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DATE

News (chronologically)

11/11/02

No time off  According to this Sporting News article, there will be little time off for crews after the final race Sunday at Homestead. General Motors teams will stay after the race and test the 2003 Monte Carlos and Grand Prixs the next two days. Dodge and Ford will test their superspeedway cars in December at Talladega. Ganassi crew chief Tony Glover, who will test with all three teams, says he doesn't expect anything new but that "a lot of work still needs to be done" to feel comfortable with the new templates. ...

11/11/02

Waltrip and Labonte have words  According to this Dallas Morning News article, Drivers Terry Labonte and Michael Waltrip had an altercation after the race, but neither man would discuss the incident. Waltrip went to talk to Labonte at Labonte's hauler before Labonte angrily went after Waltrip. Labonte had to be pulled away from Waltrip after chasing him down in the garage area. Waltrip finished 20th Sunday and Labonte was 26th, but Labonte was a lap behind Waltrip. The two drivers have had several bumping incidents in races this season

11/11/02
Industry News

Fiat credit rating may be downgraded to junk  Fiat SpA, Italy's biggest manufacturer, may lose its investment-grade credit rating from Moody's Investors Service because of losses in the company's auto unit and skepticism about its restructuring plan. The review of Fiat's long-term Baa3 rating and short-term Prime-3 rating affects about 15 billion euros ($15.19 billion) of debt, Moody's said in a statement. A reduction to a speculative-grade credit rating would force some Fiat bond investors to sell their holdings, because some firms are barred from owning so-called junk bonds. Standard & Poor's also put Fiat's short-term rating on review this week. S&P doesn't rate the company's long-term debt. Short-term debt matures in a year or less.

11/11/02
Industry News

Gidley brings unique perspective to new karting book   Memo Gidley, accomplished open wheel race car driver and shifter kart champion has joined forces with author Jeff Grist to produce a unique new book targeted to the shifter kart driver. This book will help level the playing field for rookie racers and recreational drivers by getting them the same secrets as the veterans.  “There is no a book of this kind on the market today,” states Memo Gidley. “I am very excited to finally be able to share my years of experience with all shifter kart drivers” continues the California native. So why write this book now? “That’s easy,” exclaims Gidley. “I have a proven and unique way of doing things and I really want to bring that with the industry that has given so much to me of the years,” continues Gidley from the site of the Superkarts! USA 6th Annual Supernationals. “The book that Jeff and I are putting together is different than anything else you have ever seen.” states Gidley.  “When I decided to write this book I wanted to partner with best of the best. Working with Memo has really help to make this book as current and accurate as you can get,” states Jeff Grist, author of Memo Gidley’s Speed Secrets for Shifter Kart Racing. “Everyone with a shifter kart can learn from this book.”   And there has been strong support for this project from the industry. “We are especially fortunate to have Trackmagic on board as the Official Chassis of Memo Gidley’s Speed Secrets for Shifter Kart Racing,” continues Grist. The book will feature the new MG version of the popular Trackmagic 125cc shifter kart chassis program.  Shifter karting is quickly becoming the most popular form of kart racing. What was missing was a comprehensive book that explained everything from proper set-up to the perfect racing line. Memo Gidley’s Speed Secrets for Shifter Kart Racing is a well-researched and precisely written 160-page paperback with a full color cover (front and back), professional photography, contemporary design and digital illustrations covering all the major components of shifter karting. “This will be the new standard for karting books,” continues Grist. Each chapter flows into the next. A kart driver can literally start with Chapter One and as they progress through their karting experience they can progress through the book. The book anticipates what the driver will need to know next as they moves along the learning curve.  The book is filled with over 25 charts, diagrams and outlines in the Appendix that can be removed, copied and used for kart set-ups, tracking changes and monitoring progress.   Every copy has a unique log in and password for an exclusive website featuring additions to the book, downloads of all the charts, a chat section, news articles and many extras.  A series of 36 tech articles will be written from the book and will be published exclusively for program sponsors and leading industry magazines.   Beginning today, advance sales will begin for a Limited Edition autographed copy of Memo Gidley’s Speed Secrets for Shifter Kart Racing. Each copy will be numbered and signed by MG himself. Check out the website at www.mgspeedsecrets.com.   For more information on Memo Gidley’s Speed Secrets for Shifter Kart Racing visit the website at www.mgspeedsecrets.com call Jeff Grist at 905.847.1808 x33 or email at jeff@mgspeedsecrets.com.

11/11/02

CART stock watch   

MPH closed at $4.90 Down $0.15 on Volume of 10,000 shares.
$4.28 Bid - $5.22 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.90 / $5.03
MPH Value Change Down 2.97%
DOW Jones Down 178.19 or 2.09% on Volume of 1.34 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 40.14 or 2.95%
S&P 500 Down 18.56 or 2.07%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

11/11/02
Industry News

Priceless 
$24,000 boat,
$45,0000 truck,
$6 underwear, .......
Heavy duty hitch.....Priceless.

11/11/02

Chat with Juan Montoya  There will be an online chat with Juan Pablo this Thursday November 14th at 11:00 am (Eastern time) on Juan's official website. The chat will be for limited time and moderated. Only registered users will be allowed to participate....so register now.

11/11/02

Biffle in #44 at Homestead  The #44 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge will make its final run this weekend in Sunday’s 400-miler at the Homestead-Miami Motorsports Complex. Next year, it will be the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge with Kyle Petty behind the wheel. Greg Biffle, who wowed veteran racing observers at Rockingham, N.C., a couple of weeks ago in the car will return for the NASCAR Winston Cup season finale. Biffle finished 25th at Rockingham but was a strong near-top-10 runner throughout the day, losing track position at the end because of a fuel stop. “This is tremendous experience for me and a good way to finish up this season,” said Biffle, who has announced he will drive a Winston Cup car full time next season for Roush Racing. “Hey, after the job he did for us at Rockingham, I’m glad we could get him for another race,” said Petty, who is CEO of Petty Enterprises. “We think he can be a factor at Homestead. Our cars have been running pretty well, especially the past several weeks, and Greg can help us towards those solid three-car finishes.” The Georgia-Pacific sponsorship moves from the #44 to Petty’s #45 next season. Petty Enterprises will field a car for successful Formula One and CART driver Christian Fittipaldi beginning next season, and is still discussing sponsorship for that car. Fittipaldi, who will become the first successful Formula One driver to move to NASCAR Winston Cup for a full-time situation, will run a partial Winston Cup, Busch Grand National and ARCA schedule in 2003, preparing for a full Winston Cup season in 2004. “We’re continuing to build and continuing to move forward at Petty Enterprises,” said Petty, who within the past year has made major eye-popping moves such as hiring Robin Pemberton, one of the top mechanical minds in the sport; bringing Mike Ege Engines on board, one of the top engine builders in the country, as an exclusive supplier; and developing a strong aerodynamic program with Elan Technologies. “Greg will do a tremendous job for us at Homestead. No doubt in my mind,” Petty said. “But we know we’re going to have a solid car for him, and the type of equipment it takes to get the job done. We’re moving forward. We’re still building. Just like the New York Yankees and Boston Celtics and other sports dynasties, we’re heading back to where we want to go.”

11/11/02

Subway to sponsor Rockingham  Subway® Restaurants announces today, their entitlement of the February 23, 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series event, the SUBWAY 400, at the North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, North Carolina. It marks the second year for Subway to entitle the February NASCAR event at the North Carolina Speedway. "Subway is very proud to continue our association with NASCAR," said Chris Carroll, Marketing Director for the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust (SFAFT). The NASCAR fans have been wonderful and we look forward to bringing the SUBWAY 400 back to the North Carolina Speedway."  "North Carolina Speedway is thrilled to have Subway Restaurants return as our sponsor for the SUBWAY 400 in 2003," North Carolina Speedway Executive Vice-President & General Manager Chris Browning stated. It is very exciting when a sponsor sees the benefits of race sponsorship first hand and continues to grow its involvement."

11/11/02

Reader welcomes USGP change  Dear AutoRacing1.com, In response to the latest rumors circulating about the future of the USGP: I've been a rabid F1 and CART fan since the mid-70's. While both series have their issues, those issues are being addressed by their representative strong leaders. Both series will be made stronger by an alliance. Today the strength of organizations can as easily be measured by their strategic alliances and loyal customers as their quarterly earnings statements. Tony George and IMS has done little to nothing to proactively promote the USGP at Indy. The aged management team there is so out of touch with the USGP fan base that it's ridiculous. They certainly don't know how to market to the youth market. Indianapolis, the community has done little to nothing to promote or welcome USGP fans. Declining attendance over the last three years and lackluster reviews are proof that fans have little enthusiasm for Indianapolis as a special place to visit regardless of the racing taking place there. Should B. Ecclestone choose to move the venue it will be for good reason. Chris Pook is the antithesis of Tony George in that Mr. Pook combines promotion savvy, customer relationship marketing and strong B2B partnerships. Core CART events and Long Beach in particular are well promoted not only by Pook, but CART and the community. Fans are welcomed, made to feel special and welcomed back. Being in Chicago, from a logistics point of view, I would rather drive down to Indianapolis than fly to a race venue, but until Indianapolis gets their act together I will sit out the next USGP at Indy and watch the race on TV (hopefully watching SpeedTV coverage). Mark S. McConkey - President
Gonzo Motorsports, Inc. Chicago, Illinois

11/11/02

Nunn announces 2-car Toyota  Mo Nunn Racing will double up its efforts for the 2003 Indy Racing League season by expanding to a two-car team and partnering with Toyota as the championship engine manufacturer turns its attention to the IRL for the very first time. The team, operated by five-time CART championship-winning engineer Morris Nunn, will begin its fourth year of existence by fielding a pair of Toyota-powered Panoz G-Forces for the 2003 IRL season – one, a Hollywood-sponsored entry featuring returning driver Felipe Giaffone and the other for a new sponsor/driver combination that will be announced in early December. Giaffone, a 27-year-old veteran of two IRL seasons, joined Mo Nunn Racing for its League debut as driver of the #21 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing entry in 2002. He finished fourth in the driver championship with 12 top-seven finishes in 15 events, which included the team’s first-ever race win at Kentucky Speedway in August, as well as a solid third-place finish at the Indianapolis 500, a runner-up finish at Nazareth, and two other third-place runs at Richmond and Michigan. “Based on our performance in 2002, we have great confidence that both of our cars will be in the thick of the championship hunt in ’03,” Nunn said. “Felipe, (team manager) Peter Parrott and the entire team were so good all season and our showing at the Indy 500 was a real shot in the arm for the program we are building. Going to two cars is a logical step for us and partnering with Toyota makes our outlook incredibly promising.” “Mo Nunn Racing showed itself to be an elite-level team by finishing fourth overall in the team’s first season of IRL competition, and we’re thrilled that they’ve chosen to campaign Toyota engines in 2003,” said Jim Aust, vice president of Toyota Motorsports. “Felipe Giaffone has established himself as one of the top young drivers in the sport.” “It’s great to be on board with Toyota,” Giaffone said. “They have been very successful in everything they have done. Toyota just won the CART championship, and I think that will be good momentum as they start their IRL program. With Toyota engines, our team will definitely improve next season.”

11/11/02

CART announces date changes    We had already updated our 2003 CART schedule page with this change.  In a move designed to aid promotion and increase national television exposure for a pair of 2003 Championship Auto Racing Teams events, CART today announced that it was changing the dates of next season's races at Road America and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The date of the event at Elkhart Lake, which is contested on the 4.048-mile Road America layout, will be changed from August 17 to August 3 in order to take advantage of better promotional opportunities in the local market and also to capitalize on the chance to have the race broadcast on CBS Sports. "We're glad to have CART at Road America on the earlier date," said George Bruggenthies, Road America's President and General Manager. "The network TV time is good for race fans throughout the U.S. who can't be here, good for the teams and good for our sponsors. It's a win-win schedule change." The event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, which takes place on the picturesque 2.258-mile circuit in Lexington, Ohio, will be moved back a week from its previous spot on the 2003 schedule and will be run on August 17. "With the move of the Road America event to the week after Vancouver (July 27), we felt we needed to move Mid-Ohio back a week in order to keep our teams from having to run three consecutive weeks," said Tim Mayer, CART Vice-President of Promoter Operations. "We have to thank our valued promoters in both markets for allowing us to makes these moves and avoid the cost of having our teams run on three consecutive weekends."

11/11/02

Minardi gets first Ford engines  UPDATE   According to Autosport, Minardi will not be running a 2002-spec Cosworth engine when it resumes testing at the end of November, as has been speculated. Instead, the team will run at Valencia with a 2001 chassis, the PS01D, fitted with the European V10 engine the team used during that season. The test will be used for system development – electronics etc – and driver appraisal. "We will definitely run Sergy Zloblin," said a team spokesman, "and we might announce one or two others as well." 11/10/02 - Asiatech went under and people were concerned about engines for Minardi in 2003.  However, the rumors suggested Ford would supply them engines.  Although there has been no official announcement from Minardi concerning their engine supply for the 2003 season, they will definitely be running with Ford Cosworth power and have already taken receipt of a 2002 V10 Cosworth engine.

11/11/02

Dykstra: CART's technical director keys up for future  This Autoweek article talks about CART's technical director and what a key role he plays in CART.  He is responsible for CART’s hardware rules and the enforcement of them, and for the development of future packages as well.

11/11/02
World Super Bikes

World Super Bikes eye China  The chief executive of the World Superbike Championships (WSBK) has told sportbusiness.com that negotiations to host a race in China are at an "advanced stage". According to Paolo Flammini, chairman of the WSBK franchise, the motorcycling series is set to follow in the footsteps of Formula One by launching a Grand Prix in China. In an interview with sportbusiness.com, Flammini stated: "We are in an advanced stage of negotiations with regard to taking the World Superbikes Championships to China. "With two new motorsports venues being built in the region which boasts millions of motorcycling fans, we are paying a lot of attention to Asia and in particular China at the moment. It is the market of the future." The move, which should come to fruition in time for the 2004 season, is unlikely to see one of the 13 existing races in the schedule sacrificed although Flammini did confirm that the limit to the number of races over the year that the series could cope with would be set at 14. The World Superbike Championships is the latest property to recognize the growing influence of China on the sports market following Beijing's victorious bid to host the 2008 Olympics.

11/11/02

Jordan profits halved  This DailyF1 article says that financial data filed at the UK Companies’ House recently showed that profits at the Jordan team were down nearly 50% last year, but that the firm still earned $5 million in profit. Turnover was up from $94.8 million to $108.8 million but the drop in profit was due to a higher cost of sales at $12.7 million and a $4.7 million increase in administrative expenditure. Profit in 2000 was $8.4 million compared to $4.6 million last year. The data also showed that Team Principal and CEO Eddie Jordan was paid $1.4 million for the year, an increase of $44,529 over 2000. The other directors on the Company Board were paid a shared package totaling $119,000. Total remuneration for the Directors included a $327,000 bonus payment in 2001. Jordan’s fixed assets were worth $26.3 million, nearly double the figure of 2000. The operation, based meters from the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire, employs 250 people. Data showed that the average wage was $71,800, salary that included pension and other contributions.

11/11/02

F1 sponsors dropping like flys  UPDATE As we have stated, F1 is in trouble, deep trouble, and costs need to be reduced soon.  Another sponsor is gone first McLaren lost Telekom, then Williams lost Veltins and now this news for Jordan.  This DailyF1 article says Deutsche Post is ending its Jordan backing. The unstable German economy continues to wreak havoc on companies in the region with the announcement today that Deutsche Post, Europe’s largest postal service, will not renew its sponsorship of the Jordan team. Deutsche Post signed a major three-year sponsorship deal in 2000 but it will not extend the agreement. The Bonn-based firm, which is state-controlled, has been trying to cut costs and will reportedly close 1,000 post offices across Germany over the next two years. The company did state that it had benefited from its involvement in Formula One. Its multi-million dollar sponsorship of Silverstone-based Jordan saw its logos placed all over the team livery from the bodywork of the cars to the team shirts. For Jordan the ending of the agreement will leave a significant hole in its operating budget. Deutsche Post was one of the team’s principal sponsors and provided crucial capital following cigarette brand Benson and Hedges’ easing of its commitment to the team. There were even rumours Deutsche Post was set to take over the title sponsorship of the team in 2003. The news means it is the third German company to pull out of Formula One in the past week. Deutsche Telekom, Europe’s biggest phone company, announced last week it would be no longer backing the McLaren team, and Veltins, the German brewer, withdrew its sponsorship of the Williams team with immediate effect.  11/9/02 - We have long maintained that F1 is pricing itself right out of business, especially in today's economy.  It's time F1 engines get detuned, removing most of the unnecessary technology, which is only ruining the racing.  Then the manufacturers have a cost-effective V-10 engine that can be used in both CART (NAFTA market) and F1 (European market).  The engine itself should be 100% identical for both series, with, say, a 16,000 RPM rev-limit, which is more than adequate.  Why do we call for taking cost out of F1 immediately?  Teams are going bankrupt and now comes news that McLaren has lost Deutsche Telekom as sponsor. The move which also includes immediate discontinuation of sponsorship of the German national soccer team, should save the company an estimated $10m. The company's T-Mobil logo will come off the drivers' suits and front wings of the MP4-17. Meanwhile, Formula One lost yet another high profile team sponsor late this week, according to Italian sport paper “Gazzetta dello Sport”. Veltins, the German brewer, has withdrawn its cash backing of the Williams team, the company attributing the falling television popularity of Formula One for its exit.

11/11/02

Another Cup driver has plane woes  Last week it was Tony Stewart.  This week Mark Martin.  Martin's plane blew two tires as he was trying to leave Phoenix Goodyear Airport Sunday night, word is all are okay. Six were aboard the plane.

11/11/02

Jack Roush fuming  Jack Roush is fuming. With his driver Mark Martin only 89 points behind the series-leading Stewart with one race to go -- next Sunday's race in Homestead, Fla. -- the penalty could be the difference. Roush said he's been burned by NASCAR's officiating too many times to let this situation go quietly. "I'm so upset, so out of my mind, that I can't organize a decent thought about (challenging the penalty)," he said. "By my arithmetic that's the third time something that was unwarranted and unjust and untimely has happened to me, and I don't forget about that." Roush said he has left the decision to pursue an appeal with team president Geoff Smith, who was not available for comment after Roush's remarks in Matt Kenseth's victory news conference. "If Tony Stewart wins by 25 points, we'll certainly celebrate his victory as we should," Roush said. "Right now 25 points wouldn't reverse the standings, but (they) would make it closer."

11/1102

Latest F1 Hot News 

Minardi: Ford Power And PS02 In '03
No Comment On Ferrari Tester
Lauda 'Goes After' Tom Walkinshaw
Villeneuve Slams Ferrari Tactics
Financial Blows For Top Teams
McLaren And Williams Focus On '03
Reluctant F1 Move For Cristiano
Fingers Crossed For Paul Stoddart
Pizzonia With Point To Prove
Toyota, Jaguar & BAR Updates
Qualifying Worry For Jungle-Boy
Peerless Super-Team At Granja
Midfield Wakes From Short Slumber
F1 News In Brief

11/10/02

Fernandez still working on Mexico City return  Despite testing young countryman Luis Diaz last week, CART veteran Adrian Fernandez told CART.com that he will not name the driver of the #51 Tecate Telmex Lola ahead of next weekend's final race until the last possible moment. With the series venturing to Mexico City for the first time, Fernandez is naturally keen to be on the grid - despite breaking two bones in his back at start of the Honda Indy 300 in Australia.  "I put him in his car after qualifying and basically beat on him," CART orthopaedic expert Terry Trammell confirmed to cart.com, "I pushed on his head and banged it around trying to simulate a load under braking. I pushed his head forward into the HANS device tethers, but it didn't cause him any pain - he just has some underlying ache that is to be expected with that type of injury. "The HANS device probably saved Adrian from getting a broken neck. His helmet was fractured in such a way it made contact with the HANS and jammed his helmet against the HANS yoke. That protected his neck and transferred the injury to his back. He fractured the T2 and T3 vertebrae - the first two behind your neck - so he got a broken back instead of a broken neck. "Between now and next week, he'll get another CT scan and, if it hasn't changed since the last time, medically I see no reason not to let him drive." Despite Diaz impressing on his run with the team, Fernandez is particularly keen to race as the season closes in his home town in front of an estimated 300,000 weekend audience. "If it was anywhere else, I'd probably not try to push it," the Mexican told CART's official website, "But the race in Mexico City is going to be huge, and it's very important to me and my sponsors [that] I'm part of it."

11/10/02

Da Matta says it was hard to leave CART  In this F1Central article, CART Champion Cristiano da Matta says, It's been a very difficult decision. Joining Toyota in Formula One is a great opportunity, but I love the CART series and the Newman/Haas team is just fantastic. It's a great team and a great bunch of guys. They have great engineering, tremendous pit stops and their cars are very, very reliable. “Really, it's everything a driver can ask for in team. I've really enjoyed my time racing here in America in Indy Lights and in CART and the last two years with Newman/Haas have been like something you would dream for. So all of this has made it very tough to make the decision to go to Formula One.” The Brazilian recently signed for Panasonic Toyota Racing and he is aware of the difficult task ahead of him as Toyota are relatively inexperienced in Formula One with 2003 being only the second season for the team in the sport after their debut in 2002. However, he admits it’s always been his dream to drive in F1 and the 29-year-old claims that’s the reason he did eventually decide to come and drive for Toyota. He concluded: “But on the other side, I know that Toyota has fantastic resources and the will to succeed and I'm sure they will do it just like they have in CART. I have seen from the inside how hard they work from my four years in CART with Toyota and I'm really looking forward to a new challenge in Formula One with Toyota. It will be hard, very hard. I have no doubts about that, but Formula One is something I always wanted to do. That was my dream growing up so now I have the chance. That's why I'm taking it."

11/10/02

Is the IRL that easy?  Dear AutoRacing1.com, I was appalled when I found this article on a 43-year old Canadian driver who has not raced since 1990, yet drove in the Infiniti Pro Series last year and is looking to raise $3 million to $5 million to buy a ride in the IRL next year.  I thought racing was a sport, but I am beginning to have my doubts when I see just about any driver, regardless of age, can buy his way into the top rung of Indy Car racing.  Are those cars that easy to drive that anyone can drive them?  Michael Neubauer, Ohio  Dear Michael, a true test of driver ability is road course racing, hence why good road course drivers will usually clean an oval track drivers clock.  Oval track racing is a good show, but 100% throttle racing is a far cry from what 'sport' is supposed to be all about.  Because oval track racing does not require fast reflexes, the 43-year old Mr. Roth can probably compete, but put him in a Champ Car on a road course and he will be a complete back marker.  Nothing against Mr. Roth, but at his age, he doesn't stand a chance against the younger drivers in CART, drivers who have aspirations of being World Driving Champion.

11/10/02
Solve the Puzzle

Do you know your racing?  UPDATE We are impressed.  In the course of several hours we received 8 correct answers.  Jason Winer was the first to answer correctly and has had a free 6-months added to his subscription..  The person in the picture is Paul Tracy in the Benetton-Ford pits at the 1994 Portuguese GP.  Photo credit: Pascal Rondeau/ALLSPORT.  Thanks to all those who responded.  11/10/02 - We have a lot of very knowledgeable subscribers to AutoRacing1.com.  Let's see just how good you are.  Tell us 1) who the person is in the photo to the right, 2) where was it taken, and 3) what year it was.  The first person who guesses all three questions correctly will have their AR1 subscription extended 6 months free of charge.  The winner, if any of you are good enough, will be announced here on the Hot News page.

11/9/02

Aussie GP ticket sales up  According to the organizers of the Australian Grand Prix, pre-event sales of tickets for next year’s race are breaking records. Corporate hospitality sales for the next year’s season opener in Melbourne are up by 22 per cent while spectator tickets sales are up by 26 per cent.

11/9/02

Da Matta to start testing  Newly crowned CART champion Cristiano da Matta will finish his final race of the 2002 CART season at Mexico and move immediately into F1. The Brazilian driver is scheduled to undergo his first outing as a fully-fledged member of the Panasonic Toyota team at Barcelona from November 26-28 where he will join his new teammate Olivier Panis for an intensive program of testing. The drivers will used the interim development version of the TF102 fitted with next year's new V10 engine and the longitudinal seven-speed gearbox. The team will then test at Paul Ricard on December 2-5 and Barcelona on December 3-5.  The two drivers will split the Paul Ricard and Barcelona tests

11/9/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

German Savior For Ailing Arrows?
Webber Defends Jaguar Decision
Berger Considers Future Options
Sauber Courts Another Youngster
Dennis Denies Tire Rule Benefit
BAT Deny David Richards' Demise
Webber Targets Consistent Points
Irvine Confirms Jordan Talks
Williams Ignore Testing Ban
F1 News In Brief

11/9/02
Karting

Big Brazilian karting event  Thursday hosted the final practice for the Granja Viana 500 mile karting race just out of Sao Paulo. Brazilian stars Rubens Barrichello, Felipe Massa and Tony Kanaan have all converged on the circuit to compete, along with 64 teams and around 300 drivers. For this year, all competitors must meet a minimum weight limit, including the driver, of at least 195 kilos. Qualifying takes place on Saturday evening, when only one driver per team can take part. Barrichello has won the event three times, while Massa won the event as a 16-year-old in 1997.

11/8/02

Lauda rips Walkinshaw  Arrows boss Tom Walkinshaw is fighting to get his team back on the F1 grid in 2003.  Rumors have surfaced that Audi might buy the team.  However, he has a vengeful Niki Laude to get through.  "I accept that businesses can go to ****," Niki told F1 Racing."  But he gave me a personal guarantee at Silverstone that he would pay (for his Ford engines), and when the first guarantee was due, he told me to **** off. This I cannot accept." "He is a rich man, of that there's no doubt, and I'm going to go after him to get the money he owes, because then my engine business will break even."

11/8/02

Pollock: CART and F1 partnership good  This Toronto Star article says, Craig Pollock says CART owner Gerald Forsythe and Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone have held several meetings and that those discussions had been "very, very strong" about a future collaboration between the two series. "I don't know how fast and furiously it could happen, but F1 needs something in North America and CART needs something in the rest of the world," said Pollock. CART boss Chris Pook has admitted to talks with Ecclestone, whom he calls a close friend. But he stopped short of confirming reports that the two are discussing some sort of merger or takeover by Formula One. Recent reports say CART could become a feeder system for Formula One, a suggestion that Pook is not adverse to. Pollock also suggested that some of the recent changes announced by Formula One to try and increase interest in the sport were in part due to a conversation he and Villeneuve had with Ecclestone. "I was sitting in the meeting with Jacques and Bernie, it was at a restaurant in London, and Jacques was very, very, vocal about his ideas," said Pollock. Villeneuve says he's pleased with the changes announced, especially the new qualifying rules. "It won't make the Ferrari go slower or everybody faster. But it will make it more exciting to watch, and that is great," said the former world champion. "It will level the playing field in that the quicker car can actually make a mistake and start at the back."

11/8/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $5.05 Up $0.04 on Volume of 15,000 shares.
$4.41 Bid - $5.39 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.95 / $5.10
MPH Value Change Up 0.80%
DOW Jones Down 49.25 or 0.57% on Volume of 1.7 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 17.5 or 1.27%
S&P 500 Down 7.92 or 0.88%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

11/8/02

Worldcom Most Popular Driver  With over 2.3 million fans already streaming through the gates this year it can be argued that the CART FedEx Championship Series is the most popular open-wheel racing series in North America. However, there are always favorites among favorites and a year-long vote has yielded five finalists for the WorldCom Most Popular Driver Award, with the winner to be announced at the season-ending CART banquet in Miami on November 22nd. Series champion Cristiano da Matta (#1 Havoline Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone), two-time race winner Patrick Carpentier (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone), Milwaukee winner Paul Tracy (#26 KOOL Honda/Lola/Bridgestone), Long Beach winner Michael Andretti (#39 Motorola Honda/Lola/Bridgestone) and three-time race winner Dario Franchitti (#27 KOOL Honda/Lola/Bridgestone) have been chosen as the finalists in a year-long ballot by Champ Car fans. Fans cast their votes via hand-written ballots, internet voting and at voting kiosks at the track. The winner of the fan voting will receive a $25,000 check from WorldCom, which will be donated to the charity of his choice. Additionally, one lucky fan will be chosen from those that cast ballots to actually award the grand prize to the winner at the CART banquet, to be held at Miami's Hotel Intercontinental.

11/8/02

Racing Armageddon feared  According to this Orlando Sentinel article, Ferko v. NASCAR. Write it down. Your grandchildren could study the case in law school someday. "Racing Armageddon," one observer, with experience in the inner workings of bigtime stock car racing, called the case's potential last week. The lawyers: Johnnie Cochran vs. David Boies, heading two armadas of firms. The forces: Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports Inc. vs. Bill France Jr.'s NASCAR and International Speedway Corp. The issue: The France family's control of the sport, which is to say the structure of NASCAR racing as it has existed for nearly 55 years. The collision course intensifies, and the tensions escalate, almost weekly. "I'm scared," an insider, very near ground zero of the matter, said the other day. "We're all making a good living at this, with things just as they are." The implication was that drastic change could be imminent, for better or for worse. The France dynasty has always been deemed a dictatorship by most participants and observers. But that hasn't necessarily been considered illegal. Now, Ferko v. NASCAR is rife with allegations of Sherman Antitrust Act violations and monopolistic practices by France-owned NASCAR and France-controlled ISC, which operates 12 major tracks and shares control of a 13th, Chicagoland Speedway.  Full story

11/8/02
Grand-Am

Grand-Am added to SPEED Channel  One by one SPEED Channel is added racing series to their channel lineup.  Last week it was USAC.  Grand American Road Racing Association announced today that SPEED Channel will broadcast the entire 12-race Rolex Sports Car Series schedule, including a minimum of five live races. Additionally, SPEED Channel will broadcast 11 Grand-Am Cup races on a tape-delayed basis. SPEED Channel's coverage of the 2003 season will begin with a live broadcast of the 41st Rolex 24 At Daytona, February 1-2. The 2003 Rolex 24 coverage will be similar to that offered by SPEED Channel during the 2002 race, with the opening and closing of the race broadcast live in addition to updates throughout the evening. Approximately 15 hours of live coverage is anticipated of the classic twice around- the-clock event. SPEED Channel is currently slated to also bring live coverage of the Rolex Series events at Phoenix International Raceway, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant, with the remaining live races to be announced at a later time. SPEED Channel is the only 24-hour cable network devoted to the millions of people who love racing. The network features authentic coverage of major events, in addition to the latest industry and consumer news. SPEED Channel will broadcast the Rolex Sports Car Series Grand American Finale live this Sunday at 1 p.m.

11/8/02
Grand-Am

Grand-Am to sanction Fran-Am series  Grand American Road Racing Association and Fran- Am Sport jointly announced today that Grand American will sanction the 2003 Fran-Am Championship Series. Fran-Am Sport will be presenting a Winter Series World Championship in Florida, a North American Pro-Championship with events in the USA and Canada, and additional East and West National Championships for its 2000 drivers and teams who will not participate in the North American Pro Championship. In addition, it will present East and West Championships for Fran -Am 1600 competitors. The Fran-Am Championship Series for open-wheeled race cars with 2 L and 1.6 L engines had its North American debut season in 2002. It is based on the very popular and successful Formula Renault racing in Europe. "We are very pleased to provide sanctioning body support to the Fran-Am Series," Grand American President Roger Edmondson said. "A key part of Fran-Am's philosophy is to control the costs of racing and that is a major goal of ours as well. With their proven formula from the Renault Series, we are confident that Fran-Am will quickly establish itself as a primary training ground for American racers." The Fran-Am Winter Series World Championship, North American Pro-Championship and National Championship Series will be contested at selected rounds of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series as well as CART and Formula 1.

11/8/02

Honda completes first IRL test  Honda Performance Development, its technical partner Ilmor Engineering and Andretti Green Racing successfully completed the first on-track test of the new Honda Racing HI3R Indy V-8 engine yesterday at Miami-Homestead Speedway. During the course of the two-day test, driver Dan Wheldon ran more than 400 miles at the 1.5 mile oval, running competitive lap times without any significant problems. The Briton drove a 2002 Dallara chassis fielded by the Andretti Green team and modified to accept the new Honda powerplant. “We were very pleased with the outcome of this test, achieving all of our goals for this initial shakedown in a relatively short period of time,” said Robert Clarke, general manager of Honda Performance Development. “This is just the first step in an exciting new program for Honda, and we’re already looking forward to the start of the 2003 season.” Earlier this year, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. announced plans to enter the Indy Racing League for the 2003 season. The company’s U.S. racing subsidiary, Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD), contracted with Ilmor Engineering Inc. of Plymouth, Michigan, (a sister company to Ilmor Engineering, Ltd.) to design and build the new engine. HPD and Ilmor will continue to work together as technical partners to develop and produce engines for the 2003 season. After making his IRL debut at Chicagoland Speedway this season, Wheldon also was pleased to log his first laps with Honda power for Andretti Green Racing. “It was a great opportunity for me,” the 24-yearold said. “Growing up in England, you certainly were aware of Honda’s great success in motor sports and it’s the same with Andretti Green, one of the most successful organizations here in the US. I’m very thankful to Michael Andretti, Kim Green and Kevin Savoree for giving me this opportunity.” Andretti Green co-owner Kim Green was equally enthusiastic. “As far as the test goes, we’re very, very happy,” Green said. “The engine appears to be very good, and I’d say that Honda and Ilmor have done an excellent job. Our goal here at Homestead was to put together a series of long runs, and give Honda and Ilmor as much data as possible. I also think Dan’s done an excellent job, he’s been quick and consistent throughout, providing good information back to the team.” Testing will continue through the off-season, with the Honda HI3R making its competition debut

11/8/02

Hornish tests Motegi  UPDATE  Hornish got his lap time down to 26.862 on the 2nd and last day of testing, a time that would have put him dead last on the CART grid. 11/7/02 - Sam Hornish Jr. completed 120 laps Nov. 7 at Twin Ring Motegi during the first of three days of IRL testing at the 1.5-mile oval in Japan. Hornish recorded a fast lap of 26.973 seconds (Slower than the entire CART field qualified at Motegi) in weather conditions ranging from sunny and warm to overcast and cool. The test marked the first time an Indy Racing car had turned laps at the Twin Ring Motegi track. More than 130 members of the Japanese media attended the test, the first of many events promoting the inaugural Indy Racing event in Japan scheduled for April 13, 2003. Hornish was impressed with the unique facility, which is carved into the mountains in the Tochigi region of Japan approximately 145 miles northwest of Tokyo. “I think the track is very, very nice,” Hornish said. “It’s wide, and it’s fast. It’s going to lend itself to some very competitive racing. As far as qualifying setup, we’re probably looking at speeds of around 210 mph, maybe higher depending on the weather. “Any track that isn’t easy flat-out, I like. The more difficult the track is, the better I like it. So this track is one I think I’ll really like this year.”  Pennzoil Panther Racing co-owner John Barnes was equally impressed with the state-of-the-art oval. “This facility that Honda built is fabulous,” Barnes said. “Anything that they’re involved with, they do to win, the same as we do.” In addition to Hornish’s No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, the Indy Racing Experience car was on site to give media members rides around the track. IRL driver Hideki Noda drove the two-seat Indy Racing car. Indy Racing fan favorite Sarah Fisher will replace Noda in the two-seater Nov. 8-9.

11/8/02
Industry News

NASCAR track owners wealthy  Bill and Jim France, along with nemesis Bruton Smith, made the Forbes 400 List of the richest Americans. The France's were tied at no. 209 at one billion dollars each. Smith is no. 232 at $970 million. Last year, all three tied for no. 236 with a billion dollars each.  How do they compare to Bernie Ecclestone?  Bernie is worth a reported $5 billion.  We hear another of the Rich and Famous, worth a reported $3 billion is also eyeing CART.

11/8/02

Spencer shocked by Ganassi sack  According to this Fox News interview, Jimmy Spencer was shocked by the news Chip Ganassi fired him.

11/8/02

Results of AR1 CART name poll  If Bernie buys CART, what should they name it?

Answer

%

Votes

Formula 2

2 %

36

Formula 1A (Formula 1 Americas)

17 %

233

Formula 1 Lite

0 %

11

Formula America

15 %

199

American Grand Prix Series

28 %

376

CART

19 %

253

Formula CART

9 %

127

Other

6 %

79

Total

100 %

1,314

11/8/02

BAR boss under threat  According to this BBC Online article, British American Racing boss David Richards is facing an uncertain future. The team's owner - the tobacco giant BAT - is worried about the lack of progress made by the team since Richards took charge 11 months ago. In particular, there is concern that Richards has failed to cut spending as much as BAT wanted. Not shedding Jacques Villeneuve and his large salary is now haunting him. BAT's faith in Richards' ability has also been hit by the relative lack of time he and his representatives spend at BAR's headquarters in Brackley. BBC Sport Online's sources differ in their assessment of how vulnerable Richards' position is. Most say that BAT is not actively trying to get rid of him but that questions are being asked about his performance. But some believe that BAT is preparing to ditch him imminently. BAT was unavailable for comment. There have even been suggestions that discontent at a lack of return on an investment of more than £300m over four years could lead BAT to quit F1 by the end of next season.  If so, there goes Dario Franchitti's hope at a F1 ride in 2003, as rumors suggested one reason for his move to the IRL with Andretti Green Racing is the guarantee of a proper test from Honda, which supplies engines to the BAR team.

11/8/02

Some hope for Arrows?  According to this Ananova article, Cash-strapped Arrows have been given a deadline of November 15 to lodge their entry for the 2003 Formula One World Championship. The Leafield-based team didn't compete in the final five races of last season because of their financial problems. They must now pay the approximate $300,000 entry fee by the deadline day. But even if boss Tom Walkinshaw comes up with the money, it won't guarantee Arrows being given a place on the grid for when the new season starts next March 9. The sport's world governing body, the FIA, have the option of excluding Arrows from the championship if it fears there will be a repeat of last season's problems and failure to compete. The FIA will announce the line-up of teams on December 1 and if Arrows are not included it will mean just 10 teams will take part next season. Walkinshaw is understood to be in talks with German company Asset Trust & Partners in a last-minute bid to rescue his Oxfordshire outfit.. 

11/8/02

Montoya officially wed  UPDATE  We have added a photo of Juan taken in the church right after the ceremony. 10/24/02 - Juan Pablo Montoya married fiancé Connie Freydell in Cartagena, Colombia, on Saturday afternoon. Over 300 guests attended the ceremony, including close South American compatriot Rubens Barrichello, of Ferrari. 'I am very happy,' he reported. 'But this will not change my approach to racing!'

11/8/02

Did you know?  Bet you didn't know that the 1992 Australian Grand Prix at Adelaide was Ferrari's 1300th race, engine supplier Renault's 650th, and tire manufacturer Goodyear's 7100th. For the record, Gerhard Berger won the race in South Australia's capital after Ayrton Senna wiped out leader Nigel Mansell at the Adelaide Hairpin. 

11/8/02

EDS ups involvement with Jordan  Technology brand EDS yesterday announced an expansion of its involvement with Silverstone-based Jordan Grand Prix. Eddie Jordan's racers will use I-deas integrated mechanical design, engineering and manufacturing software in the design and manufacture of its Formula One chassis. Jaguar, BAR and Williams use similar technology. Jim Duncan, EDS European president, said: 'Our extensive experience helps us supply valuable expertise in a wide variety of automotive industry environments.'

11/8/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Burti To Jaguar Link Revealed
Head Pays Tribute To F2002
Bernie: No Thoughts Of Retreat
Formula One Gears For More Reform
Schumacher's New Swiss Pad
Ferrari Explain Chassis Perfection
Salo Reveals Renault Test Option
Disarray At McLaren-Mercedes?
Jaguar Go 'Conservative' With R4?
CART Fires Up Mexico F1 Track
F1 News In Brief

11/8/02
Industry News

Turbos poised to make strong comeback  Much stricter emission requirements for CO2 starting in 2008 are going to force manufacturer's to downsize engines to meet the tougher requirements, and industry experts are projecting strong growth in gasoline turbocharging to achieve CO2 without killing performance. Even though many people who never travel outside North America think turbocharging is passé, it is about a $3B worldwide industry and growing nicely, thanks primarily to the popularity of diesel passenger cars outside of North America.  Already we are starting to see more turbos on passenger car gasoline engines.  Given this, the proposed, but never adopted, small CART 1.8 liter turbo engine formula is starting to look better and better everyday.  With CART slated to change its engine formula in 2005, one has to wonder if the car manufacturers of the world would view a 1.8 L turbo formula as the perfect testing and training ground for their passenger car engines three years later.  As for V-10's?  Well they sound great, but when was the last time you bought a car with a V-10 in it?  How many passenger cars are turbocharged today?  112 car models to be exact, plus trucks.  Here is the passenger car list.

11/8/02

2003 T. Wayne Robertson NASCAR Winston Cup Preview  Tickets for the 2003 T. Wayne Robertson NASCAR Winston Cup Preview, one of the largest fan-oriented events of the NASCAR Winston Cup season, will go on sale Saturday, Nov. 30 at 10 a.m. (EST). The 14th annual T. Wayne Robertson NASCAR Winston Cup Preview will take place Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003 at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com, through your local Ticketmaster outlet, or by calling the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum box office at (336) 725-5635. Event attendees are limited to six tickets per purchase. Tickets are $15 for adults, with children age 12 and under admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. As in previous years, all NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers are scheduled to appear at the 2003 Preview and each will be available to sign autographs at designated times. The driver schedule will be finalized and released at a later date. Fans must once again obtain color-coded wristbands in order to attend the autograph session of selected drivers, in addition to those drivers that finished in the top 10 of the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. Unlike previous years, wristbands for the 2003 T. Wayne Robertson NASCAR Winston Cup Preview will be dispersed through a priority system based on the time of ticket purchase. All tickets to the 2003 Preview will now indicate the priority group of which the attendee is a member. "Simply put, the earlier you purchase your tickets to the 2003 T. Wayne Robertson NASCAR Winston Cup Preview, the better your opportunity to receive a wristband to meet the driver you would like,” said Rich Habegger, vice president of operations for R.J. Reynolds’ Sports Marketing Enterprises. “We have evaluated the wristband policy following each Preview, and this new policy should eliminate the need for fans to stand in line overnight to obtain wristbands. Overall, we feel it should add to the enjoyment level of everyone attending the Preview.”

11/8/02

McLaren's Haug already writing off 2003  In this Autosports.com article, Mercedes-Benz have written off McLaren's chances of winning next season's Formula 1 world title, according to this week's AUTOSPORT magazine. Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug believes that there is too big a gap to Ferrari for McLaren-Mercedes to mount a serious challenge. The team will start next season with a heavily modified version of this year's car, as its definitive 2003 challenger will not be ready until the start of the European races. Speaking at last weekend's Mercedes-Benz Stars and Cars celebration Haug said: "It is not completely realistic next season to talk about the title. But we will come again to where we were in 1998 and 1999 [when McLaren-Mercedes won the championship]."

11/7/02

Long season wears on Elliott  "We just need to get through these next two races with decent finishes after the string of luck we've seem to run into lately. I think we're all just ready for a break. This is just such a long season and the guys have been working hard and I think we've really come together as a team this year, but I also think we're all ready for a break."

11/7/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $5.01 Down $0.09 on Volume of 62,700 shares.
$4.38 Bid - $5.32 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.86 / $5.09
MPH Value Change Down 1.76%
DOW Jones Down 184.77 or 2.11% on Volume of 1.79 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 42.28 or 2.98%
S&P 500 Down 21.11 or 2.29%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

11/7/02

Jack Rodgers dies  Jack Rodgers, one of the original investors behind Bettenhausen Motorsports and later minority team owner of Herdez Competition, passed away early today at age 67. Known for his humor and his hospitality, Rodgers was a larger-than-life presence in the CART paddock and the team's Gasoline Alley race shop. Born in Bellflower, Missouri, Rodgers graduated from University of Missouri in 1957 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. After graduation, he served in the Air National Guard, including a year of active service in Europe in 1961-62. He and wife Barbara married in May, 1963. The vast majority of Jack's business career was spent with Chicago-based agricultural firm, IMC Corporation. Rodgers retired from IMC as National Sales Manager in 1996. He continued to be active in a number of entrepreneurial pursuits, including a property development business in Indianapolis that he owned and operated with his son, Charlie. Rodgers began his involvement in open-wheel motorsports in 1981 when he founded H & R Racing (with Wayne Hillis) and became one of the original backers of Tony Bettenhausen's efforts. He continued his support of Tony as a silent partner in Bettenhausen Motorsports until the death of Tony and Shirley Bettenhausen in a private plane crash on February 14, 2000. As the ownership of the team was assumed by Grupo Herdez, Jack remained an active participant in the new team, Herdez Competition. Although illness kept him away from the track in 2002, Jack was in regular attendance at most of the team's events up to the end of 2001. He is survived by his wife Barbara, their son Charlie, an Indianapolis businessman, and their daughter Teri, a high school teacher in suburban Chicago.  The funeral services will be held at 10:00 am Monday, November 11th at St. Malachy Catholic Church (326 N. Green Street, Brownsburg, Indiana).  Visitation will take place at Matthews Mortuary (690 E. 56th Street, Brownsburg, Indiana) from 4:00 to 8:00 pm on Sunday, November 10, 2002. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Jack L. Rodgers Memorial Fund, c/o Irwin Union Bank and Trust, Avon, Indiana. The fun will support White Lick Presbyterian Church, Avon Junior Athletic Association, and Sycamore School in Indianapolis, Indiana.

11/7/02

Heavy promotion in Mexico City  Dear AutoRacing1.com, This morning on TV Azteca in Mexico, on a morning show, an official representing the CART race was on hand to talk about and promote this great event. Footage was shown of the Inauguration of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez track on Tuesday. The official was asked if this would be the best track CART races on, and he modestly stated that the CART officials are indicating that it indeed is the best track on the CART circuit. The official, I believe named Roberto, made a comparison to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Canada. Obviously the Gran Premio is being heavily promoted and even the TV personalities seem to be extremely excited. Also, in a separate segment, there was a story on the Celebrity Race which will be taking place. It looks like from the footage as if there may have been a special event to announce the Celebrity drivers. Reggie Corona, Brownsville, Texas

11/7/02

Evernham to sell his share of #7  RPM2Night reported last night, and the LTN Network Radio show plans to report tonight that #7 co-owner Jim Smith bought Ray Evernham out of his portion of the #7 Dodge.  Supposedly this happened after discovering the motor that was used Sunday at Rockingham in the #7 was "significantly short" on horsepower, as compared to the #9 and #19 cars.

11/7/02

IRL announces Indy Week for Japan  Twin Ring Motegi will play host to “Indy Week” on April 5-13, 2003, track officials announced during a press conference Nov. 6 in Tokyo. "Indy Week” is a festival of events designed to capture the excitement of the inaugural Indy Racing event in Japan on April 13 at Twin Ring Motegi. The festival will include activities such as pit stop competitions, a car exhibition, kart challenge, driver appearances and autograph sessions. "Our goal is to work together with Twin Ring Motegi to create awareness for the first Indy Racing League event in Japan on April 13,” said Tony George, Indy Racing League president and CEO. “This press conference was an opportunity to have the media come together to help launch Indy Racing in Japan.”  More than 450 members of the Japanese motorsports industry, including media, sponsors and competitors, attended the press conference, which took place at Tokyo’s famous Imperial Hotel. George, two-time Indy Racing champion Sam Hornish Jr., Andretti-Green Racing driver Dario Franchitti and IRL Senior Vice President of Operations Brian Barnhart participated in the ceremonies. Hornish, who is driving Nov. 7-8 in the first IRL test at Twin Ring Motegi, a 1.5-mile oval located in Motegi, Japan, was impressed with the media turnout. “The whole day went very smooth,” Hornish said. “It was amazing how many people were there. Everything was very, very organized. “It’s my first trip to Japan, and I haven’t seen much of the country yet, but everyone is very polite and courteous. It’s really a neat deal.”

11/7/02

CART to give 8 ladder drivers seat time  The new series standard Ford-Cosworth engine that will power all 2003-04 Champ Cars will get its first on-track testing November 21-23 in the hands of the young drivers that hope to be using them to battle for CART championships in the future. Toyota Atlantic 2002 champion Jon Fogarty and reigning Barber Dodge Pro Series titlist AJ Allmendinger will be the first of eight drivers scheduled to drive in the first of three endurance tests of the new engine, tests that will see the powerplant run 1,200 miles over three separate sessions. The engine will make three 400-mile runs without a rebuild in order to test the durability and versatility of the powerplant, a series that will start in November with a session at the Firebird East road course. The car will continue on to an oval layout for 400 more miles before heading back to a road circuit to finish the examination. The engine will be fitted with all the 2003 update parts including the ECU, exhaust system, turbocharger, intake filter system and pop-off valve. The engine will be fitted on a Dale Coyne Racing Lola and will be shaken down by veteran driver Roberto Moreno before being handed over to the Ladder System pilots. "We are pleased to be able to help Ford-Cosworth in any way we can with the development of the 2003-04 engine," said Lee Dykstra, CART Director of Technology and Competition. "We feel that the planned tests will provide us with valuable insights as to what direction we need to take in ensuring that we have the best possible engine package for next year. Having the ability to give the young drivers in our Ladder System a chance to test the cars is an added bonus that will aid us and also furthers their own progress." Toyota Atlantic race winner Rocky Moran Jr. will also participate in the Firebird test and will then travel to the oval-track outing to provide some driver continuity between the first two test sessions. Atlantic standouts Michael Valiante, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alex Gurney, Joey Hand and Luis Diaz will also be involved as drivers in the final two test runs, with the tracks and dates to be named later.

11/7/02

Phoenix grandstand seats sold out  After a few races where the grandstands were clearly visible, the Winston Cup race this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway will be a full house. All reserved seats for the Checker Auto Parts 500 presented by Pennzoil NASCAR Winston Cup Series race scheduled for Sunday, November 10 at Phoenix International Raceway are sold out, track officials announced today. For fans that missed out on the grandstand seats, hillside tickets are still available and are only $30 for Sunday’s race. “NASCAR weekend at Phoenix International Raceway has been continuing to grow each year and we couldn’t be more excited that that we’ve sold out of reserved seats again this year,” said track President Bryan R. Sperber. “On behalf of the staff at PIR, I’d like to say thank you to all of the fans that continue to make this weekend Arizona’s largest spectator sporting event year after year.”

11/7/02

It was the fastest race of all-time  As stated in this SPEEDTV article, only a pair of pace-car laps prior to the restart from a rulebook red flag with five to go (and two earlier caution flags) dragged the race average below 200 MPH for last Sunday's race at California Speedway, but Vasser’s 197.995mph winning speed still shattered Al Unser Jr.’s previous mark of 189.727, set at Michigan International Speedway a dozen years ago. This record may be listed for 500-mile races, but it really covers any closed-circuit race, anywhere in the world, ever. For comparison, the two fastest NASCAR races on record are Terry Labonte’s Daytona 500 qualifying race win from 1989, that clocked in at 189.554mph for 125 miles, and Mark Martin’s all-green run to victory at Talladega’s Winston 500 in May of 1997, that averaged 188.354mph. And, for the record, California Speedway solidified its claim as the world’s fastest racetrack, since Gil de Ferran’s absolute one-lap mark of 241.428 was also set there back in Y2K, but that's more a thanks to CART, than to the track.  Put a Champ Car on, say, Talladega (if it was smooth enough), and look out. Some people say that if you remove the Handford Wing and turn the boost back up to 55 inches like it used to be years ago, a current-day Champ Car might average close to 300 MPH around Talladega.  Now wouldn't that be something......

11/7/02

Berger to make career decision soon  Look for Gerhard Berger to make a decision about his future as the BMW Motorsport Co-Director before Christmas. I have to decide whether I want more free time or whether I want to continue working hard in Formula One',’ 43-year-old Berger told “Kicker” magazine, before admitting he would prefer to make a decision sooner rather than later. ‘The new season starts in March and August will come around in no time,’ the Austrian said. Berger runs BMW’s Motorsport Department alongside Dr. Mario Theissen, who has been with BMW since 1977 and oversees technical, development and engineering issues in the department.

11/7/02

Bernie shows no signs of slowing down  Bernie Ecclestone, in an interview with “The Guardian” newspaper, stated that he still has no thoughts of retiring as the commercial chief of Formula One. Ecclestone turned 72 recently. ‘I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it,’ he declared. ‘I don't need to.’ ‘Perhaps if I was working on an assembly line I wouldn't be so keen to still be putting in the hours but I love every minute, because from minute to minute I don't know what's going to happen. I have no idea what will happen next. No idea. It’s wonderful.’ Ecclestone owns a 25% stake in SLEC, the F1 Commercial trust, the balance currently held by the creditor banks acting on behalf of bankrupt German media empire Kirch, but he is still the “Boss” making the crucial commercial decisions. ‘I hope I'm in the position to say to myself, look, Bernie, you're not delivering like you used to, time to step down,’ he added. ‘I don't want others telling me that. Or I'm sick or I'm dead. They're the only ways I'll stop. But I do more now than I did 20 or 30 years ago.’ ‘If you want to bring on death early you should retire,’ he smiled. ‘Minute you stop having to do things, and thinking and working, the body takes a different direction. Especially those who have worked at high pressure for a long time.’

11/7/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Asiatech Shut Up Shop
Lauda Defends Sweeping Change
Da Matta Move Good For CART?
Shoot-Out For Williams Test-Drive
Jaguar Announce Launch Of R4
Ferrari Don't Deny Massa Link
BAR Target Meticulous Progress
F1 Applauds Liberated View
Another Radical Ferrari On Way
Niki Welcomes Webber To Jag
F1 News In Brief

11/7/02

Jaguar to launch 2003 contender  Jaguar Racing plans to unveil what is likely to be the most important Formula 1 car in the team's short history on Monday January 13. Jaguar spokesman Nav Sidhu confirmed the date when questioned by Autosport.com. It will be held in the UK, but the choice of venue has yet to be finalized. The team is the first to confirm its new car launch for 2003. As well as taking the wraps of the new racer, the event will be a means of formally introducing the team's new 'young gun' driver line-up of Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia, who have been signed to replace experienced duo Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa. There is also speculation that new senior team personnel will be named at the launch.

11/7/02

Lauda: I had to replace both drivers   Jaguar Formula 1 boss Niki Lauda claims he had no choice but to opt for youth over experience in the team's driver line-up if it is to move forward, according to an exclusive interview this week's AUTOSPORT magazine. Speaking after announcing Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia as the team's 2003 pairing, Lauda admitted that he felt ditching incumbents Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa would inject a fresh impetus into the under-performing outfit. "I was aiming for a new start and if you maintain either or both drivers then that is no new start," he said. "My worry is that if Pedro had stayed and Webber came in and was three tenths quicker, then he would be happy and stay three tenths quicker. So to get Mark and Antonio, without any team orders, properly going against each other is the best way forward. "It was difficult because I had to replace two drivers who I like very much, and especially because Pedro had a contract. But if you look at the team and what we have to achieve here, then you can see I had to do it."

11/7/02

Kiss and tell   This F1i.com article says, While in a London nightclub recently, David Coulthard bumped into the girl who kiss and told a British tabloid about their night of passion. McLaren's David Coulthard probably remembers unknown model Elle Taylor for all the wrong reasons after they shared a night of passion together. The Scottish driver was still engaged to Heidi Wichlinski when he met the 21-year old and spent the night with her in a top London hotel. Taylor then sold her story to one of Britain's tabloid newspapers giving all the details about DC's maneuvers and speedy nature. It caused Wichlinski and Coulthard to split up and he was rumored to have paid his ex-fiancée $4.5 million as a 'pay-off.'   The Scot was apparently very unimpressed when he bumped into young Ms Taylor, who is now dating a member of a boyband, at a London bar recently. "I bumped into David at China Whites bar in London," she told The News of the World. "He gave me the look he gives Michael Schumacher when the German whizzes past him on the track." It was obviously a very restrained reaction by David Coulthard, unless she actually meant that he gave her the same salute as he did when battling with Michael Schumacher at the French Grand Prix in 2000.

11/7/02

Scenes from ALMS test in Mexico City  A Panoz LMP900 sports car Tuesday became the first racing car to record a lap at the “new” Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, the newest venue for the American Le Mans Series in 2003. Originally built in 1959, the circuit is the former home for both the Mexican Formula One Grand Prix as well as a round of the former World Sportscar Championship.  Here are some photos below.  Full Story.

11/7/02

Tales of past races in Mexico City  We thought you would find this Valvoline article that tells tales of past CART races in Mexico City in 1980 and 1981.  CART concludes its season November 17 in Mexico City, and for a few making the trip, their most sincere hope will be that it will not be déjà vu all over again. Forget about the tribal spirits that supposedly cause havoc at Talladega. Never mind the weird goings-on in the old spinach farm at Pocono. No place in modern history produced more bizarre happenings than Mexico City when CART visited in 1980 and 1981.  Story

11/6/02
Industry News

Shunck named MIS Director of PR  Steve Shunck, whose experience includes CART, NASCAR, and ABC Sports has been named Director of Public Relations for Michigan International Speedway, MIS President Brett Shelton announced today. Shunck, a Whitehouse, Ohio native will oversee media and public relations for the state’s largest sporting facility and brings over a decade of experience in the motorsports and broadcast industry. “We are pleased to have someone with Steve’s experience and background in the motorsports industry added to the team at MIS,” said Shelton. “It is a great homecoming for Steve and I know he will be eager to work with past and new colleagues in the media and the community.” Shunck, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Sports Studies Management from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, was most recently Director of Broadcast Public Relations for Championship Auto Racing Teams where he was responsible for assisting all electronic media and served as a network liaison for CART with their broadcast partners. Shunck was also the Senior Manager, Broadcast Communications for NASCAR where he served as the primary liaison with local and national television stations for footage, interviews and highlights. He also served as the Assistant to the Producer for ABC sports from 1989-1995. “I’m excited to be able to work for such a first-class organization such as Michigan International Speedway,” said Shunck. “I remember coming to my first race here in 1972 and watching my idol Bobby Unser win the pole position. It’s an honor to work for a facility that has so much history. NASCAR and the Indy Racing League have held great events here and I look forward to being a part of the growth of the facility.”

11/6/02

Dave Blaney comments on friend Tony Stewart becoming the champion  Blaney recently commented on Stewart's position atop the Winston Cup point standings as both return to Phoenix International Raceway, where each enjoyed career-highlight moments as open-wheel competitors before committing to NASCAR as their respective career-paths. "The teams that were all in the running with a six weeks to go were all there for good reason, but I believed Tony's team was the best top-to-bottom of any of that group and would end up in front down the stretch. Historically, his team has been really strong over the final third of the season, including Phoenix where he won in 1999 and Homestead where he won in both 1999 and 2000. "Joe Gibbs' organization won the title just two years ago with Bobby (Labonte) and the owner knows what kind of commitment it takes from the team to win championships and they seemed to come into this season-despite all the distractions-with that goal in mind from the start. It will be pretty amazing if Tony can win the championship and come back from three DNF's in his first nine races, including last-place in the Daytona 500. That's a pretty good comeback." "If he does win it, I think he'll be a great champion, better than a lot of people may think. I believe you'll see some of the frustration we've seem from time to time with him disappear, and I think he'll have a good feeling for what it will mean to be the person in the sport that people will look to as the defending champion. When the championship race started to get down to the stretch-run, I believed the fact that Tony has a real level head in the car and that he might have been a little hungrier than the others would play a big part in how it all came out. "I know Mark (Martin) has raced for years without winning one-and he certainly should have as great a career as he's had-but I just had a sense that his team had all the pieces in place to be there at the end. I've raced against Tony more in the past couple of years than I ever did in open-wheel cars, bbut you didn't have to look hard and see that he could drive and win in any kind of car he ever raced. "Because he's won championships in all the USAC divisions, won races in IRL, and won in NASCAR, Tony's going to be the kind of champion that will popular with a wide range of race fans from a lot of different disciplines. I can sure appreciate that, and I hope that's where we continue to go as a sport."

11/6/02

CART to hold B2B forum in Mexico City  Continuing what has been a concerted effort this season to help teams educate prospective sponsors, Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc., (CART), announced today that it will hold a Business to Business Forum Friday Nov. 15 at 8:30 a.m. The forum will take place at the Hotel Presidente InterContinental Mexico in conjunction with the Gran Premio Telmex/Gigante presented by Banamex/Visa. Following on the heels of a very successful gathering in Fontana, California, where many key players in the business community attended a similar forum, the Mexico City B2B Forum is designed to provide investors and businesses with a thorough understanding of the financial opportunities that exist in CART. Scheduled speakers at the event include Christopher R. Pook, President and CEO of CART, Jorge Quintanilla, Director, Gigante Racing, and Guillermo Fernandez, Director of Marketing, Telmex. "CART is taking a leadership position as it pertains to providing a sports marketing environment that is conducive to the creation of new business opportunities," said Mr. Pook. "This B2B Forum, held in conjunction with our Mexico City race, is an excellent opportunity for those companies not currently using our sports marketing platform to come and check us out. It is also a chance to get in on the ground floor with CART and build company awareness as NAFTA increases the abilities of companies to do business throughout North America." The forum is especially vital to CART's new Latino Marketing Initiative, which is structured to reach out to Spanish-speaking fans, teams, and companies. The series' official website www.cart.com has recently added a new Spanish-language section and now translates all of its press releases to Spanish.

11/6/02

Harvick sets 2003 Busch schedule  Kevin Harvick Will Compete in 15 Busch Races at 13 tracks in 2003 Kevin Harvick may not have the same effect on NASCAR Busch Series ticket sales that Tiger Woods has on ticket sales for professional golf events, but next year's race schedule for the 2001 series champion should make the workload of 13 promoters a bit lighter today after Richard Childress Racing announced his 2003 schedule. Harvick will ignite the engine of the No. 21 PayDay Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing in 15 events at 13 different tracks in 2003. His season starts with a rush of pressure at Daytona International Speedway for the Koolerz 300 on Feb. 15. He will want to win that one for his sponsor, Hershey, which makes both PayDay candy bars and Koolerz gum. Current RCR talent Johnny Sauter will assume duties as secondary driver of the No. 21 PayDay Chevrolet beginning on February 22, at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, N.C. Along with his duties as secondary driver, Sauter will play a vital role in maintaining the No. 21 PayDay team's run at an owner's championship.

11/6/02
Industry News

Watch China. Europe will be third world in comparison in 10 years' time.  AR1 has been saying this for two years now.  Finally the world is waking up.  "Trust me, watch China. Europe will be third world in comparison in 10 years' time." That's the view of Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone in a rare interview with the UK newspaper The Guardian. And he's not alone in his thinking this; the emergence of China as a sporting superpower will be discussed by a panel of industry experts at the forthcoming SportBusiness Seminar, China: Opportunities in the Business of Sport. The sport industry in China is worth an estimated $5 billion a year; The problem is knowing how to take advantage of this potential; which partners to work with, how the business culture differs, how to hurdle the barriers to entry, how to get regional and local government on your side. China: Opportunities in the Business of Sport will throw some light on these crucial issues. This half day seminar, in association with Norton Rose, is a unique opportunity to gain an understanding of what is arguably the largest sports market in the world, from the people that have already done so. The seminar, is in London on November 27th.  With Chris Pook keen on China, and CART rumored to possibly be going to Beijing, we suspect CART will be in attendance at this seminar.  Perhaps they will send any sponsor rep who questions why CART wants to be in China.

11/6/02

New Daytona appointment  Denny Kane, who has served as Director of Publicity and Business Development at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) since 1999, has been named Sr. Director of Media and Communications at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). Speedway President Robin Braig made the announcement today. Kane will assume his duties Dec. 2.   Kane, a native of nearby New Smyrna Beach, will direct the marketing of DIS advertising and image campaigns to support DIS and DAYTONA USA's public relations efforts.
Kane began his motorsports career at Daytona International Speedway in 1985 and in 1994 moved on to become PR manager for the Anheuser-Busch NASCAR racing program through the 1998 season. In 1999, he was named Director of Publicity and Business Development at PIR "I am excited to have Kenny join what is an already talented team here at Daytona International Speedway," said Braig, who served as President of PIR from 1999-2002. "Kenny's experience and knowledge of the motorsports industry will be a valuable addition to our team and will play an integral part in DIS's continued growth."   "To be given the opportunity to work at a world-class sporting facility like Daytona International Speedway is exciting in itself," said Kane. "To be able to return home to do it is an added bonus. I'm excited to be part of the track's exciting future and I look forward to working with the talented Daytona-based team to build on the great foundation already in place."

11/6/02

Atwood Out, Leffler In, Jim Smith and Evernham to part ways  Jim Smith and Ray Evernham have apparently come to blows over the engines that Evenham was supplying for the #7. Smith contends the engines were short on power compared to the #9 and #19 cars fielded by Evernham. Smith is planning on dissolving the partnership and plans to buy out Evenhams share of the team, but before doing so he released Casey Atwood and placed Jason Leffler behind the wheel of the #7 this week in Phoenix. No word on who will drive the #7 next year.

11/6/02

TV ratings up 13%  Through 17 telecasts, NBC & TNT have produced a 4.3 national rating/10 share (excluding this year's Daytona 500 and last year's primetime Pepsi 400 - the two races which alternate between NBC and Fox each year), representing a 13 percent increase over a 3.8/10 for the comparable races last year. This growth builds on last year's 34 percent ratings increase (3.9/10 vs. a 2.9/8) for the inaugural year of NASCAR on NBC & TNT over the comparable races in the 2000 season. TNT's coverage of last Sunday's NASCAR Winston Cup race from Rockingham, N.C. delivered a 3.0 converted national household rating/8 share, which represents a three percent improvement over last year's 2.9/8 on TNT.  NBC PR

11/6/02

Banker goes to jail  Stephen Troth, the Monaco banker who stole $20m from a number of clients, including Michael Schumacher, has been sent to jail for four and a half years. Troth was also ordered to pay a fine of $30,000. Troth had admitted to his crimes, but only after an internal audit by the bank caught him.

11/6/02

Asiatech succumbs  The Asiatech company has closed its doors and laid off its staff. The news means that more than 200 people are out of work. Asiatech has been in operation for two seasons and came into existence when a consortium, took over the Peugeot F1 project. At Suzuka the company announced that it would be taking a year out of F1 but there seems to be no hope for the future and so the program was scuttled.  Asiatech supplied engines to the Minardi team last year, but they are trying to get Ford engines for 2003.  If they can't, they are in trouble.

11/6/02

Pook says da Matta move to F1 a compliment  "Cristiano da Matta has certainly demonstrated what it takes to win a CART championship," said Pook. "Our championship winner truly must be a master of many different types of tracks and Cristiano has done that from the beginning of his CART career. He's a tremendous champion and the fact that a Formula 1 team has signed him demonstrates what a high regard that other racing organizations have for our series and our top drivers. If he can get to Formula 1 using CART as a platform, that's a big feather in our hat."

11/6/02

Ganassi fired Spencer  Jimmy Spencer's disappointing run at Chip Ganassi Racing ended Tuesday when the car owner fired him after just one season. Spencer will run the final two races in the No. 41 Dodge, then be released from the three-year contract he signed before this season. ``When we first made this deal, Jimmy and I agreed about what would happen if the results were not what either of us were happy with,'' Ganassi said. ``Obviously, both of us are not happy with the results.'' Spencer is 27th in the points and has not had a top-10 finish since August. He has only five top-10 finishes this season and never approached teammate Sterling Marlin, who led the Winston Cup points race for most of the season and is now sidelined by injury. And Jamie McMurray, Marlin's replacement, set a Winston Cup record last month by winning in just his second start. Spencer's release came just days after Ganassi team manager Andy Graves said they were committed to the driver. ``We're behind him 100 per cent and we need to finish out the season on a positive note and get ready for next year.'' Graves said on Saturday.

11/6/02

Ford and Bridgestone would make strange bedfellows  UPDATE  Dear AutoRacing1.com, Ford and Bridgestone are not such strange bedfellows. Bill Ford's maternal grandfather founded the Firestone manufacturing unit. See the story.  His paternal grandfather was Edsel Ford.  I remember reading reports when Bill Ford took over at Ford saying that he was mortified by the Ford/Bridgestone row. Now the two companies are linked by more than CART. Ed McFarlane, England  11/5/02 - This Toronto Star article says, It's no secret Pook is talking to Ford. And therein lies the irony: Two companies that have a history of bad blood could wind up sharing the new CART logo. It would read something like: The Ford CART Series, presented by Bridgestone. Al Speyer, executive director of Bridgestone Motorsports, acknowledged the possibility of being involved in a joint venture with Ford. He insisted it's a situation with which his company can live. "As long as we are getting what we pay for, we feel somebody else should as well," he said. "We are both major companies that have had a blip in time when it was not going well for either one of us. "Everything we do here has to do with our relationship with CART and nothing else." The two companies ended up pointing fingers at each other following the deaths of 271 people and more than 800 injuries after rollovers involving Ford Explorer SUVs that were equipped with Firestone tires. Firestone was the name under which the Japanese-based Bridgestone sold tires in North America. In August, 2000, Firestone recalled 6.5 million tires. Ford replaced another 13 million on its vehicles in May, 2001. Ford blamed Firestone and the tire company blamed a design flaw in the Explorer. The delay in CART finalizing a deal with Ford appears not to be an unwillingness to be linked with Bridgestone, but rather the result of budget cuts within all sectors of Ford's operation.

11/6/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Ferrari Expect Rival Resurgence
Minardi Welcomes China To F1
Irvine Ponders Rally Blast
Williams Say No To Testing Ban
Stewart Slams Equality-Push
Jaguar Deny Cash Motivation
Team Support For Refined Ralf
Autumn-Break For Formula One?

11/6/02

Schumacher moving to Switzerland  Five times World Champion Michael Schumacher has plans to relocate his family to the Vaud region of French-speaking Switzerland. The German's lawyer confirmed yesterday that Schumacher has bought new land near a village on the coast between Morges and Nyon. Schumacher, with wife Corinna and two young children, was forced to scrap plans to move to German-speaking Wolfhalden earlier this year when planning permission was denied.

11/6/02

CARA Charities event a success With over 700 people from the CART racing community participating last Friday at the Ontario (Calif.) Convention Center, the fifth edition of “runway madnessViva Las Vegas” was another huge charitable success for CARA Charities.  “Our new format was a big hit tonight,” said Mary Lou Bogner  More...

11/6/02
Industry News

More departures at Lola  PR man Chris Tate and engineer Frank Dierne (sp?) left Lola a week and a half ago.  We hear one may end up working for Don Panoz' at his Elan factory.  Chief Designer Ben Bowlby left earlier this year.  Is anyone left at Lola?

11/6/02
Industry News

EuroSpeedway secures short-term future  EuroSpeedway in Lausitz has secured monies for next season. The government of Brandenburg, Germany approved a loan of over $2 million on Tuesday in a cabinet meeting, which is to help the track stay afloat while a buyer is found. Government spokesman Erhard Thomas said, "the rescue company is in the position to lock the necessary running contracts for the coming year." The German (DTM) as well as the V8-Star and the Top Ten series are slated to race at the EuroSpeedway in 2003.

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