understand the draft there. I like racing there, so anytime I have the opportunity to go there with a car that’s capable of winning the race, that’s very exciting for me and I feel that’s the position with the #33 APR car and this sponsorship. “We’re hoping that we can taker the 33 car to Daytona, and run well enough to convince ATT that they need to be involved longer.” APR has made its mark over the past two seasons at restrictor plate tracks. Bobby Hamilton, driver of APR’s #55 Square D/Schneider Electric Chevy, earned Petree his first Winston Cup victory as an owner in the final Superspeedway race of 2001 in Talladega. The team has been the focus of much attention concerning a partnership with Jerry Jones, owner of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, who recently purchased a controlling interest in APR’s two-car operation. “It’s still a work in progress, we’re working on it, it is something we want to do,” said APR executive vice president and general manager Steve Barkdoll of the partnership with Jerry Jones. “Hiring drivers is part of it, just putting the whole program together. We’re not there yet, hopefully we’ll be close soon. We’ve been talking to them since last October, and it’s not done yet, but it is something we’re pursuing.” APR also rumored to be making a switch from Chevrolet to Ford, and recently purchased several Penske Fords at an auction earlier this month. The team is also pursuing a full-time sponsor for the #33 car as well as re-signing Schneider Electric/Square D as sponsor of the #55 car. “We’re not set for next year, whether it be the Cowboys, ATT, Square D, we’re not set.” Barkdoll said, “Schneider Electric/Square D is signed until the end of this year, and we’re currently negotiating with them to extend that. They’ve been a great partner of ours and we hope to continue working with them.”  Pete McCole

6/27/02

Montoya slams Ralf  Juan Pablo Montoya has slammed his team-mate Ralf Schumacher for a start-line incident in last weekend's European GP that he claims cost him the race. As the Williams duo headed into the first corner they banged wheels leaving Montoya's steering bent and effectively ruining his race after just a few hundred meters. "If I had not moved off line it's possible both of our races would have ended there," says Montoya in British magazine Autosport. "I went and had a word with the team about it after the race," he adds. "Because if you are racing with your team-mate then you have got to think a little bit about the other guy. "If the situation was not like that then I could have gone out wide, pushed him into the gravel and spun him out," adds the Williams F1 star. Uncannily this isn't too dissimilar from what happened later in the race when Montoya clashed with McLaren's David Coulthard at the same corner.

6/27/02

Scheckter has is eye on F1  Tomas Scheckter has gone on record that F1 is his ultimate goal, but it's likely he will have to leave the IRL soon and move up to CART or another road racing series before his reflexes are permanently dulled on oval racing.

6/27/02

Ladder Series news  Toyota Atlantic Championship contenders Hylton Motorsports and Lynx Racing will open their doors to the first CART Mentor Program and Barber Dodge Pro Series participants AJ Allmendinger and Marc Breuers this weekend at the CART Grand Prix of Chicago. Current Pro Series point leader Allmendinger will team up with defending Atlantic champions Hylton Motorsports and drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay and Roger Yasukawa. Currently sitting third in Pro Series points, Breuers will join two-time Atlantic champion Lynx Racing and its drivers Michael Valiante and Grant Ryley.  More....

6/27/02

Earnhardt on Sports Illustrated cover  This week's edition of Sports Illustrated Magazine (cover date: July 1, 2002) features Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the cover. The prestigious sports weekly shines the spotlight on "The NASCAR Nation" -- and how the explosive growth of the sport is being fueled by Earnhardt Jr's fame and success. The extensive cover story was written by Jeff MacGregor, who, along with his wife, is traveling the entire Winston Cup circuit in a RV to experience as much of the NASCAR phenomenon as possible NASCAR

6/27/02

NASCAR sponsors cashing in  The NASCAR television package, consisting of FOX, NBC, FX and TNT, has proven to be extremely beneficial to car sponsors in terms of exposure. Joyce Julius and Associates has calculated the on-camera time by car sponsors in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and translated it into monetary value of comparable advertising. Through the Michigan event (race 15 of 36), the big winner was Budweiser (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) with $81.2 million in comparable advertising. Joining Budweiser among the top five were Lowe's (Johnson) at $47.6 million; UPS (Dale Jarrett) at $43 million; NAPA Auto Parts (Michael Waltrip) at $42.7 million; and Coors Light (Marlin) at $39.7 million. Who's watching? - The NASCAR Winston Cup Series continues to maintain its position as the No. 2 sport on television. The season kicked off in stellar fashion as the Daytona 500 became the highest-rated (10.9 rating/26 share) and most-viewed broadcast (35 million viewers) in NASCAR history. Every NASCAR Winston Cup Series race has been the most-watched motorsports event of each weekend, including Memorial Day weekend, and consistently ranks among the most-viewed sports programs each weekend. NASCAR Winston Cup Series races have attracted an estimated 132,750,000 viewers so far this season, dwarfing its open-wheel rivals NASCAR

6/27/02

Hello Chevy, where have you been?  Chevy put out the following press release today, touting the wonders of their new 7-post shaker rig.  To which we ask, where have you been the last two decades, CART and F1 have been using them for a long time?  - -  Like secret agent James Bond, who preferred his martinis shaken instead of stirred, Chevrolet teams are shaking things up in the Indy Racing League. The shaker they use can't be found in any bartender's kit, however. They rely on an instrumented seven-post rig that accurately simulates the stresses and strains of oval-track racing in a laboratory environment. Information generated on a seven-post rig can be invaluable on a challenging track like Richmond International Raceway's tight .75-mile oval, the site of Saturday night's 250-lap SunTrust Indy Challenge. Like wind tunnels and dynamometers, the seven-post rig is another tool in GM Racing's race car development kit. While a wind tunnel gauges aerodynamic performance and a dyno measures engine output, the seven-post rig puts the chassis and suspension to the test. "A seven-post rig allows a racing team to recreate the vehicle's behavior on the track in a controlled environment," said Kevin Bayless, a chassis and aerodynamics consultant for GM Racing who works closely with Chevrolet IRL teams. "The device is called a 'seven-poster' because there are typically seven hydraulic actuators that work on the car." Unlike a paint can shaker at the local hardware store, the seven-post rig's hydraulic plungers and rams are precisely controlled by a computer to reproduce the loads encountered on the track. Similar systems are used to evaluate the ride and handling of GM production vehicles. "The race car sits on four wheel actuators that simulate a variety of road inputs," Bayless explained. "Three additional actuators simulate the aerodynamic downforce produced by the wings and ground effects, as well as the suspension loads produced on a banked oval. These actuators also provide a means to roll the vehicle to evaluate cornering performance. "The seven-post rig allows us to analyze the effects of various suspension settings on the race car's wheels loads and ride height," Bayless continued. "It permits a team to work through a variety of spring, damper and roll bar packages quickly to develop an optimum combination." Like any laboratory tool, the seven-post rig has limitations, however. "After we develop a package on the seven-post rig, it still must be tested and proven on the track," Bayless noted. "Setups that look promising on the seven-poster don't always work in the real world. "Chassis and suspension development on a seven-post rig is still in its infancy, and we're continuously learning more about the process," he explained. "The interactions between the suspension, the chassis, the aerodynamic loads and the track are extremely complex. Of course, the driver must also feel confident and comfortable with the setup, and that's something that can't be evaluated on a test rig. However, the seven-poster does allow us to identify potential gains in performance that warrant further testing." With the introduction of sophisticated tools like the seven-post rig, there's a whole lotta shakin' goin' on in the world of Indy car chassis development.  Chevy

6/27/02

Hinton continues assault against CART  In this article that appeared in today's Chicago Tribune, Ed Hinton points out how the perception between the CART and the IRL has changed dramatically. The IRL was created to cut costs but is now facing increased costs, while CART had the image of high-cost and high-tech is now embarking on an austerity program next year.  However, in general Hinton is critical of CART and their 'spec' engine program, saying CART won't be a major factor in motorsports going forward....to which we respond.....This quote from the new Nigel Roebuck column at Autosport reiterates one of our salient talking points remarkably well....he also digresses in another answer on the CART Cosworth decision: Recently, when I was in the USA, someone-in-the-know murmured to me a few facts and figures about the company's different motor sport programs. "In the States," he said, "we're in NASCAR, CART and NHRA dragsters - and the whole lot together costs less than the World Rally Championship program." He paused. "Add all those together - and they cost less than the F1 program..." Interestingly, it appears that the amount spent on a particular program is inversely proportional to the success that program achieves! Ford does very well in NASCAR, CART and NHRA, reasonably well in rallying - and appallingly in F1

6/27/02

Chris Pook speaks out  In this article that appeared in today's Chicago Tribune, Chris Pook had this to say about what CART needs to do to get the word out about its future: "There are two avenues to public relations now," said 61-year-old Chris Pook, who last December took over as the latest president and CEO of CART. "Public relations that deal with the sport . . . and political spin stuff. . . . We are going to have to get a political-spin person to guide us through this storm. Some have been writing factually about our numbers and the good attendance we have. Others have been deciding to ignore that, dealing with doom and gloom. At the end of the day, the facts are going to be the facts."  There was more speculation that Barry Green, who runs three cars in CART, would follow Penske's lead to the IRL. But, Green recently said, "There is a lot of exciting news Mr. Pook cannot talk about today."

6/27/02

Ferrari starts work on 2003 car  According to Ferrari's technical director Ross Brawn, the Ferrari team have begun work on their 2003 car already. Brawn revealed that almost all of the design department was working on the car to get ahead of schedule. "Naturally we have been able to start work on next year's car," Ross Brawn said. "We are not getting complacent, but you are always looking to try and divide your resources between the current program and future programs, and obviously we can now put more emphasis on the future," Brawn told Autosport. "Although we have to maintain reliability and performance so we don’t have a performance shortfall. There will be tough races this year, but we have been able to start the new car and put more resources into it far earlier than we did last year.”

6/27/02
Industry News

Mazda and Ford China effort  It seems most racing engine manufacturers are increasing their business in China......If CART goes to China, will Mazda go to CART?   According to this Reuters report, Japan's fifth-largest automaker, Mazda Motor Co is exploring opportunities in China with partner Ford Motor Co., new president Lewis Booth said on Thursday. "We are looking at further opportunities in China both in terms of vehicles and in terms of component sourcing," he told reporters. "I know that Ford is doing just the same thing. We are looking together to see if there are any areas of mutual benefit in China," he said. Ford owns 33.3 percent of Mazda -- still a very small player in China but which like other automakers is eager to strengthen its presence in the world's most populous nation. The lowering of tariffs and the lifting of restrictions on models sold that have come with China's entry into the World Trade Organization last December have lured Japan's car companies to plunge deeper into the market. Booth, who became Mazda's new President on Tuesday, said any new deal would have to respect Mazda's and Ford's existing relationships with their Chinese partners but declined further comment on details. The Chugoku Shimbun, a regional newspaper covering the Hiroshima area where the Japanese automaker is based, has reported that Mazda and Ford are considering a joint venture in China that would build at least 150,000 vehicles per year. It has also reported that Mazda is in talks with First Automotive Works (FAW), China's biggest auto group, to build its new mid-sized sedan, the Mazda6 in Changchun in northeast China.

6/27/02

Hornish to try his hand at NASCAR  This Indy Star News article says, Ty Norris, executive vice president for high-profile Dale Earnhardt Inc., confirmed Wednesday plans are being finalized to have the defending Indy Racing League champion compete in "some" stock car races next season. Hornish likely will drive in the Busch Grand National division, although John Barnes, general manager of Hornish's IRL team, Panther Racing, said the deal could include a Winston Cup program for the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400. "We're two or three weeks away from knowing our entire lineup for next year," Norris said. "But Hornish is something we want to do if we can get the details worked out." NASCAR officials became interested in Hornish after his second-place finish in his first stock car race, the International Race of Champions event at Daytona in February. Hornish, who turns 23 next week, emphasized he will remain a full-time IRL driver, in part because he's locked in to Panther through next season. The Indianapolis-based team officially exercised its third-year option on Hornish in January and is negotiating an extension through 2005. Both sides hope to sign the contract by season's end. "There is no buyout clause (for Hornish) and we're not interested in selling his contract for any amount of money," Barnes said. "We love him, and he's a big part of Panther Racing. And we hope Panther Racing is a big part of his life."

6/27/02
Industry News

WorldCom woes  UPDATE The media center at Indy is named the WorldCom center.  The Indy Speedway will also lose out if WorldCom files for bankruptcy, which appears all but certain now.  6/26/02 -  Mo Nunn Racing sponsor WorldCom spiraled toward the brink of bankruptcy after the communications giant reported it had disguised $3.8 billion in expenses. The company's disclosure reveals one of the largest in a series of accounting scandals that have shaken faith in corporate America. WorldCom, which owns the nation's No. 2 long-distance carrier MCI, said Tuesday that more than $3 billion of expenses in 2001 and $797 million in the first quarter of 2002 were wrongly listed on company books as capital expenses, thus not reflected in its earnings results. That means the company may have actually lost millions of dollars when it reported profits. The Clinton, Miss.-based company said it will restate earnings for all of 2001 and the first quarter of 2002. ''Our senior management team is shocked by these discoveries,'' said CEO John Sidgmore, who was appointed in April to replace Bernard Ebbers amid questions about the company's growth and finances. WorldCom also announced Tuesday that its chief financial officer, Scott Sullivan, has been fired. In addition, the company said it would lay off 17,000 workers beginning Friday. The news could be the final blow to WorldCom, which is reeling from a low stock price, a crumbling telecommunications market and an ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission investigation.

6/27/02

NASCAR needs to follow F1's lead  One reason there is so much cheating going on in NASCAR is because the fines they hand down are chump change to most of the teams.  They are so small, in the 10's of thousands range, it's worth the risk of cheating because the consequences are meaningless.  Compare NASCAR's paltry fines to what the FIA charged Ferrari yesterday just because the wrong driver stood atop the podium - $1 million.  Perhaps NASCAR does not want to discourage cheating so when they catch the perpetrators they can get more media coverage.  NASCAR hands down more fines in one month than all other major sanctioning bodies hand out in one year....combined.  One has to remember that NASCAR was started by a group of moonshine running hillbillies, who would break the law by running homegrown alcohol from place to place in their 'souped up hot rods.'  That cheating mentality has been with NASCAR from Day 1 and it's been with them ever since.  In fact cheating is part of their folklore.  Many stories are still told to this day about how the rules have been broken in NASCAR.  It's time for NASCAR to start handing down $1 million fines.  That will get the potential perpetrators attention and nip this cheating mentality in the bud.  Anything less is clear evidence that they don't want cheating to stop.

6/27/02

More F1 Hot News 

Asiatech 'Mystery' Revealed
New Jaguar 'Night And Day' Difference
Irvine's Football Fever
HANS Compulsory For 2003
Ecclestone: Michael Panicked
2003 F1 Calendar Released
Pre-British GP Testing Update
F1 News In Brief
F1 Birthdays

6/26/02

Team Green displays Indy 500 evidence  Autoracing1 and Champweb have learned that evidently Barry Green has taken the displays that he used in pleading his Indy 500 case before Tony George last week (regarding his claims that Paul Tracy was leading when the yellow lights first came on), and has mounted them in the Team Green cafeteria for all their employees to see. The time synchronized, frame-by-frame blowups show Paul Tracy clearly ahead of Helio Castroneves for a distance of 90 to 100 feet before the yellow lights first flashed on. Apparently the Penske side didn't bring any displays to the hearing. Perhaps Roger already knew his friend Tony George would not rule against him (even though the evidence appears as, we understand it from various sources, to point to Paul Tracy as the real Indy 500 winner), so why bother. Green has shown evidence that the yellow lights on the fence came on after the pass. Apparently, again as we understand it, the other side has no concrete evidence that the dash lights came on before the pass, only Helio's claim that they did. Everyone else says they didn't. In the heat of action, without even thinking, Paul Tracy's immediate reaction to his crew over the radio was "Yahoo, we won it".....i.e. Paul knows he was ahead when the yellow came out. Based on the evidence presented to us, it would seem to us that Tony George can only rule one way, that Paul Tracy won the Indy 500, though we will be the first to admit we are not attorneys, and are not certified to render a legal opinion (then again, Tony isn't an attorney either). The longer Tony George delays the ruling, the longer Team Green and their sponsors get cheated out of the benefit of the advertising value that goes along with an Indy 500 win, if they did indeed win. We expect the ruling to be that Green's evidence was not 100.00% conclusive (i.e. Green did not prove that the dash lights were not on), therefore, Helio, keeps the win.  Pundits say the light Helio saw was his low fuel pressure light.  We can't comment as to whether that is true or not.  We find it hard to believe that the amount of data presented was that voluminous that it could take so long to render a decision.  Either TKG wins their plea or they don't, let's get this show on the road! 

6/26/02

NASCAR puts the screws to Dodge teams  Starting July 3rd, the cylinder width or "bore" of every Winston Cup engine can be no more than 4.185 inches. In the past, teams could choose if they wanted their engines to have wide, short cylinders or long, narrow cylinders. Shorter strokes means you can turn higher RPM. Many Dodge teams, including Marlin's team, used the short, wide cylinders. Those cylinders won't meet NASCAR's new mandate. That means about 60 engines built for Marlin and teammate Jimmy Spencer are useless and new engines have had to be built. Is NASCAR going to pay the team for these junk engines since they decided to make this mid-season whimsical rules change? It's not like Dodge built an illegal engine, they did not. "Probably the biggest thing that's hurt us is the time it's taken to build the [new] motors up and to start getting a new fleet of engines," said Andy Graves, team manager at Chip Ganassi Racing. "One thing it has cost us is development time. "I think that from the beginning of this season up to this point, a lot of teams have made gains in horsepower and, basically, we've done zero. Our cars are making the same power as it has because we've been spending so many man-hours getting our new fleet of engines built up."

6/26/02

CART sponsors get behind Chicago race  When Championship Auto Racing Teams signs a deal to have a race at one of the 20 venues on its schedule, its main focus is to tend to the business of racing, while assisting the tracks where needed in the promotional duties. But this weekend's CART Grand Prix of Chicago is a different beast as the series went to bat in a move to keep one of the nation's biggest markets on its schedule, taking over promotional duties for the event to be run on the 1.029-mile Chicago Motor Speedway oval. CART is responsible for everything from selling tickets to finding sponsor opportunities at the track in preparation for this weekend's event - a task that is a deviation from the norm, but one that is being handled with aplomb by the race organizers. "The Chicago market is very important for any sports organization and CART is no different," said CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. "I am very pleased with the spectacular effort put forth by our people as well as our sponsorship and marketing partners in helping build a successful event." CART set up its own satellite office in Chicago to ensure that its staff would be in touch with everything that needed to be done for the race, having to take over the promotional task after the owners of the track decided that they were not going to hold any auto races this season. CART announced that it was taking over promotional duties on March 4, meaning that tickets have only been available for three months, but the sales have been steady ever since the box office opened. Sponsors have seen the opportunities presented in Chicago, taking steps to put their names not only in front of the fans that come out to the track, but also to the nationwide audience tuning in on CBS for Sunday's race (3:30 p.m. ET) as well as SPEED Channel for Saturday's live qualifying coverage (2:30 p.m. ET). Series title sponsor FedEx, tire supplier Bridgestone, wireless equipment provider Motorola and safety team sponsor Simple Green are just some of the companies that have chosen to support the event, along with Toyota, which has supplied many of the track vehicles. Simple Green is also doing a promotion with local ACE Hardware Stores for the race. Shell is offering an incentive plan for its customers with race tickets as a reward in its 170 Chicagoland area stores. Customers will have the chance to pick up one free Sunday race ticket with any three purchases of $15 or more. In addition, customers will have the opportunity to purchase up to three additional race tickets at a 25-percent discount. Miller Brewing Company and Pepsi are also putting forth promotional efforts to help draw fans to the event.

  • Craftsman is involved in a number of racing events over the weekend, but has chosen the Chicago race to showcase its Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge program, which rewards teams for their quick work in the pits with a season-ending competition worth $50,000. The program, which pits the four quickest teams over the 2002 season against each other in a season-ending shootout, will have a Wild Card entry available at the Chicago event with the fastest team on race day earning a pass as the fifth team to enter the shootout to be held at California Speedway on Nov. 3.

  • SPEED Channel will have a major presence at the popular Taste of Chicago event, setting up a trailer that will be on hand for 10 days, with CART-based giveaways for fans including 'CART Lives On SPEED' posters. A show car will be on display along with a 53-foot CART mural. A 24-foot television screen will be part of the display, showing all of the action from Chicago Motor Speedway including SPEED Channel's CART Friday Night program, which will take place at the festival in Chicago's Grant Park.

  • A total of six hours of original programming and nine hours of total coverage will emerge from this weekend's CART Grand Prix of Chicago, including a same-day showing of the CART Toyota Atlantic race that opens action on Sunday afternoon (SPEED Channel, 9 p.m. ET).

  • Broadcast times for the events of the CART Grand Prix of Chicago are as follows: CART Friday Night, (SPEED Channel, Friday 10:30 p.m. ET); CART Friday Night re-air (SPEED, Saturday 3:30 a.m. ET); CART Friday Night re-air (SPEED, Saturday 2:00 p.m. ET); CART Qualifying, (SPEED, Saturday 2:30 p.m. ET, live); CART Grand Prix of Chicago (CBS, Sunday 3:30 p.m. ET, live); Toyota Atlantic race (SPEED, Sunday 9:00 p.m. ET); Atlantic race re-air (SPEED, Monday 2:00 a.m. ET).

6/26/02

Foyt to help Grandson  While most high-school students are enjoying their summer vacation, A.J. Foyt IV actually is looking forward to furthering his education. Of course, 18-year-old Foyt’s summer “classroom” doesn’t contain books or blackboards, and the curriculum is slightly unconventional. Instead of writing essays or analyzing equations, Foyt, from Hockley, Texas, will apprentice one of the greatest race drivers of all time: his grandfather, four-time Indianapolis 500 champion A.J. Foyt. Young Foyt, a teen-age karting sensation who graduated from high school earlier this month, will drive for his famous grandfather in the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series, a new development series designed as the training ground for future Indy Racing League champions. “My grandpa is going to be helping me a lot, but I’m not expecting anything different from how he treats his drivers,” said Foyt, whose car will carry the No. 14 synonymous with “Super Tex.” “I know everything he tells me – or hollers at me – will be just for the good. “I’ve got a lot of people behind me that have been around for a while and really know what’s going on, so I think we’ll be in good shape. We’re starting to get things ready for our first race July 7 at Kansas Speedway. It’s really going to be big to drive an Indy-type car with the No. 14 on it. I’m looking forward to it.” In addition to his driving duties, young Foyt is a member of the pit crew for his grandfather’s Indy Racing team. Foyt will be at Richmond International Raceway for this weekend’s SunTrust Indy Challenge, where his responsibilities will include changing the right front tire on Airton Dare’s No. 14 Harrah’s/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. “Being a tire changer is good for me because it makes me realize what the guys have to go through, how much work it is and how difficult it is,” Foyt said. “It’s definitely good for when I get into the car. I’ll respect those guys more for what they do.” Dare, an Indy Racing veteran at 24, will serve as young Foyt’s driver coach. It’s a role he welcomes. “I’m going to try to help him as much as I can because A.J. helped me a lot,” said Dare, the 2000 Indy Racing League Rookie of the Year. “I’m just trying to give back the favor he gave to me.” Other up-and-coming drivers joining Foyt in the Infiniti Pro Series include Arie Luyendyk Jr., son of two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Arie Luyendyk, actor/racer Jason Priestley, short-track standouts Aaron Fike and Ed Carpenter and Native American Cory Witherill. The inaugural, seven-race Infiniti Pro Series season begins July 7 at Kansas Speedway. The 100-mile “sprints” will take place at the same track and on the same day as Indy Racing League events except for the Texas race, which will be conducted the day before the IRL’s season-ending Chevy 500.

6/26/02

New Hampshire surface cracking  According to this New Hampshire Citizen report, an upcoming NASCAR Winston Cup test session was canceled at the New Hampshire International Speedway after it was learned that hairline fractures were found in the newer portions of the track. There will now be no testing prior to next month’s Winston Cup event which is slated to begin July 19. NASCAR rules do not allow testing to be done seven days prior to a race. That means Winston Cup teams will not be able to practice on the newly reconfigured track before the race weekend. In April, both of the lower turn areas on the superspeedway were widened by 12 feet between Turns 1 and 2, and Turns 3 and 4 on the 1.058-mile oval, with the hopes of adding the second groove. The goal was to create more racing excitement with cars having more room to pass and opening the possibility of side-by-side racing. In recent years, NASCAR drivers had complained that it was too difficult to pass on the one-groove speedway. After May’s Busch Grand National Series event, most drivers sung the praises of the changes. Fans were also treated to a more exciting brand of racing on the "Magic Mile" as cars were able to race side-by-side. But the hairline cracks were found recently in the newer racing groove between Turns 3 and 4, perhaps as a sign of stress or from an inferior mix of asphalt. In order to remedy the situation, Pike Industries of Belmont will repave the areas of the track in question in order to fix the cracks. Hopefully three weeks time will be adequate for the new pavement to cure before the 600 miles of racing scheduled for the traditionally busy July NASCAR weekend. In addition to the 300 mile Winston Cup event, NASCAR’s Craftsman Truck, Busch North, and Featherlite Modified Series will be in action.

6/26/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $8.45, + $0.25 on volume of 40,200 shares.
$7.78 Bid - $8.81 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $8.10/$8.45
MPH Value Change + 3.05%
END
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

6/26/02

Miami Promoter looking for more money, ISC still trying to undermine race  According to this Miami Today article, Promoters of an October auto race in downtown Miami are still looking for co-investors and on Monday will ask the Miami Sports & Exhibition Authority for a $1.5 million loan. Raceworks, owned by architect and developer Willy Bermello, attorney Peter Yanowitch and racing legend Emerson Fittipaldi, has plans to stage the first Grand Prix of the Americas here Oct. 4-6. Still, the group is trying to raise funds for marketing and staff and to help build a course starting in Bayfront Park, continuing south on Biscayne Boulevard and circling back to the park. In an effort to raise capital, the group expects to sell up to 60% of Racework's controlling interest to Championship Auto Racing Teams, or CART, said Lucia Dougherty with the law firm of Greenberg Traurig representing the promoter. Raceworks is looking for investors to buy controlling interests in the event, Ms. Dougherty said Tuesday. "They are selling shares," she said. Event organizers last week asked Miami commissioners to amend the city-issued revocable license to reflect CART and a Delaware-base limited partnership as new partners. But the city administration Monday said the change was unnecessary until an ownership transfer took place. Raceworks has the same owners it did when the license was granted, said Assistant City Manager Frank Rollason. Mr. Bermello owns 33.33%, Mr. Yanowitch 63.67% and Mr. Fitipaldi 3%. While still not a partner, CART - which owns, operates and markets the CARTFedEx Championship Series - is committed to participating in the three-day event, she said. The American Le Mans will also take part in the Grand Prix. The race falls under the purview of the city's Sports & Exhibition Authority, which reports to the Miami City Commission. The group, with some city commissioners sitting on its board, is in charge of marketing, funding or underwriting sports and community events.

6/26/02

FIA Statement on Ferrari  The FIA issued the following statement following today's World Council Meeting: 'Having studied the observer’s report and heard the three parties concerned, Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher and Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, the World Motor Sport Council resolved as follows. The race The WMSC deplored the manner in which team orders were given and executed at the Austrian Grand Prix. Nevertheless the Council finds it impossible to sanction the two drivers, because they were both contractually bound to execute orders given by the team. The Council also recognized the long-standing and traditional right of a team to decree the finishing order of its drivers in what it believes to be the best interest of its attempt to win both world championships. In the circumstances, the Council decided; with some reluctance; that it could take no action over the team orders given by Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro at the Austrian Grand Prix. The podium The podium procedure was not followed. Having finished second, Rubens Barrichello, who is a Brazilian national, stood on the top step while the German national anthem was played for Michael Schumacher. Michael Schumacher then ascended the top step and both drivers, rather than just the winner, stood there while the Italian national anthem was played. Michael Schumacher took the trophy for first place from the Austrian Chancellor, did not acknowledge him, handed the trophy to Rubens Barrichello and then took the second place trophy from the Austrian Deputy Chancellor. It is the duty of each team to ensure that its contracted drivers observe the podium procedures and do not in any way embarrass the national authorities of the country where a grand prix takes place. The World Motor Sport Council held that Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher and Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro were each guilty of failure to observe Article 170 of the Formula One Sporting Regulations. The World Motor Sport Council imposed a fine of $1 million (USD) on Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello jointly, half to be paid immediately and half to be suspended for one year. The fine will become payable immediately should a similar offence occur within the next twelve months.'

6/26/02

Provisional 2003 F1 calendar same as 2002 

March 9, Australia (Melbourne)
March 23, Malaysia (Sepang)
April 6, Brazil (Interlagos)
April 20, San Marino (Imola)
May 4, Spain (Barcelona)
May 18, Austria (A1-Ring)
June 1, Monaco (Monte Carlo)
June 15, Canada (Montreal)
June 29, Europe (Nurburgring)
July 6, France (Magny-Cours)
July 20, Britain (Silverstone)
Aug. 3, Germany (Hockenheim)
Aug. 17, Hungary (Hungaroring)
Aug. 31, Belgium (Spa)
Sept. 14, Italy (Monza)
Sept. 28, USA (Indianapolis
Oct. 12, Japan (Suzuka)

6/26/02

Most Popular Driver votes top 1 million  Shattering all previous vote totals, the 2002 Grands!® Biscuits National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award poll has surpassed 1 million fan votes in only four months of online voting. The highest vote total previous recorded for the award is 400,000. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who has led the poll since voting opened in March, continues to be the top vote recipient with nearly 300,000 votes to date. Bill Elliott is currently in second place followed in the top 10 by Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin, Kyle Petty, Rusty Wallace, Kevin Harvick and Michael Waltrip. NASCAR Winston Cup fans can continue to vote online once per day at www.nascarpopulardriver.com through Nov. 10.

6/26/02

Danica Patrick hits the track  Young American female driver Danica Patrick continued her learning process on U.S. racing circuits this past week by testing an open-wheel car and a stock car. Patrick, the petite 20-year-old from Roscoe, Ill., who signed with Team Rahal earlier this month for the 2002 and 2003 seasons, took her racing helmet and uniform to the South and drove two of the most diverse racing machines on two completely different race tracks. Patrick, who impressed many open-wheel racing experts on European road circuits as a teenager, spent a day at the Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway at the controls of a Busch Grand National stock car, the Ford Taurus normally driven by Scott Riggs. “The stock car is a completely different animal than anything I have driven in the past,” said Patrick, who placed second in the “Formula Ford Festival” in England in 2000. “Plus driving on a small half-mile oval with a big car is a different experience too. But once I got used to the car and the track I think I ran some pretty good laps. The Ford folks were very helpful in letting me test the stock car. That test added to my learning experience in racing.” A few days later Patrick headed to the famed Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway for two days of testing in the Barber Dodge Pro Series open-wheel car. Patrick is scheduled to race in three Barber Dodge Pro Series races later this year beginning at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in August. “The Barber Dodge car was more familiar to me after my experience in rear-engine cars,” said Patrick, who won the pro division in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race at Long Beach, Calif., last April. “The cars are really fun to drive and I was able to develop the chassis setup on the second day. I’m anxious to the race these cars this year. The CART Ladder System is a great program and the Barber Dodge cars help a driver gain the needed experience. I think these cars give you a good sense of developing your driving abilities.” Patrick, who also tested a Toyota Atlantic car, an Indy Lights car, a Ford-powered Midget and a BMW sports car this year, will also test a Toyota Atlantic car for Team Rahal later this year as she prepared for a full season in the Toyota Atlantic Championship in 2003 for the Ohio-based team headed by three-time CART champion Bobby Rahal and entertainer David Letterman

6/26/02

CART attendance growth keeping pace with F1 in Australia  UPDATE We have added additional statistics to the table below.  Also, with V8 Supercars getting equal billing with CART in Surfers this year, we are told to expect a weekend crowd of over 300,000, up from a phenomenal 286,810 last year. Also, the V8 Supercars race in Adelaide drew between 1999 and 2001, 158,000, 164,000, 166,400 respectively.  As we stated in this article titled, 'Should CART race at Adelaide?' CART teaming with V8 Supercars at that venue is a no-brainer.  There is no question that with CART and V8 Supercars, Adelaide can draw numbers equal to Surfers.  The market certainly can support another CART race. 6/26/02 -

3-day Attendance

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

F-1 (Melbourne)

289,000

297,000

345,300

359,500

369,500

CART (Surfers)

226,000

245,553

250,817

269,890

286,810

F-1 vs. CART (diff)

63,000

51,447

94,483

89,610

82,690

% difference

28%

21%

38%

33%

29%

F-1 Annual Growth

 

8,000

48,300

14,200

10,000

Percent

 

3%

16%

4%

3%

CART Annual Growth

 

19,553

5,264

19,073

16,920

Percent

 

9%

2%

8%

6%

6/26/02

Asiatech looks to team up with car manufacturer  According to this Reuters article, Formula One engine builders Asiatech, a secretive company with publicity-shy Asian backers, are designing their own car and hoping to team up with a manufacturer. Currently supplying Minardi free after a similar one-year deal with Arrows, Asiatech said at the weekend it was time to reveal some plans. "Asiatech has been a mystery now for the two years that we have been on the circuit and we are finally talking," Japanese-born financial director John Gano said at the Nuerburgring. "Our philosophy has always been to keep our mouths shut, keep our heads down, do the work. "We have come to the point where, using the generous seed money that I was able to raise in Japan, we want to link with a road car manufacturer. "The future of Formula One is road car companies," said Gano, whose company has spent some $150 million investing in their program for a total reward to date of just three championship points. "We are talking to a couple of manufacturers now but we don't want anyone to feel like they've been left out. That's why we are sending the signal around. We don't want people to come to us and say 'Why didn't you contact us?' "We want everyone to know: Don't miss your chance. The time to talk to us is now."

6/26/02

CART vs. NASCAR - it's a matter of taste  This Chicago Sun-Times article makes some interesting comparisons between CART and NASCAR, the least of which is their vast differences in popularity right now, NASCAR being the hands down winner.  On the other hand, CART brings speed, technology and driving skill that makes NASCAR look like it's stuck in second gear. It's a subtler art; with no fenders to protect them, open-wheel drivers must avoid the kind of contact that makes NASCAR so fun. But that adds to the watchability for sophisticated race fans. You won't see any NASCAR-style, middle-aged drivers in CART, where reflexes really count. Beauty is a matter of taste, but it's hard to argue against CART's sleek racing machines. In another CART plus, its points system is set up to encourage drivers to win races, rather than be content with merely finishing them.

6/26/02

Ferrari, Schumacher and Barrichello fined $1 million  Ferrari, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello have been jointly fined one million dollars by the FIA over the controversial finish to last month's Austrian Grand Prix. The fine came after Schumacher, who was handed the race after teammate Barrichello was ordered to let him pass near the end of the race, responded to jeers from the crowd by pushing his teammate to the top of the podium to accept the winner's trophy. There was no point deduction or ban.  The FIA views their well orchestrated podium ceremony sacred.  The fine is $500,000, with the remaining $500,000 to paid if it happens again.

6/26/02

Coulthard job secure at McLaren  McLaren driver David Coulthard has let slip that he is contracted to the Woking team 'for the foreseeable future', ending weeks of speculation that the return of Mika Hakkinen may leave the Scot without a home. ' You never know what the future holds', he said, 'But I see no reason to change. We have all the ingredients here; we're a well funded, well organized team with a proven history of winning - so why move?'

6/26/02

New Jag hits the track  Jaguar Racing have explained that their heavily revised Formula One contender, dubbed R3b, was tested at the Belgian Lommel circuit yesterday to 'Check that the downforce data we are getting from the load cells in the wind tunnel is correct. We tested the R3 first and then the newer car so that we can check the same data on the same day in the same conditions'. Once verified, the new car will join the majority testing action at the Barcelona track where Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa will take the wheel. Aussie charger Mark Webber will drive the older Jaguar on Friday.

6/26/02

Minardi and Coloni F3000 deal opens up test drives  F3000 outfit Coloni Motorsport's new links with European Minardi should see Italian drivers Giorgio Pantano and Enrico Toccacelo granted a Formula One test in 2002. An arrangement was signed at the Nurburgring event which will see the two F3000 teams join forces in various technical and commercial capacities, allowing the struggling junior Minardi team to conclude the season. 'This will provide a route for our young drivers to have their first taste of Formula 1,' said team principal Paolo Coloni. 'This is a very good arrangement because it will benefit everyone concerned.'

6/26/02

More F1 Hot News 

Ferrari's Date With The FIA
Sauber Eyeing Up Drivers?
Bridgestone: Our Tires Were Better
McNish Fighting Fit
Pre-Silverstone Testing Update
Team Orders 'Part Of Ferrari'
Williams Promise To Improve
Fisichella: Jordan Is Less Demanding
A Bit Of Fun With Coulthard
F1 News In Brief
F1 Birthdays: June 26

6/25/02

New China site emerges  According to this GrandPrix.com article, Shanghai has said that it wants an event but a visit a few weeks ago to Wuhan, China by members of the Australian GP Corporation, led by John Harnden apparently came home very impressed with what they saw.

6/25/02
Industry News

Lola to cut jobs despite expanded business  According to a Autosport magazine report, Racing car constructor Lola is planning to slim down its workforce, despite its continued expansion in and away from motorsport. As exclusively revealed in this week's AUTOSPORT magazine, the British company is to supply chassis next season to Japan's top single-seater championship, Formula Nippon, for the first time in six years. Lola will build heavily modified versions of its Formula 3000 racer, filling the void left by former rival Reynard, which went out of business earlier this year. The project adds another single-seater program to its business, which already includes Champ Cars, F3000 and a planned Formula 3 car.

6/25/02

Pay-per-view does well in debut  According to a Joyce Julius and Associates report, NASCAR's much-anticipated foray into enhanced television, NASCAR In Car On iN Demand, was unveiled during the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 from Michigan, and one of the corporate entities taking advantage of the subscription coverage was Dale Jarrett's primary sponsor, UPS, which collected more than $120,000 in "bonus" exposure. According to research conducted by Joyce Julius and Associates, Inc. - which specializes in documentation and analysis of exposure received by corporate sponsors -from the single digital cable channel dedicated to Jarrett's car, UPS reaped one hour, 36 minutes, 57 seconds (1:36:57) of clear in-focus exposure time and a value of $121,115. Three cameras carried on-board Jarrett's car - in-car (48:19/$60,355), bumper (45:21/$56,660) and roof (3:17/$4,100) - accounted for all of UPS' exposure. Exposure value was calculated by comparing the on-screen time to an estimated cost of a commercial spot during the subscription telecast. The estimated commercial rate was determined by taking a percentage of the Fox over-the-air ad rate, based on a projected viewership for the subscription telecast. NASCAR IN CAR On iN DEMAND was provided free to all digital cable subscribers. The package consists of seven sequential channels, including the live network program, five dedicated in-car camera channels with virtual dashboards, and a statistics channel. Also benefiting from the in-car cameras carried by Jarrett were "The Muppets", as a logo pertaining to a current promotion with UPS was viewed on the dashboard for 45:07 ($56,350). Additionally, the race title sponsor, Sirius Satellite Radio, enjoyed 10:06 of graphics during the coverage of Jarrett, for a value of $12,635. Beginning with this past weekend's Dodge/Save Mart 350 from Sears Point Raceway, the NASCAR IN CAR On iN DEMAND service is being offered as a $99 package available for the remaining 22 events on the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule.

6/25/02

No sponsor for IRL race at MIS, where's the AP article?  The Associated Press, having nothing better to write about, published a story recently that the upcoming CART race in Denver as of yet does not have a title sponsor.  The IRL's upcoming race at Michigan International Speedway is before the Denver race, and we're still waiting for AP to write their story about that race not having a title sponsor either.  Of course they won't, because like vultures circling the dying lamb, some journalists go on a feeding frenzy and look for any angle they can to turn up bad news about CART.  Talk about cutting off ones nose to spite ones face.  If CART dies, some of these same journalists will be out of a job.  Newspapers where CART races have also  published anti-CART stories before, during and after a CART race in their town.  If CART dies, their town loses their race.  Talk about not being able to see the forest through the trees.

6/25/02

RPM2Night to be broadcast from MIS  ABC and ESPN continue to show their support for the IRL by announcing that RPM2Night will be broadcast live from Michigan International Speedway the week leading up to the IRL race on July 28th.  They never did this when CART was racing there, so it's become quite evident they are doing everything they can to help the IRL succeed.  We hear ticket sales are not going so well and to expect plenty of empty seats.

6/25/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $8.20, - $0.29 on volume of 51,000 shares.
$7.50 Bid - $8.46 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $8.12/$8.50
MPH Value Change - 3.42%
END
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

6/25/02

CART expands global reach with more TV deals  The exciting action of the CART FedEx Championship Series will have an even larger audience throughout the world beginning with this weekend's CART Grand Prix of Chicago as series partner Octagon CSI has finalized a deal with FOX Sports International to broadcast live races in five more regions of the globe. Octagon CSI has secured non-exclusive rights for CART events through FOX Sports International and will broadcast events in Latin America, the Middle East, Israel, Hungary and the Czech Republic. The remainder of the 2002 CART season will be shown live to those regions through the new deal with this weekend's event from the Chicago Motor Speedway serving as the springboard. Brazil is not covered under this new agreement, but does have live CART coverage through a previously-announced broadcast deal.

6/25/02

CART clarifies wing package  Correcting a statement from CART's pre-race release concerning this weekend's CART Grand Prix of Chicago, Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. confirmed that it will use the same aerodynamic rules that were in effect for the June 2 Miller Lite 250 at the Milwaukee Mile. The last short oval race on the CART calendar, Milwaukee is a similar distance to Chicago (1.032 miles to 1.029) prompting the series to use the package that it ran at the Wisconsin State Fair Park event - a race eventually won by Paul Tracy after four different drivers took their turns leading the 250-lap battle. The wing package is the single-element 'Euro Spec' rear wing, designed to cut turbulence behind the cars and promote tighter racing. The package was introduced last season for use at the German Lausitzring in Round 15 of the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series.

6/25/02

Fisher to race rest of IRL Season with Dreyer and Reinbold Fan favorite Sarah Fisher will race the rest of the 2002 Indy Racing League season for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, starting with the SunTrust Indy Challenge on June 29 at Richmond International Raceway, team officials announced June 25. Fisher competed in the Firestone Indy 225 in April at Nazareth, Pa., and in the Indianapolis 500 in May with Indianapolis-based Dreyer & Reinbold Racing as a teammate to driver/co-owner Robbie Buhl. Fisher will continue as Buhl’s teammate for the remaining seven races of the 2002 IRL season. “It’s no secret that we’ve had an interest in getting Sarah back in the car,” Buhl said. “We want to make sure she’s competing. The best way to grow our professional relationship, and present her to new sponsorship opportunities, is to have her compete on the track.”  Fisher’s primary sponsor for the Richmond race will be SunTrust Bank. Old World Industries brand SmartBlade premium wiper blades will become the primary sponsor for the remainder of the season, starting at the Ameristar Casino Indy 200 on July 7 at Kansas Speedway. Associate sponsors include Allegra and Purex, both of which will continue their support from the Fisher’s earlier run at Indianapolis. Other new associate sponsors include Jack K. Elrod Company and Old World Industries’ brands Splitfire Spark Plugs and Peak Antifreeze. IRL

6/25/02

Team Players and Pizza Hut Partner Up  Today, Pizza Hut Canada and Team Player’s announced a two-year partnership deal to promote Pizza Hut’s 310-10-10 delivery service hotline across Canada. “We couldn’t think of a better partnership than racing, or a better team than Canada’s own Team Player’s, to help bring the message of 310-10-10 to Canadians,” said John Bitove, Chairman and founder, priszm brandz, operator of the majority of Canada’s Pizza Hut restaurants. “In the pizza business, it’s all about delivering a hot, fresh, great tasting pizza quickly to our customer’s door.” The Pizza Hut / Team Player’s partnership was announced today at a press conference. Millions will see Pizza Hut’s 310-10-10 hotline this summer, as it will adorn the racecar of Team Player’s drivers, Alex Tagliani and Patrick Carpentier. The Pizza Hut / Team Player’s sponsorship package includes in-car camera TV coverage of Canada’s three Indy races: Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Team Player’s will provide name and racing imagery to Pizza Hut for use in merchandising, advertising and in-store P.O.P. Continuing to link sports to its marketing strategy, Pizza Hut will launch an in-store racing-themed 310-10-10 summer promotion beginning July 1. In announcing the agreement, Mark Thorne, Marketing Communications Manager for Player’s, reinforced the strong partnership. “Pizza Hut’s promotion of Team Player’s, our drivers and the sport overall strengthens our connection with Canadian sports fans. We think it’s a great alignment and hope to see the partnership grow in future years,” stated Thorne.

6/25/02
Industry News

Broadband boom in the USA  Demand for sports highlights online is set to soar after a report (Pew Internet and American Life Project.) reveals that 24 million Americans, or 21 percent of all web users in the US, now have access to high-speed internet connections.  Up to 37 percent said their internet use has cut down on TV time...and you wonder why TV ratings are down?  Are you still using dial-up? If so, you don't know what you are missing. Get a cable-modem or DSL!

6/25/02

Toyota to NASCAR trucks - not yet!  According to this Autoweek article, Despite claims to the contrary from sources inside NASCAR, and consistent claims from Dodge, Chevy and Ford truck teams, Toyota says it is not entering the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2003. "It’s true that we are working with NASCAR in a study to determine if it’s a desirable thing for NASCAR and Toyota to do, it’s been ongoing for almost a year,” said Lee White, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Racing Development (TRD). “We’re in our third year in the [NASCAR Touring] Goody’s Dash now. The next logical step is the truck series.” But not in 2003 and not necessarily even in 2004. White says the decision about Tundras in NASCAR would be made “before the end of calendar year 2002.” Part of the delay would come from building an engine, which would have to be done from a clean sheet of paper. White says Toyota would likely approach engine development the way Dodge did, building a race engine unlike anything in trucks sold on dealer lots. For instance, production Tundras have dual overhead cams while Craftsman Trucks have pushrods.

6/25/02

SPEED Channel to air Zanardi special  Two-time CART champion Alex Zanardi, who lost both legs in a tragic racing accident last September while leading the American Memorial 500, has granted SPEED Channel's Bob Varsha his first American television interview since the near-fatal crash. An extended segment of this Sunday's SpeedNews (7 p.m. ET) will be dedicated to this candid conversation, recorded at Zanardi's home in Monaco just last week. From the interview:
Varsha: "You have always been a very positive, upbeat person -- were you able to stay positive in the first days of your recovery?"
Zanardi: "... I felt destroyed but I am a very optimistic person because I always had this little star shining and telling me 'you will walk again. It won't be with your own legs, it will be with your prosthetic legs, but you will walk again.' "
The interview then will be expanded into a SPEED Channel special on Zanardi to be aired at a later date. In addition to the in-depth conversation, this half-hour program also will include a reunion between the driver and the CART medical team credited with saving his life. "Alex talks very openly about his injury, his recovery and his future," said SPEED Channel Coordinating Producer Frank Wilson. "It is amazing to see how far Alex has come in just nine months. His recovery and bright outlook will be an inspiration to anyone watching this interview."

6/25/02
Industry News

Lola and Dome join forces  Huntingdon, UK based Lola Cars International and leading Japanese race car manufacturer, Dome, announce today a joint venture to design and build Formula 3 single seater race cars for the European and Asia Pacific markets. In an historic agreement the two companies - which successfully compete head-to-head within many international race series - have finalized plans to enter into F3 for the 2003 season, aiming to compete in Formula 3 in the UK, German, French and Japanese Series for this increasingly popular category of motorsport. Design for the Lola-Dome 2003 F3 car will principally be undertaken at Dome Co., Ltd headquarters in Japan, in collaboration with a visiting team of on-site Lola engineers, as well as items of detail design being on the grids for 2003." Lola Cars, with a 45 year history of producing winning racing cars, is well placed to take on this new joint venture. The company has an enviable record of success with single seater racecars produced for the prestigious US based ChampCar Series, international and national F3000 series, in addition to many winning years with sportscars. In 2001, the company’s cars won three Sports Car Championships; FIA Sports Car (SR2 class), American Le Mans Series (675 class) and Grand-Am (SR2 class). David Bowes, Managing Director, Lola Cars International, explains the decision to build the new car saying, "This move into Formula 3 racecar production with Dome is a significant one, not only for our company but also for the industry. Sharing our capabilities and facilities will optimize performance, costs and service to benefit our customers and the F3 category. I look forward to seeing the first car out on track in early November." "We are delighted and privileged to be joining with Lola Cars in this unique agreement. We have enormous respect for the company and its achievements over the past five decades. Dome has unrivalled expertise within the Asia Pacific F3 marketplace which, added to Lola’s vast experience, will create a powerful force not only in our home territory, but also on a global level. I am looking forward to F3 2003." The joint venture agreement will be for an initial two-year period, until the end of the current F3 technical regulations, with an option for a further three years. Lola

6/25/02

Burton does not sign contract  According to this Roanoke Times article, Car owner Bill Davis says it's fair to consider the car with Ward Burton as driver to be open for next season after Burton didn't sign a contract extension before the team's deadline. "He had a 30-day window to sign a contract and he chose not to do it," Davis said. Burton, this season's Daytona 500 winner, said he had planned to sign it but family matters came up and he missed the deadline. Either way, the contract was not signed and Burton's status at Bill Davis Racing - a place Burton has been since late in the 1995 season - is cloudy.

6/25/02

Richmond race to reach 190 million homes  The Richmond Times Dispatch writes - The Indy Racing League invades Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night and brings with it a worldwide audience. ESPN International will beam the race to more than 140 countries, with access to 110 million TV households. In addition, the event will be sent on a delayed basis to another 90 million homes. ESPN International will have its own set of announcers here, not to be confused with Bob Jenkins, Paul Page and Scott Goodyear who will call the action on ESPN, starting at 7:30 p.m.

6/25/02



SPEED Channel growth on target  This Charlotte Business Journal article talks in-depth about SPEED Channel's growth, and the fact that it is very much on target.  Advertising sales should triple last year's, says Jim Liberatore, Speed Channel president. Industry experts estimate the network will generate revenue of $60 million to $70 million in 2002. Just as important, the network now reaches 52 million households, up from 30 million two years ago. Prime-time ratings are up 23%. The ambitious gains will be merely a start if Liberatore has his way. He hopes to reach 70 million to 80 million homes within the next few years. Revenue, in turn, will grow as the audience becomes bigger. By comparison, ESPN reaches 86 million households. Last month, Liberatore, 39, found himself in Los Angeles at News Corp. headquarters. He was there to make a presentation on Speed Channel's new direction. All the top executives were there, including Chairman Rupert Murdoch. Thirty seconds into Liberatore's presentation, Murdoch nodded. "You guys have a great business, you know what you're doing," he told the group. "I've got to go to another meeting." Network executives have discussed a future home closer to NASCAR race-team shops in Mooresville. For now, VP of Programming Rick Miner and Liberatore want to develop more original programming. Among their ideas: a reality-based NASCAR show pitting competitors from the sanctioning body's lower-level regional series. Another possibility: a NASCAR wives program. The article also mentions that "staffers refer to the bitter rivalry between Formula 1 aficionados and NASCAR fans as a battle of Nigels and Bubbas." Liberatore says the network's commitment to Formula 1 and other non-NASCAR series remains firm. Still, the biggest gains -- among viewers as well as advertisers -- will come from stock cars. As you look for unique ways to grow, this is an area where we have a lot of potential," says Paul Brooks, NASCAR VP of broadcasting. "Now we have to deliver."

6/25/02

German ace to get first crack at new Jag  German ace Andre Lotterer will be the first man to try the heavily evolved R3b Jaguar this week in Belgium, the Milton-Keynes team testing privately at Ford's 'Lommel Proving Ground' before joining the majority testing action at Barcelona. Our sources indicate, however, that the new car may not make it to Barcelona or the British Grand Prix if it does not meet certain 'minimal standards'; such as going 'immediately quicker' than its dismal predecessor, the R3.

6/25/02

Minardi sells 1/2 of F3000 team  European Minardi, Paul Stoddart's F3000 venture, has been part-sold to series rivals Coloni Motorsport. In a move which secures the mid-term future of the outfit, the agreement will see both teams co-operate on a range of commercial and technical issues. Paolo Coloni said: 'It is a well-organized, well-run team, and I am sure by working closely with them in a number of key areas, both teams will become stronger.' Richard Salisbury, who runs the Minardi F3000 team, adds 'During the course of the Nurburgring weekend, we were able to confirm that European Minardi will complete the full 2002 F3000 championship'.

6/25/02

Tauranac talking with Asiatech  Veteran F1 designer Ron Tauranac has been spotted emerging from Asiatech's UK factory in Didcot after a meeting with Enrique Scalabroni. Scalabroni and a team of designers are reportedly working on a chassis development program, which forms part of the outfit's resolve to launch a works Formula One team. Tauranac, in his late seventies, most recently worked as a consultant for Japanese manufacturer Honda.

6/25/02

More F1 Hot News 

Ferrari Deny Political Motivation
Coulthard Turns Focus To '03
Work Continues At Hinwil
Cosworth Engines To Minardi?
'Two Or Three' New Grands Prix
Crunch Time For Jaguar And Irvine
F1 Birthdays

  Much More...click on 2002 archives button below

Hot News Archives

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