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DATE

News (chronologically)

7/29/02

Remember this?  Soon after Tony George announced the creation of the IRL to split Indy Car racing in two, CART announced it would run the US 500 on the same day as the Indy 500.  In light of the fact that Tony George brings his hammer to work every day to nail CART's coffin shut, listen to what he had to say on December 19, 1995 - IMS, IRL STATEMENT REGARDING CART EVENT ON MAY 26, 1996  - The following response is issued for general use and should be attributed to Tony George, President, Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is intended as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's and Indy Racing League's only statement on this situation until after the holidays.  "The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy Racing League (IRL) are aware of the announcement Monday, Dec. 18, 1995, in Chicago by Championship Auto Racing Teams.  "In response, we can only say we are disappointed by the action because of its negative impact on automobile racing in North America. CART's action could diminish the opportunities for some drivers and teams to compete in the greatest motorsports event in the world, the Indianapolis 500.  "However, it does not change or influence any of the plans for the 1996 Indianapolis 500 or the launching of the Indy Racing League, the series of oval track races which is designed to provide growth and long-term stability for the sport. If anything, CART's action underscores the need for our new league. The 80th Indianapolis 500, open to all competitors who choose to run for racing's richest prize, will be run May 26, 1996.  "CART owners and competitors are not locked out of either the Indianapolis 500 or the Indy Racing League. All have been invited to participate. Our intent was that the IRL could coexist with CART's current series of races --which has never included the USAC-sanctioned Indianapolis 500. Whether by its own rules changes or scheduling conflicts, CART has created an unhealthy all-or-nothing choice for the racing community.  "The IRL was created for inclusion not exclusion -- and certainly not to be in direct conflict with or to replace any series already in existence. Toward that end, invitations to the 1996 Indianapolis 500 remain open to those caught in the web of Monday's announcement."   Whether CART was right or wrong for running the US 500 opposite the Indy 500, it was clear that Mr. George, at the time, viewed there was room for two series.  To his credit, Mr. George has stuck by his plan to be an all-oval series, leaving room for CART to be an all-road course series.  Although we have called for CART to be an all-road course series for years, only now it appears it finally getting that message.  Perhaps if the two series can each stick to their own specialty and not step on each other toes, they can actually co-exist.  Though we suspect Mr. George won't put his hammer away until CART let's go of all its ovals, which shouldn't be too hard to do. 

7/29/02

Toyota and Honda consider breakaway F1 series  Toyota and Honda have admitted to being approached or are looking into joining the GPWC (Grand Prix World Championship) consortium.  TMG President Ove Andersson said it had been approached by GPWC officials about joining the group. ‘From our side I can only answer that we are presently studying this and there is no decision made,’ said the Swede. ‘It is very clear. I mean, these decisions are made above my head obviously, but I think that it is in our interests to see a good future for the sport and I think Toyota will contribute to this in every way we can.’ ‘I can say Honda have been approached and now we are in the midst of gathering data to find out what GPWC is about, what the articles are and things like that,’ said Otmar Szafnauer, HRD (Honda Racing Development) President. ‘We haven't come to a conclusion or made a decision; we are in the data gathering stage just to understand it a bit better.’

7/29/02

CART Ladder Series update  American AJ Allmendinger continued his dominating ways as he captured his fifth victory of the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series season Sunday at Concord Pacific Place during the Molson Indy Vancouver and extended his point lead over fellow American Marc Breuers. Brazilian Rafael Sperafico and Canadian Dan Di Leo finished on the podium in second and third place, respectively. American Danica Patrick, making only her third start in the Pro Series, and Breuers rounded out the top five. More....

7/29/02

Stewart visits Lasoski in hospital Tony Stewart used his afternoon off Saturday to visit Danny Lasoski in a Mechanicsburg, Pa., hospital. Lasoski, who drives a World of Outlaws sprint car owned by Stewart, was injured in a crash Friday night. "Mentally he's ready to get back in the car, but physically he's not even close," said Stewart. Lasoski is in a tight battle with Steve Kinser for the Outlaws title. The crash probably ends his chances of a repeat championship and renders him doubtful for Saturday's International Race of Champions finale at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Indianapolis Star

7/29/02

BAT strikes giant deal in China  And the March to China goes on.  Since BAT owns Brown and Williamson, who sells Kool, we wonder what they think about Mr. Kremer's recent statements regarding CART - British American Tobacco (BAT) will invest £250 million (about $400 million USD) in the biggest foreign joint venture to produce cigarettes in China, a company spokeswoman said yesterday. The spokeswoman declined to say where the project would be or whether BAT would hold a controlling stake. Its partner will be the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA). "This deal took two years to negotiate and needed government approval," the spokeswoman said. "It is linked to the World Trade Organization as part of the bigger environment and a gradual opening of the market." China has fiercely protected its lucrative tobacco market, allowing only a handful of foreign-invested joint ventures, including production of Camel cigarettes at a factory in Xiamen. The BAT project will be the largest. The market is growing. As in previous years, tobacco will make the largest contribution of any industry to taxation revenue for the Ministry of Finance, which is the main reason why the government is nervous to see any dramatic fall in the number of smokers. In the past decade, the number of smokers in developed countries fell 13 per cent, while in China it rose 20 per cent, according to official estimates. Since 1993, China has not officially imported any foreign cigarettes. However, they are freely available, thanks to widespread smuggling that costs the government US$1.8 billion in lost revenue each year. Now all that will change. Maybe they'll be selling Kool's that are made in China, in China soon.

7/29/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $6.14 Up $0.19 on volume of 140,800 shares.
$5.43 Bid - $6.45 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $5.98/$6.44
MPH Value Change Up 3.19%
DOW Jones Up 447.49 or 5.41% on Volume of 2.1 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 73.1 or 5.79%
S&P 500 Up 46.11 or 5.41%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

7/29/02

Attention Mustang owners  Yesterday, at the annual TriState Mustang Club car show (300+ Mustangs) held at Forest Fair Mall in suburban Cincinnati, (not too far from KY Speedway) was there pitching for cars to attend their car show to be held on the upcoming IRL race weekend. They said that the entrance fee was $15, and that they would give every car entered two tickets for the IRL race.

7/29/02
Industry News

Fiat to report another big loss, GM takeover looms  Fiat SpA, Italy's largest industrial company, will report its third consecutive quarterly loss on Monday after car sales plummeted, analysts said. The loss before interest and taxes will be 174 million euros ($174 million), according to the average forecast of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. It had an operating profit of 403 million euros in the year-earlier period. Fiat's six-month Western European car sales fell 21 percent, more than any other automaker as PSA Peugeot Citroen and others won sales in Italy. Fiat shares fell to a 10-year low on Wednesday. "Fiat Auto is a salvage job," said Xavier Gunner, a UBS Warburg analyst. "They're trying to keep it alive" until it's sold to General Motors Corp. Fiat has an option to force General Motors to buy the 80 percent of Fiat Auto it doesn't already own from 2004. Fiat has said repeatedly it plans to fix Fiat Auto by reducing costs and increasing sales rather than sell it.  Bloomberg News

7/29/02

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7/28/02

Clock ticking for Player's team  With time slowly ticking away on Imperial Tobacco's involvement in car racing, Team Player's officials find themselves operating in a nether region. New federal laws will force the company out of the CART series, but Team Player's still must prepare for one last season of open-wheel racing. There's drivers to sign, cars to prepare.  Asked if he expects Player's to be racing in 2004, Neil Blanche shook his head. "Right now I'd say it's 60-40 we won't be back," he said.  Read the full Canadian Press article.

7/28/02

Fernandez OK  After the 4-car wreck with 8 laps to go in today's Molson Indy Vancouver,  Adrian Fernandez had to be extricated from his car while the race was red-flagged.  CART reported that Adrian Fernandez suffered a large bruise and contusion on his right hip. He will be transported to Vancouver General Hospital for X-rays.

7/28/02

The most awesome turn on CART circuit  A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1, The overhead shot of the Champ Cars sliding sideways through the fast right-hand bend on the back straight at Vancouver is awesome.  I'm surprised the announcers didn't focus on this more.  It's a testament to the skill of the champ car driver to drive through that turn at over 150 mph with the backend hanging out, but the announcers failed to discuss what those guys were doing out there.  And while I'm on a rant, when is CART going to insist that street circuits be wide enough such that you can actually race on?  What I saw in Vancouver was nothing less than a parade.  Bring on Adelaide, a real street circuit, and fire the people in CART who approve those ridiculous narrow tracks.  Jeff Tindall, West Windsor, NJ  Dear Jeff, we couldn't agree more, if CART is going to focus on street circuits they had better get their act together and find layouts that are wide enough to facilitate passing.  Racing isn't supposed to be a parade.  We can't remember the last time CART actually had a pass for the lead on the track.  Did they have any this year?  Somebody had better wake up.

7/28/02

Another strong crowd for CART  4th UPDATE  The 3-day attendance was announced as 161,729, including 66,134 for race day  7/28/02 - Here is the Vancouver attendance by year:

1990 158,852
1991 158,254
1992 162,741
1993 163,303
1994 163,443
1995 169,138
1996 166,792
1997 161,627
1998 165,360
1999 152,929
2000 155,937
2001 160,545
2002 161,728

Total 1,999,649

  7/27/02 - Saturday attendance in Vancouver was announced as 50,871, bringing the total so far for the weekend up to 95,594. Meanwhile, less than 10,000 have been at MIS this weekend for the IRL and NASCAR truck events and the tickets cost only $10. One reader reports there couldn't have been 6 trailers selling merchandise, the ticket windows looked like abandoned HUD homes, the concessions had no business.  7/26/02 - Approximately 44,723 spectators passed through the turnstiles Friday, an increase of 800 over the 2001 Friday total and a number just 176 fewer than the record of 44,899 established in 1998. Similarly large crowds are expected over the next two days and the three-day total should check in at nearly 170,000 despite the fact that the race has been moved from its traditional early-September date to accommodate the inaugural Shell Grand Prix of Denver.  Michigan had a few hundred people in the stands today to watch IRL practice. 7/26/02 - While the IRL series practiced before nearly empty grandstands at Michigan International Raceway, CART was in Vancouver and drew a record Friday crowd, yet again.  We are waiting for final numbers, but we hear over 45,000 showed up in Vancouver on a work day!

7/28/02

Five teams go with Chevy program for 2003  At 4:30 p.m. on July 23, 2002, Chevrolet’s latest Chevy Indy V8 racing engine roared to life in a dyno cell in suburban Detroit.  Chevrolet’s new Indy Racing powerplant successfully completed its first dynamometer test, marking the start of an intense seven-month development program leading up to the engine’s competition debut March 2, 2003, at Homestead-Miami Speedway. More....

7/28/02

Allmendinger wins in Vancouver  A J Allmendinger, Paul Tracy's protégé, won his 5th Barber Dodge race of the year today after a crash-filled incident that put several cars out early. Danica Patrick narrowly missed reaching the podium with a 4th place finish, less than a half second behind D. Di Leo. Results:
P Car Driver Lap Gap Lap Time BL Pits LPit
1 29 A Allmendinger 18 1:16.187 16 0 0 Active
2 11 R Sperafico 18 2.782 1:16.539 17 0 0 Active
3 19 D Di Leo 18 4.251 1:17.210 17 0 0 Active
4 89 D Patrick 18 4.734 1:16.059 17 0 0 Active
5 94 M Breuers 18 5.447 1:16.078 17 0 0 Active
6 27 J Beaulieu 18 8.346 1:17.183 15 0 0 Active
7 34 C Szymczak 18 8.653 1:17.120 17 0 0 Active
8 33 G Quiroga 18 10.996 1:16.656 17 0 0 Active
9 66 T Fogarty 18 32.894 1:18.984 17 0 0 Active
10 26 R Trammell 18 41.029 1:17.082 18 0 0 Active
11 69 C Baker 18 49.124 1:19.082 14 0 0 Active
12 37 M Richardson 17 1 laps 1:23.572 15 0 0 Active
13 21 J Campos 6 12 laps 1:23.572 6 0 0 Contact
14 51 A Lopez, Jr. 1 17 laps 1:18,165 1 0 0 Contact
15 55 P Rodarte 1 18 laps 1:36.645 1 0 0 Contact
16 15 M Rojas 0 18 laps 1:38.028 0 0 0 Contact
17 31 L Maia 0 18 laps 2:06.913 0 0 0 Contact
18 16 D Cook 0 18 laps 2:04.276 0 0 0 Contact

7/28/02

Robby Gordon injured but racing Winston Cup driver #31-Robby Gordon plans to drive Sunday's Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway despite sustaining two sprained ankles Saturday afternoon in a motocross incident. Gordon sprained both ankles after jumping a hill at Traxx Motorsports Park at Jack Frost Ski Resort on his Honda CRF450 motocross bike. He was with some members of his #31 Richard Childress Racing team at the time and was immediately evaluated by park physicians. Dr. Jay Golding, RCR's team physician, evaluated Gordon Sunday morning and concurred with the Traxx Motorsports Park physicians' diagnosis. Gordon¹s left ankle was injured more severely than his right ankle, and Dr. Golding plans to place an aircast on Gordon¹s left ankle and wrap the right ankle in an ACE bandage for the 500-mile race. Gordon's team will decide following Sunday's race whether Gordon will still test Monday and Tuesday at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International  Thats Racin.com

7/28/02

Foyt wins rain shortened race Famous names came to the front for Sunday’s rain-shorted Michigan 100 Infinity Pro Series race at Michigan International Speedway. When the rains came AJ Foyt IV was leading, followed by Arie Luyendyk Jr, Aaron Fike and Ed Carpenter (stepson of Tony George). Shortened from a scheduled 50 laps the rains came at lap 28, and the race was red-flagged at lap 30. The race start was delayed a few laps by a chain-reaction mishap that took out drivers Cory Witherill and Mike Koss. Teen heartthrob Jason Priestly finished 12th after he spun out on lap 10, flattening his tires and putting him a lap down in the only caution of the race.  A quick informal survey of the drivers of both IPS and IRL indicated that they enjoy their time at Michigan. Far from the angst expressed by the CART drivers the drivers seemed to be relaxed and happy with the facilities (and speeds) here. The crews and families seem equally relaxed too. The IPS is definitely still in its infancy. One of the teams this week was literally assembling their car which they’d received on Thursday.  Tim Wohlford


L to R Arie Jr., Arie's girlfriend, Foyt IV and his Grand daddy
Photos by Gary Shook

7/28/02

Scheckter being lured by CART teams  UPDATE As reported on RPM2Day, Scheckter will be having dinner with two different CART team owners this Tuesday and Wednesday night in Indianapolis. Without question, given his apparent talent, CART and F1 is where Scheckter belongs, where he will have a more talented crop of drivers to measure himself against.  7/22/02 - As per this ESPN article, Tomas Scheckter, son of former World Champion Jody Scheckter, expects to get fired by Eddie Cheever and has received numerous calls from CART teams to drive for them.  In the article, Scheckter more less makes fun of his slower boss Eddie by saying - "I was approaching Eddie at a massively quicker speed than what Eddie was doing. It's not like he gave me the high or the low line or he let me by at all. He wasn't hugging low completely. I was high and the problem is when you are approaching someone, he was going 180 miles an hour and I was running 202 mph. You can't slow down that quickly. "I opted for the high line and he didn't give me room for the high line. I should have known that Eddie would maybe not give me that room. I would have thought when I saw a Red Bull car, especially when I was lapping him, that he would give me room, but he didn't. With Eddie, I should have braked, gone down two gears and waited behind him, although that would have cost me six or seven seconds. That's hindsight and I would have thought he would have given me more room."

7/28/02

How popular is Brands Hatch?  While Brands Hatch certainly is not up to current safety standards to host a CART race, plans to upgrade the circuit certainly are still out there.  You can catch some motorcycle racing from Brands Hatch today at 1:00 PM EST on SPEED Channel if you want to see what the circuit is like.  One commentator in Europe said there were between 125,000 to 150,000 people in attendance today.  While that would seem to be on the high side, it certainly bodes well for the popularity of Brands Hatch, which is located close to London.

7/28/02

Herta to try Minardi  Bryan Herta will be at Minardi's Thunder in the Park event at Donington in the middle of August. Herta has long said that he would like to try Formula 1 and while the Donington event could hardly be construed to be a test, it will nonetheless allow Herta to feel what an F1 car is like and will perhaps inspire him to try and get a proper test in the future. Herta will drive a two-seater Minardi at Donington but is also expected to get behind the wheel of a 2002 car during a pit stop competition which will allow him a lap or two in the car.

7/28/02

Ferrari to increase staff to 800  The Ferrari F1 team is increasing their staff to 800 (yes, you read that right) in an all out effort to maintain its superiority over other teams such as Toyota (who has committed to a $1 billion 3-year effort) and McLaren.  Annual budgets are going to jump to from a current level of $250 million per year to over $300 million.  Ford gave the Jaguar team 12 weeks to become podium material or they will pull the plug on their $168 million effort.  It isn't going to happen and any manufacturer who thinks they are going to win races in F1 over Ferrari, McLaren and Williams, are simply throwing good money after bad.

7/28/02

Team Menard to run Chevy's  Chevrolet officials will announce today that Team Menard has signed to join the manufacturer in 2003. Chevy already has the Panther, Hemelgarn and Blair teams.  That's one less team for Honda to choose from.

7/28/02

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7/27/02

Shell to sponsor Danica Patrick  Shell announced it will sponsor Danica Patrick in the remainder of her program in the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series.  Plans call for her to drive in upcoming Barber Dodge Pro Series events at Mid-Ohio and Montreal (in addition to this weekend’s Molson Indy Vancouver) and begin testing for a full season of Toyota Atlantic racing next year.

7/27/02

ALMS and Trans-Am TV Ratings  The American LeMans Series race from Washington, D.C. got a 1.0 rating and 3 share on NBC last Sunday. It was up against direct competition from Winston Cup on TNT and the British Open on ABC. 1,007,000 households tuned in. The Trans-Am race on Saturday on CBS didn't fare as well, getting a 0.6 rating and 2 share, representing 643,000 households.

7/27/02
Fran-Am

McIntosh wins first ever Fran-Am 2000 race  Vancouver, B.C.¹s Sean McIntosh overcame adversity to collect his first career Fran-Am North American Pro Championship race, as well as the first victory for the new North American series, by virtue of winning today¹s first round of the Fran-Am 2000 Championship at the Molson Indy Vancouver. McIntosh mounted a late-race charge following a yellow flag re-start on lap 20 to storm ahead of polesitter Scott Jenkins, who led for the first 19 laps of today¹s 25-lap/44.725-mile event. Galen Puccini of Team Reset rounded out the top three after starting the race from the third position. McIntosh¹s fate was almost sealed yesterday afternoon in qualifying when his #24 Lordco Autoparts/Kirmac/PPG entry sustained heavy damage after contacting the turn nine wall while attempting to avoid a spun car. His time held for second on the grid, however, his Phillips Motorsports crew worked through the night to have the car ready for today¹s race.

7/27/02

Somebody driving for a job?  Hmmm... Scheckter and Rice just posted IDENTICAL quick times in the last practice session for tomorrow's IRL race at Michigan International Speedway... 219.844 mph. IDENTICAL, and both at the top of the speed charts. Somebody driving for a job here?  Tim Wohlford

7/27/02

Cheever plans more changes in the team  "We came here with three cars which was a big, big jump from what we have done all season with just running two cars. Tomas was perfect in qualifying, and Buddy, in his first race weekend, almost got the pole. As a team we're very proud. The mechanics did a good job getting all of these cars ready. Tomorrow we plan to do our best. I will continue making changes in the team until we start achieving the race finishes that we have to deliver for Red Bull. So far the experiment is working."

7/27/02

Infiniti Pro: Luyendyk beats Foyt for pole  Two of the great names of Indy Racing history dueled for the pole July 27 at Michigan International Speedway, with Luyendyk beating Foyt for the top spot. Arie Luyendyk Jr., son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, won the pole for the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series race Sunday at MIS with a top lap of 39.6803 seconds, 181.450 mph in the No. 5 Luyendyk Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. A.J. Foyt IV, grandson of four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt, was second. “I think the engine temperatures got a little too hot, and that’s why I got progressively slower,” said Luyendyk, 20. “The car was great. I had a little bit of a push, but it was a great car to drive.
1. (5) Arie Luyendyk Jr., Dallara-Infiniti, 181.450
2. (14) A.J. Foyt IV, Dallara-Infiniti, 180.582
3. (99) G.J. Mennen, Dallara-Infiniti, 179.827
4. (8) Ronnie Johncox, Dallara-Infiniti, 179.744
5. (7) Jason Priestley, Dallara-Infiniti, 179.736
6. (2) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Infiniti, 178.268
7. (91) Aaron Fike, Dallara-Infiniti, 178.044
8. (43) Dave Steele, Dallara-Infiniti, 177.966
9. (12) Matt Beardsley, Dallara-Infiniti, 176.975
10. (11) Rolando Quintanilla, Dallara-Infiniti, 176.901
11. (92) Cory Witherill, Dallara-Infiniti, 176.880
12. (34) Ryan Hampton, Dallara-Infiniti, 176.682
13. (37) Mike Koss, Dallara-Infiniti, 175.457
14. (9) Jeff Tillman, Dallara-Infiniti, 174.244
15. (3) Marty Roth, Dallara-Infiniti, 171.910
16. (27) Gary Peterson, Dallara-Infiniti, 169.580

7/27/02

Allmendinger keeps pole in Vancouver A.J. Allmendinger will lead the field to the green flag in Sunday's Barber Dodge Pro Series race after securing the pole in Friday's provisional qualifying session and holding onto the top spot after Saturday's cooler track conditions prevented times from dropping below those set on Friday. Marc Breuers, who was second quick in Friday's qualifying session, was fastest in the second qualifying session with a lap of 1:15.661 and will take one championship point for the effort. Starting behind Allmendinger and Breuers will be Julio Campos and Christian Szymczak in the second row, while Rafael Sperafico and Memo Rojas will take the green from the third row. Row four will see the fields highest qualifying Canadian, Dan Di Leo, start next to Leo Maia in his Quaker State-liveried machine, while Danica Patrick will make her first start from the top ten alongside of Cleveland round winner Davy Cook, who improved his time over Friday's qualifying session to knock himself into the top ten.

GridPos/Car#/Driver/Hometown/Time/MPH
1/29/A.J. Allmendinger/Hollister, Calif./01:15.245/85.210
2/94/Marc Breuers/Philadelphia, PA/01:15.264/85.188
3/21/Julio Campos/Curitiba, Brazil/01:15.410/85.023
4/34/Christian Szymczak/Oakland, Calif./01:15.732/84.662
5/11/Rafael Sperafico/Toledo Paraná, Brazil/01:15.738/84.655
6/15/Memo Rojas/Mexico City, Mexico/01:15.968/84.399
7/19/Dan Di Leo/Markham,Ontario,Canada/01:16.057/84.300
8/31/Leonardo Maia/Oakland, Calif./01:16.159/84.187
9/89/Danica Patrick/Roscoe, Illinois/01:16.200/84.142
10/16/Davy Cook/Tallahassee, Fla./01:16.283/84.050
11/33/German Quiroga/Mexico City, Mexico/01:16.459/83.857
12/27/Josh Beaulieu/Langley, B.C.,Canada/01:16.507/83.804
13/51/Aurelio Lopez/Guadalajara, Mexico/01:16.998/83.270
14/55/Piero Rodarte/Mexico City, Mexico/01:17.010/83.257
15/26/Rhonda Trammell/Pittsboro, Ind./01:17.105/83.154
16/66/Tom Fogarty/Portola Valley, Calif./01:17.379/82.860
17/69/Chris Baker/Houston, Texas/01:17.570/82.656
18/37/Mike Richardson/Kelowna, B.C., Canada//01:18.301/81.884
19/97/Atticus Missner/Chicago, Illinois/00:00.000/0.000

7/27/02

CART announces 2003 Toronto and Vancouver schedule  After more than a decade of holding some of the most successful sporting events on the Canadian calendar, the CART FedEx Championship Series announced Saturday that it would return to hold Molson Indy events in Toronto and Vancouver in 2003. At a media conference today at the Molson Indy Vancouver, CART President Christopher R. Pook announced the 2003 dates for the two race events along with Molstar Sports & Entertainment Vice-President Bob Singleton and Molson Indy Vancouver General Manager Stuart Ballantyne. "Our Canadian events hold a valued place on our schedule as the fans have always supported our races in great numbers," said CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. "We are pleased to be able to announce these dates in a timely manner, which will allow the event organizers ample time to prepare for their events." The Toronto event will move one week later in the month from this year's date to the weekend of July 11-13 while the Molson Indy Vancouver will again take place on the last weekend of July as it does this season with the race weekend scheduled for July 25-27. "The 2003 announcement confirms Molson's commitment to CART as well as CART's commitment to Molson Canada," stated Singleton. "We are thrilled to be back on our original Molson Indy weekend in Toronto which will make all of our fans happy."  "The change to a July date for 2002 has been a very successful one for us," said Ballantyne. "Attendance figures are up this year and we look forward to having the Molson Indy Vancouver continue on the same weekend in 2003." Eighteen years of CART racing in Canada will continue in 2003 as the Molson Indy events attract more spectators and television viewers than any other three-day event in the country. The races in Toronto and Vancouver are two of Canada's largest and most popular sporting events with the combined attendance for the two races in 2001 reaching an all-time record of 330,000 making a large economic impact in both cities. The third Canadian event on the CART schedule, the Molson Indy Montreal, will also return to the schedule in 2003 and race dates for that event and the remainder of the races on next year's schedule will be announced soon.

7/27/02

Tentative 2003 20-race CART Schedule - UPDATE We have republished the 2003 schedule as given to the CART team owners for consideration with one change, Eurospeedway is off the schedule and the event is listed as TBD. We keep hearing whispers about Italy, but can't say anymore at this time.  7/12/02 - as presented to team owners for consideration

Feb. 23, St. Petersburg, Fla.
March 23, Monterrey, Mexico (why 1 month between first 2 races?)
April 13, Long Beach
May 4, Miami  (Easter break between LB and Miami)
May 18, Chicago (behind schedule construction around Soldiers Field is holdup)
June 1, Milwaukee
June 15, Laguna Seca
June 22, Portland
July 6, Cleveland
July 13, Toronto
July 27, Vancouver
Aug. 10, Mid-Ohio
Aug. 17, Elkhart Lake
Aug. 31, Denver
Sept. 7, Montreal
Sept. 21, Rockingham (England)  (a Sunday?  What if it rains?)
Sept. 28, Europe (circuit TBD)
Oct. 12, Mexico City
Oct. 26, Surfers Paradise
Nov. 9, Fontana, Calif.. (after IRL races there in September?  Are they crazy?)

7/27/02

Tracy fast in morning practice  Provisional polesitter Paul Tracy paced the Saturday morning practice session for Sunday's Molson Indy Vancouver at Concord Pacific Place. The race is Round 10 of the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series. Driving the KOOL Honda/Lola, Tracy had a top lap of 60.778 seconds, good for an average speed of 105.492 miles per hour. Points leader Cristiano da Matta was second fastest in the Chevron Toyota/Lola and Michael Andretti was third in the Motorola Honda/Lola.

7/27/02

Scheckter odd man out at Team Cheever  TOMAS SCHECKTER  "We came into this qualifying with a little bit of a disadvantage. A lot of the performance parts that were on my car prior to this race were not on my car anymore. We've dealt with it good [Editor's Note: in other words the team has taken the special pieces away from Scheckter to slow him down and not embarrass his boss how much faster he is, and he still beat him].  I've got a setup on my car that was pretty hard to drive, and we managed to pull it off. I'm very happy for my substitute team that have come in [Editor's Note: now Scheckter is pushed to the third driver on the team with crew members hired off the street]. They've done a good job, but maybe instead of doing a (2)21.8 (mph), I could have done a (2)22.8 (mph). That's the way it goes. Tomorrow, hopefully we can carry on the same way we've done today. It's great for them, as well. I can feel the atmosphere around us. It feels like sort of we've been pushed to the underdog team and to get it together and do it was great for everybody. But again, today's today, and tomorrow's tomorrow. And if you think I went quick today, you're going to see something else tomorrow." (How do you deal with the tension in the team?): "I deal with it by putting it on pole. It has good job. He's got nothing to do with what's happened." (Is your situation race-by-race?): "I'm not sure. After the last race, you have to read in the press that he's (Cheever) looking for a new driver. It's disappointing for me that you have to read this sort of stuff in the press. I'm taking it race by race, you know. It depends what he says in the press tomorrow or the next day. Maybe he'll get rid of me that way, fire me in the press. I'm not sure. It's tough. It's been a tough situation. There's been a lot of things said in the press that have hurt me and the team, as well. But you have to come back. I'm a professional, and like I do, I've got to sit in those meetings. I say what happens with the car. We all sit down, and you have to be professional at the end of the day. I'm going to do the best job I can do for Red Bull, for Infiniti, and for Team Cheever." (What is the atmosphere in the trailer doing your debriefs?"): "The atmosphere is fine. I suppose I'm not as talkative or as in detail as I used to hey do it twice, I don't accept it. I think that should be the same as a driver. At Nashville, we have to say 'What happened?' and how can we make sure it doesn't happen again. If we are getting lapped, any of the Red Bull cars, which way should you go. You need to arrange it so that the team knows what's going on, and if the person is in the lead and someone is getting lapped, the person in front should sacrifice so that the leader can get by and get the job done." (Have you talked to your team owner about the tense situation?): "I'd expect my team owner, as a team owner, to be the one to call me and speak to me about it, to be the mature one. I'm willing to sit down and speak with him, but that phone call hasn't come, so I just get on with my job."

7/27/02

Is it about talent or the show?  ARIE LUYENDYK  “The cars are quite easy to drive around here with the downforce that we have. So from that point, it’s not hard to get back in and get back up (to speed). After a few laps in practice yesterday, I was flat out, but we just didn’t have the horsepower in that engine. We changed engines overnight. We picked up, basically, nearly 6 mph, just with the engine.......... I think in the front you’ll see the Infiniti cars. They will be able to maybe pull away from the rest. They’ll maybe have a couple of the Chevy guys that have the extra bits in their engine go along because it’s really all about horsepower right now.”  JEFF WARD  “It was pretty bad. We just can’t get any power out of the motor to run by ourselves. It’s trimmed out and everything (all drag) is as off the car as we could (get it).  BUDDY LAZIER  “We want to do well because this is (team owner) Ron’s (Hemelgarn) home track, but we also want to do well for ourselves. We don’t go racing to do anything but to win. That’s why we go racing. This is the fastest the car would go, just flat out.  GREG RAY  “The car ran a 214 (mph) and ran great. We just hit a wall and couldn’t go any faster. I don’t know what is wrong with the car. It handles good, but it’s just slow” (In other words it's all about HP and Ray doesn't have enough)

7/27/02

Alex Yoong fails to qualify again  It would appear that Alex Yoong's f1 days are numbered - Yoong will watch Sunday's German Grand Prix from the sidelines after failing to qualify for his third race this season. The Malaysian missed out on Sunday's race by just two tenths of a second and was a little unsure why. "To be frank, I'm as puzzled as everyone else why we were so slow today," said Yoong, who also missed out in the San Marino and British GPs. "I'm obviously very disappointed at the moment, not just for myself, but for the whole team, who did a very good job and put in a lot of hard work. "It's been a hugely disappointing day, as this is not a circuit I expected qualifying to be an issue, especially after yesterday went so well," he continued. "We were quick without event trying then on old tires. Unfortunately, in the morning session today, we didn't get the chance to use new tires because we had a hydraulic problem, so the first time I used new tires was in the qualifying session. Yoong's team mate Mark Webber qualified on the back row for the race with a time of 1m17.996s, which he felt was about as much as he could get from the car.

7/27/02

Champ Cars overweight, underpowered and not enough downforce  In this AutoRacing1.com article, Anthony Davidson has this to say about the current Champ Car vs. his experience with F1 cars - "It was fun! Its quite a lot slower on acceleration in a straight line than the F1 car (in other words overweight and underpowered) and they have less downforce (in other words they need more downforce CART) but they are still really exciting to drive. It was good to get back to doing manual gear changes again too."  "The feeling a Champ car gives you is very similar to a Formula Ford. When the back end breaks away it does so quite slowly. The slide is gradual and predictable and you can feel the car moving around. It had a nice balance and you can feel the wings working beneath you. Thinking about it the Champ car is a combined mixture of Formula Ford, Formula 3 and Formula 1, probably more so Formula 3, bearing in mind that the Lola is a mass produced production car.  The slick tires visually make the car look a lot wider than a Formula 1 and the wheelbase is longer. I found that I was able to jump into the car and I felt at home straight away. I was able to left-foot brake without any problems. You do need to be very aggressive with the car and I found that the more you work on what needs to be done, the quicker you go. In Formula 1 for example a little more finesse is needed and you cannot be quite as aggressive. The brakes though are very impressive. To be honest there was no real difference between the Lola and the BAR. The steel brakes were the closest comparison to F1 and were very good."

7/27/02

Davidson calls Road America awesome  In this AutoRacing1.com article, Anthony Davidson has this to say about Road America after his recent test there in the Team Kool Green Champ Car - "I did 50 laps in Dario's car, and was happy with my 1.43.9 at the end of the day as several established guys were actually behind me. The team were great, very helpful and I enjoyed my time in the States. The track was awesome; better than anything I've driven in Europe."  "Road America is a big track. It is over 4-miles long and feels very European to me, probably a bit like a lengthened Brands Hatch GP track, or Spa (Franchorchamps). The track was so much fun to drive on that I never wanted it to end. There are a lot of nice parts, with flat out corners, places where you have to give slight lifts, and so on."

7/27/02
Industry News

Motorola shares sink when Exec departs  Shares in Motorola plunged 11 percent on Friday after the company's No. 2 executive, Edward Breen, was named chief executive of Tyco International. Investors showed skepticism that Motorola's chief executive, Christopher Galvin, and Breen's successor as president and chief operating officer, Mike Zafirovski, could carry out a viable restructuring plan and return Motorola to profitability. Breen, who had come to Motorola in 2000 through the acquisition of General Instrument, the supplier of cable television equipment where he was chairman and chief executive, was widely seen as the force behind a broad cost-cutting effort that had allowed Motorola to perform better than many of its peers in the weak telecommunications industry. ``One of the primary reasons we held optimism for a Motorola turnaround was the no-nonsense, results-oriented style that Mr. Breen brought to the company,'' Mark Roberts, an analyst at Wachovia Securities, said in a report. ``We view Mr. Breen's departure as a negative for Motorola.'' NY Times

7/27/02
Fran-Am

Jenkins wins first ever Fran-Am 2000 pole  Scott Jenkins of Portland, Oregon today goes down in the record books as the first pole winner of the Fran-Am 2000 Championship by virtue of setting the fastest lap in qualifying for tomorrow¹s inaugural North American Fran-Am race at the Molson Indy Vancouver. Jenkins, driving the #11 Gelles Racing/EFI Inc/AGG Inc entry, set a time of 1:19.371 to edge out Vancouver¹s Sean McIntosh, who made contact with the turn nine wall while trying to avoid the spun car of Galen Puccini. Puccini rebounded to set the third fastest time of 1:21.010.  Scott Robertson of Calgary qualified fourth with a time of 1:21.183 followed by Aaron Ellis in fifth (1:21.886) and John Puccini in sixth (1:22.551). Trent Lewis, who is McIntosh¹s Phillips Motorsports¹ teammate, rounds out the top eight.

7/27/02

Silverstone 2003 date secure  Max Mosley says that Britain's Formula One event is safe following success with traffic management this year, and a July 20th date has been agreed for the 2003 British Grand Prix, although 2002 was compared to a 'country fair' by Bernie Ecclestone. Meanwhile, with news that Bahrain has secured a slot for an 18th race on the 2004 Formula One calendar, Russia, China, Turkey and Egypt have all enjoined the bidding to stage a Grand Prix in the hope of joining Bahrain on the calendar. But there appear to be no open dates on the calendar as all current circuits, except Imola, have long-term contracts to stage races.  One would think, therefore, that Imola is in the most danger of losing their race.

7/27/02

Frank Williams continues Montoya praise  Sir Frank Williams has continued the line that Juan Pablo Montoya is the class of the Grove-based team in 2002. Speaking at Hockenheim yesterday, the Briton said that 'Definitely he's prepared to explore the limit even more closely than Ralf is. He really does go to extremes.'

7/27/02
F3000

Pantano gets pole  At an overcast Hockenheim circuit yesterday, Giorgio Pantano netted pole position for today's Formula 3000 contest. Closely followed by Czech driver Tomas Enge and his Arden Team Russia cohort Bjorn Wirdheim, series leader Sebastien Bourdais will start the race from fourth place. The Frenchman leads Enge by just five points in the title chase.

7/27/02

Latest F1 Hot News

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On This F1 Day...

7/26/02

Barber Dodge Pro, AJ stays hot  AJ Allmendinger continued his dominating form on the CART Barber Dodge Pro Series circuit winning provisional pole in Vancouver.

Pos/Car/Driver/Hometown/Time/Speed

1/29/A.J. Allmendinger/Hollister, Calif./01:15.245/85.210 mph
2/94/Marc Breuers/Philadelphia, PA/01:15.264/85.188
3/21/Julio Campos/Curitiba, Brazil/01:15.410/85.023
4/34/Christian Szymczak/Oakland, Calif./01:15.732/84.662
5/11/Rafael Sperafico/Toledo Paraná, Brazil/01:15.738/84.655
6/15/Memo Rojas/Mexico City, Mexico/01:15.968/84.399
7/19/Dan Di Leo/Markham,Ontario,Canada/01:16.057/84.300
8/31/Leonardo Maia/Oakland, Calif./01:16.159/84.187
9/89/Danica Patrick/Roscoe, Illinois/01:16.338/83.990
10/33/German Quiroga/Mexico City, Mexico/01:16.459/83.857
11/16/Davy Cook/Tallahassee, Fla./01:16.954/83.317
12/51/Aurelio Lopez/Guadalajara, Mexico/01:16.998/83.270
13/55/Piero Rodarte/Mexico City, Mexico/01:17.010/83.257
14/26/Rhonda Trammell/Pittsboro, Ind./01:17.105/83.154
15/66/Tom Fogarty/Portola Valley, Calif./01:17.379/82.860
16/69/Chris Baker/Houston, Texas/01:17.656/82.564
17/27/Josh Beaulieu/Langley, B.C., Canada/01:18.067/82.129
18/37/Mike Richardson/Kelowna, B.C., Canada/01:18.301/81.884
19/97/Atticus Missner/Chicago, Illinois/No Time/No Speed

7/26/02

Toyota nixes Jordan overtures  Jordan is set to lose their Honda engine supply and it was confirmed Eddie Jordan has asked Toyota to provide engines next season. The Japanese company are closely linked with British American Racing and have long been rumored to be ready to ditch Jordan in favor of DBAR. Toyota team boss Ove Andersson confirmed he had been approached by Jordan as the Silverstone-based outfit search for next season's power units - but turned down the chance to supply another team. Andersson said: "There is absolutely no agreement and we have no plans to supply engines to any other team at the moment. "To think about supplying another team with engines at this moment in time is definitely not in our plans."

7/26/02
F3000

Derick Hill shows well in Hockenheim qualifying

Position/Driver Team Fastest Lap
1 Giorgio Pantano Coloni F3000 1m27.789s
2 Tomas Enge Arden International 1m27.889s
3 Bjorn Wirdheim Arden International 1m27.996s
4 Sebastien Bourdais Super Nova Racing 1m28.114s
5 Antonio Pizzonia Petrobras Junior Team 1m28.190s
6 Rodrigo Sperafico Durango Formula 1m28.718s
7 Derek Hill Durango Formula 1m28.735s
8 Mario Haberfeld Team Astromega 1m28.805s
9 Tiago Monteiro Super Nova Racing 1m28.819s
10 Alex Muller European Minardi F3000 1m28.842s
11 Ricardo Sperafico Petrobras Junior Team 1m28.876s
12 Rob Nguyen Team Astromega 1m28.988s
13 Patrick Friesacher Red Bull Jr 1m29.034s
14 Ricardo Mauricio Red Bull Jr 1m29.064s
15 Enrico Toccacelo Coloni F3000 1m29.186s
16 Nicolas Kiesa PSM Racing 1m29.418s
17 Tony Schmidt PSM Racing 1m29.558s
18 Zsolt Baumgartner Nordic Racing 1m29.723s
19 Alexandre Sperafico European Minardi F3000 1m29.919s
20 Thed Bjork Nordic Racing 1m31.124s

7/26/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $5.95 Down $0.55 on volume of 190,500 shares.
$5.24 Bid - $6.29 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $5.74/$6.40
MPH Value Change Down 8.46%
DOW Jones Ind Up 78.08 or 0.95% on Volume of 2.17 billion shares.
Sixth straight day of volume in excess of 2 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 22.04 or 1.78%
S&P 500 up 14.16 or 1.69%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

7/26/02

CART Friday Night  The Molson Indy Vancouver usually has just as much action off the track as it does on it, and SPEED Channel will capture a portion of the off-track festivities of the CART FedEx Championship Series live with its CART Friday Night show. SPEED Channel will be live at the Drivers VIP Party Friday in Vancouver for the CART Friday Night show, which airs from 10:30-11:00 p.m. on the cable network. The event will be hosted by Derek Daly with Tommy Kendall conducting interviews with some of the drivers and dignitaries on hand. CART stars Paul Tracy, Tony Kanaan and Oriol Servia are scheduled to appear on the show, along with Toyota Atlantic drivers Jon Fogarty, Michael Valiante and Jonathan Macri. The Atlantic drivers are on hand as part of CART's Mentor System, and the loquacious Kendall will be on hand to make sure that the aspiring drivers learn the ropes of the off-track functions as well.

7/26/02

Hakkinen quits for good  Mika Hakkinen has confirmed that he will not return to F1 and will instead retire from motor racing. The announcement was made in Hockenheim and was followed by McLaren confirming that its driver line up for 2003 will be David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen. "I wanted to spend time with Erja and watch Hugo growing," said Hakkinen. "To be able to watch him learn to crawl and walk and start to talk is time you can't get back again. And I didn't want to hurt myself. I have been through a lot, particularly in 1995, and I have received so much that I thought it was not worth pushing my luck any further."  Full Story

7/26/02

GM trying to steal Andretti from Honda  Read this Autosport Q & A with Michael Andretti - Q: Could Honda influence your decision? A.: "Honda is very aggressive. But having said that, we've been in real strong talks with the other manufacturers as well, including GM, who would really like to be associated with us. We have nothing done now on that side."

7/26/02

CART may drop all ovals  Duh, how long have we been saying this?  There are some interesting quotes in this article, including - The idea has been under discussion with CART team owners for some time, Pook said in an interview later. "I wouldn't put any likelihoods on it right now," he said. "I'm just telling you that for our guys oval racing is very expensive."......Bobby Rahal said axing ovals, especially the ultra-fast super speedways, would help cut team costs sharply, both in specialized parts and in crash damages.

7/26/02

Davidson stands by  BAR test driver Anthony Davidson is standing by to replace Giancarlo Fisichella if the Italian feels that he is unable to compete in this weekend’s German GP. Davidson had a seat-fitting with Jordan earlier this week and could make his F1 debut if Fisichella decides to miss Sunday’s race.

7/26/02

Arrows definitely will race Contrary to some internet reports that only one Arrows transporter resides the Hockenheim paddock, our source at the circuit has confirmed that three transporters, an Orange-clad motorhome and all Arrows staff are ready for German Grand Prix action. Furthermore, Arrows driver Enrique Bernoldi told 'our man' that 'We are definitely going to race. I'm pretty sure I can say definitely now.' That's about as 'definite' as you're going to get in the dynamic world of Formula One, anyway.

7/26/02

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7/26/02

Paul Tracy & Tony Stewart  A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com - About the "rumor" that Paul Tracy is considering NASCAR. With his outspoken nature his car would never pass inspection!  How about Paul and Tony Stewart on the same team.  Wouldn't that be something to shake the NASCAR tree!   I'm not a big "NAPCAR" fan but it would be worth watching to hear Tracy call Gary Nelson or Mike Helton a "circus clown" (as he has done to the CART Chief Steward on at least one occasion on national TV).  Mike Jablo

7/26/02

Miami press conference feedback  After Wednesday's Miami media event, a reader writers to say "every TV station in Miami had a positive report on the race that evening.....except the Fox Affiliate which showed a tape of an IRL car driving on the causeway from a media event the IRL had last year. I guess those guys don't know the difference between CART and IRL. Or do they? Hard to trust those ISC/IRL Guys!"  We understand the new president/general manager of the race, Chuck Martinez, came in on his first day (Monday) and lit a fire under everybody's butt. They haven't stopped for a break since.  They are getting a bit of a late start on promoting this race, but it's going to be the event everyone in the Miami area wants to go to each year.  Certainly more so than the NASCAR or IRL race in Homestead which offers nothing in the way of atmosphere or nightlife. 

7/25/02
USAC

Another oval victim, Jack Hewitt upgraded  Jack Hewitt has been upgraded to serious but stable condition at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after suffering a neck injury in an accident during a USAC Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car race July 22 at North Vernon, Ind. Hewitt is conscious and talking to family members and doctors and is responding to all treatment.  Was he wearing a HANS Device?

7/25/02

Washington DC race hailed as a success  Nearly 80 years had passed since automobile racing had graced the Nation's Capital, but the American Le Mans Series led what is being universally hailed as a triumphant return of motorsports to Washington in last weekend's Cadillac Grand Prix of Washington, D.C.   More....

7/25/02
Grand-Am

Toyota jumps into Grand-Am  With an announcement today by Toyota Racing Development (TRD), the list of engines being made available to power Daytona Prototypes next year now extends to manufacturers from around the globe. According to a press release issued earlier today, Toyota Racing Development (TRD), U.S.A. will submit a 4.3-liter V8 engine for approval to compete in the Daytona Prototype class of the Rolex Sports Car Series beginning in 2003. The Toyota Daytona Prototype V8 engine will be based on the 4.3-liter, four-cam, 32-valve powerplant that is currently utilized in production models sold in North America. "We have already approved engines from Ford, BMW and Porsche," Grand American Road Racing President Roger Edmondson commented. "We are working closely with suppliers of other engines including Chrysler, GM and Maserati on approval of those motors. With Toyota's racing history and heritage, we are very pleased to hear they will be participating in this program," he added. "We believe that Grand-Am has created a unique vision for an American-based sports prototype series," said Jim Aust, president and CEO of TRD, U.S.A. "TRD is always interested in potential business opportunities that expand its presence in U.S. motorsports. Our goal will be to offer Daytona Prototype teams a competitive engine at a competitive price."

7/25/02

CART stock watch  

MPH closed at $6.50 Down $0.70 on volume of 128,100 shares.
$5.86 Bid - $6.81 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $6.50/$7.20
MPH Value Change Down 9.72%
DOW Jones Ind Down 4.98 or 0.06% on Volume of 2.83 billion shares.
Fifth straight day of volume in excess of 2 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 50.11 or 3.88%
S&P 500 Down 4.75 or 0.56%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

7/25/02

Benson's back  Johnny Benson (No. 10 Valvoline Pontiac) is set to resume racing this week. He has been sidelined since a July 6 accident in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway, when he suffered three broken ribs. Mike Wallace substituted for Benson at Chicago and Jerry Nadeau subbed at New Hampshire. Sunday will mark the second time this season that Pocono will serve as a "comeback" track for Benson. He missed three races after a May 3 accident in a NASCAR Busch Series race at Richmond where he suffered two cracked ribs and one broken rib; Benson made his return at Pocono on June 9, finishing 20th. "I'm not rushing. I'm ready to get back in the race car. You are always going to have people questioning whether it is too early or not. But, health-wise I'm ahead of where I was last time when I got back in the car. I don't think my health will be an issue this weekend. We aren't even going to have a back-up driver."

7/25/02

Michael wants father Mario involved with his team  In this Allentown Morning Call article, Michael Andretti says - ''I have kept him in the loop on everything,'' Michael said of Mario, an outspoken critic of the IRL and supporter of CART. Mario Andretti told the Associated Press' Mike Harris that he might make a deal with CART owner Carl Haas. ''He sort of sideswiped me with his announcement,'' Michael Andretti said. ''His deal has not gone anywhere; basically, it was a conversation between him and Carl. Chris (Pook) made sure Mike called dad. It was propaganda for CART. I would like dad to be involved with Andretti Green Racing.''  This might get interesting, but you can bet that if Mario is involved with Michael, he will push for the team to continue to race in CART. The Andretti name certainly will help the old Team Green company (now Andretti Green Racing) to secure more sponsorship.

7/25/02

Another management change at Lola Howard Dawson has been appointed interim Chief Executive of the Lola group of companies with immediate effect, taking over from David Bowes who is resigning from the company as at the end of August to take up another role. A replacement will be appointed in due course. Dawson, 42, is already a director of Lola and Joint Managing Director of Peer Group plc, Martin Birrane’s London-based property company. Already known to many in motor sport because of his Directorship at Mondello Park International Racing Circuit in Ireland, Dawson is also on the Board of BMP, the company which promotes race meetings and championships, including the BTCC, F3 and British GT at all the UK’s top circuits. Dawson joins the Lola group as it completes its integration of composites company, CTS Limited, and is entering the Formula Three market."

7/25/02

Jourdain on RPM2Night Team Rahal driver Michel Jourdain Jr. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) will be featured along with Roush Racing's NASCAR Craftsman Truck driver Jon Wood on ESPN's RPM2Night on Thursday as the two drivers take fans on a trip to discover Ford race machines of the past, as well as to look at some of the marque's future offerings. Jourdain, who is in the midst of the best of his seven seasons in the CART FedEx Championship Series, joined the up-and-coming Wood on a trip through the famed Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan on Wednesday to see the myriad of classic Ford racers on display. The two drivers will be featured in a series of segments to air on the ESPN nightly racing show in the coming weeks, the first of which comes tonight (ESPN2, 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time) where the two drivers take a look at the new version of the timeless GT40 racer. The two drivers were guided through the display and given background information and stories by the museum's transportation curator Bob Casey. The Dearborn museum has a number of venerable Ford racers on display, including the 1901 machine with which Henry Ford beat Alexander Winton in the famed match race that allowed Ford to start the company that bears his name. Jourdain spent Wednesday in the Michigan city before heading to Vancouver where he will compete in this weekend's Molson Indy Vancouver (SPEED Channel, Sunday 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time)

7/25/02

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7/25/02

CART 2nd Quarter Financial Statement  UPDATE Chris Pook also stated on the investor conference call 1) He did not think Michael Andretti buying into Team Green would be a blow to CART. "It is our intent to keep two cars of Team Green (now Andretti Green Racing) in our series." 2) The 2003 schedule would be released next week and would include a Chicago race in May, though it may appear on the schedule as a tentative; 3) He was hopeful the series next year would have more than the 18 cars currently participating, maybe 23 "if they're solid."  7/24/02 - Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) (CART) today announced financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2002. The number of events held in a particular quarter affects the comparability of earnings information from quarter to quarter. CART conducted six events in the second quarter of 2002 and 2001. Indy Lights, which was discontinued for 2002, conducted four races in the second quarter of 2001. Toyota Atlantics conducted five races in the second quarter of 2002, compared to four races in the prior-year period. More...

7/24/02

Mario the artist!  Mario Andretti will be at the Andretti Winery from 1:00 pm until 3:30 pm on Monday, July 29 participating in a unique project called "The Art of the Appliance.” Created by Best Buy, this project involves celebrities from the worlds of music, film and sports painting original designs directly onto a Best Buy appliance – then auctioned on EBay sometime in October with proceeds going to charity. The designs will also be reproduced in poster format and will be given away as a gift with purchase in Best Buy stores. Guests at the Andretti Winery the afternoon of July 29 can watch Mario paint a refrigerator (with the help of an artist, of course). Behind the scenes video and a photo shoot will also take place. This is a fun afternoon. Spectators are welcome. The Andretti Winery is located at 4162 Big Ranch Road in Napa, California. No other celebrities participating in “The Art of the Appliance” will be at the Andretti Winery. Individuals have studio time planned in their own favorite environment and to suit their personal schedules.

7/24/02

Condolences to Shanaman family  AutoRacing1.com would like to extend our condolences to CART's Rena Shanaman and her family, whose mother passed away over the weekend.  The funeral was held today.

7/24/02

Noise threatens 2003 Washington DC race  According to this Washington Post article, Washington's inaugural Grand Prix auto race roared to a close yesterday evening, with organizers hailing it as a success but the District's chief regulator saying he will explore shutting down next year's event because of excessive noise. Tests conducted yesterday by the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs showed that the roar generated by high-powered cars racing around the track on the grounds of Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium measured 100.4 to 105 decibels in the adjacent neighborhood, far exceeding the 60-decibel limit permitted in residential areas.  That's what you get with normally aspirated race cars.  They had better get used to it.

7/24/02

Montoya has all but destroyed Ralf  Speaking to Motorsport News, Frank Williams said: "We’d like Ralf Schumacher to be quicker, so you could say we’re concerned about his performance. Some days he’s brilliant, some days he can’t put his hand on the button that makes the car perfect. "I’d say he’s presently in a bit of a dip. Ralf’s performances are being colored a bit by his equipment, but we need him to assert himself." Williams also hinted that Montoya’s current form was having a damaging effect on Schumacher’s confidence. He added: "It’s quite obvious that he’s under pressure from Juan Pablo (who has won five straight poles in a row)."

7/24/02

CART practice and qualifying TV Ratings = IRL race ratings  UPDATE The IRL supposedly received a 0.5 overnight TV rating for their Nashville race. Last year the race drew a 0.55 overnight, so this year it is down almost 10%  What's that about the IRL growing and sponsor value?   7/23/02 - SPEED Channel was happy with ratings numbers for the CART event in Cleveland, where the network recorded ratings of 0.3 and 0.44 for its live coverage of practice and qualifying (the race was shown on CBS and had a final rating of 1.1)... SPEED Channel now is in more than 52 million homes in the United States, up nearly 16 million from last year and up nearly double since the spring of 2000.  We have not heard the official TV Rating for  IRL's race on ESPN2 at Nashville on Saturday night, but we hear it's not too different than what CART got for practice and qualifying in Cleveland, i.e. well below 1.0.

7/24/02

FIA warns Arrows  The FIA has warned the Arrows team not to pull the same stunt as they did in France last weekend. If the team once again deliberately fails to qualify, the FIA will take action. If they show up they are expected to race as well. The FIA has clearly stated that it will not tolerate a charade as in France a week ago. At Magny-Cours Arrows only drove eight laps throughout the weekend and failed to attempt to qualify for the race on Sunday. The team did, however, avoid a fine for not participating.

7/24/02

Shell signs on as title sponsor for Denver race  UPDATE Here is the official press release.  Shell plans to be the only gasoline retailer in all fifty states as the conversion of the majority of 13,000 Texaco locations is scheduled for completion before June 2004. The Denver and Colorado Springs markets will convert this fall.   7/23/02 - Where's the AP article now?  To their credit - read it here.  Shell Oil will be the title sponsor for the new Grand Prix of Denver auto race - an accord one sports marketing expert termed "a match made in heaven." Tim O'Leary, a spokesman for Houston-based Shell Oil Products US, confirmed late Monday that the Labor Day weekend event will be called the Shell Grand Prix of Denver. But he said he was not aware of the financial terms or the length of the sponsorship. John Frew, the Grand Prix's vice president and general manager, denied a pact had been made with the petroleum giant when he was contacted earlier Monday. A lead sponsor of a Championship Auto Racing Teams - or CART - race would typically pay $300,000 to $500,000 a year over several years, experts have said. Jim Michaelian, president of Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, Calif., one of the race's organizers, has said he expected a title sponsor to sign a three- to five-year deal. The lead sponsorship is a perfect fit for Shell, O'Leary said, because the company is in the process of converting Texaco-branded gas stations in Colorado to the Shell name and wants to improve its brand awareness. Denver sports marketing consultant Dean Bonham agreed. "This is just a match made in heaven, and none too soon," because the race is six weeks away, said Bonham, who writes a regular column for the Rocky Mountain News. "Positive image association is always a premier condition (for a title sponsorship)," he said. "Shell has an extraordinary reputation, and it has been around motorsports for years." "Just as an outsider looking in, this doesn't happen very often -- where you (grab) a high-level sponsorship so close to the event," he said.
Grand Prix of Denver sponsors
• Shell Oil
• AT&T Broadband
• Colorado Central Station Casino
• Coors
• FedEx
• Gehl
• Hyatt Regency Denver
• Denver Newspaper Agency
• Six Flags Elitch Gardens
• Snap-On Tools
• St. Anthony Hospitals  Rocky Mountain News

7/24/02

Pruett to drive for Ganassi  Scott Pruett will run a third Ganassi entry at Watkins Glen.

7/24/02

CART working hard to keep Kool  In this Toronto Sun article, CART's Adam Saal says, "It's up to us to present Michael Andretti with a solid marketing platform for our series that he can give his sponsors," Saal said. "That's our job one -- keep this team with us." Andretti said that Brown & Williamson, the tobacco giant that is the primary sponsor of the team, is planning its 2003 budget and should have answers by the end of August on how and where it wants its money spent.

7/24/02

As CART heads to Vancouver, more negative media  Do you see the pattern yet? Negative stories about CART by the local at every race venue the week prior to the during the event.  They are not writing about the racing, but about "CART dying." Here is a Vancouver Sun article that continues that trend, though to their credit, the article reaches some balance in that it talks about what positive CART has going for it.

7/24/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $7.20 Down $0.27 on volume of 105,700 shares.
$6.56 Bid - $7.52 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $6.90/$7.50
MPH Value Change Down 3.61%
DOW Jones Up 488.95 or 6.35% on Volume of 3.2+ billion shares.
A NEW Single Day Volume Record!
Fourth straight day of volume in excess of 2 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 60.96 or 4.96%
S&P 500 Up 45.69 or 5.73%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

7/24/02

Turkey targets 2005 for a F1 race  According to this Daily F1 article, Turkey has taken a significant step towards hosting Formula One in 2005 after the Turkish Ministry Council accepted a proposal by Mumtaz Tahincioglu, President of the Turkish Automobile and Motorsports Federation. Tahincioglu said after the briefing this week that the Council accepted the “necessities” of the plan set by the Turkish Automobile and Motorsports Federation, and had agreed to provide terrain for circuit construction, $13.5 million for the running of each race and $27 million for initial organizational funding. Tahincioglu said the final obstacle was signing a deal with F1 Boss Bernie Ecclestone. ‘Formula One will be held in Turkey in 2005,’ Tahincioglu said. ‘We will introduce the project to Ecclestone who is the last signature.’ It is unclear which Turkish city will host the race but the Ministry Council has a short list of candidates including Istanbul, Izmir, and Antalya. It is understood Kirsehir is also bidding for the right to host.

7/24/02

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7/24/02

Green says Indy 500 case not closed yet  According to this Indy Star article, In Barry Green's mind, the Indianapolis 500 isn't over until he says it's over. And he's not ready to say that. Media were admonished before Tuesday's news conference announcing Green's sale of the team to Michael Andretti that questions about the failed protest and appeal of the Indianapolis 500 were off-limits. But afterward, Green said he still is weighing whether to pursue his case in court. "I have a lot of attorneys who do not believe I should give up," he said. "I have not made up my mind what I'm going to do." Green said he still has a "sour taste" from the May 26 race, but it was not a factor in his decision to sell the team. That deal largely was complete in April, he said.

7/23/02

SPEED Channel adds more NASCAR programming  Beginning this Sunday, July 28, SPEED Channel will be the exclusive provider of NASCAR Victory Lane. The series will air on Sundays at 8 PM ET, with Thursday replays at 5:30 PM ET. SPEED Channel has added three live NASCAR events to its broadcast schedule -- Winston Cup qualifying from Talladega at 4 PM ET on Oct. 4, Winston Cup Happy Hour from Talladega at noon (ET) on Oct. 5 and Winston Cup qualifying from Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. at 7 PM ET on Oct. 10.

7/23/02

Nadeau to drive #44 Petty car  Jerry Nadeau, who nearly pulled out an incredible race victory less than a month ago at Sears Point, Calif., will drive the #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge for Petty Enterprises the rest of this season. In Nadeau's only other start in the car, he came within just a few laps at winning the California event, a drive-train problem sidelining him from a near five-second lead two laps from the end. "We're doing everything we can and making any changes we need to make to bring Petty Enterprises back at the forefront of NASCAR racing," said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. "This is another step in that direction. "We all saw what Jerry did at Sears Point but that is the kind of racing he has been doing throughout his career," Petty said. "He has won on fast superspeedways, is one of the best road racers out there and is pretty good on short tracks too. He has proven he can win. He brings a lot to this team, to Georgia-Pacific and to Petty Enterprises."

7/23/02

CART congratulates Andretti  Championship Auto Racing Teams Inc. wishes to congratulate its all-time victory leader Michael Andretti on his Monday announcement that he will enter, along with veteran team manager Kim Green, the world of race-team ownership beginning next season. The 1991 CART FedEx Series champion announced today that he will be joining with Green to take over ownership of the Indianapolis-based Team KOOL Green in 2003 although Andretti's own plans for driving, as well as those of his new team, are still uncertain. CART's all-time leader in wins (42), most wins in a season (8), most laps led in a career (6,564) as well as those led in a single season (1,136) and the holder of the record for the most seasons with at least one victory (15), Andretti will be making his landmark 300th career Champ Car start this weekend at the Molson Indy Vancouver - a race he has won three times in his career. "Michael and the Andretti family have been an integral part of Champ Car racing history and we intend to do everything that we can to aid Michael in his new venture," said CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. "We value Michael's presence in the CART FedEx Championship Series as well as that of Team KOOL Green and hope that we can continue what has been a very strong relationship."  CART

7/23/02

Andretti sponsor #1 in China  Another reason CART should be in China, though we hear the IRL might beat them there - U.S. wireless communications giant Motorola Inc expects to hold onto its number one position in China's handset market, the world's largest, for the next two years, a senior executive said on Wednesday. "We've been holding our position in the last two years and I think we'll continue to hold on for the next couple of years," said Timothy Chen, president of Motorola's unit in China, the firm's second biggest market after the United States. Chen said Motorola's overall turnover in China, including network gear, handset and semiconductor sales, would be "roughly flat" in 2002, but government plans to introduce two new cellular carriers next year could boost sales in 2003. "If they have two more operators in 2003, you'll see the revenue start to pick up," he said in an interview with Reuters. REUTERS

7/23/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $7.47 down $0.60 on volume of 95,800 shares.
$6.85 Bid - $7.79 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $7.46/$8.15
MPH Value Change down 7.43%
DOW Jones down 82.24 or 1.06% on Volume of 2.87 billion shares.
Third straight day of volume in excess of 2 billion shares.
NASDAQ down 53.67 or 4.18%
S&P 500 down 21.32 or 2.6%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

7/23/02

Andretti Green Racing announcement highlights 

  • Owners will be Michael Andretti, Kim Green and Kevin Savoree

  • All existing sponsors are very excited.  It's hoped team will stay in tact as is

  • It has not been determined what series they will compete in.  Totally depends on sponsors - July and August are key months to get sponsorship agreements done

  • Michael will continue to drive, at least at Indy and hopefully full time if sponsors want him to drive.  He will be very much involved with team, but will live in Nazareth, PA.

  • Michael said he hopes Tracy and Franchitti will stay with team if sponsorship falls into place.  Sponsors are excited and new ones have expressed interest.

  • Andretti approached Green at the end of last season and deal was done at Long Beach for him to buy into team

  • Barry will still be financially involved, but will take a minor back seat role.

  • Michael - my heart is in CART, I love the format and hopefully Chris Pook, who is doing some great things, can make it and it's not too late

  • Tracy article and another article

  • Press Release

7/23/02

Dale Jarrett's car illegal  UPDATE Todd Parrott, crew chief of the #88 Ford Taurus, was fined $20,000 and his team was also penalized 25 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Championship driver points as well as 25 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Championship owner points. Parrott's team was penalized under Section 12-4-T of the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: "Any car that is found to be under the specified height requirement after the completion of time trials, qualifying races, or the race." The #88 car was approximately one-eighth of an inch too low. The minimum height requirement is 51 inches. Michael McSwain, crew chief of the #28 Ford Taurus, was fined $500 and penalized under Sections 12-4-Q and 20-12-1A: "Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules; unapproved jacking bolt." 7/22/02 - After the New England 300, Dale Jarrett's car failed post-race inspection - it was too low.  Expect a penalty to be handed down.

7/23/02

F1 TV ratings expected to drop 20%  Tim Crow, a director at sponsorship consultancy firm Karen Earl Limited, warns that Schumacher's premature World Championship victory will persuade even less people to watch the remaining six F1 races this season.  His title victory at the French Grand Prix last weekend was watched by 3.5 million British viewers compared to 4.4 million who watched golf's The Open at Muirfield.

7/23/02

Magny-Cours circuit upgrades planned  According to this Grand Prix.com article - Magny Cours officials unveiled plans to completely rebuild the circuit from the Chateau d'Eau corner down to the finish line. This is a major undertaking as it will involve a completely new section of track, the relocation of the cars parks and the rerouting of an access road beside the track. On the other hand the new section will increase the crowd capacity by another 20,000 seats, taking the track capacity to around 150,000. It will also change the nature of the circuit which has been rather dull in recent years as overtaking has become incredibly hard. This is being achieved with a completely new Chateau d'Eau corner, which will be shorter and faster than the existing turn. The run from there down to the last corner will be ditched and a new high-speed left-hander will be built which will lead the cars down to a 90-degree right-hander in a new "stadium" area. This will see the cars braking from 180mph down to 50mph and should create an overtaking place. There will then be a short burst back to a right-left chicane, which will also feature the pitlane entry road. This will feed the track back to the current finish line.

7/23/02

Andretti to start IRL team but drive in CART  UPDATE According to this Indy Star article, Barry Green will announce today he is selling his CART team, known as Team Green, to his brother, Kim, and driver Michael Andretti, sources told The Star on Monday. Barry Green has been disillusioned with motorsports since Honda, his engine manufacturer, announced its defection to the IRL in May. Green also was upset his team had lost an appeal of this year's Indianapolis 500 outcome. Team Green felt its driver, Paul Tracy, had won the race when a caution light came on on lap 199. Helio Castroneves was declared the winner. Andretti is expected to convert his portion of the team to an IRL program, although Andretti will continue to drive for Kim Green in CART. Andretti will drive for his own team in next year's 500.  7/22/02 - As per this ESPN article, Michael Andretti will officially become a car owner and announce his plans to purchase the team he currently drives for in Championship Auto Racing Teams -- Team KOOL Green -- and take it to the rival Indy Racing League. A press conference is scheduled for noon on Tuesday at Barry Green's shop in Indianapolis and Andretti will reveal the details for his future as an owner/driver. Neither Andretti nor Green could be reached for comment Monday. The 39-year-old second-generation star, CART's all-time winner with 42 triumphs, will field a two-car effort in 2003 that may or may not include him. But the veteran who has led 398 laps at Indianapolis without making it to Victory Lane is expected to compete next May, if nothing else. With funding from American Honda, which is leaving CART at the end of this season to join the Indy Racing League and compete against Toyota, Andretti's team will be the factory Honda effort in the all-oval series.

7/23/02

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7/22/02
Industry News

Visteon meets expectations  The combination of increased production by Ford Motor Co., its biggest customer, and new business from other sources powered Visteon Corp. to a $72-million profit in the second quarter, or 56 cents per share, meeting Wall Street expectations, the company reported Friday. "We believe we're well positioned for a difficult time for U.S. business with investors losing confidence and the auto industry in particular turmoil," chairman and chief executive Peter Pestillo said in a teleconference.

7/22/02

CART stock watch 

Today's NYSE trading in MPH
MPH closed at $8.07 down $0.53 on Volume of 104,200 shares.
$7.43 Bid - $8.41 Asked on close.
Session Low/High $8.03/$8.55
MPH Value Change down 6.16%
DOW Jones down 234.68 or 2.93%
NASDAQ down 36.5 or 2.77%
S&P500 down 27.9 or 3.29%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

7/22/02
DTM

DTM driver warns about oval racing, too costly  This Autosport article says - Opel star Manuel Reuter has warned that including an oval race on the DTM calendar in the future would be risky, despite a successful day of testing at EuroSpeedway Lausitz on Monday. Reuter and Mercedes ace Uwe Alzen took turns in testing on the Turn 1 banking at full oval racing speed, before completing the rest of the road course lap. The test was organized by Dunlop, who wanted to see if its DTM rubber could accept the forces of the oval turns. "It was definitely good fun and a new experience," said Reuter, who drove the test car during the evaluation. "But we would have to think carefully about racing on these types of corners. Running two cars in perfect conditions was fine, but 20 cars trying different lines to pass is something else." Reuter reported that he was approaching Turn 1 at 160mph, and his minimum speed through the corner was 140mph. "We ran through the program with no problems," Reuter added. "This is one step, maybe we need to come back with more cars and try slipstreaming. The question is, do you go for the risk? You could easily lose five or six cars if there was a crash."  Welcome to the high cost of oval racing.

7/22/02

Scheckter being lured by CART teams  As per this ESPN article, Tomas Scheckter, son of former World Champion Jody Scheckter, expects to get fired by Eddie Cheever and has received numerous calls from CART teams to drive for them.  In the article, Scheckter more less makes fun of his slower boss Eddie by saying - "I was approaching Eddie at a massively quicker speed than what Eddie was doing. It's not like he gave me the high or the low line or he let me by at all. He wasn't hugging low completely. I was high and the problem is when you are approaching someone, he was going 180 miles an hour and I was running 202 mph. You can't slow down that quickly. "I opted for the high line and he didn't give me room for the high line. I should have known that Eddie would maybe not give me that room. I would have thought when I saw a Red Bull car, especially when I was lapping him, that he would give me room, but he didn't. With Eddie, I should have braked, gone down two gears and waited behind him, although that would have cost me six or seven seconds. That's hindsight and I would have thought he would have given me more room."

7/22/02

Fernandez to visit Denver and Latino Community  The return of the CART FedEx Championship Series to Denver, Colorado has brought some excitement to the Mile High City, especially throughout the area's large Hispanic population, who will be coming out in droves for the Aug. 30-Sept. 1 weekend to support the Mexican teams and drivers that will be vying for the Grand Prix of Denver title. Falling under the column of both 'owner' and 'driver', Adrian Fernandez (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone) will take some of his time to help build the enthusiasm for the Sept. 1 race by spending a full day in Denver on Tuesday to promote the event, as well as taking time out to meet race fans both young and old. Fernandez will start the day by hosting media track rides of the temporary street circuit, and will then hold a press luncheon followed by a short presentation on Grand Prix of Denver's Latino Marketing Initiative. The seven-time CART race winner will then do an interview for the Spanish-speaking Univision television network before heading to Denver's Barnum Recreation Center to give a presentation at an inner-city summer youth program, where he will also be signing autographs and meeting the young race fans. This press luncheon is not open to the public.

7/22/02

Miami City permit signing  On Wednesday, City of Miami Manager, Carlos Gimenez, along with Grand Prix Americas officials formalize street racing in downtown Miami by signing the city permit. Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) superstar drivers’ Christian Fittipaldi and Tony Kanaan along with American Le Mans Series’ Johnny Herbert and Milka Duno will be on hand to help lay the ceremonial first barrier at the race track. Grand Prix Americas will speed through the streets of Miami Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 4-6. The 1.57-mile street circuit will reach speeds of more than 180 mph making its way through Bayfront Park, Biscayne Boulevard and downtown streets. The world-class racing event will feature CART Fed Ex Championship Series, American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup Races. This ceremony is not open to the public.

7/22/02

Button signed by BAR  At a press conference at the Hempel Hotel in London this afternoon, the British American Racing team announced the news that Jenson Button will be joining the team for the 2003 season. The Honda powered squad have reached a multi year deal with the young English driver that will him with the squad until the end of 2005 with an option for a further two years. "I'm thrilled to be joining B.A.R. The past few weeks have been very exciting and I've been flattered by the enormous attention I've received. I've had a whole range of opportunities open to me but after careful consideration of what would be best for my future, B.A.R provided me with an excellent opportunity to progress and ultimately, I hope, to achieve my ambition to be World Champion,” “David Richards has talked me through the long-term strategy for the team in great detail and I have been very impressed with the strength of the partnership with Honda. I have no doubt that, together, we can all look forward to some very exciting times ahead." "I'm delighted to welcome Jenson to B.A.R. He has an extraordinary talent which now needs to be nurtured in the right environment in order for it to flourish,” Richards said. "Over the past 7 months the management team have set out a long-term plan which is designed to deliver success to B.A.R and our partners. This won't happen overnight and we have realistic expectations for the next two seasons. In the current Formula One climate, we are fortunate to have the stability of long- term funding and a strong, developing relationship with Honda. Our agreement with Jenson will enable us to carry that stability through to our driver line-up and, as we move forward, I have every confidence that he will play a pivotal role in gelling the team together."

7/22/02

No side-by-side racing at Nashville crash fest  This Tennessean article talks about the IRL crash fest at Nashville on Friday night.  It's apparent that the concrete track does not develop two grooves, and when you get out of the groove, it appears to be more slippery than an asphalt track.  Watching the race on Saturday night, it was apparent that the drivers had no hope of recovery once they got their two outside wheels above the groove.  It was another expensive night for the IRL teams, and if anyone still thinks it's cheaper to run in an all-oval series with open wheel cars, where crashes almost always result in major car damage, they had better think again.  It's one thing to buy equipment to start a team, and quite another to make major repairs to that equipment throughout the year from all the accidents.  Just ask Eddie Cheever and AJ Foyt.  Any CART or IRL team trying to decide which series to run next year might have to figure on double the cost for the IRL vs. CART's road racing series next year.

7/22/02

No more burnouts in NASCAR?  According to this Winston Salem Journal article, no more post-race burnouts in NASCAR. That's apparently the word from NASCAR execs after Greg Biffle's Busch victory burnout in St. Louis, which led a blown tire, which in turn brought Biffle's car through the post-race inspection station too low. NASCAR is telling teams that any driver who does that again and blows a tire risks having the win taken away.

7/22/02

Jorge to drive F3 race  CART ladder series (Formula Dodge National Series) driver Jonatan Jorge will participate in Formula-3 championship in Turkey. Brazilian driver Jonatan Jorge, who receives support from F-1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya and Pitbull Energy Drink, will race in one of the events of the Toshiba-Bridgestone Formula-3 Championship, in Istanbul, Turkey. The invitation came from Active Team, one of the most prominent F-3 teams in Turkey. "I am very happy with the invitation," said Jorge. "Turkey has been increasingly growing in the international racing scene. So much so that there is quite an effort being made to build a track to host a Formula- 1 event in the area." "I especially want to thank Turkish driver Can Artam, with whom I raced in the Skip Barber Series this season. He was a strong competitor here in the USA and the fact that he appointed me for a place in the Active Team is quite an honor." "I've never raced a Formula-3 car but both the team and the Bridgestone technicians have already offered to give me all the necessary support," said the driver. For one of Jorge's main supporters - Pitbull Energy Drink - the race in Turkey represents a good opportunity for marketing exposure, as the event will be televised to many countries in which the company has developed its market. Additionally, the F-3 race will have newspaper, magazine and radio coverage alike. The event will take place at the Korfez circuit on July 28th

7/22/02

Team Green announcement  Team Green is holding a press conference Tuesday at 1:00 PM.  The announcement was not specific as to what they would say.

7/22/02

BBC to broadcast Rockingham  Britain's fastest ever motor race, the Rockingham 500 CART event, will be shown on BBC2 Grandstand on Sunday 15th September, the day after the race is run at Rockingham Motor Speedway, near Corby in Northamptonshire. Over an hour of Sunday Grandstand will be allocated to the race, round 15 of the CART FedEx Championship Series, known as "the fastest closed circuit racing in the world", acknowledging its position as one of Britain's premier sporting events of the year. The BBC coverage will preview the race with footage, both from previous rounds of the Championship, and with archive material from last year's Rockingham 500, which was the fastest motor race ever held in the UK. Brazilian driver Tony Kanaan posted the fastest lap of the weekend with an average speed of 215.397mph, covering the 1.5 mile banked oval circuit in just 24.7 seconds! As last year, viewers will be treated to the sight of the turbocharged, single-seat racers howling through Rockingham's four banked corners at speeds of up to four miles per minute and genuine wheel-to-wheel racing. The 2001 event saw a thrilling finish when winning driver Gil de Ferran snatched the lead on the last corner of the last lap to the cheers of 42,000 fans. As sports writer Brough Scott wrote after the event: "Even we hardened old hacks in the press room whooped with excitement." No less than 14 track cameras, including two 'robocams' mounted on the crash wall surrounding the track, will ensure that not one millisecond of the action will be missed, while interviews with key personalities from America's premier series will give British viewers an in-depth insight into the spectacular sport. The BBC coverage will feature race commentary from the experienced pairing of Leigh Diffey and Jeremy Shaw. "CART and Rockingham are pledged to make one of the greatest spectacles in British motor sport as accessible as possible to the widest audience" said David Grace, Chief Executive of Rockingham Motor Speedway. "We are delighted that sports fans up and down the country will be able to enjoy this access to the sport - and the BBC coverage will augment the existing coverage of the series on Sky Sports and Eurosport, to bring a great race to casual viewers and keen enthusiasts alike. They'd better fasten their seat belts!"

7/22/02

Everyone cheats to win in NASCAR  This Hartford, CN article talks about the rampant cheating that goes on in NASCAR. It says -  In NASCAR, everybody's doing it and they've been doing it forever. It's not cheating unless you get caught is the philosophy of most. From the local track all the way to the top level, every crew chief is looking for a way to skirt the rules or find loopholes. And it's a well-known fact that within Winston Cup, one way or another, nearly everybody cheats. "Oh definitely," Bodine said. "There's no doubt, every car in this garage has something illegal with it."  Imagine that, everyone cheats in NASCAR.  That being the case, one would assume that on any given weekend, it's not the best driver or team that wins, it's who cheats the best.  Like we have stated previously, until NASCAR starts to disqualify cars for cheating, or taking all their points away, cheating will remain in NASCAR, almost as if the sanctioning body approves of it.  Why else would such insignificant fines be handed down?

7/22/02

NASCAR considers SAFER Wall for Dega  NASCAR is considering using energy-absorbing walls at Talladega Superspeedway, but installation is not likely to occur before the series races there in October. "There are a couple issues there, one is the high banking," NASCAR president Mike Helton said Sunday before the New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. "We need to continue researching it and looking at it, but I don't know that's its a possibility to get them in for October." A committee of NASCAR officials went to Talladega earlier this week to meet with the developers of the SAFER barriers and discuss the viability of using them at the 2.66-mile track.

7/22/02

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