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DATE

News (chronologically)

10/6/02

Said wins 3rd straight   Boris Said and Stu Hayner are friends, so when Hayner’s car suffered a mechanical failure while in the lead on the first turn of the final lap in Sunday’s Grand Prix Americas Trans-Am 100, Said felt badly. “For about two seconds,” Said commented after inheriting that advantage. “Stu’s a good guy and he deserved to win today. But I’ve lost races that way. “You’ve gotta have luck in racing, and we had it today.” Hayner’s heartbreak was Said’s stroke of good fortune, as Said collected his third consecutive Trans-Am Series victory in Sunday’s 10th of 12 rounds in the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup championship. In so doing, Said (#33 Applied Computer Solutions Panoz Esperante) moved into a strong position to clinch his first career Trans-Am driving championship when the series travels to Road Atlanta for its penultimate round next Friday. With two races and a maximum of 68 championship points available, Said holds a 58-point (296-238) lead over three-time and defending Trans-Am Series champion Paul Gentilozzi (#3 Johnson Controls/Microchip/Matrix One/Futaba Jaguar XKR) in the chase for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup. Gentilozzi finished 12th Saturday, a season-worst result, adding 18 points to his 40-point deficit to Said entering the weekend. Said clinches the BFGoodrich Tires Cup by exiting Road Atlanta with a 34-point lead over Gentilozzi or Butch Leitzinger (#88 Tommy Bahama/Tom Gloy Chevrolet Corvette), the only drivers still mathematically alive in the championship chase. Leitzinger stands third with 232 points. “This was a big day for the championship,” Said observed. “There’s no way we can lose it now. “We’re going to Road Atlanta, my favorite track in the world, and I’d have to be the biggest idiot in the world to throw the championship away now.” Said finished 2.983 seconds ahead of 2001 AmeriSuites Rookie of the Year Award winner Justin Bell in the 73-lap event. Bell (Justin Bell Motorsports GT Driving Experience Chevrolet Camaro) returned from a three-race absence to record his second podium result of the season.

10/6/02

Nakano suffers burns to hands  When Shinji Nakano's Honda caught fire during today's GP of the Americas in Miami, Nakano suffered first and second degree burns to both hands.  He was treated at the CART Medical Center and released.  No trip to the hospital was required.

10/6/02

Verstappen has many options for 2003  “Nothing has changed compared to a couple of weeks ago. I know the fans would like to hear something else but we are still talking to various teams. These talks will continue as long as there is no decision. That is all that can be said. Of course we are in contact with Minardi, but also with other teams,” he said on his official website. “Besides Minardi there is one team that is a very interesting option, if that team would believe what they have read in the media that I am going to Minardi these serious contacts we have at the moment wouldn't be there anymore. Don't ask me which team, I am not going to tell you." “It is the most important issue. If they don't get a good engine there is no point for me to go there. I am sure they are getting a good engine though," he added. "Like I said before we are talking to various teams of which 2 are really interesting. Minardi is one of them and the chance of me driving there is reasonably big, but this is Formula 1 and you never know what is going to happen. When Minardi's engine deal is sealed, that is positive for next year. Nothing will hold me back to go there. I don't know how long that will take, but I do hope a decision can be made very soon."

10/6/02

F1 circus needs fixing  According to this London Telegraph article, Formula One's flawed circus pitches its extravagances at Suzuka, Japan, this weekend. Does anybody care? That bungled end to the Indianapolis Grand Prix last Sunday, when Michael Schumacher allowed his Ferrari team-mate, Rubens Barrichello, through then mistimed a blanket Ferrari finish, was just another punctuation in a season where farce and boredom rival each other for headlines. Nobody can touch them. Their drivers are the best. Ross Brawn is leagues ahead of the others in strategic nous. Mechanically and aerodynamically the Ferrari is 10 years in front as the likes of McLaren and Williams pour millions into an old familiar game called catch-up. F1 needs more wheel-to-wheel racing. It needs to draw out the best in individual drivers by reducing the role of aids which have drawn so much scorn from such magnificent men as Niki Lauda, former world champion, who will tell you that the Monaco race involved something like 3,000 gear changes. Not now, as sophisticated, automatic systems have taken over. Even Ecclestone has changed his views...."We need to get our act together. We haven't got a very good act at the moment. It's nobody's fault. You can't blame Ferrari for winning. They've all got the same regulations. The trouble is that the technicians have got in front of the drivers. "I mean truly it's not sort of decrying what Michael and the other drivers do but certainly their lives are a lot easier than they should be. I watched the on-board camera with Michael and he was sitting there like he was going to the shops." Ecclestone would like to see a single tire supplier in future, a ban on electronic driver aids, a reduction in downforce levels and changes in qualifying to enhance the television show for which his digital company draws an audience of 8,000-10,000 anoraks when the potential is for millions. So what are his chances of pushing such radical changes through? One tyre manufacturer would bring some equality but both current suppliers, Michelin and Bridgestone, have commercial contracts in place. Driver aids, such as traction control and launch control? Banning such elements would put the onus on the driver but Williams' technical director Patrick Head is not sure it would work. Before they were introduced in 2000 racing went on in an atmosphere of suspicion; that some teams were cleverly disguising electronic assistance in the cock-pit. Head argues that traction control and other aids were brought in because the FIA, the governing body, were unable to police what was happening. He said: "There was all this suspicion, quite probably wrongly, that Ferrari were making as close to some sort of traction control as they could. If you say no electronics, who is going to stop you going back to that period of suspicion?" A revolution is needed if F1 is to bring back those spectators and viewers who are turning away and Ecclestone is the man to do it. As team owner Eddie Jordan says: "It is absolutely perfect at this moment in time for Bernie to take a hand. It almost needs a dictatorial hand and I think people will take it from him and not from anybody else. "His talk is serious. He would only want the best for everybody. He is not a team and what he needs is a show. Without the show we don't have income, we don't have sponsors, we don't have anything." F1 is in trouble. Someone should start caring again. Psst - sounds like F1 will soon becoming more like CART.

10/6/02

Marriage made in heaven   We spotted Don Panoz, ALMS President Scott Atherton, and CART President Chris Pook meeting this morning in the CART Business Unit.  As it turns out they were talking about how well this weekend has gone and how they might work together again in the future.  As we understand it, CART is hoping that ALMS invites them to be part of their Washington DC weekend.

10/6/02

NASCAR considers closing garage  NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said Saturday no decisions have been made about when or how garage and pit road area access may be restricted to race fans next season, despite published reports to the contrary. "We're looking at all the information that we've gathered and we're continuing to discuss it," Hunter said. "There is no new policy in place at this time." NASCAR officials have considered several ideas, among them requiring those on pit road during the race to wear protective fire suits; and the restricting the times during which fans with garage passes may enter to periods when there is not activity on the race track.

10/6/02

Seen in Miami VI   Former CART and Formula One Champion, Emerson Fittipaldi congratulated fallow Brazilian Tony Kanaan for winning the pole position for the inaugural GP of the Americas in Miami, Florida.  Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images

10/6/02

Seen in Miami V   Former CART and Formula One Champion, Jacques Villeneuve (left) and Thomas Scheckter (right) chat before the qualifying session. In the center is F1 driver Eddie Irvine's manager.  Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images

10/5/02

Ford deal getting close   We reported previously that we heard the CART/Ford deal is pretty much a done deal.  In the SPEEDTV article, Ford's Dan Davis says, “We’ve talked about it (the deal),” he says. “It’s not done, but that doesn’t mean it's out of the realm of possibility. I can’t sit here and say something is done, but let me add that our decision-making is not based on the mood of the moment, whether CART is up or down. “Car manufacturers everywhere are under tremendous pressure these days, and we have to scrutinize very tightly what we spend our money on. CART has been very good to work with (under CEO and president Chris Pook), but really in today’s environment when it’s so hard to make a profit we have to look very hard at where we spend our money.” That said about the current CART management, Davis noted the previous regime(s) had made doing business with CART a challenge. “One of the differences we’ve had with CART is that we (Ford) have a five-year budget and strategy plan and when you have an activity (CART) bouncing all over the place, it’s hard for a big company to keep up with all the changes,” he said. We had a five-year racing strategy all approved and then Boom! It’s hard to turn the ship around fast. “I’m not complaining. But when changes like this occur it requires a re-education process in the company, and it takes time. We’ve got a whole corporation behind us. It’s not that I have to check with my bosses before we do something, but it’s not as if this is just Dan Davis and a couple of marketing guys over in a corner making a decision. In Ford’s case, it’s about educating everybody why we’re doing this so that we can be sure we’re all on the same page, when less than 12 months ago we were on a different page.” Davis was clear in his appreciation of the niche CART appears to be carving out for itself in the open-wheel racing universe, and the role Cosworth will play in that process. “From a technical standpoint, we need to spend our energy on making sure the engines are equal, reliable and that they’re well-adapted to all of the tracks CART races on,” he said. “I think the beauty of a spec series is that if you get to a track where you find you need more power coming off a certain corner, you can do it overnight. “The CART series is about entertainment and about getting fans to the race track; less about technology and more about atmosphere, the “buzz” and fun. There’s nothing wrong with that. Formula 1 is more of a pure technology series, and I like the fact that CART is less about technology and more driver-dependent. As to if and when Ford’s role in that process will be defined, Davis said stay tuned. “We’ve said all along we’d like to get this all settled by the end of this month. That’s still what we’re aiming for.”

10/5/02

Seen in Miami - IV   UPDATE We have added a photo of Juan Montoya chatting with Wilson Fittipaldi and Christian Fittipaldi.  10/5/02 - Also spotted today, Craig Pollock in the CART Business Unit.  We spotted he and Jacques Villeneuve having dinner together last night at Tantra's in Miami Beach.

10/5/02

Team Green turning into Team Nasty Green  According to this Toronto Star article, Paul Tracy wandered into the Team Player's hospitality tent yesterday morning sporting a Team KOOL Green T-shirt. He strolled over to the buffet table of breakfast pastries, resisted the temptation, turned and headed for the doorway. "What, they won't feed you over at Team KOOL Green anymore?" cracked another visitor to the suite. "I'm not welcome over there any more," replied a grinning Tracy. On the surface, that exchange was just a bit of early morning banter before the first day of action for this weekend's Grand Prix of the Americas. But there was some truth in Tracy's words. There appears to be animosity between the 33-year-old Scarborough native and Team KOOL Green following his decision to join Player's/Forsythe Racing next season after five years with Team Green. Tracy says that acrimony has stalled the formal announcement of his move. "Team Green has told me I'm not allowed to make any announcements about CART or what I'm doing next year or future sponsors or I'll be in breach of my contract," he said yesterday. "If I say anything I'll open myself up to some problems. "So it's a difficult situation for me because I want to let my fans know what I'm doing and my future employer wants to let its fans and sponsors know what they're doing, but our hands are tied right now. "And it's getting a little bit on the nasty side." Team Green boss Barry Green denied Tracy's claims. "I have no idea what he's talking about," said the Australian-born owner, who has sold his team to a grouped headed by driver Michael Andretti and including Green's brother Kim. "What do you think of the race track here?" he added, changing the subject. Guided back to the topic of Tracy, Green suggested the driver might have been talking about the terms of his current deal. "I am sure Paul is talking about his contract," Green said. "Under his contract, Paul is working for Team KOOL Green until the end of the year. I think that's pretty bloody plain and simple. "He signed the contract. So I'm pleased he's reading it. That's good. That's great. That's what we signed him to do through to the end of the season." Asked how he felt about being perhaps the biggest star next year now that Andretti has jumped to the IRL next season and taken Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan with him, Tracy said he is prohibited to even talk about CART. CART vice-president of communications Adam Saal said he was surprised to hear of Tracy's claims. "It would be inappropriate to talk about Paul's team or his sponsors," Saal said. "But he's one of the biggest proponents we have at CART. It would be very disappointing and a little surprising if he was prevented from making a public commitment to CART."

10/5/02

Trans-Am quals rained out   Saturday’s qualifying session for the Grand Prix Americas Trans-Am 100 was washed out by a sudden rainstorm that arose just before the green flag. The starting grid will thus be set by championship points when Round 10 of the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup begins at 4 p.m. ET Sunday (5:30 p.m. ET, same-day tape delay, SPEED Channel). That puts championship leader Boris Said (#33 Applied Computer Solutions Panoz Esperante) on the pole, sharing the front row with his closest pursuer, three-time and defending Trans-Am Series champion Paul Gentilozzi (#3 Johnson Controls/Microchip/Matrix One/Futaba Jaguar XKR). Said holds a 264-224 lead over Gentilozzi in the championship standings heading into Sunday’s green flag. “The car’s pretty good,” Said commented. “We followed Paul around all day yesterday [Gentilozzi was quickest in both Friday practice sessions], so we had to try something different. We made a radical change from yesterday to today, but we didn’t get to try it. I guess that’ll have to wait until tomorrow. “I’m looking forward to a fierce battle,” added Said, who has started third or better for all 10 Trans-Am events this season. “Paul and Butch [Leitzinger, starting third] are both great competitors. We’ve had some give-and-take, just like we have all season, and I don’t expect tomorrow to be any different.”

10/5/02

Gridlock in Miami  There were so many people in the infield of the Miami track today it was gridlock.  It was pretty hot in the sun, and most people stayed out of the sun until the ALMS race started.  We spoke to ALMS President Scott Atherton who seemed pretty pleased with the first ever CART/ALMS weekend.  We quizzed him about future possible joint races and he said CART and ALMS are looking at the financial implications (i.e. two sanctioning fees for a promoter to pay).

10/5/02

Conseco close to bankruptcy  Conseco Inc., suffered another down grade of it credit rating yesterday, and it is highly speculated that they will file bankruptcy. We would speculate that this will or is causing a ripple effect in AJ Foyt's NASCAR team..

10/5/02

EuroSpeedway update   We chatted with Hans Jorg Fisher, President of Eurospeedway.  He told us an Administrator will run the company until mid-2003, at which time he believes other investors will buy the company.

10/5/02

Norwalk Furniture and Team Rahal announce partnership   Team Rahal, a franchise member of Championship Auto Racing Teams ("CART"), and Norwalk Furniture Corporation, announced today a partnership for Norwalk Furniture to be a major associate sponsor for the Team Rahal racing programs in 2003. Norwalk Furniture will participate in the Team Rahal Formula Atlantic program, the Team Rahal Indianapolis 500 program and the team's Champ Car efforts. The cornerstone of the partnership will see the logo of Norwalk Furniture placed on the Formula Atlantic car of Team Rahal's newest driver, Danica Patrick. Patrick, the 20-year-old native of Roscoe, Illinois, ran five Barber Dodge Pro Series events in 2002. She is slated to run Team Rahal's inaugural entry in the Toyota Atlantic Series in 2003. "The opportunity to partner with a world-class racing team, like Team Rahal, and a talented young driver like Danica is a one of a kind opportunity for Norwalk Furniture," said Jim Gerken, Chairman and CEO of Norwalk Furniture Corporation. "Norwalk customers are people who express their distinctive lifestyles through finer home furnishings. Danica certainly is a unique individual in the world of motorsports and we are looking forward to having her represent Norwalk Furniture both on and off the track." "We are pleased to join in this partnership with Norwalk Furniture for the upcoming season," said three-time CART champion and Team Rahal co-owner Bobby Rahal. "In my conversations with Bill Gerken and Jim Gerken, I have found them to be dedicated and driven individuals that have formulated aggressive plans for the continued growth of their company. These are the kind of like-minded partners that we seek here at Team Rahal." "The chance to drive for Team Rahal has allowed me to advance my career as a driver," said Patrick. "Certainly being able to work with a great champion like Bobby and to be part of a championship caliber team is a dream come true for me. Now I have a chance to work with another world-class company in Norwalk Furniture. Being able to represent both Team Rahal and Norwalk Furniture Corporation on track and as a corporate spokesman is a wonderful opportunity for me both professionally and personally." Norwalk Furniture Corporation was founded in 1902. It is a family owned business involved in the manufacturing and retailing of upholstered furniture. Norwalk Furniture Corporation manufactures furniture under the Norwalk, Hickory Hill, J. Raymond and Joe Ruggiero brands, as well as providing private label furniture to its customers. Norwalk owns or franchises 86 customer upholstered furniture specialty stores under the Norwalk - The Furniture Idea trade name throughout the United States and Canada.

10/5/02

Rain washout in Talladega  UPDATE  Weather Dominates Bud Pole Qualifying at Talladega The Winston Cup series hits the high banks of Talladega this weekend for the EA Sports 500. The two biggest stories for qualifying and practice were the remnants of Hurricane Lili and Sterling Marlin’s injury. Before practice got under way, the Ganassi racing team held a press conference. Sterling Marlin and Felix Sabates were both on hand for comments. Sabates mentioned that the injury was a fracture in the second Cervical Vertebra, and that the injury did not show up until later in the week. He also went on to mention that Marlin’s injury was to the same vertebra that was broken and paralyzed actor Christopher Reeve. Chances are, the head restraint system that Marlin wore during his crash saved his career and possibly his life. Marlin, who is currently wearing a neck brace to keep the movement to a minimum commented that he could test at tracks such as Kentucky when the doctors clear him later this season. As Cup practice got underway, about 5 cars made a practice run; among them were Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon. A quick shower brought out the red flag for about 20 minutes and practice resumed. The first little shower was just a preview of what was to come. Prior to Bud Pole qualifying, a microburst hit the speedway and drenched the area, turning the 33° banking into waterfalls. A valiant attempt was made to dry the track, but qualifying was called off and the cars will line up by owner’s points for Sunday’s race. The main stories for Sunday will be the championship battle and the new 13 gallon fuel cells for this weekend’s event. Adam Sewell  10/4/02 - Rain washed out Pole Qualifying for Sunday's EA SPORTS 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. As a result, Jimmie Johnson will start from the pole.

10/5/02

Trans-Am court rules on Tom Gloy appeal   A Trans-Am Series Appeals Court has upheld the series’ right to penalize Tom Gloy Racing while reducing the severity of sanctions issued against the team for a rules infraction which occurred during the September 1 Trans-Am Series event at Denver. Last month, the series penalized Tom Gloy Racing, a season-long entrant in the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, points and purse equivalent to driver Butch Leitzinger’s runner-up finish at the Denver Grand Prix for use of an ignition amplifier box that did not conform to Trans-Am Series rules. In appealing the penalty, Tom Gloy Racing contended that it had received verbal approval from a member of the Trans-Am technical staff for use of the component in question, and that it was sealed for identification by a Trans-Am Series technical official prior to its use in Denver. After hearing the appeal, the three-member court, chaired by veteran CART, Formula One and SCCA official John Bornholdt, reduced the amount of the fine from $20,000 to $5,000 and restored 23 of the 28 championship points that had been taken from the team, returning Leitzinger to third place in the BFGoodrich Tires Cup drivers’ championship. The court also restored to Chevrolet the 13 Manufacturers’ Championship points Leitzinger earned as a result of his runner-up finish, but upheld the forfeiture of all points toward the High Tech Performance Trailers Trans-Am Series Owners’ Championship that the team would have been awarded at the Denver event. In issuing its ruling, the Appeals Court found that the ignition amplifier box used on Leitzinger’s car in Denver was an aftermarket modification of an approved component, and that the car was “not in conformance with the 2002 Trans-Am Series General Competition Rules and Technical Specifications … regarding internal modifications to the ignition amplifier box. “The Trans-Am Series Technical Consultant’s review of the ignition amplifier box and test data showed : a) no performance advantage and; b) no evidence of traction control capability, ” the court continued. Beyond that, however, the court cited an inconsistency in Trans-Am Series technical procedures that contributed significantly to the incident, and thus reduced the penalty to the Gloy team. “We’d like to thank the appeals court for its effort and diligence in dealing with this matter,” said John Clagett, Executive Director of the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup. “This incident was regrettable for everyone involved, but at the same time, we feel it important to note that our appeals process worked, having provided Tom Gloy Racing a forum in which the team received redress.

10/5/02

Miami track repairs   Parts of the track at Turns 4, 5, and 6 were resurfaced last night. The patching was set by 12:30 AM, but it rained during the night. Some drainage backup may have weakened the patching, so it will be interesting to see how well it holds up during the day.

10/5/02

CART.com adds Spanish content   As part of the ongoing outreach program to CART's ever-growing base of Hispanic racing fans, Championship Auto Racing Teams introduced its new Spanish-language portion of its official web site www.cart.com The Spanish-language content of the site can be accessed by clicking on the 'Español' button on the left-side navigational bar of the home page, and takes readers to a page where the weekend's racing news has been translated by CART's communication staff. The service debuted October 1 and covers news of this weekend's Grand Prix Americas in Miami, and will be expanded later in the year to include driver rosters and other features for Spanish-speaking CART fans.

10/5/02

IRL has CART in its rearview mirror.....for now   This Miami Herald article says, Michael Andretti insisted, ``I don't want to burn any bridges. I have nothing against CART in any way. I've been a huge supporter. If Pook saves it, and CART is back to health in three years, and has manufacturers behind it and the new engine formula he's talking about . . . Hey, you don't know what the future holds.'' But nobody at the moment can dispute, especially in a difficult economic climate, that the IRL has attained an upper hand in an open-wheel racing rivalry prompted by Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony George when he began the IRL in 1996. While acknowledging Honda's impact in his shift in allegiance, Andretti insisted that the associate sponsors he has retained ''feel the momentum at the moment is with the IRL.'' Not coincidentally, the IRL banks on the Indianapolis 500. All of open-wheel racing has been damaged by the rancorous rivalry of the past six years, but Indy is Indy. That remains far and away the open-wheel set's major marketing tool for corporate sponsors. CART owners turned to Long Beach Grand Prix founder and promoter Pook a year ago to restore CART's luster and plug the leaks. He definitely is the man for the job. But they might have put their fate in his hands too late. Andretti voiced a major concern of companies that use cars as 200-mph billboards. ``All the sponsors are worried about whether there's going to be a [full] field next year. They're afraid to commit a lot of money [to CART] because there are so many uncertainties.'' Pook insists replacement teams will surface between now and the start of the 2003 season at Tampa-St. Petersburg. He fully expects that current owners Newman-Haas, Gerald Forsythe, Pat Patrick and Bobby Rahal will provide a solid starting point with multicar entries, though none have announced commitments. Pook also reports that several European Formula 3000 teams have taken a serious interest. That fuels rumors that what would have seemed an unlikely ally in years past could surface. That's Formula One major domo Bernie Ecclestone. Pook says CART will begin the 2003 season with between 18 and 21 cars. The bulk of this season has been contested with only 18. Pook, though the ultimate salesman, admits the next couple years will be bumpy. He is engaged in full-bore damage control, naturally. But he says CART is not going anywhere and that it will adapt to an ever-changing world. There's also this: Part of George's stated motivation for forming the IRL was to create a formula that would make racing more affordable. CART loyalists might contend that while Honda and Toyota are major losses for CART and major additions to the IRL, they bring some baggage. The price of poker just went sky-high in the IRL, no matter how strict the parameters on what factories and teams can do. By 2004, with CART using only Cosworth power plants likely to be badged by Ford Motor Company, there's a case to be made that operating a CART team will be the less expensive way to go. Only time will tell. But the burden of proof has shifted from George to Pook and his CART partners for the foreseeable future.

10/5/02

Seen in Miami - III   Also spotted today, Roberto Moreno and Emerson Fittipaldi.

10/5/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Montoya Urges Teammate To Talk
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10/4/02

Molstar's Singleton on Radio   As reported by one of our Forum members: For those who don't know, Molstar are the people who put on the three Canadian CART events. They are, as I understand it, the entertainment wing of the Molson Brewery Company.  Anyhow, Bob Singleton, their VP, was on THE FAN 590 radio in Toronto tonight. He had some interesting things to say, and I'll put them point by point: 1) Singleton spoke to Pook recently, and Pook told him that as of that conversation CART HAS 15 CARS FOR NEXT YEAR, and they are fully expecting to be at a bare minimum of 18. That's not "fully expect to have" that is "they have" 15 cars so far. Singleton says if there are less than 18, CART will probably buy 3 more themselves (this part sounded like his own speculation though).  2) He thinks business-wise the IRL and CART are running about even right now (debatable, but nice to hear his support). I didn't fully hear the next part but when put with a scenario where CART no longer existed Singleton said "if Mr. George wanted to come up here on the July 11, 12, 13 weekend I'm sure we could accommodate him, provided his cars could navigate our street circuit."  3) He's clearly behind CART, and that can mostly be attributed to the fact that there are 3 Canuckleheads in the series. He said if "my guys" are sealed and delivered every year, that's what's most important. 4) He did mention looking at other opportunities to make sure the product provided is still up to snuff. Vic Rauter (TSN's F1 host) was also on the show and mentioned after Bob hung up that the pit suite arrangement had to be changed because there were only 18 cars. My translation of what Singleton said was that if things don't change in the next couple of years we'll be looking at other opportunities, provided there's Canadian drivers involved. 5) Interesting note that addresses the Player's situation. Singleton said that Tracy and Carpentier are signed, sealed and delivered as is Alex, but Alex might be in a different car. I took this to mean that "Team Player's" might be Patrick and Paul and Alex might be "Team Indeck Forsythe" or something along those lines.

10/4/02

Johnny Herbert still hopeful   Chatted with Johnny Herbert this evening while his group and ours were both waiting for taxicabs in Miami.  He's still hopeful the Paul Cherry CART team will come together for 2003.

10/4/02

Seen in Miami - II   Many celebrities from the world of cinema, music and sports are taking the time to get acquainted with the CART series, including Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington. Rock guitar wizard Lenny Kravitz is also on hand this weekend to see the events, returning to the CART series after attending a number of races in the last two years. Latin television star Sofia Vergara will serve as the event's Grand Marshal and the race organizers confirmed Friday that New York Mets All-Star catcher Mike Piazza will also be at Sunday's event. "Motorsports appeals to many celebrities and a major race like ours in the streets of downtown Miami represents a can't-miss event for scores of well-known personalities," said Grand Prix Americas President Chuck Martinez. "It's going to be a party like the area hasn't seen since the last time CART raced in Miami in 1995." Adding to the festivities will be the appearance of popular former CART champion Juan Pablo Montoya, who will be the honorary starter for Sunday's Champ Car race. Montoya will be on the flag stand with CART starter Jim Swintal to have the honor of waving the green flag to start the Grand Prix Americas, joining Alex Zanardi as former titlists to serve as starters this year. Former CART title winner Gil de Ferran attended Friday's practice and was spotted in the paddock along with a number of other past and present racers including Raul Boesel, Tomas Scheckter and Justin Wilson.

10/4/02

Seen in Miami  UPDATE Spotted since are previous report were Damien Faulkner, Galter Salles, Helio Castroneves, Darren Manning, Justin Wilson, Raul Boesel, Frank Montagny (F3000).  Rumor has it that Jacques Villeneuve will make an appearance as well.  10/4/02 - Juan Montoya, Gil de Ferran, Mario Haberfeld and Ricardo Zonta.  Stay tuned for more.

10/4/02

Dan Gurney responds UPDATE In this article, Dan Gurney sounds pretty serious about his F1 team.  10/2/02 -  Dear AutoRacing1.com, I got a wake-up call this morning directing my attention to your site and latest article even before I had breakfast. Let me assure you that Phil Hill and I have been friends and comrades in arms for over 40 years and will continue to be friends in the future. My mentioning in a conversation in the Road and Track Suite at Indy that a possible American F1 Team had been in the works for some time, quickly found its way into the Speedway's media room. To say it caught a lot of people by surprise is an understatement! And it is indeed true that I had only had a conversation with Phil less than half an hour before the story broke the way it did. In the rush that followed, Phil might have used some imprecise and easily misconstrued statements, but neither of us has reached Henry Kissinger's diplomatic finesse as yet. Suspecting that the true story had no chance to filter through, I sat down with some journalists to give some insights of what our plans are. The response worldwide , and I mean this in the true sense, to just the possibility of an American F1 Team has been enormous and only demonstrates that the atmosphere for such a venture is overwhelmingly there, even if the present economic climate makes its reality very difficult. Many dominoes have to fall in a hurry if our American F I Team can be established in the short term, but we are working on it. Best wishes, Dan Gurney, Santa Ana, CA.

10/4/02

Villeneuve pans IRL   In this Toronto Star article, Jacques Villeneuve has accused Indy Racing League boss Tony George of wrecking open-wheel auto racing in North America, resulting in several top drivers and sponsors joining the "inferior" league. Villeneuve said it was "about time someone spoke the truth" regarding auto racing on this continent, saying that IRL competition is hurting CART. "It is such a shame to see a great series like CART struggling while the inferior IRL picks up more teams and sponsors. "Canada needs CART as much as CART needs Canada. And let me tell you, Canadian fans know their racing; they are loyal and knowledgeable. Unlike many fans in the United States, they're not saying CART's no good and suddenly the IRL is. Attendance at the three Molson Indys (Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal) shows how much they appreciate the series. "I think it's great that there will be a Team Canada as such in CART next year (Paul Tracy, Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani will be together on the Players-Forsythe team). I hope they win it all." Villeneuve also took issue with the cars used in the IRL. "I haven't driven an IRL car, and some of the drivers tell me there is some skill involved, but to me the cars are purposely built to dumb down the skill factor. The cars aren't even as good as European Formula 3000 and good drivers in IRL are just spinning their wheels. "You cannot claim to be one of the top drivers in the world if you run only on oval tracks," Villeneuve continued. "It takes far more skill to drive on street and road courses."

10/4/02

Improved Miami circuit in works for 2003 2nd UPDATE Talking to Peter Yanowitch, one of the primary founders of this Miami race, he tells us the track may extend as many as 2 blocks further north (to up to 10 blocks north to just south of the MacAuthur Causeway) in 2003 and the City Council has already given its approval.  That will make the main straight a lot longer, with a good overtaking zone at the new turn 1.  10/4/02 - Chris Pook is contemplating the elimination of turns 3 thru 6 (the loop at the south end - see image to right, it's the loop in the bottom right-hand corner) and an extension of the track toward the northern end of Biscayne Blvd. Instead of turning left onto the main straight out of this years last corner, the cars will turn right and go north up to Freedom Tower and then go south all the way down Biscayne Blvd. in the southbound lanes instead of the northbound lanes and the new first turn will be a left-hander where the current first turn bends right.. 10/1/02 -  We have heard some concerns about the Miami track that's perhaps it's a little too tight and narrow and so forth. You are a street racing expert. How does it shape up from what you have seen so far? CHRIS POOK: I think those concerns are valid. Both Don's team and my team have concerns in those areas. We have to work our way through them. We have already got a track layout for 2003 that I believe will work even better for both sides, but this is the deck of cards that the city of Miami have so graciously provided with us this year and we're going to work with that deck of cards. And yes, it is tight in parts and yes, maybe it is a little slow in parts but I know our drivers will adjust. A couple of them will have a little bit of indigestion but they will adjust. And I am sure Don's drivers will adjust.

10/4/02
Industry News

Philip Morris hit with $28 billion award  After deliberating for just under two days, a Los Angeles jury awarded $28 billion in punitive damages to a 64-year old woman dying of cancer in a lawsuit brought against tobacco giant Philip Morris Cos (owner of IRL sponsor Marlboro). Peter Blakely, attorney for Philip Morris, reacted in disbelief upon hearing the jury vote 11-1 for the highest punitive damages ever awarded in a smoker's case brought against the tobacco industry. The jury made the award to Betty Bullock of Newport Beach, who started smoking when she was 17 and was diagnosed last year with lung cancer that has since spread to her liver. Jurors interviewed following the reading of the verdict before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Warren L. Ettinger indicated that there were lively discussions over the range of damages to assess the New York City-based Philip Morris. The same jury last week awarded $850,000 in compensatory damages to Ms. Bullock, who blamed her tobacco addiction on the company's failure to warn her of the risks of smoking. Of this amount, the jury awarded $750,000 in economic damages and $100,000 for pain and suffering in the trial that lasted over eight weeks.  It's not like they'll ever have to pay this amount, but they will likely have to post a bond so that they can appeal. It still doesn't look very good for them. Their shares were off $2.25, or 5.7%, at 3 pm. Still, it is unlikely that their participation in the IRL is going to do much to overcome the negative publicity of this.

10/4/02

CART stock watch   Today's NYSE Trading In MPH
MPH closed at $4.35 Up $0.31 on Volume of 56,600 shares.
$3.66 Bid - $4.67 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.02 / $4.48
MPH Value Change Up 7.67%
DOW Jones Down 188.79 or 2.45% on Volume of 2.1 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 25.66 or 2.2%
S&P 500 Down 18.37 or 2.24%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

10/4/02

Biela puts Audi on Miami pole  Frank Biela negotiated a slick track surface to win the pole for the Cadillac American Le Mans Challenge, part of Grand Prix Americas weekend on the Miami Downtown Street Circuit. Biela, driving the Audi Sport North America Audi R8, won his fifth ALMS pole of the season in nine races. He turned the 1.387-mile temporary circuit in 1:03.873, only slightly ahead of the 1:03.882 turned by Audi driver Rinaldo Capello. Biela will co-drive in Saturday’s two-hour, 45-minute event with Emanuele Pirro, while Capello will share his Audi with ALMS point leader Tom Kristensen. Claudia Huertgen, a late addition to the driving lineup for the KnightHawk Racing Lola EX257-MG, led qualifying for the LMP 675 class for smaller Prototypes with a lap of 1:08.559. Huertgen will co-drive with Chad Block and team co-owner Steve Knight. The three combined to win the most recent ALMS race at Monterey, Calif., two weeks ago. Terry Borcheller led a competitive GTS qualifying session, winning his second pole of the year in the Konrad Motorsports Saleen S7R. His lap of 1:10.065 beat the 1:10.524 that was turned by Ron Fellows in a Chevrolet Corvette C5-R. Borcheller will co-drive with Franz Konrad and Toni Seiler. Lucas Luhr won the pole for the GT class in the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Luhr, who will co-drive with Sascha Maassen, turned a lap of 1:13.662, beating the other Job car that will be co-driven by Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister. The race starts at 4 p.m. (EDT) and will be televised live by the SPEED Channel.

10/4/02

Another successful CART B-2-B meeting  In a move intended to show South Florida business entities where the value lies in starting relationships with the CART FedEx Championship Series, CART and the American Le Mans Series held a business-to-business forum in conjunction with the Grand Prix Americas on Thursday afternoon. Business representatives from throughout South Florida attended Thursday's forum, co-hosted by Bear Stearns at the Miami City Club, and heard presentations from CART's only owner/driver Adrian Fernandez, Audi Sport North America Manager Rod Bymaster, McFarland Group President Michael McFarland and CART CEO and President Chris Pook. The formal presentations gave forum attendees a chance to hear their stories of how they got involved with Championship Auto Racing Teams and the ALMS, and the successes that they have had through their sponsor relationships. "It has really worked for us," said McFarland, who represented heavy equipment manufacturer Gehl. "We have been treated in a first-class manner all the way. The opportunities, with CART with the access to everything and the treatment from CART, are like having a skybox at a football stadium, but instead of having it for a few hours, we have it for two or three days." Pook addressed the changing philosophy of the series, a philosophy that sees CART putting as much effort into the business side of the series as it does with the on-track product. "Our focus is toward creating an environment where the companies that involve themselves with CART teams, tracks or the series itself, can get a strong return on their investment," Pook said. "We see that as our responsibility." Following the formal presentation, a round-table discussion took place with Pook, McFarland and Bymeister, along with ALMS President and COO Scott Atherton where forum attendees were able to poll the panelists about what lies ahead with CART, ALMS and the Grand Prix Americas. The panelists ranged from prospective sponsors to future drivers in the series, each of whom were able to learn about relationships in racing from a number of different perspectives. "Sponsorship, when applied properly, can work for everyone," Atherton said. "What it does is, locks out your competition for the time that people are at the racetrack. You have a captive audience and it cuts through all the confusion that faces customers in the marketplace."

10/4/02
Industry News

Hutchens Device woes - Marlin to switch to HANS  UPDATE After the announcement that Sterling Marlin would miss the remainder of the 2002 racing season with a fractured vertebrae, Marlin met the press for the first time earlier today at Talladega. One of the first questions addressed by Marlin was which head and neck restraint he would use next year, Sterling chose the HANS. "I wore the Hutchens device at Richmond and Kansas City. You look at all the research NASCAR has done and the studies and it looks like the HANS is a little safer deal. My chest was so sore I couldn't wear it. Monday after Dover it felt like I'd wrecked again. I couldn't hardly get my breath. My back was hurting bad before the race last week at Kansas City. It didn't hurt after the wreck. My neck hurt then, but it didn't hurt bad. I didn't think anything about it. It surprised me after they did X-rays and saw it. If I hadn't gone and got the X-ray I would be driving right now with a cracked vertebrae. It doesn't hurt, but I couldn't get the chest well. It tore everything loose when I hit. There wasn't anything wrong with the HANS. It was just my chest was so sore from Richmond I wanted it to get healed up. I decided to use the Hutchens and go with the HANS next year.”  10/3/02 - A number of people have asked if Sterling Marlin was wearing a head and neck restraint system since he suffered a broken vertebrae in last Sundays accident at Kansas. Marlin has worn the Hutchens Device for the entire 2002 Winston Cup season with the exception of the second Dover race. After Marlins September accident in Richmond he decided to test the HANS Device, doing so at Kentucky Speedway. Marlin then switched to the HANS for the Dover race, but decided to go back to the Hutchens product since the HANS was uncomfortable on his chest. This is the second serious head or neck injury this year sustained by a Winston Cup driver who was wearing the Hutchens Device. The first injury, which was covered up at the time, was suffered by Dale Earnhardt Jr. when he wrecked earlier this year. Earnhardt Jr. recently announced he received a concussion while wearing the Hutchens, but covered up the injury, much to the dismay of NASCAR, to avoid losing his ride. But the most critical head and neck injury suffered by a person wearing the Hutchens Device was Jason Priestley. Priestley’s injuries were devastating. A broken nose, neck, skull and concussion caused by the Hutchens Device failing to prevent his head from impacting the steering wheel and a sheered artery reportedly caused by an attachment strap of the Hutchens Device.

10/4/02

Dixon leads opening practice in Miami  Scott Dixon set the quick time to pace the opening practice Friday morning for Sunday's inaugural Grand Prix Americas, Round 16 of the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series. Driving the Target Toyota/Lola, Dixon toured the 1.387-mile Bayfront Park circuit with a top time of 1:01.590, good for an average speed of 81.072 miles per hour. Local resident Christian Fittipaldi was second in the Lilly Toyota/Lola and Paul Tracy was third in the KOOL Honda/Lola. Results

10/4/02

Zonta appears again  We spotted Ricardo Zonta here in the paddock in Miami fueling further rumors that he is close to signing a deal to drive in CART next year.  We have had him on our Silly Season page for awhile.

10/4/02

Official World Banking Giant HSBC/Miami announcement Known around the globe as one of the largest banking institutions in the world, the HSBC Group has become one of the newest sponsors in the CART community, joining the sponsorship lineup of this weekend's Grand Prix Americas. HSBC is the official financial services provider of the Grand Prix Americas, working with the locally-based HSBC Republic, which in the international private banking division of the HSBC Group. HSBC Group is the second-largest bank in the world, with assets of US$746 billion. The company has an international racing presence in its ties with Jaguar in the Formula One series, and will be exposed to CART and American Le Mans Series fans this weekend at the Grand Prix Americas, which takes place near Miami's Bayfront Plaza October 4-6. "HSBC has always enjoyed its racing partnership with Jaguar in F1 and when CART and ALMS came to Miami, we wanted to be part of it," said HSBC Republic President Manuel Diaz. "We are happy to be involved with the Grand Prix Americas and we look forward to more partnerships like this in the future." HSBC Republic is the international private banking division of HSBC Group. HSBC Group is the second largest bank in the world with US$ 746 billion in assets. HSBC is one of the world's leading private banking institutions, with client assets under management in excess of US$150 billion as of December 31, 2001. They have specialist private banking centers in 37 locations in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East and employ 3600 people worldwide in order to provide clients with a staff that understands their cultural background, needs and who speak their language. HSBC Republic is dedicated to protect and enhance the wealth of clients and families through a comprehensive range of private banking, investments, asset management and trustee service.

10/4/02

Will BMW help Williams on chassis?  Williams has dismissed reports that engine partner BMW is sending 50 of its engineers over to England to help with the design and build of the team's 2003 car. The German manufacturer is said to want input in the Williams FW25's aerodynamic design following a disappointing season in which the team has failed to challenge Ferrari's stranglehold on Formula 1, according to German magazine Auto Motor und Sport. But Jim Wright, Williams' head of marketing, told Autosport.com: "It's absolutely not true. Think about it logically. We are building what is a very specialist chassis in terms of carbon fiber. BMW have zero experience in terms of carbon fiber, so it doesn't make sense." The team is planning big steps with next year's car to combat Ferrari and make the most of the powerful BMW engine. "Certainly we would like to work more closely with BMW's engineers in areas where we felt there would be a benefit to the team," said Wright. "We are wide open to help from BMW, because if it improves the car then we'll take help from wherever we can. There are a number of areas where BMW's assistance can help us. We have begun to identify those areas. "That's an ongoing thing and will be for a number of years. But to say that 50 engineers are coming over on an airplane is woefully inaccurate."

10/4/02

Donlavey Racing to return  Donlavey Racing Will Return at Charlotte with Rookie Driver Lucas Oil will sponsor Donlavey's Ford Taurus in the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C. Donlavey will also receive backing from Suburban Franchise, Superior Logistics Services, and Hawk Sawblades. In typical Donlavey fashion, he is putting a rookie behind the wheel of the Lucas Oil Ford. Jason Hedlesky, who has competed in five ARCA events in the last three years at Lowe's Motor Speedway, will slip into a Winston Cup car for the first time as a driver. He has been an ARCA competitor for the past three seasons and had two 14th-place finishes (Atlanta and Michigan) in 2000, which represent his career-best efforts. Hedlesky qualified ninth and finished 15th in the ARCA event at Charlotte this season. Hedlesky has also been Donlavey Racing's team manager since 1999. Hedlesky had a great run in the ARCA series race earlier this year at Michigan. Hedlesky qualified 14th and was in third place when he came to pit road for a scheduled stop and was trapped on pit road by a caution period. Hedlesky finished 17th. The Clinton, Mich., native also has one Craftsman Truck Series start on his ledger. At Michigan International Speedway, he started 22nd and finished 31st earlier this season. "Junie is a man of his word, and he always told me he would help me in anyway possible with my driving career," Hedlesky said. "He is making good on his promise, and I'm going to realize my greatest dream, and I'm proud that it's with Junie and Lucas Oil. I've experienced the pride in this organization for several years and it's something any driver would be proud to be part of. I'm glad I can be a part of Junie's long and impressive list of drivers. Prior to the Oct. 13 event, Donlavey will receive the Smokey Yunick Award, recognizing his lifetime achievement in auto racing, which has spanned the life of NASCAR. Previous winners of the Smokey Yunick Award include Bill Simpson, Ralph Moody, Banjo Matthews, Bud Moore and Cotton Owens.

10/4/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Coulthard Plays Down Chances
Head Issues JPM Wake-Up Call
Frentzen: Seasoned Super-Sub
Premier1 Delayed Until 2004
Teams Conclude Suzuka Testing
Pedro: I Have A Contract
Newey Blames Mercedes Delay
Jordan In Dire Straits Again?
Jaguar To Lure New Talent
Herta Still Targeting F1
Head Questions Ferrari's Respect
F1 News In Brief

10/3/02

Pook says lots of interest from European teams  Chris Pook, speaking at a media conference today in Miami said that with CART drivers da Matta, Montoya and possibly Castroneves (former) headed to F1, many European F3, and F3000 teams are expressing interest in possibly joining CART.  As Pook has been saying, CART may someday become the defacto place to be to make it to F1.

10/3/02

Another ISC lawsuit  According to this Daytona Beach Journal article, A Sarasota, FL company that put the name "Daytona" on some of its racing boats and decorated them with checkered flags is facing a court fight with International Speedway Corp. The motorsports giant contends in a federal lawsuit it has exclusive trademark rights to the word "Daytona" for any product or event that involves racing or speed, including boats. It wants the Donzi Marine boat company to stop using the Daytona name and pay it three times any profit that's been made on the Daytona boats since introducing them in 1998. The high-performance speedboats, built in Sarasota, cost between $250,000 and $500,000 each.

10/3/02

CART stock watch 

In Today's NYSE trading in MPH
MPH closed at $4.04 Down $0.03 per share on Volume of 28,500 shares.
$3.40 Bid / $4.35 Asked on close.
$3.85 Low / $4.07 the high trades for the session.
MPH value per share Down 0.74%
DOW-Jones Down 0.5%
NASDAQ Down 1.83%
S&P 500 Down 1.08%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

10/3/02

Scheckter wants to stay in IRL   Indy Racing League rookie phenom Tomas Scheckter says he intends to return to the league in 2003. “For sure, that’s where I want to be,” Scheckter said as he visited Formula One friends in the paddock last weekend during the SAP United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “I’ve had some good races there this year. I want to carry on doing the same job I did this year, but a little bit more consistent.” Scheckter, son of 1979 F1 champion Jody Scheckter, came to the IRL as a teammate to owner-driver Eddie Cheever. Scheckter then crashed into his boss in the season-opening race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, starting a rocky relationship between the newcomer and his team owner/teammate. During the Indianapolis 500, Scheckter led four times for 85 laps, almost triple of any other driver, but he ended up in 26th place after crashing on Lap 173 while leading. He won three MBNA Poles (Texas, Kansas and Michigan) and won at Michigan with a spectacular drive through the field over the last 30 laps to go from 11th to first. But Scheckter decided not to drive for Red Bull Cheever Racing in late August, just before the Gateway Indy 250 at St. Louis. His last start for the team came in early August at Kentucky, and he sat out the final three races of the season. Still, the spirited Scheckter said he sopped up much oval-driving experience in his inaugural season of driving Indy Racing cars for Cheever. “I learned a lot, many different situations, and it showed me what to do and how to do it,” Scheckter said. “My first year in oval racing I learned an unbelievable amount. I need to put that all together and hopefully have a dominant performance.”  Scheckter said the stirring victory at Michigan got the attention of European racing and his homeland, including his hometown of Cape Town, South Africa. “I was on the 7 o’clock news in South Africa, which is great,” Scheckter said. “My whole country seems to have supported me a lot more since I’ve been here in America. Much more. My mother says you won’t realize it. “It’s done a lot for me in every way, and that’s why I want to stay here and that’s why I’d like to have another go at winning the 500 and the championship.”

10/3/02

2003 Test in West set   The annual Indy Racing League Test In The West will take place Feb. 3-8, 2003, with testing at California Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway for the second consecutive year. It's the first Open Test of the year for IRL teams and drivers, who will race with new chassis and engine packages in 2003. It also will be the first official Open Test for new IRL engine manufacturers Honda and Toyota and new IRL chassis manufacturer Falcon. Drivers and teams from the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series, the IRL's development series, also will test at both facilities. "The 2002 Test In The West set the tone for a great Indy Racing League season this past year," said Brian Barnhart, Indy Racing League senior vice president of operations. "There was a full paddock of cars and lots of off-track news, as well. We anticipate the 2003 Test In The West will be the kickoff to another great season." The test starts Monday, Feb. 3 with a Media Day featuring IRL and Infiniti Pro Series drivers and Infiniti Pro Series on-track testing at California Speedway, located in Fontana, Calif. The Toyota Indy 400, the second annual IRL event at California Speedway, will take place Sept. 19-21 at the 2-mile oval. IRL drivers will test Tuesday, Feb. 4 at California before IRL and Pro Series teams head to Phoenix on Wednesday, Feb. 5, a travel day. The Test In The West will continue Thursday, Feb. 6 at Phoenix International Raceway with Infiniti Pro Series testing on the 1-mile desert oval. IRL testing will take place Friday, Feb. 7 and Saturday, Feb. 8 at PIR, located in the Phoenix suburb of Avondale, Ariz.

10/3/02

Howdy Wilcox dies   Howdy Wilcox dies: Howard S. “Howdy” Wilcox, son of the 1919 Indianapolis 500 winner of the same name and longtime USAC board member, died Sept. 30. He was 82. Wilcox, a Carmel, Ind., resident who moved to the Lake Wawasee area in Northern Indiana in later years, formed one of the first major public relations firms in Indianapolis and was founder of both the Indianapolis 500 parade and the famed Little 500 bicycle race at Indiana University from which the movie “Breaking Away” was adapted. He was a veteran member of the 500 Oldtimers Club. Memorial contributions may be made to the I.U. Student Foundation in care of the Little 500 Scholarship Fund.

10/3/02

Langhorne pleased with Road racing opportunity   Langhorne shows versatility: Indy Racing League rookie Will Langhorne was the top American finisher Sept. 29 in the second Porsche Michelin Supercup race during the SAP United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Langhorne finished 12th in the second race for the prestigious, single-marque series. He did not finish the first race Sept. 28 on the 2.606-mile road course due to engine overheating. He drove a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car for the elite Kadach Tuning + Service team as a teammate to series champion Stephane Ortelli, a former winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours. “It was fun,” Langhorne said. “Kadach did a great job, and I appreciate Grill-2-Go being here this weekend. They are a huge IRL supporter. It is great to be here this weekend with them. I was fortunate to be able to duel out there with a legend, Bill Adam, and so fortunate to drive out there against these drivers, good American drivers and good European drivers. “There were some guys with some car problems that dropped in back, but those guys are the best in the world at massaging these cars. I think it would take me a weekend more or two to get on their pace.” Langhorne, who has a road-racing background, wasn’t choosing sides when asked if he preferred racing on ovals or road circuits. “I love them both,” Langhorne said. “Four wheels and a motor, and I’m a happy man.” While Langhorne enjoyed racing on the road circuit at Indy, his next goal is to make his first Indianapolis 500 start. He made his first three IRL career starts in the 2002 season. “It was a lot of fun, and I am looking forward to coming back and running the other direction at the Indianapolis 500,” Langhorne said.

10/3/02

Patrick Racing & Fernandez Racing help out young drivers  Championship Auto Racing Teams announced today that FedEx Championship Series teams Visteon/Patrick Racing and Fernandez Racing will participate in this weekend's CART Mentor Program held during the Grand Prix Americas in Miami. Toyota Atlantic champion Jon Fogarty will be hosted by the Visteon/Patrick Racing team, which is owned by legendary Champ Car owner and CART founder U.E. "Pat" Patrick. Barber Dodge Pro Series champion AJ Allmendinger will be hosted by the Fernandez Racing team, owned by current Champ Car driver Adrian Fernandez and partner Tom Anderson. "Everyone at Visteon/Patrick Racing feels it is important to support the CART mentor program and are happy to be a part of it," said Visteon/Patrick Racing General Manager Jim McGee. "The program gives young drivers an opportunity to see and participate in some of the activities and meetings that occur on race weekends. This should give them some idea of what to expect when they move up to the Champ Cars." "I believe it is a great opportunity for any young up-and-coming driver to be associated with an upper level team," commented Tom Anderson, Co-Owner and Managing Director of Fernandez Racing. "For sure it will show them a direction on how one team attempts to achieve success. All teams do things a little bit different, but we are all trying to accomplish the same thing and that is to win professional motor races." The CART Mentor Program is designed to increase the line of communications between drivers and teams and expand the future opportunities for the drivers of the CART Ladder System. As part of this program, Fogarty and Allmendinger will attend and take part in every aspect of a race weekend, including debriefings, engineering sessions and team meetings, plus press and sponsor events, when applicable.

10/3/02

Will Baldwin go to Joe Gibbs Racing?  According to this Dallas Morning News article, Tommy Baldwin probably will be one of the top candidates to take over the crew chief duties for the #18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac, which will be a Chevrolet next season. Joe Gibbs Racing announced Tuesday that Jimmy Makar would step down as crew chief for Bobby Labonte and concentrate on his duties as team manager.

10/3/02
Industry News

SPEED TV Ratings  Live qualifying from Kansas scored a 0.97 (521,000 households) -- the network's highest-ever live qualifying numbers -- with replays bringing the cumulative rating to 1.44 (773,000 households). SPEED Channel's pre-race program, Trackside @ Kansas Speedway, scored a cumulative 0.98 (524,000 households) leading up to the race. Following up on Monday night, Inside Winston Cup scored a cumulative 0.69 (368,000 households). Saturday's Formula One U.S. Grand Prix practice session was the ratings highlight for the race at the Brickyard, scoring a 0.44 (238,000 households). Friday's F1 qualifying picked up a cumulative 0.38 (205,000 households).

10/3/02

Discovery Channel Special The Discovery Channel will broadcast a three-part series called 'The Secret Life of Formula 1,' a behind-the-scenes documentary featuring the WilliamsF1 team. The program marks the first time that a television crew has gained such extensive access to a leading British Formula 1 team and reveals the real issues facing one of Britain's foremost industries. The first, called The Front Line, concentrates of the development of the sport and charts the history of Williams and explains how Bernie Ecclestone achieved the position in which he now finds himself. The second - called The Limit - looks at the technology of the sport and the problems with the current regulations being too restrictive. The third program - entitled Command and Control - takes a close look at how one technology - pit to driver communication - has developed, and charts the rise and the effects of telemetry.

10/3/02

Premier 1 delays the inevitable The Premier 1 series put out another fluff PR piece which basically stated nothing of significance, except to say their debut race is now delayed until 2004.  It was a veiled attempt to keep the Premier 1 name in the news while it continues to flounder from lack of interest.  Since Bernie Ecclestone is not involved, we suspect he'll crush the series like a bug if it appears it's stealing even one sponsor from his sponsor hungry F1 series.

10/3/02
Industry News

Too many sports - all suffering There is just too many sports for people to follow any more.  Except for NASCAR, most major sports are seeing a downturn in TV ratings and attendance.  Not even the NFL is immune.  According to poll conducted by market research experts Harris, the percentage of people who said that they follow professional football has dropped from 53 percent in 1999 to 47 percent who follow the sport today. Says a spokesman for the firm: "While 47 percent still represents a large number of people (approximately 100 million adults), this is the lowest proportion since 1993."

10/3/02

No track surface advertising The FIA World Council has ruled that in future there will be no advertising allowed on the race track surface itself. In recent months there have been a number of experiments to see whether or not it is feasible to have painted signs on the actual race tracks. In order to avoid this (because of the potential for accidents caused by the different surfaces) the FIA has decided to impose a worldwide ban.

10/3/02

For once the local media up on CART  It looks like the local media is giving a good and objective coverage of this weekend Grand Prix Americas. There is more attention to the drivers, to the race itself and to the needed economic impact on the city instead of the syndrome of bad press seen before at other CART venues. Not a single report like the “CART is dying” stile has been seen on the news, and not a single word about the drivers leaving the series or predicting the apocalypses of CART. The attention is focused on the championship and on the ‘local’ drivers like Cristiano da Matta and Bruno Junqueira. Local TV stations are reporting daily from the Bay front Park and the temperature is heating up for this weekend
http://www.miami.com/mld/miami/sports/motorsports/4197285.htm
http://www.miami.com/mld/miami/sports/motorsports/4200948.htm
http://www.miami.com/mld/miami/news/local/4200153.htm
http://www.miami.com/mld/miami/news/local/4200149.htm
http://www.miami.com/mld/miami/sports/4192838.htm
The only bad news is that the local CBS affiliate will not broadcast live the race on Sunday. The race will air at 4:30, just after the Dolphins football game. The following is the answer given from one of the CBS employees: “I just checked schedules at a few CBS stations. Apparently, it depends on the NFL game scheduled for their market. Most Eastern and Central stations are getting the Dolphins game, which is the "national game", and will carry the Grand Prix afterwards, from 4:30 to 6. A limited number of cities east of the Mississippi are getting a 4 PM game, such as New York, which is carrying the hometown Jets at 4 PM, so They’re carrying the race at 1. Nashville is not carrying the race at all; it's showing a movie. Odd. On the West coast, KCBS is showing the race at 2:30 Pacific. I went to the CART website, and they have it listed in two places as CBS at 1:00, which is true, but not nationally. I wasn't able to get more information from the CART website, but it appears that most stations I could check are delaying the game” David Aldana reporting from Miami

10/3/02

NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus reaches $250,000  With a quarter-of-a-million dollars on the line, the question remains, “What’s it going to take to give away the richest NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus in history?” Jimmie Johnson leads five drivers with an opportunity to capture the most lucrative NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus in program history. This weekend, the elusive Leader Bonus is worth a record $250,000 to any driver that can win at Talladega Superspeedway and leave the track with the Series point lead. Sounds simple, but it’s been 25 races - and seven months - since Sterling Marlin took home the most recent Leader Bonus payout at Darlington Raceway. Entering this weekend’s EA Sports Thunder 500, Johnson leads the NASCAR Winston Cup standings by 11 points over second-place Mark Martin. Tony Stewart is third, 36 back; Jeff Gordon trails by 109 points and Sterling Marlin rounds out the top five, 121 points off the pace. Any of these five drivers can unseat Bobby Labonte, who won $190,000 at Indianapolis in 2000, as the owner of the largest Leader Bonus check to date. Johnson used a 10th place finish at last weekend’s Protection One 400 at Kansas Speedway to become the fourth different driver to lead the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings in 2002. It marked the first time in history that a rookie driver has led the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. Marlin has collected $50,000 in Leader Bonus money this season. He received $30,000 with his victory in the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at Las Vegas and another $20,000 after taking the checkered flag in the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway two weeks later. That was the last time the bonus has been collected.

10/3/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Ecclestone: Wise Up, Michael
New Cars Get Early Debut
Bernies: And The Winners Are...
Schumacher: The Perfect End
Villeneuve Amused By Ferrari Antics
Murray Walker On Letterman
Rubens: Michael Gave Me The Win
Team Bosses Support F1 Overhaul
F1 Testing Round-Up: Day Two
F1 News In Brief

10/3/02

Foyt tests at Phoenix   While Luyendyk and the Schmidt crew were preparing to test at Kentucky, Infiniti Pro Series champion A.J. Foyt IV and two-time Indy Racing League series runner-up Davey Hamilton tested Oct. 1 at Phoenix International Raceway, logging a combined total of 143 laps in an A.J. Foyt Racing/Harrah’s Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone.   Foyt, 18, completed 103 laps and posted a best lap of 22.32 seconds on the 1-mile desert oval.
“We started off slow, like we planned, and got quicker, but the wind also picked up, so I think I could’ve been even faster if we didn’t have that happen,” said young Foyt, who earned four wins and four pole positions en route to the inaugural Infiniti Pro Series title. “Still, I’m happy with the speed. I could have run quicker through Turns 1 and 2, and with a little more work (Wednesday), I should get through there better.  “I felt pretty comfortable out there today. Earlier I was a little nervous, but when I got to the track and got into the car, I wasn’t nervous at all. I didn’t even think about it. I pretty much listened to what my grandfather told me. He took me around the track and showed me the preferable line and explained about the wind and dirt on the track and just being careful.  “I felt more comfortable after having driven the Infiniti Pro Series car, which has less power than the Indy car. The corners come up a lot faster in the Indy cars, which is something I had to get used to.”  The session marked young Foyt’s second outing in an IRL machine. He tested his grandfather’s No. 11 Indy Racing League car in February 2002 at Phoenix.

10/3/02

Mazzacane and Luyendyk pass rookie tests   Arie Luyendyk Jr., who finished second in the 2002 Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series standings, passed his Indy Racing League rookie test Oct. 2 at the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway.  Luyendyk, 21, completed a total of 100 laps with a top speed of 218.4 mph in the Treadway Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone that his father, Arie Luyendyk, drove in the 86th Indianapolis 500 in May and the Michigan Indy 400 in July at Michigan International Speedway.  “The car was great,” said Luyendyk, who earned one pole position and four second-place finishes in seven Infiniti Pro Series races. “It was really a blast to drive. It felt really comfortable. I was extremely happy with the car. It was just a great experience. I was driving around and I just kind of had a big smile on my face because it was fun.”  Despite the ease with which he adapted to the IRL car, young Luyendyk plans to campaign one more season in the Infiniti Pro Series.   “As far as next year, I still want to stick with my plan on doing the Pro Series,” said Luyendyk. “I think it’s a great series, and I’d like to stick with it another year and learn a little bit more on the shorter tracks. We do have some things going on right now, and it’s possible that I’ll be running two or three races in the IRL next year, as well.”  Former Formula One driver Gaston Mazzacane, 27, also passed his IRL rookie test Oct. 2 at Kentucky Speedway. Mazzacane completed 113 laps on the 1.5-mile oval and reached a top speed of 217.3 mph in the No. 20 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. The Argentinean competed for the Minardi and Prost Formula One teams in 2000 and 2001.  “He had never been on an oval, period,” said team owner Sam Schmidt, who was trackside for the test. “This was quite an introduction for him. After his first few laps, he came in and was just in awe because of the speeds. We got through the rookie test with flying colors, no problems.”   In addition to Mazzacane’s rookie test, the Schmidt crew also tested several drivers in one of the team’s Infiniti Pro Series cars.  CART Toyota Atlantic driver David Weiringa, NAMARS MidgetCar points leader Aaron Pierce, Buddy Davis, John Renda, Jeff Gardner and Stephen Davidson each turned their first laps in an Infiniti Pro Series car.  “It’s a pretty good variety of drivers,” said Schmidt. “John Renda is from Formula 2000, Davidson is from Formula 2000, Jeff Gardner is from USAC Sprint cars, Buddy Davis is from stock cars. Each guy has a different background, so it’s been a lot of fun testing.”

10/3/02

Marlin out rest of year with broken neck  UPDATE We have confirmed that Marlin was wearing a Hutchens Device, not a HANS Device.  Ditto for Jason Priestley who was severely injured (smashed face, broken neck and back).  We hear one of the Hutchens straps sliced one of Jason's main artery's causing him to nearly bleed to death, but that report has yet to be verified.  The Hutchens Device may test OK in a laboratory, but its straps leave too much to chance as far as adjustments and movements go.  Perhaps the IRL and NASCAR will wake up to the fact that the HANS Device is the best thing going right now.  CART, and next year F1, mandate the HANS only.  10/2/03 -  Sterling Marlin, who led the Winston Cup standings for 25 weeks, will miss the rest of the NASCAR season because of a broken vertebra in his neck. Marlin was injured in a crash Sunday in Kansas, and the break in his vertebra was diagnosed Wednesday in Charlotte, said team co-owner Felix Sabates. Jamie McMurray, who was hired to drive a third car for Chip Ganassi Racing next season, will drive the No. 40 Dodge Intrepid for the rest of the season as well as complete the Busch series schedule for Brewco Motorsports, Sabates said. Marlin took over the points lead after the second race of the season and held it until three weeks ago. He has slipped to fifth in the standings, 121 points behind new leader Jimmie Johnson.

10/3/02

Mauricio passes rookie test UPDATE Dear AutoRacing1.com, "Ricardo Mauricio tested at Kentucky at 220.6MPH. That means he would have started 3rd on the grid, and never drove Formula Crapwagon before (Paul Tracy's terminology). What kind of a series is this? A driver who has never driven on an oval, can get 3rd quick time? Mordichai Rosen, LA, CA  Dear Mordichai, the low-HP, high downforce IRL cars result in 100% throttle racing at most tracks the IRL races on.  This requires very little experience or a high degree of driving talent, just the ability to turn left and not hit anything.  It does, however, make for an entertaining show to those who like 'pack' racing, because the cars are pretty much all equal and run in packs. This wasn't too different than we saw in CART's Indy Lights series whenever they ran on high-banked tracks.  10/1/02 -  Ricardo Mauricio passed the speed phase of his Indy Racing League rookie test Sept. 30 at Kentucky Speedway. He completed 100 laps in the No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone with a fastest unofficial speed of 220.6 mph on the 1.5-mile oval. Mark Bridges, technical manager for the Indy Racing League, observed the test. Mauricio, 23, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, has driven for the Red Bull Junior Team in the FIA International Formula 3000 series since 1999. “I was happy to stay around a few extra days for this opportunity,” Mauricio said about the test, which was postponed Sept. 26 because of rain. “It was brilliant. I enjoyed working with Cheever Racing and driving the Red Bull Indy car.”

10/2/02

CART stock watch 

In Today's NYSE trading in MPH
MPH closed at $4.07 Up $0.44 per share on Volume of 64,900 shares.
$3.43 Bid / $4.38 Asked on close.
$3.55 Low / $4.20 the high trades for the session.
MPH value per share Up 12.12%
DOW-Jones Down 2.31%
NASDAQ Down 2.18%
S&P 500 Down 2.36%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

10/2/02

Dan Gurney responds  Dear AutoRacing1.com, I got a wake-up call this morning directing my attention to your site and latest article even before I had breakfast. Let me assure you that Phil Hill and I have been friends and comrades in arms for over 40 years and will continue to be friends in the future. My mentioning in a conversation in the Road and Track Suite at Indy that a possible American F1 Team had been in the works for some time, quickly found its way into the Speedway's media room. To say it caught a lot of people by surprise is an understatement! And it is indeed true that I had only had a conversation with Phil less than half an hour before the story broke the way it did. In the rush that followed, Phil might have used some imprecise and easily misconstrued statements, but neither of us has reached Henry Kissinger's diplomatic finesse as yet. Suspecting that the true story had no chance to filter through, I sat down with some journalists to give some insights of what our plans are. The response worldwide , and I mean this in the true sense, to just the possibility of an American F1 Team has been enormous and only demonstrates that the atmosphere for such a venture is overwhelmingly there, even if the present economic climate makes its reality very difficult. Many dominoes have to fall in a hurry if our American F I Team can be established in the short term, but we are working on it. Best wishes, Dan Gurney, Santa Ana, CA.

10/2/02


National Geographic Special  Looking to capture what it takes to travel at speeds of over 200 mph - as well as what happens when things go wrong at that speed - Foxstar Productions and Van Ness Films will be heading to this weekend's Grand Prix Americas CART FedEx Championship Series event to film some of the Champ Car action for an upcoming documentary that will air worldwide. The crew will be interviewing drivers Adrian Fernandez and Christian Fittipaldi as well as CART Director of Medical Affairs Dr. Steve Olvey and CART Chief Orthopedic Consultant Dr. Terry Trammell to discuss a number of issues for their documentary, tentatively titled Race Car Drivers. The hour-long show will focus on the sport from the point of view of the human body - the dangers and stresses encountered at 200 mph - as well as the evolution of auto racing in relation to the increased knowledge about the human body under physical and mental stress. The documentary will also examine the increasing level of celebrity surrounding race car drivers and uncover what it takes to elevate someone to the top of the competitive world of racing. The show is to be aired on the new National Geographic Channel in the summer of 2003 and will feature teams, personnel and drivers from CART, NASCAR and IRL.

10/2/02

NASCAR releases 2003 test schedule  NASCAR released today its 2003 testing schedule for the month of January at Daytona International Speedway for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the Goody’s Dash Series, NASCAR Touring. The NASCAR Winston Cup and NASCAR Busch Series 2002 final car owner point standings will determine when teams will test at the 2.5 mile tri-oval. NASCAR Winston Cup car owners finishing in odd-numbered positions in the final standings will test on Jan. 7-9, with Jan. 10 reserved as a rain date. Those car owners finishing in the even-numbered positions will test on Jan. 14-16, with Jan. 17 the rain date. Car owners in the NASCAR Busch Series finishing in an odd-numbered position will test Jan. 20-21 (rain date is Jan. 22) while owners who finish in an even-numbered spot will test Jan. 23-24 (rain date is Jan. 25). NASCAR Craftsman Truck teams will test Jan. 11-13. Testing for Goody’s Dash Series teams will be Jan. 18-19.
SERIES                                                                  TEST DATES
NASCAR Winston Cup (Car Owner, Odd Points)..............Jan. 7-9
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series...................................Jan. 11-13
NASCAR Winston Cup Series (Car Owner, Even Points) .Jan. 14-16
Goody’s Dash Series, NASCAR Touring ........................Jan. 18-19
NASCAR Busch Series (Car Owner, Odd Points).............Jan. 20-21
NASCAR Busch Series (Car Owner, Even Points)............Jan. 23-24

10/2/02

DEI dominates restrictor plate racing  Five of the last seven NASCAR Winston Cup events at Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway – tracks where cars race with carburetor restrictor plates – have been won by drivers employed by Dale Earnhardt Inc. Michael Waltrip (No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet) won the 2001 Daytona 500 and this year’s Pepsi 400 at Daytona; Dale Jr. won the Pepsi 400 and EA Sports 500 at Talladega in 2001 and this year’s Aaron’s 499 at Talladega.

10/2/02

Dodge drought at Dega  If a Dodge driver wins this year’s EA Sports 500, it will be big news for the manufacturer, which returned to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series last year after leaving in the late 1970s. Dodges have won only two of the previous 55 races at Talladega. Dave Marcis won the ‘76 Talladega 500 and Richard Brickhouse won the ’69 Talladega 500 – the first NASCAR Winston Cup event at the track.

10/2/02

SAFER Barrier at Dega  The SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barrier system has been installed on a portion of the track, for this weekend’s racing. The system, commonly knows as “soft walls,” is in place on the inside retaining wall exiting Turn 4 and entering Turn 1. (Approximately 3,000 feet.). Other than Indianapolis, this is the first application of the SAFER barrier system on a Winston Cup race track.

10/2/02

Look for many pit stops at Talladega  Talladega is one of two restrictor plate tracks on the Winston Cup circuit where multi-car accidents - the "big one" - are a common occurrence. In an attempt to make the race safer, NASCAR has reduced the size of the fuel cells in the cars. "It makes some sense," said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet. "The lighter fuel load will force us into more green flag pit stops which should break us up from one big pack of 43 cars to a number of smaller packs. "I just hope that if it comes down to a fuel mileage race that we've got decent fuel mileage. If we all use our heads and play it smart and do what we're capable of doing, we can put on one heck of a race - one that the fans will enjoy and that we'll enjoy - and come out with an exciting finish." Gordon avoided the "big one" and finished fourth at Talladega earlier this year. Overall at the 2.66-mile superspeedway he has two wins, eight top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. However, of his 42 career Winston Cup poles, none have come at Talladega.

10/2/02

Patrick Head concedes Japan to Ferrari  Williams technical director Patrick Head says the Japanese Grand Prix will be a 'Ferrari benefit', with the world champions racing on the home circuit of their tire suppliers Bridgestone. "I think it will be a perfect race for Ferrari," said Head. "It has got some similarities with Barcelona and I think our car is not good enough to compete with Ferrari there." It could have been a different story in Indianapolis last weekend if everything had gone according to plan - but it didn't. "I think we could have been reasonably close to Ferrari," added Head. "Though I don't think we would have challenged them, because Juan (Pablo Montoya) lost around eight seconds in the bump at the start then he lost another ten maybe more seconds because of pitting so early so he lost a lot of time. The Ferraris were obviously going slower at the end too. "I think it will be very much a Ferrari benefit at Suzuka. We want to try and compete and beat McLaren. Then I shall be glad to have the season over racing wise."

10/2/02

Bernie responds to USGP farce  Sun Sport writer Stan Piecha yesterday challenged F-1 honcho Bernie Ecclestone to 'sort this mess' in relation to the farce at Indianapolis last weekend. In the press conference Schumacher claimed that he was aiming for a 'dead heat finish' only later to change his story to a 'repaying Rubens for the race-fixing' in Austria at the A-1 Ring earlier this year. Bernie responded to Piecha's challenge by saying, "What happened in the US was a cock-up between the two drivers. I don't think for one minute Michael wanted to hand the win to Rubens but he did want both of them to cross the line almost side by side like they do at Le Mans. The trouble is that Michael is not very streetwise and just confused the issue by trying to explain what happened. What he should have said at the post-race Press conference was: 'I don't know if Rubens misjudged things — or he screwed me'. At least what happened in the US has got people talking about Formula One — it's stirred things up." "This season has been one-sided but it's not long since McLaren and Williams were taunting Ferrari for not winning the title for 20 years. Things have swung round. And Michelin will come up with a tire that can match the Bridgestones used by Ferrari. Teams spend millions trying to go a tenth of a second faster — but the right tire can instantly make a driver a second a lap quicker. I hope McLaren and Williams are quicker next season and have the reliability Ferrari enjoys."

10/2/02

Michael Andretti pans CART to justify his move  Dear AutoRacing1.com, like other washed up, over-the-hill drivers before him, Michael Andretti pans CART every chance he gets to justify his move to the Injury Racing/Retirement League (IRL).   His latest charade - in the Sept. 26th issue of AUTOSPORT magazine Michael Andretti's true colors (does a turncoat have a color?) come shining through. Here's the best quotes - "The IRL has a lot going for it. CART's got nothing going for it"...Michael Andretti.....Andretti says it was difficult deciding to turn his back on CART's road courses and street races, but he hope's that in the future the IRL will take over CART's best road and street races (has he been let in on the grand IRL plan?) Andretti states: "I'm going to miss going to those places" he say's, "but then again, who's to say that we may not go back there in the future?  Mordichai Rosen, LA, CA

10/2/02

F1 fans urged to order USGP tickets  The Indianapolis Motor Speedway ticket office is encouraging new and renewal customers to order tickets for the fourth running of the United States Grand Prix, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 28, 2003. Fans of the USGP who do not have tickets and are interested in applying should do so as soon as possible, according to Peggy Swalls, vice president of administration for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Although tickets remained available for the 2002 U.S. Grand Prix through race day, fans who ordered early were also those who got the best seats,” Swalls said. “In addition, renewals must be submitted within the next seven days to guarantee the same seating assignments.” Tickets can be ordered in a variety of ways, including via the Internet at http://www.imstix.com. Order forms are available for existing or new customers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ticket office, in the 2002 SAP United States Grand Prix official program or via the World Wide Web at www.usgpindy.com. The Speedway’s ticket office is located on the first floor of the IMS administrative offices outside Turn 1, on the corner of 16th Street and Georgetown Road. The address to mail ticket orders:
2003 United States Grand Prix tickets
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
4790 W. 16th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46222
For additional information, contact the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area.

10/2/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

HANS Debate Rages On
Imola Debut For New McLaren
Yoong To Stay With Minardi?
Dennis: Ferrari Trivializing Sport
Berger: No Title In 2003
George Welcomes Ferrari Farce
Final Race-Season Testing
Enge Loses F3000 Title
Belgian GP Requires Unanimity
Jaguar Seat Wide Open
F1 News In Brief

10/1/02

Compton to drive Dodge at Talladega The only driver to win a NASCAR Winston Cup pole at the 2.66-mile Talladega (Ala.) SuperSpeedway last year will be behind the wheel of the #49 BAM Racing Dodge in this week’s EA Sport 500. Stacy Compton hasn’t started worse than sixth at Talladega since his rookie season. He won both poles in the Mark Melling Dodge last year, and started sixth in the Spring in a Pontiac. "Anyone who grew up in a town named Grit must have a lot going for him," laughed Beth Ann Morgenthau, who owns the BAM Racing Dodge team with her husband, Tony. "Stacy won both poles last year, started sixth in April and has shown he knows how to race at Talladega," she said. "His experience and his talents, along with what our people at BAM bring to the table, should lead to a great weekend for us."

10/1/02

Makar to steps down as Crew Chief of #18 at end of 2002: Over the last several years, Jimmy Makar has maintained two very important roles within the Joe Gibbs Racing organization. He has not only served as the crew chief for the # 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac, currently driven by Bobby Labonte, since the teams inception in 1991; but he has also been the Team Manager of the racing program at Joe Gibbs Racing. Given the demands on a crew chief within the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, due to schedule length and the amount of testing needed to be a championship caliber team, everyone agreed that Makar's management and leadership skills would be best suited solely in the role of team manager. "As a result of our continued expansion at JGR and the magnitude and scope of racing today, Jimmy will be focusing his full-time attention on his role as Team Manager in 2003," added team owner Joe Gibbs. "Jimmy will be initiating the search for his replacement as crew chief on the # 18 car for the 2003 season and while that is on going, he will continue to handle both roles through the end of the 2002 season." For Makar, the announcement of a change from the role of crew chief to that of team manager is something that had already been planned. Though not expected to make the change for a couple of more years, Makar decided it was best to make the transition now in order to help ensure the continued success of Joe Gibbs Racing for many years to come. For driver Bobby Labonte, the upcoming change is bittersweet, as he and Makar have become very close friends over the years. They have shared many of the highs and lows the sport of auto racing has to offer and have always been able to find a way to see the positive in any situation. "This is a tough one," admitted Labonte. "Jimmy has been more than a crew chief for me the past eight years. He has become a best friend. We have been through a lot together, both good and bad. We have lost a championship together and we have won a championship together. We lost races that we should have won and we won races that we should have lost. Eight years is a long time to be in our position." Joe Gibbs Racing PR

10/1/02

Illegal dumping  A man who helped start the NASCAR truck series and the operators of a chrome-plating company face allegations that they dumped corrosive acid and toxic metals into the sewer system illegally. Jim Smith [CTS owner and #7 Cup team part owner], Michael Schott, Jerry Welti and Paul Mayasich are each charged with 17 felony counts of hazardous-waste dumping, which carries a maximum prison term of more than 11 years and fines that could exceed $1 million. All four men are expected to surrender to authorities Tuesday. Prosecutors said employees of Ultra Wheel Co., in Buena Park, allegedly poured acid and toxic, heavy metals into the sewer system. Schott, Welti and Mayasich are managers at Ultra Wheel. Smith is one of the originators of the NASCAR truck series and co-owner of a NASCAR Winston Cup racing team. Welti's attorney said the business has made improvements to prevent further releases into the storm drains. ThatsRacin.com

10/1/02

Toyota tests 2003 engine and gearbox  The Panasonic Toyota Racing test team started a three-day session at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain on Tuesday with test drivers Ryan Briscoe and Stéphane Sarrazin. Ryan conducted a data acquisition program on the standard TF102, completing a total of 55 laps to record a best lap time of 1:22.008. The young Australian was happy with the work accomplished and is looking forward to another solid day here tomorrow. "It has been a positive and trouble-free day for me. We have been conducting an extensive data acquisition program, which meant I did several series of in and out laps, stopping in between to let the engineers collect information from various parameters on the car,” he explained. “We will carry on with the same type of tests tomorrow morning before going back to some longer runs in the afternoon." Stéphane gave a second outing to the TF102B, the team's intermediary car, which incorporates next season's RVX-03 engine and a new seven-speed gearbox. He completed 58 laps for a best time of 1:20.784 (note how much faster than current car already). "I am very happy with the work we have done today. Our objective was to continue to put more mileage under our belt with the TF102B and to try various aerodynamic elements,” he said. “We went through our program without any problems and the car felt good to drive. This is a promising start to our three-day test and we will continue working in the same direction tomorrow."

10/1/02

Revised 2003 F1 schedule  Australia has passed a circuit inspection by the FIA in the past few weeks, allowing Melbourne to once again stage the season opener albeit a week later than planned on March 9th. Only a week will separate the European and French Grands Prix, whilst a three week gap has been created as a result of moving the Hungarian race back seven days. This also means that the Hungarian and Belgian Grands Prix will take place on consecutive weeks.
2003 Revised F1 Calendar:
Mar 09 Australia (Melbourne)
Mar 23 Malaysia (Sepang)
Apr 06 Brazil (Sao Paolo)
Apr 20 San Marino (Imola)
May 04 Spain (Barcelona)
May 18 Austria (Spielberg)
Jun 01 Monaco (Monaco)
Jun 15 Canada (Montreal)
Jun 29 Europe (Nürburgring)
Jul 06 France (Magny-Cours)
Jul 20 Great Britain (Silverstone)
Aug 03 Germany (Hockenheim)
Aug 24 Hungary (Budapest)
Aug 31 Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)*
Sep 14 Italy (Monza)
Sep 28 USA (Indianapolis)
Oct 12 Japan (Suzuka)
* Subject to the unanimous agreement of the Formula One teams that this event can be run without tobacco advertising.  The 2003 Foster's Belgian Grand Prix will not take place on August 31st without the full support of all the teams in Formula One regarding tobacco advertising, it was confirmed today. A law was passed in the European country on August 1st which will prevent teams running tobacco-liveried cars in the race, something previously exempt from advertising regulations.  The FIA have refused to move the race, held at Spa-Francorchamps, and as a result the teams will have to run without logos of their cigarette backers adorning the sides of their cars; if the teams do not reach a universal agreement to comply with this requirement, then Belgium will not stage a round of the 2003 FIA Formula One World Championship.

10/1/02

Pook and Panoz talk about more possible joint ventures  When Chris Pook and Don Panoz were asked today how they see the future of this partnership (joint CART/ALMS weekends) developing and could we see races at places like Washington D.C., Road Atlanta, Sebring even, for example, they responded - DON PANOZ: Well, I think that certainly what we'll see this weekend and we already know Chris has shared with me that hospitality and everything else is really sold out and that we expect a very good crowd and a very good support group of fans that have come in and not only are just buying tickets but they are buying all the other things that are important for a race. Chris said it so well a while ago, he said that this isn't exploratory. This is an opportunity for evaluation. And I think that it is like anything else in business, if this kind of model shows a good result, both of us will be looking at how we could explore that and what other venues it could make sense that we could do a show like this. It could be that maybe the event would be limited when we evaluate them and maybe only be a couple of street circuits or it could be that it could be something bigger. But I think both of us will be having and our staffs will have our eyes open to look at all of the events that are going on there this weekend. How they play out; how they are accepted by the fans and the media, and to look at what we can turn that into for the future. I think we'll be going into this with eyes wide open and we'll be there to judge it based on the facts. And that's the way - I think that's the way we'll be responding and Chris can speak for himself. CHRIS POOK: I agree with Don there. I agree absolutely with what Don said. I think that we have to evaluate which venues make sense for both of us. We can't overflood the market, if you will. There are certain markets and venues where the American Le Mans Series will stand alone and has a very good track record and will work it. Likewise, for CART, but then there are other markets and this is a very good example here because let's face it, this market has seen both of our types of racing before, and has been very responsive to both our types of racing, and had very successful events, so this is a good one as a starting platform. But I think there are indeed other markets. But I think that that's for Don's management team and my management team to evaluate together and to come back to the both of us to say, look, it makes sense here; it doesn't makes sense there. We have to thread very constructively together down the road and we have to look at the impacts of what these sharing of markets or joining together in a market means to our respective sponsors and are we able to deliver increased value to those sponsors by combining together in a single marketplace. I think that's the real key.

10/1/02
Industry News

SPEED TV to air Cody Unser special  With nearly every thing she does, 15-year-old Cody Unser amazes those that wonder how a girl afflicted with Transverse Myelitis and restricted to a wheelchair can get through her daily life. But now not only does the daughter of former CART driver Al Unser Jr. get through her daily life, she constantly seeks new challenges - as will be shown by SPEED Channel on the October 4 CART Friday Night show during the weekend of the Grand Prix Americas from Miami. Unser joined 11 other similarly-afflicted people in the Grand Cayman Islands for a weekend of training that ended with all of them diving in the Caribbean to experience life under the sea. Unser had learned to dive previously and enjoyed the experience so much that she thought that it would be a great idea to find others in her situation and expose them to the feeling. The participants received initial scuba training from Scuba Schools International back in their various hometowns before taking the trip to the Caymans. In order to aid the educational process. Unser thought it would be a good idea for the instructors to be able to teach knowing what her and her friends have to go through. So, she had them tape their legs together and learn how to swim. "It's always been my dream to share the water and fish and something so big, and thrilling - and now that's its finally come true I'm speechless," Unser said. "It's really amazing." CART Friday Night, which will be hosted from the Miami home of CART FedEx Championship Series points leader Cristiano da Matta, is scheduled to air at 7 p.m. Eastern Time on Oct. 4 with a re-broadcast coming at 1:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Saturday morning.

10/1/02
F3000

Enge looses F3000 title  UPDATE Tomas Enge has lost his F3000 championship after being stripped of his win at the Hungarian round of the series, and has received a suspended 12-month ban from racing. After a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris today (Tuesday), it was decided that Enge should lose the 10 points he received for winning the race at the Hungaroring, where he failed a drugs test taken during the meet. The council studied the medical reports regarding the samples taken at Hungary, and listened to the case put forward by Enge, who denied taking the cannabis found in the test.  10/1/02 - The FIA World Motor Sport Council will decide today whether or not to strip Tomas Enge of his F3000 crown. The young Czech, just prior to his title-winning performance at Monza, was revealed as having failed a drug test when cannabis was found in his blood. Possible sanctions include fines, championship suspensions or life bans. The World Council will also discuss amendments to the F1 calendar, including a three-week summer break.

10/1/02

List of sponsors grows for Miami  The list of sponsors joining the historic first pairing between the CART FedEx Championship Series and the American Le Mans Series at this weekend's Grand Prix Americas got bigger and stronger today with the announcement that international banking power HSBC (we reported this two days ago) and national distributing leader Southern Wine & Spirits had inked their deals. HSBC, which is the second-largest bank in the world, has signed to be the official financial services provider of the Grand Prix Americas. The company also partners with Jaguar in the Formula One series, and will be represented with track signage during the broadcasts of both Saturday's ALMS event as well as CART's Sunday race. Southern Wine & Spirits is a Florida-based distributor that has grown to become the largest distributor of beer, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages in the United States. Sunday's Round 16 of the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series will take place at 1 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday and will be carried live by CBS Sports.

10/1/02

Huge demand sees even more grandstands in Surfers  CART is dying?  Yeah right.  Just two weeks after erecting yet another new grandstand to accommodate the massive throng that attends the CART FedEx Championship Series Honda Indy 300, organizers have announced that ticket sales have sparked the need for even more seating. Another set of seats will be erected to the driver's left side of the track after the second chicane and will be part of the Andretti Grandstand. The Andretti Grandstand complex is covered and has closed-circuit televisions to follow the action. A four-day event record of more than 286,000 people attended last year's race and pre-race ticket sales for the October 24-27 action are currently tracking at 31 percent ahead of last year's record. Tickets for the Honda Indy 300 are still on sale through the event's website www.indy.com.au

10/1/02

Miami Update  Last night, the Hard Rock Café located in Bayside, just a few steps from one of the corners of the Americas Grand Prix track, hosted a “Kick off party” with a huge presence of the local media and journalist from other countries as well. The city of Miami Mayor, Manny Diaz, the promoters of the race, sponsors and many fans, gathering outside the Café with the beautiful Biscayne Bay as a background to celebrate the return of the Grand Prix to where belongs. The Motorola champcar of Michael Andretti, the Le Mans prototype Champion Audi, and one of the Team Panoz roadsters; where on display for the enjoyment of the fans. Some reporters from local TV news channels made their presentations seated on the cars. Drivers from the CART series like Bruno Junqueira and ‘local’ Max Papis, and AMLS start Justin Bell –among others- where signing autographs and conceding interviews. The track looks impressive. Advertising from companies like HSBC, Pioneer, Cadillac, The Miami Herald, Presidente Beer, The collection and others as well, is already on display around the circuit. According to the organizers, and additional grand stand has been added, due to the high demand for tickets. More than 40,000 have been sold so far. Pit access tickets and some of the most expensive accommodations are sold out. Also, read this article from the Miami papers.  And this one too. David Aldana reporting from Miami, FL

10/1/02

Kansas TV ratings down slightly  The overnight rating on NBC for the Protection One 400 from Kansas Speedway was a 3.9, down 3 percent from last years overnight rating of 4.0. The final national rating for the 2001 Protection One 400 was a 4.7. This year's final rating will be released on Thursday.

10/1/02

Tommy Baldwin Quits Bill Davis Racing, Stoddard In  Effective immediately, Frank Stoddard has been named as the crew chief for the Bill Davis Racing Dodge driven by Ward Burton. An apparent argument Sunday morning between Tommy Baldwin and Bill Davis was the last straw for Baldwin. Reports say that Baldwin said later on Sunday that would be the last day he would ever call a race for Bill Davis, and then on Monday morning Baldwin never showed for work. Baldwin was employed by Bill Davis Racing since 1998 and has directed four wins for Ward Burton, most notably, this years Daytona 500.

10/1/02

Indy revenue down $6.4 million  The inaugural USGP at Indy drew 200,000 and Sunday's race was estimated at 125,000.  Reports in 2000 stated the attendance was 225,000.  At an average ticket price of $85, that means the speedway is out $6,375,000 if it was 200,000 in 2000, and $8,500,000 if it was indeed 225,000.  Tony George said this year's event was profitable (125,000 x $85 = $10,625,000, which is far less than the fee to bring the show in town), although not by as much as he'd like. He would not elaborate. George expects to meet with F-1 boss Bernie Ecclestone in the near future about title sponsorship for the event. SAP, a German-based electronic business company, is at the end of its three-year USGP contract with Ecclestone. If SAP does not return, Ecclestone is expected to let George find another sponsor. When the Speedway failed to find a sponsor in 2000, Ecclestone secured SAP and kept a greater percentage of the money, Indy spokesman Fred Nation said. At least two more F-1 races are contractually guaranteed to be run at IMS. Although the 2.6-mile road course is considered one of the lesser challenges on the F-1 circuit, the expectation is that the series will be linked to Indianapolis for the long term.

10/1/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Castroneves Lands Jaguar Ride!
Jordan Slams Schu Tactics
More Criticism For Formation Finish
BAR Target Fourth In '03
No Ferrari Dream For Kimi
Ralf Looks Into 2003
Jarno Trulli Making Progress
Button Awaits BAR Challenge
Coulthard Calls For Consistency
Irvine Endorses Experience
Schu Targets Next Record
Fisher Enjoys The Ride
Webber Grows Tired Of Minardi?
Schumi's Texan Experience
Reliable Debut For BMW Engine
Long-Term Promise From Mercedes
Moscow Grand Prix Dead
Honda To Decide On Rossi Test
Rubens Refuses To Apologize
Michelin Claim Indy Victory
Patrick Head Still Fuming
Hill Puts Brakes On American Team
F1 News In Brief

9/30/02

Dale Earnhardt hometown tribute  Dale Earnhardt's hometown is ready to unveil the Tribute to the racing legend and hometown hero that has been in development since March 2001. "Kannapolis Celebrates A Legend" begins Wed., Oct. 9 in the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Center by motorsports artist Sam Bass and concludes Mon., Oct. 14 with the unveiling of the Dale Earnhardt statue by sculptor Clyde Ross Morgan.  The Dale Earnhardt Tribute Center by Sam Bass opened in the Cannon Village Visitor Center, 200 West Ave., in May 2002 with an exhibit of 15 of Bass' most recognized portraits of Earnhardt. On Wed., Oct. 9 at 10 a.m., Bass will unveil three additional paintings of Earnhardt from his collection that he is adding to his Tribute Center exhibit. The additional pieces will be wall size and signify the beginning of a lifetime commitment to developing the Tribute Center into the most comprehensive record of Earnhardt's life and career. Bass' work in the Tribute Center will eventually culminate with a series of original murals that depict Earnhardt from his childhood in Kannapolis to his greatest victories as a driver. Bass was chosen in July 2001 by the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Steering Committee as one of the artists to create the Tribute because of his friendship and professional relationship with Earnhardt.  The unveiling event will focus on the Kannapolis connection to the Earnhardt family and stockcar racing. The event will include a Kannapolis tribute video produced by Time Warner Cable that will showcase photographs donated by fans and the Earnhardt family. Benny Parsons, former Winston Cup Champion, member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and NBC racing commentator will be the master of ceremonies. City of Kannapolis Mayor Ray Moss, Executive Vice President of Lowe's Motor Speedway Doug Stafford, U.S. Congressman Robin Hayes and L.A. businessman and Kannapolis business owner David Murdock, who paid $200,000 for the statue's creation as a contribution to the Tribute, will speak. The Earnhardt family will unveil the statue and Cathy Earnhardt-Watkins, one of Earnhardt's sisters, will speak on behalf of the family. Additional speakers have not yet confirmed. The statue will arrive in Kannapolis on Thurs., Oct. 10 at 10 a.m. There will be a brief program before the statue is installed to thank the companies that volunteered time and materials to prepare the statue site. The statue will remain covered until the unveiling. Site development will continue after the statue is unveiled. Steering Committee members and Morgan will be at Lowe's Motor Speedway at Gate 4 near the main entrance from 3 pm to 7 pm before qualifying for the UAW/Goodwrench Quality 500 to talk with fans about the Tribute. Sat., Oct. 12, 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. the Kannapolis Business Council is sponsoring "Remembering Dale . . . Cool Car Cruise and Show" in Cannon Village. All proceeds from the juried car show will go to the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Fund. Contributions can be made to the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Fund/City of Kannapolis, P.O. Box 1199, Kannapolis, N.C. 28082-1199.

9/30/02

New book exposes NASCAR cheating  No professional level sport has as much cheating as NASCAR.  Cheating is the most explosive subject in NASCAR Winston Cup racing, now more than ever. In this revealing new book, author and investigative reporter Tom Jensen (former Executive Editor of Winston Cup Scene) takes you inside the garage area, where the rules are broken, and into the inner sanctum of the NASCAR trailer, where justice is dispensed. In the first book specifically focused on the subject, top drivers, team owners, crew chiefs, and NASCAR officials speak candidly and on the record about what they did, how they did it, and what the consequences were. Cheating: An Inside Look at the Bad Things Good NASCAR Winston Cup Racers Do in Pursuit of Speed explains how cheating evolved along with the growth of NASCAR, even as the organization refined its rule book and stepped up enforcement. Classic episodes include an angry Smokey Yunick, the legendary car builder, allegedly driving away from tech inspection after inspectors had removed his car’s fuel tank, and Junior Johnson’s “Yellow Banana,” a radically reworked Ford that sparked controversy in 1966. Cheating goes on to cover the more recent charges and countercharges surrounding the “Tiregate” fiasco of 1998 and the crackdown of 2000, when a scandal at Talladega threatened the integrity of the Winston Cup Series’ carefully crafted image. The book concludes with a look at the infractions that rocked the sport early in the 2002 season, including the illegal parts seized at Daytona. Author Tom Jensen shows readers how internal politics, sponsorships, and the media influence NASCAR’s rulemaking process, and the elaborate procedures that inspectors use to root out cheating and make races as fair as possible. Cheating is a must-read for any fan seeking the inside story of the lengths to which drivers and teams will go to win, and how NASCAR officials work behind the scenes to enforce the rules.  To order and save 30%, click here.  You can also pre-order the Autocourse Formula One 2002/2003 edition at a 30% savings by clicking here.  We will also offer pre-orders for the Autocourse CART 2002/2003 book soon.

9/30/02

Said looks to wrap-up title in Miami  A championship scenario is beginning to take shape as the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup heads toward the conclusion of its 2002 season. The series heads to Miami this weekend for the inaugural Grand Prix Americas (5:30 p.m. ET Sunday, SPEED Channel, same-day tape delay), kicking off a busy October that will see the final three events of the season contested before the end of the month. Following Sunday’s race in Miami, the series visits Road Atlanta (October 11) before traveling to Virginia International Raceway (Oct. 27) for the 12th and final event of the 2002 campaign. With nine rounds already in the books, California resident Boris Said is setting his sights on his first career Trans-Am driving championship. Said (#33 Applied Computer Solutions Panoz Esperante) comes to Miami off his second two-race winning streak of the season, having captured Rounds 8 and 9 at Road America and Denver, respectively. With 264 championship points, he leads three-time and defending Trans-Am Series champion Paul Gentilozzi (224 points) by 40 heading onto the streets of Miami. It’s conceivable, but not likely, that Said, who owns series-high totals of five victories and eight podium finishes, could clinch the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, emblematic of the Trans-Am Series driving championship, this weekend. If he exits Miami with a 68-point lead, the title is his. But to do so, Said would have to win the race, worth 30 points, and collect at least two additional points for qualifying among the top three drivers or leading a lap, while Gentilozzi, who hasn’t finished worse than 10th all season, would have to finish last in the 22-car field. “The championship is far from over,” Gentilozzi said following his runner-up result to Said at Road America. “Until Boris goes into the last race with a 34-point lead, it’s still up for grabs, and we’re going to keep putting the pressure on.”

9/30/02

All-American F1 team a pipe-dream? UPDATE Dear AutoRacing1.com, I just read the blurb in Hot News about the American F1 team. It is crazy that it was even mentioned as a reason and I thought it was quite funny but I just wanted to make clear that my Dad's timing had nothing to do with me not being picked for the Red Bull Driver Search. I knew full well what the age limit was and was not expecting to be picked! I also don't know where my age is listed as 24? If I had to make a list of guys between that age, those are most of the guys I would pick anyway, so I support it. Also, this team is not a pipe dream, but truly has been in the works at some level for 2 1/2 years. There are more pieces of the puzzle in place than people might think and we'll just have to wait and see what happens in the next few weeks. As for me being one of the drivers, I don't know about that, but I am sure I will get a test! Alex Gurney, Santa Ana, CA.  9/30/02 -  In the local Indianapolis paper Phil Hill is quoted as saying that he never heard of the Gurney 'American F1 Team' deal until 20 minutes before the press conference and that 'pre-mature' was too optimistic a word to use concerning the effort but that he wished Dan Gurney all the best. Folks are saying it was little more than a marketing exercise put on by Dan Gurney too see if it would attract some American corporations to call him. They are also saying that Dan is irritated that his son Alex, who lists his age as 24 the same as Paul Edwards, was not picked for the Red Bull American F1 driver search and that factored into his motivations.

9/30/02

CART stock watch  

MPH closed at $3.77 Up $0.07 on Volume of 8,100 shares.
$3.08 Bid - $4.08 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $3.60 / $3.85
MPH Value Change Up 1.89%
DOW Jones Down 109.52 or 1.42% on Volume of 2.08 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 27.09 or 2.26%
S&P 500 Down 12.09 or 1.46%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

9/30/02

More on Walker tests F3000 driver  Walker Racing has already made great strides toward next season with team owner Derrick Walker taking over the assets of Reynard North America midway through the current season, keeping the fabled chassis manufacturer solidly alive in the CART FedEx Championship Series. Now his team is taking more steps toward 2003 and beyond as the current 2002 slate of races winds down. Looking at the man in the race car instead of at the race car itself, the team rolled one of its Toyota/Reynards out to the West Coast last week for a test session at Firebird International Raceway where Brazilian open-wheel driver and International Formula 3000 competitor Mario Haberfeld tested for two days. The team ran in 105-degree heat for two days with Haberfeld, looking at ways to better the car for this season as well as evaluating the open-wheel driver for a possible entry to the 2003 CART series. "I thought it was a good test and luckily Toyota was able to let us get it done," Edwards said. "We certainly accumulated a lot of laps despite the heat. It was a difficult test for Mario since we didn't have a good baseline for his to compare with but he did a great job. He reminded me of Gil (de Ferran, who drove for Walker Racing from 1997-99) in the early days. He debriefed with the engineers well and he had very good understanding of the car." Haberfeld was making his first CART test after running the past four seasons in the FIA F3000 series. The 26-year-old enjoyed his best year in the series in 2002, earning five top-five finishes and two podiums with Team Astromega. "I enjoyed my two days very much," Haberfeld said. "I enjoyed working with the team who were professional and friendly too. The car was fun to drive especially the horsepower! The chassis was responsive and I felt very comfortable with the car. After two days with the car I feel I understand it well enough to be able to push to find the limit." Walker Team Manager Rob Edwards relayed that the team was interested in Haberfeld for the 2003 season but also added that Walker was considering a number of possibilities and combinations for coming seasons, but that he hoped to be able to announce something soon. "We'd like nothing more, since no one has been able to do it yet, to be the first to get our program in place and make an announcement for next year." Edwards said.  Walker Racing

9/30/02

Skip Barber trained drivers dominate Red Bull search  The Red Bull F1 Driver Search Program this week announced the names of the 15 drivers who have been invited to participate in the program which aims to put an American driver into Formula One. The announcement was made in conjunction with this weekend's United States Grand Prix in Indianapolis. Nearly everyone on the list is notable for their talents inside of a race car, from 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series Champion A.J. Allmendinger to 2000 "Big Scholarship" winner and three-time Toyota Atlantic race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, but they almost all have something in common besides speed and potential-training from Skip Barber. Of the 15 drivers selected, 13 have benefited from training from the Skip Barber organization, further validating Skip Barber's position as the undisputed leader in driver training programs around the world. The 15 drivers will participate in a five-day testing program in France in mid-October, with four of the drivers being selected to race in European junior formulae in 2003 to train and prepare to move up to Formula One in the following seasons. Grant Maiman, of New London, Wisconsin, has clinched the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER and was excited to be included in the selection for the Red Bull Program. Maiman clearly believes that Skip Barber was the best way to prepare for racing at the upper echelons of the sport. "I was never in a racecar until I was 19 years old. It was at a Skip Barber Three Day Racing School," Maiman recalled. "Now the future is wide open. I'm assured a smooth entry into professional racing in the 2003 Barber Dodge Pro Series because of CART Barber scholarship funds. Starting out as late as I did in racing, at the age of 19, it would have been hopeless for me to make it as far as I have if it wasn't for the CART Ladder System and Skip Barber Racing with their Scholarship program." The drivers selected for the Red Bull Driver Search Program: Michael Abbate (2001 Skip Barber Karting Scholarship finalist), A.J. Allmendinger (2001 Skip Barber Karting Scholarship and Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER, 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series Champion), Paul Edwards, Phil Giebler, (Skip Barber Race Series, Skip Barber Karting Scholarship), Joey Hand (Barber Dodge Pro Series), Ryan Hunter-Reay (Skip Barber Karting Scholarship, Skip Barber Race Series, Skip Barber "Big Scholarship," Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER, 2000 Barber Dodge Pro Series Rookie of the Year), Patrick Long (Skip Barber Race Series), Grant Maiman (Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER Champion) Rocky Moran Jr., (Barber Dodge Pro Series), Joel Nelson, Scott Poirer (2001 Skip Barber Race Series Rookie of the Year, Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER), Boston Reid, (Skip Barber Racing School) Bryan Sellers (Skip Barber Race Series, Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER, Barber Dodge Pro Series), Scott Speed (Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER) Bobby Wilson (Skip Barber Karting Scholarship, Skip Barber Racing School).

9/30/02

ISC still up to no good in Miami - II  If you didn't read our recent article by Commando Cody about the war in Miami, you might want to read this recent article in the Miami Herald titled No finish line in legal fight over auto race.  It summarizes the situation in Miami, but we urge you to also read the Commando Cody article for the full story.

9/30/02

Meet the Simple Green Girls  Promotions this year within the CART FedEx Championship Series have been so successful for Simple Green that the sponsor of the Simple Green CART Safety Team and the official cleaner and degreaser of the CART FedEx Championship Series will partner with Publix supermarkets for in-store product displays and special value price points leading up to this weekend's inaugural Grand Prix Americas. On Wednesday, October 2, Simple Green will also participate in a live remote set up at the Publix at Brickell Village with sports radio 560 AM during the talk show broadcast of Hank Goldberg from ESPN. Champ Car driver Townsend Bell, along with Barber Dodge Pro Series pilot Danica Patrick, will join members of the Simple Green CART Safety Team, with the Simple Green girls distributing free posters. The Publix at Brickell Village is located at 134 SW 13th Street Miami, Florida 33130.

9/30/02

Concerts in Miami  The Pioneer Rock-N-Roar Concert Series will come to life again Saturday, October 5th at 7:30 p.m. with Grammy Award-winning rock band TRAIN. The concert is set to take place at the Pioneer Stage at the Bayfront Park Amphitheatre and is free to all Grand Prix Americas ticketholders. The main event will be preceded by a concert featuring internationally renowned jazz flautist Nestor Torres Friday, October 4th at 6:30 p.m. at the same location.

9/30/02

ISC still up to no good in Miami  A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Yesterday I took a walk trough the circuit in Bay front Park in downtown Miami. Everything is almost set for the race and really looks nice and interesting. Howe ever, the local channel 23 Univision, just report a brief flash indicating that the race is in jeopardy because the lawyers of ISC are trying everything possible to stop the race again, with the argument that there is no room for another auto race in the area. Believe me. The downtown looks incredible and thousands like me just can’t wait until Friday for the beginning of the track activities. Tonight, the Hard Rock Café has scheduled a promo event with the presentation of some drivers and cars. David Aldana, Miami, FL.

9/30/02

Fans boo Ferrari drivers  Rubens Barrichello was laughing and smiling as he stood atop the podium in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His teammate Michael Schumacher did the same as he took the second spot on the winner’s podium. But the majority of the 125,000 USGP racing fans weren’t so joyful. In fact, they were booing the two Ferrari drivers after a total dominating performance by the bright red cars in the 73-lap Grand Prix. Schumacher, who clinched his fifth World title months ago, led the entire race Sunday in an almost boring performance. But the finish sure wasn’t boring as the German superstar slowed dramatically as he headed towards IMS President Tony George with the checkered flag. Looking for a near perfect photo finish, Schumacher was nipped at the line by Barrichello in the second closest finish in F-1 history. Barrichello won by 0.011 seconds, the closest finish in Formula One since Peter Gethin beat Ronnie Peterson by 0.01 second in the 1971 Italian Grand Prix. The official timing was recorded only to hundredths of a second at that time.

9/30/02

Management changes at Rockingham  Rockingham is pleased to announce today the appointment of Ashley Pover as Chief Executive of Europe’s fastest motor racing circuit. Ashley will take over the day to day running of Britain’s newest international sporting facility from outgoing CEO David Grace, who announced in July that he was leaving in the autumn, having achieved his goal of getting Rockingham ‘up and running’, to pursue a career in other areas of the motor sport industry. Prior to arriving at Rockingham Ashley Pover spent fifteen successful years with Cantor Fitzgerald and Co, one of the worlds leading financial institutions. As Chief Executive of the London branch and then later CEO of the Toronto office, Ashley was responsible for several new financial product lines and building the company’s presence on the European and world stage. “I’m astounded by the quality of this world class facility, it should be a national treasure. Rockingham is now up and running and has staged some great racing in the past eighteen months. However, we now need to build the awareness of this international entertainment venue to a wider audience. Rockingham’s strengths are not limited to motor racing, but this is going to become a wonderful family venue with a multitude of other forms of entertainment.” Outgoing CEO David Grace said, “This has probably been the most challenging two years of my working life, but it has been very rewarding in taking the business from a building site to something that actually works. I shall remain active within the industry and shall continue to promote Rockingham at every opportunity. I would like to wish Ashley and his team every success with the future development of the Rockingham brand.” Rockingham has also announced that Chairman Peter Middleton has stepped down after fulfilling the role for two years and will be replaced by Joe Dickinson, who has been a member of the Rockingham board since September 2001.  Ashley returns to the UK with his wife Lucy and three children, Alex (14), India (3) and Freddie (18 mths). He was born in Wembley, North London, on 23rd December 1959 and attended the London Business School. He served on the boards of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian Stage Company

9/30/02

Miami track too small  As it turns out, after careful measurement, the Miami street circuit is a 16-turn, 1.379 mile track. That's one turn every 0.086 miles (or every 151 yards), which is of course Mickey Mouse to say the least. CART and Raceworks had better get approval to close more streets and lengthen the course in subsequent years, or rename the race the Miami Parade. Rumor has it they are attempting to do just that.

9/30/02

Real racing  Dear AutoRacing1.com, I guess this years Brickyard 400 was the only race at Indy where the winner actually won!  Gary Parravani, England  [Editor's Note: Mr. Parravani is referring to the Indy 500 where most people acknowledge that Paul Tracy actually won the race, and yesterday's USGP, where Michael Schumacher let his teammate win on the last lap in the latest F1 charade.]

9/30/02

Richards rips Schumacher  "That wasn't a staged finish, it was a cock-up, they are covering up for a complete cock-up. Michael backed off and Rubens didn't,” David Richards said yesterday after the race. "He wasn't letting Rubens past. They were going to come over the line side-by- side, great show, great showmanship, waving at the crowd as they went past. We all make cock-ups in our lives and that was Michael's one cock-up this year. They were in a dominant position, they ran one-two for the whole race and at the end one of them lifted off too much and the other one came past. This is sport. Sport creates unusual circumstances. Rubens I think was all bleary-eyed and didn't actually realize he had got past him."

9/30/02
Industry News

Lola signs contract to supply Formula Nippon  Lola Cars International today announced the completion of a formal agreement between the company and Japan Racing Promotions (JRP), organizers of the Japanese Formula Nippon Championship, to supply Lola’s 03/51 chassis for the Nippon series for the forthcoming 2003 and subsequent race seasons. With strong grid numbers, excellent television and high sponsor involvement, Formula Nippon is again set to continue its impressive growth. The Formula has long been established as a series during the 1980’s and early 1990’s, before Lola then re-focused on the US Champ Car Series. Rick Gorne, international consultant for Lola Cars International, has been working with Katsu Homma, JRP director, to finalize the arrangements for the introduction of the Lola chassis. Gorne says, "Lola has all the credentials required of a chassis manufacturer for this Championship, with so much of the company’s experience being highly relevant. Both the JRP and Lola know that it is important for F Nippon to have a chassis of the very highest international technical standards. The new Lola 03/51 will fulfill this need and ensure that the teams racing in F Nippon will be equipped with a sophisticated chassis that offers all the safety and performance advantages expected from the world’s leading customer racecar company."

9/30/02

USGP attendance  This Indy Star article says, attendance was estimated at 125,000 for yesterday's USGP.  As can be seen from the picture at the right taken of the 1st turn (last turn for F1) grandstand shows a lot of empty seats.  Two years ago the crowd was 220,000, a drop of 95,000 in two years.

9/30/02

Indy Star calls F1 a sham  This Indy Star article says, The people who try to say what happened in the final seconds of Sunday's U.S. Grand Prix is acceptable can go straight to a really hot place. There's no need to try to pitch Michael Schumacher's alleged nobility as an excuse for his purposely relinquishing a three-second lead so Rubens Barrichello could win. Who cares if they're Ferrari teammates? Who cares if Barrichello did the same thing for Schumacher in Austria five months ago? It's all wrong. And while Indianapolis Motor Speedway has had its problems recently, Sunday's propaganda has no place at the world's most famous racetrack, let alone in the United States. A controversial finish, in which the winner is not quite certain at first glance, hey, that's understandable. What happened at May's Indianapolis 500 was an aberration. But a race that ends with the outcome so arbitrarily manipulated for the world to see is flat-out corrupt, not to mention extremely troubling. Yet it just seems part of the territory in Formula One. "Sometimes, (Barrichello) might have to sacrifice for me in a couple of races this year," Schumacher said with a smirk. "To a certain degree, what goes around comes around, and maybe this was the day." Sorry, but this ain't Austria. And this dang sure ain't racing. Beyond playing and driving to win, the fundamental rule of sport is for a participant to do his best at all times. If, as a sports community, we're ready to sit back and accept the idea of one person or team letting another person or team win an event, then we'd better be prepared to accept all forms of dishonesty in competition. One of Don King's boxers throws a fight with another Don King fighter? Hey, fine. No problem. The Don King "team" won, right? Wrong. And that's all Schumacher did Sunday; he threw this race. He took a dive. It's no different. He and the Ferrari team misled viewers. They did it right before our eyes. And we should be aghast. Formula One should be stepping in to stop this foolishness, like any sports league should under similar circumstances. The acceptance of finishes like the one in Austria and, now, Indy, has to be banished. In NASCAR, teams are known to do whatever it takes, even cheat, to win a race. Weirdly, it seems some Formula One teams will do whatever it takes to lose.

9/30/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Driver Analysis: US Grand Prix
Schu Bungles Formation Finish
News From The Paddock (1)
Irvine: I Could Retire
McLaren To Race Old Car In '03
News From The Paddock (2)
Support For American Team
Bernie's Radical F1 Overhaul
News From The Paddock (3)
Dennis Wary Of Bernie-Dream
Patrick Head Fumes At Drivers
News From The Paddock (4)
Irvine Slams Ralf's Driving
News From The Paddock (5)

9/29/02

Irvine says again that retirement is an option  “There is no doubt my third place at Monza has made me more in demand than I was in the middle of the season. But I am still considering only three options. At the moment, there are two teams that I could drive for next season, while the other option is retirement,” he said in the Sun. “I've said all along that unless I can drive for a team that's going to be competitive, I'll find something else to do with my life. And while I've stressed that cash is not the major factor, I am not about to sponsor a team to go racing. I have a market value I feel I am worth and, if I don't get it, I have no problem - I'll clear off. It may be unusual not to have things wrapped up with just two races left but there is no rush. Because, who knows, Michael Schumacher might break both legs tomorrow.”

9/29/02

McLaren to use modified 2002 car in 2003  In a shock move, McLaren has announced that it will focus its 2003 F1 attack using an updated version of this year's MP4-17.  "We are failing," Dennis admitted at Indianapolis. "We cannot, and will not hamstring the performance of Ferrari [by changing the rules]. "We have a very clear plan of how we're going to run through next season. We hear the rumors that we'll use this year's car. That's not correct. We will use what is defined as the 17D. That is, a significantly modified version of what we're running, and that also applies to the derivation of the engine. "Why? Because we know there's more to come from what we've got. And we know that if we go down that path, as demonstrated by Ferrari - it's not a question of copying Ferrari - we should at least have a greater potential for reliability in those first three races. "We will give our engineers - and there are significantly more engineers on both sides of fence [McLaren and Mercedes] - greater involvement. It makes a lot of sense to have as much maneuvering time to find what we need, which is a quantum step. Incremental steps are not going to end the Ferrari domination. We have to take significant steps, and that means time."

9/29/02

BMW shows off new heads-up display  Following qualifying for the 2002 SAP United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway today, the BMW Technology Office and the BMW Group's design firm DesignworksUSA demonstrated to the media an innovative miniature helmet-mounted head-up display system.  More....

9/29/02

Mario Andretti featured speaker  Mario Andretti was the featured speaker at the Williams FedEx party held at the posh Woodstock Country Club in Indianapolis last night (Saturday). Mario's own wine was the party favor. 

9/29/02

2003 Honda to exceed 900 HP  As CART reduces its HP next year to 750 HP in vastly heavier cars, F1 cars will see over 900 HP in 2003.  Honda's new-for-2003 engine has been fired up in Tochigi, Japan, for the first time this weekend. British American Racing will benefit from exclusive use of the unit, said to churn out some 900 horse-power at 18,500rpm.

9/29/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Driver Analysis: Qualifying
Indy: Ferrari Versus Ferrari
News From The Paddock (1)
Podium Helped Jaguar's Case
Bernie Threatens Revolution
News From The Paddock (2)
Legends Reveal All-American Team
News From The Paddock (3)

9/28/02

McLaren beats Williams again  The West McLaren-Mercedes team has outqualified the Williams-BMW team twice in the last three Grand Prix races, including the SAP United States Grand Prix. “We have improved the car,” McLaren Director Ron Dennis said. “Mercedes and Ilmor have certainly improved the performance of the engine. It is a combination of both of those things that have seen us get better qualifying times. “The race tire that we had in the last two races is a more stable tire, so therefore I think we should be able to carry some of that qualifying performance through to tomorrow’s race. “We are also in the fortunate position of being able to race in the same configuration of car and engine that we qualified with today. I don’t think that all the teams are able to do that. So all things being equal, as long as it is a nice, warm day, we should have a reasonable race.”

9/28/02

Stewart praises Indy  Three-time Formula One World Champion and 1966 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Sir Jackie Stewart said Sept. 28 that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the perfect home for the SAP United States Grand Prix. “It is very encouraging that this number of people are so excited and encouraged about F1,” he said. “It is good for American motorsport as well as it is for Grand Prix racing. Indianapolis is a center of motorsport for the United States, so it is nice that we are here instead of somewhere that nobody can identify racing with. “I have a lot of fond memories from over 30 years at Indianapolis.”

9/28/02

HSBC signs on in Miami  HSBC has signed on as the official bank and financial services provider of the Grand Prix Americas. This is the first time HSBC has sponsored a CART event...We await the official press release.

9/28/02

Ferrari Challenge qualifying   Combined qualifying results Saturday for the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli race on the 2.606-mile road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with position, car number in parenthesis, driver, team and practice speed in mph (All cars are factory-built Ferrari 360 Modena cars).  Jon Vannini had an off again, with half the session to go. One of the reasons we were so confident that Jon would be top 5 today was comparing Jon's data with others yesterday showed Jon's theoretical times were quite a bit better and as Cullen was P3... we knew Jon had the potential to put it on the front row if he kept it on the track. Threw it away again, if he'd just drive around at 85% until he got used to the car... irrespective of the time... he'd be up front. Instead he push's too early and ends up going backwards. Amazing that his 8th place qualifying held from when he crashed, until the end about half the session.
1. (11) Paddy Shovlin, Ireland, Roseberry Racing, 93.883
2. (2) Darius Grala, United States, Ferrari Orange County, 93.557
3. (87) Doug Peterson, United States, Shelton Sports Cars, 93.140
4. (1) Michael Cullen, Ireland, Roseberry Racing, 93.114
5. (27) Jim Kenton, United States, Ferrari of Washington, 92.351
6. (34) Brent Martini, United States, Ferrari of Orange County, 92.095
7. (33) Ash Allie, United States, Ferrari of Washington, 91.803
8. (67) Jon Vannini, United States, Ferrari of Central Florida, 91.746
9. (18) Dennis Crowley, United States, Shelton Sports Cars, 91.512
10. (4) Mark Patterson, United States, Roseberry Racing, 91.470
11. (12) Mike Louli, Canada, Ferrari of Ontario, 91.296
12. (44) Eddy Aslanian, United States, Ferrari of Orange County, 91.085
13. (66) Louis Scafuri, United States, Ferrari of Long Island, 90.796
14. (53) Jose Luis Valera, Venezuela, Roseberry Racing, 90.765
15. (90) Chris Wood, Canada, Ferrari of Quebec, 90.765
16. (58) Pierre Schroeder, United States, Ferrari of Long Island, 90.684
17. (6) Ciaran Caulfield, Ireland, Roseberry Racing, 90.092
18. (32) Kurt Carlson, United States, Shelton Sports Cars, 89.906
19. (41) Peter Greenfield, United States, Ferrari of Orange County, 88.943
20. (65) Jay Wilton, United States, Ferrari of Orange County, 88.973
21. (9) Marc Iacovelli, United States, Ferrari of Quebec, 86.916
22. (19) Mandy Reimert, United States, Ferrari of Houston, 86.438
23. (20) Joel Quaid, United States, Ferrari of Orange Country, 83.837
24. (56) Quentin Wahl, Ferrari of Houston, 82.764

9/28/02

Hill and Gurney plan American F1 team  American road-racing legends Dan Gurney and Phil Hill revealed plans Sept. 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to launch an all-American Formula One team for the 2003 season. “I think by the middle of October, we’ll know,” Gurney said as the pair sat in a suite during SAP United States Grand Prix practice. “It would be American ownership and it would be more than one person. I’d like it to be a U.S. Formula One team with U.S. drivers. “The time is perfect for this to happen. It’s going to require certain dominos to start falling pretty quickly, but it would be a monumental situation. One of the keys right now is engines. We have a commitment – not a contract – from Ford Cosworth, and we could have a signed contract in a couple weeks’ time. If we have our way, we’ll see you here next September (with a team). “It could be enormous. The reality is it would need to be done properly and be properly funded. It could definitely happen. We’re awfully close to it. As a racing fan myself, I know fans will be extremely stoked about it. It’s an opportunity that comes, and you try to make the best of it.” He was asked if he had spoken about the project to F1 czar Bernie Ecclestone. “Yes,” Gurney said. “He said anything he could do to help, let him know.” The project, Gurney said, started 2 ½ years ago, and he’s been at work with it for the past nine months. Hill said he would be involved and had not been into an ownership situation since retiring as a driver. “It (ownership opportunities) never really got off the ground before,” said Hill, the 1961 Formula One World Champion. “Bob Balachowski and Russ Olsen have a very good business plan that will stand up to scrutiny to run a good business, and they’ve done a lot of the planning and leg work,” Gurney said. “We will end up with major American sponsorship that wants to get global racing exposure and business. We’ll end up with many vintage car enthusiasts involved." Gurney’s son, Alex, and Hill’s son, Derek, both have Formula One aspirations as drivers. “They’ve both made wonderful strides and completed steps to do super groundwork to get to Formula One,” Hill said. “They’re at very similar stages.” In addition to the ’61 title, Hill won three of 48 Formula One starts and scored points 20 times from 1958-64. “I first came here in 1950 and remember that Richie Ginther’s family lived here,” Hill said of Indianapolis, adding that he didn’t ever attempt the Indianapolis 500 “because I was always tied up in May.” Gurney’s best run at an F1 championship also came in ’61, when he finished third. He posted four F1 wins in 86 starts and scored points 31 times from 1959-70. He also started nine Indianapolis 500s with a best finish of second in 1968 to Bobby Unser and also second in1969 to Mario Andretti. His Eagle chassis dominated the Indy-style circuit in the early ‘70s.

9/28/02

Seen at USGP  Former World driving champion Mario Andretti spending a lot of time in the BMW garage, Carl Haas spending a lot of time in the Ferrari garage, and Helio Castroneves talking to the Toyota team, probably about a possible ride for 2004.

9/28/02

Was Jaguar legal?  Dear AutoRacing1.com, I could not help but notice that Jaguar were backmarkers all year, then when Ford was voting on whether to keep the program going, all of a sudden they get a podium at Monza.  This weekend at the USGP, they were top 3 in practice, but once the Ford announcement was made to keep the team going, I see they immediately resumed their position toward the back of the grid in qualifying.  Something looks fishy to me.  David Wimer, Norfolk, VA

9/28/02

Delphi to slash suppliers by 90%   One has to wonder what this will do to their race sponsorship.  Delphi Automotive Systems Corp. Chief Executive Officer J.T. Battenberg III said the world's largest automotive supplier wants to cut its suppliers to 600 from 6,000 currently to improve efficiency. "Those suppliers that we choose will become true partners with us," said Battenberg, in an interview at the Paris Motor Show. He said reducing the number to 600 was a long term goal. He didn't specify when it will happen. The maker of engine and interior parts had a $370 million net loss in 2001. Bloomberg

9/28/02

Jaguar loses big $$$  We guess Jaguar looking inferior on the F1 circuit with no hope of winning a race isn't helping car sales.  Ford Motor Co's Jaguar luxury car unit will post a full-year 2002 operating loss of about $500 million, Ford's President and Chief Operating Officer Nick Scheele said on Friday. Scheele told Reuters at the Paris auto show.  Despite the loss at Jaguar, Scheele said Ford's Premier Automotive Group, which also includes the Land Rover, Volvo and Aston Martin businesses, was on track to deliver strong revenue growth as part of Ford's multi-year-turnaround plan after the company's $5.45 billion loss in 2001.

9/28/02

Portland race a go if CART is  According to this Portland Tribune article, organizers of the Portland CART event are planning for next year’s race. But will the struggling series still be alive? Expect an announcement soon confirming CART’s race in Portland June 20-22, with Global Events Group remaining the promoter and G.I. Joe’s back as the main sponsor. Neither Norm Daniels, G.I. Joe’s CEO-president, nor Mike Nealy, Global Events president, would discuss details of the race negotiations. “Everything will fall into place in the next two or three weeks,” Nealy says. The annual race, titled the G.I. Joe’s 200, is a Rose Festival Association event. Former Rose Festival Race Chairman Bob Ames, who along with Daniels, Bill Hildick and others lured the neophyte series to Portland 20 years ago, says he expects the race to take place “unless something disastrous happens in respect to CART itself. “They may make a decision based on the lack of teams or lack of venues, or go out of business, or merge with somebody,” Ames says.

9/28/02

Herta at USGP  Ex-CART and Panoz sportscar racer Bryan Herta, who resides in California, can has been spotted in the Indianapolis F1 paddock this weekend. The 32-year-old tested a Minardi at Donington Park recently, and is still confident of a proper test before long.

9/28/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Driver Analysis: Friday
Ford Backs Jaguar Project
Dennis Welcomes Mercedes-Ilmor Move
News From The Paddock (1)
Ford Explains Jordan Deal
Ferrari Boys To Race!
More To Come From Ferrari
News From The Paddock (2)
Irvine's Future Unclear
Frentzen Back On Track
Villeneuve Still Hungry
News From The Paddock (3)
Ralf Rejects JPM Rivalry
Sir Frank Supports Pizzonia
Blown Tire Blamed For Crash
Rivals Promise To Catch Up
Fisher Makes F1 Debut
News From The Paddock (4)

  Much More...click on 2002 archives button below

Hot News Archives

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