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DATE

News (chronologically)

8/23/02

HomeMed to sponsor #78  HomeMed Pharmacy will become an associate sponsor on the #78 Kelley Racing, Kruse Special Indy Racing League (IRL) car driven by Tony Renna for the remainder of the 2002 IRL season. HomeMed Pharmacy will also continue in their current role as associate sponsor on the #7 Kelley Racing Corteco/Bryant car driven by Al Unser, Jr. HomeMed Pharmacy CEO, Ronald D. Hunter made the announcement today from the corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. HomeMed Pharmacy has been the primary team sponsor of the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series car driven by Jason Priestley who was seriously injured in an accident during the final pre-race practice session on August 11 at Kentucky Motor Speedway. Priestley is expected to make a full recovery from his injuries and he continues to be supported by his HomeMed Pharmacy extended family and Chairman Hunter. "Jason is tougher than nails,” stated Hunter. “We are confident he will make a full recovery and return soon to his role as a member of the HomeMed Pharmacy family. Even from his hospital bed, he remains a great spokesperson for our company and we truly value his friendship and our partnership. “While he is recovering,” Hunter continued. “We are delighted to bring the HomeMed blue and green colors to Tony and his Kruse Special team as well as continuing our support of Tony's teammate Al and the Corteco/Bryant team."

8/23/02

CART stock watch  

MPH closed at $4.55 Up $0.10 on Volume of 134,000 shares.
$3.93 Bid - $4.91 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.28/$4.64
MPH Value Change Up 2.25%
DOW Jones Down 180.68 or 2.0% on Volume of 1.3 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 42.33 or 2.97%
S&P 500 Down 21.84 or 2.27%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

8/23/02

Montreal attendance  Though no official numbers were released, attendance for Friday in Montreal was estimated at 45,000 by several Montreal journalists who have covered every F1 event there since 1978.

8/23/02

Patrick commits to CART  Pat Patrick committed in writing to CART with a letter of interest for one-car for 2003, and has gone on record saying he since told CART verbally that he will commit to two cars in CART in 2003.  "I'm 100% committed to CART" said Patrick.

8/23/02

Valiante takes provisional Toyota Atlantic pole  Michael Valiante (Lynx Racing Swift 014.a) took another step closer to the 2002 Championship by winning the provisional pole during Friday afternoon’s qualifying in Montreal. The Canadian driver posted a time of 1:33.242 seconds (104.592 mph) to win the bonus point extending his Championship lead to 15 points over Jon Fogarty (Dorricott Racing (Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards Swift 014.a) "I'm reasonably happy with getting the provisional pole and the point that goes with it considering that I never really put a lap together,” said Valiante in the post session interview. “My crew and engineer, Rick Cameron, gave me an excellent car, although there's always room for improvement. The track was quite slippery at the start, like there was some oil put down by the champ cars, but once I got sway bars adjusted right, the car was easy to drive and I think there's a bit more time in it for tomorrow's qualifying. The track here changes quite a bit, so we'll need a different setup for tomorrow morning when it's cooler, but I think we have a good idea of which direction to go with the setup and we should be in good shape." Valiante will be looking for his fourth win of the season and a sweep of the Canadian events in tomorrow afternoon’s 27-lap race. Also, Valiante will be trying for Lynx Racing’s third straight win on the 2.709-mile Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. Top 10 so far:
1. (19) Michael Valiante, 93.242, 104.592 mph.
2. (33) Luis Diaz, 93.333, 104.490 mph.
3. (32) Jon Fogarty, 93.394, 104.422 mph.
4. (1) Ryan Hunter-Reay, 93.621, 104.169 mph.
5. (4) Rocky Moran Jr, 93.693, 104.089 mph.
6. (88) Waldemar Coronas, 93.788, 103.984 mph.
7. (31) Jonathan Macri, 93.937, 103.818 mph.
8. (23) Grant Ryley, 94.005, 103.743 mph.
9. (67) Marc DeVellis, 94.236, 103.489 mph.
10. (34) Alex Gurney, 94.402, 103.307 mph.

8/23/02

Da Matta - our engineers must be smarter  Cristiano da Matta had perhaps the best quote of the weekend so far when asked to compare CART and F1 lap times - "I understand our Friday lap times are only 4 seconds slower than the F1 times (Friday time for Coulthard this year was 1:15.407), and considering our teams operate on only 10% of the budget of a F1 team (some over $200 million per year, vs. only $10 to $20 million for CART), I guess our engineers are just very smart."

8/23/02

Big media turnout for CART in Montreal  We spoke to Diane Jeanotte of Torchia Communications, responsible for media accreditation for this weekends CART race in Montreal.  She told us over 600 media have applied for credentials for this weekends event.

8/23/02

CART bashing in Milwaukee  UPDATE A reader responds8/23/02 - This Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article continues the trend of media bashing CART in the markets it races in....essentially predicting CART's demise.

8/23/02

Overheard in Montreal  We overheard one manufacturer PR rep complaining in the media center that "there are too many people in the paddock that you can't even get through," followed by someone shouting "what do you expect, this isn't an IRL race!"  Yes, the paddock is packed, but this is a CART race and this is Canada.  All the Canadian fans are very well behaved and enjoying their first opportunity to get up close to the cars and drivers.  The drivers are all excited at the enthusiasm of the fans.  This race has a very promising future indeed.

8/23/02

European media in Montreal  At least four major European Newspapers are here in Montreal that we recognize to cover the CART race.  We spotted journalists from the London Times, The Sun, The Guardian, one from Italy (Rombo), and others we just don't recognize.  More new faces here than we have ever seen in a CART media center.

8/23/02

Cristiano da Matta leads opening practice in Montreal  Before a very large crowd for a Friday, CART point leader Cristiano da Matta led opening practice for CART's first foray into F1 territory in Montreal, Canada.  Driving the Havoline Toyota/Lola, da Matta toured the 2.747-mile Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve with a time of 1:20.593, good for an average speed of 121.008 miles per hour. Bruno Junqueira was second in the Target Toyota/Lola and Oriol Servia wound up third in the Visteon Toyota/Reynard. Next up is provisional qualifying set to begin at 2:10 p.m. ET.

8/23/02

Action shots from Stars of Tomorrow  

(L) Car control at a young age - Marco Andretti hangs the tail out. 

(C) Alan Rudolph.  (R) Matt Jaskol leads Kyle Martin

Photos by Clare Weaver

8/23/02

As CART heads to Montreal, comparisons inevitable  As this AP article by Mike Harris points out, the comparisons between F1 and CART are inevitable, as the CART series makes its debut this weekend in Montreal, home since 1978 to Formula One's Canadian Grand Prix. Jacques Villeneuve, son of the deceased racer for whom the track is named and a former CART and Formula One champion and still an F1 regular, is among the most curious. ``I am sure they will have a lot of fun, and it will be good to find out, finally, what is the exact lap time difference and how much quicker Formula One is,'' he said. Montoya thinks braking is major factor. ``The F1 cars stop much quicker, and I don't think the Champ cars can match the speed of F1 cars on that track,'' he said. It is the first time in CART history that the series is running on a track still being used by Formula One. In fact, officials of the Montreal Molson Indy say the 2.747-mile, 13-turn road course on Notre Dame Island is unchanged from the June race won by F1 champion Michael Schumacher.

8/23/02

Far more cars in IRL than CART in 2003?  According to this Indy Star article, the car count for CART next year looks iffy at best, while the car count in the IRL will be the best ever, with as many as 32 cars trying to qualify for every race.  With that said, we can tell you that although the article is generally accurate in that the IRL will have more cars in 2003 (they do this year too), there are things the authors are not aware of.

8/23/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Sato: I Want To Honor Honda
Two More Years For Juan
Honda: Two Teams Too Ambitious?
Rubens Reflects On Hungary
Ford Deny Jaguar Sale
McLaren Restructure To Win
Less Interest In F1?
Who's Ready To Take On Ferrari?
F1 News In Brief

8/23/02

As heard on CJAD Radio in Montreal  Interview with Adrian Fernandez: The Tecate car will be confirmed for 2003 participation in CART this weekend. He said this "side" of the team will stay in CART. The other side sounds like it is going to the IRL to keep good relations with Honda. (We guess their will be a whole host of Japanese drivers in the IRL next year, that should be interesting to say the least)......Interview with Chris Pook: "too much has been made of CART's demise. Look around this weekend, you will see 150,000 fans. We expect to lose 1 or 2 drivers next year. That's unfortunate but the bright side is who is coming in next year"........
Interview with Michael Andretti: "Chris has done a good job, but it is still really up in the air. I don't know if it's too little too late. We will have to wait and see. I can't make any decisions based on waiting and seeing at this point". Sounds like the Honda money was too much to give up.......

8/22/02

IRL drivers say Gateway hard  [Hard?  Is that because for once it won't be a 100% throttle track?]  At first glance, Richmond International Raceway might appear to be the toughest track on the Indy Racing League schedule. RIR is a tight, ¾-mile “bullring” oval in which IRL drivers turn laps in the 16-second range. No picnic. But many drivers consider Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill., home of the Gateway Indy 250 on Aug. 25, to be even tougher than Richmond. Gateway is a 1.25-mile oval with asymmetrical turns, as the track is shaped like a paperclip with long straightaways and tight turns. Count 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr. among those drivers who consider Gateway to be a tough place that tests driver skill. Cheever, driver of the No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, finished fourth last year in the inaugural IRL race at Gateway. “As I have said in the past, whoever designed Gateway was in a bad mood that day because it is not very driver-friendly,” Cheever said. “It is a unique oval, with a speed variation of 35 miles per hour. “The corners are totally different from each other. Turns 3 and 4 are very fast, whereas Turns 1 and 2 are very slow. It has long straightaways, and there will be a lot of ducking under people turning into corners.” Said Red Bull Cheever Racing rookie Buddy Rice, making his third IRL start: “Gateway will be the hardest race of the year for me. The track is very difficult with the two ends being completely different.” 2002 Indianapolis 500 Bank One co-Rookie of the Year Alex Barron also has plenty of respect for Gateway. He is fifth in the series standings in the No. 44 Rayovac Blair Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. “Both sides of the track are very different from each other,” Barron said. “The wind and the weather can change the car dramatically. It will be one of the more intense races we will run this year. It will require a strong focus. “The track there demands a high level of mental and physical concentration – more than some of the other tracks.”  --IRL--

8/22/02

CART selling well in Montreal  Our Montreal sources tell us that although they removed some grandstands for the CART race, they are selling paddock passes at a tremendous rate because Canadian fans could never get close to the F1 paddock and they can't wait to get in now.  We also hear that general admission may be high if the weather stays good.  Conclusion, although CART won't outsell F1 their first year in Montreal, the race is now expected to draw 170,000 to 200,000 for the 3-day weekend.  Not a bad start.

8/22/02

How big will this years Australia race be?  How big will CART's Australia race be this year?  Consider this, according to a NSSN reader from Australia, all flights from Sydney to Surfers Paradise and the nearby vicinity have been sold out since June.  As many as 400,000 people are expected for this years race weekend as ticket sales are way ahead of last year.   It must be mid-August on the Gold Coast. Construction has begun on the Honda Indy 300 street circuit with the installation of the first pedestrian bridge on August 16th. The first of nine temporary bridges was bolted into place at the northern end of the circuit near MacIntosh Island at 4am on the 16th to ensure minimum traffic disruption. Honda Indy 300 Chief Executive Officer Geoff Jones said the construction process has been streamlined each year since 1991 to ensure the least amount of disruption to residents and traffic possible. “This is our 12th year of building the circuit and we have turned the procedure into a very slick operation with very few disruptions to the Gold Coast people,” said Mr Jones. “Some disturbance is unavoidable but we are always endeavoring to keep this to an absolute minimum. “I acknowledge the efforts of our team who work tirelessly all year in the planning and implementation of the Event. It is through a tremendous team effort that the circuit is operational by October 24 and then re-opened to traffic on Monday morning after the Event.” Since the inaugural year in 1991 the bridge installed this morning (Pedestrian Bridge Number Eight) has held special significance as the first part of the construction process. “The bridge and banner is a visible daily reminder to the community that the Honda Indy 300 is near. Everything from construction to advertising is in ‘roll-out’ mode, and we are set for another historic Event,” said Mr. Jones. Gold Coast based engineering company Weathered Howe has overseen the extensive building procedure since the first Event in 1991, developing a facility that has become one of the world’s finest motor racing circuits.

8/22/02

CART stock watch  

MPH closed at $4.45 Down $0.15 on Volume of 130,100 shares.
$3.78 Bid - $4.76 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.25/$4.60
MPH Value Change Down 3.26%
DOW Jones Up 94.41 or 1.08% on Volume of 1.73 billion shares.
DOW closed above 9,000 for first time since early July.
NASDAQ Up 13.7 or 0.97%
S&P 500 Up 13.36 or 1.41%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

8/22/02

Possible Brazil CART venue?  One track under consideration in Brazil for a return by CART is Curitiba Speedway - see photo to right.  It has a 1.5 mile oval in conjunction with the road course.  Curitiba is one of the wealthier areas in Brazil, though not as well known as Rio.  Their website is http://www.autodromodecuritiba.com.br   The road course is a bit interesting in that it would use a good part of the oval.  The road course has 7 right turns, 4 left turns and five straights, the longest about 2800 feet. Total length of the road course is 2.23 miles, and is 47 feet wide.

8/22/02

Button on tall and short drivers   Jenson Button has called on team owners to build cars that can easily accommodate taller drivers following Justin Wilson’s recent failure to secure a drive with Minardi. "I feel sorry for Justin Wilson, who lost the opportunity to make his grand prix debut because he is too tall at 6ft 3in to conform to safety regulations," Jenson told the Telegraph. "When I was talking to other teams recently, before signing for BAR Honda for next season, a few of them said, ‘You're very tall. It could be a problem.’ I'm 5ft 11in. "I think cars should be built to accommodate drivers of heights up to 6ft 3in or 6ft 4in because at the moment shorter drivers enjoy an unfair advantage. Shorter drivers are normally lighter, and because of the minimum weight - whereby cars carry weight that can be moved about to change the centre of gravity - the smaller drivers have more weight to move about to find the optimum balance."

8/22/02

Montoya confirmed through 2004 at Williams   BMW WilliamsF1 Team today confirmed that Juan Pablo Montoya's contract with the team has been extended for a further two seasons until the end of 2004. Team principal and WilliamsF1 Managing Director, Frank Williams said, "Juan is an outstanding talent, and we are all naturally delighted that the team will stay together for the next two seasons. Both his natural resource of skill and the continuity that this agreement offers will provide a considerable impetus for the team to build a championship challenge in 2003 and 2004." Montoya, who is currently tied with team-mate Ralf Schumacher with 40 points in the FIA Formula One Drivers' Championship, said, "I have no doubt that both WilliamsF1 and BMW are completely determined, and have the will to win a Championship title. It is for these reasons that I am delighted to be racing with the BMW WilliamsF1 Team."

8/22/02

Ecclestone talks about small fields  Leave it to Nigel Roebuck to come up with timely quotes. -- When I interviewed Bernie Ecclestone at Magny-Cours on this subject (of field size) a few years ago, he said this: "The size of the field doesn't bother me at all. People go on about only 19 or 20 cars in the race. OK, so what? If I got someone who hadn't been to races to look at the grid this afternoon, they wouldn't know whether there were 16 or 24 cars on it. It is much better for us to have a smaller, better quality, grid. We're in the quality business, not quantity."

8/22/02

MIS taking deposits on 2003 Cup tickets  Due to the overwhelming success of the 2002 race season, Michigan International Speedway will be taking deposits for both NASCAR Winston Cup races for the first time in its 34-year history. While MIS goes through the renewal process, fans that haven’t been able to purchase seats in the past may now have a chance to be part of the action by calling the MIS ticket office and putting down a deposit for tickets and camping. MIS, which has sold out both NASCAR Winston Cup events every year since 1992, has never offered such an opportunity, according to John Moreland, Director of Ticketing at the MIS. “We have many loyal fans that have been coming to MIS for a long time that renew year in and year out, we are thankful for that, but for the seats that are not renewed, this is the perfect opportunity for someone to get in the door.”

8/22/02

Ouch, driver escapes spectacular crash!  NASCAR Busch Series driver Mike Harmon was involved in a spectacular crash Thursday at Bristol Motor Speedway after posts required to secure the Turn 2 gate were not put in place. Harmon was unhurt in the crash.  See spectacular picture and condition of the car.  A lucky man indeed.

8/22/02

Mexico City update  With 3 months to go, noteworthy progress at the track includes:
- Demolition of all buildings in the paddock, and rebuilding the control tower, the suites and the garages; estimated to be 45% complete
-- Building new grandstands opposite the pits on the main straight, permanent ones; estimate 50% complete
-- Remodeling for more that 100 corporate suites; estimate 30%  complete
-- Increasing garage area -- which will ultimately hold 62 race cars
-- Modernization of the control tower, including timing and scoring, race control, national and international broadcast, local PA and the GRAND administrative offices; estimate 66%  complete
-- Consolidation of roads inside the Sports Park where the Autódromo is located; 100%  complete
-- Walls and fencing being installed; estimate 90%  complete
-- Leveling and filling all spaces between the track and the wall, in order to follow the existing banking in the Peraltada turn; 10%  complete
-- Repaving the track in 4 phases, in order to always have some loop layout that can be used by other sportsmen on bikes or foot; phase 1 complete, phase 2 at 66%, phase 3 at 40%, phase 4 25%  complete
-- The ecological Impact Plan has been approved and tree transplantation and removal of dead nature has been initiated while a new recovery zone with 200 fruit trees has been planted
-- The Civil Protection Plan is ready
-- The Urban Impact Program - including transit and access to the site, subway, bus and micro bus lines extra runs, plus a detailed parking spaces program - is already approved
-- Substituting a soccer field (#37) used in widening of the pit area, for two others and a soccer court in the area of the Stadium has been finished.

8/22/02

All new Honda engine for 2003  Next years Honda F1 engine is an entirely new engine and the design phase is almost complete, with the new powerplant scheduled to run on the dyno at the end of September. Following that there will be more upgrades and further dyno runs towards the end of this year, with the engine running in a car for the first time in early January. Although the timing is tight, the program is on schedule.

8/22/02
Industry News

Elan/G-Force expands   Elan Motorsport Technologies (EMT) is set for a dramatic expansion in 2003 with the establishment of a new chassis design center in the UK and the key appointment of several new staff. EMT will now open a new chassis design centre in Kimbolton, Cambridgeshire, England. This facility will include state-of-the-art design technology and full model making facilities. The current G-Force organization in Fontwell, UK will be relocated to Kimbolton. EMT will continue to manufacture it's race-winning designs from its headquarters in Braselton, Georgia, USA. In addition to the new facilities, EMT has also added key staff including new Chief Designer, Simon Marshall and new Chief Executive Officer, David Bowes. Marshall was previously at Lola Cars International Ltd where he was chief designer on the Lola CART program, achieving considerable success in the 2001 and 2002 CART Fedex Championship Series. He is leading the team currently working on the G Force IRL 2003 chassis program. Several other designers have followed Marshall from Lola and are now established in the UK-based design team. As its new Chief Executive Officer, David Bowes will be responsible for overseeing all of EMT's global motorsport activities. He will be based in Braselton, Georgia. Bowes was previously Managing Director for Lola where he was responsible for overseeing a considerable turnaround of that company over the past four years, increasing turnover by 400%, maintaining steady profit growth and achieving considerable success on the race track. "I am delighted to be working with a group that has so much vision for the future and so much commitment to making it work," Bowes said. "I am joining an excellent team of people at Elan who have achieved an awful lot over the last few years. I am excited about helping to integrate the different parts of the group together and implement the expansion plans." EMT founder Don Panoz believes the company's expansion, combined with the talented new recruits will provide the basis for a continued period of strong growth. "We have a great team of people here at EMT and the addition of David and Simon plus the new design team members will really add to and enhance our capabilities," Panoz said. "This will not only enhance our activities in the Indy Racing League, but will have an impact across our entire operations. "The 2003 IRL car and the new Star Mazda chassis are just two of a myriad of new projects we have commenced. This expansion continues our aim to cement Elan Motorsport Technologies as a world leader in motorsport technology, supply and design."

8/22/02

Fisher signs TAG deal  Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer has signed race driver Sarah Fisher to a long-term endorsement contract. TAG Heuer is the official timekeeper for the Formula One series and will introduce a new piece, the "F1 Micrograph," with Fisher at the U.S. Grand Prix next month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "If one woman will ever make it to Formula One, it will be Sarah Fisher," TAG Heuer president and CEO Jean-Christophe Babin said Wednesday. "She's so talented, determined and young but still so experienced that, without a doubt, she will grow to become a great champion."  [Editor's Note:  Don't believe all this PR fluff.  We have spoken to Sarah Fisher and she says she's strictly an oval track driver and IRL faithful, with no interest in doing anything else.  With no road racing experience, she has zero chance of making it to F1 even if she wanted to.

8/22/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Arrows To Escape Penalty
Button Exonerates Davidson
Brawn: No More Team Orders
Two Races Enough For Davidson?
Yoong Rumors: Absolute Nonsense
Pizzonia Targets 2003 Debut
Burti: Twelve Months On
F1 News In Brief
Curious F1 Trivia

8/21/02

2003 Fontana CART race a 2-day affair  The CART weekend in November 2003 has been shortened to just two days, Saturday and Sunday.  Why run on Friday when 1) hardly anyone is in the grandstands, 2) Another day of running means more chance for serious driver injury and major car damage, 3) Each laps droning around an oval = higher unnecessary cost.  Bottom line - road and street courses draw lots of fans on Fridays, so it's worth running.  On ovals it's a complete waste of time and money.

8/21/02

CART SPEED TV ratings dismal  Proving once again why CART must move as many races to Network TV as it can in 2003 - Sunday's CART race on SPEED from Road America scored a 0.30 rating (157,000 households). Live CART qualifying drew a 0.41 (217,000 households).  Qualifying had more viewers than the race?  Sometimes it's almost impossible to believe the validity of the Neilson rating system.  One thing is for certain, CART should have all qualifying, specials and re-runs on SPEED, but races must move to Network TV ASAP.  And if we get one more e-mail from European fans asking why CART races are not on Eurosport, we'll....oh never mind.

8/21/02

IRL ticket deal  If you are an IRL fan, you can't beat this deal.  Whereas CART tickets were $75 each at Gateway, the IRL prices are but a small fraction - 4 for $99 plus it includes a lot more.   The IRL, in conjunction with its promoters, are willing to slash prices to attract fans for IRL races.  To the right is the offer mailed to Gateway customers.  The  IRL and its promoters are giving away the store to put butts in the seats, probably because CART is drawing well over 100,000 on most race weekends, and except for the Indy 500, the IRL does not come even close.  The IRL has to put butts in the seats soon, because its TV ratings are not any better than CART's and unless they can equal CART's attendance, sponsors are going to start to question the value.  The model of giving tickets away for almost free only works so long.  Eventually, when you try to raise prices, fans will wait to see if a better almost-free deal comes along later.  One thing NASCAR tickets never were, and never will be - nearly free.  Even NASCAR realizes that Voodoo economics does not work when it comes to selling race tickets and making promoters whole. IRL ticket prices have been far lower than CART ticket prices at Phoenix, New Hampshire, Fontana, Michigan, Homestead and Gateway, yet attendance has been no better than CART, and in some cases much less.  The addition of the mighty Penske Team in the IRL this year so far does not appear to have helped.  Indy 500 TV ratings were down again, overall IRL TV ratings are down from 2001, and attendance is about the same.  No we are not picking on the IRL, CART's TV numbers are not any better, and some CART promoters are losing money because of high sanction fees.  The bottom line is that the split in Indy Car racing has brought the sport to its knees, and NASCAR is laughing all the way to the bank.  Will all those responsible please bend over and take a bow on behalf of the NASCAR family.

8/21/02

CART fires shot across Andretti's brow?  As written in this Toronto Sun article - In a rocket aimed directly at Michael Andretti, CART CEO Chris Pook announced on the weekend that it would reward its teams with $850,000 US per car to race in 2003. Add that to the $2.5 million each team will be subsidized for using Ford Cosworth engines next season and it comes remarkably close to what Honda is apparently offering Andretti to take his new team to the Indy Racing League. Coincidence? Not on your life. The move by Pook and CART certainly is smart, something you couldn't always say about the series during the past two seasons. CART suffered a serious blow before the 2002 season when Roger Penske, one of CART's founders, took his team to the IRL. Two other teams have dropped out this season with financial problems, leaving CART with only an 18-car grid after running races with as many as 26 entries in 2001. The CART incentive plan, dubbed the Entrant Support Program, started out as a $450,000-per-car reward, meant to maintain a 20-car field in the series. The added money bolsters that amount, offsetting the monies Honda is being reported as offering. As of next season both Honda and Toyota will move to the IRL, leaving the CART FedEx series with only Ford-Cosworth power plants. The deal also puts a pack of pressure on Andretti to come clean on his plans. It makes it hard for his Andretti-Green Racing to go to investors and tell them the IRL is a better deal for his team. There already is pressure for Andretti to sign some drivers for whatever series he chooses in 2003. It appears a done deal that Toronto's Paul Tracy will go to Player's/Forsythe next season and Dario Franchitti lately has been making noises that he, too, wants to stay in CART. Unless Andretti figures out a way to drive in three cars himself, the Nazareth, Pa., native has some big hurdles to jump and not much time to get a good run.

8/21/02

Barber Dodge: Danica Patrick returns  Danica Patrick will be rejoining the Barber Dodge Pro Series for the season finale after prior commitments prevented her from participating in the Road America round. Patrick has raced well at the Canadian rounds, scoring a seventh-place finish in just her first start in the series in Toronto, and following that up with her career-best fourth-place finish in Vancouver in only her third start in Barber Dodge competition.


Photos by Bill Kistler/AutoRacing1.com

8/21/02

IRL injured continue long road to recovery  UPDATE Kelley Racing crew member Bernie Hallisky was upgraded to good condition Aug. 21 after successful surgery on his left hip Aug. 20 at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, said Dr. Kevin Scheid, who performed the procedure. Hallisky, from Shelbyville, Ind., is a fabricator for Kelley Racing, which fields a three-car team in the Indy Racing League. He suffered a compound fracture of his right leg, multiple fractures in his pelvis and a left hip fracture in an accident on pit road Aug. 11 during the Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway while serving as the left-rear tire changer for Kelley Racing’s No. 78 entry.   8/20/02 - Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series driver Jason Priestley was moved from the Intensive Care Unit to a private room Aug. 20 at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, and his condition is stable and continues to improve, said Dr. Scott Bjerke, medical director of Trauma Services for Methodist Hospital. Priestley underwent successful surgery Aug. 19 at Methodist to repair fractures in his nose and the orbital bones of his face. Priestley previously underwent successful surgery Aug. 14 at Methodist to repair fractures in his back and feet. Priestley, 32, from Vancouver, British Columbia, suffered multiple injuries in an Infiniti Pro Series practice accident Aug. 11 at Kentucky Speedway. He suffered a moderate concussion and a fracture of his ninth thoracic vertebra. In addition to a contusion around his left eye, Priestley had lacerations on the bridge of his nose and left cheek, neck lacerations and fractures in both feet. Bernie Hallisky, the left-rear tire changer for Kelley Racing’s No. 78 entry, underwent additional surgery Aug. 20 at Methodist. Hallisky, of Shelbyville, Ind., previously underwent surgery Aug. 11 for a compound fracture of his right leg, multiple fractures in his pelvis and a left hip fracture. His recovery is expected to be up to a year.

8/21/02

CART stock watch  

. . . . and an interesting day it was . . .
MPH closed at $4.60 Up $0.60 on Volume of 228,700 shares.
$3.88 Bid - $4.91 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $3.99/$4.60 ($3.99/$4.00 till 2:20PM EST)
At approx. 2:20PM EST buying in MPH developed moving it from $4.00 to
$4.60 by the 4:00PM close.
MPH Value Change Up 15.0%
DOW Jones Up 84.95 or 0.96% on Volume of 1.64 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 32.49 or 2.36%
S&P 500 Up 11.91 or 1.27%
As noted earlier, might $4.00 have been the bottom for MPH?
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

8/21/02

3Average age in Infiniti Pro Series  For a series that is supposed to attract "Young Americans" into "Indy Racing", the average age sure is a bit older than we realized! 

Driver

DOB

Age

Status

A.J. Foyt IV

1984

18

In

Aaron Fike

1982

20

In

Ed Carpenter

1981

21

In

Arie Luyendyk Jr.

1981

21

In

Rolando Quintanilla

1980

22

In

Matt Beardsley

1979

23

In

Matthew Halliday

1978

24

In

Ryan Hampton

1974

28

In

G.J. Mennen

1972

30

In

Cory Witherill

1971

31

In

Ronnie Johncox

1969

33

In

Jason Priestley

1969

33

Out

Curtis Francois

1964

38

In

Mike Koss

1964

38

Out

Jeff Tillman

1964

38

Out

Marty Roth

1958

44

Out

Tony Turco

1956

46

In

Tom Wood

1956

46

Out

Gary Peterson

1951

51

In

Average age of those in

27

 

Average age overall

32

 

8/21/02

CART stock observation  An interesting morning in MPH trading . . .
As of 10:56AM Eastern 103,200 shares have traded at last nights close of $4.00 per share. Is $4.00 the bottom for MPH?
52 Week High: $17.20 52 Week Low: $4.00
Down Jones Down 72.14 as of 11:08AM Eastern.
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

8/21/02

Bill Simpson won't back down vs. NASCAR  This Indy Star article says - Motorsports safety pioneer Bill Simpson is still planning to fight NASCAR in court over a defamation issue in the aftermath of Dale Earnhardt's fatal crash in last year's Daytona 500.

8/21/02

Villeneuve's Catch-22 situation  This GrandPrix.com article talks about the Jacques Villeneuve dilemma.  In essence, CART wants him and BAR does not (at least not at the high salary he is getting).  BAT and Forsythe are structuring a lucrative package deal to have Villeneuve run in CART and then perhaps return to F1.  He will make far more money taking that deal than staying in F1 in 2003 and then have no BAR ride in 2004.  So Jacques has to decide, risk his career, which is already tarnished because he has not won in so long in f1, by driving in CART and making big money, or settle for staying in F1 with no guarantees after next year.

8/21/02

HANS Device performs perfectly  Unlike the Hutchens Device which is very suspect and which cut one of the main arteries in Jason Priestley's accident, almost causing him to bleed to death if not for the quick work of the paramedics on the scene, the HANS Device continues to work perfectly.  In this accident on Saturday at Road America, the TV cameras caught the whole incident in slow motion and we were able to see Mario Dominguez's head move forward but never far enough to reach the steering wheel.  Dominguez hit the tire barriers at a high rate of speed head on, and the combination of the HANS Device and the tires enabled Mario to walk away unscathed.  That's just a typical example of why road racing in CART is much safer than oval track racing where the IRL has seen a multitude of serious injuries again this year.  We wonder if the IRL will mandate the HANS Device or continue to leave it up to the drivers to decide.  As we have stated previously, all those straps on the Hutchens Device make us wonder if too much is left up to chance that one of the straps moves or is not adjusted correctly when the driver gets in the car.  As far as we know the HANS Device has a perfect record so far.  Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

8/21/02
Fran-Am

Fran-Am series gears up for Montreal   On the heels of a successful debut several weeks ago at the Molson Indy Vancouver, the Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship Series sponsored by Michelin International followed up with another high mark event at Mosport International Raceway, which featured more cars, more international drivers, and more competition throughout the field. Coming into the series’ third round at the Molson Indy Montreal this weekend, the Fran-Am series is poised to showcase its finest event yet, with even more competition from several new drivers and teams.  More....

8/21/02

Jordan pleads ignorance   Eddie Jordan has pleaded ignorance as to the exact specification of next year's Ford-badged Cosworth powerplant. Asked if the engine would be the same specification of the Jaguar car, the Irish team boss said: 'To be quite honest - and I'm not being evasive here - it could be similar, it could be different.' The 52-year-old added: 'It really is up to the people at Cosworth and Gary Anderson, when they get together. What I can tell you is that the engine will be fantastically light...'

8/21/02

Malaysian GP tobacco ban exemption   Malaysia's Minister of Health, Chua Jui Meng, has announced that the Asian nation has banned all tobacco advertising in sport from 2003. To keep their Sepang Grand Prix alive, however, 'Exemptions are temporarily given to sponsorships on Formula One, as well as soccer, as these need further discussions.' The rise in the number of smokers in Malaysia, continues the cabinet's report, can be directly related to the increase in the amount spent by the tobacco companies on promotions to boost their sales.

8/21/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Briscoe: F1 Dream Still Alive
Ferrari Party Into The Night
Coulthard: Another Year Of Chasing?
Minardi Wants American Pilot
Ford Sign Up Irvine?
Dennis Slams Bridgestone Quality
Brawn: We Can Be Beaten
McNish Demands More Pace
F1 News In Brief
Curious F1 Trivia

8/21/02
Industry News

Historic GP news   Historic Grand Prix makes its third appearance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the Formula One weekend of Sept. 27-29. Twenty-five participants are scheduled for the event, bringing cars ranging from a 1968 Ferrari 67 originally driven by Chris Amon to Michele Alboreto’s 1983 Tyrrell 012. Historic Grand Prix will to the track 4:10 Friday the 27th and 4:30 Saturday the 28th for two high-speed demonstrations. The group consists of owner-drivers of authentic vintage Formula One cars from the FIA three-liter formula that was in effect from 1966 to 1983 (pre-turbo charged). Rules insist on historically accurate presentation and on-track performance of the cars, with stringent guidelines for driving behavior. Historic Grand Prix runs at tracks such as Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen, Mont Tremblant and Road America. The Indy stop will be HGP’s last event of the season. Since the USGP moved to Indianapolis in 2000, Historic Grand Prix has been a popular addition. According to Phil Reilly, Rebecca Hale, James King, co-founders and directors, HGP’s allure is enhanced by the accessibility to the cars and information provided at paddock displays. Educational signboards detail each car’s history and specifications, and questions from fans are happily entertained. For more information on Historic Grand Prix, visit their web site at www.historicgrandprix.com.

8/20/02

CART Stock Watch  

MPH closed at $4.00 Down $0.05 on Volume of 130,200 shares.
$3.37 Bid - $4.31 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $3.80/$4.10
MPH Value Change Down N/A%
DOW Jones Down 118.72 or 1.32% on Volume of 1.65 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 17.95 or 1.29%
S&P 500 Down 13.27 or 1.4%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

8/20/02

Players duo talk Montreal  In this Canadian Press article, no one in CART expects their cars to be as quick as the sophisticated F1 rockets on the 2.747-mile Gilles Villeneuve Circuit (there's another difference - American miles and gallons in CART instead of international kilometers and liters). But they believe they will put on a better show. Tagliani said the difference could be 10 seconds per lap, while Carpentier sees CART cars going about five seconds slower.

8/20/02

All-Brit CART team a go!  An All-England team (called Team St. George) has been given the go-ahead to challenge the American stars of ChampCar racing when the 200+mph CART FedEx series comes to Britain's only banked oval motor racing circuit, at Rockingham in Northamptonshire on 13/14th September. The team, which has been making plans in secret since July, will use a British built Lola-Cosworth single-seat car, which will be run by Ray Mallock Limited of Wellingborough in Northamptonshire. They are working in conjunction with experienced CART team members from Dale Coyne Racing in Chicago, USA, but many of that team are expatriate Brits! No driver announcement is expected before the end of the week, when further plans and the livery of the car will be unveiled. "I can confirm that we've got the agreement in place to set up a single car team, but we won't be able to announce all the details, such as driver choice, before the end of this week" said David Grace, CEO of Rockingham. "We're got some very talented British drivers who are keen to take up his challenge, to beat the Americans on our home ground - our job now is to deliver the car and team to give them a chance of victory. Drivers, including rising stars of the ASCAR oval racing series in Britain, Darren Manning and Darren Turner, have been linked with the team. Another potential driver is former Formula One and Le Mans star Johnnie Herbert. He tested a Lola ChampCar at Rockingham last year, averaging over 198mph on his fastest laps.

8/20/02

2003 Winston Cup schedule  NASCAR released its 2003 schedules for the Winston Cup and Busch series on Monday, with few changes. The Winston Cup season will again be 36 championship events, beginning with the Daytona 500 on Feb. 16. The schedule will end at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 16. There are no changes from 2002 in number of races or sites. However, the annual fall event at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., was switched from a Sunday afternoon race to a Saturday night event, to be run Oct. 11. Schedule

8/20/02

Denver business leaders back CART race  This Rocky Mountain News article says sports and ski industry magnate George Gillett has invested his money, as well as his name and reputation, in seeing to it that Denver gets it right this time around. Joining Gillett is sports impresario Stan Kroenke. Kroenke owns all or part of the St. Louis Rams, the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche, the Denver Crush and a yet-to-be-named team in the National Lacrosse League. Kroenke also owns the Pepsi Center and the land around it - the site of the race. The man Dover Motor Sports hired to run the race in Denver is longtime community leader and one-time mayoral candidate John Frew. Frew has a reputation as a creative, hard-driving executive who knows how to get the job done and never seems to run out of enthusiasm in the process. To date, CART's decision to return to Denver seems to be paying off, because ticket sales are brisk (we hear 60,000 on race day, good for a first-year event). The list of corporate sponsors signed on to be part of the motor sports revival in Denver reads like a who's who of corporate America, and the city of Denver is embracing the event with open arms. And what's good for CART appears to be good for Denver. Based on information provided to me by the International Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus and the Shell Grand Prix, I am predicting the economic impact from this race could well exceed $20 million. In future years, that number could grow considerably. If you're a sports fan, do yourself a favor. Forget about all that logistical and economic impact stuff. You should be out there watching and participating on Labor Day weekend for one simple reason: The Shell Grand Prix will be one of the most intense, exhilarating, entertaining and fun events we have seen in Denver in many years

8/20/02

Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve: A History Lesson...  Born in Berthierville, Quebec, on January 18, 1950, Gilles Villeneuve was the first Canadian hired as an official team driver in Formula 1 auto racing. Following his success in snowmobile racing in the early 70's, he switched to Formula Atlantic car racing and dominated this class in the middle of the decade. On July 17, 1977, he started his first Formula 1 Grand Prix on board a Ford-powered McLaren, at the Silverstone race track in England. Later that same year, Gilles took part in two other Grand Prix races (in Canada and Japan) driving a Ferrari, the team for which he raced the remainder of his career. From 1978 to 1982, Villeneuve entered 64 races for Ferrari and won 6 times. His first career win was the 1978 Canadian Grand Prix, on the Island of Notre-Dame track in Montréal. In each of his appearances at the Canadian Grand Prix, between 1978 and 1981, he electrified the Canadian fans and earned points by finishing 1st, 2nd, 5th and 3rd. In May, 1982, Villeneuve died during a practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix, on the Zolder racetrack. A few weeks later, before the presentation of the 1982 Grand Prix, the City of Montréal Executive Committee adopted a resolution to rename the Island Notre-Dame track Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve to honor the memory of the late and great racer.

8/20/02

38-year old driver to get start in Infiniti Pro Series  Open-wheel veteran and St. Louis native Curtis Francois will make his Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series debut Aug. 25 at Gateway International Raceway. Francois will drive the No. 9 Budweiser Racing/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone in the Gateway 100. “I have probably competed in well over 100 events at Gateway but nothing as prestigious as this event,” said Francois, who has earned victories in SCCA FF2000 competition at the St. Louis-area facility. “Budweiser and Ray Parsons have given me an incredible opportunity for which I am extremely grateful.” Francois’ first experience in a 450-horsepower Infiniti Pro Series car came last week during testing at the 1.25-mile Gateway oval. “The test session was great,” Francois said. “There is definitely a learning curve going from road course to oval, but the Sam Schmidt team has the Budweiser car set up great for this race, and I know this track well enough that I feel very comfortable out there.” A local company backs the local driver: Budweiser, the world’s best-selling beer, is brewed by St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch, Inc. Francois, 38, a 1993 graduate of the University of Missouri, is a veteran of SCCA Sports 2000 and FF2000 competition. In 2002, he teamed with co-drivers Jeff Clinton, Jeff Tillman and Larry Connor in an Archangel Motorsports SRP II Nissan/Lola to finish fourth in class at the Rolex 24 endurance classic at Daytona.

8/20/02

Rahal reminisces about Montreal  Bobby Rahal, has fond memories of the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit in Montreal. Rahal started his second and last Formula One race there in 1978, the first year of the Ile Notre Dame track. In a preliminary race for Formula Atlantic at Montreal, Rahal won the pole and finished fourth in a test race prior to the F-1 race in 1978. He also won the CART race in 1986 at Sanair near Montreal and won the pole twice at Sanair (1984 and 1985). “Obviously, Montreal is a special track for me,” said Rahal, the three-time CART series champion. “I ran the very first race there and won the pole in the Atlantic race. In the F-1 race, I was running pretty well. In practice I was fifth quickest in the rain and then slid off the track. In the race, I started 20th (for Wolf Racing) and next to former World Champion James Hunt. I got a good start and was passing a lot of cars. But an engine misfire developed and I had to pit the car. That was my final F-1 race. It is still disappointing that I couldn’t drive any more F-1 races. I guess that is the only unfinished business I felt I had in my racing career. I didn’t pursue it harder to get back to Formula One. But I’m excited about the CART Montreal race. I was there last year with Jaguar in June. But this time, I feel Jimmy and Michel (Jourdain Jr.) will be much more competitive than the Jaguars were last year in the F-1 race.”

8/20/02

Atlantics: Hylton signs Dalziel  Keith Hylton, owner of the 2001 CART Toyota Atlantic Champions, Hylton Motorsports announced today that Ryan Dalziel will drive the #9 Telemetry/Toyota/Swift in the two remaining events of the 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic Series. A native of Lanarkshire, Scotland, Dalziel, 20, will begin driving for Hylton Motorsports this weekend at the Molson Indy Montreal, at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, followed by the 12th and final round of the 2002 championship at the Grand Prix of Denver next week. “We are very pleased to welcome Ryan to the team. Ryan has proven throughout his rookie season that he is capable of running up front every time he is in the car, and it would be great to get him into victory circle in a Hylton Motorsports car. I am quite sure the Ryan combination (Dalziel and teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay) will be a very competitive effort,” said team owner, Keith Hylton. After a successful season in the British Formula Three Championship last year, Dalziel chose to follow in the footsteps of his good friend and fellow countrymen, CART driver Dario Franchitti by coming to the United States to compete in the CART Toyota Atlantic Series, with the ultimate goal of the CART FedEx Championship Series. Dalziel joined Michael Shank Racing and finished second in his first-ever Atlantic event in Mexico. He has since recorded six top-ten finishes, eight top-ten starts and is currently ranked tenth in the Atlantic Championship and fifth in the Rookie of the Year chase.

8/20/02

Rudd signs with Wood Brothers  Motorcraft is introducing a new spark plug. His name is Ricky Rudd. Wood Brothers Racing, one of NASCAR Winston Cup racing's beloved and storied teams, took two leaps forward today. First, co-owners Eddie and Len Wood announced that they had agreed to the terms of a three-year contract with Ford Customer Service Division (FCSD) and its Motorcraft Quality Parts brand, extending the sponsor's agreement through the 2005 season. Armed with three secure years of sponsorship, the Woods then came to terms on a three-year deal with perennial top-10 driver Ricky Rudd, whose contract with Robert Yates Racing expires at the end of the 2002 season. The actual contract signings are scheduled for today in Charlotte, North Carolina. "Unbelievable. Incredible. I don't know what else to say. Two weeks ago, I wouldn't have bet you a nickel on our chances to sign Ricky. We had one year of sponsorship left, and just not enough to offer him," said Eddie Wood. "Motorcraft came down to see us last week in Stuart. They told us they wanted to extend our deal, and asked us what we thought it would take to get Ricky. We laid it out and they said, 'Let's go get him.'" Transcript

8/20/02

Prepping Montreal fans for CART  This Montreal Gazette article  summarizes the similarities between CART and F1.  In terms of on-track performance, the Champ Cars are bigger, heavier and less nimble. Even though they have 800 horsepower and can reach speeds exceeding 300 km/h on the straights, the extra weight will cost them in the turns. Most estimate they are going to be lapping five seconds slower than the F-1 cars.  Read the full article here.  And here is another related article.

8/20/02

150,000 expected for CART's first Montreal race  According to this article, CART drew only 17,432 when it raced on the oval in Sanair, near Montreal, years ago.  Now CART is racing on a road course and ticket sales will put the oval to shame.  Ovals for Indy cars have been dead for years, and only NASCAR 2 for 1 ticket deals can artificially prop them up even today.  Here is an update on how ticket sales are going for CART in Montreal in this Montreal Gazette article.  While not as many as the last F1 race, it's far more than F1 drew the first ten years it raced in Montreal. -- Jean-Paul Blais has said from the start that he won't give a blow-by-blow account of how ticket sales are going for this week's inaugural Molson Indy Molson, but he's confident his target will be reached. The event, the first-ever appearance of the CART FedEx Championship Series in this city, will be held at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve on Île Notre Dame Friday through Sunday. "Our forecast since the beginning was to be approximately half (the attendance) of what we saw at the (Formula One) Air Canada Grand Prix, and that's basically what we're going to do this weekend," Blais, president and COO of the event, told The Gazette yesterday. "That's around 150,000 by end of the Sunday." The F-1 Air Canada Grand Prix, held June 7-9, attracted a record 317,000 and was a sellout weeks before taking place. "Obviously it's not like Formula One," Blais said. "We will have tickets available for sale right through the weekend for people who want to walk up Friday or Saturday or Sunday. They'll be able to get tickets at the gates. "Because we expect attendance to be half of what it was for the Grand Prix," Blais added, "I think people will also appreciate that they'll have more room to move around the site." Tickets are also approximately 40-per-cent cheaper than what they were for the Grand Prix. Prices range from as high as $245 for a three-day gold pass, to $195 and $110 for silver and bronze passes, respectively, which also are good for all three days. General admission tickets are $20 for Friday, $35 for Saturday and $50 for Sunday, or $75 for the entire weekend. A highlight for race fans will be the virtually unlimited access in the paddock area throughout the weekend. The paddock pass is available to holders of gold, silver and bronze passes for an additional $45.

8/20/02

Record TV ratings for Michigan race  Turner Network Television (TNT) delivered a record high 5.3 rating (4,497,000 households) for its coverage of the Pepsi 400 on Sunday, August 18, from 2 - 5:20 p.m. ET.. The 5.3 rating is 26 percent higher than last year's 4.2 rating, marking it as the highest NASCAR rating in network history. The Pepsi 400 race bests all previous NASCAR event telecasts on TNT in rating and household delivery (5.2 household rating/4,248,000 household delivery for New England 300, 7/22/01). In addition, the network aired the NASCAR Busch Series Racing from Michigan on Saturday, August 17, from 1:30 - 3:34 p.m. ET, which delivered an all time Busch Series racing network high with a 1.8 rating (1,518,000 households), which is up 20 percent from last year's 1.5 rating. The Busch Series race was our 2nd highest rating ever behind the EAS/GNC Live Well 300 on Feb. 16, 2002.  Turner PR

8/20/02

Stoddart confirms Yoong gone, Herta may be in  According to this Planet F1 article, Minardi boss Paul Stoddart has dealt the final blow to Alex Yoong's F1 career. The Aussie owner of the European Minardi team has said Malaysia's first ever F1 driver won't get a drive with his team in 2003. And judging from comments made by Stoddart it seems unlikely that Justin Wilson or Anthony Davidson will be heading to the team either. Stoddart told German sports news agency SID: "We are looking for an experienced driver for next season and one from the US." Which puts ex-ChampCar driver Bryan Herta firmly in the frame to be the first American driver in Formula 1 since Michael Andretti drove for McLaren in 1993.

8/20/02

Five Trans-Am drivers penalized  Chief Steward Terry Dale has penalized three Trans-Am Series drivers one finishing position each for instances of unjustifiable risk during Saturday’s Johnson Controls 100, Round 8 of the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Tony Ave, Tomy Drissi and John Baucom were demoted from their original finishing positions for violating Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Pro Racing Rule 2.23.6, which states, “Any action that represents an unjustifiable risk or reckless endangerment, in the opinion of the stewards, will result in the assessment of penalty[ies] … Decisions by the stewards and penalties assessed for unsafe acts are not subject to protest or appeal.” Ave, who crossed the finish line in fifth place, was cited for causing unjustifiable risk to the car driven by Michael Lewis. He also had 10 seconds added to his elapsed race time for failure to observe a stop-and-go penalty issued for improper pit lane procedure. The combined penalties dropped Ave from fifth to 11th in the final standings. Drissi (eighth) and Baucom (11th), were dropped to ninth and 12th places for causing unjustifiable risk to cars driven by Bob Ruman and Mike Davis, respectively. “We want to send a strong and clear message that we will not tolerate any driver’s reckless disregard for the safety of his fellow competitors, or any driver’s attempt to compromise his fellow competitor’s right to racing room, ” Dale said in issuing the penalties. As a result of the demotions, Randy Ruhlman moves from sixth to fifth place in the official results, while Paul Menard improves to seventh, Paul Fix to eighth, and Don Sak to 10th. In related news, Trans-Am Series drivers Paul Gentilozzi and Stuart Hayner have been penalized one finishing position each for their roles in separate incidents during Round 7 of the championship at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec on Sunday, August 4. Gentilozzi was also issued a warning and a $1,000 fine, $500 of which was suspended. Gentilozzi, the three-time and defending Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup champion, was dropped from fifth to sixth place and fined $1,000 for violation of Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Pro Racing Rules 1.7.23 (Safe Pass), 2.23.2 (Physical Contact), 2.23.3 (Racing Room) and 2.23.6 (Unjustifiable Risk). The penalties stem from an incident on Lap 4 of the event, when Gentilozzi attempted a pass of Hayner heading into Turn 1of the Trois-Rivieres temporary street circuit. Hayner was cited for violation of SCCA Pro Racing Rules 1.7.23, 2.23.2, and 2.23.3 and dropped from sixth to seventh place in the official race results for causing contact with Gentilozzi on Lap 8 of the event. Dale also fined Gentilozzi’s team, Rocketsports Racing, $3,000 and placed it on probation for four races as the result of physical contact with Hayner initiated by a Rocketsports crew member following the Trois-Rivieres event. Dale suspended $2,000 of the fine on condition of no re-occurrence of similar behavior. Gentilozzi and Hayner lose one championship point each as a consequence of their demotions. Gentilozzi, second to Boris Said in the championship, now has 201 points, while Hayner stands sixth with 156 points, one behind fifth-place Ruhlman. Official results of Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres Trans-Am now show Simon Gregg moving up from his original eighth-place finish into fifth, ahead of Gentilozzi and Hayner. The result stands as a season best for Gregg and one off his career-best Trans-Am Series finish of fourth at Texas in 2000. Dale also reported that an extensive technical inspection of several cars following the Trois-Rivieres event revealed no evidence that the cars in question were equipped with any form of traction-control technology.

8/20/02

Ford making a big investment in Jordan team  According to this London Times article, Jordan is expected to ditch the team’s familiar yellow livery for Ford’s traditional blue and white, while the blue oval will be prominent on the new car, to be called Jordan Ford. Details of the three-year deal, thought to be worth £50 million to the Jordan team, were announced only minutes before yesterday’s Hungarian Grand Prix. The company is estimated to have spent more than £100 million on its ill-fated Jaguar team, which has spent almost three years as an embarrassment struggling at the back of the grid. But Formula One is still thought to offer the biggest advertising canvas in the world, with its huge global television audience, estimated to be about 350 million. Putting a Ford car on the grid alongside BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar and Toyota will help to add luster to the image of cars that have been suffering a slump in sales. “Formula One is no longer about putting stickers on the car, as this will prove,” Jordan said. “Ford will provide us with a dedicated team of dedicated engineers who all start work first thing Monday morning. It is a unique deal and will be something quite new to Formula One.”  One has to wonder. therefore, weather Ford will continue to fund the Jaguar program too.

8/20/02

Eddie Cheever's father dies  Ed Cheever, the father of 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr., died Thursday in Rome. He was 74.  Our condolences to the Cheever family.

8/20/02

IRL medical updates  According to this Indy Star article, crew member Bernie Hallisky of Kelley Racing will have surgery today at Methodist Hospital to repair his badly broken pelvis, Dr. Kevin Scheid said Monday. Hallisky's surgery in the cup of his hip was delayed by blood clots in his lungs, said Scheid, who expects a lengthy recovery period. "A year from now he ought to be getting around OK, but it's hard to say what to expect when there's been a big hit to multiple areas like this," Scheid said. Infiniti Pro Series driver Jason Priestley underwent surgery Monday at Methodist on his injured eye socket and broken nose. He was in serious but stable condition, league officials said. IRL driver Richie Hearn is recovering from last week's surgery on a badly broken right ankle. He was injured at the Kentucky track. Hearn, of Las Vegas, broke his ankle joint in five places, requiring four screws. Recovery should take eight to 10 weeks.

8/20/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Villeneuve To Honda: 'Very, Very Wise'
Arrows To Miss Belgian Grand Prix?
Pollock Readies For Takeover
F1 Looks To Expand
Pedro Slams Pitlane Behavior
Schu Contemplating Retirement?
Williams-BMW: We Will Improve
Rivals Try To Close Gap
Todt: It Won't Last Forever
F1 News In Brief
Curious F1 Trivia

8/20/02

Road America considering Big Screens, to stay on CART schedule  UPDATE We heard the feedback has been so positive from this weekends race at Road America, look for this race to stay on the CART schedule for a long time to come.   8/16/02 - George Bruggenthies, President of Road America, stated today that they are considering installing big screen TV's, about 10 or 12, in future years.  They recognize the fans want them, it just takes money.  He also told us not to believe any rumors that the IRL might replace CART at Road America.  He'll keep CART as long as it makes business sense, but there has been no discussion about dropping the CART race.

8/19/02

This country needs more Road America's  A reader writes - Dear AutoRacing1.com, CART put on a fabulous show at Road America this weekend.  They actually had passing for the lead for once, great high speed European-like racing, and the great Road America track played right into the strength of the Champ Cars.  They looked as fast as they actually were.  Here's my complaint - while the rest of the world invests heavily in new road courses, making them spectator friendly and layouts that actually encourage real racing, the USA race promoters spend all their money building down right boring cookie cutter ovals.  When is a USA promoter going to step up and build a great facility like Road America - long straights, big elevation changes, slow and fast corners, family friendly, etc.?  This country needs more Road America's.  I read where Bruno Junqueira said this past weekend I wish we raced here (Road America) three times a year.  First-timer Anthony Davidson recently said it's better than any European track he has driven.  I challenge America to build a real road course for the first time in 50 years, one that can host both CART, and F1, because I find the F1 cars on the flat, mundane, Indy circuit a real bore.  I wish I could recommend Road America for F1, but as great as it is, it's a bit too narrow by F1 standards, has no pit garages and suites, and no big-screen TV's around the track for the fans, it's paying customers.  All that takes money, and I wish someone with deep pockets would buy into Road America (hello Bruton Smith, you listening?)  and upgrade it to the best road course on this planet, or build a sister track somewhere else in this country, somewhere that has the infrastructure (roads, nearby 4 and 5-star hotels, restaurants) needed to host such a world-class venue.  I vote for the resort area of Pocono, Pennsylvania.  It has plenty of open space, mountains and hills, and the necessary infrastructure.  And I'm not talking about Pocono Raceway.  That's for NASCAR.  Someone needs to plop a Road America clone into the Pocono Mountains.  The place is loaded with vacationers all summer long, and I don't consider two NASCAR weekends in the summer over saturation by any means.  How about an early October race in the Pocono Mountains when the fall foliage is in full bloom?  It would be spectacular and CART and ALMS need a Northeast venue.  Tom Smith, Voorhees, NJ

8/19/02

CART transporters roll into Montreal  Before getting their first taste of CART racing this weekend on Île Notre-Dame, the people of Montreal will get a rare treat as the transporters carrying the cars and race equipment will roll into town, heading east on Ste. Catherine St. About a dozen of these massive rigs will parade in the heart of downtown, between Atwater and Bleury St., before heading to the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.

8/19/02

CART Stock Watch  

MPH closed at $4.05 Down $0.45 on Volume of 101,900 shares.
$3.44 Bid - $4.41 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.05/$4.50
MPH Value Change Down 10.0%
DOW Jones Up 212.87 or 2.43% on Volume of 1.6 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 33.67 or 2.47%
S&P 500 Up 21.97 or 2.37%
The following has been excepted from CART’s recent 10Q filing with the SEC for the period ending 06/30/2002:
We [CART] have implemented a stock repurchase program that was authorized by our Board of Directors in April 2001. The program allows us to repurchase up to 2,500,000 shares of our outstanding stock, of which 1,054,000 shares have been repurchased for an aggregate of $15.5 million through December 31, 2001. We did not repurchase any shares in the six months ended June 30, 2002. Repurchases under the program will be made at the discretion of management based upon market, business, legal, accounting and other factors. Accordingly, there is not a guarantee as to the timing or number of shares to be repurchased.
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

8/19/02

Priestley and Hallisky medical update  Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series driver Jason Priestley remains in serious but stable condition at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Priestley underwent successful surgery Aug. 14 at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis to repair fractures in his back and feet. Priestley, 32, from Vancouver, British Columbia, suffered multiple injuries in an Infiniti Pro Series practice accident Aug. 11 at Kentucky Speedway. He suffered a moderate concussion as well as a fracture of his ninth thoracic vertebra. In addition to a contusion around his left eye, Priestley has lacerations on the bridge of his nose and left cheek, neck lacerations and fractures in both feet. Bernie Hallisky, the left-rear tire changer for Kelley Racing’s No. 78 entry, is listed in serious condition at Methodist Hospital but is showing signs of improvement, Dr. Kevin Scheid said. Hallisky, of Shelbyville, Ind., underwent surgery Aug. 11 for a compound fracture of his right leg, multiple fractures in his pelvis and a left hip fracture, said Scheid, who performed the operation. He is expected to undergo more surgery on hip Aug. 20. Hallisky’s injuries were a result of an accident on pit road during the Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway. The Indy Racing League will release updates when available. Get-well wishes for Priestley and Hallisky may be sent to:
Kelley Racing
6803 Coffman
Indianapolis, IN 46268  --IRL--

8/19/02

Pook remains bullish on CART  In this Green-Bay News Chronicle article, Chins Pook says - "It's very easy to knock someone who's on top, and that's what's happened to us. But what about attendance? The public will decide at the end of the day, and we consistently have the attendance, the crowds, the venues." So even if CART is taking on water, maybe it isn't sinking quite yet. Pook acknowledged 2002 has been difficult, perhaps the toughest in CART's history. But the master promoter believes his product will soon regain its lost stature. "I think we've made a lot of progress," he said. "We haven't seen so much enthusiasm, so many smiles in the paddock in a long time. "Absolutely, we have bottomed out. But if this is the bottom, can you imagine what the top is like? Because the bottom here is pretty damn good."

8/19/02

Sam Schmidt may drop from IRL to IPS  Many IRL teams are facing the same harsh reality - that it will take far more money in 2003 to compete because all new cars and engines must be bought.  All existing equipment is useless.  According to this Las Vegas Sun article - Sam Schmidt's two-year-old Indy Racing League team may step down in class next season if the Henderson resident is unable to secure a full-time primary sponsor by Oct. 15. Schmidt said he would shift his operation to the developmental -- and more affordable -- Infiniti Pro Series for the 2003 season if funding for a full-fledged IRL team weren't available. "We're right in the middle of trying to lock in a sponsor for next year," Schmidt said. "We can't do it the way we did it this year. We just don't have the budget to buy new cars next year and all the motor changeovers and all that stuff -- it's another couple of million dollars next year over what it was this year." Although Schmidt has fielded a car in all 12 IRL races this season, he has done so without a full-time sponsor. "We've got to get something locked up by October 1 ... if we don't, we're probably going to be running IPS cars next year," he said. "They're much more economical." Schmidt estimated he could run a full IPS season on a budget of about $650,000, compared to the estimated $4-5 million he will spend this season in the IRL.

8/19/02

Priestley sits up for first time On Saturday, actor Jason Priestley sat up for the first time since Sunday, when he was seriously injured in a race-car crash at Kentucky Speedway. ``He's continuing to progress,'' Methodist Hospital spokesman Jon Mills said Friday. ``He's more talkative today.''

8/19/02

Ralf Schumacher going back to church  German driver Ralf Schumacher is planning a church wedding ceremony in Austria next month. The BMW-Williams ace said the ceremony would take place in the historical city of Salzburg on Sept. 7, and that he was planning to implement stringent security measures to keep the fans away. "We'd like to have our peace. I don't have to share my most intimate moments with the general public," said "Schumi II." The 27-year-old German, who lives in Austria, said it would be a "just another wedding, nothing gigantic." Schumacher already married Cora Brinkmann in a private ceremony last October at his home near Salzburg.

8/19/02

Most boring race of my life  According to this ITV-F1 article, Pedro de la Rosa wants changes to F1 after what he called ‘the most boring race of my life’. De la Rosa found out just how hard it is to overtake at the Hungaroring when he spent his entire Sunday afternoon stuck behind Mika Salo’s Toyota. He said the race should act as a wake-up call to the FIA who need to ensure that overtaking is made easier and the spectacle of F1 more entertaining in future. He said: "That was probably the most boring race I have ever driven! "I don’t know if it’s a track-related issue or what, but it is a clear example of how boring F1 can be if we don’t do something. I’d say I was a full second quicker than Salo and still couldn’t overtake."  And CART officials take note, most CART races are parades too, so don't snicker, and it's a problem that can be fixed.

8/19/02

52,000 at Road America  According to this Denver Post article, and close to numbers we also heard, the race day attendance at Road America was about 52,000 and the weekend attendance was just ever 100,000.

8/19/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Driver Analysis: Hungarian GP
Ferrari Wrap Up Title
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Jordan: Honda Out, Ford In
Arrows: The Final Throes?
Villeneuve 'Crackers' To Accept CART
Minardi: Lining Up Rookie Pilots
Irvine To Davidson: Go For It!
Pollock: Deal Is 'Very Close'
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Jordan-Ford: The End Of Jaguar?
Williams and McLaren To Blame
Webber Signs For Jaguar?
News Direct From The Paddock (Part 1)
News Direct From The Paddock (Part 2)
News Direct From The Paddock (Part 3)
News Direct From The Paddock (Part 4)

8/18/02

Pirro examined and released  American Le Mans Series driver Emanuele Pirro was examined and released from Oshawa (Ont.) General Hospital after crashing in today’s mail2web.com Grand Prix of Mosport at Mosport International Raceway. Pirro was transported to the hospital for further examination after being checked in the care center at the racing circuit following the accident. The defending champion of the American Le Mans Series, Pirro was battling for the lead in the race when he crashed in turn 8 with just under an hour remaining in the two hour, 45-minute event. The Audi R8 Prototype driver was briefly unconscious but was awake when transported.

8/18/02

Capello and Kristensen win in Mosport  Tom Kristensen moved closer to the American Le Mans Series championship Sunday as he and teammate Rinaldo Capello scored a dominating victory in the mail2web.com Grand Prix of Mosport at Mosport International Raceway. The Audi R8 drivers took their third win in the last four ALMS races, winning by a lap over the Audi R8 of Johnny Herbert and Stefan Johansson. Max Angelelli and JJ Lehto finished third in a Cadillac Northstar LMP 02. Defending series champion Emanuele Pirro was taken to a local hospital for observation after crashing hard in turn 8 while battling Kristensen for the lead with just under an hour remaining in the two hour, 45-minute event. The Audi driver was briefly unconscious but was awake when transported. Jeff Bucknum, Bryan Willman and Chris McMurry took their third win of the season, and second straight, in the LMP 675 class for smaller Prototypes, driving a Pilbeam MP84-Nissan to a four-lap victory. Melanie Paterson and Ross Bentley finished second in the class in a Lola B2K40-Nissan. Ron Fellows and Johnny O’Connell won for the fifth time in seven ALMS races this year in the GTS class, driving a Chevrolet Corvette C5-R. Kelly Collins and Andy Pilgrim finished second, one lap behind in another Corvette.

8/18/02

Kudos to CART and Road America  After years of harping on CART to raise their podiums and let the fans gather under like F1 does, CART and Road America took the first step today.  They had the drivers go out on the gangplank starters stand and let the fans onto the track to gather underneath after the race.  About 2,000 fans gathered under the podium and CART had a mini Formula One tifosi on their hands.  All that was missing were the air horns.  We'll leave that up to the fans.


Cristiano da Matta celebrates with the fans after winning the
CART Motorola 220 at the Road America circuit

Photos by Dave Sandford/ Getty Images

8/18/02

Cristiano da Matta slams the IRL In this Milwaukee Journal article, Toyota driver and CART point leader, Cristiano da Matta says anyone can drive an IRL car - "It's a series they don't care about driver skills, they don't care about safety," da Matta said of the IRL. "If you go to a track that you're flat (on the throttle) all the way around all the time, why do you need to have a good driver? You might as well hire a bad driver. You're going to be paying less, and he is going to be able to go around flat the same way." Da Matta hasn't kept up as he used to with fellow Brazilians Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran, who went to the IRL this year when Team Penske made the switch. Nonetheless, he doesn't believe they're happy racing in the all-oval series. "Present them a chance to go to CART or IRL - I can put all the money I have where they're going to go, and I'm sure I'm going to be right," da Matta said. "Whatever real driver you ask, 'Would you like to go to CART or IRL?' If he's a real driver, he knows he's got talent, he knows he's fast, he's going to go to CART."

8/18/02

Marco Andretti in action at  Road America  

Marco Andretti in action in left photo.  Center photo - Mario Andretti (l) talks with his grandson Marco (c) and his son Michael (r) during the "Stars of Tomorrow" karting series event.  Right photo - Marco Andretti (l) is coached by his grandfather Mario (c) and his father Michael (r).  Marco finished 2nd in his race.  (Photos courtesy Motorola)

8/18/02

Atlantics: Luis Diaz wins Road America  It was a banner day for Dorricott Racing at Road America as the three member team swept the podium at Sunday's Round 10 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship race. Luis Diaz (Dorricott Racing/Telmex Swift 014.a) wrestled the lead from Rocky Moran Jr. (Sigma Autosport/Sunoco/BG Products Swift 014.a) on the Lap 14 restart and continued on to a 1.910 second margin of victory. After the fourth caution flag of the race, Diaz pulled to the inside of Moran Jr. heading into the sweeping right hand turn at the 4.048-mile Road America road course. As the two entered the turn, their wheels
touched sending Moran Jr. spinning off into the gravel trap. Moran Jr. was uninjured in the incident, but his chances for his first win since last season’s Laguna Seca race were over.  It was the second win of the season for Diaz after posting his first career win this past June in Portland. With Jon Fogarty finishing second and Alex Gurney (Dorricott Racing/Behr/Castrol Swift 014.a) rounding out the podium, Dorricott swept the podium for the first time since the team did it in Indy Lights competition in St. Louis during the 2000 season. It was sweet redemption for the three member team after several incidents with each other several times earlier this season.

8/18/02

Barber Dodge: Maia wins from pole  Leo Maia converted his first start from the pole in Barber Dodge competition into his first win in the category as he drove a flawless race, leading from flag to flag at Road America to take the win over second place finisher A.J. Allmendinger and Josh Beaulieu in third. Dan Di Leo finished fourth in the Elite Die Casting Reynard Dodge after starting from second as Mexico City, Mexico's Memo Rojas led a trio of Mexican racers in his Telmex machine to finish fifth, ahead of fellow Mexico City native German Quiroga. The finish is Quiroga's third consecutive top ten finish. Aurelio Lopez, of Guadalajara, Mexico finished seventh. Lopez ran as high as sixth from his 11th starting position before an off track excursion forced him to move up the field again to finish ahead of Rafael Sperafico. Sperafico, who won the Laguna Seca race earlier this season, was also forced to move up through the field after spinning off track on the first lap and rejoining the field in last place, setting the fastest lap of the race along the way with a 2:16.333 lap around the 4.048 mile track. John Vannini's ninth place finish is his second consecutive finish in the top ten, with Mid Ohio race winner Marc Breuers never getting a handle on his car all weekend on his way to a tenth place finish.

PS/PS/#/DRIVER/HOMETOWN/PTS/PURSE
1/1/31/Leonardo Maia/Oakland, Calif./21/$13,000
2/10/29/A.J. Allmendinger/Hollister, Calif./16/$8,750
3/5/27/Josh Beaulieu/Langley, B.C., Canada/14/$6,500
4/2/19/Dan Di Leo/Markham,Ontario,Canada/13/$4,500
5/3/15/Memo Rojas/Mexico City, Mexico/11/$2,500
6/8/33/German Quiroga/Mexico City, Mexico/10/$1,500
7/11/51/Aurelio Lopez./Guadalajara, Mexico/9/$1,250
8/4/11/Rafael Sperafico/Toledo Paraná, Brazil/9/$1,250
9/13/67/Jon Vannini/Woodside, Calif./7/$1,250
10/7/94/Marc Breuers/Philadelphia, PA/6/$1,250

8/18/02

Seen at Road America - II  Besides Michael Kranefuss and John Menard, we also spotted Ex-F1 driver Ricardo Zonta definitely looking for a ride next year.  We also spotted Tony George's mother, Mari Hulman George, who was here to cheer on her grandson Kyle Krisiloff who drives in the CART Toyota Atlantic series.

8/18/02

CART changes qualifying rules  In an effort to provide fans of the CART FedEx Championship Series with as much on-track action as possible, Championship Auto Racing Teams Inc. announced changes to its road-course qualifying procedures that will go into effect immediately. Beginning with next weekend's Molson Indy Montreal, the 60-minute sessions on Friday and Saturday have been modified to give drivers 35 minutes of qualifying time. The sessions will still be 60 minutes long, but will start with a short open practice to be followed by a break in which teams can work on their cars. Teams can use tires other than their qualifying tires during the practice session, and will have the opportunity to change tires during the break. The break will be followed by 35 minutes of qualifying with 30 minutes of guaranteed green flag time. Drivers will still have a maximum of 15 laps per session with the current rules regarding red flags and stoppages remaining in effect. "We wanted to find a way to give the fans more on-track action during qualifying, and the practice session also allows us to put down some compatible rubber on the track prior to qualifying," said CART Vice-President of Operations John Lopes. "We feel these changes will help the teams as well and provide more enjoyment for the fans that come to watch the CART FedEx Championship Series."

8/18/02

Life is Skittles, er, M&M's and beer.....  As expected, Elliott Sadler, Robert Yates Racing and Masterfoods USA announced a new team to be formed for next season, sponsored by M&M's, running the number 38. Speaking with one of the few remaining southern (Virginia) drawls left in NASCAR, Sadler explained that he didn't have any indications that this deal might happen when he sought his release from Wood Brothers earlier in the season. As for the sponsor, M&M's, it was clear that they wanted to sponsor a team that was more competitive, thus prompting their departure from the 36 car driven currently driven by Ken Schrader: "They've known our intentions for quite some times... you gotta get a payback on what you're doing...." Schrader, however, will remain under a Personal Services Agreement with his soon-to-be-former sponsor. For his part, Robert Yates declined to spill the beans on the ultimate fate of the number 28, the Havoline sponsorship, or of driver Ricky Rudd.

8/18/02

Jordan signs 3-year deal with Cosworth   Rumored for a long time, it's now fact.  Eddie Jordan confirmed yesterday that his F1 team will no longer being using Honda engines next year, having signed a three-year deal to run Ford/Cosworth engines.  We are very proud that Jordan and Ford and Cosworth will be working together for the next three years or so,’ Eddie Jordan announced. ‘It means the car next year will be a Jordan-Ford, with the blue oval back in Formula One, which is for me very exciting news. I think we should all rejoice a day when Ford publicly announce they are coming back into Formula One. It's a proper Ford- related partnership, with dedicated people inside Cosworth who will be exclusively dedicated to Jordan.’

8/18/02

Yeah right   From the F1 propaganda machine - A recent survey found that 97 percent of all people in the world know who Michael Schumacher is and what he does for a living. 'I have divided feelings about it,' thinks the five times world champion, 'because on the one hand, I like Formula 1, but not the fame that comes with it. The best thing about this sport is actually the enthusiastic faces of the crowd.'

8/18/02

Schmui would welcome Montoya   Michael Schumacher was asked after qualifying yesterday if he would mind having feisty Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya as a teammate. 'Not at all,' he said without hesitation. 'Now I know him better, I like Juan Pablo.' The German continued: 'However, both me and Rubens have contracts until the end of 2004, so I don't really know where these rumors spring from.'

8/18/02

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Driver Analysis: Qualifying
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8/18/02

Did you know?  Did you know that the Mexico City promoter plans to eventually seat 250,000   for that event at some point in the not too distant future?  That of course is Indy 500 territory.  As for General Admission, that's essentially unlimited (remember 1 million people were there when the Pope visited) but we would think 100,000 in General Admission is more than enough.  The first year attendance is not going to approach those numbers of course, with only 170,000 to 190,000 expected on race day and 500,000 for the three day weekend.

8/17/02

Said wins Road America round  Boris Said responded to recent challenges to his Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup points lead in the most convincing way possible Saturday when he drove to his fourth victory of the season in the Johnson Controls 100 at Road America. Said (#33 Applied Computer Solutions Panoz Esperante) took permanent control of the lead on the 11th of 25 laps, when he passed Don Sak (#10 Trenton Forging/missingkids.com/Revolution Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette) following a restart. Said went on to a 0.866-second victory over Paul Gentilozzi in the eighth of 12 rounds in the 2002 Trans-Am Series championship. Said’s victory joins his previous triumphs at Mosport, Lime Rock and Cleveland, and gives him 231 championship points for the season, 29 more than Gentilozzi (#3 Johnson Controls/ Microchip/ Futaba/Matrix One Jaguar XKR), who moved past Butch Leitzinger and back into second place with 202 points.

8/17/02

Wells burns bridges on way to Pontiac  When Cal Wells III announces Saturday morning that he’ll trade in his Ford hardware for Pontiac hardware for his 2003 program it will come as no surprise that Ford Motor Company is displeased with Wells’ decision, but not for the reason that might come readily to mind. It’s not that Ford is upset Wells is making a move that he believes will help his team, which has not finished in the Top-10 since the June 2 race at Dover, Del., become stronger. No, far from it, because Ford understands that everyone needs to keep their best interests in mind when planning their future. Rather the displeasure comes from the way Wells went about his separation from the company that helped him break into NASCAR racing. Until Thursday, Wells had a handshake deal with Ford Racing Technology’s North American Racing Operations Manager, Greg Specht to continue using Ford hardware for the ‘03 season. Specht, who has repeatedly said that he’ll take a man at his word — and handshake — had no doubt of Wells’ intentions to honor his word. Specht’s better nature was truly tested, however, when Wells made the call on Thursday telling Specht that Wells was making the switch. “I was very disappointed when I got a phone call from Cal [Thursday] morning to inform me that while he had not signed a deal with Pontiac, he intended to sign a deal with Pontiac,” Specht said in a visible departure from his normally mild-mannered disposition. “Just back at Sears Point [Calif.] we shook hands on an agreement that I had presented to him and that I had followed up with in writing; and they had told us that they hadn’t signed that agreement because they were working on some language with their sponsor that didn’t have any impact on our deal. They just wanted to make sure there weren’t any legal terms that conflicted with our deal. I was very disappointed and now know what a handshake means to Mr. Wells and I will act appropriately in the future.” But Specht doesn’t live in a void. How could it be that he didn’t hear the rumors that Wells was making a run for Pontiac? Well, to be honest, Specht did hear the rumors, but he just didn’t believe that Wells had anything but honorable intentions and that the commitment made at Sears Point would be honored. “I heard the rumors and a couple of times I was about to get on my phone and call Cal and say, ‘I’m hearing these rumors that you’re talking to Pontiac,’" said Specht. But assurances were offered by Wells’ organization. “One of his people, his lawyer in fact, called my guy who handles my contracts and said, ‘Don’t pay attention to those rumors. We don’t have a problem with you guys. We’re just waiting to get this legal language cleared up.’” Specht continued, “I would say as recently as 10 days ago [they told us not to worry]. So I said, ‘I’m not gonna bother Cal. I trust him.’ When his lawyer calls and tells me that — which was clearly misleading — because Cal himself did tell me, ‘Yeah, I’ve been talking to these guys for a couple weeks now and we’re gonna go ahead and do the deal.’” Another burr under Specht’s saddle is that when Wells began looking at Winston Cup Racing, Ford worked with him and tailored a program to help the newcomer avoid the pit falls that can consume a new car owner in this sport. “When Cal came to see us very early on when he was making his plans to go Winston Cup racing, we treated him with the same fairness and respect that Ford Motor Company treats people,” said Specht. “I feel that Ford, as a corporation, handles our relationships with our business partners and with our suppliers in a very ethical fashion and we did that. We gave the PPI team every consideration that we would give any of our teams in spite of the rumors and innuendos and some of the ill feelings that others had for him. So yeah, I’m disappointed and I’m frankly upset with that.” Considering Wells’ decision for a change in manufacturers Specht says that he fully understands why Wells would make such a change — money can be a very persuasive tool to sway opinion. “His decision to go with another manufacturer is his decision and we don’t have any problem with that at all,” Specht calmly commented. “I understand that Pontiac is gonna give them way more money – dollars – then we are and he has to make a business decision that he believes is in the best interest of his company and himself.” Specht then continued, “But what I don’t like is being misled. Obviously it’s just unethical. It’s not a good business practice. We [Ford] don’t do that. I treat everybody the way that I would expect to be treated until I’m proven wrong in terms of giving people trust and so forth. “Now we know where we stand.”  Ford Racing

8/17/02

Praise being heaped on Davidson  The BBC article says - Rookie Grand Prix driver Anthony Davidson has been praised by his team boss Paul Stoddart after a strong qualifying performance in Hungary. Davidson qualified last, but was only just over 0.5 seconds slower than his team-mate Mark Webber. It was an impressive performance by the British American Racing test driver, who had never driven the Minardi before arriving in Hungary, a track he had never seen before. Stoddart said: "For Anthony to come in in what was his first ever Formula One race, in addition to the fact he had never driven a car at the Hungaroring before, I am really pleased. "It's a difficult track to learn and to be only half a second away from Mark, and to have put in what is now five faultless sessions, that's pretty good by anybody's standards. "He was cool, although I'm sure there were some hidden nerves, but he has worked very well with his race engineer. "In each session he has improved and I could not be more pleased."

8/17/02

Biela sets record in Mosport  Frank Biela led a record-setting American Le Mans Series qualifying session Saturday at Mosport International Raceway to win the pole for Sunday’s mail2web.com Grand Prix of Mosport. Three of the four class-winning pole speeds were track record laps. While Audi Sport North America driver Biela was winning his fourth pole of the season, Terry Borcheller stunned the crowd with a record-setting lap in the GTS class that snapped the six-race pole-winning streak of Ron Fellows. Fellows had won six consecutive poles before the Borcheller drove the Konrad Motorsports Saleen S7R to his first pole this year. Borcheller’s lap time was 1:15.986 (116.500 mph) on the 2.459-mile, 10-turn circuit. Fellows, who lives near the track in the Toronto suburb of Mississagua, had won the GTS class pole in every ALMS race this season. The Chevrolet Corvette C5-R driver was attempting to set a series record for the most poles by any driver in any class, but was upset at his home track by Borcheller for the second straight year. “It’s been a really tough year, and this team needed a boost,” said Borcheller, who beat Fellows to win the GTS class driving championship last year. “The Corvettes have beaten us all year, and it gets boring in a series if you don’t have a shock like this sometimes. “I have to thank both of the Corvette drivers for giving me room on my flying lap, especially Ron,” said Borcheller. “He was slowing down and he could have really messed up my lap, but he went out of his way to give me room and that was typical of the kind of driver he is.”  The top-10 drivers, type car and class, qualifying speed in
miles per hour and qualifying time:
1. Frank Biela, Emanuele Pirro; Audi R8 (LMP 900), 131.793, 1:07.139.
2. Rinaldo Capello, Tom Kristensen; Audi R8 (LMP 900), 130.721, 1:07.720.
3. Johnny Herbert, Stefan Johansson; Audi R8 (LMP 900), 129.485, 1:08.366.
4. Max Angelelli, JJ Lehto; Cadillac Northstar LMP 02 (LMP 900), 129.264, 1:08.483.
5. Eric Bernard, Emmanuel Collard; Cadillac Northstar LMP 02 (LMP 900), 128.627, 1:08.822.
6. David Brabham, Jan Magnussen; Panoz LMP-1 (LMP 900), 127.901, 1:09.123.
7. Jon Field, Michael Durand; Lola EX257-AER MG (LMP 675), 126.953, 1:09.730.
8. Bryan Herta, Bill Auberlen; Panoz LMP-1 (LMP 900), 125.653, 1:10.451.
9. Claudia Huertgen, Steve Knight, Mel Hawkins; Lola EX257-AER MG (LMP 675), 124.939, 1:10.854.
10. Clint Field, Marc Neuhaus; Lola B2K10-Judd (LMP 900), 117.869, 1:15.104.

8/17/02

Dario's brother has his eyes on CART  This Canoe.ca article talks about Dario Franchitti's brother Marino who ultimately has his eyes on CART.   It's still a big step to CART and racing with Dario, but Marino says he is amazed at how fast things are happening in his career. "Just 18 months ago I was driving Formula Ford," Marino said of his climbing up the racing ladder. "And (last) Friday I had my first run in an LMP900 prototype at Road Atlanta."

8/17/02

Toyota Atlantic: Mother nature helps Fogarty  Jon Fogarty (Dorricott Racing/Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards Swift 014.a) got a little help from Mother Nature on Saturday on his way to his third pole of the season. Fogarty’s track record time of 2:01.110 seconds (120.327 mph), that he set in yesterday’s qualifying session, held up as nobody could top his time on the rain washed 4048-mile Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Even though the track was dry from morning showers that slowed the morning practice times, the circuit was “green” after most of the rubber was washed off. Current points leader, Michael Valiante (Lynx Racing Swift 014.a), turned in the fastest time in the 30-minute session with a lap of 2:01.892 seconds (119.55 mph), much slower than Friday’s time of 2:01.353 seconds (120.086 mph). However, because Valiante set the fastest time today, he will start tomorrow’s 17-lap race on the front row along side Fogarty. Fogarty cut Valiante’s points lead to 18 points after winning the provisional pole yesterday, but with the fast time today, Valiante bumped his lead back to 19 points heading into tomorrow mornings 11:15 a.m. CST race.

8/17/02

Barber Dodge: Maia holds onto pole  Leo Maia held onto the provisional pole in final qualifying for Sundays Barber Dodge Pro Series race as the field was unable to improve on his Friday lap time of 2:13.855 seconds at scenic Road America. Dan Di Leo, who had suspension problems which prevented him from posting a time in Friday's session, will start alongside Maia on the front row after setting the fastest time in the second session with a lap of 2:14.120 seconds around the 4.048-mile permanent road course. Mexico City, Mexico's Memo Rojas will start third after being demoted one spot by Di Leo from the provisional second spot his Friday effort of 2:14.190 seconds had earned him. Maia, Di Leo, and Rojas are all looking for their first win in Barber Dodge competition and are all looking to make it happen on Sunday.

8/17/02

Seen at Road America  IRL chassis manufacturer Michael Kranefuss (MK Racing) snooping around probably trying to see what CART teams might be coming to the IRL that he can sell cars too, or perhaps to see what it takes to make a car that turns both left and right.  Also seen at Road America - John Menard and his son Paul in a long intense conversation with CART's John Lopes.

8/17/02

Would Andretti really do that?  A reader writes - Dear AutoRacing1.com, I could not help but notice that Michael Andretti made yet another comment to the media two days ago along the lines he's guaranteed the IRL will be around, but he's not too sure CART will be there, i.e. survive.  I have a friend who works on one of the CART crews and he tells me Andretti is having a hard time convincing Kool and Motorola to come to the IRL with him, so he's trying to paint a picture that CART is going to die so Kool and Motorola will make the jump.  If this is true, I find it rather appalling that Andretti would turn his back on the series where he made his career, unless Honda and Tony George are throwing a lot of money at him.  Has he sold his soul to the dark side for money?  Clayton Peters, Rockville , MD  Dear Clayton,  We have no way of knowing what you say is true or not, but from what we can tell, Michael has all but made up his mind to jump ship to the IRL for whatever reason.  From all the info we have heard, with Ford about to announce a deal with CART, and with CART's new almost-free engine deal announced, it appears things will soon begin to fall into place and CART will be around for a long time to come, contrary to what Andretti thinks or says. AutoRacing1.com

8/17/02
F-3000

Eng wins in Hungary  Tomas Enge led from start to finish to win the F3000 round at the Hungaroring and overtake Sebastien Bourdais for the lead of the championship in the process. After taking pole on a track where overtaking is as rare as hens' teeth, Enge knew that all he had to do was make a good start and the win was almost assured. He did exactly that and a blinding first lap on cold tires opened up a two second lead and enough breathing space to relax a little.

8/17/02

Toyota to build interim car  Ove Andersson, the Toyota Team President, has confirmed that Toyota will build an interim chassis to use for off-season development. The car, which will probably be called the TF102B, will be a significant improvement over the current machine, incorporating lessons the team has learned during its maiden campaign. ‘At the moment we are working on a kind of a development car which is an improvement of the existing car and we hope to run this before the break,’ Andersson said. ‘That should then be the basis for the next year's race car which we hope will be ready at the beginning of January.’ The TF102 is Toyota’s second Formula One car, the successor to last year’s TF101 which was the Cologne outfit’s designated test mount. Andersson also said the team had not been in serious discussions with Brazilian Cristiano Da Matta, the US open wheeler star who tested for the team earlier this year and had been linked to joining the squad. ‘We ran him, but there wasn't any serious discussions,’ he said.

8/17/02

Pontiac gears up  According to this Winston Salem Journal article, Pontiac officials, stung by the loss of Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte, are restocking the pantry, and at least two new Pontiac teams are expected to be announced over the next week, beginning today. Car owner Larry McClure is expected to move from Chevy to Pontiac, and car owner Cal Wells is expected to move from Ford to Pontiac. Pontiac's A. J. Foyt is expected to return next season with Harrah's as sponsor and maybe Larry Foyt driving. However, there is word now that Ricky Craven is not too pleased with Wells' decision to leave Ford. If so, it is unclear if Ford officials might make a play to keep him a Ford next season.

8/17/02

Rudd/Ganassi deal dead?  According to this Winston Salem Journal article, In a startling twist, the Ricky Rudd-Chip Ganassi-Texaco now appears to be dead, according to sources on both sides. Rudd and Ganassi have been on the verge of finalizing their deal to run a third Dodge team next year under Texaco's Havoline logo. In fact a press conference had been scheduled Tuesday to announce the deal. It was abruptly cancelled late Monday night without explanation. The surprising development came after Rudd and Ganassi had what is described as a blowup in Ganassi's office in which Rudd was asked to leave. Exasperated Texaco officials, who have been displeased with the split between Rudd and car owner Robert Yates, were ready to pull the plug on their NASCAR sponsorships. But sources close to Ganassi said last night that he had persuaded Texaco to sponsor his planned third team, with a to-be-named driver (maybe Bobby Hamilton). Ganassi sources said that Jimmy Spencer might be back with the team in 2003, depending on how well he performs over the next four or five weeks. Rudd was displeased with Ganassi's decision last week to push Jimmy Spencer aside at Watkins Glen in favor of road racer Scott Pruett, according to team sources. That move left Spencer without a provisional, and he failed to make the field. There is also a report that Rudd wanted a two-year contract, while Ganassi was only willing to offer one year.

8/17/02

All Lowes Cup races under lights  The UAW-GM Quality 500 will be run Oct. 11, 2003, under the lights at Lowes Speedway, a track spokesman said Friday. The race has always been run on Sunday afternoons. Lowe's already runs The Winston, NASCAR's annual all-star event, and the Coca-Cola 600 at night, and sells out both events. The track used to sell out its October race, but has run into attendance problems the past few years while competing with the NFL's Carolina Panthers. "Night racing is very popular with fans and they seem to do well at tracks like Bristol and Richmond," said track spokesman Jerry Gappens. "We'd been asking to try a night race for several years, but (track president) Humpy Wheeler had trouble making it work because we couldn't find a television partner."

8/17/02

Da Matta to F1 update UPDATE  Toyota chief, Ove Andersson, has continued to scotch claims that his Formula One driver-lineup will necessarily change in '03. CART sensation Cristiano da Matta, who tested for the team recently, has been linked strongly to Allan McNish's current seat. 'There weren't any serious discussions with da Matta,' said the Swede. 'We haven't decided what we are going to do yet, so why do you assume that we will let Allan go?'   8/16/02 -  Like Villeneuve, whereby no one has made him an official offer to come to CART yet, we quizzed Cristiano da Matta today about his F1 rumors and he said still no one has talked to him about F1, so as far as he is concerned, he's driving in CART in 2003.  He also told us he won't just go to F1 to ride around the track.  He wants to go with a team he knows can win races.

8/17/02

Pollock's chances of getting Arrows diminishing  After stating that his chances of taking over Arrows was '80 percent' last week, we asked Craig Pollock yesterday what likelihood he now has of taking over the ailing team. 'Nothing is decided,' he said, 'But the chance is now less than the eighty I said last week.' The former chief added: 'Perhaps sixty-five, seventy ... sixty?'

8/17/02

Eng bags F3000 pole  Tomas Enge bagged an important pole position in the F3000 qualifying session yesterday, while championship rival Sebastien Bourdais managed only sixth place. Enrico Toccacelo will start from second in tomorrow's Hungarian race, while teammate Pantano is third. Enge trails Bourdais by five points, with just three races (Hungary, Belgium, Italy) to go.

8/17/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Driver Analysis: Friday
Davidson: First Day At School
Lauda To Stay At Jaguar
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Jordan Offered Cosworth Engines
Arrows: Solvent Or Insolvent?
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News Direct From The Paddock (Part 1)
News Direct From The Paddock (Part 2)
News Direct From The Paddock (Part 3)
News Direct From The Paddock (Part 4)
News Direct From The Paddock (Part 5)
On This F1 Day...

8/16/02

Minardi signs new Russian sponsor  KL Minardi Asiatech is today very pleased to announce that the team is joined, as from this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, by an important new commercial partner - Russian company, Gazprom. Gazprom is the world's largest gas company, accounting for an impressive 94 per cent of Russia's gas production and 23 per cent of the world output. The Company produces about 8 per cent of the country's GDP, and contributes approximately 25 per cent of all tax revenues to the Russian federal budget. More than half-a-million Russians, and over 100,000 foreigners, are Gazprom shareholders, while 300,000 people work for the company and its related divisions. Gazprom unites more than 40 subsidiaries and a number of companies into a single technological and organizational structure that integrates all elements of the gas production and supply cycle, from the manufacture of its own equipment, through geological prospecting and drilling, to consumer deliveries. Apart from the extraction of gas from prospected fields, the Company also develops new sites and builds trans-continental gas pipelines. "The Formula One World Championship is undoubtedly at the pinnacle of motorsport achievement," comments a senior Gazprom representative. "To climb this 'mountain' is both a huge honor and an enormous task, which certainly cannot be attempted without the assistance of leading international companies. Throughout its history, Gazprom - one of Russia's most famous companies - has supported sporting events all over the world. The appearance of the Russian flag in the legendary and high-profile world of Formula One will earn Russia immense prestige and open significant opportunities for young racing drivers from this great country." Minardi

8/16/02

McLaren announces new appointments  McLaren International is pleased to announce the following appointments designed to further strengthen its technical team under the leadership of Adrian Newey. - Neil Oatley will become Executive Director of Engineering. Neil will have overall responsibility for engineering standards, configuration control, quality, reliability and risk management. - Mike Coughlan will join McLaren International as Chief Designer and will assume responsibility for the management of the design team. - John Sutton has joined McLaren International as Principal Designer and will assume responsibility for transmission and rear end integration. "McLaren aims to have the best technical team available to compete at the highest levels and I believe that the combination of Neil and Mike will prove extremely strong," said Martin Whitmarsh, Managing Director of McLaren International. "Neil and Mike are looking forward to working together and hold each other in great mutual respect. Neil's contribution to the company for the past 15 years has been exceptional and as Mike's personality and skills are complimentary to those of Neil I have no doubt that the results of their co-operation will be excellent. John, who will be working closely with Mike, will further strengthen our technical team." "I have known Mike for some time and look forward to welcoming him to the team and co-operating on a professional level", said Neil Oatley. "I'm excited about the opportunities this partnership will offer both to us and the development of the West McLaren Mercedes team." "Obviously I look forward to the challenges ahead," commented Mike Coughlan. "Everyone that I have met at McLaren has a great determination and a strong will to win. There is no doubt that I will enjoy working with Neil and the rest of the technical team." Mike will join the team on 2nd September 2002. McLaren

8/16/02

More on Mike Galiardo death controversy  This Racing Press article is a follow-up to a previous article, but this one provides the SCCA's point of view of what transpired.

8/16/02

Cadillac fast in wet Mosport  A few days after announcing that it would discontinue its racing program at the end of 2002, Cadillac was on top of the time sheets Friday as practice began for Sunday’s American Le Mans Series mail2web.com Grand Prix of Mosport. JJ Lehto, driving a Cadillac Northstar LMP 02, turned a lap of 1:11.446 on the 2.459-mile Mosport International Raceway, the fastest lap recorded in a two-hour session that was hampered by rain. Lehto’s time was set early in the session when rain had just started to dampen the track and before a passing thunderstorm brought practice to a halt. Lehto, from Finland, will co-drive in Sunday’s race with Italian Max Angelelli. “Not bad,” said Lehto, who joined the Cadillac team this year. “The car has improved greatly since I last drove it, and that was in June at Le Mans. Here we need more downforce and they have developed a new aerodynamic kit and the car was pretty good to drive. Friday’s top-5 practice speeds:
1. JJ Lehto/Max Angelelli, Cadillac Northstar LMP 02 (LMP 900), 1:11.448.
2. Jan Magnussen/David Brabham, Panoz LMP-1 (LMP 900), 1:12.720.
3. Rinaldo Capello/Tom Kristensen, Audi R8 (LMP 900), 1:13.363.
4. Johnny Herbert/Stefan Johansson, Audi R8 (LMP 900), 1:13.487.
5. Bryan Herta/Bill Auberlen, Panoz LMP-1 (LMP 900), 1:13.598.

8/16/02

Wilden wins first pole  Kenny Wilden, named Thursday to drive the #40 XtremeLens Chevrolet Corvette for Derhaag Motorsports, made his return to the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup a successful one Friday when he claimed the pole position for the Johnson Controls 100 at Road America. Wilden, a Canadian whose last career Trans-Am start came at Long Beach in 2001, put together a lap of 111.644 miles per hour (2 minutes, 10.529 seconds) on the 4.048-mile permanent road course to earn the second pole position of his Trans-Am Series career. Wilden’s earlier pole came while driving for the Derhaag team at Laguna Seca in 2000 in a race he ultimately won. Wilden will start in the seat recently vacated by Justin Bell when the eighth round of the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup takes the green flag at 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday (noon ET Sunday, SPEED Channel, tape delay).

8/16/02

SAFER wall at Talladega  NASCAR officials are to be at Talladega Superspeedway later this month to approve installation of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's impact-absorbing SAFER barrier on the track's inside retaining walls. The system could be in place for the Oct. 6 EA Sports 500 race. Most racing crashes involve the outside wall, but a barrier on the inside wall would help protect drivers from secondary impacts. NASCAR hasn't approved the system for Talladega's outside walls. Dean Sicking, SAFER's lead developer, is working to adapt the barrier, which was developed to fit Indianapolis Motor Speedway and introduced there in May, to high-banked tracks and short tracks with tight turns.( USA Today Print Edition).

8/16/02

Atlantics: Dorricott trio on top at Road America  Jon Fogarty (Dorricott Racing/Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards Swift 014.a) and his teammates took a stand in Friday afternoon’s qualifying that this Championship is far from being over. With a threat of storms tomorrow afternoon, Fogarty set fastest time while breaking Hoover Orsi’s 2001 track record at the 4.048-mile circuit at Road America. Fogarty, who enters this weekend 19 points behind Michael Valiante (Lynx Racing Swift 014.a), posted a time of 2:01.110 seconds (120.327 mph) which came late in the session and broke Orsi’s mark of 2:01.278 seconds (120.160 mph). Fogarty earned the bonus Championship point with the provisional pole cutting Valiante’s lead down to 18 points along with guaranteeing a front row starting spot in Sunday’s race. Valiante logged the fourth fastest lap with a time of 2:01.353 seconds (120.086 mph). “Every point I get is crucial at this stage of the season,” said Fogarty. “Luis and Alex are right with me which is excellent for Dorricott Racing. However, my best lap was an effort. Time was running out. Laps at this track are so long that you don’t get many chances. I came onto the front straight-away not exceptionally well. I knew I had to make it up so I challenged the brake zone entering turn five, worked to get through turn six, and actually altered my gear pattern on that lap. It paid off. I went of it in the final corner and nearly tossed the car off the track, but I didn’t and the rest is track history now” Luis Diaz (Dorricott Racing/Telmex Swift 014.a) held the top spot late in the session before Fogarty took it over. Diaz, who was also under Orsi’s record, held the second quickest time of 2:01.258 seconds (120.180 mph) and was followed by his teammate, Alex Gurney (Dorricott Racing/Behr Castrol Swift 014.a) with a time of 2:01.340 seconds (120.099 mph). Both drivers are in need of cutting into Valiante’s Championship lead this weekend to keep their title hopes alive. Waldemar Coronas (Scuadra Fortia/Aviacsa/Royce/Maizoro/Millenio Swift 014.a) continues his strong second half season run by posting the fifth quickest lap with a time of 2:01.414 seconds (120.026 mph).

1. (32) Jon Fogarty, 121.110, 120.327 mph.
2. (33) Luis Diaz, 121.258, 120.180 mph.
3. (34) Alex Gurney, 121.340, 120.099 mph.
4. (19) Michael Valiante, 121.353, 120.086 mph.
5. (88) Waldemar Coronas, 121.414, 120.026 mph.
6. (4) Rocky Moran Jr, 121.538, 119.903 mph.
7. (23) Grant Ryley, 121.984, 119.465 mph.
8. (27) Joey Hand, 122.062, 119.388 mph.
9. (28) Ryan Dalziel, 122.262, 119.193 mph.
10. (78) Aaron Justus, 122.689, 118.778 mph.
11. (11) Rodolfo Lavin, 122.887, 118.587 mph.
12. (9) Roger Yasukawa, 122.892, 118.582 mph.
13. (31) Jonathan Macri, 122.918, 118.557 mph.
14. (1) Ryan Hunter-Reay, 122.936, 118.540 mph.
15. (3) David Wieringa, 123.196, 118.290 mph.
16. (14) Alex Figge, 123.495, 118.003 mph.
17. (6) Frank Dancs, 123.648, 117.857 mph.
18. (86) Eduardo Figueroa, 124.111, 117.418 mph.
19. (8) Alex Garcia, 124.134, 117.396 mph.
20. (16) Stephan C Roy, 124.221, 117.314 mph.
21. (7) Nicolas Rondet, 124.905, 116.671 mph.
22. (13) Kyle Krisiloff, 125.010, 116.573 mph.
23. (81) Carl Russo, 125.856, 115.790 mph.
24. (26) David Cutler, 126.660, 115.054 mph.
25. (18) Bob Siska, 129.693, 112.364 mph.

8/16/02

Benson re-signs with MB2  Valvoline Racing and MB2 Motorsports announced today that driver Johnny Benson and crew chief James Ince have signed multi-year contract extensions to continue with the #10 Valvoline team. “My goal is to do well and retire from this place someday,” Benson said at the #10 race shop. “James (Ince) and I have said from the start that we wanted to keep all of the crew members, team owners and sponsors together and that is just what we have done.” “We know we have the foundation for a winning effort here and there is no place we’d rather work.” Benson and Ince have been with the #10 team since 2000 when it was know as Tyler Jet Motorsports, owned by Tim Beverly. Midway through the 2000 season, MB2 purchased Tyler Jet Motorsports to become a two-car operation with the #36 M&M’s Pontiac driven by Ken Schrader. Valvoline became an equal partner with MB2 in 2001 making it the first consumer products company to own a Winston Cup team. “Keeping Johnny and James together was a priority from the moment that year started,” said team general manager Jay Frye. “We wanted to have them locking in by mid-season and that’s exactly what we have done.” Benson and Ince have combined for five top-three finishes and 22 top-ten finishes in 86 starts together. Benson has missed several races this season due to injuries, making 17 starts. He is currently 36th in points.

8/16/02

Park re-signs with DEI  Steve Park has signed a one-year contract extension with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. to remain as driver of the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet through the 2003 Winston Cup season. “The contract negotiations are finally behind us and I am excited about racing with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. for another year.” Park said. “I feel great that all we’ve put into re-signing with DEI and Pennzoil has paid off. Now that we have this behind us, we can concentrate on putting the Pennzoil Chevy back in victory lane.” Park has been the subject of many rumors in the garage area about his future with DEI. Since returning earlier this year from injuries suffered in a crash during a Busch Series race at Darlington last September, Park’s performance hasn’t been up to par. In 18 starts this season, he has notched just one top ten finish, a 7th place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He currently sits 38th in points. He has driven for DEI for his entire Winston Cup and Busch Series career, scoring three Busch Series and two Winston Cup series victories. “Steve is a talented race car driver and has continually shown his dedication and commitment to our sport,” said team owner Teresa Earnhardt. “We look forward with anticipation and expectation that this continuity will ensure that the #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo lives up to it’s potential.”

8/16/02

Childress grandson in LL World Series  Richard Childress will take a private plane from Michigan to Williamsport, Pa., for the Southwest Forsyth (N.C.) team's first LLWS game Saturday. Childress' 12-year-old grandson, Austin Dillon, is playing second base in the Little League World Series. Childress will be back for Sunday's Winston Cup race; his wife, Judy, will go to Sunday's ballgame. Austin's father - Mike Dillon, Childress' son-in-law - drove three years in the Busch Grand National series. He now works on the business side of Richard Childress Racing.(USA Today).

8/16/02

Inclement weather delays qualifying  With inclement weather forcing delays in NASCAR Winston Cup Series qualifying from Michigan, SPEED Channel will carry CART qualifying for one hour beginning at 5 p.m. ET, returning to LIVE Winston Cup qualifying at 6 p.m. ET.

8/16/02

Good turn out at Road America  George Bruggenthies, President of Road America, told us today that ticket sales so far were up over last year and the track was happy with the Friday, workday crowd.

8/16/02

CART drivers support standing starts  Cristiano da Matta and Bruno Junqueira were asked today how they felt about CART doing standing starts next year.  Both drivers were 100% for it.  Dario Franchitti said he enjoys the rolling starts, but the standing starts are much more fair and easier to police.

8/16/02

Townsend Bell visits F1 race  Townsend Bell was spotted in the Hungary paddock today.  When asked he said that he would like to have a career in Formula 1 in the future. The 27-year-old has driven this year for the Patrick Racing CART team but recently was dropped by the team because he was having too many incidents. Bell says that his aggressive driving style, which has got him into trouble in CART, is a sign that he is willing to race with the Europeans and hopes to be able to get a ride in Formula 3000 or even a Formula 1 test drive.  GrandPrix.com

8/16/02

Martinsville keeps both Cup dates  Martinsville Speedway officials announced Friday morning that the historic short track would again host two NASCAR Winston Cup events in 2003. The Virginia 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race will be held on Sunday, April 13. The date for the 2003 Old Dominion 500 will be released later this summer. "We are proud of our association with NASCAR and with Winston Cup racing," said Campbell. "We have been around since the beginning of the series and look forward to continuing that association for many years to come. Next year's Virginia 500 will be on the same weekend it was run this season. "We are extremely pleased with our spring race date for 2003," said Campbell. "It is a great date as far as the weather is concerned. The Virginia 500 is late enough in the spring that the weather is warm, but not too hot." Campbell said the 2003 fall Winston Cup date would be announced as soon as NASCAR completed all of its sanctioning agreements for next year. Martinsville Speedway has been hosting Winston Cup races since 1949, the year of the division's inception. Tickets for the 2003 Virginia 500 are already on sale while tickets for the 2003 Old Dominion 500 will go on sale March 5, 2003.

8/16/02

CART name change  The topic of brand identity came up today at the fan forum in Road America.  Mario Andretti and Derek Daly both said 'CART' is not an ideal name, fans just don't identify with it.  Derek Daly says he likes the word 'formula' because most people know that 'formula' means open wheel, single seat cars.  He suggested 'Formula America', while Mario suggested Formula One-and-a-Half.  We have long said that CART has an identity crisis, except with the very hardcore fans.

8/16/02

Road America considering Big Screens  George Bruggenthies, President of Road America, stated today that they are considering installing big screen TV's, about 10 or 12, in future years.  They recognize the fans want them, it just takes money.  He also told us not to believe any rumors that the IRL might replace CART at Road America.  He'll keep CART as long as it makes business sense, but there has been no discussion about dropping the CART race.

8/16/02

Ganassi denies signing of Rudd  The following statement was put out by the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team today - The article, "Ricky Rudd to drive Dodge for Ganassi," by Stan Creekmore published in the National Speed Sport News is inaccurate and incorrect. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates has not announced its 2003 sponsor and driver plans.

8/16/02

2002 USGP schedule announced  The event schedule for the third annual SAP United States Grand Prix was unveiled Aug. 16, with the Formula One race starting at 1 p.m. (EST) Sunday, Sept. 29.  More.....

8/16/02

Ferrari lead both Friday sessions in Hungary  Ferrari drivers Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello set the fastest times in practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix. No other cars were able to break the 1 minute 17 second barrier, with the Williams of Ralf Schumacher coming closest. Kimi Raikkonen was fourth for McLaren, ahead of Jordan pair Giancarlo Fisichella and Takuma Sato. Meanwhile, Anthony Davidson had a strong first session for Minardi, outpacing team mate Mark Webber.  Story & Results

8/16/02

Kudos for CART doctors  This Milwaukee Sentinel Journal article says - Rick Mears' feet were so mangled that doctors were ready to amputate. A.J. Foyt's feet were so buried in dirt that doctors could barely tell which was which. Chip Ganassi was basically dead. And Alex Zanardi looked like someone who had stepped on a land mine. All are alive and walking today - some with a limp, one with prosthetics, but alive and walking nonetheless - thanks to the work done by Terry Trammell, Steve Olvey and their associates.

8/16/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

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