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DATE

News (chronologically)

1/8/03
Industry News

Twenty most versatile drivers in the world of all-time  This months Motorsport Magazine rates the most versatile drivers of all time, worldwide.  Interestingly, the USA produced the most drivers in the top 20, but the authors gave Moss the nod over Mario because he has success in rallying and some other obscure forms of racing that Mario never competed in.  In reading the article, it sounded as though the vote could have gone either way.  The results:

1.  Stirling Moss - England

2.  Mario Andretti - USA

3.  Jim Clark - Scotland

4.  Vic Elford - England

5.  Jacky Ickx - Belgium

6.  Dan Gurney - USA

7.  Parnelli Jones - USA

8.  Juan Fangio - Argentina

9.  AJ Foyt - USA

10. Mark Donohue - USA

11. John Surtees - England

12. Tazio Nuvolari - Italy

13. Gerard Larrousse - France

14. Walter Rohrl - Germany

15. Jackie Stewart - Scotland

16. Olivier Gendebien - Belgium

17. Tony Stewart - USA

18. Jean Ragnotti - France

19. Graham Hill - England

20. Al Unser Jr. - USA

1/8/03

IRL teams test at Homestead  Indianapolis 500 veteran Michael Andretti and 1998 IRL IndyCar Series champion Kenny Brack tested Wednesday at Homestead-Miami Speedway along with five other IndyCar Series drivers. The drivers were testing in preparation for the Toyota Indy 300 to take place Sunday, March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It marked the first time that Brack, the 1999 Indianapolis 500 champion, and Andretti, the 1991 CART champion, have driven the series' cars since the 86th Indianapolis 500 in May 2002. Each driver will compete full time in the IndyCar Series in 2003. Brack will drive a Dallara/Honda/Firestone with backing from Miller Brewing and Pioneer for Team Rahal. Andretti, also in a Dallara/Honda/Firestone combination, will drive for Andretti Green Racing, of which he is a part owner. Both teams are entering their first full season of competition in the IndyCar Series. "I think the series will be the strongest open-wheel series in the world this year," Brack said. "If you look at the package - the teams, drivers, engine manufacturers, all the players basically - it is going to be an extremely competitive environment. I'm looking forward to it. It is a big challenge." Competing with Team Rahal reunites Brack with the team with which he competed in CART with in 2000 and 2001. "I think it is a really nice package," Brack said. "We haven't had a problem all day, actually. It is a lot of fun. It is coming together. It is still the group I used to work with back when. We all know each other, so it is a lot easier than starting a whole new relationship. We feel comfortable in the car. "We had a good, productive day today. We are working through our program basically, and it is working well." Andretti is no stranger to Homestead-Miami Speedway, having won CART events there in 1997 and 1998. "I was able to run about 50 laps," Andretti said. "The car was really fast. The crew at Andretti Green Racing did an awesome job of preparing the Dallara, and the Honda engine was very strong. I like the design changes on the 2003 car. It's a lot nicer to drive, and it's even nicer with the Honda engine in it. "I think this is a really good start for us. Unfortunately, we had a problem with the steering rack, which was installed a little too close for comfort, and I had to get out of the car after a while. But in spite of that, I was very pleased with what we had out there today." In addition to Andretti and Brack, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves tested a Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone, two-time IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. tested a Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. tested a Corteco/Bryant Dallara/Toyota/Firestone. Jaques Lazier and Vitor Meira split time in a Johns Manville Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. The teams completed 484 total laps on the 1.5-mile oval without any major problems with the new 2003 chassis and engines.

1/8/03

Jerez Day 2, Ferrari still on top  Intermittent rain showers hampered today's Formula 1 testing at Jerez, but still Ferrari topped the timesheets with Luca Badoer and Luciano Burti taking first and second ahead of the rest.
L Badoer Ferrari Ferrari F2002 B 1:27.215 52
L Burti Ferrari Ferrari F2002 B 1:27.706 50
R Schumacher Williams BMW FW24 M 1:28.067 64
M Gene Williams BMW FW24B M 1:28.448 55
F Alonso Renault Renault R202B M 1:31.078 27
J Trulli Renault Renault R202B M 1:33.505 09

1/8/03

The irony of it all  2nd UPDATE   A quick search of the US Government Patents and Trademarks website shows that the American IndyCar Series let their Service mark expire on the moniker "American IndyCar Series." 1/8/03 - AutoRacing1.com has learned that the folks at American IndyCar Series (AIS) were a bit surprised by the announcement of the IRL to include IndyCar in their name because the AIS has been around since 1987 and registered as a trademark, so well have to see how this all pans out. If AIS already has the trademark on using the IndyCar moniker in their title, things might get REALLY interesting if CART were to buy AIS and with it the trademark American "IndyCar" Series.  You get bet that would get the folks in Speedway, Indian's attention.  On a lighter note, the AIS has a schedule to be formally announced next week for 2003 including races in Mexico and Hawaii (early 2004) (TBA). In the AIS they have rides available in either Champ Cars or IRL cars, along with partial sponsorship from the series for the drivers, and a TV package that broadcasts the races to 30 million homes in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico, with webcasts of the events worldwide. Albeit, it is not CART or IRL, but it is a good stepping stone into those two series, and a way to keep existing drivers sharp and in shape, should the occasion arise to step up into the other 2 series at a fraction of the cost. BTW the Hawaii race will also include drivers from the Honda Touring Car series from Japan, who will be bringing their cars to Hawaii for the show. In addition another road course-based American series will be racing as well the same weekend (again TBA).  1/8/03 - The American IndyCar Series (website) uses the "IndyCar" moniker prominently and often.  They have been around for years and have always used the name.  It is rather ironic that they can use "IndyCar" right alongside the IRL, yet CART, who put the IndyCar name on the map, can't.

1/8/03

Formula America  Now we know why Derek Daly favors a CART name change to Formula America.  A quick search of the US Government Patents and Trademarks website shows that Derek Daly owns the service mark on "Formula America."  He got it in August of 2002.

1/8/03

Evernham and Atwood split   Evernham Motorsports and Casey Atwood today announced that Atwood is free to pursue other driving opportunities. "Casey is a good friend and a talented driver," said Ray Evernham, president and CEO of Evernham Motorsports. "We want what's best for him and his career."

1/8/03

Stewart ditches IROC   Reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart has declined an invitation to compete in the 2003 IROC Series. The driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing cited his commitment to successfully defend his Winston Cup title and the added responsibilities that are associated with being the sport's champion as reasons for his absence in this year's IROC Series. "The Signore family has built a great series in IROC, and I know firsthand because I've been fortunate enough to have competed in IROC four times," said Stewart. "But with all that goes on during any given Winston Cup weekend, the time to focus on the main job - driving the Home Depot Chevrolet - becomes more and more valuable as our sport continues to grow. "I've never been a Winston Cup champion before and I want to do it right - for my team, for my fellow competitors and for my fans. When you win one championship it makes you want to win a second that much more. That's our goal for 2003, and my decision to not race in IROC this year should be a pretty good indication of how much I want to repeat as Winston Cup champion." Stewart's first IROC invitation came in 1998 as a representative of the Indy Racing League for winning the series championship in 1997. After winning the 1999 Rookie of the Year title during his inaugural Winston Cup campaign, Stewart returned to IROC in 2000. His third IROC appearance came in 2001, as Stewart substituted for CART driver Gil de Ferran, whose injuries from a pre-season testing accident prohibited him from competing in any of the four races. Stewart won his first IROC event in the season's third race at Michigan, helping him earn the runner-up spot in the IROC championship to Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Bobby Labonte. In Stewart's fourth IROC appearance last season, he won the series' first race at Daytona. "While I may not be a competitor in IROC this year, I'll be a very interested spectator as my World of Outlaws driver - Danny Lasoski - enjoys his second year of IROC," added Stewart. "Last year was the first time he had ever driven a race car on a surface other than dirt. He went to every practice session and probably logged more miles than anyone else. He learned a lot last year and he's coming into this year with a lot of confidence. He should be fun to watch."

1/8/03

St. Pete GP has work left to do  This St. Petersburg Times article says, Figuratively speaking, the St. Petersburg Grand Prix is going through the last few twists and turns and heading into the homestretch with a variety of issues yet to be decided -- including who's going to be driving CART's Champ cars Feb. 21-23. Other loose ends with only about six weeks remaining: -- Will there be a title sponsor? -- What times will the practices and races be? -- Who will provide entertainment to create what organizers hope will be a festival-like atmosphere that draws more than just hard-core race fans? Many of these issues must be decided in the next two to three weeks, before a promotional event Feb. 2-3 that includes a demonstration lap on the waterfront course, a pit crew competition and opportunities for fans to see the cars and transporters up close. Race general manager Tom Begley is confident it all will work out. "It's just part of the loose ends that are floating around," he said. "Every day we try to nail one down." As for drivers, some of the lineup is falling into place. CART will hold spring testing Feb. 4-5 at Sebring after the promotional appearance for the Grand Prix. Two-time 2002 winners Patrick Carpentier (Cleveland and Mid-Ohio) and Bruno Junqueira (Japan and Denver); Adrian Fernandez, the runner-up at Milwaukee; and Paul Tracy, who won Milwaukee but was remembered more for finishing second to Helio Castroneves in the Indianapolis 500, are expected in the field. CART also is touting up-and-coming racers and wooing drivers from other series. "I can't say names," Begley said, "but I don't think you need to worry about the driver lineup here."  More....

1/8/03

PR train ramping up in St. Pete  A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, The PR train is ramping up in the Tampa/St Pete area for the race in Feb. I was in Tampa yesterday on business and noticed at least 4 billboard ads for the upcoming event. A friend who lives in Tampa said he had heard 2 radio ads that day for the race. The evening was capped off with Tampa Lightning game, where I was pleased to find numerous people circling a Reynard Champcar (T. Takagi's Walker/Pioneer) outside the arena. They were having some contest and handing out literature for the race. Also, during the hockey game, I noticed at least twice, the mention on the PA to "BE THERE WHEN 200-MPH THUNDER ROCKS THE BAY". I will tell you this. Even the friends I was with (who are not race fans) where pumped up and discussing buying tickets. I headed back to Orlando with an initial impression that an honest effort to promote the event is taking place. Case in point. I was reminded 7 times in a 5 hour period. Thanks for the great web site (at least 20 hits a day!) David Jackson, Orlando, FL

1/8/03

Dale Coyne hires veteran Engineer  Dale Coyne Racing is stepping up its commitment to being a competitive force in the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford with the hiring of vastly experienced and highly respected engineer John Bright. "John has been around the business a long time and he will be a valuable asset as we move forward," said team owner Dale Coyne, who has fielded a car in CART competition every year since 1984. "After two seasons in which we ran only a few races, we are ramping up our efforts for a full-time program in 2003. We have an exciting new driving talent in Joel Camathias, and we want to build on the resources that we have established and move up to the next level." Bright, 53, a native of Leicester, England, has been involved in auto racing since 1972. He competed successfully himself in Formula Ford (winning 21 races in 1976) and Formula 3 before concentrating on race car engineering and management. He guided international star Brian Redman to the 1981 IMSA Camel GT Championship, in the history-making Cooke Woods Racing Lola T-600 sports car, and has since gained success on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.  Bright's first experience in Champ Car racing came in the early 1990s when he worked as a race engineer with Dick Simon Racing and drivers Scott Brayton and Scott Goodyear. In 1994, Bright joined Chip Ganassi Racing as Mauricio Gugelmin's race engineer. He returned to Europe in 1997 to form the Redman & Bright Formula 3000 team in partnership with Brian Redman. The duo launched the career of the late Gonzalo Rodriguez and also proved successful in international sports car competition. "I am excited about this new opportunity with Dale Coyne Racing," says Bright. "We have a lot in common. We both raced ourselves and we have both worked hard to achieve our goals. I admire his commitment to CART, which has always been one of my favorite forms of the sport, and I honestly feel that he has all the ingredients to build a winning team." Bright, who will oversee all technical aspects of the team's Champ Car effort, has moved to the Chicago area to commence preparations for the new season, which begins at St. Petersburg, Fla., on February 23. Dale Coyne Racing will undertake its first 2003 test later this week at the Sebring road course in Florida, where Champ Car rookie Camathias will gain his first taste of the newly updated #19 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone combination.

1/8/03

US Army to sponsor Nadeau   The U.S. Army has committed $16 million to sponsor Jerry Nadeau in his renumbered No. 01 Pontiac this year. That includes team sponsorship, radio and TV ads, a mobile Army recruiting station at several tracks and "Army Night" at a number of Dodge Weekly Racing Series tracks.

1/8/03

Toyota opts for regular testing  Toyota will continue testing throughout the 2003 season rather than opting for more track time at grand prix weekends. "We are opting for free testing in 2003 in order to obtain an overall steady progression throughout the season," said team principal Ove Andersson on Wednesday. "Whilst Friday morning practice may be an advantage in terms of immediate car set-up for the race weekend, we still have a wide range of things to learn and develop," he added.

1/8/03

Major construction work at Brands Hatch underway  AutoRacing1.com has learned that major construction work is already underway on the Grand Prix loop at Brands Hatch (the Indy Circuit is the short loop).  In the photo to the right, the GP loop is in the lower portion of the image that goes through the wooded section.  This photo was taken by our spy planes before the construction started, but you can clearly see the runoff areas prior to the current construction.  This news of course goes along with the rumor that CART will soon announce a race at Brands Hatch on May 4, 2003.  One would assume that the changes underway are in part to accommodate the fast Champ Cars.  Stay tuned, as AR1 brings you all the latest.

1/8/03

Toyota reveals changes  Toyota Racing used the launch of its new TF103 challenger to fully explain key structural changes behind Cologne-based doors. The fledgling outfit, staring into the always-trying second year of Grand Prix racing, explains the personnel switches as crucial to remaining loyal to the corporate Toyota-philosophy of continuous improvement, or 'Kaizen'. Managing Director of Toyota Motor Corporation, Tsutomu Tomita, remains Chairman of Toyota Motorsport, whilst Ove Andersson relinquishes the role of Presidency but takes up a new job as Vice-Chairman. The Swede, formerly a successful rally driver, will continue to focus on his work at the track as Team Principal but hands the Presidency, and factory-based business, to British-born John Howett. 'We have re-aligned people's roles rather than made an outright change to the management structure of the team,' says Tomita, Chairman. 'We have reflected on what we learnt in year one and we have implemented these changes in order to progress with our F1 challenge with the most efficient structure possible.' Toyota finished tenth, out of eleven team competitors, in the Constructors' chase last year with two self-admittedly 'lucky' world championship points.

1/8/03

Zonta to Toyota  The media was pleasantly surprised to discover the identity of Toyota's new test-driver at Le Castellet today; Brazilian ace Ricardo Zonta. The 26-year-old, from Curitiba, will hit the TF103 developmental seat as the 2002 Nissan World Series Champion and an experienced Grand Prix pilot, having raced for BAR in 1999 and 2000. Born in 1976, Ricardo captured his first go-kart victory at the age of 11, and by 15 was kart champion in Brazil. The next challenge was Formula 3, and at 19, he took the 1995 Brazilian and South American F3 title. Zonta's next move was to Europe, to contest the F3000 International series in 1996. On his first season in F3000, Ricardo won two races. One year later, he became champion, beating a Colombian by the name of Juan Pablo Montoya with three victories to his name. At the end of 1997, Zonta won the 'Golden Helmet' - the most important Brazilian motorsport prize, in the 'International Driver' category. 1998 saw him soar to the FIA GT championship at Laguna Seca with three consecutive victories, this time earning the 'Golden Helmet' award in the 'World Prominence Category'. Zonta spent '98 as a test driver for the McLaren-Mercedes Formula One team, before launching an ultimately disappointing racing stint at the new British American outfit in '99. In a new team, for his debut season - and alongside the caustic world champion Jacques Villeneuve - Ricardo finished five races with a best result of eighth place at the European Grand Prix. In 2000, Ricardo scored his first point in F1, finishing sixth at the Australian GP for the BAR-Honda team. During the rest of the season, Zonta scored another two points, by finishing sixth at both the Italian and US GP. At the end of the season Ricardo opted for a role as Jordan's test and reserve driver in 2001, before launching into the Telefonica World Series by Nissan for 2002 - a competitive series he eventually dominated. The Brazilian, Zonta, replaces former test pilots Stephane Sarrazin, from France, and Australian ace Ryan Briscoe. Ricardo's last Formula One action came at Montreal in 2001, when he substituted for an injured Heinz-Harald Frentzen at Jordan. More information on the Toyota TF103 launch to follow on Thursday......which of course means he will not be driving alongside Bruno Junqueira at Newman Haas in CART, raising the likelihood that Sebastien Bourdais will get the nod for that seat.

1/8/03

David Clare photo  A lot of readers asked if we knew what David Clare, CART's new Chief Operating Officer looked liked.  Here is his photo, courtesy of CART.  Clare started work on Monday and we hear he has hit the crown running.

1/8/03

Complete Daytona TV schedule   This link will give you a complete listing of the 2003 Daytona Speedweeks TV schedule. Talk about a series getting a lot of exposure to kickoff the season.  The 2003 Daytona 500 gets even greater coverage as Fox Sports and its family of networks open the racing season with more than 75 hours of programming from Daytona SpeedWeeks, leading up to the season-opening Daytona 500 live on Fox on Feb. 16. The unprecedented coverage, shared by Fox, FX, Fox Sports Net and Speed Channel, includes nearly 50 hours of on-track coverage and another 20-plus hours of studio programming, marking a dramatic increase in programming hours from 2001, when Fox offered 43 hours during its network premiere from Daytona. “The Daytona 500 is known as ‘The Great American Race,’ but there’s so much more going on during SpeedWeeks and for the first time we’ll be able to show most of it to fans in America and around the world,” said David Hill, Chairman, Fox Sports Television Group. “We’re excited to have FOX Sports, SPEED Channel, FX and Fox Sports Net combine to nearly double our telecast hours. This is the type of comprehensive coverage of SpeedWeeks we had in mind when we began our relationship with NASCAR.” In addition to complete coverage of the Daytona 500, network programming will be highlighted by live coverage of the 70-lap Bud Shootout (Feb. 8, Fox), presented for the first time in prime time, and the debut of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on Speed Channel (Feb. 14). “This will be far and away the largest production event Speed Channel has ever been involved with,” said Speed Channel President Jim Liberatore. “But this is what SPEED is all about – bringing race fans closer to the action than they have ever been before. There is an honest excitement in taking on a project of this magnitude.”  Other programming highlights include live coverage of the Feb. 8 ARCA race (SPEED), the Feb. 9 Goodies Dash race (SPEED), the Feb. 13 Gatorade Twin 125s (FX) and the Feb. 15 NASCAR Busch Series race (FOX). The FOX Sports networks also will provide live coverage of NASCAR Winston Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series qualifying (FOX, SPEED), as well as Winston Cup Happy Hour (FX) and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series qualifying (SPEED).

1/8/03

Toyota launch today  Toyota will become the first team to launch their 2003 contender at Paul Ricard today. The TF103 will be shown to the world’s press in the South of France and the team will waste no time in beginning testing. The car scheduled to hit the track in the afternoon.

1/8/03

Latest F1 Hot News 

Albers Out Of The Minardi Running
Schumacher Plans More Red Domination
Barnard Swaps Four Wheels For Two
Coulthard Eyes New Designer Venture
Pizzonia Warns Racers To Skip F3000
Dirty Tricks In Dutch F1 Shoot-Out
Brief: Bernie, Women, BMW, and IndyCar
Frentzen Predicts '03 Ferrari Repeat
Off The Track: Jacques Villeneuve
Ferrari Join Williams At Jerez, Spain
Secret Meetings At Ferrari Headquarters
Sperafico Joins As Williams F1 Tester?
New Sauber Breathes Life At Hinwil
Father Wilson Gambles On Son's Future
Ferrari Will Float In 2003

1/8/03

Thumbs up for Imola  Charlie Whiting gave the Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit - better known as Imola - the thumbs-up for its 2003 Grand Prix after an inspection this week. The FIA safety and technical delegate arrived in Italy on Monday and carried out an extensive inspection of the track, home to the annual San Marino Grand Prix.

1/8/03

CART ticket sales up big in Toronto too  A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Further to the article on Montreal ticket sales, Toronto is also doing well. I renewed my tickets today and asked how sales were going. They are 18% ahead of last year at this time! The ticket agent seemed knowledgeable and said "it should be good with a number of new faces in the paddock." Cheers, Kevin Golka, Ottawa, Canada  Dear Kevin, And this comes on the heels of great attendance the last 10 years in Toronto.  rreports like this must make all the journalists who jumped on the bandwagon last year and wrote numerous articles about CART's imminent demise feel like real idiots now. AR1 staff

1/7/03
Fran-Am

2003 Fran-Am schedule  
Date Event Support For

May 2 – 4

Phoenix International Raceway, Phoenix, AZ

Grand-Am Rolex

May 16 – 18

Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, AL

Grand-Am Rolex

June 13 – 15

Air Canada Grand Prix, Montreal, QC

Formula One

June 20 – 22

Watkins Glen International , Watkins Glen, NY

Grand-Am Rolex

July 11 – 13

Molson Indy Toronto, Toronto, ON

CART

July 25 – 27

Molson Indy Vancouver, Vancouver, BC

CART

Aug 29 – 31

Shell Grand Prix of Denver, Denver, CO

CART

Sept 5 – 7

Molson Indy Montreal, Montreal, QC

CART

Sept 19 – 21

Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant, Mont Tremblant, QC

Grand-Am Rolex

Sept 26 – 28

TBA (East)

-

Oct 3 – 5

Virginia International Raceway, Alton, VA

Grand-Am Rolex

Oct 25

Track TBA, Phoenix, AZ

Fran-Am Finals

Oct 26

Track TBA, Phoenix, AZ

Fran-Am Finals

1/7/03

CART Stars of Today  A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Now that Tony George and his hammer crew had once again taken on calling their mouse racers “Indy Cars”, CART should seriously consider one upping them and calling their series and cars “Star Cars”. They already have their up and coming kart/driver support series known as “Stars of Tomorrow”, so it would only be perfectly logical that these are that ultimate goal, or CART’s Stars of Today! After all, this is where the racing driver “Stars” truly come from!  David Siller

1/7/03

Mosley and Ferrari hold secret meeting  According to this AP report, FIA president Max Mosley and Ferrari team director Jean Todt met in a secret meeting at the Italian team's headquarters, the Gazzetta dello Sport reported Tuesday. The purpose of the meeting may have been for Mosley to gather support for more cost-cutting proposals that he plans to make when F1 team officials gather in London next week. Mosley and FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting spent most of Monday in Maranello, according Gazzetta, Italy's largest sports daily. Ferrari did not deny that the meeting took place. "We don't have anything to say," chief Ferrari spokesman Luca Colajanni said Tuesday. Mosley's ideas for limiting the costs of operating a team are aimed at adding more competition to the sport.  We here at AR1 feel the meeting was for Mosley to convince Ferrari to give and back sweeping rules changes to F1 to secure the long-term viability of the sport. Bernie and Max have a plan and rest assured that plan (short-term 2003 and long-term 2005) was presented to Ferrari behind closed doors to get their feedback and buy-in. If Mosley can convince Ferrari, that's half the battle, because, like it or not,  Ferrari has more influence in F1 than any other team, by a wide margin.  You can bet Bernie will lobby them as well. 

1/7/03

CART stock watch  Today's NYSE Trading In MPH
MPH closed at $3.77 Unchanged on Volume of 24,500 shares.
$3.09 Bid - $4.13 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $3.70 / $3.90
MPH Value Change 0.00%
DOW Jones Down 32.98 or 0.38% on Volume of 2.1 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 10.25 or 0.72%
S&P 500 Down 6.08 or 0.65%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

1/7/03

New look for Martinsville infield   The infield area at Martinsville Speedway will have a new look when the NASCAR Winston Cup tour makes its spring visit for the Virginia 500. A new Infield Care Center and Victory Lane are being constructed in the first-and-second turn end of the infield. The area that formerly housed the Infield Care Center is being converted into a work area for team public relations representatives. That area will also have two radio production and transmission booths. The project will be completed in time for the running of the Virginia 500 on Sunday, April 13. "The Infield Care Center we had was very functional. It served its purpose for years, but it was time for us to move toward something bigger and better," said Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell. "We took a look at some of the other care centers at other tracks and tried to incorporate all of the good things that we saw at those tracks into our new center." The interior of the new Infield Care Center will be approximately 2,000 square feet and will include a four-bed examination area, a two-bed trauma area, a waiting room, a family waiting room, a lounge and a reception area. The new Victory Lane will be constructed adjacent to the Infield Care Center and will face the front stretch. The old Infield Care Center, located in the complex of buildings in the middle of the infield, is undergoing a total facelift to accommodate team public relations reps and radio broadcasters. A countertop will circle more than half of the 450 square foot room, giving the public relations representatives a work area to set up. Each workspace will include electrical outlets and phone jacks.

1/7/03

Karting

D'Agostino, Gelinas, Jaskol, and Jurca take Barber-CART Karting Scholarships  Joe D'Agostino, Phillippe Gelinas, Matt Jaskol, and David Jurca were selected as winners today as recipients of the Barber-CART Karting Scholarship at Sebring International Raceway from a field of sixteen karters. Each winner will receive a sponsored ride in the Formula Dodge National Championship Series presented by RACER magazine, the Official National Amateur Championship of CART, as well as additional training from the Skip Barber Racing School, a package worth nearly $45,000. The winners were selected after two days of running in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge R/T, the Michelin-shod racer which is the same car utilized in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship. The racers, all of whom had participated in a Skip Barber Three Day Racing School in preparation for the event, had to cope not only with their competition, but also with the changing track layouts that the judging panel utilized to test the racers speed and adaptability. The karters ran several sessions on both days of the event, and benefited from expert feedback from the Skip Barber coaching staff on hand for the event, which included Kelly Collins, Bryan Sellers, and Terry Earwood. The entire field demonstrated clearly how well karting can prepare racers for stepping into actual race cars and performing well, as the entire group grew in speed and confidence with each session. The times were very close throughout, and the judging panel had some very difficult decisions to make. "This was the deepest field of talent that we have had in the six years we have run this program, so it was a difficult decision to say the least," said Rick Ratajczak, Series Director of the Barber Dodge Pro Series and Director of the Barber-CART Scholarship Program. "The bar has been raised every year of the competition, as the drivers continue to raise their game outside and inside of the cars. All of the drivers who participated did an excellent job, but we had to pick only four guys. With these four racers in the field, it should once again be a very competitive National Championship this year."

1/7/03

Cicale says the same thing  For years AR1 has called on CART to increase underbody downforce and reduce the reliance on downforce from the wings.  In this CART.com article, Tony Cicale says "I don't think the concept of taking off the wings and having large underwings is stupid at all," Cicale remarked. "I think in a lot of ways its a good thing to look at. I think in the short term that probably wouldn't get anywhere, but in the long term it's worth looking at things like that."........Cicale is not a proponent of any particular engine formula. He supports Chris Pook's idea of going to three-liter, gasoline-burning, F1-like V-10s with some rpm and other restrictions for 2005 as long as the formula attracts multiple manufacturers.  To that we at AR1 say Bingo! - the V-10 engine used by CART and F1 in 2005 and beyond should have an RPM limit of, say 16,000 and a minimum weight limit (to make the use of lightweight and expensive exotic materials inconsequential).  16,000 RPM sounds mighty fine, and over time all manufacturers will gravitate to about the same HP because an engine is basically an air pump, and at a given RPM and displacement you can only pump so much air and produce so much HP.  After a number of years of optimizing your engine, you get to a point of rapidly diminishing returns....meaning a John Judd can build an engine for, say Hyundai, and pretty much compete with the big deep-pocket engine manufacturers.  It opens both F1 and CART to a whole host of engine suppliers and brings down costs so money is spent on marketing and promotion and less on designing $1 million toilet seats (you get the idea).  In other words, allow the manufacturers some flexibility in their design, but make the rules such that spending ten times what your competitor spends brings you inconsequential HP gains, letting the manufacturers focus on reliability and fuel mileage. It's time for a wholesale philosophical change in F1 such that the next generation of engines are affordable for CART and F1 teams and manufacturers. Does anyone really think BMW's 19,000 RPM F1 engine sold them any more passenger cars?  If so, think again.  Mark C.

1/7/03

Dodge Dirty Dozen test   Dodge's "Dirty Dozen" will kick off preseason NASCAR Winston Cup testing today at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 16 at the 2.5-mile track. New faces and old faces in different places, plus top-notch drivers getting their first laps in the 2003 Dodge Intrepid R/Ts, will participate in the opening three-day tune up. Other Dodge teams will head to the Sunshine State for the second three-day session beginning on Jan. 14. Rusty Wallace, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Intrepid R/T, will test for Penske Racing South today, along with rookies Casey Mears in the No. 41 Target Dodge and Jamie McMurray in the No. 42 Havoline Intrepid. Mears and McMurray, along with veteran Sterling Marlin in the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge, give Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates a three-car squad in 2003. John Andretti changed test dates with Kyle Petty, and Andretti will pilot the No. 43 Cheerios Dodge Intrepid R/T today at Daytona. Other full-time, factory-backed Dodge teams in 2003 include Ryan Newman in the No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge; team owner Ray Evernham's 1-2 punch with Bill Elliott in the No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid and Jeremy Mayfield in the No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid; defending Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton in the No. 22 Caterpillars Dodge, along with Bill Davis Racing teammate Kenny Wallace in the No. 23 Stacker 2 Dodge; Kyle Petty in the No. 45 Georgia Pacific Dodge; and Jimmy Spencer in the No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Intrepid round out Dodge's 12-driver lineup for 2003. Ken Schrader, Larry Foyt and Christian Fittipaldi will also drive Dodge Intrepid R/Ts in 2003.

1/7/03

Badoer fastest at Jerez  Luca Badoer kicked off Ferrari's 2003 testing season by setting the fastest time during the team's first session today in Jerez (Spain). Badoer lapped the former championship circuit in 1:20.871. He shared a total of three F2002 cars with Luciano Burti. Ferrari worked on tire testing for Bridgestone and some new electronic components set to be used in Rory Byrne's all new F2003 contender.
Tuesday Times (unofficial):
L Badoer Ferrari Ferrari F2002 B 1:20.871 59
R Schumacher Williams BMW FW24 M 1:21.029 80
L Burti Ferrari Ferrari F2002 B 1:21.029 58
M Gene Williams BMW FW24B M 1:22.251 57

1/7/03

Herbert would miss at least one CART race  According to Autosport, Johnny Herbert will join Bentley's driver line-up for the Le Mans 24 Hours in June. The former grand prix driver is set to be announced once the marque has finalized who will join him in his car.   LeMans conflicts with CART's Monterey, California race at Mazda Raceway, meaning he would miss at least one CART race in 2003 should he land a CART ride......or would he be willing to forego LeMans if he landed a full-time ride in CART?

1/7/03

Golden Globe Award nomination for Newman  The unrivaled career of Newman/Haas Racing co-owner Paul Newman may see yet another honor added to the litany of achievements that he has accumulated in his storied career as the actor has been nominated for a 2002 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Road To Perdition. Newman portrayed mob boss John Rooney in the film, which also starred Tom Hanks and Jude Law. The honor continues what was a successful season for the Cleveland, Ohio native, which saw he and co-owner Carl Haas earn their fourth CART season championship when Cristiano da Matta won the 2002 Champ Car title. The team's cars driven by da Matta and Christian Fittipaldi carried the movie's logo on their rear wings for four races this past year, winning three of the four races. In addition, CBS Sports opened its telecast of the Cleveland race with a sequence based on the film including acting sequences featuring Newman and the drivers. Newman has won four previous Golden Globe Awards, including his first in 1956 for Most Promising Male Newcomer. He also won a Golden Globe for Best Director for Rachel, Rachel - a film that starred his wife Joanne Woodward. Newman most recently earned an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as pool shark Eddie Felson in The Color of Money.

1/7/03

No Rocketsport deal for Papis  According to Autoweek, negotiations to put driver Max Papis in CART’s startup Rocketsports entry have ended with no deal. That means Rocketsports owner Paul Gentilozzi is still shopping, and his list of preferred candidates is shrinking.

1/7/03

IRL unveils new logo  Capitalizing on the heritage of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, the premier level of competition in the Indy Racing League will be known as the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series starting in the 2003 season. The Indy Racing League, based in Indianapolis, now serves as the sanctioning body for two professional racing series – the IndyCar Series and the Infiniti Pro Series, the IRL’s development series that debuted in 2002. The change to IndyCar Series is driven by the IRL’s growth and will allow: •The series to better use its assets and its association with the greatest single-day sporting event in the world. •A differentiation of the IRL’s marquee series from other racing series by its association with the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. •The league to better differentiate its two series so that it can maximize the brand value of each individually. The IRL name has historically referred to the name of both the sanctioning body and the series and now will serve solely as the name of the sanctioning body, which is based on the successful model of other leagues with multiple series. “The Indy Racing League enters its most exciting and promising season in 2003, and the continued growth and momentum of the sanctioning body has offered us a great opportunity to provide a unique identity to America’s premier open-wheel series,” said Tony George, Indy Racing League president and CEO. “The new IRL IndyCar Series helps create a clear identity for the most exciting open-wheel racing series in the world, separate from the sanctioning body name. “Never before in the history of American racing have we had an open-wheel, oval-based series with established drivers, the celebrated owners and the significant committed players from the auto industry that the IndyCar Series will have in 2003.” The term “Indy” is recognized throughout the world because of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race and its association with the fast, low-slung, rear-engine, open-wheel cars that race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The IndyCar Series is a descendant of a 92-year sporting tradition, dating back to the inaugural Indianapolis 500, which was contested in 1911. The IndyCar Series has the cars and drivers who compete for the biggest prize in the sport and conjures visions of speed, skill, close finishes and a rich heritage, all of which are hallmarks of the Indy Racing League. “From now on, when you tell someone you’re an IndyCar Series driver, there’s no mistaking it for any other kind of racing,” said Robbie Buhl, the veteran IRL competitor and driver/co-owner of the Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Chevy. “The IndyCar Series identification will bring added value to all of us participating in the series.” Said three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford, who serves as IRL Pace Car driver and head of special projects, “The change to IndyCar Series depicts very clearly what the series is – an auto-racing championship based upon the rich traditions and heritage of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.”

1/7/03

Williams says Frentzen to soft for F1  35-year old Sauber driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen has been called too soft to succeed in Formula One by his old boss Frank Williams. Frentzen was dumped by Williams after scoring just one win in his two seasons with the British-based team. Frank Williams told BBC online: "I don't know of any other driver who has such a fantastic feeling for the car he drives as Frentzen does. But Heinz-Harald is a very sensitive character and not hard enough for this business."

1/7/03

Audi stars jump to Bentley  Audi stars Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello will join British racer Guy Smith in a Bentley at Le Mans, the team has confirmed at the Detroit motor show. The widely expected move comes as the team steps up its efforts to win the famous race. As part of its preparations for the French classic, the team will, for the first time, enter the Sebring 12 Hours in March. A statement by the team said: “So far as Team Bentley's ambitions for the 2003 season are concerned, clearly the plan is to win both at Sebring and Le Mans. Of course no-one can predict the outcome of any race, let alone one so maverick and fickle as Le Mans, but Team Bentley believes it will arrive on the starting grid with a better chance than ever before of taking overall honors.”

1/7/03

CART media partner again pans CART  SPEED Channel is supposed to be CART's partner in helping grow the series and the TV ratings?  One would never know it as they continue to publish articles by Brock Yates on their SPEEDTV website that pan CART almost weekly.  In his latest missive, Yates more or less predicts CART's ultimate demise. As they say, with friends like that, who needs enemies!  One thing for certain, if it were NASCAR being panned weekly, the plug would have been pulled on Yates a long time ago. Amazing.  Mark C.

1/7/03
Industry News

Lola hires new Chief Engineer  Lola Cars International Ltd has appointed Julian Cooper to be its new chief engineer. Cooper will oversee Lola's return to Formula 3 in 2003 with the car that is being built in conjunction with Japan's Dome Cars. He will also look after what Lola managing director Rupert Manwaring described as "new and exciting projects" for the Huntingdon racing car manufacturer. More later...

1/7/03

Williams begins Jerez test  The Williams team was first on the track for 2003 yesterday at Jerez in southern Spain. Conditions were wet and cold as the team began in the morning but dried later in the day. Ralf Schumacher and Marc Gene were in the cockpit. Today Ferrari will commence testing at Jerez and Renault is also due on Wednesday.

1/7/03

Pizzonia says F3000 useless  Jaguar’s Antonio Pizzonia has added weight to the view that F3000 is no longer the step-down discipline from Formula One, and in fact believes aspirants should steer clear of the series and treat the smaller Formula Three and Formula Renault Championships as the new “feeder formulae”. ‘I think basically a racing car is a racing car,’ Pizzonia told “Autocar”, ‘but an F3000 is not a very good racing car. I would say an F3 car is nicely balanced, easier to work on, but an F3000 is just funny. ‘You go through Formula Ford, Formula Renault, F3, or whatever, and the way you have to drive the cars is very similar. As it also in F1. ‘But F3000 seems to take you in a different direction. Basically, I wouldn’t recommend anybody to do F3000 because it doesn’t teach you the technique you’re going to need to drive an F1 car.’  AR1 feels CART is being positioned to someday be the rung on the ladder just below F1 because it offers HP that's with 100 HP of a F1 car and is the same physical size. F3 is just too far a step down for it to be the best rung below F1, and the races do not include pit stops, important experience.  Not only does it make sense for CART and F1 to share identical V-10 engines in 2005, it makes sense for CART to make its chassis the same dimensions as F1, particularly the narrower width.  A narrower car will give drivers more room to squeeze off a pass on tight street circuits and will help to keep speeds in check.  In NASCAR, Busch cars are very close in performance to Winston Cup cars, and it's not inconceivable to see Champ Cars to qualify within three seconds of a F1 car in 2005 and beyond.  Then you create a perfect training ground for aspiring F1 drivers.......but CART will need to add standing starts so its drivers gain that necessary experience.  Although the majority of CART fans want to see standing starts, at least on circuits that are wide enough, to date CART has not had the stomach to make such a move.  Perhaps under David Clare, who understands the excitement of standing starts having worked in F1 under Bernie Ecclestone's wing for so long, CART will finally bite the bullet.  Mark C.

1/7/03

City backs Malaysian GP  According to this article, Kuala Lumpur was officially unveiled as the Grand Prix City for the 2003 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix as Sepang International Circuit's international road show hit India's Bollywood City, Mumbai. At a special session with corporate clients, media members and travel agents, Sepang International Circuit (SIC) - promoters and organizers of the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix - announced a new promotion campaign named Experience It All at The World's Hottest Race in the Grand Prix City of Kuala Lumpur. "We are happy to announce a special collaboration between SIC and the City Hall of Kuala Lumpur to promote the event and Kuala Lumpur as a tourist destination for racing fans worldwide to take full opportunity of their trip to the 2003 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix," SIC General Manager Ahmad Mustaffa said in a statement released here today. Ahmad said SIC would be carrying Kuala Lumpur's name in all its international road shows, which would also take the promotion team to the United Kingdom, West Asia, Indonesia, China, Singapore and Thailand within the next few weeks. As the Grand Prix City, Kuala Lumpur would dress up the Malaysian capital in Formula One (F1) colors and would be working closely with the circuit in organizing all the promotion activities for the event around the city, he said. "The formal launch of the campaign and the 2003 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix would be held this Saturday at Dataran Merdeka where a host of activities had been lined up for a comprehensive one-day affair.

1/7/03

Latest F1 Hot News 

Ferrari F2003 Set For Melbourne Debut
Good Sponsor News For Jordan Team
Berger Warns BMW To Build Own Chassis
Ferrari Engineer Cautious For '03
Murky Kirch F1 Finances Deepen
Testing Resumes For Lone Williams
Davidson Holds Winner's Trophy Aloft
McNish Predicts More Ferrari Dominance
Brackley Pursue Regular '03 Podiums
Wilson: Share Scheme Yet To Pay Off

1/6/03

Mosley admits F1 crisis  UPDATE  According to this BARF1fans website, David Richards has backed FIA president Max Mosley's attempts to cut costs for Formula One teams. The FIA is reportedly planning to ban driver aids, including telemetry and traction control, which was only reintroduced to F1 in 2001. "We have got to be open-minded about it," Richards said. "A group of people so close to the coal face as the team principals sometimes don't come to the right conclusions. And sometimes you need a facilitator from the outside to assist you in that process."  Strangely the article mentions a proposal to make F1 a single-engine supply formula by 2004.  We assume they mean one engine per race weekend.  1/6/03 - Hopefully this puts into better perspective why we have been predicting that F1 engine costs must come down significantly and identical V-10 engines used in both CART and F1. The road racing cartel (CART, F1, ALMS) are going to have to team together to ward off advances being made by the oval track cartel (IRL, NASCAR, ARCA) for market share and fan appeal.   This F1i.acom article says,  Formula One's state of crisis threatens the world championship's very existence, FIA President Max Mosley has warned. 'Even the biggest and richest teams are going to suffer badly if the smallest three or four teams go out of business,' he says. The governing Briton has called an emergency meeting of team principals in a bid to obtain a mandate to make changes he deems necessary for the sport's survival. In twelve months, Formula One has lost four cars, or two privateer teams, and two more are in serious prospect of following them out of the door. 'We have never had a problem like this before,' says Mosley, adding that a significant decline in television audiences has impacted severely on the smaller team's sponsorship agreements. 'Maybe it's because people got spoiled,' Mosley adds.  More....

1/6/03
Industry News

BMW sales up 22%, Mercedes flat   BMW increased 2002 unit sales by 17 percent worldwide, gaining on Mercedes-Benz after a no growth year for the DaimlerChrysler AG luxury car unit. BMW sold 1.06 million vehicles last year, narrowing the gap with Mercedes, whose 2002 unit sales were unchanged at 1.23 million cars, including their Smart brand.

1/6/03

UK reader writes about Eurosport coverage  Whilst I'm fully aware of the reasons why Cart wants back on Eurosport (see rumor on rumors page), they must get GUARANTEED live coverage of as many rounds as possible. It may well cover all of Europe but Eurosport is notorious for being unable to stick to TV schedules and the tape delayed races will (from previous experience) be removed from schedules at the drop of a hat if something else overruns. I'll give you some examples- in 2000 we saw 16 out of 86 laps of Long Beach- why?? because some under 18's football match in South Africa overran. We lost the first 30 laps at Mid Ohio when a marathon overran, and also during 2000 they didn't bother showing some races at all. On other occasions they've joined a race "live", you've gone to an ad break and jumped 50 laps further into the race!!  I fully understand (and support) CART's need to get pan European coverage but they need to have a water tight contract to get good live coverage for as many races as possible. I know I'm very much in the minority when I say this but I thought the coverage in the UK was much better on Sky Sports, when they showed the races live you knew they were going to show then all the way through and not skip 50 laps in an ad break. Anyway that's my 2 cents worth, we'll probably have a year of fantastic coverage in Eurosport this year!! Thanks, Derek Parkinson, United Kingdom  Dear Derek, Let's hope the contract with Eurosport is a good one for CART.  Last years Sky coverage for CART may have been good for those living in England, but the rest of Europe had pretty much zero coverage, so although Eurosport may not be perfect, it sure beats the alternative.  This time CART did it right. Mark C.

1/6/03

Montreal CART fans, take note  Dear Autoracing1.com, congratulations on your excellent work. I thought I'd help some concerned CART fans by letting you know about this: I tried to buy my tickets for Montreal's CART race to be held in September, actually I've been trying since December via the net but couldn't because I got error messages and no message what to do for help. Today I elected to call "Resaux Admission", last year's tickets provider, what did they told me?  "'We just can't handle the demand for Montreal's CART race, so from now on the same company that sells the F1 Grand-Prix tickets will take care of that, you can get in touch with them at 514-350-0000."  Consider this "a tip" because nobody knows this yet''.  I remember last year, it was kind of a mess getting my pre-purchased paddock tickets at the gate, maybe they didn't expected such a turnout!  They are not taking any chances this year, seating capacity will be extended to F1 numbers and seems like the fever's already building.  Actually it started building right after last years race.  Victor Beaudoin, Montreal, Canada

1/6/03

CART stock watch  

Today's NYSE Trading In MPH
MPH closed at $3.77 Up $0.04 on Volume of 8,900 shares.
$3.13 Bid - $4.08 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $3.76 / $3.80
MPH Value Change Up 1.07%
DOW Jones Up 171.88 or 2.0% on Volume of 1.89 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 34.25 or 2.47%
S&P 500 Up 20.42 or 2.25%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

1/6/03

Karting

Barber-CART Karting Run Off Begins Today  The Barber-CART Karting Runoff will take place on Monday and Tuesday January 6-7 at Sebring International Raceway with sixteen invitees, each the cream of the karting crop, competing for a slot in the Formula Dodge National Championship Series presented by RACER magazine. The two-day event will focus on the speed, potential, and attitude of the racers as the young guns will be under the watchful and experienced eyes of a select judging panel, who will select four winners from the sixteen invitees. Each winner will receive a sponsored ride in the Formula Dodge National Championship Series presented by RACER magazine, the Official National Amateur Championship of CART, as well as additional training from the Skip Barber Racing School. The value of the package is worth nearly $45,000 to the winners of the run-off. This year's CART Toyota Atlantic Championship runner-up Michael Valiante, 2000 Barber Dodge Pro Series "Rookie of the Year" and CART Toyota Atlantic Championship multiple race-winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, as well as the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series Champion A.J. Allmendinger and 2002 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Champion Bryan Sellers, are all previous winners of the Karting Scholarship Run-off. The pack of competitors arrive in Sebring from all regions of North America, highlighting the prominence of the CART Ladder System:
Michael Abbate-Las Vegas, Nevada
Nicholas Bussell-Ionia, Michigan
Matt Champagne-Fonthill, Ontario
Joe D'Agostino-Plantation, Florida
Jonathon Fecteau-Montreal, Quebec
Chris Festa-Atlanta, Georgia
Phillippe Gelinas-Grand-Mere, Quebec
Matt Jaskol-Las Vegas, Nevada
David Jurca-Federal Way, Washington
Tony Loniewski-Michigan City, Indiana
Berek McEwen-Flower Mound, Texas
Benny Moon-Shingle Springs, California
Tim O'Brien-Lebanon, Ohio
Adam Pecorari-Aston, Pennsylvania
Preston Peebles-Lubbock, Texas
James Willis-Middletown, Ohio

1/6/03

Fittipaldi to drive for Petree in Daytona 500   Monaco Coach Corporation will sponsor Andy Petree Racing in 2003, beginning with next month’s NASCAR Winston Cup season-opening Daytona 500. The announcement was made today. Christian Fittipaldi, who is running for Petty Enterprises in a variety of series this season, will drive in the Daytona 500 for the team. Monaco will also sponsor APR in four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races in 2003. Petree is still seeking sponsorship for the full 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup season and additional Truck series races. Monaco and Andy Petree have enjoyed a strong corporate relationship that has included a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory with Tony Stewart driving and associate sponsorships in NASCAR Winston Cup racing. "We’re excited to be in the Daytona 500 with a company like Monaco Coaches on the side of our car," said Petree. "Monaco has a commitment to quality and a strong belief in working hard to be the best. We do too, and that’s the type of businesses both of us want to be associated with. "We feel Christian Fittipaldi will add a lot to our effort. He is a rookie at the big ovals but with his Formula One and CART background, he is no stranger to going fast," Petree said. "We’re looking for a very strong Speed Weeks." Petree emphasized his team is still seeking full-season sponsorship for 2003. "We have a firm belief in NASCAR fans and a firm belief in Andy Petree Racing," said Ed Kinney, Vice-President of Monaco. "One of the world’s fastest growing RV manufacturers taking a larger role in the world’s fastest growing sport is just a natural. We’re proud to be a part of NASCAR racing and a part of Andy Petree’s winning operation."

1/6/03
Industry News

New twist to Kirch saga   This PitPass.com article says, the long running Kirch saga took a new twist today with reports in the German media of a fax (dated December 19) which seems to show that $122m was transferred from Credit Suisse to a Kirch subsidiary (Formel Eins Beteiligungs GmbH) several months after the group is supposed to have gone into liquidation. According to the fax, which has apparently been leaked by the Liechtenstein public registry office, the money was meant to be in payment for a loan that the bank gave to Kirch in 2001 when it was acquiring its F1 rights. As you can imagine, neither Credit Suisse nor Kirch is in any hurry to comment on the revelation.

1/6/03

Petty and Pemberton split   Petty Enterprises will further restructure its competitive setup, as part of the earlier announcements regarding its two full-time NASCAR Winston Cup teams and the Winston Cup-Busch-ARCA team of driver Christian Fittipaldi. As part of that structuring, Robin Pemberton will not return in 2003. "We really appreciate the knowledge and experience Robin brought to our race teams, and wish him nothing but the best as he continues his career," said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. "We know he will be successful in anything he does, and we will continue working to bring that same type of success to all of our teams."

1/6/03

Trio of CART teams hit testing trail  With the 2002 holidays behind them, teams vying for the 2003 Vanderbilt Cup are starting to get serious as on-track preparations for the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season will get underway this week. Three of CART's teams will head to Florida to get a jump on the competition as testing will open up this week at Sebring International Raceway, which will be the site of this year's Spring Training testing in February. Newman/Haas Racing will test with reigning FIA F3000 champion Sebastien Bourdais as the team continues to audition pilots for a second seat alongside 2002 CART runner-up Bruno Junqueira, while Dale Coyne Racing will give rookie Joel Camathias some seat time with two days of testing in the team's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone. Herdez Competition will also test with Champ Car veteran Roberto Moreno as the team forges on with its hopes to run a two-car team in 2003 with Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year Award winner Mario Dominguez. Moreno will be testing in place of Dominguez at Sebring as the 27-year-old Dominguez continues to recover from off-season shoulder surgery. Testing is scheduled on the Florida road course for Thursday and Friday. The balance of the 2003 Champ Car World Series field will be in Sebring for three days of Spring Training testing February 4-6, with the festivities being preceded by a day of media activities in St. Petersburg - site of the 2003 season opener - on Monday February 3.

1/6/03

Herdez team clarifies 2003 lineup  Herdez Competition Managing Director Keith Wiggins today clarified the team’s current situation regarding the lineup of sponsors and drivers for the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford 2003 season. “There have been a number of rumors and reports over the past weeks, and particularly in the past few days, about the team’s plans for 2003. While we are not yet in a position to announce the details, we thought it would be advantageous to clarify our position. “We have every intention of running two cars for the entire 2003 season. To that end we have hired a number of new staff members and are making investments in the equipment required to support the second car. However, as I said last week, we're still working on a few sponsorship deals to make the second car secure.” With the beginning of the racing season a scant six weeks away, all efforts are now focused on finalizing the programs and making final decisions on the driver line-up. Wiggins continued, “We begin our pre-season testing program this week in Sebring and, because Mario Dominguez has not yet been cleared by the doctors from his surgery in December, Roberto Moreno will be in the car for the test. We have been talking to Roberto about a position with the team for this year but there is nothing done at this time as well. “We are excited about the upcoming Champ Car season and have plans for a very successful year. At the same time, we hope that the fans and media will be patient with us while we work out the final details!”

1/6/03
Industry News

Delphi see big sales jump in China   Delphi Corp. reported revenue from its China operations in 2002 rose 35 percent to $700 million from a year ago. This is the second consecutive year that Delphi China has reported an annual revenue increase of more than 30 percent, the auto parts maker said Friday. The company said demand has been driven by stricter exhaust emission standards as well as pressure from foreign competition to diversify product offerings through leading technology, following China's entry into the World Trade Organization.  In other China news, Guangzhou Honda Automotive Co Ltd, a China joint venture between Japan's second-largest automaker Honda Motor Co and Denway Motors, is aiming for a 90 percent year-on-year increase in volume sales in 2003. According to Guangzhou Honda's Web site, the joint venture has set a target to sell 110,000 vehicles, including cars and minivans, this year. Foreign carmakers are pouring money into China, the world's fastest growing auto market. Annual car sales in China jumped 55 percent in 2002 to top the one million mark for the first time, as steady economic growth of about eight percent and the launch of cheaper models put more vehicles within the reach of Chinese families.

1/6/03

Berger calls for reduction in F1 toys/technology  Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon to reduce costs and technology in F1 because it is a useless waste of money, and if anything makes the racing sterile and boring.  BMW motorsport director Gerhard Berger says that driver aids such as traction control and power steering should be banned. Berger described items such as diffusers and barge boards as 'toys.' "Electronics and technology have to be reduced," he told Blick. "Driver aids like traction control and power steering need to be eliminated. Those are real show-killers. Toys like diffusers and bargeboards should also be banned! Instead, the cars and tires should be made wider again." Berger thinks control needs to be given back to the driver: "Today, everything is automatic, all the driver has to do is to find the breaking point".

1/6/03
Industry News

Audi to make car and racing push in the USA   Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Officer Bernd Pischetsrieder expects sales of all the company's brands to top 5 million vehicles this year, returning to the level of two years ago as Europe's largest carmaker adds new models. Volkswagen sold 4.98 million vehicles last year compared with 5.08 million the year before, the German company said. Most growth is expected in Asia, especially in China. "We intend to sell at least 5 million," Pischetsrieder told journalists at the Detroit Motor Show. Sales of the Audi brand jumped 21 percent in Britain and increased 2.9 percent in the U.S., the carmaker said at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. German sales fell 4.4 percent last year, Audi said. "Audi sales ought to be doubled in the next five to six years in the U.S.," Pischetsrieder said. The maker of the TT roadster displayed a prototype of a sports-utility vehicle called the Pikes Peak at the car show. It expects to start selling a version of the vehicle within two years.   We expect Audi to make a move to enter CART or the IRL to help fuel the sales push in the USA.  We have heard that Audi is willing to produce a CART V-10 in 2005 if the costs are reasonable, and it would be even better if they can use the same engine in F1.  Knowing how high-tech Audi is, and sophisticated their customers are, we would be surprised if a rev-limited engine (IRL) would fit their market goals.

1/6/03
Industry News

SPEED hires Severs   Becky Severs has been engaged by SPEED Channel to provide consulting services and serve as the network’s primary at-track public relations contact for all NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events in 2003. A native of Armstrong, Ill., Severs is a graduate of Columbia College in Chicago and has experience in both television production and public relations. Severs spent the last three race seasons at Carrick Public Relations as a public relations representative on the Craftsman account for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. “There is no question Becky brings a great deal of added strength to the network with her experience in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series,” said Erik Arneson, SPEED Channel’s Director of Public Relations. “In 2003, SPEED Channel will broadcast all 25 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events live and her relationships with the teams, drivers and sponsors will help us both in our public relations and production efforts.” In addition to her role with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Severs also will consult on various other projects at the Charlotte, N.C. based network.

1/6/03

Toyota lands IT sponsor  Toyota has announced a new sponsorship deal with the IT firm Ebbon-Dacs. The British company is one of the leading suppliers of software to the motor industry. The Ebbon-Dacs logo will appear on Toyota's new TF103 F1 car when the 2003 machine is launched at Paul Ricard on Wednesday. The President of Toyota Motorsport John Howett said: "We are extremely happy that Ebbon-Dacs has joined us as a partner. "We are also grateful for their confidence in our potential. Our team is all set for the 2003 season and committed to doing the best to live up to expectations."

1/6/03

Tough times ahead for Ralf  This Sporting Life article says this could be a frustrating year for Ralf and his Williams team, unless a quantum leap is made in the design of their new FW25 car ready to make its debut in Melbourne.  The article also talks about his teammate Juan Montoya, who most feel is faster than Ralf.

1/6/03

BMW decision near  Grandprix.com reports that Gerhard Berger told Austrian television yesterday that BMW will make a decision about the future in the next six weeks. The company is trying to decide whether or not to build its own cars when its current deal with Williams expires at the end of 2004. Berger, who is believed to be in favor of a BMW team, said that if that decision was made he would definitely stay in his current job but otherwise may retire. Berger said that BMW had already built the best F1 engine and that continuing to be just as engine supplier would not be such an interesting project for him.  "I'm not doing this job for the money but because motor sport is my life."

1/6/03

Jordan renews with Puma  Puma AG and Jordan Grand Prix announced today the extension of their long-term team gear partnership. The new 3-year contract will provide the Jordan team with PUMA team wear, footwear, and accessories. PUMA branding will be featured on the race wear of the drivers and pit crew, as well the uniforms of all mechanics, engineers and team managers. Having benefited from a successful partnership since January 2001, PUMA and Jordan are now pleased to continue their relationship through the end of the 2005 season. "At a time when many sponsors are re-evaluating their involvement in Formula 1," said Martin Gansler, Vice Chairman PUMA AG, "we are demonstrating our full confidence in Eddie and his team with a long-term commitment. Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport and Jordan Grand Prix adds great value thanks to the flamboyant team personality and their uncanny ability to perform under any condition." "We are very proud of our association with PUMA and I am delighted to extend the partnership," confirmed Eddie Jordan, Chief Executive of Jordan Grand Prix. "PUMA’s products are very stylish and of the highest quality, giving us an important ingredient in ensuring that the entire Jordan Ford team will be superbly turned out when we start the new season."

1/6/03

McNish to da Matta - watch your back  "Who knows whether Toyota have made the right decision," McNish told British tabloid The People, referring to the decision to drop both its 2002 drivers. "da Matta will find it hard but I wish him all the best. "One thing I can tell him is that Formula One is a big shark pool," he added. "It doesn't give you time to catch your breath. "There are a lot of behind-the-scenes elements that you don't ever get to hear about," continued the former Le Mans winner. "I picked things up along the way and I realized I wouldn't be with the team when my contract ran out. "To have finally got into Formula One was great and I learned a lot," said the Scot. "Toyota were very fair. They gave me a three-year deal and within that there were options to renew it. When those dates passed I realized what was going to happen."

1/6/03

Wilson has raised no money yet   UPDATE Britain's News of the World reports that Justin Wilson's father is willing to sell his gas station to help his son make it into F1. His father Keith has unwritten Wilson's drive for Minardi, and if enough donors can't be found, he will be forced to sell to pay off the debt.  He also owns another business.  1/5/03 - Justin Wilson has had many people expressing interest but no official takers yet on his scheme to sell shares of himself to back his Minardi ride he tells The News of the World newspaper in Britain.  He needs to raise about $3 million for Minardi and is confident when all the details of the program are ironed out, he will be OK.

1/6/03
Karting

Gidley Hawaii karting clinic - Sunday  Peanuts, Pepperocinis and Pantyhose - those items made up Memo's shopping list heading into a dramatic day 2 of the 4th annual Memo Gidley Karting Clinic in Hawaii. The peanuts would be for snacking (no traditional taboo about having them in the pits here), the pepperocinis would be for lunch, and the pantyhose would be...for filtering the airbox on his long-overdue Trackmagic MG shifter kart. But there would be no "P" for parasol, as the sun shone brightly, the forecasted showers never materialized, and Saturday's enormous wind gusts died down. Conditions proved perfect for a record participant tally of over a dozen experienced karters, all competing for the Jim Russell 3-day racing school prize. At day's end, Gidley reached into his own pockets and made not one but two awards. First-time Clinic entrant John Ledesma, a longtime KT-100 class veteran in the Pacific Karting Club, impressed Memo with "doing two things at once - thinking and driving," taking home one prize. Reigning state KT-100 champ Scott-Michael Waracka, a participant in all three previous Clinics, also got the nod based on his progress since 1999 and his strong performances during the 2002 season - despite a colossal bout of food poisoning overnight which left him completely sidelined Sunday. The duo will now travel to Sonoma, CA during the year for the next leg of the program, which will expose them to open wheel formula cars for the first time.

1/6/03

Latest F1 Hot News 

Frentzen: Too Soft For Formula One?
Sponsor Crisis Strangles Formula One
Berger Backs Technical Rule Revolution
Words Of Praise For Sacked Drivers
Albers 'Getting Closer' To Minardi
Full Swing In Bahrain And China
Pundit Predicts: More Change For 2003
Alex Yoong: No F1 Plans For Baby Son
Sir Frank Williams: I Wanted Michael
Plentiful Support For Lauded Fisico
Sponsorship Focus For Eddie Jordan
President Admits Formula One Crisis
Brief: Ski Marathons And Wet Weather
Sauber C22 Fires-Up On Wednesday
Ron Dennis: F2003 Will Be Even Better

1/5/03

Grand-Am cars grossly underpowered   A reader writes, Dear Autoracing1.com, I was watching Speed News tonight on SPEED Channel and they interviewed drivers that were testing at Daytona for the upcoming Rolex 24-Hours.  David Brabham stated it was quite easy to drive the GrandAm prototypes compared to the more powerful ALMS prototypes he was used to.  Another driver also said they were easy to drive, stating "the tail does not kick out on exit (turn) and the power comes on gradual."  You can hear the engines on the video, they sounded like low-revving lawn tractors.  Scott Papier, Atlanta, Georgia.  Dear Scott, the GrandAm series is an offshoot of NASCAR (GrandAm series created by Bill France).  As such, it is guided by the same general principles of low-tech and low-cost.   While that may work for the oval track crowd, the road racing crowd tends to be a bit more sophisticated and into high-tech, high-revving engines.  This may be the reason the GrandAm series has floundered and never developed into anything meaningful, i.e. they don't understand their audience.  Mark C.

1/5/03

First entry received for 12-Hours of Sebring   With only 68 days until the 2003 American Le Mans Series season kicks off with the 51st renewal of America’s oldest sports car race, the Dyson Racing Team has submitted the first official entry for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The Dyson team, one of the most successful sports car racing teams in America over the past two decades, has entered a pair of Lola EX257-MG machines in the LMP 675 class for the 12-hour endurance race at Florida’s Sebring International Raceway. The race will be run on Saturday, March 15.  Butch Leitzinger of State College, Penn., will team with a pair of drivers from England, James Weaver and Andy Wallace, in one of the Dyson entries. The second car will be steered by team owner Rob Dyson and his son, Chris, both of Pleasant Valley, N.Y., and a third driver to be named. The Dyson team has already announced plans to field two cars in all 10 races for the American Le Mans Series in 2003. Leitzinger and Weaver will co-drive in most of the shorter races on the schedule, while Wallace will be paired with Chris Dyson in most of the rest of the races. The team has already held one off-season test at Sebring and plans another test this week. Four classes of American Le Mans Series cars will compete in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and 60 cars are expected to take the green flag at 10:30 a.m. on March 15. The race, which will feature the highly-anticipated North American debut of the sleek Bentley Prototype race car, will be televised live from flag-to-flag by the SPEED Channel and the American Le Mans Series Radio Web will have live coverage online at www.americanlemans.com.

1/5/03

Giorgio Pantano talks about move to CART   Don't believe Giorgio Pantano is coming to CART?  That's what he is telling the world he is doing.  You can listen to this exclusive interview by Italian newspaper La Gazzetta Dello Sport with the Italian F3000 driver if you have Real Player installed on your PC (You should it's free at www.real.com).  Click here to listen (3 min 56 sec.).  We hope your Italian is good.  It's interesting to note that all the non-American race drivers are multilingual, whereas American drivers are pretty much limited to speaking English.  In this global economy, one has to think you increase your chances of landing a sponsor somewhere other than the USA by being able to speak their language.  AR1 encourages any aspiring American race car driver who is still in high-school - learn a second language, and learn it well.  Which one?  Spanish and German come to mind, but with China growing in economic power in leaps and bounds, that might be the ticket.  Unfortunately, American schools don't teach it....yet.

1/5/03
Karting

More TV exposure for kart series  The 2002 CART Stars of Tomorrow presented by Snap-on.com Grand Nationals broadcast on SPEED posted solid rating numbers for the broadcasts of the November, 2002 race. The show delivered kart racing to an unprecedented number of new viewers. Consequently, SPEED channel has scheduled the program for new time slots enabling the top level karting series greater exposure and momentum towards its 2003 season. “The ratings prove that kart racing has a broad appeal” said Stars founder Bryan Herta. “SPEED’s scheduling of additional broadcasts demonstrate their faith in Stars and the CART racing programs. It gives us tremendous momentum for our 2003 racing and television plans.” The premiere of the Stars show garnered a .14 rating, which translates into 112,000 viewing households. The follow up broadcasts pulled ratings in the .1 area (80,000 households). All told, the Stars program has been viewed by over 400,000 households. “While we have a ways to go to challenge the Super Bowl, these ratings and SPEED’s support prove our vision that we can be successful in bringing professional kart racing to the American public,” stated Stars Marketing Director Glenn Holland. “This show was a good first start. We plan on knocking people’s socks off in our coverage of Stars events in 2003.” The CART Stars of Tomorrow presented by Snap-on.com SPEED Channel new airdates:
Friday, Jan. 3- 1pm Eastern / 10am Pacific
Sunday, Jan. 5 – 6pm Eastern / 3pm Pacific
Wednesday, Jan. 8 - 5pm Eastern / 2pm Pacific
Saturday, Feb. 22 - 3pm Eastern / 12pm Pacific
All told, the Stars show will have been broadcast nine times with a projected total viewing audience of around 600,000 households. SPEED is currently available in over 63 million households in North America. The CART ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ karting series is the official first level in CART’s driver development system and an officially sanctioned series of WKA/SCCA Pro Racing. Founded by racing star Bryan Herta and now owned in conjunction with a group of racing veterans, including three-time CART champion and Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal, the Stars of Tomorrow serves as the first step for the CART driver development ladder. Stars focuses on recognizing the skills of the drivers rather than the technology development within the machines, using FIA/CIK International standards. More information can be found at www.cartstars.com.

1/5/03

Fans petition for Memo Gidley  Some USA race fans have got together and started a petition to CART and Chris Pook to get Memo Gidley a ride in 2003.  Here is the petition.  Typically CART does not dictate to teams who they hire.  A sanctioning body should not be muddling in team business.  With that said, Gidley has proven he can drive a Champ Car competitively, and if nothing else, one would hope a sponsor will see this and step up to help.  AR1 is not in position to endorse one American driver over another.  Americans like Townsend Bell, Memo Gidley, Jimmy Vasser, Jon Fogarty, Alex Gurney, Rocky Moran Jr., Bryan Herta, and Ryan Hunter-Reay (to name a few) all deserve serious consideration by American sponsors.  It's important that CART have at least four to five Americans in the field (about 20% to 25%) because a majority of races on the CART schedule are in the USA.  We endorse a true "world" series concept where the best drivers around the world come to compete, and it benefits no one to fill a field just because of nationality, but the drivers named all have proven they can pedal a race car fast.

1/5/03

26 Years ago Mario Andretti thrilled the crowd at Daytona  Bob Zeller's book called "Daytona 500, An Official History," recounts just how spectacular Mario Andretti was in the 1967 Daytona 500. Tiny Lund was on the pole that year in his Chevy, cracking the 180 MPH barrier at Daytona for the first time with a 180.831 MPH run. Andretti didn't break 180 MPH in qualifications, but he led nearly half of his 100-mile (now 125-mile) qualifying race before fading to sixth when he had to stop for a splash and go for gas, while others did not. His Holman and Moody Ford teammate Fred Lorenzen, NASCAR's Golden boy of that era, won the heat race by drafting, saving fuel and not stopping. On race day a crowd of 94,000 fans jammed the track on a cool but sunny day. Turner led the first lap but Cale Yarbrough led laps 2 and 3. Then AJ Foyt took over. Seven drivers led the first 50 laps, including Andretti who thrilled the crowd with driving skill the southern rebels had never seen before, and perhaps never will again.  Not being a NASCAR regular, Ford would not give Andretti their best engines, so Andretti's car was setup loose, the way he wanted it, to make up for his lack of HP.  Mario had requested the softest anti-rollbar possible for his car.  Anyone will tell you a loose car is faster than a neutral or tight car (more revs exiting the turn), but few drivers can control a car loose on asphalt, and perhaps only one in the history of American motorsports can do it for an entire 500 miles.  Andretti was fastest with his loose car when he drove to the edge of the apron entering turns 1 and 3 and let the car drift all the way to the wall on exit, its backend hanging out like a sprint car on dirt, tires smoking on many laps. Twice a lap he would drift clear across the banked turns without cracking the throttle. For the fans, it was thrilling to watch, bringing them to their feet over and over upon seeing the sideways Andretti. To the other drivers, they never saw anything like it. Most were certain he would never finish the entire 200 laps. How fast was Andretti? Stunningly fast! Three times Andretti missed his pit box and had to exit the pits and return, and each time he fell a lap down. However, each time he made his entire lap back and led again before the next pitstop (and they though Awesome Bill Elliott was fast back in 1987). Out of the 200 laps Andretti led over 100 of them despite loosing three laps. Andretti led Lorenzen as they came to the pits for their final stops. They were the only ones on the lead lap. Andretti became suspicious, then angry, when his jack man held his car in the air until Lorenzen's car cleared the pits. Lorenzen now led but Andretti stalked and passed him like he was a backmarker. With the bit between his teeth Andretti was flying, pulling away by half-second, sometimes a full-second every lap. On lap 198, when a yellow flew for Richard Petty's blown engine, Andretti was 22 seconds ahead. The race finished under yellow and Andretti stole NASCAR's biggest prize much to the Chagrin of NASCAR and the Ford racing boss who ordered Andretti's car held on the jack during the last stop. True story, and one NASCAR would probably rather forget.

1/5/03

Alex Yoong soon to be father  Alex Yoong and wife will become the proud parents of a bouncing baby boy on Friday, the tenth of January when Arianna undergoes a caesarean section. Not many people knew of Alex's impending fatherhood, or his marriage for that matter, that took place early last year as the young driver prefers to keep personal matters just that, personal. “We wed in early 2002 but I didn't want anyone to know. You know me, I am a quiet, private person and I prefer my personal life to remain that way. I didn't want the papers to sensationalize and blow things out of proportion, they were already critical of my Formula One performance!” Alex told the Malaysian Star. “Since marriage, I've been so happy, settled and motivated! Now with a baby on the way, I feel on top of the world! Actually we planned a wedding reception on Dec 22 but when Arianna discovered she was pregnant, it was postponed to 2003. I will be by Arianna's side for the birth of our son but will have to leave a fortnight later.” “I am doing a full season with Champcar World Series 2003. I want to gain new experience in the States with a chance to run in the top half of the field. Champcars allows me to do that as all the cars are of similar specifications. Thus, getting on the podium or winning a race is possible unlike Formula One where you need to be in the top three teams of Ferrari, McLaren or Williams to do that. I am also hoping to be a test driver for Minardi in 2003.'' “I am going to encourage him to take up football, tennis or water-skiing! It's been a horrible ride for me to get where I am today. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't!”

1/5/03

Coulthard:  I want to be ranked alongside Clark and Stewart   According to this Scotland Daily Mail article, David Coulthard has had too many let-downs to assume this year will be the one when he lives his dream of becoming Formula One world champion. But the Scots star has never been more determined to see his name ranked alongside our motor racing legends Jim Clark and Sir Jackie Stewart. From the moment he got his big break at Williams in 1994 Coulthard has always believed he's capable of becoming a sporting great. He came through the ranks as understudy to Damon Hill then Mika Hakkinnen at McLaren and saw both crowned world champ. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. That could and should have changed over the last three years but the dream was sunk by bad luck, mechanical failure and last season by an uncompetitive car. Coulthard's McLaren was improving steadily but it could take another season for it to challenge the all-powerful Ferraris. His team's technical wizards have been working flat out to speed up the wheels of progress and he's still clinging to the belief he can push Michael Schumacher all the way this time.  More....

1/5/03

Monterrey tickets on sale in January  UPDATE  We now have the exact dates for you.  From January 9th to January 22, tickets will be on sale for returning ticket holders and certain credit card holders.  On January 23rd tickets will go on sale to the general public.  60,000 grandstands seats are being erected, the same as 2002 and ticket prices are the same as last year. 12/22/02 - Tickets for the third CART Monterrey, Mexico GP will go on sale in early January, less than three months prior to the race.  This past year November and December were slow sales months because of the Christmas season, so this year the race organizers decided to wait until after the holidays.

1/5/03

New body rules change emphasis for Daytona tests  Winston Cup teams typically have different agendas when preseason testing at Daytona International Speedway rolls around each January. Some teams fine-tune car bodies. Others look for speed and focus on qualifying runs. Some test new cars to see if they are better or more reliable than the previous year's. This season, changes NASCAR implemented to produce a more common body type among the four manufacturers has left most teams with the same agenda. "Most Winston Cup teams will be using technology to see how the race car handles in different situations," said Chad Knaus, crew chief for second-year driver Jimmie Johnson of the No. 48 Chevrolet. "Really, we are starting from square one because of this new body style. "But this style, in my opinion, will provide us the best opportunity to compete with the Fords and Dodges in the future." Chevrolet and Pontiac redesigned their entries for 2003, adapting several characteristics of the Ford Taurus and Dodge Intrepid. NASCAR chimed in with its requirements, the biggest being a common location for all car bodies to rest on the chassis. The move was made in hopes of further leveling the playing field between large and small teams, regardless of manufacturer. "Testing at Daytona has now become a matter of going out and finding the balance in the car," said driver Derrike Cope, who will attempt to make the field for the Daytona 500 with Quest Motor Racing. "Other teams who have been able to find that balance in the wind tunnel are going to have to start all over again. The rules changes change the attitude of the car. Everybody is going to have to work hard."  Charlotte Observer

1/5/03

Minority owned Cup team folds already  BH Motorsports, which this season hoped to be the first black-owned Winston Cup team to run a full-time schedule, has dissolved, team officials confirmed Friday. The team was co-owned by Sam Belnavis, a native New Yorker and former director of sports marketing with Miller Brewing Co., and Tinsley Hughes, a former co-owner of Mansion Motorsports, which has fielded cars in Cup on a part-time basis. Belnavis will remain in the sport. Within the next few weeks, he is expected to announce the formation of a new team, BelCar Racing – a partnership between himself and longtime Winston Cup car owner Travis Carter. The new team will have sponsorship from the National Guard, which was initially signed with BH Motorsports, and will field Fords with driver Todd Bodine, utilizing Carter's equipment. The new team will likely continue the driver diversity program began by the National Guard and BH Motorsports.  Speedway Media

1/5/03
Karting

Gidley Hawaii karting clinic - Saturday  Hurricane Memo Strikes Hawaii - wind gusts up to 60 mph which tore through Oahu overnight and throughout the morning sent marker cones, tree branches and even the 135-pound perimeter safety barriers flying before Gidley and company arrived at the Windward Mall parking lot. The tent they set up for the classroom sessions quickly caved in, its steel support poles sharply bowed. But Memo quickly adapted to that unexpected scenario, as he did with the surprisingly large number of novice and absolute rookie karters who turned out. So instead of the traditional Clinic format, Saturday evolved into one-on-one practice sessions where the neophytes took to the track for solo laps under Memo's constant guidance. This group included the Clinic's first female participants, among them local FOX TV anchor Tanya Boyd. the more experienced junior karters will now share Sunday with the seniors as all vie for the coveted Jim Russell 3-day racing school prize. Oh, and the crate carrying Memo's kart finally arrived at the harbor in the morning, showing up trackside in time for Gidley to give the excited crowd a sneak peek at the Trackmagic MG chassis he will finally unleash on Oahu Sunday. Not coincidentally for El Memo, the forecast calls for showers all day... (Photos by Earl Ma)

1/5/03

Daytona 2003 Test Schedule
Jan. 7-9 -- NASCAR Cup Series (Odd car owner 2002 point standings finishing positions)
Jan. 11-13 -- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Jan. 14-16 -- NASCAR Winston Cup (Even car owner 2002 point standings finishing positions)
Jan. 18-19 -- Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring
Jan. 20-21 -- NASCAR Busch Series (odd)
Jan. 23-24 -- NASCAR Busch Series (even)
Rain dates:
Jan. 10 -- NASCAR Winston Cup (odd)
Jan. 17 -- NASCAR Winston Cup (even)
Jan. 22 -- NASCAR Busch Series (odd);
Jan. 25 -- NASCAR Busch Series (even)

1/5/03

Furr picked up by Morgan-McClure  Morgan-McClure Motorsports has hired a new competition director to prepare for the 2003 season. Tony Furr, who began his Winston Cup career in 1989, joins the Abingdon, Va.-based team to assist team manager Tim Weiss and crew chief Chris Carrier. "I feel like he can help make a difference. We are looking forward to the Daytona test session and Speedweeks with an invigorated attitude." Furr, 46, is native of Concord, N.C.

1/5/03

Bahrain circuit already ahead of schedule   Work on the new Bahrain Formula One circuit, that is due for completion by March 2004, is well ahead of schedule.  Reports from the circuit say the foundations for the main three-story grandstand, three and two story pit buildings and ten-story VIP Tower are now completed. Work has only been underway since early November and already over 150,000 man-hours have been expended on the project. "As of this week, 1.6% of the work has been completed, ahead of a projected 1.3% completion schedule," said Shaikh Fawaz, President or the General Organization for Youth and Sports. “A total of 151,050 man hours have been spent with a total site manpower of 318 people. As of today, 54 days have elapsed and 431 days remain until the completion date. For Bahrain to build such an advanced facility in such a short time will be an achievement in itself and based on today's evidence we are very confident of a March 2004 handover." Tilke and Partners have designed the 169-hectare site, the same driving force responsible for other state of the art facilities such as Malaysia's Sepang track. The Bahrain complex is expected to be the most advanced facility of its kind in the world, featuring a 5.47 km circuit complete with a 2.4km inner track designed for testing, a 3.4km multi-purpose outer track, a 1.2 km drag strip and a 2.5 km test oval for endurance testing. "When completed, the circuit will be the most advanced facility of its kind in the world and is scheduled to host a round of the International Automobile Federation Formula One World Championship in October next year,” explained Bahrain Motor Federation president Shaikh Tariq bin Mohammed Al Khalifa. “We are projecting a 200-day annual usage, which will include a one-make car series and motorbike races prior to the Bahrain Grand Prix."

1/4/03

F3000

Bell eyes CART and F3000  Townsend Bell and his manager Rod Campbell are working hard at trying to secure a ride in CART in 2003.  However, the last conversation I had with Rod at the CART awards banquet, he told me Townsend could possibly do a year in the FIA F3000 series if a test ride in F1 or a full-time ride in CART did not materialize..

1/4/03

Fastest track sweeper around  Missed the pre-race for last fall's NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway? Then you missed the Discovery Channel's Monster Garage and its newest creation, the fastest street sweeper on the planet. This racecar-powered sweeper zoomed around the high banks of Atlanta's 1.54-mile track, the fastest in NASCAR, at over 100 mph. Lucky for you, the Discovery Channel is airing the segment three times next week so that you can get "up to speed." Monster Garage is the Discovery Channel's program that transforms ordinary vehicles into extraordinary machines. The street sweeper was created from a Richard Petty Winston Cup car and was debuted during the pre-race of the Oct. 27 NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

1/4/03

Williams team goes with just one test driver   After testing Nico Rosberg and Giorgio Pantano, the Williams F1 team have announced that they don't intend to increase their "driver resources" at the moment and that their two regular drivers, plus Marc Gene will shoulder the current testing workload.

1/4/03

Former sponsor reveals cash crisis in F1   One former sponsor, who declined to be named, told the Times of London that the cost of backing a middle-ranking team such as Sauber has collapsed by at least a third since 2000. He said: “Three years ago, being a title sponsor for a middle-ranking team would have set you back around £7 million for one season. That fee has since collapsed to between £4 million and £5 million.” He added: “The very basic entry level to get in the Formula One team door was around £500,000 three years ago. Now, you can take at least a third off that.”

1/4/03

Former PPI and Team Rahal manager now in bikes  Kawasaki USA has named former PPI and Team Rahal manager Mark Johnson as team manager for its championship winning motocross team.

1/4/03

Brundle predicts more F1 changes before first race   Former F1 driver Martin Brundle, has predicted that the rules voted through by the F1 Commission will be changed before Melbourne. Recently Brundle was talking with former team-mate Mark Blundell as they reviewed the changes for the season ahead on ITV. Brundle is not convinced that the single 'hot lap' qualifying format will shake the grid up unless track conditions alter halfway through - though it will make it a must-see event. "I've seen data where teams have looked over the last couple of seasons, and they've worked out that their drivers would roughly be in exactly the same place on the grid if they took their first run of the day." "But nonetheless it should spice up Saturday afternoons nicely." Brundle is also not convinced about the wet weather tire regulations. "It's a drying day at Monza, you're doing 200mph, it's scary, it's dangerous to have just one wet tire. They cannot surely have such a big window that it will be safe in all conditions. Mark Blundell agrees. "It's going to be a tough call for the manufacturers to make that universal wet. Especially to suit all the different cars. But the bigger call for me is going to be the dry tires." "Now we're talking about having two different compounds for each team and the manufacturers can do whatever they want. Are we going to get a super-sticky for that hot lap in qualifying and then a compromise between hard and soft for the race?"  "I don't think they've really done enough and I'm pretty sure that before we head down to Melbourne some of these rules will be revised and added to."

1/4/03
Karting

Gidley Hawaii karting clinic - Friday  It takes considerable dedication arriving at a track before the sun does, but that's exactly what Gidley and a few industrious members of the Pacific Karting Club did Friday morning. They showed up at Kakaako Waterfront Park in Honolulu at 5:30 am in preparation for an impromptu appearance on FOX affiliate KHON's Channel 2 Morning News, with live segments spanning from 6 to 8 am. 14-year-old Junior Sportsman driver Steven Diem, 17-year-old KT-100 champion Scott- Michael Waracka and 56-year-old 125cc shifter pilot Ken Boyd previewed the Clinic and gave a driving demonstration in the parking lot, while Gidley showed reporter Manolo Morales the basics of getting a kart fired up and puttering around at 20 mph. After returning to the hotel and using his laptop as a kitchen counter in preparing the day's rationing of his trademark peanut butter and raisin sandwiches, Gidley headed to Windward Mall in Kaneohe for final preparation of the kart track. The main attraction immediately got his hands dirty setting up marker cones, driving in dozens of fence stakes and erecting perimeter barriers. Meanwhile, his own beloved Trackmagic kart is still in transit somewhere in the Pacific, with on-track activities beginning at 10 am Saturday. What will Gidley do? (Photos by Earl Ma)

1/4/03

Albers Manager: We are close   According to this DailyF1 article, Christijan Albers’ manager is confident he can close a deal for his driver to join Minardi as Justin Wilson’s team-mate in 2003. The young Albers has agreed a preliminary deal with Minardi Principal Paul Stoddart but the cementing of a final deal is conditional on finance – he must come up with at least $3 million in sponsorship. Stoddart had initially put the deadline for midnight on December 31 2002 but is understood to have extended it by another working week. ‘We are getting closer now,’ Albers manager Lodewijk Varossieau told the RTL network. ‘It's just about the details now and it seems we can work this out.’ The terms of the preliminary deal allow Stoddart to take on Verstappen if the former podium scorer comes up with the necessary funds before Albers, meaning the race is on. But Varossieau said he thought Verstappen’s focus had shifted somewhat, following claims over the past two days that Verstappen had been linked to Jordan and the seat alongside Italy’s Giancarlo Fisichella. ‘If it doesn't work out for us, all doors are opened for Jos,’ he said, ‘but obviously he still has another option, because he doesn't really seem to fight (for the Minardi drive).’ Verstappen’s manager Huub Rothengatter admitted he was now in discussions with Jordan as well as Minardi. Payment will also be required for the Jordan drive with the team having lost its main backer, Deutsche Post. ‘We're talking with Minardi and Jordan,’ said Rothengatter, a former Zakspeed driver.

1/4/03

So far Boat up a creek w/o a paddle  This Arizona Republic article says, Missing beneath the Billy Boat Christmas tree last week was the gift he hoped for most: a major sponsor.  Boat, like some others experiencing the economic crunch of the times, still is without a corporate heavyweight to provide the primary funding for the approaching Indy Racing League season. And with the IRL opener only two months away, time is quickly running out on the Phoenix driver, co-owner of a team that includes Mike Curb and Cary Agajanian. It's not a predicament unfamiliar to Boat. But last season the three owners wrote most of the checks. That isn't an alternative in 2003. So unless the Easter bunny comes early or Santa Claus makes a U-turn, Boat's season is in limbo. "We had two deals that we were very, very close to," Boat said. "One of the companies ended up cutting way back on their advertising and another one went to one of the teams coming over from CART. It was disappointing, but we'll keep working at it." Without a large corporate partner writing the checks, Boat's season could come down to only a few select starts, one of which would be the Indianapolis 500. But at the moment, even Indy is uncertain. One option could be a return to driving for another team. Remember, he has driven for A.J. Foyt in the past and also did some tire testing for Panther Racing late last year. But with Panther also seeking sponsors for a possible second car, and Foyt apparently set at his stable, such alternatives may not be readily available. Boat, however, would prefer fielding his own team, which is why he invested heavily in building a 15,000-square-foot facility last year in Deer Valley. It's also why he has kept most of his staff on the payroll. "Having people on board is probably the most important aspect of putting a team together at the last minute," Boat said. "We're better positioned should we find the major sponsor we're missing right now. Once we get the funding, it would be easy for us to put a team on the track." The trick is finding the funding. "Last year, we raced with about a $2.5 million budget," Boat said. "This year, with all the new teams coming in and the new equipment you need, the budgets have doubled. The bare minimum a team needs this year is $4 million. Adequate would be $5 million. You could run up front for that.

1/4/03
Industry News

Another Andretti takes up road racing   This SPEED Channel article says, Fast Track Motorsports has announced that Adam Andretti, son of Aldo, nephew of Mario, and brother to John Andretti, will campaign a Corvette Z06 for the team in the 2003 SPEED World Challenge GT Championship, teaming with current driver Rick Boysal. “I am very excited to run with Fast Track and think the series is one of the more professional venues out there,” said Andretti. “My true passion is road racing and with what Fast Track has come up with as far as the Corvette, I am even more excited.” Andretti’s racing resume includes stints in the U.S. F3 series, where he won the inaugural event, the NASCAR Featherlight Southwest Series and several seasons in Legends cars. He made his ASA debut this past season, qualifying seventh for the event.

1/4/03

CART test slated for January at Laguna Seca  On Jan. 27-29, the CART season will really begin to take shape when the Champ Car World Series will hold an open test session at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. While this will not be CART's annual Spring Training event (that will be Feb. 4-6 in Sebring, Fla.), it will give fans an opportunity to preview at least some, if not most, of the teams that will be competing in the Champ Car World Series this season.

1/4/03
Industry News

Record sales for South Korean car makers   South Korean carmakers, led by Hyundai Motor, more than doubled sales last month, rounding off a record year as demand rose at home and overseas.  Hyundai Motor, its affiliate Kia Motors and three other carmakers sold a combined 313,833 vehicles last month, compared with 153,800 units a year earlier. In the month, Hyundai Motor sold 161,350 vehicles, up 60 per cent on December 2001.  South Korean carmakers ended the year at record levels after the government temporarily cut the tax on cars and an increase in individual lending spurred demand.  This year, with the government trying to curb household borrowings, carmakers will probably have to export more to raise car sales.  CJ Investment Trust Management fund manager Chung Doo-sun said: "Increasing exports will be a way to avoid weakening demand at home, but it may also erode profitability for Hyundai Motor and other [carmakers] because they become more vulnerable to the currency movement."  On Wednesday, Hyundai announced plans to increase exports by an aggressive 10 per cent this year.   In April last year, General Motors and other partners agreed to buy Daewoo Motor's main assets. GM wants to use Daewoo Motor to expand its presence in Asia's fourth-largest economy as well as elsewhere in the region, including China.

1/4/03
Industry News

Shanghai gaining on Hong Kong   Hong Kong still has the edge over Shanghai in the eyes of corporate bosses - but in some areas the gap is narrowing.   Consider that Shanghai has always been in Communist run China and Hong Kong was always westernized and had a big head start.  HK has a better investment environment and is more a "world-class city" than Shanghai, but the northern rival is quickly making itself a better place to do business, a survey of 204 chief executive officers and senior managers found. On a scale of one to five, Hong Kong's overall competitiveness rating rose to 3.93, from 3.75 the year before, while Shanghai's rating rose to 3.12 from 2.96 in 2001. The survey for the Better Hong Kong Foundation gave the SAR a 4.42 rating for its laws and governance, compared to Shanghai's 2.81. The SAR also regained its edge in the development of technology. The researchers found no significant difference between the cities' human and production resources, business and lifestyle environments and policies on investment. But Shanghai is gaining ground on Hong Kong in terms of its economic structure - the factor which makes it a good place to do business. Hong Kong had a rating of 3.94 in this category, up from 3.89, while its rival jumped to 3.18 from 3.09. The survey was carried out by researchers at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences and Chinese University. Professor Chyau Tuan of Chinese University said: "Although the Yangtze River Delta region [around Shanghai] is more competitive than the Pearl River Delta in terms of population and production factors, we can't say that Shanghai is making greater economic progress than Hong Kong." Yang Xiaofo, a professor at the Shanghai academy, said it had outdone Hong Kong in aspects of education, citing the number of "talented people" and technical research institutions in the city.  Source: Better Hong Kong Foundation

1/4/03

Jordan man says Honda has lost racing edge   A leading Jordan man has hit out at departing factory engine partner, Honda.  'When we did the deal for 2001, everyone at the company sat back and thought 'this is it - the trophy would be on the mantelpiece within about three years and retirement was looming, job done'.  'Sadly it wasn't the company that I knew,' Jordan's Director of Business Affairs Ian Phillips continues.  For 2003, Jordan lose the Japanese marque's works-backed support and replace it with an expensive customer contract courtesy of Cosworth Racing and the Ford Motor Company.  But every word uttered by the Silverstone-based outfit hints that, in Honda's wake, a Ford-badged 2003 promises more than the past two years could.  This year, Jordan were disappointed when yet another overweight, under-powered Honda V10 found its way into the EJ12 rear.   Poor performance aside, the 2002-spec powerplant seldom made the finish and often erupted in spectacular, fire-breathing style.   Phillips adds: 'The whole shape of the Honda company was changing. It was previously engineering-oriented and all the people like Williams and McLaren had benefited from that in the eighties and early nineties.'   Williams earned back-to-back championships with Honda in '86 and '87, and McLaren followed it up with successful consecutive Constructors' title bids for the next four years.   But today, as Honda retracts to an exclusive partnership with British American Racing, Phillips notes: 'That's not the way the company is anymore. It's just too big.'  The Director of Business Affairs insists that BAR will continue to struggle with Honda power this year as the Japanese manufacturer focus more on marketing than ultimate track performance.  'When I first knew Honda it was the seventh biggest car seller in Japan - it is now number two and fast catching Toyota in Japan, and we all know it's big in Europe.'   He adds: 'It's run by sales and marketing people now, it's not an engineering company anymore.'   Phillips believes that neither Honda, nor British American Racing, have the mentality to snare world championships at the pinnacle of motorsports.   'I don't think Honda's mentality, or BAR's mentality, is going to get it right.'   Jordan will launch the new, Ford-badged, Cosworth-powered EJ13 challenger late this month, following its first track tests in the coming weeks.

1/4/03

Latest F1 Hot News 

Berger Reveals Mystery Savior
Minardi Entice Manufacturer Support
F1 Braces For Regulation Overhaul
Button Impresses New Honda Boss
F1 Can Live Without Arrows, Says Scot
Schumacher Targets Title Number Six
Jordan Insist: No Driver Decision Yet

1/3/03

CART stock watch  

Today's NYSE Trading In MPH
MPH closed at $3.73 Down $0.11 on Volume of 75,500 shares.
At 3:12PM EST 20,800 shares traded at $3.70 p/share ($76,960).
$3.08 Bid - $4.05 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $3.70 / $3.88
MPH Value Change Down 2.86%
DOW Jones Down 5.83 or 0.07% on Volume of 1.5 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 2.15 or 0.16%
S&P 500 Down 0.44 or 0.05%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

1/3/03

Spencer to drive for Ultra Motorsports  NASCAR veteran Jimmy Spencer will drive the No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepids for the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup season, team owner Jim Smith confirmed today. Smith’s hiring of Spencer completes a total revamping of the Ultra Motorsports team, which included the addition of esteemed crew chief Tommy Baldwin in November. "We’re excited about Jimmy coming on board, because he’s one of the finest competitors in our sport,” Smith said. “The excitement he brings on and off the track is something our sport thrives on, and having Spencer as the driver and Tommy Baldwin as the crew chief will make for a good combination for Ultra Motorsports and Sirius Satellite Radio. We’re certainly looking forward to the 2003 season.” Baldwin was named crew chief of the No. 7 team on Nov. 19. The Bellport, N.Y., native is a three-time winning crew chief in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, most recently in the 2002 Daytona 500 with driver Ward Burton.

1/3/03

CART night races to be announced next week  According to this Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article, moving the Mile's CART date from Sunday afternoon to Saturday night has received the green light, making the track the first to hold a Champ Car race under the lights. CART president Chris Pook floated the idea last fall with the hope that novelty might catch the interest of potential ticket-buyers. An official announcement from the sanctioning body regarding night races at both the Mile and Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport is expected next week.

1/3/03

Button impresses Honda  Honda's racing manager, Shuhei Nakamoto, has revealed that Jenson Button has already outdriven Jacques Villeneuve and Olivier Panis in just two days with the team. "He's a nice kid and his criteria for the engine is not so severe. We were testing several things and on one occasion we purposely made the unit less drivable," he told Autosport. "In the past neither Jacques nor Olivier could drive at that level, but Jenson could! His feedback was good and somehow he drove around the problem to set a reasonable time." "When he says the car or engine is not good, it immediately reflects in his time, which makes it easier for us. When drivers' comments and data do not match, then we get confused. He's easy to work with and it does speed up the development process - I think this is going to be positive for our engines."

1/3/03
Karting

Gidley Hawaii karting clinic preview  it's been another busy holiday stretch for CART Supersub Memo Gidley heading into the first weekend of the new year and his 4th annual Karting Clinic in Hawaii. He went from the extreme of spending a frigid Christmas break in Madison, WI to an 80-degree New Years stretch in Honolulu. Since arriving on December 30, he has signed the requisite autographs, made promotional appearances on local radio talk shows, done a live online chat and Q&A session for fans on his bulletin board, renewed his love of surfing, and welcomed in 2003 at a popular Waikiki nightclub, rubbing shoulders with local radio DJ Justin Cruz and other revelers. And, while anxiously waiting for his Trackmagic kart to arrive by cargo ship, he logged in many, many hours on racing simulations - both EA Sports F1 2002 and NASCAR Thunder on the Playstation 2 and Sega's Ferrari F355 Challenge arcade game at Dave & Busters, where he put his Champ Car familiarity of Long Beach and Motegi to good use. On Friday the media tour kicks into full gear bright and early with a morning TV news appearance at the crack of dawn. (Photos by Earl Ma & John Wade)

1/3/03

Busy month of testing ahead for McLaren  The McLaren team will be conducting an intensive testing program during January as they turn the heat up on their rivals for the 2003 championship season. The aim is to overtake Williams and close the gap dramatically to the championship winning Ferrari team. “Our first goal is to take over from Williams as the most likely threat to Ferrari,” David Coulthard explained in the Mirror recently. “We managed to get in front of Williams at the last couple of races and now we've had the chance to try some of the developments that have been in the pipeline and they've proved very positive." All three drivers will be in action and the following is the team's testing schedule for January:
Barcelona:
January 8: Kimi Raikkonen
January 9: Kimi Raikkonen
January 14: David Coulthard and Alex Wurz
January 15: David Coulthard, Kimi Raikkonen and Alex Wurz
January 16: David Coulthard, Kimi Raikkonen and Alex Wurz
Valencia:
January 19: Kimi Raikkonen
January 20: Kimi Raikkonen
January 21: Alex Wurz
January 22: David Coulthard, Kimi Raikkonen and Alex Wurz
January 23: David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen
January 24: David Coulthard and Alex Wurz
January 29: Kimi Raikkonen and Alex Wurz
January 30: Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard
January 31: Alex Wurz and David Coulthard

1/3/03

Sepang F1 track inspection also delayed  The pre-event inspection on Sepang F1 Circuit for the upcoming Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix, which is set for tomorrow , has been rescheduled to Jan 22 upon request by the International Automobile Federation (FIA).  Sepang International Circuit (SIC) General Manager Ahmad Mustafa said the FIA had requested them to reschedule the date and they had agreed to conduct the inspection in three week's time on Jan 22. "Basically, the track is all ready for the event except for painting works, which we usually do closer to the event," he said in a statement released here Thursday. Ahmad said the circuit had even completed modification works on the curbs as requested by the world motorsports governing body. The modification works were similar to the curbs at Turns 4 and 6, that were done for this year's Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix.

1/3/03

Sepang F1 track sale delayed  The sale of Malaysia's purpose-built Formula One track just out of Kuala-Lumpur has been delayed.  'The company expects finalization of the transaction to occur before mid-year,' Iskandar Mizal Mahmood, of Malaysia Airports, said.  'But we're giving ourselves a big window.'  The Malaysian Government was expected to snap up the impressive facility from Malaysia Airports by the end of 2002.  But Iskandar, head of Research, Planning and Investor Relations at Malaysia Airports, said that hold-ups in the drafting of relevant documents had stalled the expected transaction.  He insisted that the delayed sale had nothing to do with a reported dispute with the government over price.  Malaysia Airports Holdings, which is 70-percent government owned, owes the nation's government nearly $60 million in concession fees; the proceeds of the Sepang F1 Circuit to help make due payments by the end of January.  Independent analysts calculate that the Formula One circuit is worth more than $90 million.

1/3/03

Latest F1 Hot News 

Five Drivers Clash For Final Seats
Wilson Turns To Video-Game Training
Jenson's Pressure To Ease In 2003?
Renault To Join Friday Privateers?
Brawn: Continuity The Key To Success
Michael Schumacher: 34 Today
Prost: F1 Drivers Are Trained Monkeys
Williams FW25: No Design Help From BMW
Receivers Appointed For Ailing Arrows
Pantano Takes F1 Dream To America
Verstappen Offered '03 Jordan Seat?
Button: BAR Will Go Forward In '03

1/2/03

Possible movie about Gilles Villeneuve  Jacques Villeneuve is considering several offers from filmmakers to make a movie based on his father, the late great Gilles Villeneuve.  Obituary by Nigel Roebuck for Autosport Magazine - May 13, 1982. Last Saturday afternoon Gilles Villeneuve died violently at the wheel of a Ferrari. It was the end of the final practice session, and he was going for it. He was on his last set of qualifying tires, and came upon a slower car. In those circumstances, Gilles so often said, you had to squeeze your fear, keep your foot down. It was absurd, but the system left you no alternative. Many people in motor racing were totally unable to understand Villeneuve. He was more fiercely competitive than anyone I have ever seen, yet the attraction of the man was that he saved it all for his racing. On the track or off, his integrity was absolute. He had not a trace of affectation. There was no need to surround himself with vacuous hangers-on, as did so many of his colleagues. Ego is very important in motor racing, essential even. But Gilles enormous confidence came from within himself. He had no need of yes-men to tell him how good he was. He knew. As a consequence, he was secure enough to admit his mistakes, rather than blame the car, and he would look you straight in the eye as he did so. It was a short career, just over four years at the top of the sport he loved so much. When Gilles first appeared in Formula 1, at Silverstone in 1977, he already had an awesome reputation. Those who had seen him in Canada spoke of an astonishing balance and confidence and pace, and it was apparent in Europe from the start. History will relate only that he drove in 67 Grands Prix, and won six. It will not remember him as a World Champion, but that is of no consequence. Any such list which omits a Moss is already an absurdity, and Gilles himself often said that the World Championship was a secondary consideration, a bonus. Driving 'for points' was complete anathema to him, a concept he found impossible to comprehend. What mattered was winning races, an instant, intuitive thing, a passion to beat everyone now, today. Planning a Grand Prix season like a military campaign, calculating gains here, losses there, was not Villeneuve's style. The loss of any great racing driver is a blow to the sport, but Gilles Villeneuve was so much more than that. Those who knew him well liked him enormously, but beyond that there was something of the man which touched fans across the world. There has never, in my experience, been adulation and love for a racing driver such as that for Gilles. Wherever the circuit, the response of the public, as he drove round on the warm-up lap, was instinctive. The mystique of Ferrari helped, of course, but it went further than that. People sensed that, with Gilles, the impossible could happen. There was a crackle of excitement in the air. He would take an inferior chassis, demand of it more than it had to give, and thus we had the Villeneuve style. Genius can never be hidden. He was the best of his generation, and stands comparison with anyone in the history of the sport. Gilles was a good friend of mine, and I find this task extremely distressing. Quite apart from his superlative ability in a race car, he was a charming man, who never changed with fame and fortune. Polite, honest, and straightforward, he had a tremendous sense of humor and a simple love of life. His attitude to motor racing was unfashionably romantic. In a bland, commercial, world, he loved it for its sake. The jet set made him cringe, and he had an instinctive abhorrence of anything bogus. For me, and, I suspect, many thousands of others, the light has gone out in motor racing. To his wife, Joanne, their children, Jacques and Melanie, to his family and countless friends, to Mauro Forghieri and everyone in the Ferrari team, we offer our deepest sympathies. Their grief is shared across the world.  Here's an MPEG video of edited highlights from the last 3 laps of Dijon 1979, complete with Murray Walker commentary!!! (Dijon79.mpeg).  You won't want to miss it.  It's perhaps the best three laps in the history of F1.

1/2/03
Industry News

Gidley in Windy City  Memo Gidley, accomplished open wheel racecar driver and shifter kart champion will be at the 11th Annual Kart Expo International Show being held at the Pheasant Run Resort & Convention Center in St. Charles, Illinois (West Suburban Chicago) on February 22-23. On hand with Memo to talk about the book will be the Author, Jeff Grist. “Both Jeff and I are very excited to be at the Kart Expo Show and meet the race fans that are buying the book,” continues Gidley. “Secrets of Speed is really going to make a big difference for a lot guys driving shifter karts,” smiles Gidley. The idea behind Memo Gidley’s Secrets of Speed for Shifter Kart Racing is to help level the playing field for rookie racers and recreational drivers by getting them the same secrets as the top ranking veterans. And there has been strong support for this project from the industry. “We are especially fortunate to have Trackmagic on board as the Official Chassis of Memo Gidley’s Speed Secrets for Shifter Kart Racing,” states the books Author, Jeff Grist. The book will feature the new MG version of the popular Trackmagic 125cc shifter kart chassis program. The book signings are scheduled for Saturday from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM and Sunday from10:30 AM to11:30 AM in the Shifter Kart Illustrated Booth #516 and 518. The staff of Memo Gidley’s Secrets of Speed for Shifter Kart Racing will be on hand for the entire show in Booth # 525. Copies of Memo Gidley’s Secrets of Speed for Shifter Kart Racing will be available for sale during the entire show.

1/2/03

Testing begins  Winston Cup testing begins Tuesday at Daytona, followed by test sessions in the Busch, Craftsman Trucks and Dash Series. Winston Cup teams this year will be permitted a maximum of five two-day test sessions, a reduction from last year's seven tests at a Winston Cup track. However, teams are still permitted an unlimited number of test sessions on a non-Winston Cup track.

1/2/03

More on NASCAR garage access limitations  According to this Tennessean article, For the first time in its history, NASCAR will severely restrict admission to the garage and pit-road areas. Only ''working'' personnel will be allowed in those areas during practice, qualifying and the race itself. Thousands of fans will be denied access under the new policy. ''We are the only sport that allows virtually unlimited access to the working area, which is our 'locker room,' '' said Estes, the track's vice president/communications and events. ''The situation had gotten totally out of control and run amok. Everybody recognized the need to do something about it.'' Estes said he has been told by NASCAR officials that each race team will be issued 30 pit passes per race, and each track limited to 50 additional passes to be issued at its discretion. NASCAR will reserve an undetermined number of passes for distribution, and will continue to issue the annual ''hard-card'' credential to national media that cover a large number of events. Tracks can use their discretion in issuing additional media passes, but according to Estes, ''we are expected to be more accountable,'' in determining who is eligible for a credential. In the past, individual tracks were allowed almost total leeway in dictating their pit-access policies. ''We're happy with the policy as it has been explained to us, although we've still got some questions about some of the details,'' Estes said. ''I think the new policy will be a work in progress during the season, and adjustments will be made as we go along.''

1/2/03

Hamilton turns down offer  According to this Tennessean article, Andy Petree will soon announce a sponsor for a one-race deal for the Daytona 500, but has yet to find a driver. It probably won't be his former driver, Bobby Hamilton, even though Hamilton has yet to find a ride for 2003. Hamilton told The Sporting News he would not risk a one-race ride at Daytona, ''because you're at everyone else's mercy. If one guy makes a mistake, it can take out the entire field. That doesn't happen at places like Charlotte or Atlanta.'' Hamilton appears destined to compete in the Craftsman Truck Series this season. He said earlier he would not accept a ''non-competitive'' ride in Winston Cup.

1/2/03

Wilson using PlayStation to learn tracks  Justin Wilson is preparing for his first season in Formula One by playing PlayStation motor racing games to learn all the circuits and how the car behaves on particular corners. According to the young Briton who will be driving for Minardi from next season onwards, the games are pretty realistic and they give a good indication of what to expect. The former F3000 Champion told British tabloid newspaper The Sun: “Any track information I can take on board will be very valuable. The games are very realistic and they are giving me a real feel for the corners and a rough idea of what to expect. It will be a real help when I get to the circuit and drive round in an F1 car. Obviously it's not the same as driving the car around a circuit but I believe it will help." "A lot of the work in the gym centers around strengthening my neck muscles. The last thing I want is for my neck to suddenly go half way through a race."

1/2/03

CART stock watch  

Today's NYSE Trading In MPH
MPH closed at $3.84 Up $0.14 on Volume of 54,900 shares.
$3.19 Bid - $4.16 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $3.62 / $3.84
MPH Value Change Up 3.78%
DOW Jones Up 265.89 or 3.19% on Volume of 1.67 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 49.34 or 3.69%
S&P 500 Up 29.21 or 3.32%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

1/2/03

Luyendyk to drive  Second-generation open-wheel ace Arie Luyendyk Jr. will drive for Sinden Racing Service during the 2003 Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series season, team officials announced Jan. 2. Luyendyk, son of two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Arie Luyendyk, finished second in the 2002 Infiniti Pro Series championship. Luyendyk, 21, captured the pole for the Michigan 100 and earned four second-place finishes in seven races. “We’re delighted to have Arie stay in the Infiniti Pro Series for a second year, and we’re particularly pleased that he will team with Sinden Racing,” said Roger Bailey, executive director of the Infiniti Pro Series. “Arie was one of the first to sign up for the Pro Series when we launched it last year, and the Sinden team provided us with a great deal of valuable feedback as we developed the program. 

1/2/03
Industry News

Unser to speak  Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Unser will speak March 24 at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington as part of its Resident Associate Program. The presentation starts at 7 p.m. (EST). Ticket information is available online at http://residentassociates.org/rap/otomar/unser.asp

1/2/03

PDM plans first test    Longtime Indy Racing League team PDM Racing is making plans for the 2003 season as it anticipates the arrival of a new Dallara chassis Jan. 7, team co-owner Paul Diatlovich said. The team, based in Indianapolis, plans to participate with driver Scott Mayer in the Test in the West from Feb. 3-8 at California Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway.

1/2/03

Firestone working to make better tires    Firestone may be the exclusive tire supplier to the Indy Racing League and Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series, but its engineers are working as hard as ever to develop even better tires for the 2003 season. Al Speyer, Firestone Racing executive director, said the Firestone Racing program is well underway with its tire design, development and testing efforts for the upcoming season. Several IRL teams and drivers have already experimented with the Firehawk compounds and constructions to be used next year. “After starting our racing program 93 years ago, we’re not slowing down,” Speyer said. “We’re very pleased with the feedback we’ve received thus far. With nearly continuous changes to cars and tracks, there’s a constant challenge to design and produce tires for new operating conditions. “It’s not an easy task, because the target keeps moving. But it’s a task we relish because it allows us to demonstrate the technological strength of our company.”

1/2/03

New Australia race boss  The Australian Grand Prix Corporation has confirmed that it has a new chief executive, Steven Wright, to replace John Harnden, who has been appointed head of the organization running the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

1/2/03

Latest F1 Hot News 

Franchitti Slams Jacques Villeneuve
Albers Stumbles At Final Hurdle?
Fisichella Welcomes Sato Departure
Katayama: Dakar Rally Tougher Than F1
F1 And CART Ponder 'Strategic Alliance'
Giancarlo Eyes Big-Three Future
Zanardi: Williams Will Catch Up In '03
Sato Looks Ahead To 2004 Race-Return
Williams To Unveil FW25 This Month
No Sixth Title Dreams For Schumacher
Fisichella: I Hope We Can Improve

1/2/03

New Mario Andretti book  We just picked up a copy of the New Mario Andretti book titled Mario Andretti, The Complete Record by Michael O'Leary.  It contains never seen before photos of Mario in action over four decades, and a detailed history of all his races.  Released in November of 2002 under a veil of secrecy (we never heard about it), the 192 page paperback includes a race-by-race look at his amazing career. Filled with year-by-year statistics on everything from Mario's oval track beginnings up through his exploits in F1, Indy car, sports car and NASCAR racing.  If you are a fan of the greatest American race car driver of all-time, this book is a must read for you.  You can buy this book through AR1 at Amazon.com at a 30% discount if you click here.

1/2/03

St. Petersburg alters track...finally  UPDATE Since the St. Petersburg track website still shows the incorrect circuit layout, AR1 staff have created the image to the right showing how the first turn will be "squared off" to a proper right-hander. It was our comments on AR1 months ago that led to this change we are told by St. Pete staff, so it's good to see a voice of reason is sometimes heard.  The useless right-hand kink just before turn 1 would have prevented any passing under braking. Our Paul Josephson did this review of St. Pete back in December 2001, well before recent changes were decided.  Mark C.  11/28/02 - When we first saw the new St. Petersburg track layout (see layout to right) we could not believe what we were seeing.  The main straight had a major right-hand bend in it just before turn one so that passing under braking would have been impossible.  We thought, how can they be so shortsighted?  We spoke to St. Pete general manager Tom Begley last weekend in Miami and we are happy to report they have decided to square-off the corner into a proper 90-degree right-hander (actually it's more like 120-degrees).  However, the track layout they show on their website still has the ludicrous bend in the track before the turn.  For the first year they have decided to construct 15 grandstands plus suites.  In future years, if the demand is there, they have planned for over 25 grandstands.

1/1/03

Faster than a F1 car, Shanghai Maglev test run a success    Leave it up to the Chinese to make a statement.  The world's first commercially operating Maglev train system is being built in Shanghai, China, site of the first ever F1 race in China  in 2004.  The Maglev train had its first successful test runs yesterday, and will greet the F1 circus when they land at the airport in 2004. It will start commercial operation in March 2003.  Traveling at speeds of up to 267 MPH magnetically levitated on nothing but a bed of air, the Maglev line might be extended from Shanghai all the way to Beijing, hundreds of miles apart, but remember what we told you, Beijing will not be outdone by Shanghai.  Shanghai won the World Expo for 2010 and don't be surprised if Beijing gets in on a Maglev train before the Olympics come to town in 2008.  Certainly would be a fast way to move spectators and athletes around the city.  Meanwhile, back in the USA Maglev trains are only a dream - like NASCAR, USA's trains run on 1920's technology, steel wheels on steel rail.  In other news underscoring Shanghai's growth, the city ended 2002 with double-digit 10.9 percent growth, as it has for a number of years....with no end in sight. Mark C.

1/1/03

Reaction to 'Does CART need Michael Andretti' article    A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com,  A couple of comments about items mentioned in the article. First, the defection of teams/drivers to the IRL after the 2002 season. Yes, TKG and TCGR were big CART teams, but people rarely come to see the teams (McLaren in the old Can-Am may be an exception), they come to see the drivers. So, lets look at the seven drivers leaving for the IRL. The Japanese drivers, Takagi and Nakano, will not be missed. They were mid-packers at best. Scott Dixon may one day become a star, but the man in the street doesn't know him. Kenny Brack's claim to fame is that he won an IRL 500. But when he got to supposedly CART's top team, he could only win one race. Yet, he is a name driver. Tony Kanaan has always been a fan favorite because of his great personality, but his name recognition outside of the CART faithful is probably zilch. He'll be missed by the fans, but he won't make a difference in "the war". And how much has the IRL capitalized on the personality of Helio Castroneves? None, I should say. There's no one at the races to see it firsthand. Dario Franchitti is another name (and good) driver that CART would have liked to kept. But the fans over the years have begun to desert him as his "no autograph/F1" mentality wore thin on them. From a sponsor standpoint, he's a loss, but Kanaan is the bigger fan loss. And finally we come to the subject of the article, Michael Andretti. Yes a name. A big name. But he will retire from driving after Indy, so in reality, he was lost anyway. 2002 was the "Arrividerci Michael" tour and he missed it. So the only "losses" are Brack and Franchitti, and they will be minor. Bring on the new blood. Now for my second comment, regarding the IRL having problems "developing their drivers into someone that the general public would recognize". I thought the Indy 500 made the drivers, not the drivers made the Indy 500? So why are the IRL fans so hot for these defecting CART drivers? Why are certain members of the press making such a big deal out of it? Aren't Lazier, Giaffone, Redon, Salazar, Fisher, et al the greatest drivers in the world?  Mike Stucker Sugar Land, TX

1/1/03

Karting

Marco Andretti races at Daytona, eyes CART ladder    The key to having a famous racing name sometimes is to forget you belong to a famous racing family. At least that is what Marco Andretti thinks. "You have to block that out," said the 15-year old (will be 16 on March 13th) grandson of Mario and son of Michael. "You can't think about it on the track. Out there, you're just another driver." Marco became the third generation of the Andretti family to run at Daytona International Speedway at the World Karting Association half-mile sprint track located in the infield. His Daytona debut was nothing like grandpa winning the Daytona 500 in 1967, but was fun nonetheless. "It was the first time I've been down here. When I was on the plane, I could see the track from the air and it was cool landing next to it," Marco said. "On the track, it was a tough weekend. I moved up into a new class, had a new kart, new everything. I don't even remember how I did Sunday."  And in this related Andretti.com article, Marco says -  What do you do to keep physically fit? MARCO: "I weight train almost every day, and run whenever I get the chance. My dad’s weight trainer prepared a specific program for me and I work really hard at it. As time has gone on, I’ve also looked at ways to improve on the program and have tried to better adapt it to my needs as a driver." You mentioned mental attitude. How does that factor in for you? MARCO: "I think in racing karts or any other sport, you have to be totally committed to have a chance to be successful. The competition is really strong and you have to have every advantage. The mental aspect means maintaining a winning attitude every day and never giving up. I think the moment you give up, is the moment you start making mistakes and that can have a bad effect on your chances to be successful." What’s next for your career? MARCO: "I’ve been talking with my dad about that and we’re looking at the possibility of doing Skip Barber or Derek Daily schools over the winter. I’d really like to participate in some regional races in the Barber Dodge National races this season [Barber Dodge National Series is essentially the 2nd rung on the CART ladder, followed by the CART Barber Dodge Pro Series, the CART Toyota Atlantic Series and then the top rung, the CAR Camp Car Series]. Beyond that, it depends on being able to see what opportunities exist and getting everything in motion."  [Editor's Note:  As we understand it, Jeff Andretti, Marco's Uncle, a former driver himself before suffering career ending injuries to his feet against the concrete walls at Indy, will travel with Marco and act as his coach.  Father Michael has a full schedule driving and running Andretti-Green Racing and can't make all of Marco's races].

1/1/03

Announcement

Happy New Year    Happy to New Year to one and all.  May your 2003 racing season be safe and prosperous.  The AutoRacing1.com Staff

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