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DATE

News (chronologically)

12/5/02

Ganassi signs Casey Mears  Chip Ganassi Racing announced Thursday that Casey Mears will move to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and drive the No. 41 Dodge in 2003 with veteran Jimmy Elledge performing the crew chief duties. "The addition of Casey adds a lot of excitement and energy to the team," team owner Chip Ganassi said. "Our company is about winning races and adding value to our sponsor's investments and we're confident that Casey's work ethic and talent coupled with Jimmy's experience can help us do just that for Target." "I'm excited to be starting my Winston Cup career with Target Chip Ganassi Racing," Mears said. "This is a great opportunity for me to be a part of a first-class organization that is dedicated to winning championships."

12/5/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $3.89 Up $0.05 on Volume of 26,500 shares.
$3.23 Bid - $4.21 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $3.76 / $4.00
MPH Value Change Up 1.30%
DOW Jones Down 114.57 or 1.31% on Volume of 1.59 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 19.6 or 1.37%
S&P 500 Down 11.03 or 1.2%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

12/5/02

Takagi added as 2nd Mo Nunn IRL entry  CART and Formula 1 driving veteran Tora Takagi has been added to Mo Nunn Racing’s lineup for the 2003 Indy Racing League (IRL) season. Takagi, a native of Japan, will join former IRL Rookie of the Year and 2002 race winner Felipe Giaffone to form a two-car, Toyota-powered team under the direction of owner Morris Nunn. The team will use Panoz G-Force chassis and Firestone tires. In addition, it was announced today that Pioneer Electronics will continue its sponsorship of Mo Nunn Racing for a third consecutive year. Pioneer will become the primary sponsor of Takagi’s car in the IRL, continuing an affiliation that also started in 2001. Pioneer will be joined by associate sponsor Denso. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Morris and Mo Nunn Racing for the 2003 season,” said Ed Sachs, executive vice president for Mobile Entertainment at Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. “We are equally excited to be able to continue our relationship with Tora Takagi for a third season. Tora’s performance on ovals has been extremely good. Combining Tora’s driving skills with Morris’ engineering and strong team should lead us to a great season.” Takagi, the 28-year-old driver who campaigned a Pioneer-sponsored Toyota on the CART circuit the past two seasons, will enter his first year in the IRL with a team that, in its inaugural year of IRL competition, finished fourth in the championship, third at the Indy 500 and recorded 12 top-seven finishes, including a win at Kentucky. [Editor's Note: Pioneer will now be sponsoring 1.5 cars in the IRL and reducing their CART sponsorship to zero.  So much for the rumors that they were waiting for the CART Ford deal to go with Nunn.]

12/5/02

End of road for Arrows  Arrows has confirmed to BBC Oxford that redundancy notices have gone out to 160 staff who had not officially left the team to find other work. Arrows last paid its staff in July when the factory closed it doors. Many of the team’s staff have been at home on unpaid leave in the hope the latest rescue bid to save the team would come to fruition. The redundancy letters say a new investor that signed a contract six weeks ago has failed to provide cleared funds. Legal moves to restore Arrows to next year's Formula1 championship are ongoing - but the company no longer has a workforce to design and build next year’s car.  ITV-F1

12/5/02

Coulthard blisters Barcelona  McLaren driver David Coulthard finished the final day of testing at the Barcelona circuit on the top of the timesheets, the Scot recording a blistering best time of 1:15.674 after a total of 67 laps, a new unofficial test record for the Spanish track. Coulthard's superb form was almost two seconds quicker than the 1:17.372 of second placed man, BMW Williams driver, Juan Pablo Montoya.
Thursday's times from Barcelona
1. David Coulthard – McLaren – 1:15.674 – 67 laps
2. Juan Pablo Montoya – Williams – 1:17.372 – 86 laps
3. Antonio Pizzonia – Jaguar – 1:17.481 – 101 laps
4. Olivier Panis - Toyota - 1:17.'609 - 64 laps
5. Ralf Schumacher - Williams – 1:18.065 - 76 laps
6. Gary Paffett - McLaren – 1:18.236 - 63 laps
7. Marc Gene - Williams – 1:18.400 - 54 laps
8. Jacques Villeneuve - BAR – 1:18.905 - 74 laps
9. Mark Webber - Jaguar – 1:18.924 - 73 laps
10. Anthony Davidson - BAR – 1:19.675 - 5 laps
11. Fernando Alonso - Renault – 1:19.860 - 69 laps
12. Ralf Firman - BAR – 1:21.056 - 46 laps
13 Tiago Monteiro - Renault – 1:21.471 - 56 laps

12/5/02

CART Team Owners have no scruples  A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I'm appalled to read that Team Rahal is also going to the IRL full time.  Rahal is a former President of CART and fully recognizes that each entry in the IRL only bolsters that series.  Don't tell me that Rahal needed the money and had to do it, I'm certain he's a multimillionaire and could retire tomorrow.  He and the rest of the CART team owners who are turncoats showed their true colors these past two years.  I hope they have fun bouncing their cars off those concrete walls.  I just pray no one kills themselves, for then there will be blood on that money they grabbed for.  I hope CART rebuilds their series with new team owners who don't worship the Indy 500 (a race that now only gets lower TV ratings than most NASCAR races), but more importantly, have a shred of honor and principles in them.  If CART survives, I hope they don't let any of the traders back in.  Lynn Beasley, Boston, MA.  Dear Lynn, It's clear you are quite emotional about this topic, as are many other CART fans.  Bobby's support of CART and road racing is unquestioned. No, he doesn't need the money, but it's not about that. Bobby has dozens of employees who have families. Many of them have been in his organization for years. To take the "principled" stand and turn one's nose up at the IRL, Honda, Pioneer, and Miller not only puts many of those loyal employees out on the street but it severs ties with huge companies that may, one day, want to sponsor a car in another series. If Bobby or any other team owner ignored the opportunity, all they'd have left are their principles, which are nice to have but pretty useless with no sponsor ties with which to run their operation now or in the future.  Mark C.

12/5/02

Badoer and Heidfeld test at Jerez  Team SAUBER PETRONAS began the first day of the second phase of its final test program for 2002 in Jerez de la Frontera today.
Nick Heidfeld was again at the wheel of the Sauber Petronas C21 and recorded a time of 1m 22.366s in the course of 52 laps. In the last run, the car went off on corner 10 with just a little bit of damage to the front. Nick will continue driving tomorrow and Heinz-Harald
Frentzen will drive on Saturday December 7. Giampaolo Dall'Ara (Head of Test Team): "Today we focused on conducting further detailed work on the gearbox as well as on aerodynamic development. The test went well although we lost a little bit of time when we decided to
do a complete inspection of the gearbox internals. We will continue the aerodynamic program tomorrow with Nick at the wheel. We will also be assessing brake systems. Even though the car suffered a little damage when it went off in the last run, we will be ready for tomorrow". Nick Heidfeld: "It has been another good day of work and we managed to gather interesting data for our working program. At the end of the session, I was pushing a little bit to test the limit, and lost the car in the last run."
Names Chassis Laptime Laps
Luca Badoer Ferrari 1m 20.570s 105
Nick Heidfeld Sauber Petronas 1m22.366s 52

12/5/02

Kelly Racing names Freudenberg and Newey  Tom Kelley, President and CEO of Indianapolis based Kelley Racing announced today the appointment of Jim Freudenberg as Vice President of Commercial Operations and Steve Newey as Vice President of Racing Operations. Newey comes to Kelley Racing from the CART series with over 15 years of racing experience. Following graduation from Southern Technical Institute in Marietta, GA with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Newey embarked on a career designing racecars. In 1987 he traveled to England to accept a position as race engineer in the most technically advanced form of auto racing, Formula One. In 1989 he returned to the United States and has spent the last 14 years in the CART series managing and engineering winning efforts for the top teams and drivers. His resume includes numerous series poles and race wins as well as championships with such drivers as Bobby Rahal and Al Unser, Jr. In addition, he has recorded successful results with Danny Sullivan, Scott Pruett, Adrian Fernandez and Tony Kanaan. Freudenberg, who has been the General Manager of Kelley Racing for the past four years, will oversee sponsorship acquisitions, sponsor/partner relationships; hospitality; marketing and public relations. Newey will be responsible for the day-to-day management and the technical advancement of all race operations.

12/5/02

IRL names new VP  Michael Bucek, who has nearly 20 years of sports marketing, sales and business development experience, has been named vice president, sales & business development for the Indy Racing League. Ken Ungar, the sanctioning body’s senior vice president, business affairs, made the announcement Dec. 5. As vice president, sales & business development, Bucek will be responsible for the overall sales efforts for the league, including working closely with tracks on entitlement sponsorships, continuing the league’s effort to assist teams with sponsorship searches as well as working with broadcast partner ABC Sports and ESPN. Bucek’s appointment marks the league’s first full-time dedicated senior sales executive. Previously, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway coordinated the league’s sponsorship efforts.  Under Ungar’s direction, similar changes have been made in marketing and are underway in public relations. “We are energized by the arrival of Mike to the IRL,” Ungar said. “His professional sports experience will be an outstanding asset for us as we move into the 2003 season with a great deal of momentum and continue to grow the league.” Bucek joins the IRL after serving as vice president, ballpark development, for the Milwaukee Brewers since 1996. With the Brewers, he focused on the design and business development of Miller Park and negotiated the ballpark’s naming rights agreement with Miller Brewing Company. He also negotiated other major sponsorship packages as well as broadcast agreements, suite sales and concession and merchandise agreements for the ballpark. He directed the marketing of the stadium from the groundbreaking ceremony through the highly successful inaugural season, which set a Brewers’ attendance record of 2.8 million fans.

12/5/02

Why Gentilozzi chose CART over IRL  This crash.net article talks about why Paul Gentilozzi chose the CART series over the IRL.

12/5/02

More on Jaguar cuts, the real story  2nd UPDATE As predicted below, though it happened sooner than we expected, Geunther Steiner has stepped down from his role as Jaguar Racing Managing Director as a result of the comprehensive restructuring of the team. Steiner has been replaced by David Pitchforth, who joined Jaguar last March and oversaw the development of the team’s wind tunnel and the turnaround in the performance of last year’s R3 chassis. Jaguar Racing has offered Steiner another role within the organization and he is currently looking at his options with new Premier Performance Division CEO Tony Purnell.  12/5/02 - AR1 tries to bring you the inside scoop on as much news and rumors as possible.  Here's the inside dirt on Jaguar - In a nutshell, Tony Purnell, previously Jaguar's director of technology, has comprehensively out-maneuvered Niki Lauda.  Niki didn't realize what was happening, but Ben Agathangelou’s was inserted-into-Jaguar (via Tony Purnell) back in April - as Head of Aerodynamics.  Simultaneously;- ex Manager-of-the-ARC-Wind-Tunnel in Indianapolis, David Pitchforth, who is now a Pi Employee, has been in place at Jaguar for 6-months preparing the ground for Tony. They ousted the Chief Designer, John Russell, back in September as it turns out.   Tim Routsis (of Pi) and his business colleague, Sir John Allison (an ex-assistant to Niki Lauda mind you), completed the coup.   And, we doubt Guenther Steiner will last the year out.  The managing directorship of Jaguar Racing was – believe it or not – Steiner’s first job in Formula One. A baptism of fire?  Exactly 76 were pushed out the door this week. For the guys that remain one has to wonder if Purnell realizes that while down-playing expectation will be easy - failure to match Jordan will cost all dearly.....as in the total pullout of Ford and Jaguar from F1.   12/4/02 - Among the 70+ staff cut at Jaguar Racing in recent days were chief aerodynamicist Mark Handford, the chief engineer Vincent Gaillardot and production manager Colin McGrory. The electronics group lost 20 people and 20 jobs were cut at Cosworth Racing. More cuts are expected.

12/5/02

Pictures from Brands  Will CART race at Brands Hatch?  Perhaps.  This collection of photos from recent years at Brands Hatch tells us that improvements are necessary.  For one, the track should be widened by at least 10 feet (3.3 meters) all the way around.  Story

12/5/02

Stewart admits to loving the media  Tony Stewart made an admission Wednesday. He’s having a blast, during his “Champion’s Week” activities in New York City. And that enjoyment, Stewart said, even includes dealing with the media. Addressing a group of New York-area and Northeast media at the famed ‘21 Club, Stewart said that being interviewed away from the race track is making all the difference in the world, as far as his attitude is concerned. “I really didn’t think I was going to enjoy this week at all,” Stewart said, chuckling. “You know, dealing with the media for five days in a row… I thought I’d be on suicide watch by now. But that’s been great and we’ve been having a lot of fun this week. The only think I don’t like about this week in New York is [wearing] suits and ties. I’ve found out I can spend a lot less money without suits and ties.” Stewart has a full schedule for Thursday, starting with an 11 a.m. trip to Times Square, where New York City Sports Commissioner Ken Podziba will issue a proclamation from the mayor’s office, proclaiming Friday as “NASCAR Winston Cup Series Day in New York City.” At noon Stewart will attend the annual press luncheon in the Waldorf Astoria Grand Ballroom. At 4 p.m., the champion will have the honor of ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Around 7 p.m., Stewart will stop by the NASCAR Touring Series Dinner in the Waldorf’s Empire Room, to greet the champions from NASCAR’s various Touring series.

12/5/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Jordan Deny Sato Sacking
Arrows Formally Appeal Exclusion
Speedy Toyota As Testing Continues
F1 Bosses Sign Long-Term Plan
Another Sacking At Jaguar Racing
Ferrari Opposed To Slick Return
Thumbs-Up To New Renault R23
Montoya Targets Ferrari Dominance
Mixed Support For Da Matta Debut
Panis Applauds Toyota Motivation

12/5/02

German F3 champion drives F1 car again  UPDATE  Gary Paffett is British. He is a protégé of Zip Kart founder Martin Hines and, if we are not mistaken, won the McLaren/Autosport BRDC Young Driver award a few years ago but then couldn't afford British F3 so he went to Germany.  12/4/02 - German F3 champion Gary Paffett was back behind the wheel of a Formula One McLaren at the Circuit de Catalunya yesterday. The Briton, in his first run for two years, managed just 13 laps of acclimatization in the MP4-17. 'Today I was just getting into the routine of things,' he said. 'Last time I tested an F1 car was at Jerez and Magny-Cours in January two years ago, but the car was completely different so I just needed some mileage.' He will resume the silver cockpit on Thursday: 'I've got a day to think about it now, so let's see what I can do on Thursday when I have another full day's running.'

12/4/02

F1 technical committee agrees to key changes  According to this Reuters article, Formula One team principals have revealed plans to reduce costs and increase excitement by the start of the 2005 season. The 10 team chiefs met the sport's Technical Working Group at a Heathrow hotel on Wednesday to discuss the future of the sport and rejected ideas of radical change for next season. But Paul Stoddart, who owns the back-of-the-grid Minardi outfit, said the eight-hour meeting had provided a positive long-term plan to help the survival of the sport as a whole. "It was a very constructive meeting and everyone has pulled together to get these things into action," he said. "It was always going to be uphill to bring in changes for 2003 because everything is so far advanced. "But it was great to see peoples' interest in the state of the sport as a whole take over from interest in the gain of individual teams. "Today has been a genuine spirited cooperative experience." Rumored plans to reintroduce slick tires for 2003 were not even discussed and the team principals are understood to have chosen to keep the regulations relatively static for the next two years. They signed a unanimous agreement to make six alterations, mostly involving the format of race weekends for next year, and put together draft proposals for 2004 and beyond. It is thought the long-term plans involve a return to slick tires, the removal of traction control and a reduction in downforce. A F1 insider said: "The whole idea is to have less emphasis on the technical side of things again and get the excitement back into the sport."

12/4/02

CART stock  watch 

MPH closed at $3.84 Down $0.19 on Volume of 22,600 shares.
$3.20 Bid - $4.21 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $3.77 / $4.00
MPH Value Change Down 4.71%
DOW Jones Down 5.08 or 0.06% on Volume of 1.94 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 18.61 or 1.28%
S&P 500 Down 3.17 or 0.34%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

12/4/02
F3000

Red Bull American driver Nelson shatters Jerez record  American Red Bull driver Joel Nelson set a new unofficial fastest lap while testing at Jerez, Spain on Friday November 29th. Driving for the John Village Automotive European F3000 team, Nelson lowered the pre-existing fastest lap for 1999 spec F3000 cars by lapping at 1:32.74. On only his first flying lap and using used tires, Nelson beat 2003 Renault Formula One driver Fernando Alonso¹s best-recorded lap by two tenths of a second before lowering the standard again. "I was surprised to see that time to be honest. It was my first hot lap of the day and while it felt like a reasonable lap, it didn¹t feel exceptional", says Nelson. Nelson and the team worked through two productive days of testing and development in wet and dry conditions. "I had only woken up and gotten out of bed shortly before setting that quick time and it was only my first flying lap of the day, so that was a nice way to begin. But more importantly, we learned a lot about the car, especially on longer stints that I am sure will help us during the races next year", reported Nelson. Nelson, one of four winners of the Red Bull F1 Driver Search was go karting in America this time last year.  [Editor's Note: However, were you aware that the 2003 Europe F-3000 engine has nearly forty more horses dialed into it than the 2002 spec. Everyone in Europe knew all of the times would come down. Taking nothing away from Joel as he has been impressive in his short career...but]

12/4/02

2nd China track in Beijing for CART  8th UPDATE AR1 has confirmed that final design is still going on for some things like buildings etc. Unfortunately dealing with the FIM and FIA takes time. Approvals have to be met before construction can start - then there is also the Chinese Federation - which is an experience of it's own. In the USA you can build a track and then have it approved by the FIA/FIM as long as it meets their standards - this is due to the USA not really being controlled by the FIA/FIM but ACCUS. The rest of the world is governed by the FIA/FIM and tracks have to be approved by them initially and then subject to final inspections. This means that all their requirements in the sporting regulations have to be followed to the line. Do you know that there are even specific designs for the Media Center, Medical Center, Race Control - so all takes time. The FIA has certain regs and the FIM has different regs - so trying to accommodate both is tough. The design team does not expect to hear much about final approval before January now.  12/2/02 - The use of English has become a state-sponsored rage in Beijing. The official goal is to have five million people in the city - just over 30 per cent of the population - speaking the language by the time the Olympic Games are staged in 2008. At the frontline of the campaign are Beijing's finest. The government has ordered that for the next six years every police officer in the capital should study English so they can talk to foreigners who come for the Games. By 2008, 6,000 officers should have an intermediate level of written and spoken English, the police public affairs department says. They will not be alone. The push to learn English has spawned 1,000 special schools, Web sites, university-based "English corners" and open meetings for adults to practice and learn. The government estimates 3.12 million Beijing residents speak some English, and 600,000 are studying.   10/31/02 - A reader writes, Dear AR1, I'm glad to see you understated the rivalry between Beijing and Shanghai. The rivalry is huge, but it is NOT between the people. The “people” will attend the races, but it is the GOVERNMENTS that are “proud”. Beijing, the seat of government, is not about to be totally outdone by Shanghai, the seat of commerce. So far your articles have reported 1) Beijing is building in response to Shanghai, 2) Beijing has increased the size of the track, 3) Beijing will finish a year earlier. What’s next? As I have scribbled, this rivalry will get the job completed. Thank you Bernie for getting the process started. Jeff  10/31/02 - AR1 has learned that this track is slated to be completed in late 2003, meaning a CART race as early as 2004 is possible.  However, CART won't be running F1 engines until 2005, and with Hyundai and Nissan rumored as two of the engines suppliers (see rumors page) coming into the series in 2005, it's quite possible CART will wait until 2005 and not rush things.  China is very important to both companies.   With the Olympics coming to Beijing in 2008, the city is going to undergo some dramatic improvements because the Chinese people are proud and have every intention of showing the world just how grandiose they can be.  There is also a bit of rivalry between Beijing (the government center of China) and Shanghai (the emerging commercial center of China) and you can be sure that Beijing will attempt to outdo Shanghai when it comes to building a race track.  As to the Beijing track layout, we see a lot of good overtaking areas.  Notice the Sepang like 180-degree grandstands in the center as well as all the grandstands surrounding the track.  When the Chinese hear the sound of the CART F1 engines screaming at 16,000 + RPM for the first time, they are going to be enamored.  Also, if this rumor is indeed true, don't be surprised to see some Chinese drivers emerge in the not too distant future. Landon Yee has written a number of articles for AR1 and is currently in the CART ladder series while still attending college.  If CART is going to China, they had better ring up Mr. Yee right quick.  10/30/02 - We have confirmed that the track we show is indeed the approved FIA International Standard track in Beijing - they are however changing it slightly to suit FIM (hence the change from 5.23 km to 5.9 km). This track is due to start construction any day now. The ground breaking was last week. This is an international standard circuit suitable for any form of car or motorcycles at this level. We cannot reveal which sanction bodies are going to Beijing at this time, as it is all in negotiation.  10/29/02 - We have had a hard time finding the official track layout for Beijing.  The only one we have been able to come up with is the proposed new international standard circuit (named Comp-Speed), designed by Alan Wilson, near Beijing (click on image to right). Officials have set aside 500 acres of land for the facility in the south-west of the city, adjacent to where new freeways have recently been built. This 3.25-mile track equates to 5.23 km, which is close to the 5.9 km (3.7 miles) mentioned in the original story, so we think we may have the correct track. The track will feature current FIA and FIM safety and standards and will be able to host national and international car and motorcycle events. Stay tuned as we attempt to determine if this is indeed the one now under construction.  10/29/02 - As AutoRacing1.com speculated when it was first announced, the $121m F1-standard circuit currently being built in Beijing will host a CART series race in 2005 (when CART runs Formula 1 V-10's), claims a report in Swiss weekly Motorsport Aktuell. This probably belongs on our rumors page because it is not 'fact yet, but since this news started here, we felt it best to keep it all together.  10/25/02 - The track would be 13 to 18 meters wide (i.e. very wide) and 5.9 km long, 450 meters longer than Shanghai’s.  10/24/02 - Hmm, F1 in Shanghai and CART in Beijing?  The city of Beijing has started construction of an F1-standard circuit to rival the venue in Shanghai which was approved last weekend to stage the Chinese GP, reports China Daily. The first foundations of the $121m project were laid in a Beijing suburb on Wednesday after the FIA approved the design. Chu Zhaoge of Beijing International Circuit Co said he was confident that the new track would be suitable for F1 racing. Beijing Circuit Boss Chu George told the China Daily that the circuit’s backers, though not revealing their identity, were already heavily involved in Formula One. ‘Our international partners are major sponsors of F1 and other international racing competitions and they promise to bring high-level racing games to Beijing in the near future,’ he said.  This is another example where Bernie Ecclestone can use CART to fill in the gaps where F1 can't meet the demand.

12/4/02

Teams test at Homestead, Foyt IV crashes - Four Indy Racing League teams fielding five drivers tested Dec. 4 at the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway in preparation for the 2003 IRL season opener March 2. Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Scott Dixon and Tomas Scheckter, Andretti Green Racing test driver Dan Wheldon, 2002 Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series champion A.J. Foyt IV and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves participated in the first of two days of testing. “We just want to get a lot of miles for Honda and us,” said Kyle Moyer, team manager for Andretti Green Racing, which will field Michael Andretti, Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan during the 2003 IRL season. “We’re new to the series, except for Indy, and we’re also working with Danny (Wheldon), to learn more about him. Michael and Dario have been taking time out, but right now, they’re both antsy to get back in.” The only incident of the day occurred at approximately 11:20 a.m. EST when IRL rookie A.J. Foyt IV spun and made contact with the outside retaining wall in Turn 4. His No. 14 Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone sustained left-side damage. Foyt was transported to Homestead Hospital for observation but was not admitted. An inspection of the car following the accident revealed that it had been caused by a suspension failure, according to team owner A.J. Foyt. “Everything was going good until something broke on the car coming out of (Turn) 4,” said young Foyt. “I had been having most of my problems with the car pushing in Turns 1 and 2 and actually was getting through (Turns) 3 and 4 pretty good. We were running good times compared to everyone else, which sort of surprised me since our motor had over 300 miles on it. We're planning to get back on the track tomorrow and just get some more miles in.” Indy Racing League testing will continue Dec. 5 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

12/4/02

2003 IRL car count shaping up nicely - UPDATE We had double counted the Panther team, the list is now corrected.  12/4/02 - We have added a 2003 IRL Silly Season Page which represents our best guess at this time at what cars will makeup the 2003 IRL grid.  As you can see, car count will not be a problem.  The IRL is in fine shape compared to CART when it comes to car count for 2003.  See rumors page where Team Rahal has been rumored as the latest CART team to strengthen the IRL.

12/4/02

Barcelona Day 2 - Toyota fastest  Toyota driver Olivier Panis was fastest on the second day of the Formula 1 test at Barcelona, setting a best lap of 1m17.190s, significantly faster than yesterday's fast lap by Mark Webber in his Jaguar.

1 Olivier Panis Toyota M 1m17.190s 74
2 Alex Wurx McLaren-Mercedes M 1m17.275s 76
3 David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes M 1m17.685s 50
4 Mark Webber Jaguar M 1m17.770s 57
5 Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW M 1m17.819s 53
6 Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW M 1m17.959s 83
7 Marc Gene Williams-BMW M 1m18.715s 34
8 Anthony Davidson BAR-Honda B 1m19.422s 79
9 Antonio Pizzonia Jaguar M 1m20.121s 50
10 Fernando Alonso Renault M 1m20.811s 63
11 Romain Dumas Renault M 1m21.306s 42
12 Thiago Montero Renault M 1m23.575s 24

12/4/02

Gordon talks about ROC win  Four-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon and rookie teammate Jimmie Johnson also got their racing fix over the holiday week. Gordon and Johnson teamed with world superbike champion Colin Edwards to power Team USA to the Race of Champions Nations Cup title in Gran Canaria. The format consisted of three racers from each of the nine countries involved with each individual specializing in one of the three disciplines - circuit racing, rally/off-road and motorcycling. Gordon handled the circuit duties, Johnson was the rally/off-road specialist and Edwards took care of the motorcycling. Gordon was key in the semifinals as he defeated Formula 3000 champion Sebastian Bourdais in the final race to lead Team USA to a 3-2 win over France. Team USA posted a 3-1 win over Italy in Saturday's championship as Edwards scored a pair of victories and Gordon earned the other. Gordon defeated European touring car champion Fabrizio Giovanardi by 0.15 of a second to put Team USA up 2-0 in the final while Edwards closed it out. Johnson was strong in his effort, but fell to World Rally driver Renato Travaglia by 0.65 of a second. "Jimmy probably had the worst record among us and yet he was probably the best driver on our team," Gordon said. "He had a tough draw facing guys who race these type of cars in these types of
conditions every weekend. But he was putting up some great lap times and giving those rally drivers all they could handle. I'm glad we participated in this event. It was a lot of fun and it was cool racing for our country."

12/4/02

Cheever confirms Chevy power  Red Bull Cheever Racing officials announced Dec. 4 that Chevrolet will power the team in Indy Racing League competition starting with the 2003 season. Team owner-driver Eddie Cheever Jr. also announced a technical partnership with Team Menard, one of GM’s affiliated engine builders, including the formation of a research-and-development company. “We are delighted that Red Bull Cheever Racing will use the new 2003 Chevy Indy V8,” said GM Racing Program Manager Joe Negri. “Eddie scored GM’s historic first IRL victory in January 1997, and he won the Indianapolis 500 with GM power. “When Cheever Racing switched to our rival’s engine, the team became our most formidable competition. We are pleased to welcome Eddie Cheever Jr. and Red Bull Cheever Racing back to the GM camp.” Cheever won races in three consecutive years with GM engines. He captured the season-opening rounds in 1997 and 1999 in Orlando, Fla., and he won the Indianapolis 500 in May 1998. “This team has had some great battles with General Motors these past few years,” Cheever said. “Next season we are starting a new battle in the IRL, and this time I am pleased to be with American automaker Chevrolet. “When we sat down to analyze the best fit for our team, everything pointed to Chevrolet. The way they have structured their racing program allows teams to actively participate in the research and development. This is one of the founding principles of the IRL and one I believe will be vital to winning races and championships in the upcoming years.” The team will use Chevrolet engines prepared by Menard Engine Group in Indianapolis. Menard-built GM engines have won 10 IRL events and two championships since 1997. Menard Engine Group is one of GM Racing’s affiliated engine builders that is developing the all-new 2003 Chevy Indy V8 engine.

12/4/02

NASCAR College Tour  The NASCAR College Tour presented by the Coca-Cola Company will kick off with a visit to North Carolina A&T. The tour, which is designed to build awareness about the motorsports industry and its exciting career opportunities, will visit Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions. Dr. Marcus Tillery, chairman of North Carolina A&T and head of the manufacturing systems department, will serve as host. "The NASCAR College Tour presented by the Coca-Cola Company will allow North Carolina A&T students to meet leading industry representatives and learn more about these careers from an insider's perspective," Tillery said. "We're excited they chose to kick-off the tour here." Tomorrow's panel includes the following NASCAR Diversity Council members: Dora Taylor, NASCAR Senior Manager of Diversity Affairs, NASCAR; Bill Lester, who drives the No. 8 truck in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series; Tinsley Hughes, co-owner of BH Motorsports -an African American owned NASCAR Winston Cup team with the National Guard as their sponsor; Odis Lloyd, Director of Automotive Aftermarket, NASCAR; and Wayne Clapp, Executive Director, Association for Minorities in Motorsports (AFMIM). The NASCAR College Tour presented by the Coca-Cola Company will also be visiting additional schools in 2003.

12/4/02

Lopes to represent  CART Vice-President of Racing Operations John Lopes will represent the open-wheel racing community at Wednesday's Industry Round Table Discussion at the opening of the 15th Annual Performance Racing Industry show in Indianapolis. Lopes will join former NASCAR champion Buddy Baker, American Le Mans Series COO Scott Atherton and FOX NASCAR commentator Jeff Hammond in a question-and-answer session involving the entire world of motorsports. Lopes, who oversees the on-track component of the CART series, will be the only member of the panel from the open-wheel side of the sport. The PRI show starts Wednesday and runs through Saturday, December 7, taking place at the Indiana Convention Center and RCA Dome in downtown Indianapolis. The show brings in more than 1,100 exhibitors to display the latest in racing technology to industry insiders. The round table discussion begins at 1:30 p.m.

12/4/02

Quote of the week  "He made us feel like one of the guys - except that he has a lot of power. I was a lot more nervous going to the big red (NASCAR) trailer than making the trip to the Oval Office." Tony Stewart, following his visit with President Bush.

12/4/02

Menard and Cheever to team up  The Indy Star reports that Indy Racing League team owners John Menard and Eddie Cheever Jr. will announce today a partnership of the technical side of their racing companies. Menard Cheever Technology, headed by former Formula One-winning engineer Bernard Dudot, will operate from Menard's engine shop in Indianapolis. Both teams will use Chevrolet engines. The formation of MCT ends Cheever's technical association with Tom Walkinshaw Racing......Walkinshaw of course having his hands full in F1.

12/4/02

Roebuck on CART in Europe  Nigel Roebuck says in his latest Autosport.com column - I'm a fan of both F1 and Champ cars, and I sincerely hope this CART 'European tour' comes off next year. That said, I confess that the thought of another single-seater series running at Spa, when F1 chooses to pass it up, makes me want to weep! I'm sure CART will put on a good show at all these tracks, but we need to keep a sense of perspective, I think. F1 has not been to Brands Hatch since 1986, nor to Estoril since 1996, so no meaningful comparison of lap times will apply at those places. When it comes to Spa, though, we were there only three months ago, and drivers reported that, thanks to tire development and the electronic 'driver aids', the world's greatest circuit was no longer the challenge it had been. Eau Rouge, for example, was now comfortably flat every time... It shouldn't be - and, for the Champ cars, it won't be. Frankly, I'll be amazed - given their much greater weight, steel brakes, lack of 'gizmos', and so on - if they get within shouting range of F1 times round there, but that won't matter a damn if the racing is good. Will the European fans turn out to watch them? Difficult question. At the first Rockingham race, there was a pretty good crowd, of around 40,000, but CART has had its problems, as is well known, and this year the Rockingham crowd was well down; CART will not return there. I reckon there'll be a good crowd at Brands, because it remains a great race track, even if it hasn't hosted a major (car) race for a very long time, and there's a lot of affection for the place among British enthusiasts.  As for Estoril and Spa, who knows? CART has lost many of its major stars to the IRL for 2003, unfortunately, and at present we know only the bare bones of the entry list. As well as that, you have to face the fact that 'Indycars' are as alien to Europe as F1 apparently still is to the USA! However, I'm optimistic, I must say. There is a culture of bigtime single-seater racing in Europe which, I'm sad to say, appears to be dying in America, and I'm sure that plenty of folk will turn out to watch Junqueira, Tracy, Carpentier & Co next year.

12/4/02

F1 prepares for technical meeting with eye at cutting costs, speeds  The F1 Technical Working Group will meet with the sport’s authorities today to discuss technical changes for 2004 aimed at both improving the sport’s spectacle and cutting costs. Bernie Ecclestone is backing the move to make significant changes such as removing rear diffusers, which are a major contributor to the car’s overall downforce. Bringing slicks back to the sport, considered a key move in the bid to return mechanical grip to the cars, will also be discussed. However, making technical changes will not be as straightforward as the sporting changes that the F1 Commission passed at the end of October. ‘It's traditionally tricky to find unanimity on technical issues,’ Richard Woods, spokesman for the FIA told the Bloomberg business channel. ‘It's a slow process.’ With the Arrows team rejected from the Championship, which has seen the number of teams in the sport drop to just 10 with fears more will collapse in the short term, there is an onus on the sport to take measures to cut costs at a time of unprecedented spending but in a struggling global economic environment. ‘We need to stop spending going into a bottomless pit,’ Jordan Race and Test Engineering Director Gary Anderson stated. ‘We could cut some costs by 75% and the public wouldn't even notice.’ Anderson said Jordan, which was hit by the withdrawal of its biggest sponsor Deutsche Post recently, spent $1.2 million on the development of its driver aid systems, another $1.5 million on brakes, and $30 million on annual car refitting alone.

12/4/02

IRL expands incentive program  The Indy Racing League Leaders Circle will expand in car count and benefits in 2003, significantly increasing the package of equipment, supplies and services available to full-time teams for the 2003 season. Teams were notified Dec. 3 of the 2003 guidelines for the program, which require applications to be submitted by Dec. 11 to Brian Barnhart, IRL senior vice president of operations. The Leaders Circle, which was established Jan. 18, 2002, provides incentives to teams that commit to participate in all 16 Indy Racing League events in 2003. The program leverages relationships built by the sanctioning body with partners, sponsors and suppliers and gives the benefits directly to the teams. After positive feedback during the program’s inaugural season, league officials are working to expand the program to provide unprecedented benefits to teams in 2003. “The Leaders Circle was first introduced at the beginning of last season and was very well received,” Barnhart said. “Our goal has always been to control costs and to provide opportunity for teams to be competitive, regardless of the size of their budgets. Continuing the Leaders Circle is another way to provide support to teams as the league grows. “The 2003 Leaders Circle will include the benefits provided in 2002 and additional benefits to be announced at a later date. We also are evaluating the possibility of increasing the number of positions from 24 to 26. Based on the inquiries we have received in the past few weeks, we expect the number of applications to be much larger than we can accommodate. We will spend much of December and January narrowing the list to 26.”

12/4/02

GM honors IMS - General Motors presented its prestigious GM Racing Pioneer Award to the Hulman-George family and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Dec. 3 at the 2002 SAE Motorsports Engineering Conference and Exposition in Indianapolis. The presentation is historic, as it is the first time the award has been presented to anyone outside of the General Motors company. “There can be no more appropriate recipient of the GM Racing Pioneer Award than the Hulman-George family,” said Steve Shannon, executive director of GM Racing. “All of those who have been associated with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s long history of pioneering leadership in the advancement of auto racing safety are part of a distinguished group. “Some of the innovations pioneered by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway include the installation of the first red and yellow warning lights, the first mandatory wearing of helmets, the first mandatory fire-retardant driver suits and car roll bars, and the first application of crash data recorders. And again just this past year, IMS initiated the first application of the SAFER Barrier. “In short, no entity has done more to further the cause of auto racing safety than the Hulman-George family and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.” GM has been a longtime pioneer in automotive safety, as well. A few of its major breakthroughs include the industry’s first electric headlights, the first shatter-resistant windshield glass, the first energy-absorbing steering column and the first child-restraint system. In the realm of Indy-style racing, GM provided the first crash recorders and developed the rear crash attenuator and improved head padding for which Dr. John Melvin and John Pierce were awarded the prestigious Schwitzer Award in 1998 from the Society of Automotive Engineers. The SAFER Barrier, placed in the four turns of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the days leading up to the opening day of practice for the 2002 Indianapolis 500, was developed by the Indy Racing League and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Midwest Roadside Safety Facility, beginning in 1998. The energy-absorbing barrier was designed for multiple impacts by Indy Racing League cars and stock cars during an event. NASCAR joined in the development of the project in September 2000. The FIA also approved the SAFER Barrier for use during Formula One’s United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis in September 2002.

12/4/02

Homestead tickets on sale - Tickets are now on sale for the Miami Indy 300, the season-opener for the Indy Racing League, February 28 - March 2, 2003 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In addition to the Miami Indy 300, the race weekend includes the Nextel Grand Prix of Miami featuring the Rolex Sports Car Series as well as the season-opener for the Infiniti Pro Series. Along with the Indy Racing season-opener, race fans will have the opportunity to see two additional races during the Miami Indy 300 weekend. On Saturday, March 1, the Nextel Grand Prix of Miami featuring the Rolex Sports Car Series will run on the Speedway's 2.21-mile road course. Then on Sunday, March 2 prior to the running of the Miami Indy 300, the up and coming Infiniti Pro Series will hold its 2003 season-opener. Tickets to the Miami Indy 300 weekend are available by calling the Homestead-Miami Speedway ticket office at (305) 230-RACE or logging on homesteadmiamispeedway.com.

12/4/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Another Crash For Jungle-Boy
F1 Grid To Diminish Further?
Arrows To Appeal '03 Exclusion
Andersson Rues Sparkling Start
Webber Ponders Cold Christmas
Ferrari Boss Defends Schu Status
Rosberg Blown Away By F1 Power
Experience Over Youth: Irvine
Webber Attack As Testing Resumes
Lauda Considers Advisory Role
Sato's Future Still Bright?
Jordan Dismayed At Arrows Demise
F1 News In Brief

12/4/02

Shanghai lands 2010 World Expo  We rumored this a few days ago, now Shanghai has announced that they have landed the 2010 World Expo to go along with their 2004 F1 race.  The city is building the worlds first commercially operated magnetic levitation train which it will showcase to the world as it whisks passengers from the Pudong airport to downtown and beyond.  AR1 has long maintained that this city is the most modern in the world and the perfect place to hold a big race.  F1 and Bernie Ecclestone were wise enough to see that.

12/4/02

CART and F1 to have lowest car counts since 1971?  This Toronto Star article says that CART isn't the only open-wheeled racing series faced with a decrease in the number of cars on its starting grid for the 2003 season. While the North American-based series insists it will have at least the 18 cars it ran with for most of 2002, the marquee Formula One circuit won't be able to match that claim. When Formula One announced its 2003 campaign yesterday, the financially troubled Arrows team was conspicuous by its absence. That reduces the F1 field to 10 teams and 19 cars: Jordan has just one entry. That would leave the series with its smallest field since 1971. The cash-strapped Arrows team, which is fighting to stave off bankruptcy, apparently applied to compete in 2003, but was turned down by the FIA, the governing body. The FIA declined to reveal the details of its decision, saying in a statement only that its reason had been communicated to Arrows. But obviously FIA was concerned about the team folding in mid-season. Arrows, which has never won a race during 25 years of racing, missed the last five races this season due to its financial problems. Under F1 rules, Arrows can still enter for next season as a new entry, but would have to put up a $48 million (U.S.) performance bond. That amount, which every new team must put up, is refundable in 12 payments of $4 million. However, Arrows, which has lost its major sponsor, the French mobile phone company Orange SA, simply doesn't have $48 million. It is also facing lawsuits from drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Jos Verstappen. Morgan Grenfell Developments Capital Syndications Ltd., a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank AG, is claiming some of its assets. It has invested some $60 million in the team since 1999. Meanwhile, the news was better for CART. Lola, which easily won the CART constructors' championship this past season, has joined Bridgestone and Ford in expressing faith that the series will not only survive, but thrive. The chassis builder, located in Huntington, England, announced yesterday that it would build 10 new ChampCar chassis, worth $450,00 (U.S.) to meet the expected demand for 2003. One team switching to Lola from Reynard is Player's/Forsythe Racing with Canadian drivers Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier. While the series finished the season with a 19-car grid — 13 of which were Lolas — in Mexico City, it ran most of the season with 18. However, it has lost five cars to the rival Indy Racing League and at the moment there is a commitment for no more than 10 or 11 cars for next season.

12/3/02

Webber fast in Barcelona  Jaguar driver Mark Webber has set the pace on the first day of testing at Barcelona. Webber was running a standard 2002-spec R3, and completed 67 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya, setting a best lap of 1m18.192s. Juan Pablo Montoya set the second best time for Williams, with McLaren tester Alex Wurz in third.
Barcelona, day 1 times (unofficial)
Pos Driver Chassis-Engine Tires Time Laps
1 Mark Webber Jaguar M 1m18.192s 67
2 Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW M 1m18.206s 57
3 Alex Wurz McLaren-Mercedes M 1m18.757s 31
4 Olivier Panis Toyota M 1m18.934s 80
5 Marc Gene Williams-BMW M 1m19.429s 32
6 Fernando Alonso Renault M 1m19.572s 86
7 Anthony Davidson BAR-Honda B 1m20.363s 96
8 Nico Rosberg Williams-BMW M 1m21.069s 37
9 Gary Paffett McLaren-Mercedes M 1m21.472s 13
10 Dirk Muller Williams-BMW M 1m.21.605s 45
11 Romain Dumas Renault M 1m22.375s 48
12 Antonio Pizzonia Jaguar M no time 3

12/3/02

Silverstone drifting into trouble again  UPDATE This article from The Guardian says that a threat to the existence of the British GP, attended by around 100,000 people each summer and watched by millions more on television, is being posed by the financial troubles affecting Octagon Motorsports, the race's promoter, whose £250m investment in British motor sport now appears to be at risk. Octagon acquired the rights to the event two years ago but Michael Browning, the company's new managing director, refused to comment last week on the future of Britain's most important motor race, one of only two rounds of the formula one world championship to have been held every year since the title was inaugurated in 1950. However, the existence of Octagon's difficulties was confirmed by Sir Jackie Stewart, president of the British Racing Drivers' Club, the owners of Silverstone and landlords of the grand prix. "We're aware of their problems and we're talking with their senior management on a daily basis," he told the Guardian. More . . .   12/2/02 - This grandprix.com article says that the British Grand Prix is under threat again. Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone told The Guardian newspaper that the "World Championship would carry on even if there were no British Grand Prix. We'd be sad to lose it, but if it came off the calendar there are lots of other countries waiting to take its place." Ecclestone is unhappy because the rebuilding of the circuit has been postponed because the Octagon Motorsport company cannot afford to do the work. Ecclestone says that he always doubted that Octagon could do the necessary work for the money it had suggested and he is not happy now that it looks like the work will not be done. (Editor's note: Octagon also owns Brands Hatch where CART may run next year.  Could CART replace F1 at Silverstone instead?)

12/3/02

CART Stars (karting) board selected, hold key meeting  CART Stars of Tomorrow Director of Operations Paul Zalud announced the formation of a national advisory board for the program to help guide the program through 2003 and beyond.  More...

12/3/02

Toyota Atlantic site gets facelift  After 2 seasons, Wicked Racing News is proud to renew its commitment to covering the Toyota Atlantic Championship Series for the 2003 racing season and in addition announce that it will be undergoing an update in time for the season. Launched in June 2001, Wicked Racing News has continually provided daily coverage of the Toyota Atlantic Championship Series. Today, as interest in the series continues to rise, Wicked Racing News has seen its viewership increase as well. “The quality of racing in the Toyota Atlantic Championship Series has always been incredibly exciting, especially in the last couple of years, even surpassing the CART series races in many instances. It’s no wonder why more people are following the Atlantic series and its drivers”, said Wicked Racing News Founder David Martinez. Wicked Racing News plans on unveiling its new design and enhancements during January 2003. Based on the feedback received from regular viewers of the website, people really enjoy the ease of use aspect of the website. “People really enjoy going to a website and finding the info that they are looking for right away. People don’t want to be inundated with pop up ads, temperamental servers, or Flash media”, adds Wicked Racing News’ Martinez. Staples to the website such as the daily race reports, pre / post race comments, photos, team shop tours, current championship standings guest columns, and former driver interviews will continue. In addition to this, Wicked Racing News will continue to provide the entertaining components: Online Polls, viewer mail, contest giveaways, “20 Wicked Questions” feature, technical tidbits, and “Did you know?” features. Fans of the website will still be able to enjoy the website while it undergoes its facelift. In fact a new forum has already been added to the website. For further information on Wicked News Racing, please contact the online magazine founder, David Martinez, at (818) 521-7206. The URL of the Wicked Racing News is www.wickedracingnews.com. For more information about the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship series, please visit www.ToyotaAtlantic.com.

12/3/02

Atwood released  According to this NASCAR.com article, NASCAR Winston Cup team owner Ray Evernham has informed driver Casey Atwood he is free to seek other employment options for 2003. An Evernham Motorsports spokesperson Monday said Evernham, who plans to field a two-car Winston Cup team next season for drivers Bill Elliott and Jeremy Mayfield, indicated he would sit down with Atwood after the holidays and discuss the resolution of the final year of Atwood's contract. Atwood, 22, drove Evernham's No. 19 Dodge in 2001. This season, he drove Jim Smith's No. 7 Dodge, in which Evernham became a partner to facilitate Atwood's continued development. After Atwood struggled through 34 races, with a best finish of 11th and in 33rd in the driver standings, Smith released him and Evernham and Smith dissolved their partnership.

12/3/02

Winston Cup Preview Tickets On Sale Saturday  Tickets for the 14th annual T. Wayne Robertson NASCAR Winston Cup Preview will go on sale Saturday, Nov. 30 at 10 a.m. (EST). Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com, at Ticketmaster outlets in North Carolina and South Carolina, by phone through Ticketmaster at (336) 722-6400, or in person at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum box office. No phone orders will be accepted at the LJVMC box office. Previous reports incorrectly stated that Preview attendees could purchase tickets by phone through the Coliseum box office. The T. Wayne Robertson NASCAR Winston Cup Preview will take place Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003 at LJVMC in Winston-Salem, N.C. Event attendees are limited to six tickets per purchase. Tickets are $15 for adults, with children age 12 and under admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.

12/3/02

Beam Named Crew Chief for RCR’s AOL Team  Veteran crew chief Mike Beam will be calling the shots in 2003 for Jeff Green and Richard Childress Racing’s (RCR) No. 30 America Online team. Todd Berrier, the team’s crew chief for the 2002 season and its eight-race schedule in 2001, will stay on at RCR to oversee its research and development program. Beam’s career as a crew chief began in 1981 with Kyle Petty. Since then, he’s worked with many notable drivers, including Richard Petty, Michael Waltrip, Bill Elliott, Sterling Marlin, Elliott Sadler and for the past two seasons with Ricky Craven. Beam has three victories (two with Elliott and one with Craven), 16 poles, 55 top-five and 153 top-10 finishes. He also has six top-10 finishes in the season point standings. “I’m very excited about bringing Mike Beam to Richard Childress Racing,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. “He brings a great depth of experience to the America Online team and Jeff Green and I’m impressed with his ability to run a race team. “Moving Todd into our R&D program will help all of our teams. Todd’s focus will be on the Winston Cup teams but he’s a championship-winning Busch Series crew chief so his knowledge and skill will benefit those teams, as well.” The AOL team was RCR’s most consistent team throughout the 2002 season. In his first full Winston Cup season, Green finished 17th in the point standings with four top-five and six top-10 finishes, including a career-best second July 21 at New Hampshire International Speedway.

12/3/02

CART 260% more popular than the IRL - A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I saw where CART published their attendance figures for 2002, a record 2.6 million.  I have not seen any figures published from the IRL, but my best estimates put the IRL total year attendance at around 1 million.  If I do my math right, CART is 260% more popular than the IRL.  What's with all the doomsayers predicting CART's demise?  Margaret Jones, Seattle, WA.  Dear Margaret, Yes CART's at-track attendance dwarfs the IRL, but the IRL wins on TV.  Whereas CART's network TV ratings are slightly better than the IRL's (Indy excluded), CART's SPEEDTV ratings are dwarfed by the IRL's cable (ESPN/ESPN2) ratings.  Although SPEEDTV does an excellent job on the CART broadcasts, they simply are not reaching enough households and it is hurting CART's ability to sell new sponsorship. Until CART gets the majority of its races on network TV, it will continue flounder while being a huge success at the box office.  CART's failure to secure a meaningful international TV distribution has also led to the downfall of some of its overseas races, particularly in Europe.  If they don't get that fixed in 2003, they can pretty much kiss the European market goodbye.  Mark C.

12/3/02
Fran-Am

2002/2003 winter schedule  FRAN AM Sport and MICHELIN International is announcing the 2003 FRAN AM 2000 and Formula RENAULT 2000 World Championship Winter Series in Florida USA, starting January 25, 2003 at Sebring, Florida and ending at the CART Grand Prix of Saint Petersburg, Florida on Sunday February 23, 2003 with a race just before the CART Grand prix in front of all the CART Teams Owners and Managers! What a better way to showcase your talent and start making your name noticed in CART! This FRAN AM Sport Winter Series is open to all FRAN AM 2000 and Formula RENAULT 2000 world wide, the rules that will apply will be the most current Euro-Cup FR 2000 Rules including 6 tires for the qualification and race, in addition to race at some legendary race track like Sebring and Homestead-Miami and a street circuit before a CART Grand Prix, the FRAN AM 2000 World Championship Winter Series has also a very generous cash prize funds of US$100,000.00 paid at the end of Championship after the last race at Saint Petersburg! The FRAN AM 2000 World Championship Winter Series 2003 sanctioned by GRAND AM will be listed as an “International Event” thus your FIA License will be accepted. Since the CART Grand Prix of Saint Petersburg is conducted on a “Street Circuit” and due to space, width and length issues we are only allowed to accept for this CART event the first 25 drivers in the FRAN AM 2000 World Championship Winter series 2003 standing prior to the CART GP of Saint Petersburg. World Championship Winter Series 2003 – Florida – USA – Schedules.
Sebring International Raceway January 25, 2003 Round 1
Sebring International Raceway January 26, 2003 Round 2
Homestead-Miami Speedway February 15, 2003 Round 3
Homestead-Miami Speedway February 16, 2003 Round 4
CART Grand Prix of Saint Petersburg February 22-23, 2003 Round 5 Open to the first 25 in the World Championship Winter Series standing after Round 4.  Fran-Am

12/3/02

Stewart meets President Bush at White House  President Bush, was toasting NASCAR champion and stock car racing's reigning bad boy, Tony Stewart, at the White House on Monday. Bush invariably reminds sports champs invited to the White House about their responsibilities to the young people who idolize them. With Stewart, Bush is honoring a champion with a history of violent confrontation, involving NASCAR officials and the press. The White House invited photographers, but not reporters, to Monday's meeting in the Oval Office. That meant Bush planned no speech in Stewart's honor.

12/3/02

Pizzonia crashes again  Last week new Jaguar F1 driver Antonio Pizzonia rolled his Jaguar passenger car in Barcelona, Spain giving some Jaguar guests a thrill ride around the track in a Jaguar S-Type.  This morning he crashed his F1 car at the same track.  He walked away unhurt, but his race car requires hours of repair.

12/3/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Wilson's Plea To Would-Be Backers
Yoong Talks To Three Teams
Montoya To Mount Ferrari Challenge
End Of The Line For Arrows
British Grand Prix Hits Doubt Again
Ferrari Target Another Brave Leap
Former Champ Supports Slick Return
Verstappen Announcement Imminent
Renault Announce Double-Launch
Minardi Confirm Manwaring Exit
Brawn Warns Against Over-Reaction
F1 News In Brief

12/2/02

CART unable to stop negative press  This Edmonton Sun article published on the Toronto Sun sports website does a thorough job of panning CART.  CART has been unable to put a stop to all the doom and gloom articles throughout the year.   These articles are intended to bring doubt to CART's sponsors and potential new sponsors with the intent of killing off the series.

12/2/02

Key members of the CART Safety Team  (Left to Right) Dave Hollander, Dr. Olvey, Lon Bromley and Dr. Trammell of the CART Smple Green Safety team pose with Mark Carter of Simple Green at the CART Awards Banquet. Photo of Lon Bromley walking with the rest of the Simple Green Safety Team. Interview with Lon Bromley. Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images

12/2/02

Atlantics: Davy Cook moving up the ladder  CART Barber Dodge Pro series driver Davy Cook announced today an alliance with PC World Magazine, the most widely-read computer publication, that aims to generate new advertising customers while also contributing to the development of the young racers career. Cook, of Tallahassee, Florida, is looking to make it to the pinnacle of open-wheel racing, The CART FedEx Champcar Series, and sees this new relationship as an important way to help him reach his goal. Cook is developing a package ng program. The Toyota Atlantic Series is owned and operated by Championship Auto Racing Teams, and features single-seat open-wheel Champ-Car type vehicles powered by a 1.6 liter four-cylinder Toyota engines producing 240 horsepower at 9,500 rpm. The 2003 Toyota Atlantic Championship will feature 12 events in three countries (United States, Canada, and Mexico). Toyota Atlantic Series graduates include Michael Andretti, Jimmy Vasser, Jaques Villeneuve, Bobby Rahal, Al Unser, Jr., and Danny Sullivan. PC World Communications, Inc. is the publisher of PC World and PCWorld.com (www.pcworld.com) and is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research and event company.

c

2003 Chevy fast  This Sporting News article says - Sources say the #18 Chevrolet, driven by Bobby Labonte, was quickest during the two-day testing session at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where several teams shaved more than a second from the lap times they ran during the Winston Cup season finale there. GM motorsports director Doug Duchardt received a lot of positive comments about the balance of the new cars. The 2003 GM [Monte Carlo and Grand Prix] models will make their debuts in February at the Daytona 500.

12/2/02

F1 cars return to Long Beach  Look for an announcement later this week that on Sunday morning, April 13 (the day of the CART Long Beach GP), an Historic Grand Prix race will run a full grid of 25 authentically correct three-liter Formula One cars, many of which competed in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach from 1976-83.

12/2/02

Tobacco news not good for F1  The European Health Ministers have voted 13 to 2 to approve new anti-smoking legislation which will ban all tobacco advertising in newspapers and magazines and all sporting sponsorships at the end of July 2005, a year ahead of the FIA's planned global ban on tobacco sponsorship. The two countries voting against the law were Germany and Britain, the former because it wants no interference in the tobacco industry and the latter because it wants an even stronger ban. The new laws still has to face potential legal challenges but the promoters of the legislation say that this is not a problem.

12/2/02

CART Joins With IMMI, CAPE To Conduct Crash Testing On Champ Car  The last 10 years have seen massive improvements in the safety of open-wheel race cars, but the fact that many drivers throughout the sport continue to suffer foot injuries in high-speed accidents remains a concern to Championship Auto Racing Teams and its partners. In an effort to make its next generation of cars as safe as possible, CART and IMMI conducted a crash test on November 11 designed to gather information to help engineers design cars that will protect drivers further in the case of a racing accident. IMMI is one of the industry leaders in the science of safety technology and, with the help of the Center for Advanced Product Evaluation (CAPE), held the test session last month as CART evaluated new ideas for restraint systems as well as ways for monitoring the forces induced on drivers during impact. "We are aware of the dangers that drivers face and we are doing all we can to protect the driver in an accident," said CART Director of Technology & Competition Lee Dykstra. "We are working on the design of the 2005 chassis and we intend to make every effort to ensure that our cars are as safe on they can possibly be." The test took place with a 2001 Reynard chassis, which was delivered into a fixed barrier at 50 mph with a 90-degree angle of impact. In addition to the standard ADR II crash-data recorder, the car was equipped with monitoring devices in the foot well and on the brake pedals, and the 170-pound dummy that was in the cockpit was also fitted with an earpiece accelerometer that measures the forces on the head. The earpiece device was developed by CART Director of Medical Affairs Dr. Steve Olvey, and has been used in races this season. The dummy was also fitted with experimental driver-restraint devices, testing a new belt system that was designed to work with the HANS device to provide a better, more comfortable fit for drivers. "The car held up well in the test and the chassis did everything that it was designed to do during the impact," Dykstra said. "We didn't see anything that surprised us and the data that we gathered, especially in the area surrounding the driver's lower extremities, should help us as we move forward in designing and building a safer car in 2005." CART initiated a chassis freeze for the next two seasons in a cost-containing move for its teams, meaning that the next generation of Champ Cars currently under design will hit the track in 2005.

12/2/02

Ladder series drivers impress in Champ Car testing  Several Barber Dodge Pro Series alumni got the opportunity to test a Champ Car this week at Firebird Speedway in Arizona as part of the development program for the 2003 CART season, which will see the entire field powered by the same Cosworth XFE powerplant.   More....

12/2/02
F3000

ALMS driver to try hand at F3000  Milka Duno is once again "pushing the envelope" in the world of motorsports as she becomes the first woman in history to compete in the Open Telefonica World Series. The Open Telefonica World Series is the last step on the motorsports ladder to Formula 1, and is both extremely competitive and super fast. Milka will compete in the last two races of the World Series 2002 Championship - this weekend, December 1 in Curitaba, Brazil and next weekend, December 8 at the legendary Interlagos circuit in San Paolo, Brazil. Milka will pilot a single-seater Dallara which is powered by a 415hp Nissan 3000 V6. Milka will contest these last two races with the Vergani Racing Team - the same team she competed with for the entire 2002 Open Telefonica Formula Nissan 2000 series. Duno competes regularly in the American Le Mans Series. In 2002, she became the first woman in series history to race in the LMP 900 class. To learn more about Milka Duno please visit www.milkaduno.com

12/2/02

Honda's return to CART depends on next engine  In this CART.com article, quotes Honda's Tom Elliott - Elliott, who was openly critical of CART's indecision over engine rules in 2000 and 2001, also fought to keep Honda in CART. “I think if Chris Pook would have been running CART two years ago, he could have ensured this never happening,” said Elliott, referring to Honda and Toyota going to the Indy Racing League in 2003. “I hope Chris keeps everything together because this country needs a good series like CART.” As for Honda returning to CART down the road, Elliott replied: “I'd like to think so. It's going to depend on CART's next engine formula and if it makes sense to us.” 

12/2/02

2nd China track in Beijing for CART  7th UPDATE The use of English has become a state-sponsored rage in Beijing. The official goal is to have five million people in the city - just over 30 per cent of the population - speaking the language by the time the Olympic Games are staged in 2008. At the frontline of the campaign are Beijing's finest. The government has ordered that for the next six years every police officer in the capital should study English so they can talk to foreigners who come for the Games. By 2008, 6,000 officers should have an intermediate level of written and spoken English, the police public affairs department says. They will not be alone. The push to learn English has spawned 1,000 special schools, Web sites, university-based "English corners" and open meetings for adults to practice and learn. The government estimates 3.12 million Beijing residents speak some English, and 600,000 are studying.   10/31/02 - A reader writes, Dear AR1, I'm glad to see you understated the rivalry between Beijing and Shanghai. The rivalry is huge, but it is NOT between the people. The “people” will attend the races, but it is the GOVERNMENTS that are “proud”. Beijing, the seat of government, is not about to be totally outdone by Shanghai, the seat of commerce. So far your articles have reported 1) Beijing is building in response to Shanghai, 2) Beijing has increased the size of the track, 3) Beijing will finish a year earlier. What’s next? As I have scribbled, this rivalry will get the job completed. Thank you Bernie for getting the process started. Jeff  10/31/02 - AR1 has learned that this track is slated to be completed in late 2003, meaning a CART race as early as 2004 is possible.  However, CART won't be running F1 engines until 2005, and with Hyundai and Nissan rumored as two of the engines suppliers (see rumors page) coming into the series in 2005, it's quite possible CART will wait until 2005 and not rush things.  China is very important to both companies.   With the Olympics coming to Beijing in 2008, the city is going to undergo some dramatic improvements because the Chinese people are proud and have every intention of showing the world just how grandiose they can be.  There is also a bit of rivalry between Beijing (the government center of China) and Shanghai (the emerging commercial center of China) and you can be sure that Beijing will attempt to outdo Shanghai when it comes to building a race track.  As to the Beijing track layout, we see a lot of good overtaking areas.  Notice the Sepang like 180-degree grandstands in the center as well as all the grandstands surrounding the track.  When the Chinese hear the sound of the CART F1 engines screaming at 16,000 + RPM for the first time, they are going to be enamored.  Also, if this rumor is indeed true, don't be surprised to see some Chinese drivers emerge in the not too distant future. Landon Yee has written a number of articles for AR1 and is currently in the CART ladder series while still attending college.  If CART is going to China, they had better ring up Mr. Yee right quick.  10/30/02 - We have confirmed that the track we show is indeed the approved FIA International Standard track in Beijing - they are however changing it slightly to suit FIM (hence the change from 5.23 km to 5.9 km). This track is due to start construction any day now. The ground breaking was last week. This is an international standard circuit suitable for any form of car or motorcycles at this level. We cannot reveal which sanction bodies are going to Beijing at this time, as it is all in negotiation.  10/29/02 - We have had a hard time finding the official track layout for Beijing.  The only one we have been able to come up with is the proposed new international standard circuit (named Comp-Speed), designed by Alan Wilson, near Beijing (click on image to right). Officials have set aside 500 acres of land for the facility in the south-west of the city, adjacent to where new freeways have recently been built. This 3.25-mile track equates to 5.23 km, which is close to the 5.9 km (3.7 miles) mentioned in the original story, so we think we may have the correct track. The track will feature current FIA and FIM safety and standards and will be able to host national and international car and motorcycle events. Stay tuned as we attempt to determine if this is indeed the one now under construction.  10/29/02 - As AutoRacing1.com speculated when it was first announced, the $121m F1-standard circuit currently being built in Beijing will host a CART series race in 2005 (when CART runs Formula 1 V-10's), claims a report in Swiss weekly Motorsport Aktuell. This probably belongs on our rumors page because it is not 'fact yet, but since this news started here, we felt it best to keep it all together.  10/25/02 - The track would be 13 to 18 meters wide (i.e. very wide) and 5.9 km long, 450 meters longer than Shanghai’s.  10/24/02 - Hmm, F1 in Shanghai and CART in Beijing?  The city of Beijing has started construction of an F1-standard circuit to rival the venue in Shanghai which was approved last weekend to stage the Chinese GP, reports China Daily. The first foundations of the $121m project were laid in a Beijing suburb on Wednesday after the FIA approved the design. Chu Zhaoge of Beijing International Circuit Co said he was confident that the new track would be suitable for F1 racing. Beijing Circuit Boss Chu George told the China Daily that the circuit’s backers, though not revealing their identity, were already heavily involved in Formula One. ‘Our international partners are major sponsors of F1 and other international racing competitions and they promise to bring high-level racing games to Beijing in the near future,’ he said.  This is another example where Bernie Ecclestone can use CART to fill in the gaps where F1 can't meet the demand.

12/2/02

CART may be on right track, but too late?  This Hoosier Times article by Kurt Van der Dussen says, there actually was some good, which is to say sensible, news coming out of CART's new headquarters in Indianapolis this past week. If it works out, those fancy new digs may not end up being CART's mausoleum after all. It began on what sounded like a negative note: the Rockingham oval in England announcing it would not be hosting a CART race there next year after all. CART's 2003 schedule had moved the event from mid-September to the first weekend in May, and the track said it just doesn't have the resources to market it in five months. Maybe in mid-2004 it will be back, it said. But all that was so much flimflam. The track has lost money on both its CART races and there was a big drop-off in attendance this year. Tracks can't run races on which they lose money unless they're making a mint off other races, which England's "Rock" was not. But far more significant was the "leak" that CART is seriously studying a three-races-on-three-weekends swing through Europe from late April to mid-May, with events at the legendary former Formula 1 Brands Hatch circuit in England, the former F1 Estoril circuit in sunny Portugal, and the real jewel, the spectacular Spa-Francorchamps course in Belgium that just lost its long-time Formula 1 grand prix over tobacco sponsorship issues. All three are world-class circuits, comparable to CART's premier natural road racing circuit, Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. And Spa is generally regarded as the most challenging road circuit on the planet. To accommodate the three events, the word is that CART will "cancel" the oval race at Chicago Motor Speedway that was scheduled for the third weekend of May. More smoke and mirrors. That event was never going to happen. CMS, which Chip Ganassi built out of an old horse track, drew a big crowd its first year and mediocre crowds the next two, losing money. For 2002, CMS told CART that if it wanted to run there, it would jolly well have to lease the track and foot all the promotional and operating costs. CART did, reported a crowd of 26,000, later admitted in financial documents it was only 14,000, lost $1.3 million staging the event and took a financial beating. The cancellation of the Rockingham oval race and Chicago, with the addition of three road races, would leave CART with a schedule of 20 races, half outside the United States and only two — Milwaukee and California — on ovals. And the days of both those ovals as CART venues are numbered. California already has an Indy Racing League race and doesn't need CART. Milwaukee almost certainly will have an IRL race in 2004. At that point, CART finally would be what it ought to have become from the moment it became clear the IRL was not only going to survive but thrive. And that is be a pure road-racing series (Duh, we have been saying that for 3 years now). CART draws huge crowds at the street and road circuits, and its best future indeed is as a training ground for drivers for Formula 1, following in the footsteps of Jacques Villeneuve, Alex Zanardi, Juan Pablo Montoya and now 2002 CART champ Cristiano da Matta. That would give CART a clear and distinct identity from the IRL, and a separate market to draw from. It would give CART a chance — repeat, a chance — to survive, while firming up the IRL's distinct identity as the Indy car oval series. If CART survives with a separate identity, more power to it. But it's only hope of survival at this stage is by getting as far from the Indy Racing League as it can. And racing in Europe at some of its greatest venues, as well as at America's greatest road racing circuits like Road America, Laguna Seca and maybe Watkins Glen, would certainly distance it from the IRL both geographically and promotionally.

12/2/02

Lola to build 10 more cars  When last week's CART 2002 Awards Banquet provided another key sponsorship announcement for the 2003 season as Ford threw its marketing might behind the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, manufacturers saw enough promise to commit even more resources to the series for the upcoming seasons. Lola Cars International Ltd. took up the challenge on Monday as Lola Chairman Martin Birrane announced that his company - under the leadership of newly-appointed Managing Director Rupert Manwaring - would build 10 new Champ Car chassis to meet the expected demand for the 2003 campaign. Lola had one of its most successful Champ Car seasons ever in 2002 with the B2/00 chassis, winning 16 of 19 races en route to claiming the CART Constructor's Championship for the first time since 1993. With the current chassis freeze that will contain costs while the 2005 model is being designed, Lola has announced the construction of 10 new chassis to go on the market - five of which have already been allocated to CART teams. "The very rapid strengthening of the CART series in the last few weeks has been extremely encouraging for Lola Cars," said Birrane. "With the renewed confidence that has been brought about by the involvement of Ford and Bridgestone, Lola Cars will be laying down 10 more B2/00's for use in the 2003 series. Chris Pook has done some excellent work in the last year and the solid base that has been created, will, I believe, consolidate Champ Cars as the truest test of a car, engine and driver anywhere in racing." The announcement came in conjunction with the appointment of Formula 1 veteran Manwaring, who joins Lola Cars after many successful years in F1 and in CART. He most recently served with the European Minardi F1 squad and has worked with power teams such as Brabham, Lotus and Tyrrell in F1 as well as the Kraco team in CART. "I am looking forward to playing my part in extending Lola's heritage and taking the business into the future," Manwaring said. "Having seen the impressive workforce and facilities at Lola, I believe we have the resources we need to achieve even greater success in our existing markets and to succeed in new areas of motorsport and even beyond.".

12/2/02
F3000

Two podium finishes for Racing Engineering in Brazil  [Editor's note:  this is the Spanish team that may enter the CART series in 2003]  The eighth meeting of the World Series by Nissan Championship took place this weekend in Curitiba, Brazil. Both Racing Engineering drivers achieved a podium despite unsatisfying qualifications for each. The first race saw Justin Wilson on the podium in third place and Franck Montagny in sixth place. In the second race Franck climbed the podium with a second place and Justin finished fourth. The first qualifying session on Saturday saw Franck Montagny forced off the circuit into the grass causing the partial blockage of his radiator and a drop in performance making him qualify last in 12th position. Meanwhile Justin was able to qualify in 5th position. The second qualification had Franck in 4th position and Justin in 12th. Race 1:  The first race was held under dry conditions and was marked by great starts for both Franck and Justin. Having started in 12th position, Franck was able to climb to 8th position in the first lap alone. He then continued the fight to finish the race in 6th place. Justin who started in 5th position put up a great fight and was able to climb and finish in 3rd place and on the podium. Race 2: The start of the second race was marked by a very heavy downpour of rain, which had both drivers switch to rain tires. The rain stopped as drastically as it had begun only a couple of laps later. Franck who had started in fourth position climbed quickly to 2nd place but stopped to change back to slick tires at the 7th lap. Franck was able to conserve his 2nd place behind Zonta despite very aggressive attacks from Leinders behind him and finished the race in second place on the podium. Justin for his part had a very good start in the rain and climbed from his 12th position to 8th in the first lap alone. He continued his impressive climb in the rain to 6th position in the second lap and up to 3rd position in the eighth lap when he also made his tire change. Justin reentered in 4th place and maintained that place till the end of the race. The results of this weekend have been satisfying for Racing Engineering, which maintains its place as the leader in the Team Championship and both Franck Montagny and Justin Wilson have widened their leads in second and fourth position respectively.  Dallara Nissan World Series champion Ricardo Zonta scored a double win on home soil at the weekend, winning both races at the Curitiba circuit. The first race was broken up by two accidents. On lap three Roberto Gonzalez forced a safety car period when he went off into the gravel. Then at the restart young Brazilian Tuka Rocha slammed his Gabord Competicion car into a tire wall. Zonta led all the way to take his eighth win of the year in front of an estimated crowd of 25,000 fans. Andre Couto beat Briton Justin Wilson to second place. The second part of the series' ground-breaking Brazilian double-header takes place next weekend at Interlagos in Sao Paulo.
Dallara Nissan World Series, Curitiba - race one
Pos Driver Nationality Team
1 Ricardo Zonta (BR) Gabord Competición
2 Andre Couto (MAC) Vergani Racing
3 Justin Wilson (GB) Racing Engineering
4 Narain Karthikeyan (IND) Tata RC Motorsport
5 Antonio García (ESP) Adrián Campos Motorport
6 Franck Montagny (F) Racing Engineering
Race two
1 Ricardo Zonta (BR) Gabord Competición
2 Franck Montagny (F) Racing Engineering
3 Bas Leinders (B) KTR
4 Justin Wilson (GB) Racing Engineering
5 Polo Villaamil (ESP) Adrián Campos Motorsport
6 Antonio García (ESP) Adrián Campos Motorsport

12/2/02

Lauda claims Ferrari is the problem  Ferrari's attitude is rarely positive when it comes to rules changes being proposed now (or in the past). "This is the problem," Lauda told Autosport. "I mean Ferrari says no to anything, anyway. We talk about reducing testing and (Jean) Todt says, 'I agree to one day'. Waste of time even discussing it. "I said, 'For example, why do we need tire warmers?' Okay they don't cost much, but nevertheless, why do we need them? They say, 'We can't do without them'. I say, 'Why? Are your guys idiots? Send them out on cold tires. After three spins or 10 spins, they will find out what to do!' "Then they say, 'But we only have one lap for qualifying'. I say, 'Fine - it'll be even more interesting, because these idiots must start thinking! Go out, heat your tires like we did in the old days, and then give it a go.'

12/2/02

Arrows entry rejected  Arrows has been dealt what looks like a death blow - the motorsport governing body FIA has rejected the team's entry for the 2003 Formula 1 World Championship. The decision could sound the death knell for the team, which failed to compete in six of the last seven grands prix of this year. Without an F1 entry, the hopes of boss Tom Walkinshaw to finalize a deal to sell the team could be dashed. Without an entry, Arrows' worth to any buyer will be greatly reduced. The outfit would be classed as a new team, meaning that its owners would have to pay the $48 million demanded by the FIA to join F1. The rejection of Arrows leaves just 10 teams entered for 2003, reducing the grid to 20 cars.
2003 FIA Formula 1 World Championship - entry list
Number Driver Team CONSTRUCTOR
1 Michael Schumacher Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro FERRARI
2 Rubens Barrichello Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro FERRARI
3 Juan Pablo Montoya BMW WilliamsF1 Team WILLIAMS BMW
4 Ralf Schumacher BMW WilliamsF1 Team WILLIAMS BMW
5 David Coulthard West McLaren Mercedes MCLAREN MERCEDES
6 Kimi Raikkonen West McLaren Mercedes MCLAREN MERCEDES
7 Jarno Trulli Mild Seven Renault F1 Team RENAULT
8 Fernando Alonso Mild Seven Renault F1 Team RENAULT
9 Nick Heidfeld Sauber Petronas SAUBER PETRONAS
10 Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber Petronas SAUBER PETRONAS
11 Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan Ford JORDAN FORD
12 TBA Jordan Ford JORDAN FORD
13 Mark Webber Jaguar Racing JAGUAR COSWORTH
14 Antonio Pizzonia Jaguar Racing JAGUAR COSWORTH
15 Jacques Villeneuve Lucky Strike BAR Honda BAR HONDA
16 Jenson Button Lucky Strike BAR Honda BAR HONDA
17 TBA TBA Minardi TBA MINARDI COSWORTH
18 TBA TBA Minardi TBA MINARDI COSWORTH
19 Olivier Panis Panasonic Toyota Racing TOYOTA
20 Cristiano da Matta Panasonic Toyota Racing TOYOTA

12/2/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Webber Upbeat Despite Unrest
BAR-Renault-Button Crisis Resolved
Ferrari Chief Wants Bigger Slice
No Spare Car For Boy Button
BMW Pleased With Engine Progress
Landmark Meeting On Wednesday
Coulthard Admits To Frustration
Badoer Would Love To Race Again
Emerson: Da Matta Can Be Champ
Stoddart Confirms: Minardi-Cosworth
F1 Chums In Race Of Champions
F1 News In Brief

12/2/02

Ferrari testing continues  Ferrari's Luciano Burti circulated alone at Mugello on Saturday, the Brazilian tester continuing electronics testing in the rain. A cool eleven degrees and slippery conditions persisted for most of the day in Italy, but Burti managed to round out his scheduled program also including a raft of new components for the new F2003. Burti, of Jaguar and Prost racing fame, clocked up 29 laps and will resume Ferrari duties at the Autodromo del Mugello tomorrow (Tuesday).

12/2/02
Industry News

New Managing Director for Lola  Rupert Manwaring, Minardi Sporting Director, has quit the tiny team and accepted a job as Managing Director of Lola Cars. 44-year-old Manwaring took up the role in 2001 as Australian entrepreneur Paul Stoddart bought the team. His experience in F1 stretches back to roles at Surtees, Brabham, Beatrice, Lotus, Tyrrell and Honda.  Press release - Lola Cars International Ltd is pleased to announce the appointment of Rupert Manwaring as the company’s new Managing Director. Manwaring, 46, has a wealth of motorsport experience, having worked in management for some of Formula One’s most famous teams. Brabham, Lotus, and Tyrrell all benefited from Rupert’s invaluable leadership skills over the last two decades. He has most recently held the post of Managing Director at the European Minardi F1 Team, joining them last year and helping them seal their first championship points for three seasons in 2002. As an integral part of winning F1 teams, Manwaring has also worked closely with some of the legends of motorsport, including Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet, and with his close friend, the late Dr Harvey Postlethwaite, at Tyrrell s on the board, commented, "Rupert has impeccable credentials to spearhead Lola’s progress in all its various activities. He will use his passion for motorsport to maintain and strengthen Lola’s position as the world’s leading customer race car manufacturer and developer." Rupert Manwaring started his career in motorsport with former Lola F1 driver John Surtees in the late 1970s and quickly ascended to Assistant Team Manager. Approached by Brabham in 1979, Rupert became part of the team’s ‘golden era’, contributing to its World Championship wins in 1981 and 1983. Promoted to Team Manager in 1984, Rupert was part of a talented group that included future F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and FIA officials Charlie Whiting and Herbie Blash. He had a brief spell with the Kraco Indycar team F1 project, which he set up together with Dr Harvey Postlethwaite. Since 2001, Rupert has occupied the position of Managing Director at Paul Stoddart’s European Minardi F1 Team.

12/2/02

IRL PC/Playstation/XBox game on the way  - Codemasters has won the exclusive console and PC game rights to the US-based Indy Racing League in a deal with Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC. The arrangement includes the rights to the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing", the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, also known as the Indy 500. The deal further strengthens Codemasters’ world-class portfolio of motorsport properties. The company is already responsible for the brand-leading rally sport title with Colin McRae Rally and the best selling saloon car racing game with the TOCA series. The addition of the IRL license now provides Codemasters with the opportunity to lead in the open-wheel racing game category. The worldwide deal provides Codemasters with rights to utilize all current, future and historical images of the Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing League that are owned by Brickyard Trademarks, Inc. This includes the rights to use the real IRL teams and drivers from the 2002 season onwards. Codemasters has commissioned Brain in a Jar, the UK games developer known for its previous work on the Ferrari 360 Challenge project, to produce the official IRL game, which will debut in 2003 on PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC. Says Tony George, President and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing League: “We’re very excited that Codemasters is developing an Indy Racing League video game. Many fans have requested such a game, and we know it will help increase the worldwide exposure and growth of Indy Racing League teams and drivers, considering the explosive growth of gaming.”  Click here to register for a free trial version when it is ready.  Game will launch in Spring of 2003.  CART has not had a game on the shelf in years and its popularity with the younger crowd will suffer because of it.  Both the IRL and CART completely missed out on this years Christmas shopping season.  No CART or IRL games for the kids from Santa this year, a major blunder by both leagues.......while NASCAR rides away with one victory after another.  Their games will be under the Christmas Tree for millions of kids.

12/1/02
Industry News

Marcus Gronholm crowned Champion of Champions  World Rally Champion, Marcus Gronholm was duly crowned 2002 Champion of Champions after defeating France's Sebastien Loeb in a dramatic Final of the prestigious Michelin Race Of Champions at the Circuito Ciudad Deportiva Islas Canarias today. The best of three Final went right to the wire where the Finn claimed the winner's laurels with a margin of just nine tenths of a second. Side by side action throughout meant the double World Champion had to dig deep. In the opening round, he triumphed in the Seat Cordoba WRC by eight hundredths of a second. Loeb then sensationally squared the contest by winning the next heat in the car that has carried Gronholm to two World Championships - the Peugeot 206 WRC. "It was a really hard battle, but very rewarding. Loeb did incredibly well, he adapted himself to the 206 amazingly fast," expressed a clearly delighted Gronholm afterwards. "My car felt really great. I only made one mistake in the Final, running wide into the final corner of heat two which Loeb won." Defeated finalist, Loeb, commented: "I am ecstatic that I could get so close and push the World Champion so far. I honestly didn't think I would make it to the Final, so I am very happy to just be here. I felt really confident on the track, and maybe with a little more time in the 206, I could have pushed Marcus even closer!" Up until the Final, Gronholm had an unblemished record, beating NASCAR ace and 2002 Nations' Cup winner, Jimmie Johnson and 2002 ROC Junior champion, Francois Duval in the Semi´s. Loeb's passage included a two-heat victory over 2001 Champion of Champions and fellow World Rally driver, Harri Rovanpera. Earlier, 2002 ROC America winner, Kenny Brack had put in a series of stunning performances to dominate the Group B qualification round with victories over the Italian triumvirate of 2002 European Rally Champion, Renato Travaglia, 2002 European Touring Car Champion, Fabrizio Giovanardi and 2002 250cc MotoGP World Champion, Marco Melandri. The Swedish CART star then pushed Rovanpera all the way in the Quarter Final only to lose the third and decisive heat after stalling the Seat Cordoba WRC car on the line. As a result of this victory, Marcus Gronholm joins an illustrious rallying roll call, which includes such luminaries as Carlos Sainz, Tommi Makinen, Colin McRae, Didier Auriol, Stig Blomqvist and Juha Kankkunen, all of whom have claimed the prestigious title of Michelin Champion of Champions.. Michelin

12/1/02

It's all about control and money  This ITV-F1 article says, Ferrari President Luca Montezemolo believes that F1 should be run by a management team and not Bernie Ecclestone. Speaking at a press conference on Friday Luca was adamant that although he thought Ecclestone should continue to run the sport he should give up his absolute power and allow the teams more say. He said, "We do have to have one Formula 1 owner, but that should be a strong management owner of all the teams. ”How can we race when we get just 47 per cent of the television revenues, and, to be honest, I don't know much that is?" "I don't want a direct involvement in running it. I don't want Ferrari or Mercedes running things, but we have to be part of a company with a strong management and, I hope, with Bernie, as long as he is fit enough, to be running it with transparency, a single voice and an increase in income." His comments seem certain to reignite the debate over a breakaway series. Recently both Ecclestone and FIA President Max Mosley have dismissed talk of the teams running their own formula when the current Concorde agreement runs out in 2006. It seems clear though that hard cash and control remains a core issue to many of the teams currently in F1.......[hence why Bernie Ecclestone just might buy CART (rumors) and turn it into the new F1 series while the manufacturers start a breakaway series, begin to fight to each maneuver for an advantage, and ultimately run it into the ground.]

12/1/02

Williams happy with 2003 BMW engine test  According to this F1Racing article, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team concluded a four-day test at the Valencia circuit in Spain on Friday, marking the start of the winter testing program for the team. The tests were conducted by BMW WilliamsF1 driver, Juan Pablo Montoya and official test driver Marc Gené. Giorgio Pantano and Vitantonio Liuzzi also provided testing support, with each of the young Italian drivers completing three full sessions. It was a productive return to the winter testing program after the test ban began almost two months ago. "Dry weather testing wrapped up Thursday," remarked Chief Operations Engineer Sam Michael. "We had a useful test with Juan Pablo concentrating on tyre compounds and casings as well as some brake developments. Marc continued putting mileage on the new engine and gearbox and although we have some of the normal teething problems, initial signs are good. We also had Giorgio Pantano and Vitantonio Liuzzi testing for us in the third car. They both did a good job, working well with the engineers and making a good contribution to an extensive job sheet. Now we have two days of Michelin wet testing with Marc before heading to Barcelona." Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director) commented, "We have been testing the new P83 engine for three days in one of the chassis running at Valencia. We have been concentrating on the basic functionality of the 2003 engine. The other two cars were running with the P82 engine, with their programme focused on tyre testing, suspension and, of course, the evaluation drives of Pantano and Liuzzi. From our point of view, the Valencia test was a successful one and we are satisfied with the results."

12/1/02
F3000

Zonta and Karthikeyan set the pace in Brazil  This F1-Live.com article says former F1 driver and 2002 Telefónica World Series by Nissan champion Ricardo Zonta secured pole position for race one in the first qualifying session at the Autódromo Internacional de Curitiba, Brazil, on Saturday with Narain Karthikeyan pipping the Brazilian to the post in the second session for race two. However, Zonta is the favorite for victory on Sunday because he will start both events from the front row of the grid. The changing weather upset the action on Saturday with heavy rain hitting the circuit just minutes before qualifying began. Luckily the sun forced it's way through for the start of the session but the drivers were still left with a wet track. Zonta stayed in his garage until conditions improved and went out on the dry track to secure his 6th pole of the season. But, it was no easy feat as he battled with Andre Couto, the quickest man in earlier practice. Zonta eventually lapped in 1:10.092, 0.339 clear of Couto while Swedish driver Peter Sundberg secured third, his best result this season while Narain Karthikeyan finished fourth ahead of Justin Wilson. Leinders and Montagny didn't have the best result, Leinders managing just one lap due to a gearbox problem and is therefore forced to start from the back row of the grid while Montagny ended in 12th place, more than a second behind Zonta.

12/1/02

Villeneuve to get T-car  Jacque Villeneuve will get exclusive use of the BAR T-car in 2003 as his contract calls for it.  New teammate Button will get to use it only when Jacques does not need it.  The car will always be setup for Jacques.

12/1/02

Da Matta aiming for glory  This F1-Live.com article says that after taking victory in the 2002 CART Championship, new Panasonic Toyota Racing driver Cristiano da Matta is confident that a world crown in the Formula One series will come his way too, eventually. Cristiano isn't the first driver to make the switch from CART to Formula One in recent years, and he more than likely won't be the last. The switch can be a difficult transition, as double world CART champion Alex Zanardi is only too aware of, however there have been success stories as well. Jacques Villeneuve won the title in only his second season after changing series' while Juan Pablo Montoya continues to challenge Michael Schumacher for victories, race after race, the Colombian about to embark on his third year in the sport. Now it's Cristiano's turn to show what he can do and he plans to give it all he's got, and maybe a bit more. "I have a good feeling that it is going to go very well," he said. "I have already been successful in racing, I have won many championships in my life and I come here to try and win another one. If it does not work, what can I do. All I can do is give my best of everything and if it does not work, or I am not good enough, then I can go back home and ride my bike or maybe find another series to race."

12/1/02
Karting

Al Unser Jr - what karting means to me  In this karting article, Al Unser Jr. says, Coming from a racing family, it was only natural for me to begin my racing career at an early age. In fact, I got started in go-karts at the age of nine and raced them all the way up until I was sixteen. There’s a lot of truth to the saying that once racing gets in your blood, you’re hooked. I can honestly say that was the case for me from the very first time I sat in a go-kart! I can remember every Wednesday after school — of course after I finished my homework — my Dad used to take me to the local go-kart races in my hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Because my Dad prepared my kart and the fact that I had the best cheerleader at the track — my Mom, I ended up winning a lot of races. Ever since that time, I have told many people that racing is the best family sport there is, because everyone can participate in one way or another. My 20-year old son Al is continuing the family tradition in racing. He started karting 10 years ago and caught the racing bug in 1992 when I won my second Indianapolis 500. My wife Shelley and I don’t pressure Al and we told him a long time ago that if he decided he wanted to stop, that’s okay with us. Racing not only teaches you about how to control an automobile, it also teaches you about life, hard work, sportsmanship, and persistence. Whether it’s on the track or off, what Al has learned in these ten years will be with him throughout his lifetime. My biggest piece of advice to anyone who wants to get involved with racing is to start with go-karts. Look where it’s taken the Unser family!  Editors Note: Hence why go-karting is the official first rung on the CART ladder.  They teach a driver how to turn right and left, to brake and to shift.

12/1/02

Things that may you go hmmm...  This Monterey, California Herald article says, at last week's season-ending CART awards soiree in Miami, Toyota received the coveted Manufacturer's Championship trophy and the giant Japanese company made no bones about its enthusiasm for the award. Lee White, who is group vice president of Toyota Racing Development-USA, gave the opening remarks for a trio of officials for the company who went on stage for the presentation. "It took us seven years to get it and about a gazillion yen," White quipped. "But, we only get to rent it." The trophy is one of those perpetual awards. So, it goes back to CART with TRD's name on it to await presentation following the next season. But it was what White said next that had members of the media buzzing. Addressing his remarks to CART CEO Chris Pook, White said, "Why don't you let me keep in on my mantel for about two years until 2005? And Chris, I believe you. You will be here in 2005." What did he mean by all that? Did he really mean to imply Toyota might be back in CART in 2005 to compete again for the Manufacturer's trophy? Toyota, along with Honda, is heading to the Indy Racing League next season while the Champ cars in CART will all be powered by 2.65-liter turbo-charged Ford-Cosworth engines for the next two years. Chassis development will be limited, also, by design to help stabilize CART and get the series turned back around. The engine and chassis limitations will keep costs down and encourage teams and sponsors to get re-involved in the series as Pook and his administration undo the havoc wreaked on CART by prior mismanagement. CART Engine specifications beginning in 2005 call for normally-aspirated V-10 engines. The series is talking to a number of engine manufacturers and will entertain their bids to become involved after the two-year "freeze." Now, back to Toyota. The newly-crowned CART champs are fully committed to their quest to win a Formula One championship. They allegedly have earmarked $1 billion (that's a "b") for their F1 program over the next couple of years. The F1 power-plant? A normally-aspirated V-10. Hmmm. By the way, don't rule out Honda's return to CART, either. A few weeks ago, I spoke with a Honda official (he'll remain anonymous) and he told me he would not be surprised to see the four-time Manufacturer's champions back in the series. He also said they most likely would never have left if Pook had been in office with CART a year earlier.

12/1/02

CART drivers trounce NASCAR drivers  The USA International Race of Champions Series run in essentially Winston Cup cars heavily favors NASCAR drivers so they win IROC just about every year.  Take them out of that advantage to neutral ground and it's another story altogether.  Though the USA media paints the NASCAR drivers as super heroes, in reality they are heroes strictly in NASCAR.  Sweden's Kenny Brack (Pictured right with Jeff Gordon who he beat, on victory podium) collected the honors in today's Michelin ROC America challenge (a separate competition from the combined overall event) beating NASCAR ace, Jeff Gordon, in an exhilarating two-lap Final. The inaugural ROC America pitted US based open-wheeled stars, Kenny Brack and Cristiano da Matta against tin-top racers, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. Racing in the unfamiliar hardware of the Michelin Race of Champions unique ROC Cars, the CART star powered past Gordon in a time of 1:56.45 - the fastest lap of the competition. The four-time NASCAR Champion had initially blitzed his way into the lead only to crash heavily into the barrier in the closing stages. He said: "The first lap was my best of the day, but I really messed up at the end. Even so, it was great fun." On his way to the Final, Brack (pictured left) notched up convincing victories over 2002 CART Champion, da Matta and Gordon. The eagerly awaited contest between Gordon and NASCAR rookie sensation, Jimmie Johnson, saw the former take the flag a mere sixteen hundredths of a second ahead of his protégé. Gordon quipped afterwards: "I'm gonna be proud of that moment for a very long time."  Here is a link to the photo page from the entire event.

12/1/02
Industry News

USA wins Nations Cup  NASCAR Winston Cup stars Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson teamed with 2002 World Superbike champion Colin Edwards to capture the Nation's Cup for the American team at this weekend's annual Michelin Race of Champions (ROC) here in the Canary Islands (click on podium photo to right). Actually it was biker Edwards who really won it for the USA team.  Edwards scored the decisive leg win, crossing the line in a sideways celebration that he could afford after rival Marco Melandri had spun earlier in the run. Edwards' win gave the US a 3-1 victory over the Italians, with the Texan twice beating the 250cc world champion, while Jeff Gordon narrowly defeated Fabrizio Giovanardi in a thrilling race in Seat Cordoba WRCs.  Team points are scored by each driver in head to head heats in either WRC rally cars or special ROC buggies competing on a unique and unpaved road circuit. The winning team earns the title; "world's fastest nation." "The Michelin Race of Champions is truly a racer's race," said Herb Johnson, Director of Motorsports, Michelin North America. "The top drivers and riders from around the world, including some of the hottest rising stars, come here to compete," said Johnson. "The idea at the Michelin Race of Champions is to put the emphasis on the drivers and to open them up to different kinds of vehicles and different types of racing. They get to meet and compete with top racers from other parts of the world and to just have fun." The Nation's Cup winning three man American team of Jeff Gordon; Jimmie Johnson and Colin Edwards successively defeated teams representing Brazil, Spain, France and Italy in head to head competition to claim the Americans first Nation's Cup. The runner-up Italian team eliminated teams representing Great Britain, Finland and Sweden to reach the finals. The 27 drivers and riders competing in the Michelin Race of Champions included CART Champion Cristiano da Matta; former Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack; JJ Lehto; Fernando Alonso; Renato Travaglia; World Rally Champion Marcus Granholm; and Enduro champion Kari Tiainen. Now in its fifteenth year, the Race Of Champions was conceived by Michelle Mouton and Fredrick Johnson and has been sponsored by Michelin since 1998.  No IRL drivers competed.  They only turn left.  Here is a link to the photo page from the entire event. Michelin

12/1/02

Emmo everywhere  Here is Rio, Emerson Fittipaldi's face is plastered all over town on large billboards for Michelin tires.  Seems he is more well known than the Mayor of Rio (the guy who cancelled the CART race because Emmo sided with the Mayors political opponent)...and more popular.  Steven Levinson, AutoRacing1.com

11/30/02

IRL TV numbers 2001 vs. 2002  - As emailed to us - no name or source provided.

Total For Year:
2001 14,601,800 Households (13 RACES)
2002 18,710,100 Households (15 RACES) Increase of 4,108,300 hh's but w/2 extra races
Per Race:
2001 1,123,215 households
2002 1,247,340 households  .
Indy:
2001 5,927,600 households
2002 5,064,000 households
Per Race (Indy Excluded):
2001 722,850 households
2002 974,721 households

11/30/02

What a complete waste  UPDATE AR1's Steve Levinson reports today on Jacarepagua from Rio - The whole area near the track has undergone so much development since my first trip there in 1983 for F1. The area near the beach, known as Barra Da Tijuca, is loaded with new condominiums, shopping centers, offices and car dealerships. The main road leading to the race track, Avenida Ayrton Senna, is also full of car dealerships. The area fronting the beach, south of BARRA, is also being developed. That area is called "Recreio", and people looking for bargains in new housing are moving there. Actually, I wonder what the future of the race track will be with all of this development going on?   11/30/02 - As this aerial photo shows, the Nelson Piquet Autodromo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is a splendid facility.  Both the road course and the roval are suitable for a CART race, and before politics got in the way, CART was going to race on the fantastic road course you see in this photo.  Emerson is still trying to find another location for a race in Brazil, but nothing will compare to being right in Rio, and a facility such as this.  Our Steve Levinson is currently in Rio and reports the economy and the politics still remain unfavorable for a race.

11/30/02

Young Americans impressed with HP  According to this CART.com article, Second-generation racers Rocky Moran Jr. and Alex Gurney have spent the past four years preparing for a career in CART, but nothing could prepare them for the kick they received--literally and figuratively--from their first Champ Car test earlier this week. "When I came out of the pits for the first time, I was smiling all the way down the straightaway and when that boost kicked in, it was awesome," declared Moran. "It was like a freight train because we went from 260 horsepower to 750. "It's insane horsepower, more than it looks. But it was awesome and I loved it." The power most impressed Gurney, too. "It was almost indescribable," he said. "It comes on with such a big hit and this engine has a lot more boost than they ran this past season. I was getting wheelspin in fourth gear. It's just incredible power. "The overall feel is similar to an Atlantic car, but a Champ Car has just got such BIG HORSES. It was amazing." Both Toyota Atlantic veterans, along with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Jon Fogarty, logged 200 miles each in Dale Coyne's Ford-Cosworth/Lola during CART's engine reliability tests at Firebird Raceway in Phoenix. CART regular Roberto Moreno gave them some pointers, but they all adapted nicely to a car that was heavier, longer and much quicker. "It was very similar to an Atlantic car in the corners," said Moran, winner at Montreal in 2002 for Sigma Autosport. "But you've got to be patient and float the car into the corner because you're carrying so much more speed into the corners. "You have to be very precise with the brakes. If you're too late, you end up too deep in the corner and if you brake too early it messes up your entry."

11/30/02

Jeff Gordon goes for ride of life  According to this SPEEDTV article, World Rally Champion Marcus Gronholm was left red-faced after rolling his Peugeot 206 WRC on a demo run for this weekend's Gran Canaria Race of Champions—and NASCAR Winston Cup star Jeff Gordon was given the perfect view of the quadruple flip! The four-time NASCAR champ was sitting in the co-driver's place when Gronholm lost control during the run—which was being filmed for TV. The Finn got as far as the second corner, a right-left kink, when he rolled on to a bank. The Peugeot then somersaulted three more times before coming to a rest. Both Gronholm and Gordon emerged unscathed, to huge cheers from the crowd. Gordon took it in good stead, grinning as he walked back to the paddock, where he proceeded to retell his story to fellow NASCAR ace Jimmie Johnson, another member of the U.S. Race of Champions team. Meanwhile, Gronholm just looked embarrassed....

11/30/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Da Matta Rules Out Race Wins
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F1 News In Brief

11/29/02

Weather analysis for CART's European races  CART is going to have two, but more likely three, races in Europe in May,  2003.  Let's look at the rumored venues and their average weather data for May.  Surprisingly, May is one of the driest months for Spa, Belgium.  In other words, CART may have better weather at Spa in May than F1 does there in August.  Brands Hatch would have the coolest temperature, but also the driest weather believe it or not.  The wettest months for all the venues, except Paul Ricard, are June, July into August.
Venue Avg. High Temp (Degrees F) Avg. May Rainfall (Inches)
Brands Hatch, England 62 1.5
Estoril, Portugal 72 1.7
Hannover, Germany 68 2.1
Jerez, Spain 70 1.7
Paul Ricard, France 70 2.0
Spa, Belgium 65 2.1
Valencia, Spain 70 1.7

11/29/02

Kristensen honored  Tom Kristensen of Denmark, the American Le Mans Series champion for the 2002 season, has been honored with the Scanorama Award as the “Sportsman of the Year” for Scandanavia. In winning the award, the 35-year-old Kristensen beat out such sports luminaries as golfer Annika Sorenstam and Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, a gold medalist at the Winter Olympics. In addition to winning four races and the driving title on the American Le Mans Series, Kristensen was also part of the winning team in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the third consecutive year. “For me, it is really amazing that motorsport has become so popular and respectable that I can beat names like Sorenstam and Bjoerndalen,” said Kristensen. “I am very, very proud.” Kristensen drove for the Audi Sport North America team in an Audi R8 Prototype. He was honored as “Sportsman of the Year” in Denmark in 2001.

11/29/02

Pook - 2002 was make or break year, not 2003  This USA Today article talks with Chris Pook who says, "we've had our make-or-break year (i.e. 2002), so next year is one where we rebuild."  Although Pook believes the worst is over, he concedes that next season is pivotal toward re-establishing CART's luster in the racing world. "We've got the second-best drivers in the world after F1, which pulled da Matta from our series, not the IRL," he says. "We also have the best markets, so we'll promote as we always have. If the product and the marketing are good, people will come to the series. ... The pain had to get worse before a remedy could be put in place."  More.....

11/29/02

Falcon Cars struggling to find even one customer  Eddie Cheever has decided to go with Dallara cars with Chevy engines in 2003.  So far no one has ordered even one Falcon car and time is running out.  We suspect Tony George will have to help Kranefuss give cars away the first year to prove they are competitive.  No one wants to take a chance on an unknown quantity.  Here is a page of photos of the Falcon car.

11/29/02

CART looks like a bargain to some teams  This Indianapolis Star article says that Sal Incandela represents the changing face of Indy-car racing in the United States. Owner of a small, financially strapped team based in Indianapolis, he doesn't have a sponsorship program in place and -- this is the kicker -- he thinks the CART series makes more economical sense than the IRL. Teams have gone from CART to the IRL with increasing regularity over the past two years. But with IRL budgets expected to nearly double next season and CART offering $2 million in financial assistance to some teams, the situation is reversing. In 2003, the so-called little guys might find a better deal in CART. "I think the IRL is going to be a very tough deal with all of the big honchos they've got," Incandela said, referring to the varying alliances with engine manufacturers Toyota, Honda and Chevrolet. "The little guys are going to go away. Already you're seeing (team owners) the likes of (Fred) Treadway, (Sam) Schmidt and (Larry) Blair going away. This is a very different situation." Treadway, one of the IRL's original team owners, has no plans to field a team in either series next year and is selling his equipment. Schmidt said the chances of his team continuing in the IRL "look pretty slim," although he's hopeful he can field a car for Richie Hearn in the Indianapolis 500. Schmidt, who is paralyzed from the chest down, said he'd consider running in CART if traveling internationally wasn't a personal struggle. It's possible that Blair, who lacks a primary sponsor, could move his team back to CART, although his target is the IRL. Incandela said his driver, Hideki Noda, prefers to stay in the IRL given the arrival of the Japanese engine manufacturers. But both realize CART is now viable from a financial standpoint. "There are things I like about both series," Incandela said. "It will be the sponsor's decision (where we race).

11/29/02

CART safety test  This Indianapolis Star article says that CART will reveal its data Monday from a recent crash test at the Center for Advanced Product Evaluation in Carmel. A Reynard chassis was mechanically pulled into a concrete wall at 50 mph to study the safety of its foot wall and HANS device.

11/29/02

Da Matta comments on first days as F1 driver  "There are lots of little things different to the CART and it will take time and mileage to get to know the car," da Matta said of his first experiences in the Toyota. He was confined to running the 2002 TF102 while team mate Olivier Panis drove an evolution version of the car and suffered at the hands of unreliable new development parts. "A big difference with CART and this circuit is that the track in CART are very tight, bumpy and slow while the circuit here is open, wide and very fast," he noted. As a result, since his first test with Toyota in May, his approach to driving Formula One cars has changed. "In May I only tested one day and wanted obviously to get the maximum out of it," he revealed. "During my first day this week I was able to take my time in the beginning but I tried to get on the pace as quick as I could. I'm more relaxed for the test now then I was in May." "This week I was able to get to know the car, getting a lot of mileage which I didn't have that much on my first day, and didn't have a specific job otherwise," he explained. "I'm not really surprised by the difference to Olivier, but it was actually my first time I was driving the car on new tires," he said." But of course I'm not that happy being two seconds away from him, but I'm not afraid of the gap. I have to learn more about the tires and the car first. Also I have to get to know the track, because in almost every lap I thought I could have gone quicker in a few corners." "It's perhaps strange - I'm loosing more at the slow corners still but also in the fast corner in the middle of the track, I think it's turn 9 in particular. That is the only fast corner I'm still loosing a bit I think." "I'm pretty comfortable in the car. I'm maybe a little bit low in the car but that doesn't cause any big problems. I fitted my own seat about three weeks ago which fits very well, though still a bit low as I said." "For me it couldn't be a better team mate," da Matta claimed. "He's really nice. Before the test he came to me and said that if I had any doubts on the track, the car or anything else I could talk about it with him. I only know him (Panis) for a couple of days but he seems really relaxed and very serious about his job."

11/29/02

NASCAR point system reward mediocrity  NASCAR's current formula for determining a champion emphasizes finishing races above all else. To win the title. You don't have to race. You just have to finish. For example, if you had never won a race this year, never led a lap and finished 10th in every event, you would have beaten Stewart. That would have given you 4,824 points to Stewart's 4,800. Clearly, this raises questions as to whether the Winston Cup champion really is the champion.  Answer: No.  As it stands now, a driver can lead 100 laps, half the Daytona 500, blow an engine and finish 43rd. At the end of the day, he would get 34 points for finishing last, five for leading a lap and five more for leading the most laps, a total of 44. That means a minimum of 39 other drivers would get more points than he did even if they never led the race and finished 40, 50 or 60 laps behind. Something seems wrong with that picture. NASCAR needs a system where those who race are rewarded, even if they don't finish.

11/29/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Yoong To Combine CART With F1
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F1 News In Brief

11/29/02

On this day  In 1975, this 29th day of November was a black one for Formula One. World champion Graham Hill, highly-promising driver Tony Brise, and other members of Hill's Grand Prix team were killed when his plane crashed returning from a testing session. Hill, father of 1996 champion Damon, was the only driver to win the F1 title, Le Mans, and Indy 500. 

11/29/02

Bike Ace Takes Minardi Back Seat  250cc motorcycle Grand Prix hero Toni Elias got his first taste of Formula One power at Jarama recently. The 19-year-old Spaniard, born into motorcycle racing with famous father and grandfather racers, climbed aboard the Minardi two-seater and was blown away by its more than 800 horsepower. 'I really enjoyed this experience for lots of reasons but I obviously love anything to do with speed and engines,' said Elias after a few laps in the back-seat to driver Matteo Bobbi. Elias made his World Championship debut in 2000 with the Chupa Chups team after finishing third in the Spanish series under the guidance of Albert Puig. The youngster was most impressed by the Formula One machine's carbon-fibre brakes. 'The Minardi surprised me with its power and speed, but the thing which really made my jaw drop was the brakes,' he enthused. 'When I was expecting Matteo to brake he was still going up through the gears and when he did finally put his foot on the reaction was so quick and so strong'

11/29/02

Williams testing notes  The BMW WilliamsF1 Team concluded a three day test at the Valencia circuit in Spain Wednesday, marking the start of the winter testing program for the team. The tests were conducted by BMW WilliamsF1 driver, Juan Pablo Montoya and official test driver Marc Gené. Giorgio Pantano and Vitantonio Liuzzi also provided testing support, with each of the young Italian drivers completing three full sessions. It was a productive return to the winter testing program after the test ban began almost two months ago. Sam Michael (Chief Operations Engineer, WilliamsF1): "Dry weather testing wrapped up today. We had a useful test with Juan Pablo concentrating on tire compounds and casings as well as some brake developments. Marc continued putting mileage on the new engine and gearbox and although we have some of the normal teething problems, initial signs are good. We also had Giorgio Pantano and Vitantonio Liuzzi testing for us in the third car. They both did a good job, working well with the engineers and making a good contribution to an extensive job sheet. Now we have two days of Michelin wet testing with Marc before heading to Barcelona." Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): "We have been testing the new P83 engine for three days in one of the chassis running at Valencia. We have been concentrating on the basic functionality of the 2003 engine. The other two cars were running with the P82 engine, with their program focused on tyre testing, suspension and, of course, the evaluation drives of Pantano and Liuzzi. From our point of view, the Valencia test was a successful one and we are satisfied with the results." Giorgio Pantano: "Firstly I would like to thank the BMW WilliamsF1 Team for affording me the opportunity to test. I am quite happy with my performance in the test as well as my input into the car together with the team. It was a fantastic experience as the WilliamsF1 BMW is one of the best cars in Formula One and I was very excited to have this opportunity. I found the atmosphere within the team friendly and professional. This provided the best possible environment in which to perform." Vitantonio Liuzzi: "I will never forget the pure thrill of my first ever lap and the experience of driving a Formula One car. The team was fantastic, gave me great support and was very friendly, which resulted in an amazing three days. I am very grateful to the BMW WilliamsF1 Team for giving me the opportunity to realize my dream of driving in Formula One." Williams

11/29/02

Jaguar testing photos from Barcelona 

  Much More...click on 2002 archives button below

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