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DATE News (chronologically  11/05/00 to 11/10/00)

11/10/00

Performance Comparison  Does it take fast reflexes to drive a Winston Cup car?  Answer:  Not really.  Consider this.  CART's top qualifying speed at Homestead is 217 MPH set by Greg Moore.  Steve Park qualified for this weekend's Winston Cup race at a speed of 156.44 MPH.  In lap time on the 1.5 mile track, that's a difference of 9.6 seconds.  A Champ car laps in 24.9 seconds vs. 34.5 sec. for the Winston Cup car.  To put it in another perspective, the Champ Car will lap the Winston Cup car once every 2.5 laps.  At the end of the 267 lap Winston Cup race, the Champ car will have lapped the Winston Cup Car 107 times!  By comparison, a Champ Car would be 42 laps ahead of an IRL car.  When was the last time CART made that performance comparison known when it advertised that it has the fastest cars in the world?  Champ Cars are, without question, the fastest race cars in the world (we don't count drag racers as they only go in a straight line).

11/10/00

Monterrey, Mexico sold out  The first batch of 50,000 grandstand seat tickets for CART's first race in Monterrey, Mexico sold out.  The promoters are now scrambling to build more grandstands.  The tickets sold for as much as $155 US dollars for a view of turns 1 & 12 and included a paddock pass.  Including general Admission, well over 100,000 are expected on race day.  " I am surprised by the way all the tickets were sold", said Claudia Osuna, general manager of Ticketmaster, the company in charge to selling tickets for the race."


(Left) Track Map.  (Center) Fans wait in line to buy tickets.  (Right) a view along the pit straight.  
The pits will be to the right.

11/10/00

Friday Trivia  USAC driver Mario Andretti was the first non-NASCAR driver to ever win the Daytona 500, he did so in 1967 winning for Ford.  However, afterwards there wasn't a big celebration in the Ford camp.  Why?  Answer:  Andretti was leading Ford teammate Freddie Lorenzen when they both came in for their final pitstops.  Lorenzen came in after Andretti, but they let him out first, holding Andretti's car up on the jack for 7 additional seconds.  Up on the jacks Andretti couldn't move.  He was furious.  The Ford representative in the pits wanted Lorenzen to win, he was, after all, their golden boy.  When Andretti finally got back out on the track he chased Lorenzen down and passed him.  Lorenzen was able to hang onto Andretti's draft planning to slingshot by on the last lap.  With about 3 laps to go they came up on Tiny Lund to lap him.  Lund stayed in the middle of the track and motioned Andretti and Lorenzen by on the outside.  Instead, Andretti cut hard left to the very inside of the track (Most NASCAR drivers still use that trick today) and went under Lund. The move startled Lorenzen who stayed high.  Lorenzen lifted for a split second allowing Andretti to break the draft and pull away. The race ended under yellow as Andretti took the yellow and checkered flags.  Andretti led a Ford 1-2 finish, but the long face on the Ford rep afterwards showed that NASCAR wasn't yet ready to accept defeat from an outsider from the north who drove those funny open wheel cars.
11/9/00
Interesting scenes from Fontana

(Left) Paul Rodgers Band entertained Saturday night. (Center) Rain washed out Sunday's show.  
(Right) The popular Tecate Girls
Photos copyright 2000 Bruce Anthony Basura, Bruce David Basura and AutoRacing1.com.  Many more to follow.

11/9/00
Setting the record straight about CART at TMS  UPDATE Put this in the 'old' news category.  The Dallas News is reporting today what we reported nine days ago, TMS general manager Eddie Gossage and CART spokesman Mike Zizzo say there have been no discussions about altering plans for the April 29 Texas 600k.  11/1/00 - Regardless of what you hear about the concern for speeds at Texas Motor Speedway next year for the CART race, CART has a contract to race on the oval, and that is where they will race, not the road course as some have suggested.  End of story.  CART is addressing this issue and will likely make some provisions to slow the cars.  One idea we wonder if they are considering is a larger Handford Device in addition to next year's turbo boost reduction.  Since a larger vertical rear plate will cause more drag and less downforce, the cars will be slower.  The advantage of this solution is the slingshot effect will be enhanced, making for a wild race, and since the cars can run multiple grooves at TMS (3 and 4 grooves) the problem with turbulence is pretty much negated.  RPM limits are also being looked at, but different engines perform better a different RPM ranges.  If CART were to mandate an RPM limit, you can bet at least one engine manufacturer will cry foul, and rightly so.  No one wants to redesign their engine for just one race.

11/9/00

Tickets going fast at TMS  TMS general manager Eddie Gossage says more than 50,000 season tickets have been sold already.  Only a limited amount of single tickets remain for seats on the front-stretch.  Individual tickets for the April 1 DIRECTV 500 Winston Cup race and all of Texas Motor Speedway's other 2001 races go on sale at 9 a.m. Saturday. In past years, most of the upper-row main grandstand tickets were sold within two days.

11/9/00

Team Penske to start 2001 testing on December 5th  Team Penske will be one of the first teams to begin testing the 2001 Reynard chassis when they hit the track at Sebring on December 5th and 6th.  Patrick Racing will test at the Texas Motor Speedway for 3 days in mid-December.

11/9/00

ISC undertakes feasibility study in Denver  UPDATE According to the Denver Post newspaper, a day after Denver-area motorsports fans suffered a crushing defeat at the Aurora polls, the would-be prime tenants of the proposed WorldPark said the failure of Aurora's Referendum 2F wouldn't necessary put an end to their project.  But stiff opposition will continue to shadow the privately funded, $500 million proposed complex.  "I still pay federal and county taxes," said Aurora resident Brenda Gallagher, who helped campaign against WorldPark's Arapahoe County presence near Interstate 70 and Watkins Road.  John Bandimere, owner of Bandimere Speedway, and International Speedway Corporation spokesman David Talley said WorldPark can be built by going through Arapahoe County procedures. But both were disappointed to learn it cannot be affiliated with Aurora, which would have annexed the 5,500acre property into the city.   "This is a setback - definitely," said Bandimere, who is trying to relocate his 43-year-old drag strip from Morrison to WorldPark. "This makes the process much more difficult, but we'll probably go forward with Arapahoe County."   10/25/00 - According to this article, ISC has entered into an agreement with a land developer in Denver to study the feasibility of building a racing facility in the town of Aurora, Colorado, an eastern suburb of Denver.  The site is not far from where Penske was looking to build a a track before they merged with ISC.

11/9/00

CART may sanction TransAm series  In the latest edition of National Speed Sport News in a story penned by Steve Mayer and Bill Oursler, it is reported that the board of directors of CART recently voted to do a 'due diligence' as to the potential of taking over the sanctioning of the TransAm series from the SCCA.

11/9/00

Raul Boesel news  UPDATE Brazilian racer Raul Boesel narrowly missed victory in the first round of the Super Boat World Championship finishing second in the Rio Roses Cigarette boat with veteran Phil Lipschutz at the throttle. Boesel and Lipschutz were able to lead several laps in the 98-mile race before narrowly succumbing on the rough seas, crossing the finish line just 0.5 second behind the leaders.  “It was a very tight race from the beginning,” Boesel explained, “and we’re still very much in the hunt for the championship. We ran neck and neck with the Fountain, but they were able to overtake us. The seas were very rough today with waves six to eight feet tall, and the Rio Roses struggled a bit. We’re going to run different propellers in the final race, and hopefully that will give us the advantage we need over the Fountain. I’m very optimistic about our chances for winning this championship title.”  The final race to determine the Super Boat World Championship will be held Saturday, November 11 in Key West, Florida.  11/7/00 Brazilian race car driver Raul Boesel hopes to capture his first Super Boat World Championship this week piloting the Rio Roses Cigarette boat with off-shore racing champion and friend, Phil Lipschutz, at the throttle. The Y2K Super Boat World Championship will be held Wednesday, November 8 and Saturday, November 11 in Key West, Florida.  Boesel, a multi-talented racer (CART and IRL) and ocean lover, has been involved with the ownership of Cigarette performance boats for a number of years, and in 1999 piloted the pace boat at the Cigarette New York Super Boat Grand Prix and the Nassau Paradise Island Super Boat Challenge. For the 2000 season, Boesel opted to enter the competitive arena himself with veteran Phil Lipschutz.  Story (PDF)

11/9/00

Would Danica Patrick be perfect for CART's Women Development program? 2nd UPDATE We thought you might find this web article about Danica Patrick's recent accomplishments interesting.  11/2/00 - In the year-end Formula Ford Festival runoffs at Brands Hatch two weeks ago, American Danica Patrick finished on the podium in 2nd place.  11/1/00 - Meet Danica Patrick, five foot one inch tall, 18 years old, from Roscoe, Illinois. She now lives near Birmingham, England and is running a Formula Ford for Haywood Racing Team, the McLaren of Formula Ford teams. She has been racing Go-Karts since she was 10 years old, broke her first track record that year and ultimately became a five-time Grand National Go-Kart Champion by the time she was 16, when she effectively "aged out" and switched from karts to open wheel race cars.  Last year, she ran in Formula Vauxhall in the UK at all the legendary racing circuits in England: Donington, Silverstone, Thruxton, Brands Hatch, Oulton Park and Snetterton. It was an eventful year but not a particularly auspicious one; although she was named Driver of the Race at Snetterton.  Still, her performances had a telling indicator about them as she was consistently quicker than her teammates. She was also adept at moving up during the races, regularly qualifying 11th or so but finishing higher, as high as 5th and 6th out of a field of 20 competitors. The Autosport report on her race in Formula Vauxhall at Silverstone on September 19, 1999, sums up her progress: "Danica Patrick drove her best race of the year and took sixth place, despite it being her first car race in wet conditions."   Through her agents, the John Mecom Group of Houston, Texas, she has met Jackie Stewart - a man known to have a nose for talent - out at the Milton Keynes Stewart-Jaguar factory.  Danica's parents have also received a letter of encouragement from Bernie Ecclestone approving of her competing in Formula Ford this year. Writes Bernie: "This is by far the best way to gain the experience for her future. Tell her not to give up, she will just have to mix with the boys and fight harder for her position. I hope everything works out for her."   Although she has appeared on MTV and ABC shows in the States featuring young women in sports, what she does day in and day out in the North Country of England is far from glamorous. While the Formula One cars abandon England in the winter to test in sunnier places like Barcelona or Jerez in Spain, Danica and the Formula Ford crowd test in the chill and even in the snow of the West Midlands. She misses her toasty home in Illinois on occasion. Find out more about Danica on her website.

11/9/00

Buddy Rice F3000 Update  2nd UPDATE | Super Nova Press Release | Test TimesFrom Autosport.com - Buddy Rice, who had his first run in an F3000 car with Super Nova, made a slow start in order to adjust to the lower downforce Lola. Rice found the car “a bit loose at the back end” compared to the Swift which took him to the Toyota Atlantic title. The 24-year-old finished the day 19th fastest. “There’s a bit of a power difference to the cars that I have been driving in the States,” said Rice. “We had a brake problem in the morning so I did not use any new tyres in the morning session, but once that was sorted out the car felt much better.”  Save for a selection of last year’s drivers and one or two hot properties, the majority of hopefuls must now wait while the 2001 driver market falls into place. Signings for next year will gather pace once the major teams, such as Super Nova and Petrobras Jr, confirm their line-ups.  “The drivers will be waiting anxiously in the next few days, along with many others, while Super Nova Racing decides on its dream team for 2001,” said its team boss David Sears.
11/7/00 - We have learned that Buddy has not been in the car yet.  He will test starting tomorrow we hear.  If not tomorrow, he will begin on November 11th.   11/2/00 - Buddy Rice is testing with the Super Nova F3000 team in Barcelona today and will test again with the team at Estoril on November 11th and 12th.  David Sears seems pretty keen on Buddy so we think he will drive for Sears in 2001.  It will be interesting to see if this F3000 ride for Rice leads to a F1 ride or a CART Champ car ride.  We know Ford/Jaguar is looking for a good American driver for its F1 team.  If Rice does well in F3000, don't be surprised to see him drive for the Jaguar F1 team in 2002.

11/9/00

Thursday Trivia  Who drove the car pictured at the right and what was the significance of the event?  Answer:  The year was 1991.  The race the Marlboro Michigan 500.  The car was a Penske Mobil 1 Racing PC-90.  The driver was Paul Tracy.  The significance?  It was Tracy's CART Champ Car debut for Roger Penske.  Tracy drove a little over his head that day and the result was a bent race car and a bruised ego.  It was to be the first of many wrecks Tracy had while driving for Roger Penske (You don't think Roger's hair is gray just from his age do you?).  The last two years Paul has shown a lot more maturity and his frequency of shunts much less.  The result - he almost won the title this year.  Photo copyright 2000 AutoRacing1.com and Steve Levinson.

11/8/00

Cal Wells' concern for Max Papis  Max Papis had a pretty nasty looking shunt on Saturday morning at Fontana right at the beginning of the morning practice session when everyone was still on cold tires.  It took a little while for the safety crews to get Max out of the car.  When he was extricated and walking under his own power, everyone breathed a sigh of relief.  No one was more concerned than his former team owner Cal Wells.  When Max made it back to the pits we witnessed Cal giving Max a big hug that was long and very genuine.  You could tell he really cared.  It's not too often that you get to see that sort of emotion in racing.  When you do it's something special. Photo copyright 2000 AutoRacing1.com and Steve Levinson.

11/8/00

Patrick Long Wins $185,000 Big Scholarship The quality of future open wheel drivers in North America is very sound. Leading the charge is Patrick Long, 19 of Agoura, Calif. Winner of the $185,000 Barber Dodge Pro Series "Big Scholarship", Long superceded some incredibly tight competition for the honor. Thus not only is Long fueling the fire of hope for American racing, but so are six other incredibly bright and talented drivers.  Story (PDF)

11/8/00

Toyota to power 9 cars in 2001  When asked today, Toyota's Jim Aust confirmed that Toyota will power 9 cars in 2001.  The 9 are Ganassi (2), Newman Haas (2), Patrick Racing (2), PacWest (2) and Walker (1).  Not all are confirmed yet, but that is our best estimate based on what we know.  He also said the new engine will be an evolution of this years engine.  The engine is already running on the dyno.  The new Phase VII engine will carry a new designation.

11/8/00

Da Matta confirmed at Newman Haas  Ending months of speculation, Newman/Haas Racing announced today that Brazilian Cristiano da Matta, 27, has signed a multi year contract to drive for the team beginning with the 2001 CART-sanctioned FedEx Championship Series season. Da Matta will join Christian Fittipaldi, who begins his sixth season at Newman/Haas Racing, the team formed in 1983 by actor and racecar driver Paul Newman and entrepreneur Carl A. Haas. "It is great to join one of the most successful teams in the CART series," said Da Matta. "I'm looking forward to driving for Carl and Paul and having Christian as a teammate. Newman/Haas Racing is one of the most prestigious teams in racing and I am proud to be associated with the great drivers that have been with the team." Full Story | Transcript (PDF)

11/8/00

Mario Andretti supports Chris Pook for CART President  As CART continues its search for a new CEO, Mario is supporting Chris Pook of the Long Beach Grand Prix. Mario feels that Chris would be the best possible candidate for that position: "His in- depth knowledge and understanding of our sport, coupled with more than 25 years of experience promoting the most successful road racing event in the United States, give him the expertise that is needed to successfully lead CART into the future."   Also, on November 13-14 Mario will be in Mexico City on behalf of Texaco/Havoline Racing to help launch SporCar.com as the official web site for racing in Spanish. He'll participate in a press conference, media interviews, and an autograph session at the All Star Café. 

11/8/00

Wednesday Trivia Very few Americans have made the F1 grid since former World champion  Mario Andretti left F1 to return to CART and his son's ill-fated season with McLaren in the early 90's.  Did Americans ever represent a large percentage of a F1 grid?  Answer:  Yes, in fact they did.  When Phil Hill clinched the world championship in 1961 at Monza, another American Dan Gurney finished 2nd.  In the final point standings that year Americans finished 1st (Hill), 3rd (Gurney, tied with Moss) and 5th (Richie Ginther).  Although Hill and Ginther did not race in the season finale at Watkins Glen because Ferrari withdrew out of respect for Von Trips who was killed at Monza, no less than seven, that's right 7, American drivers started the race - Gurney, Masten Gregory, Jim Hall, Walt Hansgen (a 4-time SCCA champ), Lloyd ruby, Hap Sharp (Jim Hall's Chaparrel partner) and Roger Penske.  Only three finished the race with Gurney 2nd, Penske 8th and Sharp 10th.  We bet you didn't know that Hill's Dino Ferrari 246 was the last front-engine car to ever win a Grand Prix race.  The year was 1960, the race - the Italian GP at Monza, a race Hill won two years in a row.  Hill won his World Championship driving the first rear-engine F1 Ferrari, built to the 1.5L formula instituted in 1961.

11/7/00

New VP and COO for Team Green  With Michael Andretti being added to the team in 2001,Team Green’s Barry Green has decided to name long-time associate Kevin Savoree.as the vice-president of finance and chief operating officer for Team Green after serving on the team’s board of directors for the last six years. Savoree will take a leave of absence from his job as a partner in the accounting firm of Larsson, Woodyard & Henson to assume his new post.  "I’ve known Kevin for many years, both as a trusted friend and business associate," Green said. "I have the utmost confidence Kevin will make many valuable contributions to the growth of Team Green during the coming years.  "Team Green fields cars for Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti, and recently expanded to include CART’s all-time winning driver Michael Andretti for 2001 in a Motorola-sponsored machine.  "I’m grateful to Barry for inviting me to join Team Green on a full-time basis," Savoree said. "Reaching the decision to take a leave of absence was difficult, but the chance to work closely with the group of professionals that Barry has assembled is a great challenge that I am looking forward to." 

11/7/00

Lights race to be featured Saturday event in Texas  The Dayton Indy Lights Championship will be showcased as the featured Saturday event during the debut Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) weekend next April at Texas Motor Speedway. The April 27-29 weekend will feature a 100-mile Dayton Indy Lights sprint on Saturday in addition to Sunday's headlining Texas 600 FedEx Championship Series race.  The Saturday slot for the Dayton Indy Lights race, the top-rung CART driver development series, was confirmed by Texas Motor Speedway and Indy Lights officials this week following last month's 2001 schedule announcement. The Texas race will be Round Three of 12 races on next year's Dayton Indy Lights Championship schedule and the first oval track race of the season.  Story (PDF)

11/7/00

DSTP to test five drivers  DSTP Motorsports, the Toyota Atlantics team that brought Buddy Rice to the 2000  Toyota Atlantic championship, will test five (5) potential drivers for their 2001 effort.  The test will be held next Monday thru Thursday at Buttonwillow.  The drivers being tested are Paul Edwards, Joey Hand, Rocky Moran, Andy Lally and Jason LaPointe.  All are Americans.

11/7/00

Tuesday Trivia Was Indianapolis always the hotbed for cars and drivers who raced in the Indy 500?  Answer: At one time southern California played a more prominent role.  When the Indianapolis 500 was becoming the world's most famous automobile race, much of its growing fame could be traced to a group of car and engine builders from greater Los Angeles, men such as Harry Miller, Frank Kurtis and A.J. Watson. They built cars in their backyard garages, towed them to Indianapolis and more often than not hired Southern Californians who had learned their trade in jalopies or midgets to drive them. From 1935 to 1963, Indy 500 winners included Kelly Petillo of Huntington Park, Louie Meyer of Los Angeles, Johnnie Parsons of Van Nuys, Troy Ruttman of Ontario, Pat Flaherty of Glendale, Sam Hanks of Alhambra, Rodger Ward of Highland Park, Jim Rathmann of Los Angeles and Parnelli Jones of Torrance.  Another local southern California driver, Phil Hill of Santa Monica, went to Europe and came home with the Formula One world championship, still to this day the only American-born driver to win the prestigious title.

11/6/00

Motorola/Andretti food for thought  Is it any coincidence that Motorola was very keen to get CART's biggest name driver, Michael Andretti, signed up for 2001 just in time for the release of the movie DRIVEN?  When moviegoers watch the movie they will remember the Motorola car because it will be driven by Kip Padue, the 'good' guy, in the movie (driver on left in picture in blue Motorola suit).  Will we see marketing done associating Andretti and Motorola with the movie?  Will some moviegoers become instant race fans and what is the significance that 'Andretti' just happens to be the biggest name in motorsports worldwide?  Will CART capitalize on this?

11/6/00

Gil de Ferran - a man on the go  One would think that after winning the CART FedEx Championship, it would be time for some much needed rest and relaxation. This was hardly the case for Gil de Ferran, who, less than 24 hours after being crowned the Series Champion was off on a whirlwind media tour.  In the five days after de Ferran captured the Series title, he flew over 11,600 miles on five different flights in six time zones. In addition, he conducted more than 40 interviews in six cities and two countries. Story (PDF)

11/6/00

Jarno Trulli to run NY City Marathon  UPDATE Jarno Trulli took part in the NY marathon on Sunday.  He finished the race in 4 hours 2 minutes and 21 seconds, in 10,230th place overall. He finished in 8,775th place for the male competitors. 10/23/00 - At the beginning of the 2000 season Jarno Trulli expressed a desire to compete in the New York City Marathon.  On November 5th he will give it a try as he attempt to complete the 26 mile race.

11/6/00

Monday Trivia What key tool did Colin Chapman have at his disposal when he created the world's first true ground-effects car that used underbody aerodynamics and not big fans like Jim Hall's famous 2J 'sucker' car did?  Answer: Colin Chapman and his design team of Tony Rudd, Peter Wright and Ralph Bellamy used the first moving floor wind tunnel, without which it is impossible to simulate underbody airflow with any degree of accuracy.  It was when the moving floor of the Imperial College wind tunnel in England lifted up and attached itself to the underside of the model that they realized they were onto something big.  That was late 1976, and the following year Chapman introduced the Lotus 78, a good ground-effects car, but not great.  His second attempt, the Lotus 79 in 1978, was excellent, and by 1979 everyone had copied him.  At a speed of 150 MPH the Lotus 79 generated 100lb of downforce from its front wings and 200lbs from its rear wings, and 400lbs from its underbody via ground-effects.  700 Lb in total on a car that weighed 1650lb.  By 1980 the wings were producing a total of 600lb at 150 MPH but the underbody had jumped to 2400lbs, a total of 3000lbs, or about double the cars weight.

11/5/00

Five drivers earn CART Stars of Tomorrow awards   Over 200 karters converged on the Las Vegas Karting Center's 13-turn, 7/8-mile road course in Las Vegas, Nev., for the inaugural three-day Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) Stars of Tomorrow karting challenge. The fiercely competitive event concluded today with the announcement of the five Stars of Tomorrow. Story

11/5/00

Tracy's exploding Honda   The picture shown to the right clearly shows the engine cover and entire Plenum missing from the top of Paul Tracy's engine at Fontana.  It was the third such explosion that a Honda engine car suffered this year that we are aware of.  This time it had serious consequences as the plenum flew off, struck and broke the right front suspension of Cristiano da Matta, sending him hard into the wall.  Thankfully it did not strike him in the helmet.  Photo copyright 2000 AutoRacing1.com and Bruce Anthony Basura.  Click to enlarge.

11/5/00

Sunday Trivia   Was the Long Beach Grand Prix the first successful street race in southern California?  Answer: No!  Races in the 1920s and 1930s were promoted to attract attention to the beautiful southern California climate, hoping that publicity generated from races would bring Easterners to Southern California.  At times, it seems they overdid it. Road races on Wilshire Boulevard (then Nevada Avenue) and Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica and the circular Grand Boulevard in Corona attracted as much attention at the time as the California 500 or Long Beach Grand Prix did this year. A Thanksgiving Day crowd estimated at 150,000 watched Eddie Pullen win a 300-mile race at Corona.  Fatalities--cars getting into spectators who crowded the course with minimal or no safety barriers--eventually ended racing at Santa Monica and Corona. 

11/2/00

AutoRacing1.com exclusive - new RIO layout  The image at the right shows the new layout of the RIO circuit which will use portions of the existing oval and the existing road course.  For the most part, the Champ Cars will use about 3/4 of the existing front straight of the oval with the rest of the new circuit using portions of the road course.  We hear Emerson expects a crowd of 80,000 in 2001.

 

 


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