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DATE

News (chronologically)

10/11/02

Dario Franchitti's move to IRL came w/F1 promise  As we suspected Champ Car star Dario Franchitti's move to the IRL in 2003 came with some promises he would get a shot at a F1 test, and perhaps a ride. Franchitti has recently signed a deal to continue with the Honda-powered Andretti-Green team when they transfer to the Indy Racing League next year. "An F1 test is something we've talked to Honda about, but there's nothing concrete yet," Franchitti said. "I'd like very much for it to happen." "We have discussed this," David Richards said. "Dario has very close links to Honda and there is a distinct chance of a test."

10/11/02

Biela wins Pole  Since his car had been the fastest in all practice sessions, it was no surprise that Frank Biela placed his Audi R8 on the pole for the American Le Mans Series season finale in Friday’s qualifying session at Road Atlanta. But the biggest surprise in qualifying for Saturday’s Audi presents Petit Le Mans was the performance of James Weaver, who was third-fastest while driving Dyson Racing’s LMP 675 Lola EX257-MG. The smaller, less-powerful Prototype led its class and outqualified all but two of the powerful LMP 900 machines. Biela, winning the pole for the second consecutive race on the American Le Mans Series, turned the 2.54-mile circuit in a non-record time of 1:10.939. He and co-driver Emanuele Pirro are the defending champion of the event and Biela still has a mathematical chance of overtaking fellow Audi driver Tom Kristensen for the series championship. “Our engineer came up with the plan to get the qualifying point in case something happens to the other car,” said Biela. “During practice, conditions were constantly changing so it was hard to judge how well we were doing. We only had one problem: a little too much understeer, which could be a problem during the race. One important thing is that our car is always pretty reliable.” Kristensen qualified second at a very close 1:11.070 in a car he will share with Rinaldo Capello. Weaver, who will co-drive with Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace, timed in at 1:11.883. “We thought we could get third quickest,” said Weaver. “Anything better than that would have taken a bit of a miracle. This is a fabulous little car. It’s very, very fast.” The Champion Audi of Johnny Herbert and Stefan Johansson will start fourth in the 1,000-mile (or 10-hour) event, with the Panoz LMP-1 of David Brabham, Jan Magnussen and David Donohue to start fifth. The Panoz team worked all night to repair the car after a mechanical failure sent Donohue into a barrier in Thursday’s practice.  Results

10/11/02

CART talks about Wilson test  Homestead-Miami Speedway played host to a CART Champ Car rookie test for 2001 FIA International Formula 3000 champion Justin Wilson earlier this week. Wilson, a native of Sheffield, England, logged nearly 400 miles in a Toyota-powered Lola for 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series champions Newman/Haas Racing on the 1.5-mile oval located in southern Florida. Wilson felt his first Champ Car experience went well and made his intentions known. "It was very much a progressive experience and I went quicker and quicker as the day passed," Wilson said. "I was happy with my efforts. It was an enjoyable experience as these cars are all about putting the driver in control. It's obviously my goal to be driving in Formula One or the CART FedEx Championship in 2003 and I just have to keep testing, keep proving to people I can do the job and see what develops from there." CART Vice President of Racing Operations John Lopes added that CART Steward Chris Kneifel was on hand for the test just after the completion of the inaugural Grand Prix Americas in downtown Miami. "Chris indicated that Justin was very impressive and provided the kind of feedback we would expect from a driver of his talent level," Lopes said. "We are aware of several teams in the CART paddock with interest in Justin and we hope to see him with CART in 2003." Wilson is currently competing in the inaugural Telefonica World Series by Nissan. This follows his success in the 2001 F3000 Championship when he became the first British driver to win the series and broke 1999 CART champion Juan Pablo Montoya's records for number of points (71) and podiums (10) in a single season.

10/11/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed on it’s high of the day to $4.45 Up $0.15 on light Volume of 21,000 shares.
$3.73 Bid - $4.76 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.29 / $4.45
MPH Value Change Up 3.49%
DOW Jones Up 316.34 or 4.2% on Volume of 2.17 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 47.11 or 4.05%
S&P 500 Up 31.41 or 3.91%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

10/11/02

More on final Miami TV rating  The Grand Prix Americas telecast on CBS Sports exposed more sports fans to the fast-paced action of the CART FedEx Championship Series than any other CART event this season. The race, which saw Cristiano da Matta (#6 Chevron Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone) of Newman/Haas Racing clinch the 2002 series title, was shown live in 39 percent of the U.S. markets and tape-delayed in the others. The broadcast drew a final gross national rating of 1.4, which translates into 1.48 million households. The household exposure number eclipses the June 2 Miller Lite 250 from The Milwaukee Mile, which had held the top spot for the season with 1.26 million households. The tape-delayed broadcast was bolstered by the lead-in from the National Football League broadcasts on CBS, with the 90-minute show - which was joined in progress - exposing many new fans to the sport. "More and more people are recognizing what kind of racing we offer in the CART FedEx Championship Series and greater numbers of them are tuning in to see our teams and drivers perform," said CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. "We intend to build on these numbers and continue to showcase the skills of these incredibly talented drivers." The Miami event was the crowning point of seven CART FedEx Championship Series races broadcast in the first season of CART's partnership with CBS Sports. In addition to Miami, CBS Sports televised the Miller Lite 250 from Milwaukee, the G.I. Joe's 200 from Portland, the CART Grand Prix of Chicago, the Molson Indy Toronto, the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank and the CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio. "The ratings from Miami marked a perfect way to end our first year together," said CBS Sports Senior Vice President of Programming Rob Correa. "We're looking forward to building on the foundation we have with CART and the FedEx Championship Series in 2003." The year's remaining races will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel starting with the Honda Indy 300 from Australia (October 27, 12:00 a.m. ET) followed by The 500 Presented by Toyota at California Speedway (November 3, 3:30 ET) and the season-ending Gran Premio Telmex/Gigante Presented by Banamex/Visa in Mexico City, Mexico (November 17, 4:00 p.m. ET).

10/11/02

ALMS releases 2003 schedule, add Europe and Mexico City  New events in Mexico and Europe highlight an expanded schedule of 11 races for the American Le Mans Series for the 2003 season, series officials have announced.  The 2003 schedule for the American Le Mans Series:
March 15 – Mobil1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway (3.7 mile), 12 hours.
April 6 – Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City, Mex. (2.75 mile), distance TBA.
May – European event (location and distance TBA).
June 29 – Cadillac Grand Prix of Washington, D.C., RFK Stadium Circuit (1.661 mile), 2 hours, 45 minutes.
July 27 – Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma, Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, Calif. (2.53 mile), 2 hours, 45 minutes.
Aug. 3 – Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres, Le Circuit Trois-Rivieres (Qc.), (1.52 mile), 2 hours, 45 minutes.
Aug. 17 – Grand Prix at Mosport, Mosport International Raceway, Bowmanville, Ont. (2.459 mile), 2 hours, 45 minutes.
Aug. 24 – Road America 500, Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis. (4 mile), 500 miles.
Sept. 7 – Monterey Sports Car Championships, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, Calif. (2.238 mile), 2 hours, 45 minutes.
Sep. 27 – Grand Prix Americas, Miami Downtown Street Circuit, (circuit length TBA), 2 hours, 45 minutes.
Oct. 18 – Audi presents Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta, Braselton, Ga. (2.54 mile), 1,000 miles or 10 hours.

10/11/02

Final Talladega TV rating  The final Talladega ratings was a 4.8 rating and 11 share, representing 5,069,000 households. The race finished tied with last year's numbers and turned in the highest national rating ever for any auto race in competition with professional football. NBC says "Through 13 telecasts (excluding Daytona 500), NASCAR Winston Cup coverage on NBC and TNT has produced a 4.3 national rating/10 share, a two percent increase over last year’s record breaking season average of a 4.2/11 through the comparable weekend. This increase is an impressive gain considering the 34 percent ratings increase last year."

10/11/02

Final Miami TV rating  The CART race from Miami on CBS yielded a more respectable 1.4 rating (down from the 1.5 overnight) and and 3 share this past Sunday, representing 1,449,000 households.  Outside of the Indy 500, that's one of the highest Indy Car ratings of the year.

10/11/02

Mercedes steals top BMW engine man  Who is BMW trying to kid, this has to hurt.  Heinz Paschen, leading designer of the BMW Formula One engines, has been announced as the new General Manager of BMW’s F1 engine development in Munich from the end of the 2002 season. However, it may not all be good news for BMW. Paschen entered the BMW F1 project in 2000 as manager of design and calculation after designing ChampCar engines for Toyota and becomes the successor of Dr Werner Laurenz who leaves the company to join arch rival Mercedes. “Werner Laurenz did a great job in helping to establish the BMW F1 department and now he looks for new challenges,” a press release from the manufacturer quoted Mario Theissen as saying. “Heinz Paschen has been exclusively involved in design and calculation of the V10 engine and is now happy to take over the responsibility of the entire engine development. The fact that we are able to replace Heinz Paschen’s position through internal promotion of personnel underlines the strength and stability that the team has reached.”  

10/11/02

Orange terminates Arrows sponsorship  The three year sponsorship deal between mobile service provider Orange and Arrows ends after this weekend's Japanese GP and the agreement will not be renewed. Orange announced that it would not be continuing its partnership with the bankrupt Arrows team after this year.. The three year sponsorship has been one of the most successful team sponsorships ever in terms of brand exposure, as Arrows ran highly recognizable bright orange cars for three years. The company says it is reviewing its future sponsorship plans and will make an announcement shortly about its future in F1. Orange has increased its event sponsorship this year with prominent track-side signage, and is expected to continue the trend next year. 

10/11/02

News tidbits from Japan - II

- Formula One is welcoming the silver pacesetters on Friday at Suzuka, but Scuderia Ferrari are decidedly frustrated that their 'more ambitious target than usual' of an all-red front row is not going according to plan. 'We expect to be competitive in tomorrow's qualifying session,' said Jean Todt. 'We would like to do it as a present for our good friends at Bridgestone and our many fans in Japan.'

- Michael Schumacher's hydraulics problem may have seriously hampered his track time, but a similar gremlin on the McLaren of David Coulthard was rapidly fixed by his silver mechanics. 'My problem necessitated an engine change,' said the Scot. 'As a result I didn't do as many laps as I would have liked, but the team did a great job in getting everything ready for the second session.' In the end, Coulthard lapped the Suzuka circuit only five times less than Kimi Raikkonen.

- BAR driver Olivier Panis was seething after stalling his Honda just moments after teammate Jacques Villeneuve's heavy impact at Spoon. The Frenchman explains: 'I slowed down to pick my way around the debris from Jacques' car and to check he wasn't hurt,' said the 36-year-old. 'I lost concentration and stalled the car so I'm sorry for the team because of that. I can't believe it!'

- Renault will enjoy the use of an uprated engine for qualifying tomorrow at Suzuka. 'I am quite optimistic because we have a new qualifying engine and we seem to be going in the right direction with the car set-up,' reported Jarno Trulli after opening practice. The Italian was ninth quickest, half a second faster than team-mate Jenson Button. Denis Chevrier, engine boss, adds: 'It is a better qualifying engine than the one we had in Indianapolis.'

- The Jaguar boys may be seventh and eighth on the Friday standings, but Eddie Irvine is far from upbeat about the prospects for the season-finale at Suzuka. 'The lap times look impressive but I think we're in for a hard weekend at this circuit,' he said. 'We had a lack of rear grip, and then suffered with brake issues.' Pedro de la Rosa reported that his R3 transformed its balance from oversteer to understeer during the course of the day.

- A gearbox oil fire on Alex Yoong's PS02 Minardi hampered more than just the Malaysian's Asiatech-powered mount. Team boss, Paul Stoddart, explains: 'A large amount of fire retardant dust infiltrated our garages, and in particular, our computer equipment. While every attempt will be made to clean everything, sadly, the dust managed to get into every nook and cranny.'

- Michael Schumacher lost track time with a hydraulic failure, but even Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello had his tire comparisons marred. 'On the first run he went wide over the curbs so we stopped the run to check the car. The last run was quite promising - he did seven laps which has given us some useful information about the tires,' said Luca Baldisserri, acting technical director. 

10/11/02

News tidbits from Japan - I

- Jacques Villeneuve emerged unscathed and curiously upbeat from his massive accident at the Spoon curve in morning practice. 'The car seemed to lose traction on the exit from Spoon Curve and I hit the curb, lost control then spun the car into the barrier,' said the Canadian. 'It was quite a heavy impact but I'm fine.'

- The overriding grumble from the F1 pilots on Friday was the lack of grip on the Suzuka circuit. Hisao Suganuma, Bridgestone Technical Manager, explains: 'A number of cars went off and slid through the corners, making the wear rate of the tires was relatively high.' Most drivers reported an improvement in grip towards the end of the session.

- Michael Schumacher lost time in the afternoon session on Friday with a hydraulic problem, but the chief hindrance was his inability to complete his Bridgestone tire comparison. 'Our primary tire has more grip whereas the option provided better stability and consistency,' said Hisao Suganuma, technical manager. 'Today's running has given us a lot of good data to select the best tires for the race for all our teams.'

- British American Racing has reported 'extensive damage' as a result of Jacques Villeneuve's high speed accident at Suzuka's Spoon Curve. The front wing, nose and rear wing structures were badly smashed, with both front wheels removed and left hanging from their tethers. The rear end damage was quickly resolved with a change of gearbox and suspension.

- German ace Michael Schumacher is relatively unperturbed about losing most of his Friday Practice at Suzuka with a hydraulic failure. 'I am not concerned about this for tomorrow's qualifying session as I am sure we will be competitive,' said the 33-year-old. 'Even if the gap between us and the non-Bridgestone teams seems a bit closer than usual.'

- Japanese engine partner Honda have moaned that the BAR drivers' mistakes cost them dearly on Friday at Suzuka. 'Obviously this isn't an ideal start to the weekend,' said Shuhei Nakamoto, Race and Test Team Manager. 'All four drivers will be using a slighter higher spec engine so we hope we can qualify well in front of our home crowd.'

- French tire supplier Michelin have claimed an early victory at the Suzuka circuit. McLaren chums Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard led the field by some margin at the Japanese track. 'It's easy to be positive when things go as well as they have done today,' said Pascal Vasselon, F1 manager. 'We seem to be in good shape.' Drivers up and down pitlane remarked that both Michelin compounds appear to be close in performance and endurance.

10/11/02
ARCA

Martin death investigation begins   Lowe's Motor Speedway and Automobile Racing Club of America officials began a review of Wednesday's fatal crash during practice at the track, but made no immediate rules changes Thursday following the death of ARCA rookie Eric Martin. "We still don't know the full story of what happened and we are investigating that," Speedway president H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler said. "We're going to be looking into some things as soon as we know a little more about what happened." Martin, 33, of Hixson, Tenn., spun in his Chevrolet as he came out of Turn 4 during a practice session. Seconds later, his stationary car was hit in the driver's-side door by a car driven by Deborah Renshaw. Martin suffered massive internal injuries, Wheeler said. Renshaw, 25, of Bowling Green, Ky., had multiple foot and ankle fractures and had surgery Thursday. She was listed in fair condition late Thursday, will have an evaluation today and could be released afterward, said a University Hospital spokesperson. "I let (Jarrett) know where the other cars are so he won't crowd anybody or get crowded himself. "I spotted in the late '80s from on top of the truck in practice. Then we started going to the roof. You can see so much more from there." Calinoff said he goes to the roof "whether (Kenseth) is on the track for one lap or 20 laps. "I'm a second set of eyes for Matt. I tell him when it's clear to pass. And on wrecks, instead of telling him where to go on the track, I'll tell him where the (wrecked) cars are and let him decide where to go." ThatsRacin.com

10/11/02
ARCA

Renshaw update  Deborah Renshaw, injured in a crash Wednesday at Lowe's Motor Speedway during ARCA RE/MAX Series practice, underwent orthopedic surgery on her left foot/ankle area Thursday morning at Carolinas Medical Center - University. According to hospital spokesperson Scott White, she is in fair condition and will be held overnight for further evaluation. Renshaw may be released Friday. Meanwhile, Funeral services for the man killed in the accident, Eric Martin, will be held at the Bradley Funeral Home, 938 N. Main St., Marion, Virginia 24354 on Saturday, October 12 at 2 PM local time. Visitation will be on Friday from 7 PM - 9 PM local time.  Renshaw's father, Dan Renshaw, told The Tennessean last night that his daughter had not yet been informed of Martin's death. ''Deborah's already in pretty bad shape and the minister on hand thought it would be best not to break the news to her until after she gets through the surgery,'' he said. Dan Renshaw said his daughter suffered ''seven or eight'' broken bones.''  Renshaw's family issued a statement through hospital spokesman Scott White: ''The Renshaw family would like to express their condolences to the Martin family. They hold Eric and his family in their hearts and prayers at this time of tragedy.''

10/11/02

Rain halts Lowes trials, Nadeau loses, Stewart wins  UPDATE Jerry Nadeau was the fastest of 18 drivers that took pole qualifying last night.  Rain postponed qualifying until this morning, but the rain persisted and qualifying was cancelled.  The starting lineup will be based on points so Nadeau, who had been fastest went from 1st to 39th on the grid. Tony Stewart, the points leader will start from pole.  "Because of how early we went in qualifying, it didn’t look like that time was going to hold up anyway, stated Nadeau. It was a good lap, especially to have gone as early as we did, and we were really happy with it. We had been good in practice and we put down a good lap to back it up. "You can’t be too disappointed about the rain. I mean, it is disappointing but you have to be realistic too. There have been plenty of teams who looked really good in qualifying, and ended up losing it all because of rain. And it’s not fun to think that on a nice night, we would have ended up starting in probably the top five or so, instead of way back where we are.  10/11/02 - Rain interrupted qualifying Thursday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway, forcing all but 18 NASCAR Winston Cup drivers into a late night to be followed by an early morning. Matt Kenseth was the 19th driver on the track as intermittent raindrops turned into a shower. After he nearly lost control and hit the wall, NASCAR halted the session. After a two-hour delay during which track dryers nearly got the 1.5-mile oval ready to use, the skies opened again and qualifying was postponed to 8 a.m. today. Kenseth, who was afforded a second opportunity by race officials, will be the first car out as NASCAR tries again to set the field for Sunday's UAW-GM Quality 500.

10/11/02

Villeneuve escapes injury  Jacques Villeneuve escaped serious injury following a heavy crash during the opening practice session Friday morning for this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix. The BAR driver lost the rear of the car near the spoon corner and hit the barrier hard, tearing off the front end of his 004 chassis. The Canadian managed to climb from the wreckage and walk away without any apparent injury. "As soon as I was on the curve the traction control decided not to work, so we will have to look at the data," said Villeneuve. "It's reparable so hopefully we can get out in the second session. It was heavier than I thought. You're spinning like mad and you think you are not going fast and when you hit the wall it's like 'Oh, wow. That was faster than I thought."

10/11/02

Hemelgarn looking for ride-buyers  Without Coors sponsorship Hemelgarn Racing has told Buddy Lazier he's free to look elsewhere.  Meanwhile, Hemelgarn said he hopes to field two cars in the IRL next season, the second at General Motors' request. The team has tested potential ride-buyers Aaron Fike, A.J. Fike, Dave Steele, Tony Ave and Cory Witherill this month. "We're alive, we're well and we're putting things together," said Hemelgarn, who has Delta Faucet, Life Fitness and other companies lined up. "Are we still looking for sponsors? Yes, but that's as we have every year since 1984. Don't count us out yet," he told the Indy Star

10/11/02

Sponsor troubles for Foyt  We reported previously that Foyt's sponsor Conseco, was close to bankruptcy.  Now comes word Foyt has lost the Harrah's sponsorship as well.  It may be that Foyt will fund his grandson's ride out of his own pocket.  As for his other cars - Driver wanted, bring checkbook.  Foyt said Salazar doesn't have enough money to make a difference. "He's been super to us," Foyt said. "But if I'm going to run out of my own pocket, I'm going to do it with my own family."

10/11/02

Richards continues to deny Villeneuve move to CART  Q: David as you said, Jacques is staying next year, but was a proposal made by someone in CART to you or your team about taking Jacques for next year?  Dave Richards: Yes certainly. It was some months ago and it has become public knowledge now. It was to drive in the Players Team. We clearly needed a replacement for Jacques and when the time drifted on, and when Olivier had the offer from Toyota, without the replacement driver, it wasn't practical for the team. I think Jacques was not particularly enthusiastic. He was willing to work with the team on it, if that was to the benefit of the team, but he wanted to stay in Formula One. He is a Formula One driver and he is committed to Formula One and he wants to be here and I am very pleased he will be with the team here next year.

10/11/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Coulthard Leads Reform Dissent
Mosley's Nine-Point Plan
Irvine: I'm Not Retiring
Salo Ends Eight Year Career
Drivers Form Army Of Dissent
Brief News From The Paddock (1)
Rubens: Michael Gifted Indy Win
Sato Denies Clouded Future
Panis To Toyota: Tough Times Ahead
Rubens Defends Tire Monopoly
'Virtual Ross' To Steer Ship
McLaren Optimistic In Japan
More Opposition To Radical Reform
DC Will Retire As Champion
2003 Could Be Villeneuve's Last
Senior Staff Change At BMW
Brief News From The Paddock (2)

10/11/02

Bahrain Circuit Masterminds to compete in Bathurst 24 Hr  Peter Hansen, the former CEO of Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) who is now in charge of the new Grand Prix Circuit to be built in Bahrain, and the circuit¹s German designer Herman Tilke have confirmed their entry in the Bathurst 24 Hr. in a Honda S2000. Hansen and Tilke are working closely together on the Bahrain project, which is believed to be the largest motor sports project in the world. Peter Hansen left Australia at the beginning of this year to form his own company, International Motorsports Management. The company provides management services and consultancy to several large motor sports project around the world, including Australia. The latest and largest is the new Formula One circuit in Bahrain which will host the first F1 race in 2004. German, Herman Tilke designed the latest Formula One circuits in Malaysia and the re-worked Hochenheim Ring in Germany. Tilke is also involved in the planning of the proposed F1 circuit in China as well as keeping a watching brief on the progress in Moscow. The two of them are no novices to motor sport. Both have extensive experience as competitors, Peter Hansen (52) was Danish Touring Car Champion in 1980 and raced in the World Sportscar Championship in 1982 and since then competed in several international races. Herman Tilke (47) started racing in Germany in the early 80¹s. He was second in the European Touringcar Championship in 1984. Since then he has competed in the Spa 24 hr., Nurburgring 24 hr. and Daytona 24 hr. for many years. Speaking from Bahrain both Peter and Herman said ³We are extremely excited to be able to race together, it was something we talked about when we met for the first time at the Malaysian Grand Prix in March this year. We are now working closely together on circuit design and circuit management and so it is a perfect fit that we can also race together. Both of us have raced on most of the famous European circuits but never at Bathurst so we are really looking forward to it."

10/11/02

Stock cars even more dangerous  Dear Autoracing1.com, I must say I found your recent article about the extremely high injury rate on oval tracks, particularly the IRL, rather alarming.  I had no idea that series was injuring so many drivers.  However, the article only examined injuries and deaths in Indy Car racing.  What about stock car racing (NASCAR and ARCA)?  We have see so many deaths and injuries in stock cars over the years I lost count.  Eric Martin's death Tuesday was horrifying.  Jay Peabody, Seattle, WA  Dear Jay, you are absolutely correct.  All forms of oval track racing is dangerous.  An overwhelming majority of injuries and deaths over the years have come on oval tracks.  Rest assured it's going to continue.  As long as you have hard concrete walls to hit, and high speeds, death and injury will result.  However, it appears sometimes that the sanctioning bodies view drivers as expendable.  Lose one and there's always another to fill their shoes.  Like Eric Martin, they just put them in a body bag, haul them away, pray to God, and get on with the racing.  Until the drivers get together and boycott, safety improvements will be slow in coming.  All it would take is a few cancelled races from driver boycotts and the promoters will take a financial bath.  Then, and only then will anything really get done.  We, like you, watched in horror at the video that showed Martin's car sitting parked up against the wall for 18 full seconds, yet a car still hit him at full speed and killed him.  18 full seconds and cars were still running at full speed.  Because stock cars are so antiquated, they have no onboard dash lights to signal the driver a caution light is on, and if you have ever driven an oval, you'll know that after you drone around for a number of laps you fall into a sort of hypnotic stupor.  Going around in circles so long causes you to lose your focus. It's analogous to falling asleep behind the wheel on a highway from sheer boredom.  The women, Renshaw, who hit and killed Martin, had 18 seconds, the good part of a full lap, to slow down. She must have passed umpteen flashing yellow lights, yet she plowed unabated head on into him (on a straight nonetheless) as if she never even saw him, indicating she likely was in what we now deem the oval track stupor.  In addition, one of the major causes of the type wreck that killed the Mr. Martin is one of the most stupid rules in auto racing - letting cars race back to the yellow flag. Drivers are conditioned to not slow, or slow appreciably because they don't want to lose track position - those down laps go all out to get a lap back, at times making very dangerous moves through traffic. Allowing racing back to the flag is outrageously dangerous, putting drivers and perhaps even fans in harms way. Both NASCAR and ARCA need to change that rule and culture immediately, getting in line with the rest of the racing world. Racing is inherently dangerous, but there is no room in the rule book for making it more so in the name of entertainment. When the issue of dashboard caution lights was first raised five years ago, NASCAR officials rejected the idea. Mark C.

10/10/02

Constructors points still up for grabs  In the prestigious Constructors Championship, Ferrari has won its record 12th title this season ahead of BMW WilliamsF1, West McLaren-Mercedes and Mild Seven Renault. But the battle for fifth place is still wide open between Sauber-Petronas, Jaguar-Cosworth, Lucky Strike BAR-Honda and DHL Jordan-Honda, which are separated by just four points. The final points and positions earned are vital not only for the prestige but also for the prize and travel money that is paid out on the number of points scored. As for reigning World Champion Michael Schumacher, he intends to round out the season with his 11th victory of the year. He has excelled at the Suzuka track before with four wins and three second-place finishes in 11 starts. “Ferrari has always been competitive at this track, and I cannot see any reason why it should be any different this year,” he said. “The F2002 has proved to be fantastic on all types of circuits, so I am looking forward to the racing getting underway.”

10/10/02

Drivers points still up for grabs  The 2002 Formula One season ends with Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix, the 17th race of the year. While Michael Schumacher already has clinched a record-tying fifth World Championship, and while Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello locked up second place in the Drivers Championship with a victory in the SAP United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis two weeks ago, the race in Japan will decide many other positions in the championship, including third place among the drivers. 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya is third in the Drivers Championship with 47 points, while Ralf Schumacher has 42 points and David Coulthard has 41. “Last week in the United States, we secured second place in the Constructors Championship, which was our target, but the Drivers Championship is yet to be decided,” Montoya said. “While it is a pity that we come to Japan when the championship has already been decided, I expect the Japanese fans will be as excited as always, and it is amazing how passionate they are.” Ralf Schumacher hopes that his Williams-BMW will be quicker than the McLaren-Mercedes cars of Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen. “We were quite a bit stronger than McLaren here last year,” Ralf Schumacher said, “so it should be possible to beat them again. But let’s wait and see what happens once we are on the track.”   Two points separate the four drivers contesting eighth place in the championship, and only two points separate the six drivers between 12th and 17th in the standings.

10/10/02

Toyota completes Day 2 at Indy  The new Toyota Indy V8 engine wrapped up two successful days of testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Thursday, in preparation for entry into the Indy Racing League in 2003. The Toyota engine ran more than 450 miles over the two days with Gil de Ferran driving a Marlboro Team Penske-prepared Toyota Dallara. "We experienced some positive things over the past two days,” said John Faivre, Toyota Racing Development senior track support manager. “Yet, we have a lot of work ahead of ourselves in catching up with some very tough competition that have a wealth of experience with these engines. Fortunately, we have some great teams and drivers to work with along the way, especially when you consider the first two teams (Marlboro Team Penske and Target Chip Ganassi Racing) we’re testing with here at the Speedway have combined to win the last three Indianapolis 500s.” De Ferran was optimistic after completing the two-day test session here Thursday. “I’m satisfied with the progress the Toyota engine is making so far,” said the two-time CART champion, who finished third in his first IRL season despite missing the season finale. “We’re still in the early stages of what will be a long winter preparing for the first race in March.”

10/10/02

SPEED Channel live from Japan  F1 practice will be shown live at midnight (EDT) Oct. 10 on Speed Channel. Qualifying will be shown live at midnight (EDT) Oct. 11 on Speed Channel. The race will be shown live at 1 a.m. (EDT) Oct. 13, also on Speed Channel.

10/10/02

Donahue crashes hard  Panoz Motor Sport's attack on this year's Audi Presents Petit Le Mans suffered a set-back in practice today at the Road Atlanta circuit with the #50 Panoz suffering a heavy crash with David Donohue behind the wheel. Donohue was having his first stint for the weekend when the car turned right under braking at turn ten, heavily impacting the wall. The impact inflicted heavy damage on the car and tore the right front wheel off. The car will miss tonight's evening practice while being repaired at the team's home base adjacent to the Road Atlanta track. "We are not sure actually what happened, but we are reviewing the data to try and work out what went wrong," Team Manager, Andy Waldrep said. "The reports from the corner marshals indicate the car just turned right under braking. We will be going over both cars in great detail to try and find out what happened." The impact spoiled a strong day for the Panoz team which had recorded the second fastest time of the practice session with Jan Magnussen behind the wheel of the #50 car. "I'm not sure what happened, but it felt like it started to steer from the rear of the car," Donohue said. "Losing out on the track time tonight is the biggest drama. Every lap you can get prior to the race is important in sorting out a good race package." The second #51 Panoz of Bryan Herta, Bill Auberlen and Gunnar Jeannette continued their strong progress on the second day of practice. "We started out with pretty good base package so we haven't had to do much to improve the car," Jeannette said. "The car was really nice to drive and I think we are in good shape for the race. If the weather stays clear, we will do some longer runs tonight to see how the car performs over a complete stint." After tonight's practice, the team will have one more practice session tomorrow morning before qualifying begins tomorrow at 1.35pm.  THURSDAY PRACTICE #2
1. - Capello/Kristensen, Audi R8 - 1:12.154
2. - Magnussen/Brabham/Donohue, Panoz Motor Sports - 1:12.616
3. - Biela/Pirro, Audi R8 - 1:13.157
4. - Herbert/Johansson, Audi R8 - 1:13.332

10/10/02

2002 cars junk now  While owner-driver Eddie Cheever Jr. visits Europe to wrap up plans for the 2003 Indy Racing League season, chief mechanic Owen Snyder III and the Red Bull Cheever Racing crew have been busily restoring the team’s cars wrecked during the past season. “We’re just building show cars,” Snyder said. “We’ve got five right now and close to finishing a sixth. Four are run-able.” The three-year program for the car rules ended with the 2002 season, so the cars can’t be raced again in the league. New chassis and engines will make their debut when the 2003 season begins March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “Our new Dallaras are expected in December,” Snyder said.

10/10/02

Kelley Racing makes 2003 plans  Kelley Racing teammates Scott Sharp and Al Unser Jr. are set to compete in the 2003 Indy Racing League season under the Kelley Racing banner with continued support from primary sponsors Delphi and Corteco. Dallara and Firestone along with Futaba and Bryant will continue to be key contributors to the success of Sharp and Unser. With the driver tandem and strong sponsor support set for Kelley, the team is focusing its attention on a switch to Toyota engines and to working with the new Dallara chassis. “We are excited to have Toyota on board at Kelley Racing,” Sharp said. “However, the new engine package, coupled with the chassis changes, make testing more critical than ever before. It seems like the first race scheduled for March 2 gives us plenty of time, but there is much work to be done in order to be fully prepared to launch a championship campaign. Every minute is critical.” Said Unser: “I think we have a great opportunity with our Dallara/Toyota package for the 2003 season. Testing will be the key to getting the season off to a successful start at Homestead in March. With the new teams expected to enter the IRL, the bar measuring total team performance continues to be raised. It makes us all better and makes the wins more satisfying for everyone involved.” Kelley Racing is tentatively scheduled to begin testing the new Dallara chassis with the Toyota engine in January at Homestead-Miami Speedway, site of the season-opening race March 2.

10/10/02

Dreyer & Reinbold makes 2003 plans  John O’Gara, team manager for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, said the team is “about a day away” from ordering cars and finalizing its engine plans for the 2003 season. O’Gara said it seems pretty certain the team will field cars for both co-owner Robbie Buhl and Sarah Fisher again next season. “Nothing is etched in stone for the full season,” he said. “But the planning is right on target. We should get our cars around Dec. 23-24. We’ll have a car for each driver. “We want to have a good car. We want to get some reliability. We fell out of nine races last season with engine problems.” Buhl started the season qualifying seventh and sixth and placing 12th and 13th, respectively. A crash at California Speedway caused him to miss the next two races, and it wasn’t until the 13th race of the season, at Gateway International Raceway, that he earned a top-10 finish by placing sixth. Fisher joined the team as a replacement for Buhl at Nazareth and drove to fourth. She missed two races after Indy and had back-to-back eighth-place finishes at Michigan and Kentucky. At Kentucky, she became the first woman to win a pole for an Indy-style race. At the shop, the team has done some remodeling and was preparing one of last year’s cars to provide a rookie with his IRL test at Kentucky, O’Gara said.

10/10/02

Rahal Acura opening  Racing champion Bobby Rahal unveils his latest automotive venture Friday night (Oct. 11) with the grand opening of BOBBY RAHAL ACURA at 6694 Carlisle Pike in Mechanicsburg, PA. Rahal, the three-time CART racing champion and 1986 Indy 500 winner, opens his third auto dealership in the Harrisburg area with an opening of a 21,000 square foot facility on 3.6 acres west of the Pennsylvania capital city. The new Acura store is adjacent to Rahal’s very successful Honda dealership, one of only two Honda facilities in the United States to have been named to American Honda’s highest dealer honor, the President’s Award, seven consecutive years. Bobby Rahal Honda, the racing legend’s first auto store, opened in Mechanicsburg in January of 1989. "We are extremely excited with our new Acura dealership,” said Rahal, who also owns a two-car racing team on the CART FedEx Championship Series. “We have enjoyed our long relationship in the Harrisburg area and we have worked hard to assist our customers in their auto needs. With the new Acura dealership, we can continue to serve the community with additional models and service.” The new Acura facility will celebrate the grand opening with a VIP reception at 6:30 p.m. and the official unveiling at 8 p.m. with many state and local dignitaries scheduled to be in attendance when Rahal makes his opening address to over 300 guests.

10/10/02

RCR unveils 2003 Monte Carlo  This NASCAR.com article shows a picture of the 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Winston Cup car.  Notice how different the nose is.  "We've tested the car, we are really excited about it and what it can do," Childress said. "Hopefully, we can put it where it belongs and that's in the Winner Circle. I can't say enough about what Chevrolet and Goodwrench have down for us through the years. "Several teams such as Rick Hendrick Motorsports and Dale Earnhardt Inc. helped in the development in this car, as well. There's been a lot of hard work put into this." Chevrolet and RCR have been partners for 17 years. During that time, they have earned nine NASCAR championships -- six Winston Cup championships with Dale Earnhardt, one Busch Series championship with Harvick and two Craftsman Truck Series championships with Mike Skinner. "Chevrolet has done a lot for me and a lot for RCR," Harvick said. "We've got a car that we think is equal to what we are racing against and I look forward to putting that good looking thing in Victory Lane where it belongs."

10/10/02

Atlantics - DSTP may run two cars in 2003  Autoracing1.com's John Hammer caught up with DSTP Motorsports owner Dede Rogers as they wrapped up a 2 day test. Rogers said it went very well, with driver Joey Hand breaking the team's record at Gingerman Raceway in South Haven, MI. They're still looking for sponsorship dollars for the 2003 season, but Rogers is confident they'll be able to do it. The goal for next season is to run a car for Hand and a 2nd car for another driver. Asked if she'd ever consider moving to the CART series, she said that she's been contacted about that but doesn't have plans at this time. However, she pointed out "never say never."

10/10/02

Mexican sponsors bullish on CART  By Ricardo Roura/El Norte Monterrey, Mexico. - CART is still an attractive championship say the Mexican firms that sponsor the US-based series. Firms like Quaker State, Telmex and Gigante think that CART can maintain its quality in the 2003 season, despite the departure of important teams and drivers from the series. “We think it’s premature to believe that CART is no longer an attractive series, we have yet to see how the changes that they have made to revitalize it turn out. Some people will go, but that opens up the possibility of new ones coming in, which could make it all the more interesting.” Said Andres Ortiz, Communication Coordinator of Telmex, sponsor of the Fernandez Racing Team. Gigante got into CART for the first time this year with Michel Jourdain Jr., who in 2002 had his best year yet in the series, standing sixth in the points and having been the only driver to score points in all 16 races so far. “There’s no doubt that CART is the series that interests us, one that races at an international level, which races in Mexico, and where there are Mexican drivers.” Said Jorge Quintanilla, Director of new business development at Gigante. “However, CART has to pass through this bitter phase to be able to sift out certain drivers who, unfortunately, are leaving, and that is what will open the door to new ones.” added Quintanilla. Adrian Fernandez stated that it Fernandez Racing hopes to stay in CART, a decision in which his sponsors’ opinions are a consideration. “We will support Adrian’s decision, whatever it may be,” said Arturo Romero, manager of special projects for Quaker State.  Translated by Ed McFarlane

10/10/02

Leitzinger edges Said for pole  Butch Leitzinger claimed his series-high fifth pole position of the Trans-Am Series season Friday, while Boris Said took a small step closer to the BFGoodrich Tires Cup during qualifying for the Trans-Am 100 Presented by The Crank – You’ve Never Seen a Ratchet Like This! at Road Atlanta. Leitzinger (#88 Tommy Bahama/Tom Gloy Chevrolet Corvette) recorded a lap of 110.974 miles per hour (1 minute, 22.398 seconds) on the 2.54-mile, 12-turn Road Atlanta layout to earn two championship points and the Jaguar Pole Award. It is his first pole since mid-July at Washington, D.C., but his series-leading fifth overall. Leitzinger will lead 22 Trans-Am Series rivals to the green flag at 3 p.m. ET Friday for the 11th of 12 rounds in the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup championship. “It’s nice to get back on the sharp end of the field … it’s been awhile,” said Leitzinger, who also owns poles at Mosport, Mid-Ohio and Cleveland. “I’m very happy with the car. We made a few small changes from practice, and we went in the right direction. My engineer, Buddy Fey, deserves the credit for that. “I think you’re going to see a very entertaining race tomorrow,” added Leitzinger, who has already clinched the 2002 AmeriSuites Rookie of the Year Award and stands third in the championship with 234 points. “Road Atlanta is a track where there are several opportunities to pass, and I think you’ll see a lot of swapping back and forth among the lead group of cars.” Said, meanwhile, put his car alongside Leitzinger’s on the front row, collecting a championship point for his outside pole position at 110.804 mph (1:22.524) and extending his lead over three-time and defending Trans-Am Series champion Paul Gentilozzi to 58 points (296-238), with a maximum of 66 points available in the season’s two remaining races. Said clinches the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup championship with a finish of 18th or better Friday afternoon. Gentilozzi (#3 Johnson Controls/Microchip/Matrix One/Futaba Jaguar XKR) qualified fourth Friday at 110.424 mph (1:22.808).

10/10/02

Atlantics added to St. Pete weekend  UPDATE Although the St. Pete folks think the Atlantics will be the support race (see their website), we are now getting reports it may be the Barber Dodge Pro Series.  Stay tuned.....  10/10/02 - The CART Toyota Atlantic Series will start their season earlier than ever in 2003.  They have been added to the CART GP of St. Petersburg season opening weekend February 21-23, 2003.  Other support races will be added.  We know Trans-Am is interested, especially since their headquarters is in nearby Clearwater, Florida.

10/10/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $4.30 Unchanged on Volume of 87,500 shares.
$3.68 Bid - $4.62 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.20 / $4.32
MPH Value Change 0.00%
DOW Jones Up 247.68 or 3.4% on Volume of 2.39 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 49.32 or 4.43%
S&P 500 Up 27.17 or 3.5%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

10/10/02

NASCAR just edges CART in SF Bay Area  The San Jose Mercury news reports that the TV rating numbers in the Bay Area give a slim margin of victory for NASCAR over CART in the TV ratings battle last Sunday. The Winston Cup race from Talladega managed just a 2.1, with the CART race from Miami garnering a 1.6.

10/10/02

Ricky Hendrick retires from driving  Hendrick Motorsports driver Ricky Hendrick will step out of the No. 5 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet for the remainder of the 2002 NASCAR Busch Series season and end his career as a full-time stock car driver due to lingering effects of a shoulder injury suffered on March 2, 2002. "This was an incredibly hard decision to make," said Hendrick, who underwent extensive shoulder surgery following a severe crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "I have an obligation to give my sponsors and my team the best possible chance at success on the race track and I've come to the conclusion that I'm not able to deliver that. "After a lot of soul searching, I've decided to step away from the driver's seat to pursue other opportunities within Hendrick Motorsports. I love this team and I love this sport, but I'm not able to perform at a level that I'm comfortable with." Hendrick, 22, will continue to work with Team GMAC and interim driver David Green, a former Busch Series champion, throughout the remainder of the schedule.

10/10/02

NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus reaches $260,000  Parity is running rampant in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, with three different drivers leading the NASCAR Winston Cup championship standings in as many weeks. Of that trio, Tony Stewart came the closest to claiming the elusive NASCAR Winston Cup Series Leader Bonus by finishing in the runner-up slot at last weekend’s EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Of course, second place doesn’t get the job done when it comes to collecting a record Leader Bonus payout – only a win is good enough for this bonus – but it certainly injected a little more excitement into Talladega’s “White Knuckle Weekend.” Stewart leads four 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 $260,000 to any driver that can win at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and leave the track with the Series point lead. It’s been 26 races – and seven months – since Sterling Marlin took home the most recent Leader Bonus payout at Darlington Raceway. Entering this weekend’s UAW-GM Quality 500, Stewart leads the NASCAR Winston Cup standings by 72 points over second-place Mark Martin. A pair of Series rookies occupy third and fourth place, with Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman trailing by 82 and 137 points, respectively. 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. Stewart’s Talladega finish allowed him to take the points lead for the first time in his NASCAR Winston Cup career.

10/10/02

NASCAR drivers starting to favor HANS  Dear AutoRacing1.com, I was watching Speed Channel last night and they had the weekly NASCAR show hosted by Allan Bestwick with panelists Michael Waltrip, Ken Schrader and Johnny Benson. I think the show is called Inside Winston Cup Racing. During a discussion about Sterlin Marlin's injury, Waltrip said that the HANS device was much better than the Hutchens device. Schraeder reinforced Waltrip's comment by indicating that he had switched to the HANS device. On another note I can't believe the ESPN RPM.com website has a video of the fatal ARCA crash at Loew's Speedway yesterday. I thought the networks had a practice of not showing fatal crashes though Earnhardt's accident was shown quite frequently. I saw the video and it was one of the most violent crashes I have ever seen. It is hard to believe that Renshaw did not see Martin's car. Maybe ARCA needs to put lights on the dash or steering wheels of their cars that activate when a yellow occurs, similar to the IRL.  Mike Jablo

10/10/02

Fernández won't quit CART  According to this TheNewsMexico newspaper article, Mexico's driver Adrian Fernandez on Tuesday dismissed all those rumors and won't quit CART, as some media had said, after the Rockingham 500, last Sept. 14 in Corby, England. "My goal is to continue in CART and with my current sponsors, who have two very important races in Mexico. It would be great if I win the race here in Mexico City where I started my race car career," said Fernandez. Fernandez attended a press conference at the Hermanos Rodriguez racetrack in Mexico City, which will host the finale of the 2002 CART Season, on Nov. 15-17. Fernandez also had time to oversee the 2.75-mile Permanent Road course, which is receiving its finals works for the Mexico City Grand Prix. He talked about next season and noted there is the possibility of having a fourth Mexican driver in the Series. That fourth driver could be with the Fernandez Racing Team, after Shinji Nakano of Japan concludes his contract with the Mexican team this year.

10/10/02
Industry News

SPEED Channel now reaches 67 million homes  Mediacom Communications Corporation, through its operating subsidiaries, has more than doubled its commitment to Speed Channel. The announcement was made Wednesday by Italia Commisso Weinand, Mediacom's senior vice president of programming and Lindsay Gardner, executive vice president of affiliate sales and marketing, Fox Cable Networks Group. This new commitment will boost Speed Channel's total committed subscriber count to nearly 67 million (in the U.S. and Canada).

10/10/02

Lola wins Constructors title  Breaking a string of seven consecutive CART Constructor's Championships by Reynard Motorsport, Lola Cars celebrated its first CART title this weekend, joining the celebration with long-time partner Newman/Haas Racing after they sealed their fourth Champ Car championship. Despite having clinched their own title weeks before, Lola kept the champagne on ice until it had a Vanderbilt Cup in hand as well, which it got this weekend when Cristiano da Matta (#6 Chevron Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone) clinched the 2002 Driver's Championship with a win in the Grand Prix Americas in Miami. The CART title was the fourth for Newman/Haas with Lola as the team and constructor combined to win championships with Mario Andretti (1984), Michael Andretti ('91) and Nigel Mansell ('93). "Everyone at Lola is delighted for Newman/Haas," said Executive Chairman of Lola Cars International Ltd. Martin Birrane. "We congratulate them and Cristiano da Matta for the excellent job they have done this year. After the hard early years since we acquired Lola in 1997, this has been a long wait, but such dominant victories in the Driver's, Team's and Constructor's title chase are all the sweeter." The company rolled into the season on a positive note, counting its 100th Champ Car victory among the 10 races Lola won last season. The Lola B02/00 chassis has carried CART drivers to wins in 13 of the 16 events this season and locked up the title with Bruno Junqueira's win in the Shell Grand Prix of Denver on September 1. "On street courses, road circuits, long and short ovals, we have shown the teams what an excellent car the 2002 B02/00 truly is," said Jeff Swartwout, Vice President of Lola Cars USA. "This season, Lola sold more cars than ever before, against strong competition. The decision of those who chose to drive with Lola has been more than vindicated."

10/10/02

Readers disgusted with RPM2Night bias  UPDATE Dear AR1, I was really disappointed with John Kernan's lack of professionalism and personal attack at Jacques Villeneuve. Apparently, Mr. Kernan does not believe in free speech. It is unfortunate that John Kernan lacks objectivity. Of course ABC and ESPN televise the IRL. I sent a similar e-mail to RPM.ESPN and urge others to do so. I would also like to add where were Kernan's investigative skills when it was mentioned that the fatal ARCA crash involved a collision 8 seconds after the initial impact. Instead of making excuses about spotter's blind spots, he should have asked the following questions: Was the yellow light on at the time on the 2nd impact? If it was on how long after the initial crash elapsed before it came on? If the yellow light was on, why was the other car still traveling 160 MPH? Michael Crane  10/9/02 - Dear AutoRacing1.com, Can you please look into and report on the major role ESPN's "RPM Tonight" has had in demolishing CART and Formula One's reputations?  The show and, particularly its host, John Kernan, has slammed (most recently today's show 10/9/02) CART and Formula One's racing and the series as a result of the Jacques and Juan remarks about the IRL.  ESPN has a vested interest in the IRL and it's success which has resulted in CART and Formula One being consistently criticized and disregarded.  If you want to talk about conspiracy theories about why and how CART's reputation is being damaged, all you need to do is look at RPM Tonight's coverage. Thanks, Leslie Zavatkay, Los Angeles, CA.  Dear Leslie, Kernan and company have catered to NASCAR from Day 1, even after NASCAR awarded their TV contract to FOX and NBC.  You would have thought at that time they would have focused on CART and the IRL, but instead they continued to pander to NASCAR, even when they were barred from the NASCAR garage and from showing NASCAR video highlights. They are completely bias, and what you saw on tonight's show was nothing more than viewers have come to expect.  The ultimate justice comes at the end of this season when Kernan and company will be off the air because the weekday RPM2Night show has been terminated, finally done in by low ratings after turning off so many open wheel fans all those years.

10/10/02

Nine-point F1 plan  Autosport has obtained a copy of the controversial secret FIA document, which will be discussed at the next meeting of the F1 Commission at the end of this month.  It's starting to sound so very much like CART.  Though all won't get approved, these moves are slated to bring CART and F1 closer together to reduce cost and improve the racing.   The nine points are:
1 Driver swapping drivers race every car on the grid during the course of a season.
2 Aggregated qualifying four half-hour sessions on Fridays and Saturdays at grands prix.
3 Bespoke tires rubber suppliers can produce different tires for each of their teams
4 Success ballast a penalty of 1kg in ballast weight per point scored during 2003.
5 Testing restrictions - limit testing during the 2003 season to just 12 days per car.
6 Aerodynamic freeze from 2003 only two sets of bodywork can be homologated at the start of the season.
7 Long-life engines one engine per weekend in 2003, one engine per four races in 2004, and one engine per eight in 2005.
8 Long-life gearbox gearbox assemblies to have required life for a number of races.
9 Standardized parts all teams would have to use standardized electronics, ECUs, brakes and fixed ballast.

10/10/02

Japan - Thursday press conference 

Rubens BARRICHELLO (FERRARI)
David COULTHARD (McLAREN)
Olivier PANIS (BAR)
Mika SALO (TOYOTA)
Takuma SATO (JORDAN).....Transcript

10/10/02

Love is in the air  The impending five month winter period will see many Formula One drivers walk down the aisle or welcome new additions to their families. Williams pilots Juan Pablo Montoya and fiancée Connie will wed October 19th in their native Colombia, while Allan McNish will marry girlfriend Kelly on December 16th in Coventry. Pedro de la Rosa's wife, Reyes, is expecting her first baby in January, while Giancarlo Fisichella will welcome a new son or daughter when Luna gives birth to their second child. Alex Yoong's girlfriend is also expected to give birth before the new season.

10/10/02

Arrows continues to lose key personnel  Ailing Formula One team, Arrows, has lost its chief aerodynamicist Nicolo Petrucci to Jordan. Petrucci's resume includes a stint at Ferrari and will work alongside Henri Durand at Eddie Jordan's Silverstone based outfit.

10/10/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Formula One's Outlandish Plans
Villeneuve CART Switch Still On
Bernie Defends Radical Overhaul
McNish Facing Last Grand Prix?
Coulthard: Kimi Must Pull Weight
Ferrari Dominance To End?
France, Boats And Cars For Panis
Eddie Irvine To McLaren?
Webber To Settle For Minardi?
F1 News In Brief

10/9/02

NASCAR News  With Six Races To Go - With his runner-up finish last week at Talladega, Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac) moved from third to first in the championship race. He holds a 72-point lead over Mark Martin (No. 6 Pfizer/Viagra Ford) and marks the first time in his four-year career that he has led the title chase. The top-five drivers are separated by 172 points (which includes Rusty Wallace’s 25-point penalty), the closest margin among that group with six races remaining under the current points system, established in 1975. "Being the favorite doesn't mean a darn thing to me, to be honest, as far as winning the points. Does it mean a lot to me to be leading right now? It probably means a lot from the team's standpoint. But I've led point championships before, and in this deal the day I want to be leading is Sunday at Homestead (the season finale). There is a lot of racing to go on still. Six races is a lot of racing." – NASCAR Winston Cup points leader Tony Stewart. TV Timeout - In the final ratings from Nielsen Media Research for the weekend of Sept. 28-29, the NASCAR Winston Cup race at Kansas Speedway on NBC drew 6,998,000 viewers, easily outdistancing Formula One’s U.S. Grand Prix on ABC (934,000). The race also bettered the viewership on each of the weekend days of golf’s Ryder Cup. NBC’s pre-race show also had a better rating (3.0) than CBS’ NFL Today pre-game show (2.7) in head-to-head competition. Honor fit for a King - Seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Richard Petty will be inducted Oct. 15 into the Automotive Hall of Fame, becoming the first NASCAR driver to reap the honor. The Automotive Hall of Fame, based in Dearborn, Mich., is international in scope and honors all aspects of the automotive industry, which is evident in Petty’s induction class. He will be joined by world-renowned car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro; Fiat founder Giovanni Agnelli; former National Automobile Dealers Association president Frank McCarthy; tire company founders Andre and Edouard Michelin; and famed Chrysler engineer Owen Skelton. The induction will be held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Dearborn; tickets are $150 each. For more info or to order tickets, call (313) 240-4000.

10/9/02

Toyota completes first test at Indy  The new Toyota Indy V8 engine completed its first official test day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Wednesday, in preparation for entry into the Indy Racing League in 2003. The Toyota engine ran close to 250 miles with veteran Gil de Ferran behind the wheel of a Toyota Dallara prepared by Marlboro Team Penske. “We’re thrilled to be here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and pleased with how things went today,” said Lee White, Toyota Racing Development Group Vice President and General Manager. “We still have a long way to go to be ready for Homestead in March, though. Now that we’ve wrapped up the Driver’s Championship in CART and, hopefully, will be able to win the Manufacturer’s Championship as well, we’ll be able to put more focus on our Toyota IRL program. We have a great opportunity with some outstanding teams next year, but we can’t forget that Chevrolet has a six-year head start on us with this type of engine. One thing is for sure, we’re looking forward to being a part of the tremendous competition in the Indy Racing League.” De Ferran is scheduled to complete the two-day test session here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday. “I really enjoyed being back in the car today,” said de Ferran, who returned to the track for the first time since the Chicago IRL race. “It was a privilege to be the first to drive a Toyota at the Speedway. We ran more than 200 miles today and it’s just the beginning of our homework for the winter.”

10/9/02

Army strikes deal with Petree  The US Army has apparently reached a deal with MB2 Motorsports and Andy Petree Racing to sponsor the #36 MB2 Pontiac for 2003. Ken Schrader has driven the M&Ms sponsored #36 for the past two seasons, but is not signed for 2003 and is not expected to return to the team. One name being mentioned more and more as the driver for the #36 is Jerry Nadeau. Nadeau is currently driving for Petty Enterprises thru the remainder of this year but has not secured a ride for 2003.

10/9/02

Fernández makes promotion appearance  Dear AR1, I just wanted to let you and your devoted subscribers on some promotion Adrian Fernández made last night. He appeared on Mexico's extremely popular "La Academia" show last night on TV Azteca. This show is kind of a mix between American Idol and Survivor. Getting to the point, Fernandez visited the housemates on the show last night wearing his Tecate/Quaker State team jersey. The housemates on the show obviously knew Fernandez and were very excited about meeting him. They asked questions and he responded. Basically he mentioned where he just raced (Miami) and where he would be racing (Australia, Fontana) in the weeks to come. He specifically mentioned CART and of course specifically plugged the Gran Premio de Mexico. It was a short visit, but a visit and a promotion for CART, nonetheless. Also, the TV ads for the GP de Mexico are in full force on TV Azteca.  Thanks for AR1 and continued success to you in the future. Reggie Corona, Brownsville, Texas

10/9/02

Craftsmen Pit Crew Challengers decided  The Newman/Haas Racing team pulled off its third 1-2 sweep of a 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series event last weekend with a run that not only clinched the Vanderbilt Cup for Cristiano da Matta (#6 Chevron Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone), but propelled both team entries to spots in the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge shootout. Both the #6 team of da Matta and the pit squad for fellow Brazilian driver Christian Fittipaldi (#11 Lilly Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone) were able to move their teams into the final $50,000 competition in Fontana, joining the pit crews of Jimmy Vasser's (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) Team Rahal ride, the Target/Chip Ganassi car of Bruno Junqueira (#4 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone) and the Player's/Forsythe machine of Alex Tagliani (#33 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard Bridgestone). Teams were awarded points all season, and were scored on the basis of which team spent the least time on pit road during a race. Heading into last weekend's Grand Prix Americas - which would be the last event for teams to score points - only Vasser's crew had scored enough points to claim a spot in the five-team finals while da Matta's crewmen had secured a berth by winning the Wild Card round in Chicago. Fittipaldi's team was the fastest in Miami, spending just 60.865 seconds on Pit Lane during their two stops, while Da Matta's crew used just 61.667 seconds in their visits. Those performance helped the NHR squads to cement their entries in the head -to-head competition for $50,000, while the TCGR pit lane crew for Junqueira nipped the Michel Jourdain Jr. (#9 Office Depot Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) team for the final spot in the competition, which will take place on Friday, November 1st at 3:45 p.m. - after the Champ Car practice for The 500 Presented by Toyota which runs Sunday, November 3rd at California Speedway. The crew of the Team Rahal #8 car will be defending its title in the shootout, having taken the crown last season under the guidance of Crew Chief Ricardo Nault. This is the fourth year of the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge that began in 1999. The Team Green outfit servicing the #26 KOOL-sponsored car of Paul Tracy captured both of the first two competitions with Rahal's #8 squad ending that streak last season.

10/9/02
FRAN-AM

Tight Fran-Am points battle  A tight battle for the points lead in the Fran-Am 1600 West Coast Championship series promises to be the catalyst for an exciting race this weekend at Buttonwillow Raceway in California. Conversion Techniques Motorsports teammates Tim Barber, John Knudsen and Darryl O'Young sit one-two-three in the overall standings separated by only 10 points. This close race for the lead comes after a fruitful weekend for the team at Portland International Raceway that saw Barber take the victory with O'Young and Knudsen in second and fourth respectively. "We are looking for another very successful weekend for the Conversion Techniques Motorsports team this weekend at Buttonwillow," said O'Young. "We'd like to repeat our podium sweep from round one and put some distance between ourselves and the rest of the field in the points race." Michael McDowell of Worldspeed Motorsports currently sits in fifth place in the points standings after a disappointing weekend at Portland. McDowell took the pole and led most of the race until dropping out with just 3 laps remaining. He is looking to bounce back this weekend and take his first trip to the podium. "We are only 30 points out of the lead with 6 races to go," McDowell commented. "The MMI Worldspeed Team is very strong with a lot of ambition, and we are going to make this happen!" Round 3 of the 2002 Fran-Am 1600 West Coast Championship series goes this weekend, October 11-13 at Buttonwillow Raceway in California. Rounds 4 & 5 of the championship are scheduled for October 25-27 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada alongside the Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship series. The Fran-Am 1600 Regional Championship series is the first step on Fran-Am Sport's Driver Development Ladder, with drivers eventually making the jump to race in the Fran-Am 2000 Series. Each Fran-Am 1600 event features a $7000US prize fund with the overall series champion winning a brand-new Fran-Am 2000 car ready to race the next season. The Fran-Am 1600 race car features a spec-Tatuus carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, sealed 1.6-liter/123-horsepower motor (capable of running an entire season without a rebuild), 5-speed sequential gearbox, and spec-Michelin Sport racing tires. For more information on the series visit www.fran-am.com.

10/9/02

Audis top practice at Road Atlanta  Audi R8 Prototypes were 1-2-3 Wednesday as practice got underway for Audi presents Petit Le Mans, the final race of the American Le Mans Series season that will be run Saturday at Road Atlanta. Saturday’s 1,000-mile sports car endurance race will start at 11:30 a.m. More practice will be held on Thursday, with qualifying to determine the 50-car starting field to be held on Friday. The Audi co-driven by Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro was the fastest in Wednesday’s opening practice with a lap of 1:11.499 (127.890 mph) on the 2.54-mile, 12-turn circuit. Biela and Pirro were the overall winners of the 2001 running of the event.  Tom Kristensen, who is in a position to clinch the ALMS driving title for 2002, and teammate Rinaldo Capello were second-fastest at 1:11.569, followed by the privateer Champion Audi of Johnny Herbert and Stefan Johansson at 1:12.038.   Wednesday practice times for Saturday’s American Le Mans Series Audi presents Petit Le Mans at 2.54-mile Road Atlanta:
1. Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro; Audi R8 (LMP 900), 1:11.499.
2. Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello; Audi R8 (LMP 900), 1:11.569.
3. Johnny Herbert and Stefan Johansson; Audi R8 (LMP 900), 1:12.038.
4. James Weaver, Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace; Lola EX257-MG (LMP 675), 1:12.573.
5. Bryan Herta, Bill Auberlen and Gunnar Jeannette; Panoz LMP-1 (LMP 900), 1:12.872.
6. Jim Matthews, Marc Goossens and Tony Ave; Riley & Scott MkIIIC-Elan (LMP 900), 1:13.292.
7. Jon Field, Duncan Dayton and Michael Durand; Lola EX257-MG (LMP 675), 1:14.208.
8. Jan Magnussen, David Brabham and David Donhue; Panoz LMP-1 (LMP 900), 1:14.442.
9. John Nielsen and Casper Elgaard; Reynard 02S-Zytek (LMP 675), 1:15.285.
10. Steve Knight, Mel Hawkins and Chad Block; Lola EX257-MG (LMP 675), 1:16.071.

10/9/02

SPEED TV Ratings news  SPEED Channel reached the magic Nielsen ratings number of one with a solid 1.02 (547,000 households) for Saturday's live NASCAR Winston Cup Happy Hour from Talladega, marking the first time the network has scored a one or better for a single airing as either Speedvision or SPEED Channel. "After flirting with it for several months, everyone at SPEED Channel was excited to see a one rating, representing over a half million households," said SPEED Channel President Jim Liberatore. "And while we are thrilled with the number, we expect to be looking back a few months from now amused at how much a one rating meant to us, as we fully expect our numbers will continue to climb. "We haven't even been at this a year, but our belief that live or first-run cars on the track is what race fans want to see more than anything is certainly proving true," Liberatore added. "CART qualifying from Miami scored a respectable 0.44, rating.

10/9/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $4.30 Down $0.03 on Volume of 88,600 shares.
$3.54 Bid - $4.55 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.24 / $4.49
MPH Value Change Down 0.69%
DOW Jones Down 215.22 or 2.87% on Volume of 2.18 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 15.1 or 1.34%
S&P 500 Down 21.79 or 2.73%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroup.com

10/9/02
ARCA

Another driver killed at Lowes  UPDATE Eric Martin radioed his team, "I'm all right'' after he spun and rammed the wall backward coming out of the fourth turn during practice at Lowe's Motor Speedway. But the other car, driven by Deborah Renshaw, came around the turn going at least 160 mph and plowed into Martin's car on the driver's side.  Martin was from Hixson, Tenn. He is survived by a wife and two children. He was 20th in the points standings in ARCA, which competes on many of the same tracks used for Winston Cup and Busch events. Martin's death is the 15th at Lowe's, the seventh involving a stock car driver. Blaise Alexander was killed last October at an ARCA race in a wreck involving Kerry Earnhardt. ARCA drivers are required to wear head and neck restraints. They usually drive old Winston Cup cars and the safety requirements are not as strict.  10/9/02 - ARCA driver Eric Martin was killed in a crash today at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. Martin was on the track during practice for this weekend’s ARCA race at the track when his car spun and was then hit by the car of Deborah Rhenshaw. Martin’s death is the second in two years at the facility, following the death of ARCA driver Blaise Alexander in an ARCA race last October. More information as is becomes available.

10/9/02

Hornish to test at Motegi  Two-time reigning Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr. will test Nov. 7-9 at the 1.5-mile Twin Ring Motegi oval in Motegi, Japan, the first IRL test at the facility. Hornish will drive his No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone in preparation for the inaugural IRL event at the track April 13, 2003. The Indy Racing League and Twin Ring Motegi, north of Tokyo, announced in May they had entered into a three-year agreement for the league to conduct its first races outside of the United States. The test is part of the normal process the IRL follows when it conducts an event at a new venue, according to John Lewis, director of operations for the Indy Racing League. “Any time the Indy Racing League schedules an event at a new facility, league officials organize a compatibility test,” Lewis said. “The obvious goal of such a test is to determine which wing package and tire compound will create the best racing environment for the drivers, teams and fans (read that as a 100% throttle high-downforce environment). “Having Pennzoil Panther Racing testing at Motegi in November will allow Brian Barnhart (IRL senior vice president of operations) and Phil Casey (IRL technical director) to make that decision with input from Sam and the team. But this test will also help the league and promoter meet other goals, as well. “First, the test will allow Motegi officials to begin aggressive promotion of the event with Sam Hornish Jr. and the championship team. The Motegi test will also serve as a template for delivering the IRL cars and teams to Japan next April. The league is fortunate to have this test as it will lay the foundation for a successful event.” The trip will start with a media day Nov. 6 in Tokyo, followed by testing Nov. 7-8. On Nov. 9, a media event will take place at the track in conjunction with the final day of testing.

10/9/02

Miami TV Ratings  UPDATE The overnight Neilson rating for the CART race was a 1.5 with a 3 share....not bad for football season, and better than the IRL's highly touted season finale that only received a 0.9 on network TV even with the championship going down to the wire (Gotta wonder what Honda and Toyota think).  The CART race was up against a number of football games. Again, CART needs as many races on CBS as possible.  10/9/02 - We hear that the overnight Miami TV ratings on CBS for the CART Miami race are going to raise some eyebrows.  Rumor has it the rating is higher than normal, which we find rather shocking, especially during Football season when auto racing ratings usually drop.  If true (we await the official number), it further underscores the benefit for CART to move as many races as possible to network TV.  SPEED TV, as good as they are, should only do non-USA races in different time zones, all qualifying sessions, and all race re-runs and specials.  The ratings are just too different between CBS and SPEED to justify too many races on SPEED.  We know the SPEED folks might not like hearing us say this, but the facts are the facts.

10/9/02

Montoya and Villeneuve come out strong for CART, against IRL  This CART.com article written by Gordon Kirby has some very strong comments made by two of the worlds best drivers, Juan Montoya and Jacques Villeneuve, at this past weekends CART Miami race.  It's what AR1 has been saying for years, and it's hard to argue with these two great drivers, the ones who actually drive the cars - Villeneuve stated, "the IRL hurt CART a lot by doing a cheap series that there was no reason for its existence," Villeneuve remarked. "What the IRL has created is entertainment. It's not racing. It's too bad because there is talent there, but it doesn't show and the thing is, it's so dangerous. They have the Indy 500, but the rest of the series is really nothing. "The other thing is the car's aren't really so interesting. They can't take downforce off and they don't have enough power so they're flat all the way around and there's no driving skill involved. I think it's wrong and it's sad that it's hurt CART. It should have been done in a way that it didn't hurt CART. Hopefully, the people who are moving to the IRL will regret their move." Villeneuve said he sees considerable hypocrisy in the IRL's originally stated goals compared to the direction it's gone. "The one main reason I'm against the IRL is because they've lied so much," Jacques declared. "It started as an all-American series, but they really don't care about that. It was just an excuse to get the American public and sponsors interested and saying, 'Oh yeah, that's a good thing.' But now there's not much American left in it, and when it becomes political like that, I have a hard time to believe in it." Montoya echoes Villeneuve's opinion. "The IRL and oval racing is good fun," Montoya said, "but I don't really think it's preparation for Formula One. When you see those cars running along with their noses up in the air, that's bollocks. When you see them running around side-by-side for 20 laps, it may look good to some people, but that's not racing. They're down on power and everybody's stuck together." The 1999 CART champion and 2000 Indy 500 winner says there's no comparison between CART and IRL cars. "IRL racing is quite disappointing," Montoya said. "I raced those cars and I've got to say the opportunity I had was good because I won the Indy 500, but those cars don't compare with Champ Cars. There's no way that winning the Indy 500 could be stronger than winning in Champ Cars." Montoya believes CART will rebound from the loss of Honda and Toyota and some of its teams. "CART has great teams and it's a shame that some of the teams are leaving to go to IRL," Juan said. "It's all about money and who's paying, but we'll see what happens in the future (see related article). You've got to say Toyota and Honda aren't the only two manufacturers around the world interested in racing. There are a lot more manufacturers out there who could come in. Look at Formula One. So we'll see if Mercedes comes back, for example. It would be nice to see manufacturers coming back to support the series." Montoya repeated the often-stated theory that the driver is more important in CART than in Formula One. "That's something I really admire about Champ Cars," Juan said "It was like when I was fighting with Dario for the championship in 1999. We both had the same engine, car and tires and when it's like that, you really have to step up the game. "Sometimes in Formula One if you have a good car you can be sometimes first or second on the grid but realistically in the race the best you can do is third, where in Champ cars if you do a good job, then it results in a win. I think that is a very strong point for Champ Cars." Montoya says it would be a more productive move for many drivers to race in CART rather than Formula One. "In Formula One it's good when you're with the good teams," he said. "If you're with Ferrari, McLaren or Williams, you're fine. You'll be up there. Outside of that, you're nowhere. You would be much better racing Champ Cars. "When I came to CART in 1999, I had a couple of choices to be in Formula One with smaller teams, but I decided to come to Champ Cars and it was the best thing that happened to my career. It really gave my career a boost."  If you are a young driver looking at F1, do you go through the Red Bull program, or through CART?

10/9/02

Japanese driver tests for Haas-Carter  Hideo Fukuyama made a quick discovery at Martinsville Speedway Tuesday morning, one that didn’t need English to convey.
When asked through an interpreter the most difficult thing he had experienced during his first couple of hours of testing at Martinsville Speedway, the Japanese driver furiously pumped his right leg to show the need for brakes on the half-mile track. “It is very slippery,” Fukuyama said through his interpreter Yumiko Maeta. "I have never hit the brakes so hard. A driver needs to be really brave here. A driver has to do a lot of work here.” Fukuyama was one of four drivers testing at Martinsville Speedway Tuesday, preparing for the Old Dominion 500 NASCAR Winston Cup test on October 20. Fukuyama hopes to make the Old Dominion 500 field. If he does, it would be his second Winston Cup start in the Haas-Carter Motorsports Ford. In his brief foray into Winston Cup racing, the 47-year-old Fukuyama has discovered a vast difference from the open-wheel racing he does in Japan. “In Japan, technology is more important. In NASCAR, it depends on the driver,” said Fukuyama. “The Winston Cup car is so much heavier … sometimes I can’t handle it like I like.”

10/9/02

The NASCAR experience  If you're the kind of person who likes rowdiness and racing, go to Talladega...or any NASCAR infield for that matter. This article describes the atmosphere there and mentions all sorts of fun(?) times you, too, can have.   Related story.

10/9/02

FIA proposes driver swapping  Will someone please slap some sense into the F1 decision makers.  Formula 1 drivers could find themselves swapping teams throughout the season and driving every car on the grid, if a radical idea from motorsport governing body the FIA is adopted. The controversial rule is one of the proposals put together by the FIA and sent to the F1 team bosses. FIA president Max Mosley spoke of the idea at the new track launch ceremony in Bahrain Tuesday.  "There is a large number of very radical proposals that have been circulated to the teams for discussion," he told the Daily Telegraph. "Some of these are very speculative ideas and we have to talk to the teams about them, but we mustn't sit there and not talk about things." There is an argument for each driver driving each car once. "There is an argument for each driver driving each car once. This has an advantage because then we would see who are the best drivers and teams and if there are means to make it more interesting for the public then we have to talk about them."

10/9/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Schu Aims For Dominant End
Toyota Or Jordan For Massa?
Goodbye Spa-Francorchamps
Rookie McNish Bows Out
Williams Urge BMW To Buy In
New Venues Prepare For F1
Raikkonen Targets The Master
Brawn To Miss Season-Finale
Head Blasts Handicap Proposal
Yoong Makes Future Plans
Home Support For Toyota Racing
F1 News In Brief

10/9/02

ALMS to announce 2003 schedule  The American Le Mans Series will announce its 2003 schedule of races at a press conference on Friday, October 11, at 11 a.m. (EDT). Scott Atherton, President and COO of the series, will also discuss the state of the series on the eve of Audi presents Petit Le Mans, the 2002 season finale, and will make several other announcements.  Atherton was scheduled to meet with Chris Pook again this week, and we hear on the agenda are whether CART will join them in Washington DC and whether they will be together on the streets of Chicago.  We think the Chicago street race won't happen until 2004.  What may make more sense is for CART to skip Chicago for next year (until the street race approvals are in place), and join ALMS in Washington DC in 2003.  Hint - Washington DC weather in May (CART's Chicago date) is considerable more pleasant than in July (DC in July is stifling) when the ALMS ran this past year.  Makes too much sense not to happen.

10/9/02
Industry News

Japan track goes into liquidation  Japan's 2.012-mile Mine natural terrain road circuit has gone into voluntary liquidation, according to reports in Autosport magazine. Circuit bosses agreed the move in order to stave off ongoing financial problems. Racing is not expected to be affected, with the remaining rounds of the Formula Nippon and All-Japan GT series scheduled to go ahead as normal. The circuit, formerly known as Nishi-Nihon, was expensively reconstructed in the winter of 1990/91 with a completely new layout.  Illustration courtesy of e-Tracks

10/9/02

Miami track revisions  The two maps below show this years Miami track (left image) and next years tentative track layout (right image) as described verbally to us by one CART official.  You'll note that the boot at the south end of the track has been eliminated and the track has been extended northward two blocks (shown in blue) to NE 6th street by the Freedom Tower.  The problem with this proposed layout is that the track length stays about the same as this year, which is too short of course.  Peter Yanowitch told us they can probably go 10 blocks further north (up the southbound lanes of Biscayne Blvd. to around NE 14th street) next year.  Although is is doable (northbound lanes of Biscayne Blvd would handle two-way traffic in and out of the Port of Miami.), it will hamper traffic in and out of the Port of Miami.  It would be nice to have a 2.0+ mile long track.  Surfers is a 2.7-mile street circuit, and one of the reasons why it is so good, and can hold such big crowds, is because of its length.  Let's hope Mr. Yanowitch is able to get approval to go that far north.  If not, CART is stuck with a Mickey Mouse Miami track, and that doesn't serve anyone's benefit.


2002 track (left) and tentative 2003 track (right)
2003 illustration by Paul Josephson.

10/9/02

Villeneuve to CART still may happen  4th UPDATE The European media has finally caught on.  This Autosport article says similar things regarding Jacques and CART.  10/8/02 -  In this CART.com article, Craig Pollock says - “Jacques is not run by money, he's run by racing and competition,” said Pollock, whose client earns a reported $20 million annually. “He deserves a lot of money because he is one of the best and he took a risk at going to BAR, so he's paid to take that risk. “It hurt his career, obviously, but he believes in BAR and believes they will win.” The talk from across the pond is that BAR--whose sponsor Lucky Strike like Player's is an arm of British American Tobacco--wants Villeneuve to spend '03 in CART and then return to F1 to complete his career. “The key is that Jacques has to go back to F1,” said Pollock. “He would give a year to Player's to help them win a championship and also give BAR a chance to build a better package for next year. “As I said, Jacques would not be against coming back to CART for 2003, but it would have to be the right deal and a deal that suits all parties.”   10/8/02 - This Canadian TSN.ca article, confirms what we reported.  10/6/02 - After talking to Forsythe, this story was also confirmed by Craig Pollock, that yes they are still talking about Villeneuve driving in CART.  Pollock said the chances are not very high of it coming to fruition, but we hear otherwise......and just when we thought this issue was dead.  10/6/02 -  We spotted Gerald Forsythe in deep conversation today with Craig Pollock in the Players Hospitality suite.  Afterwards we asked Forsythe if there are ongoing discussions to bring Villeneuve to CART in 2003.  He said "absolutely, it's not over until it's over."  While Villeneuve already left Miami for Japan, "Pollock purposely stayed in Miami because he wanted to talk to me," according to Forsythe.  Mark C.

10/8/02

Bahrain circuit launched  OK, so which track is going to lose a F1 race (to make room for Bahrain) and gain a CART race?  Imola? Hungary? Spa? Nurburgring?  Bahrain launched its new Formula One circuit earlier today and officials said work would begin next month in time for the FIA World Championship in 2004. More than $150 million are being spent on the new 5.5-km circuit outside the city of Manama in the south of the country (Image by eTracks). "We are probably less than 48 hours away from awarding the construction contract," said circuit manager, Dane Peter Hansen. "After that, the company who gets it will have to begin work within 28 days." Bahrain could be added to the grand prix season or it could replace one of the events on the 17-race calendar, but Hansen added: "Deciding which one we take the place of is not our problem - that is for Bernie Ecclestone to decide. "We have a firm, long-term contract to stage Formula One." The venue will be a multi-purpose facility with six different lay-outs, including a flat oval for testing and a 1.2-kilometre drag strip. Hansen believes the track will follow Malaysia's Sepang circuit in setting new standards for current Formula One venues to follow. Organizers have looked at ways to stop sand from the surrounding desert land blowing on to the circuit. "We can apply a solution to the stand to make it stick together and stop it blowing about," said Hansen. "If we need to bring in grass and lay it by the side of the track, then we'll do that." FIA president Max Mosley hailed it as the most exciting project to hit the sport in decades.  "We've been talking about having a grand prix in this region of the world and particularly in one of the deserts for more than 20 years," he told reporters after laying the foundation stone of the circuit. "This circuit that is being planned out in the desert is one of the most exciting projects we have seen in Formula One for a long time," he added.

10/8/02

Drivers rejecting Red Bull contract  4th UPDATE In response to the outcry, organizers of the Red Bull F1 Driver Search initiative announced that the candidates will be signing two different agreements surrounding their involvement in the program. A newly crafted agreement covers only the testing process next week in France. Following the run-off, a separate, different agreement will be executed for the four chosen winners. Program Manager Danny Sullivan said, "The test days contract covers the run-off process only. Then, after we¹ve chosen the four winners, they will be offered ­ that is a key legal term, by the way ­ a drive in a European series. And that contract will also be a negotiable instrument. Which series the winning drivers end up in will, of course, be determined in part by the drivers themselves." The Red Bull F1 Driver Search run-off is October 14 through October 18 at Circuit Paul Ricard in Southern France, where four of the 14 candidates will be chosen as most likely to succeed in European F1 steppingstone series.  10/7/02 - Further reading we find the driver is obligated to drive free, and pay his own travel and lodging expenses, in any series anywhere in the world (go-karts and IRL included). The driver will only actually be entitled to earn a decent salary if they manage to make it to F1.  They get $100K per year to start as a F1 test driver, and earn up to $1.5 million over time.  Get a load of this - the $1.5 Million is not paid until you are a 4th year driver in F1. To make matters worse, the contract is renewable at $1.5 million essentially forever. What happens if the driver turns out to be the next Michael Schumacher who will earn $75 million per year soon? Looking at more details, Red Bull can assign the driver to any team for any duration they so desire, or sell the contract outright for whatever the market will bring for a hot American driver, and guess what? The driver never has the opportunity to share in any of the monies no matter how good, or how marketable, they become.  10/7/02 -  We obtained a copy of the contract.  In a nutshell - It is indentured servitude for those who sign it, this is not a scholarship program--this is a big company taking advantage of our young Americans to their own benefit and profit. The way it is written, Red Bull will be able to sell the contract or place the driver anywhere in any championship in the world (including go-karts we suspect) and the maximum they will ever make is $1.5 million and Red Bull will pocket the difference.  Some will bite, but we hear the best are saying no, with the hopes of making more money outside of F1 (i.e. CART), or perhaps inside F1 through CART (like Montoya, Villeneuve and da Matta).  10/7/02 - As it turns out, many of the drivers chosen for the Red Bull American F1 driver search are refusing to sign the contract.  From what we hear, if you sign the contract, you pretty much sign your life away to Red Bull.

10/8/02

Pook extends Olive branch to ISC UPDATE Dear AR1, I know what you're saying in this article, but the sentence at the end is actually quite false. South Florida is definitely NOT the only place in the US where road-racing outdraws Winston Cup! Take a look earlier in your article, and you'll find the other example... Long Beach, CA! While the Cup race at California Speedway in Fontana (an ISC track) is limited mainly by the number of seats in the stands, it is outclassed every year by the Long Beach Grand Prix. In fact, the LBGP (or TGPLB: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach) consistently ranks as the largest single annual sporting event in Southern California. Dave Laufer  10/8/02 -  Yet again, Chris Pook has extended an Olive branch to the oval track cartel.  Tony George cut off the branches when Pook/CART extended them to him.  Pook claims he's extended an olive branch to NASCAR and ISC. ``I've spoken to Jim France twice, and suggested we could work together as a team for co-promotion with our Miami race their races in Homestead.  I told him that in Long Beach in the early '70s, when Riverside was concerned about a temporary circuit in the area, we worked with them, and Riverside had its biggest crowds as a result. ``Hopefully after this weekend there will be a change of heart. If there's not, rest assured we stand ready to defend our business.''   As this Autoweek article says, why is racing's juggernaut so concerned about a single event? It has little to do per se with CART or the ALMS, which shared Miami's streets with CART. The reason lies 40 miles south of the city: A successful street race in Miami might seal the Homestead Motorsports Complex's fate. The oval near Homestead Air Force Base, now owned by ISC, has been a marginal operation almost since it opened in 1995, largely because it can't seem to draw people south from the population center in Miami. CART didn't draw well at Homestead. The IRL didn't draw well in its inaugural race there this season, and the Busch Series hasn't drawn well. While NASCAR Winston Cup has been able to fill Homestead's 60,000 seats, NASCAR has stacked the deck by making Homestead its season finale. And one successful event per season makes a tough go for an expensive, relatively new racetrack. Fact is, given Miami's large expatriate population of Europeans and Latin Americans, south Florida might be the only place in the United States where road racing can outdraw Winston Cup.

10/8/02

NASCAR catches more cheaters  NASCAR officials announced today that three members of the No. 2 Ford team in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series have been either penalized or fined because of rule violations last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Rusty Wallace, driver of the No. 2 Ford, has been penalized 25 series championship points. In addition, Wallace’s car owner Roger Penske has been penalized 25 car owner points and the team’s crew chief Bill Wilburn has been fined $25,000. All three were in violation of Section 12-4-A in the NASCAR Winston Cup rule book (“Actions detrimental to stock car racing.”) and Section 12-4-Q (“Any determination by NASCAR officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules.”) because their car was found to have an unapproved spoiler. The spoiler was found to have an inconsistent thickness. NASCAR also issued three other fines because of rule violations at Talladega. All violations were found during the weekend’s initial inspection process on Oct. 4. The other fines:
* A $1,000 fine, under sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q to Ben Leslie, crew chief of the No. 6 Ford. The car was found to have unapproved rear window straps.
* A $1,000 fine, under sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q to Mike Hillman, crew chief of the No. 14 Pontiac. The car was found to have an unapproved lower rear coil spring mount.
*A $1,000 fine, under sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q to Thomas Klein, crew chief of the No. 11 Ford. The car also was found to have an unapproved lower rear coil spring mount.

10/8/02

Winston Cup Champion will have low point total  Tony Stewart is on a pace to score 4750 points in 2002. The past four champions have scored well over 5000 points. Here's a comparison of Stewart's numbers compared to Bobby Labonte's championship season in 2000: In the chart we have attached below, you can clearly see the premium that is placed on consistency using the current points system. It also shows that had Labonte had a season like he had in 2000, he would be leading Stewart by a whopping 579 points so far this year. In relation to the large difference in points is the fact that Stewart has suffered six DNF's so far in 2002, while Labonte had not had a single DNF through 30 events in 2000. In addition, Stewart has failed to complete 933.65 miles while Labonte had failed to finish only 8.31 miles at that point. To think back to February and the Daytona 500 where Stewart suffered a 43rd place finish following an engine failure on just the second lap, it is amazing that with six DNF's Stewart is leading Mark Martin by 72 points with just six races remaining. Comparison following event #30 on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series

Year............2002             2000
Driver..........Tony Stewart  Bobby Labonte
Points..........3958             4537
Wins............3                  4
Top-Five's...13                 16
Top-10's.......18                 21
Miles Led.....822.53          674.78
Laps Led......682              457
Times Led....41                49
Races Led....14                19
DNF's............6                  0

10/8/02

CART stock watch  

MPH closed at $4.33 Down $0.07 on Volume of 98,400 shares.
$3.68 Bid - $4.64 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.27 / $4.55
MPH Value Change Down 1.59%
DOW Jones Up 78.65 or 1.06% on Volume of 2.28 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 9.82 or 0.88%
S&P 500 Up 13.26 or 1.69%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

10/8/02

CART will import some European drivers  [As published in the Mexican newspaper El Norte.  Translation by: Ed McFarlane, Goadby, England.]  In the next two months teams and drivers will make their announcements as to who will stay and who will go from CART next season. The level of the new arrivals is promising to be World Class, according to Chris Pook, President of the Series.  Full Story

10/8/02

Skip Barber expands support program  Skip Barber LLC announced today a plan to implement significant changes to the $1 million Barber-CART Scholarship Ladder beginning with the 2003 season. The new structure will provide funding to more drivers than ever before in the long history of the only scholarship program of its kind, while also providing new incentive for drivers to develop their skills in developing partnerships and sponsorships.  Story

10/8/02

Pook compares the IRL to CART  

Q: Is there a place in the United States for two competitions, like Indy Racing League and CART?
CP: As far as I'm concerned, sure. We don't compete with the Indy Racing League. People tend to think we do. Some people think we do. We don't. We're in the business of pretty intense racing, which requires you to change gears, brake, accelerate, turn left and turn right and use your head on a full-time basis. That's the business we´re in. It's completely different.

10/8/02

More on Tracy gag order  This Toronto Star article brings more to light on the Paul Tracy gag order.  The author of the article pretty much says Team Green's Mr. Savoree is using excuses for the gag order.  The bottom line is that Paul is not afraid to call a spade a spade, and they are deathly afraid of that.  You can bet when the season is over and his contract up, Paul will more than make up for lost time.  The article as brings to light why Tracy is not officially signed at Players yet.

10/8/02

Family Day to kickoff Australia week  The wildly popular CART FedEx Championship Series event on Australia's Gold Coast is expected to draw nearly 300,000 for the October 24-27 Honda Indy 300, but festivities will get underway well before the cars even get on site at Surfers Paradise. The week-long event will kick off on Sunday, October 20 with the second annual Honda Indy 300 Family Day presented by Aunger, where families can come spend the day on the actual Pit Lane where the 850hp Champ Cars will run. Race organizers have a full day of events planned with attractions to entertain fans of all ages. "This is a great prelude to the Honda Indy 300 for families who have never experienced the race and those that come back year after year," said Honda Indy 300 Chief Executive Officer Geoff Jones. "We have put in a concerted effort to make Family Day a big attraction. From motoring displays to driver autograph sessions, music, extreme sports, motorcycle stunts and track tours, it is set to be an entertaining day for the entire family. There will be autograph sessions with Champ Car and V8 Supercar drivers, motorcycle stunt shows, extreme sports displays, entertainment from rock band 'The Accidents', the Bartercard Miss Indy girls, track tours, Sony PlayStation competitions and children's rides and activities. Patrons are asked to make a gold coin donation on the bus tours around the Honda Indy 300 track, on the Park'n'Ride shuttle bus and to enter the King Tutt Putt Putt competition, with money raised going toward Surf Life Saving Queensland, which is the Official Charity of the event. "Being Queensland's premier event, we recognize that Surf Life Saving plays an important role in the lives of all Queenslanders," said Jones. "We are honored to be in a position to assist in their fund raising efforts and we ask everyone to come along for the cause."

10/8/02

Williams wants BMW to make him richer  Talking to the BMW Motorsport website, Sir Frank Williams admits that he hopes to see his team's partnership with BMW continue for the foreseeable future, indeed he hopes to see the German manufacturer buy a chunk of his company. "Most of all," says Williams. "I would prefer to make an unlimited contract with BMW, which would run for ever and ever." "It would be ideal for us if BMW wanted to buy shares from us," he continued. "For this would give WilliamsF1 greater security and make it easier for us to make plans." "BMW wants to be involved in certain processes and technical developments," says Williams. "And we're going to put this into practice by and by. "We always need an engine," he adds. "And therefore we also need a partner to provide us with that engine. In addition, we also require some helpful technical input from them as far as drive or aerodynamics is concerned, but only in certain areas. BMW is disappointed that our car of this year is only little better than last year's, and they have every right to be disappointed."

10/8/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Fond Farewell For Popular Panis
Rosberg Lands Williams Test
Mosley Backs F1 Revolution
Crucial Finale For Jaguar
Trulli Enthuses About Renault
Williams Working Towards 2003
Pedro Looks To Turn Fortunes
Early Holiday For Minardi
Jordan Welcomes Weight-Penalty
Da Matta Close To Toyota Deal
Progress Persists At Renault
BAR Looking To Pounce
Teams Reject Weight-Penalty
Irvine Unsure About Suzuka
Button Ends Renault Career
F1 News In Brief

10/8/02

Suzuka modifications  The sweeping curves of Suzuka have undergone alterations for the 2002 race, the circuit length reduced 3.617 miles. The re-profiling of several key aspects of the circuit for additional run-off has shortened some corners, while many retaining walls have also been moved back and the track alignment altered at the S-curves and Dunlop Curves. However, it is thought the changes will not significantly affect lap times. 

10/8/02

Oastler confirmed by Jaguar  Jaguar's managing director Guenther Steiner has confirmed that former BAR technical director Malcolm Oastler has joined the green ranks as Acting Director of Engineering. 'He is working as engineering director for several Ford projects,' said Steiner. 'He will be based at the factory and will not come to races.' Oastler harks from Australia.

10/7/02

CART stock watch  

MPH closed at $4.40 Up $0.05 on Volume of 99,400 shares.
$3.78 Bid - $4.81 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.25 / $4.40
MPH Value Change Up 1.15%
DOW Jones Down 105.56 or 1.4% on Volume of 1.83 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 20.5 or 1.8%
S&P 500 Down 15.3 or 1.91%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com 

10/7/02

Fittipaldi tests in Atlanta  Christian Fittipaldi (Left photo) begins climbing out of his Petty Enterprises Dodge during testing Monday at the 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway. It was the first time the former Formula One and current Indy Car driver had driven a Winston Cup-style car at a NASCAR Winston Cup Speedway. Fittipaldi will drive a combination Winston Cup, Busch Grand National and ARCA schedule for Petty Enterprises in 2003, preparing for a full Winston Cup season in 2004. The team is talking with companies now regarding sponsorship. Christian Fittipaldi met with the media during his test session Monday at the 1.522-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway. Christian Fittipaldi (left in right photo) talks with fellow Petty Enterprises driver Jerry Nadeau during a test session Monday at the 1.522-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway.

10/7/02

Racing & Miami, sleek & sexy   See what the Miami Herald had to say about the past weekend's CART and ALMS races.  Sounds like downtown Miami is a perfect fit - The ambience here is the postcard this city might mail to the world. The image of Miami as exotic, sexy and fast, with a shot of intoxicating danger, too -- the image Miami Vice spooned so palatably to America -- is revived and revving in the inaugural Grand Prix Americas auto race pounding downtown pavement this weekend. Horsepower and testosterone marinate in high heat down here by water too blue to be true. Saturday, on cue, midday rain disappeared to reveal a Chamber of Commerce sun in time for the Cadillac American Le Mans challenge that Italian Emanuelle Pirro won easily as finishing driver in an Audi R8. ''It's my hometown, so I can control the weather,'' kids driver Tony Kanaan, who runs as the pole-sitter in this afternoon's nationally televised CART Championship Series race. ``It's going to be dry [today].'' This style of open-wheel, Formula One-type racing, so popular in Europe, South America and Japan, plays ideally to tourists Miami would seek to attract and fits just as well with the internationally diverse, models-and-Courvasier sensibilities of the host city's upscale side. Celebrities are drawn to this type of racing more so than to bland Homestead Motor Speedway for NASCAR, whose stock cars are work dogs while these are greyhounds. Pedigreed. Denzel Washington, Ashley Judd and Lenny Kravitz were beautiful-peopling the place Saturday. Miss Colombia was sauntering. Met Mike Piazza bombs in today. Boyz II Men croon the national anthem. We are a natural for this. CART racing in downtown Miami moves to a samba beat, hits you like a slug of cafe Cubano. If South Beach were a car, it would not be a Corolla, friend. It would be one of these sleek, squat Lola B2Ks, which appear to be speeding while standing still. ''The ambience is second to none,'' says motorsports legend Mario Andretti, a CART board member. ``You look down from the Intercontinental [Hotel] and you think you're in Monaco. You want to be here.'' We are accustomed to local government's failings, scandals and myopia here, but the city deserves credit for bringing the carnival that is street racing back downtown for the first time since 1995. It fits. It is an asset, an advertisement, vivid color on our sports palette. ''This is just a really cool place to race,'' driver Paul Gentilozzi says. ``Miami has really great fans that are knowledgeable. It's a different culture and that gets you up. The fans expect you to perform and you feel obligated to deliver.'' The course itself, along Biscayne Boulevard and through Bayfront Park, is impossible, outrageous, a delightful torture. Saturday, some 25,000 fans filled enormous bleachers with confetti color and watched 36 cars of various types -- some 50 mph faster than others -- racing on a short (1.387-mile), tight, slippery track prone to crumbling asphalt. Insanity is the word. Surreal, too. Ferrari 550 Maranellos shrieking past at 160 mph while a Metrorail car whoosh-glides languidly above it all. High-whining Corvette C5-Rs biting hard corners under the stately eye of Freedom Tower and the venerable Everglades Hotel. Remarkably, blessedly, the course wrought no real calamity Saturday. ''You've got 16 turns and you're maybe three or four inches off the wall,'' describes Gentilozzi, who'll pilot a Jaguar XKR in today's Trans-Am race. ``You make one mental mistake here and it's all over. That's what's cool about this place.'' Not all are thrilled with this weekend, of course. This is Miami; agreement is not our trademark. Grand Prix Americas creates a temporary racing village that inconveniences plenty of good people. ''It is the biggest problem for us,'' says cabbie Hector Acosta as his car No. 142 crawls and stops and crawls along NE Fifth Street. ``It takes too long. A five-minute trip takes 15. . . .'' But it is a small price for a larger return. Perception of Miami -- the big wheel that moves our tourism, our economy -- grows with this event. In Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and Bonn, a CART event impresses like a Super Bowl. This should override the temporary rerouting and congestion of local traffic, just as it should override persnickety complaints about the layout of the course. A bigger picture is at work here. Michael Jordan isn't around this weekend but Michel Jourdain is, and the driver frames that bigger picture, this Miami race ambience, succinctly: ''The palm trees are nice,'' he says. ``The women are beautiful.'' As slogan or snapshot, that sells Miami. Enthusiastically. And worldwide.

10/7/02

FIA proposes weight penalty to slow Ferrari UPDATE This article gives more details on the proposed changes.  10/7/02 -  This is too funny.  First they allow runaway technology that bankrupts teams, now they propose to take it away with this.  Why allow all the technology in the first place? Talk about wasting money.  The FIA, is considering a radical overhaul of the Formula 1 rules in a bid to spice up the show and reduce costs. The most controversial element of the proposal, which was sent in a dossier to all 11 team bosses today, is the idea of handicapping successful teams with a weight penalty in order to prevent a repeat of Ferrari's dominance this year. There is widespread agreement that we need to do something. Under the new proposal, once a team has reached a set number of points it will receive a kilogram of extra ballast for every further point it scores. "There is widespread agreement that we need to do something," said FIA president, Max Mosley. "There is no doubt that handicapping runs counter to the traditions if Formula 1, but sometimes you find yourself in a position where you can keep your traditions but no one cares because they are not watching." "If Michael runs away with things in the first two or three races next year, we have to be prepared to do something to protect the sport," he said. "We are not trying to penalize anyone, we are just trying to bring closer racing to Formula 1."

10/7/02

Keke's son offered F1 test  Keke Rosberg's son Nico has been offered the opportunity to test a Williams FW24 after winning the Formula BMW ADAC championship, it was announced today (Monday). The 17-year-old Finn's father competed for five years in Formula One racing, winning the 1982 Drivers' FIA Formula One World Championship in the process. He now manages several top drivers including double champion Mika Hakkinen and current BAR incumbent Olivier Panis. Now his son looks to be following in his footsteps. "It's not that every winner of the Formula BMW ADAC Championship is automatically offered a test drive," commented BMW Motorsport Director Gerhard Berger. "But in special cases we like to give exceptionally talented drivers a taster of the world of Formula One. Nico has potential, and he should have the opportunity to drive a Formula One car without being under any pressure." It has not yet been decided when Rosberg will be able to test the car, thanks to the regulations that govern testing during the off-season period. "There's a ban on Formula One testing for the next few weeks. Once that's over we'll find a slot for Nico," Berger added.

10/7/02

Mixed reviews for smaller tanks  NASCAR officials called the smaller fuel cells used for Sunday's EA Sports 500 a "partial success." The move, which reduced the size of the fuel cells from 22 gallons to about 13, was made to try to spread out the tightly packed racing at Talladega. The cars did spread out some for a few laps during the cycle of stops, but bunched back up within a few more laps. A few teams were able to make the 500-mile race on five stops, while most had to come in a sixth time for a gulp of gas in the final laps. That did dramatically reduce the number of cars running for the win at the end of the race. "Tony (Stewart) and Ricky (Rudd) both said it gave them an opportunity to run single-file long enough to sort of catch your breath before anybody caught up," NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said. Asked what he thought the fuel cell change did, sixth-place finisher Steve Park replied: "Looked like one big pack to me." "I think the only thing it did was separate the race at the end," said Jeff Burton. "Some people couldn't go as far as others (on a tank of gas), so it made the end of the race not so hectic." Hunter said NASCAR plans to continue to evaluate the new rule with the possibility of continuing its use at the 2003 Daytona 500. ThatsRacin.com.

10/7/02

Earnhardt Jr., makes a millionaire of Connecticut resident  Dale Earnhardt Jr., captured the checkered flag in today’s EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, winning the $1 million Winston No Bull 5 bonus in the process. Earnhardt outdueled 42 NASCAR Winston Cup drivers for the victory, including four other drivers – Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Jeff Green and Todd Bodine – eligible to win the $1 million bonus. Earnhardt’s victory also meant that one lucky NASCAR Winston Cup Series fan became an instant millionaire through the Winston No Bull 5 program. Delma Polzun of Manchester, Conn., was paired at random with Earnhardt Jr., prior to the EA Sports 500, meaning that Earnhardt’s success translated into a million-dollar windfall for Polzun. Polzun was on hand for Earnhardt’s victory as a guest of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. It marked the second consecutive year the driver of the Budweiser Chevrolet captured the Winston No Bull 5 bonus at Talladega. Through the Winston No Bull 5 program, drivers become eligible to win the $1 million Winston No Bull 5 bonus by finishing in the top-five at the previous Winston No Bull 5 event. The five races comprising the Winston No Bull 5 in 2002 are, in chronological order: the Las Vegas 400; the Coca-Cola Racing Family 600; the Pepsi 400 at Daytona Beach, Fla.; the Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond, Va., and the EA Sports Thunder 500. Kenseth, Newman, Green, Bodine and Earnhardt Jr., were the top-five finishers at Richmond International Raceway in September. If a qualified driver wins a Winston No Bull 5 event, one fan will also win million-dollar bonus check as part of Winston’s “They Win, You Win” sweepstakes. Five fans are eligible at each Winston No Bull 5 event. They are selected at random through a nationwide sweepstakes program, and then each is paired, at random, with one of the eligible Winston No Bull 5 drivers. If an eligible driver wins the Winston No Bull 5 bonus, then the fan paired with that driver will also win a $1 million check from Winston.

10/7/02

Dixon pissed about accident  Regarding his accident with Kanaan at Miami yesterday - Obviously, I'm pissed," said Dixon, who turned in the fastest lap (1:02.991) two laps before the crash. "My car was much quicker than his during the first part of the race, and I was looking for the right time and place to pass him. We had the car to win this race. It's pretty disappointing." Coming down the front straight to Turn 1 on Lap 20, Dixon moved to the inside wall and attempted to out-brake Kanaan entering the turn. He appeared to have a clear track ahead of him when Kanaan, who later said he knew Dixon was going to try a pass, moved down, driving Dixon into the wall. Dixon bounced over the right side of Kanaan's car, never making the turn as his car slid into the overrun area. Kanaan spun on the contact, but unlike Dixon, recovered and was able to continue. "It was going to be a clean pass," said Dixon, who had begun looking to make a move on Lap 16. "I got inside him, and then for some reason, he decided to turn right and squeezed me into the wall. ... [The move] was blatant." Kanaan was penalized for the incident as he was forced to re-enter the race in 16th place, the last car on the lead lap. He managed to move up and maneuver a ninth-place finish. "I've never seen a punishment like that," said Jimmy Vasser, who finished third. "We always ask the chief steward to ... stop drivers from doing unnecessary things. Maybe it will get in people's heads to stop." "I accepted the penalty, and the rest of our day was hell after that." "That was a really tough pill to swallow. It was really unfortunate that CART decided to penalize me for that incident with Scott because it took away every chance in the world that we had to win the race," Kanaan said. "As far as I'm concerned, I don't agree with the call. I am allowed to make one move to protect my position. "You're damned if you're aggressive, and you're damned if you're not. You put these kinds of cars on a course that is so extremely tight, and there is going to be contact. So you really need to give us a little bit of a break. Otherwise, we have no business racing on a track like this." 

10/7/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

F1 Looks Set For Rule-Changes
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10/7/02

Greg Moore case closed  As we understand it the judge has ruled in favor of CART in the Greg Moore lawsuit.  As we understood it, the judge said that Moore signed the standard CART waiver and he knew racing was a dangerous sport, hence he dismissed the case. 

  Much More...click on 2002 archives button below

Hot News Archives

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