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So why wasn't Michael penalized?
At the start of the formation lap of today's French Grand Prix, Michael
Schumacher immediately shot far ahead of pole-sitter Fernando Alonso and
stayed about 50 meters in front of Alonso for several seconds, then slowed
down to let Alonso pass. According to Article 149 of the FIA rules,
"Overtaking during the formation lap is only permitted if a car is delayed
when leaving its grid position and cars behind cannot avoid passing it
without unduly delaying the remainder of the field. . . Either of the
penalties under Article 54a) or b) will be imposed on any driver who, in the
opinion of the Stewards, unnecessarily overtook another car during the
formation lap." It didn't appear to us that Alonso was slow off of the grid
at the start of the formation lap. Article 54 says that "The stewards may
impose any one of three penalties on any driver involved in an Incident: a)
A drive-through penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane and re-join the
race without stopping. b) A ten second time penalty. The driver must enter
the pit lane, stop at his pit for at least 10 seconds and then re-join the
race. c) a drop of ten grid positions at the driver's next Event." American
TV commentators, Bob Varsha, David Hobbs, and Steve Matchett pointed out
that the stewards should have a look at it. However, the rules were
apparently greatly relaxed today because no penalty was imposed.
Are oval cartel races fixed? A
reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I have watched with amusement over the
years as many times a NASCAR car carrying the same sponsor as the event
sponsor wins the race or the pole. I have always suspected the NASCAR
races are fixed. With the IRL modeled after NASCAR I was not surprised
to see the Argent Mortgage car win today's Argent Mortgage 300 and last
night the Pepsi car win NASCAR's Pepsi 400. How convenient. I
don't know how they are fixing the races, whether it's a special rev limiter
in the IRL or a special restrictor plate in NASCAR, and I can't prove it,
but it happens just too often to be a coincidence. Gotta keep those
sponsors happy ya know. David Moses, Cincinnati, OH Dear
Dave, While we have noticed the same thing over the years, we can't endorse
any conspiracy theories without any hard evidence. It makes for good
speculation, but as they say, innocent until proven guilty. Mark C.
Closest finishes in IRL history The
Argent Mortgage Indy 300 run today was the second closest finish in
IndyCar Series history (Photo to right by Honda) and demonstrated the accuracy and precision
of timing in the series. Today's close finish put Buddy Rice and Vitor Meira on top in the TAG Heuer Closest Finish Award that will
go to the two drivers who are part of the closest 1-2 finish during
the 2004 IndyCar Series season. There have now been 40 races in
IndyCar Series history with a finishing margin of less than one
second, including four races in 2004. 10 Closest Finishes in
IndyCar Series History: Margin Date Venue Winner Runner-up
1. 0.0024 9/8/02 Chicagoland Sam Hornish Jr. Al Unser Jr.
2. 0.0051 7/4/04 Kansas Buddy Rice Vitor Meira
3. 0.0096 9/15/02 Texas Sam Hornish Jr. Helio Castroneves
4. 0.0099 9/7/03 Chicagoland Sam Hornish Jr. Scott Dixon
5. 0.0111 6/8/02 Texas Jeff Ward Al Unser Jr.
6. 0.0121 7/27/03 Michigan Alex Barron Sam Hornish Jr.
7. 0.0188 10/6/01 Texas Sam Hornish Jr. Scott Sharp
8. 0.0281 3/24/02 California Sam Hornish Jr. Jaques Lazier
9. 0.0590 6/11/00 Texas Scott Sharp Robby McGehee
10. 0.0640 8/17/97 New Hampshire Robbie Buhl Vincenzo Sospiri Previous closest finish of 2004
11. 0.0698 2/29/04 Homestead Sam Hornish Jr. Helio Castroneves
Unser has found a home
A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Kudos to Al Unser III (Just
Al) for his third place finish in his very first IPS race at Kansas
on Saturday. While he was a backmarker in the Champ Car ladder
system, it was good to see him move up into a top position right
away in the IRL's IPS series. Why is it that drivers from
Champ Car or its ladder system can go over to the IRL and do so good
right off the bat. Tracy McFarlane, Portland, OR.
Dear Tracy, Champ Car and its ladder series are focused on road
racing. Road racing drivers simply are better drivers.
Always have been, always will be. The skill level required to
excel on a road course is far greater than an oval. Hence why
it is so important that OWRS bought out the Champ Car Series and did
not let it fall into the hands of the oval-centric IRL. If
that had happened, the quality of drivers produced would have gone
way down because they have no desire to focus on road racing, hence
the USA would have never again produced a World Driving Champion.
Sure the IRL is going road racing, but it will be a half-hearted
effort (few races a year) with cars so slow (lazy racing) that there
will be little driver development. To underscore what a waste
of time the IPS is, AJ Foyt IV and Mark Taylor both won handily in
the IPS, yet when they graduated and moved up to the bigger IndyCars,
they failed miserably. The IRL is dominated by ex-Champ Car
drivers and those from the junior ranks. Even Buddy Rice came
out of the Toyota Atlantic series and won the pole and this year's
Indy 500. IRL star Sam Hornish is a product of the Champ Car
ladder system. It is imperative that this talent generating
American series not only continue, but prosper.
Fortunately OWRS is going to raise the level of Champ Car to become
the 2nd most popular series in the world behind F1. That will
help to draw the best drivers in the world and the most talented
Americans. With that perhaps one day we will see the USA
finally produce its third World Driving Champion. Mark C.
Scott Sharp crashes out before start
Today was a disappointment for the Kelley Racing team and driver of
the No. 8 Delphi entry Scott Sharp. As the field came around to take
the green flag on the opening lap of the 200-lap event, traffic
checked up on their brakes and Sharp did as well but had to turn to
avoid making contact with other cars. Sharp made contact with the
wall exiting turn 4. The Delphi team made a valiant effort to repair
the car, hoping to rejoin the field prior to lap 100 and attempt to
collect points. Unfortunately, they weren't able to make the repairs
to the No. 8 Delphi machine in time and the team officially retired
for the day.
Champ Car owners rule the skies
Champ Car owner Kevin Kalkhoven and his partner Dan Pettit rule the
racing skies. Kalkhoven and Pettit each own brand new Gulfstream G500's. Pettit's landed at Burke Lakefront Airport
this weekend and is depicted below. His was the first one off
the assembly line. This isn't your run of the mill corporate
jet. These jets are state-of-the-art. For example they
can fly anywhere in the world without refueling and while a
commercial jet fly's around 38,000 feet or lower, these jets fly at
over 50,000 feet. At that altitude Kalkhoven tells us you
begin to see the curvature of the earth. They fly straight up
to 40,000 feet and then the computers take over and increase the
altitude in 1,000 foot increments. When the air gets that
thin, the air/fuel mixture must be carefully adjusted and monitored.
With these two jets, plus that owned by Gerald Forsythe (we're not
sure if Gentilozzi has his own) the OWRS owners are able to be
anywhere, anytime to complete business deals, the fruits of which
will become evident in the near future.
Photos courtesy Champ Car
Montoya's 'pain in the neck'
France was a 'pain in the neck' for Juan Pablo Montoya - literally.
The Colombian said he hurt his neck in a big Magny-Cours crash on
Friday. ''I could barely keep my head up at the end,'' the BMW-
Williams driver moaned. ''I didn't expect it to hurt so
BMW's Mario Theissen blamed a lack of testing on the apparent
failure of a new aero package. ''We didn't really test [the parts]
for this race,'' he claimed. Ralf Schumacher's stand-in Marc
Gene (10th) started badly and hit Mark Webber. ''Both my car and
I,'' said the Spaniard, ''needed a bit more speed today.''
Michael Schumacher's Bridgestone tires looked a bit blistered after
each stint. ''But they were consistent throughout,'' insisted Hisao
Four-stopper quells Schu 'bad mood'
Michael Schumacher was still in a bad-mood as he got-in the Ferrari.
The German has been glum all weekend at Magny-Cours as he wasn't sure the
scarlet package was good enough to beat Renault's Spaniard Fernando Alonso.
But after the second of three planned pit stops, technical director and
tactics wizard Ross Brawn decided to switch Schumacher on to a FOUR STOP pit
strategy. ''I had nothing to lose,'' Michael beamed. ''It was a
case of 'no risk no fun!'' Plaudits aside, though, Michael reckons the
opposition - like Renault and BAR and BMW-Williams and McLaren - is
''getting closer. It doesn't surprise me.'' Brawn insisted Luca
Baldisserri 'came up with the idea' of a very aggressive
four-stopper. ''I just supported him on that,'' the burly Englishman
New McLaren 'as quick as a Ferrari' -
McLaren's 'B spec' car is as quick as a Ferrari, a Renault and a
BAR. That's the claim of David Coulthard after trailing the
podium -dueling trio at a warm Magny-Cours circuit (France) on
Sunday but eventually finishing fifth. ''I had the same speed
[as them],'' he smiled. Teammate Kimi Raikkonen (6th) set the
third-fastest lap of the race. ''I lost some grip in the
middle,'' said Scottish DC, ''but it's an encouraging and reliable
debut for the 19B. I'm looking forward to the rest of the year.''
Ron Dennis promises 'continuous development' for the balance of '04.
Giancarlo Fisichella's was the fastest Sauber in France - but it
wasn't very fast. ''Hopefully some new aero bits will help [at
Silverstone],'' he frowned.
Taku's Honda goes BANG!
Takuma Sato's Honda engine went 'BANG!' That is not a rare
observation in '04 but the little Japanese reckons Formula One team
BAR has suffered a 'different problem' than in previous grands prix.
''The other ones [blew up] very quick,'' he said at Magny-Cours.
This one was more gradual.'' But Brackley boss Dave Richards
canned a theory Sato's failures are just ''bad luck. A rigorous
investigation now has to take place,'' said the Briton.
Amazingly, Sato's was the only mechanical car-failure all grand
prix. Geoff Willis, technical director, said the situation is
Jenson Button fumed fifth place is 'not good enough.' At the last
pit stop, an anti-stall device kicked in. ''We really have to solve
Jarno Trulli is 'gutted.' The Renault ace, who's now put
pen-to-paper on a new '05 race deal, was on-course to fend-off
Rubens Barrichello for the final podium spot at Magny-Cours.
But he let the Brazilian's Ferrari pass him into the race's
SECOND-LAST corner! ''I was defending hard against Rubens,''
he told a pack of media afterwards. ''I tried to close the
door but I couldn't. All I feel is disappointment. ''I guess
I'll just have to get over it.'' A furious-looking team boss
Flavio Briatore fumed it is 'very, very disappointing' to see the
Italian miss the podium by 'tenths of a second.' Barrichello
said Trulli 'made a mistake' by slowing down too much. ''[My move]
was risky,'' he beamed in an interview, ''but I thought it was worth
the risk.'' * Second-placed Fernando Alonso said Michael
Schumacher and Ferrari were just 'too strong' in France. ''I feel
disappointed for Jarno,'' the Spaniard added.
Spike to air T/A race
Highlights from the Trans-Am 100 from Infineon Raceway, Round 3 of
the 2004 Motorock Trans-Am Series championship, will be broadcast on
tape-delayed basis in the popular “Dangerous Curves” timeslot
Sunday, July 4 on Spike TV. The June 27 race was part of Infineon
Raceway’s Dodge Save Mart weekend. Spike TV, which also broadcasts
the Champ Car World Series, has expanded its 2004 motorsports
programming to include the Trans-Am 100 race in highlights format.
The event will air at 1:30 p.m. on both the East and West Coasts. In
other areas, please check local listings for availability and times.
NASCAR fans struck by lightning
Three unidentified men were struck while walking past souvenir
trailers before the start of the Nextel Cup Pepsi 400. They were
transported to the care center and held briefly for observation,
track spokesman David Talley said. Talley said the men had only
minor injuries and were released.
7/4/04 Formula GP2
Bridgestone signs GP2 deal
Bridgestone Motorsport has agreed to become the official tire
supplier for the new GP2 series, which is due to replace the current
F3000 category in 2005. “Bridgestone is extremely proud to
have been chosen as the official tyre supplier by the GP2 series
organizers," director of Bridgestone Motorsport, Hiroshi Yasukawa,
commented, "It is a wonderful opportunity for our tyre engineers to
play a greater role in the education and training of young drivers
as they aspire to become our future world champions. As
supplier of tires to the past six consecutive Formula One driver and
constructors champions, we recognize the importance of nurturing
talent and look forward to working with the next generation of grand
prix drivers as they develop their skills and technical knowledge in
GP2.” Also, the series will present the championship winning
driver with the 'Bridgestone Prize', totaling $100,000. GP2
will run with Renault power in identical Dallara chassis.
Ralf's 2005 ride to be announced at
Ralf Schumacher's 2005 Formula One drive will be announced at next
week's British Grand Prix, according to manager Willi Weber. "The
team will do this," Weber told Reuters at the French Grand Prix
Sunday. "They are going to say what is going to happen next year,
where Ralf is driving." Asked which team would make the
announcement, he replied: "The team that he will drive for. You will
have to wait until Silverstone." Rumors suggest it will
Walker supports open-wheel merger
In this Indy Star
article, Derrick Walker says, "It was just a meeting. People
read way too much into it," he said. "We're set on doing our deal
and we can't let ourselves be distracted from that. Champ Car is not
for sale." Walker, who has spent time in both series, said
with the rules packages in both expiring after next season, now is
the time to work together. I don't see a reason not to try.
It's what needs to be done," Walker said. "The people running this
sport have an obligation to get it right. We've tried to kill each
other, we've tried to outsmart each other, we've tried to outsell
each other, and none of it has worked. It's time to put aside
personal gain and look at what's best for the sport. I don't see why
reasonable men can't compromise."
Bobby Rahal, the latest CART stalwart to switch allegiances, doubts
anything is going to happen. "Frankly, I don't see why the IRL needs
to," he said. "Champ Car is looking to be more international, which
creates an even bigger difference. And as the IRL adds road courses,
it becomes what CART once was in everything but name."
Paul Gentilozzi said a meeting last week brokered by Indy Racing
League team owner Roger Penske should not be construed as a major
step in that direction. Gentilozzi said he and partners Kevin
Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe had a cordial and informative meeting
with Penske, who co-founded Champ Car's predecessor, CART, in 1979
and was its most powerful force until bolting to the IRL after the
2001 season. But Gentilozzi said no new ground was broken and no
further talks are scheduled. "It was just a meeting. People read way
too much into it," he said. "We're set on doing our deal and we
can't let ourselves be distracted from that. Champ Car is not for
Champ Car campers too white collar to
have any fun
This Cleveland Plain-Dealer article says,
Sitting on top of his RV in a lawn chair with a cold beer in his
hand, George Wolfe couldn't imagine a better way to watch an auto
race. "Basically, you're sitting in your own yard watching the
race," said the 47-year-old resident of Grove City, near
Columbus.........The Wolfes were among hundreds of fans who set up
camp during race weekend on a large plot of land provided for fans
in recreational vehicles or campers......Between the various races
held at Burke over the weekend, the RV crowd cooked on grills,
watched DVDs, played lawn games and enjoyed each other's company
when the race cars weren't roaring around the track, about 100 feet
away. But for most, the view was the real attraction.
Jerry Cox of Medina said he was excited to get a spot along the
fence near what he called a "crucial corner" of the race track.
Sitting on top of a folding ladder on Thursday, he reveled in the
smell of fuel and said he heard four cars hit or brush the wall
during the day's practice laps. "I never expected to be
this close to the track in that exciting of a corner," said Cox, 50.
Camping out during auto races isn't a new phenomenon. It has been a
staple at the Grand Prix of Cleveland for about five years and has
always been a tradition at NASCAR events. Camping at
Burke, however, has a different feel than at a NASCAR race, said
Robert Gildone, 35, of Strongsville. He has camped at the Grand Prix
of Cleveland three times.
Larger numbers of campers and rowdier crowds prevent Gildone from
taking his 3-year-old son, Matthew, to NASCAR races. But with the
more laid-back Cleveland crowd, Matthew got to join his dad for this
year's event. "It's a good crowd," Gildone said of his
fellow campers. "There's just not enough people."
Last year, 11 passes were sold for the campground, said Steve
Legerski, media and marketing director for the race. This year, 40
passes were sold. Before the race, officials for the first time
publicized the campground in the Columbus and Detroit areas.
While the civil Cleveland crowd pleased parents like Gildone, some
campers were disappointed in the lack of a party atmosphere.
"I thought there'd be a lot more action out here," said Matt Cole,
35, of Ashland. Cole and his friends began camping on
Wednesday evening. He said he might camp out again next year but he
won't arrive so early in the week. "There's just nobody raising
hell," Cole said. "It must be too white-collar to have any
Surprise MotoGP pole to American
Former world champion Kenny Roberts won pole position in the final
qualifying session for the Cinzano Rio Grand Prix in Brazil
Saturday. Riding the Bridgestone-shod Suzuki, the American led
the way and was joined on the front row by the Hondas of Italian Max
Biaggi and American Nicky Hayden. It was Robert's first pole
position for nearly four years at the Autodromo Nelson Piquet
circuit where he clinched the world 500cc title in 2000. "It's
been a long road back for me and Suzuki but, at last today, we have
found a little sunshine," said the delighted American, who will join
Suzuki in starting from the front of the grid for the first time
since Valencia in 2000. Roberts set pole position with a new
lap record, his 1min 48.418secs. "Bridgestone came up with a
great tire that allowed me to make time up in the corners which we
lose down the straightaways," he commented, "We've had a new motor
for the last couple of races and we're making progress, just trying
to make it back to where we know we can ride. It's a long road but,
at least today, there was a little sunshine." Current
championship leaders Valentino Rossi and Sete Gibernau will start
8th and 4th respectively.
Champ Car fans more educated, higher
This Cleveland Plain-Dealer
article says, He's 32, educated and lives within 100 miles
of Cleveland. His yearly household income of $51,000 is higher than
the region's average. And while he enjoys domestic and imported
beer, he's an even bigger enthusiast of champagne or sparkling wine.
Meet the typical Grand Prix of Cleveland fan.
Those who go to open-wheel races like this weekend's Champ Car
circuit stop at Burke Lakefront Airport are a breed unto themselves.
They are as identifiable - and as unique - as a Browns Dawg Pound
fan or a red-and-blue clad Indians devotee.
And they're distinctly different from even their brethren who follow
the undisputed king of racing, NASCAR. Fans of open-wheel racing,
with its high-tech cars and road courses, are more likely to be male
and 5 percent more likely to have a college degree than NASCAR fans.
They tend to be better educated - more than half are college
graduates or have post-graduate degrees - and are more interested in
strategy than spectacle.
Chris Economaki, a veteran racing broadcaster and publisher of
National Speed Sport News, said the difference in fans has its roots
in the origins of the different kinds of races. In the earliest days
of car racing, Economaki said, there was only stock car racing,
which was "an exercise to sell cars and show endurance, speed and
performance. They were production cars."
After the turn of the 20th century, racetrack owners started
building wooden tracks for specially constructed cars, a combination
that permitted incredible speeds. "That intrigued a different class
of people," Economaki said. Open-wheel fans talk about the latest
technology and design, while technology is not of primary interest
to stock car fans, Economaki said.
"The tastes are different," he said.
all the way in Kansas IPS race
Results Saturday of the Aventis Racing for Kids 100 IRL Menards
Infiniti Pro Series event July 3 at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway,
with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver,
chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):
1. (1) Thiago Medeiros, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
2. (4) Paul Dana, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
3. (6) Al Unser, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
4. (3) Rolando Quintanilla, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
5. (9) Brad Pollard, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
6. (8) Jesse Mason, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
7. (5) Arie Luyendyk Jr., Dallara-Infiniti, 66
8. (10) P.J. Chesson, Dallara-Infiniti, 24, Accident
9. (7) Billy Roe, Dallara-Infiniti, 24, Accident
10. (2) Leonardo Maia, Dallara-Infiniti, 17, Accident Race Statistics
Winner's average speed: 146.838 mph
Time of race: 41:36.7931
Margin of victory: 0.1322 of a second.
Cautions: 2 for 13 laps.
Lead changes: 0
Lap leaders: Medeiros 1-67.
Point standings: Medeiros 198, Luyendyk Jr. 123, Dana 114, Mason
110, Giebler 106, Quintanilla 104, Pollard 98, Maia 83, Beardsley
68, Roe 66.
Engine change moves Franchitti to
ArcaEx driver Dario Franchitti recorded a lap of 208.646 miles per
hour in qualifying this afternoon at Kansas Speedway, earning him
the ninth starting position for Sunday afternoon's running of the
Argent Mortgage Kansas Indy 300. However, the team made a
precautionary engine change following the qualifying session which,
by IRL IndyCar Series rules, moves Franchitti to the back of the
21-car starting field. The #27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone had
been among the fastest group of cars during the two morning practice
sessions, but had a slight drop in speed during the qualifying run,
which led to the decision.
Denver GP promotion gets early jump
Grand Prix of Denver officials are hoping for a quick jump off the
starting line this year. The past two years, officials of the Champ
Car race did not begin a hard promotional rush until about two weeks
before the race. This year, though, things are going to be
different. "Beginning (today) we will be starting our promotions at
the Cherry Creek Shopping Center," Grand Prix director John Frew
said Thursday. "We are going to be there through race weekend."
Series show cars will be on display at the shopping center, and
there also will be a contest for local artists. The art contest,
which concludes Aug. 12 with an auction for the paintings, will
convey the race's theme, "Denver at full throttle - Denver in the
fast lane." Proceeds from the auction will be given to charity.
Frew also said the Grand Prix, scheduled for Aug. 13-15 on the Pepsi
Center grounds, plans to advertise more on radio, television and in
newspapers. And beginning Monday, the race will advertise for the
first time in movie theaters throughout the metro area. "This is my
third time around with a different ownership for the race," Frew
said, referring to Robert Sutton and Jim Hancock, officers for new
sponsor Centrix Financial. "Working with Bob and Jim is like night
and day. "I believe fans will have a different and better
Of all the Grand Prix's new plans, the one that might most interest
race fans is a go-kart course that will replicate the actual Grand
Prix track. On Aug. 7, fans will be able to drive go-karts on a
specially prepared course located across Auraria Parkway from the
Pepsi Center. For those who don't want to drive go-karts, race
officials will offer Lunch Time Grand Prix races in which
contestants will race radio-controlled cars in a mini-Grand Prix.
Daily winners of the event, which will be contested through July at
locations around the city, advance to the Remote Champions Race at a
street party Aug. 12. The winner of that event will receive VIP
Grand Prix tickets and admission to the Sugar Ray concert Aug. 14.
In another promotion, several restaurants will participate in a
Grand Prix International Restaurant Tour. Diners at those
restaurants will be given a punch card representing the drivers'
countries, and those who eat at all the restaurants on the card will
receive free Grand Prix tickets. "The last couple of years have been
a challenge for our staff, but now, I think it is finally becoming
fun for everyone," Frew said. He believes the races' new dates have
"Our race was dying on Labor Day weekend," Frew said. "There are
just so many things going on that weekend in Denver. School is just
getting started and there are so many people who were actually out
of town." Now, Frew said, "there is no baseball, hockey, basketball
or other races to conflict with our event. "I hope this will show
that we are taking this race in the right direction. We don't want
this race to go away. We want to be around for a long time."
Rocky Mountain News
Audi R8 wins again
After the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Sebring 12 Hours, the "Petit Le
Mans" at Road Atlanta and the 1000-kilometre races at Spa and Monza
the Audi R8 has won another classic motorsport event: Audi Sport UK
Team Veloqx secured Audi a 1-2 victory in the Nürburgring
1000-kilometre race. After six action-packed hours, Pierre Kaffer
and Allan McNish were victorious ahead of their team-mates Jamie
Davies and Johnny Herbert. After two rounds of the newly formed Le
Mans Endurance Series (LMES), now four Audi drivers are in the lead
with equal scores.
Ever changing weather made the conditions in the 1000-kilometre race
as difficult as at the Nürburgring 24 Hours three weeks before.
Sunshine and rain showers kept alternating, the right tyre choice
was a crucial factor. Kaffer/McNish lost about a lap and dropped to
fifth position after an excursion into the gravel and a slow
puncture. However, the German-Scottish duo fought their way back to
the lead in impressive style.
With their 1-2 victory, the British Audi importer took revenge for
their narrow defeat in the Le Mans 24 Hours. The Le Mans winning car
from Audi Sport Japan Team Goh was hit by a spinning GT car in the
closing stages of the race. This caused the change of the left rear
suspension which cost the Japanese team any chance of victory or a
podium finish. Seiji Ara and Rinaldo Capello eventually finished the
Quotes after the race
Pierre Kaffer (Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx / Audi R8 #8): "What a
race! It was real fun to drive here. The race was even more exciting
than Monza. To win my home race at the Nürburgring is simply
fantastic. I am so happy. Thanks to all the team and everybody who
has made this possible, of course including Allan who did a superb
Allan McNish (Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx / Audi R8 #8): "After what
happened at Le Mans it was important for us to have a good result.
At one point I thought it was gone. But in Endurance racing you
never know until the finish what the result will be. So I am very
happy. But today, to be honest, Pierre Kaffer was the hero, not me.
The results at the Nürburgring
1 Kaffer/McNish (Audi R8) 180 laps in 6hrs 00m 32.645s
2 Davies/Herbert (Audi R8) - 1 lap
3 Minassian/Campbell-Walter (Zytek) - 1 lap
4 Ara/Capello (Audi R8) - 10 laps
5 Ayari/Helary (Pescarolo-Judd) - 10 laps
6 Short/Barbosa/Pearce (Dallara-Judd) - 12 laps
7 Erdos/Ramos/Newton (MG Lola) - 13 laps
8 Lamy/Bouchut/Zacchia (Ferrari) - 15 laps
9 Bartels/Alzen/Konrad (Saleen) - 15 laps
10 Gabbiani/Bennett (Saleen) - 18 laps
Weaver wins pole at Lime Rock James Weaver relied on
years of experience on the tricky Lime Rock Park circuit to win the
pole Saturday for Monday's American Le Mans Series New England Grand
Prix sports car race.
The English driver won the New Century Mortgage FastQual Award by
turning a lap of 47.962 seconds (115.592 mph) on the 1.54-mile
track, fastest of the 27 cars that will start the two-hour,
45-minute timed event. Weaver and Butch Leitzinger of State College,
Penn., will co-drive a Lola EX257-AER/MG Prototype fielded by Dyson
Racing, a team located less than an hour from Lime Rock in
JJ Lehto qualified second in the ADT Champion Racing Audi R8 at
48.134. Lehto and co-driver Marco Werner won last weekend's ALMS
race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Chris Dyson and Andy Wallace
qualified third in another Dyson Lola.
"The car has been good all weekend," said Weaver, who also won the
pole for the Mid-Ohio event but was eliminated by a mechanical
problem on the first lap of the race. "We've tested a lot in the
last few months and the car was competitive straight out of the
truck. We were watching JJ (Lehto) qualify and he was absolutely
wringing that car's neck, so we didn't know if he had anything left.
We were still quick even at the end of qualifying. The Audis are
tough to beat because they have all the bases covered but we think
we have a few things left in our back pocket for the race."
"We had a little bit of a hectic morning because we had a leak on
the radiator and spent some time fixing that," said Lehto. "We
changed the car a lot after the first practice yesterday and we kind
of liked it in a way but then there were some other things we didn't
like so we went back to set-ups. Qualifying was the maximum effort
for us. I was able to do a couple of similar lap times but I
couldn't gain or improve so I thought I would come in and save the
1) J. Weaver/B. Leitzinger Dyson Racing
2) J. Lehto/M. Werner ADT Champion Racing 48.134
3) C. Dyson/A. Wallace Dyson Racing 48.691
4) J. Field/D. Dayton Intersport Racing 49.413
5) O. Gavin/O. Beretta Corvette Racing 51.425 More to
Dalziel completes dominating weekend in Cleveland
Scotland’s Ryan Dalziel ended any hopes of an all-American
celebration in Cleveland today as he stamped his authority in Ohio
following up yesterday’s pole position with a lights-to-flag victory
in Round 6 of the Toyota Atlantic Championship this afternoon.
Americans Bryan Sellers and Danica Patrick came home 2nd and 3rd
7/3/04 Formula BMW
Summerton doubles down in Cleveland
Jonathan Summerton (HBR Motorsport) took his second win of the U.S.
Bank Presents The Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland weekend by
taking the victory in Round 8 of the Formula BMW USA Championship.
The win, his fourth of the season, moved him to second place in the
Championship standings. Summerton and HBR Motorsport team mate
Andreas Wirth battled for the lead throughout the entire 16-lap
contest, the two never separated by more than one second. Wirth took
the lead from pole sitter Summerton on lap eight. On lap14 Summerton
set up his move for the lead coming down the long front straight.
Side- by-side with Wirth, he completed the pass in turn 4. He held
off Wirth’s last challenge to take the win by only .359 seconds.
Rookie Championship leader James Hinchcliffe finished third. On the
opening lap Matt Jaskol, quickest in the morning warm-up session,
jumped from his eight starting spot to third. Unfortunately his
charge was short lived as contact forced him out of the race on lap
three. James Hinchcliffe and Brian Frisselle consolidated their hold
on fourth and fifth places as the race developed. Tom Milner, Graham
Rahal and Billy Johnson fought among themselves for the fifth.
Race 8 - Results 16 laps: Results
1. Jonathan Summerton (R) (HBR Motorsport) 20:42.137 (97.659 mph)
2. Andreas Wirth (HBR Motorsport) 20:42.496
3. James Hinchcliffe (R) (AIM Autosport) 20:43.072
4. Brian Frisselle (PoleVision Racing) 20:43.436
5. Tom Milner (R) (Team PTG Motorsport) 20:50.162
6. Graham Rahal (R) (Vitesse Farm Racing) 20:56.147
7. Billy Johnson (Team PTG Motorsport) 20:57.031
8. Tom Sutherland (R) (Team PTG Motorsport) 21:18.881
9. Lawson Aschenbach (Team PTG Motorsport) 21:30.039
10. Daniel Herrington (R) (Jensen Motorsport) 21:33.602
11. Derek Burseth (R) (PoleVision Racing) 20:56.971
12. Matt Jaskol (Team Autotecnica) 05:37.266
13. Alexis Fenton (R) (Team Autotecnica) no time Championship points after 8 of 14 races:
1. Andreas Wirth (HBR Motorsport, 115), 2. Jonathan Summerton (HBR
108), 3. James Hinchcliffe (AIM Autosport, 102), 4. Matt Jaskol
79), 5. Billy Johnson (Team PTG Motorsport, 54), 6. Brian Frisselle
Racing, 41), 7. Tom Milner (Team PTG Motorsport, 35), 8. Joey Hand
Motorsport, 22), 9. Dominik Jackson (Atlantic Racing Team, 20), 10.
(Atlantic Racing Team, 16), 11. Lawson Aschenbach (Team PTG
12. Graham Rahal (Vitesse Farm Racing, 13), 13. Federico Montoya
Racing Team, 10), 14. Gerardo Bonilla (Jensen Motorsport, 8), 15.
(Team PTG Motorsport, 5), 16.Trevor Daley (Atlantic Racing Team, 4),
Sciuto (Team PTG Motorsport, 1), 18. Daniel Herrington (Jensen
Motorsport, 1), 19.
Derek Burseth (PoleVision Racing, 1), 20. Alexis Fenton (Team
Autotecnica, 0), 21.
Mogan Spurgas (Jensen Motorsport, 0) Rookies: 1. James Hinchcliffe (140), 2. Jonathan
Summerton (128), 3. Tom Milner
(95), 4. Graham Rahal (58), 5.Tom Sutherland (54), 6. Alexis Fenton
(23), 7. Trevor
Daley (22), 8. Federico Montoya (20), 9. Derek Burseth (20), 10.
Alan Sciuto (16),
11. Daniel Herrington (14)
Weaver leads Friday practice at Lime Rock The
Dyson Racing team threw down the gauntlet to the rest of the
American Le Mans Series field on Friday by leading testing for
Monday's inaugural New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.
James Weaver drove the team's Lola EX257-AER/MG to a lap of 48.165
seconds on the 1.54-mile, eight-turn circuit, the "home" track for
the Dyson team. Located less than an hour's drive from the track,
the Dyson team has years of experience at Lime Rock and was expected
to lead the way as many ALMS drivers and teams were seeing the
tricky circuit for the first time on Friday. Weaver and co-driver
Butch Leitzinger have won several times at Lime Rock in other forms
of racing. Setting the second-fastest time in the two-hour
test session was the ADT Champion Racing Audi R8 of JJ Lehto and
Marco Werner, winners of last week's ALMS event at Mid-Ohio Sports
Car Course, with a lap of 48.827. Neither of the two European
drivers had been on the Lime Rock circuit until today.
Schu's 'not quick enough' to lead in France
Michael Schumacher was 'just not quick enough' for French pole.
The German has won all but one of the season's grands prix so far.
''Second place was not what I expected,'' Schumacher lamented.
Ferrari's Ross Brawn, however, said Michael would have struggled to
lead at the first corner anyway if a fast-starting Renault was
anywhere near the front. ''I think we know which way it's
going to go,'' the Briton laughed. Fernando Alonso, in a blue
car, has the pole. * Off the pace (10th), Brazil's Rubens
Barrichello - in the sister Ferrari - could not do a pre-qualifying
lap when a hydraulic problem was discovered. ''It was hard,''
he said. ''Being first on track means you have less grip.''
Missing pole is 'a shame' - Montoya It's a mark of how
far Jenson Button and BAR-Honda have come this season when fourth on
the grid is ''disappointing. I wanted top three,'' he bemoaned.
Button, 24, said McLaren's sudden turn of qualifying pace - with
David Coulthard and the 'B spec' car in third - ''is a bit
interesting. It is, isn't it ... ?'' Team principal Dave
Richards thinks France - with the top eleven qualifiers within one
second - might be 'the most unpredictable' grand prix of the season.
* BMW-Williams' Juan Pablo Montoya could not build on his impressive
'provisional pole' of the first session and lines-up just sixth in
the FW26. ''It's a shame,'' said the Colombian. ''I had
a lot of problems in the practice,'' Montoya - who was quickest in
the lap's first sectors before a big mistake - added, ''so I'm glad
we solved it.'' Ralf Schumacher's Spanish stand-in Marc Gene
(8th) found it tricky to adjust to the one-lap qualifying format -
''I made a mistake,'' the test driver admitted.
'B spec' McLaren 'is faster' - Coulthard 'B' stands for
'better,' McLaren's David Coulthard proved at Magny-Cours. The
Scot, debuting MP4-19B in France this weekend, qualified a
season-best third. ''We have made progress with the car,'' he said
on Saturday afternoon. Sunday will reveal just how much fuel
is in the Mercedes-powered car. ''But, no matter what, we have
improved significantly,'' he insisted. CEO Ron Dennis,
meanwhile, claimed Kimi Raikkonen's 'enthusiasm got the better of
him. ''I tried too hard,'' the Finn admitted, ''and made some
mistakes.'' Also, Cristiano da Matta said the Toyota is
quicker in France than he expected it to be. ''I'm certainly not
going to complain,'' the diminutive Brazilian laughed.
He's half a second quicker than France's F1 ace and team-mate
Montoya last to first Slowest in this morning's
practice session after a big shunt on Friday, Juan Pablo Montoya set
the pace in this afternoon’s pre-qualifying session. The BMW
Williams driver set a new lap record around the 4.411km circuit with
a best time of 1:13.377. Michael Schumacher was second fastest in
his Ferrari ahead of David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen who are
making their debut in the new McLaren MP4-19B. Just 0.359s seconds
covered the fastest four runners.
Richmond TV Rating tanks
Despite the millions of dollars being pumped into the IRL by Honda
and Toyota, the IRL continues its downward spiral. Last
Saturday's IRL SunTrust Indy Challenge from Richmond earned a 0.24
on ESPN2. This represents a 50% drop in one year, down from
last years 0.48 rating. And to think where the sport of Indy
Car racing would be now if Tony George did not destroy it by
creating the IRL in the first place in 1996.
Sonoma TV Rating down
Fox’s broadcast of Sunday’s Dodge/Save Mart 350 from Infineon
Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., drew a 4.7 final rating and an 11 share
from Nielsen Media Research, Friday’s Sports Business Daily reports.
The 4.7/11 represents a 2 percent dip versus last year’s event,
which drew a 4.8/11.
Scene Daily Newsletter Fox' Nextel Cup average through 13
races is a 5.6/14, down 3% from last year's 5.8/14. The average does
not include races from Daytona (Fox). FX's three-race Nextel Cup
coverage this season averaged a 3.95/ (3,307,000 HHs), down 7% from
last year's three-race average of 4.25/ (3,395,000 HHs) (FX). FX
earned a 0.80/ (864,000 HHs) for last Saturday's Busch Series Alan
All eyes on DEI cars tonight
Greg Biffle is the defending race champion and Jeff Gordon will
start from the pole. But Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Michael Waltrip,
teammates at Dale Earnhardt Inc. and winners of five of the past
seven races at Daytona International Speedway in Florida, are heavy
favorites in tonight's Pepsi 400. "You know going in that the two
DEI guys are going to be tough," Gordon said. "I want to win and
I'll do everything I can to keep the competition behind me, but we
can all be pretty confident that the No. 15 (Waltrip) and the No. 8
(Earnhardt) will be the guys to beat." AP
Champ Car treating Rahal well
Bobby Rahal still has interest in Champ Car weekends, if not the
main event. He has a car driven by Danica Patrick in the Toyota
Atlantic series and a son, Graham, driving in Formula BMW. Both will
be in action before today's Champ Car race. Rahal will then fly to
Kansas to be with his Indy Racing League team for Sunday's race. He
said no one has treated him like a traitor. "Nothing bad has
happened. Everyone's nice to me."
Bell gives up on F1 hopes, will try
Townsend Bell has stopped looking to become the next U.S.-born
driver in Formula One. "Sitting around gets a little old after
a while," he said Friday. Bell tested with Jaguar and BAR last year
but failed to generate a full-time ride. That's why he
accepted Panther Racing's month-to-month offer to replace the ousted
Mark Taylor. Bell's series debut comes this weekend. Practice and
qualifying are today. Bell, a 29-year-old Californian, said he
plans to move to Indianapolis immediately to continue planning for a
full-time ride in the United States in 2005. Bell said he has
learned from the mistakes he made in CART, where he drove too
aggressively. Watching the IRL on TV has been beneficial, too, he
said. He knows that most of the former CART drivers have done too
much blocking on the IRL's ovals, a situation that has been
addressed by Barnhart. "I've got a good feel for what's
appropriate here," Bell said. "I know what's smart, what's
aggressive and what's dumb."
Hornish warned, not penalized
Sam Hornish Jr. will not be penalized for his aggressive driving
near the end of last weekend's Indy Racing League event in Richmond,
Va., but the league's top official asked him to exercise more
control the next time he falls four laps off the pace. Hornish
admitted he was frustrated after his car stalled on the backstretch
following tire contact with Tomas Scheckter on lap 189 of 250 at
Richmond International Raceway. Hornish responded by using his fast
car to battle several lead-lap cars in the late stages of the race.
Brian Barnhart, the IRL's chief steward, said Hornish should have
given the leaders more room to race against each other. Barnhart
relayed that message to Hornish on Thursday by phone before their
arrival at Kansas Speedway for Sunday's Argent Mortgage Indy 300.
"We had a good, productive discussion," Barnhart said Friday. "He
Button added to London F1 demo card
As the Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda F1 team gears up for the challenge of
its home Grand Prix at Silverstone next Sunday (11 July), over
100,000 spectators will get a rare opportunity to see lead driver
Jenson Button and his B*A*R Honda race car at close quarters when
'Formula One Comes to Regent Street' in London on Tuesday 6 July.
B*A*R is one of eight teams participating in this historic event,
which will see F1 cars and drivers taking to the streets of London
for the first time ever and the West End reverberating to the
awe-inspiring sound of Formula One. In the thick of the action will
be Jenson, who has finished on the podium seven times in nine races
for his B*A*R team, which is currently fighting for second place in
the FIA 2004 Formula One Constructors' Championship behind Ferrari.
'Formula One Comes to Regent Street' is an incredible achievement
for Regent Street and Westminster Council and will draw major public
and media attention worldwide. Further details of the event, and the
teams and drivers who will participate, can be found at
New McLaren jumps to top of charts
Kimi Raikkonen set the pace in the final practice session ahead of
this afternoon’s pre-qualifying and qualifying sessions at Magny
Cours. Driving the new MP4-19B, the Finn set a new lap record with a
best lap of 1:14.513 to edge out Jenson Button in his BAR Honda by
just 0.055s. Raikkonen's fast lap was the best anyone turned all
P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires
Times Ave/Gaps Laps
1. 6 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'14"513 213.112 Km/h 18
2. 9 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'14"568 + 0'00"055 14
3. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'14"571 + 0'00"058 14
4. 10 SATO BAR Honda M 1'14"711 + 0'00"198 18
5. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'14"817 + 0'00"304 12
6. 17 PANIS Toyota M 1'14"883 + 0'00"370 23
7. 16 DA MATTA Toyota M 1'14"885 + 0'00"372 22
8. 5 COULTHARD McLaren Mercedes M 1'14"977 + 0'00"464 7
9. 7 TRULLI Renault M 1'15"033 + 0'00"520 12
10. 8 ALONSO Renault M 1'15"096 + 0'00"583 15
11. 04 GENE Williams BMW M 1'15"179 + 0'00"666 10
12. 14 WEBBER Jaguar Cosworth M 1'15"350 + 0'00"837 24
13. 15 KLIEN Jaguar Cosworth M 1'15"449 + 0'00"936 22
14. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas B 1'16"062 + 0'01"549 19
15. 11 FISICHELLA Sauber Petronas B 1'16"161 + 0'01"648 9
16. 21 BAUMGARTNER Minardi Cosworth B 1'16"861 + 0'02"348 15
17. 19 PANTANO Jordan Ford B 1'17"104 + 0'02"591 12
18. 18 HEIDFELD Jordan Ford B 1'17"162 + 0'02"649 15
19. 20 BRUNI Minardi Cosworth B 1'19"401 + 0'04"888 8
20. 3 MONTOYA Williams BMW M 1'21"458 + 0'06"945 8
7/3/04 American GT
Paul Newman takes provisional pole
The American GT Challenge series will test a dual qualifying session
during the Lime Rock Park event. Drivers set a fast lap time during
Friday’s qualifying session and will be provided the opportunity to
better that time Saturday morning during a second qualifying
session. The concept provided for varying results. Three of
the top five qualifiers had their times disallowed during a post
session technical inspection. All three cars were found to be in
violation of the ride height rules of two inches minimum. The times
of Jack Busch, Peter Mohrhauser and Frank Ciopettini were removed.
Paul Newman was the fastest car to pass tech inspection and earned
the provisional pole position. "I am getting to old for this,"
Newman quipped. "If I was only 75 again it would have been quicker."
The crew for the number 79 Happy Hands Massage Corvette will make a
few subtle setup changes and look to better their time on Saturday.
"I am going to load up on Geritol tonight, I’ll be even quicker
tomorrow," Newman said. Edsion Lluch [number 72 Don Q/El tuque
Hotel and Resort Corvette] was pleased with his second place
qualifying effort. "I am really enjoying the track," stated Lluch.
"The competition and competitors in AGT are really excellent."
7/3/04 Star Mazda
Marco Andretti to run first Star
Mazda race Marco Andretti, grandson of legendary racer Mario
Andretti and son of Michael Andretti, has teamed with G&W
Motorsports this weekend for the Star Mazda Series race at Lime Rock
Park. Andretti is subbing in for Brian Frisselle, who is competing
in Formula BMW Series in Cleveland this weekend. Andretti is
piloting the No. 15 Pro Formula Mazda for G&W Motorsports, and team
regular Brad Coleman, of Houston, is at the wheel of the team's No.
33 car. Both drivers took to the track Friday for practice, with
Andretti turning a 49.105-second lap (7th fastest) and Coleman
clocking a 49.903-second lap. Seventeen-year-old Andretti is already
on his way to following in his father and grandfather's footsteps.
He captured the Skip Barber's Formula Dodge Southern Series
Championship earlier this year and won the Eastern Series
Championship in 2003. With numerous race wins and track records to
his credit, Andretti will look to add a Star Mazda Series victory to
his resume at Lime Rock Park. Star Mazda Series qualifying
will be held at 10:45 a.m., on Saturday, with the race getting
underway at 4:10 p.m. For more information on the Star Mazda Series
please visit www.starmazda.com.
7/2/04 Industry News
Let's go racing! YokeTV hits
the airwaves YOKE TV.COM a new Canadian Web Based Broadband
Television broadcaster with production offices located in Cleveland
and new marketing offices opening in Chicago next month had an
exciting day today as they broadcast Fridays qualification run for
the Champ Cars LIVE ON YOKE TV. "Everything went great and we are
really excited to broadcast the Champ Car race live tomorrow, stated
Brent Meikle Yoke TV CEO. Yoke TV.Com had an uplifting day as Months
of work finally came to a result with the company's first live
broadcast. And just a reminder SATURDAY, JULY 3rd 2004 at 5pm
Eastern Time YOKE TV.COM WILL BROADCAST LIVE THE 2004 RUNNING OF THE
CLEVELAND GRAND PRIX. Just a note, "This is the only place you can
see this race live in the United States. Remember to log onto
Saturday at 5pm Eastern!!! YokeTV.com
7/2/04 Formula BMW
Summerton wins third race of year
Taking the lead on lap seven and turning some of the quickest laps
of the weekend, Jonathan Summerton (HBR Motorsport) won Round 7 of
the Formula BMW USA Championship. The victory was Summerton’s third
of the season. He completed 16 laps of the 2.106-mile Burke
Lakefront Airport Circuit in the 30-minute race and finished 3.2
seconds in front of James Hinchcliffe. Matt Jaskol finished third.
Andreas Wirth finished fourth and was credited with the fastest race
lap (1:16.830). He retained his lead in the Championship.
Hinchcliffe stands second, Summerton third, Jaskol fourth and
Johnson fifth. Hinchcliffe still leads the Rookie Points after a
fourth second-place finish. Summerton is second, Milner third, Rahal
fourth and Sutherland fifth. As pole sitter Milner led Summerton on
the first lap the action behind them was intense. Both Matt Jaskol
and Graham Rahal had very good starts. Jaskol jumped into third from
his fifth starting spot and Rahal moved from 10th to fifth. Daniel
Herrington spun and hit the wall coming onto the front straight and
brought out the yellow flag. The single-file restart came four laps
later. Summerton took the point on lap 7 while Jaskol and
Hinchcliffe traded the third and fourth positions. On lap 13 Formula
BMW USA Milner faded to fifth as Hinchcliffe, Jaskol and Wirth
consolidated their hold on the second, third and fourth positions.
“We are at the halfway point of the season now,” said Summerton. “I
am only two points from second and 12 points from first. Of course
race wins are important, but I have to keep my eye on the
Championship. I want the opportunities that come with the title.”
Hinchcliffe added, “A fourth second for the season is great, but I
really want to get to the top step of the podium. I touched the wall
on the first lap and I think something was damaged because the
steering wheel was not straight. Still I was able to run within
three-tenths of Jonathan.” Jaskol said, “Third wasn’t good enough
because I had a car that was capable of running up front. James and
I had a great battle, but I think it allowed Jonathan to get away
from us. “
1. Jonathan Summerton (R) (HBR
Motorsport) 23:55.858 (84.483 mph)
2. James Hinchcliffe (R) (AIM Autosport) 23:59.142
3. Matt Jaskol (Team Autotecnica) 24:00.695
4. Andreas Wirth (HBR Motorsport) 24:02.463
5. Tom Milner (R) (Team PTG Motorsport) 24:03.746
6. Brian Frisselle (PoleVision Racing) 24:04.021
7. Billy Johnson (Team PTG Motorsport) 24:04.949
8. Graham Rahal (R) (Vitesse Farm Racing)
9. Lawson Aschenbach (Team PTG Motorsport) 24:09.758
10. Tom Sutherland (R) (Team PTG Motorsport) 24:36.315
11. Daniel Herrington (R) (Jensen Motorsport) no time
12. Alexis Fenton (R) (Team Autotecnica) no time
13. Derek Burseth (R) (PoleVision Racing) no time
Championship points after 7 of 14 races:
1. Andreas Wirth (HBR Motorsport, 100), 2. James Hinchcliffe (AIM
3. Jonathan Summerton (HBR Motorsport, 88), 4. Matt Jaskol (Team
79), 5. Billy Johnson (Team PTG Motorsport, 50, 6. Brian Frisselle (PoleVision
Racing, 31) 7. Tom Milner (Team PTG Motorsport, 27) 8. Joey Hand
Motorsport, 22), 9. Dominik Jackson (Atlantic Racing Team, 20)
Gentilozzi last to first again
Paul Gentilozzi can thank his Rocketsports Racing crew’s tireless
efforts for him winning Friday’s Trans-Am on the Tarmac Motorock
Trans-Am Series race at Cleveland. Gentilozzi, driving the No. 3
Jaguar R Performance XKR, started at the back due to being forced to
start with a back-up car, and drove through the field to earn the
Tomy Drissi (No. 5 Dodgeball—The Movie Jaguar XKR) and Jorge Diaz
(No. 8 Puerto Rico Grand Prix Jaguar XKR) were second and third,
respectively, both in Jaguar XKRs. Randy Ruhlman (No. 49 Preformed
Line Products/Coyote Closures Chevrolet Corvette) and Joey Scarallo
(No. 06 Toyo Tires/ROH Wheels/Autotrend Chevrolet Corvette)
completed the top five.
Gentilozzi crashed his primary car in qualifying Thursday, forcing
his Rocketsports Racing crew to travel to his East Lansing, Mich.
shop to retrieve a display car, which had no engine or transmission
and was used primarily for auto shows and press events. His crew
spent all night preparing the car. Starting last, Gentilozzi drove
through the field, taking the lead for good on lap 26 when leader
Tommy Kendall (No. 11 Jaguar R Performance XKR) pitted with
mechanical problems. Kendall 11th.
The victory was Gentilozzi’s 27th in Trans-Am competition, moving
him to second on the all-time Trans-Am win list, two victories
behind the legendary Mark Donohue. It was also Gentilozzi’s third
victory this season, placing him first in the championship, ahead of
“This car was my 1999 championship-winning Ford Mustang,” said
Gentilozzi. “We sold it to Tomy Drissi in 2000 and Tomy drove it in
2000 and 2001, then we parked it. Last year, we needed a show car
for Jaguar so we bought it. It’s been in car dealerships and
shopping malls. Strangely enough, the car was here in Cleveland, but
it went back to Lansing Wednesday night.
“Yesterday, when I wrecked my car, we had to go back and get it,”
added the three-time Trans-Am champion. “They got there at midnight
last night, towed it back here, worked all night and into today and
got us on the grid in a competitive car.”
The next race for the Motorock Trans-Am Series is scheduled for July
10, part of the Molson Indy Toronto weekend.
1. (13) Paul Gentilozzi, Jaguar XKR, 48,
2. (3) Tomy Drissi, Jaguar XKR, 48, Running.
3. (4) Jorge Diaz Jr., Jaguar XKR, 48, Running.
4. (2) Randy Ruhlman, Chevrolet Corvette, 48, Running.
5. (9) Joey Scarallo, Chevrolet Corvette, 48, Running.
6. (6) Greg Pickett, Jaguar XKR, 48, Running.
7. (7) John Baucom, Ford Mustang, 48, Running.
8. (8) Tim Cowen, Ford Mustang, 48, Running.
9. (11) Jon "Chevy" Leavy, Chevrolet Camaro, 47, Running.
10. (10) B.K. "Kenny" Bupp, Chevrolet Camaro, 47, Running.
11. (1) Tommy Kendall, Jaguar XKR, 26, Mechanical.
12. (5) Bob Ruman, Chevrolet Corvette, 12, Contact.
13. (12) Philip Simms (R), Chevrolet Corvette, 3, Mechanical. Race Statistics
Time of race: 1:06.48.312
Margin of victory: .927 seconds.
Winner's average speed: 90.791 mph.
Caution flags: 1 for 7 laps.
Lead changes: two among two drivers.
Lap leaders: Kendall 1-25; Gentilozzi, 26-48.
Dalziel takes pole in Cleveland
It’s hard to imagine not being happy as a race car driver after
leading every single session over a two-day period, but Ryan Dalziel
(#28 ProWorks) wasn’t satisfied with his qualifying effort on
Friday. Despite producing the top time of 1:06.447 (114.100 mph) to
lead the second round of qualifying, winning his sixth career pole
for tomorrow’s Argent Mortgage Presents The Toyota Atlantic
Championship Presented by Yokohama (tape-delayed on SPEED Channel,
Sunday, June 11 – 1 p.m. ET), Dalziel wasn’t exactly pleased with
the effort. “I think we were actually a little disappointed in
the way the session went,” said Dalziel, the 2003 Toyota Atlantic
Championship series runner up. “We honestly think we can get more
out of the car.”
The 22-year-old Dalziel led all four Atlantic sessions over the
first two days of action at the 2.106-mile Burke Lakefront Airport
road circuit this weekend. He earned a championship point on
Thursday for leading the first round of qualifying and he scored
another marker with his effort today. The Sierra Sierra Enterprises
driver now trails series points leader Jon Fogarty (#96 Pacific
Coast Motorsports) by just 13 points heading into Saturday’s Round 6
of the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Dalziel knows that he has the
car this weekend to close the gap even further on Fogarty and that’s
why he’s setting the bar so high.
The first step to a good race is getting cleanly through the
legendary tight and treacherous Turn 1 in Cleveland. Dalziel hopes
the start will go smoothly and he’ll have his teammate starting next
to him as rookie Andrew Ranger (#27 Tide/Charmin/Mr. Clean/Snugabye)
tied his top Atlantic career qualifying effort of second place with
a time of 1:06.615 (113.812 mph).
Another driver racing at Cleveland for the first time this season,
Ronnie Bremer (#4 Healthcare Privileges.com/PaySystems) will start
third as he continued to excel in his first weekend with Polestar
Racing Group, based in nearby Chardon, Ohio. Bremer, who joined the
team from Brooks Associates Racing earlier this week, posted his
fastest time of 1:06.643 (113.764 mph) to qualify third for the top
effort of his Atlantic career.
Fogarty, the championship point leader, was second in provisional
qualifying yesterday, but he struggled with a gearbox problem in
today’s final session and wound up fourth overall with a time of
1:06.681 (113.700 mph). The 2002 series champion is looking to win
his fourth consecutive event on Saturday but he hasn’t started any
worse that second during his stretch of three-in-a-row.
Danica Patrick (#24 Argent Mortgage Company), who entered the
weekend second in the championship, 12 points behind Fogarty, also
suffered her worst qualifying result of the season. She was ninth
with a time of 1:07.727 (111.994 mph). Aussie rookie Josh Hunt (#15
Wright/Patton/Shakespeare/Atkinson Gore Group) had a top lap of
1:07.794 (111.833 mph) to complete the top 10. Full details and live timings can be accessed on
7/2/04 Industry News
In the sports business, biggest
battles fought off the field
Televising professional and college sports games is no longer a
profitable slam-dunk as the value of broadcast rights have soared
and the sports media field has become crowded with new channels and
networks, such as Yes and College Sports Television. Professional
sports leagues themselves, such as Major League Baseball, want to
generate new revenues for team owners through web sites, 24-hour
cable channels and marketing deals that could dilute sports
franchises for broadcasters.
The heyday of easy money and fast growth is over, according to a
recent discussion among three sports-business professionals at
Wharton moderated by Robert DiGisi, who lectures at Wharton on
“Marketing in the Entertainment and Sports Industry,” and who owns
Iron Horse Marketing. “The growth rate is certainly going to slow,”
DiGisi says in an interview, noting that some of the fundamentals
that led to an economic boom for the sports business in the 1990s
have probably changed for good. For example, the Fox Network spent
billions of dollars to secure rights to professional football in the
early 1990s as it was establishing itself as the fourth broadcast
network. “You could argue that sports built the Fox network,” DiGisi
suggests. But now that Fox is firmly established with CBS, NBC and
ABC, it may no longer feel the same pressure. NBC, for its part, has
signaled its unwillingness to pay the high price of broadcast rights
for professional games and has focused its efforts on the Olympics.
Read full story at
Wharton Business School
7/2/04 Industry News
Steve Potter to Lime Rock Park
Steve Potter, a longtime member of the motorsports community with
extensive experience in sports marketing and public relations, has
been named the new general manager at Lime Rock Park. Potter will
take over the day-to-day operations at Lime Rock, beginning with the
Rolex Vintage Festival presented by BMW, Sept. 3-6. He replaces
Michael Johnson, who is leaving Lime Rock to pursue a master’s
degree in business administration. "Steve’s experience as a
journalist and then an auto industry and motorsports executive makes
him eminently qualified to help us realize our vision for the future
of Lime Rock,” said track president Skip Barber. “He has seen this
industry from both sides of the fence, and that gives him a unique
perspective.” Potter for six years managed Mercedes-Benz USA’s
sports marketing programs in men’s professional tennis (ATP Tour),
men’s professional golf (PGA Tour) and Indy cars (CART.) He was for
nine years the New York Times Motorsports correspondent and for six
years managed Mazda USA’s east coast public relations office.
Potter’s ties to Lime Rock go back 34 years. As a writer for both
the New York Times and several auto racing publications, he covered
numerous events at the track. He also attended the Skip Barber
Racing School, and competed at Lime Rock many times during a
fifteen-year amateur racing career.
Simmons replaces Unser Jr. for Kansas
U. E “Pat” Patrick announced today that Jeff Simmons will takeover
for the recently retired Al Unser Jr. behind the wheel of the #20
Patrick Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone entry, which has
associate sponsorship from Stacker 2, this weekend at the Argent
Mortgage 300 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas.
Simmons, 27, is the only two-time winner of the Barber Dodge Pro
Series taking the championship in 1998 and 1999. Last year, he
finished second in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series scoring 10 top-10
finishes with nine top-five showings, six podium performances and
two wins in 12 starts. He was running at the finish of a series
record 11 of the 12 races. Simmons has competed in one Infiniti Pro
Series event this year finishing second at the Futaba Freedom 100 at
the Indianapolis 500 on May 22.
“After careful consideration and extensive research we made the
decision that the best thing for our team was to go with a young,
aggressive driver,” Pat Patrick said. “We feel that Jeff Simmons has
the potential to be very successful with our team. Jeff is a proven
winner with the driving style we were looking for” he noted.
“Therefore, we asked Jeff to driver the Patrick Racing car this
weekend at the Argent Mortgage 300 at Kansas Speedway and he
accepted. Following the Kansas race we will evaluate all of our
options and make a decision for the future,” Patrick concluded.
Rain washes out IPS qualifying
Thiago Medeiros earned the pole position for the Menards Infiniti
Pro Series Aventis Racing for Kids 100 by posting the fastest speed
during practice July 2 at Kansas Speedway. Medeiros, the series
points leader, recorded a lap at 28.9307 seconds, 189.142 mph in the
No. 11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone to claim
his third consecutive pole, breaking the record Medeiros shared with
2002 Series champion A.J. Foyt IV. "We had a good setup to start the
session," Medeiros said. "We just played a little bit with the car,
made a little change. I was really comfortable in the draft and by
myself. The car was feeling really good. I'm happy with the pole and
confident for tomorrow." The starting field was determined based on
practice speeds after qualifying was cancelled due to rain. It was
the first time qualifying has been cancelled in the three-year
history of the Menards Infiniti Pro Series.
1. (11) Thiago Medeiros, Dallara-Infiniti, 189.142 mph
2. (33) Leonardo Maia, Dallara-Infiniti, 188.527 mph
3. (10) Rolando Quintanilla, Dallara-Infiniti, 188.159 mph
4. (91) Paul Dana, Dallara-Infiniti, 187.952 mph
5. (5) Arie Luyendyk Jr., Dallara-Infiniti, 187.603 mph
6. (2) Al Unser, Dallara-Infiniti, 187.293 mph
7. (24) Billy Roe, Dallara-Infiniti, 186.235 mph
8. (3) Jesse Mason, Dallara-Infiniti, 185.509 mph
9. (64) Brad Pollard, Dallara-Infiniti, 183.401 mph
10. (76) P.J. Chesson, Dallara-Infiniti, 183.277 mph Note: Starting line-up determined by practice speeds after
qualifying was cancelled due to rain.
Mosley fed up with team owners
Today in France Max Mosley addressed the media and one of the
questions on everyone's mind was why he was stepping down as FIA
president after this season. Essentially he is fed up with the
team owners in F1 who agree to one thing one day and then change
their minds the next. He said he had not lost his love for the
sport, just the politics.
Mosley outlines F1 rules changes that
FIA will impose
Today in France Max Mosley has outlined his view of the immediate
future for the Formula 1 regulations. "The Technical Working Group
has two months to produce proposals and we then have to decide if
they are acceptable."
"If not," Mosley went on, "then we can give the teams three
alternative proposals of our own, from which they choose one. If
this is not done within 45 days, then we can impose a set of
measures of our own which can come in after a three month period. To
help them [the teams] we will furnish them with a precise set of
regulations on three topics – aerodynamics, engines and tires –
within the next two weeks."
"With regard to tires," Mosley said, "we suggest dramatically
reducing the number available, with one set for Friday/Saturday and
then a second set for qualifying and race, with two types available.
The original set could be used as back-up if they found they could
not use the second set.
"On engines, we are proposing that in 2005 an engine will need to do
two weekends between rebuilds as a means of achieving a slight
reduction in power before, in 2006, introducing 2.4-litre V8s with
more restrictions [in terms of dimensions, crank centre lines, etc]
than those presented by the manufacturers. People will say, well,
what about the teams who don't have access to a 2.4-litre V8 because
they are not aligned to a manufacturer? We will therefore allow a
3.0-litre V10 to be used, complete with a rev limiter set at a level
that ensures that the engine is less powerful than the 2.4s. An
incidental benefit of that for the smaller teams will be a
significantly smaller power deficit than they currently have. We
will worry about the rev limit when we know the power curve of the
"On the aerodynamic side, there will be a significant package for
2005, which is still being worked on, and we will have details
within the next two weeks." He still wants standard ECUs, hopefully
by 2006, but has moderated his position on tire supply. "I would
have liked a single supplier," he said, "but we can't see a reason
to reduce performance that way when we can do it by regulation and
our best advice is that we can. If it doesn't work, then we'd have
to look at a monopoly."
Why Tracy did not run NASCAR Cup race
We quizzed Paul Tracy here in Cleveland today about why he was not
allowed to race in last weekend's NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Infineon
Raceway. Tracy said, "Jerry talked to Paul and Kevin about it
and they were concerned that it would create rumors that I might be
going to NASCAR. I have a good contract with Jerry now and we
are currently in negotiations to extend it. Champ Car is my #1
priority and I want to stay here. I would have had two days of
testing in the recent open test at Infineon and I think if I had
kept my nose clean I would have finished in the top five because so
many drivers went off and had troubles. I think it would have
been good publicity for Champ Car." Mark C.
Jourdain: " I have not forgotten how
In an interview with
El Norte, Michel Jourdain Jr. assured his Mexican fans
that he's still driving like the two last years, and said half
joking half serious “ I have not forgotten how to drive.” He
also said that RuSPORT is making small but consistent improvements,
and explained to fans that although Milwaukee was a great race for
him and the team it is not an indication of what to expect from
RuSport. “Milwaukee is an oval, we were lucky on getting
the car just right, but we are improving and we will improve more.”
He also said that before the season is over RuSport will be fighting
for the first place in every race, and said he is expecting a good
race tomorrow in Cleveland. José de Jesús Arrambide
Quote of the week
When asked about the rumors of the IRL racing in Mexico City, Paul
Gentilozzi had this to say - "That's like saying I am going to grow
hair again. That's simply not going to happen."
Dalziel stays fast in Friday Practice
Pos Driver Car# Team Lap Time Mph Kph
1 Ryan Dalziel 28 Sierra Sierra Enterprises 1:06.377 114.220 183.814
2 Jon Fogarty 96 Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:06.673 113.713 182.998
2 Jon Fogarty 96 Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:06.673 113.713 182.998
3 Ronnie Bremer 4 Brooks Associates Racing 1:07.117 112.961 181.788
4 Andrew Ranger 27 Sierra Sierra Enterprises 1:07.259 112.722
181.404 0.882 0.142
5 Alex Figge 69 Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:07.613 112.132 180.454
6 Danica Patrick 24 Rahal Letterman Racing 1:07.713 111.967 180.188
7 Jonathan Bomarito 8 Transnet Racing 1:07.870 111.708 179.772 1.493
8 Tonis Kasemets 6 Brooks Associates Racing 1:07.956 111.566 179.543
9 Josh Hunt 15 Lynx Racing 1:08.461 110.743 178.219 2.084 0.505
10 Chris Festa 25 Rahal Letterman Racing 1:08.715 110.334 177.561
11 Alex Garcia 9 Transnet Racing 1:09.095 109.727 176.584 2.718
12 Bryan Sellers 19 Lynx Racing 1:09.387 109.265 175.840 3.010 0.292
13 Philip Fayer 3 Polestar Racing Group LLC 1:09.520 109.056 175.504
14 Eric Jensen 2 Jensen Motorsport 1:09.561 108.992 175.401 3.184
Da Matta goes fastest in Free Practice
Cristiano da Matta nipped Jarno Trulli in the final seconds of
another rain dampened practice session today in France. With the
track drying, the Toyota driver lapped the 4.411km circuit in
1:15.518s, a full six tenths clear of his nearest rival in the
session. However, countryman Rubens Barrichello’s 1:15.487s set in
the bone dry conditions at the start of the first practice session
remained the fastest lap of the day.
P. No Driver Team - Engine
Tires Times Ave/Gaps Laps
1. 16 DA MATTA Toyota M 1'15"518 210.276 Km/h 12
2. 7 TRULLI Renault M 1'16"206 + 0'00"688 9
3. 35 DAVIDSON BAR Honda M 1'16"231 + 0'00"713 17
4. 9 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'16"397 + 0'00"879 8
5. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'16"397 + 0'00"879 7
6. 8 ALONSO Renault M 1'16"454 + 0'00"936 10
7. 5 COULTHARD McLaren Mercedes M 1'16"464 + 0'00"946 8
8. 14 WEBBER Jaguar Cosworth M 1'16"745 + 0'01"227 14
9. 6 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'16"794 + 0'01"276 10
10. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'17"094 + 0'01"576 5
11. 17 PANIS Toyota M 1'17"303 + 0'01"785 10
12. 11 FISICHELLA Sauber Petronas B 1'17"324 + 0'01"806 13
13. 3 MONTOYA Williams BMW M 1'17"556 + 0'02"038 5
14. 04 GENE Williams BMW M 1'17"688 + 0'02"170 17
15. 38 ZONTA Toyota M 1'17"735 + 0'02"217 15
16. 15 KLIEN Jaguar Cosworth M 1'17"936 + 0'02"418 10
17. 10 SATO BAR Honda M 1'17"967 + 0'02"449 11
18. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas B 1'18"614 + 0'03"096 7
19. 19 PANTANO Jordan Ford B 1'18"711 + 0'03"193 10
20. 37 WIRDHEIM Jaguar Cosworth M 1'19"179 + 0'03"661 16
21. 18 HEIDFELD Jordan Ford B 1'19"270 + 0'03"752 12
22. 20 BRUNI Minardi Cosworth B 1'19"349 + 0'03"831 10
23. 39 GLOCK Jordan Ford B 1'19"490 + 0'03"972 25
24. 21 BAUMGARTNER Minardi Cosworth B 1'19"636 + 0'04"118 13
25. 40 LEINDERS Minardi Cosworth B 1'19"914 + 0'04"396 16
NASCAR favors certain drivers Jimmy Spencer punched someone and was suspended. Tony
Stewart had a similar confrontation and is allowed to race.
Different rules for different drivers? That was the debate Thursday
in the garage at Daytona International Speedway. There, NASCAR was
being scrutinized for its punishment of Stewart following his
postrace altercation with Brian Vickers. Stewart was fined $50,000,
docked 25 championship points and placed on probation until Aug. 18
for allegedly striking Vickers after the race Sunday in Sonoma,
Calif. "I think Tony should feel fortunate that the penalty wasn't
more severe," driver Jeff Burton said Thursday. "I think Tony has
some issues that he needs to figure out and the people around him
need to find a way to help him do that. "The talk in the garage is
he got off easily."
Yoke TV furthers relationship with
Yoke TV™.Com, a new Canadian web
based broadband television broadcaster with production offices located in
Cleveland and new marketing offices opening in Chicago next month, released a
series of announcements at the “U.S. Bank Presents the Champ Car Grand Prix of
Cleveland” event today.
Most relevant to the Champ Car event was the announcement of a two-year internet
broadcast rights deal Yoke TV™.com has reached with Champ Car. The agreement
results in Yoke TV™, which joined the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World
Series Powered by Ford this year as the primary sponsor of the #11 Dale Coyne
Racing machine driven by Oriol Servia, broadcasting each Champ Car race over the
internet during the 2004 and 2005 seasons beginning with the July 3, 2004 event
Kendall takes pole in Cleveland
Tommy Kendall won the pole Thursday for Friday’s Trans-Am on the
Tarmac race at Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport. Driving the
venerable No. 11 Jaguar R Performance XKR, Kendall turned in a
1:14.466-minute lap (101.813 miles per hour) to earn his 41st career
and a record third Cleveland pole.
Randy Ruhlman qualified on the outside pole in the No. 49 Preformed
Line Products Chevrolet Corvette, while Tomy Drissi completed the
top three in the No. 5 Dodgeball—The Movie Jaguar XKR. Jorge Diaz,
Jr. (No. 8 Puerto Rico Grand Prix Jaguar XKR) and local driver Bob
Ruman (No. 23 McNichols/Cenweld Chevrolet Corvette) completed the
Kendall won the pole using Jaguar’s new production-based,
overhead-cam, fuel-injected engine, the only one of its type in the
field. It was the third pole for the engine and the first this
season in dry conditions. Kendall won the pole in the season opener
at Long Beach in rainy conditions.
“One of my goals was to be outright fastest car,” said Kendall. “We
found out last week that we had too much rear brake bias. We solved
that problem this week. I said on the first lap ‘We’ve got a hot rod
here.’ It was like a whole different car. I’m very happy to get the
heads up pole for Jaguar’s AJ-V8.”
Paul Gentilozzi, who ran in the top three during much of the
30-minute session, spun in debris and hit the tire wall in turn
eight. He was transported to the Champ Car Medical Center, where he
was checked and released.
“I did a Bruno (Junqueira),” referring to an off by the Brazilian
driver in this morning’s Champ Car World Series practice. “I hit in
the exact same spot except I knocked the wall down. The car ahead of
me cut the corner, scattering dirt all over the track. I got into it
and knew I was on my way to a wreck.”
Today’s race is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. at Cleveland’s Burke
Lakefront Airport. The Trans-Am Series is part of a full weekend of
racing, featuring the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World
Series Powered by Ford, and also includes the Toyota Atlantic
Championship Presented by Yokohama and Formula BMW USA.
7/2/04 Industry News
Ligier gets back in race car business
Former F1 team boss Guy Ligier has taken a significant shareholding
in Automobiles Martini, the French single-seater racing car
constructor which is based at Magny-Cours. The 74-year-old has put
his son Philippe Ligier in to run the business and has appointed F1
engineer Gilles Alegoet to be technical manager. In addition former
F1 man Rick Gorne has been taken on to market the company's products
on the international scene. This is interesting as it seems to
suggest that Automobiles Martini will be moving into the North
American market where Gorne has a strong influence, having worked
for both Reynard and more recently Lola. The cars are expected to be
called Ligiers and the apparent aim is to sell cars to the many
racing schools around the world. One cannot help but wonder however
if there are not plans for the Ligier name to be seen in
competitive formulae as well. The first new car which is to be
called the Ligier MK84, has been developed under the direct
responsibility of Tico Martini. It is a brand-new concept of
inexpensive racing car design combining a very stiff and strong
carbon monocoque with six-speed semi-automatic sequential F1-type
gearbox with steering wheel-mounted paddle shift, and inexpensive
standard parts to ensure minimal maintenance costs. The car will be
presented officially at the Paris Automobile Salon in September.
New sponsorship deal for Toyota
Toyota Motorsport has today announced that it has signed a
sponsorship deal with US-based IT company BMC Software Inc,
effective 1 July 2004, which sees BMC become a sponsor and technical
partner for the Panasonic Toyota Racing Formula 1 team. As part of
the deal, the BMC Software Inc. logo will appear on the front wing
end plate of Panasonic Toyota Racing's TF104 race cars, as well as
on the team's motorhome, garage pitboards and trucks starting from
this weekend's French Grand Prix in Magny-Cours. BMC Software, Inc.
is a leading provider of enterprise management solutions that
empower companies to manage their IT infrastructure from a business
perspective. Delivering Business Service Management, BMC Software
solutions span enterprise systems, applications, databases and
Parkland makes way for V8 Supercar
pits in Surfers
PARKLAND will become part of new pits for the Indy race carnival
after the State Government yesterday rejected a last-ditch attempt
to save the strip of land. Sport Minister Terry Mackenroth
said work would begin on the pits for the V8 supercars in a month.
"The Indy is so important to the economy of the Coast and to tourism
in Queensland that we should approve this," Mr Mackenroth said.
Indy organisers had said the event could lose the V8 race if the
pits were not built on the parcel of land at Macintosh Island park,
but hundreds of Gold Coast residents campaigned against the move
saying it threatened the habitat of wildlife in the area.
They were backed by Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke who put together a
last-minute compromise plan, which involved removing a median strip
to accommodate the pits. But this was rejected because
it would have created an unsafe surface for the cars. He said
the council's proposal to remove the existing median strip would
have created a small "kink" in the track and all of the work would
have been completed at night, ensuring minimal disruption. "They
obviously value the Indy experience more than the need for community
and public open space," Ms Levy said. The Indy is estimated to pump
about $50 million annually into the state's economy.
Ferrari 1-2 in Free Practice 1 in
The two Ferraris were only on the track for 4 laps in Free Practice
1 at Magny-Cours this morning and already they are miles ahead of
their competition, but it was a bit of good fortune. Rubens
Barrichello took advantage of a dry track to set the fastest lap in
Friday's first free practice session at Magny-Cours as teams prepare
for this weekend's French Grand Prix. Teammate Michael Schumacher
was second quickest to make it a Ferrari one-two. Most drivers set
their fast times on a wet track, so the gap is larger than it will
be in later sessions.
P. No Driver Team - Engine
Tires Times Ave/Gaps Laps
1. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'15"487 210.362 Km/h 4
2. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'15"713 + 0'00"226 4
3. 04 GENE Williams BMW M 1'19"348 + 0'03"861 14
4. 39 GLOCK Jordan Ford B 1'19"428 + 0'03"941 17
5. 19 PANTANO Jordan Ford B 1'19"466 + 0'03"979 12
6. 18 HEIDFELD Jordan Ford B 1'20"531 + 0'05"044 12
7. 20 BRUNI Minardi Cosworth B 1'21"203 + 0'05"716 13
8. 40 LEINDERS Minardi Cosworth B 1'22"267 + 0'06"780 11
9. 35 DAVIDSON BAR Honda M 1'26"552 + 0'11"065 17
10. 16 DA MATTA Toyota M 1'26"757 + 0'11"270 5
11. 17 PANIS Toyota M 1'27"449 + 0'11"962 4
12. 9 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'28"317 + 0'12"830 5
13. 38 ZONTA Toyota M 1'29"085 + 0'13"598 18
14. 15 KLIEN Jaguar Cosworth M 1'29"626 + 0'14"139 8
15. 21 BAUMGARTNER Minardi Cosworth B 1'29"877 + 0'14"390 12
16. 10 SATO BAR Honda M 1'30"092 + 0'14"605 10
17. 37 WIRDHEIM Jaguar Cosworth M 1'30"204 + 0'14"717 17
18. 7 TRULLI Renault M 1'39"392 + 0'23"905 4
Montoya in big crash
Juan Pablo Montoya has escaped injury in a high-speed crash in free
practice for the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours. The Colombian
lost control of his car at about 150mph in wet conditions and
removed two corners from his Williams against the tire wall after
coming close to rolling the car in the gravel trap.
Cleveland on live in CanadaUPDATE A reader writes, In
England, glancing at this week's Autosport, I see no reference to
the Champ Car race being on TV in the listings at the back. If you
have Sky satellite TV, you can watch the race live on Motors TV www.motorstv.com
<http://www.motorstv.com> Channel 413 at 22.00 hours live on July
3." Ed McFarlane, Goadby, England. You don't even need
a Sky subscription. MotorsTV is free-to-air on the Eurobird
satellite. 7/1/04 - While the neglected USA Champ Car fans have to wait 24 hours to see this
weekend's Grand Prix of Cleveland on Spike TV at 4:00 PM EST Sunday, Canadian
fans gets to watch the Champ Car race live if they wish, on TSN starting at
5pm EST Saturday.
Mosley quits FIAUPDATE It is understood that Mosley, 64,
finally tired of the inability of the team principals to reach agreement
over reforms. The final straw appears to be the u-turn made over qualifying.
A new format, featuring two 25-minute sessions 10 minutes apart, was to have
been introduced at next week's British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The
changes had been agreed informally but when the teams talked at a meeting of
the F1 Commission in London last Monday to ratify the proposals, the new
qualifying format was voted out. At Monday's meeting of the F1 Commission,
Mosley invoked Article 7.5 of the Concorde Agreement, which allows him to
enforce changes on safety grounds. As a result he imposed a 60-day deadline
on the teams to come up with methods of cutting costs and reducing speeds by
2005. Mosley believes it is possible to bring in longer-life engines,
lasting at least two races, the use of only two sets of tires per weekend
and a significant reduction in down force. If the teams fail to meet the Aug
31 deadline, the FIA will impose their own changes 45 days later, in time
for their introduction next year. Mosley is scheduled to spell out his
reasons for standing down at Magny-Cours this afternoon. His impatience with
some of the most powerful figures in the pit lane is widely understood but
privately known. Today it will become public. Expect blood on the floor.
7/1/04 - In a surprise
move, Max Mosley has told the FIA General Assembly this morning in Paris
that he intends to resign the FIA Presidency in October this year - 12
months before his mandate runs out. There will presumably be an
election in October to choose an interim President for one year.
7/1/04 Formula BMW
Milner takes first pole
Tom Milner (Team PTG Motorsport) won his first pole position of the 2004
Formula BMW USA Championship with a lap of 1:17.190 minutes around the
2.106-mile Burke Lakefront Airport Circuit. Milner’s last two laps of the
half-hour session were his fastest as he held off the charge of HBR
Motorsport teammates Jonathan Summerton and Andreas Wirth to take the Round
7 pole. Summerton will start second (1:17.532). Championship Points leader
Wirth will start third (1:17.757). Only 44 points separate the top-five in
the Championship battle. The top-five in points are Andreas Wirth (90),
James Hinchcliffe (75), Jonathan Summerton (68), Matt Jaskol (67) and Billy
Johnson (46). James Hinchcliffe leads the Rookie points with 110. Summerton
is second (88), Milner third (71), Graham Rahal fourth (38) and Tom
Sutherland fifth (32). The quickest Rookies in today’s qualifying session
were Milner, Summerton and Hinchcliffe. Formula BMW USA “This weekend has
been quite a surprise for me,” said a very pleased Milner. “We came here
with a new set-up and it has shown to be a quick one. We don’t have the
experience with these cars that some of the other teams have and have worked
hard.” Round 3 and 5 winner and Round 5 and 6 pole sitter Summerton said “We
will have HBR team mates surrounding Tom at the start, but that has both
positives and negatives. We will see tomorrow. I am on the front row, but I
am not completely happy with my performance. I think I could have gone
faster.” Wirth added, “I made a mistake on my quick lap that cost me a few
tenths, but I have to look at the points situation. It is important for me
to be in the top-three. Obviously anything can happen in the race, but I
know that I can go faster.” Round 7 is scheduled to start at 4:00 p.m.
tomorrow after Round 8 qualifying at 8:30 a.m. Saturday’s Round 8 is
scheduled to start at 12:15 p.m. Saturday. Qualifying: Round 7
1. Tom Milner (R) (Team PTG Motorsport) 1:17.190
2. Jonathan Summerton (R) (HBR Motorsport) 1:17.532
3. Andreas Wirth (HBR Motorsport) 1:17.757
4. James Hinchcliffe (R) (AIM Autosport) 1:17.898
5. Matt Jaskol (Team Autotecnica) 1:18.025
6. Lawson Ashenbach (Team PTG Motorsport) 1:18.381
7. Daniel Herrington (R) (Jensen Motorsport) 1:18.939
8. Tom Sutherland (R) (Team PTG Motorsport) 1:19.621
9. Brian Frisselle (PoleVision Racing) 1:19.748
10. Graham Rahal (R) (Vitesse Farm Racing) 1:20.934
11. Alexis Fenton (R) (Team Autotecnica) 1:21.502
12. Billy Johnson (Team PTG Motorsport) 1:22.068
13. Derek Burseth (R) (PoleVision Racing) 1:22.539
Dalziel takes provisional pole Looking
to get back on the winning track on a circuit where’s he’s performed
well before, Ryan Dalziel(#28 Pro-Works) paced the 30-minute Toyota
Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama morning practice session
today at Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport. Dalziel, who finished
third last season at the annual Roar by the Shore event, owned a
time of 1:08.088 (111.350 mph) to lead the Atlantic field. The
Sierra Sierra Enterprises driver won the opening race of the season
at Long Beach, but has managed only one podium finish since, coming
in the last round of the championship in Portland. Series points
leader Jon Fogarty (#96 Pacific Coast Motorsports), who has won the
last three Atlantic events, was second in practice with a top lap of
1:08.954 (109.952 mph). Fogarty’s teammate, Alex Figge (#69 Pacific
Coast Motorsports), posted the third-fastest time in the morning
session at 1:09.407 (109.234 mph). Danica Patrick (#24 Argent
Mortgage Company) was fourth quick with a time of 1:09.713 (108.754
mph) while Tonis Kasemets 1:09.822 (108.585 mph) rounded out the top
five in practice. The first round of Toyota Atlantic Qualifying will
take the green flag at 4:45 p.m. ET Thursday afternoon.
RYAN DALZIEL (#28 ProWorks) qualified on the
provisional pole at 1:07.093 (113.001 mph). He's guaranteed a front-row
starting spot regardless of what happens in the second qualifying session.
"We had a difficult race weekend at Portland - our last run - so we came
back here very determined. The car rolled off the truck very quick. We knew
coming back we had some struggles here. I'm pretty excited about going back
out tomorrow and see what we can do. (He sat in the pits through more than
half the session.) We had an electrical problem. We changed a lot of things.
I had to go out. I was lucky (to get a quick lap) because I got held up by
traffic. These cars don't change much from track to track. You have an oval
car and you have a road car (setup). There are two guys here next to me that
are pretty good and I'm sure they're going to find some more speed. We're
going to have to be on top of our game."
JON FOGARTY (#96 Pacific Coast Motorsports) qualified second at 1:07.502
(112.317 mph). He has led every lap (140) in winning the last three races in
a row, two from the pole. "The car's reasonably good. Obviously, it's not
quite what Ryan has going on. We're not going to make a huge chunk of
changes. I'm not shooting for consecutive wins. I just do the best I can
each race. The competition has not been that far behind (the last three
races). I just had three good races. The results we've had all year have led
to this. It's not P1, but it's OK."
Hunter-Reay: I could have been
Ryan on the day: “The team has done a fantastic job preparing for
this event, my car was excellent. We should have been on pole or at
the very least in the top three. Unfortunately, Sebastian (Bourdais)
ruined my fastest lap, he backed off right in front of me at the
approach to three and that was it. It was my final flyer of the
session and it was good, unfortunately we won’t benefit from it, but
I will do it again tomorrow. I am definitely looking forward to
7/1/04 Industry News
BMW sales shatter USA record again
The BMW Group (BMW and MINI brands combined) reported an increase of
12.4 percent in June for 27,909 vehicles compared to the 24,820
vehicles sold that month in 2003, making it the third consecutive
month of all-time sales records for BMW sales in the U.S. The BMW
Group also reported first-half sales of 143,646 vehicles, an
increase of 4.8 percent from 137,098 sold in the first six months of
Vintage F1 and Champ Cars to invade
More than 40 of the top level of open-wheel race cars are
pre-registered to participate in the Brian Redman International
Challenge July 14-18, at Road America, according to George
Bruggenthies, president and general manager. Formula One (F1) is the
featured marque for the event, which also includes a Nickey
Chevrolet Reunion and a celebration for 45 Years of Formula Junior
Racing. The four-day Super Ticket is $70 until July 7; daily tickets
are $10 Thursday, $15 Friday, and $35 Saturday and $35 for Sunday.
Children 12 and under are free, as is parking and shuttle rides
through the park-like setting. Tickets include access to the
paddock, where teams set up for the race weekend. Special temporary
garages will be built for the Historic Grand Prix Formula One cars,
many of which are in their original livery. More than 20 F1 cars are
pre-registered to participate in the event. The Village of Elkhart
Lake will host the Road and Track Concours d'Elegance (car show) for
race cars on Friday evening and for sports car on Saturday evenings.
Vintage cars will line the street of the community both nights. The
cars will be judged from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday and from 6:30
p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Saturday. Road America will host a Formula Junior
(FJ) race on Saturday at 5 p.m. Italy's Count Giovganni Johnny
Lurani, established the class to train young drivers for Formula 1
racing. The first FJ championship was in 1959, and the short-lived
class was discontinued in 1964. The cars used components from
production to foster reliability. Today the cars range in value from
$20,000 to $85,000 for the rare models.
7/1/04 Industry News
Strong support for NJ racing complexUPDATE The Millville, NJ
planning board met in special session Tuesday to review and
recommend to city commission a seven-page amendment to the zoning
ordinance providing for an Airpark Motorsport Entertainment
District. No one from the public attended. It now goes to city
commission for approval. "There was not anything in our
zoning ordinance that comes anywhere near reflecting that kind of
use," Dr. Kim Warker, planning director, said. Among
other things, it limits major races to six a year on the oval track
and permits no night racing on that track Warker said
the proposed motorsports facility is a unique project which combines
many different types of uses. The criteria would include
requirements for a minimum of 450 acres, availability of municipal
water and sewer, one entity as the owner and a maximum coverage of
75 percent of the tract. A significant amount of trees, vegetation
and natural features would have to be maintained. Permitted
uses would be racetracks, offices, conference/convention centers,
restaurants, hotels/motels, condos, recreation and entertainment
facilities, grandstands, training academies, clubs, public
buildings, broadcast towers and parking. Warker said the limit
of six major races on the oval track was set with input from city
commission. We feel that is best in terms of noise,
traffic and disruptions," she said. "We don't want that to become a
major use of this track." Board member Jack Myers asked
if six were enough. Derella said it would be because the biggest focus would be on the 4.1-mile road course.
Warker said by Feb. 1 of each year, there must be a schedule of
races for that year and an annual schedule of non-motorsports events
also must be submitted. "That allows the restaurants and
merchants to be aware of what's coming," Derella said.
6/13/04 - According to National Speed Sport News, the $100 million, 707-acre
Millville, New Jersey Motorsports Park received two key regional
endorsements within 72 hours of its June 1 announcement. "The vision of this
multifaceted project, including the raceway and its myriad complementary
businesses, educational institutions, hotels and conference centers, make it
a one-of-a-kind project," said The Chamber of Commerce of Southern New
Jersey in a statement released Wednesday. "The facility will also attract
thousands of tourists to our region."
"If there ever was a project that deserves to make it to the winner's
circle, it's the $100 million motor raceway plan in Millville," said The
Press of Atlantic City's Friday editorial. "The project could generate more
than 1,500 jobs, an influx of visitors, thousands of dollars for Millville
and additional momentum for that city's fledgling arts district."
The developers unveiled the five-stage proposal on Millville Municipal
Airport grounds Tuesday. Groundbreaking on NJMP's 4.1-mile Thunderbolt
Raceway road course, motorcycle circuit and all-terrain vehicle trail is to
be next spring, provided the needed approvals come from myriad local, state
and federal regulatory groups. The first one-year construction phase is to
include a 15,000-seat grandstand, paddock, garages an advance driving school
and motorsports academy. Siegel, Brahin and Millville Mayor James Quinn
estimate that 3,000 people will start coming to NJMP's core every weekend
starting in spring 2006.
The other four phases to be built between 2006 and 2010, will include three
or four hotels, a conference center and a car exhibition gallery.
Junqueira fastest, then crashes Bruno
Junqueira was quickest in the first practice session at Cleveland,
but ended the session prematurely when he clouted the concrete at
the exit of the final corner and heavily damaged the #6 PacifiCare
car. Qualifying gets underway at 3:30pm local/E
Pos Driver # Engine/Chassis/Tire Lap
Time Mph km/h Leader Previous
1 B. Junqueira 6 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 59.533 127.351
2 A. Tagliani 8 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 59.889 126.594
3 P. Tracy 1 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 59.900 126.571 203.696
4 P. Carpentier 7 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:00.129 126.089
202.920 0.596 0.229
5 R. Hunter-Reay 4 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:00.252 125.832
202.506 0.719 0.123
6 R. Lavin 3 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:00.717 124.868 200.955
7 S. Bourdais 2 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:00.872 124.550
200.443 1.339 0.155
8 M. Haberfeld 5 Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone 1:00.940 124.411
200.220 1.407 0.068
9 J. Wilson 34 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:00.943 124.405
200.210 1.410 0.003
10 M. Dominguez 55 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:00.992 124.305
200.049 1.459 0.049
11 A. Allmendinger 10 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:01.087
124.112 199.738 1.554 0.095
12 R. Gonzalez 21 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:01.763 122.753
197.551 2.230 0.676
13 M. Jourdain Jr. 9 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:01.807 122.666
197.411 2.274 0.044
14 N. Philippe 17 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:01.937 122.408
196.996 2.404 0.130
15 J. Vasser 12 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:01.937 122.408
16 A. Sperafico 14 Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone 1:02.163
121.963 196.280 2.630 0.226
17 G. Mazzacane 19 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:02.185 121.920
196.211 2.652 0.022
18 O. Servia 11 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:04.595 117.371
188.890 5.062 2.410
NHRA implements new rules In
light of Darrell Russell's death in a Top Fuel car accident last
weekend at Gateway International Raceway outside St. Louis, the NHRA
announced safety changes effective immediately. Beginning at the
next national event -- the Mopar Mile-High Nationals on July 16-18
near Denver -- Top Fuel and Funny Car teams must run a new
specification tire and all Top Fuel cars will be required to have
roll cage shielding installed. The cause of Russell's accident is
still under investigation and no conclusions have been reached, the
Statement from Terrible Tony Stewart
NASCAR has penalized NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Tony
Stewart following a garage area incident with fellow driver Brian
Vickers after last Sunday's race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma,
Calif. Stewart, driver of the #20 Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing,
was docked 25 championship points, fined $50,000 and placed on
probation until Aug. 18. The #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Team was also
docked 25 owner points. The following is a statement from Tony
Stewart: "I understand and accept NASCAR's penalty. With
NASCAR's continued growth and their rise in mainstream popularity, I
realize their rules have become stricter than they were in the past.
And after meeting with Brian France (NASCAR Chairman and CEO), I
know it's my job to live within those rules. I'm putting this
incident behind me and I plan no further comments. I'm going to
focus on Daytona and the remaining races before the final 10-race
run for the championship." The following is a statement
from J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing: "On
behalf of everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing, we agree with NASCAR that
Tony Stewart's actions after the Sonoma race were unacceptable. We
understand the reason for the penalties handed down by NASCAR and we
accept their decision." [Editor's Note: This slap on
the wrist by NASCAR substantiates the rumor that NASCAR calls the
offenders into the trailer, informs them the miniscule fine they
will announce, then pat them on the back on their way out saying
"job well done." You see, NASCAR learned a long time ago that
their customers, known as NASCAR Bubbas, and the media, thrive on
controversy. It keeps the juices flowing and the fans coming
back for more. They need good guys and bad guys to play to the
fans' heartstrings. Terrible Tony Stewart is one of their bad
guys and ca-ching, NASCAR is laughing all the way to the bank.]
2-seater is one wild ride This
article is yet another reporter's testimony of how awestruck
he was after experiencing a Champ Car 2-seater ride. "The
initial jolt of speed is astounding, catching me off guard as we
barrel down a straightaway. About the time I re-taste my meal, we
brake going into a right corner with a crushing force unlike
anything I'd ever felt before. Carrying a piano might be close.
Glancing at the wall of tires built in case we crash, I wonder how
or why anyone does this for a living.
With amazing precision, Tagliani shifts three times before we again
blast down the runway. The wind whips my helmet with so much force
that I actually wonder if my head is going to be pulled off.
Another time around, and Tagliani brings us back to the starting
He's not done, though, and makes a U-turn. This time, he whips the
car through an impossible right-hand turn and an equally jarring
left before straightening the car. The move leaves me
breathless and for the first time I get a sense of the skill level
of these drivers who must shift, brake, pass and think at 200 mph.
And they do it for 100 laps - not five. And, they do it knowing that
one error in judgment could cost them their lives."
NASCAR has a flat tire Saturday
night's Pepsi 400 will be Fox's last Nextel Cup telecast of the
year, and halfway through the fourth season of NASCAR's television
package, ratings are slumping. Fans are confused, irritated and even
turning off the TiVo. Despite a delightfully topsy-turvy race at
Michigan and Ryan Newman's victory two weekend's ago, ratings were
off a whopping 16 percent from last June's race at Michigan. Daytona
executives are awaiting the full ratings results from Jeff Gordon's
runaway in California on Sunday, and the Saturday of the Fourth of
July weekend is typically not a very good night for TV
ratings......While NASCAR itself has been thriving, the last eight
or nine years, the rest of American motorsports hasn't. And Speed is
more than just NASCAR. "I don't think it's so much that racing
has been struggling to find an audience as the racing audience in
and of itself is very much divided," SPEED Channel's Executive
Producer Rick Miner says. "The open-wheel fan is not necessarily the
stock-car fan who is not necessarily the motorcycle-racing fan who
is not necessarily the sports-car-racing fan. "At one point I
was adamant we were going to bring all these fans together and
cross-pollinate this audience so that they experience just the
thrill of racing and it didn't matter what was on the track. I don't
think I'm so confident that can be done anymore. "I do think a
great finish or a great race will attract a racing fan, even if
they're tricycles. But I don't think you're going to force
sports-car advocates or open-wheel race fans to become stock-car
viewers on a regular basis. I think they'll drop in and see what's
Inmates are running the asylum in
NASCAR If the
penalty handed down to bad boy Tony Stewart on Wednesday is any
indication of what happens when NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France
gets serious, then the inmates truly are in control.
France was emphatic in a press conference this week that Stewart was
in deep trouble for assaulting fellow driver Brian Vickers following
last Sunday's race at Sears Point. "It is a big deal," France told
reporters. "His behavior . . . is unacceptable." So what
did NASCAR do? It levied a fine of $50,000 against a guy whose
career earnings in the Cup alone exceed $30 million and put him on
Florida Today Related article:
NASCAR's credibility falls further with Stewart penalty.
Gentilozzi: Champ Car not for sale This
article says, The dream may be reunification, but the
business at hand is rebuilding. Paul Gentilozzi, Gerald Forsythe and
Kevin Kalkoven, the three owners of the Open Wheel Racing Series,
met last week with Indy Racing League team owner Roger Penske to
discuss the future of open-wheel racing. But Gentilozzi
said Wednesday the immediate challenge is making Champ Car vibrant
again. So the team owners are not giving up, or giving in.
"What that means is, we will not sell our company and just go
away," he said.
Like Penske, Gentilozzi said the purpose of the meeting was
information, not reunification. Beyond that, Gentilozzi, like
Penske, is keeping those discussions close to the vest. "It would be
wrong to do our business in the newspaper," he said. "We have
huge respect for Roger Penske, and he was very open to listening.
But Champ Car is not for sale, simple as that."
To back up his claim that the series is starting to get its legs
after just five months of new life, Gentilozzi announced the U.S.
Bank Presents the Grand Prix of Cleveland and the city of Cleveland
are partners through 2007. "We're not backing away," Gentilozzi
said. "This is a great market. We are committed."
He also said similar announcements will occur at other venues
in the coming weeks.
"We've shown people that we are around, that we are stable, and that
we are going to be here in the future," he said. "Kevin and Gerry
and I all run different kinds of businesses. But the thing we all
are is bottom-line guys. This is not a charity. We didn't step
forward because we felt like we were saving the whales or the seals
or the spotted owls. This is a business. We looked at the assets of
Champ Car, we looked at the reputation and the market position it
had with the agreements it had and felt that was its strength."
"The other aspect of us, people want to quantify everything we do
based on the United States," the Champ Car owner said. "We are
really big in Mexico and Canada. When you look at North America,
last year we had about 2.6 million spectators buy tickets to our
races, which is a million more tickets than our competitor sold,
which is a significant amount. Those are hard numbers, published
"When you look at how many people watch us on TV, everybody focuses
on domestic television audience, and that is a nice thing to do. But
let's assume on a given week if you do a .7 or .8, a million people
watch us in the U.S. But they don't talk about the fact 2.5 million
people watch us in Brazil, or 1.5 million in Canada or 2 million in
Mexico. On any given weekend, cumulatively, over 5 million
people are watching Champ Car on television, somewhere. That's a big
"When we compare it, NASCAR has 4 or 5 million watching
domestically, but their worldwide audience is a lot smaller. When we
compare it to a series like the IRL, we know we have a much bigger
worldwide audience." So while the Internet, HDNet and Spike TV
are not mainstream television, to Gentilozzi and Champ Car, for race
fans to watch their events at those TV outposts does say there is a
market, and a breath of life, for American open-wheel racing. [Editor's
Note: Yes, Paul but why not have the best of both worlds - a big
TV audience domestically and internationally. Races need to be
on CBS in 2005 - problem solved - sponsors will be happy and
potential new consumer oriented sponsors will take notice.]
Big YokeTV announcement Yoke
TV. Com will be making a large announcement tomorrow (scheduled for
the morning, could change to afternoon) at the Burke Lakefront
Airport in Cleveland on July 2, 2004. The announcement will discuss
the launch of the company with a major announcement.
AutoRacing1 readers welcome AutoRacing1.com
readers are invited to visit the Jensen Motorsport team transporter for an
open house to check out both their Atlantic cars and the Formula BMW's...
Fans can get up close and take photos. The time is Friday from
5:30 - 6:30 pm. The JENSEN MOTORSPORT transporter is in the Toyota
Atlantic / ChampCar paddock... It is white, and will have the Westin &
Sheraton crowd barriers out front.
YokeTV.com returns to NASCAR team Eric
McClure, who made his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series start earlier this season in
the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway, is entered in the Pepsi 400 at
Daytona this weekend. The 25 year-old McClure will drive the #04 YOKETV.com
and 77sports.com Chevrolet in his second NEXTEL Cup Series event. YOKETV.com
is pleased to return as a primary sponsor to Morgan-McClure Motorsports,
which began the 2004 season with the YOKE logo embellishing its #4
Chevrolets. In addition, 77sports.com returns after launching its first
primary sponsorship outing at McClure's Talladega debut. The #4 car and
Jimmy Spencer return to competition at Daytona, where Morgan-McClure
Motorsports has five wins. Spencer, who gained his first NASCAR Cup Series
win at Daytona on July 2, 1994, will make his 450th career Cup Series start.
Brent Meikle, CEO of YOKETV.com, quotes: "I am pleased to be able to
announce this resolution with Morgan-McClure and our return to the exciting
Nextel Cup series. We have a great deal of confidence in Eric and I want to
thank Larry McClure for giving us the time we needed to make a fresh start.
While this resolution currently does not include a full season, it paves the
way to a 3-year relationship which hopefully will result in our full support
for Eric and, in any event, will allow us to work together with the good
folks over at Morgan-McClure."
Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR
Why a V10 for Champ Car and F1? If
Max Mosley has his way, Formula One is going for a 2.4 liter V8 engine
starting in 2008. Until then the V10 will survive, but from 2006 maybe even
2005 onwards, it must have a life span of two weekends. Some speculate BMW
will almost certainly retire at the end of 2007 out of protest. They feel F1
should stay a V10 but extend the engine life at to 3 or more race weekends
to save money.
Some speculate BMW could supply V10 engines to the Champ Car series if F1
goes V8 since the USA is its biggest market for selling cars. Of
course Champ Car needs manufacturer support like that which BMW could bring,
and we have made the argument repeatedly that Champ Car needs to establish
itself as the premier road racing series in North America and, if it wants
to sell its product to markets worldwide, it had better look and feel a lot
like F1, but at a lower cost. A V10 implies something more than a V8
(a V8 is far too common and brings connotations of a stock car engine such
as those used in passenger cars.), something special, something sexy.
The GP2 series will be a lowly V8 for heaven's sake.
The V8 is the wrong decision for both Champ Car and F1 for a number of
reasons, A V10 for 3 race weekends saves more money than a V8 for one
weekend. A V8 is too close to the new GP2 (new Formula 3000) engines,
which will be V8’s with 4 liter capacity, but restricted revs. How is
Champ Car going to sell itself as a premier series to countries when F1's
feeder series GP2 will make almost as much HP, be lighter (hence faster),
and have the same 8 cylinders? Ditto for F1.
Thompson murder case going to trial This
article says, The former business partner of racing legend Mickey
Thompson pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges he orchestrated the murders
of Thompson and Thompson's wife 16 years ago. Michael Frank
Goodwin, 59, made his first court appearance in Los Angeles County dressed
in an orange jail jumpsuit and glasses. The one-time racing promoter has
been in Orange County jail for two- and- a- half years. Los
Angeles County prosecutors agreed earlier this month to take the case after
an appellate court ruled Orange County had no jurisdiction over the case.
Thompson, who once set a land- speed record, was shot to death outside his
Bradbury home along with his wife Trudy in March 1988. Witnesses said the
two killers, who have never been caught, escaped on bicycles. Thompson
and Goodwin had a rocky business relationship in the 1980s that dissolved in
a cloud of litigation. Thompson ultimately won a $766,000 judgment against
Goodwin, forcing Goodwin to declare bankruptcy. Goodwin was an early
suspect, but detectives were never able to put together enough evidence for
Los Angeles County prosecutors to charge him. The Sheriff's detectives took
the case to Orange County prosecutors on the theory that Goodwin may have
planned the murders from his Orange County home. An appellate
court ruled in April there was insufficient evidence to show the plotting
occurred in Orange County. Goodwin would have been released had Los Angeles
County not stepped in. Los Angeles County prosecutors
re-examined the evidence, and opted to charge him. They have not yet decided
whether to seek the death penalty.
rates 5 best Americans in F1 In the June 28, 2004 issue of
Sports Illustrated, Jackie Stewart ranks the five best ever Americans in F1.
He called Dan Gurney the hands-down best ever American in F1 and Mario
Andretti the best driver in the world in the late 70's.
1. Dan Gurney - 4 wins, 0 World
2. Mario Andretti - 12 wins, 1 World
3. Phil Hill - 3 wins, 1 World
4. Eddie Cheever - 0 wins, 0 World
5. Danny Sullivan - 0 wins, 0 World
What about Peter Revson Jackie, who won F1 races
before being killed driving for McLaren while in his prime?
Bernie reserves 19 2005 F1 dates "Bernie
Ecclestone has, as it were, booked 19 weekends but it's by no means sure
that there will be 19 races," FIA President Max Mosley told Reuters. "He
would have to get our agreement for that, which would not be automatic. We
have to give our consent for it to be more than 16 races. And you have to
get the agreement of the teams. "But it was sensible to block
those dates so that you wouldn't then get, for example, a round of the world
rally championship that conflicted."
2005 dates blocked for the 2005 FIA Formula One Championship
HANS Device saved MassaUPDATE
We have added this AP photo which shows how violent Massa's head-on crash
with the barriers in Montreal was. At 113g's you can imagine what
would have happened to his neck. Can you say Basil Skull Fracture and
instant death? BTW, if that was a concrete wall instead of tire
barriers, the g's would have easily exceeded 200. 6/30/04 - The
mandatory HANS device (developed and perfected in the USA in the
Champ Car Series first) saved Brazilian Felipe Massa from death or
serious injury in his high-speed shunt in the Canadian Grand
Prix last month. That is the view of FIA head Max
Mosley, who maintains that the 113g impact sustained by the Sauber
driver when he ploughed into the tire barrier at the Montreal
circuit’s hairpin could have been fatal but for the HANS (Head And
Neck Support) device. Mosley said: “If he hadn’t been wearing
HANS and had all the latest gear in place, he’d have probably hit
the steering wheel very substantially – in excess of what we believe
to be the limit for injury, in fact. So we think he might have been
badly hurt or possibly worse.”
Stewart fined, docked points Tony
Stewart has been fined $50,000, penalized 25 driver championship points and
placed on probation until Aug. 18, resulting from a post-race altercation
with fellow driver Brian Vickers last Sunday at Infineon Raceway. In
addition, Joe Gibbs, owner of the No. 20 Chevrolets driven by Stewart, has
been penalized 25 car owner championship points. The point penalty drops
Stewart one spot in the series standings, to sixth place. Stewart was found
in violation of Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rule Book
(actions detrimental to stock car racing; involved in altercation with
another competitor). “This action we’ve taken speaks for itself,” NASCAR
President Mike Helton said. “Tony Stewart is well aware of what is expected
of him going forward." NASCAR PR
#77 crew chief fined Shane
Wilson, crew chief for the #77 Dodge driven by Brendan Gaughan, has been
fined $10,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31. He was found in
violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and
12-4-Q (unapproved fuel cell container modification). NASCAR PR
6/30/04 Industry News
Thieves steal from kids camp Missing:
two children, 6 feet tall, with metallic complexions and a combined weight
of several hundred pounds. Police have few clues, but one thing is certain.
The kids didn’t run away. Thieves boosted a bronze statue from the Victory
Junction Gang Camp late Monday or early Tuesday, less than two weeks after
the Petty racing family opened their camp for children with chronic and
life-threatening illnesses. Administrators reported the theft to Randolph
County sheriff’s deputies about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. “Just the brazenness of
it,” said executive director Brian Collier. “We’re in a neighborhood, and
they pulled right up, took the statue and made off. You can’t get any lower,
to me, than stealing from a children’s camp, especially children who suffer
from life-threatening illnesses.” The statue, which was beside a gatehouse
at the camp’s front entrance, depicts two children playing leap frog. It is
about 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Deputies are investigating the theft and
have no suspects or leads. Camp officials were trying Tuesday to contact the
art gallery that donated the statue to determine its value. Collier said a
rough estimate is between $7,000 and $10,000. “I just hope that someone
either took it and returns it, or they know who took it and they turn it
in,” he said. Anyone with information is being asked to call Detective Brian
Arrington at 336-318-6699 or Randolph County Crimestoppers at (800) 672-2530
News and Record
Michelin proposal to reduce speeds Michelin
makes proposals to control performances in F1, while reducing Teams'
operational costs by over 50% and making the racing more interesting.
Following today's announcement by the FIA that the Formula One Technical
Working Group has been asked to propose measures to reduce the performance
of F1 cars, Michelin offers a number of proposals, as it stated it would in
the company's press release of May 7, 2004. Michelin feels that its
proposals are very much in line with the FIA's main objectives for the
future. These objectives are to control performances by reducing cornering
speeds for reasons of safety, to offer a very substantial reduction in costs
through the virtual elimination of tire testing, and to improve the racing
spectacle without introducing artificial rules. After
consultation with its partner teams Michelin produced various proposals
which are listed below. The company feels that these proposals could be
introduced from as early as 2005.
The proposals made by Michelin are:
the use of one set of tires for qualifying and
the entire race;
between four sets and two sets of dry tires to
be available for each driver per weekend, available in one or two types;
supply of same specification prime and same
specification option for all teams;
six sets per team for each test day (with a
recommendation for a drastic reduction in testing during the F1 season, to
be decided by either the Team Principals or the FIA);
"We believe that the FIA's objectives can be met
by implementing these proposals," said Michelin Competition Director, Pierre
Dupasquier. "Firstly, to be able to provide tires that last much longer, we
will be obliged to use much harder compounds, which in turn will be less "grippy",
thus reducing speeds. Secondly, to seriously reduce costs, testing must be
limited. This can be complemented by providing fewer tires, so the amount of
testing would be further reduced. I'm sure there can be a saving in
Teams' operational costs of over 50%. And finally, these 'hard' tires will
leave less rubber on the track, making the 'dirty' line a thing of the past
and therefore encouraging overtaking, something everybody around F1 wants."
Michelin Group Chairman and CEO, Edouard Michelin added, "Our proposals
offer a triple benefit: an increase in safety, a reduction in costs and an
improvement to the racing spectacle - particularly by having more
overtaking. These proposals therefore both respond positively to the wishes
of the FIA and also allow teams the freedom to choose their tire supplier; a
freedom that is at the very heart of the companies involved in Formula One.
Michelin is therefore happy to continue to work with its partners and the F1
Technical Working Group in order to find the best way forward."
ALMS visits Manhattan
American Le Mans Series race cars were on display in New York City on
Wednesday as the inaugural American Le Mans Series "Festival of Speed" took
place at the World Financial Center-Winter Garden in lower Manhattan.
ALMS racing teams and drivers were in the New York area in advance of the
July 2-5 New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in nearby Lakeville, Conn.
More with Photos.......
Champ Car World Series LLC To Race In
Cleveland Through 2007 Season The
Burke Lakefront Airport course has been a fixture on the Champ Car
circuit since Medina’s Bobby Rahal won the inaugural event in 1982,
and today in Cleveland, Champ Car World Series co-owner Paul
Gentilozzi, along with Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell, announced that
the series has committed to race on the shores of Lake Erie through
the 2007 season.
“I am thrilled that the Champ Car World Series will continue its
successful racing event in the City of Cleveland,” said Mayor
Campbell. “Keeping Champ Car in Cleveland not only benefits racing
fans, but it also brings in millions of dollars in economic
development revenue for the City and our residents.”
As one of the longest-running temporary road courses on the
Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford
calendar, the U.S. Bank Presents The Champ Car Grand Prix of
Cleveland has provided fans, teams and drivers of the Champ Car
World Series with a number of thrilling events in the last 22 years.
“Cleveland is a place that really started Champ Car on the path of
staging successful events at temporary racing facilities, something
that has helped us take racing to the heart of major urban markets,”
Gentilozzi said. “As an owner as well as a competitor, this track
and this city are very special to me and I feel that the support we
have always gotten from the Cleveland fans made this announcement
The series has assumed an agreement from former race promoter IMG,
which gives Champ Car the rights to conduct a race in Cleveland for
at least three more years beyond this weekend. This year’s event is
the 23rd race to be run at Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport and
is being promoted by Champ Car, which has put a veteran staff in
place to organize the event, led by General Manager Rena Shanaman.
The efforts of the staff have led to unprecedented support from
local businesses, city and county officials and major corporations,
all working together to give the racing fans of Ohio the best
possible show when the Champ Car World Series comes to town July
“This is a tremendous event for the City of Cleveland as well as for
Champ Car and we could not be happier with the way the local leaders
have contributed to its success,” Shanaman said. “The Cuyahoga
County Board of Commissioners, Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell and her
staff, the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau of Greater Cleveland,
U.S. Bank, Bridgestone and many others have come forward and really
supported this event this year and we look forward to giving the
fans of Cleveland a great race this weekend and for years to come.
Champ Car great retires One of the top competitors
ever to grace a Champ Car grid called it a career Wednesday when
two-time Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by
Ford champion Al Unser Jr. announced his retirement for open-wheel
racing in Indianapolis.
The 1990 and 1994 Champ Car title winner retired 22 years after
making his Champ Car debut with a fifth-place finish at Riverside,
ending a career that left him among the most well-known and
accomplished racers in the sport’s history. The Albuquerque, New
Mexico native won 31 Champ Car races, second in Modern Era history
(1979-present) and sixth in the 95-year history of major-league
open-wheel racing. He holds a share of the Champ Car Modern Era
records for most wins in a season and most consecutive victories and
finished in the top five in the season standings 11 times.
“Al was a great champion and was a master of race craft because he
was never a great qualifier, but was always a guy you had to watch
on Race Day,” said fellow Champ Car title winner Jimmy Vasser, who
is just five starts away from equaling Unser’s record of 192
consecutive Champ Car starts. “It was an honor to compete against
him. His legacy in the sport is well earned.”
Al won a record six times at Long Beach, four times at Vancouver,
and three times in Cleveland and Portland including his first-ever
Champ Car win in 1984 in a race where he climbed from 10th to take
the victory. He made the last of his 273 Champ Car starts in 1999
with a seventh-place run at Fontana and scored his final Champ Car
victory in 1995 in typical fashion, charging from his ninth-place
starting spot to win in Vancouver. Champ Car Related Story
Zanardi on Cleveland "Cleveland
to me is a super, super place; just fantastic! It's not a permanent
track it's what we call a street circuit but its layout is in an
airport and you can easily imagine how cool it is to race on
runways. The track promotes a lot of overtaking possibilities during
the race because the course is very wide. It's quite bumpy, but for
me is a fantastic place that brings back many memories. In 1997 I
had a fantastic race, one of my overall favorite, because I was
basically dead last and I was able to recover, also thanks to a
great race car, all the positions and took the lead from Gil de
Ferran with 2 laps to go. I would love to race back in Cleveland
even if it's going to be almost impossible for me now. Cleveland is
also a very special place for the fans because you have great
advantage points from which you can dominate the entire track.
Overall Cleveland rocks!"
6/30/04 Industry News
Zanardi meets Flag Marshal amputee On
Sunday morning in Donington Park, during the autograph session,
Alessandro Zanardi met Steve Tarrant, an amputee motorsport marshal.
Four years ago, Tarrant lost his right leg when he was hit by a
racing car during the 2000 Goodwood Festival of Speed; an accident
that cost the lives of the driver, John Dawson-Damer, and another
marshal, Andy Carpenter. "He sent me a few messages right
after my accident, which were both moving and encouraging. And when
he contacted me again a few months ago, saying that he wished to
meet me personally at Donington, I was very pleased," Zanardi said.
"For me this was a great emotion. Both Alex and I we love our sport
very much, and we are still participating despite what happened to
us. Life's going on, this is our passion and we've got to live it,"
added Steve Tarrant, who runs a
website on his own career:
6/30/04 Industry News
The Glen announces staffing changes Watkins
Glen International President Craig Rust announced today the
promotion of three individuals within the track's marketing and
communications department. Andy Longenberger will now serve as
Corporate Sales Manager, while Ryan Mosher has been named Corporate
Sales Executive. Rust also named Eiron Jones Public Relations
Manager of the historic road course. Julie Giese, Director of
Public Relations at Watkins Glen International and Nazareth
Speedway, has been named Director of Communications at Daytona
Caution light snafu at Richmond was
The caution lights at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) which
remained on during a last-lap restart in Saturday's IRL race, are
controlled by a switch in the flag stand. IRL Senior Vice President
of Operations Brian Barnhart said the lights didn't turn off for
Saturday's last-lap restart because the flagman didn't flip the
switch. RIR workers still rechecked the lights Sunday morning to
ensure the problem wasn't mechanical. RIR President Doug Fritz said
the system "went on and off 40 to 50 times flawlessly."
First NASCAR team to bring 2nd female
driver Jay Robinson Racing will make history this
weekend at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Tina Gordon will
make her debut with the #39 Yahoo! Ford team in Friday night’s
Winn-Dixie 250 NASCAR Busch Series race at the 2.5-mile speedway,
and will be in the driver’s seat the rest of the 2004 season. At
that point, Jay Robinson Racing will be the first team in NASCAR
history to have placed two female drivers in full-time driving
roles. Tammy Jo Kirk was in a full-time driving role for Robinson
last season. Gordon is a 33-year-old native of Cedar Bluff, Ala.
“We’re excited to bring someone with Tina Gordon’s potential to our
race team. Besides her obvious future as a driver, she is a great
fit for the team and for our sponsors,” said team owner Jay
Robinson. “This will also give us some continuity with a driver for
the Yahoo! team, which should help us on the track as well.” Gordon
comes to the Yahoo! Ford team from the NASCAR Craftsman Truck
Series, but also brings strong experience credentials from the
weekly short tracks of Alabama, the same tracks that spawned racing
legends such as Davey Allison, and helped build legends such as
Bobby and Donnie Allison, Red Farmer and Neil Bonnett.
“The tradition of racing in Alabama is important to me, and I want
to help carry on that heritage,” Gordon said. “Being able to work
with a consistent team such as Jay Robinson Racing and a
cutting-edge sponsor like Yahoo! is important to my career and to my
development as a driver.”
Microtel Inn and Suites, which has received the J.D. Power &
Associates award for highest guest satisfaction the past two years,
and Vasarette, a top of the line lingerie manufacturer, will join
Jay Robinson Racing as associate sponsors on the #39 Yahoo! Ford.
Jay Robinson Racing, in its fourth season of operation, is one of
the fastest-growing teams in NASCAR. Robinson, a Charlotte, N.C.,
native who is a successful businessman, founded the team as a
high-value endeavor that offers high-end equipment and efforts,
while proving to be one of the most cost-efficient teams in the
sport. Robinson fields two sponsored cars fulltime on the Busch
Series: the #39 Yahoo! Ford and the #49 Advil Ford, and runs a third
car in many Busch Series events.
Giese named by Daytona Speedway Julie
Giese, Director of Public Relations at Watkins Glen International
and Nazareth Speedway, has been named Director of Communications at
Daytona International Speedway, President Robin Braig announced
today. Giese, who will begin her new duties at the "World Center of
Racing" in September, will be responsible for advertising and
promotions, continuing to develop sports car, motorcycle and go-kart
events and helping coordinate pre-race and post-race activities.
"Julie has been instrumental in the success at Watkins Glen and
we're looking forward to her joining an already talented team at
Daytona," Braig said. Giese, a native of Wisconsin, joined Watkins
Glen in January 2001 as Manager of Public Relations. In May 2003,
she was named Director of Public Relations for Watkins Glen and
Nazareth Speedway. Prior to joining Watkins Glen International,
Giese served as a Public Relations Account Executive at Miller
Meester Advertising, located in Minneapolis, Minn., for two years.
At Miller Meester, Giese developed and implemented the public
relations accounts for Cargill, Inc. and BASF Corporation, along
with working to maintain and write content for several
racing-orientated Web sites. Giese is a graduate of the University
of Wisconsin-River Falls and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in
Casey Mears to appear on Days of our
driver Casey Mears will appear on NBC’s “Days of our Lives” as
himself at 1:00pm
Shanghai street circuit completed Autosport
Magazine reports that work has already been completed on the new
street circuit in Shanghai that will host a non-championship DTM
race in two weeks’ time. Race promoter the Brilliant Culture
Group attended last weekend’s Norisring race. BCG’s Maggie Ip said:
“The circuit, including all the hospitality facilities, was
constructed entirely within just 30 days. The track is finished
already and the stands can accommodate 22,000 spectators.” Ip
and a delegation from China confirmed that they hoped the race would
have a long-term future if the inaugural event is a success. [Editor's
Note: Champ Car could have been racing on this very same
circuit, though it would have required the erection of more
grandstands. In this
story from our archives, we show the layout that was
proposed to Champ Car under Chris Pook's reign, but never
materialized. Here is a 2nd story on
Gene to replace Ralf The
BMW WilliamsF1 Team confirmed that the team's official test and reserve
driver, Marc Gené, would replace Ralf Schumacher at this weekend's French
Grand Prix at Magny-Cours. After a high speed accident at Indianapolis ten
days ago, doctors have confirmed that Ralf Schumacher has sustained two
fractures in his spinal column, and will require a recovery period of up to
twelve weeks. It is not clear when Ralf will be fit to race again. In the
light of yesterday's medical diagnosis, future decisions regarding driver
nominations will be taken at a later date. Williams BMW
Cleveland course leaves drivers gasping for
This Cleveland Plain Dealer
article says, While many racers ride bikes and run in preparation
for race day, Sebastien Bourdais gets in the swim when he prepares to race
in the Grand Prix of Cleveland.
"What makes it difficult here is, first it's very hot. Then you hold your
breath for like half a lap, because the turns are so long and so bumpy," he
said. "If you are breathing, you're just gonna . . . well, you physically
can't do that. So, turns are so long that it's like six seconds without
"Every time you go through a fast turn, or big braking, you have do that.
"I have a special training thing just for that. I'm swimming, I [swim] one
line underneath [the water], one line coming back recovering, one line
underneath. It's like 20-20, or 20-30. The faster the corner is, the shorter
the time is [you hold your breath]. The problem is, in Cleveland, the
straight lines are limited. That is why it is very difficult.
"Like the turn one chicane," he said. "You hold your breath for the braking,
then after you come out of that you are right into your approach into turn
two and turn three and four. All that time, forget about breathing. It's not
happening. You get a very small break, then you do it all again, five and
six, then a small one [breath] between six and seven, then seven and eight
you just stop breathing again. You have a decent break after than, but then
the fast chicane. Then it starts all over again.
"That's what makes this track so demanding. When you are not giving oxygen
to your body, when you have to give something to your muscles, well, you are
always in debt. After three laps, you're like [panting].'"
Only Tony George can end Open Wheel
This Cleveland Plain Dealer
article says, Yes, there was a meeting. Several power brokers in the
land of open-wheel racing met last week offering hope that, somewhere in the
future, a near 10-year split between the Indy Racing League and what is now
labeled the Open Wheel Racing Series can become one once again.
Can it happen? Hey, anything is possible. Will it happen? Recent history
says no way.
Kudos to IRL team owner Roger Penske and the OWRS/Champ Car owners - Paul
Gentilozzi, Gerald Forsythe and Kevin Kalkoven - for taking the necessary
step of instigating dialogue. They met last week in person, after first
having a conference call, for what was essentially a ground-breaking
session. "I thought it was good conversation, but I don't have anything to
report," Penske said in published reports. We basically talked philosophy .
. . we didn't discuss concessions." He said the spirit of the talks was to
"come up with something where no one loses and everyone wins."
However, listen to the major player, IRL President Tony George: "I am
totally out of the loop on this one," George said in a published report over
the weekend. "It's hard to conduct negotiations by yourself."
There was no split until George made one, starting the IRL as a grass-roots,
cost-conscious oval racing series. There will be no healing until George
puts it back together. Perhaps nearly a decade of division has George and
Champ Car looking at the sport in a new, albeit much dimmer, light. If so,
there is hope.
Understand, after George, the initial IRL power brokers - John Menard, A.J.
Foyt, Ron Hemelgarn and several others - have been relegated to being pawns,
if not pushed out completely, as George's original grass-roots, hands-on
All-American philosophy has gone high finance, corporate and international.
The strongest IRL teams are almost all former members of Champ Car's
predecessor, Championship Auto Race Teams. Many, including Penske, were
founding fathers of CART. Having lived on both sides of the fence, Penske
obviously knows the fundamental strengths and weaknesses of both.
Paul Newman finds plenty of room for optimism
This Cleveland Plain Dealer
article says, There's no doubt that those who have lived through the
last few years on the CART and Champ Car circuits have seen some bleak
mornings and stormy nights. But team owner/actor Paul Newman said
that's part of the past, not the future.
"The last couple of years have been tough," Newman said in a recent
telephone interview. "It's not because the fans have lost their loyalty, and
I must say we have them to thank for us still being in business. But the
teams that have deserted Champ Car because they've been paid a lot of money
to go race someplace else has been hard to overcome."
That exodus led to the bankruptcy of Championship Auto Racing Teams and opened
the door for new leadership and the new Champ Car brand name. Despite the
defections, Newman, half of the Newman/Haas race team, has not budged from
the ranks. Now, instead of talking about a series going under, he speaks of
one on the rise.
"The venues we have to race at both this year and next year are very
positive," he said. "I think the promotions are good, I think we'll have
more sponsors next year and we may find some guys coming back from other
series to join us."
"The tradition for road racing in America goes way, way back to the
beginning of the century," he said. "I've road-raced myself and have always
admired the discipline. Road racing and street racing are in the same
tradition of Formula One. The technology in Champ Car is amazing as well.
You know, these cars will stick to the ceiling at 140 mph."
"Well, I guess it's the fans. The fans have always been so loyal to street
racing and road racing. I mean, look at Cleveland. They really get out and
support the race in a way they are not supporting IRL. If the fans keep
supporting us, we'll be there for them."
"I think road racing fans are a lot more committed than other race fans,"
Newman said. "I can remember some hot, miserable, humid rainy days racing in
Cleveland. And the fans always came."
"We've run a lot of races there, but that has been a bad-luck track for us,"
Newman said. "We have fewer wins there [three] than almost any track we go
to. It's a very, very demanding track. That's the only track where I ever
saw Mario [Andretti] get out of the car and just sit down. I never saw that
happen very often."
Pollard moves to Sam Schmidt Motorsports
Brad Pollard will drive the No. 64 XBOX entry for Sam Schmidt Motorsports in
the Indy Racing League Menards Infiniti Pro Series beginning with the
Aventis Racing for Kids 100 on July 3 at Kansas Speedway. Pollard competed
in the final two events of the 2003 season with Sam Schmidt Motorsports, but
began this season driving for Kenn Hardley Racing. He finished fifth at
Homestead-Miami and recorded 11th-place finishes at Phoenix and
Indianapolis. The relationship with Sam Schmidt Motorsports will allow
Pollard to team with Thiago Medeiros and Arie Luyendyk Jr. who rank first
and third, respectively, in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series points
standings. "Kenn Hardley runs a great organization with quality people and
was a great owner to work with and drive for," Pollard said. "As I learn at
this new level, I struggled to communicate exactly how I needed the car to
be set up to go fast. "I tested with Sam Schmidt Motorsports last year, and
had a great working chemistry with his team. We approached Sam and he agreed
to run me the remainder of this year and to help me learn to better
communicate with the team. I'm also very excited about the opportunity to
drive with guys like Thiago (Medeiros) and Arie (Luyendyk Jr.), just as I
was to drive with Billy Roe." Pollard, who was the 2002 Southwest Formula
Mazda Rookie of the Year, will also draw upon Schmidt's experience as a
former driver and owner in the IRL IndyCar Series® as he strives for that
level. "Sam will be a tremendous resource as I learn to communicate with the
team and can provide a smooth transition for me when I make the step up to
the IndyCar Series," Pollard said.
McLaren confirms new car for French GP
The Mercedes powered McLaren team have today confirmed that they will be
introducing their heavily revised 2004 F1 car, the MP4-19B at the French
Grand Prix at Magny-Cours this coming weekend.
"The entire team is continuously working to improve our overall package and
whilst the MP4-19B is a significant part of this process additional
developments are already planned for the coming weeks and months,” said
McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh.
The Mobil 1 French Grand Prix is actually the mid-point of the 2004 season
and regular driver David Coulthard can’t wait to take to the French track in
the new car…
“I am looking forward to the Mobil 1 French Grand Prix, partly because it is
an event that I particularly enjoy, but primarily because we are using the
MP4-19B for the first time. After the two North American races, we returned
to Europe to continue our test program at Jerez with the MP4-19B. It was my
first opportunity to get behind the wheel and it was a constructive couple
of days,” he said. “As with the rest of the team, I feel it is a positive
move and I am looking forward to seeing how it goes this weekend.”
“Similar to circuits such as Monaco and Nurburgring, Magny Cours is more of
a technical circuit than a full power track. This characteristic tends to
suit my driving style and I have had some excellent battles here that were
hopefully as enjoyable for the fans as myself! My victory in 2000 is without
a doubt one of my career highlights. The circuit itself has a very smooth
track surface, this allows low ride heights and therefore leads to low
“Following the United States Grand Prix, myself and the team again felt that
the result of the race didn’t fully demonstrate our potential, but that is
racing. We are now focused on the Mobil 1 French Grand Prix, where David and
myself are racing with the MP4-19B. It has run well in testing and I hope
that it will run as reliably in the race as it did at Jerez,” added teammate
“Magny Cours is a mix of low speed hairpins, fast chicane and medium speed
corners. There is one main high speed section, from Estoril to Adelaide.
It’s crucial to drive the long, fast sweep of Estoril flat out without
lifting, so that you have as much speed as possible as you swing round onto
the fast section to power towards the hairpin in order to get a quick lap
time. It is also a great corner to drive, as it allows you to really push
Cleveland pre-race Hot-Topics
US Bank Presents the Grand Prix of Cleveland (HDNet, 5 p.m. Eastern Time,
July 3; Spike TV, 4 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time, July 4), is Round 5 of the
2004 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.
Following is a current round-up of the latest Champ Car news, trends to
follow, names to watch and a few statistics to track as Champ Car racing
heads to the 2.106-mile temporary road course on Burke Lakefront Airport.
Champ Car Hot Topics |
Toyota Atlantic Hot
F1 stars to honor Gonzalo Rodriguez A
number of Formula 1 drivers have confirmed that they will be attending an
event at Monza this September to remember the Uruguayan racer Gonzalo
Rodriguez. The Formula 3000 driver was killed at the wheel of a Penske
Racing Lola Indycar in the autumn of 1999 while practicing for the Laguna
Seca CART event, as part of his plan to build a career for himself in the
United States of America, having been unable to find the money to get into
The Gonzalo Rodriguez Memorial Foundation was established in 2000 and is now
supporting the sporting activities of thousands of children in Uruguayan
state schools. The foundation introduced a series of awards in Formula 3000
to help to draw attention to this work and this year the third Winning
Attitude Awards will be held at Monza. It is expected that Fernando Alonso,
Juan Pablo Montoya, Mark Webber, Marc Gene, Giorgio Pantano, Zsolt
Baumgartner, Antonio Pizzonia, Bjorn Wirdheim and Ricardo Zonta will all
attend the event.
Ralf's back is broken, another concrete
oval track wall
victim How many broken
backs, legs, heads, necks, arms, etc. have we seen as a result of a driver
hitting a concrete wall on an oval track? Although F1 only uses 1/3 of
the oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the oval has claimed yet
another victim. Ralf Schumacher could be out of action for three
months after tests found that the Williams driver sustained two fractures to
his vertebrae when he crashed in the recent USGP. The German crashed into
the Turn 1 wall (Turn 1 of the oval track) backwards at the fastest corner of
the Indianapolis racetrack where there was no SAFER Barrier. "The
diagnosis is a hammer blow," Schumacher admitted to German newspaper Die Bild. "The injury is worse than we originally feared, but there is nothing I
can do now but try to get through it. I am already looking forward to the
moment where I can sit in the car again.“
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