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Economaki named Grand Marshal
VIRginia International Raceway is pleased to announce that legendary
motorsports journalist Chris Economaki has been named Grand Marshal of the
2004 VIR 400, the 10th of 12 rounds in the 2004 Grand American Road Racing
Association’s Rolex Sports Car Series which will take place over the weekend
of October 1-3. The editor and publisher emeritus of National Speed Sport
News, the 83-year-old Economaki is generally known as the "Dean of American
Motorsports Journalists". He has worked with National Speed Sport News since
its founding in 1934
Spencer leads Brickyard 400 test
Jimmy Spencer, the 2001 Brickyard 400 pole winner, was fastest in NASCAR
NEXTEL Cup Series testing July 12 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Spencer, driving the No. 4 Wide Open Energy Drink Chevrolet for
Morgan-McClure Motorsports, turned a lap of 50.4155 seconds, 178.517 mph on
a sunny and humid day in Indianapolis with temperatures reaching 86 degrees.
Access Motorsports hires Mark Taylor
[Editor's Note: Mark Taylor was recently fired by
Panther Racing because he crashed all the time and Access
Motorsports could not pay their engine bills and were shut down by
Honda. A marriage of the two formed today - Access Motorsports
took Mark Taylor's money (or someone's money), paid their Honda
bill, and presto, the team is back in business.] Greg Ray,
owner of Access Motorsports, is pleased to announce signing Mark
Taylor, the 26-year-old British IRL Rookie to compete in the
remaining nine races of the Indy Racing League series. Despite
missing the last event in Kansas, Taylor who won seven IPS races in
2004, currently lies 3rd in the Rookie Championship standings, just
44 points behind Kosuke Matsuura and 15 points behind Ed Carpenter.
With 50 points available for victory and nine races in hand, Taylor
is still within reach of the goal. Greg Ray - Former 1999 IRL
Champion, 2000 Indy 500 Polesitter and Team Owner of Access
Motorsports – “Mark’s pace and learning curve have been impressive
to date; he’s run near the front all year and recently qualified 3rd
at Richmond. There’s no doubt this kid is quick. We have been
working with University Loft, one of our sponsors, in establishing
many new distribution networks in the U.S. and Internationally.
University Loft distribution partners in Europe and the UK are very
excited and have been instrumental in creating this opportunity for
Mark and the Access Motorsports Team,” said Ray. “Away from
the cockpit temporarily, I have decided to focus my time and energy
on the business that will ensure our growth to be a healthy and
competitive two-car program for 2005. I look forward to building the
personal working relationship with Mark very quickly, as we could be
teammates next season. We know Mark has the raw talent, that is
without question. With awesome Honda engines and the G Force
chassis, we know we have the best tools for Mark to continue his
winning ways he demonstrated when dominating last years IPS Series,”
concluded Ray. Mark Taylor – “I am delighted to be back in the
IRL with Access Motorsports for the rest of this season. I have
already had my seat fitting and the team is very committed to
achieving some good results in the nine races we have left to run. I
am very excited to run the Honda-powered G-Force chassis for the
rest of the year and I would like to thank Greg Ray very much for
this opportunity. I’m totally re-energized and focused on winning
the Rookie of the Year Title,” stated Taylor. Mark will also be
re-united with his lucky car number 13, the number that he ran with
as an 8-year-old in Cadet karting, through to his Formula Ford
successes of 2000.
Is Trans-Am doing a disappearing act? A reader writes, Dear
AutoRacing1.com, A question about Trans-Am: 13 cars in Cleveland, 11
in Toronto. Isn’t it about time you posted a little article about
what is happening? You mention that the Champ Cars will join
Trans-Am in Puerto Rico. At this rate the only Trans-Am cars we’ll
see in Puerto Rico will be some low riders in the city streets.
Jeff Skinner, Northridge, CA Dear Jeff, There isn't a lot
of factory support in Trans-Am, and like most racing series w/o
factory support, they wither away. Broadcasts on Spike TV are
so low the series has become invisible. With SPEED World
Challenge out there getting some decent PR, the market is
oversaturated with saloon style racing. If you think about it,
almost all forms of motorsports in the USA are in an oversaturated
state, hence all are floundering while Nextel Cup solidifies its
monopoly on American motorsports. The France family must be
laughing all the way to the bank. Mark C.
A new era for Chinese motorsport began on Sunday 6th June when the
International Circuit held its inaugural event, the first round of
the China Circuit Championship, together with a demonstration by
Ferrari. Shanghai Vice Mayor, Yang Xiaodu was joined at the event by
Shanghai International Circuit President Mr Mao Xiaohan, Ferrari
Managing Director Jean Todt and Martin Leach, the CEO of Maserati.
Watched by 32,000 enthusiastic fans, former Ferrari driver Gerhard
Berger drove the first ever lap by a Formula One car in mainland
China, in the 2003 FIA Formula One World Championship-winning
Ferrari F2003.GA. This was followed by a spectacular parade lap of
55 road-going Ferraris and Maseratis, led by F1 test driver Luca
Badoer, adding further glamour to the occasion. More....
Huge TV ratings for F1 in Germany &
RTL Germany had 11 million peek viewers for Sunday's British GP, and
averaged for the race 9.75 million, 50.5% market share. This
is up significantly over last year's race which saw 8,24
million/46.2 Share viewers tuned in. In Italy Rai Uno had 10.8
million people watching with 65.5% share
criticize Champ Car officials, Tagliani explodes over black flags
This Toronto Star
article says, The color on Alex Tagliani's face said it all.
His face turning red, Tagliani lashed out at several drivers and
Champ Car officials after a wild seventh-place finish in the Toronto
Indy yesterday. "I don't know how we got black flagged twice.
C'mon, we have a lot of in-car video to prove our points. I want to
know why."................."Tracy took out Wilson, and when I
clipped him (Wilson) in the nose (front end of car), he was pointing
in the opposite direction because of Tracy," Tagliani said.
"Our replays showed I (wasn't responsible) for touching anyone at
that stage, so we're very confused." ................"There's
supposed to be no blocking ... I got passed (when he was momentarily
in third place) by Jimmy Vasser because I was blocked ... Gonzalez
was all over the track, and then I hit Wilson on the nosepiece ... I
don't know what's going on anymore," said Tagliani, whose
description of the same was filled with profanity and shouting once
the media dispersed. [Editor's Note: 4 or 5 drivers had
harsh words for Champ Car officials after the race. In many
cases a better call could be made if more camera angles were
available. The TV viewers would also see a better race with
more TV cameras covering the action.]
Jaskol takes Toronto win
Red Bull racer Matt Jaskol made the most of his debut race in Formula Renault
competition as he dueled his way to a thrilling victory ahead of Ontario
native Brandon Thomas to win round four of the North American Formula Renault
2000 Championship, held in support of the Champ Car Molson Indy Toronto event.
Eurointernational’s Juan Martin Ponte took third position to move atop the
championship standings once again after pole sitter and championship leader
Mark Wilkins of Toronto was eliminated by contact from the race while leading
a dramatic race, which saw three different leaders and fierce battles all
through the order on the 1.755-mile temporary street circuit.
Jaskol, who had never previously raced a Formula Renault, and had also never
raced on a street circuit before, drove a smart race as he was patient in the
early stages of the race, and turned on the speed when it counted to take a
1.478-second victory over Western Union’s Thomas, who was in fine form all
weekend as he scored his first podium finish of the season.
“This is absolutely a fantastic race car to drive, and an unbelievable result
for Red Bull and Autotecnica,” said a champagne-soaked Jaskol. “I had a blast
out there racing wheel to wheel with these guys. I had to be patient at the
beginning, and the race really just came to me. I had a great battle with
Thomas for the lead, and from there, I just tried to pull out as much of a gap
as I could to take the win.”
Second place finisher Thomas was pleased with the result, but was wishing he’d
had a little bit more for Jaskol.
“Second is okay, I guess, but of course, I wish I could have held Matt off a
little bit longer-maybe until the finish!” a smiling Thomas said. “But this is
a great result for Western Union, and to do well at home is so rewarding, I
can’t wait to do some more street racing again soon.”
7/12/04 Industry News
SAFER Wall for part of Dover only
SAFER walls will line the inside of the backstretch at Dover International
Speedway when the Nextel Cup Series returns for the MBNA America 400 on Sept.
26. However, Jerry Dunning, senior vice president and general
manager of motorsports for Dover, said the outside walls in all four turns
will not have the barriers installed until after the track's fall race
weekend. Civil engineering professor Dr. Dean Sicking and his team
from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are still conducting tests to
determine how best to install the SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction)
barriers at the high-banked, one-mile oval. "Right now we are
planning to do [the turns] over the winter since the engineering is not
complete," Dunning said. "After the September race, all of the engineering
team will be back and all the key decisions will be made."
Stewart comments on Kahne accident
The controversy was pretty uneventful. We took two tires on the first
stop and got the lead because of it, and had a really strong car even with
the two tires. So we knew track position was going to be important. As far
as the deal with the 9, I’m waiting for somebody to tell me what happened,
because I got a real good run on the restart down by the 40 car and got back
in line behind him and didn’t even try to pass Kasey but as we came out to
the wall his car wiggled for some reason, this is before I even got to him.
I don’t know if he was shifting or missed a shift or what happened.
The next thing I knew, I already stopped my momentum of catching up and all
of the sudden he backed up to us. We ran into the back of him, I don’t think
it was my fault I ran into him but I don’t know why he backed up. I don’t
know what caused him to check up. You know a wreck would have tore us up
easier than it tore him up in all reality, so it’s not something I was
expecting by any means. He had a pretty good run, he had pulled away from
the 40 car and somebody said the 88 got pinched or something. So, I don’t
know, I haven’t seen the tape for it to see what happened.
Liuzzi wins yet again
Vitantonio Liuzzi scored his fifth win from six races at Silverstone on
Saturday in his Arden International Lola B2/50 to extend his already
comfortable lead in this year's FIA International Formula 3000 Championship.
Giving Banbury based Arden it’s second home victory in as many years ‘Tonio
claimed a fine pole position before heading title rival Enrico Toccocelo in to
Copse from where he was never headed. Although the Italian appeared to be in
control of the entire race he still had to work hard for his 10 points,
saying; “ Enrico put the pressure on me in the later stages of the race but I
was able to control a reasonable gap,” he said. “ The team did a great job as
usual with the pit stop and it is nice to win here at Silverstone, as we are
based not far from here.” Liuzzi eventually won by just over a second from
Toccocelo who scored his fourth runners up position of the year in his BCN
entered Lola, saying, "I tried very hard to overtake Liuzzi, more after the
pit stop because my second set of tires was better than the first.”
7/12/04 Industry News
opens new track
A major new international motorsports venue in the Middle East has been
officially opened. The Losail International Circuit of Qatar will host a
MotoGP race in October, before staging a round of the World Superbikes series
in 2005. Track chiefs say it has no intention of bidding for Formula One races
yet – modifications to the track would be needed to bring it up to standard –
but says it has secured a long-term commitment from MotoGP to stage races at
the circuit. The circuit is 3.24 miles. The longest straight is 3,200
feet, and a total of 16 turns. The track cost an estimated $75m.
Bourdais and F1 We quizzed Sebastien Bourdais on whether his recent success in
Champ Car is beginning to open doors in F1 for him.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: Well, I think it's really early to talk about that. People
are asking me the question a lot. I mean, even if people are talking about me in
the Formula 1 paddock, that doesn't mean that teams are talking about me. The
only thing I want to do right now is keep focused on what I'm doing. I have a
job to perform. It's to win this championship. You know, if I have a shot in
Formula 1, I have a shot. But I've been knocking at the door for a long time. I
won the 3000, never got a chance. I got one, but the team collapsed like a month
later. Since then I never really had another chance. I think it's really
difficult to have one. If it comes, I will consider it. But, you know, first I
have something to do and to do well for McDonald's, and I will do my best.
Bernie says Silverstone improving
After trashing the facility for weeks, Bernie Ecclestone today
played his best game of Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde. Speaking today, Bernie Ecclestone admitted that Silverstone is "getting there" when it comes to updating its facilities. When asked about the possibility of 19 races in 2005, he said "no, we'll bring it down to 17" even though dates have already been booked for 19. "I thought we may see 20,000 people
in London," said Ecclestone of the crowds estimated to be 150,000 or more. "It shows how popular Formula One is," he said, "but we need to put on a better show and we need to bring costs down."
Drivers love push-to-pass
All three top drivers in Toronto were asked what they thought
about the push-to-pass button and all three,
Bourdais-Vasser-Carpentier had nothing but high praise for it.
PATRICK CARPENTIER: To me it was fantastic. Some guys use it early
on, some guys save it for the end. It's really different. I think
that's why for sure there's a bit more crashes or guys that get
together I think because of that, because it gives us the
opportunity to make a pass, where normally it might not. It's not a
lot, but it's enough to succeed making that pass or to keep from
getting passed. To me it's a fantastic thing. It just makes the
races more exciting. SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: I guess you've seen a
lot of passing. That's just a result of that. Guys see opportunities
because they can have a small advantage over the other guy. That's
good enough to make a pass. I think, you know, Jimmy showed how good
JIMMY VASSER: I think it's a great thing for the series. I think
it's good for the young ones to connect with because it's like a
video game, right? You can push the turbo boost, take off. I think
in some places it's not as effective than it is in others. Perhaps
maybe a little more boost (laughter). Tracy came up with an idea
that maybe it was a good thing on the first lap, with full fuel,
cold tires, cold brakes, some people are on it, some aren't, it
could promote pile-ups. That might be something we need to look at.
I thought it was a good point. PATRICK CARPENTIER: It's good
to have the back light flashing so everybody knows which one's using
it and which one is not.
Champ Car jet wars
We previously reported that Kevin Kalkhoven and his business
partner Dan Pettit had Gulfstream G500 jets. As it turns out
Kalkhoven is about to take delivery of a G550, which has an extra
1,000 mile range (to 6,600 nautical miles or over 15 hours) and is fully loaded with all the extras.
Both planes will fly to 51,000 feet and 0.885 Mach Speed and carry up to 18
passengers. Not to be outdone,
RuSPORT owner Carl Russo has a Cessna Citation X which also flies at 51,000
feet but flies faster at 0.92 Mach Speed. Flying faster
than the speed of sound (714 MPH) is not permitted over land and the
only jets that are allowed to fly supersonic since the Concorde
stopped flying are military jets. The Concorde was only
allowed to fly supersonic over water. Russo's jet is a bit faster, but it holds less people (6). Needless
to say, these businessmen do deals and look after their interests in
many geographical areas, including some overseas, so getting there
fast is of utmost importance.
Toronto attendance tops 164K Race day attendance for Sunday's Molson Indy Toronto Champ
Car race was announced as 72,561 making it a 3-day weekend total of
164,218. Great weather helped pull ticket sales up to just
3,000 shy of last year's Sunday attendance of 73,255 and 3-day
attendance of 167,352, despite the Champ Car bankruptcy and the late
start to ticket sales. Champ Car hit another home run with a
successful Toronto race as the revitalized series continues its
Washington revs up to land Nextel
Cup race This Seattle Times
article talks about the strong effort being made in
Washington State to land a NASCAR Nextel Cup date.
More on FOX TV ratings drop
Fox reports that its NASCAR Nextel Cup ratings dropped three percent
this season, as NBC and TNT take over broadcasting the rest of the
Cup season with today's race at Chicagoland Speedway. Greensboro,
N.C., was the nation's No.1 market with a 15.9 rating and a 30 share
for Fox's broadcasts. A rating point is the percentage of TVs tuned
to a program relative to the total number of TVs. A share represents
the percentage of all TVs turned on that is tuned to that program.
Norfolk's ratings dropped 9 percent. Norfolk's rating was 9.1 with a
17 share. After Greensboro, the top five markets were Greenville,
S.C. (13.6 rating), Charlotte (12.7), Dayton, Ohio, (10.9) and
Knoxville, Tenn. (10.2). Overall, Fox's rating this season was 5.6,
down from the 5.8 the network had each of the last three seasons. A
rating point equals 1.08 million homes. Fox's ratings were down 9
percent through the season's first three races. Network officials
blamed the off weekend after the season-opening Daytona 500 for
disrupting viewer patterns. After Darlington in March, the network
reported a 2 percent increase in the next nine races before dropping
at Daytona last weekend. NBC's ratings dropped two percent last year
but could show an increase this season with NASCAR's new
season-ending 10-race championship format.
Interview with Brian Regnerus
One on one from the track with Brian Regnerus, at 26 years of age
and presumably the youngest Public Relations Coordinator of a major
racing facility in the US, events in his life have contributed to
shaping his career to what it is today, and certainly we will be the
catalyst that will propel him up the chain of command in the
industry of producing racing entertainment. More......
Western Union sponsors Allmendinger RuSPORT signed a one race deal with Western Union to
sponsor the AJ Allmendinger car for this weekend's Champ Car race in
Toronto. The deal was completed Sunday morning before the
Fogarty wins Toronto Toyota Atlantic raceThings came
pretty easy to Jon Fogarty (#96 Pacific Coast Motorsports)
for most of the weekend here in Toronto, but Sunday’s 35-lap Toyota
Atlantic Championship race was hard work for the 2002 series
After capturing the provisional and final pole positions without
much of a sweat over the first two days of racing at Exhibition
Place, site of this weekend’s Molson Indy Toronto, Fogarty faced
constant pressure from Canadian rookie Andrew Ranger (#27
Tide/Charmin/Mr. Clean/Snugabye) throughout Round 7 of the series
championship. The 17-year-old Quebec native spent most of the race
positioned right behind Fogarty’s back wing, but the veteran was
able to hold off the young hardcharger to win the Argent Mortgage
Toyota Atlantic Championship of Toronto presented by Yokohama
(tape-delayed on SPEED Channel, Saturday, July 17 – 11 a.m. ET) in
the series’ closest finish of the season.
Ranger started in fourth position but moved up to third after
passing Bryan Sellers (#19 Lynx Racing) on Lap 1. After an
incident involving Jonathan Bomarito (#8 Dixien/Omnisource)
and Josh Hunt (#15 Wright/Patton/Shakespeare/Atkinson Gore
Group) caused an early yellow flag, Ranger got a great jump on the
restart and zoomed past fellow rookie Ronnie Bremer (#4
PaySystems) into second place on the fourth circuit around the
1.755-mile street course.
While Fogarty tried desperately to shake Ranger, the Canadian seemed
to draw energy from the vocal crowd that tried to will their
countryman to his first Atlantic win.
Bremer is just one point behind Ranger in both the rookie and
overall season standings after claiming his second podium result of
the season in third place.
Rahal-Letterman Racing’s Danica Patrick (#24 Argent Mortgage
Company) earned a fourth-place finish for her sixth top-five effort
of the year. The 22-year-old Patrick remains third in the overall
standings with 162 points, just 22 behind the leader Fogarty.
Despite falling off the pace early, Sellers rebounded to finish
fifth and he now has five top-five efforts in the first seven events
of the season.
After completing a stretch of four races in five weeks, the Toyota
Atlantic series will enjoy a rare weekend off next week and will
return to action with its second of three Canadian events, July
23-25, with Round 8 of 12 at the Molson Indy Vancouver.
NASCAR reverts to old caution rule
NASCAR president Mike Helton said Saturday the series will return to
its old way of scoring cars on pit road under a caution because the
new rule caused more complications and confusion than first thought.
The positions of the cars on the track will be ``frozen'' once the
yellow flag waves, but Helton said pit lane will now be active. The
change is effective immediately, and will affect all three of
NASCAR's top series. ``That's how we used to do it, and it's pretty
black-and-white,'' Helton said.
Canadian races will remain Champ Car events
UPDATE This SPEED TV
article has more on this topic. A veteran Canadian
motorsports writer was at Indianapolis last May when a member of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway staff approached him and said: "Looks
like we'll be seeing you next year in Toronto." The inference,
of course, was that the Indy Racing League would be replacing Champ
Car in the annual street race that's been a big hit here since 1986.
But it appears the only way the IRL will be racing anywhere in
Canada next year is if it goes to Mosport, St. Jovite or SanAir.
"I'll buy the first 10,000 seats for the IRL race here," said Paul
Gentilozzi, one of the principals of Open Wheel Racing Series who
also fields a two-car effort in Champ Car, when asked about the
future of the Molson Indy of Toronto. "No, let's change that.
Whichever series is racing here next year, the other has to buy
10,000 seats. "Seriously, we've got the nationalism of Canada
on our side with three excellent drivers who got massive support in
this country. And, to be honest, I don't think the Molson folks want
anybody else but the guys we've got." It's expected that
Molson, which sponsors all three Champ Car races in
Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto, and Champ Car will announce
contract extensions in Toronto and Vancouver -- with a possibility
of adding a fourth date in Calgary. Montreal has two years remaining
on its current contract. 7/10/04 - Molson Indy promoter Bob Singleton was at the track here
in Toronto since 4:30 AM. He's hard working and leaves no
stone unturned, hence why all three Canadian races are big hits.
We quizzed him about ticket sales for this race. "They are
fine. Instead of dropping off the last two weeks they picked
up this year because we got a late start and people waited to buy."
The Toronto Star reports - Yesterday's crowd of 41,701 was less than
2,000 fewer than last year's Friday crowd, a drop of only 5 per
cent. "We're catching up," said Molson Indy general manager Bob
Singleton, who earlier this week said sales were lagging by more
than 10 per cent over last year. He attributed the decrease to slow
renewal sales due to the uncertainty over whether there would be a
race this year following the bankruptcy of CART. "We need good
weather for the next two days," he said. "If we're near last year's
(three-day) total I'll be a happy guy." We quizzed
him about the rumored Calgary race, but he said he was focused on
getting Toronto and Vancouver done and wasn't in a position to
comment, except to say that Calgary is definitely interested.
He assured us Calgary would not be a replacement for Vancouver.
It's a totally separate deal. When asked whether Vancouver
would go away he told us that because of the Olympic construction,
due to start in 2006 the track could not remain as-is. Whether
or not the race can stay there, in perhaps a different
configuration, will depend on what the Olympic construction entails.
Right now they don't know where all the buildings are going. We know
that the race can keep the existing configuration through 2005, and
perhaps even 2006, depending on what month construction started in
2006. We asked him whether Molson is happy with Champ Car
and the rumors of the IRL wanting to steal the races away. He
responded, "We are happy with Champ Car and we will continue to dance
with the partners who brought us to the party." Mark C.
Tagliani and Tracy stop public bickering
The hot topic off the track at Toronto's Molson Indy has
been the bickering between Tracy and Tagliani. Tracy claimed
Tagliani instigated contact that knocked the defending series
champion out of the Cleveland race last weekend. The
dispute continued with both sides dishing out barbs through the
media the whole week, but Carpentier said it's not an isolated
incident. "This week? Try this year. It's always the
same story," said Carpentier. "We come here once a year so you hear
about it once a year. For me, I follow the circus, I hear about it
all the time. It's always like that." Carpentier joked
that he would be the referee if they decided to take their fighting
to a professional level. "They say when they retire from
racing, they want to go wrestling," Carpentier said. "Paul already
has the mask." The trash-talk between the two drivers
finally died down by Saturday's qualifying, with neither driver
commenting on their disagreement.
BAR men in head-on car accident
British American Racing engineers Jock Clear and Tristan Timmins will
be out of action this afternoon following a road accident this
morning on their way into the Silverstone circuit. The car in which
they were traveling was hit by another car after it had been
involved in a head-on collision on the road that goes from Stowe to
Silverstone. Both men were taken to hospital for a check up and are
all right but they are not expected to take part in the race this
afternoon with the team having called in the test team engineers led
by Mark Ellis to do the job. Clear is Takuma Sato's senior engineer
while Timmins works as race engineer on Jenson Button's car.
A BAR spokeswoman said: "Everyone is apparently okay and walking
about, but they have gone to hospital for precautionary checks. We
are expecting that they will get to the circuit in time but, if not,
we have a surfeit of engineers all able to step into the breach.
There should be no problems."
Jorge Diaz wins Trans-Am race Jorge Diaz, Jr. predicted at the beginning of the 2004
Motorock Trans-Am Series season that he would win a race before the
end of the year. His prediction came true Saturday as the young
Puerto Rican driver won the Trans-Am in T.O., part of the Molson
Indy Toronto weekend. The 2003 Trans-Am Rookie of the Year, driving
the No. 8 Puerto Rico Grand Prix Jaguar XKR, took the lead from Paul
Gentilozzi on lap 30 when Gentilozzi spun, and he never looked back,
beating second-place finisher Randy Ruhlman (No. 49 Preformed Line
Products Canada/Coyote Closures Chevrolet Corvette) by 6.307
seconds. Local driver Ron Fellows, in his return to Trans-Am
competition after a six-year hiatus, finished third in the No. 40
Molson Indy Chevrolet Corvette after leading the first two laps.
Fellows scored his 41st career Trans-Am podium. Gentilozzi, who set
a record fast race lap (1:12.149) was fourth in a Jaguar XKR. Tomy
Drissi was fifth, also in a Jaguar.
“This is the biggest accomplishment in my racing career,” said Diaz,
who with the win, closed the gap in the points race. Diaz now sits
just two points behind championship leader Gentilozzi.. “I just
followed Paul (Gentilozzi) until I got the right opportunity. I
didn’t really relax until the end of the race. We made a pretty big
gamble coming into today. We made four changes this morning. My team
and my crew chief Millo Martinez worked really hard and it paid off
for us today. “We are dedicating this season to my sister,
Monique, who recently survived cancer,” added Diaz. “I’m so proud to
bring this first-place trophy back to Puerto Rico for her.”
The caution-free race ran in a record one hour, 39.670 seconds at an
average speed of 85.058 miles per hour (136.887 kilometers per
hour). Highlights from today’s race will run on Spike TV’s
“Dangerous Curves” show on Sunday, July 18 at 1:30 p.m. (EDT/PDT).
The next race for the Motorock Trans-Am Series is scheduled for July
30-Aug. 1 at the 35th Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivičres in Quebec.
1. (3) Jorge Diaz, Jr., Jaguar XKR, 49, running.
2. (4) Randy Ruhlman, Chevrolet Corvette, 49, running..
3. (2) Ron Fellows, Chevrolet Corvette, 49, running.
4. (11) Paul Gentilozzi, Jaguar XKR, 49, running.
5. (5) Tomy Drissi, Jaguar XKR, 49, running.
6. (7) John Baucom, Ford Mustang, 49, running.
7. (6) Joey Scarallo, Chevrolet Corvette, 48, running.
8. (8) Charles Webster, Chevrolet Corvette, 47, running.
9. (10) Garrett Kletjian, Qvale Mangusta, 45, running.
10. (1) Tommy Kendall, Jaguar XKR, 25, mechanical.
11. (9) Blaise Csida, Chevrolet Camaro, 2, mechanical. Race Statistics
Time of race: 1:00:39.670.
Margin of victory: 6.307 seconds.
Winner's average speed: 85.058 mph (136.887 kph).
Caution flags: 0.
Lead changes: four among four drivers.
Lap leaders: Fellows 1-2; Kendall 3-20; Gentilozzi 21-29; Diaz
30-49. Points leaders
1, Gentilozzi 121. 2, Diaz 119. 3, Ruhlman 105. 4, Kendall 101. 5,
Drissi 100. 6, Scarallo 99. 7, Baucom 98. 8, Pickett 83. 9, Philip
Simms 61. 10, Boris Said 58.
Molson Beer in trouble?
[Editor's Note: This could work for or
against Champ Car. To strengthen the brand, Molson might
increase its advertising and branding by adding a 4th Champ Car race
in Calgary (as rumored), and perhaps a 5th one in Edmonton so they
cover all the major Canadian markets. Conversely, if Molson
Canadian continues to lose market share, advertising budgets might
be slashed. Alternately, Molson could be sold to a new owner
who may not view sports marketing in the same light as Molson
currently does] According to this Toronto Globe and Mail
article, To marketing managers at archrival Labatt Brewing
Co. Ltd., Molson Inc. seemed to be acknowledging what they
themselves believed to be true: That Budweiser, that most American
of beers (and brewed by Labatt under an agreement with
Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. of St. Louis), had quietly overtaken
Canadian as the country's best-selling beer.
The ad appeared to be a tacit admission of a brand in crisis: under
siege from American beers, cheap discount brews, chic
micro-breweries and trendy imports, it was losing market share at a
"Canadian's just plummeting . . ." says Michael Palmer, a long-time
Molson watcher and president of Veritas Investment Research Corp.
"Brands, if you neglect them, will die on you. And I think Canadian
is in its death throes."
For Montreal-based Molson, one of the country's oldest companies,
the decline of its flagship brand could not be coming at a worse
time. Its $1.2-billion investment in the Brazilian beer business has
gone sour; it's now in full-court overhaul mode. Internally, a
nasty, backstage family feud for control of the company has erupted
openly, raising questions about whether the 218-year-old brewery
might soon be sold.
And now Canadian -- as much the franchise for Molson as Jarome
Iginla is for the Calgary Flames or Vince Carter for the Toronto
Raptors -- is in trouble.
What does that mean? For Molson, everything: While it now sells more
beer in Brazil than it does in Canada, suds are so cheap in South
America that sales in Brazil represent just one-fifth of Molson's
revenue. Canadian likewise represents roughly one-fifth of the
company's revenue. And while Molson could theoretically sell its
stake in Kaiser Beer and cut its losses, reversing the decline in
the Canadian brand could be much more challenging.
Spanish embassy irked at Servia
According to this Toronto Star
article, Oriol Servia, if you check his passport, is a
citizen of Spain. But his Web site lists his home country as
Catalonia. His helmet bares the red and yellow of the Catalan flag.
Even the Champ Car Nation's Cup standings lists Catalonia in
seventh. But Catalonia is not a nation per se. It's a region of
Spain whose capital is Barcelona and which is often at odds with
Spain's Madrid-based government.
"It's a similar position that Quebec is in," Servia said. "We have
our own language, Catalan. ... And through the history of time,
we've been a little bit — how do you say? — taken advantage of."
Servia, 30, grew up hearing stories of the brutality of Spanish
dictator Francisco Franco. During his almost 37-year rule, harsh
laws meant that Catalans would be jailed for speaking their
language. Franco died in 1975, as did his regime. Today, Servia is
sponsored by Catalan companies who encourage him to fly the region's
flag "so people around the world will know the distinction between
Spain and Catalonia."
The Spanish embassy in Ottawa isn't thrilled with that. "We can be
annoyed, but we are not going to be fighting (Catalans) everywhere,"
said Antonio Torres, the embassy's deputy chief of mission. "He's
free to do it. We can't fight it. Spanish unity is not going to
depend on the private decision of Oriol Servia."
Schu spun on purpose
Michael Schumacher said that he deliberately spun in
pre-qualifying for the British GP. With the teams expecting
rain at the end of the second qualifying session, Silverstone
spectators were greeted by the absurd sight of cars slowing down at
the end of their lap in pre-qualifying to ensure they would be one
of the first cars out in the second session. "Teams clearly
deceived the public by not ensuring their drivers pushed to the
limit," complained Toyota Technical Director Mike Gascoyne. "I hope
the crowd was entertained by the second qualifying session because
the first one was a disgrace in front the huge numbers of people who
have turned up at Silverstone today. It is unbelievable that the
fans are let down in such a way." Asked about the spin
on ITV, Michael announced haughtily: "Let's just say it was for
strategical reasons." Asked whether he had genuinely spun on
purpose to slow down, Michael answered: "Would I say so if I
Yeley to make Nextel Cup debut Vigoro
along with The Home Depot will be primary sponsors of Joe Gibbs
Racing driver JJ Yeley as he attempts to make his debut at Michigan
Speedway. Yeley will drive the #11 Vigoro/Home Depot Chevrolet Monte
Carlo for the GFS Marketplace 400 on Sunday, August 22nd.
Another Labonte wins
Justin Labonte, son of Terry Labonte, won today's NASCAR Busch race
at Chicagoland. For Labonte, this is his first NASCAR Busch Series
win. It came in this 31st career NASCAR Busch Series start. The
Tropicana Twister 300 marked Labonte’s eighth start of 2004. He
started 34th. His previous best finish of 2004 was an 18th at Lowe’s
Motor Speedway (May 29). Rick Schenk
Fogarty wins Toronto pole Running up front in
Toronto is nothing new to Toyota Atlantic Championship series point
leader Jon Fogarty (#96 Pacific Coast Motorsports). The American
driver started on the pole in his only other start here during his
series championship season in 2002, and he completed the weekend
qualifying sweep Saturday by claiming his seventh career pole
position with a fast lap of 1:05.803 (96.014 mph). Fogarty’s
machine has been the fastest Atlantic car on the track all weekend
at the Molson Indy Toronto and he became the only driver to post a
sub 1:06 lap and top the 96 miles-per-hour mark in final qualifying
Saturday. Fogarty will start from the point in tomorrow’s Argent
Mortgage Toyota Atlantic Championship of Toronto Presented by
Yokohama (tape-delayed on SPEED Channel, Saturday, July 17 – 11 a.m.
ET) and will be looking for his fourth win of the season to extend
his lead in the series championship. With the point earned for
leading provisional qualifying on Friday and today’s point for the
final pole, the 29-year-old California native now holds a 151-146
lead on Scotland’s Ryan Dalziel (#28 ProWorks) in the pursuit for
the season title. The only thing that might slow down Fogarty
this weekend is his back. He admitted after qualifying that he
strained a nerve in his back and shoulder early in this afternoon’s
session and that it caused him considerable discomfort. While
Fogarty doesn’t think the pinched nerve will affect him in
tomorrow’s race, he’ll also need to contend with fast pack behind
him at the green flag. Coming off his best Atlantic finish of second
last week in Cleveland, Bryan Sellers (#19 Lynx Racing) continued
his recent roll by qualifying second with a top lap of 1:06.088
(95.600 mph) coming late in Saturday’s 45-minute qualifying session.
The effort equaled Sellers’ top qualifying performance of second in
Monterrey, Mexico in Round 2 of the championship this season.
Rookie Ronnie Bremer (#4 PaySystems) has also proven to be quick
this weekend. The Copenhagen, Denmark native led final qualifying
for a time before Fogarty had the last say. Bremer’s top time of
1:06.210 (95.424 mph) puts him third on the starting grid, tying his
best qualifying effort that he established last week in Cleveland.
Canadian favorite Andrew Ranger (#27 Tide/Charmin/Mr. Clean/Snugabye)
of Quebec, gave his all in his effort to secure the top spot in
front of his home country fans, but he fell just short and wound up
fourth in qualifying with a time of 1:06.374 (95.188 mph).
After 20 laps the abrasive Toronto surface is wearing out
the Bridgestone Champ Car tires causing them to go off. With
pit stops planned about every thirty some laps, the drivers are going to
have to nurse their tires or they will be in big trouble.....Below
are photos of Ford VP of Canada, Mexico and South America, Anne
Stevens, going for a 2-seat Champ Car ride.......The Champ Car TSN TV
contract in Canada has one year remaining........AJ Allmendinger
when asked about a possible F1 test said, "no, I'm not even thinking
about that. I am 100% focused on Champ Car. I have to
start winning races here.".......The weather forecast for race day
is good, which should help attendance...........Spotted Mark
Perkins, Johnny Herbert's agent, making the rounds trying to land a
2005 Champ Car ride for Herbert. If Champ Car returns to
England, Herbert's chances of landing a ride will improve
significantly..........Tim Mayer, formerly with CART, now Chief
Operating Officer of IMSA, was making the rounds renewing old
acquaintances. His wife is a Champ Car pace car
driver.......Attendance for Saturday was 49,953. So far for
two-days the combined total is 91,657, numbers the IRL can only
dream of as their Friday and Saturday attendance is usually in the
100 range, sometimes less. Look for over 60,000 on Sunday, which
means the once bankrupt series is well on its way to
recovery.....Andreas Leberle was talking to many people and is still
trying to put together a Champ Car effort for later this year and
all of 2005. Mark C.
Bernie slams F1 qualifying farce
This This London
article says, Bernie Ecclestone has slammed the farce of
pre-qualifying for the British Grand Prix as "very stupid" and has
vowed to step up his bid to change the format.
Formula One supremo Ecclestone has long advocated an alternative
system to the current pre-qualifying session which determines the
order in which the drivers will then run in official qualifying.
Recently it appeared the British Grand Prix would herald a new
qualifying program, with two free-for-all 25-minute runs, with an
aggregate time taken from each to determine the grid. But that was
vetoed before the French Grand Prix at Magny Cours last week as
teams such as Minardi and Jordan feared the re-introduction of the
107% rule which potentially could have led to their cars failing to
Ecclestone clearly rued the decision as pre-qualifying at
Silverstone became a contest over who could drive slowest as teams
prepared for the prospect of rain. With menacing clouds hanging over
the circuit, most drivers chose to go slow and use the current
regulations to their advantage.
Georgia patrol in hot water for
The Georgia State Patrol, already slapped for letting the governor
fly its aircraft, now is under investigation for letting NASCAR
driver Bill Elliott take the controls of a helicopter — and then
giving him a lift home. Pilots with the State Patrol invited Elliott
to fly their military-style helicopter June 28 during a
marijuana-eradication mission in North Georgia. On Friday, the head
of the State Patrol, Col. George Ellis, ordered an investigation
after he heard a civilian had been brought into a law enforcement
mission that also included the federal Drug Enforcement
Administration and the local sheriff. Elliott, who is a licensed
pilot, said the troopers involved in the mission asked him to come
along on the trip and offered him the controls. "I wouldn't do
anything to get anybody in trouble," he said in a telephone
interview. "They were out doing this deal. I just thought I could
help them out doing stuff. I fly a helicopter . . . I flew it some
[on the patrol trip]. It has dual controls." The patrol was
criticized a year ago because it kept poor records and because it
shuttled Gov. Sonny Perdue to political events and let him take the
controls once the state helicopter was in the air. As a result, the
State Patrol adopted detailed policies on aircraft use and
record-keeping. Attorney General Thurbert Baker said the state's
aircraft could be used only for legitimate state trips. The
helicopter Elliott piloted was one of two military-style aircraft
used that day. The task force has access to 11 of the department's
Talk of the Champ Car Paddock
The talk of those in the know in the paddock is about
Justin Wilson. Everyone is impressed at the way he manhandles
the car, throwing it around and wringing everything out of it.
The other talk is the great Rookie of the Year (ROY) battle between
AJ Allmendinger (American) and Wilson (British). Wilson leads
Allmendinger by just one point. In talking to AJ he said,
"going up against a driver of Justin's caliber is great. I
know that if I can beat him for the ROY award I will really have
accomplished something and I will consider my rookie year a big
Tobacco cops pay Forsythe team a visit
This Toronto Star
article says, Forsythe Racing got a visit Thursday night
from Canada's tobacco cops. Apparently, the Tobacco Control
Program department of Health Canada had suspicions the team was
still flaunting the product of its former sponsor and co-owner,
Player's cigarettes, through the blue and white colors of its cars
driven by Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier. They sent four
investigators swooping down on the Forsythe Racing garage in the
Molson Indy paddock. They interviewed Forsythe officials and
took photographs of the two cars. However, none of the team
engineers or mechanics was seen being led away in handcuffs.
Forsythe's vice-president of operations, Neil Micklewright, said he
felt the investigators seemed satisfied with the explanation of team
officials. "They came and looked at everything last night," he
said. "They went through the (paddock) door and took some
photographs. "They went back and discussed things with
their colleagues and came back this morning and said they understood
our situation; that we were no longer affiliated with Player's, but
that design is intrinsic to Forsythe as well. "I think they
were mainly concerned that we were still affiliated with Player's
and we were surreptitiously displaying or advertising Player's,
which isn't the case."
Alonso also changes engine, loses 10 spots
Giancarlo Fisichella had the 2nd best time on Friday, but
had to change an engine and lost 10 spots. Now comes word that
Fernando Alonso will lose ten grid positions after qualifying this
afternoon following an engine failure in the fourth free practice
session, which will require the engine to be changed. It is
currently too early to diagnose the exact cause of the problem.
Alonso will continue to use his race car, with the engine from the
T-car being transferred into chassis R24-02.
Minardi Sporting Director dies from
heart attack Minardi sporting director John Walton passed away late
last night after suffering a heart attack in the early hours of
Tuesday morning. The Minardi squad released a statement to say that
they are profoundly saddened to report that John passed away
peacefully at 23:18 last night at St Thomas’s Hospital, in London,
with his family at his bedside.
Kimi fastest yet again in 4th
P. No Driver Team - Engine
Tires Times Ave/Gaps Laps
1. 6 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'18"280 0.000 Km/h 14
2. 9 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'18"414 + 0'00"134 12
3. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'18"623 + 0'00"343 13
4. 7 TRULLI Renault M 1'18"694 + 0'00"414 14
5. 04 GENE Williams BMW M 1'18"832 + 0'00"552 10
6. 3 MONTOYA Williams BMW M 1'18"912 + 0'00"632 11
7. 5 COULTHARD McLaren Mercedes M 1'18"919 + 0'00"639 11
8. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'18"951 + 0'00"671 8
9. 8 ALONSO Renault M 1'19"169 + 0'00"889 12
10. 11 FISICHELLA Sauber Petronas B 1'19"895 + 0'01"615 10
11. 16 DA MATTA Toyota M 1'20"183 + 0'01"903 19
12. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas B 1'20"281 + 0'02"001 6
13. 14 WEBBER Jaguar Cosworth M 1'20"310 + 0'02"030 23
14. 17 PANIS Toyota M 1'20"531 + 0'02"251 16
15. 18 HEIDFELD Jordan Ford B 1'20"726 + 0'02"446 12
16. 10 SATO BAR Honda M 1'20"837 + 0'02"557 8
17. 15 KLIEN Jaguar Cosworth M 1'20"913 + 0'02"633 18
18. 21 BAUMGARTNER Minardi Cosworth B 1'21"980 + 0'03"700 15
19. 19 PANTANO Jordan Ford B 1'22"014 + 0'03"734 11
20. 20 BRUNI Minardi Cosworth B 1'23"941 + 0'05"661 12
Kimi fastest again in 3rd practice
Kimi Raikkonen once again topped the timesheets at Silverstone. The
McLaren Mercedes driver took the fastest time of 1:19.315s.
P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires
Times Ave/Gaps Laps
1. 6 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'19"315 0.000 Km/h 5
2. 9 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'19"468 + 0'00"153 6
3. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'19"571 + 0'00"256 11
4. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'19"585 + 0'00"270 8
5. 3 MONTOYA Williams BMW M 1'19"699 + 0'00"384 10
6. 7 TRULLI Renault M 1'19"966 + 0'00"651 5
7. 5 COULTHARD McLaren Mercedes M 1'19"979 + 0'00"664 5
8. 10 SATO BAR Honda M 1'20"177 + 0'00"862 6
9. 8 ALONSO Renault M 1'20"482 + 0'01"167 13
10. 04 GENE Williams BMW M 1'20"552 + 0'01"237 13
11. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas B 1'20"685 + 0'01"370 6
12. 11 FISICHELLA Sauber Petronas B 1'20"759 + 0'01"444 9
13. 16 DA MATTA Toyota M 1'21"017 + 0'01"702 11
14. 14 WEBBER Jaguar Cosworth M 1'21"295 + 0'01"980 5
15. 17 PANIS Toyota M 1'21"416 + 0'02"101 15
16. 15 KLIEN Jaguar Cosworth M 1'21"706 + 0'02"391 6
17. 19 PANTANO Jordan Ford B 1'21"984 + 0'02"669 11
18. 18 HEIDFELD Jordan Ford B 1'22"503 + 0'03"188 12
Fogarty fastest on Friday
[Editor's Note: Fogarty is a past Toyota
Atlantic champion, took a year off, and is now right back at the top
against a strong Toyota Atlantic field. This American
youngster deserves a shot at Champ Cars] After seeing his
point lead dwindle to three in the Toyota Atlantic Championship
Presented by Yokohama, Jon Fogarty (#96 Pacific Coast Motorsports)
knew he had little margin for error on the tight Toronto streets
Fogarty held nothing back and attacked the first day on track at the
Molson Indy, pacing the morning practice session and then leading
the first round of qualifying to earn a championship point and
extending his slim lead in the series title chase.
The 2002 Toyota Atlantic Champion got a clear lap on fresh tires
relatively early in the 30-minute qualifying session, posting a time
of 1:06.509 (94.995 mph) on his sixth lap that no one was able to
seriously threaten. The effort secures Fogarty a front row starting
spot for Sunday's Argent Mortgage Toyota Atlantic Championship of
Toronto Presented by Yokohama (tape-delayed on SPEED Channel,
Saturday, July 17 - 11 a.m. ET) and it widens his gap to 150-146
over Ryan Dalziel (#28 ProWorks), his closest pursuer in a tight
Bridgestone tire tidbits Bridgestone delivered 668 dry-condition and 304
wet-condition Potenza race tires for use this weekend. All were
produced at the Bridgestone Technical Center in Akron, Ohio.
Bridgestone brought a single dry tire specification and a single wet
spec to Toronto, allowing every team and driver equal footing on the
racetrack. There will NOT be an alternate dry-spec tire available
this weekend. * Dry-condition tires ("slicks"): Each car receives
eight sets of slicks (32 total tires) for the race weekend, to use
as its team sees fit in the practice, qualifying and race sessions.
Bridgestone Motorsport engineers chose one of their most popular
race tire specifications for this weekend, opting for the "soft"
street-course compound/construction combination. The spec performed
well at this year's season opener in Long Beach and will be utilized
at future street-course events in Vancouver and Denver this season.
It is also the "softest" Potenza race tire in the current
Bridgestone lineup for the Champ Car World Series. * Wet-condition tires ("rains"): Bridgestone supplies
each car up to four new sets (16 tires) of grooved-tread rain tires
per race weekend on road and street courses, as needed. In addition,
teams may use two sets of rain tires per car issued at a previous
event. Bridgestone brought its street-course rain tire specification
for this weekend. Quote from Al Speyer, Executive Director, Bridgestone
Motorsport: "Returning to Canada is an annual highlight for the
Bridgestone Motorsport program. The enthusiasm that the Canadian
fans show for their Champ Car races gets our motors running as well,
so to speak. The Toronto circuit is a tight, challenging street
course that demands excellent grip from the tires. The drivers
constantly charge their cars into the turns and count on the
Bridgestone tires to deliver them through to the other side. Exiting
the turns is just as important and just as stressful on the tires,
as the drivers punch the accelerator to put the power down. The
tires must provide the grip to launch the cars forward without
sliding. The Potenzas that all 18 Champ Cars will be riding on this
weekend have already shown they can handle those challenges because
we ran the same specification here a year ago with great success.
We're confident the tires will be up to the task again in 2004."
Formula Renault news
Marcos Gomes of Brazil led the opening practice session for North
American Formula Renault on Friday at Toronto with a 1:12.222-second
lap of the 1.755-mile temporary street circuit at Exhibition Place.
Gomes’ rival Juan Ponte was close behind with a 1:12.440-second lap,
as the top six drivers were within one second of Gomes’ time.
Gomes, a graduate of the Brazilian Formula Renault ranks, knows that
the track will continue to change throughout the weekend as the
Champ Cars rubber in the track, but he is pleased with his weekend
so far. “My car is good, so we will see how things go this
weekend,” said Gomes. “The track has a number of different kinds of
surfaces, so it’s a big challenge to find the best line around here.
I have raced on street circuits in Brazil before, so while the track
is a new one for me, having walls all around is not a new thing.”
Jaskol joins Renault Matt Jaskol of Las Vegas
Nevada is making his first ever Formula Renault start this weekend
with Autotecnica, and the young ace adapted immediately to his new
surroundings after making the transition from Formula BMW. “I
really like the Formula Renault cars-they are really close to the F3
car I drove in Europe as part of the Red Bull Driver Search,” said
Jaskol. “This is my first time ever on a street circuit, and the
first race in the series, so to be this competitive early in the
weekend on older tires is pretty encouraging.” Jaskol ended up
fifth quickest during the session after spending the first half of
the session atop the sheets.
Jourdain visits Formula Renault Drivers meeting RuSport
Champ Car pilot Michel Jourdain, who earned a career-best third in
the 2003 Champ Car Championship, visited the Formula Renault drivers
meeting on Thursday to give the drivers some words of advice about
the tricky street circuit as the field prepared for the weekend.
Jourdain, who raced against Formula Renault Team/Driver Relations
Manager Allen Berg in his native Mexico before stepping up to Champ
Cars as a 19-year old, emphasized the importance of patience on the
temporary circuit. “There a number of places that are good
here to make up time, but some of the corners, like turn six,
require that you just be patient through the corner,” Jourdain said.
“Turn five is also very important—you need to be clean through
there, and not try to force anything-if you do it 100%, you can make
up less than a tenth, and if you do it 101%, you can lose a whole
lot more than that tenth, so be very smart in that corner.”
Legge makes North American Formula Renault Debut
Another new driver for the series is Katherine Legge, who is a
former pole winner in UK Formula Renault competition. Legge will
race with the GTI/Roshfrans operation, and is excited to be back in
the cockpit after some time out of the car. “I am really
taking it easy the first part of this weekend,” said Legge. “It is
my first street course ever, and it’s been some time since I have
raced, so I am just trying to ease back into it to get into a rhythm
and be ready to be fast at the end of the weekend when it counts!”
The Formula Renault V6 Championship is the top rung on the North
American Formula Renault Championship ladder, which also includes
the North American Formula Renault 1600 Championship and the North
American Formula Renault 2000 Championship. The Formula Renault V6
is expected to make its North American competition debut in the
latter stages of the2004 North American Formula Renault 2000 season.
Roush offers military discount
Roush Performance will offer all members of the military (active
duty, reserve status or National Guard) and/or their spouses a
discount on Roush vehicles from July 4, 2004 to December 31, 2004.
All branches of the military are eligible (Army, Navy, Air Force,
Marines and Coast Guard). The incentive comes as a result of
feedback from a visit made by Jack Roush to Iraq to visit troops
during the 2003 Christmas Holiday. The trip was part of an effort
coordinated by the Speedway Children's Charities group, which is
directed by retired United States Air Force M/General Thomas Sadler.
"The soldiers that I visited with last winter wanted to talk about
three things: their girlfriends, the cars they had and the cars that
they wanted," said Jack Roush. "If a U.S. Soldier wants a Roush
vehicle, I want our team to do what they can to make that happen. We
want them to know that our team appreciates their sacrifices."
Roush Racing has had a relationship with the National Guard since
last December when the Guard came on board with the No. 16 Roush
Ford driven by Greg Biffle in the Nextel Cup Series. The partnership
has grown and proven to be both beneficial and more than a business
venture for Roush Racing and the National Guard. "We
feel like we're a team in every sense of the word," said LTC Michael
Jones of the National Guard. "What Roush is offering our soldiers
and soldiers from other branches of the military is incredible. Our
soldiers love to show their support for the team at Roush and this
is an excellent example of how Roush is showing support for our
The Roush military rebate is available through all participating
Ford dealerships that sell Roush vehicles. Roush Performance will
include all of its models in the program; such as the Stage 3 and
380R Mustangs and most of the other Roush F-150, Mustang and Focus
models. Roush Performance is the retail street-performance
division of Roush Enterprises, which is also a parent company of
Roush Racing. For details on participating dealers and
the rebate guidelines, visit
or toll free at 800-59-ROUSH.
Misc. News from the Paddock -
Silverstone - III
BAR's technical director Geoff Willis
believes the 'easiest' (albeit most expensive) way to promote
overtaking in grands prix is by modifying the tracks.
Sam Michael agrees tracks need slow corners into straights into slow
corners. ''There should be a [requirement that tracks] feature
sections like that.''
Toyota's Mike Gascoyne said Cologne would not decide who is to be
Ralf Schumacher's '05 team-mate until 'probably the end of the
Jackie Stewart reckons the UK government spent about $4 billion on
sport last year but motor sport ''did not get a penny because people
think we're rich.
''Only Formula One is. The tracks can't afford to spend big money.''
BAR's helicopter could be the secret to Jenson Button's success at
Silverstone. ''It can tell you exactly what the weather is doing,''
said boss Dave Richards.
Misc. News from the Paddock -
Silverstone - II
Renault's Pat Symonds is 'absolutely
amazed' teams like Ferrari, BMW-Williams and McLaren can't match the
R24's so-called 'manual start' clutch system.
''There are elements of [electronic] control,'' the engineering boss
''We learned an awful lot from our automatic system [of '03].''
Marc Gene is no closer to keeping Ralf Schumacher's BMW-Williams
race drive for the remaining seven grands prix after the British
race at Silverstone.
''We're still [deciding] on a race-by-race basis,'' said Sam
F1 teams should be informed next Friday if the Technical Working
Group's proposed 'diffuser' modifications are acceptable to the
''We're making bigger cuts than we probably would like,'' said
BMW-Williams' technical director, ''but I think overall we're all
fairly happy with it.''
Misc. News from the Paddock -
Silverstone - I
David Coulthard has personally visited
'three teams' on a wish-list of employers for '04. And of one he
said: ''It's important [they] know who I am today ...
''... as opposed to who I might have been when they last knew me.''
There's one thing Juan Pablo Montoya doesn't like about Silverstone
- testing here. ''I wish they didn't let the fans in the circuit,''
said the Colombian.
''We come here to work, it's important. It destroys it for us when
we get mobbed. Let them in, by all means, but let us get on with
what we do.''
FIA president Max Mosley doesn't want to 'pre judge' it, but he said
he'll likely accept a proposal to slow down F1 cars by way of
''It seems like the best thing to do,'' said the Briton.
Mark Webber has reportedly turned-down a huge money offer from
Toyota in favour of a lesser Williams one. ''It'll break my heart
[to leave Jaguar],'' he said.
Rain is more likely than no rain at Northamptonshire-based
Silverstone on Saturday. A 'few showers' are also predicted on
Sunday for the grand prix.
British GP: Raikkonen leads
Free Practice 2UPDATETeam-by-team
analysis 7/9/04 - West McLaren Mercedes drivers Kimi Raikkonen
finished first in today's second practice session at the Silverstone
circuit. Kimi set the fastest time with 1:18.655. Kimi said
afterward, "We completed our planned program today and experienced
no problems. I had a positive test here at Silverstone with the 19B
a few weeks ago, so I was quite confident that the car would be
good. Hopefully we can continue to improve it during tomorrow's
practice. We were quickest today, but there is nothing to celebrate
yet? Saturday and Sunday are the important ones."
P. No Driver Team - Engine
Tires Times Ave/Gaps Laps
1. 6 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'18"655 0.000 Km/h 16
2. 11 FISICHELLA Sauber Petronas B 1'18"660 + 0'00"005 20
3. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'19"162 + 0'00"507 14
4. 5 COULTHARD McLaren Mercedes M 1'19"287 + 0'00"632 17
5. 9 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'19"401 + 0'00"746 19
6. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'19"473 + 0'00"818 22
7. 04 GENE Williams BMW M 1'19"540 + 0'00"885 20
8. 7 TRULLI Renault M 1'19"601 + 0'00"946 21
9. 10 SATO BAR Honda M 1'19"611 + 0'00"956 13
10. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas B 1'19"676 + 0'01"021 23
11. 3 MONTOYA Williams BMW M 1'19"746 + 0'01"091 20
12. 8 ALONSO Renault M 1'19"874 + 0'01"219 30
13. 38 ZONTA Toyota M 1'20"095 + 0'01"440 35
14. 17 PANIS Toyota M 1'20"489 + 0'01"834 25
15. 16 DA MATTA Toyota M 1'20"829 + 0'02"174 19
16. 35 DAVIDSON BAR Honda M 1'20"861 + 0'02"206 14
17. 15 KLIEN Jaguar Cosworth M 1'21"073 + 0'02"418 30
18. 14 WEBBER Jaguar Cosworth M 1'21"352 + 0'02"697 27
19. 37 WIRDHEIM Jaguar Cosworth M 1'21"353 + 0'02"698 33
20. 18 HEIDFELD Jordan Ford B 1'22"365 + 0'03"710 13
21. 39 GLOCK Jordan Ford B 1'22"500 + 0'03"845 24
22. 20 BRUNI Minardi Cosworth B 1'22"516 + 0'03"861 25
23. 19 PANTANO Jordan Ford B 1'22"586 + 0'03"931 14
24. 40 LEINDERS Minardi Cosworth B 1'22"792 + 0'04"137 20
25. 21 BAUMGARTNER Minardi Cosworth B 1'23"436 + 0'04"781 23
McReynolds resigns from Bang.
Fox TV commentator and former Nextel Cup crew chief Larry McReynolds
said Friday he had resigned from his role with Bang Racing on
Tuesday and will concentrate his time on his family and his
broadcasting duties with Fox and Speed Channel. "It was a business
decision. I was spreading myself awfully thin," he said. "Not that I
felt like I was short-cutting anything. I still feel I was doing as
good a job broadcasting as I was when I didn't have anything else
going on. My days were getting longer and longer and longer. I am
going to devote a little more time to broadcasting. I'm going to
catch my breath a little bit. I hope I never leave Fox or Speed
because I enjoy it and I feel I put a lot into it," McReynolds said.
He did not rule out an eventual role again as a consultant or team
owner. "I'm not saying that in the near future I won't go back and
do something" he said. "It would have to be probably under some
different circumstances, though. I bit off an awful lot."
Friday Press Conference
Transcript Friday's media conference with TEAM PERSONNEL: Mike GASCOYNE (TOYOTA), Sam MICHAEL (WILLIAMS), Pat SYMONDS (RENAULT) and Geoffrey WILLIS (BAR) on Friday for Sunday's British Grand Prix, round 11 of the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship Series:
The Trans-Am Series used a new qualifying format today
for tomorrow’s Trans-Am in T.O. The 45-minute session was divided
into three segments. The first 15-minute segment was an open
practice, followed by a 10-minute rest period. The final 20-minute
segment set the grid for the race. Teams were allowed to make
technical adjustments during each of the first two segments. No
adjustments were allowed during the qualifying segment.
TOUGH TOW…Garrett Kletjian (No. 20
www.upscalelingerie.com Qvale Mangusta) returned to Trans-Am
competition here after missing the first four races of the season;
though he didn’t miss those events by choice. Kletjian’s
transporter, containing a race car, as well as all of his pit
equipment, was stolen from a hotel parking lot while he was
attending a press conference in Trois-Rivičres several months ago.
Kletjian plans to compete in several Trans-Am races this season.
CANADIAN CUP… The top finishing Canadian in tomorrow’s
race will receive a special trophy, called the Canadian Cup, and
will be honored in victory circle. He will also be given the
opportunity to participate in the post-race press conference in the
media center. The Canadian Cup is a new award, announced today by
Series Executive Director John Clagett. The cup will also be awarded
at the next race in Trois-Rivičres Aug. 1.
NEW CAR…Ron Fellows took his first turn behind the
wheel of his No. 40 Molson Indy Chevrolet Corvette in today’s
practice session. In fact, aside from a seat fitting, Fellows hadn’t
even sat in the car prior to the start of the 45-minute session.
Interestingly, his Derhaag Motorsports team has a car built
specifically for Fellows at its Shakopee, Minn. shop. However, they
didn’t bring that car to Toronto as Fellows’ deal didn’t come
together until Thursday. Fellows therefore is driving Derhaag’s
backup car this weekend.
STILL IN THE SHOW…Paul Gentilozzi is driving the same
“show car” he used to win last week’s race in Cleveland here at
Toronto. Gentilozzi crashed his primary car in qualifying at
Cleveland, forcing his crew to transport a show car from his
Lansing, Mich. shop. The crew spent all night in Cleveland
rebuilding the show car, which is usually used at tradeshows and
media events. Gentilozzi started last and drove through the field
for the victory. There wasn’t adequate time between races for the
team to fix the primary car for the Toronto event.
EXPERIENCED…Only Gentilozzi, Randy Ruhlman, Tommy
Kendall and Ron Fellows have competed at Toronto in the past. Of the
quartet, only Gentilozzi and Fellows competed in both previous
Toronto Trans-Am events in 1993 and 1994.
Kendall takes Trans-Am pole
Tommy Kendall proved that he remembered something from
his last race at Toronto during Friday’s qualifying session for the
Trans-Am. Kendall, who won the last race Trans-Am held at the Molson
Indy Toronto, earned a record pole for Saturday’s race, part of the
Molson Indy Toronto weekend. Kendall (No. 11 Jaguar R Performance
XKR) turned the 1.75-mile temporary circuit in one minute, 11.713
seconds (88.101 miles per hour earning his third pole this season.
However, an equally impressive run was turned in by Toronto resident
Ron Fellows. Fellows earned outside pole in the No. 40 Molson Indy
Chevrolet Corvette in his first start in six years. Fellows, who
hadn’t even sat in the car prior to this morning’s practice session,
was just more than a tenth off the pole speed with a 1:11.867-minute
lap (87.912 mph). Points leader Paul Gentilozzi was third quickest
in the No. 3 Jaguar R Performance XKR. Jorge Diaz, Jr. (No. 8 Puerto
Rico Grand Prix Jaguar XKR) and Randy Ruhlman (No. 49 Preformed Line
Products Canada/COYOTE Closures Chevrolet Corvette) completed the
P # Driver Sponsor (Make/Model) Best
Time Lap Mph Lag
1 11 Tommy Kendall Jaguar R Performance (Jaguar/XKR) 1:11.713 5
2 40 Ron Fellows Molson Indy (Chevrolet/Corvette) 1:11.867 5 87.912
3 3 Paul Gentilozzi Jaguar R Performance (Jaguar/XKR) 1:12.560 4
4 8 Jorge Diaz, Jr. Puerto Rico Grand Prix (Jaguar/XKR) 1:12.767 7
5 49 Randy Ruhlman Performed Line Products (Chevrolet/Corvette)
1:12.846 11 86.731 1.133
6 5 Tomy Drissi AVP -- Only in Theaters (Jaguar/XKR) 1:12.867 8
7 6 Joey Scarallo Toyo Tires/ROH Wheels (Chevrolet/Corvette)
1:13.593 6 85.851 1.880
8 86 John Baucom Map Quality Engineering/Bullydog (Ford/Mustang)
1:14.125 7 85.234 2.412
9 95 Charile Webster C.J. Webster of Canada (Chevrolet/Corvette)
1:16.467 6 82.624 4.754
10 7 Blaise Csida (R) GT-1 (Chevrolet/Corvette) 1:17.932 3 81.071
11 20 Garrett Kletjian UNICCO Integrated Fac. (Chevrolet/Corvette)
1:18.623 11 80.358 6.910
Black cloud continues to haunt Petty
Austin Petty, 22-year-old son of Kyle and Pattie Petty, is
recovering in a Greensboro, N.C., hospital with non-life threatening
injuries following a motorcycle accident last night near Level
Cross, N.C. Petty's motorcycle was hit by a car on Highway 62 near
Level Cross Thursday evening. He was taken to Moses Cone Hospital in
Greensboro with two broken ankles and some minor injuries. His
release is anticipated later this week. Williams Company
Rain delays NASCAR trials
Busch Pole Qualifying for the Tropicana Twister 300 is being delayed
by rain at Chicagoland Speedway. When action resumes, we will have
No threat from Bridgestone/Firestone
There have been published reports that insinuate that
Bridgestone/Firestone was threatening a possible pullout from the
IRL and Champ Car series if the two sides did not find a way to
merge. We quizzed Bridgestone spokesperson Mark Robinson about
that today in Toronto. His response, "yes, Al Speyer has had
some casual meetings with people from both sides expressing an
opinion that it would be good to have one series again, but at no
time were there any threats, implied or otherwise, that Bridgestone
or Firestone would pull out if there wasn't a merger." Mark
Schu's in for British fight
Michael Schumacher looks like he's in for a British fight. The
German, in the Ferrari, was only third fastest on Friday. ''We
really expected rain in the afternoon,'' he said. ''We know the
competition is tough. ''However I think we're in the fight for
the win.'' Technical director Ross Brawn clarified
Schumacher's half-second deficit to Kimi Raikkonen by revealing he
only ran 'on used tires' in the afternoon session. * McLaren's
David Coulthard targeted the podium after his F1 team-mate was
quickest and the Scot, six tenths further behind, went fourth at
Silverstone. ''[The podium] has to be the goal,'' he said.
Silverstone hero has work to do
Silverstone hero Jenson Button - just fifth quickest in Friday's
practice - has a bit of work to do if he wants to join the fight for
Sunday's British GP. The Englishman beamed the crowd's already
'been fantastic. ''I think we know where we're headed. ''We
just have a lot more work to do with the car.'' Friday tester
Anthony Davidson, also a local lad, had a bad day in the BAR-Honda
car - in the afternoon, the 25-year-old's gearbox broke after just
14 laps. ''All is not lost,'' he lamented, ''but it's not
ideal.'' Takuma Sato expected the 006 to be quicker. ''We had
a positive test here,'' said the ninth-placed Japanese. ''The car
isn't as quick as we had hoped.'' * Christian Klien's (17th)
was the fastest Jaguar. ''We're definitely finding the (windy)
conditions more frustrating than normal,'' said Mark Webber.
Kendall tops first practice session
Tommy Kendall set the fastest time during first-round
practice Friday for tomorrow’s Trans-Am in T.O., part of the Molson
Indy Toronto weekend. Kendall, driving the No. 11 Jaguar R
Performance XKR, turned the 1.75-mile temporary street course in one
minute, 12.774 seconds at an average speed of 86.817 miles per hour.
Jorge Diaz, Jr. was second quickest in the No. 8 Puerto Rico Grand
Prix Jaguar XKR, ahead of Paul Gentilozzi (No. 3 Jaguar R
Performance XKR). Ron Fellows (No. 40 Molson Indy Chevrolet
Corvette) and Tomy Drissi (No. 5 Dodgeball—The Movie Jaguar XKR)
completed the top five.
Big crowd for Champ Car in Toronto
The announced attendance for Friday's practice and
qualifying for the Champ Car Molson Indy Toronto was 41,704 on a
cool overcast day. Even larger crowds are expected Saturday
Happy Fisichella loses 10 spots
A good and bad start to Giancarlo Fisichella's British GP
- take your pick. On a cool but dry Friday at Silverstone, the
Roman in his Sauber came very close - five thousandths - to taking
top spot from McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen. ... then his
Ferrari-built engine died. ''It means I'll lose 10 grid
places,'' he lamented. But Giancarlo, with the new rear
bodywork package, is still happy. ''We've taken a big step
forward,'' he confirmed. ''Probably the biggest of them all.''
Meanwhile, Renault's Fernando Alonso stopped out on track in
the morning with a throttle problem. ''It wasn't a big deal,''
engineering director Pat Symonds insisted.
Forsythe Canadian duo tops first
practice in Toronto
Pos Driver # Engine/Chassis/Tire Lap
Time Mph km/h Leader Previous
1 P. Carpentier 7 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:00.125 105.081
2 P. Tracy 1 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:00.312 104.755 168.586
3 J. Vasser 12 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:00.484 104.457
168.107 0.359 0.172
4 B. Junqueira 6 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:00.580 104.292
167.841 0.455 0.096
5 J. Wilson 34 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:00.707 104.074
167.490 0.582 0.127
6 A. Allmendinger 10 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:00.775 103.957
167.302 0.650 0.068
7 M. Dominguez 55 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:00.799 103.916
167.236 0.674 0.024
8 S. Bourdais 2 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:00.855 103.821
167.083 0.730 0.056
9 A. Tagliani 8 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:01.165 103.294
166.235 1.040 0.310
10 R. Gonzalez 21 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:01.268 103.121
165.957 1.143 0.103
11 R. Hunter-Reay 4 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:01.318 103.037
165.822 1.193 0.050
12 M. Jourdain Jr. 9 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:01.323 103.028
165.807 1.198 0.005
13 R. Lavin 3 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:01.410 102.882
165.572 1.285 0.087
14 O. Servia 11 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:01.606 102.555
165.046 1.481 0.196
15 M. Haberfeld 5 Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone 1:02.302 101.409
163.202 2.177 0.696
16 A. Sperafico 14 Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone 1:02.662
100.827 162.265 2.537 0.360
17 G. Mazzacane 19 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 1:03.591 99.354
159.894 3.466 0.929
Gidley to replace Philippe
According to Rocketsports team owner Paul Gentilozzi,
Memo Gidley will replace Nelson Philippe effective immediately.
"We had a contractual dispute with Nelson and Memo will take over
the car effective immediately," said Gentilozzi. "We are not
sure about the rest of the season, but we are also talking to
Michael Valiante. We tried to get him here this weekend, but
it was too much to pull together at the last minute. He is
also working a deal with Walker Racing and we don't want to
interfere with that." Mark C.
Sun breaking through in Toronto
After rain last night and storms the last couple of days,
Friday morning in Toronto dawns partly cloudy with improving skies.
The forecast for the weekend looks promising. The Champ Cars
will be on track at 10:00 AM EST for opening practice and
AutoRacing1.com will be there to cover all the action throughout the
Tracy confident in direction Champ Car going
Paul Tracy voiced his confidence in the direction of
Champ Car under OWRS stewardship. “I feel very comfortable
with the direction – from my standpoint, I'm very comfortable with
what my owner, Gerry Forsythe, Paul [Gentilozzi] and Kevin
[Kalkhoven] are doing. I'm very pleased with how the series has been
going this year. Adding races like this is only a bonus. As we sign
races up for longer term in the future, like Cleveland last week has
re-signed for three years, and I know that they're in negotiation
with the races in Canada. I would like to continue doing it.
I guess from my standpoint, my motivation is always to win. This
year has been a bit of a bumpy road for us. I won the first race,
but we've had a bit of an up-and-down go at it. Hopefully my team
owner is going to offer me a job here in the next month or so. I'll
just wait and see."
Champ Car considers Handford Device for Las Vegas
In the past some had questioned whether the 1.5-mile Las Vegas
Superspeedway track, which features 12-degree banking in all turns,
three-degree banking on the backstretch and nine-degree banking on
the front stretch, might prove too fast for the powerful Champ Cars.
During the press conference this week to announce the race OWRS
principal Paul Gentilozzi said, “Lee Dykstra, our technical
director, is doing simulations and reviewing that package now.
We'll release something to the teams pretty shortly. But it is under
study. We want to be very careful about what that final aero package
is, based on our experience the last two years." Paul Tracy
chimed in - “We'll have an incredible race,” he declared. “It's a
Handford-style wing like we used to run at places like Michigan or
Fontana. You'll see a pack of eight to 10 cars all dicing for the
lead for 300 miles. It's going to come down to the very end, the guy
who positions himself."
HP renews with Williams BMW The
BMW WilliamsF1 Team today confirmed that their principal sponsor,
HP, has extended its commercial partnership for a multi-year period.
The renewal of the Formula One agreement that has already spanned
five years is a clear statement of mutual confidence in the
partnership by both companies. HP provides a broad range of
products, technologies, solutions and services for the BMW
WilliamsF1 Team, across car design, performance, data management,
manufacturing and telemetry at the Team's headquarters and Grands
Prix around the world.
British GP: Ferrari leads Free
Practice 1 As usual, Ferrari paced the first practice at
Silverstone today. Rubens Barrichello set the pace from Ferrari
teammate Michael Schumacher in the opening practice session of the
British Grand Prix weekend. Barrichello, who claimed pole position
at Silverstone last year, lapped the 5.141km circuit in 1:19.138s,
comfortably under his pole position time recorded last year to nip
Michael Schumacher by just 0.076s. With Ferrari at the top of the
timesheets once again, BMW Williams set the third and fourth fastest
P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires
Times Ave/Gaps Laps
1. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'19"138 0.000 Km/h 16
2. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'19"214 + 0'00"076 25
3. 3 MONTOYA Williams BMW M 1'19"502 + 0'00"364 13
4. 04 GENE Williams BMW M 1'19"687 + 0'00"549 14
5. 35 DAVIDSON BAR Honda M 1'19"748 + 0'00"610 23
6. 5 COULTHARD McLaren Mercedes M 1'20"021 + 0'00"883 6
7. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas B 1'20"430 + 0'01"292 17
8. 11 FISICHELLA Sauber Petronas B 1'20"446 + 0'01"308 10
9. 6 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'20"633 + 0'01"495 5
10. 9 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'20"866 + 0'01"728 8
11. 38 ZONTA Toyota M 1'21"095 + 0'01"957 27
12. 37 WIRDHEIM Jaguar Cosworth M 1'21"277 + 0'02"139 24
13. 10 SATO BAR Honda M 1'21"285 + 0'02"147 13
14. 14 WEBBER Jaguar Cosworth M 1'21"520 + 0'02"382 6
15. 7 TRULLI Renault M 1'21"792 + 0'02"654 13
16. 8 ALONSO Renault M 1'22"003 + 0'02"865 5
17. 15 KLIEN Jaguar Cosworth M 1'22"279 + 0'03"141 11
18. 16 DA MATTA Toyota M 1'22"466 + 0'03"328 16
19. 17 PANIS Toyota M 1'22"520 + 0'03"382 15
20. 19 PANTANO Jordan Ford B 1'22"664 + 0'03"526 20
21. 18 HEIDFELD Jordan Ford B 1'22"716 + 0'03"578 20
22. 39 GLOCK Jordan Ford B 1'23"149 + 0'04"011 22
23. 20 BRUNI Minardi Cosworth B 1'23"663 + 0'04"525 19
24. 21 BAUMGARTNER Minardi Cosworth B 1'23"715 + 0'04"577 20
25. 40 LEINDERS Minardi Cosworth B 1'24"887 + 0'05"749 18
Bourdais comes to the USA to succeed
This Indy Star
article talks about Champ Car star Sebastien Bourdais'
decision to leave Europe and come to America to make a name for
himself in the big leagues of racing. It concludes by saying,
Bourdais said Haas has told the team to keep its mind on this year
and he'll worry about the future. So that is what the young driver
is trying to do, even as he faces difficult decisions about his own
future. As his stock rises, Bourdais will generate renewed
interest from Formula One. And he admits being homesick, although
having his girlfriend, Claire Ragot, join him at his home in Tampa,
Fla., has helped. She is on a track and field scholarship at the
University of South Florida. Bourdais said he would not leave
a championship-caliber Champ Car team to run in the back of the pack
in F-1, but clearly he hopes to win a title this season and see if
it opens doors closer to home. "I try not to think about it
too much," he said. "I have absolutely no problem with my career
being here. Living in the States is OK. "The only problem is
we miss our friends and family. There's nothing wrong with America.
It's just not home."
Silverstone ownership shored up
Silverstone's immediate future has been secured after the
British Racing Drivers' Club agreed to accept Ł27m to take the
circuit back. The BRDC own the track but had leased it out to
marketing giant Interpublic, along with the rights to the British
Grand Prix. That arrangement saw Interpublic incur heavy
losses and they bailed out of Formula One by paying the sport's
supremo Bernie Ecclestone to take the rights back earlier this year.
Now they have stepped aside from British motor racing completely by
ending their lease on Silverstone early. The company were due
to lease the facility until 2007, but have now agreed a package with
the BRDC which will see them hand over control before the end of the
year. BRDC chief executive Alexander Hooton insists the
organization will not lose out. He said, " This payment
will give the BRDC security in the medium term, which will enable
the club to carefully evaluate its future options and therefore
determine its own destiny."
Audi DTM cars head to Shanghai
On 17th and 18th July the DTM will stage an invitation
race in Shanghai. The two Audi works teams of Audi Sport Team Abt
Sportsline and Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest will compete with a
total of eight cars at the "East Race Festival" in the Chinese
metropolis. Most of the DTM teams enter unknown territory in
Shanghai, whereas for Audi it is not the first race in China: The
legendary Audi quattro won the Hong Kong-Peking rally twice in
succession in 1985 and 1986. Today, Audi is the leading automobile
manufacturer in the premium segment in China; the A4 and A6 models
for the Chinese market are produced at the Changchun factory.
Possible sellout in Toronto
Ticket sales are picking up in Toronto and while tickets
were still available as of Thursday morning, the usual sellout was
predicted for Sunday's 19th edition of the race over the
2.82-kilometre temporary street course at Toronto's Exhibition
Place. Uncertainty over the future of the series had led to a slow
start in ticket sales.
British GP: Thursday Press Conference
Jenson Button (BAR)
David Coulthard (McLaren)
Mark Webber (Jaguar)
Anthony Davidson (BAR) Transcript
Toronto Fan Forum Details
Date: Saturday, July 10, 2004 Time: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm Location: Autograph Session Tent in Thunder Alley Who:
Nelson Philippe – Champ Car Driver Rocketsports Racing
A.J. Allmendinger – Champ Car Driver RuSPORT
Jeremy Dale – Team President RuSPORT
Bryan Sellers – Toyota Atlantic Driver Lynx Racing
Champ Car Representative – TBD (hoping this will be Chris Kneifel)
Daytona reconstruction starts
Benny Parsons, 1975 Daytona 500 champion and NBC Sports analyst, kicked off
the multi-million dollar, multi-faceted infield renovation project on
Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway. Parsons, donning a DIS
construction hard hat, became a construction worker for a few hours. He
bulldozed the Turn 1 wall and Garage C in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series
garage and drilled into the pavement in Turn 1. "That machine was powerful,"
Parsons said after tearing down a garage stall. Daytona International
Speedway's infield renovation project, which is scheduled to be completed in
time for December's Daytona Kart Week, includes:
* A new tunnel located in Turn 1 that will accommodate team transport
vehicles and guest's specialty vehicles.
* New NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series garages * Uniquely
designed Fan Zone that offer a variety of entertainment and fun for all ages
as well as roof-top viewing of the new NASCAR Nextel Cup and NASCAR Busch
Series garage areas and action on the track
* Waterfront specialty vehicle parking area with premium and standard
specialty vehicle parking spots as well as waterfront docks, activity zones,
playgrounds and an exclusive community center.
* New Gatorade Victory Lane where fans can now also be part of the Victory
Celebration by taking advantage of the new unique Victory Lane Club and
Victory Circle Plaza.
Indy testing quotes
KYLE PETTY, DRIVER, #45 GEORGIA-PACIFIC/BRAWNY DODGE: “Some things change
year to year and some things don’t. Indianapolis is still very
weather-sensitive. That never seems to go away. It was hot and the track was
slick for our test but that is what you usually get during the summer months
in Indiana. If we see these same weather conditions when we come back in
August, we’ll be ahead of the game because we know how the car will react.
The Cheerios team (Jeff Green’s #43) had a full day on Wednesday with the
track under some cloud cover, so we can learn a lot from them too. A lot of
what happens at Indy depends on the weather, and our teams have had a chance
to see some differences along those lines. We had some engine problems on
Tuesday but we still learned a lot. Our car drove really well and that was
important for us to know. I think we’re going to see the same racing that
we’ve always seen at Indianapolis. It’s going to be hard to pass, and the
handling and the setup of the cars are going to be big factors. We have been
pretty good with our flat track stuff this season so we’re not too worried.
It’s the weather that everyone will be watching - that and the reaction of
the track conditions. It’s going to be more crucial for qualifying than for
the race, but it’s going to have an effect either way. It was a good idea
for us to come test because we were able to maybe get a step ahead.
Hopefully what we learned will help us in a few weeks.”
JEFF GREEN, DRIVER, #43 CHEERIOS/BETTY CROCKER DODGE: “Our test session went
really well. We were able to get two good, complete days in. The weather was
perfect for testing. Tuesday was a bit warmer and Wednesday it dropped off a
little bit. That gave us a feel of what the track will be like, but it still
is going to come down to having a fast car. That much was pretty easy to
figure out about the place. But we know what we need to do to make the car
we take to Indy a little bit faster. We put the car through a race run, and
we had it in qualifying trim. We collected a lot of data in two days. We
tried some different things with the body and I think that has worked out
for us. Our cars are looking good for the Brickyard 400. They have more a
little more drag, a little more downforce, and that is what you want at a
speedway like Indianapolis. The race always comes down to having a good
handling car. The weather, the track conditions and all of those other
things don’t mean a whole lot if you don’t have a good handling car. After
spending two days at Indy, we’re going in the right direction.”
Quote of the week In this week's Indianapolis Business Journal - "It's funny
how things have come full circle, it's 10 years later, and about the
only substantial thing that's been accomplished is a racing series
has been destroyed. Open-wheel racing had this big fight, the sport
got stuck in neutral, and 75 million people became NASCAR fans. It
makes you wonder what's next." Zak Brown, head of an Indianapolis
motorsports marketing firm called Just Marketing. [Editor's
Note: How many millions of dollars did Tony George spend
to destroy the sport? What a legacy he leaves for his family
Details of Las Vegas race revealed
This Las Vegas Review-Journal
article talks about the announced Champ Car race in Las
Vegas. With 4 of 18 Champ Car drivers living in Las Vegas, the
Las Vegas fans are sure to have a lot to cheer about. This
should help attendance and generate a lot of press around the event.
Rampant sexism defines world of F1 This
article says, Nestled in the wooded area between the Gold
and Silver entrances to the Hungarian Grand Prix were 20 whitewashed
booths beneath a banner proclaiming "Erotik Camping". Each contained
a red carpet, a grey-blanketed bed and a neat stack of toilet rolls.
Formula One had come to town, and an open-air brothel had been
specially erected for the occasion.
F1 was perceived as a prime market for prostitution. It is hard to
imagine any other sport engendering such an obvious association, but
then no other sport has such an outdated relationship to women.
During my three seasons as an F1 TV reporter, I witnessed the world
of elite motor racing defining itself as "cutting edge", but
promoting ideologies from the Dark Ages. The driver Eddie Irvine
turned his charms on me at the Brazilian Grand Prix when the
conversation turned to a mutual friend, a German F1 presenter whose
contract had been unexpectedly cancelled. "Oh that's a shame,"
he said from behind mirrored sunglasses. "It was good watching her
arse walk down the paddock." I assumed he was being sarcastic.
"Hmm..." I said. "I'll miss her conversation too." "No, I
won't miss that," he said, quite seriously. "She just looked good -
she was just here to be looked at. That's all any of you are here
for, just to be looked at." There were eight other men sitting
listening. Nobody said a word, except for Niki Lauda. He looked at
me from beneath his baseball cap and shrugged. "It's a man's world,"
In a sport driven by global marketing ambitions, it is extraordinary
that nobody has yet seized this potential. Ecclestone described his
ideal female racing driver as "Perhaps a black girl, with super
looks, preferably Jewish or Muslim, who speaks Spanish". It
was a joke, I think, but a revealing one. In Formula One, sexism
even defeats the forces of capitalism.
More (interesting read).......
Toyota increases bid for Webber Following
its signing of Ralf Schumacher on a three-year contract yesterday
(Wednesday), Toyota has upped its offer to wrest Mark Webber away
from Williams next year due to doubts over Schumacher's long-term
return to fitness, according to this week's Autosport magazine.
Schumacher is convalescing at home in Austria following his 165mph
crash in the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis, during which
he recorded a 78g impact that left him with concussion and two
fractured vertebrae. In case he does not start next season on top
form, as this was his second high-speed crash in two years, Toyota
is anxious to line up another star driver. Autosport
understands that Toyota management held further talks with Webber's
manager, Renault chief Flavio Briatore, at Magny-Cours last weekend.
The Australian has admitted that he has several options for next
year, and hinted that a lot would depend on Toyota's long-term
potential. [Editor's Note: This just confirms our rumor
from April that Toyota will probably replace both its drivers for
2005. Ralf's signing means one is gone. If they sign
Webber too, both Panis and da Matta will be out of a ride.]
Dale Jr. on 60 Minutes Dale
Earnhardt Jr. will appear on the long-running CBS TV program 60 Minutes
later this year. The Bud Chevy driver was interviewed by 60 Minutes reporter
Mike Wallace for a half-hour in Daytona after Dale Jr. rode the 86-year old
Wallace around the track at 130 miles per hour in a 2005 C-6 prototype
Chevrolet Corvette. Earnhardt Jr. said "I’ve always liked the show. I don’t
think NASCAR is anyplace to go shopping for a gut wrenching story but when
I’ve seen a controversial topic on 60 Minutes typically it’s been fair on
both sides. They just ask the real questions and want the real answers." No
air date has been set for the interview; however it will run this fall in
conjunction with the chase for the championship.
PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show
The high cost of F1 According to
this This London.com
article, Claims that Formula One finances are out of control can
today be confirmed by the revelation that Michael Schumacher's race to last
year's world championship title cost over $100,000 per mile. Ferrari are
estimated to have spent over $300 million on getting two cars onto the grid
for 16 races.
Tagliani thinks Tracy gives up too soon
This Toronto Star
article says, Alex Tagliani isn't surprised that Paul Tracy blames
him for a first corner crash that knocked the Scarborough native out of last
Saturday's Grand Prix of Cleveland. He says that's the Torontonian
simply being himself. "The most surprising thing of all in the
newspaper articles is not the things he says about me, but rather that he
says he has no more chance to win the championship," Tagliani said
yesterday. "I'm kinda surprised how easy he's given up. I'm one point
ahead of him and my team thinks we still have a chance to win it, especially
with the way the new points system is this year. The top six, seven or eight
drivers still have a chance, mathematically, to win. He's only 50 points
behind (current points leader) Bruno Junqueira. So how can you see your
chances being completely over? Giving up that quickly ... is what
surprised me most of all in his article." Tracy wrote on Tuesday in
the first of a series of exclusive columns for the Star this week:
"Less than 10 seconds into the Cleveland Grand Prix and it was all over — my
race, and more than likely, my shot at winning the championship again this
Toronto race to air live in Canada
This Toronto Star
article says, The fact that this year's Molson Indy broadcast will
be produced by Canadians again isn't the only good news surrounding
Toronto's vroom with a view.
The main one for Indy organizers is that Sunday's event will remind viewers
that the Champ Car series still exists.
"The fact that we're live gives us an opportunity to put out the message
that Champ Car is alive and well," said Molson Entertainment's Paul Gris,
producer of Sunday's race for Global.
That statement is testament to the sorry state of open-wheel racing in North
America. Since the Indy Racing League split with CART (Champ Car's former
moniker) a few years back, both series have suffered. Television ratings are
dismal, so much so in Champ Car's case that it must pay to get its races
televised in the U.S. Champ is averaging a paltry 80,000 viewers a race on
TSN this season. Even previously bulletproof events like the IRL's
Indianapolis 500 are suffering.
Worse for Champ Car is the fact that the best TV deal it could cobble
together this season, after narrowly escaping bankruptcy in the winter, was
one with Spike and most of the races on tape. Among those is the Toronto
Last year, with CBS carrying the race, Molson and Global decided it made
more financial sense to simply pick up the American broadcast. Apparently
the prospect of a major Canadian auto race being presented in Canada by an
American network was overshadowed by the prospect of raking in the
simulcasting dollars. In Global's defense, it did insist CART do its best to
make it look like a Canadian production and that it did. The CBS announcers
were so Canada-centric they almost said "eh" a few times. "Doing the
race ourselves is the ideal situation," said Global programming head Adam
Ivers. "Splitting the audience between Global and CBS last year didn't make
any sense, but we're excited to be doing an all-Canadian production.
Toronto part of Champ Car's international push
This Toronto Star
article talks about Toronto being a key part of Champ Car's
international flavor. "Champ Car has always been a quasi-international
championship," said Gentilozzi. "We've been to Brazil, Japan,
Australia; all over the world. Heck, we've been in Canada almost 20 years.
We welcome the fact that we're a North American-based series that has some
international exposure. I'm sure we'll be in four or five countries outside
the U.S. next year."
While he wouldn't directly name the countries or cities Champ Cars is
targeting as future sites, Gentilozzi did offer some hints. "It would
be foolish for me to talk about venues," he said. "But I think we'll be in
South America next year and we're looking hard at European venues. We think
there are opportunities there. We can't afford to do just one race in
Europe because of the transportation costs," said Gentilozzi. When we
get two races we can go back to Europe."
There was some talk about Champ Cars going to South Africa as early as next
year, but that's off the screen, at least for now. "It's all about
funding and that event did not get funded," said Gentilozzi. "The part the
government needed to do they couldn't do. So South Africa is dead."
There have also been rumors about a fourth Canadian race, this one on the
streets of Calgary, which has a high number of corporate headquarters,
especially those in the rich oil and gas industries. "We're looking at
every avenue," he said. "It's just another North American city. We want to
look at cities which, No. 1, welcome us and No. 2 can do business with us."
And therein lies the secret to which cities or countries might wind up as a
future Champ Car race venue. With the hugely successful NASCAR series
having a virtual stranglehold on sponsorship of consumer products,
Gentilozzi and his partners have narrowed their aim to Champ Cars'
traditional sponsors, the manufacturing sector.
"The NASCAR sponsor probably isn't the Champ Car sponsor," said Gentilozzi.
"The NASCAR sponsor is probably going to be a consumer product, mostly in
the U.S. and based mostly in the southeast. And they're looking at large
volumes of people that simply see the exposure. The Champ Car-sponsor
relationship has been different. This is a place where companies come to do
business. It really is a business-to-business relationship forum.
Gentilozzi points out that a company can't take 20 employees to a NASCAR
race and walk them through the pits, talk to the drivers and then have lunch
with them. "If you're selling beer in the U.S. NASCAR is a
better venue," he said. "But if you're selling industrial jets this is a
much better one."
Both Gentilozzi and Kalkhoven insist that because of the type of companies
that sponsor Champ Cars it makes television coverage less important to them
than to the businesses that sponsor NASCAR or F1 teams. "Take my
sponsor Gulfstream," said Kalkhoven. "They're not here (in Cleveland) to
exactly sell a lot of Gulfstream (private jets) via television. They're
going to sell to pilots and potential owners. It's a wonderful opportunity
to get these people for three days and indoctrinate them in Gulfstream.
They're using the romance and excitement of motorsports that really appeals
to the pilots and potential owners."
Gentilozzi feels there are similar companies worldwide that are interested
in using auto racing as a venue for business-to-business schmoozing. As the
business world recovers from the slump that resulted from the 9/ll terrorist
attacks he feels the market will improve. "The first think big
companies do is take away discretionary spending when the economy is down.
Everyone wants to keep their stock value up, so you look at marketing,
public relations and advertising budgets." "The big advertising
agencies, they're hot properties right now because everybody knows that as
the economy gets stronger their activities are going to get stronger," he
said. "As companies spend more money promoting their products
they'll come back to motorsports." [Editor's Note: Champ Car
can't survive on just business-to-business relationships. Their
marketing department must be able to land consumer focused companies who
like the international nature of Champ Car]
Hayes steps down from Cosworth As a result of the increasing
likelihood of a significant review of Formula One engine technical
regulations in the near future, Cosworth Racing’s Technical Director Nick
Hayes has decided that now is an appropriate time to hand over
responsibility for redefining Cosworth’s position within Formula One to the
next generation of engineers.
Naturally this presents an immense challenge to the team of young and
extremely talented engineers currently working within Cosworth Racing, not
only in terms of developing Cosworth’s own Formula One engines but also
forming part of the engine advisory group to the FIA.
This group of engineers encompasses a new generation of thinking, a desire
to break the image of Cosworth as a supplier of only customer engines in
Formula One and demonstrate the company’s core values of reliability,
performance, innovation and excellence. To establish a measurable target, it
has set itself the goal of developing the most powerful and reliable Formula
One engine in line with the new engine regulations, the benchmark against
which all others will be measured.
The Cosworth Racing Formula One department will effectively be split into
two sub-divisions; Race Engineering and Future Engines, each reporting
directly to the Board of Directors. The Race Engineering team will
concentrate on on-going track support, development and implementation, while
the Future Engines team will focus on developing engines to suit changing
requirements, such as likely specification changes, defined by the FIA in
the near future.
The two departments will work closely together, as well as with the relevant
Formula One teams, and by sharing best practice, will ensure that
developments made by the future group are seamlessly integrated into the
current specification of Formula One engines.
Commenting on the changes, Cosworth Racing MD Tim Routsis said; “Obviously
it is with sadness that Nick leaves the company, having made an enormous
contribution to Cosworth’s success over the years and been an integral part
of the company.
“However, I am confident that the teams of engineers will bring fresh and
innovative thinking to the development of Cosworth’s future Formula One
engines. Our target to develop the benchmark engine in Formula One is a bold
one but one we feel that we can achieve and we look forward to seeing
Cosworth-powered cars at the front of the field once more.”
NASCAR tracks create non-Bubba sections This
article talks about the family-only sections of grandstands that
some of the NASCAR tracks now offer for people who want to keep their family
members away from the beer drinking, rowdy, NASCAR fans called Bubbas.
It's a start, however, 95% of the grandstands are still filled with Bubbas
who whoop it up, yell, scream and ask women and young girls to take off
their tops. When Mark Spangenberg goes to the track with his wife and
teenage daughter, he'd rather not be near the tailgate parties and rowdy
drinkers. And Richmond International Raceway is one of a handful of tracks
offering fans like the Spangenbergs a haven of sorts. In three sections of
the track - 3,300 of the 107,100 seats, fans are prohibited from drinking
alcohol. ``We're not against drinking, but when people overdo
it, it can take away from the quality time of other people,'' said
Spangenberg, who lives in Huntingdon, Pa., and recently attended a Nextel
Cup race in Richmond. ``As we walked in, I didn't appreciate the people who
you knew had been drinking asking the young ladies to raise their shirts. If
we were to come back again, we would make sure we were in the same
Set those VCR's
Champ Car fans may want to set their VCR's to tape the rerun of
the MotoGP bike race from this past weekend in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
It's on at 3:00 AM EST July 8th on SPEED Channel. With rumors of Champ
Car possibly returning to Rio in 2005, it's a good opportunity to see what a
wonderful road course they have in Rio, though Champ Car is likely to use
the Roval again. That is also clearly shown in the overhead shots.
The track appears to be in good condition. Photos below taken by
Autoracing1's Steve Levinson this past weekend in Rio.
(L to R) Start, Lap 1, Corcovado, Copacabana
Beach (L to R) Barra da Tijuca, New condos across
from track, Crowd, Sugar Loaf Mountain
Bourdais thinks push-to-pass button good in Toronto
Over the years there has been plenty of excitement on the tight
street course in Toronto. Being at the wrong place at the wrong time can
have a big impact on your finishing position. Bourdais anticipates even more
excitement this weekend and thanks to the addition of Ford-Cosworth's Push
To Pass button.
"I think the Push to Pass button will be powerful because the backstraight
is very long in Toronto (and) I think it will have a big effect," added
Bourdais who was able to avoid a Lap 1, Turn 1 collision in Cleveland to
take the lead of the race. "The straight part is not very long but the
amount of time you are full throttle is pretty long so it's going to be a
benefit. The only downside is that the track is pretty narrow and there is
basically only one line. It's going to be interesting. I think we will see
some interesting moves."
Franchittis to team up Dario Franchitti and brother Marino are
hoping to team up for next year’s Daytona 24 Hours sportscar classic.
Dario, who has never raced a sportscar, said: “I really want to do it. It is
something we talked about for this year, but my team wasn’t keen after I’d
been out with injury all last year. If it works out it would be great.”
Marino said: “It’s just a plan at the moment, but it is something we are
working towards. I would love to be able to share a car with my brother at
Champ Car Hot Topics The Molson Indy Toronto (HDNet, 1 p.m. Eastern Time, July 11; Spike
TV, 4 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time, July 11), is Round 6 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
1.755-mile temporary street course at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto.
End this war says Mario
UPDATE A reader writes,
Dear Mario, I share your concerns and have analyzed the situation from my
vantage point, which admittedly is not the same as your intimately involved
situation. Unification of open wheel racing in the US can happen
instantaneously except for two small, simple words: “Tony” and “George”.
Time and time again this person has blocked any and all comers to the
reunification arena. I can (as my buddy Tommy Lasorda puts it)
guaran-f’ing-tee you that nobody, I mean nobody that supported CART and now
supports its successor, OWRS, will give one dime or one ounce of effort in
supporting any series that is run by this person. Other issues like
technical specs can be worked out. I’d prefer a common higher tech V-10 with
more nimble chassis design (best), or keeping the current OWRS cars as is
(good), or some kind of N/A V-8 formula (fair), or even settle on the ugly
farting bee crapwagons if necessary (worst, what a joke on road course those
dogs would be). The issues of where to race can be worked out whether it’s
10-ovals / 10-road courses (fair) or 7-ovals / 7-road courses /
6-street/temporary courses (better), or whatever. But what I will NOT do is
put one dime of my hard earned money into a series where Tony George is in
control. I see where he just shut down Roger Penske’s efforts just like all
the other reunification efforts and until he gets out, he’ll shut your
efforts down too. Two separate series is better than one TG-run series in my
mind. At least now I have a choice where to go and spend my time and money.
He apparently is an ego-maniac and will not yield until the Indy 495 is on
the precipice of the toilet, a direction he is heading towards in startling
rapid fashion. Sincerely, Glenn Tanner, Palos Verdes Estates CA7/7/04 - This Toronto Star
article says, The civil war tearing apart open-wheel racing
in North America must end for the sake of the sport, says legendary
racing champion Mario Andretti. "It should have happened
yesterday," Andretti said after signing hundreds of autographs at a
Molson Indy event downtown. "To have open-wheel racing so
divided; it's just that, it's divided. All the energy should be
funneled in one area."
While recent talks between Champ Car and Indy Racing League team
owner Roger Penske, who brokered the meeting as a personal mission
to unite the two groups, are very preliminary, Andretti said it is
encouraging they are at least sitting down. "Whenever you have
dialogue, there's hope," he said. "Hopefully they'll find a way for
an acceptable compromise for both sides."
"I love the sport and I'm concerned because it's not enjoying the
prominence that it should," he said, noting open-wheel racing is
falling behind NASCAR. "That was not the case only a couple of years
ago and all this demise was created by the creation of the IRL and
nothing good ever came out of it." Anyone involved with the
sport wants the war to end, said Andretti.
"The reason for (the merger) is so strong; it makes so much sense,"
he said. "The reason this split happened was never a good one. There
was never a good idea behind it."
Andretti said there are IRL drivers who would like to street race.
Likewise, he said, there are Champ Car drivers who would love to
race on the ovals. "The drivers are caught in the crossfire.
The drivers don't want to hear about politics, they want to race."
Andretti said the only people who don't want a merger are the owners
of the two organizations who want to maintain control. "The
race will always be successful ... but it can be better, it can be
stronger with all factions together," Andretti said, ending the
interview with a simple message to both sides: "Get it done."
ISC earnings drop 50% ISC
today reported Q2 ’04 earnings, and REUTERS reports that the
company’s net earnings “fell more than 50[%] as one-time charges
[related to the closing of Nazareth Speedway] offset higher
broadcast and attendance revenue.” ISC earned $6.1M in the quarter,
down from $12.5M in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 11%
to $132.7M, while attendance revenue rose 6% to $46.2M
REUTERS. ISC shares were trading at $49.80, up 1.3%
Stewart not amused by Bernie's threat
Former champion Jackie Stewart has accused Formula One supremo
Bernie Ecclestone of backtracking on assurances that the British
Grand Prix at Silverstone was safe to 2006. "We are dismayed
at Bernie Ecclestone's latest threat to the future of the British
Grand Prix at Silverstone," the Scot said in a statement issued by
the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC), of which he is the
president, on Wednesday.
"We are surprised at Mr Ecclestone's backtracking on the FOA's
assurances of the security of the 2005/2006 grand prix," it added.
Ecclestone's Formula One Administration (FOA) holds the right to
promote the event. Stewart said: "It is sad to see a dark
cloud over the future of Silverstone this weekend when we should be
celebrating the pre-eminence of our motorsport industry and hoping
for a British winner on Sunday."
Ralf says he has chosen the future
Ralf Schumacher says he has ‘chosen the future’ by moving to Toyota.
The German has signed a three-year deal with the team and told his
official website that he believes he can become a World Champion
with the Cologne outfit. "I've chosen the future," he said. "I know
you can't buy success and I also know that Toyota cannot become an
overnight success but I can promise I will put all my energy and
patience into what they ask of me. When I think I'm going to be at
the heart of Toyota's long term project for the world title I start
to have stomach cramps. I've earned so much money I don't have
any worries about the future. Money has never been what motivated me
in Formula One,” he said. Toyota insist they concluded a
‘reasonable’ deal with the German. "As usually happens regarding
Formula 1 budget figures, the amount of money reported by the media
is largely overestimated. The rumors about the contract between
Toyota and Ralf Schumacher are not an exception," said team boss
7/7/04 Industry News
Mansell & Fogarty start magazine
Former World Champions Nigel Mansell and Carl Fogarty have entered
into the world of publishing with the launch of a new magazine –
Planet Driving. The magazine, which embraces the art and enjoyment
of driving, is a unique blend of driving disciplines covering on and
off road driving, riding and competition, along with news and
features centered on marine, flying and recreational craft. Besides
Mansell and Fogarty, five-time Class One world powerboat champion
Steve Curtis and Wing Commander Andy Offer, highly-experienced
Harriet pilot and former member of the Red Arrows will be regular
contributors to Planet Driving. Mansell and Fogarty, who are joint
editors-in-chief of the magazine, are delighted to be teaming up.
Speaking at the official media launch of Planet Driving at Café
Grand Prix, Mayfair, Nigel said: “I feel privileged to have Carl as
a fellow editor-in-chief and look forward to working closely with
him and the rest of our world-class team to produce the very best
from the car, motorcycle, marine and aviation worlds.” Carl added:
“I am very excited about this project and to have joined forces with
Nigel Mansell, someone who shared my commitment to success. We are
very proud of our first issue and want Planet Driving to continue to
provide an honest and candid insight into the art, enjoyment and
science of all types of driving and riding - and not just of cars
and bikes.” The first issue of Planet Driving is on sale now at WH
Smith and all good newsagents.
Fake Richard Petty making the rounds Earlier
this year at Dover we had a small problem arise. On Saturday during
the time when they were trying to get the Busch race started (or the
track dry) there was a gentleman who visited the grandstands who was
impersonating Richard Petty. The real Richard Petty was in New
Jersey that day making an appearance for a sponsor and not at the
track. Petty Enterprises was made aware of this imposter when they
received a call from another teams' rep stating that Richard was in
the grandstands and they actually thought it was him. This guy
apparently had the look because he fooled many fans into thinking he
was the real deal. The imposter even went as far as to sign
autographs for almost two hours. He was signing the name "Richard
Petty" but the signature is not even close to the actual. The 'fake'
King even had a security escort with him during his 'autograph
session'. Apparently this guy has fooled the fans, the track and
even the security or police into thinking that he was Richard. Petty
Enterprises wants to make the fans aware that this man was not
Richard Petty...for one thing, Petty never visits the grandstands
and is usually in the infield or garage area. The fake Richard Petty
is a few years younger then the real Richard Petty, who just turned
67. No other reports of seeing the fake at other tracks. Richard
Petty prides himself in being good to his fans and the fans of this
sport. Petty Enterprises do not want is for this imposter to give
Richard a bad name. Petty Enterprises
Frank Williams backs London GP
"If ever Mr. Ecclestone intends to run a Grand Prix in London, this
is going to be a major step up the ladder for him.
Monaco is the most fantastic of the major sporting events on the
motoring calendar. A Grand Prix of London could become the same," he
said. 'I'm a strong supporter, otherwise we wouldn't
have sent a car. I think it would work for us." Sir
Status quo in GrandAm The leaders of all three Grand American
Rolex Sports Car Series classes maintained their position atop their
respective driver standings following last week's Paul Revere 250 presented
by Brumos Porsche at Daytona International Speedway-the halfway point of the
12-race 2004 calendar.
Following a second-place finish in the Paul Revere 250, No. 01 CompUSA Chip
Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley teammates Scott Pruett and Max Papis continue to
lead the Daytona Prototype standings with 183 points. However, No. 10
SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley co-drivers Max Angelelli and Wayne Taylor used
their victory last week at Daytona to close the gap to 11 points behind the
Ganassi duo. CITGO Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford driver Andy
Wallace stands alone in fifth place with 164 points, while Wallace's CITGO
Howard-Boss Motorsports teammate Milka Duno is sixth with 151 markers.
Defending Daytona Prototype champion Terry Borcheller, who drives the No. 54
Kodak-Bell Motorsports Pontiac Doran is tied for seventh with No. 81 Rx.com/G&W
Motorsports BMW Doran driver Cort Wagner with 148 points apiece. No. 27
Doran-Lista Racing Lexus Doran driver Didier Theys occupies ninth in the
driver standings with 145 points, and No. 02 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing
Lexus Riley pilot Jimmy Morales is 10th with 144 markers.
The No. 01Lexus team also leads the No. 10 Pontiac squad in the team
standings, 183-172, with the No. 2 CITGO-Howard-Boss Motorsports team third
with 159 points. Pontiac leads the Daytona Prototype engine manufacturer
standings, 202-196 over Lexus, and BMW is third with 147. Riley tops the
chassis manufacturer standings with a 192-178 advantage over Doran followed
by Crawford with 177 points. GrandAm
Last 10 laps best ever The last 10 laps of Buddy Rice's win in the Argent Mortgage Indy
300 not only produced the second-closest finish in IndyCar Series history,
it also provided one of the best on-track battles the series has ever seen.
The lead officially changed six times in the final 10 laps, the most lead
changes in the final 10 laps of any IndyCar series race. The previous most
lead changes in the final 10 laps was four, which occurred at Michigan in
July 2003 and Texas in June 2002. This also was the sixth time that the lead
changed on the final lap of the race. Other drivers to make last-lap passes
for victory were: Sam Hornish Jr., who twice passed Helio Castroneves for
wins at Homestead in February and at Texas in 2001; Alex Barron, who beat
Hornish at Michigan in 2003; Jeff Ward, who passed Al Unser Jr. at Texas in
June 2002; and Scott Sharp, who passed Gil de Ferran at Nazareth in 2002.
Champ Car needs Viagra and Cialis
Champ Car desperately needs a double dose of Viagra and Cialis. Why?
Because they can't get it up. All kidding aside, the grandstands that
are erected at most Champ Car events, especially the temporary ones, rise at
so shallow of an angle we wonder why they waste their time erecting them at
all. Champ Car and its track designers need to take a lesson in Track Design
101 - Steeper grandstands on same footprint = more rows = more seats = more
revenue. If the fans are not seated high enough to see all the action,
and can't see over the 6 footer sitting in front of them, the paying
customer is not a happy camper. One thing you can say about the oval cartel,
they seat their customers high and in steep grandstands and many have backs
to them. Nothing like sitting on High School bleachers. We don't
know who Champ Car contracts with for their temporary grandstands, but they
should get a company that supplies 21st century stands. Mark C.
More merchandise for Champ Car in
2005UPDATE According to this
Global Racing News
website, some details have been leaked on the upcoming Champ
Car video game. It will be on store shelves in early 2005, it
started development in early 2003. It will put all other racing
games to shame. It appears to feature both arcade and hard-core
simulation modes. Furthermore, it will be released on the PC,
XBOX, and Playstation 2. The game is being made by a small
firm by the name of SE Games, they were in Cleveland this past
weekend working on the development of the game itself. We have also
learned that the game will attract some new companies to the Champ
Car series. Another possibility that has come into play is that SE
Games is being headed-up by ex-Papyrus employees. Papyrus developed
the original CART video game. If it's true that these
guys are ex-Papyrus employees then Champ Car has done the best
possible thing it can do. Papyrus are the king of racing sims.
They also created the NASCAR series of games....and brought NASCAR a
huge worldwide audience. 7/2/04 - Paul Gentilozzi said today in Cleveland that because their buyout of
the series happened so late, they do not have a full merchandising
program in place for 2004. They are working on several fronts
for 2005 - putting all their old races (since 1979) on DVD for sale
to the public, more merchandising for all drivers and a new video
game by SE Games that will be available on all platforms - PC, Playstation, Xbox, etc..
F1 speeds through streets of London
This Sky Sports
article talks about the F1 event on the streets of London
today, but this
article says it was called off early due to safety fears.
Ward dies at 83 UPDATE
Information on services for two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rodger
Ward, who died July 5 at age 83: Memorial service: A memorial
service for Ward will take place at 5 p.m. (PDT), Sunday, July 11,
San Diego Automotive Museum, 2080 Pan American Plaza, No. 12, Balboa
Park, CA 92101-1636. (Web:
www.sdautomuseum.org) Cards and letters: Cards and letters can
be sent to Sherrie Ward, 24701 Raymond Way, No. 29, Lake Forest, CA
92630. Donations: Donations may be made to the American Diabetes
Association. 7/5/04 - Rodger Ward, one of the greatest drivers in
Indianapolis 500-Mile Race history, died July 5 in Anaheim, Calif. He was
83. Ward won the race twice and during a six-year stretch between 1959 and
1964 never finished worse than fourth during that span. His victories came
in 1959 and 1962, and he was the last surviving winner from the 1950s.
"Indy makes the race driver," Ward said in a 1999 interview. "You become
famous when you come (to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway). I don't care
where else you race in the world. "I was pretty famous in my own
territory, but when I came to Indianapolis, and the first time I ran here, I
wasn't known as a driver from California. I was an Indy driver." More
Indy hospital defends itself
The Indianapolis Methodist hospital, where Ralf Schumacher was
treated immediately after his US GP accident, has denied that the
Williams driver received substandard care. Ralf recently lashed out
at the Indy doctors when it was discovered a week after his accident
that he'd sustained two spinal fractures in the accident. The
injuries mean Ralf will be out of F1 for eight to twelve weeks. "I
could not believe that they did not recognise the injuries in
Indianapolis," Ralf, who is considering legal action, said last
week. "They did a lot of examinations but did not pick it up. I'm
angry that they did not wait and put me on a plane the next day."
However, according to the hospital's spokesman, Jon Millis, hospital
officials "clearly communicated" the medical information regarding
Ralf's injuries to his team and that "those facts have not been
communicated to the media." Millis wasn't unable to say anything
else about Ralf's medical treatment as he is forbidden from doing so
by US privacy law.
Bernie calls team owners "little
Bernie Ecclestone and the team owners are headed for another
showdown. The Formula One supremo says he wants the qualifying
format changed in time for this weekend's British Grand Prix,
despite the fact the initial proposal was scrapped last week during
a meeting of team bosses. Ecclestone says all the teams initially
agreed to the deal before two owners, Eddie Jordan and Minardi's
Paul Stoddart, reversed their position at the last minute. "I don't
care if people don't agree, but when they agree and then change
their minds... that's what little girls do, not grown men," he told
BBC Radio Five Live.
Tornado hits Stewart's WoO shop Mother
Nature has been a thorn in the side of many of the World of Outlaw
teams these past few weeks with all the cancelled events due to
rain. Things elevated to another level for the Tony Stewart
Motorsports team early Sunday morning when a tornado hit the Lasoski
Racing shop located Southeast of Higginsville, MO. The full extent
of the damage is not known at this time but included structural
damage to the building and shop equipment. “The most important thing
is nobody was hurt and we are very thankful of that,” said Tony
Ross, team manager for Lasoski/Stewart Motorsports. “The tornado
blew off part of the roof and blew every door off the shop. We are
looking at four to six weeks before the structural damage can be
repaired. We do not know the full extent of the damage just yet but
we know we hurt some cars, top wings, and trophies and put a gouge
in the hauler. It also blew a tree into the main part of the shop.
We are really fortunate because it could have been so much worse
than it was. Everything that was damaged can be replaced. Danny,
Chris, Hope and Landon were all in the house just a few hundred
yards away and luckily they were not hurt,” said Ross. “None of the
guys were at the shop when the tornado hit. I hate to think of what
would have happened if anybody ‘d been here when it hit. Most of the
damage was on the side where we keep the racecars. It is a very
unfortunate deal, but we can buy more racecars and we are lucky it
wasn’t worse.” Jimmy Carr and Todd Splain were able to leave in the
hauler as scheduled Monday for the upcoming events at Huset’s
Speedway in Brandon, SD and Red River Valley Speedway in Fargo, ND.
Danny Lasoski site
NASCAR great passes away Jim
Paschal, a NASCAR pioneer, died Monday. He was 77. Paschal drove in
NASCAR's first race for late model cars. That was in 1949 at
Charlotte. His career in racing continued into the 1970s. He won 25
races in what is now the Nextel Cup Series and ranks 23rd on the
all-time win list. Paschal died of cancer Monday morning at Moses
Cone Hospital in Greensboro, NC. His funeral will be at 2 p.m.
Thursday at Briggs Funeral Home in Denton. Burial will be at North
Bend Cemetery near Jackson Creek. Visitation will be from 6 to 8
p.m. Wednesday at Briggs Funeral Home.
High Point Enterprise
hopeful of shot at F1
Narain Karthikeyan -- the best Indian bet to race alongside the
German in the near future -- is quietly confident that a call from
Formula One could come any time. "I'm still confident of breaking
into F-1. The call may come any time but I'm not unduly worried
about it," Narain said while enjoying the French Grand Prix on a big
screen as part of a promotional program organized by his sponsors JK
Tires here on Sunday. The fastest Indian, who is now one of the top
contenders in the World Series by Nissan, also referred to as
Formula 2, was also not feeling uneasy over the fact that so many
young drivers are pushing hard around the world to get into the
elite circuit. "Look, so many great drivers have made their entry
into Formula One even at the age of thirty. So I am still hopeful,"
said the 27-year-old Tata RC Motorsport driver sporting a World
Series T-shirt and jeans. The Indian told PTI that his immediate aim
is get into the F-1 even with low profile teams. "I don't mind
whether it is Minardi (the Italian F-1 team) or any one else. The
important thing is to get in and then look to progress." Besides
testing with Minardi, Narain had test drives with leading F-1 teams
Jordan and Jaguar. If he makes it into F-1, Narain would be the
second Asian after Japanese Takuma Sato of BAR Honda to make the
produces another masterpiece
Racing artist and former Champ Car starter Jim Swintal has produced
another of his racing masterpieces. The rendering shown to the
right was on display at the Cleveland Grand Prix and depicts many of the
past winners of the Cleveland event that has been held at Burke
Lakefront Airport. Mr. Swintal has combined a number of eras
into his latest, hasn't he? There is Monsieur Bourdais (2003 & 2004) in front,
with Patrick Carpentier (2002) sliding toward Bourdais'
right rear. Coming up between them is Roberto Moreno (2000), with
Alessandro Zanardi (1997 & 1998) and Gil de Ferran (1996) behind on either side. The 20
Marlboro car, of course, is Emerson Fittipaldi (1987, 1989), with Paul Tracy
Mario (1988), Al Unser Sr. (1983), Danny Sullivan (1984 & 1986), and Bobby
Rahal (1982) coming up from behind.
There's actually a bunch of Cleveland winners not depicted - where's Dario
in his 2001 race winner and Villeneuve's from 1995? Also Al Jr.'s from 1994
or 1985, Fittipaldi's from 1992, Michael's from 1991, Juan Montoya's from 1999, or Sullivan's
from 1990 or 1986. Copies of the rendering were made available to Champ Car Fan Forum
members for $5.00 and will be available at the Champ Car merchandise
trailer until supplies run out.
Drivers discuss green-flag finishes For
stock car racing fans there seems to be nothing more disappointing
than a race ending under caution. Thrilling side-by-side finishes
have often been the norm in major league stock car racing and a late
caution flag ends those possibilities. NASCAR has worked hard
recently to set up green-flag finishes when it can, announcing prior
to each event at what point it will red flag a race in order to
avoid a yellow-flag finish. But it’s not always possible. The
newest reported proposal is a one-time four-lap green-flag finish.
Instead of red flagging the race, the cars would stay under caution
and try to end with a green flag-green flag-white flag-checkered
flag finish. Here is what some competitors had to say:
Wilson explains first-turn Cleveland
In this Autosport.com
article Justin Wilson says, The Cleveland circuit, built on an
airport, is great fun. The road is wide open and you carry a lot of speed
and you can really attack the track.
Obviously the race was disappointing. I was on the front row and Alex
Tagliani started on the third row but we still met at the first corner! I
tucked in behind Paul Tracy at the start, who was in the lead, then into the
first corner I braked a little late. I was looking to cut the inside of the
corner off and go to the apex, maybe go past Paul, but at least let him know
I was there instead of running into the back of him.
I started to turn in and as I got halfway across the track I saw somebody
alongside me going much quicker than I was. I turned back the other way as
quickly as I could, but Tag hit me and damaged my sidepod, floor and
everything. At the same time I had turned hard left to try and avoid the
impact but Paul was already turning in and I just hit him.
The crash took me out on the spot. Paul's radiator was punctured and he
managed to get around a couple more laps but then he had to stop. But Tag
continued and finished third!
It could be said that this was our best chance so far but we want to convert
the chance. The key word in that sentence is definitely ‘so far' though. We
are very positive and optimistic that we are going to get the chance. I'm
over here to win. Next week we are back to street racing in Toronto. It
looks like quite a good track and if I can get a good starting set-up I
could be in with a real chance.
Tag is ripped for his driving
This Toronto Sun
article talks about the controversy surrounding Champ Car driver
Alex Tagliani, especially the criticism being aimed at him from fellow
Canadian driver Paul Tracy. Could it just be an English Canadian vs.
French Canadian thing?
Hunt's Champ Car debut grows closer
19-year old Australian Josh Hunt is a rookie in the Toyota Atlantic Series
this year. When word got out that he would probably make his Champ Car
debut in Surfers paradise this year a lot of eyebrows were raised, "how
could he possibly be ready," said the critics. Hunt is making steady
progress in the Atlantic series and this past weekend in Cleveland he
finally showed he indeed might be OK come October when the Champ Car series
treks down to Australia. Hunt went from tenth on the grid to second
behind eventual winner Ryan Dalziel at the start of the Cleveland event.
“In all my years in karting I was renown for my good starts,” he said. “I
knew that the opening turn could really make or break my race and in my case
it made it.” However a high speed spin caused by a damaged side pod
saw Hunt drop out of contention for a podium. “It was pleasing to show
that I could match it with the front-runners in the championship,” he said.
“The car felt the best it had been all weekend, we had good pace during
those early laps and I was really holding my own, even extending the gap
from third. It is only a week before I get back in the car to make
every lap count and be right at the pointy end of the field.”
The slippery slope of liquor This
Dallas Morning News
article raises the issue of hypocrisy over NASCAR's ban of hard
liquor ads on its race cars. The Roush team has had to turn away a $15
million per year sponsor deal from Diageo, a London-based firm that
distributes many of the top-selling brands of liquor in the world. Some of
those are Smirnoff, Crown Royal, Johnny Walker, Tanqueray, and Jose Cuervo.
Their argument is that if it is not allowed to be advertised on TV then it
is not fit for NASCAR.
A reader writes, Dear Autoracing1.com, I was flying United Airlines over the
weekend and noticed a half-page ad for the Denver Champ Car event in their
In-Flight magazine; very nice and well done. Sounds like the Denver
promoters have their act together. Denver is a major hub for United. Trey
Bell's decision to join IRL blows up in face This
article says, Townsend Bell's decision to join the Indy Racing
League blew up in his face. Literally. Townsend, who joined Panther Racing
this week at Kansas Speedway, had to make two extra pit stops during
Sunday's Argent Mortgage Indy 300 when his car's cockpit fire extinguisher
discharged. "I couldn't see anything," said Bell, a former CART and Formula
3000 driver who signed an IRL deal last week after Panther parted ways with
rookie Mark Taylor. "We brought it in, then had to come back in another time
because I just couldn't see a thing. Then the radio button fell out, and I
was holding it in to talk to the crew." Bell's crew replaced his
steering wheel after 75 laps. He finished 17th - the last car running -
after starting seventh. Sounds to us that Panther Racing has lost
their way since expanding to a two-car operation.
Verdict still out on Champ Car race in
This Cleveland Plain-Dealer
article talks about the Cleveland Grand Prix but wasn't able to get
any hard numbers from Champ Car as to whether it was a successful event or
not. Champ Car said it exceeded their expectations, but with around
20,000 in attendance, despite some pretty heavy advertising, their
expectations must have been pretty low. Our opinion is that it was a
reasonable event given the bankruptcy, but clearly there is still a lot of
work yet to be done. Will the race be back under the lights? The
article says, Gentilozzi also said it is not out of the realm of possibility
that a night race could return to the lakefront. "It's a great idea,"
Gentilozzi said. "But there is a financial and logistical burden that goes
with it. As the race gathers more success, we can afford to do that.
Obviously, it's a lot of fun. And the race could probably then be a two-day
event, two 12-plus hours of racing. But we need more bodies, more people to
make that happen." Champ Car, however, would not say how many people it
would take to make that happen.
Mansell has harsh words for F1
Nigel Mansell told The Times newspaper. "How can you bear to watch F1 on TV
when there is virtually no overtaking on the track and little genuine
excitement?" he asked. "I still keep in touch with what's happening in
Formula One and I'll usually sit down to watch the start of a Grand Prix --
but after a few laps I find I can't watch any more and switch off.
bad." "The regulations, far from helping the other teams, are helping
Ferrari, who have an incredible record of reliability," said Mansell.
"Michael last had a breakdown three years ago, so which team is likely to be
least affected by the one engine rule? Ferrari, of course. And if they do
have to change an engine and forfeit places on the grid, they are the one
team capable of making up those places. It's a Mickey Mouse rule -- and what
we're left with is not a level playing field. I don't buy the argument about
saving money. It's nothing compared with the cost of development and
testing." Mansell thinks the cars are "too easy to drive". "The most
inexperienced young driver can climb into a Formula One car and drive it
competently," he said. "Formula One is the pinnacle of motorsport and
engineering excellence, but it should be the ultimate test of driving
ability," he said. "You can't judge anyone until you strip the cars of the
technical stuff and put them back into the control of the drivers."
Champ Car International TV in shambles
Supposedly RedeTV in Brazil is getting big ratings for its Champ Car
broadcasts. Not any more. Our Steve Levinson was in Rio all
weekend and reports the Cleveland race was never listed nor broadcast at
all. Then comes word Champ Car's other big TV market, Mexico is in
shambles as well. TV Azteca didn't even bother to show Portland, and
for Cleveland the Azteca web site announced the race would be shortened to 1
hour and shown at 11 AM on Sunday, but showed it at 8AM when everyone was
still asleep but didn't bother to tell anyone. This
page on Champ Car's website shows the international TV schedule for
Cleveland and the rest of the races. It reads "TV schedule unavailable
at this time," for all the races. Hello, is anyone home? Is
there a doctor in the house? The patient is ill and on life support.
Big boys fall, Japanese driver gets first win
Japan’s Makoto Tamada may have taken his maiden victory in the Rio MotoGP,
but it was Italian Max Biaggi who was the biggest winner as the race
unfolded. Perhaps one of the most important races of his career,
Biaggi capitalized on the surprise exit of Sete Gibernau, then Valentino
Rossi, to score 20 valuable world championship points and narrow the gap to
the leading pair to just 13 points. More....
Rubens: Move was worth it
Rubens Barrichello on his last lap pass of Jarno Trulli in the French GP on
Sunday: "Although I had better corner speed in turn three, it was difficult
to follow him through the chicane and then he had better traction," the
Brazilian explained, before going on to recall his part in what appeared to
be an all-or-nothing move at the end. On the final lap, he slowed a
bit too much at turn 13, and I was able to get alongside at 15," he said,
having put the nose of the F2004 into the inviting gap and forced his
opponent to take a slower line out of the corner, "It was risky, but I
thought it was worth the risk, even if I was a bit careful not to damage the
car as it would have been a shame to get from tenth to fourth and then not
finish. I was trying 85 per cent and, when I saw I had a chance, I
added another 20 per cent - making it 105 per cent in total! From tenth to
third – I am very happy and I had a lot of fun today."
"Rubens did a great job to go from tenth to third," technical director Ross
Brawn commented, "He made the most of every opportunity that came his way,
and his move on Trulli was simply brilliant. A few laps before the end
of the race, I told him it would really suit him to be on the podium today
and he should give it his best. He did!"
Finally agree on the V10's
A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I wanted to tell you that I finally
agree with you and feel that ChampCar needs to drop their turbo engine and
go with a V-10. (never thought I would say that) I always thought that the
turbo was CART's niche, not anymore. I don't know if it is the Spike TV
broadcast or what but the sound of the turbo just doesn't carry thru from
the track to the TV broadcast. If next year is the final year for the Ford
engine, I would love to see what AR1 has been proposing for some time and
that is multi-badging the engines...then in '06 come out with a screaming
V-10 and a smaller more nimble chassis. At the track the cars look quick and
sound great, on TV. - they look slow and lumbering. That is not fair to how
good the drivers are and how the race looks to the fans watching at home.
Keep up the great website. Tim Clingenpeel, Lafayette, IN Dear
Tim, I got back from Cleveland Sunday and watched the tape of the F1 race in
France and the Champ Car race from Cleveland. The F1 cars are
blazingly fast compared to a Champ Car. They are too fast at the
moment, while Champ Cars are too slow. They both need to move closer
together in performance, ideally with Champ Cars about three seconds slower
per lap. About the screaming V10, F1 is making a mistake if they drop
it, which will leave the door open for Champ Car to have one leg up on F1 in
that category. Unfortunately there are some in the Champ Car paddock
who think the engines should stay V8. We simply do not agree with that
philosophy. When Champ Car was at its peak, there was zero correlation
between a Champ Car engine and a production engine that a consumer might
buy. Consumers do not identify with open wheel race engines and their
passenger car. They do with a stock car series, but stock car is not
what open wheel race cars are supposed to be. Do they look like a
passenger car? Absolutely not. They are a purpose built racing
rocket ship, if you will, built to showcase something special that you can't
buy. Whenever Indy Cars ran stock block engines, or anything that resembled
a passenger car engine, they were shunned by the fans and consumers.
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