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DATE

News (chronologically)

10/19/02

CART adds new incentive program to help teams  INDIANAPOLIS, PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. announced today that it will make a significant investment in the company's future. The Board-approved plan, which follows a commitment to invest in CART made by CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook in last July's second-quarter earnings teleconference, gives the company the authority to commit up to $30 million in financial support and assistance for the 2003 CART FedEx Championship Series season. With the company leading the way in investing for the future success of the series, CART Management is seeking commitments from teams, drivers, sponsors, promoters, television partners and manufacturers for active involvement in the 2003 racing season. "We are asking our partners and teams to invest a significant amount of money to be involved in our series," Pook says. "We believe that we should also invest in the future success of the series, and unequivocally show our partners that we believe in the future of the company and our racing product. We are very excited to lead the way in investing for the success of the series, and expect that our financial commitment will generate similar confidence and enthusiasm from our teams, business partners and potential team sponsors." The new CART incentive program is in addition to the previously announced Entrant Support Program and the arrangement with Cosworth Racing.

10/19/02

No further sale of Ferrari expected  The CEO of Fiat, Gabriele Galateri, says that he has no further plans to sell more shares in the Ferrari company, despite the financial troubles of parent company Fiat. In an interview with the Fiat-controlled newspaper Corriere della Sera, said "We must cut production and must adapt to the market demand." "And we will do it in the least competitive factory." The planned cutbacks will cut Fiat's costs by up to a billion dollars and help the company move back into profitability but the plan of closing Fiat's facility in Sicily has caused a political storm in Italy. "We've already had big sell-offs," he said. "From the 34 percent of Ferrari to Teksid Alluminio (Fiat's foundry business) and at the moment we are not expecting further sales of assets. The restructuring is about bringing Fiat Auto up to the levels needed."

10/19/02

Frank Williams: upcoming meeting crucial  In this DailyF1 article, Frank Williams, veteran team owner, has joined fellow team officials and F1 luminaries in cautioning Formula One generally, ahead of the F1 commission meeting in just over a week. Williams, his fellow team bosses, track, sponsor, and other officials including FIA President Max Mosley and F1 Commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone that make up the F1 Commission will vote on at least nine proposals that have been devised to reinvigorate the sport’s spectacle. But Williams, a man who has been involved in Formula One since the last sixties, warned the meeting was crucial to F1’s future, and stressed the importance of making correct decisions. "This is the most important meeting for Formula One in two decades," he told London’s Times broadsheet. "I have faith that common sense will prevail. Our guiding criteria must be to concentrate on matters that improve the show." Williams’ comments follow those of Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Co-Director, who rubbished the proposal of driver swapping during the season. "I stopped reading after the paragraph that was about swapping drivers," the 50-year-old German said after analysing the nine-point plan circulated by the FIA. "I think if that comes into place then I think every team will go for the cheapest driver because you get the expensive ones for free." Theissen also doubted that the one-engine-per-driver-per-weekend rule that is set to come in 2004 could be introduced next year. "To do one engine per weekend for next year is just not possible any more," he explained. "It requires a change, maybe in the engine concept, at least a significant change in the engine layout and this can only be done for 2004. Under normal conditions and with stable regulations we would start engine design for the coming season in January or February. Now we are about to start before the end of the year, because of the regulation change and so you see there is no chance to do it for next year."

10/19/02
Industry News

Visteon showing improvement  Visteon Corporation today announced a net loss of $52 million for the Third Quarter or $0.40 per share. Excluding a $17 million after-tax special charge for the European Plan for Growth, Visteon lost $35 million, or $0.27 a share - in line with guidance. The company posted year-over-year improvements in sales, earnings before special items, and cash flow. In the Third Quarter of 2001, Visteon incurred a net loss of $95 million or $0.74 per share, including a $21 million after-tax restructuring charge. Excluding the restructuring charge, Visteon lost $74 million or $0.57 per share in the Third Quarter of 2001. "We achieved significant year-over-year improvement in all areas," said Pete Pestillo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "A major goal is customer diversification and more than 20 percent of our revenue came from customers other than Ford Motor Co. We expect improved earnings and margins in 2003, with a ramp-up of nearly half a billion dollars in new non-Ford business, which should allow us to exceed current analysts' consensus expectations." For the first nine months of 2002, the company recorded a net loss of $318 million, or $2.48 per share, compared with a net loss of $104 million, or $0.80 per share, in the first nine months of 2001. Excluding charges related to previously disclosed restructuring actions and other charges, as well as the $265 million write-off of goodwill in the First Quarter, Visteon earned $38 million or $0.30 per share in the first nine months of 2002. This compares with net income of $17 million, or $0.13 per share, excluding previously announced special charges, in the same period a year ago.

10/19/02

Ralf Schumacher pans Spa  With Austria's A-1 Ring, Italy's Imola and Belgium's Spa circuits the favorite to lose their race date in 2004, Ralf Schumacher took the time to take a swipe at Spa - "I wouldn't miss Spa," he said. "It's just very unstable weather," he continued. "Quite difficult to get to without any traffic jams. I think for the spectators it's just not very good to look at anyway."

10/19/02
Industry News

Kansas adds more seats  Kansas Speedway will add more grandstand seats in time for the 2003 racing season. Speedway officials will officially announce today that 1,500 additional seats will be added to the facility. Construction will begin as soon as a bid is accepted and will be completed by the June weekend of racing. The addition will raise the number of grandstand seats at Kansas Speedway to 80,187. The new seats will be located on the front stretch toward the turn-one end of the track. They will be built into the earthen grading between the west end of the current grandstands and the pedestrian tunnel to the infield. The seats will be bench-style with seatbacks painted in the track's existing color scheme. "They will be good seats," Kansas Speedway president Jeff Boerger said. "They will have an excellent view of the pits. And even with motorhomes (in the infield) you will be able to see the back stretch (from the lowest rows)." As with the old seats, the new ones must be purchased as part of the speedway's "RPM" plan. That is, they will be available only as part of a season-ticket program that grants admission to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, the Indy Infiniti Pro Series race, the Indy Racing League race, the NASCAR Busch Grand National race and the NASCAR Winston Cup race (This is a gimmick scheme that allows the IRL to claim a sellout crowd whereas in reality it is the Winston Cup seats that sell out and the IRL rides piggyback on them). Prices for the season tickets for the new seats range from $195 to $215.  Owners of the speedway, ISC,  had announced when construction began on the 1.5-mile track located at the intersections of Interstates 435 and 70 in Wyandotte County, that the facility could eventually grow to a seating capacity of 150,000.

10/19/02

Latest F1 Hot News Tomorrow, as a non-grand prix Sunday, will see a special and exclusive feature replace daily news items. Tomorrow's release sees Bob Holder complete his review of 2002, assessing the season's form of Jordan, Jaguar, BAR, Minardi, Toyota and Arrows in his piece Team By Team Season Review [Part 2].

Ralf Hits Back At Montoya
Verstappen Gives Minardi Hurry-Up
Ralf: We Must Take More Risks
F1 News In Brief

10/18/02

Panoz set for fresh start in 2003  Panoz Motor Sports is set to commence a development program aimed at returning to full competitiveness for the 2004 season when the new, soon-to-be-announced, Le Mans 24 Hour and American Le Mans Series regulations come into effect.  With a view to the expected length of the developmental phase, Panoz Motor Sports founder Don Panoz today announced he will release lead drivers David Brabham and Jan Magnussen to pursue other opportunities.  Story

10/18/02
Industry News

Ford exceeds expectations  Ford Motor Company today reported a net loss of $326 million, or 18 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2002. Excluding charges related to the sale of Kwik-Fit and other unusual items, Ford earned an operating profit of $220 million, or 12 cents per share. Ford reported a loss of $502 million, or 28 cents per share, excluding unusual items, in the third quarter of 2001. Ford's third quarter revenues were $39.6 billion, a nine percent increase from last year's third quarter. Worldwide vehicle sales in the 2002 third quarter were 1,657,000 units - also up nine percent over the previous year's quarter. "The fundamentals of our business are improving, as evidenced by increases in our revenue and vehicle sales, improvements in our market share and tangible progress on cost efficiencies," said Bill Ford, chairman and CEO. "While we are pleased with our progress, we continue our work with a strong sense of urgency to restore our business to its full profit potential." The company's Revitalization Plan advanced on multiple fronts this quarter, including progress in the areas of right-sizing capacity and overhead reductions. These improvements, along with numerous other cost improvement actions already identified, are being implemented across the company to reduce $2 billion in non-product costs in 2002. In addition, the company is on track to offset all product cost increases and reduce its material costs by $3 billion by mid-decade. The sale of Kwik-Fit, a European maintenance and light vehicle repair business, and Collision Team of America, a U.S.-based chain of collision repair shops, improved the total cash to be realized on the sale of non-core assets to more than $700 million in 2002. The company continues to expect to realize $1 billion in cash from the divestiture of non-core assets in 2002, with some of the proceeds to be received in the first quarter of next year.

10/18/02

Petty Team news  Petty enterprises will field teams for driver Christian Fittipaldi in 2003, preparing the Brazilian native for a full NASCAR Winston cup season in 2004. Fittipaldi will run Winston cup, Busch Grand National and ARCA next year. Fittipaldi will be the first driver to run for the Winston cup Championship after competing for championships in Formula One and CART. Here's his thoughts on next season: "Our time is being spent getting ready for next season. The closer we get to the end of the year, I can put more thought and greater time into stock cars. Everyone at Petty Enterprises, including myself, is very serious about what we are doing, not just next year but well into the future. "With the limitations of a lot of the (NASCAR) rules, these guys are a lot more advanced technically than an outsider might think. They have to think outside of the box, while staying within some pretty stringent rules in order to be successful. An outsider might think the rules would stifle creativity; in fact, it encourages creativity. From a technical aspect, you have to be creative in order to be successful. "Moving from open wheel racing to stock car racing is a challenge but I like to be challenged. It all comes down to competition and trying to be faster than anyone else and trying to beat everyone else. Whether it is a Formula One car or a go-kart, if I'm driving it, I want to be the best at it. My goal, and Petty Enterprises' goal, is to be the best at what we do. "When you talk about motor racing in this country, the highest form is NASCAR. I like living here (in U.S.). If I live here and want to be at the top level in this country, then I have to try NASCAR. To be the best in the United States, you have to be the best in NASCAR. If you want to be the best in NASCAR, you need a team like Petty.

10/18/02

IRL testing roundup  Drivers from the Indy Racing League, the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series and drivers hoping to someday compete in Indy Racing tested Oct. 17-18 in Indy Racing League cars at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway. Tony Ave, 30, from Indianapolis, passed the speed phase of his Indy Racing League rookie test Oct. 17 at Kentucky Speedway in a car prepared by Hemelgarn Racing. Ave, who has competed in the Toyota Atlantic Series and Trans-Am series, completed 150 laps at the 1.5-mile oval with a top speed of 219.2 mph, according to Mark Bridges, technical manager for the Indy Racing League, who oversaw the test. “He did really, really well,” Bridges said. “He felt very comfortable and relaxed in the car and had good feedback on the car and what it does.” Cory Witherill, who drives for Hemelgarn Racing in the Infiniti Pro Series and won in July at Nashville, also tested Hemelgarn’s Indy Racing car at Kentucky. Witherill, who tested Oct. 18, has started in two IRL events including the 85th Indianapolis 500 in May of 2001. “He made a smooth transition from the Pro Series car back to the IRL car,” Bridges said. “He took to it like a duck to water.” Witherill completed 72 laps with a top speed of 219.4 mph. “This is my first time back in an IRL car since Indy last year, so I’m just getting some laps and am getting to work with the guys to see what we can do,” Witherill said. A.J. Fike, whose brother Aaron drove for Hemelgarn Racing in the Infiniti Pro Series, also tested the Hemelgarn car at Kentucky. Fike, who has already passed his Indy Racing League rookie test, completed 104 laps with a top speed of 218.8 mph. “We started off a little slow but got going pretty good,” Fike said. “The track is nice and wide, and both corners are a little different. I’d love to get out there and race two or three wide. Hopefully I get an opportunity to do that with Hemelgarn or another team and maybe drive the Pro Series next year and move on from there.” Testing was also taking place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where Tomas Scheckter completed the second and final day of testing with Target/Chip Ganassi Racing and the new Indy Racing League Toyota engine, which will make its debut in 2003.

10/18/02

Hats off on Shanghai   Dear AutoRacing1.com, I am writing to tip my hats to you guys.  I told many you were crazy with all that talk of a race in Shanghai, China for the past two years.  Although you said CART should race there because that was THE place to have a race in China, most didn't believe you and I even saw pathetic comments on various forums saying you guys were nuts.  With today's announcement of a F1 race, not in Zhuhai, not in Beijing, not in Hong Kong, but in Shanghai, I assume you get some pleasure from saying I told you so. AR1 is the greatest racing website on the internet.  Thanks for being there for us fans.  Terry Lugar, Tampa, Florida  Dear Terry, Thanks for the kind words, but we get no pleasure from saying we told you so.  We prefer others do the talking for us.  Mark C.

10/18/02

Toyota, Target Team complete Indy test  For the second time in the last two weeks, the new Toyota Indy V8 engine wrapped up a successful test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Friday, in preparation for entry into the Indy Racing League in 2003. High winds and less than ideal weather conditions limited the testing to just over 200 miles as Tomas Scheckter piloted a Toyota G Force for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. The test was the first for Toyota with the G Force chassis.  “All in all, things went well this week,” said Lee White, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Racing Development: “This is our second test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and while the weather wasn’t ideal, we made some progress in testing with a G Force, but there’s still a long way to go. This is our first IRL test with Chip Ganassi and Target/Chip Ganassi Racing and a G Force chassis, but we already have a comfort factor with the team so that made things a little easier. It was also a plus being able to evaluate Tomas Scheckter before next season, so the test was beneficial to the team as well.” Scheckter also was pleased with his time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the opportunity to test with Toyota and Target Chip Ganassi Racing. “It’s great to be out here at the speedway,” said Scheckter, who earned a victory at Michigan in his rookie campaign in the IRL this past season. “The Toyota engine not only sounds great, but it runs great also. TRD is a great company and they have done a lot of work to prepare this engine. Even though they are in the beginning stages of development, they’re doing pretty well so far. It’s been a good two days and I’m honored that I was chosen to do this test.”  TRD

10/18/02

Eddie Jordan says to ignore selfish owners   Eddie Jordan has sent out a plea to the big guns, Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone, not to leave the future of the series in the hands of team bosses. Jordan knows that the main thing on any team boss' mind is simply the best thing for their own individual teams and that is not what's at stake. "I implore both Max and Bernie not to leave it in the hands of the teams,” he told Autosport. “The teams by nature will only think about themselves. We are a very selfish bunch of individuals, probably rightly so, and we can only see our position and what's right for our team. I'd argue that F1, which is the sport I gave everything up for in life, has to be protected. And at the moment, it's under severe pressure."

10/18/02

CART stock watch  

MPH closed on it’s low of the day to $4.55 Down $0.05 on Volume of 72,900 shares.
$3.90 Bid - $4.91 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.55 / $4.70
MPH Value Change Down 1.09%
DOW Jones Up 47.36 or 0.57% on Volume of 1.7 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 15.58 or 1.22%
S&P 500 Up 5.19 or 0.59%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

10/18/02

Something stinks at Road America  David Kallman writes in this Milwaukee Journal article that As the schedules stand, Road America's two largest events are set to run a week apart next August, and something about this doesn't smell quite right. CART announced its 2003 schedule in August, and on it, the Elkhart Lake track kept its usual mid-August spot on the calendar. Racetracks tend to like this sort of "date equity," figuring it's easiest for the fans to make their arrangements each year. But then the American Le Mans Series came out with a schedule that included an Aug. 24 date for the Road America 500. That's nearly two months later than the endurance race in recent years and - more striking - just one week after CART. Now, neither the sports cars nor the champ cars generated a significant traffic tie-up this season, but presumably there's a fair amount of cross-over audience. Are people more likely to head to the track on consecutive weekends than they would if the races were held six weeks apart? George Bruggenthies, Road America's president, didn't want to talk about the schedule this week. A track publicist said Road America has been talking to CART about shifting to a weekend earlier in August, but the staff is also preparing for a bang-bang finish if the dates stay as they are. Something out of the ordinary is going on. It's just hard to tell exactly what. Perhaps CART's struggles have caused the track to lose confidence in the series. That's understandable. But still it would be hard to imagine an ALMS date becoming the type of event CART has been at Road America, and it's also difficult to figure how this scheduling move could help either series or the track.

10/18/02

China gets F1 contract for 6 years   FIA president Max Mosley confirmed that the new Shanghai facility will host the Chinese Grand Prix from 2004 to 2010. Speaking at the official opening ceremony of the ‘Shang' circuit, Mosley praised the efforts of the Chinese authorities and their commitment to producing a world class racing facility, which will attract substantial foreign interest and investment. "Formula 1 is the biggest annual global sporting event - and it has been my ambition since becoming FIA President, that Formula 1 should have a home in the world's largest nation - that ambition will be realized in 2004 when the world of Formula One will arrive in Shanghai," he said. "Let me thank everyone involved in this project, including the Motorsport Federation of China and say how much I look forward to returning in 2004 for the first Formula 1 Grand Prix of China in Shanghai." The 3.37-mile track has been designed by Hermann Tilke at a cost  estimated to be $244 million, accommodate 200,000 spectators and should be completed in March 2004.

10/18/02

Interview with Falcon Cars President  Michael Kranefuss has had a vast and varied career in major league motorsports. He has been the head of Ford's worldwide racing, directing race- and championship-winning programs in Formula 1, CART, World Rally and international sports cars, and owner of NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Grand National teams. At the age of 64, he and partner Ken Anderson have taken on the challenge of building and supplying their Falcon Cars to the Indy Racing League starting with the 2003 season. Falcon Cars was one of three chassis manufacturers chosen by the IRL in late May for the 2003-05 specifications. In this interview, Kranefuss discusses the motivations and progress of Falcon Cars.  More...

10/18/02

Nadeau injured, Grissom to drive  Steve Grissom will drive Petty Enterprises’ #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge at Martinsville, Va., this weekend. Jerry Nadeau, who had been driving for the NASCAR Winston Cup team since mid-July, was injured in a go-kart accident late Thursday, and his rib injuries have sidelined him. "Steve has done a great job for us before and he has good Winston Cup experience," said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. "Martinsville has been a good track for him, and we think he will do a great job for us and Georgia-Pacific. We really appreciate him stepping in and helping us out so quickly."

10/18/02

Panoz to drop down to GTS  The Panoz ALMS team is expected to drop down from the top LMP level in ALMS to the closed-cockpit GTS division after one more season.  Besides being unable to beat the Audi's in LMP (except when all the stars align just right), this move better aligns his team with the limited production street cars his company sells.. 

10/18/02

Tom Gloy leaves Trans-Am  Tom Gloy Racing will leave the Panoz Trans-Am series after the final event at Virginia International Raceway on October 27, 2002. "As one of the most continuous and most successful entrants in Trans-Am history it is with great sorrow I announce we are leaving Trans-Am," said owner Tom Gloy. "We have had wonderful sponsors, drivers, and employees through the years; we thank them for their support and hard work that led to our success. We have enjoyed the competition on the track and wish our fellow competitors good luck with their future racing. Effective immediately all of our equipment is for sale." Tom Gloy Racing has been one of the sport's most respected teams since its inception in 1975. His accomplishments as a driver, a car owner and team manager rank among the most significant over the past 27 years. He has driven, owned and won for Chevrolet, Ford, Honda and Nissan power. Over the years, with its sponsors, crew and drivers, Tom Gloy Racing has raced in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Trans-Am, Formula Atlantic, Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART), International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), Corvette Challenge and Super Vee. In addition to owning his Trans-Am team this year, Gloy also served as president of Blair Racing and its Indy Racing League (IRL) entry. The team had a stunning year in only its first year of IRL competition.   TGR

10/18/02

Greg Moore case closed  UPDATE We reported this 11 days ago but this TSN article has more details  Moore, of Maple Ridge, B.C., was 24 years old when he was killed Oct. 31, 1999, when his car crashed into a wall on the second turn during the Marlboro 500 at California Speedway, in Fontana, Calif. The suit, filed in San Bernardino County Superior Court in November of 2000, cited negligence by both CART and the race track for not paving the infield. “The case has been dismissed,'' Bill Miller, president and general manager of the California Speedway, said Thursday. Ric Moore, Greg's father, refused comment on the dismissal. “I don't know what's going on down there,'' said Moore, who also didn't want to give the name of the lawyer handling the case for him. A source in the CART community said the decision can be appealed but doubted if Moore would continue with the case. “There isn't a desire for this to continue,'' the source said. Miller said he sympathizes with the Moore family. “A lawsuit was presented,'' Miller said. “We did our due diligence and the judge ruled on it. We certainly continue to sympathize with the Moore family and everybody with Greg's loss. He was certainly a talented driver and missed very much by the motor sport community.''  10/7/02 - 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. 

10/18/02

Official Press Release - Red Bull winners selected We reported this yesterday, but here is the official word and here are some photos of the winners in action.  The inaugural Red Bull F1 Driver Search culminated today in the choosing of four young American racers after nearly a week of assessment at Circuit Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track, a state of the art motorsport facility in southern France. Paul Edwards, Grant Maiman, Joel Nelson and Scott Speed were chosen by a select panel after being judged the most likely to quickly ascend to the world's top racing category, Formula One (F1). A total of 13 drivers had come to Paul Ricard, each hoping to be one of four to be funded by Red Bull Energy Drink to race in Europe's junior categories in 2003; it is these European "minor league" championships that F1 team owners and managers look to almost exclusively for their next star. The fact that there has not been an American driver in F1 since 1993 (Michael Andretti) led to the creation this past April of the Red Bull F1 Driver Search initiative. "We had 13 tremendously talented American racers here," said judge and program manager Danny Sullivan, an Indy 500 winner and one of just a handful of Americans to have competed in Formula One since 1950. "All the boys were so good that it made our decision very, very difficult. Beside being among the fastest during the lapping sessions, we had to consider not only each driver's individual experience, but also the variety of the cars they've driven and the variety of the cars we utilized here at the run-off. To do this right, to find the drivers most likely to succeed in the extremely competitive European racing universe, the judges had to factor all of it in." Edwards, 24, is from Santa Maria, Calif., and already has more than four years experience racing in Europe; Maiman, 24, New London, Wis., has been racing cars only since 1999. Nelson, 20, from Reno, Nev., is another raw talent, having gotten into a race car for the first time just about a year ago; and Speed, 19, of Manteca, Calif., has raced karts since age 10 and formula cars since 2001. Within the next 10 days, the decisions will be made regarding which European series and teams each of the four drivers will be competing in. The other nine drivers at Circuit Paul Ricard -- "Each were utterly impressive and will likely be considered again for next year," said Sullivan -- were Michael Abbate, 16, Las Vegas, Nev.; Phil Giebler, 23, Oxnard, Calif.; Joey Hand, 23, Chardon, Ohio; Patrick Long, 21, Oak Park, Calif.; Rocky Moran, Jr., 22, Coto de Caza, Calif.; Scott Poirier, 19, Deerfield Beach, Fla.; Boston Reid, 19, Kokomo, Ind.; Bryan Sellers, 21, Centerville, Ohio; and Bobby Wilson, 20, Oconomowoc, Wis. Two other drivers had also been invited, but prior to the run-off in France signed deals with teams to race in the U.S. in 2003: A.J. Allmendinger, 20, Hollister, Calif., and Ryan Hunter-Reay, 21, Boca Raton, Fla. (who dropped out early due to a pending CART drive)

10/18/02

CART board authorizes Pook to spend $40 million  This Indy Star article says - CART has a war chest of more than $100 million from its original stock sale. Pook said he has been authorized by the board of directors to spend upwards of $40 million of that money in the next 12 to 18 months. It could go toward subsidizing teams -- both new and existing -- and promoting events. "I can't tell you how we're going to spend our money," he said, "but this company is prepared to invest in its future."

10/18/02

Pook squashes CART and F1 ties  In this Indy Star article Chris Pook says the media has gotten "sucked in" by speculation and rumors, the latest of which has Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone either buying CART or becoming actively involved in running it. "The media has an amazing imagination," Pook said. "There is not now nor is their going to be an official collaboration of Formula One and CART."  Pook has stated exactly this previously, yet the rumors persisted.  Does this mean there is now officially nothing to the talks between Pook and Ecclestone, or is this Pooks attempt to divert attention from the rumors.  We shall see.....because we know the two were talking, and even Ecclestone admitted such to the media.  Does no collaboration between F1 and CART include Ecclestone, i.e. does this mean Bernie might still become involved with CART, complete and separate from F1, which is sanctioned by the FIA, not Bernie?  And Dan Knutdson reports in the latest issues of NSSN - CART is positioning itself to work closely with Formula One so that CART becomes a feeder series for F-1 and so that both series would promote each other. That was what NSSN learned from informed sources, close to the whole issue, that provided the information on the basis that they remain anonymous. According to these sources, F-1 czar Bernie Ecclestone, Chris Pook and CART team owner and shareholder Gerry Forsythe are discussing the details of how to build CART back up into a major series that will eventually no longer be publicly owned, explaining why Forsythe has been buying up CART stock.  Ironically, Craig Pollock had somewhat of a similar vision for the future of CART, and he shared his ideas with NSSN during the Japanese Grand Prix weekend. Pollock has strong ties to CART. He was (and is) Jacques Villeneuve's manager when Villeneuve won the CART title in 1995, and Pollock and Forsythe are business partners as both are shareholders in the British American Racing F-1 team. "F-1 needs to be promoted in North America," said Pollock who recently attended the Miami CART race. "It needs to open up the North American market, not just for the series but for the sponsorship for the series and on the media and TV side. Everything needs to be improved. And vice versa: the CART series needs to be promoted in Asia and in Europe. And the link between F-1 and CART makes sense." "It is an absolutely natural fit," Pollock added. "It appears to me that the vision of the top people in CART is a very strong and good vision to build up the series for the future. It could help both sides if this did actually happen."  To make a long story short, it would seen Pook is trying to divert attention.

10/18/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Pedro Slams Jaguar Team-Mate
BMW Reject Williams Buy-In
Bourdais Favorite For Test-Drive
More Support For Qualifying Reform
Fresh Doubt Over Silverstone Future
Luca And Bernie Go To War
Villeneuve Slams HANS Device
McNish Seizes Oval Opportunity
Lauda Slams Stupid Ferrari Tactics
China Joins Formula One Circus
F1 News In Brief

10/18/02

Rahal takes wheel of Mercedes  In this Daily F1 article, former Jaguar-Racing Principal and CART legend Bobby Rahal is this week competing in the Classic Adelaide, a road rally in and around the former host city of the Australian Grand Prix, Adelaide. Rahal, who was forced out of the Managerial role at Milton-Keynes last year after 10 months in the job, is in the country ahead of the Australian round of the CART Championship next weekend in Surfer’s Paradise, Queensland. The 49-year-old is driving a highly valuable 1955 Mercedes-Benz 190SLR, one of three cars entered in the cosmopolitan event by the Mercedes-Benz museum of Stuttgart. Sir Jack Brabham, former triple World Champion, is also in the event driving a 2002 Mercedes-Benz SL500. The 76-year-old is still actively involved in historic events. The Classic Adelaide, which includes a stage that incorporates the hairpin and pit straight section of the Grand Prix circuit, began on Wednesday (prologue) and concludes on Sunday (20th).

10/18/02

#77 Jasper to stick with Ford  With the 2003 switch from Ford to Dodge announced last weekend at Charlotte by the Penske South Team, the future of the two-year alliance between that team and the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford team of driver Dave Blaney has moved into a more complicated set of elements as the power-plant relationship between Roger Penske and Jasper co-owners Doug Bawel, Mark Harrah and Mark Wallace projects toward next season. Recently, Harrah—also Team Manager for the #77 Jasper team—commented on the plans for the Penske-Jasper Engine program as well as the current state of his race team, now 19th in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series owner and driver point standings entering this weekend’s Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Harrah's comments: "In the discussions we’ve had as a group about the Penske South switch to Dodge, the technology we share will be common between the engines. We'll still be with Ford in 2003. I'm dedicated to the Ford people, and we're staying Ford. Jasper Racing

10/18/02

Minardi wants Webber and Verstappen  Paul Stoddart is hoping to have Mark Webber and ex-Arrows man Jos Verstappen behind the wheel when the teams take to the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne next March. "As it stands today I cannot tell you who either of my drivers are going to be next year," he said. "I would hope that it would be a combination of Webber and Verstappen. But it could be a combination of anyone. We did a list the other day of 20 drivers. Rest assured there will be two good drivers.”

10/18/02
ARCA

ARCA accident investigation update  An investigation of last Wednesday's fatal accident at Lowe's Motor Speedway concluded there was a delay in transmitting information about Eric Martin's crashed car to Deborah Renshaw, who slammed into Martin's stalled vehicle seconds later and killed him, ARCA President Ron Drager said yesterday. ''We feel that a spotter in the spotters' stand could have prevented what happened,'' Drager said

10/18/02

Did you know?  Did you know that BAR test driver Anthony Davidson was on stand-by to step in for injured CART driver Shinji Nakano at next Sunday's Surfers Paradise race?  However, he was not needed as Nakano was approved to race by CART doctors.  Nakano had burned his hands on a methanol fire at Miami 11 days ago but doctors will allow him to race next Sunday because his palms are not burned. Davidson had a test with Team Green earlier this year and his links with Honda meant he was the ideal choice to take over if Nakano had been unable to race.

10/17/02

Lee White puts plug in for the IRL  Officials from Toyota are excited about the 2003 Indy Racing League season, the first season the engine will compete in the IRL. “We’re excited to be here,” said Lee White, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Racing Development. “We’re very much looking forward to next year, and I think we’re all confident that the IRL season next year is going to be something to see. It’s going to be very exciting.” White and other officials kept tabs on Indy Racing action throughout the 2002 season. “We watched it extremely close,” White said. “I was at virtually every event at least for one or two days. At this point in time there’s nothing quite like it in terms of on-track excitement. I just hope we get a lot more fans in the stands and on television coming out to watch it because this coming year, with all of the new teams coming in, the existing teams that have statements to make, and new manufacturers, new cars and a new package, I can’t help but think that it’s going to be extremely exciting and a lot of fun.” IRL

10/17/02

Red Bull winners selected UPDATE  Jim Russell Racing Drivers School would like to congratulate the accomplishments of Scott Speed and Joel Nelson in the Red Bull F1 Driver Search. Speed is the 2001 USAC Formula Russell Champion and Rookie of the Year, while Nelson currently leads the points in the in this season's championship. Both are past winners of the Jim Russell Graduate Runoffs and received full scholarships to compete in the series. We tip our hats to all of the drivers for being selected for this prestigious program, and to Red Bull and Danny Sullivan, (JRRDS-UK graduate) for their support and tremendous efforts to create and launch this program. 10/17/02 -  Joel Nelson, Paul Edwards, Grant Maiman and Scott Speed are the successful drivers in the Red Bull F1 Driver Search after a week long shootout at Paul Ricard in France. The drivers will be supported by Red Bull through the European formulae in an effort to promote American drivers into Formula 1.

10/17/02

Skip Barber announces Challenge Series  Skip Barber announced today the creation of the Skip Barber Challenge, a new loyalty program for long-time Skip Barber Race Series customers. The race series is open to selected Skip Barber customers who have participated in at least one full regional championship season and is designed to give the drivers the opportunity to experience the Dodge Reynard 98E in competition. The Challenge will be comprised of three race weekends, with each weekend featuring two races as well as practice and qualifying sessions. Drivers participating in the Challenge will have the opportunity to test the Reynard Dodge 98E in advance of the event to become familiar with the increased performance potential of the Dodge-powered carbon fiber monocoque racecar. As with any Skip Barber race event, drivers will benefit not only from the PI data acquisition available in the Reynard Dodge 98E, but also to from the feedback from the staff of Skip Barber driving coaches who will be on hand for the events. "There is a tremendous amount of loyalty toward the Skip Barber Race Series within our group of customers,” said George Tamayo, Director of Marketing & Communications for Skip Barber. “Some have been racing with us year in, year out for the last 10 years. The Skip Barber Challenge was created to provide our valued customers with an opportunity to do something that is both unique and special. No other racing organization in North America provides its amateur racers the opportunity to race a car of the same caliber as the Dodge Reynard 98E. We’ve had a great initial response and are expecting some great racing and big smiles come October 26 and 27th." The three race weekends will be run at Sebring International Raceway, with each weekend featuring a different track configuration. The first race weekend will take place on October 26-7 and will utilize the “Sebring Modified” course, with the November 1-2 weekend making use of the same layout as the Sebring 12-Hour event on the “Full Course” Sebring track. The final race weekend, December 6-7, will utilize the “New Sebring” layout, a configuration that is favored by many CART teams for their off-season testing. The drivers are excited about the opportunity to race in Skip Barber’s fastest cars. “This is the closest thing I will get to driving a Champcar, and I can’t wait,” says long-time Skip Barber Race Series competitor Phil Saville. “I tested a couple of weeks ago, and I couldn’t believe the car and its performance. This is a great opportunity that Skip Barber is providing for guys like me who have a lot of seat time in the Formula Dodge, but want to experience racing in a car that’s got the performance of the Reynard 98E with its big horsepower, downforce, and brakes. The fact that we will be racing on different track configurations each time should make the racing all the more interesting.” Between on track sessions every driver will have the benefit of data analysis with Skip Barber Driver Coaches. In addition, gourmet hospitality and other perks will round out what promises to be an exceptional experience.

10/17/02

Hunter-Reay withdraws from Red Bull program  In response to inquires on why Ryan Hunter-Reay decided not to travel to France as part of the Red Bull F-1 Driver Search Ryan has issued the following statement; I am very honored to have been selected as one of the inaugural nominees in the Red Bull Formula One driver search and it was with a heavy heart that I found it necessary to withdraw from the competition. After consultations with my management team we did not believe it appropriate for me to continue in the program due to fact that we are in the advanced stages of negotiations for me to drive with a front line Champ Car team in CART next year. I hope to be able to make a formal announcement as to my racing plans for 2003 within the next month. I would like to reiterate that my ultimate goal remains to race in F1. I want to express my sincere appreciation to Red Bull, Danny Sullivan, Maria Jannace, and the whole Red Bull Driver search program. It was a wonderful experience, I learned quite a lot in a short period of time, I trust they will keep their eye on me next season and that, perhaps, our paths will cross again in the future.  Editors Note: See Red Bull winners Hot News item.

10/17/02

CART stock watch  Today's NYSE Trading In MPH
MPH closed on the high of the session at $4.60 Up $0.15 on Volume of 24,800 shares.
$3.93 Bid - $4.91 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.51 / $4.60
MPH Value Change Up 3.37%
DOW Jones Up 238.86 or 2.97% on Volume of 2.1 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 39.77 or 3.23%
S&P 500 Up 19.17 or 2.23%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroup.com

10/17/02

Rocky Moran Jr. plans karting track  As the silly season is in progress, Toyota Atlantic driver Rocky Moran Jr. has been keeping busy in the off season, not only planning for next season, but for the opening of a new Go-Kart track in Southern California owned and operated by him and his father, former CART driver, Rocky Moran Sr. The Moran’s are taking the same route as other drivers have done in starting their own Karting track. “About five years ago, my dad got the idea to start a Go-Kart track in Southern California,” says the 22-year-old Moran Jr. “There is a demand for newer tracks in this area because there are only a few operating, but they are outdated. So we pondered the idea of building a state of the art track to keep the sport of Go-Karting in demand with a goal to increase the popularity of the sport in this selected area.” Finding a location to build a track was the Moran’s toughest struggle. There are not many areas in Southern California that will accommodate the operation of a Go-Kart track. However, the city of Beaumont in California approved their proposal about a month ago and the Moran’s have been working hard to get their track up and running ever since. In hopes to build a unique Go-Kart track, Moran Jr. and his father have been traveling to several different tracks all over California. Moran Jr. has kept sharp with his driving skills despite finishing his season last month by driving all these tracks himself. Along with viewing and testing out the tracks, the Moran’s have met with track designers and people in the communities about different aspects of the tracks. “We are just trying to be as thorough as we can to develop a track that has all the needs of a driver to make an interesting, yet challenging course to race on,” says Moran Jr. “Having a track with diverse corners, along with a great passing opportunities and long straight-aways is our goal and something that Southern California really needs.” One of the exclusive features about the Moran’s track is the different elevation change. The pit lane will have an estimated 300 hundred stalls available for parking. The track will be a mile long, with FIA (Federation Internationale de L’Automobile) style curving built to FIA speculations. The track sits at 2300 feet with an amazing view of the mountains. Long terms plans include putting in a restaurant and a shop. The Morans would like to then integrate corporate events and a race school along with the regular operation of the track. But, for now, Moran Jr. and his father are going to work on the opening of the track and sit tight for about a year to get some of their investments back before adding more features to the track. “I hope that everyone will come, I know that they will have a great time there,” says Moran. “We have found a great location being a half-mile of the freeway. I am not sure what the name of it will be; we were thinking something like Moran Raceway.” As the time for the grand opening approaches at the end of January 2003, Moran Jr. plans to spend all of his time at the track when not working on his own race career for the upcoming 2003 season.

10/17/02

CART and FedEx pack for Australia  The CART FedEx Championship Series is ready to take a 9,000-mile whirlwind trip around the globe with the assistance of series title sponsor, FedEx. Beginning tomorrow, two FedEx 747 jumbo jet aircraft will transport Champ Cars and equipment from the United States to Australia for the Honda Indy 300, Round 17 of the CART FedEx Championship Series on Sunday, October 27.  Story

10/17/02

Red Bull Driver Shootout photos  2nd UPDATE Here are some pictures from Day 4.  10/14/02 - The drivers hit the track today.  Here is a link to the images from Paul Ricard.  10/15/02 - This week, Red Bull will put the US drivers from their Driver Search Program through their paces at the Paul Ricard track in France. This page has some photos from the first day at Paul Ricard.  There are two pages so be sure to click on page two.

10/17/02

Panoz drops Magnussen and Brabham  David Brabham and Jan Magnussen Dropped from Panoz Squad for 2003 Panoz team mates David Brabham and Jan Magnussen have been released from their contracts after one year of a three year deal. The move comes as Panoz begin to wind up their prototype program in anticipation of a GTS class attack on the ALMS in 2004.

10/17/02

Villeneuve crying again  Like no one is short in CART Jacques?  Spare us. Da Matta's shorter than him.  Jacques Villeneuve's criticism of the HANS device continued this week after the Canadian's high-speed crash at Suzuka. "I'm very happy I didn't have it on in my crash," he said. "My body would have moved but the HANS device would have stayed where it was. It could have dug into my neck - it could break your backbone." "I think there are some situations where you could get hurt by the HANS device." JV added that shorter drivers found the system difficult to use and very uncomfortable. "I can't physically drive with HANS on," he said. "I've got a short neck and I can't even put the pad around it. I spoke to Nick Heidfeld (another short driver). He said within two laps he can't concentrate any more because it's too painful."   Psst, someone please tell Jacques to get a proper fitting.

10/17/02

Bernie says Schumacher overpaid  Strained relations between F1 Boss Bernie Ecclestone and Ferrari President Luca Montezemolo showed no signs of easing on Thursday with Bernie taking a shot at Luca over team finances, saying if the team needed more capital it should reduce Michael Schumacher’s salary. Ecclestone was speaking in response to an alleged demand from Ferrari for a 33% increase in commercial fund benefits as part of the prize money allocation under the F1 covenant, the Concorde Agreement. ‘When Ferrari doesn't have the money, they should spend less,’ Ecclestone told Italy’s sporting paper, Gazetta dello Sport. ‘If Montezemolo paid Schumacher a reasonable salary, he'd have 40 million dollars more a year.’ Ecclestone said that under the terms of the current Concorde Agreement, Ferrari would not be receiving extra incentives, but that the situation could change in the future. ‘Ferrari gets more than any other team,’ Ecclestone stated. ‘Montezemolo has been saying for a long time that I take too much money. He simply doesn't understand. ‘In 2008 our contract runs out and Montezemolo can negotiate the parts that he doesn't like.’ 

10/17/02

Pedro wants Eddie axed  Jaguar's Pedro de la Rosa hopes teammate Eddie Irvine is not in the team next year. The Spaniard joined up with Irvine at Jaguar four races into 2001, but says the relationship between them has now deteriorated to the extent that they are no longer on speaking terms. "Working with Irvine has been the worst part of the season," he told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser. "He's very inconsistent with his decisions and it's very hard to work with him, especially when things are going wrong. "When things are going right everybody is happy, but when things go wrong you have to be united, and that has been very hard with him. We hardly talked at the start of the season, and as the races went by we stopped talking to each other. In the final races we didn't even look at each other's eyes."

10/17/02

Miami residents glad racing is back in streets  This is a survey from the Miami NBC affiliate web site taken in the days following the recent GP of the Americas:
Do you agree with the decision to bring racing back to downtown Miami?

Choice

Votes

% of 2209 votes

Yes, Grand Prix is more exciting when it's not confined to an oval track.

1,929

 87%

No, cars racing over 150 MPH on Miami's streets is too dangerous.

90

 4%

It doesn't matter to me.

190

 9%

10/17/02

Tickets sales in Surfers require another new grandstand  Just three weeks ago, organizers of the Oct. 24-27 Honda Indy 300 announced the building of a new grandstand to accommodate the increased ticket demand for the upcoming CART FedEx Championship Series event, and may have thought that the construction would alleviate the seating crunch. But the demands keep coming from the Australian people and in order to meet the still-increasing ticket sales, the event staff announced today that they were going to erect yet another Andretti grandstand for the event. "It's a bit like déjà vu. We keep coming out announcing new grandstands for this year," said Honda Indy 300 Chief Executive Officer Geoff Jones. "We are delighted with ticket sales which are pointing towards a record four-day crowd in excess of 300,000. Grandstand ticket sales have been going through the roof, and we encourage people to get in quickly to secure a seat in the new Andretti stand." The new seating section, which is the fourth new grandstand to be built for this year's race, will be located on the corner of Serisier Avenue and Corner Hill Parade at the northern end of the circuit. Four-day tickets for the Andretti grandstand, which is covered with closed-circuit televisions, are on sale via the Honda Indy 300 website www.indy.com.au

10/17/02

NASCAR penalties  NASCAR officials announced today that Todd Bodine, driver of the No. 26 Ford in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, has been placed on probation until Dec. 31. Bodine was penalized under Section 12-4-A in the NASCAR Winston Cup rule book (“Actions detrimental to stock car racing: careless driving”). If, during the remaining NASCAR events in 2002, there is another action by Bodine that is deemed by NASCAR officials as detrimental to the event or is disruptive to the orderly conduct of an event, he will receive an indefinite suspension from NASCAR. “We’ve noticed numerous on-track incidents involving Todd and we felt this was the proper step to take at this time,” said John Darby, NASCAR Winston Cup Series Director. On Sunday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Bodine was involved in a multi-car accident on Lap 231. NASCAR also issued a fine to Mike Ford, crew chief of the No. 9 Dodge because team member Phil Gould went onto pit road during the race without a helmet. Ford was fined $2,000 and penalized under Section 9-4-A (“The crew chief assumes the responsibility for the actions of his team members.”) and Section 12-17-A3 (“Crew member entered the car servicing area without a helmet”). NASCAR Busch Series crew chief Tommy Baldwin was fined $25,000 for a rules violation found following Saturday’s race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Baldwin, crew chief of the No. 6 Dodge driven by Wally Dallenbach, was penalized under Section 12-4-T (“Any car that is found to be under the specified height requirement after the… race”). The No. 6 car was approximately a quarter inch too low..

10/17/02
USAC/
Russell Racing

USAC Russell Racing Championship  Infineon Raceway will feature the ninth round of the USAC Formula Russell Championship Race Series this weekend (Oct. 19-20) on the 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course. Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m., with main events set for noon Saturday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday. In all, there will be nine main events over the two days. Joel Nelson continues to lead the race for the 2002 championship with 185 points and seven main event victories. He is chased by Steve Hill (171), Jason Kritikos (160) and Bruce Feldman (153). All of the drivers will compete in identical rotary-powered Formula Russell cars that average more than 90 mph around the road course. Gates open at 8 a.m. each day and admission is free. For more information, visit www.russellracing.com or call (707) 939-7600. The tenth and final round of the USAC Formula Russell Series will take place at Infineon Raceway Nov. 16-17. At this event, all of the 2002 champions will be crowned and awarded a free 2003 racing season. 

10/17/02
Fran-Am

Fran-Am offers prizes  Organizers of the Fran-Am Championship series are constantly being reminded of the value of the prizes awarded to their champions. A number of drivers and competitors subscribing to Fran-Am have pointed out the enormity of the rewards provided, especially in comparison to competing series. “Sometimes we tend to forget just how much incentive we’re offering to potential drivers and teams,” said Arden Weatherford, Director of Operations for Fran-Am Sport. “We are committed to providing the most attractive and effective ladder system for drivers to reach the top of the sport. The prizes that we offer are what we feel a driver who succeeds in Fran-Am truly deserves.” In addition to a comprehensive curriculum that leads to acquiring valuable skills necessary for success in the sport, Fran Am awards special prizes for certain levels of achievement within the Fran-Am System. The Fran-Am Sport North American Karter Award is a preliminary step in the driver development program wherein each year a Fran-Am 1600 racecar (US$30,000 value) will be awarded to the Fran-Am Sport North American Karting Champion. In the further pursuit of his or her racing career, the winner will use the award to contest one of the Fran-Am 1600 regional championships throughout North America and Canada. The next award in the program provides the overall winners of the Fran-Am 1600 USA Regional Championships and the Fran-Am 1600 Canadian Regional Championships with a brand-new Fran-Am 2000 car. These awards, totaling $90,000US, will be used in the next step of the driver’s racing career…the Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship Series. The third and final award provides the winner of the Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship Series with a fully paid ride in what promises to be the recognized step before Formula One. For the 2002 champion this a ride in the Super Renault V6 Championship series in Europe. This $450,000US prize was announced at the last event in the Fran-Am 2000 series with great response from drivers and teams alike. “The announcement of the Super Renault V6 prize is a huge one for Fran-Am,” stated Paul Grosjean, team manager for Phillips Motorsports. “I can think of nothing that enhances the value of our program and indeed Fran-Am.” The prizes are designed to encourage and assist those drivers who have achieved excellence within the Fran-Am system. Fran-Am Sport believes that any driver capable of winning such an award deserves to be rewarded for his or her efforts and accomplishments. Fran-Am further hopes that all of the winners effectively utilize their award in pursuing and furthering their racing careers. Further information on the Fran-Am series is available at www.fran-am.com.

10/17/02

Octagon motorsports crisis  According to SportsBusiness.com, Octagon Motorsports faces an uncertain future after the chief financial officer of its parent company The Interpublic Group confirmed it was 'reassessing the composition and structure of our motorsports holdings'. The drain on IPG - one of the biggest advertising companies in the world - has reached a critical point with the motorsport division expected to hurt earnings to the tune of 15 to 20 cents per share. It has fuelled speculation Octagon is looking to off-load some or all of its motorsport business in a bid to stop the rot. A claim denied by Octagon spokesperson Ruth Wicks. "I cannot state categorically there are no plans to sell any of its parts, because I don't know," said Wicks. "We are looking to make the division a more profitable and streamlined operation and put it on a more stable footing. "It is not all of our motorsport properties which are proving a problem, just certain elements relating to some of the circuits we operate." While Octagon has repeatedly denied any problems within its operations, questions were raised as to the reason the motorsports division was made into a separate unit during one of Octagon's numerous recent internal reorganizations. Octagon's holdings consists of facilities in the UK - most high profile being Silverstone and Brands Hatch - and Hong Kong (although the karting venues were recently closed), acquired in 1999 and 2000.

10/17/02

Brack's star powered band at Runway Madness  Further proving that there is much more to many of the athletes in the CART FedEx Championship Series than having the ability to drive an 800hp racecar at blinding speeds, Kenny Brack (#12 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone) will again strap on his guitar and join a powerful musical lineup that will perform at this year's Runway Madness CARA Charities event. Brack has played with other CART drivers in the past and thrilled a crowd at Elkhart Lake when he and Patrick Carpentier (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) held an impromptu jam session after Friday qualifying. He will front the newest version of his RPM band - called Super RPM - for the Friday, November 1 CARA Charities "runwaymadness Viva Las Vegas" charity dinner, casino and entertainment show set for the Ontario Convention Center in California. Brack will be joined by Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, who has been with the legendary rock quartet since the band's formation and has played on such multi-million selling albums as Diver Down, Women and Children First, 1984 and 5150. Former Blue Oyster Cult drummer and Players Forsythe Racing crewmember Rick Downey and Midwest blues guitar star Gene Deer will also join Brack in what should be a great evening of music. "We have some of the top professional performers in the nation for the Super RPM performance at Runway Madness this year," said Brack, whose RPM band last year performed in the California Speedway infield before some 10,000 fans. "For me, it's a great privilege to play rock and blues with these guys. I'm just along for the ride. Hopefully I can blend in well with these pros. The sound should be very good for the folks at Runway Madness." In addition, popular Southern California group Pat O'Brien and the Priests of Love will be performing at the event. This year's charity event, a kickoff for the Nov. 3 The 500 presented by Toyota at California Speedway, will feature a Las Vegas theme and, for the first time, the program will be seen live on SPEED Channel as part of "CART Friday Night" at 10:30 p.m. (EST). "Runway madness Viva Las Vegas" is a primary fundraiser for CARA Charities to assist worthwhile causes on a national and international scope. Tickets for the Nov. 1 affair are $150 each and sponsor tables of ten are set for $1,500 each. For further information on "runway madness Viva Las Vegas", contact the CARA Charities office at (317) 299-2277 or e-mail to carachar@aol.com.

10/17/02

Barber Dodge Pro series to skip Mexico City  Barber Dodge Pro Series officials have announced today that the Series will not appear at the Gran Premio Telmex Gigante Mexico 2002 in Mexico City, Mexico on November 15-17. As a result of CART rescheduling the event from its original October date, it became necessary to change the event from the final round of the Championship into a non-championship event in order to preserve the continuity of the season and in consideration of driver plans for 2003. Because of its non-championship status and the lateness of the date, it has been deemed in the best interests of all parties to focus on 2003. "Having Mexico City along with three Canadian dates and a core of marquee U.S. events was one of the most anticipated facets of the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series," said Jeremy Dale, Managing Director of the Barber Dodge Pro Series. "Despite our best efforts, it is apparent to us that we should rather focus on our 2003 calendar, which will hopefully include a Mexican venue. As it stands we had a great season and crowned a worthy champion in A.J Allmendinger. Moreover we're expecting several of our drivers to move into Toyota Atlantic next season with others returning to bid for the 2003 championship and Career Enhancement Award. "Thanks to Telemex, Gigante and Herdez who have all supported more Mexican drivers in Barber Dodge than ever before with an eye towards next year to continue building upon the foundation set in 2002. In addition we would like thank Ron Dickson and his staff of promoters for their understanding and look forward to a successful venture with them next year," added Dale. "CART fully believes this decision is in the best interest of all parties involved. It is unfortunate that the CART schedule change has prevented the great Mexican fans from viewing the ultra competitive Barber Dodge Pro Series with champion AJ Allmendinger and hometown heroes like Memo Rojas, Piero Rodarte, Aurelio Lopez and German Quiroga. However, with our partners at Barber Dodge, we look forward to next year and building on the tremendous momentum of 2002 in the CART Driver Development Ladder System," said Steve Fusek, Vice President of Marketing for CART.

10/17/02

If it's an oval it's 99% car  Michael Waltrip said on RPM2Night when asked if winning is about the car or the driver in Winston Cup - his answer, the car.  This question came on the wake of Jamie McMurray winning his first Cup race even though he had no wins in Truck or Busch.  This Charlotte Observer article discusses this topic a bit more.

10/17/02

Alex Zanardi dons driving suit again  UPDATE Here is more info on the karting event Zanardi participated in from ekartingnews.com - Story & Photos  10/16/02 -  This unofficial Alex Zanardi website has a story about Alex Zanardi  getting behind the wheel of a racing kart. It happened just recently that he was a sort of guest star at a huge karting event. The event was in Monte Carlo and it was a charity event. Alex was going to race but had some kind of kart problem that kept him from doing so. Either way it is really good to have him back into a racing machine.

10/17/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Ferrari Could Use Old Car In '03
Jordan Refutes Irvine Home-Coming
Pundits Urge Caution Over Revolution
Webber Guaranteed Minardi Seat
Jordan: Sato Needs Corporate Help
Jacques Suggests Shoot-Out Qualifying
Bent Banker Robs World Champion
Jordan Urges: FIA Must Decide
Salo: Maybe One More Year
F1 News In Brief

10/16/02

CART stock watch   In Today's NYSE trading in MPH
MPH closed at $4.45 Down $0.16 per share on Volume of 54,200 shares.
$3.80 Bid / $4.76 Asked on close.
$4.35 Low / $4.71 the High trades for the session.
MPH value per share Down 4.47%
DOW-Jones Down 2.66%
NASDAQ Down 3.9%
S&P 500 Down 2.41%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

10/16/02

Bliss to drive #40 Coors car  Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced today that Mike Bliss will drive the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge in the Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Bliss will be in the car for one race only; Jamie McMurray will resume driving responsibilities in Atlanta. "I am excited to be given this opportunity to race for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in Martinsville," Bliss said. "This team has gone through a lot this season and I hope I can contribute to their success. After Jamie's win last weekend, I have some big shoes to fill but I'm confident in this team." "Although Sterling is out for the remainder of the season, the team is still in the hunt for the owner's championship and I'm looking forward to assisting them in obtaining that goal," Bliss added. "This is a first rate team and I'm looking forward to a great run at Martinsville." Jamie McMurray, who is replacing Sterling Marlin in the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge, will not be able to race in the Old Dominion 500 due to prior commitments with his Busch Series team. McMurray is currently ninth in NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division championship point standings. 

10/16/02

Minardi officially releases Webber  Minardi's Paul Stoddart has freed Mark Webber from his contract – but would gladly have him back. Stoddart had first option on his fellow Australian’s services for 2003 but will let Webber decide his own future. The 26-year-old has been strongly linked with a move to Jaguar, while Toyota and even Jordan are rumored to be interested too. But Stoddart has made it clear that if nothing materializes, he will welcome Webber back with open arms. He told Reuters: "I've released Mark from his contract so he's a free agent. "If he gets a better drive then good luck to him and I do genuinely mean that and I wish him well. If he doesn't, then there is a guaranteed seat for him next season. "He's in a perfect position. He's under no pressure. Mark would be my number one choice of driver for next year if he does not get something better."

10/16/02

British banker in Monaco court for swindling stars  A Monaco prosecutor on Tuesday demanded four years in jail for a British banker who confessed to swindling clients including Formula One driver Michael Schumacher of up to 20 million euros ($19.6 million). Stephen Troth, 42, confessed in court to siphoning off millions of euros from the accounts he managed at private bank HSBC Republic in the Mediterranean principality, which is famous worldwide for its casinos and banking secrecy laws. Prosecutors said that Troth was dazzled by the jet set lifestyle of his clients and started helping himself to cash from the accounts of 20 celebrities, including German rally driver Armin Schwarz and French singer Liane Foly. Troth, long a model employee, said he had lost his bearings after getting a divorce in 1999. "I got divorced, I was overworked, in sole charge of managing the portfolios of more than 800 clients worth one billion dollars, so I lost touch with reality, I snapped," he said. "I recognize that I was wrong, I recognize my errors, I want to pay for them," he told the court, his head lowered. Prosecutors said Troth used the money to buy two villas and paid an architect to renovate one of the properties using cash taken directly from the account of the architect himself. None of the celebrities reported their money missing. An internal audit conducted by HSBC Republic revealed that Troth had made close to 150 illegal withdrawals. A verdict will be delivered on November 5. Reuters

10/16/02

Ferrari does agree with some changes  While he still called some of the tentative plans being proposed to curtail his team's dominance in Formula One ``bizarre' and ``inconceivable,'' Ferrari's president did agree with other possible rule changes in an interview published Tuesday. ``We're against Ecclestone and Mosley's bizarre proposals,'' Montezemolo was quoted as saying in Tuesday's Gazzetta dello Sport of ideas recently put forth by F1 commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley, president of the sport's world governing body FIA.  ``We take it as a joke to have drivers alternating in various cars, it's inconceivable considering that we have contracts with the sponsors with precise conditions.'' Speaking shortly after Ferrari drivers Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello wrapped up another historic season by cruising to their ninth one-two finish of the year at the Japanese Grand Prix, Montezemolo also rejected Ecclestone's radical idea of adding one kilogram of extra weight to a car for each point its driver is ahead in the standings. But Montezemolo did give approval to two other ideas that could be considered when the Formula One Commission meets in London on Oct. 28. He said the proposal to lengthen and spread out qualifying would increase interest for fans. ``It seems proper to me to not throw away an otherwise useless day.'' As for limiting teams to only one motor per driver for both qualifying and racing, the Ferrari president said his team accepts the idea, but ``not enthusiastically.'' ``But we say not the same motor for four or more races,'' he said. ``F1 must remain devoted to research and maximum performance. To produce a motor that could be used for more races would require colossal investments. ``We're open to discussing interventions that better the sport and the unpredictability of F1. And we're also ready to invest in F1 under three conditions: No extemporaneous proposals like I've heard, stable rules and no damage to the competitiveness.''

10/16/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Webber Farewells Rookie Season
F1 Legends Continue Rule Debate
Jean Todt To Call It A Day
BBC To Bid For F1 Rights
BAR Farewell Panis With Regret
Coulthard On The Way Out?
BMW Well-Advanced For 2003
Schu Warns: Ferrari Stronger In '03
Formula One Heads To China
Dennis: Reform Is A Smoke-Screen

10/15/02

CART stock watch   

In Today's NYSE trading in MPH
MPH closed at $4.61 Up $0.21 per share on Volume of 60,300 shares.
$3.93 Bid / $4.92 Asked on close.
$4.40 Low / $4.62 the High trades for the session.
MPH value per share Up 4.77%
DOW-Jones Up 4.8%
NASDAQ Up 5.07%
S&P 500 Up 4.73%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

10/15/02

BBC prepares F1 bid  The BBC are preparing a $300 million bid to bring Formula One back to the BBC starting in 2005. According to a report in the Daily Mail, the BBC are targeting F1 to be the jewel in their crown of sports coverage after they lost out on Champions League coverage. ITV snatched F1 coverage in a five-year deal in 1997, paying $110 million - which was 10 times more what the BBC had previously paid for rights. ITV then extended their contract for another three years from the start of the season which has just ended. But following the collapse of ITV Digital, finances at the network are tight - a factor which the Daily Mail claims the BBC are determined to exploit.

10/15/02

F1 TV ratings did tank  Autosport's website is reporting that in the de facto home of Formula 1 ( Britain) the Chicago Marathon (foot race) outdrew the Japanese Grand Prix for TV viewers!  Big time ouch!

10/15/02

Ferrari chief calls rules changes idiotic UPDATE Ferrari president Luca Montezemolo said: "I find the proposals slightly insane, stuff you'd hear in a bar by amateurish fans with little knowledge of the sport." "But they raise the question, if these proposals go through - and I don't think they will - would it make sense for us to keep investing in a modified formula? "After having won so much we could look for new challenges outside of F1."   CART here we come!  10/14/02 - Our Mark Cipolloni wrote in his latest article, Why CART and Bernie Ecclestone will make perfect dance partners, that F1 was in trouble and Bernie Ecclestone knows it.  Because of self-serving interest of all the big manufacturers, the proposals put forth by Ecclestone and Mosley to improve the racing - they have as much chance of getting that bunch to agree on the fact there is a problem, let alone the sweeping changes that are needed to fix it.  Here's the latest example - Ferrari’s Luca Montezemolo has slammed proposals for weight penalties and driver swapping in a bid to liven up the Formula One spectacle as “idiotic”, and threatened to pull Ferrari out of the sport if they were passed for introduction. President Montezemolo scoffed at the plans, saying they went completely against the spirit of competition. ‘I’m proud that Ferrari is so strong,’ Montezemolo told Italian television network RAI. ‘We’ve always accepted intelligent ideas that don’t go against the spirit of Formula One but these are idiotic. I have to ask myself if there’s a point in even investing in Formula One if it’s like that.’ Montezemolo meanwhile is optimistic the plans will not be passed but admitted to feeling frustrated at the rule change talk. ‘I’m confident that these ideas won't be implemented,’ the 55-year-old said. ‘However, it is clear that our patience is being tested.’ ‘It is unthinkable that those who have performed best get punished.’

10/15/02

SPEED Channel reaches 67 million homes   Mediacom Communications Corporation, one of the nation's top-10 largest cable television companies, has more than doubled its commitment to SPEED Channel by offering the network to an increased number of outlets. Mediacom Senior Vice President of Programming Italia Commisso Weinand and Fox Cable Networks Group Vice President of Affiliate Sales and Marketing Lindsay Gardner announced last week that the new commitment will boost SPEED Channel's total committed subscriber count to nearly 67 million (in the U.S. and Canada). "The mix of major racing events and news programming now available within SPEED Channel has made it one of our most popular new networks, so we're pleased now to be able to expand that availability across our subscriber base as part of our comprehensive deal with Fox Cable Networks Group," Ms. Commisso Weinand said. Fox Cable Networks acquired the former Speedvision a year ago, and since then, SPEED Channel President Jim Liberatore has orchestrated an on-air makeover that includes unprecedented coverage of the CART FedEx Championship Series as well as new NASCAR tv-related programs, World Rally Championship events, and the creation of in-depth race analysis featuring key drivers and other participants. The new mix has helped to increase SPEED Channel's primetime audience by more than 63 percent over the past year. Since February, SPEED Channel has entered into either new or expanded distribution agreements with most of the nation's satellite television providers, boosting its availability by more than 9 million homes overall. That has helped to make SPEED Channel the nation's fastest-growing sports network in less than six months of on-air operations.

10/15/02

Mexico City weather 2nd UPDATE Dear AutoRacing1.com, I was reading your article regarding the Mexico City weather and felt I had to comment.  I have lived almost my entire life in Mexico City, so I guess you can say I can tell you what the weather in October is really like.  Traditionally the rainy season ends the first week in October.  Actually, it's supposed to end on October 4th, San Francis Day, when the last big rain of the season occurs.  It has changed the last few years, but pretty much, the pattern is still there.  Last weekend we had two beautiful days with highs in the upper 60's (degrees F).  As far as I remember, it was the same last year, so I have no reason to believe next year will be any different.  If two sunny days with blue skies (something unusual in this polluted city) and high's in the 60's isn't perfect weather for racing, I don't know what is.  Something else to remember, the 1968 Olympics was held exactly this time of year in Mexico City for a reason. Regards, Juan Jose Elias, Tyco Electronics of Mexico CIty  10/15/02 - As it turns out, between 1878 and 1987 the average monthly rainfall in Mexico City was 1.7" in Oct. and 0.6" in Nov.  We would bet either month is drier than practically any other venue where CART races.  10/14/02 -  Now we know why Gerald Forsythe is so adamant about moving the Mexico City race out of October to November, both this year and next.  Looking at the long-range weather forecast today, they are calling for a chance of rain for the next 10 days.  The current 2003 CART schedule shows Mexico City on October 12th.  Ouch!

10/15/02

Chicago officials eye CART  We hear that Chicago City officials attended CART's Miami street race with an eye toward their own street race, possibly as early as 2003.  We also hear that CART has finally engaged the likes of Carl Haas and Gerald Forsythe to help make Chicago happen.  Both have strong business ties in the City.

10/15/02

Arrows settles tax dispute  The Arrows Formula One team settled a dispute with the U.K.'s tax authority that threatened the survival of the auto racing team. Arrows Autosport Ltd., which owed an unspecified amount of money to Inland Revenue, settled the matter today, team spokeswoman Lindsay Morle said. Arrows and Inland Revenue officials declined to provide any details on the settlement. Arrows, which might have been forced to fold this week if the tax dispute wasn't settled, is trying to avoid becoming the second F-1 team to go out of business this year. Prost Grand Prix, which was owned by racing legend Alain Prost, folded in January after amassing more than $27 million in debt. Arrows still owes money to former team drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Jos Verstappen. That case is scheduled to be heard next month in London's High Court. Orange SA, France's biggest mobile phone operator, decided not to renew its sponsorship of the Arrows team after its three- year agreement ended yesterday.

10/15/02

American Richard Antinucci tests for Williams  Formula 3 driver Richard Antinucci became the third American this year to drive a Formula 1 car when he tested for Williams at Silverstone last Friday. It was the 21-year-old's first outing in an F1 car. He was limited to straight line work (standing starts, braking, etc.) for the Williams test team. "It was an incredible feeling," said Antinucci. "And of course this was not just any F1 car, it was one of the best around. It was a great pleasure to test for Williams. The power was amazing." Antinucci plans to stay in British F3 for a second season next year. Autosport reports he tested for top teams Carlin Motorsport and Promatecme last week, having raced for Manor Motorsport in 2002, and is working on finalizing a deal.

10/15/02


New manager for Yoong, CART or IRL an option  UPDATE This Malaysian newspaper article says - Yoong would be interested in CART rather than the rival IRL series in America, and said any testing duties with Minardi would have to be meaningful if he were to do that.   10/14/02 - Alex Yoong announced a change of management today with Rick Gorne now managing the Malaysian. Yoong has signed a long term deal with Gorne that he hopes will help him secure a competitive drive next season.  "I have been keeping track with Yoong's progress in the last few years and although he had struggled in the middle of his first full F1 season, he had shown what he is capable of towards the end of the season. I strongly believe Yoong has the potential to succeed in Formula 1,” said Gorne.  Discussing the options Yoong had next season Gorne said: “We are looking at various options for 2003 and beyond. It is possible that he may stay on in Formula 1 either as a test driver with Minardi or another team or even maybe in a full race seat with either Minardi or another team. But Championship Auto Racing Teams Series (CART.) or the Indy Racing League Series (IRL) in the United States is also a very viable option, especially as the budget required is much lower when compared with Formula 1.”  “I am very happy to be managed by Rick as his experience in Formula 1 as well as his influence in the States would come in very handy to ensure I get my best shots in my race career,” said Yoong at the announcement."

10/15/02

Ovals vs. road courses  One confines the drivers to tight corners and tricky, daring passes, while the other either keeps 'em tight or lets 'em run flat out. Ovals and street/road courses provide distinctly different styles of racing for both stock cars and open-wheel machines. Road circuit fans will knock oval series for only turning left, while the oval folk will respond by criticizing the parade-like lack of passing sometimes seen on the streets. So which is better, ovals or road and street courses? Check out responses from RPM.ESPN readers

10/15/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Villeneuve Applauds Honda Decision
Formula One Admits Deep Crisis
Irvine Points Finger At Ferrari
Juan And Ralf Heating Up
Yoong Makes Moves For States
Villeneuve Slams Lack Of BAR Respect
McNish Turning To America
Williams To Accept Ballast Penalties
Arrows Side-Step Winding Up
2003: More Scarlet-Washing On The Way
F1 News In Brief

10/14/02

CART stock watch 

In Today's NYSE trading in MPH
MPH closed at $4.40 Down $0.05 per share on Volume of 15,900 shares.
$3.73 Bid / $4.71 Asked on close.
$4.27 Low / $4.60 the High trades for the session.
MPH value per share Down 1.12%
DOW-Jones Up 0.35%
NASDAQ Up 0.83%
S&P 500 Up 0.73%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

10/14/02

Lazier glad to be back  Jaques Lazier returned to the cockpit of an Indy Racing League car Oct. 12 for the first time since he suffered a back injury during an IRL race in April, turning 77 laps with Team Menard in a test at Kentucky Speedway. Lazier, from Alta Loma, Calif., suffered a fractured vertebra in an accident during the Firestone Indy 225 on April 21 at Nazareth Speedway that caused him to miss the rest of the IRL season. Lazier was fourth in points in the No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone when he was injured. Still, it took little time for Lazier to feel comfortable again behind the wheel. “We ran a total of 77 laps in race trim and ended up within 3/100ths of where we (substitute Vitor Meira) qualified there this year, so I was pretty happy with how things went,” Lazier said. “I had a bet with the guys on the team that I’d be flat within 15 laps, and I fell short by one lap – I did it in 14 laps. Really, it didn’t take much time at all to feel right back at home.” The test on the 1.5-mile oval at Kentucky was delayed one day due to rain. But the waiting game was easy for Lazier, who has revised his definition of patience during his recovery from injury. “On Friday I was a little disappointed because I was so ready to get in the car, and the rain kept us from running until Saturday,” Lazier said. “But I figured, ‘Hey, I’ve waited six months to get back in this car, what’s one more day? “It was great; we picked up right where we left off. I think the team was excited. I was definitely excited. My biggest concern was how my back would respond, and it felt fantastic. We did a lot of things to see how it would react, like leaving the pits hard, braking hard down pit lane, etc., and I felt great no problems whatsoever. I feel as strong as an ox. “The test was really more about me than it was the car, and I have to say it was very successful.” Now that Lazier is feeling fit again in the car, he already is looking ahead to a chase for the championship in 2003. Team Menard won IRL titles in 1996-97 with Tony Stewart and 1999 with Greg Ray. “As for the future, we’re planning some more tests for Chevy and the new motor,” Lazier said. “I’m very eager to get back in the car again, and I really can’t wait for next year. I’d like to start next year with the same mindset as last year and run for the championship. “We’ve got a great team here at Team Menard. With the new motor and chassis coming in, nobody wants to get back to winning races more than I do.”

10/14/02
Barber Dodge

Scott Poirier scores  Scott Poirier -- the quiet, reverent and particularly patient racer -- stayed with Scott Speed long enough to take advantage of a late miscue by the polesitter and claim Round 13 of the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER at rain-plagued Lime Rock Park. Speed led 24 of the 25 laps on the 1.53-mile circuit but never pulled out enough of a margin on Poirier. The two broke from the 20-car field and often gave the impression that today's finale was really a two-car race. Speed was dominant and looked like the lock to collect his first victory since Round 5, but Poirier's relentless pressure paid off when Speed slid wide in turn-1, enabling the determined Floridian to pass him for the upset. Champion-elect Grant Maiman overcame an 11th place start position to claim the final podium spot in third. Florida's Gerardo Bonilla and California's Colin Fleming round out the top-5. Despite the wet track and cool weather, racers managed to keep their R/T 2000s out of trouble for most of the contest. There were countless spins, consistent with drivers pushing the limits of adhesion, but no crashes, wreckage or lengthy delays due to caution periods.
FINISH/START/CAR#/DRIVER/RESIDES/LAPS/POINTS
1/2/27/Scott Poirier/Deerfield Beach, Florida/25/20
2/1/65/Scott Speed/Matneca, California/25/17
3/11/63/Grant Maiman/New London, Wisconsin/25/14
4/10/45/Gerardo Bonilla/Orlando, Florida/25/12
1/6/77/Colin Fleming/North Hills, California/25/11
6/9/52/Al Unser/Corrales, New Mexico/25/10 <--- Al Unser Jr.'s son
7/3/86/Craig Baltzer/Bettendorf, Iowa/25/9
8/14/18/Dan Kraus/Warwick, New York/25/8
9/5/99/Antoine Bessette/St. Bruno, Quebec/25/7
10/18/38/John Angelone/Bridgwater, New Jersey/25/6
11/7/28/Burt Frisselle/Kihei, Hawaii/25/5
12/8/60/Mike Marino/New York, New York/25/4
13/15/34/Ward Imrie, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada/25/3
14/19/64/Robbie Montinola/Laguna Niguel, California/25/2
15/17/30/Bob Sayers/Norwalk, Connecticut/25/1
16/4/11/Luis Pelayo/Naucalpan, Mexico/25/0
17/13/62/Charlie Kimball/Camarillo, California/25/0
18/16/39/Steve Welk/Franklin, Wisconsin/24/0
19/20/69/Justin Blower/San Clemente, California/24/0
20/12/33/David Kaemmer/Concord, Massachusetts/4/0

10/14/02

How does Ferrari afford F1?  Ever wonder how a small company like Ferrari affords a $250 per year F1 expenditure?  Sponsors pick up less than half of the cost.  However, Ferrari does zero, read that zero as in none, advertising.  Their Ferrari F1 team is their advertising vehicle.  All advertising dollars to to the team.  As for earnings - Ferrari SpA said 2002 revenue will rise by 10 percent to about 1.16 billion euros ($1.14 billon). "Another record year is in prospect for Ferrari," the company said in a faxed press release. It didn't give a reason for the increase, but dominating F1 has to help. The Maranello, Italy-based company makes $200,000 cars and competes with Porsche AG and Ford Motor Co.'s Aston Martin unit. Mediobanca SpA, Italy's largest investment bank, bought a third of Ferrari in June for 775 million euros from Fiat SpA, which needed to raise cash and cut debt.

10/14/02

Damon Hill says F1 has lost its way  In this BBC report, former world champion Damon Hill has labeled Ferrari's behavior in Formula One this year a "public relations disaster" and accused the sport of losing its way. In an exclusive interview with BBC Sport Online, Hill said that Ferrari's manipulation of race results has been "terribly damaging". And the 1996 world champion accused the men who run the sport of losing sight of what matters - the people who watch. The 42-year-old former Williams driver said: "The thing that needs to be changed about F1 is the way it communicates with the world and its viewers. "For a long time it has walked a very fine line between being a serious and credible sport, and a circus where you're not really supposed to take anything too seriously. "That can only work for so long. After a while, people get wise. "With the increased interest in the sport has also come increased exposure. "The more coverage there is of F1, the more educated the audience becomes and the more they expect and the less easy it is to hoodwink the viewers." He added: "Most of the money in F1 has come through the marketing of the sport creating a massive viewership. No-one would be there - BMW, the sponsors, whatever - if no-one was watching." Hill said that viewing figures had declined because of Ferrari's decision both to prevent Michael Schumacher or Rubens Barrichello from racing and sometimes organize who won. Hill and Schumacher battled for the title three times. "It has been quite sad to see some of things that have happened this year," Hill said. "Orchestrating their races backfired on them in Austria, where they were booed after getting out of their cars because of Rubens having to pull over. "And it went horribly wrong again in America. Both those events were terribly damaging, much more damaging for the sport than if they had carried on racing properly. "There is not really the same kind of feeling of triumph and success that they were expecting. Quite often it has gone the other way. "It's damaging for F1 when it should have been the complete opposite." He contrasted Ferrari's approach with that of McLaren in 1988, when the team dominated the season but allowed their drivers to race for the title. It is not so long ago that Max Mosley was talking about not creating a situation where the racing was fabricated artificially. "McLaren won 15 races out of 16 a few years ago. The difference was that they had two drivers who wanted to kick the living whatsername out of each other. "Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna just went at it hammer and tongs throughout the season and it was a real battle. So there was racing, even if it was only between two cars." Hill rejected the radical ideas for change put forward by F1 bosses Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone, and accused Mosley of contradicting himself. "There is no question that the suggestions about putting weight penalties on the cars has raised debate and helped market the sport. "But it is not so long ago that Max was talking about not creating a situation where the racing was fabricated artificially. "That doesn't match particularly well with the suggestions he has recently come up with, which is to make all the drivers drive for all the teams."

10/14/02

Even smaller fuel tanks for Daytona  NASCAR officials are considering even smaller fuel cells for the Daytona 500, according to NASCAR sources. The cells would be small enough, perhaps, that crews would only need to take one 11-gallon can over the wall. Some teams at Talladega got in as many as 14 gallons on a stop.  Winston Salem Journal

10/14/02

Check that steering wheel  After Mark Martin's crash at Talladega last Sunday, NASCAR officials told drivers yesterday to check the pins in their steering wheels before leaving pit toad, and they said pit-road officials would be examining each car. Martin says his power-steering pump malfunctioned, but some drivers have said they believe his steering wheel might have come off. Winston Salem Journal

10/14/02

Lowes to do nightly double  Perhaps because of the rain, but yesterday's Winston Cup race at Lowes had thousands of empty seats.  NASCAR night races are a big hit.  Next year's UAW-GM Quality 500 is scheduled to be run on Saturday night, making Lowe's Motor Speedway the second Winston Cup track to run both of its events under the lights. Richmond (Va.) International Raceway also has two night races. "With the way the schedule is, there are only three total weekends off from the beginning of the year to the end of the year," driver Bobby Labonte said. "It may not sound like much, but another Sunday off is a big deal."

10/14/02

Dirt-track driver has eye on IRL  Jonathan Vennard made an impressive run in Saturday's Little Trees Salt City 100 at the state fairgrounds' one-mile track in Geddes. A 19-year-old rookie in USAC's premier Silver Crown national championship series, he had never seen the challenging speedway many veterans of DIRT racing call the "Moody Mile." Yet Vennard qualified the Liverpool-based City of Syracuse Special fourth in the 28-car field and held his own before slipping back to a ninth-place finish. "The car was pushing (under steering) all day," said Vennard, of Vincennes, Ind. "I'd get by one car and a lap or two later he'd get back by me because I had to slow in the turns because of the push. I guess the rear stagger was off," he added. "Stagger" is the unequal size of the rear tires to aid in turning a car in corners; the right-rear larger in diameter than the left. Vennard said he's raced most of his life, starting in go-karts and moving into sprint cars last year in the U.S. Auto Club. His desire is to gain enough experience and notoriety to one day drive in the Indy Racing League. "I prefer the IRL to NASCAR," he said.

10/14/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Jordan: Sato Needs More Money
Qualifying Reform To Get Go-Ahead
Michelin Target 2003 Success
Honda Ruing Smoking Grenades
McNish Gutted To Miss Out
Dream Over For Asiatech
Cold Comfort For Downbeat Williams
New Ferrari To Greet Melbourne
McLaren: Ferrari Will Only Get Better
Indignant End For Young Felipe
Fairy-Tale End For Sato
Villeneuve Farewells Team-Mate Panis
Fitting End For Jenson Button
Jaguar's Exciting New R4 Project
Minardi Year Ruined By Politics
Toyota: F1 Tougher Than Expected
Montezemolo Sings Ferrari's Praises
BAR Can Only Look Forward
F1 News In Brief

10/14/02

Why not Road Atlanta?  UPDATE Dear AutoRacing1.com, while it is true that CART ran at AMS, it was years ago. See early eighties. If you think Atlanta is not a CART market now, you should have seen it back then. Not to mention that this was an oval. The race was bound to fail. Now, fast forward to the present. I just went to the Petit Le Mans over the weekend and can report that the crowd was huge! The newspaper today reported an attendance of 68,000. I know that the event was promoted heavily on radio, newspaper and billboards. If CART came, I think we could get an equal if not larger crowd. My opinion is that the fans of the ALMS series are the same fans as CART: road racing fans. I hope that with the continued co-operation with Pook/CART and Panoz/ALMS that we can get CART back into Atlanta. The last 20 years or so since that other race here, Atlanta has changed considerably. I should know, it's my home town. Greg Moffitt, Atlanta, Georgia  10/13/02 - Dear AutoRacing1.com, I watched much of the Petit LeMans race from Road Atlanta yesterday and was surprised at how nice that track now is.  Why doesn't CART race there?  It would seem to be a perfect fit.  Pat Rigby, Brownsville, Indiana  Dear Pat, A lot of people have asked that same question.  CART claims they are concerned with the concrete wall that looks the drivers head-on as they approach the final corner, Turn 12 (See track view to right. Click to enlarge).  Yes, there is a concrete wall there, but we don't recall anyone ever being killed hitting it.  There isn't much runoff there, but then again, oval tracks don't have any runoff area in front of their concrete walls do they?  Last time we checked, CART still races on ovals.  Certainly a state-of-the-art impact attenuator could to be installed in what little room there is, but for the most part the wall only gets really close to the track after the cars are pretty much turned parallel to the wall and headed down the pit straight (see illustration to right).  Townsend Bell drove the first and only Indy Lights race at the track last year.  Afterwards we asked him if the wall was an issue.  He told us absolutely not, no more so than any oval track wall.  He told us the track was a real drivers track, and quite beautiful. Gerald Forsythe visited the track on Thursday and more than likely got a good look at the facility.  From our perspective, the track safety is not as much an issue as is whether the CART product would sell in the Atlanta market.  Atlanta is NASCAR country and both CART and the IRL failed miserably at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the past.  Of course, if the cars screamed like a F1 V-10, and Bernie Ecclestone put his stamp on the series, we suspect the race would be a commercial success.

10/13/02

Asiatech money woes  Our Mark Cipolloni wrote in his most recent article, Why CART and Ecclestone would make perfect dance partners, the need for F1 to significantly reduce costs because the series is on a slippery slope to financial ruin.  He thinks Bernie is going to try and convince the manufacturers that it's time to take money out of the technology and spend it on marketing and advertising.  Here's an example of a F1 manufacturer/team that just can't afford the high cost of F1 - Asiatech's plans to launch a fully-fledged Formula One team have been shelved after the company encountered funding problems.  An Asiatech statement said: "After bids to acquire a controlling interest in Jordan and Benetton were rejected, Asiatech concentrated on developing its racing engine while supporting two teams through the free supply of a factory engine.  "At the same time, Asiatech was preparing its F1 racing chassis in Didcot, Oxfordshire, the wind tunnel model of which was displayed at Monza this season.  "The Asiatech program was technically ahead of schedule and ready to race its co-designed engine/chassis/power train package in 2003 (only its third season in Formula One).  "However, problems with its previously firmly guaranteed funding have prevented it from moving on to this second phase of the program.  "It has been a tremendous source of satisfaction, as well as challenge, to compete in Formula One. Our relationship with the Minardi team has been excellent, and we wish them all the best for next season."  If Bernie and Pook can open up the CART and F1 series to a manufacturer with an economical common engine formula, perhaps Asiatech would be able to launch their new team. F1 has become cost prohibitive to all but a select few.  It's time for a major overhaul.  Stay tuned....

10/13/02

Hulman George family history  UPDATE Dear AutoRacing1.com, I read the Hulman-George family history article referenced in the letter to the editor and was very surprised to learn that Tony George used cocaine and marijuana. Does he still use drugs? Did he use drugs while he drove for A.J. Foyt?  Was this part of the reason he brought Al Unser Jr. to the IRL and later did not penalize him for his alcohol abuse? Michael Crane   Dear Michael, We have no reason to believe Tony George is still a drug user, as that would be a devastating blow to his reputation and that of the IRL's.  As for using drugs while racing, we can't comment on that nor whether he was lenient on Unser Jr. because of it. Everyone has periods of weakness in their lives.  It's what you do about them that counts.  10/12/02 - Dear AutoRacing1.com, I stumbled upon this article in the Indy Star News archives. It's a good history of the Hulman George family, including Tony George.  It was interesting to learn that Tony George once drove race cars, including for AJ Foyt.  I had no idea.   Do you know if he still drives?  Mordichai Rosen, LA, California.  Dear Mr. Rosen, we were aware that he once drove, and in fact was in the CART feeder series in what was the precursor to the Indy Lights series, then called the American Racing Series.  As far as we know, the only driving he does today are nails in CART's coffin.  However, if Bernie Ecclestone gets involved with CART, we suspect he may need a much bigger hammer.

10/13/02

F1 tidbits  Ferrari’s total of 221 points in the Constructors’ Championship equals the amount earned by all the other teams combined. No on-track F1 testing is permitted from Oct. 14-Nov. 15. The F1 team circled the world for the final two Grands Prix of the 17-race season. From Europe the teams, cars and equipment flew east to Indianapolis for the SAP United States Grand Prix. After that, they continued eastward and headed to Japan for the season finale. The final leg of the trip takes the teams east from Japan back to Europe and thus completes their world tour.

10/13/02

Ford reacts to Penske departure  Earlier today it was announced that the Penske South teams of Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman would be switching from Ford to Dodge beginning next season. Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology, spoke about that move and how it will have an impact on the Ford roster.

DAN DAVIS, Director of Ford Racing Technology -- WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO SEEING THE PENSKE OPERATION SWITCH TO DODGE? "We heard all of the rumors about Dodge courting Penske, so it's not like this caught us off guard or by surprise. We began re-negotiating a five-year extension of our agreement around the middle part of last year and that had intensified over the past few months, so we're satisfied that we did all we could to keep both teams in Fords. I don't think there's any question that, from a financial and technical standpoint, our offer was competitive and rewarded the Penske organization for the outstanding job they've done for us since 1994. They've been an integral part of our success and, as everybody knows, played an instrumental role in getting Taurus from the drawing board to the race track in record time. I hate to see them go, but we realize this is a business and people have to make decisions that they feel are best for them. Rusty and Ryan have been great ambassadors for Ford Racing and we wish them, along with Roger, all the best and thank them for representing us in such a first-class manner."

THIS DECISION COMES ON THE HEELS OF CAL WELLS LEAVING FOR PONTIAC NEXT YEAR. ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT HAVING TWO OF YOUR TOP TEAMS LEAVE IN SUCH A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME? "Well, I think it's been obvious for the last five or six years that Ford has had more team than any other manufacturer in the garage area, so it's only natural that we would be a target for manufacturers that are looking to expand. While we hate losing teams of this stature, we still feel that our remaining teams are strong and will continue to compete for race wins and championships on a regular basis. We'll be adding one team next year when Greg Biffle jumps from the Busch Series to Winston Cup and that will give us 11 quality full-time teams in 2003. Then again, that number might rise by two or three before we get to Daytona, you never know."

DOES THAT MEAN YOU WILL TRY TO FIND A REPLACEMENT TEAM? "We feel our program is strong and I think we've shown that our tier one teams are treated equally and fairly. With Penske's decision to switch to Dodge next year, at what I would call the 11th hour, it's kind of kept us from thinking too far ahead in that regard. When you have the quality of Jack Roush, Robert Yates and Roger Penske, it's hard to think of adding a fourth team to that tier one level and be able to keep everyone happy. Now that we've got a spot open, however, I think it would be wise on our part to see if there is anyone out there that might be willing to join us. Will that be next year? Will that be the year after? I can't answer that, but we would be very interested in talking to any other top-level teams that might be looking to make a change."

HOW WILL THIS AFFECT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THOSE TWO TEAMS FOR THE REST OF THIS SEASON? "As far as we're concerned, there's still a Winston Cup championship to be won and both Rusty and Ryan are right in the middle of that battle. We're going to do whatever we can to help them in that regard, and I can't think of a better way to end a relationship than with a series championship."

10/13/02

Ferrari to start 2003 with new car  Ferrari's Michael Schumacher has revealed that the team is planning to start the 2003 season with a new car. Ferrari entered last season's F-2001 during the opening two rounds of this season, due to questions of reliability, thus enabling them to score a win in Brazil and third in Malaysia. When asked whether or not Ferrari would start the 2003 season with the dominant F-2002, Schumacher replied: "The plan is to have a new car for the first race next year," he said. "Honestly, if we don't achieve this, if we feel that we're not reliable and we're not ready, then we have a good machine that we could start the season with, but that's not the plan." He, however, was cautious about season's challenge. "I expect next season to be tougher as the other teams get closer," he warned. "That will be a challenge. I still think we will be in the fight for the titles and winning races but maybe we will not win races so consistently. But we don’t need to be as dominant as long as we still win." McLaren Team Principal Ron Dennis wouldn't agree with Schumacher after revealing his pessimism ahead of next season. "Despite the progress that we have made in the last two races, we are under no illusions that next year's Ferrari will be only better," he mentioned in a McLaren press release after the Japanese Grand Prix.

10/13/02

Horrendous crash at Suzuka  UPDATE A trackside camera showed wreckage flying towards it as the car tumbled through the air, but then went off air. Race stewards said Nagaya was unconscious and had been airlifted to hospital by helicopter where he later regained consciousness. "He came round at the hospital but has broken his sixth cervical vertebrae," a race official said. "However, he has not suffered any internal bleeding." He was unable to say whether Nagaya would be paralyzed as a result of the accident. It was not immediately clear if anyone else was injured in the crash. Nagaya had been making a guest appearance in the ninth of the 11-race Formula Dream series, which he competed in last year. 10/13/02 - Japanese driver Hirokazu Nagaya has suffered an horrendous crash in a Formula Dream support race prior to today's Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. The incident follows Allan McNish's massive shunt at 130R during qualifying for the Formula One event yesterday, where the Scot emerged unscathed. 22-year-old Nagaya, however, is in an unknown condition after clipping the tires of a car in front of him at Spoon before somersaulting through the air and into the fence. Initial fears are that trackside spectators, marshals and camera-men may also be injured, but most concern is centered on Nagaya after an ambulance rushed to the scene and white sheets quickly erected around the crash site. Race stewards confirmed that Nagaya was unconscious and had been airlifted to hospital by helicopter. Nagaya was making a guest appearance in the 11-race Formula Dream series, his regular mount being a Formula Three machine in the national championship. Shortly after the incident, stewards announced that the race had been cancelled to prevent any delay in the start to the Formula One Grand Prix.

10/13/02
ARCA

Renshaw released  Deborah Renshaw is out of the hospital and on the way to resuming her career, which her car owner believes will go on as scheduled next season. Renshaw, injured in an accident that killed driver Eric Martin during practice for an ARCA race on Wednesday, had four pins inserted into her left ankle and foot before she was released from a Charlotte hospital on Friday. Rick Goodwin, who plans to field a Busch series car for the 25-year-old driver next season, said Saturday the team would continue to prepare for her to drive for them. Renshaw was scheduled to make her Busch series debut next weekend in Memphis, Tenn., but Regan Smith will now drive the car. "We plan to run Deborah in the Busch series next year, that hasn't changed," Goodwin said. "She just started testing last week and we were impressed."

10/13/02

NASCAR mandates spotters  NASCAR will require teams in its Winston Cup, Grand National and Truck series to have spotters in a track's designated spotters' stand before any practice. The rule, announced Saturday, comes after Wednesday's crash at Lowe's Motor Speedway in which Automobile Racing Club of America series driver Eric Martin was killed. Grand National director Brian DeHart told drivers and crew chiefs that beginning next weekend, if a team does not have a spotter, its car cannot go on the track. NASCAR spokesperson Danielle Frye said Cup and Truck series teams would be notified in drivers' meetings today.

10/13/02

Mosley- F1 has lost its edge  After another Ferrari romp in Japan, FIA president Max Mosley has admitted he does not get excited about Formula One races anymore. Mosley told BBC Radio 5 Live, "This season hasn't had the edge where you really look forward to a race and want to sit down and watch it. "There have been moments of excitement - but not as many as we hoped for. "Results have been predictable and this season could have been better from a spectator point of view."  F1 needs a rules overhaul, and Max and Bernie Ecclestone have proposed many ideas to make the racing better.  Whether they get approved or not is another story.

10/13/02

Mexico City on track to displace Indy 500  Perhaps not quite the first year, but certainly in subsequent years, CART's Mexico City race is on track to displace the Indy 500 as the most attended race in the world.  Organizers of the Gran Premio Telmex/Gigante Presented by Banamex/Visa are forecasting a crowd of 150,000--on Friday. They are anticipating another 150,000 to 200,000 on Saturday and up to 250,000 fans on race day. In short, it's going to be huge.  The Indy 500 currently gets slightly more than 300,000 on race day, but no where near the numbers we will see in Mexico City on pre-race days.  The total 'event' attendance for Mexico City are likely to eclipse Indy's Month of May totals.

10/13/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Mosley: Formula One Must Change
Stoddart Warns End Of Minardi
Dennis: We Don't Want Money Back
Minardi: Engine Deal Nearly Done
Sunday Brief Paddock News

10/12/02

Moseley says something must be done  FIA President Max Mosley's 'driver swap' proposal is highly unlikely to get the green light, Mosley feels it would be wonderful for the sport. "It's my particular favorite," he said earlier today. "Something that is much more likely is Bernie's idea of a kilo a point. That might go through," added Mosley. "Apart from that, other more detailed things are much more likely to succeed." "We have got a problem," he admitted. "People have stopped watching the television. It's never been a problem like this before. Maybe it's because people got spoiled. "According to Bernie it started in the last few races to be quite serious and he is getting serious complaints from TV companies." Mosley says that they are two problems facing F1 at this point, 'the show' and the enormous costs involved. "Even the biggest and richest teams are going to suffer badly if the smallest three or four go out of business," he said. However you can't keep a good man - or a good idea - down, and Max returned to his favorite subject, driver swapping. "If you did have this plan the best driver and the best team would emerge and there would really be no doubt at the end of the season who was the best driver and which was the best team," he said. "It also has the fascination of seeing what certain drivers could do in certain cars. We would never again hear drivers saying 'If only I could drive the Ferrari or the McLaren, I would be right up there.' We'd see exactly what they could do." All the talk of handicaps and drivers swaps, indeed all the proposals, seem to be brought about due to Ferrari's domination of F1 in 2002, this is not true says the FIA President. "That's completely false," he said. "Whichever is the best team would actually win the championship with the kilo a point. It's just that it will take them longer and it will be more difficult and they will win at the end of the season rather than at the beginning. It will be much, much more exciting. "If you analyze it, and some of the teams are doing computer simulations of what would have happened this year had we had the system, there is no question that Ferrari would have won but not by so much and not so quickly. "Provided it doesn't interfere with the result you cannot object to it. Its a perfectly acceptable system," he continued. "You are not fixing races, you are evening up the differences between the teams but still ending up with the same team winning the championship." "We can't force anything through," he admitted. "What we are really saying is that we need to change the sporting regulations, if we can so that we don't affect the outcome of the championship but we make it more likely that it will go to the end."

10/12/02

More Red Bull driver search black eye UPDATE Patrick Long's representatives contacted us to claim his F3 test this week was scheduled as part of his Formula Renault program before this Red Bull program came about. 10/12/02 -  No testing ban was placed on the drivers since the Red Bull driver search nominees were announced last week at the USGP.   For example, Patrick Long, spent two full days in a Fortec F3 car this week. This seems hardly fair to the rest of the drivers, since most will be seeing a F3 car for the first time in their lives next week when they arrive in France.  Another of the drivers, Phil Geibler, is actually competing in a F3 race this weekend, but that was a scheduled race before the Red Bull deal was announced.  We would, therefore, expect Long and Geibler to be fastest early on in the shoot-out until the other drivers start to catch up with their experience in that type of car.  The Red Bull folks mean well, but their attention to these sort of details could be a bit better.

10/12/02

Burton wants spotter changes  Jeff Burton hasn't always had a spotter in the spotters' stand when he's practicing his Cup and BGN cars, but he will from now on. And he thinks NASCAR should require everyone else to do the same. "I think mandating that is a good idea," Burton said Friday after qualifying second for Saturday's Little Trees 300 BGN race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Most teams have spotters in place during practices, but there currently is no NASCAR rule requiring that. Spotters most often work from the tops of teams' transporters in the garage area in practices. Teams must have a spotter in the spotters' stand during a race. The spotting role has become an issue this week after Wednesday's crash during an ARCA. Burton said he thinks requiring spotters be in the spotters' stand for each practice is only part of what should be done to help prevent similar accidents. He supports the installation of more and brighter warning lights in turns so drivers will be more likely to see them when they through the flag they should penalize you five laps I don't think it should be a gentleman's agreement. I think it ought to be a rule. If they don't make a rule, we'll never do the right thing. You're competitiveness overrides your brain. It puts you and your competitors in situations you don't need to be in." ThatsRacin.com

10/12/02

Saturday news tidbits from Japan - III 

- Williams are facing up to the prospect that McLaren have eclipsed them in the closing stages of 2002: 'We are not happy to see both the McLarens in front of us,' said Ralf Schumacher after qualifying fifth behind the silver and red cars. 'It is pretty clear that the McLarens have moved in front of us here,' added Sam Michael. Juan Pablo Montoya qualified sixth. 'I am not happy, that was not a good session for me,' he said.

- If Michael Schumacher just finishes on the podium on Sunday afternoon at Suzuka, he will have tasted the winner's rostrum on every Grand Prix event in 2002 - another record, no less. But, first, he will have to fend off a challenge by team-mate Rubens Barrichello. 'I want to win the race tomorrow, but I expect to have a nice fight with Rubens,' said the German.

- Ferrari chief Jean Todt has praised Formula One's safety regulations after Allan McNish's shock accident during qualifying at Suzuka. 'This incident shows how much improvement have been made on the safety front, as regards the cars and the circuits,' the Frenchman said. McNish emerged with light concussion and a bruised knee. 'This is thanks to collaboration between the teams and the FIA.'

- Jacques Villeneuve was just one of the four Honda-powered drivers praising the Japanese engine manufacturer on their 'Suzuka-special' qualifying unit. 'The Suzuka engine had enough power to make a difference,' said the Canadian who qualified ninth. Ironically, however, it was the Jordans - being powered by Honda for the last time this weekend - who made the best of the special engines with seventh and eighth.

- Aussie ace Mark Webber may just have qualified his last event for Minardi, but the 25-year-old was more concerned with giving a little message to tire partner Michelin. 'They advised us to go for the harder, prime tire, which they say will be better in the race tomorrow. We had absolutely no grip today, so I hope its worth it.' Webber qualified nineteenth.

- Pole sitter Michael Schumacher - celebrating his fiftieth such achievement, incidentally - is refusing to count on an eleventh season victory in Sunday's Japanese race. But the German has one point to make: 'I was able to repay Rubens what he gave to me in Austria, therefore we are sort of equal now and we are looking to have a great race.' As are we all.

10/12/02

Saturday news tidbits from Japan - II 

- German ace Nick Heidfeld is celebrating his fiftieth career Grand Prix at this weekend's Japanese event. Before qualifying his Sauber in twelfth, the smiling 26-year-old stood in pitlane with his C21, boss Peter Sauber, and his German flag-colored pit-board reading NH, 50 GP. 'At least we know that we have improved the car significantly since yesterday,' he said after the 60-minute session.

- Michael Schumacher was really in no mood to celebrate his seventh pole of the season; his fiftieth in a twelve year career. The memory of the high-speed crash involving the Scot McNish was still too vivid: 'It looked horrendous,' said the German after the session.

- In his last race for Renault, Jenson Button showed up his team-mate Jarno Trulli by outqualifying him. But, as Pat Symonds explains, it was a close call for the 22-year-old. 'He was extremely lucky because during his last lap the telemetry showed there was a problem, however we managed to get him across the line before stopping,' he said. Button heads to BAR-Honda next year.

- Michael Schumacher, en route to a dominant pole position at Suzuka, even managed to save a brand new set of Bridgestone tires for Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix. 'He did only three runs out of four to save tires which is important for the race,' said race engineer Luca Baldisserri. 'The Bridgestone tires were good in qualifying and should be fine for the race too, so we are looking forward to tomorrow.'

- Bridgestone's technical manager, Hisao Suganuma, was delighted for his countryman Takuma Sato after a stonking seventh place at his home Suzuka circuit. 'In particular, I am happy for Takuma who did a great job for his first home grand prix,' said Suganuma. 'I am quite confident for tomorrow because our tire performance was encouraging today and should be competitive for Bridgestone's 100th grand prix.'

- Pierre Dupasquier was more than a little disappointed after missing out on the top spots at Suzuka circuit on Saturday afternoon. 'The biggest disappointment was that we were unable to find a little bit more time at the end of today's session,' said the Frenchman. 'But we should have done better still.'

- Michael Schumacher has praised technical director Ross Brawn for making the effort to contribute to Ferrari's charge at the season-finale Japanese Grand Prix. The burly Briton is laid up in England with a bad back, but is connected to the earphones of Michael and Rubens via satellite. 'It's like he's sitting next to us,' said Schumacher after securing pole. 'We are all so used to hearing his voice, we all know that he's always with us. If you see the circumstances that he's in with all the pain, it's quite an effort that he's making.'

10/12/02

Saturday news tidbits from Japan - I 

- Rookie Scot Allan McNish emerged with nothing more than a headache and a sore knee after one of the biggest crashes of season 2002 at the flat-out 130R corner. 'I have a bit of bad bruising to my right knee which I guess happened when the car went over,' the Scot explained. 'Everything was ok until the exit when the car just swapped ends and I was just a passenger.' McNish, 32, said there was 'absolutely no question' that he would be racing tomorrow; his last for Toyota.

- Takuma Sato was suitably delighted with his best career qualifying performance, at the sweeping Suzuka circuit where he gained his first driver scholarship as a youngster. 'I'm so happy!' he beamed after qualifying seventh in his Jordan. 'I just nailed it.' Taku did his 'victory lap' with a parade down pit straight to the rapturous applause of his home supporters.

- Olivier Panis' gearbox problems emerged during his first run in qualifying at Suzuka. When Allan McNish crashed heavily in the thirty-sixth minute, the Frenchman returned to the garage and the team checked his unit over. The problem, however, emerged and he had to take to the T-car with only 24 minutes of the session remaining. 'What can I say?' he said after qualifying 16th. 'I'm really frustrated because this isn't what I'd hoped for at my last Grand Prix with BAR.'

- Michael Schumacher, as head of the Grand Prix Driver's Association, is refusing to jump to any conclusions about the safety of the flat-out 130R corner. 'There's no point in discussing the changes immediately because it's something that you need to see properly because I havn't yet seen the accident properly,' said the German after Allan McNish slammed into and cleared the barriers in his TF102. 'There's an angle where you don't actually see the impact so I think first of all you should have the information and then see what you do.'

- David Coulthard may have qualified his McLaren a strong third, but the Scot is not getting excited about taking the fight to the scarlet juggernaut in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix. 'I'm pretty satisfied and think I can have a reasonable race,' he said. 'But whether that means I can race the Ferraris or not, I think probably unlikely, but you never know,' the Scot added. 'The weather conditions might play into our hands and we just do the best we can.'

- Struggling Malaysian pilot Alex Yoong put in his best qualifying performance of his career at the Suzuka circuit, the 25-year-old just three tenths shy of the rated Mark Webber. 'It's good to end the year with a strong session,' he said, 'After the difficulties we've had in qualifying this season.' Yoong, meanwhile, will not break the habit of a season by starting the race higher than last place.

10/12/02
ARCA

Deborah Renshaw statement   “I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Eric Martin’s family. My thoughts and prayers are with them as well as with his race team at this tragic time. Eric was a great competitor and my family and I will always keep the Martin family close to our hearts and in our prayers.” “I am heading down a long road to recovery. I truly appreciate all of the well wishes that have been sent from fellow drivers, officials, friends and family. I expect a full come back and I am looking forward to the opportunity to get back in a race car.”

10/12/02

Forsythe spotted at ALMS race  CART's Gerald Forsythe was spotted at the ALMS qualifying at Road Atlanta Friday and people are asking us why.  Quite simple really.  Forsythe was there for the announcement of the 2003 ALMS schedule (see photo at right with ALMS founder Don Panoz, both pointing at Mexico City).  He's a minority partner in the Mexico City events, and ALMS announced they will be racing there in April, 2003.  The track will have two major race weekends per year, ALMS in the spring and CART in the fall.  We also hear Forsythe was checking out Road Atlanta as a possible CART venue at some point in time.

10/12/02

Fiat to lay off 8,000  Although Ferrari and Maserati car sales are up, Fiat, their parent company, is taking on water fast.  Fiat announced yesterday that they are laying off 20% of their workforce, or about 8,000.   One has to wonder if this will affect Ferrari's racing program.  Sure Ferrari sales may be up, but Ferrari can't justify their huge F1 budget with subsidies from parent Fiat.  Ferrari just doesn't sell enough cars to make enough profit to justify a $250 million F1 budget.

10/12/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Stoddart Threatens To Quit
BAR Unsure About Radical Reform
Juan And Ralf: It Could Happen Again
Leading Men Ponder F1 Crisis
Toyota: Japan Will Choose Driver
Honda Happy With Jordan Departure
Villeneuve Set For Fifth BAR Year
Orange Abandon Ailing Arrows
Schumacher: Don't Weigh Me Down
Fisi Invites Irvine To Jordan
F1 News In Brief
Brief News From The Paddock

10/12/02

McNish survives big accident  The qualifying session for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka was delayed for over 45 minutes after a violent crash by Allan McNish. Thankfully the Toyota driver was unhurt. Heading into the 130R corner at high speed, the car wobbled at the front and as McNish struggled to correct it, he lost the backend. His car careened over a service road and hit the Armco barrier rear first with enough force to smash right through the steel Armco. McNish got out all right but was obviously very shaken, lying on the grass before being escorted to the medical car, limping slightly.  He was cleared to race.

10/12/02

Said wins race at Road Atlanta  Boris Said finished off his rivals for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup in impressive fashion Friday afternoon when he drove to his fourth consecutive victory in the Trans-Am 100 Presented by the Crank – You’ve Never Seen a Ratchet Like This! at Road Atlanta and captured the Trans-Am Series driving championship in the process. Said (#33 Applied Computer Solutions Panoz Esperante) slipped past pole-sitter and race leader Butch Leitzinger in the 10th of Road Atlanta’s 12 turns on the 34th of 40 laps and went on to a 2.43-second victory over Leitzinger in the 11th of 12 rounds in the 2002 Trans-Am Series championship. With only the October 27 season finale at Virginia International Raceway remaining, Said holds an insurmountable 327-263 lead over Leitzinger in the Trans-Am championship standings, guaranteeing Said the first driving championship of his seven-year Trans-Am Series career. “In the past, I’ve never cared much about a championship,” noted Said, who built his title run on series-high totals of seven victories and 10 podium finishes in his 11 starts to date. “I am a bit selfish, and all I want to do is go out and win races. Said’s “hot streak” has included victories at Mosport, Lime Rock, Cleveland, Road America, Denver and Miami, in addition to Road Atlanta. He also owns finishes of second at Long Beach and third at Mid-Ohio and Washington, D.C. His consecutive triumphs at Road America, Denver, Miami and Road Atlanta make him the first Trans-Am Series driver to win four races in a row since Tom Kendall set a series record by winning the first 11 races of the 1997 season.  Said also became only the fourth driver in Trans-Am Series history to win as many as seven races in a season of 12 or fewer events, joining Mark Donohue (seven of 10 in 1971), Bob Tullius (seven of 10 in 1978) and Scott Pruett (seven of 12 in 1987). 

  Much More...click on 2002 archives button below

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