Hot News

Thanks for visiting our Hot News page  Please visit our Rumors page for all the scuttlebutt.  If you have some news, or can supply more information about one listed here, e-mail us with as much supporting information as possible and we may post it.  User agreement & disclaimer. Newer rumors supercede older ones of the same topic.  Go to our forums to discuss any hot news.

Go to our forums to discuss this news.

DATE

News (chronologically)

11/28/02

Da Matta has faith in CART  In this tsn.ca article, Cristiano da Matta says the CART series will likely have to take a few steps back in order to move forward. The reigning CART champion, who is moving to Formula One in 2003, says with several top teams and drivers leaving, the series might find itself slipping back to what it was in the late 1980's and early 1990's. "The only real motor sport there is in America today is ChampCars," said da Matta during this week's F1 test session in Spain. "Next year is definitely a crucial year for the series but I just hope for the best because it is such a better series than anything else in the United States." "CART is such a good series because the equipment is so similar and teams are at a very high level. For Americans it is a good series... but if you look at it from the world point of view I don't think a guy from Europe or Australia or Japan will want to go to America to race IRL." Da Matta says he has a lot of confidence in series president Chris Pook, noting he has done a good job taking over a troubled organization and making several key changes which will help it to succeed in the long term.

11/28/02

Tagliani hoping to land Newman Haas ride  According to this CART.com article, Tagliani's best bets for next year appear to be with Paul Gentilozzi's Rocketsports Racing team and with perennial CART front-runner Newman/Haas Racing (as previously rumored on AR1). “It's looking very good,” Tagliani said at Mexico City. “I'm under contract with Player's and they want to be involved in my conversations with other teams. But they also realize that asking me to look for a new team four races before the end of the season was very short notice, so they said they would help me get a ride. “Newman/Haas has a good program,” he added. “They are working on some Canadian sponsorship so they would like to have a Canadian driver. I've had some conversations with Carl Haas and it seems very good. He has a very strong team and I think he would like to give me a chance. It's getting closer and closer. Player's is going to meet with their people to look at the numbers. For sure, it would be attractive to Carl to get a driver whose salary is paid where he gets to keep the prize money. It's a bonus for him and it would give him a very good basis to run a second car.” Alex admits that Newman/Haas would be his number one choice, but he says that Rocketsports is an intriguing possibility as well. Team owner Gentilozzi has an impressive record as a driver and team owner and Tagliani was impressed in their first meeting. “I talked to him in Las Vegas,” Tagliani confirmed. “He's a good guy and he would be an interesting team owner. It was the first time I had a conversation with him about racing. As a driver, his knowledge about tires and shocks and things like that is very impressive. I want to keep my options open, but going to a new team is a risk. He could put the people together and it might work, but he doesn't have a car or any engineers right now. It might work out, but if it didn't, I might have a hard time getting a contract at the end of next year.”

11/28/02

Pizzonia almost kills himself, passengers  Formula One rookie Antonio Pizzonia, who is very high on himself, wrote off a $75,000 Jaguar road car in a spectacular 155mph crash at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona. The Brazilian and three passengers, none of whom was seriously hurt, somersaulted into a tire barrier after losing control of the S-Type R sports saloon at the first corner of the Spanish track. Pizzonia was carrying out promotional work for the Jaguar Racing team after official F1 testing at the circuit had ended for the day. "I was in the car, I was driving but I am okay," said the 23-year-old who will make his debut for the Milton Keynes-based outfit at the season-opening race in Australia next March. Pizzonia, who is regarded as one of the sport's brightest prospects but still a raw talent, was taken to the track's medical centre for a check up. The car was declared a write-off after it was towed back to the garage on a flat-bed truck with the roof caved in and the rear window smashed. Jaguar spokesman Nav Sidhu, who was at the first corner, said: "Antonio was driving a Jaguar S-Type R for a promotional activity we are undertaking for a magazine. "From having seen the footage it looks like he went into the first corner too fast and lost control of the car but thankfully everybody is okay. "Antonio will hopefully carry on tomorrow with some testing duties. They are all obviously a bit shocked as one would expect. "There is probably a bit of bruising which will manifest itself overnight given the impact as they went off at around 155mph and somersaulted into a tire wall. "It was certainly not a small shunt. The car is a write-off but we make lots of those so I am sure we are not going to miss it."

11/28/02

Barcelona Day 3 - Badoer back to top 

Driver

Chassis-engine

Tires

Time

Laps

Luca Badoer

Ferrari

B

1m17.141s

83

Mark Webber

Jaguar

M

1m18.692s

86

Olivier Panis

Toyota

M

1m19.129s

27

Anthony Davidson

BAR-Honda

B

1m19.536s

72

Cristiano da Matta

Toyota

M

1m.20.400s

79

Antonio Pizzonia

Jaguar

M

1m21.190s

11

11/28/02

Kentucky promoter thinks CART out to spite him  UPDATE Dear AutoRacing1.com, I sent this letter to Mark Cassis in Kentucky in response to this article - Dear Mr. Cassis, Quit your belly-aching! You haven’t done ANYTHING in the best interest of the sport only what’s in the best interests of your track’s checkbook and the morbid interests of your cronies at 16th and Georgetown. “The Hammer” started this fight . . . . and Pook’s gonna win it! The fans see what the spoiled rich kid from Indy has done to our sport, and CART in particular (you have the gall and audacity to complain after the rape and plunder CART has been put through by the IRL this year!) and he, and the rest of you, are gonna discover real soon that all those inbred morons that show up for the 500 each year don’t give a shit about anything other than the 500. They are not “motorsports” fans they are “500” fans and that will ultimately spell doom for the IRL ‘cause those “500” fans wont push their walkers through the turnstiles of any other IRL event. WE are the true fans and WE support CART! Quit complaining ‘cause you took sides with the losers! CART has every right to counter-program ever race on the IRL schedule, if they could. That’s called competing in a free and open marketplace. Let the fans decide what they want to spend hard earned dollar on and may the best product win! That’s competition. Something the IRL knows nothing about judging from the parades they pass off as motor races. What’s next? Will the IRL start begging Washington for subsidies? Maybe you need trade sanctions against CART so you can hold races that maybe 10,000 NASCAR fans, on whom you FORCE IRL tickets, MIGHT show up to see! You need someone to blame? Blame NASCAR. They’re the ones sucking up all the roundy-roundy race fans, not CART. The fact is, and this is something you IRL people just wont get, CART fans are technology driven-road racing fans first and foremost. We enjoy the high-speed superspeedway races ‘for that reason. But if all the oval events were removed from the CART schedule, especially the small ovals, I don’t think any of us would really miss ‘em! The best drivers on the planet do more than turn left all day long in cars my Grandmother could run flat out! Face it. The IRL just isn’t the product open-wheel fans want. Jim Anderson, Chicago, IL  11/28/02 - This Cincinnati Post article says, Mark Cassis has taken off the velvet gloves where Championship Auto Racing Teams officials are concerned.  Cassis, executive vice president and general manager of Kentucky Speedway, needed no extra heat in his office Tuesday as he spoke about the coming season and the track's Aug.17 Belterra Indy 300, which has been the final event at the track for each of its three years. "I'm fed up; I've had it," Cassis said. "I tried to do everything I could for the open-wheel racing fans in Greater Cincinnati. I get ABC and the IRL and everyone to make serious adjustments to their entire schedule so we can have the Belterra one week later than Aug. 10 (the second weekend) and what happens? CART changes its date to run against us." For the past two years, Kentucky Speedway's open-wheel IRL race has been held on the same Sunday as CART's event at Mid-Ohio Race Course, just north of Columbus. "It's been toughest on fans of open-wheel racing because it forced them to make a choice," Cassis said. The first Belterra Indy 300 in 2000 drew 63,000 fans at the 66,089-seat track. CART raced on another weekend. But the next two years attendance at Kentucky Speedway for the Belterra race dropped to about 40,000 with CART's race at Mid-Ohio also taking a hit. Last summer, Cassis announced the Belterra Indy 300 date would be one week later, Aug. 17. He also arranged to have the Infiniti Pro Series race, a set-up for the Sunday event, run at 8 p.m. on Saturday. "You try to do the right thing for the sport and the fans and then CART moves its date," he said. "Well, I've got the best drivers now, I've got the sponsors, I've got the date and the television contract and I'm going to market the daylights out of it. "And what's more, I'm offering a $1.5 million purse. Let whatever happens happen."

11/28/02

Valencia Day 3 - Räikkönen smokes everyone 

Driver

Chassis

Laptime

Laps

Kimi Räikkönen

McLaren

1m 10.664s

114

David Coulthard

McLaren

1m 11.833s

65

Juan Pablo Montoya

Williams F1

1m 12.139s

137

Marc Gene

Williams F1

1m 13.510s

45

Nick Heidfeld

Sauber Petronas

1m 13.725s

83

Vitantonio Liuzzi

Williams F1

1m 14.026s

71

Jarno Trulli

Renault

1m 14.173s

55

11/28/02

Will F1 make the same mistake CART did?  CART learned the hard way.  A low downforce aerodynamic package makes the cars skitterish and not planted to the road enough to race close together.  Next year CART will have a higher downforce aero package and already the drivers who have driven the 2003 car are saying they will be able to race better. Now it sounds like F1 is about to make the same mistake as CART did.   Bernie Ecclestone has reaffirmed his own belief and that of countless observers around the world that there needs to be dramatic changes to the technical regulations of F1 to properly reform the sport’s spectacle. Ecclestone and FIA President Mosley were recently quoted in the German publication “Auto Motor und Sport” saying that they were supporting a move to re-introduce slick tires. The F1 Technical Working Group will meet next week to discuss rule change proposals for 2004, high on the agenda those that will help return mechanical grip to the cars. Currently cars rely on their aerodynamic packages for the bulk of their grip because there is less tire rubber in contact with the tarmac thanks to the grooves, contributing to a lack of overtaking. ‘It would be a good idea to reduce the size of the front wing and rear wings to balance the car, and you'd probably have to get rid of the diffusers (major contributor to overall car downforce),’ Ecclestone told a recent edition of Italy’s “Sport Auto Moto”. ‘You'd reduce the aerodynamic downforce and increase mechanical grip with wider wheels and slick tires.’  What needs to happen in our opinion is that F1 needs to take globs of HP out of their engines (i.e. a common lower-cost, lower revivng engine common for F1 and CART) and slap a 16,000 RPM rev-limit on them.  That will keep HP gains in check and all the manufacturers will gravitate to about the same HP over time.  The lower HP engine will mean slower straight speeds resulting in the cars being on the straights longer to have time to skip stream buy.  Ever see all the slipstreaming in F3 where the cars are on the straight forever?  They also need a high-downforce aero package that will allow the car behind to tuck right up under the car in front exiting a turn.  The will allow a car to pickup the tow and slingshot past.  They also need to get rid of the automatic transmissions and paddle shifters, as well as traction control.  Let the drivers take their hands off the wheel to shift.  Make it so that drivers are a higher percentage of the equation, hence will make errors that result in passes.  As it is now, the cars are so computer controlled, a robot could drive them.  Everything is so perfect, no one gains the upper hand and no one passes.

11/28/02

Jackie Stewart puts on a brave face  Sir Jackie Stewart appeared in public for the first time yesterday since undergoing an operation to prevent the onset of skin cancer. A four-inch scar stretching from his left eye almost to his lip was clearly visible on the face of the former Formula 1 world champion as he spoke at a Jaguar Racing press conference. Sir Jackie’s family has already been involved in two agonizing battles against cancer. His son, Paul, 36, was diagnosed with colon cancer in April 2000, but is now in remission. Eighteen months later Sir Jackie’s wife Lady Helen Stewart, 62, discovered she had breast cancer. Sir Jackie had a pre-cancerous tumor removed three weeks ago at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, the same clinic at which Paul and Lady Helen were treated by the Scottish oncologist Professor Ian Hay. Sir Jackie, 63, has campaigned tirelessly to raise money for cancer charities and his efforts helped raise £25million for the Christie’s Against Cancer Appeal.

11/28/02

St. Petersburg alters track...finally  When we first saw the new St. Petersburg track layout (see layout to right) we could not believe what we were seeing.  The main straight had a major right-hand bend in it just before turn one so that passing under braking would have been impossible.  We thought, how can they be so shortsighted?  We spoke to St. Pete general manager Tom Begley last weekend in Miami and we are happy to report they have decided to square-off the corner into a proper 90-degree right-hander (actually it's more like 120-degrees).  However, the track layout they show on their website still has the ludicrous bend in the track before the turn.  For the first year they have decided to construct 15 grandstands plus suites.  In future years, if the demand is there, they have planned for over 25 grandstands.

11/28/02

Compared to da Matta, Russian rookie way off pace  CART champion Cristiano da Matta was 2 seconds off his teammates pace after his first full day of testing for Toyota at Barcelona, but cut the deficit to 1-second at the end of day two.  Da Matta was just under 2-seconds slower than fast men Pizzonia (Jaguar) and Badoer (Ferrari).  Compare that to Russian rookie Sergey Zlobin at Valencia where he is a full seven seconds slower than fast man Raikkonen and three full seconds slower than Minardi test driver Matteo Bobbi who ran a 2001 spec car (i.e. 2-year old car).  

11/28/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Fisi Trades Spain For Slovakia
Berger Ponders Early Retirement
Davidson Resigned To Test Role
Webber Surprised At Lauda Firing
F1 A 'Big Shock' For Cristiano
Stewart To Take Active Role
Panis: BAR Must Improve in '03
Barcelona Blitz For Jag Rookie
McLarens Dominate At Valencia
CART Boss Confirms European Push
Vote Of Support For F1 Rookie
F1 News In Brief

11/28/02

There are signs, the Phoenix is about to rise   CART has made a drastic turnaround this year in spite of recent defections. Just when it looked like the lights were going to go out at CART, people attended CART races this year in record numbers that were noticed by the Ford Motor Company and Bridgestone. A lot of other good things with CART, including the fact that SPEED Channel’s distribution grew in leaps and bounds over the past year (from approximately 40 million to 60 million households) and that, with seven to nine hours of coverage on many race weekends to say nothing of special events like Thanksgiving Day’s “CART-athon,” the new television package had a lot going for it. “Just as Dan (Davis, Director of Ford Racing Technology) wants to sell Ford cars and trucks, we want to sell Bridgestone tires,” says Al Speyer, Bridgestone director of motorsports. “We really like the international flavor of CART, running not only in North America but in the international events. And the challenge that it gives us technically, with the variety of tracks—CART racing not only on superspeedways and ovals but on street circuits and permanent road courses—very much helps us demonstrate the technology in our tires to the racing fans and the general public." "Initially, the attraction, let's just be blunt, of some of the other series is the Indy 500,” said Gentilozzi in Mexico City. “That's a major motorsports event, but it is not the only place to do business. When you look at the relationships that happen on race weekends between customers and sponsors, business-to-business contact can only be done in this part of the world with CART. That changed our mind. When you look at the stock market, there are days when stock is good, stock is bad. I think we're coming at a time of opportunity. I think there's so much more momentum now for CART that it's the right buy.” But if there was a master stroke, it was the decision to abandon the ill-conceived, IRL-compatible, normally aspirated engine formula in favor of the spec, turbocharged Ford Cosworth. It not only assured that CART retained its high-tech identity, it paved the way for a host of long-overdue cost containment measures and provided CART some breathing room to develop a comprehensive engine/chassis formula that will be attractive to manufacturers and constructors—and afford CART a measure of control over those manufacturers and constructors that was so clearly lacking in the past. Most important of all, having wasted the better part of five years pursuing a series of doomed attempts at reconciliation with the Indy Racing League, CART finally took control of its own destiny. “We will not let others dictate how we run our series,” said Pook. “Management is now taking this company under full control and we’re going to run the company the way we want to run it, the way the board of directors want it to run, and the way the team owners want it run.” After all, two of the world’s largest automotive retailers didn’t sign on as the title and presenting sponsors of the remonikered “Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford” just because they felt sorry for CART President and CEO Chris Pook. No, they recognized the fact that, alone among major league racing series in North America, CART regularly plays to sophisticated, urban audiences, reaching a largely untapped fan base in the process. They recognized the vast improvements in the quality of the television product and they found CART’s unique brand of competition featuring high-tech, open-wheel racing on street circuits, ovals and road courses throughout North America—and with forays to Europe and Australia—a compelling vehicle to promote their products. Read the complete Speed article here . . ..

11/28/02
Industry News

LVMS co-founder dies   UPDATE  Ralph established a fabulous collection of over 350 autos which are on display at the Imperial Palace, from cars owned by American Presidents and Mussolini to a complete room of Duesenburgs. Watch the video at this site and notice the open-wheel race car. The museum is well worth a visit when you're in Las Vegas.  11/27/02 - Imperial Palace casino owner and Las Vegas Motor Speedway co-developer Ralph Engelstad, 72, died of cancer Tuesday night at his Las Vegas home. “All of us associated with Las Vegas Motor Speedway are saddened by the death of Ralph Engelstad. It was Mr. Englestad’s vision that contributed in large part to the decision to build this wonderful facility, and we will be forever indebted to him for it. On behalf of our chairman, Bruton Smith, the speedway’s employees and the hundreds of thousands of motorsports enthusiasts who have enjoyed events here at LVMS, we send our condolences to the Engelstad family.”

11/27/02

2003 Champ Car said to be awesome   The feedback we are getting from drivers who have tested the 2003 CART Champ Car with the spec Ford engine at Firebird this week is very positive.  The drivers are saying the car is fun to drive, they can really hang the back end out and drive it hard through the corners.  The 750 HP engine is very responsive, partly because of the higher boost pressure.  And lap times are almost the same at they were before the HP was dropped by 100.  If you recall, we told you that lap times would not suffer much because the percentage of a lap that a driver is at full throttle on a road course is relatively small (perhaps 25%) and the loss is made up for by the bigger wings which produce more downforce, hence higher cornering speeds and better braking.  From reports so far, CART may have finally got their 'package' right and the racing may be the best we have seen in years.  Mark C.

11/27/02

Priestley update  Jason Priestley recently returned to his home in California for the first time since suffering serious injuries to his feet and back during an Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series crash Aug. 11 at Kentucky Speedway. Priestley continues a rigorous rehabilitation routine but otherwise has recovered from the injuries, according to a statement from Kelley Racing, his team in the Infiniti Pro Series.

11/27/02

CART stock watch   

MPH closed at $4.30 Down $0.07 on Volume of 24,900 shares.
$3.63 Bid - $4.61 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.25 / $4.52
MPH Value Change Down 1.60%
DOW Jones Up 255.26 or 2.94% on Volume of 1.71 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 43.51 or 3.01%
S&P 500 Up 25.56 or 2.8%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

11/27/02

Davidson priced out of F1?  Britain's Anthony Davidson fears he will miss out on a Formula One drive next season because he could not come up with the £2million asking price. The 23-year-old has resigned himself to spending 2003 in the shadow of former teenage rival Jenson Button by continuing his role as a test driver for British American Racing. "Unless we can pay the 3million (around £2m) like Wilson it's not on," said Davidson, who got the chance to replace Malaysia's Alex Yoong for two races because Wilson was too tall to fit into the 2002 cockpit. "It would not be worth it, and we don't have it. As soon as you are a paying driver you are a paying driver for ever. We are not going to pay for a drive. "We were in talks with Jordan, but it's not looking too promising any more. I think they are still keen on me, but it all comes down to money. "But it is going to be a tough decision for Eddie (Jordan) to make whatever driver they put in the car."

11/27/02

Why not CART at Fuji?  UPDATE Did you know?  In 1966 USAC, then the sanctioning body of Indy car racing ran a race at Fuji. The winner was Jackie Stewart in a Lola Ford owned by John Mecum and wrenched by George Bignotti. Stewart also came within about ten laps of winning Indy that year with the same team but had engine failure and his teammate Graham Hill won in a controversial finish over Jim Clark.  11/26/02 - A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I could not help but notice the reports that Toyota's Lee White led everyone to believe that Toyota would be back in CART in 2005 at the CART Awards banquet in Miami.  I also saw today's story you published about the Toyota F1 test at Fuji before the track is closed for a major overhaul.  It would seem to me that the finish of the track and Toyota's return to CART would coincide.  If that is the case, it would seem to me that Toyota would want CART to race at the new Fuji in 2005.  After all, Honda has a F1 race (Suzuka) and and IRL race (Motegi) and Toyota has no big race of their own.  Lisa Perotta, San Diego, CA  Dear Lisa, Indeed it would make absolute sense for CART to race at Fuji, especially since it is a road course and that appears to be CART's new emphasis.  Now we will see just how sincere Lee White and Toyota are about returning to CART in 2005.  If they are sincere, one would think they would open up a dialogue with CART immediately for a 2005 event before CART signs with Beijing or South Korea, which our sources say is quite likely.  Chris Pook says CART will have one race in Asia, so if CART goes to Beijing, F1 stays at Suzuka (very likely), and the IRL stays at the oval in Motegi (very likely), Toyota will have made a major investment in Fuji and won't have a major race to show for it.  Mark C.

11/27/02

Russia's F1 project still alive  According to this Grandprix.com article, in St Petersburg, Russia the local authorities are still talking about a race track to welcome Formula 1 in 2005 or 2006. There has been talk of a completely new circuit to be called the Pulkovo Ring, which would be close to the airport. Pulkovo is 10 miles south of St Petersburg and probably best known because of the Central Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which was established in 1839 and was a leading observatory for more than a century. It is also the home of the city's airport, Construction plans for a racing circuit were approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin in May 2001 with a budget of $60m to build a track able to accomodate 150,000 spectators. The track itself would be 2.5 miles in length.

11/27/02

Luyendyk to drive third Mo Nunn  entry at Indy  Arie Luyendyk will take another shot at Indy in 2003 in a third car entered by Mo Nunn Racing - a Toyota powered G-Force.  He will run Motegi Japan for the team as a tune-up for Indy.

11/27/02

Cheever/Scheckter court date set  A mid-Decmeber date has been set for the Cheever/Scheckter lawsuit.  The hearing will be in London, we presume because TWR actually held the Scheckter contract.  TWR is not based in the USA, but in England.

11/27/02

Said nominated   Boris Said, winner of the 2002 BFGoodrich Tires Cup as Trans-Am Series driving champion, has been nominated to the 12-member 2002 Auto Racing All-America team selected by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA). Said, who makes his first career appearance on the AARWBA All-America ballot, is one of six nominees in the Road Racing division. Voting is being conducted by nearly 300 members of the motorsports press nationwide. Two drivers from each of six categories will be named First Team All-Americans, and will be honored at the annual AARWBA banquet in January. The top vote-getter overall will receive the prestigious Jerry Titus Award.

11/27/02

Three CART drivers nominated   Three of the stars of the CART FedEx Championship Series are in line for more post-season honors as 2002 multi-race winners Cristiano da Matta, Bruno Junqueira, and Patrick Carpentier have all been tabbed as nominees for the 32nd annual American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association All-American Team. The AAWRBA team honors two drivers in six separate racing categories for inclusion in a 'first-team' of All-Americans, while a second dozen earn 'second-team' honors. The three CART drivers are included in the open-wheel category after strong seasons that ended in the trio finishing atop the CART standings. Da Matta won the season championship with seven wins and seven poles and has already earned the prestigious National Driver of the Year award, which was presented to him at last week's 2002 CART Awards Banquet. Junqueira was second in the CART standings after a year that saw him win two races and four poles, as well as the pole for the 86th running of the Indianapolis 500. Carpentier pulled the Buckeye double, winning at Cleveland and Mid-Ohio, and rode a strong late-season run to finish third in the standings. The award will be given via balloting of the nearly 300 AARWBA members and will be announced in mid-December. In addition to the All-American team award, one driver will be named as the winner of the Jerry Titus Award, which is given to the organization's Driver of the Year. The Titus Award will be announced at the AARWBA banquet, to be held in January.

11/27/02

Räikkönen tops Wednesday testing at Valencia  On the second day of testing at Valencia in Spain, the McLarens of Kimi Raikkonen and test driver Alex Wurz comfortably quicker than their rivals. Raikkonen's best lap of 1m12.004s proved to be more than enough to keep him at the top of the pile. Wurz was 0.4s behind the Finn, but only managed 27 laps of the twisty Spanish track. Juan Pablo Montoya was the fastest non-McLaren, but the Williams star was the best part of a second behind Raikkonen.

Driver

Chassis

Laptime

Laps

Kimi Räikkönen

McLaren

1m 12.335s

66

Alexander Wurz

McLaren

1m 12.430s

29

Juan Pablo Montoya

Williams F1

1m 12.912s

66

Jarno Trulli

Renault

1m 13.881s

31

Giorgio Pantano

Williams F1

1m 13.898s

54

Marc Gene

Williams F1

1m 14.164s

60

Nick Heideld

Sauber Petronas

1m14.336s

46

Vittantonio Liuzzi

Williams F1

1m 14.829s

29

Matteo Bobbi

Minardi

1m 16.645s

21

Sergey Zlobin

Minardi

1m 19.759s

51

11/27/02

NASCAR drivers plan Thanksgiving activities  Thanksgiving Day activities are mixed among the NASCAR family and include hunting, fishing, vacationing and, of course, racing. Four-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon and newly crowned 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart are among the few who will be getting behind the wheel during the holiday. And if you are looking for NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Elliott Sadler - who will join Robert Yates Racing in 2003 - chances are you will find him in the woods. "When I'm not driving a race car, my favorite thing to do is to deer hunt," said Sadler. "I will spend almost every day from November to January hunting. I don't even really come out of the woods for Thanksgiving, but I will probably eat dinner after I'm finished hunting for the day. That way I can spend time with my family too." Below is a taste of the holiday plans of a selected few in the NASCAR family. Count NASCAR Winston Cup Series rookie Jimmie Johnson as one of those who will be behind the wheel for the holidays. Johnson and his teammate and car owner, Gordon, will be traveling to Gran Canaria - off the coast of Spain - to represent the United States in the Race of Champions Nations Cup. The Nations Cup sees participating nations enter a three-man team consisting of one rally/off-road driver, one circuit racer and one bike rider. Johnson will drive the off-road leg while Gordon will do the driving on asphalt. Motorcycle rider Travis Pastrana will serve as the bike rider. "I can't wait for the competition," said Johnson. "I grew up off road racing and have raced the Baja 1000 and in the stadium truck series in the mid-1990s, so I'm confident that I'll be able to hold my own." "I love the format of the event," said Gordon. "Pitting the best drivers in the world from all forms of motorsports against each other in a head-to-head elimination contest will be exciting." Another of the world's best drivers - 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart - will also be racing this weekend. Stewart is entered in the 62nd annual Lucas Oil Turkey Night USAC race at Irwindale Speedway (Irwindale, Calif.) on Thanksgiving Day. Stewart - a former national USAC champion - won the same event in 2000. Serving as Stewart's crew chief is NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Terry Cook who scored four wins this season and finished eighth in the driver point standings. "Basically they put me in charge of the car to make sure everything's running properly and to make sure Tony has what he needs to race with," Cook said. "Crew chief is really an overrated title for me because I'm just there to help out. It will be fun because Tony has had a lot of success running midget cars in the past scoring 26 USAC National midget wins." Cook also served as crew chief when Stewart won the Turkey Night event in 2000. NASCAR team owner A.J. Foyt is another avid hunter who will spend Thanksgiving at his ranch in West Texas. Foyt will be gunning, literally, for deer, quail and, of course, turkey. Foyt's son Larry Foyt - who finished his second full season competing in the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division - will be spending the day helping a friend move. "Does McDonald's have turkey?" Larry asked. NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Jeff Burton will be doing what many NASCAR drivers will be doing this weekend, vacationing. "I'm going on vacation to the Bahamas with my family," said Burton. "I've been doing photo shoots over the last week and I'm looking forward to spending some time with my family relaxing in the sun. I'll also be doing a little fishing." Others spending time with family include Brett Bodine in New England, Rusty Wallace in South Florida and Michael Waltrip - who will be celebrating his ninth wedding anniversary on Wednesday with his wife, Buffy - will host his family and Buffy's family at the Waltrip "compound" in Sherrills Ford, N.C.

11/27/02

Stewart blames Ford  Jackie Stewart has hit out at Jaguar Racing's parent company Ford for ruining what he described as a 'small, compact and highly energised' team when it was under his control. "While it was Stewart Grand Prix it was a small, compact, and highly energised family business," Stewart said today. "We attracted some very good people and achieved maybe a bit too much success at such an early stage in the team's history. We didn't have the finances or the means to sustain that level of success. We needed to readdress this if we wanted to move forward and that's where Ford came in. "This is a new era that we are entering. We have in the past had superstars of technical directors or aerodynamicists. What now is going to happen is that the technology front is going to be driven by departmental excellence of individuals who are not the superstars. I don't think we will be seeing the next generation as being Adrian Neweys [McLaren] or Ross Brawns [Ferrari]. "He [Tony Purnell, new boss of Ford's PPG] has always been a backroom man but very advanced in high technology. And I think that is the future of Formula One. That is where the future lies. It doesn't lie in finding some new superstar guru. I don't think that person will be there in the future."

11/27/02

Two ALMS driver nominated for All-American team  American Le Mans Series champions Tom Kristensen and Ron Fellows, two of the most accomplished road racing stars
in the world, have been nominated for the 2002 Auto Racing All-America Team. Kristensen, from Denmark, was the driving champion in the LMP 900 (Prototype) class in the American Le Mans Series in 2002, while Canada’s Fellows was the champion in the GTS class for production-based cars. Both drivers enjoyed stellar seasons which included wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Members of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) will select the 12 members of the All-America Team in six categories: road racing, stock car, open wheel, drag racing, short track and
at-large.

11/27/02

Pizzonia leads Wednesday AM testing  Antonio Pizzonia set the pace during another sunny morning session of testing at Barcelona today. The new Jaguar signing clocked a 1m17.966s going 0.01s faster than Luca Badoer in the Ferrari. Pizzonia's Jaguar team mate, Mark Webber, continued to be beset by problems. The Australian managed just two laps all morning and failed to set a representative timed lap. He is using the new 90-degree V10 Cosworth engine, and the problem lies with the powerplant. Pizzonia ran all morning with the 72-degree unit used throughout 2002. Olivier Panis was once again leading the way for Toyota in the development TF102B. The Frenchman was third fastest in the morning session 2.5s ahead of his new team mate Cristiano da Matta. Da Matta caused one of two red-flag periods in the morning when he spun off into the gravel in the final sector of the lap. The Toyota he was driving, the TF102 did not sustain any damage.  Morning Times
Pizzonia 1.17.966 (35 laps)
Badoer 1.17.978 (36 laps)
Panis 1.18.751 (20 laps)
Davidson 1.20.231 (12 laps)
da Matta 1.21.115 (33 laps)
Webber 1.45.859 (2 laps)

11/27/02

Lauda slams Brits, Ford slams back  UPDATE Ford's chief technical director Richard Parry-Jones is on the look out for a new man to replace sacked Jaguar Racing chief Niki Lauda, but claims it won't be another "hero figure". Three-time former world drivers' champion Lauda was sacked yesterday, although he has been asked to continue as a special adviser. "As far as the hero figure and inspiration is concerned, hero figures and inspiration come with a price," said Ford's chief technical director Richard Parry-Jones, who is in overall charge of the F1 program. "It's not all positive.  It can be inspirational, but it can also, if not well tuned into the needs of the organization, inhibit the progress that needs to be made. "I believe that I'm putting in place a sustainable solution - one which is less dependent on individual brilliance and more dependent on the building of a broad college of technical expertise that works extremely well together."  11/26/02 - Niki Lauda has hit out at an English conspiracy after being sacked by Jaguar Racing. "Honestly, the decision did surprise me - there was no criticism of the way I work, or whatever," said Lauda. "But what you've got to know is that in England things work differently. Britons do have their unique way of solving problems. "They saw away at the legs of a chair - nobody talks about anything because they of course all stick together until they get what they want. I was always aware that that's how it works and now it's happened. "I am neither an engineer nor an Englishman and that's why it's easy for me to accept being replaced. I've now got to consider whether to accept their offer of continuing to work for Ford."

11/27/02

Montezemolo visits Charlie Rose  Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo was a guest on the Charlie Rose Show in the United States last week. The famous American, Rose, dedicated a long interview to the president of the Ferrari and Maserati Group, featuring clips of Michael Schumacher testing a Maserati Coupe, the new 'Enzo' and old F1 footage from the Fifties.

11/27/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Panis Singles Out Toyota Aero
Murray: Ferrari Tactics Were Mistake
Montoya Tops Times At Valencia
Damovo Refute Jordan Split
Lauda Responds To Jag Firing
Ferrari Fastest At Barcelona
Cristiano Adjusts To Formula One
F1 Farewells Superstar Era
Tilke: Thumbs-Up To Istanbul GP
Olly Positive About New Challenge
Stewart Averts Cancer Scare
F1 News In Brief

11/27/02

Oops, someone forgot to tell Simple Green    From the major oops department.  At the CART Awards banquet in Miami, Simple Green gave out their nice collectible diecast metal model safety truck to all 450 attendees.  All the trucks were Toyota (this years CART Simple Green trucks) but CART is switching to Ford trucks in 2003 as part of their new Ford deal.  As it turns out Simple Green has a 20,000 supply of Toyota's that they must now get rid of quickly as they work with Ford on next years model.  Maybe Toyota will take them off their hands to give to their employees as a Christmas present.

11/27/02

New Jaguar drivers start testing, wear HANS  New Jaguar racing drivers Antonio Pizzonia (R) of Brazil and Mark Webber (L) of Australia at the first test at the Circuit De Catalunya Barcelona November 26, 2002.  Webber failed to establish a lap time having experienced mechanical problems early on in the day; despite this he was in good spirits, happy to be back in action after a month and a half break from Formula One. "It's good to start work again. It feels like quite a while since Suzuka," the Australian said. "This is what my job is all about and I'm enjoying settling into working with a new crowd." There were no major incidents for Pizzonia during the day, although the Brazilian did report minor suspension problems in the afternoon. Even still, the 22-year-old showed promising pace and managed a 1:19.797, good enough to secure second place and bettered only by Ferrari's Luca Badoer. Pizzonia also ran with the new HANS (head and neck support) system which will be made mandatory when the 2003 season begins next march in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Ford)

11/27/02
Industry News

Infineon Raceway drops plans for secret appeal  According to the Press Democrat article, facing legal challenges, Infineon Raceway has dropped its request to have its appeal for a big property tax cut heard in secret. Owners [Speedway Motorsports] of the 1,400-acre Sonoma Valley racetrack want their tax assessment reduced by 70 percent. When Infineon officials took their plea to the county Assessment Appeals Board earlier this month, they said the hearing should be closed to the public because their presentation includes trade secrets the company does not want to divulge. But the company withdrew the request for a closed session in a letter sent to the appeals board late Friday. Infineon officials say their track, formerly called Sears Point, is worth less than one-third of the $50 million value assessed by the county. If they succeed in getting the assessment reduced, their yearly property tax bill would drop from $500,000 to $150,000. Representatives of Infineon and its North Carolina-based owner, Speedway Motorsports, say the county's assessment is inflated because it took intangible assets into account. County officials maintain they did a fair assessment based on the large property and structures, which include new grandstands and luxury suites that were part of a recent $50 million overhaul.

11/27/02

CART honors longtime worker Kamphausen Billy Kamphausen (L) with Jim McGee at the CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams) FedEx Championship Series Banquet at the Intercontinental Hotel on November 22, 2002 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images).  McGee presented Kamphausen with CART's Dedicated Service Award for the unending hard work he does in helping get the CART circus in and out of town each week.  The award brought smiles to everyone in the crowd.  His prize -- a Segway to get around the pits and paddock.

11/27/02

Toyota celebrates their biggest championship to date  Lee White (L), Tsutomu Tomita (C) and Jim Aust pose with the Manufacturers Championship Trophy at the CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams) FedEx Championship Series Banquet at the Intercontinental Hotel on November 22, 2002 in Miami, Florida.  It was Toyota's biggest racing championship win to date. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images).

11/27/02

NASCAR and Ford at Homestead again in 2003  For the second consecutive year, the NASCAR Winston Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series will all conclude their seasons in South Florida during the second annual Ford Championship Weekend, November 13-16, 2003 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Earlier this month, Homestead-Miami Speedway hosted the first-ever NASCAR Championship Weekend, where the NASCAR Winston Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series held their season-finales at the same track and on the same weekend for the first time in motorsports history. At the 2002 Ford Championship Weekend, Tony Stewart clinched the NASCAR Winston Cup Championship at the Ford 400; Greg Biffle was crowned the NASCAR Busch Series Championship following the Ford 300; and Mike Bliss clinched the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Championship at the Ford 200. "We're honored to once again host three NASCAR championships at the second annual Ford Championship Weekend," said Curtis Gray, President Homestead-Miami Speedway. "While fans this year witnessed Tony Stewart win his first NASCAR Winston Cup championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway, there's no telling the drama they'll be in store for next season."

11/26/02
Announcement

Pictures of the week  Sorry we were a bit late getting up this weeks pictures of the week.  They are now available on our home page.

11/26/02
F3000

Young American shows well in F3000 test  Red Bull F1 Driver Search winner Joel Nelson may not be the only up-and-coming young American to compete in the Euro3000 series next season. Phil Giebler, himself a finalist in the recent Red Bull run-off, took part in an open test for the series at the Vallelunga circuit in Italy this past Saturday, put on by Euro3000 organizers by invitation to 36 selected drivers, who were front runners from the European and South American junior ranks.  "I was put in the first group of drivers to test the cars and placed in Vincenzo Sospiri's team. The track was still a bit damp from the morning air. Not knowing the track or the cars, I wasn't sure what to expect. After the first two laps I felt comfortable and tried to learn as quick as I could. I was told that I was quickest in the morning by over 0.7sec. At the end of the day all the team managers and the organizers got together to compare notes, and I was quietly congratulated for being the fastest of the test!" This fact was confirmed by series organizers this morning. "From we can gather by comparing data from all of the teams present...Giebler was fastest for the day by a little over two-tenths" stated team owner Sospiri, who went on to say "He was a rocket from lap two, I'm amazed that he has never driven a 3000 car...we as a team and most everyone present were very impressed by his performance. I had heard his name but now know first hand he's as good as his reputation". The test was obviously a boost for the young American racer, and although he still has no definite plans in place for next season, Giebler is concentrating his efforts on Euro3000. "It was a good experience in every way. I learned a lot and made some good impressions," Giebler added. "It's a good way for me to go into winter as I look for the right team/championship combination and the budget to fund it."

11/26/02

Da Matta talks about first day on the job  Brazilian CART Champion Cristiano da Matta began his testing duties for the Toyota Formula One team in Barcelona today. While da Matta’s new teammate Olivier Panis had the latest development specification and modified Toyota chassis, da Matta's first official test with the team was with the 2002 specification car complete with a manual gearshift, rather than the traditional flipper gearshift system. The Brazilian ended his first day of testing with the team just over two-seconds slower than Panis. "I'm not surprised Olivier is that much faster than me," da Matta told Autosport. "Of course I'm not happy about it, but I need experience and knowledge to close the gap. “I am a lot more relaxed than when I last drove the car in May because I know now that I will be driving the car in 2003,” said Da Matta at the end of the day. “My performance to Olivier was about 0.8-seconds on old tires and then it widened to two seconds at the end of the day on new tires, but I had never done a new tire run before. I’ve had a look at the telemetry and, compared to Olivier, I seem to be taking too long to get back on the power at the exit of corners, but I am confident that that will come with time. I’m sitting a little too low in the cockpit at the moment, but we can change that. All in all, a good first day at the office.” We had a few little problems throughout the day, and I only managed to complete half the number of laps we had planned,” da Matta continued in a press release from the team. “However, this was my first real contact with the car, the team and this track. The afternoon was spent mainly doing in-and out laps but as the session progressed I was feeling more at home with the car. After the last CART race, testing the TF102 felt a bit different but it is only a matter of time before I settle in fully.”

11/26/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $4.37 Up $0.31 on Volume of 15,400 shares.
$3.73 Bid - $4.70 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.05 / $4.37
MPH Value Change Up 7.64%
DOW Jones Down 172.98 or 1.95% on Volume of 1.92 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 37.39 or 2.53%
S&P 500 Down 19.57 or 2.1%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

11/26/02

Andretti Green signs Wheldon as test driver  Andretti Green Racing (AGR) announced today that Dan Wheldon has joined the team as a test driver for the organization’s new Indy Racing League program.  Plans are also underway to find additional sponsorship funding that will enable Wheldon to join Andretti Green Racing’s three regular drivers in several IRL races in 2003.  Story

11/26/02

Montoya tops Tuesday testing at Valencia  As the 2002 season draws to a close, F1 teams began the first day test of three days running at the Valencia circuit. Nick Heidfeld had this to say: "I have enjoyed my break since Suzuka, but it felt great to be back in a racing car again. Valencia is an interesting track to drive on. We had a productive day. "

Name

Chassis

Lap Time

Laps

Juan Pablo Montoya

Williams F1

1m 13.350s

58

Alexander Wurz

McLaren

1m 13.423s

19

Kimi Räikkönen

McLaren

1m 13.586s

66

Giorgio Pantano

Williams F1

1m 14.617s

76

Nick Heideld

Sauber Petronas

1m14.790s

49

Jarno Trulli

Renault

1m 15.374s

38

Marc Gene

Williams F1

1m 16.271s

13

Frank Montagny

Minardi

1m 17.030s

28

Sergei Zlobin

Minardi

1m 21.854s

29

11/26/02

Tilke likes Istanbul site  The BBC reports that plans for a Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul have been given the go-ahead by Formula One circuit designer Hermann Tilke. Tilke inspected the site with Turkish motor sports federation head Mumtaz Tahincioglu and described it as "atmospheric". Turkish officials said last week that Istanbul had been chosen as the venue to host a Grand Prix in 2005 by F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. The site beat off competition from Izmir and Antalya and Tilke expects work to begin in April or May 2003. The German, who was responsible for designing the Sepang track in Malaysia, says that the hilly terrain will not be a problem for drivers. "For the drivers and spectators it's good to both have flat areas for high speeds and to have hills. We can make a very atmospheric track." A contract for the race has yet to be signed but Turkish officials say a deal is imminent. However, 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 last week: "I have decided upon Istanbul. "Now we need to finalize the commercial issues and the TV rights."

11/26/02

Badoer tops Tuesday testing at Barcelona  On a clear and sunny day at Barcelona where air temperature reached 20 degrees Centigrade, Luca Badoer completed 82 laps in the Ferrari. His time of 1m18.880s was right on the money - finishing almost a full second ahead of Jaguar debutant Antonio Pizzonia.  Rookie Da Matta was 2-seconds off his teammates pace but that is to be expected.  Juan Montoya was in the same boat when he began testing.  The team likely just wants him to get laps under his belt first.

Rank

 Driver

 Team

 Time

 laps

1

L. Badoer

Ferrari

1.18.880

82

2

A. Pizzonia

Jaguar

1.19.797

67

3

O. Panis

Toyota

1.19.854

42

4

A. Davidson

BAR

1.21.733

57

5

C. Da Matta

Toyota

1.21.925

42

6

M. Webber

Jaguar

- - -

3

11/26/02
Industry News

Lap Time comparisons  We thought you might enjoy this lap times comparison chart compiled by Dick Pong.  You should note that the F1 car is 2002 data while the CART Champ Car data is 2000, when Champ Car engines put out 900+ HP in cars that weight 400 pounds (with driver) more than a F1 car.  The "estimated gap" is the lap time difference between the fastest Champ Car (2000 Penske Reynard-Honda) and the fastest F1 car (2002 Ferrari). The estimates are arrived at by interpolation and educated guess.

11/26/02

Cost of NASCAR sponsorship soars  Competition breeds cost, don't let anyone tell you any different.  This St Louis Post-Dispatch article says, It costs a minimum of $16 million to become a primary sponsor for a car (that is a single car folks, and you thought CART or the IRL was expensive at $5 million?) for one season. This money is used to pay crew members' salaries, purchase engines and parts, and cover the cost for the day-to-day operations of the team. Even though NASCAR's popularity continues to grow, it is becoming more difficult to attract sponsors, especially at $16 million.

11/26/02

Valencia possible for CART  As we have rumored on our rumors page, CART may indeed race in Spain next year in place of either Spa or Estoril.  One possible venue for CART is the F1 test track in Valencia, Spain (see photo to right), a resort town about 200 miles south of Barcelona on the Mediterranean coat.  But Valencia is more than a resort town. It is the third largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona, with a population of over 750,000. Ford Europe also has a large plant there, and Mazda has also got a hand in there.  AR1 feels that Spain has far more commercial ties to CART, its drivers, its teams (rumored new all-Spanish team) and its sponsors than Portugal, hence why in the end we think CART will end up in Spain in 2003 in place of Spa or Estoril.  As you can see in the photo, the 2.489-mile, 13-turn track can be seen from all grandstand seats and safety is excellent.  This link gives you more track info.

11/26/02

The beauty of Spa  CART may race at the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium in 2003.  This web page gives you aerial photos of every part of the famous 4.33-mile long track in the Ardennes forest.

11/26/02

Did you know?  Did you know that if you drive past the old PacWest shop in Indy the PacWest sign has been replaced with Horizon Motorsports.  Unfortunately Horizon appears as if it will be stillborn and Gerald Forsythe is looking to take over that shop for his second CART team.  One driver for the 2nd team is likely to be Alex Yoong.  Forsythe's and Yoong's people meet on Wednesday, possibly to finalize a deal.

11/26/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Pizzonia Promises His All
Toyota Confirm Launch Date
CART Targets European F1 Venues
Pre-Season Testing Kicks Off
Wilson Fits The 2003 Minardi
Niki Lauda Out, Jackie Stewart In
Alesi Heads French Talent Search
No Regret As Panis Heads To Japan
F1 News In Brief

11/26/02

Moreno likes new CART engine  In this CART.com article Roberto Moreno has this to say after testing 2003 CART engine at Firebird - "I've run the last three days and it's been a very successful test so far," said Moreno late Sunday night from Phoenix after completing 400 miles of running at Firebird Raceway's road course. "The Cosworth engineers have been very happy with my input and I've been very impressed with their engine. Things have gone extremely well." A reduction in revs coupled with an increase in manifold pressure is the plan and Moreno likes the package. "They cut the revs for durability and kicked up the boost so we've got around 750 horsepower and it's a great engine," said Moreno, who applauded CART's decision to ban traction control in 2003. "The driver has to control the power with the throttle and it's very interesting to drive. It's very delicate, but it feels strong despite less revs. I think I ran a 47.8-second lap today and a couple of weeks ago, a CART team using traction control and high revs only ran 48 flat." Because of his experience and savvy, the 43-year-old veteran from Brazil was asked to do all the engine development before Toyota Atlantic regulars Rocky Moran Jr., Alex Gurney and Ryan Hunter-Reay take over for endurance runs. "My job was to develop the mapping of the engine and I think that's where my experience came in handy," he continued. "Cosworth sent a couple of very experienced guys over here and they went back very happy. "Cosworth did a great job in a short time and mapped the engine the way it should be and we achieved a very good result. We still have some torque maps to work on, but everything went very smooth."  Moran, a two-time winner in 2002 who hopes to be in CART next season, got to run Dale Coyne's Lola on Sunday and got good marks from his tutor. "Rocky did well--he's quite good--and Alex will run Monday and Ryan takes over Tuesday," said Moreno, who is coaching the Atlantic drivers in addition to his testing duties. "Our goal is to put 12,000 miles on this engine before Thanksgiving Day." Of course, the ageless guy known as "Pupo" wants to be back in CART full-time in 2003 after sitting out this past season. He sounds as enthusiastic as any 21-year-old. "I jumped in the car and, straight away, the feeling came back and I was right on pace," he said. "I was pleased with my performance as well as the engine's and I'm so happy CART asked me to do this. "I very much want to be back in this series next year and I'm working hard to make that happen." If anybody doubts Moreno's desire to be in a Champ Car, they only needed to hear this. "It gets dark at 5:30 in Phoenix and I always ran until 5:45," said Moreno with a laugh. "They couldn't see me, but they could hear me and I guess they figured I must know my way around."

11/25/02
TRAC

As predicted, TRAC likely to be stillborn  Team Sports Entertainment Inc. is pushing back the date it plans to start its TRAC stock car racing league until the second quarter of 2004, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports. Reporter Bill King says the information appears in documents filed with securities regulators last week. The publicly traded company blamed "adverse business conditions" for the delay, saying it had been unable to land a national television contract and therefore was unable to sell franchises.  They really don't think NASCAR is going to let another 'stock car series' emerge that could steal even one potential sponsor away from NASCAR do they?  You can bet NASCAR folks are doing plenty of work behind the scenes to see that TRAC is stillborn.

11/25/02

Timkin and RCR extend relationship  The Timken Company has extended its technical partnership with and sponsorship of Richard Childress Racing (RCR) through 2004. The relationship between RCR and Timken, a leading manufacturer of highly engineered bearings, alloy and specialty steels and components, began in 1998. The technical partnership has lead to product development such as the RacePac bearings. Timken is also an associate sponsor of RCR's No. 21 Rockwell Automation team in the NASCAR Busch Series. That relationship will continue next year when the team's sponsorship moves to Hershey's PayDay brand and new co-drivers Kevin Harvick, the 2001 NASCAR Busch Series champion, and Johnny Sauter, the 2001 American Speed Association champion. "The importance of technology in NASCAR Winston Cup racing today continues to grow so being able to maintain our relationship with The Timken Company is one of the advantages we will use to our benefit in 2003 and beyond," said Richard Childress.

11/25/02
Industry News

Monument to remember Riverside  UPDATE We have added a picture of the monument.  11/25/02 - A Riverside International Raceway Monument non-profit organization has been established to construct and erect a monument to the famed Southern California Circuit. The Monument has been selected to grace the entrance of the new, 4,000 square-foot TownGate II Community Center in Moreno Valley. The Center will also house in perpetuity, a display of Riverside Raceway memorabilia. The Recreation Center will be located close to where the track was on Eucalyptus Street. At the Nov 12, 2002 City Council meeting, unanimous approval was given for the RIR Monument and the theme for the Community Center. Now, the fundraising effort for the Monument can begin in earnest. Dedication of the Recreation Center and Monument is tentatively planned for May / June of 2003. Many drivers, owners and fans that were a major part of RIR history are invited and expected to attend a day to remember. A historic car and motorcycle show, guest speakers and more will all be a part of the festivities. To support the non-profit RIR Monument project, please make your donation to: Riverside International Raceway Monument. Please Note on your check “Donation”
And send to:
Riverside International Raceway Monument Fund
PMB 325
P.O. Box 68021
Anaheim, CA 92817-0821

11/25/02
Industry News

Which nation has the fastest drivers?  Spain, Finland and Team USA were the first to declare their ambitions to win this year's Michelin Race of Champions Nations' Cup title, when they announced their three-pronged (circuit racer, rally/off-road driver, bike racer) attacks a month ago. Now the organizers have received star-studded team line-ups from nine nations, with the UK, France, Germany, Italy and first-timers, Brazil and Sweden joining the fray. The annual event attracts the best of the best from the world of motorsport and this year's teams are no exception. Amongst the cast are a plethora of recently crowned champions, including this year's supremo from World Rally (Marcus Gronholm - Fin), CART (Cristiano da Matta - Br), World Superbikes (Colin Edwards - USA), Formula 3000 (Sebastien Bourdais - Fr), 250cc World Motorcycles (Marco Melandri - It), European Touring Cars (Fabrizio Giovanardi - It), World Enduro (Kari Tiainen - Fin), 125cc Moto-X (Mickael Maschio - Fr) and Speedway GP (Tony Rickardsson - Swe). Supporting this cast will be stars from Formula One (Fernando Alonso - Sp and Nick Heidfeld - Ger), CART (Dario Franchitti - UK and Kenny Brack - Swe), Moto GP (Carlos Checa - Sp and Alex Barros - Br) and NASCAR (4-time Winston Cup Champion, Jeff Gordon, and this year's rookie sensation, Jimmie Johnson - both USA). 2002 World Superbike Champion, Colin Edwards, who has replaced X-Games hero, Travis Pastrana, in the USA line-up, commented on the assembled talent: 'There's nothing else like this in world motorsport. So many guys from so many sports, racing head-to-head in some awesome rally machinery. Personally, I can't wait.' The Nations' Cup has quickly established itself as the highlight of the Michelin Race of Champions weekend (29 Nov - 1 Dec), offering a unique opportunity for the stars of world motorsport both to compete as a team, rather than individuals, and to defend their nation's honor. Throughout the Michelin Race of Champions weekend, races are contested by two drivers, in identical cars, racing side-by-side around the figure of eight parallel-tracked Circuito Ciudad Deportiva Islas Canarias rally circuit. The Nations' Cup sees each participating country enter a team of three drivers, comprising one bike rider, one rally or off-road racing star and one circuit racer. Spain will be looking to defend the Nations Cup title it won for the first time in front of an enthusiastic home public last year, and previous winners, France (200) and Finland (1999) will be doing everything in their power to stop them.  The Nations' Cup will be contested by a group phase, followed by semi-finals and a final. The nine countries will be divided into two groups, each country will compete against all others in its group; rally driver against rally driver, racer against racer and biker against biker.
2002 Michelin Race of Champions - Nations Cup Teams
USA: Colin Edwards - Jeff Gordon - Jimmie Johnson
UK: James Haydon - Dario Franchitti - Robbie Head
France: Mickael Maschio - Sebastien Bourdais - Sebastien Loeb
Spain: Carlos Checa - Fernando Alonso - Jesus Puras
Finland: Kari Tiainen - JJ Lehto - Marcus Gronholm
Germany: Pit Beirer - Nick Heidfeld - Walter Rohrl
Brazil: Alex Barros - Antonio Pizzonia - Cristiano da Matta
Italy: Marco Melandri - Fabrizio Giovanardi - Renato Travaglia
Sweden: Tony Rickardsson - Kenny Brack - Thomas Radstrom

11/25/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $4.06 Up $0.13 on Volume of 67,000 shares.
$3.39 Bid - $4.37 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $3.91 / $4.06
MPH Value Change Up 3.31%
DOW Jones Up 44.56 or 0.51% on Volume of 2.00 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 13.22 or 0.25%
S&P 500 Up 2.34 or 0.25%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

11/25/02

Dollansky trying for IRL  Pennzoil World of Outlaws standout Craig Dollansky was unable to begin his Indy Racing League rookie test due to cold weather Nov. 25 at Texas Motor Speedway. The test will be rescheduled at a future date. Dollansky, 36, from Elk River, Minn., finished third in the 2002 Pennzoil World of Outlaws point standings. He had planned to take his rookie test with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, which fielded cars for Robbie Buhl and Sarah Fisher in the 2002 Indy Racing League season. Despite not starting his test, Dollansky took five laps in the car but did not attempt to get it up to speed. He reached 167 mph unofficially while shaking down the car with air temperatures less than 45 degrees and track temperatures slightly more than 50 degrees. “It felt real good,” Dollansky said. “I felt very comfortable in the car. Unfortunately, the weather is pretty cold right now so it is hard to get the tire temperature where it needs to be. The racetrack is cold, also. We are just going to have to reschedule and come back here again. I definitely like the race cars, I like the high speeds.” While completing the IRL rookie test is his main goal for now, Dollansky wants to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and other IRL events in the future. “We are looking to get something done to go to the Indianapolis 500 in 2003,” Dollansky said. “There are a lot of good people behind the deal. Robbie Buhl and everyone at Dreyer & Reinbold have been very good about the whole situation, along with the entire crew. The ultimate goal would be to get something together for Indy next year. “It is a very good race team to be working with. Scott Boyd from Karavan (Motorsports) is a big part of it and is a big supporter of me. He has helped me do a lot of things. It is going to take a lot of things to happen and to come together. But we are all ready to work at it and get it done.”

11/25/02

Pook statement on Rockingham cancellation  "We would like to thank Rockingham and its promoters for helping to stage two very memorable races over the last two seasons and we will continue to talk about future events at the facility," said CART President and CEO Christopher Pook. "We are currently looking at some very exciting European venues for the Champ Cars in 2003. In fact, I will be in Europe this weekend for some business meetings and I plan to have some serious discussions on prospective circuits for next season. As we've seen over the last two years, European fans have been very receptive to our racing and we certainly intend for the European market to be well represented on the 2003 Champ Car series schedule when all is said and done."

11/25/02

Cheever signs Buddy Rice  Buddy Rice of Phoenix, Ariz., has signed a multiyear contract with Red Bull Cheever Racing to drive in the Indy Racing League championship. "We are pleased to officially sign Buddy" team owner Eddie Cheever Jr. said. "Buddy demonstrated last season that he is professional, fast and able to lead this team into the future. It doesn't hurt that he is one of the top American drivers, either." Rice, 26, joined Red Bull Cheever Racing in July for the Michigan race, where he finished second. In his five races with the team, Rice completed every lap of every race. He finished among the top 10 in four of his five races with the team. "I am really happy to be with Red Bull Cheever Racing, it's an excellent team," Rice said. "It was the next obvious step to my short run with them last season. This is the opportunity I have been waiting for. I am pumped to get the 2003 championship started." Buddy Rice competed in the Toyota Atlantic series from 1998 to 2000, winning the championship in 2000. He started racing go-karts at age 11, winning several national titles. This opportunity continues Rice's long association with Red Bull. "We see Buddy as one of our success stories," Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz said. "We first signed him as one of our athletes in 1998, and he has matured into a very good race car driver. I am pleased to see him driving for our own Indy Racing League team."

11/25/02
Industry News

Honda receives approval in China  Honda Motor Co. said Friday it has been cleared to build a $193 million factory in China -- its second in the emerging consumer auto market of Asia's most populous country. Honda's new plant will be constructed in China's southeastern city of Guangzhou and have an annual production capacity of 50,000 small passenger cars, Honda spokesman Tetsuya Ikeda said. Ikeda said the facility will build passenger cars for export to Europe and Asia, except for Japan. It will be the first exclusively export-oriented passenger car plant in China, with its production slated to begin in the second half of 2004, he said. Honda will take a 65-percent stake in the new venture, while its Chinese partners, Guangzhou Auto Group Corp. and Dongfeng Motor Corp. will hold 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively, he said. Honda, Japan's second-largest automaker, is the first foreign company to have a controlling stake in an auto manufacturing venture in China, Ikeda said. Its existing factory in China is also in Guangzhou. General Motors Corp. and Volkswagen are among other foreign automakers producing cars in China. Japan's two other major automakers -- Toyota Motor and Nissan Motor -- have announced plans to produce passenger cars in separate projects in China.  AP Report

11/25/02

Pizzonia predicts he will impact Jaguar  Antonio Pizzonia says he will make a huge impact upon Jaguar Racing in 2003. The 22-year-old Brazilian will take to the wheel of the R3B in Barcelona (Spain) tomorrow as winter testing gets underway, but such is Pizzonia's confidence of succeeding in F1 that he feels he can contest points finishes on a regular basis - particularly with the introduction of the new points system which will see the top eight finishers in each Grand Prix awarded points. "I hope we can score some points and I think we can do that," said Pizzonia, nicknamed 'Jungle Boy'. "There is a lot of work to be done here, but I am really happy because I really feel that everybody is working really hard and they are really excited about next season, and the new car looks promising, the new engine looks very promising as well. We will have to wait and see when we first drive the car. I can say that I will be working very, very hard to make things happen." "I am trying to prove what I can do, and Mark is probably in the same situation, so we are definitely going to be pushing each other quite a lot," the Brazilian added. "But we also have to work together to build up the team. At the track we are going to be racing each other all the time, but when we are not on the track we really have to work together and not let happen what happened this year between Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa, because it is not good for the team."

11/25/02
F3

Ralt tests successfully in Brazil  Ralt Engineering has completed the first half of a successful test in Brazil with Nelsinho Piquet driving its F302 Formula 3 car. The five day test – from the 14th to the 18th November – was held at the Circuit Autodromo Internacional Nelson Piquet in Brasilia, which is named after Nelsinho’s father. The Ralt personnel who flew to Brazil to oversee the test are now back in the UK collecting new parts that were not ready for the initial test, and are due back in Brazil by the end of the week. Nelsinho completed nearly 600 kilometers at the five and a half kilometer long track, which has an average speed of about 180 km/h. Ralt’s Steve Ward commented before going back to Brazil: “It was a great opportunity for us to show just what the car could do and, while I know they were impressed with the car, we were very impressed with them. Nelsinho is a very good driver and Nelson a great host. We were able to have the circuit to ourselves for five days and on the Sunday we ran until 7pm, and then only stopped because it was getting dark. The weather was perfect, although for me I would have preferred it a little cooler than the average of 34ºC.” The next test has to finish by the 5th of December as the final race meeting of the season is being held there the following weekend.

11/25/02

McLaren to help educate Chinese fans  This F1-Live.com article says that in the build up to the first ever Chinese Grand Prix in the 2004 championship season, one of China's biggest national newspapers, The China Daily will make use of the West McLaren Mercedes team as the focus of their new Motorsport feature in its supplement, 21st Century. Read by over two million, half of which fall into the 21-30 age bracket, 21st Century is aimed at improving Chinese people's understanding of English and Western culture. By regularly featuring the Formula One squad it will teach them about how the Woking squad operates and Formula One life in general before the circus arrives on their doorstep. The features will cover every aspect of the series, from pit-stops to race strategy as well as detailed features on the McLaren team's history throughout their time in the sport. The supplement will be distributed throughout China, from printing centers in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. (Editor's Note: CART should use a variation of this idea to help promote CART next year in Europe by working with a major print media to explain the differences and similarities between CART and F1.)

11/25/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Verstappen: Top Of Minardi's Shortlist
Arrows Still Eye Cosworth Supply?
Cristiano Bids Champcar Farewell
Gerhard Berger Honored By Austria
Massa's Manager Confirms Jordan Talks
Webber Reveals Other '02 Options
Wilson Closes On Minardi Drive
Irvine Hints At Jordan Homecoming
Minardi-Cosworth: All Sewn Up?
Williams Promise Radical Design
F1 News In Brief

11/24/02

Spa to displace Road America  UPDATE If you want to see the beauty of Spa, click here and review the 30 odd aerial photos at the bottom of the page.  11/24/02 - Did you know that if Spa is added to the 2003 CART calendar as rumored, that it will overtake Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin as the longest circuit on the CART schedule?  Road America in 4.048 miles long and Spa is 4.33 miles long.  Spa will also rival or possibly surpass Road America as the most picturesque natural terrain road course on the circuit.  Both are spectacular.

11/24/02
Industry News

Taking a cue from ASCAR   ASCAR in Europe has instituted a new rule that can indeed spice up the races.  They give the front-row starters the opportunity to start at the back of the grid.  If they elect to do so, whatever points that score are doubled.

11/24/02

Audi factory withdraws from LeMans   Could this be a precursor to a F1 entry?  Audi has been expected to confirm its withdrawal from the Le Mans 24 Hour race for several months and the news has finally been announced, which says that it will now only be represented by private entries. These will include Champion Racing and Team Goh. It remains to be seen which other teams will appear at Le Mans using old Audi machinery but there have been rumors of operations from Alain Prost and Team Rahal, though last we heard they had given up on running the Prototypes and might try the GT class

11/23/02

Da Matta pledges support to CART At last nights CART Awards banquet Cristiano da Matta accepted his $1 million champions check before heading off to F1 in 2003.  "There's no price that I can put on what I got out of my time in CART," da Matta said. "This series has helped me realize my dreams of winning a championship and I will give all the support I can to the series. The least I can do is support CART any way I can." Da Matta claimed seven wins and seven poles this year on all types of circuits, such as ovals permanent road courses and temporary street circuits. During the course of the season his performances earned the respect of some of the great names, such as Mario Andretti and former CART and Formula 1 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi. "Cristiano impressed everybody the last two seasons, including myself," Fittipaldi said. "His domination of the 2002 CART season, the most competitive category of racing in the world, shows his talent, performance and consistency on four different types of tracks is world class, Formula One, World Champion material. His dominance in a tight field throughout the entire season proved he deserved to be Champion." Now it's time to head to the Paul Ricard circuit in France where his duties as 2003 driver for the Panasonic Toyota team will get underway on Tuesday. The test session next week hails the return to work for the F1 circus after a six week break and da Matta will spend 14 of the next 20 days getting to know the car and the team before heading back to Brazil for a well deserved break.

11/23/02

Paul Ricard gets watering system  This article says that the Paul Ricard facility continues to build up its reputation as a test track and the latest addition is a fully automatic watering system to allow teams involved in testing to simulate different levels of rainfall to help them develop tires and cars for wet conditions. Ferrari has been using just such a system at its Fiorano testing facility for the last year and it has clearly helped give the red cars an advantage over the teams which can only test in the wet when they are at a track where it is raining. Admittedly in northern Europe at this time of year it isn't hard to find rain but the ability to simulate rain when the weather is warm gives teams the opportunity to test for conditions which can be encountered in Australia, Malaysia and Brazil.

11/23/02

Buckshot Jones to sit out 2003  The Buckshot00.com website says "It is with great sadness that I must tell you that as of right now I have no plans to race full-time next season. Unfortunately, without a sponsor, there isn't anything that we can do. We will be closing the website on November 30th. We will not continue the fan club in 2003. However, if an opportunity to race full-time arises, we will start the fan club and website back up. I can't begin to tell you how much your support has meant to me throughout the years. Thank you for everything that you have done for me.

11/23/02

Todd Bodine injury update  According to this article, Todd Bodine has successfully undergone endothscopic back surgery to repair a ruptured (L5S1) disc that kept him from competing in the Cup season finale at Homestead. Dr. Tim Adamson performed the 45-minute outpatient procedure today at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. Bodine is expected to recover in six to eight weeks. Bodine has dealt with infrequent disc discomfort throughout the 2002 season and was prepared to seek treatment at the end of this year's NASCAR calendar. However, recent on-track incidences, such as a crash at the Cup race at North Carolina Speedway, and an accident during BGN practice at Homestead are believed to have caused the disc to rupture requiring today's surgery. "I am glad to be on the mend," said Bodine at his home in Davidson, NC. "I visited Dr. Jerry Petty and Dr. Tim Adamson of Carolina NeuroSurgery and Spine the Monday after returning from Homestead. It was discovered at that time my bulged disc had ruptured. We decided right there to schedule surgami. "Throughout the entire season, in both the NASCAR Busch and Winston Cup Series, we have had the pleasure of dealing with the NASCAR medical liaisons in the at-track care centers. They have made medical situations so much less trying and stressful for the competitors and our families. We cannot thank them enough for being there for us as well as NASCAR for putting them in place. It is a program that is greatly appreciated," added Bodine

11/23/02

Arrows running out of engine options  Arrows' hopes of racing in 2003 look slim as Cosworth now looks to be the only available engine option. A company called German Grand Prix Racing is reported to have bought a controlling stake in Arrows and is planning to compete in next year’s world championship, but not without an engine and the team still owes Cosworth millions from the past season.

11/23/02
Industry News

St. James to sign book This crash.net article says that seven-time Indy 500 starter Lyn St James is scheduled to sign copies of her latest book, Ride of Your Life, at Racer Parts Wholesale's booth at the Performance Racing Industry [PRI] Show at the Indianapolis Convention Centre on Thursday [5 December]. In the book, St James offers an intimate look inside the world of racing. She recounts years of adversity and the struggle to obtain corporate sponsorships to help fund her 15 Indy car starts, as well as her accomplishments in endurance sports car racing. Readers will get an understanding of the dedication and perseverance needed to excel in this very demanding sport, and St James offers lessons for life that general readers as well as race fans will find inspirational. She also writes about some of the interesting people she met along the way, including Tom Volk, who owns both Racer Parts Wholesale and TRV Motorsport. St James was one of Volk's co-drivers in the Racer Parts Wholesale/Supreme Exhaust Systems Products entry in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Watkins Glen Six Hours and the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in the late nineties.

11/23/02

Dominguez picks up Rookie of Year honors Herdez Competition driver Mario Dominguez last night accepted the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year Award at the 2002 CART Awards Banquet, held at the InterContinental Hotel in Miami, Florida. Awarded to the driver in his first year of CART competition who garners the most championship points during the season, Domínguez joins a list of legendary drivers including Bobby Rahal (1982), Stefan Johansson (1992), Nigel Mansell (1993), and Alex Zanardi (1996) as well as currently active stars of open wheel racing like Jacques Villeneuve (1994), Gil de Ferran (1995), Patrick Carpentier (1997), Tony Kanaan (1998), Juan Montoya (1999), Kenny Brack (2000), and Scott Dixon (2001).
While the award was first presented in CART's inaugural year (1979) it was renamed in 1988 to honor Jim Trueman, founder of Red Roof Inns lodging chain, owner of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and founder of TrueSports Racing Team, winners of the 1986 and 1987 CART Championships. The award includes the Jim Trueman Memorial Trophy as well as a $50,000 check from the Trueman family.  Please credit Robert LaBerge/Getty Images.

11/23/02

Mario bullish on CART  This Arizona Republic article says that when Michael Andretti decided to depart the Championship Auto Racing Teams circuit for the rival Indy Racing League, Mario Andretti reacted like other fathers may react when receiving discouraging news: He balked. "It bothered me a lot," the elder Andretti said in a telephone interview. "I'd be less than candid if I told you it didn't. And Michael knew it did. At the same time, I know Michael, and I trust his judgment." The younger Andretti, CART's all-time winningest driver and a son of the man whom many regard as motor racing's all-time greatest driver, has become owner/driver of a three-car IRL team that will field cars for Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan in 2003. Mario Andretti, a staunch CART loyalist, still acts as if he wished the announcement were part of a bad dream. "But you also have to understand what he's doing," said Mario, who is making a promotional appearance Saturday at Camelback Toyota from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. "Michael is very calculated in his own way. He jumped into this ownership situation, and he's not going to gamble very much if he doesn't have to. And the surest way at the moment with Honda backing is to go where Honda is going." Like Team Penske last year and more CART teams this year, Honda and Toyota have departed for the IRL and are scheduled to begin providing engines for the series in 2003. But Mario Andretti believes better days are ahead for CART, whose hiring of Chris Pook as its new president and chief executive officer before the 2002 season was widely viewed as a tremendous positive. "All I can tell you is the optimism around here has grown," Mario said. "It's really picked up some steam. There was a time not so long ago when everybody was rattling a death knell for the series. But being close enough and knowing enough about the company, there is no way CART was going to fold, period. And now I think we've picked up quite a bit of momentum." That momentum could include the elder Andretti joining the ranks of CART owners. "I'm working on it, and it could jell," Mario said. "But a lot of things have to happen quickly if it's going to happen at all." And if it doesn't happen, what then? "I don't think I'd be a guy to just hang around," he said. "That's not my style. But I do think I'll be doing something to keep me on pit road." One pit road to which Mario Andretti would like to return is Phoenix International Raceway, which could happen should he decide to attend his son's IRL races. "You have no idea how important PIR was to me in my formative years," Mario said. "I started testing there in 1964 for Firestone, and that helped me pick up a ride from Clint Brawner and the Dean Van Lines car. I don't think there's any other venue that CART lost that I cried more about than Phoenix. "I miss it."

11/23/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Toyota To Launch In January
Bridgestone Express Safety Concern
Yoong Reveals '03 Champcar Offer
Dennis Defends Dull-Kimi Claims
Murray On Montoya: The Jury Is Out
Jordan Confirm Massa Contact
Bernie: We Must End Breakaway
BMW Urge Williams To Do Better
Ralf: No Jaguar Move - Yet
Da Matta: Driver Of Year Honor
Bernie Confirms: No More Digital
Mosley Brokers Deal With Teams
Jaguar Slash Up To 60 Jobs
Briatore Shrugs Off Playboy Label
Renault Confirm Spanish Plans
F1 News In Brief

11/22/02

CART sock watch 

MPH closed at $3.93 Down $0.07 on Volume of 24,900 shares.
$3.29 Bid - $4.26 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $3.81 / $4.00
MPH Value Change Down 1.75%
DOW Jones Down 40.31 or 0.46% on Volume of 2.03 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 1.19 or 0.08%
S&P 500 Down 3.21 or 0.34%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

11/22/02

Falcon cars reveals IRL car  Falcon Cars unveiled its Falcon Indy 01-A Friday to a gathering of Indy Racing League team owners and officials, technical partners and media at the company's facility in Concord, NC. The Falcon is the first car, completely designed and manufactured in the U.S., under the 2003 IRL technical specifications. "Over the past several months we've been extremely busy designing the 2003 Falcon Indy Car and setting up a world-class design and manufacturing facility," Falcon Car President Michael Kranefuss said. "We're very proud of our accomplishments, and after tonight's presentation, hope that you'll be equally impressed with our commitment to excellence." The sole purpose of Falcon Cars is to create exceptionally competitive and safe race cars that prove to be "Best in Class." "We are devoting our energies exclusively to competing in the Indy Racing League," Kranefuss said. "It is our mission to become recognized as producers of race cars that are capable of consistently winning races and championships." "Through constantly researching new methods relevant to the core of our business and developing and utilizing the most advanced tools and technologies, we will reach our goals." "We are not alone. We are developing partnerships with race teams that share our goals to succeed. Our policies facilitate an open-minded approach that seeks and integrates input from our teams and technical partners to continually improve the performance and value of our product and the quality of our service." Technical Director and partner Ken Anderson, whose responsibilities include the management of all technical affairs within Falcon Cars, mastered the challenge, not only completing the design and production of the new car, but at the same time directed the efforts to facilitate and furbish the plant to a world class level of operation. "We've worked hard," Anderson said. "We have progressed from the stages of design, aerodynamics, tooling and fabricating to manufacturing. The initial process is complete, the product is unveiled. Falcon Cars' first product: the 2003 IRL Falcon Indy 01 - A.

11/22/02

IRL controls Indy press  A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, the big news about Ford and INDIANAPOLIS based CART joining up was buried so deep in the Indianapolis Star IRL article today that it defies belief. London based websites gave it major coverage...but not in the IRL's shill rag.  Graham Brown Sacramento, CA

11/22/02
 
2003 Budweiser Shootout field set  In the season's final Bud Pole qualifying session last Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 97 Rubbermaid/Sharpie Ford for Roush Racing, captured the pole for the Ford 400 and secured a spot in next year's nighttime running of the Budweiser Shootout. Last Sunday, Busch followed up his pole with a victory in the Ford 400.   The drivers in the race will be:
Jimmie Johnson No. 48 Lowe's Home Improvement
Bill Elliott No. 9 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid
Todd Bodine No. 26 Discover Ford
Ricky Craven No. 32 Tide Ford
Jeff Gordon No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Chevrolet
Ryan Newman No. 12 Alltel Ford
Ward Burton No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge
Matt Kenseth No. 17 DeWalt Ford
Dale Jarrett No. 88 UPS Ford
Tony Stewart No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac
Kevin Harvick No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet
Ricky Rudd No. 28 Havoline Ford
Dale Earnhardt Jr. No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet
Kurt Busch No. 97 Rubbermaid/Sharpie Ford

11/22/02

F1 to ban testing  Friday Grand Prix testing could become significantly more attractive to Formula One teams if fresh claims about a host testing ban are to be believed. It is expected that at the next meeting of the teams and authorities on December 4 it will be decided that from the start of next year no testing will be allowed at any circuit that stages a Grand Prix during the season. Traditionally teams such as McLaren and Williams have tested their new cars after unveiling them at circuits such as Barcelona and Silverstone, homes to the Spanish and British Grands Prix. But under a new ruling that would be outlawed, which could prompt teams to sign up for the opportunity to test at Grand Prix circuits before the free practice on the Friday morning of a Grand Prix. Some teams could still work around this however such as Ferrari with Fiorano and Toyota with Paul Ricard.

11/22/02

Scheckter contract decision soon  According to this IndyStar article, Tomas Scheckter's contract dispute with his former Indy Racing League employer is expected to be settled next month, the sides confirmed this week. Scheckter and team owner/driver Eddie Cheever Jr. have a mid-December court date in London to determine if the second and final year of their contract is intact for the 2003 season.  Scheckter left the team in August, saying initially that the car was unsafe to drive. Scheckter now refers all questions about the Cheever dispute to his Italian-based agent, Enrico Zanarini. But Scheckter said this week that Cheever either wants him to return to the Red Bull-sponsored team or not drive in the IRL in 2003. Scheckter has signed a contract to drive for Chip Ganassi's IRL team. "He's trying to get me to stop racing in the IRL, which is why I want to fight," Scheckter said. "I want to stay in (the league)." Cheever, the 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner, said the Scheckter case is preventing his team from finalizing its 2003 plans. Cheever, who on Wednesday signed 26-year-old Buddy Rice to a multiyear contract, also is considering retirement from driving after the 500. "We've got to know whether we're a one-and-a-half car team or a two-and-a-half," said Cheever, counting himself in the part-time position. "A lot of decisions can't be made yet." Cheever said he is nearing a decision on an engine manufacturer. Signs point to Chevrolet.

11/22/02

Jaguar to cut workforce  In this Autosport article, Jaguar Racing will shed between 30 to 60 members of its Formula 1 staff in an effort to combat the world's economic downturn. The redundancies will be made following a review of every department, including Cosworth Racing and Pi Research, that forms the 370-strong workforce, one of the largest in F1. Jaguar's communications and public affairs manager Nav Sidhu told Autosport.com: "We are undertaking an evaluation of all departments at Jaguar Racing to help the team achieve the best possible results. The net effect will be a reduction in the overall headcount." The review will take place in the next few weeks and the specific number of job losses has yet to be decided. The redundancies at Jaguar will end a difficult year for those who work in F1. Firstly, Prost Grand Prix went out of business, then Jordan axed 40 members of its staff in July, before Arrows personnel were let go in the wake of the team's continuing struggle for survival. But Jaguar is keen to stress that its own cull is a "proactive" move rather than one that is "reactive". "Several F1 teams this year have experienced problems and we want to avoid taking corrective action too late," said Sidhu. "We haven't lost a principal sponsor, we have not lost the commitment from Ford, in fact it is quite the opposite. But we are expecting difficult times. There is no sign of an upturn in the world economy."

11/22/02

Da Matta captures DOY award In this Toronto Sun article, CART champion Cristiano da Matta needed a tiebreaker to beat NASCAR Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart for the 2002 Driver of the Year award. Each of the drivers drew six first-place votes from a nationwide panel of 16 motorsports journalists. The tiebreaking mechanism was used for the first time in the 36-year history of the award. Points awarded to each driver in the four quarterly ballots were added up and da Matta beat Stewart 246-66 to win the overall prize. Da Matta, who will move to Formula One next season, is the first winner from CART since Nigel Mansell in 1993. Like Mansell, da Matta won the award while driving for Newman/Haas Racing. Da Matta, a 29-year-old Brazilian, won seven races, seven poles and clinched the CART title with three races remaining in the 19-race season. His 73-point margin over second-place Bruno Junqueira was the biggest in CART history. Stewart, 31, won the NASCAR title with a late-season charge and didn't wrap it up until the final race of the 36-race season. The Indiana native had two poles, three victories and 15 top-five finishes. "It's tough to be compared to NASCAR, but it shows that everyone was paying attention to what we were doing on the track," da Matta said. Also receiving votes in the final balloting were World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser, Top Fuel drag racer Larry Dixon and Funny Car driver John Force, the 1996 Driver of the Year. NASCAR's Kurt Busch, who closed the season with three victories in five races, easily won the fourth-quarter balloting, joining IRL champion Sam Hornish Jr., Dixon and da Matta as quarterly winners in 2002. Da Matta will be honored Friday night at CART's awards banquet in Miami. As part of the evening, he will receive a trophy, a custom 2003 Indian Motorcycle and a Maurice Lacrois Swiss Watch in recognition of his selection as Driver of the Year.

11/22/02

Dixon scotches rumors  In this article, rumor had it that Scott Dixon was not particularly pleased that his contract with Target Chip Ganassi Racing did not state that he would be a CART driver in 2003. As it is the New Zealander heads with the team and teammate Tomas Scheckter to the IRL and is seemingly happy with the move from CART to the rival IRL series after all. “The Indianapolis 500 is the biggest race in the world, and I am very excited about having the opportunity to race there next year with Team Target,” Dixon said in a press release. “I’m very happy to be back with the team for another year. This has been the best team in open-wheel racing for the last 10 years. It’s a great team with great people, and it’s one of the main reasons that I wanted to come back for another year. I’ve had a lot of success on the ovals in my career, and it’s going to be a fun year," Dixon continued. "I’m also excited about taking my first laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.” Dixon joined Ganassi Racing this year when his former employer PWR Championship Racing closed their doors early in the season. CART eased the then unemployed race into the Ganassi seat by paying for Ganassi/Toyota to run the New Zealander.

11/22/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Massa: Eddie Jordan Wants Me
Franchitti Puts F1 Dream To Bed
Verstappen: No Team Orders For Me!
Pirelli: F1 Too Expensive
Changes To Toyota Technical Team
Germans Scrap Over F1 Rights
EU Tobacco Ban Brought Forward
Major Spectacle For Saturday Qually
Final American Ace Sets F1 Dream
Aussie Tribute For Sir Jack
Jordan: Irons In The Fire
McNish: We Launched Too Early
Points System Here To Stay: Mosley
Axe For Grand Prix Circuit Testing?
F1 News In Brief

11/22/02

2003 Ford Cosworth engine test news  Some of the best young drivers on the CART ladder have been selected by CART to do the initial engine testing of the 2003 spec Ford Cosworth. The same day as CART and Ford announced their engine agreement Alex Gurney, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Rocky Moran Jr. along with veteran Roberto Moreno started 4 or 5 days of continuous engine testing at the Phoenix Firebird Raceway. Dale Coyne's team is conducting the tests. Sustained testing is necessary to ensure the reliability of the Cosworth engine which has been tasked to run 1200 miles between rebuilds while delivering horsepower and torque within very stringent parameters through the 1200 mile mark.  Look for any orr all of these bright young American drivers to land a Champ Car ride in 2003.

11/22/02

Vannini threatens lawsuits against those out to destroy CART  UPDATE  From the same article - The Vannini contention is the IRL (and others associated with the IRL) directly and indirectly induced CART team owners and engine manufactures to switch sides.  If induced in an above the board manner, in a competitive spirit, such acts are legal.  Vannini believes that many such actions were covert, with the specific intent of crushing CART.  Vannini sees CART as an undervalued asset with tremendous potential, so long as it is allowed to compete fairly in the marketplace. When Mayer contacted ISC, the IRL, Toyota and Honda all refused to comment.  The fact that Mayer contacted the four would lead us to believe at least someone thinks they may be prime targets for Vannini's venom. When AR1 spoke to Vannini he refused to be quoted any further (which leads us to believe he's close to going on the offensive), and would not stipulate a timetable for the lawsuit, but indicated that the trail of evidence against the perpetrators is voluminous and now well documented. Perelman is a multi-billionaire well known for his courtroom savvy, having never lost a battle until Vannini brought him to his knees.  We suspect if he decides to pursue legal action, it's going to shake the USA motorsports world upside down, and may bring some of the biggest players to their knees. Stay tuned, the off-season may be far more interesting than years gone by. 11/21/02 - CART shareholder Jon Vannini  is "considering suing a number 'some of the best known names' in racing," as he believes that "the leaders of the sport have skirted their fiduciary responsibility" to shareholders, according to Steve Mayer of NATIONAL SPEED SPORT NEWS, who notes Vannini is CART's second-largest shareholder with a 8.53% stake, and public filings indicate that 37.8% of Vannini's CART holdings "have lost $4.2[M] in a year's time." Vannini: "Several parties have committed premeditated, continuous and willful violations of the Sherman Act, tortious interference, breach of fiduciary duty across a number of commercial platforms, securities fraud, and insider trading." As an activist shareholder, Vannini "has been quite successful in waging battles with public companies."  His threats are not aimed at CART, but at those out to destroy CART, including corporations and individuals.  Jonathan Vannini has a history of bringing down the big boys having won claims for breach of fiduciary duty against Ron Perelman and M&F Worldwide in connection with its acquisition of Panavision, as well as a successful proxy contest against Coastcast corporation.  The current lawsuit by SMI shareholder Ferko against ISC and NASCAR claims they violated the Sherman Antitrust Act. Having a second lawsuit against them for similar wrongdoings, is likely to strengthen both cases should Vannini take aim at ISC and NASCAR.  We would think that ISC's attempts to stop the CART race in Miami will likely be one example used.

11/22/02
Russell Racing

The next Michael Schumacher?  The 2002 USAC Formula Russell Championship came down to one race, and when the pressure was on, Jason Kritikos ran the table. He took pole position by 2.130 seconds (yes, you read that right. 2.13 seconds) over title rival Steve Hill, then led every lap for the crown-clinching victory, even though he lost an early lead due to a caution period.  Full Story

11/21/02

Sauber to use entire Ferrari rear-end  Sauber's C22 F1 car will be an entirely new concept, and will incorporate the entire rear-end of the Ferrari F2002 including the much heralded 051 V10 engine and revolutionary gearbox that was a one-piece unit with the engine. The Swiss team has used components from Ferrari for the past couple of seasons, but team owner Peter Sauber has revealed his design team has taken a more radical approach this time. "When we went from the C20 to the C21 it was more a question of logical development," Sauber told Autosport magazine. "But the C22 has been completely redesigned and incorporates all the knowledge we have gathered in the past few years. This will show clearly in the shape and aerodynamics of the new car."

11/21/02

German TV makes bid for F1  ProSiebenSAT1, Germany's biggest free-to-air broadcaster, has made a 400-million-euro (dollar) bid for the television rights to Formula One racing between 2004 and 2008, the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Thursday. Rival TV group RTL, which holds the rights until the end of the 2003 season, is also in race to broadcast the prestigious event. "We've been in good talks with Formula One for the past few weeks. I'm not saying any more," the newspaper quoted the head of RTL information and sports programs, Hans Mahr, a saying. RTL, owned by media giant Bertelsmann, was willing to match the ProSiebenSAT1 bid which was equivalent to 80 million euros per season, Sueddeutsche Zeitung added. So far, RTL paid only half that amount for the Formula One rights, but still made around 50 million euros in profits from the event thanks to plentiful advertising revenues, it said.

11/21/02
 
NASCAR TV ratings fair well against NFL  NBC's NASCAR Winston Cup finale, the Ford 400 from Homestead-Miami Speedway, on Sunday delivered a 5.2 national rating/11 share, NASCAR's best rating ever against pro football, according to Nielsen Media Research. The 5.2 rating propelled the NBC & TNT 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season average to a 13 percent increase over 2001 and an explosive 59 percent increase over 2000, the year prior to the current television rights deal. The 19 NASCAR Winston Cup telecasts on NBC & TNT over the second half of the 2002 season averaged an impressive 4.3 national rating/10 share, up 13 percent over last year's 3.8/10, and a 59 percent increase over the 2.7/8 for the 2000 season. (All season averages exclude the Daytona 500 and the primetime Pepsi 400 - the two races which alternate between NBC and Fox each year). "When this season began, we had hoped to simply maintain the terrific ratings and new viewers from last year," said, Ken Schanzer, President, NBC Sports. "That NASCAR continues its remarkable growth is both a wonderful surprise and a reaffirmation of the attraction of this great product. This performance also is a vivid demonstration that the race for the championship is a compelling broadcast series." NBC's NASCAR Pre-Race Show 2nd Highest Rated Among Sunday "Pre-Game" Shows. For the eight NASCAR on NBC pre-race shows that ran from the start of the NFL season through Nov. 17th, NBC's "Discover Card Countdown to Green" averaged a 2.6/7, making it the second highest rated Sunday "pre-game" show, outperforming CBS' "NFL Today" (2.5/7). Fox's "NFL Sunday" averaged a 3.5/10. Additionally, NBC's NASCAR pre-race show outperformed CBS' "NFL Today" five of the seven times when the two programs aired head-to-head.

11/21/02

CART Stock Watch  

MPH closed at $4.00 Up $0.10 on Volume of 77,000 shares.
$3.35 Bid - $4.29 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $3.90 / $4.00
MPH Value Change Up 2.56%
DOW Jones Up 222.14 or 2.58% on Volume of 2.56 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 48.2 or 3.4%
S&P 500 Up 19.61 or 2.15%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

11/21/02

Ferrari to float IPO in 2003  With parent company Fiat rumored to be losing up to $2m a day, Ferrari boss Luca Montezemolo has put a timescale on Ferrari being floated on the stock market. Although previously angered by Fiat's actions in selling off 34% of the company without letting him know, Montezemolo has always been keen on the idea of flotation and independence. "Ferrari has always financed itself and will continue to do so, and we have a solid financial base," Montezemolo told Reuters back in March. "Nevertheless flotation would give us more opportunity to carry forward development projects for the Ferrari-Maserati group, and on the other hand because of the clear interest the world of international finance is showing in the field." Montezemolo said recently that his preferred date would be, "some time in April or May" of 2003. German bank Commerzbank, which owns 10% of the stake that Fiat previously sold, also think this would be a good time to go to market.

11/21/02
Industry News
Autoweek/CARA Charity news  As the holiday gift-giving season approaches, many unique motorsports items will be available in the annual CARA Charities/Autoweek auction. A variety of auto racing memorabilia, including driver uniforms, special paintings and specially autographed, one-of-a-kind souvenirs, will be up for auction. All proceeds from the items will go to charity. Two Indy Racing League-related collectibles are among the 13 auction items: A die-cast roadster signed by four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt and a framed picture with a ticket from each 2001 Indy Racing League event, signed by the winner of that race. These special auction items will be featured on page 64 (inside back page) of the Nov. 25 edition of Autoweek magazine. The auction opens this week, and racing fans will have until noon (EST) Friday, Dec. 6, to send in their bids for the racing items. Participants may e-mail their bids to Autoweek at mbharris@crain.com or fax them to (313) 446-1027. Autoweek will contact the winning bidders, and a certified check (made to CARA) must be sent by Dec. 11. If the money is not received by the deadline, the next-highest bid will win. Autoweek and CARA Charities will pay for postage and handling of the gifts. For further information, contact the CARA Charities office at (317) 299-2277.

11/21/02

IRL Hot News  Walt Michner, owner or co-owner of Indianapolis 500 entries from 1965-72, died this week. Johnny Rutherford qualified for the front row of the 1970 Indianapolis 500 in a car fielded by Michner and his son Joe. Walt Michner’s grandson, Andy Michner, is an IRL veteran … Two-time IRL champion Sam Hornish Jr. is one of five nominees for the Al Holbert Memorial Driver of the Year Award, presented annually by the Eastern Motorsport Press Association. The other nominees are NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Angelle Savoie, World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser and ARCA RE/MAX series champion Frank Kimmel. The award will be presented at the annual EMPA convention Jan. 17-19 in Trevose, Pa.

11/21/02
IROC 
Chicagoland to host IROC race  Three of four IROC tracks set: IROC will return to Chicagoland Speedway in 2003 for the July 11-13 NASCAR weekend. During 2003, its 27th year of operation, IROC will make one of their four stops at Chicagoland Speedway. The 67-lap event (100 miles) is scheduled to take place before the BGN race on July 12, 2003. The other two have been announced at Daytona and Talladega. The 4th track is yet to be announced.
11/21/02
 
Bodine breaks back against concrete wall  Todd Bodine will have back surgery Friday to repair a disc he ruptured in his lower back last Thursday when he crashed his car during BGN race at Homestead. "I haven't slept more than three hours a night since Friday," Bodine said Wednesday from his Concord, N.C., home. "It's been pretty painful." He was able to compete in the Ford 300 on Saturday while wearing a corset-type back support. He finished 39th after his engine failed. Afterward, the pain became progressively worse and Bodine was forced to sit out Sunday's Ford 400 Winston Cup race. His older brother Geoffrey, who failed to qualify the #09 Ford on Friday, substituted for Todd in the #26 Discover Card Ford. He finished 32nd. Todd Bodine, who has suffered from back problems since 1997, said he aggravated his back in an accident during the Rockingham Cup race. Bodine, who said the pain extends down into his right thigh, saw a specialist on Tuesday who made the diagnosis of a ruptured disc. He'll be operated on at the Charlotte (N.C.) Medical Center at 12:30pm. Bodine said Cox Marketing will release a statement after the surgery. Bodine said his recovery from surgery is expected to take six to eight weeks. "That's why we are doing it now, so we will be ready for testing at Daytona in January," he said. Bodine is still trying to finalize his Winston Cup plans for 2003. He will not return to the #26 Haas Carter Motorsports team, which lost primary sponsor Discover Card. "I've got a few options," Bodine said. "One of the deals could happen this week." Bodine said a Winston Cup start-up team is one of the teams interested in him as a driver. Star Gazette

11/21/02

Tracy thinks Bernie/CART deal will be huge  In this National Post article, Paul Tracy says - "I feel CART has had some stumbling blocks in the last year, year and a half," said Tracy. "I feel they're addressing the problems they have ... I'm hopeful there's a lot of things coming together. There's a lot of talk and rumor of things happening with Formula One and Bernie Ecclestone, and if that all comes together, that's going to make CART grow very quickly."

11/21/02

Ford and CART finally ink deal  According to this Autoweek article, Discussions that would make CART the CART-FedEx Championship Powered by Ford have finally concluded and a two-year deal has been struck (the same amount of time that Cosworth has committed to be CART's spec engine). Ford Motor Co. and CART officials are announcing the agreement today (Nov. 21) and the series will be called Bridgestone presents the Champcar World Series powered by Ford. Whew. We think we'll just call continue to call it CART, which at this point will continue to be the corporation's name. What took so long? Insiders say Ford Racing boss Dan Davis was concerned about the number of CART cars on the grid next season, but CART CEO Chris Pook has assured Ford officials he'll have at least 18 cars next year, so apparently Davis is satisfied. "We're very happy to have this agreement with CART finalized," said Davis in a statement. "Ford has been a staunch supporter of the CART Series since our debut in 1992, and this is a continuation of our involvement. Not only does this relationship allow us to support our technical partner, Cosworth Racing, but the race series and its high-profile markets will make an excellent platform for Ford to showcase the many new and exciting products that will debut over the next couple of years." At CART's Miami race (AW, Oct. 14), Davis attended his first champ car race since Mid-Ohio back in August. Davis was impressed by the Miami event, and he reasserted his belief in CART's marketing value. What does Ford get out of the deal? All official vehicles such as pace cars and safety trucks will be Fords, Ford will continue its blue box telemetry program, and Ford has committed to a certain amount of television ads during race broadcasts on Speed, Fox and CBS. Ford officials wouldn't specify how much commercial time will be bought. Additionally, all the engines will be called Ford/Cosworth, and all cars, drivers and CART officials will wear Ford signage.  A main title sponsor is still in the works.

11/21/02

Red Bull places Edwards  Red Bull Energy Drink today announced that California's Paul Edwards, the last of the four 2002 Red Bull F1 Driver Search winners to conclude a deal for next season, will race with Team KTR in the Telefonica World Series by Nissan in 2003. In preparation for his 2003 run, Edwards will contest the final two 2002 race weekends (four races) in the championship; Nov. 29 - Dec. 1 at Curitiba, Brazil, and Dec. 6-8 at Sao Paulo, Brazil, alongside KTR's Bas Leinders. The title has already been decided, as former BAR F1 pilot Ricardo Zonta won the championship in October. Also known as Formula Nissan and Super Nissan, the 18-race (nine race weekends), open-wheel, single-marque championship is sponsored by Spain-based Telefonica, a global telecommunications giant. The series is similar to F3000: The carbon-fiber Dallara cars weigh approximately 1,375lbs., and are powered by 410bhp 3.0-liter V6 stock-block Nissan engines. For 2003, horsepower will increase to approximately 450. The TWS by Nissan 2003 season-opener is expected to be the end of March at Spain's Jarama circuit. The series website is http://www.telefonicaworldseries.com. Based in Belgium, Team KTR (Keersbergs Transport Racing) was created in 1978 by Prosper Mollekens to compete in Formula Vee and Super Vee. By the early 1980s it was a front-running team in F3, and jumped into the F3000 waters in 1997. KTR is now managed by former F3 standout Kurt Mollekens (Prosper's son), winner of the prestigious Marlboro Masters of F3 event at Zandvort in 1996. Mollekens said, "I'm really pleased to have Paul. I've seen him race and he's very good. I want him to treat Curitiba like a test session and I'm confident he'll be comfortable by Sao Paulo." The team website is http://www.ktr.be. The signing of Edwards with KTR for TWS by Nissan completes the 2003 assignments of the first four Red Bull F1 Driver Search winners: Grant Maiman has been set up with Jenzer Motorsport's Formula Renault operation, Scott Speed is with Alan Docking Racing for British F3, and Joel Nelson will race in the 2003 Euro 3000 championship with John Village Automotive.

11/21/02

Fences raised in Australia  Australian GP spectators and officials will be protected by fences soaring almost 5m after the Albert Park track's biggest safety upgrade. The $6 million project will see both sides of the 5.3km circuit flanked by the concrete and metal barriers for the 2003 Formula One race in March. The move is a direct response to the death of a race marshal after he was struck by a flying tire during last year's race. The fence height then was 2.5m - a 1m concrete barrier and 1.5m of wire-mesh fencing. About 40 per cent of fencing was later raised to 3.75m by "piggy-backing" wire-mesh panels. Design changes to protect officials staffing track access holes will also be incorporated into the new fences. Marshal Graham Beveridge died when he was struck by a 38cm-wide tire that shot through an access hole just 40cm high. Grand Prix chief executive Steven Wright said yesterday the circuit would be "one of the safest, if not the safest, in the world". "We've now implemented virtually everything the coroner recommended, including (the introduction of) a safety risk manager," Mr Wright said. The Grand Prix Corporation initially defended the height of safety fencing after the fatal accident. In February, State Coroner Graeme Johnstone recommended an increase in fence height, but did not say how high it should be. Safety engineer Mark Dohrmann told the inquest that in an accident, Formula One cars traveling at up to 300km/h could clear a 2.5m fence and land in the crowd. Race organizers did not specifically mention the new fence height at yesterday's race launch. The $5.9m state government provision for the works was revealed in the Department of Treasury and Finance's election update report. The 2003 Grand Prix is on March 6-9. Weekend prices have risen $5 to $80 for Saturday and $95 for race day. Organizers are hoping for plenty of rain to boost levels in Albert Park lake. More than one million liters of water a day had been pumped into the lake to compensate for evaporation, but water restrictions had ended that practice. The annual GP regatta could be cancelled if levels fall too low. The lake is no more than 2m deep when full.

11/21/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Ousted Pedro Looks For F1 Home
Da Matta: Eager But Anxious About F1
Button Dismisses Championship Talk
Bernie Denies Digital Demise
Williams: Healthy Form Off-Track
Rubens Admits: Indy Was Payback
Verstappen Linked To New Arrows
Jaguar Primed For Testing Assault
Turkey Targets 2005 Grand Prix
Lauda Commends Factory Efforts
Renault Left Wanting With Fourth
Michelin On 2003: Raring To Go
F1 News In Brief

11/21/02

Mexico was a blast  A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, We made the journey to Mexico City based on your writings and postings at AR1. Well let me thank you for a fantastic experience. Just as you said, we found the people friendly (make that more than friendly), the metro safe and fast (and cheap - $0.20 USD!), the food at and off the track delicious with plenty of variety, the view of the snow-capped mountains (okay, only on Sunday) a perfect back-drop, the live music, the sponsors diplomatic corp (as in chicks for every product, even McCormick mayonnaise), the go-karts, etc., etc., etc. We stayed at the J.W. Marriot in a beautiful room with the highest pressure shower I have ever experienced. We, of course, met a bunch of race people, nearly knocked down Memo coming out of our room, and attended the B2B meeting on Friday morning. You know what I am about to say, but it needs to be told loud and clear: Your great website, the forums and TV are a poor substitute for actually going to the race. As Chris said at the B2B, CART is bringing the races to the people in town. “Not 40 miles outside of town, not 60 miles outside of town, but downtown like here in Mexico City.” As I have told you we enjoyed our time sweating in Miami. (And, of no importance whatever, the race in Miami was more exciting than Hermanos.) But Mexico City was like being in town for Super Bowl weekend. We saw one sign from the Metro that had to have been 70 feet high by 300 or 400 feet long. And every taxi driver, bell-hop and waiter knew about the race and the drivers. We added to our own fun by buying the “last” year’s Herdez shirts – all that bright green and red. And we cheered for the “leader”, while wondering how many knew the actual situation about required pitstops. I bet you would agree with my son Ryan, that most, at least many, knew, but sure were taking advantage of the opportunity to cheer – especially after the grasshopper got taken out without finishing a lap. Man, that was sad! Chris Pook looked tired and pre-occupied at the B2B, which I guess can be expected after his highly productive marathon 11-month year. We have made plans to be at Long Beach, Cleveland, Toronto and Fontana, and will probably return to Miami and Mexico City in 2003. And we are checking our calendars for Monterrey. Thanks for all your hard, caring, and timely news. Have a good time in Miami (I assume you are there). And again, thanks for “encouraging” us to head south for the weekend. Jeff and Ryan Skinner P.S. My wife and daughter had a fun and safe three days at the “little” park across from our hotel. Children’s museum, Zoo, and Amusement park took care of each of their three days without us. Then on Monday we all went to the pyramids on our way to the airport.

  Much More...click on 2002 archives button below

Hot News Archives

2000 2001 2002 2003
 

Banner 10000012



Watch CART, F1, NASCAR, ALMS & more on DirecTV
Our Price: $29.99
Order Now

Free Installation