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DATE

News (chronologically)

9/13/02

Skinner crashes, latest oval track victim  UPDATE PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show talked with Mike Skinner just a little bit after seeing one of several doctors Thursday. He was scheduled to see his doctor in Florida Thursday night about his right knee which was injured in the crash. It's the same knee he had operated on this time last year. He's says he pretty banged up, but he will be in New Hampshire to practice on Friday to see how he feels. Depending on that he may ask Larry McClure [#4 car owner] to find a sub for him. The quotes: "I'm gonna be okay...I'm just beat up a little bit and my face is burned a little bit. I'm gonna try it (practice) tomorrow (Friday) and see how it goes. If I don't feel like can give them (the team) 100% and if I feel like I'm jeopardizing myself then I'll have them put somebody else in it." Skinner thinks the Kansas Speedway testing accident knocked the fuel pump off and knocked the firewall out of the car and blew fire up in the car. He says, "I don't remember, but I guess it was a pretty big fire." The Kodak Chevy driver says his safety equipment did "a great job"  9/12/02 - While testing at Kansas Speedway, Mike Skinner was involved in a crash Wednesday. Heavy impact with the wall caused the #4 Kodak Chevy to become engulfed in flames. Skinner was treated at the infield care center and then taken to a local Medical Center in Kansas City for further tests and evaluation.  He was released yesterday evening.

9/13/02

Vitor Meira fastest in Texas  Rookie Vitor Meira showed consistent speed Sept. 13 during two practice sessions for the Chevy 500, turning the top overall lap of the day of 23.6524 seconds, 221.457 mph at Texas Motor Speedway. But the day was not so smooth for Indy Racing League points leader Sam Hornish Jr. and his Pennzoil Panther Racing team, locked in a tight championship chase. Meira’s top lap came in the first practice on the 1.5-mile oval in the No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville/Pittsburgh Paints Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. But he was second to Scott Sharp in the second session at 23.7299, 220.734. “We were doing qualifying setup,” Meira said. “I don’t know if that’s quick enough or not. The car feels really good. We’re still working on it, but I think it’s going to be better for qualifying.” MBNA Pole Qualifying starts at 2 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr. was second overall at 23.6800, 221.199, turned in the first practice in the No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. 1996 IRL co-champion Sharp was third overall at 23.7193, 220.833, leading the second practice in the No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. Hornish had a rough first day as he tries to become a repeat series champion. He leads second place Helio Castroneves by 12 points in the series standings entering the season finale, which starts at 3 p.m. (EDT) Sunday and will be televised live on ABC. During the first practice, an oil-line connection broke in Hornish’s No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, causing a fire under the engine cover. Hornish had turned only seven laps in the car with a top lap of 24.1594, 216.810, good for just 24th. That was just part of the hard work that the Pennzoil Panther crew was forced to produce today. Rookie Dan Wheldon, Hornish’s new teammate, crashed in Turn 4 during the second practice. Wheldon was unhurt and cleared to drive, but the left front of his No. 15 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone was damaged, forcing repairs. “We have a little bit of work to do,” Hornish said. “We’re pretty much a practice session behind right now, but we know what we need to do for qualifying, so we’re not worried about that. We’re just going to go out and do whatever it takes to make the car fast for the race because that’s all that’s really important.” Castroneves had no mechanical dramas. But he was 11th in the first practice at 23.9060, 219.108 in the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone before picking up the pace in the second practice at 23.7843, 220.229, good for sixth in that session. “Today we worked on the race setup in both practice sessions,” Castroneves said. “As the afternoon went on, the Marlboro Team Penske car was handling better and better. In the second session, I was able to run side by side with several other drivers, so we were able to simulate the conditions we’ll see on Sunday.”

9/13/02

Tickets on sale for 29th Toyota GP of Long Beach  It’s a ‘shore thing’! Tickets are now on sale for the 29th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, set to take place April 11-13, 2003. The 2003 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach -- Southern California's Official Spring Brake -- will again feature the cars and stars of the CART FedEx Championship Series, led by two-time Long Beach winner Paul Tracy and the sensational Cristiano da Matta. Also scheduled for the action-packed weekend is the always-entertaining Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, now in its 27th year. In addition, several other exciting race series will take their turns running through the streets of Long Beach. Complimenting the top-notch racing will be a variety of family-oriented activities throughout the weekend, as well as the immensely popular Rock-N-Roar Concert Series, which has featured internationally known acts like Third Eye Blind and the Goo Goo Dolls in the past. Race fans will again have free admission to the Automobile Club of Southern California Lifestyle Expo, featuring the latest high-tech products and services, racecars, games, and simulators. In addition, the extreme sports demonstrations will return, as will the kids' fun zone. “As always, we continue to strive to put together a weekend of activities that will have maximum appeal to all our attendees,” said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “In that regard, we hope to make some exciting announcements in the near future.” For the fourth consecutive year, the race circuit configuration is unchanged, although due to the Pike at Rainbow Harbor construction project downtown, two Grandstand locations (Nos. 2 and 34) have been eliminated. The circuit, which includes the downtown streets of Long Beach surrounding the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center, is 1.97 miles in length and comprises 11 turns. Nineteen grandstands line the circuit, which include reserved seats, limited general admission seats and seating for various club ticket packages. Ticket prices for the three-day event range from $40 for a Sunday-only general admission ticket to $108 for a three-day ticket that includes Saturday and Sunday reserved seating in upper levels of the grandstands. Pre-paid parking packages are available and can be purchased when ordering tickets through the Grand Prix ticket office. Credit card orders for the 2003 event can be placed by calling the ticket hotline toll-free at (888) 82-SPEED. Copies of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach ticket brochure can also be obtained by calling the ticket hotline. The ticket brochure includes a circuit map with grandstand and parking locations as well as ticket prices and a ticket order form. Handicapped seating, Bosch CART Garage passes, super photo tickets and hospitality club packages are also available. For updated Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach ticket information, news or announcements of special race week activities, visit www.longbeachgp.com.

9/13/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $4.69 Down $0.10 on Volume of 14,100 shares.
$4.06 Bid - $5.00 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.60 /$4.75
MPH Value Change Down 2.09%
DOW Jones Down 66.72 or 0.8% on Volume of 1.5 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 11.72 or 0.92%
S&P 500 Up 2.9 or 0.33%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago

9/13/02

Hornish has had 'special' Chevy engine  Now we know why Sam Hornish Jr. has been winning so many races, and appears to have more HP than the Penske team in the IRL, a series where HP wins races.  This Indy Star article says - With Team Penske's Chevrolet engine not producing quite the horsepower Panther Racing's Chevy is giving Hornish, Castroneves admittedly was on the defensive in Chicago. He doesn't expect that to be the case this week.........Owner Roger Penske, who is switching his team to Toyota engines next season, takes the blame for Castroneves not having the special engine manifold Panther is using. "Don't take this as any kind of excuse, (but) the facts are the facts," Penske said.  Rumor has it Penske may also not be getting the best stuff from Chevy because he is dumping Chevy, much like he dumped Honda when he went to Toyota in CART.

9/13/02

Feud splits Andretti's  This Bloomberg article says - The split in Indy-car racing is carrying in its draft one of America's most famous racing families. Mario Andretti, 62, winner of the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500 and Formula One world champion in 1978, has joined the board of Championship Auto Racing Teams Inc.'s Indy circuit. Son Michael, winner of a record 42 CART races, just bought his own racing team and may move it to the rival Indy Racing League. While Mario pledges his loyalty to CART in almost every sentence, Michael, 39, looks ready to provide the upstart IRL circuit with another high-profile catch following CART co-founder Roger Penske's defection last season. ``It confirms the confusion of open-wheel racing,'' said Derek Daly, a former Formula One driver and now an analyst on News Corp's. Speed Channel and Viacom Inc.'s CBS. ``The family that has known the most intimate details of the sport at the highest level is confused as to which camp they should be in.''.....................As an owner, Michael must choose between where the team's sponsors may lead him and the series his father champions. ``He wants me to stay in CART, I want to stay in CART,'' he said. Prodding from sponsors, who may favor the IRL because it has the prestigious Indy 500, would help him make up his mind, he adds. He said he expects to make a decision within two weeks. His team's major sponsors, British American Tobacco Plc and Honda Motor Co., declined to comment. The IRL has gained ground in recent years. It was given a big boost this season following the switch by Penske, whose teams have won 12 Indy 500 races. Honda, which supplies engines to both the Kool Green and Motorola teams, will end its CART relationship and produce motors only for IRL beginning next year. As IRL pushed ahead, CART's shares have mirrored the older circuit's declining fortunes, sliding from a high of $35.19 in 1999 to around $5 in recent weeks. They closed at $4.79 yesterday. Both Mario and Michael emphasize their differences aren't personal and that it's possible the senior Andretti may yet run a racing team for Michael. Still, the split weighs on both. ``This is very delicate,'' Mario said. ``He has his own beliefs. He has to express them.'' Michael also said he is conflicted and trying to separate his personal life from his business affairs. ``We just have different views,'' Michael said. ``What's wrong with that? You don't always agree in work, it doesn't get in the way of relationships. Business is business, family is family.''

9/13/02

IRL on spending spree  This Dallas Morning News article says, Have CART and the IRL switched places? That question is being asked frequently these days of the two open-wheel series. Five years ago, the IRL was the new league that was cutting costs and giving poorly funded teams a chance to compete. CART was the established league with extravagant spending by big-money teams that had backing from major sponsors and top engine manufacturers. Things certainly have changed. The cost of running a competitive IRL team next season is expected to double while CART is implementing programs of reduced spending to try to stay afloat. With Honda and Toyota becoming engine suppliers in the IRL next year, the expense will go up. An engine leasing agreement with either company is expected to cost about $1.6 million. Chevrolet, which entered the league this year, will be slightly less expensive. The fear by some IRL teams is that the engine manufacturers will do what they did in CART by choosing who gets to develop their engines and charging enormous sums to everyone else. The engine programs cost in CART had been as high as $3 million. IRL teams are pleading with league president Tony George and vice president Brian Barnhart not to let the series drift down the same path that caused problems for CART. "If it gets to that point, I will quit right on the spot," said IRL team owner A.J. Foyt. "And that's what I told Tony and Brian. I will never put myself in a situation like that again, but I don't think it will come to that. Tony will not let that happen."

9/13/02

McGehee joins Cheever  Robby McGehee, winner of the 1999 Indy 500 rookie of the year title, joins fellow American drivers Eddie Cheever Jr. and Buddy Rice at Red Bull Cheever Racing for this weekend's Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. ”I think this will be the best opportunity I've had in an Indy car to win a race," McGehee said. "The Infiniti has great power, and the Red Bull Cheever Racing team works hard to make their cars fast. I am really excited to be a part of this program. I want to thank Eddie and the entire team for this opportunity." ”Said team owner and driver Eddie Cheever Jr.: "An opportunity came up to run Robbie. Since this is the last race for this equipment, I am glad to give a driver of his caliber a ride for this weekend's race. I will be equally happy if any of the three Red Bull cars win on Sunday." ”McGehee, 29, will drive the No. 53 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti in the season finale at Texas Motor Speedway on Sept. 15. The car will feature the familiar Red Bull paint scheme found on the No. 51 car driven by Cheever, and the No. 52 car of Rice. All three Dallara chassis will be powered by the Infiniti Indy V8 engine and use Firestone tires.

9/13/02

Miami GP of Americas sponsor lining up  Grand Prix Americas, Downtown Miami’s premier auto street race, has secured four premium companies as sponsors for Grand Prix Americas to be held October 4 – 6, announced Chuck M. Martinez, president and general manager, Grand Prix Americas. The sponsors include (more to follow we hear):  Story

9/13/02

Tagliani tops Friday practice  Alex Tagliani topped Friday morning practice in Rockingham England today with a time of 24.811 sec.  Tora Takagi was 2nd and Cristiano da Matta third.  2/10th of a sec covered the top 11 car.  Dario Franchitti and Patrick Carpentier rounded out the top five.  Next up, qualifying.  Results

9/13/02

Schumacher tops first Monza practice   Ferrari's Michael Schumacher was in top form in the first practice session for the Italian Grand Prix, topping the time sheets with a lap of 1m22.869, some eight-tenths of a second ahead of last year's winner Juan Pablo Montoya in a Williams BMW. Montoya's team-mate Ralf Schumacher was third fastest, with Jaguar teammates Pedro de la Rosa and Eddie Irvine sandwiching Renault's Jarno Trulli in fourth and sixth places respectively. Rubens Barrichello did not complete a flying lap after sitting out the session with suspected brake problems.

9/13/02

Rockingham enjoying Indian Summer  England has had an "Indian Summer" since last Tuesday with warm, still, sunny days. All looks set for great racing and spectating conditions at Rockingham, hazy sunshine and temperatures in the low 70s Farenheit. Everything looking good!

9/13/02

Miami race ads  A reader writes to tell us there are loads of billboards alongside the I-95 Palmetto Expressway in Miami advertising the upcoming CART/ALMS Grand Prix of the Americas.

9/13/02

Coulthard hits back at Irvine   McLaren ace David Coulthard has angrily retorted to Eddie Irvine's latest verbal bashing. In the Northern Irishman's Sun newspaper column recently, the outspoken Irvine mused that 'David's career has been killed by team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.' Now, as the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza gears up to host the opening day of practice for the Italian Grand Prix, David Coulthard has heard enough and broken his silence. 'I want to know which is the real Eddie Irvine,' the Scot said fiercely in the Monza paddock. 'Is it the one we see or the one we read about? 'It's nice to see that he is unique to Formula One because it is difficult to understand someone who has got two faces. 'Maybe his future is night-club hopping with his hangers-on who tell him how wonderful he is.'

9/13/02

Russian GP scrapped   The Russian motorsporting media here in Monza are reporting that plans for a Grand Prix on Nagatino Island, near Moscow, have been scrapped. Eugeni Panteleev, Russia's chief of science and industrial politics, was quoted as saying that the area will be exclusively used for residential zoning. A Grand Prix bid in the city of St Petersburg remains the final hope for a Russian Grand Prix.

9/13/02

Latest F1 Hot News  

Arrows Saga: FIA Decide To Wait
HHF: Sauber 'Team Of Future'
Speed Bumps Cause Headaches
Montoya Defends Maiden Win
Yoong With Point To Prove
Lauda Admits Webber Talks
Schumacher: No Signs Of Retirement
Burly Brawn Sits Monza Out
Trulli and Fisi Play Second Fiddle
Da Matta's Chances At 20%
Tomas Enge Fails Drug Test
Ferrari Expect Closer Race
Has F1 'Black-Balled' Villeneuve?
Fisi Admits Engine Concerns
Coulthard Hits Back At Irvine
Trulli Fends Off Reputation
F1 News In Brief

9/12/02

Da Matta now rates F1 chance as 50-50  This Canadian Press article says, Newman-Haas team owner Carl Haas wants a decision about Da Matta's plans. Meanwhile, Da Matta is waiting to hear from Toyota and expects to make a decision before the United States Grand Prix on Sept. 29 in Indianapolis. ``Toyota is a very unique Formula One team that comes in with a good budget and good prospects for the future,'' Da Matta said Thursday. ``I think it could be very good for me.'' ``I cannot rush them to make a decision and I cannot ask them to wait longer for me.'' ``I think Formula One is a good challenge. Toyota is still very young and I'm going to be young with the series so maybe we will have an opportunity to grow up in the series together.'' On Thursday, Da Matta initially described his chances of going to F1 as ``about 20 per cent,'' but later called it ``50-50.'' He tested for Toyota on May 17 in France and described his test ``as very good.''

9/12/02

Da Matta would rather race bicycles than in the IRL  In this Canadian Press article, about CART point leader Cristiano da Matta  - What he did rule out was running for the rival IRL series. ``For sure not IRL,'' he said. ``I'd prefer going back to Brazil and racing bicycles rather than racing IRL. All oval racing _ I don't have any interest.''

9/12/02

Rockingham ticket sales  Officials say 32,000 seats have been sold for race day at Rockingham, England on Saturday with near 40,000 expected.  The track seats 52,0000.  Corporate sales are up over 2001.

9/12/02

Falcon enhances wind-tunnel program: Indy Racing League chassis manufacturer Falcon Cars has hired C&B Aerodynamic Consultants as a technical partner to enhance its wind-tunnel program for the next three years. Falcon Cars, based in Concord, N.C., is one of three companies that will build chassis for IRL competition in 2003. The others are Dallara and G Force.  C&B already is involved with the IRL, building the airbox used for General Motors’ Chevrolet V8 engine. C&B, formed in 1991, has worked on wind-tunnel programs for a variety of open- and closed-wheel race and road cars. Ken Anderson, Falcon technical director, worked with C&B Aerodynamic Consultants when he was the chief designer of the 1997 G Force, which won the Indianapolis 500 with Arie Luyendyk and the IRL championship with Tony Stewart. “We’ve been working together all summer and have been expanding our relationship,” Anderson said. “C&B is a great resource for our company, and we’ve decided to commit to a three-year program. We’ll be able to utilize their expertise and experience to improve on our own aerodynamic and CFD (computational fluid dynamics) programs.”

9/12/02

Priestley, Hallisky continue to improve: Kelley Racing driver Jason Priestley and crew member Bernie Hallisky continue to improve as they recover from serious injuries received in separate accidents Aug. 11 at Kentucky Speedway. Both Priestley and Hallisky are now in intensive physical therapy and rehabilitation programs. Doctors expect Priestley and Hallisky to make complete recoveries. Priestley has undergone surgery to repair broken feet, a broken vertebra and nasal and facial bones following his accident during the final pre-race practice for the Kentucky 100 Infiniti Pro Series event. On Sept. 6, Priestley’s doctors removed stabilizing hardware from his feet to allow increased bone density as his feet continue to heal. New casts were applied following the simple outpatient procedure to remove the hardware. It is anticipated these casts will be removed in approximately three weeks and replaced with removal casts that will allow him to begin weight-bearing therapy. Hallisky is involved in a daily therapy program to rebuild muscles atrophied from inactivity due to the extensive surgery he underwent to repair his broken leg, hip and pelvis. He will work into weight-bearing rehabilitation program. Hallisky received his injuries in a pit accident during the Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway.

9/12/02

Industry News

Japananese and USA companies continue march to China United States-based printing and multimedia company R. R. Donnelley & Sons has announced that its new US$29.5 million joint venture printing facility in Shanghai will be operational next month. Donnelley chairman and chief executive William Davis yesterday said the firm had a 49 per cent stake in the Shanghai venture, which was approved last December.  Nissan Motor is set to become the latest foreign car giant to make an aggressive expansion into the huge mainland market, with a reported investment of 100 billion yen (about HK$6.48 billion) in a proposed joint venture. Yesterday, an official in Tokyo with Japan's third-largest car-maker yesterday confirmed it was negotiating with Dongfeng Automobile, the mainland's No 2 vehicle maker, to significantly boost its presence in the mainland market. He said negotiations had been taking place for several months but gave no details on the proposed project. Japanese news media reported that Nissan and the Hubei-based vehicle maker planned to establish a joint-venture in central China's Hubei province with an initial investment of about 43 billion yen.

9/12/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $4.79 Down $0.03 on Volume of 137,100 shares.
$4.13 Bid - $5.16 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.75 /$4.85
MPH Value Change Down 0.62%
DOW Jones Down 201.76 or 2.35% on Volume of 1.4 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 35.77 or 2.72%
S&P 500 Down 22.55 or 2.48%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago

9/12/02

Forsythe buys all of Grosfeld's CART stock  AutoRacing1.com learned today that Gerald Forsythe has bought up all of James Grosfeld's CART stock.  Obviously he doesn't think CART is going away anytime soon.  We believe that brings Forsythe ownership close to the 23% limit he was just granted today.  If you add what Grosfeld sold (7%) to what Forsythe previously owned (15%) you'll get what he is allowed to own (23%).

9/12/02

CART announces amended stock plan  Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. announced today that it has amended its stockholders rights plan to permit Gerald R. Forsythe and his affiliated entities to increase their aggregate ownership of CART stock to 3,377,400 shares, or 23%, without triggering the stockholders rights plan. Forsythe, in consideration for the amendment, has agreed to vote and exchange all shares acquired in excess of 15% of the outstanding stock consistent with the recommendations of the Board of Directors of CART on all strategic matters for a period of three years. The stockholder rights plan was established to ensure that CART shareholders receive fair value and equal treatment in the event of any proposed takeover of the company or other strategic actions. The Board of Directors believes that this amendment is in the best interest of CART and its shareholders. The amendment is being made at the request of Forsythe and not being made in response to any proposal to acquire CART. Under the amended plan, if a person or group, other than Forsythe, acquires or commences a tender offer to acquire 15% or more of CART's common stock, except pursuant to a tender or exchange offer which is for all of the outstanding stock of the company at a price and on terms approved by the Board of Directors, the other stockholders will be entitled to purchase shares of CART stock at a purchase price equal to 50% of the then current market price.

9/12/02

12th annual Phil Casey golf tournament  Three Indy legends and two rock bands have donated items that will help raise money for the designated charities of the 2002 Phil Casey Indy Racing Charity Golf Tournament. The annual charity golf outing, presented this year by Infiniti, William D. Ward (Wachovia Securities), Frank Weiss Machines and Spot on Cables, is Monday, Sept. 16 at the Tour 18 golf course in Fort Worth, Texas. It’s the 12th year that Casey, the technical director of the Indy Racing League, has organized this charity tournament. All of the tournament’s proceeds go to charity, with the Pediatric Diabetes Center at Valley Children’s Hospital in Fresno, Calif., receiving half each year. This year, Casey allowed 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr., who supports the tournament every year, to select the other charity. Cheever chose the remaining half of the proceeds to be directed to the Brian’s Wish Foundation. Simpson Racing Products has donated three helmets that have been painted as replicas of helmets worn by Indy legends – A.J. Foyt, Johnny Rutherford and Al Unser – representing 11 Indianapolis 500 wins. The helmets are up for bid on a live eBay auction until the end of the golf tournament Monday. Bidders can find the helmets under the Motorsports Memorabilia Indy 500 section. An autographed ’02 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers T-shirt that has been professionally framed by Indianapolis’ Frame and Save was donated by the band for auction. It can also be found on eBay under Music Memorabilia: Rock-n-Roll (Autographs and Apparel). The Red Hot Chili Peppers rock band donated a limited edition Fender Squier Strat electric guitar that has been signed by each band member. The guitar is also up for auction on eBay. Golfers participating in the tournament will be eligible to win an exact replica of the Maurice Lacroix “Indy 500” watch won by race winner Helio Castroneves in 2002. In addition, several IRL drivers and teams have donated memorabilia as raffle and door prizes. Motorsports artist Sam Bass has again donated one of his limited edition NASCAR prints signed by the artist. Other event sponsors of the 2002 Phil Casey Charity Golf Tournament include Target Chip Ganassi Racing, PROtential, Toyota/TRD and Speedway Engine Development. Casey organized his first charity tournament for a special reason – his granddaughter Jennifer. She was diagnosed with pediatric diabetes at a young age, and Valley Children’s Hospital was instrumental in helping Jennifer to lead a normal life. The Brian’s Wish Foundation is named for Brian Hall, who passed away on May 23, 2002, from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Hall won over many in the Indy Racing community with his courage and attitude, including Cheever. Cash donations to the charity tournament are also accepted. Make checks out to the Brickyard Foundation, Inc., and send them to: Kris Callfas, Indy Racing League, 4565 W. 16th St., Indianapolis, IN 46222.

9/12/02

No Jag contract for Webber   Today in Monza Niki Lauda was asked about Webber's future at Jaguar, and said: "We have not yet come to an agreement. "Stoddart still has an option on Mark and we haven’t been able to find a compromise so far. We don’t know what decision we will take regarding Webber and Irvine."

9/12/02

Kruseman to make IRL debut  Popular sprint-car driver Cory Kruseman will make his Indy Racing League debut with PDM Racing in the Chevy 500 on Sept. 15 at Texas Motor Speedway. Kruseman, 31, from Ventura, Calif., will drive the No. 18 PDM Racing, Inc. Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone on the 1.5-mile oval at Texas. The 300-mile race starts at 3 p.m. (EDT) and will be televised live on ABC. “It’s a dream of mine to run an Indy car,” Kruseman said. “I’m pretty excited that I’ve got a great group of people behind me to help make this happen. “I think my biggest goal is to go out and finish the race. I’d like to get all the laps to get all the experience I can and hopefully not go out and make any rookie mistakes. I think it’s neat that a sprint car driver is actually making it. That’s where we’re all hoping to go, the Infiniti Pro Series and the IRL.” Kruseman passed the IRL rookie test with PDM in February 2002 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, completing the four-phase test in just 81 laps with an unofficial top speed of 207.6 mph. Few American short-track drivers have enjoyed more success in recent years than Kruseman. He won the coveted USAC Valvoline Indiana Sprint Week championship this year, capturing four victories in the eight-race series. Kruseman also is the reigning champion in the Sprint Car Racing Association series, as he won 15 features en route to the title in 2001. Kruseman is second in the 2002 SCRA standings with four victories in the series, based primarily on the West Coast. In 2000, Kruseman won the prestigious Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at Tulsa, Okla., after finishing runner-up in the event in 1999. Kruseman also scored six SCRA victories in 2000 and finished second in the Non-Winged World Championship series, a title he won in 1999. Kruseman, nicknamed “The Kruser,” has shown his versatility by competing in a variety of vehicles, including USAC Silver Crown cars, sprint cars, midgets, three-quarter midgets, stock cars and karts. He uses that vast experience to instruct students at the Cory Kruseman Sprint Car Driving School at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway. He started the school in 2000.

9/12/02

Reminder  2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series Champion A.J. Allmendinger will appear on RPN2Night this evening to discuss his championship-winning season and his plans for the future. Allmendinger's performance this season, which saw him take six wins and four poles during the ten-race season on his way to winning the championship by a record 68 points over Rafael Sperafico, has attracted the attention of several car owners. Allmendinger, of Hollister, California, came in second place in the Skip Barber National Championship in 2001 before racing in the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship during the winter of 2002. The young driver is a Stars of Tomorrow Winner and has a number of karting championships to his credit as well. The young racer is currently working on securing a position within a top-line team for next season, and is already looking forward to going racing again. Allmendinger will sit down with host John Kernen on RPM2Night, which airs at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time on ESPN2.

9/12/02

Gloy fined  The Trans-Am Series has penalized Tom Gloy Racing 28 championship points and $20,000 for a rules infraction during Round 9 of the championship on Sept. 1 at Denver. The penalty was equivalent to the points and purse which would have been awarded to second-place finisher Butch Leitzinger, driver of one of two cars entered by Tom Gloy Racing in the event. Tom Gloy Racing was penalized for violation of Rule 3.3.3 in the 2002 Trans-Am Series Rule Book, which states that “Only Trans-Am approved ignition systems are allowed.” During post-race technical inspection, Leitzinger’s car was found to have an unspecified ignition amplifier box, which served as the basis for the penalty. “The Tom Gloy Racing team contends that a Trans-Am Series technical official gave verbal approval for use of the component in question,” said Trans-Am Series Chief Steward Terry Dale. “We have not been able to definitively determine if that is the case, and if it is, appropriate action will be taken to prevent a re-occurrence of any similar situation in the future. “Regardless of that argument, however, verbal assurance does not override the written rule,” Dale added. “The bottom line is that the integrity of our rule book must be protected.”

9/12/02

Rockingham secures last-minute title sponsor  Saturday's CART FedEx Championship Series battle at the Rockingham Motor Speedway will be in 'Sure' hands as the leading anti-perspirant brand in the United Kingdom signed on as the title sponsor for Saturday's Round 15 of the 2002 CART Championship. The Sure For Men Rockingham 500 is the new name of the 211-lap event, which will get underway with Friday's practice and qualifying, followed by Saturday's battle on the 1.479-mile oval which saw its first Champ Car action in an exciting event last year where Gil de Ferran passed polesitter Kenny Brack on the last lap to take the win.

9/12/02

Industry News

Transcripts from The inaugural SPEED Chat With Jim Liberatore This article is a transcript of a chat with SPEED TV's Jim Liberatore reveals some interesting things about SPEED TV's plans for the future.  Did you know you can hear F1 and CART races live on Sirius Radio?  Did you know that more F1 races will be on network TV in 2003? 

9/12/02

Enge tests positive   The FIA has issued the following statement ahead of this weekend's F3000 Championship decider. Following an anti-doping test at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Tomas Enge, Formula 3000 driver for the Arden International team, tested positive for a substance prohibited by the FIA under Appendix L, Chapter II, Article 4 of the International Sporting Code. Tomas Enge has been summoned to appear before the World Motor Sport Council at its next meeting which will be held in Paris on Tuesday, October 1st, 2002. In conformity with the regulations, a driver may request a re-test of the original sample within 8 days of being informed of a positive test result.

9/12/02

Minardi to use Cosworth   Minardi Team boss Paul Stoddart stated today in Monza the team will use Cosworth engines in 2003 because the Ferrari engines were just too expensive.  The team will also retain Malaysian sponsorship.

9/12/02

No action on Arrows   Desperate not to lose anymore F1 teams for good, the FIA has announced that it has no plans to take any action against the Arrows team at the moment. The Federation noted that the team has missed the recent races and said that "if this failure were due to insolvency, Arrows would lose its rights under the Concorde Agreement. However at present the FIA has no hard evidence that Arrow's absence is due to insolvency rather than to some other cause".  The FIA concluded that in the circumstances it will wait until various negotiations and proceedings relating to Arrows have been concluded before considering any formal action.

9/12/02

ALMS - Miami, race details 

EVENT: Cadillac American Le Mans Challenge Grand Prix Americas American Le Mans Series Round 9 of 10
LOCATION: Miami Downtown Street Circuit Miami, Florida 1.57-mile temporary racing circuit (15 turns)
WHEN: Saturday, October 5, 2002 – 4 p.m. (EDT)
LENGTH: 2 hours, 45 minutes (timed event)
CARS: Four classes of American Le Mans Series sports cars: Le Mans Prototype (LMP) 900; LMP 675; Grand Touring Sport (GTS); Grand Touring (GT).
TELEVISION: SPEED Channel (Live) Airtime: 4:00 p.m. (EDT) Eurosport (Tape delay) Airtime: 20:00 (Central European Time), October 13, 2002
TICKET INFO: Online: www.miamirace.com; Telephone: (888) 248-RACE.
SUPPORT RACES: Trans-Am Series for BFGoodrich Tires Cup. ALMS is co-feature with CART FedEx Championship Series.
SCHEDULE: Friday, October 4
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. ALMS Practice
12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m. ALMS Practice
3:40 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ALMS Qualifying (GTS & GT)
4:05 p.m. – 4:25 p.m. ALMS Qualifying (LMP 900 & 675)
Saturday, October 5
8:55 a.m. - 9:20 a.m. ALMS Warm-up
4:00 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. Race 

9/12/02

Huth no longer President of IMSA  Dennis Huth, who has been President of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) since May of 2001, is no longer affiliated with the organization. Scott Atherton, President and COO of the Panoz Motor Sports Group, and President of ALMS, said that Huth’s departure from the organization was by mutual understanding. Atherton said that his office would work directly with the existing management team of IMSA in assuming day-to-day operations of the organization until a permanent replacement is confirmed. IMSA is a sanctioning body for professional road racing in North America, including the American Le Mans Series, Star Mazda Series, Panoz Racing Series and the Super Truck Racing Association of North America.

9/12/02

Latest F1 Hot News  

What's New For Monza?
Tifosi Turn Backs On Monza
F1 News In Brief (1)
McLaren Target Development
Arrows: FIA Losing Patience
Schumi Aims To Please Tifosi
Anthony Davidson To Jordan?
Irvine Prolongs Coulthard Spat
Bernoldi Looks On Bright Side
F1 News In Brief (2)

9/11/02

Castroneves, Rice fined  Indy Racing League Vice President of Operations Brian Barnhart issued penalty notices Sept. 11 to drivers Helio Castroneves and Buddy Rice for unsportsmanlike conduct during the Delphi Indy 300. Citing Rules 8.1 and 8.3(A.) of the 2002 Indy Racing League Rule Book, Castroneves and Rice were both fined undisclosed amounts for on-track actions during the event Sept. 8 at Chicagoland Speedway. “The Delphi Indy 300 was a thrilling race that produced close, exciting open-wheel racing and a memorable finish,” Barnhart said. “What makes this type of racing possible is a code of ethics that’s been developed by the drivers and Indy Racing League officials over the past seven years. Both Helio and Buddy displayed actions on the track during the race Sunday that were not appropriate.” Castroneves and Rice may appeal their penalties prescribed in Section 12.1 of the Indy Racing League Rule Book. An appeal may result in an increase, decrease or no change to the penalty.

9/11/02

Yates employee resigns  UPDATE "On behalf of Robert Yates Racing and our team members, I want to apologize to our many fans, sponsors, associates and NASCAR for the incident that took place at Richmond International Raceway last Saturday night after the race. After meeting with my team members I feel confident that in moving forward, all those associated with RYR will compete and represent themselves in a manner that our fans and sponsors will be proud of." Gary Putnum Replaces Steadman as Crew Chief of the #44 Gary Putnum, 32, has been named as crew chief for the team effective immediately. Greg Steadman, who had been crew chief, will now take the position of Manager of Shop Operations. Steadman’s duties will include overseeing the day-to-day activities of car preparation for all cars in the shop at Petty Enterprises. “The opportunity to bring a talent like Gary into a leadership position and further organize what we are doing at the race shop at the same time was too good to pass up,” said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. “Greg Steadman suggested we look at this kind of setup and when we saw we could add Gary to that mix, we went for it. “This is the kind of move that might not seem as big as it is. This is a major positive move for Petty Enterprises, and one that will help us as we continue to move forward with our organization,” he added. Putnum joins Petty Enterprises after two years with MB2 Motorsports, serving as car chief for driver Johnny Benson. A native of Vermont where he developed on the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series, Putnum has been working in NASCAR Winston Cup competition for seven years. He played a key role in the development of MB2 Motorsports and served as car chief for Benson’s career-best two runner-up finishes in 2000. “The Petty’s are tradition and that tradition is of being winners and being champions,” said Putnum. “They have never stopped doing what it takes to make it back to the top, and that is what I want to help do with this Georgia-Pacific team.   9/11/02 - Robert Yates Racing engine research and development employee Larry Lackey, who punched the team's Winston Cup driver, Ricky Rudd, following Saturday night's race at Richmond has resigned, team officials confirmed Wednesday.

9/11/02

Stewart shoving incident update  From the Boston Herald Courier - Sullivan County investigators have wrapped up their probe of Tony Stewart, but the NASCAR driver will wait another two weeks to learn if he will be charged with assaulting a fan at Bristol. "The investigation is pretty much finished except to turn it over to (prosecutors)," Sullivan County Sheriff Wayne Anderson said Tuesday. "It will be turned over on Monday." Prosecutors have said the case will be presented to a county grand jury at the end of the month; the grand jury will decide whether to issue an indictment in the case. Meanwhile, Anderson has made public an incident report filed by Deputy Shane Christian -- the officer who said he witnessed the encounter between Stewart and the woman. Christian wrote that he saw the 31-year-old NASCAR driver shove the woman against a race trailer at 11:30 p.m. after the running of the Sharpie 500 on Aug. 24 at Bristol Motor Speedway. He filed the report four days after the alleged incident. "He took his left arm and shoved her out of the way. The female's back struck the Home Deport car hauler and she appeared to trip over either tires or rims that were lying at her feet," Christian wrote. Stewart yelled an obscenity and told the woman to get out of his way, Christian wrote. The deputy said he spoke with Shaffer immediately after the incident and asked if she wanted to charge the driver, according to the report. The woman apparently was unharmed in the incident, authorities have said. [Editor's Note:  If indeed Mr. Stewart did shove the women against the hauler at which time she fell over tires and could have been injured, Stewart, who is on probation by NASCAR and his sponsor Home Depot and who was going to a counselor to control his hot temper, might have finally done himself in.  How come other drivers don't have this problem in the crowded garage area?].

9/11/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $4.82 Down $0.14 on Volume of 12,300 shares.
$4.19 Bid - $5.16 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $ na /$ na
MPH Value Change Down 2.82%
DOW Jones Down 21.44 or 0.25% on Volume of 1.0 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 4.65 or 0.35%
S&P 500 Down 0.13 or 0.01%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago

9/11/02

Shepard to attempt Loudon return  Morgan Shepherd is set to return to New Hampshire International Speedway this week with hopes of qualifying for the New Hampshire 300 on September 15th. This will be Morgan's sixth attempt in the NASCAR Winston Cup 2002 season with his #89 Racing With Jesus Ford Taurus. Morgan has been pleased with several sponsors coming on board this season. Catchfence.com, Motorsportsweb.com and Racing With Jesus Ministries continue their associate sponsorship, however primary sponsorship is needed. One race sponsorship deals are available and additional associate sponsorship packages are also available. This is a dedicated Christian race team and driver who are looking for someone to come on board and help them be the competitive team they know they can be and who will appreciate their values. "This has been an exciting year for us with the Craftsman Truck Series and returning to Winston Cup on a limited schedule," said Morgan. "It has been a struggle, but God has been good to us and blessed us in so many ways. I want to thank everyone who continues to believe in us and who supports our efforts. I love NHIS and always look forward to returning there to our many friends and fans."

9/11/02

Surfers remembers 9/11  CART will be racing in Surfers Paradise, Australia in about one month.  Today some people in Surfers got together to create this human flag on the beach there in Surfers in honor of the USA and the fallen victims of 9/11.  The town is gearing up for the expected 300,000+ weekend attendance.  All flights from Sydney to Brisbane have been sold out for that weekend since June.

9/11/02


Penske praises IRL, doubts only one series now  In this Dallas Morning News article, Roger Penske justifies his move to the IRL, but also backpedals on one Indy Car series now, realizing that Pook is going to save CART.....Almost a year after making the move that rocked the world of American open-wheel racing, Roger Penske is convinced he made the right decision to leave CART and join the IRL. “Overall, I've definitely been satisfied," Penske said. "I love this series because it's so competitive. The championship is coming right down to the end, and that's the way racing should be – not one guy way out front." …………… "Quite honestly, from what I had seen from a CART perspective, the IRL was more viable long term because it wasn't a public company," Penske said. "It didn't take a wizard to make that decision, and it wasn't based on emotion. When you see what public companies are going through these days, it's a tough situation." Penske said before the Indy 500 in May that he expected one series would fold within the next 18-to-24 months. He wouldn't repeat that prediction last weekend in Chicago. He still would love to see the two leagues merge in some fashion, but he doesn't hold out much hope of that happening. "The thing that hindered the leagues getting together was the fact that Tony did not want to be involved in a public-company environment," Penske said. "I think Tony has done a great job here. He has stayed on course and put his money where his mouth is. He hasn't varied at all, and he has supported all the teams."…………….. "The facts are the facts. From my perspective, we need one open-wheel series, but Pook is a very savvy guy. He understands marketing and sponsorship and the impact of television."

9/11/02

NASCAR penalties  Robert Yates Racing team member Larry Lackey and driver Ricky Rudd were fined and placed on probation by NASCAR for their altercation in the garage area following Saturday night’s NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway. Lackey was fined $10,000 for his role in the altercation between the two while Rudd, driver of the No. 28 Ford Taurus, received a $5,000 fine. Both were placed on probation until Dec. 31. Todd Berrier, crew chief of the No. 30 Chevrolet Monte Carlo of driver Jeff Green, was fined $5,000 for an unapproved left front spring found in post-race inspection. The coil winding of the spring was not evenly spaced and did not meet the standards set forth in the rule book. He was penalized under Section 12-4-Q: “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules.” The infraction also cost Green 25 driver points and team owner Richard Childress 25 owner points.

9/11/02

NASCAR ratings on TNT up  TNT continued its strong ratings surge both in Winston Cup and Busch Series racing this weekend in Richmond, Virginia. Saturday night's Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 with The Looney Tunes registered a 4.2 national cable rating for TNT, up 20% from a 3.5 in 2001. Friday night's Funai 250, also from Richmond, scored a 2.2 rating, up a whooping 47% from a year ago when the Richmond Busch race earned a 1.5 national cable rating. The Richmond race concludes a streak of four straight Winston Cup races on TNT, all substantially up from the previous year. During that period TNT averaged a 4.8 national cable rating, up 17% from a 4.1 during the same four races in 2001. For the year, through six Winston Cup races, TNT is up 9%. to a 4.8, compared to a 4.4 in 2001. The Busch Series also continues to show terrific growth. Year to date, the Busch Series is averaging a 1.6 national cable rating on TNT, up 14% from a 1.4 in 2001 for six like races. TNT also telecast the lead-in Busch Series race for the Daytona 500 in February, earning a 2.7 rating. The same race aired on Fox in 2001, garnering a 3.2.

9/11/02

Andretti agrees to stay with Petty  After publicly putting the heat on John Andretti to make a choice on where he wants to go, it appears that Kyle Petty received his answer. Speaking to at the Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte on Monday night, Petty stated that John Andretti has agreed to stay with Petty Enterprises, but that nothing official has been worked out concerning a contract, and that his statement was not an official announcement that Andretti was returning as the driver of the No. 43. But with the Winston Cup rides becoming mostly filled, it seems like this is a done deal.

9/11/02

Hendrick names new crew chief  Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick today named Peter Sospenzo as crew chief of the No. 25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet through the remainder of the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, replacing Brian Pattie. "It's exciting for me to join an operation like Hendrick Motorsports," said Sospenzo, who has nearly 20 years of Winston Cup experience. "My goal is to work hard, produce results on the race track and make the most of the opportunity I've been given." Sospenzo, 45, will assume the position immediately, leading the team into Sunday's event at New Hampshire International Speedway with driver Joe Nemechek. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native most recently worked with drivers Jeremy Mayfield and Mike Wallace as crew chief of Penske Racing's No. 12 Winston Cup entry from 1999 through 2001. He joined the team in December 1997, serving as car chief before being named crew chief in May 1999. In his first full season as crew chief in 2000, Sospenzo led Mayfield to two victories, four pole positions, three runner-up finishes, six top-fives, 12 top-10s and 10 top-10 starts. Pattie will return to his role with Nemechek's NASCAR Busch Series operation as team manager and crew chief.

9/11/02

Frentzen seeking damages   Arrows settled with Champion Recruitment out of court before yesterday’s hearing, but lawyers acting on behalf of the firm have confirmed that the petition was still in place, and that Frentzen had become the petitioning creditor. He drove for the team in 11 races this year on a race-by-race agreement but left after the German Grand Prix. Frentzen is also involved in a legal dispute with Jordan, which sacked him without warning before the German Grand Prix in 2001. The 35-year-old is seeking compensation for breach of contract. Cosworth is also taking action against Arrows, seeking over $2 million for outstanding engine lease payments.

9/11/02

Wallace - Bulldoze New Hampshire  According to this Las Vegas Sun article, Rusty Wallace said he hopes New Hampshire International Speedway will make "major, major changes" following this weekend's Winston Cup race at the 1-mile oval. The track surface proved to be hazardous in two of the turns that were repaved prior to the July 21 race at the Loudon track. "They need to get started with the project as soon as they can after we run there on Sunday," Wallace said. "They're going to have to come in there and bulldoze the place; they're going to have to rebuild the track, reconstruct the turns. They need to come in there and put some banking in the turns and make it a permanent fix, not just the band-aid-type approach that's been going on there for the last couple of seasons."

9/11/02

On this day....   On this day in 1978, the Italian Grand Prix was held at a sunny Monza circuit. Tragically, one of the fastest drivers of his era, Ronnie Peterson, was killed when his Lotus crashed on the opening lap. The Swede, who won ten races in his eight year career, was 34 years old.   American Mario Andretti, at the age of 38, went on to clinch the World Driving Championship that day, and today remains one of only two American drivers (Phil Hill being the other) to reach the pinnacle of auto racing.  He and the late great Giles Villeneuve put on a stirring battle for the lead the entire race, with Andretti finally making the race winning move in his Lotus 79 Ford by  out braking Villeneuve going into the Paribolica with six laps to go.  He then stretched his lead over the hometown favorite Ferrari at the checkered.  Afterward, both Andretti and Villeneuve were penalized 1 minute for jumping the standing start, handing the race win to a lucky Niki Lauda in a Brabham.

9/11/02

Monza forecast   As our Italian Grand Prix correspondent arises at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, he is reporting that rain is set to fall on this eleventh day of September. Moisture is expected to clear with morning showers tomorrow, while an overcast, fine and mild weekend of racing, with tops around 23-degrees, is tipped. Our weather source at Monza, however, remains firm that: 'Rain is a possibility for all three days.' Stay tuned for updates.

9/11/02

New aero pieces for BAR   British American Racing will unveil new updates of their aerodynamic package for this weekend's high-speed blast at Monza. David Richards, Team Principal, said: 'We had a very constructive test in Monza last week and have been working hard with Honda to overcome any reliability concerns following Spa.' An uprated Honda engine, that endured a difficult test last week with several failures, will feature in BAR and Jordan's Monza package

9/11/02

Latest F1 Hot News  

The Drivers: Who Likes Monza?
Reprieve For Ailing Arrows
Ralf 'Steadily Improving'
F1 News In Brief (1)
Asiatech To Launch Chassis
Toyota In Good Shape
Can Jaguar Continue To Leap?
Yoong's 'Fresh Approach' For Monza
McLaren Still Target Wins
McNish: Many Options For '03
F1 News In Brief (2)

9/11/02

Memorial service at Rockingham  As the world stands still to remember the events of last years attacks in New York and Washington, the British will stand shoulder to shoulder with their American colleagues from CART today, who are in the UK preparing for this weekends Rockingham 500. A minutes silence at 13:46 will be observed by the Oak tree that was planted at last years Rockingham 500 as a memorial to the victims of the attacks. There is a plaque bearing the following inscription - “Ordinary people worldwide have been united by America’s mourning. We remember those whose spirits embody the Land of the Free and the Brave.” A memorial service will be held by the CART community in the evening at Deene Park Chapel, led by CART minister Father Phil De Rea. As a mark of respect no further press releases or announcements will be made from Rockingham today.

9/10/02

CART ladder series champions on RPM2Night  Two of Championship Auto Racing Teams' brightest rising American stars will receive national television coverage over the next week as CART Toyota Atlantic champion Jon Fogarty and Barber Dodge Pro Series champion AJ Allmendinger appear on the motorsports magazine show, RPM2Night. Allmendinger, winner of six races and four poles on his way to the Pro Series championship, will be highlighted this Thursday, September 12th. Allmendinger, a 20-year old from Hollister, California, defeated Brazilian Rafael Sperafico in the championship by a record 68-point margin. Fogarty, winner of two races and four poles during his Atlantic championship run, will appear Wednesday, September 18th. Fogarty, a 27-year old from Portola Valley, California, secured the season championship by winning the final race of the year at the Shell Grand Prix of Denver weekend, defeating Canadian Michael Valiante by a narrow 11-point margin. Both drivers will sit down with host John Kernan in RPM2Night's Charlotte studio. RPM2Night, aired on ESPN 2, can be seen each weeknight at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

9/10/02

SAFER Wall to be announced for Dega  From the USA Today - Talladega Superspeedway is expected to announce this week that it is lining about 3,000 feet of its inside retaining walls with the SAFER impact-absorbing barrier system. The project should be complete in time for the Oct. 6 EA Sports 500. The barrier system, which debuted on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's outside retaining walls in May, is designed to absorb some of the forces generated in a crash. Although the majority of racing crashes involve the outside wall, the barrier needs further development before it can be used on high-banked tracks. Installing the barrier on Talladega's inside walls could help absorb energy from secondary impacts. Testing of a modified version of the barrier suited to hang on the outside walls of high-banked tracks might begin this week

9/10/02

Lepage for Cope at NHIS  From the Derrike Cope website: Cope saw an orthopedic surgeon today to have his knee looked at and it was confirmed that he has a broken left fibula (leg). Also, his right scapula (shoulder) is broken. Due to the injuries at opposite points of the body, he is unable to use crutches and is using a wheelchair. There is no operation necessary so it is just a healing process. He will be getting an MRI and CT Scan Tuesday. Jay Robinson and Elaine Hughes (General Manager / Public Relations) were by Cope's side in Richmond and he is very appreciative of their help. He estimates that he will be unable to drive for 5-6 weeks. Cope said that Kevin Lepage will be driving the #37 Friendly's Ford this weekend in Loudon/ New Hampshire Intl Speedway. Lepage drove for Quest Motor Racing at Charlotte this past May in the #38 Ford owned by Cope. Friendly's Ice Cream Corp will sponsor the #37 Ford at NHIS

9/10/02

Walker optimistic  Gordon Kirby's Current article at cart.com is about Derrick Walker. In it we found this quote particularly interesting considering all the rumors that CART is dying floating around: "It's a strange situation when we've got this time of turmoil and we've got the economy in the tank but I've never seen so much activity over the last ten years when it comes to interest in CART or in sponsorship or in being involved in racing. I don't know if it's all going to percolate out. There's a lot of uncertainty as well but personally, I've never been so busy chasing potential sponsors."

9/10/02

Papis to replace de Ferran Penske Racing, Inc. announced plans to continue fielding two Marlboro Team Penske entries at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, September 15th. Two-time National Champion and full-time Marlboro Team Penske driver Gil de Ferran will sit out the event due to injuries suffered in a crash at ChicagoLand Speedway. His replacement will be veteran open-wheel competitor Max Papis. “Obviously I am extremely disappointed that I will be unable to fight for our third consecutive championship. I respect Dr. Bock’s decision and want to thank the medical staffs of the Indy Racing League, ChicagoLand Speedway and Saint James Hospital in Olympia Fields, IL. I was in good hands throughout this difficult process,” said de Ferran. “I sincerely wish that my teammate Helio Castroneves can bring the championship home for Marlboro Team Penske and I’m sure that Max Papis will do a good job for our Team.” “We understand that Dr. Bock’s decision was made for the right reasons. We are also quite fortunate that a driver of Max’s caliber was available under these circumstances,” said Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing. “Although we share Gil’s disappointment in not being able to compete for the 2002 IRL Championship, ultimately Gil’s health and well being is our primary concern.”

9/10/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $4.96 Down $0.14 on Volume of 56,400 shares.
$4.33 Bid - $5.28 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.92/$5.00
MPH Value Change Down 2.75%
DOW Jones Up 83.23 or 0.98% on Volume of 1.4 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 15.49 or 1.19%
S&P 500 Up 6.62 or 0.73%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago

9/10/02

Earnhardt Jr. quote of the week:  When asked about his Busch win on Friday night in Richmond with his new JR Motorsports/DEI Team: "The win in the Busch car was fun, and it was cool, but that car was so awesome my two-year old niece Karsyn could have won with it."

9/10/02

Arrows saga continues   UPDATE  Arrows press release - The High Court in Leeds (UK) today agreed to postpone any hearing regarding the future of Arrows for 28 days. Arrows is delighted that its creditors and the Court have given the Company a chance to secure the best possible future and the Company remains committed to achieving this. The process of selling the team is ongoing and that is where all efforts will continue to be concentrated at this time. Arrows will make further statements as and when news is available.  [We assume this means the team won't compete at Monza this weekend.]  9/10/02 - Arrows trucks have reportedly turned back from Calais after setting off for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Yesterday, the Arrows team successfully avoided a legal petition from Champion Recruitment which threatened to file charges if the money they were owed was not settled.

9/10/02

Tony Stewart's thoughts on the current NASCAR point system: Does the current point system need to be altered, favoring wins over consistency? "That's a question I was asked a lot at last year's awards banquet. The way I look at it is that it's the same for everybody, so it's fair. There's nothing unfair about it. It rewards consistency. The system that's in place is pretty good, and we all know what it is when we show up in Daytona at the beginning of the year. It works for me, and it obviously seems to have worked for NASCAR for however long they've had it in place." How would it change things if the point system were altered and more points were rewarded for a win? "I think you'd see a lot more guys crashing, throwing around 3,400-pound race cars. If someone takes a chance and makes a mistake, and they're in front of you, it's pretty hard to stop 3,400 pounds once it's moving. Now we have that to a certain degree now, but what I'm saying is that it'll become a lot more common if the points system is altered to favor race wins over consistency. That would put all of us at more of a risk, in my opinion."

9/10/02

Marlin hurting but expects to race at NHIS: Sterling Marlin, still in intense pain yesterday after a hard crash at Richmond International Raceway this past Saturday night, said if he needed to race today, he couldn't do it. ''I'm too sore to even climb in the car,'' Marlin said from his home in Spring Hill, where he is resting. ''Hopefully I'll start feeling better on into the week. I plan on racing this weekend.'' Marlin crashed early in the Richmond race and had to be helped from his car as he was wincing in pain. He was checked at the infield hospital and released. ''Nothing was broken,'' Marlin said, ''but I'm so sore I can hardly move. I must have stretched muscles and tendons in my back, chest and neck. I'm scheduled to go to a chiropractor [this morning] to get some treatments.''  Tennessean

9/10/02

Rudd and Yates crew member exchange blows  UPDATE Did you happen to see Totally NASCAR last night and catch a glimpse of Ricky Rudd? Looks like when the Yates press release said a punch was thrown “in the direction of Ricky Rudd” by a member of the Yates team, they forgot to mention the punch connected. Rudd was sporting a full blown shiner on his left eye as he appeared on Totally NASCAR. The incident was sparked when earlier in the week Rudd had commented on the equipment he was given, specifically the engines and their reliability. Who was the team mate who threw the punch, none other than crewman and engine man Larry Lacky. Obviously with Rudd on his way out, and his earlier problems with Michael “Fatback” McSwain, one has to wonder if there are more serious problems in the Yates shop.  9/8/02 - STEVE POST, Public Relations Representative --28-- Havoline Racing -- "There are a lot of reports as to an incident that happened in the garage area following tonight's race. An employee of Robert Yates Racing and Ricky Rudd got into a heated discussion, apparently about some comments Ricky had made earlier in the week. After a brief heated discussion, a punch was thrown and a water bottle was thrown in return. The two people were separated and both have left the speedway property at this stage now. We want to stress that there is some incorrect information that this was fan. This was not a fan, it was an employee of Yates Racing. At this stage, this is an internal problem that will be dealt with by Robert Yates Racing." CAN YOU IDENTIFY THE CREW MEMBER? "Yates Racing has asked that I not do that." WHO THREW THE PUNCH AND WHO THREW THE WATER BOTTLE? "The punch was thrown in the direction of Ricky Rudd and the water bottle was thrown in the direction of the crew member."

9/10/02

Did you know?

-- Sam Hornish Jr. has now won four Indy Racing League events in 2002. His other wins came at Homestead-Miami Speedway, California Speedway and Richmond International Raceway.
-- Sam Hornish Jr. has now won seven IRL events in his career, tying him with Scott Sharp for second on the all-time win list. Buddy Lazier leads with eight career victories. Hornish is the only driver to win seven races in two seasons.
-- Sam Hornish Jr. has won four IRL events on 1.5-mile tracks.
-- Helio Castroneves is the only driver who has been running at the finish of every race this season.
-- Just 0.9387 of a second separated the top 10 cars at the finish of the Delphi Indy 300.

9/10/02

Latest F1 Hot News  

Lotus Name To Return?
Arrows Pay Out Creditor
Optimism Fades For Monza
Coulthard: It Still Hurts
Massa Favorite For Toyota?
Renault Expect Tough Weekend
Ferrari Pilots Ponder Monza
F1 News In Brief (1)
F1 News In Brief (2)

9/10/02

Industry News

Mickey Thompson murder trial update  We promised to keep you informed on progress in the trial of Michael Goodwin for the deaths of Mickey and Trudy Thompson, here’s the latest. Goodwin was arrested on December 13, 2001, for their murders and was charged with double homicide with three special circumstances: Murder for hire, Double murders, Murder for financial gain. He remains in the Orange County Jail without bail. This past Friday, September 6th, there was a hearing for Goodwin’s 995 Motion before Judge Frank Fasel. This was
delayed until September 20. (A 995 motion is an appeal by a defendant to overturn the rulings made by a judge in a Preliminary Hearing) . Also on September 6th, Judge Francisco Briseno heard a 1538.5 defense motion to suppress evidence seized by officers responding to search warrants. The defense filed a 1050 motion to delay the hearing. Judge Briseno was not favorable to the delay and ordered an informational hearing for September 20 in his courtroom, to be held immediately following the 995 motion in Judge Fasel's court. The start of the trial has been on the calendar for some time and is scheduled to begin December 9, 2002. The defense said they would like to move the trial date to March of 2003, however, Judge Briseno was not receptive to another delay and asked them to be ready for trial on December 9th.

9/9/02

Was that really racing?  2nd UPDATE [Editor's Note:  the last letter on this topic we promise]  Dear Mr. Zimmermann, Let me remind you that Shigeaki Hattori was so bad CART yanked his license, yet the rev-limited cars take so little talent to drive that Hattori held up the leaders for over 30 laps last year at Texas, not able to get around him.  I'm sorry, but 100% throttle racing isn't a sport, but just a show like the oh-so popular WWF.  If the auto racing community wants its drivers to be considered athletes (we have struggled for so many years to get the drivers to be considered athletes by the stick and ball crowd) then we had better not lose sight of the fact that racing had better be about the the athletes.  Yes, the customer should be entertained, and CART's parades certainly are not entertainment to many, but rev-limited, pedal-to-the-metal driving where all cars are essentially equal has nothing to do about driving skill and everything to do about putting on a 'show.'   The greatest athletes in the world are respected for their 'athletic' ability to hit home runs, throw footballs, sink three-pointers, drive a golf ball 300 yards, etc. If our drivers are nothing but robots purely at the mercy of how much HP their engines make, driving cars that are so planted to the track even washed up drivers can contend for a race win, we have lost sight of what is sport and what is a show simply to make money.  I cringe the day when I hear some stick and ball fan tell me "yeah, auto racing is just like the WWF, you call them guys athletes?  Taxi cab drivers in NY City bump and bang and can drive better than those so-called drivers you have."  Certainly the WWF is very popular where the fans cheer and scream, but is it a sport?  And I'll close by saying, you won't see any IRL drivers being courted seriously for F1, where even the great Juan Montoya struggles to win races.  That my friend, is a race series where the very best drivers are true athletes, the best our sport has to offer, our Major Leagues. Mordichai Rosen   Another response Dear AutoRacing1.com, regarding the Rosen & Zimmermann letters - IRL is similar to many of today's new "artists." They lack musical talent so they continually strip down to less and less clothing. This is appealing to the naked eye, but the ultimate goal is not the music but money. Do you think world class composers and musical scholars look at and respect Britney Spears and NYSNC as tremendous artists?  I think not. In a similar fashion, do you think Britney Spears and NYSNC will be around and remembered in another 10-15 years? What about Bach or Beethoven? IRL is similar to all of this. The driver's lack the talent to drive in the upper levels of open-wheel racing, so they load the downforce on the cars, reduce the hp, pack them together, and hope nobody dies. Great show and money maker (?), but like NYSNC and Brittney, the focus is on the money, not the sport. Similar to the composer or musical theologian, does this type of racing get the respect of the most learned racing driver or racing fan? Nope. Will history look back and say how skilled those IRL driver's were? Hardly. Just look at the history of the IRL's premier event, the Indy 500, since the IRL's inception in 1996, it continues to drop in popularity. Why? Because no one respects it anymore. Finally, if I wanted to drive in the IRL, how does a racing driver hone his/her skills for this type of racing? I think I've got it. I'm practicing right now by laying my right foot flat to the floor and holding my left hand lower than my right. I can see it now, CART and F1 teams should be lining up for my ability to avoid accidents.  D. Hughes Atlanta, GA  9/9/02 - Dear Mr Rosen, I spent Sunday afternoon on the edge of my seat at Chicagoland Speedway. Regarding your note to Autoracing1.com from September 8, where do I begin? "The rev limited cars are so equal, the drivers could run side-by-side for 20 laps and no one could gain an advantage." "We have lost sight of the fact racing is about the talented athletes and made a complete show out of it whereby the driver means almost nothing." Yes, the cars are pretty equal, and their high downforce aero packages let them run side by side at 220 mph. Would you prefer they run single file and keep 5 - 10 car length intervals? (like they did at one of the other races I attended this summer at Chicago Motor Speedway). Is your argument that 'equal' cars prevent driver skill and experience from being a factor? That flies in the face of every 'how much is it the driver, how much is it the car' comparison I've read in the past 25 -30 years. Whatever advantage there was to be gained between Hornish and Unser was through subtle adjustments to their racing lines in order to be an inch or two ahead when they passed over the start - finish line - without screwing up and crashing out the whole field in the process. That's not something you discover (in those conditions) by trial and error. Any mistake or a slight lifting of the throttle by either of them would have given the other driver a clear lead and would probably have cost 4-5 positions on top of it. "Exciting finish, but no talent required." Really. No talent (or bravery) required to run dozens of laps side by side at 220 mph without giving the other guy more than a few inches advantage at any given time. Did you see Buddy Lazier come from nowhere to finish 3rd? Did you see the cutting and thrusting (Rice, Cheever, Castroneves, Giaffone) going on back in the pack, without anyone making the 'big mistake'. Please see Webster's for a definition of talent. " It's all about how much HP your engine builder can give you." Always has been, always will be. In every form of the sport. That's racing. "My grandmother could drive a car that is so underpowered and so planted to the track at 100% throttle." Get an agent and get her in a car. This year, I've attended 3 CART, 2 IRL, 2 Winston Cup, 1 World of Outlaws and 1 NHRA event. Over the past 35 years, I've attended literally hundreds of races, including a couple of dozen Grands Prix events, 34 Indy 500s, Can Ams, Trans Ams, NASCAR, CART, IRL, and everything in between. The last 30 laps of yesterday's Delphi 300 were the finest racing I've seen since the Mears-Johncock battle at Indy in 1982. Period. Paul Zimmermann  9/8/02 - A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I saw some very close racing at Chicagoland today and what a great finish it was.  However, I could not help but notice that every driver ran 100% throttle the whole race.  The rev limited cars are so equal, the drivers could run side-by-side for 20 laps and no one could gain an advantage.  The two lead cars running together created a wall and no one else could get past.  Exciting racing?  My grandmother could drive a car that is so underpowered and so planted to the track at 100% throttle.  Exciting finish, but no talent required.  We have lost sight of the fact racing is about the talented athletes and made a complete show out of it whereby the driver means almost nothing.  It's all about how much HP your engine builder can give you.  Mordichai Rosen, LA, California

9/9/02

Newman wins rookie of race award  Ryan Newman was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Newman scored his fourth second place finish of the season and collected his 12th top-five finish. Entering Sunday's New Hampshire 300, Newman has more top-five finishes than any other Winston Cup driver. He scored his seventh top-five in the last nine races. Newman has racked up 15 top-10 finishes, has been Raybestos® Rookie of the Race 14 times this season and leads the been Raybestos® Rookie of the Year contest 316-301 over Jimmie Johnson.

9/9/02

Las Vegas tickets go on sale Monday  Tickets for the March, 2003 NASCAR Weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will go on sale Monday, Sept. 16 at 8 a.m. Pacific Time. Tickets for the sixth annual UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 NASCAR Winston Cup event on March 2, 2003, the Sam’s Town 300 NASCAR Busch Series event (March 1), Pole Day (Feb. 28) and the Pennzoil World of Outlaws (Feb. 28 and March 1) will be available on Monday. Race fans can call 1-800-644-4444 or log on to www.lvms.com to purchase tickets. “This past year’s race was a virtual sellout, so we are encouraging everyone to purchase tickets early to assure seating,” said Chris Powell, LVMS’ executive vice president and general manager. “This has become one of motorsports’ most popular events, and it will keep getting bigger.” Race fans purchasing weekend packages receive seating priority from year to year. Weekend packages include frontstretch seats for the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 and Sam’s Town 300 as well as a free ticket to Pole Day. LVMS also offers a “Super Ticket” that includes tickets to two nights of the Pennzoil World of Outlaws events in addition to the NASCAR events. For the third consecutive year, Las Vegas Motor Speedway will offer Pole Day-only pit passes. These passes, which must be accompanied by a Pole Day ticket, will allow fans access to the infield and pit-road areas during practice and qualifying. The passes do not allow for access to the garage areas.

9/9/02

Eddie has words for Helio  Eddie Cheever is mad at Helio Castroneves for blocking tactics during the closing laps of the Delphi 300.  Castroneves too Cheever down to the white line with some daring blocking maneuvers.  Eddie says he will speak to Brian Barnhart while Helio says Eddie isn't fighting for the championship like he is.  "I didn't do anything crazy" said Castroneves, but did not deny he had a very wide car.

9/9/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $5.10 Down $0.04 on Volume of 223,100 shares.
$4.42 Bid - $5.38 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.96/$5.10
MPH Value Change Down 0.78%
DOW Jones Up 92.18 or 1.09% on Volume of 1.35 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 9.31 or 0.72%
S&P 500 Up 9.03 or 1.01%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago

9/9/02

Townsend Bell, to test with Minardi?  3rd UPDATE According to this Formula1.com article, Contrary to reports over the weekend, a Minardi spokesman has refuted rumors that the team plans to test ex-CART racer Townsend Bell at Mugello after the Italian Grand Prix next week. Although a representative for Bell is believed to have spoken informally to Paul Stoddart, the team's principal, in Hungary three weeks ago it is not thought that they came to a firm agreement. "Minardi will be testing Sergey Zlobin for a second time following his successful test at Fiorano last week, probably to be joined by Matteo Bobbi," the spokesman stated. "But there are no firm plans at this point to test Townsend Bell." However, he admitted that there was a possibility that Bell could appear at the wheel of a Minardi later in the year: "It is possible he could be tested later in the year."  9/6/02 - This Autosport article gives more details of the story regarding Bell's test for Minardi we broke last Saturday.  9/1/02 - Beside Townsend Bell, the Minardi team give Bryan Herta a proper testing opportunity at the end of the season, during the post-season month of testing. Herta had a run in a Minardi at the recent Thunder in the Park event and got a taste for Formula 1 and hopes to be able to put together a deal to race for the team next year. After the Donington event the team said that they had been very impressed by Herta, despite the fact that it was not a proper test.   8/31/02 - We spoke to Rod Campbell and Townsend Bell today.  They informed us that Townsend will be testing with the Minardi team in two weeks at Mugello in Italy. He will be running last years car with this years engine.  It will be a full 2-day test.

9/9/02

Arrows pays off one debt   According to reports on the Reuter news agency, the Arrows team has now paid off Champion Recruitment Limited, the employment agency which had a claim against the team. The High Court in Leeds, England is due to hear that petition tomorrow and even if Champion has been paid others, including Jos Verstappen (who is owed millions of dollars), are still keen to be paid.

9/9/02

Chicagoland TV Rating  The overnight TV rating for Chicagoland on ABC was a 1.1, the same as last year.

9/9/02

De Ferran survives hard hit at Chicagoland, out for season  2nd UPDATE As it turns out, de Ferran has a hairline fracture of his left wrist and a concussion, and will miss the final race in Texas.  “Recovery periods for any type of concussion vary for many reasons, but rarely do symptoms completely disappear in seven to 10 days,” Bock said. “As with any head injury, it is better to be cautious and not put the driver at risk. That’s what we’re doing with Gil.”   9/8/02 - All x-rays were negative so Gil appears to just have a concussion. 9/8/02 - Gil de Ferran veered to avoid a slowing car and hit the wall between the 3rd and 4th turn at Chicagoland Raceway.  He was knocked unconscious and the engine was running full throttle when the rescue crew got to him, who then reached in and killed the engine.  He was airlifted to a nearby hospital where it is reported he has no serious injuries with a probable concussion and other minor injuries.  He was seen giving a thumbs up and is reported awake, alert and responding.  His neck was demobilized as a precaution, but he was wearing a HANS Device which probably saved him.

9/9/02

Chicagoland attendance  Dear AutoRacing1.com, According to this Chicago Sun-Times article, 40,000 were in attendance at Sunday's IRL Delphi 300 at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. This compares to 25,000 for this year's CART Grand Prix of Chicago at the Chicago Motor Speedway. From those numbers it appears that IRL is the winner with Chicago's open wheel race fans. But consider this: The 25,000 that attended the CART Grand Prix of Chicago bought tickets to see that event only. The 40,000 at the IRL Delphi 300 received their tickets as a part of a ticket package that also included this year's NASCAR Winston Cup event at Chicagoland Speedway. More significantly, about 30,000 others had tickets for the IRL at Chicagoland Speedway, but decided not to go--they were paid no shows! Which is worse for open wheel racing? Fans not buying tickets to attend a CART event or fans paying for tickets to see an IRL event, then not going? Just my thoughts... Mark S. Graham  Dear Mark, While you make a valid point that the IRL had 30,000 people who simply threw their tickets in the wastebasket, which is a bad reflection, one can argue that not all 25,000 attendees for the CART race bought their tickets.  We're sure some were sponsor/complimentary related.  Also, the IRL Chicago race actually had passing, not the follow-the-leader events CART had.  CART is working to change their package next year to produce more passing, but let's not forget all the passing we see/saw at CART's Michigan and Fontana races and look what happened to the attendance at those events.  AutoRacing1.com Staff

9/9/02
Industry News

SPEED TV to broadcast F3000 races  Formula 3000 races will be shown in the USA on SPEED TV for the first time in 2003. Speed TV will provide live coverage of every round of the FIA International F3000 championship, either live or as same-day highlights. The channel will broadcast a highlight program of all the 2002 F3000 races during the winter.

9/9/02

Scheckter and Cheever to go to court  This article talks about the Scheckter and Cheever legal battle, but more importantly how well American Buddy Rice is doing taking up Scheckter's place in the team and with not all the baggage that came with the talented Mr. Scheckter.

9/9/02

D-Day for Arrows   The bid by American multi-millionaire Carl Smith to buy the Arrows team must be completed by today or else the Arrows team will be liquidated.  Arrows is facing a final hearing in the bankruptcy courts on Tuesday. If this happens an official receiver will be appointed to look into the company's affairs. He will then decide whether or not the company can be saved or whether it should be liquidated. As with all bankruptcy cases, the receiver will either then try to run the company for a period and clear the debts, or they will call in a liquidator who will try to sell off the assets of the company and pay off as many of the debts as possible.  Stay tuned as this sage continues.

9/9/02

Has Honda fixed its problems   As we all know, Honda suffered an absolute nightmare weekend two weeks ago at Spa, with engines blowing up all over the place.  BAR driver Olivier Panis alone suffering three major failures.  It's understood that Honda has now traced the cause to a failure within the oil system on the latest evolution of the RA002E.  Unfortunately the problems continued at Monza during the four-day test last week, with Giancarlo Fisichella experiencing two failures in one day, one using an old 'spec' unit.  One has to wonder how they will do next weekend at Monza where considerable strain is put on engines that run flat-out for much of the lap.

9/9/02

Bridgestone works on 2003 tire   Bridgestone Motorsport are already hard at work on next year's Formula One tires. The Japanese giant, who have wrapped up both 2002 championships with Scuderia Ferrari, report: 'Yes, staff at our technical centre in Tokyo are already working on next season's tires and we have begun to track test for next year as well.' Hisao Suganuma, technical manager, adds: 'Since testing is allowed during November and December this year, we have to be ready soon with the first prototype, while most of the winter testing will take place in Spain.' 

9/9/02

Minardi to lose Malaysia backing   Paul Stoddart, Minardi team chief, took a trip to the Malaysian capital of Kuala-Lumpur late last week for unspecified business. With Malaysian rookie Alex Yoong resuming his driving duties for the final three races of the year, our sources indicate that Malaysian Sports Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein has insisted that his countryman live out his driving contract. Furthermore, the GO-KL and Magnum sponsorship deals will reportedly not be renewed for 2003.

9/9/02

Latest F1 Hot News  

Mark Webber To Stay Put?
Historic Spa Race Faces Axe
How 'Ferrari' Are Bridgestone?
More on Franchitti Test Sabotaged?
Rivals Hunt Down Ferrari
Sauber Defend Safety And Health
Yoong Returns To Racing
New Engine For Honda
F1 News In Brief (1)
F1 News In Brief (2)

9/9/02

Weather forecast for Rockingham  This link provides a 5 day forecast for Northampton, the city nearest to Rockingham, from the UK Meteorological Office. it looks good so far, tomorrow will tell more.   As you know, rain is always a concern in England.

9/8/02

Seen at Chicagoland II  One of the spectators at Sunday's race could have jumped in to drive, if he wasn't already in the rival CART league. Bruno Junqueira, who drives for Target/Chip Ganassi Racing, was on hand to watch. ''I'm a race fan,'' said Junqueira, enjoying a weekend off before next week's CART race in England. Although Ganassi ran a car in Sunday's race with Jeff Ward at the wheel, Junqueira said he was rooting for his fellow Brazilians. Six of the 25 starting drivers hail from Brazil. On a more serious note, Junqueira, who is No. 2 in the CART point standings behind fellow Brazilian Cristiano da Matta, said he is waiting to see who he might drive for next year. His contract with Ganassi's team expires at the end of the year. ''Yeah, I'm looking,'' he said. ''Let's just see what's going to happen.''  AP Report

9/8/02

Panther Racing to run team in Infiniti Pro Series  2001 Indy Racing League champion Panther Racing will expand to field a team in the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series in 2003, with Mark Taylor driving. Taylor, 24, from London, will run the full season in the Indy Racing League development series for Panther, which fields IRL cars for 2001 champion Sam Hornish Jr. and rookie Dan Wheldon. Taylor drives for Manor Motorsport in British Formula 3 this year. “We’ve always wanted to grow the team, and we’ve taken our time,” said Gary Pedigo, Panther co-owner. “We’ve never wanted to do anything if you can’t do it right. With this program, we’re going to do it right.” Taylor has earned two victories this season in British F3, both at Silverstone. He is sixth in the series point standings. “Coming over to America was the best opportunity for me for next year,” Taylor said. “I was very excited to talk with (Panther co-owner) John Barnes about the Infiniti Pro (Series) and with the prospect of working with Panther Racing. As far as next year, working with them is the best thing because I want to move into the IRL, and this series is a good way of getting into that.” Taylor also drove in British F3 in 2001, finishing ninth in the series standings. He won the European Formula Ford championship and finished second in the British Formula Ford championship in 2000. He raced in British Formula Ford in 1999 after racing in Formula Vauxhall Junior in 1998.

9/8/02
ASCAR

McRae Goes West, to run Rockingham  Former World Rally Champion Colin McRae to Make His Oval Racing Debut at Rockingham Champion rally driver Colin McRae got his hands on a real bucking bronco of a car at the weekend as he took the wheel of a 500-horsepower Ford ASCAR racer in preparation for his debut at the Rockingham track in Northamptonshire next Saturday. McRae will swap his normal Focus WRC for one of the 'Day of Thunder'-style racers in the main supporting race to the CART Fed Ex championship event, which will see drivers including Dario Franchitti, Michael Andretti and Christian Fittipaldi racing wheel to wheel at over 200 mph. After his hour long rookie test in the ASCAR two seater McRae took to the track in the car he will racing on Saturday. Reigning BTCC champion Jason Plato had gone out earlier in the same car to set a benchmark time and the Scottish WRC ace rose to the challenge by smashing it by 0.4 seconds. McRae’s final time of 36.4 seconds is the fastest ever time recorded by a rookie at Rockingham. "This has been a new experience for me and I didn't really know what expect, I had watched it on television and that's about it. The guys at ASCAR and Bintcliffe Motorsport have been brilliant and I have got to grips with the car quite quickly. The facilities here at Rockingham are excellent, it will be fantastic sight when the stands are full of fans next weekend, I can’t wait to get out there for the race." “The cars are completely different and the style of driving required is amazing,” McRae responded when asked to compare his Ford Focus WRC to the ASCAR. "The trick is to feel the limit of the car is what it is all about, no matter what you are driving, you can't really go past the limit in these (ASCAR) cars, you have to come gradually to the limit. I found the concrete wall a bit more comfortable than the trees on a rally stage." When asked how he found it driving without co-driver Nicky Grist, Colin replied "It's quite peaceful actually!"

9/8/02

Giaffone signed for 2003 According to this Ticker article - Second-year IRL driver Felipe Giaffone has renewed his contract with Mo Nunn Racing. Brazilian tobacco company Hollywood will remain as the sponsor of what could be a two-car IRL team with CART driver Tony Kanaan moving over. "We're not sure what kind of equipment we are going to be using, but for the first time in my life, we're all set for next year," Giaffone said. The driver said the team is deciding whether to run Honda or Toyota engines next season. It has yet to decide on chassis between Dallara, G Force and the new Falcon entry. "In a few weeks, we should know what we are using," Giaffone said. "I think it will be a two-car team for next year, but it appears that it is going in that direction. I hope it's Tony Kanaan, but there are rumors that he has signed with Andretti/Green. Morris Nunn would like to have Tony on this team, though. "Mo doesn't have anything guaranteed for CART and I know he is not happy with the engine deal in CART. It seems that a lot of teams are going to leave CART and come here." Giaffone said there will be an exodus of drivers from CART to the IRL, and that makes deals more crucial.

9/8/02

Seen at Chicagoland UPDATE And from this Ticker article - After a very successful test with team owner Travis Carter's NASCAR Winston Cup team, however, Papis would like to become the first European to become a full-time driver in the stock car series. "I'm considering every option that is around for me, whether it's CART, IRL or NASCAR," Papis said. "I want to work for a team in a consistent manner for several years. Driving the NASCAR Winston Cup was a lot of fun, a lot of horsepower on the car. The car is a big car compared to what I'm used to, but you can change things and the car reacts to it. "When I went to the Bristol NASCAR race two weeks ago, I don't think I ever saw anything like that with that many people watching a race on a short track at night. I was shocked to see all the people there and the support. Every time Jeff Gordon was passing Dale Earnhardt Jr., the cheers of the fans were louder than the noise of the cars. That really impressed me." The native of Italy believes it would be an honor to represent his country in what is generally an American-based series with American drivers. "I'm not thinking of jumping into NASCAR immediately, but it would help to learn stock cars," Papis said. "I'm here looking around to keep all the options open to me. There is a lot of interest here. Travis Carter has an interest in me doing NASCAR and there are some teams in the IRL that would like me to drive. "I have a great relationship with Eddie Cheever. I drove for him in the Indianapolis 500, but there are other teams that have talked to me about driving their race cars." Papis declined comment on whether Honda or Toyota is trying to put a deal together to have him race in the IRL. Both engine manufacturers will leave CART at the end of this season to join the IRL. Papis wants to compete in the Indianapolis 500 again after making his debut for Red Bull Cheever Indy Racing three months ago. "To me, it was a dream and a big achievement driving at Indianapolis this year," Papis said. "It was maybe one of the biggest achievements in my career. I'm a racer, I want to win. I want to kick (butt), and that is what matters to me. "I'm a racer and I can drive with the same passion on ovals that I have driven on street courses in CART. For me, it would be a great pleasure to work with an IRL team for several years or a NASCAR team."  9/7/02 -  Max Papis was making the rounds today at Chicagoland Speedway talking to Eddie Cheever and Morris Nunn. Max is looking to land a fulltime ride in 2003 and there's a lot of seats open in CART, IRL, Grand-Am and of course his interest in NASCAR. Besides Carl Haas, we spotted Newman Haas's Peter Gibbons and a number of other CART or ex-CART players.

9/8/02

More on Tony Stewart incident  According to this Winston Salem Journal article - According to men familiar with the situation, the incident began when Stewart was walking back to his hauler. With less than three feet of space between the rigs in the garage area, Stewart reached the side door to his rig and pushed aside a woman to open the door and climb into his dressing room. The woman, so far unnamed, then went to the back of the truck and awaited Stewart. When he appeared, after changing, she told him, 'You owe me an apology.' Stewart, somewhat taken aback, said, 'OK, I'm sorry.' Then Stewart, as he walked away, grumbled to his crew about race fans in the garage, remarks that apparently sparked the official complaint. Regardless of what might have actually occurred, fellow drivers are now increasingly worried that they could become easy targets for fans, particularly in the dark areas in many of the tour's garages, such as this one. There is the simple issue of safety - the garages are very dangerous places, with large puddles of water, sometimes with extension cords in the middle of the water, with 1,000-pound rolling carts of equipment. It's not very stable, with bustling crewmen, and with these 3,400-pound race cars, which typically have to take a circuitous path on and off the track through crowds of gawking fans. Throw in some gasoline and.....A question of safety. It's a recipe for disaster. For fans, for drivers, for teams and for NASCAR. Insiders say that the Stewart case has galvanized drivers in the past few days to demand action from NASCAR. They are not only highly bothered by the aggravations but they are now increasingly worried about being the next driver "targeted" for legal action or worse. Dale Jarrett stood up in last night's pre-race drivers' meeting to tell Stewart that his fellow drivers were supporting him. Jimmy Makar, general manager for the Stewart-Labonte teams, said the solution to the problem is simple: "Drivers, garage, race. Fans, grandstands, watch. "I think everybody in this garage, especially the drivers, are starting to get a little phobia about what's going on. I mean, we're running around here wide open, especially when practice is going on, and the race. And it's very easy to bump into somebody. And if that's all it takes - bumping into someone in the dark, in a crowded alley between two trucks - well, we bump into people all day long. But when you bump into people from outside the business, you have no idea what their agenda is, what their feelings are, it bothers people. It bothers me. "And it's not like everybody in here is a fan of every driver. "That's the scary part." No easy solutions.

9/8/02

NASCAR and Richmond close garage area to fans  NASCAR and Richmond International Raceway just may have taken the first steps to limit fan presence in the garage and pit area to avoid incidences between drivers and fans when drivers are trying to move around the garage area. Following the accident that took out Jeff Burton, Jimmy Spencer and points leader Sterling Marlin, the garage was cleared of all non-essential personnel. While this created an optimum environment in the garage for the teams to work on their cars, a number of fans who had been given or paid for garage passes, who were now unable to use them and were extremely unhappy. While some tracks have a Hot Pit and/or Hot Pit pass, Richmond distributes a single pit/garage pass that is good for both. Another item on driver safety was noted during driver introductions, when a number of big name drivers had police escorts to create a buffer between the drivers and their fans.

9/7/02

IRL injury updates  Kelley Racing team members Jason Priestley and Bernie Hallisky continue to make dramatic improvement as they recover from injuries received in separate accidents on August 11 at Kentucky Speedway. Both are now in intensive physical therapy and rehabilitative programs. Doctors fully expect Priestley and Hallisky to make complete recoveries. Priestley has undergone surgery to repair broken feet, a broken vertebra and nasal and facial bones following his accident during the final pre-race practice for the Infiniti Pro Series at Kentucky. On Friday, Priestley’s doctors removed stabilizing hardware from his feet to allow increased bone density as his feet continue the healing process. New casts were applied following the simple outpatient procedure to remove the hardware. It is anticipated these casts will be removed in approximately three weeks and replaced with removal casts that will allow him to begin weight-bearing therapy. Hallisky is involved in a daily therapy program to rebuild muscles atrophied from inactivity due to the extensive surgery he underwent to repair his broken leg, hip and pelvis. He will work into weight bearing rehabilitation program. Hallisky received his injuries during an accident on pit road during the IRL event at Kentucky Speedway.

9/7/02

Villeneuve CART/F1 interview  If you are interested in listening to what Jacques Villeneuve, David Richards, and Craig Pollock had to say on Sunday morning a Spa last weekend, go to TSN.ca   and look for a video clip link of the live Spa F1 pre-race show in the bottom right-hand corner titled "Jacques Villeneuve rumors just won't go away".  It also talks about Bernie Ecclestone trying to move Villeneuve to the Toyota team.  It runs about 5 minutes but is pretty informative.  You will have to register to listen, but it's free.

9/7/02

Petty Enterprises chooses....drum roll.....Petty  Georgia Pacific and Petty Enterprises announced today that Kyle Petty will drive the #45 Georgia Pacific Dodge in 2003. Petty Enterprises will move the GP sponsorship to the #45 for next year and will continue to look for a driver and a sponsor for the #44 for 2003. Jerry Nadeau is currently running the GP sponsored #44 and will remain the driver for the remainder of the Winston Cup season.

9/7/02

Ganassi steals Havoline from Yates  Speculation on who the driver would be was settled when Chip Ganassi Racing announced today that a multi-year sponsorship agreement has been signed between Chip Ganassi and ChevronTexaco for its Havoline brand. Jamie McMurray (pictured right) will drive the Havoline Dodge for the Ganassi team in the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. Terms of the contract were not announced, but McMurray will compete in a full Winston Cup season and will compete for 2003 Rookie of the Year honors. McMurray is currently in his second full season in the Busch Grand National Division, and is in ninth place in the points standings with two top 5’s and nine top 10 finishes in 25 races this season.

9/7/02

Renault to skip new engine plans  According to a report in 'Gazzetta dello Sport' - An Italian Sports Newspaper - The Renault F1 Team Development Department has abandoned plans for the new and revolutionary 111° V-angle engine. They also reported that the ideas and principles of the new engine would be great and fantastic but in fact the engine produces less power and is less reliable (duh, that makes a lot of sense). With the new FIA rules starting in 2003 that Formula One teams will be allowed to use only one engine per car per race weekend, they don't want to venture into the unknown the report says.

9/7/02

Two nights in row, now Derrike Cope hurt  That's two injured NASCAR drivers in two nights at Richmond.  Thursday night Bobby Hamilton broke his right shoulder blade and left wrist in the truck race.  Last night in the BGN race at Richmond, Derrike Cope was injured in a severe crash. On Lap 68 of 250, Cope's #49 Chevy entered Turn 1 and went directly into the outside retaining wall at full speed. After impact, his car skidded around the wall and rested at the exit of Turn 2. Cope was pulled from the car and treated on the track before he was placed in an ambulance and taken to the infield care center. After an initial examination by Dr. Stephen Kramer, Cope was diagnosed with  a broken right scapula (shoulder blade) and a broken left fibula (leg).......as the oval track injuries continue to mount.

9/7/02

Herbert to announce England race  Former Formula One driver Johnny Herbert will be joining Charlie Cox and the BBC team to present coverage of Europe's fastest motor race. Following the race, which takes place at the Northamptonshire track on Saturday 14th, the BBC will broadcast highlights of the CART race at Rockingham on Sunday September 15th from 4.45pm. Herbert has a wealth of single-seater experience and is no stranger to the Rockingham circuit, having lapped the track in a Champ Car at 199.85mph last year. He will be on hand to give his expert views on the championship which has been won in the past motor sport greats Nigel Mansell, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jaques Villeneuve. Herbert said, "I am really looking forward to working with the BBC Sport team on the Rockingham 500 and conveying the excitement of what is always an entertaining race." Charlie Cox said, "I am a huge fan of CART and for the BBC viewers, this race is particularly thrilling. Not only is it the only Championship race in Europe this year, but it is also on an oval track which makes the racing even more intense!"

9/7/02

Team St. George website  We have added the revised Team St. George website to our links page. 

9/7/02

Franchitti claims F1 test was sabotaged  In this F1 Newswire article, Dario Franchitti hit out at the Jaguar Formula One outfit, saying he believed his test with the team was deliberately sabotaged in order that he would not make it to the pinnacle of world motorsport. The 28-year-old Scot, currently driving in the CART series, was given a test by Jaguar in 2001 at the Silverstone circuit, but Franchitti has said he was deliberately given an older specification car, unfavorable tires and a higher fuel load to mask his true pace behind the wheel of the R2. Franchitti now feels his future chances in F1 have been ruined, with previous 'openings' now firmly closed as a direct result of his test with Jaguar. "The entire test was a complete farce," he revealed. "I thought I was going to be handed the latest model but, instead, I was given a car that was two or three specs back. I didn't even get new tires or the fuel loads I wanted. It was a joke, I might as well not have bothered. "There were obviously some people who just didn't want me in F1™ and they made life as difficult as possible. I regret agreeing to the test. Beforehand I had a couple of possibilities in F1 but the results from the Silverstone session put paid to them."

9/7/02
Grand-Am

Papis to drive  Renowned racer Max Papis has joined the driver lineup for next weekend's Rolex Sports Car Series 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Quebec, Canada. Papis will partner with Lawrence Stroll and Nick Longhi in the Falcon Racing Ferrari 360 GT, which will compete in the Rolex Series GT class. The 6 Heures du Circuit Mon-Tremblant will mark Papis' second Rolex Series race of the season. The 32-year-old Italian fulfilled his career ambition of winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona at the start of the 2002 season, teaming with Didier Theys, Mauro Baldi and Fredy Lienhard in the Doran Lista Racing #27 Judd-powered Dallara. Papis' racing talent extends far beyond sports car racing. He finished sixth in the 2001 CART championship standings after winning from the pole in Portland. He also set a CART record at Laguna Seca in 2001 for driving from the deepest starting position (25th) to victory on a road or street course. The Falcon Racing Ferrari 360 GT is one of the factory-produced race cars, identical to the Ferrari of Washington entry that currently holds a four-race winning streak in the GT class. Papis will team in the Ferrari with Longhi and Stroll. Longhi is a regular in the Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series, where he currently leads the Grand Sport II driver point standings. Stroll is well known as a competitor in Ferrari Challenge and Ferrari Historic races.

9/7/02

And the plot thickens.....  Arrows' transporters arrived at the Monza circuit yesterday, complete with test team and (reportedly) three Cosworth-powered A23 contenders. With the session winding up at lunch-time, however, no orange-clad machine had hit the circuit. The plot thickens...

9/7/02

Latest F1 Hot News  

High Hopes For Monza Race
Williams Planning Revolution
Next Up: The Italian Grand Prix
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