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DATE

News (chronologically)

11/20/02

Minardi closes on Russian sponsorship  Minardi team principal Gian Carlo Minardi has been in the Russian capital of Moscow over the past few days, speaking to numerous large companies about possible sponsorship deals for 2003. Having signed a deal with gas giants Gazprom earlier this season, and after agreeing a test deal with Russian hopeful Sergie Zlobin, Minardi hope they will be able to attract further businesses from the previously untargeted area to Formula One in the near future. Minardi, who is already evaluating a number of other promising drivers from the region, said of his recent visit: "I had an excellent welcome in Russia, where I quickly came to realize how popular the team is as the result of its links with both Gazprom and Sergei Zlobin. We took the opportunity to announce our intention of evaluating a number of young Russian drivers, some of whom have already made initial contact with the team. We were also able to reveal that we have spoken with some potential new sponsors, who are interested in using Minardi as a promotional vehicle. "I was very pleased to meet Mr Alexander Krasnenkov [Chief Executive of Gazprom] once again, this time at Gazprom's headquarters. I was able to explain to him that the Minardi team is looking forward to providing a high-profile promotional vehicle for this impressive Russian company. "As a result, we anticipate pursuing new marketing activities and events that may well go beyond the immediate sphere of Formula One™. We look forward to building on the strong relationships that have been established as a result of this very enjoyable trip."

11/20/02

Rice turns first laps at Indy  Indy Racing League driver Buddy Rice turned a top speed of 223.3 mph with Red Bull Cheever Racing on Nov. 20 in his first test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Rice, of Phoenix, completed 73 laps in a 2002-spec Dallara with Infiniti power on an unseasonably warm day at the famed 2.5-mile oval. Skies were partly to mostly sunny with temperatures in the mid-50s. “I think Indy is quite exciting and challenging,” said Rice, who made his Indy Racing debut in July 2002 with Red Bull Cheever. “For my first time out, it was fun and fast. I really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to come back and see what it is like with the rest of the field out there with me.” Rice, 26, arrived at the Speedway with a veteran team that has already tasted success at Indy, as owner-driver Eddie Cheever Jr. won the 1998 Indianapolis 500. “We wanted Buddy to get in some miles at the Speedway so he could go home and think about it over the winter,” Cheever said. “Everything we do is geared for winning the Indianapolis 500.”

11/20/02

EU pushes ahead with tobacco ban  The FIA is awarding races outside of Europe as fast as they can. There is a reason, and it is political. They are prepared to put pressure on the EU over tobacco. Spa was also a victim of the political seesaw going on over tobacco in Europe. Todat the European Parliament voted through a proposal to outlaw cigarette advertising at international sporting events throughout the EU. The Parliament in Strasbourg voted 311 to 202 with 39 abstentions to accept the tough new restrictions on tobacco advertising, which replaces an earlier EU ban which was thrown out by the European Court of Justice. EU Health and Consumer Affairs Commissioner David Byrne says that he expects governments to ratify the ban so that it can come into effect in July 2005. There is still likely to be opposition to the bill from the German government which is against such a ban. Byrne says that he is confident that the new law will not be rejected by the European Court of Justice but there are likely to be more delays as the law is being pushed through as an internal trade issue, which does not require unanimity. Those opposed to the bill say that it is a public health law. The FIA is backing a separate policy which will introduce a global ban on tobacco in motorsport from the middle of 2006. That means the EU's ban will go into effect at least 1 year prior to when the FIA wanted it to. Is Bernie pulling races out of Europe and is he aligning with the USA based CART series, a series likely to run identical engines as F1 in 2005, for a reason? You bet he is. If Bernie plays his cards right, in 2005 he will be in position to tell the EU, no more races in Europe. He will juggle the schedule around and run all races outside of Europe and utilize some of the CART venues as F1 races. Were that to happen, the political title wave in Europe will see politicians voted out of office in droves.

11/20/02

CART Stock Watch  

MPH closed at $3.90 Down $0.10 on Volume of 32,200 shares.
$3.24 Bid - $4.18 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $3.77 / $3.99
MPH Value Change Down 2.5%
DOW Jones Up 148.23 or 1.75% on Volume of 1.9 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 44.84 or 3.26%
S&P 500 Up 17.41 or 1.94%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

11/20/02

IMS appoints international firm  The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has appointed T & R Enterprise Solutions Limited of Windsor, England, as its official international marketing representative, IMS officials announced Nov. 20. T & R is responsible for promoting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway trademark and its affiliated events and entities, including the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race, the United States Grand Prix Formula One race and the Indy Racing League. “It is an honor to represent the international rights of the IRL and the world’s most famous motor speedway,” said Frank Madden, managing director of T & R. “Even non-race fans throughout the world know Indianapolis.” T & R’s primary focus is to develop the Speedway’s trademark licensing rights in Europe, Madden said. “We have concluded a number of deals already,” Madden said, “so we are optimistic on being able to grow Indy’s international revenue base.” The European market for motorsports merchandise is estimated at $400 million in annual retail sales. “Frank Madden has been working on behalf of IMS for many years, and we are pleased to appoint T & R as our trademark/licensing rights representative for the European market,” said Terry Angstadt, assistant vice president of marketing for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “There are many opportunities within the European market, and we feel that Mr. Madden and T & R can grow our business in Europe.” Madden, a native of Cleveland, has been based in Europe for the last 15 years. He has previously represented and consulted on international rights for the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the Jordan Grand Prix Formula One team and European soccer’s governing body, UEFA. IMS also has an international marketing representative in Japan, through Uni Diversified. International television rights for the IRL are distributed by ESPN.

11/20/02

Turkey GP confirmed  Istanbul will stage a Formula One race in 2005, Turkey's motor sports federation has announced. Turkish officials say F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has chosen Istanbul over Izmir and Antalya as the venue for a Turkish Grand Prix. And German architect Hermann Tilke, who designed the track at Sepang in Malaysia, is expected to complete his plans by March. A contract for the race has yet to be signed and the FIA, Formula One's governing body, would not confirm that Istanbul had been selected. But Ecclestone said in a letter to the Turkish federation this week: "I have decided upon Istanbul." "Now we need to finalize the commercial issues and the TV rights." Istanbul would be the latest city to enter F1 following the decision to award races to Shanghai and Bahrain in 2004. The new venues could see traditional European races like the Austrian Grand Prix and the San Marino Grand Prix in Imola removed from the calendar [Opening up the door for CART, a series that will be available to Bernie Ecclestone to fill in wherever F1 can't meet the demand]. Belgium has already been struck off next year's schedule, reducing the season to 16 events, although it could be reinstated for 2004. Formula One, after a season in which television ratings slumped badly, is trying to spread from its traditional European base where restrictions on tobacco advertising harm revenue potential. Ecclestone visited Istanbul, Izmir and Antalya in the summer and said at the time that Turkey had a 99.9% chance of staging a race. Turkish officials believe a Grand Prix would boost tourism in the country, which is caught up in an economic crisis. BBC Sports

11/20/02

Long Beach prepares for CART with partner Toyota  With the 29th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach just five months away, the crown jewel of the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) series will continue to thrill Southern California fans with the strong support of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Toyota has been a sponsor of the event since its inception in 1975 as a Formula 5000 race, and the company has been title sponsor of the Formula One and CART races since 1980. The 29-year partnership is the longest-running active professional sporting event sponsorship arrangement in the United States. In 2000, Toyota signed a contract that renewed its sponsorship of the Grand Prix through 2005. “Toyota is proud of the role it has played in making the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach the world-class event that it is today,” said Les Unger, national motorsports manager at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. “We look forward to working with the Grand Prix Association to grow the event to be even better over the next few years.” The 2003 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will include the 27th Annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, a world-renowned event featuring top Hollywood celebrities battling professional drivers in identically prepared Toyota Celicas. Toyota will also continue to be the title sponsor and spec-engine supplier to the Toyota Atlantic Championship Series, which will also be a featured race at the seaside circuit. 

11/20/02

Players Forsythe Racing switches to Lola  According to this Toronto Sun article, the cost of acquiring Paul Tracy by Player's/Forsythe Racing went up by about $6 million US when the Thrill from West Hill stuck to his guns in demanding new Lola chassis as part of his deal. Tracy told The Toronto Sun at the Cleveland Grand Prix this past summer that the deal breaker in his negotiations with the all-Canadian CART team was switching from its stable of Reynards to the smoother Lolas. Yesterday Bob Bexon, Player's president and chief operating officer, in announcing that the team will go with Tracy and Patrick Carpentier as drivers in 2003, said he would be taking delivery of four new Lolas next Wednesday -- at a cost of about $1 million each -- and two more before the inaugural CART race in February in St. Petersburg, Fla. But Bexon would not say that the switch to Lolas was made just to please Tracy. "We would have been the only team running Reynards," he said. "With the new Lolas we might not be great but you are on the same playing field as everyone else." Tracy said the final decision on the new chassis came in Australia just last month ago, but it was only after he persisted on Lola as his choice of cars. "The (Player's/Forsythe) engineering staff almost had me convinced to go with the Reynard," Tracy said. "But we went out for practice the next day (at Surfer's Paradise) and the Player's team was struggling badly. Player's made the decision then to go with the Lola."   We assume Forsythe will use the Reynards he has left for his second team.

11/20/02

Pirelli slams F1  Tire manufacturer Pirelli has expressed a desire to return to Formula 1, but claims that it cannot afford it (them and a lot of others). The Italian company last competed in F1 in 1986 and has 42 grand prix wins to its name, but doesn’t believe that it is a viable formula. “F1 ought to pay the manufacturers to provide tires because tires help the show at pitstops," said Pirelli president Marco Tronchetti. "Instead they request monstrous sums of money and we are forced not to take part. We’d like to return to grand prix racing, but the figures are not sustainable.”

11/20/02

Brunner promoted at Toyota  Gustav Brunner has been promoted from chief designer to technical director of Toyota. The Austrian’s promotion comes as part of many management changes in the team that are being made this winter.  Already John Howett has been named as the new president of TMG in Cologne, pushing former boss Ove Andersson sideways, and engine boss Norbert Kreyer is about to take on a more general technical role, making way for Luca Marmorini to take the top slot on the engine side.

11/20/02
Industry News

Daytona testing begins  The testing season at Daytona International Speedway kicked off this week with the True Value IROC Series. World of Outlaw competitors Danny Lasoski and Steve Kinser participated in testing on Tuesday with test drivers Andy Hillenburg, Dave Marcis and Jim Sauter. IROC matches 12 drivers from different forms of auto racing in equally prepared cars. Each driver is awarded points after each race with the champion crowned after the four 100-mile races. Lasoski and Kinser will represent the World of Outlaws and will compete in Round 1 of IROC during Speedweeks 2003 on Friday, Feb. 14.

11/20/02
 
Barker named Crew Chief  Robert "Bootie" Barker has been named as crew chief for the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford Team and driver Dave Blaney. Barker will assume his role immediately after serving two full seasons as crew chief for the #23 Bill Davis Racing team and driver Scott Wimmer in the NASCAR Busch Series. Barker, 31, is a former chassis/shock specialist for the #24 Hendrick Motorsports team for four-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon (1999-2000) and for the #22 Bill Davis Racing team and driver Ward Burton (1998-99). He rejoined BDR in fall, 2000 as crew chief for Wimmer, then a recent graduate of the American Speed Association (ASA), and flourished in his first managerial role, guiding Wimmer to four NASCAR Busch Series victories and finishes of 11th and third, respectively, in the NBS standings (2000-2001) with limited sponsorship support.

11/20/02
Industry News

Octagon red ink flows  Interpublic, the parent company of sports marketing giant Octagon says it is 'continuing to assess its strategic alternatives' regarding its motorsport holdings, as it confirmed Octagon Motorsports has lost $58.4m this year. Reporting its delayed third quarter finance figures, the advertising giant said declining revenue and higher costs at Octagon Motorsports produced a pre-tax loss of $37.4m, of $.06 per share, in the last quarter. Through nine months, the pre-tax loss at Octagon Motorsports totaled $58.4m, or $.10 per share (after-tax). The slump is the more dramatic when you consider the unit was profitable last year. The finance figures also highlighted troubles at Octagon Motorsports showpiece event, the British Grand Prix.  Said the finance statement: "Marketing services revenue dropped four percent, principally reflecting continued difficulties at Octagon Motorsports where lower attendance reversed the profitability of this year's British Grand Prix in July." Octagon had sharply increased the weekend ticket prices for the event this year. The situation leaves the future of Octagon Motorsports still shrouded in uncertainty.

11/20/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Button Relishes Villeneuve Duel
Murray Welcomes F1 Reform
Albert Park Strengthens Resolve
Russians To Test-Drive Minardi
Firman Lands Formula One Chance
Rubens: Thumbs Up To Shoot-Out Qualifying
Bernie Wakes From Digital Dream
Honor For Ferrari President LDM
Webber Ponders Pizzonia Challenge
Walker Defends Schumacher And Ferrari
Jordan Accepts Blame For Turmoil
Jenson Keyed-Up For BAR Debut
McNish Admits Future In The States
Jordan Deny Claims Of Collapse
Arrows Future 99 Percent Secure?
Barrichello In Great Shape For '03
F1 News In Brief

11/20/02

Barrichello likes 1-lap quals  Rubens Barrichello has been in Brazil for several weeks now, having enjoyed himself at the Ferrari Days event in Misano the week after the final race of the 2002 season in Japan. "Misano was a great way to end the racing year in front of all our fans and the atmosphere was fantastic," said the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver. Since then, I have been home in Brazil, having an enjoyable, but very busy time." One weekend was dedicated to the Paulista's first love, karting, as he took part in the country's most famous 500 mile endurance race. It is a traditional end of season event, and it seems that winning is also part of the tradition as the Ferrari man, teamed up with Tony Kanaan and Felipe Massa, won it for the fourth time. "It sounds like an easy sort of competition, but every champion from every category of racing in Brazil gets together the best equipment and drivers to try and win," explained Barrichello. "Just like with Ferrari, part of the secret of our success was our good preparation which meant that throughout the 500 miles race we never broke a single part, even though I had a collision with another kart, which dropped me to eighth of the 64 runners." Apart from karting and spending time on the golf course, there has been the occasional work commitment such as media interviews and a promotional event for Fiat. However, this weekend sees a change of pace, as Barrichello takes part in a competition where engines are not involved. "I am competing in a triathlon race; running, swimming and cycling" revealed the Brazilian, who evidently likes to keep busy all the time. "Running is probably my strongest discipline out of the three and swimming the weakest. I had 20 lessons and pretty much stopped swimming when I was six! But I'm looking forward to it." Rubens has been training hard for this, spending a long weekend with friends in the very hot north of the country, in preparation for the triathlon. "I have actually lost more weight now than I did during the season," he said. "Physically, I'm in great shape, for whenever I have to get back in a Formula 1 car, although I am not sure when that will be." Barrichello has been keeping in touch with his Ferrari colleagues back in Italy as well studying the changes to the F1 regulations, which come into effect from the start of the 2003 season. "The one lap for qualifying is a good idea," admitted the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver. "Not just because of the enjoyment of having to put 101% effort into the single lap, but also because we will be alone on the track with no traffic. It was getting to a point in several qualifying sessions where we often had problems running with other cars on their warm up or slow down laps." "It will be interesting to see how it works out, because there is always the chance that it might rain for part of the qualifying hour, even if that was not the case very often in the past. Once in a while, I guess it will shake up what we have come to accept as the usual grid order and that will certainly make the race fun for the spectators. I think this will also mean more people will be interested in coming to the track on Friday and Saturday." Ferrari

11/20/02

Minardi in Russia  KL Minardi team founder, Gian Carlo Minardi, yesterday returned from an important, week-long trip to Moscow, during which he attended a number of meetings with senior members of the Russian motorsport community as well as spending time with members of the media. Minardi was also honored to visit the Kremlin as a private guest.  Accompanied by his son, Giovanni, Minardi powered through a busy schedule that included taking part in press conferences on three consecutive days, hosted respectively by Sergey V Ouchakov, the General Secretary of the Russian Automobile Federation, Alexander V Krasnenkov, member of the Executive Board of the team's newest commercial partner, Gazprom, and Minardi test driver, Sergey Zlobin, along with personnel from his management team. During this last event, it was confirmed that Zlobin would continue in his role as a test driver for Minardi in 2003, and that the team would work with the young Russian driver with the ultimate aim of preparing him for Formula One.   "I had an excellent welcome in Russia, where I quickly came to realize how popular the team is as the result of its links with both Gazprom and Sergey Zlobin," commented Gian Carlo Minardi on his return to Italy. "Media attention was high throughout the visit, and I enjoyed meeting with members of the Russian press on several occasions. We took the opportunity to announce our intention of evaluating a number of young Russian drivers, some of whom have already made initial contact with the team. We were also able to reveal that we have spoken with some potential new sponsors, who are interested in using Minardi as a promotional vehicle."  "I was very pleased to meet Mr Alexander Krasnenkov once again, this time at Gazprom's headquarters. I was able to explain to him that the Minardi team is looking forward to providing a high-profile promotional vehicle for this impressive Russian company. As a result, we anticipate pursuing new marketing activities and events that may well go beyond the immediate sphere of Formula One."   "Speaking personally, I wish to thank all those who extended such a warm welcome to us while we were in Russia, and I am particularly grateful for having been invited to visit the Kremlin as a private guest. It was a very special honor and a unique experience, for which I must sincerely thank our Russian hosts. We look forward to building on the strong relationships that have been established as a result of this very enjoyable trip."  Supporting the visit, a Minardi Formula One car was displayed outside Gazprom's Moscow headquarters. Despite the plunging temperatures and chill winds of an approaching Russian winter, it attracted considerable interest, both from members of the public and from enthusiastic company employees, many of whom took the opportunity to view a current Formula One car for the first time.  Minardi

11/20/02

Classic Paul Tracy  Paul Tracy had a stack of his Team Green clothing in his bus in Mexico City. A fan walked by and he threw her a shirt. Then, as Chris Pook walked by, he began throwing all his stuff to a frenzy of Mexicans. It was hilarious. The fans hung around for more, but he was done. The hospitality crew at Mo Nunn also gave away boxes of old stuff to Mexican fans afterwards. Tracy will be a legend in Mexico for years to come. That was classic Tracy.

11/19/02

CART stock watch  

MPH closed at $4.00 Down $0.10 on Volume of 19,600 shares.
$3.36 Bid - $4.31 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $3.87 / $4.10
MPH Value Change Down 2.44%
DOW Jones Down 11.79 or 0.14% on Volume of 1.67 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 19.18 or 1.38%
S&P 500 Down 3.62 or 0.40%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

11/19/02

BG Lubricants ups ante in Toyota Atlantic series  BG Products Inc. of Wichita, Kansas announced today that they will increased their participation in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship as the series heads into its 30th season. BG Products has been named the “Official Lubricant of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship”. In addition, beginning with the 2003 season, BG Products will double its award for the BG Products Rookie of the Year by presenting $10,000 to the winner. Also new for 2003, BG Products will award $1,000 to each race winner provided the BG crankcase and gearbox oils are being used in the racecar. The likelihood for each team to be using the line from BG Products is high as the company will provide the products to the teams free of charge. "BG Products began its association with the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Series in 1996," said Sherry Huxtable, Racing and Promotions Manager for BG. "During the ensuing years we have been very impressed not only with the professionalism of the organization, but also with the friendliness and attitude of its people. We are proud and pleased to become an official sponsor of this series. The highly competitive atmosphere will be a great venue for our corporate hospitality program, as well as an excellent proving ground for our fine products." "I am very happy to welcome BG Products, Inc. to the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship series,” said CART Toyota Atlantic Championship President, Vicki O’Connor. “BG Products have been a long time supporter of motor racing and we feel very privileged that they have chosen the Atlantic series as the newest addition to their sponsorship program. I look forward to working with both Sherry Huxtable and Dennis Rosson of BG Products as well as nurturing a relationship that should be beneficial to both parties.”

11/19/02

Players announces 2003 lineup  UPDATED  We have added photos from today's announcement.  11/19/02 - Team Player’s announced its drivers’ lineup for the 2003 CART Championship today, as Patrick Carpentier returns for his sixth season and fellow Canadian Paul Tracy signs on as his new teammate. “We are delighted to have two exceptionally talented drivers who are immensely popular with racing fans, not only for their on-track achievements but also because of their personality, which has made both of them outstanding ambassadors for Canadian auto racing,” said Bob Bexon, President and Chief Operating Officer of Player’s Ltd.

11/19/02

Chat live with da Matta  2002 CART FedEx Champion Cristiano da Matta will be on CART.com live at 11:00 AM Wednesday 11/20/02.  Click here.

11/19/02
Announcement 
Forums back online   For those of you trying to use our forums the last few days, they are back up and running again.
11/19/02
 
Wells-Fargo to sponsor Petty car  Wells Fargo Financial, the North American consumer finance subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company, announced today it has finalized an agreement to sponsor the Petty Enterprises #45 Georgia-Pacific Dodge driven by Kyle Petty beginning in 2003. Wells Fargo Financial will partner with Kyle, Georgia-Pacific, and the entire Petty Enterprises team to build on its successful program in NASCAR.

11/19/02

McNish to pick IRL or CART  Allan McNish is heading to the US next season and will choose between drives in ChampCars and the IRL. McNish, who lost his Toyota drive after just one year in Formula 1, recently tested a Penske IRL car at California Speedway last month. In an exclusive interview with ITV-F1.com, the Scot said he was yet to decide between the series and its Stateside rival, CART. He said: "I’m not at the point of making any announcements at the moment. There’s two things really. "The IRL looks like a strong option in terms of racing but on the other side CART seems to building up again as a series. So I’ve got to make sure I make the right decision." Whatever he chooses, McNish says he wants a multi-year deal. He said: "I’m trying to look at which is the best way to go as any decision I make is going to be for two years."

11/19/02

Tracy slams Green  In this Toronto Star article, Paul Tracy slams Barry Green for the way he was treated by Team Green, but mostly that he was deceived when Andretti came to the team and again when the team was sold to Andretti.

11/19/02

Da Matta to appear on Letterman  Recently-crowned 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series champion Cristiano da Matta of Newman/Haas Racing will kick off the annual CART champion's media tour in New York City tonight with a scheduled appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman on CBS (check local listings for air time in your area), continuing a tradition of having the CART series champion on the popular late night television show. Da Matta, who wrapped up his first CART championship by winning the Grand Prix Americas in Miami in early October, is one of just five drivers to have won seven races in a Champ Car season. The Brazilian also scored a season-best seven pole positions en route to the title. Following tonight's show that will also feature recording artist Shania Twain and model Heidi Klum, da Matta will continue the champion's tour back to the site where he clinched the championship for CART's annual awards banquet Friday in Miami. Letterman, the icon of late-night talk-show television, has been a minority-interest owner with CART's Team Rahal since 1996 and three-time CART champion Bobby Rahal.

11/19/02

F1 costs must be cut says Mosley  In this DailyF1 article, Max Mosley, the FIA President, says automotive manufacturers currently involved in Formula One might be forced to withdraw from the sport in the coming years and those contemplating entering the sport could be turned away if more stringent cost cutting measures are not implemented. The Englishman, speaking this week in a video link-up with organisers of the Australian Grand Prix during a function to launch the 2003 race, reaffirmed his belief that teams needed to agree on the ratification of more widespread cost cutting to make the sport more accessible. Top teams such as Ferrari and McLaren-Mercedes spend nearly $500 million a year on their Championship attacks and it costs $50 million a year alone to run and maintain cars, a figure that does not include performance development. "I think we may see other manufacturers coming into F1 but I think that depends very much on getting the costs down," Mosley said. "We've not been as successful as I would like us to have been at getting down the costs. The problem has been to get agreement among the teams. If it goes on getting more and more expensive, then I think manufacturers that are not currently in it will be inclined to say it's perhaps not as good value as they would like and maybe even one or two manufacturers that are in it might stop, so I'm keeping the pressure on all the time." Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker, has declared through its boss Bernd Pischetsrieder that F1's running costs would need to be more reasonable for it to seriously consider Championship entry. The group's luxury brand Audi has been long been linked to entering Formula One to take on road rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz in motorsport's top echelon. One of the most well known cost cutting suggestions has been to force teams to run one-engine-driver-per-weekend. Teams have agreed in principle to introducing this for the 2004 season. But Mosley says there is still a long way to go. "The teams can do a large number of things that could be done which wouldn't interfere with the spectacle, or the sporting contest at all but would make it significantly cheaper to compete," he said. The Technical Working Group, which meets early next month, will also discuss cost-cutting proposals. Mosley also expressed concern about Formula One's more immediate future and the financial health of some lesser teams. He suspected there were more outfits than just Arrows on rocky financial ground. "It would be nice to have 22 cars on the grid next year," he said, "but I think 20 is more probable as the number, not necessarily because they are Arrows, but because there are another team or two that are not 100 hundred per cent in good shape. "We are just keeping our fingers crossed that they will all be there in March."

11/19/02

Arrows bid put on hold  The Arrow's team bid to put itself into administration while it seeks to secure its financial future has been put on hold following a High Court ruling on Monday. Reuters has reported that lawyers acting for Arrows will apply to adjourn the administration petition (due for December 2) until Mr. Justice Lightman decides if the major creditor, Morgan Grenfell has security over Arrows assets. This separate hearing will take place on December 9 at the High Court and last over a week. It could lead to Morgan Grenfell seeking to appoint an administrative receiver over Arrows' assets.

11/19/02

Ferrari boss lashes out at new rules  Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo reckons F1’s new points system is a mistake and has predicted it will be scrapped soon. Montezemolo has launched a stinging attack on F1 lawmakers, accusing them of lacking a sense of direction and of going around in circles. He is particularly unhappy with the new points system, which he says does not reward the race winner enough and could lead to a driver becoming champion without winning a race. Montezemolo said: "Formula 1 seems to be going around in circles. "This was changed to avoid that someone could win the championship without ever winning a single race. The difference between in points between first and second place is too little. "Shortly someone will understand it's a mistake and will change it again. I have a lot of patience, and I hope to have some more in the future."  ITV-F1.com

11/19/02
Industry News

Comprehensive rebuild for Fuji  Toyota will fire-up their 2002 contender, the V10-powered TF102, for a blast at the recently acquired Fuji International Speedway on November 24 (this Sunday). The Formula One demonstration will be Fuji's final showcase in its existing configuration as Toyota embarks on a comprehensive rebuild.  With F1 locked in at Suzuka for what would seem like forever (attendance good and drivers rate track excellent) and the IRL locked n at Honda's other track Motegi, it's too bad CART and Toyota were not on better terms because a CART race at the Fuji road course not too far from Tokyo makes a lot of sense.  If Toyota is going to spend a lot of money to upgrade the circuit, it really deserves to land a big race.

11/19/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Two More Teams Set To Crumble?
Ecclestone Welcomes Webber Rise
Sauber To Launch In February
Arrows Update: Court Protection Stalled
Bernie To Sponsors: Keep The Faith
F1 Plans The Return Of Slicks
Stoddart Considers CART Assault
Blundell Swaps Four Wheels For Two
Jordan Tackles African Adventure
Montoya Returns To Native Colombia
Testing Rules Will Catch On: Mosley
F1 News In Brief

11/19/02

Mexico City feedback  Dear AutoRacing1.com, Anyone that watched the race Sunday had to impressed with the huge crowd. CART certainly is not dead nor is it on life support. From the silly season page. I count 24 cars that I think will be on the gird next year. Let's hope it pans out. Also with talk of Estoril, d Brands Hatch, night races in Cleveland and Milwaukee, 2003 will be a great year will new teams, drivers and tracks. Yes, many big names and teams are leaving, but the new drivers and teams will replace them and make names for themselves, much as Cristiano, Kenny Brack, Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan and others have done for themselves the last several years in CART. I am looking forward to 2003 with much excitement and anticipation. I seem to remember hearing that Bernie is involved with or part of the Brands Hatch ownership group. Obviously, if it is being talked about as a possible venue (not to mention other European road courses) Bernie is on board and this is a big shot in the arm for CART. The silence from The Hammerman, Jack Arute, Indianapolis Star, other IRL brownnosers is deafening. My nominations for man of the year are Chris Pook and Paul Tracy. I'm making may race travel plans for 2003 now.  Michael Crane

11/18/02
 
Homestead overnight ratings up  Tony Stewart's Winston Cup championship ride on NBC produced an 18 percent jump in overnight ratings from last year's Homestead-Miami race. The network said Monday the Ford 400 earned a 4.5 rating and 9 share in the overnights, the highest-rated overnight in the four years of the Homestead-Miami event, according to Nielsen Media Research. Last year's race drew an overnight rating of 3.8 and an 8 share. For the first time since 1997, the Winston Cup championship came down to the final race of the season.

11/18/02

Fran-Am Series to be support race in St. Pete  The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg announced today that the finale of next year’s Fran-Am 2000 Winter World Championship will be contested during its race weekend, Feb. 21-23, 2003, as a support race to the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) Series event. The Fran-Am 2000 Winter Series sponsored by Michelin International, in the weeks prior to the St. Petersburg event, will race in Florida at Sebring International Raceway and Homestead Raceway. In 2002, the Fran-Am Michelin 2000 Series ran with CART at the Molson Indy Montreal and Molson Indy Vancouver. "We are proud to be part of the inaugural Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. We couldn’t hope for a better setting for the conclusion of our five-round first winter championship. We are convinced that spectators will greatly appreciate our fiery young talents, " said Fran-Am President and CEO Thierry Burckhart. "Fran-Am is very serious about developing new American racers and we are doing everything we can to make easy, affordable and to provide the right rewards and incentives."  The Fran-Am 2000 race is expected to run on Sunday, Feb. 23, with qualifying to take place on Saturday, Feb. 22. For information on the Fran-Am series, visit www.fran-am.com. Other Grand Prix of St. Petersburg support races will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets for the 2003 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg are on sale now by calling 1-888-34-SPEED or by visiting the Web site at www.gpstpete.com. For more information on group tickets

11/18/02

CART stock watch  

MPH closed at $4.10 Up $0.09 on Volume of 25,300 shares.
$3.48 Bid - $4.42 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.10 / $4.20
MPH Value Change Up 2.24%
DOW Jones Down 92.52 or 1.08% on Volume of 1.58 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 17.45 or 1.24%
S&P 500 Down 9.47 or 1.04%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

11/18/02
 
Busch extends NASCAR contract  Anheuser-Busch has extended its long-standing sponsorship deal with NASCAR in a new five-year deal. The firm will remain as the title sponsor of the Busch feeder series until 2007. It has been the title sponsor of the series since 1982. It also retains the rights as 'official beer' and sponsors of the Bud Pole Award of the premier NASCAR Winston Cup series.

11/18/02

Sky Sports to air CART in 2003?  In the UK, Sky Sports (as hoc CART broadcaster in 2002) stated last night after the CART Mexican race that they hope to cover CART next year.  However, CART is going to have to take a serious look at Eurosport again if it wants to reach race fans throughout Europe.  That's really the only broadcaster in Europe that reaches just about everyone.  We get numerous emails complaining about everything else CART has tried.  Eurosport may not be perfect, but it reaches the masses.

11/18/02

Wally hangs it up for good  We spoke to longtime CART Chief Steward Wally Dallenbach in the airport on the way back from Mexico City.  When asked is Wally "was that your last race?"  To which he replied, "yes, it was my last race in an official capacity."  Half grinning he said, "If I come back it will be as a cook or something."  Dallenbach came out of retirement to help CART transition in their new Chief Steward Chris Kneifel.  Wally feels Chris is ready to take on the job solo and will now enjoy life on his farm in Colorado. 

11/18/02

Arrows entry said to be accepted  Oliver Berhing, the figurehead behind the new owners of the Arrows team, has asserted in German media that the FIA has accepted Arrows’ submission to enter the 2003 Championship. The FIA is expected to announce further details about the Arrows situation in early December when the Governing Body’s World Council holds its final meeting of the year. Berhing’s unquoted belief that the application was accepted would seem to indicate that the Governing Body is eager to see Arrows stay afloat amid concerns over teams dropping out of the sport due to financial problems. The FIA is in a position to refuse Arrows’ entry into the Championship given its breaches of the Concorde Agreement by failing to attend the final five races of the 2002 series. Berhing, a German financier, recently led a consortium of investors to buy into the ailing Arrows team as part of a rescue deal. Included in this group is Dubai’s Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, a heavyweight in the Emirates airline and an owner of a stable of outstanding racehorses.  DailyF1

11/18/02
Industry News

Last RPM2Night  The final RPM2Night show with John Kernan will air tonight on ESPN2.  The show, which highly favored NASCAR and neglected open wheel racing, even after NASCAR dumped the ABC/ESPN network and banned them from all NASCAR tracks, will be missed by many NASCAR fans.

11/18/02

Mexican fans dedicated to CART  The CART drivers are heroes to the Mexican fans, so much so that they are willing to spend every last penny they have to buy tickets.  Although the minimum monthly salary for wage earners is approximately $150, of the 26 million Mexico City population, there are still millions who make far more than that.  Consider the following ticket prices (in US dollars) and what a sacrifice it must be for them to buy such expensive tickets.  The fact that the grandstands were sold out just underscores the magnitude of this event.

1. Inside Pit Grandstands....US $280
2. Stands outside )PITS) US $200
3. 1st turn outside US $140
4. 1st turn inside US $105
5. Turns 4-8(old Estadio section) US $140
6. Esses US $105
7. Baseball stadium US $105 to US $80
8. Peraltada (outside) US $140
9. General Admission US $35

11/18/02

Forsythe buys Lolas  Gerald Forsythe has purchased Chip Ganassi's left over Lola cars to use for his second team next year.  With Ganassi moving his whole team to the IRL, he won't be needing the Lolas anymore.  On our rumors page we talk about Forsythe's second team.

11/18/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Webber: Full Support For F1 Reform
Renault: F1 Is Unfinished Business
Toyota Don't Expect To Win - Yet
Roman Fisichella Resigned To Jordan
Brabham Lauds Aussie Cohort Webber
F1 Authorities Slam World Champions
Heidfeld Satisfied With Sauber Form
Michelin Target Wet-Weather Progress
Jordan Insist 'We Will Survive'
Mansell: Schu and Montoya My Favourites
Australian Grand Prix Is Go!
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F1 News In Brief

11/18/02

Latinos confirm support for CART  A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Mr. Levinson's article about the race in Mexico City gets it 100% as to how "latinos" all over the world feel about "CART" racing, It is a great product and it is just too bad that one person whose only interest is to be the "GOD" of open wheel racing is trying very hard to destroy the sport we love so much! We the fans that attend "CART" races in Long Beach, Miami, Denver, Cleveland, Portland, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Elkhart Lake, Mid Ohio, Surfers Paradise, Laguna Seca, Monterrey and Mexico City with our presence at this events speak loud and clear as to what series we like! The fans that rather drink milk go to enjoy tracks around the "STATES" all to themselves, We the "CART" fans if we don't get to our seats way before the race starts have to deal with each other and hope that we'll have at least 45 minutes to make it to the other side of the bridge! But, YES indeed Mr. Cipolloni the Phoenix will rise! And may God (the one up there, not the one at the Brickyard} Bless people like Mr. Pook, Paul Tracy and yourself for believing like we do in "CART" and I hope Michael and company enjoy the crowds and the WWF of motorsports! Jorge Custodio, Rancho Cucamonga, CA.

11/17/02

ALMS makes demo laps at CART race in Mexico City  A huge crowd of Mexican race fans got a taste of the American Le Mans Series as series stars Stefan Johansson and Gunnar Jeannette hit the revitalized Mexico City circuit for demonstration laps in conjunction with today’s CART season finale race. The American Le Mans Series will race at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez for the first time April 4-6, 2003. The race will be the second of the 2003 season for the sports car endurance racing series. Before hundreds of thousands of fans at today’s Telemex Gigante Grand Premio of Mexico, Johansson drove the Champion Racing Audi R8 and Jeannette steered the Panoz Motor Sports Panoz LMP-01. The laps were designed to demonstrate the Prototype race cars to the attending fans and whet their appetite for next year’s event. Mexican driver Jimmy Morales shared the Panoz with Jeannette in the final two demonstration runs. Johansson and Jeannette were stunned by the overwhelming welcome they received from the Mexican race fans. “Compared to when I raced here in Formula One, the circuit is really unbelievable,” said Johansson. “They really have done an amazing job at the facilities and looking at the reaction from the fans, I think the race here will be one of the highlights of the season.” The chance to try the circuit was an incredible experience for the 20-year-old Jeannette, who was still in grade school when the famed circuit last hosted Formula One and World Sportscar Championship races. “The reaction from the fans was a huge shock for everybody,” said Jeannette. “The circuit is fantastic, the organization brilliant and the facilities will probably be the best we race at all year. “The attention to detail is what has really impressed me,” said Jeannette. “Our truck drivers even had an official escort from the U.S. border right to the circuit. “I have never signed so many autographs in my life and we were only here for a demonstration,” Jeannette said. “This race could be the biggest event of the ALMS year.” The American Le Mans Series cars took to the track four times during the CART weekend, including twice on race day. Promotion for next year’s event has already begun with enormous banners for the race displayed around the circuit today and thousands of fliers distributed to attendees. Today’s CART FedEx Championship Series event was the first at the circuit since it was revitalized into a state-of-the-art venue. American promoter Gerald Forsythe joined forces with Mexican entertainment corporation CIE to rebuild the circuit and promote both the ALMS and CART events.

11/17/02

CART breaks all records in Mexico City  Today's crowd of 174,866 shattered the attendance record for a single-day sporting event in Mexico. The previous record of 132,247 was set in 1993 when Mexican boxer Julio Caesar Chavez fought at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.  The 3-day attendance was 351,872, also a CART record.  CART finished with a season total attendance of 2,686,640 for the 19 races, also a CART record.  That equates to 141,402 per event.

11/17/02

Rookie Lotterer makes impressive start  German rookie driver Andre Lotterer had never raced a CART Champ Car before today.  Driving the Dale Coyne entry, a team that has only raced one other time this year (i.e. not considered the best team) during the race set the fastest lap of the race three laps in a row.

11/17/02

Seen in Mexico - II  Seen in the Fernández Racing pits was Carlos Slim Helu, 60, Latin America's wealthiest businessman, and one of the 25 wealthiest men in the world according to Forbes Magazine, and known as the Warren Buffet of Latin America.  For the past two decades, he has shown an uncanny ability to spot undervalued companies and turn them into lean, profitable machines. Over the years, he has built an industrial, retail, and telecommunications empire with about $16 billion in annual sales. His best-known company is Telefonos de Mexico (Telmex), the giant Mexican telecom that he bought in partnership with Southwestern Bell Corp. and France Telecom when it was privatized in 1990. In recent years, Telmex American depositary receipts have been one of the most widely traded shares on the New York Stock Exchange. And he also owns Prodigy Inc., the third-largest Internet service provider in the U.S. In addition, he has a financial services group called Grupo Financiero Inbursa, and an industrial-retail conglomerate, Grupo Carso.

11/17/02

Seen in Mexico  Well liked CART board member Ralph Sanchez was in the CART paddock in Mexico City looking healthy again from a recent illness.

11/17/02

Heard on TV  UPDATE This SEEDTV article says it all about the tension in Team Green because he refused to be a turncoat/traitor and jump to the IRL with the rest of the team - Matters reached the boiling point during this morning’s practice session, when Tracy pulled into the pits, threw his steering wheel from the car, exited the car and physically confronted race engineer Steve Challis before the two were separated. Tracy’s day only got worse when he blew an engine midway through the afternoon qualifying session. “The story of my year . . .” he said. Asked about the earlier incident, he said, “the car was way off this morning and they wouldn’t make the changes I was asking for. If they weren’t going to make the changes I wanted, why should I even bother? Why should I be out there wasting my time?”  11/17/02 -  Jimmy Vasser said on the CART qualifying broadcast Saturday “I mean, it’s not like we are TKG, our cars are equal.” Was that a jab at Honda and TKG for not giving Paul Tracy, who elected not to defect to the rival IRL series along with Andretti and Franchitti, the equipment he needs?

11/17/02

FIA slams Ferrari  Formula 1’s honchos Bernie Ecclestone and Max Moseley have accused Ferrari of playing the F1 viewers for fools this season with unnecessary team tactics. "The English, the Germans and Italians were ranting. They were super upset. People don't like being made fools of. What Ferrari were saying, really, was, 'We can do what we like'.” Said Ecclestone in an interview with the News of the World. "People started to think F1 was boring because the same team was winning. Not only that, they were taking the mickey." Ecclestone added. Max Moseley believes the public was insulted with the tactics Ferrari employed, when Ferrari knew full well that Michael Schumacher would be taking the crown. "It was insulting to the public and their reaction was the same as mine. It was completely unnecessary because it was obvious Michael would be World Champion. We received more than four-thousand e-mails and faxes about Austria."

11/17/02

Franchitti miffed  Dario Franchitti was seeing red after spinning on oil and crashing his Lola-Honda during Saturday's final qualifying round for Sunday's Mexico Grand Prix. The Scottish driver complained that a ``knee-jerk reaction'' to a harmless spin by Tora Takagi brought out a red flag just as he was almost finished with his fastest lap. But when Team Kool Green teammate Paul Tracy blew an engine on Turn 11, ``one of the fastest most dangerous corners of the circuit'' they did nothing for two laps. ``I went off and had a big accident and only then there was a red flag brought out. The track was incredibly dangerous,'' he complained. Despite the shunt, which caused significant damage to his car, Franchitti starts in the No. 3 position on Sunday because of his qualifying time on Friday.

11/17/02

2002 CART driver photo  All the drivers participating in the season ending CART race in Mexico City line up for an official driver photo commemorating the close of the 2002 season.  Photo courtesy of Toyota.

11/17/02

The helmet game  Christian Fittipaldi (Toyota), Cristiano da Matta (Toyota), and Tony Kanaan (Honda) show off their helmets, which combine each others' designs to commemorate their last race together.  Photo courtesy of Toyota.

11/17/02

Da Matta prepares for new challenge  In this DailyF1 article, CART Champion Cristiano Da Matta who will switch disciplines when he drives in Formula One for Toyota next year, is feeling confident about his new appointment just over a week before he has his first test as a full works driver. Da Matta was announced as Toyota’s race driver earlier this month after much speculation following his strong test at Paul Ricard HTTT for the team in May. Part of the reason for the delay was Da Matta’s long contemplation about the move. "Joining Toyota in Formula One is a great opportunity, but I love the CART series and the Newman/Haas team is just fantastic," 29-year-old Da Matta said. "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 common corporate link between Newman-Haas and Toyota through engine supply helped smooth the process of Da Matta’s switch but with the Brazilian contract-tied for 2003, the Grand Prix outfit had to buy him out of his agreement, an indication of how much the team wanted him in its line-up. "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," Da Matta added. "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." Da Matta is the third CART Champion since 1996 to make the switch from CART, after Jacques Villeneuve and Juan-Pablo Montoya. His first test will be at Barcelona on November 26, driving a TF102 and working alongside his new team-mate, the veteran French driver Olivier Panis.

11/17/02
 
Hot head Stewart in trouble again? UPDATE NASCAR says that Stewart has apologized to  the photographer and it was accepted.  11/17/02 - According to this SPEED TV article, Tony Stewart, who likely will clinch the 2002 Winston Cup championship Sunday, was accused again Friday of a bumping/shoving incident in the garage. Rusty Jarrett, a free-lance photographer from Augusta, Ga., said Stewart ran into him for no apparent reason as Stewart left the garage after final practice. Jarrett, shooting for Getty Images/Autostock, did not seem to want to make a big deal of the matter, but he was firm in insisting that he felt surprised and wronged. Accounts of witnesses differed, but these facts seemed clear. Stewart was with his car in the garage, then walked out the back of the garage, circled to the inspection bay, and came through it to the front side. Jarrett was standing outside the garage when Stewart emerged and began to shoot pictures. Stewart then ran into Jarrett, for unknown reasons. Stewart could not be found for comment. Several other photographers were nearby, and pictures were immediately available. Those seemed to show that this was not a crowd situation, and that there was enough room for the two men to avoid contact. As of mid-afternoon, there was no word from NASCAR as to its view of the incident. VP/communications Jim Hunter was to have talked with all parties involved and was to give a report at some time.  We still can't believe someone hasn't decked the hot head yet.  We suspect he's going to shove the wrong person one day and they will put his lights out.
11/17/02
 
Martin loses appeal  The NASCAR commission who heard the appeal by Roush Racing over a penalty to Mark Martin for running a spring in the car that was 1/8 coil too short, has ruled.  They rejected the appeal and the team said they won't appeal any further.  The commission said the rule as written is clear.

11/17/02

Asiatech officially declared bankrupt   On Thursday, France's Versailles Commercial court closed the chapter on Asiatech's Formula One adventure by decreeing bankruptcy. Sadly reminiscent of the Prost Grand Prix demise less than twelve months ago, the collapse of Asia Motor Technologies leaves 220 more - mostly Frenchmen - unemployed in the motorsport sector. At the end of season 2000, Asiatech purchased the engine-building facilities in Velizy, France, from outgoing French F1 engine manufacturer Peugeot. Last year, the group entered a free-supply arrangement with Arrows and followed it up with the reliable and '800 horsepower' Minardi deal in 2002. But the engine concern made it clear that, for '03, free services would not be available when an all-new engine design and Formula One chassis was ready to hit the tarmac. Asiatech had grand plans to hook up with a Formula One team or manufacturer, unleash their new chassis development program on the sport and become a major works-style assault like Ferrari, Jaguar or Toyota. A Minardi source told us, however, that such a plan - which involved the demands of large sums of money - was ridiculous and that Asiatech was 'living on another planet'. Headed by designer Enrique Scalabroni and financial director John Gano, the demise of Asiatech leaves more than 200 technicians from Velizy and Didcot out of work.

11/17/02

BMW And Mercedes Target The Top   German engine manufacturers BMW and Mercedes-Benz accept that the onus is on them to restore zeal to Formula One. The two rival marques finished second and third in this year's Constructors' chase, but managed to snatch a mere two collective wins out of seventeen events from runaway world champions Ferrari. 'It is clear to all of us that there is not a continuous winner in this game,' BMW's motorsport director Gerhard Berger says. 'And that you have to know how to win and you have to know how to lose.' With British constructor Williams, Munich-based BMW's only 2002 win came in Kuala-Lumpur as long ago as March, when the blue and whites pounded home a popular one-two victory. But Berger, former 10-time Grand Prix winner for teams like Ferrari and McLaren, concedes that the sport is now in dire need for a new victor and championship challenger. 'It wouldn't be good for anybody if we always had the same winner,' he says. 'As we have seen with Ferrari at the moment in such a dominating position, there comes a stage where it isn't good for anyone.' Michael Schumacher, in his untouchable Ferrari, wrapped up the title in July amid swarms of casual viewers coolly turning their televisions off. BMW know that Formula One needs the competitive verve to return: 'We do everything to win and of course we have to win, but we have not to win every race and we have to win not every championship,' adds the Austrian. Stuttgart manufacturer Mercedes-Benz, meanwhile, recently cemented their future at the pinnacle of motorsports by first buying 40 percent of McLaren and now snapping up Brixworth-based engine-building firm Ilmor. Motorsport boss Norbert Haug knows that the time is now to return silverware to the McLaren cabinets. 'This was a long-term plan, which we established quite a while ago,' the German says. 'We decided to fully concentrate and bring all our resources together.' McLaren's back-to-back triumphs in the late Nineties with Mika Hakkinen are now a distant memory as third was the best they could muster in 2002. 'This is a manufacturers championship at the end of the day, with what concerns the engines, and in the near future even the whole power train,' Haug continues. 'And we are working very closely together with our partners from McLaren on this.'

11/17/02

CART drivers cope with thin air  In this Toronto Star article, staging a car race in a city situated 2,240 meters above sea level presents some unique problems for the engineers who prepare the temperamental, high-powered machines. The Player's/Forsythe team found that out yesterday morning when their two drivers, Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani, rolled out on to the beautifully reconstructed 4.75-kilometre Autodrome Hermanos Rodriguez for the first time to begin preparations for tomorrow's Mexico Gran Premio. Both drivers complained of handling problems brought about by the thin, dry air and the resultant loss of downforce, the factor which keeps the cars glued to the track. "It's slippery out there because we have a lot less aerodynamic pressure,'' said Carpentier. "We have to make the car ride well over the bumps and through the high-speed corners and change directions fast.'' Carpentier said the effect of the thinner air can be heard in the sound of the engine. "Normally it's like waaaaaaa-paaaa, but here it's more of a brrrrrrrrrr," said the Joliette, Que. native, who can make engine sounds better than some engines. "It's a lot softer noise." Bruce Ashmore, Player's technical director, said Mexico City's altitude, which is 631 meters higher than Denver, Colo., where CART also races, provides about 1,000 pounds less downforce than a track such as Mid-Ohio. "You've got a track which is very similar to Mid-Ohio, but you got 25 per cent less downforce," he explained. "That's confusing to the drivers because the car feels like it's very light and skitterish, which it is. "Then (the engineers) are faced with setting up this very different car of which you don't know the right grip level (of the tires)." Ashmore and his staff of engineers and mechanics went to work between the morning and afternoon sessions tweaking the suspension systems on both the front and rear of the two Player's cars. Realizing that stiffer springs, which lower the car, would take away from the grip, the engineers decided to adjust the dampers (shocks) and that produced a more consistent car for provisional qualifying. Carpentier was 12th fastest in the morning session but jumped up to sixth place in the afternoon with his final lap before qualifying ended under a light sprinkle of rain. "It still has the lack of downforce that everyone has but the car is more consistent,'' said Ashmore. "And there's still more (speed) to be found." Tagliani was 14th fastest, but said he could have done better had Michel Jourdain Jr. not spun in front of him. The third Canadian in the field, Scarborough's Paul Tracy, was seventh. Bruno Junqueira gained the provisional pole on his final run of the day in a time of one minute, 25.941 seconds. While the drivers praised the track, which will be ringed by an estimated 200,000 fans for tomorrow's race, they said driving was physically difficult. "Except for the long straightaway, it's one of the most physical tracks because you're always working hard (through the 16 turns) because of the altitude," said Junqueira. "When I get out of the car I'm breathing hard.''

11/17/02

Honda sells Lolas to CART   Honda has sold back all the Lola chassis's they bought for their CART teams this year to CART.  CART in turn will sell them at reduced cost to new teams coming into the series in 2003.

11/17/02

Spa can still happen in 2003, or can it?   The answer is no, it won't happen in 2003, but maybe in 2004. According to this DailyF1 article, Belgium has taken steps to amend its tobacco advertising laws, but the news may have come too late to save the national Grand Prix. The race was deleted from the 2003 calendar after tobacco-backed teams refused to run with compromise liveries to fall in line with a new nationwide tobacco-advertising embargo. The Belgian Senate had earlier refused to grant the Belgian Grand Prix an exemption despite pleas and submissions to the Government by Walloon politicians. This week the Belgian Senate’s Social Affairs Commission voted in favor of delaying the enforcement of the entire ban until 2006, when the FIA and EU’s worldwide sweeping advertising ban will come into force. There were reports in Belgium F1 Commercial Chief Bernie Ecclestone had given organisers a new deadline of December 3, the day before the meeting of the FIA World Council, to make alternative arrangements. But the FIA has maintained in other public announcements that there is no turning back, and that the race will only be eligible for calendar re-entry in 2004. Sources also insist there is no realistic chance that the event will remain on the schedule, even though the meeting of the World Council early next month will be where the 2003 calendar will be made official.  Paul Josephson

11/16/02

TV Azteca to carry Mexico City race live in USA   TV Azteca (NYSE: TZA), one of the leading producers of Spanish language television programming around the world, today announced the exclusive Spanish broadcasts rights in the United States to tomorrow's CART FedEx Championship Series Gran Premio Telmex-Gigante Presented by Banamex/Visa in Mexico City. TV Azteca's Azteca America Network will broadcast the race on every U.S. affiliate nationwide beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET. The Azteca America affiliates that will carry the broadcast of the CART season finale from Mexico City include Los Angeles (KAZA); Houston (KAZH); San Francisco/Sacramento (KTNL); Las Vegas (KHDF); Orlando (W21AU); Salt Lake City (KSVN); Reno, Nev. (KUVR); Ogden, Utah (CH49); Wichita, Kan. (KSMI); Palm Springs, Calif. (KYAV); Santa Barbara, Calif. (KSBT); Albuquerque (KQDF); and Austin, Texas (KADF).   TV Azteca is one of the two largest producers of Spanish language television programming in the world, operating two national networks, Azteca 13 and Azteca 7, through 554 owned transmitters across the country. TV Azteca affiliates include Azteca America Network, a new broadcast television network focused on the rapidly growing U.S. Hispanic market; Unefon, a Mexican mobile telephony operator focused on the mass market; and Todito.com, an Internet portal for North American Spanish speakers.  In an ongoing effort to provide more coverage in Spanish, CART.com will also offer Azteca America's broadcast on a delayed basis. The Spanish coverage of the Gran Premio Telmex-Gigante Presented by Banamex/Visa is expected to be available late next week.

11/16/02

Pook, Lopes and Kneifel meet the press   CART President Chris Pook along with Director of Competition John Lopes and Race Operations and Chris Kneifel, Chief Steward, met with the media gathered in Mexico City today.   Transcript

11/16/02

CART hot on Alex Gurney   When speaking to CART's John Lopes today we learned that they are very bullish on Alex Gurney.  When asked by our Steve Levinson today, John stated, "we want Alex Gurney in CART and we would love to have All-American Racers (AAR) back too."  We understand that some teams have been talking to Alex.

11/16/02

Over 1,000 media in Mexico City   The media center here in Mexico City has more people in it than any CART or IRL race (Indy 500 included) that we recall seeing.  We asked and were told there were over 1,000  worldwide print, internet, radio and TV media personnel credentialed and over 500 were turned down.

11/16/02

Gentilozzi's reasons for choosing CART over the IRL   Although he could have taken his sponsors to any North American based series, Gentilozzi stated today that he "chose CART because of the season-long, weekend-to-weekend Business-to-Business opportunities. Gentilozzi said that although the INDY 500 presents a compelling three week stage,  it cannot possibly match CART's entire championship season global platform that includes NAFTA, the European Community and Asia. Steven Levinson

11/16/02

Paddock musings   The CART paddock is abuzz with excitement again, as much over what is about to become of CART as what the "new" CART means.  With Mexico City's spectacular Grand Prix closing out the 2002 season, CART officials want it made perfectly clear that they understand the decisions made by the departing teams and engine manufacturers and that there is no residual bitterness or acrimony on their part.  Story

11/16/02

10 countries to be represented in 2003   CART Director of Competition, John Lopes stated today that drivers from at least ten counties will be represented on the grid in 2003.  He did not specify which ones, but we will - 1) USA, 2) Canada, 3) Mexico, 4) England, 5) Spain, 6) Germany,  7) Malaysia, 8) Portugal, 9) Brazil, 10) Switzerland

11/16/02

CART eliminates pit stop window   With the advent standard Cosworth engines next year, the fuel control knob will be taken out of the cockpit, and with it the mandatory pit window implemented this year will be eliminated.  Going forward, CART wants to eliminate as many rules as they can that create artificial racing.

11/16/02

Our impression of Mexico City track   I had the opportunity to drive CART board member and team owner Gerald Forsythe around the Mexico City track today at speed in one of the Mustang pace cars today.  The track is definitely a drivers track and all the good thing the drivers are saying about driving here are absolutely true.  The track has good high-speed stuff, but much of it is a rhythm track that requires you to be willing to hang the backend out a bit.  Riding the curbs definitely upsets the car, so you must really concentrate to keep the momentum.  The driver who wins here on Sunday must have great skill.  CART needs more tracks like this.  Mark C.

11/16/02
 
Seen at Homestead  Former F1 champion and team owner Alain Prost was strolling in the NASCAR paddock at Homestead taking in his first NASCAR event and Juan Montoya, who lives in nearby Miami was also making the rounds as guest of former team Target Chip Ganassi.
11/16/02
 
Greg Norman to Serve as Honorary Starter of Ford 400 and Tix still available  World Golf Hall of Fame member Greg Norman will serve as the Honorary Starter of the Ford 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway this Sunday, November 17. Norman will be on hand as NASCAR will crown a new champion. Tony Stewart and Mark Martin are the only two drivers left who can win the title. Both drivers are seeking their first NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship. As honorary starter, Norman will wave the green flag to start the race featuring 43 of the world's best drivers while the command to start engines will come from Ford 400 Grand Marshal Jim O'Connor, Ford Motor Company group vice president for North America Marketing, Sales and Service. Tickets are still available for the Ford 400 by calling 305-230-RACE or by visiting www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.

11/16/02

Another F1 vs. CART lap time comparison  UPDATE This map shown to the right (courtesy of Forix.com) shows the track configuration as it existed when Mansell set the fastest F1 lap time in 1992. F1 used this configuration when it raced there from 1986 through 1992, the last year. Track length was 2.747 miles (4421 meters), almost exactly the same as today's 2.75 miles. Notice the change to the Peralta curve where the track now cuts through the baseball stadium. Mansell's pole speed was 129.535 mph (208.467 km/h). Junqueira's pole speed on Friday was 116.703 mph (187.815 km/h).  Current Track, click here. Paul Josephson  11/15/02 - In this brazil.crash.net article, even Junqueira's best time today at the Hermandos Rodriguez track is slower than the F1 1992 pole. Admittedly, the track's configuration has changed slightly since the last time F1 raced there, with the track now going through a baseball stadium. The time of today's provisionary pole, set by Brazilian Bruno Junqueira from the Ganassi Team was about 9.595 seconds slower than the pole marked during the last visit of F1 to the circuit in 1992. On that occasion, Englishman Nigel Mansell with a Williams-Renault set a time of 1:16.346. Mansell also won the race and would later win the championship. Ten years later, the circuit has undergone an enormous change and returns to host a great event. According to race organizers, this Sunday's may set a public attendance record for the circuit.

11/16/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Bridgestone Wary Of New Rules
Berger Rejects Favoritism Claims
No Winter Break For Schumacher
New Sponsors Court Jordan Team
Arrows Lodge 2003 Season Entry
One Year Behind The Game: Williams
Ferrari Chief Slams New Rules
Stoddart: Good Luck, Mark Webber
F1 News In Brief

11/16/02

F1 entries due today, Arrows makes it  3rd UPDATE Mr. Andy King, Arrows Press and PR flew to Paris at Lunchtime, UK time, with the Arrows entry. So for sure it was there before the FIA offices closed.  11/15/02 - Reuters is reporting they did make the deadline.  Stay tuned....  11/15/02 - According to a number of sources this evening, Arrows have failed to meet the Friday deadline imposed upon them in order that they make the 2003 FIA Formula One World Championship. The team had to pay the £200,000 compulsory entry fee for next year's World Championship by today, but reports suggest that Arrows have failed to meet this requirement and hence will fail to show on the grid next season. The news will come as a suprise to many, especially after Arrows confirmed that a company named 'German Grand Prix Racing' have brought a majority shareholding in the outfit. The company, whose funds are currently held by Asset Trust and Partners, were understood to be willing to pay Arrows' substantial debts as well as paying the £33million bond to the FIA before they can even compete in the series.  11/15/02 -  Entries for the 2003 Formula 1 World Championship close today and all eyes are on the Arrows team to see if an entry will be made. We hear Arrows has yet to file the necessary paperwork.  If it does not do so by the end of the day the team will not be in F1 next year.

11/15/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $4.01 Down $0.09 on Volume of 21,200 shares.
$3.34 Bid - $4.32 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.00 / $4.09
MPH Value Change Down 2.20%
DOW Jones Up 36.13 or 0.42% on Volume of 1.67 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 0.99 or 0.07%
S&P 500 Up 5.47 or 0.6%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

11/15/02
 
Phoenix Cup tickets to go on sale  Phoenix International Raceway has announced that season tickets for its 15-race 2003 season will go on sale Monday, November 18th by phone and at its downtown Phoenix ticket office at the Arizona Center or at the track November 18-23. "Last year was probably the best in PIR's long history," said Bryan R. Sperber, President of Phoenix International Raceway, "yet next year promises to be even better. Season ticket holders will be able to watch 15 different races over the next 12 months, and season ticket holders get first choice at the best reserved seats for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Checker Auto Parts 500 and NASCAR Busch Series Bashas' Supermarkets 200. With season tickets starting for as little as $199 each, this is certainly one of the best values in all of motorsports."

11/15/02

Players team to announce 2003 lineup  Two days after wrapping up an exciting 2002 season in Mexico City, Team Player’s will introduce to the Canadian media its driver lineup for 2003, which will mark the 10th year of competition for Team Player’s in the CART series.  The announcement will be made Tuesday November 19th at Wayne Gretsky's Studio 99 in Toronto, Ca..  The event is NOT open to fans, just the media.

11/15/02

German TV audience anticipates Lotterer's debut  Backed by a 100% German effort in partnership with Dale Coyne Racing, rookie driver Andre Lotterer (#19 J.A.G. Sports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) is making his first appearance in the CART FedEx Championship Series this weekend at the Gran Premio Telmex-Gigante Presented by Banamex/Visa. Lotterer, a 20-year-old from Duisburg, Germany, has been brought to the series by the German J.A.G. Racing Team with sponsorship from German-based companies Ryll-Tech.com and DSF TV. Part of the German racing package is same-day television coverage of this weekend's CART Champ Car finale on DSF, one of Germany's broadcast, over-the-air networks and the top sports network in the country. "We are very happy to have the chance for the German race fans to see the Mexico race on German TV," said J.A.G. Racing Team President Andreas Grajewski. "The single telecast has been greatly supported by CART and a great deal of promotion for this event is taking place in Germany. The German fans are hungry to see CART races and we have received a lot of very good comments in all of the newspaper and magazine media. There is great anticipation for this weekend and Andre Lotterer's debut. He will do his very best and we expect a great race. Our goal is to expand on this program in the future to show German fans live CART action from 2003 on." DSF's two-hour telecast of the Gran Premio Telmex-Gigante Presented by Banamex/Visa airs Sunday at 11:30 p.m.(local German time) with a pair of encore telecasts scheduled in the following week. The original airing immediately follows the highly popular German Soccer League highlight show. "A great deal of enthusiasm exists for CART Champ Car racing in Europe, and Germany in particular remains a strong center of interest for our sport," said CART President & CEO Christopher R. Pook. "At the same time, Germany remains a key market for CART, our sponsors and our teams. We welcome Andre Lotterer to CART along with Andreas Grajewski and everyone at the J.A.G. Racing Team. Their participation in our season-ending race will hopefully provide a foundation for future participation in the CART Champ Car series."

11/15/02

Junqueira leads opening practice in Mexico City  Bruno Junqueira turned the fastest lap of 1:21.197, 115.022 MPH to lead the opening practice session for the CART Champ Cars on the newly revamped Mexico City track.  CART champion Cristiano da Matta was second quick with a lap of 1:28.241 followed by Kenny Brack, Tora Takagi and Michael Andretti.  Luis Diaz, subbing for the injured Adrian Fernandez showed well in 13th position.  He's so nervous he has not been able to eat or sleep for days, but 13th for his first time in a Champ Car is not bad, especially since he is over two seconds faster than his IRL bound, and more experienced teammate Shinji Nakano.  German rookie, 21-year old Andre Lotterer, ended up 16th fastest.  Full Results

11/15/02

Seen in Mexico City  Roberto Moreno is pressing the flesh trying to land a ride, Andreas Leberle is here still trying to put a deal of his own together, Jo Ramirez, Wilson Fittipaldi, Bernardo Jourdain, Michel Jourdain Sr. are all making the rounds.  Steve Levinson

11/15/02
F3

49th Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix Qualifying  Macau, China, 13-17 November 2002.  - Italian Paolo Montin has secured pole position for Sunday's Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix ahead of Tristan Gommendy.

11/15/02

Justin Wilson talks about F1 and future  In this F1Live.com article, Justin Wilson talks about his struggles to fit in a F1 car and how Minardi wants to build a car to fit him next year.  He also says he is still considering CART.

11/15/02
Industry News

Delphi wins $220 million parts award from VW  Delphi Corp., the world's largest auto-parts supplier, won a $220 million contract to make heating and cooling units for Volkswagen AG models, including the Touareg, Volkswagen's first sport-utility vehicle. The contract, expected to run for five or six years, ranges from basic heaters to combination air conditioning and heating systems that can be adjusted by passengers in Volkswagen commercial vans and the Touareg, spokeswoman Barbara Barkley said.

11/15/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Mosley: Tire Rules Will Close Gap
F1 Masterminds Eye 'The Race'
High-Tech Sprinklers At Paul Ricard
FIA Set The Record Straight
Hopefuls Line Up Macau Victory
Haas Could Have Retained Champ
Johnny Herbert Races On
Hall Of Fame For Legend Fittipaldi
Rossi Brands Formula One 'Boring'
Minardi Sign Zlobin As Tester
Last Chance For Belgian GP?
Fisichella Samples Jordan Progress
F1 News In Brief

11/14/02

Fernández will not race in Mexico City, Diaz to sub   2nd UPDATE Dr. Trammell reviewed the results, and issued the following statement: “Adrian sustained a stable compression fracture of T2 and T3 at the event in Surfers Paradise, Australia. Treatment for this fracture was physical therapy, exercise and the abstinence from collusion sports, i.e. racing. The progress of his recovery has been closely monitored over the past two weeks. A repeat CT scan was obtained Monday to determine the condition of his fractures. The scan revealed a very small change in the alignment of his fractures that consisted of further compression of the T2 fracture. “As a result of the changes noted on this recent scan, I have advised Adrian that if he were to compete in the event this weekend, it would be with increased risk of a more catastrophic injury were he to be involved in a shunt of similar severity to that which occurred in Australia. We have reached a mutual decision that the potential risk of further injury precludes his driving this weekend. “In order for Adrian to return safely to racing without increased risk, it will take three months from the time that he was injured. Therefore, he will not be able to drive during that period of time.” For Fernandez, the news was devastating. “To say that I am shocked would be an understatement,” said Fernandez. “I looked at the CT scan as a formality, just a routine procedure, and fully expected to be driving this weekend. My heart is very heavy right now. “After speaking with Dr. Trammell and understanding what the possible consequences are if I were to drive this weekend, I agree that the risk is just too great. I am deeply disappointed for everyone – our sponsors, fans, my family and friends and the team. The dream of racing here in my hometown will have to wait another year.” Luis Diaz will be making his Champ Car debut this weekend as he takes over driving duties of the #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone from Fernandez. In preparation for his role as the potential replacement driver for Fernandez, Diaz completed a one-day test with Fernandez Racing on November 5 at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Arizona. “Obviously this is a big step for Luis this weekend but I was very impressed with his abilities and attitude at our recent test,” said Fernandez. “I believe he will do a good job for us, and I will be there to help him as much as I can.” Diaz, 24, of Mexico City, finished fourth in the CART Toyota Atlantic championship this season. The former Formula Mexico Champion and Mexican Formula 3 Rookie of the Year posted two pole positions, including pole at the season-opening race in Monterrey, Mexico, and claimed two wins at Portland and Road America driving the Telmex/Quaker State-sponsored Swift for Dorricott Racing. “While I feel honored to be selected to fill in for Adrian at this most important race, I am also very saddened by the circumstances,” said Diaz. “I know how much this race means to Adrian. For me, I will try to focus on the task at hand and take things one step at a time. Obviously I have a lot to learn. I will do my best.” In addition to his recent test, Diaz also spent time with Fernandez Racing during the Fontana race weekend. “First of all, I am extremely disappointed that Adrian is not able to make the race this weekend, the biggest CART event of the season for Fernandez Racing,” said Tom Anderson, Fernandez Racing Co-Owner and Managing Director. “While all of us are extremely disappointed, we understand that Adrian’s health is of the utmost importance. We look forward to him driving for many years to come, and look forward to starting again after the winter vacation when he has been medically released.   11/14/02 - Fernandez, with Dr. Trammel in a press conference, announced that he is indeed out for this weekend's race. They  mentioned that the injury has not yet properly healed and he would run the risk of paralysis if injured again. What a shame as now it's doubtful the race will be a sellout.  11/14/02 - Adrian Fernández stated in this morning Reforma newspaper that he is 90% sure he will race this weekend, but won't know for certain if he will be in pain until he gets in the car at 10:00 AM on Friday morning for his first laps before his countrymen in Mexico City.

11/14/02

30 cars to start Motegi   Motegi field could reach 30 cars: In preparation for the inaugural Indy Racing League event at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan in April 2003, league officials are making plans for up to 30 cars, said John Lewis, IRL director of operations. Lewis has been charged with orchestrating the transportation of equipment and personnel for the Japan event. The massive undertaking creates numerous logistical hurdles. Gauging interest from current and potential Indy Racing League teams, Lewis and league officials are anticipating up to 30 cars for the Japan event. “We’d like to field 30 cars over there,” Lewis said. “I’m going to try and base my numbers (for shipping) off somewhere between 26 and 30, so that’s what I’m working off at this point.”

11/14/02

CART stock watch   

MPH closed at $4.10 Down $0.68 on Volume of 64,300 shares.
$3.47 Bid - $4.41 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.09 / $4.75
MPH Value Change Down 14.23%
DOW Jones Up 143.64 or 1.71% on Volume of 1.85 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 50.18 or 3.69%
S&P 500 Up 21.74 or 2.46%.
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

11/14/02

CART earnings drop   CART today announced financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2002. The number of events held in a particular quarter affects the comparability of earnings information from quarter to quarter. CART conducted eight events in the second quarter of 2002, compared with nine events in the corresponding 2001 period. In addition, race promotion expenses associated with the Grand Prix of the Americas event held October 6, 2002, have been recorded in the third quarter. Toyota Atlantics conducted six races in the third quarter of 2002 and 2001. Indy Lights, which was discontinued for 2002, conducted four races in the third quarter of 2001. For the three months ended September 30, 2002, total revenues were $18.5 million, compared with $29.6 million in the same prior-year period. Total expenses for the 2002 third quarter declined to $32.2 million from $34.0 million in the corresponding 2001 quarter. "As part of CART's changing business model, we took on greater opportunities and risks with our television arrangements and by self-promoting and co-promoting selected races," said Thomas Carter, Chief Financial Officer of CART. "As a result of these actions, revenues and expenses are not comparable to prior-year results, particularly television, sanction fee and race promotion revenues and expenses." The company reported a net loss for the 2002 third quarter of $8.3 million, or $0.56 per share, compared with a net loss of $1.7 million, or $0.11 per share, in the 2001 third quarter. "We continue to make important progress in this transition year rebuilding the CART brand and organization and establishing a stable foundation for future growth," said Christopher R. Pook, CART's President and Chief Executive Officer. "The recently announced incentive program authorizing management to commit up to $30 million in additional financial support for the 2003 CART Championship Series season, on top of the previously announced Entrant Support Program, is testament to our confidence and commitment to invest in the future of our racing product." Attendance levels to date also demonstrate the popularity and vitality of the CART Championship Series. The company's NAFTA venues, including Monterrey, Mexico and all three Canadian events, drew in record crowds. In Australia, additional grandstands were built to accommodate record ticket sales for the increasingly popular Honda Indy 300. The Australian event also recorded the two-millionth fan to attend a CART series event for the 2002 season. "These results underscore the tremendous potential of the CART series as a global marketing vehicle for multi-national corporations," said Pook. Additionally, Pook noted that the marketing potential of the CART series was recently enhanced by an increase in SPEED Channel's total committed subscriber count to nearly 67 million. "With improved television ratings, increased broadcast time and greater overall exposure time for our sponsors, we believe CART is better positioned to benefit from our television contracts," added Pook. "Currently we are focusing on setting the stage for the 2003 CART Championship season. Extending and enhancing our relationship with Bridgestone, as they become our presenting sponsor in 2003, is an important first step in setting the foundation for future success. We are in discussions with current and potential sponsors, teams and drivers as to their participation for next year. We are excited at the level of interest that we have received from these potential partners and we will provide additional information as we finalize discussions," Pook said. For the nine months ended September 30, 2002, CART conducted 15 FedEx Championship races compared with 16 events in the first nine months of 2001. Total revenues were $43.4 million versus $55.8 million in the 2001 nine-month period. Total expenses for the current year-to-date rose to $65.9 million from $57.9 million a year ago. Expenses for 2002 include a one-time relocation expense of $1.3 million for the company's move to Indianapolis, Indiana from Troy,

11/14/02
 
Petty movie nears  According to the Reuters article, Disney is near a deal to pick up a drama about NASCAR driver Richard Petty. Dennis Quaid will play Lee Petty, the patriarch of the racing clan who teaches son Richard the ropes. Disney will soon look to cast the role of Richard Petty. The film will be scripted by John Warren. Quaid would also produce with Dan Halsted, a former production partner of Oliver Stone. Halsted and Quaid previously worked together on Stone's "Any Given Sunday." The rights to the Petty film were secured through Petty Enterprises and shooting of the film is expected in the spring.

11/14/02

Haas did not want da Matta to resent him   Carl Haas says that though he would have liked to have kept Cristiano da Matta in the CART series for one more season, he knew his driver's heart wouldn't be in it. The Newman-Haas boss released da Matta from his 2003 contract (with a little bit of financial persuasion) so that he could join Olivier Panis in the Toyota F1 team - even though da Matta had just won the championship. "I could have kept Cristiano," said Haas. "If I hadn't let him go he would have gone along with it, but I felt that if I didn't let him do it, there was going to be some unhappiness." Haas is genuinely sorry to lose the man he pursued to get in his team. "I worked fairly hard to be able to sign him and the record shows it was the right choice," he told Autosport. "We have had a great personal relationship. He had some reservations about where the racing was going in the States and some of his concerns are difficult to guarantee." Haas thinks that Cristiano will surprise a few people next year. "It's a great opportunity for him and the guy will be very, very good. It'll probably take a while to get the car up front, but he's aware of that. There's certainly a possibility of Toyota becoming competitive."

11/14/02

Craig Perkins killed   Craig Perkins was tragically killed in an automobile accident near his home in Austin Texas on Tuesday afternoon. Craig was the engineer on Laurent Redon’s car for Eric Bachelart in IRL this year and has had a very successful career in IRL, Indy Lights, Atlantic and F2000. It is a great loss to the motor racing community and an unbelievable void in the hearts and lives of anyone who enjoyed the blessing of his friendship. Deepest sympathies go out to his wife Mary Ann and their children. For anyone interested…The funeral will be held on Saturday, November 16th at 12:00pm at the Emmaus Catholic Church in Lakeway. The address is listed below:
Emmaus Catholic Church
1718 Lohman's Crossing
Lakeway, TX 78734
(512) 261-8500

11/14/02

Spa savior dies   2nd UPDATE Dear Autoracing1.com, Being a longtime CART fan, Belgian ànd working at Belgacom, the national Belgian telecom operator of which John Goossens was CEO, I can tell you that the death of John Goossens caused a big shock over here. I was quite amazed to see Bernie Ecclestone's note to your article. In fact, John Goossens' children are named John Jr, Michael and Sandy, as is mentioned on the obituary notice. Driver Marc Goossens is no family at all.  So I'm afraid Mr. Ecclestone is confusing the two namesakes. Also, you may know the very same Marc Goossens was a driver for Cadillac in the ALMS.  Best regards and keep up the good work, Dirk Rotey, Belgium11/12/02 - Dear AutoRacing1.com, Don't forget, his son Marc became a successful Formula 3000 driver.  Bernie Ecclestone  11/12/02 - The President of Belgium's Royal Automobile Club, John Goossens, has died unexpectedly at the age of 57. Goossens, who was leading the effort to revive Belgium's lost Spa-Francorchamps Grand Prix, was also a member of the FIA World Motor Sport Council. Spa was recently ditched from the calendar over its decision to ban tobacco-advertising.  Did you know that in his early days he was prominent in the United States where he worked for General Motors after graduating with an MBA degree from Columbia University in NY?   After that he returned to Europe and joined Texaco. He was responsible for the management of the firm's successful sponsorship campaigns in F1 notably with Emerson Fittipaldi (Team Lotus) in 1972 and later added two further titles with McLaren (Fittipaldi in 1974 and James Hunt in 1976) before turning Texaco's focus to African rally raids, supporting Jacky Ickx (Mercedes) and Rene Metge (Porsche) to victory on the Paris-Dakar Rally.

11/14/02

Unser eyes ALMS ride   A member of one of America’s most famous racing families is eyeing a drive in the American Le Mans Series for the 2003 racing season. Robby Unser of Albuquerque, N.M., whose versatile racing resume includes eight wins in the famed Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, is in talks with several racing teams in the American Le Mans Series and hopes to compete in the sports car endurance racing series in 2003. “I’ve been watching the American Le Mans Series as it has grown,” said Unser, a two-time starter in the Indianapolis 500. “There seems to be a lot of opportunity for drivers, especially since every car in every race has at least two drivers. The series has grown to the point that it is a good alternative to some of the open-wheel and stock car racing series for drivers who want to be in a first-class series with good competition.” The American Le Mans Series features four classes of race cars, all competing at the same time for both class wins and the overall race win. The LMP 900 top class features the exotic, high-speed Prototype machines. Though Unser’s most recent racing experience has been in the high-speed cars of the Indy Racing League, he expressed no preference as to what ALMS class he would like to race in. “I’ve talked to some teams in every class,” he said. “I would just like to be in a competitive situation with a chance to do well in the races.” The 2003 American Le Mans Series season begins with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway Mar. 13-15. Unser has previously competed in the Sebring event.

11/14/02
 
Meadowlands rejects NASCAR  We have been following the two proposals to bring a NASCAR track to the Meadowlands in NJ, one by ISC, and one by a group consisting of Mario Andretti, Paul Newman and Carl Haas.  The commission reviewing the proposals rejected both yesterday, and will go with one of the three remaining proposals - all office and commercial construction.  For now, that pretty much ends the chance NASCAR will race anywhere near NY City.  CART, however, has not given up on NY City, that we know for a fact.

11/14/02

Tony George rebuffed Pook 3 times   In this Indy Star news article, Chris Pook says "I made three phone calls to Tony George this year and none was returned, "so I kind of got the message."   The message - Tony George wants nothing to do with CART and wants to drive the final nails in its coffin.  He brings his hammer to work everyday (his words) and all indications are that the hammer is still at work.  What remains to be seen is whether Pook will counter with his screwdriver, or take the high road rather than the low road taken by his opponents.

11/14/02

Pook: Dead wood leaving  As the 2002 final race is upon us, in this Indy Star news article, Chris Pook says "we needed to get rid of the dead wood and build up from there, and that's what we've done."  The article talks about the departure of Roger Penske, Barry Green and Chip Ganassi, Gil de Ferran, Helio Castroneves, Michael Andretti, Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan, Christian Fittipaldi and Cristiano da Matta, Honda and Toyota, but does not say who Pook classifies as dead wood.

11/14/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

New F2003 Set For Late Debut
Weber: Williams Favor Montoya
Slick Tires To Make Comeback?
Cristiano Targets The Top Step
Arrows Apply For Administration
Dumas Lands Crucial Renault Test
Schumacher: No Signs Of Signing Off
F1 Toyed With Radical Qualifying
New Rules Won't Stop Us: Byrne
F1 News In Brief

11/14/02

More on Mexico City promotion   Mexico's nightly sports show (Protagonistas) had more footage tonight in the build up to the race in Mexico City. Some key points:

  • Fernandez, Jourdain and Diaz together gave a press conference showing a united Mexican front.

  • Emerson Fittipaldi arrived in Mexico and also gave a press conference. As we've heard, he says he's very serious about the CART effort for next year and in the press conference mentioned that a decision would be made in 2-3 weeks.

  • Footage was shown of Dixon, Brack and others arriving at the airport

11/13/02

Weekly team report  Here is a weekly update on the current crop of Formula One teams for 2003.

Report

11/13/02

Commerzbank aiming for Ferrari IPO   In this DailyF1 article, Axel Freiherr von Ruedorffer, Chief Financial Officer for Germany’s Commerzbank, which owns 10% of Ferrari, has said the firm plans to float shares of the legendary marque on the stock market in the first quarter of next year. Commerzbank was one of the institutions that acquired Ferrari shares from Milan bank Mediobanca that had earlier bought a 34% stake in Ferrari from FIAT, struggling industrial giant. 'We hope an initial public offering for Ferrari can take place in the spring of 2003, but only if the markets are favorable,’ Ruedorffer was quoted as saying by the business news service Bloomberg. Mediobanca has previously said it would launch an IPO within a year but like Commerzbank, said it would wait until market conditions were suitable.

11/13/02

CART stock watch   

MPH closed at $4.84 Down $0.06 on Volume of 9,500 shares.
$4.21 Bid - $5.15 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.78 / $4.93
MPH Value Change Down 1.22%
DOW Jones Up 12.49 or 0.15% on Volume of 1.79 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 11.78 or 0.87%
S&P 500 Down 0.42 or 0.05%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

11/13/02

Wiggins supports CART's international races   Keith Wiggins, Managing Director of the Herdez team -  Q. How important are CART's international races to your team?  A. "Personally, and I guess I have a little different slant being a European, I see it as the whole world and it's important that our series has that ability because there's plenty of companies, especially in the United States and Mexico, that export to Europe. I would think that it suits some people and it doesn't suit others, but I think it's another specialty of our series. For us it's important to be seen outside of the country because a lot of people are insular and don't care about the rest of the world, but it's important to our group. The Herdez Group has distribution in Spain and other parts of Europe, it's important and it will help certain people involved in the sport. Everybody has a different reason for being here and it's just another option in the portfolio that's good for some people. But I think we should continue doing them."  Interview

11/13/02
Industry News 
Red Bull places 3rd of 4th driver  Red Bull Energy Drink on Tuesday, 12 Nov., wrapped up the agreement for Nevada's Joel Nelson to race in the 2003 Euro 3000 championship with John Village Automotive (JVA). The Village team, winners in Formula Ford, Formula Vauxhall Junior and European F3000, has a long, successful history of running American drivers. The Euro 3000 championship is a single-marque championship, created in 1999 as on offshoot of sorts to F3000. All teams utilize Lola B99/50 carbon fiber chassis and 480h.p. Zytek V8 engines. Driving for Village in the 2002 Euro 3000 title chase was Frenchman Romain Dumas, who won three races and just missed winning the championship - he was nipped by only seven points by Brazil's Jaime Melo, Jr. In five races with JVA in 2002, Rhode Island's Peter Boss had a best finish of seventh, at the Jerez circuit in Spain. The series website is http://euro3000.tiscali.co.uk. Nelson is the third of the four American Red Bull Driver Search winners to conclude his 2003 European racing plans: Scott Speed is with Alan Docking Racing for British F3, and Grant Maiman has been set up with Jenzer Motorsport's Formula Renault operation.
11/13/02
 
Hearn returns to driving  Indy Racing League driver Richie Hearn returned to the cockpit of an Indy Racing car Nov. 12 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the first time since a racing injury in August. Hearn, who lives in nearby Henderson, Nev., turned laps in a Sam Schmidt Motorsports IRL car at the 1.5-mile oval, where he scored his only IRL win in 1996. Hearn suffered a broken right foot in an accident during the Belterra Casino Indy 300 on Aug. 11 at Kentucky Speedway, ending his season. “It felt really good,” Hearn said. “Mentally, I knew I could still drive. My foot’s at 95 percent. Although the bone is still bruised, it gave me no problem.” Said team owner Schmidt: “He did great – everything’s fine. It’s like falling off a horse. After about 30 laps, he was running flat out.” Hearn, 31, started 10 races in 2002, nine with Schmidt and one with A.J. Foyt Racing. Hearn scored six top-10 finishes with a best finish of fourth at the Firestone Indy 200 on July 20 at Nashville Superspeedway. “Of course, I want to get back to racing,” Hearn said. “Hopefully Sam will have a program together, and we’ll race next year at Homestead. If not, then Indy.”
11/13/02
 
NASCAR to hear Roush’s Appeal on Saturday, Rule on Sunday Morning  The National Stock Car Commission has scheduled a hearing on the appeal filed by Roush Racing and Mark Martin for Saturday morning in Homestead, Fla. Jim Hunter, NASCAR’s vice president for communications, reported today that representatives from Roush Racing will meet with commission chairman George Silvermann and two other members from a 22-person list of commission members. Commission members include a wide spectrum of people involved in the racing industry, from track owners, to promoters, to officials, and even the head of a trucking company. “They will meet with representatives of Roush Racing and NASCAR officials involved in this particular incident, hear all sides of the arguments and render a decision," Hunter said. "The decision will be made before the race starts Sunday.” While Roush officials have said no further litigation would occur pending this decision, they could opt to appeal this decision to the National Commissioner, Charles D. Strange.
11/13/02
 
Stewart can leave Florida $4 million richer  Tony Stewart just might need a Loomis Fargo armored truck to get all of his money home Sunday night. If he wins the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he would win more than $4 million in bonuses for his efforts. Stewart needs to finish 22nd or better in Sunday’s Ford 400 to clinch the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup championship. But if he wins the race, a feat he has accomplished twice in three NASCAR Winston Cup races at Homestead, he would collect the $310,000 NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus. Add that total to the guaranteed $3,750,000 that goes to the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion, Stewart could leave South Florida with $4,060,000 in winnings for the weekend. Stewart and Mark Martin are the only drivers with the opportunity to capture the most lucrative Leader Bonus in program history. The Leader Bonus is worth a record $310,000 to either driver that can win at Homestead-Miami Speedway and leave the track with the Series point lead. It’s been 31 races – and eight months – since Sterling Marlin took home the most recent Leader Bonus payout at Darlington Raceway. Entering this weekend’s Ford 400 in Homestead, Fla., Stewart leads the NASCAR Winston Cup standings by 89 points over second-place Mark Martin. Either Stewart or Martin can unseat Bobby Labonte, who won $190,000 at Indianapolis in 2000, as the owner of the largest Leader Bonus check to date. In the event that neither Stewart nor Martin wins the Ford 400, the $310,000 will be divided incrementally among the top-10 finishers in the final NASCAR Winston Cup Series standings.
11/13/02
 
Nemechek to drive #25 in 2003  Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, today announced the signings of driver Joe Nemechek and crew chief Peter Sospenzo, who will each return to their respective roles with No. 25 UAW-Delphi team in 2003. "I like the positive direction of the UAW-Delphi team," Hendrick said. "Over the last few months, I've seen improvement in our practices, qualifying efforts, pit stops, race performances -- you name it. We're excited about the group we've assembled and the progress they're making." Nemechek was named driver of the No. 25 Chevrolet on May 15 and struggled through much of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series season until Sospenzo stepped in as crew chief on Sept. 10. Since that time, the former NASCAR Busch Series champion has earned two top-five finishes and started in the top-15 four times. "I'm very excited about this opportunity," said Nemechek, who has two career Winston Cup victories. "We're headed in the right direction with great leadership, an amazing sponsor and awesome talent on the crew. Everything is in place for success next season." Coinciding with Sospenzo's arrival was the decision to move Ed Guzzo, the team's shop foreman, to car chief of the No. 25 Chevy. Guzzo, who won three Winston Cup championships as Jeff Gordon's car chief in the 1990s, will remain in that role with Team 25 next season.
11/13/02


 
Winston Cup draws most fans to races in USA  According to the Winston Cup Daily Scene Newsletter, Winston Cup races once again drew the largest number of motorsports fans in the United States and Canada to tracks last year, The Sports Business Daily says today. The Daily's "Turnstile Tracker" says some 6.7 million spectators (about 176,000 per weekend) attended Winston Cup races, practices and qualifying sessions out of the total of the 35.8 million people who saw some form of live racing in the U.S. and Canada. DIRT racing drew 4.5 million to its numerous events to rank second. The online publication, which is put out by Scene Daily's parent company, Street & Smith's Sports Group, says the Busch Series drew 2.37 million, while the Craftsman Truck Series attracted 900,000.   By comparison, CART will end 2002 drawing about 2.6 million fans to its 19 races for an average of 136,000 per weekend.  We don't have the totals yet for the IRL, but we believe their average attendance per weekend, with the Indy 500 included, is in the 50,000 range, but don't quote us on that figure until the IRL releases their numbers.  The rankings:
1.  Winston Cup 176,000 per event
2.  CART 136,000 per event
3.  NASCAR Busch 69,000 per event
4.  IRL 50,000 per event
5.  NASCAR Trucks 43,000

11/13/02

Dyson team completes test   The Dyson Racing Team, one of America’s most successful sports car racing teams, concluded a two-day testing session at Sebring International Raceway as it prepares for an assault on the 51st annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The race will open for 2003 American Le Mans Series season Mar. 13-15. Thetford/Norcold drivers James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger were on hand at Sebring to conduct Goodyear tire testing in the team’s Lola EX257-MG Prototype race car. Both drivers reported they were pleased with the progress of the car, which the team purchased over the summer and began racing in August. The Anglo-American driving duo did a series of long and short runs during the testing session. Chris Dyson also took some laps at the end of the second day of testing to acclimate himself to the team’s new mount, which competes in the LMP 675 class in the American Le Mans Series. Weaver was the fastest qualifier in the LMP 675 class in two of the last three ALMS races of the recently-completed 2002 season, though the team is still seeking its first race win in the series. “It was a very good test, and we covered an enormous amount,” said Weaver. “You start testing and you feel like you could go on for a week on end, trying new things. Even still, I thought it was a good start. The car’s coming along very nicely and Goodyear’s working hard. We’ve learned a lot.” The team will be testing again over the winter in preparation for the Sebring race and the 2003 American Le Mans Series season. Corvette Racing, which won the GTS class championship in the ALMS in 2002, also participated in the Goodyear testing session at Sebring.

11/13/02
Grand-Am 
Davy Jones returns to racing   Morrison/Mosler Motorsports today announced that at least four MT900R mid-engine coupes are being prepared for the Grand American Road Racing Association’s Rolex GTS competition in 2003. They will be ready for the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona next February. Mica Racing Inc., of Houston, will field two cars - one to be co-driven by Mike Floyd of Houston and five-time Indianapolis 500 starter Davy Jones, badly hurt in an IRL car a few years ago.
11/13/02
 
Homestead made for Joe Gibbs Racing   When you look at the race results at Homestead-Miami Speedway over the last three years, you would think that someone built the track exclusively for Joe Gibbs Racing. With two victories out of the three races run there, Tony Stewart once again looks to be a favorite to possibly win this weekend, but don't forget about his teammate Bobby Labonte who has been no slouch at the 1.5-mile oval either. With finishes of second, fourth and eighth in the three races run there, Labonte is the only driver to have finished in the top-10 every race there and he feels as though he has a very good shot at visiting victory lane this weekend himself. In addition, Labonte knows it's not only the last race of the 2002 season, but it's also the last race he is running in a Pontiac so there is a little added incentive to finish the year on a strong note. "I feel really good about this weekend's event in Homestead," said Labonte. "We're taking my favorite car down there to finish the season out before we switch everything over to Chevrolets during the off-season. I just like racing down there. The straightaways are pretty long so you need to have good horsepower, but you really need to get through the flat corners. That is the key at so many tracks, but Homestead really reveals who is handling good and who isn't. I like the challenge it presents."

11/13/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

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F1 News In Brief

11/12/02

More on race promotion in Mexico City   Dear AutoRacing1.com, Adrian Fernandez just appeared in a segment on Mexico's TV Azteca's Nightly News (Hechos). He appeared along with a sports personality and an official from the Mexican company promoting the race. Adrian looked pretty good in that he was no longer wearing any kind of neck brace. When asked if he would be racing this weekend he mentioned that he would most likely know tomorrow (Wednesday) after meeting again with Dr. Trammel and perhaps others. The race is currently being promoted "heavily" on TV Azteca with one or even two commercials every time a show goes to commercials. It's being promoted the way all CART races should be promoted. Some interesting points:

  • The race official mentioned that there are still seats available in most of the grandstands so we'll see how it turns out.

  • TV Azteca had some excellent aerial footage of the circuit.

  • On the nightly sports show (Protagonistas), they've got the Mexican CART TV announcers showing footage of the transporters, hospitality areas, etc. being set up. The announcers are actually set up sitting on the straightaway grandstand for their broadcast. It's unbelievable how much footage they're providing including a reporter going around the circuit in a golf cart.

  • Commercials are running with each of the Mexican drivers both together and separately. As I'm watching right now, three commercials have run in one segment.

  • Other CART drivers (Andretti, Fittipaldi, Tracy, Franchitti, Junqueira) are appearing in a promotional commercial and introducing themselves in Spanish.

As another subscriber mentioned earlier today, TV Azteca's most popular shows are giving viewers the chance to win tickets/ticket packages.  Reggie Corona Brownsville, Texas

11/12/02

CART vs. IRL drivers   There is a lot of discussion over CART drivers and IRL drivers and if Road Course drivers really are better overall drivers. Here is what I think is incontrovertible evidence: Earlier this year an IRL 'Star' who has sat on the pole, stood on the IRL podium twice so far, and has gone wheel to wheel 3 abreast at 230mph lap after lap with IRL Champion Sam Hornish and CART Champion Helio Castroneves in IRL races did two days of testing at Sebring Intl (a Road Course) in a Barber Dodge Pro Car. There were 14 drivers testing from young drivers looking to 'move up' to gentlemen weekend warriors. After two days the IRL 'star' was 12th fastest of the 14 drivers present despite extensive coaching from the Skippy staff. The driver: Sarah Fisher. Name withheld by request.  Dear Nameless, We heard that story too.  Sarah is strictly an oval track driver, and we have long maintained, it's far easier to go from driving road courses to driving ovals, than vice versa.  That was all too evident when road racer Juan Montoya went to Indy as a rookie and cleaned their clocks.   And when Nigel Mansell came to the USA having never so much as having attended an oval race won the CART Championship including most of the oval races that year.   Nigel's quote (0r words to the effect) "...I don't see what the fuss is, it's simply two straights connected by four corners and they are all the same..." another favorite from Zanardi (or words to the effect) after winning his first oval "...It's not correct everyone congratulating me because on an oval it is about the engineer and how the team sets up the car, I'm just a passenger going round...it's not like it's real racing..." Oval racing is more about knowing how to setup a car, whereas road course racing takes more pure driving talent.  If you are a person who believes that auto racing is a sport, then it's easy to understand why road course racing is more sport and oval racing more show, because the driver is the athlete, and if the athlete skill isn't what determines the outcome, then it isn't sport, but simply entertainment.  Mark C.

11/12/02
 
Testing cutback  It appears that NASCAR is scaling back the teams independent race testing sessions for 2003. NASCAR will limit the Winston Cup teams to only five testing sessions for next year, a reduction from the number of testing sessions allowed this year, which was seven. NASCAR Winston Cup rookies will see their testing dates diminish by 25%, reduced from 12 down to only nine dates in 2003. The limit on test dates does not apply to tracks on the Winston Cup tour, so venues such as Pikes Peak, Kentucky and Nashville are open season for testing in 2003.

11/12/02

CART stock watch   

MPH closed at $4.84 Down $0.06 on Volume of 9,500 shares.
$4.21 Bid - $5.15 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.78 / $4.93
MPH Value Change Down 1.22%
DOW Jones Up 27.05 or 0.32% on Volume of 1.67 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 30.37 or 2.3%
S&P 500 Up 6.76 or 0.77%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

11/12/02
 
Seen at Phoenix   Here are two photos of people we saw at Phoenix this past weekend.  Spotted was Mad Max on both Friday and Saturday (talking to Casey Mears among others); also ex-IRL owner Joe Truscelli on Saturday and Sunday.  And of course  and the Dahm Triplets of Playboy infamy were the big hit on Saturday.

Photos courtesy of Earl Ma.

11/12/02

Arrows statement  Arrows has agreed and signed Contracts with German based investors for the introduction of substantial new equity into the Team. Until we reach Completion, the terms of the deal must remain confidential. However, in view of the various parties involved the process is taking some time to complete. There was a Court Hearing, adjourned in September, which was due to be heard this week. In light of this, Arrows has sought the protection of the Court in order to provide the time it needs to achieve Completion on the deal. A further statement will be issued at this time.

11/12/02

ALMS to do demo run in Mexico City   A pair of Prototype sports cars from the American Le Mans Series will run exhibition laps this weekend at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City to give fans a preview of the series event scheduled at the rejuvenated road racing venue in 2003.  The circuit will officially re-open by hosting the CART FedEx Championship Series for Grand Premio Telmex/Gigante presented by Banamex/Visa this weekend. A large crowd is expected at the historic track, which previously hosted the Mexican round of the Formula One World Championship and has undergone a massive revitalization project to make it one of the world’s top racing circuits. Former Formula One and CART star Stefan Johansson of Sweden will drive the Champion Racing Audi R8 in the American Le Mans Series exhibitions in Mexico City. Young American driver Gunnar Jeannette will be in a Panoz LMP-01 for the exhibitions, which will take place on all days of track activity. The Panoz was the first car of any kind to turn laps on the circuit when it was driven by ALMS star David Brabham on Nov. 5. When they are not on the track, the two American Le Mans Series cars will be available for fans to see in the track’s garage area. The ALMS will hold its event at the circuit Apr. 4-6, 2003.

11/12/02

Excitement building in Mexico City   Dear AutoRacing1, I would like to take the chance to comment you on how ticket sales are going on for the CART Series in Mexico City.  As a way to get people to know the race is happening, every day this week TV Azteca and CNI Channel 40 are giving tickets away in contests, and some radio stations, newspapers and magazines are doing likewise. Gigante is offering General Admission tickets just for buying the equivalent to $20 USD in merchandise in their stores. The Mexican newspaper Reforma announced today that Emmo will green flag the race. Definitely the enthusiasm is growing every day so I am sure it will be a huge vent. Regards, Juan José Elías, Mexico City

11/12/02

SPEED to host CART Thanksgiving marathon   SPEED Channel has announced plans to air a CART marathon that will entertain Champ Car fans with more than 32 hours of race coverage starting Thanksgiving morning and concluding the following evening. SPEED Channel will rebroadcast all 13 Champ Car events televised on SPEED, starting with Monterrey, Mexico Thanksgiving morning at 9:00 a.m. ET, followed by Long Beach (11:30 a.m.), Japan (2:00 p.m.), Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (4:30 p.m.), Vancouver (7:00 p.m.) and Elkhart Lake (9:30 p.m.) in succession. The marathon continues on into early Friday with Montreal (12:00 a.m.) and Denver (2:30 a.m.), then picks back up at 9:00 a.m. with England, Australia (11:30 a.m.), Fontana (2:00 p.m.) and concludes with the re-airing of this Sunday's season finale Gran Premio Telmex/Gigante Presented by Banamex/Visa from Mexico City (5:30 p.m.). Friday provisional qualifying for this Sunday's Gran Premio Telmex/Gigante Presented by Banamex/Visa in Mexico City, Mexico will air on SPEED Channel (November 15, 4:00 p.m. ET) followed later that evening by CART Friday Night at 10:30 p.m. The final round of qualifying will air November 16 at 3:30 p.m. and the Round 19 CART FedEx Championship Series finale live on Sunday, November 17 at 4:00 p.m. In addition, SPEED Channel will broadcast a CART Friday Night 2002 Season Wrap-Up next Friday, November 22, at 10:00 p.m. ET.

11/12/02
 
Student run newspaper still fighting Earnhardt's  This Daytona Beach News-Journal article says newspaper editor Sarah Myrick believes in the "power of the press." To the University of Florida student, the phrase is not a cliché, but rather a time-tested principle that her student-run newspaper, the Independent Florida Alligator, has put to work in fighting the state of Florida and the widow of a racing legend. The Gainesville newspaper, not affiliated with the university, is challenging a controversial state law -- passed after the death of stock car driver Dale Earnhardt -- all the way to the Florida Supreme Court. "For us, this is about protecting the public's right to know," said Myrick, 21, a senior majoring in journalism at the University of Florida. "It's important for the press and the public to have access." On one side are wide-eyed journalists such as Myrick and on the other side is a famous widow, Teresa Earnhardt, trying to protect her family's privacy.
11/12/02
 
NBC ratings for Phoenix off slightly  UPDATE  Towards the end of the race in Phoenix last Sunday, there were several good battles between drivers at the front of the pack. Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin were all in the top five at the time trying to pass each other for position. Suddenly, NBC segued into showing highlights from Wally Dallenbach's appearance in the Busch race the day before. The other announcers then heaped praise upon Wally for finishing in ninth place. The several minute segment prevented fans from keeping apprised of the race situation at a key point in the race. Many fans have been writing NBC, letting them know their thoughts on the race coverage or lack thereof. 11/12/02 - NBC's broadcast of Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500k Winston Cup race drew a 3.8 overnight Nielsen rating with a 7 share, according to Monday's Sports Business Daily.  Last year's race, which was run slightly earlier in the season, on Oct. 28, 2001, drew a final rating of 4.0 9 share, according to Sports Business Daily. (Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)

11/12/02

Jordon $25 million lighter  The costs are just too high in F1 and those high tech engines, if anything, only make the racing worse (bigger separation between haves and have nots).  It's time for Bernie to step in, tell the manufacturers the FIA is going to put, say, a 16,000 RPM rev limit on the engines, take out the expensive exotic materials, set some other restrictions to save cost, and lets go racing.  Slash cost in technology and spend it on marketing, where it grows the sport.  Identical engines in CART and F1 saves cost, but more importantly, opens up both series and their respective markets to all current and future V-10 engine manufactures.  This Guardian Unlimited article reinforces our call for a common, lower cost V-10 engine for CART and F1 in 2005. --  Jordan found themselves with a £16m shortfall on their budget for the 2003 world championship yesterday with the withdrawal of their title sponsor DHL and its associate company Deutsche Post. Between them they were responsible for about 40% of the team's financial backing. The news reinforced the need for ways to be found to reduce the level of costs in formula one at a time when tumbling television viewing figures have caused many major sponsors to reconsider whether the sport is still good value for money in straitened economic conditions. Although Jordan's senior management was putting an upbeat gloss on negotiations to finalise replacement funding, the predicament follows Veltins, the German brewery company, ending its joint sponsorship of the BMW Williams team. In addition Deutsche Telekom's T-mobile brand is reviewing its similar deal with McLaren. These are disappointing developments bearing in mind the presumed level of German interest in formula one with the involvement of the Schumacher brothers as well as BMW and Mercedes-Benz. By contrast, the beleaguered Arrows team could be saved by German venture capitalists, though the team have to lodge their entry for next year's world championship by Friday. Ian Phillips, Jordan's director of business development, said yesterday: "We are confident we can find the additional budget. We have known about DHL's planned withdrawal and have been making the necessary plans. There is no doubt there will be two Jordan cars on the starting grid at the start of next season." The tobacco group Gallahers, whose Benson & Hedges brand was title sponsor from 1996 to 2002, may help fill the breach in a deal which could see the former Jaguar driver Eddie Irvine join Giancarlo Fisichella next season. One Jordan insider was not so confident. "If we don't quickly work out some way of reducing the costs of this business, we're going to see teams going out of business."

11/12/02

How hard is it to drive a road course?   How hard is it to drive a Champ Car on a road course you ask?  Consider this, Dale Coyne tested German youngster Andre Lotterer at Sebring for three days before giving him a ride in Mexico City.  His not running in some time showed per his stamina in the Florida heat. He final got down to some decent times on the third day. He went back to Germany to for some serious training for two weeks with Jacques Villeneuve's trainer and facility to prepare for Mexico City and the altitude.

11/12/02

Williams to test Müller  In recognition of his strong performance in the European Touring Car Championship, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team is granting touring car works driver Dirk Müller a Formula One test drive. The 26-year-old from North-Rhine Westphalia (GER) will be getting behind the wheel of the WilliamsF1 BMW FW24 in Barcelona on 3 December. "I can't wait for my test drive in Barcelona," said a delighted Müller. "It's always been my dream to drive a Formula One car one day. It's fantastic that the BMW WilliamsF1 Team has given me this opportunity." BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen said: "Over the last two years Dirk has achieved a great deal for BMW and really deserves this token of thanks." Dirk Müller's touring car teammate, Jörg Müller (GER), by contrast, already has plenty of Formula One driving practice under his belt, having spent three years as an F1 test driver.
Dirk Müller, who turns 27 on 18 November, launched his career in 1989 in karting, moving on to various junior formula classes. In 1996, a highly promising season with his first racing victory in the German Formula 3 Championship ended with the bankruptcy of his main sponsor. Müller switched to touring car racing and went on to win the 1998 Porsche Carrera Cup as a works driver as well as the GT Class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in 2000. For the 2001 season he joined BMW's ALMS team and claimed victory at Jarama (ESP) in the BMW M3 GTR. In the 2002 season just past, Dirk Müller manned a BMW 320i as works driver for the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC), in which he secured three racing victories and took fourth place in the championship. His country of residence is Monaco and he has been married to Daniela since 2001. Dirk Müller will be test-driving on 3 December along with Nico Rosberg. The 17- year-old Finn, winner of the German Formula BMW ADAC Championship, was at the WilliamsF1 headquarters in Grove last Monday for a seat fitting and induction. Williams

11/12/02

CART screws Mid-Ohio   A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, As a big fan of Mid-Ohio I can't believe how CART has put the screws to them by moving next years race to August 17th.  The attendance at Mid-Ohio has suffered in recent years because the IRL race at Kentucky (not that far from Mid-Ohio) was on the same day making fans have to choose between the two races.  CART is using the lame excuse that they can't have CART teams race three weekends in a row for not keeping Mid-Ohio on the original date of August 10, 2003.  Sure three weekends in a row is difficult, but CART has had three races in a row for many years now.  All of a sudden they can't do it?  I say that's just BS and a total disregard for the race promoter at Mid-Ohio.  Jason Smith, Columbus, Ohio  Dear Jason, On the surface, it certainly looks as though Mid-Ohio got the short end of the stick, however, we are sure CART spoke to Mid-Ohio management before making such a move.  Apparently they must not have complained much because CART moved their date, but we have to admit, November 10th would have probably been a better date for them to get race fans to the track.  Mark C.

11/12/02
 
Goodbye Chocolate  Next weekend's season finale at Homestead, Fla., will be the last race as a Richard Childress Racing gas man for Danny "Chocolate" Myers, team officials confirmed Sunday. Myers will retire at the end of the season, but will remain employed at RCR. Myers gained fame as Dale Earnhardt's gas man while the driver was with RCR, a stretch during which he won six championships.

11/12/02
Industry News

Racing rejected as a sport  A novel push to introduce motor racing to the Olympic Games has been rejected by IOC Chairman Jacques Rogge. 'We have a rule that the human factor must prevail,' said Rogge when quizzed if motorsport could feature at the 2008 Beijing Games. 'Even if there is a sense of sporting achievement, the car is still the biggest factor.' However, Golf, which is 100% human factor, is tipped to get the go-ahead as a new event for Beijing.

11/12/02

Brit GP ticket prices to hold  Tickets for the 2003 British Grand Prix will be sold at this year's prices, according to promoters Octagon. In response to waning spectator figures and declining attendance, Octagon announces the move in a bid to boost the event at Silverstone next year: 'We said that 2003 would be the year of the race goer,' said Michael Browning, 'and this is being reflected in everything we do at Silverstone.'

11/12/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Jordan Lose Principal Sponsors
Jacques Promises Better Form
Sauber's Brand-New C22 Concept
Ron Dennis Lauds 'The Iceman'
Irvine: Rallying Better Than Sex!
Deal Signed With Arrows Savior?
Minardi Refute Cosworth Confirmation
Jordan Weigh Up Testing Options
Montoya For World Champion: Mansell
Frentzen Buoyed For Sauber Return
Jacques And I Are OK: Richards
F1 News In Brief

11/12/02

Did you know?   Did you know that rookie German driver Andre Lotterer has a very clever manager - Werner Heinz - who is also Manager of German F1 driver Nick Heidfeld and sports car racers Tom Kristensen, Frank Biela etc.  The pressure will be on the youngster this weekend as he tries to prove he can handle the powerful Champ Cars.

11/12/02
 
Ganassi in no hurry  According to this Sporting News article, Chip Ganassi says he's in no hurry to select a replacement for Jimmy Spencer in the #41 Target Dodge next season but characterized his candidates as the usual list of suspects. Garage sources say the list includes drivers who are looking for jobs -- such as Bobby Hamilton and Todd Bodine -- and others who are still under contract -- such as Dave Blaney, John Andretti and Scott Wimmer, a young BGN regular who drives for Bill Davis. Ganassi says he hasn't ruled out a younger driver, citing the success Jamie McMurray has had subbing for Sterling Marlin in the #40. But a more true test for McMurray will come next season -- as a rookie, he will be driving for Ganassi full-time but with a brand new team in the #42.
  Much More...click on 2002 archives button below

Hot News Archives

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