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DATE News (chronologically)
01/29/07
cc

Katherine Legge I'm no crash test dummy
When Bernie Ecclestone answered a telephone call from someone identifying herself as Katherine Legge, the godfather of Formula 1 responded with instant recognition. "Oh, the lady who crashed an F1 car," he declared.

That's pretty much how the rest of the world views the English woman, except that the rest of the world is thinking of a different accident. The one in which her car disintegrated all over the track and all over the pan continental news bulletins; the one where she was lucky to escape with her life never mind a few scratches.

Not the one where she smashed up a Minardi just four laps into a Formula 1 test drive.

"I do not think F1 will hold that test against me," Legge said. "It was a lack of experience and a lack of knowing about the systems. A lot of people start the way I did. I redeemed myself by going fastest the second day."

Normally, the career prospects would not be good for a racing car driver who is remembered for a crash and nothing else. Two crashes and you can forget about it.

Except that at least in the case of the dramatic accident broadcast across the world it positively enhanced her chances of future employment.

"It has been good for my career because lots of people now know who I am and that is always a plus," Legge told Sportsmail. More at Daily Mail

Comment
01/29/07
f1

Q and A with Renault’s Tim Densham
Q. Tim, what has been the design philosophy of the new R27 chassis?

Tim Densham - Renault Chief Designer: R27 is our second-generation V8 car, following on from last year's championship-winning R26. That clearly gave us a very solid platform to work from, and we have honed it according to the same in-house design philosophy that has worked very successfully in recent seasons.

Q. What impact have changes to the regulations had on the car design?

TD: The most important regulation changes have been new impact tests at the front, rear and side of the car. These have required some fairly intensive design work to integrate them into the overall packaging at the car, particularly when it comes to the rather bulky side intrusion protection panels.

The second important element for the design process was the shift to Bridgestone tires. We had an early idea of the tires' basic characteristics, and began the project with the aim of making the car's weight distribution as flexible as possible.

The subsequent tire data and track testing confirmed that we needed more weight towards the front of the car in order to get the most from the tires. Much of our design work has focused on saving weight in order to give the race engineers the ability to find the optimum handling characteristics for every circuit.

Read more & Comment...
01/29/07
nascar

Riggs lead morning testing in Vegas
Scott Riggs led the first test session Monday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, turning a lap of 183.511 mph in his Valvoline Evernham Racing No. 10 Dodge.  Tony Stewart was second fastest in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet at 183.492 mph.

1. Scott Riggs, No. 10 Evernham Motorsports Dodge, 183.511
2. Tony Stewart, No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet, 183.492
3. Kasey Kahne, No. 9 Evernham Motorsports Dodge, 183.144
4. Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, 182.890
5. Dave Blaney, No. 22 Bill Davis Racing Toyota, 182.760
6. Jeff Burton, No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, 182.710
7. Greg Biffle, No. 16 Roush Racing Ford, 182.611
8. Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, 182.587
9. Elliott Sadler, No. 19 Evernham Motorsports Dodge, 182.439
10. Carl Edwards, No. 99 Roush Racing Ford, 182.242

Read more & Comment...
01/29/07
irl

Andretti honored at EMPA convention
Marco Andretti, the 2006 IndyCar Series Bombardier Rookie of the Year, was honored with the T. Wayne Robertson Newsmaker of the Year Award Jan. 27 at the annual Eastern Motorsports Press Association convention.

"It's a great honor," said Andretti, who captured the attention of the racing world with a second-place finish at the Indianapolis 500 and later became the youngest driver to win a major open-wheel series race with a victory at Infineon Raceway. "T. Wayne had the same belief that my entire family does, and that was getting the sport out there and getting it done. My entire family got the award. I'm honored to be the third."

The 19-year-old addressed a group of approximately 100 EMPA members at the organization's annual convention in Trevose, Pa. He recalled some early moments in his racing career and looked ahead to 2007. When asked about his goals for the upcoming season, the answer was short and to the point.

"Win the Indy 500," he said. "And the championship would be nice."

Comment
01/29/07
cca

Walker Racing pre-season testing report
Indianapolis, IN. - Walker Racing has begun its 2007 Atlantic campaign as they completed a successful weekend of testing at Sebring International Raceway in Florida January 27-28.  The Atlantic squad tested its newest members Briton Ryan Lewis and Swiss Simona De Silvestro (pictured right), along with two Atlantic hopefuls Brit Nathan Freke and American Jonathan Summerton.

The weekend not only marked the beginning of a competitive season for the reigning Atlantic champions, but marked the fourth series of tests for them as well.  Walker Racing made a number of impressive changes, learned a lot about the car and logged in a total of 240 laps around the 1.66 mile road course totaling 398 miles in the Mazda-Cosworth/Swift 016a Atlantic chassis.

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01/29/07
cca

Productive Sebring Open Test for Conquest Racing
It was a productive open test for the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Atlantic Team this past weekend in Sebring, Florida as Matt Lee and Patrick Hogan completed over 200 trouble-free laps each on the 1.669-mile Sebring International Raceway short road course.

With mixed weather conditions on Sunday, Lee’s quickest lap of the weekend (58.930 seconds) came on Saturday as did Hogan’s (59.019 seconds). They ended the first day of testing in eighth and 12th place respectively. Lee’s best time being only three tenths off the fastest time of the weekend set by Raphael Matos.

Day-two started with a downpour that washed all the rubber off the track, which made for slower lap times. Lee found himself in ninth place at the end of Sunday’s test session with a lap of 58.984 seconds and Hogan was 18th in a very close 24-car field after clocking a time of 59.482 seconds.

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01/29/07
racing news

Ferrari’s 60th Anniversary
The marathon relay celebrating Ferrari's 60th anniversary started this morning from the Italian Embassy in Abu Dhabi at 10 a.m. local time. The relay will involve over 10,000 Ferrari owners and their cars of all ages. These will act as symbolic "bearers" of a specially commissioned relay baton adorned with 60 badges symbolizing the most extraordinary events in the Marque's 60-year history.

Abu Dhabi was chosen as the start point for the relay - which after the Middle East makes its way across China, Japan, Australia, South Africa, America and the whole of Europe - as a result of plans to build a major Ferrari theme park plus a motor racing circuit on the island of Yas in the most rapidly developing area of the Emirates' capital.

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01/29/07
nascar

Racing Fans Put NASCAR Bets on Fast Track
Las Vegas, NV - NASCAR has become one of the hottest sports bets in America, and Pregame.com, the internet’s premiere bet-centric information site, is giving casual bettors the fuel they need to get on the fast track to understanding NASCAR racing odds and the multiple bet variations available.

Pregame’s SundaySpeed™ email newsletter offers NASCAR information and weekly picks from a panel of experts, including RJ Bell, Pregame’s Founder and Three-Time World Champion Sports Handicapper.  The collective IQ of these experts, who just won an incredible 18 straight games, produces winners for casual weekend bettors. Pregame’s website also features the best places for weekend race fans to wager and hosts online fan forums. These are set up for fans to have fun discussing their favorite sports, drivers, teams and racing buzz.

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01/29/07
alms

Don Panoz nominated
American Le Mans Series founder Dr. Don Panoz has been invited to join the prestigious group of members of the Road Racing Drivers Club, the organization's board has announced. The collection of nominees also includes Marty Kaufman, who serves as Series Race Director.

Dr. Panoz is credited by many in the motorsports industry as the driving force behind sports car racing's resurgence in America during the mid-1990s. He and son Dan led the Panoz brand to worldwide fame with the Panoz GTR1 in 1997, which scored major race wins and championships early in its life. In 1999, Don Panoz launched the American Le Mans Series following a successful debut of the 1998 Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. That event marked the first time the "Le Mans" name and brand had been used as part of Dr. Panoz's licensing agreement with the ACO, the governing body of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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01/29/07
f1

One era ends, another begins
Panasonic Toyota Racing waved au revoir to Olivier Panis last year but the French Tricolor will still be flying on the car thanks to the arrival of Franck Montagny, who is on track in the new TF107 for the first time at Valencia tomorrow.
 
Panis, the last Frenchman to win a Grand Prix, handed over the baton to the next generation of French driver at Panasonic Toyota Racing when Montagny officially began his new role as the team’s third driver on 1 January.
 
Panasonic Toyota Racing test driver Panis has retired from Formula 1 to concentrate on fresh challenges and his departure gave Montagny the chance to join as third driver, continuing the team’s long-running French connection.

Read more & Comment...
01/29/07
nascar

Dodge dangles a carrot in front of drivers
Dodge officials have decided to up the ante to have one of the manufacturer's drivers win the Daytona 500.  So if a driver in the manufacturer's fold wins the Feb. 18 season-opening NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Daytona International Speedway, he will get a bonus.  "I want to make it a little bit more interesting, so for the Daytona 500, the Dodge driver that wins that race, I'm going to give him his choice of a brand new SRT vehicle," Mike Accavitti, director Dodge Motorsports operations and SRT planning, said Thursday.

Comment
01/29/07
racing news

Quotes of the Week UPDATE
MICHAEL WALTRIP, NASCAR driver and team owner
“I think people who don’t believe Toyotas ought to race in NASCAR are the ones who still don’t understand why the North won that war they had a long time ago” – (on Toyota becoming the first-ever foreign manufacturer to compete full time in the Nextel Cup Series.)

01/28/07
DERRICK WALKER, Champ Car team co-owner, Team Australia
"The negativity expressed prior to this test is well documented by our Monday morning quarterbacks, by wise team members and media. I am sure by now that you both will have received positive reports that things here from the test are overall going well with the new car.  Craig [Gore] and I want to add our congratulations to you and Jerry for having the balls to push ahead with the car project, and all our complements to all concerned who had a plan and worked through to get us to this point. Job well done to all at Champ Car, Panoz, Hewland, Cosworth and Pi. Over time this car will confirm that this new generation Champ Car was worth all the effort and commitment it took to make it happen.  Cheers and congratulations gentlemen."  (Comments sent to Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe regarding the new Panoz DPO1 Champ Car after being tested at Sebring)
 
TONY STEWART, NASCAR driver, Joe Gibbs Racing
"Oh, what a basket of junk," Stewart said.  "It drives like a station wagon, an old station wagon, like an old Oldsmobile station wagon, green with wood panel trim on the sides," he added. "Granted, I know we were on harder tires than what they would run there but, boy, it didn't feel good.  You know, it's like anything else, though. I'm sure the more we'll run it, the better we'll get the setups and all that."  (Two-time Cup champion Tony Stewart is one of several drivers who have been openly critical of the new Car of Tomorrow Nextel Cup cars)
 
KEVIN HARVICK, NASCAR driver, Richard Childress Racing
"It's hard when you have what I call a deadbeat owner that doesn't come to the racetrack," Harvick said.  "Richard Childress is one of the best owners in the garage. You always see Richard Childress. You always see Chip Ganassi. All these owners, they all come to the racetrack. It's not just a money pit that somebody says, 'Well, I can make money off of Dale Jr. I can make money off of Dale Earnhardt.' " Harvick, who owns a Busch Series team, said race teams can't be run from home. "You have to be at the racetrack and you have to play the politics of the sport and you have to be a part of your team and you have to understand what's going on," he said. "To me, from the outside looking in, it doesn't look like that's happening."  (Commenting on Dale Earnhardt Incorporated's owner Teresa Earnhardt)

SCOTT Pruett, Grand-Am driver, TELMEX/Target Chip Ganassi Racing
"We got three cars going for it on the lead lap with a couple of hours to go with very talented drivers putting on a fantastic show," Pruett said. "That's what this is all about. When you get down to the very last stages of the race and be doing that, it says a lot about the series and the teams with the way they prep the cars and race them. This is no small feat getting everything going for this race between the people and the cars and all the preparation. It's just fantastic. I can't say enough for all the participants and everybody that came and saw it." (Commenting in Victory Circle after winning the Rolex 24)

Comment
01/29/07
nascar

Montoya to have own Sirius Satellite Radio Show
Somewhat shunned by the uppity F1 contingent, NASCAR is taking Juan Montoya and making him a star, like only NASCAR can.  They are one of the few sanctioning bodies who "get it" when it comes to realizing that the drivers popularity make the sport.

Besides getting Montoya PR exposure almost daily, now they have, along with Sirius Satellite Radio, created a daily radio talk show for Montoya.  Starting today, Montoya will be heard every Monday sometime during the 3:00-7:00pm ET time slot on NASCAR channel 128 - the 24x7 all-NASCAR channel.

Comment
01/29/07
cc

Standing start testing up next for Champ Car teams
INDIANAPOLIS – When sitting down to create the new Panoz DP01 Champ Car, Elan Motorsports Technologies and Champ Car engineers designed the new car to be sleeker and racier, with the end goal to produce a car that ran easier in traffic, promoted closer racing and created more passing opportunities.

It took just four sessions in this week’s first open test of the 2007 Champ Car preseason to see that the designers hit their mark. After the second of the three days of testing, just one second separated the top 10 drivers on the time sheets – a mark that was hit only in Portland and Toronto during qualifying on the Champ Car road-course schedule in 2006.

The tightly-bunched field made for a furious dash at the end of all three testing days, as most of the 14 cars on hand each day would go out looking for their best times in the final minutes of the session. Despite the traffic, some drivers were able to find late-day gains including Paul Tracy, who ran his best time of Thursday’s final day on the last of his 68 laps.

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01/29/07
nascar

Las Vegas Testing today
NASCAR's greatest drivers are about to get their first look at the sport's newest race track. A record 55 drivers are scheduled to take part in NASCAR Preseason Thunder Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 29 and Tuesday, Jan. 30. For most of those drivers, it will be their look at Las Vegas Motor Speedway's new 20-degree banking. Race fans will be allowed to watch the test from the grandstands free of charge each day. "It's a totally different race track than what it was before," said #5-Kyle Busch, who is one of the few drivers who have tested on the new surface. "It's fast and it's challenging. I think it's going to be a lot of fun to race on. It will be interesting to see how the test session goes." Busch and #16-Greg Biffle completed a Goodyear tire test in December and unofficially turned speeds almost 15 miles per hour faster than Kasey Kahne's track record of 174.904 miles per hour set in 2004. #36-Jeremy Mayfield and #00-David Reutimann, who both competed in the September Craftsman Truck Series event on the new surface, are the only other Cup drivers who have turned competitive laps since the re-banking. Kurt Busch took the first laps around the new surface last August in a Richard Petty Driving Experience car. Teams will be testing in preparation for the March 11 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 Nextel Cup race. NASCAR Busch Series teams are scheduled to test Monday, Feb. 5 and Tuesday, Feb. 6 in preparation for the March 10 Sam's Town 300. A complete list of teams who have filed testing vouchers for testing is below. LVMS PR

Comment
01/29/07
nascar

Starter partners with JGR
Starter, a leader in developing licensed and innovative team apparel and footwear, formally announced a partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing to develop footwear and apparel solutions for the NASCAR team's crews and drivers. The partnership is designed to provide a "Living Laboratory" for Starter to apply its experience working with world-class athletes in other sports to the needs of the drivers and crews of Joe Gibbs Racing's teams in the Nextel Cup Series and Busch Series. Starter and its parent company Nike Inc. already provide 70% of the footwear worn by NASCAR crews, but this partnership signals a deepening of the company's commitment to the sport. Starter is partnering with Motorsports Authentics, the leading consumer apparel provider in NASCAR, to build a line of merchandise for trackside sales and other distribution channels, providing consumers with the closest experience possible to being part of the team. Starter, which grew to prominence in the 1980s with its line of Starter athletic jackets, is aggressively building its presence in NASCAR by delivering performance apparel and footwear products valued for all consumers. Among the first products to be introduced in 2007 is an authentic race-day jacket to be worn by #'s 20, 18 and 11 Nextel Cup teams. All products will meet a mandate of expressive, authentic, cool, reliable, crafted and durable performance, while utilizing the latest fabric and technology advancements over the past few years. JGR PR

Comment
01/29/07
f1

Latest F1 news in brief
Daytona winner Montoya rules out F1 return
Mother can't afford to see Hamilton's debut
DC defends Hamilton amid crash furor
Renault deal better for Red Bull - Newey
Webber says revised Barcelona safer
Williams "ready" to launch legal action
New Toro Rosso facing mid-Feb delay
Red Bull drivers slam 'silly' tire rule
Fisichella must work harder - Briatore
Renault appoints new race engineers
RBR testers to sit out Friday running

Comment
01/28/07
cc

Had it with biased SPEED reporter
A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I have had it with SPEED Report's Nicole Manske and her obvious anti-Champ Car bias.  She's obvious pro-IRL and gushes all over them.  Tonight she slammed Champ Car [again] for letting Ford get away and it's apparent she hasn't kept up with the trouble that Ford Motor Company is currently going through financially. Plus she fails to understand that while Ford reluctantly supported Champ Car they did not do much at all in promoting the series, which is part of the reason why Champ Car dropped Ford and is looking to have Cadillac, Mazda or Hyundai replace them. Maybe SPEED and its reporters are upset that Champ Car races will be televised on ABC and ESPN going forward, having had it with SPEED's across the board horrible ratings.  Alistair Fannel, Springfield MO.

Comment
01/28/07
cc

A lap around Assen
Photos below take you on a lap around the Assen TT circuit where Champ Car will visit for the first tine on September 2, 2007. Note that the main pit straight is fairly wide but much of the remainder of the track appears quite narrow for a natural terrain road course. It is, however, as wide or wider than many street circuits.  Note that all the temporary bleacher seating is dismantled in the off-season.

 

Comment
01/28/07
Track News

Riverside Motorsport Park CEO exposed
John Condren, chief executive of Riverside Motorsports Park, has billed himself as a skilled corporate executive and entrepreneur who's launched, managed and sold companies successfully across the country and around the world.

But a Sun-Star investigation into Condren's past has revealed another picture of the businessman who has promised to build a quarter-billion-dollar racetrack complex that could change the face of Merced County. It's marked by bankruptcies, failed businesses and unpaid debts.

Some of the claims Condren has made about his past, as posted in a profile that appeared on RMP's Web site, are either embellished or false, the Sun-Star has found. The profile was altered to correct some of the inaccuracies on Wednesday, after inquiries from the Sun-Star.

Read more & Comment...
01/28/07
irl
nascar

Andretti nixes move to NASCAR
Don’t expect Marco Andretti to make the jump from Indy cars to NASCAR.  The third-generation star — grandson of Mario and son of Michael — said his overwhelming ambition remains a victory in the Indianapolis 500. He was at the Eastern Motorsports Press Association’s convention on Saturday to receive the organization’s T. Wayne Robertson Newsmaker Award.

“For me, I just think I was born to be an open-wheel driver,” declared Marco. “That’s what it comes down to. It’s where my heart is. It’s in open wheels.”

Andretti agreed, though, that it’s absolutely crucial to the Indy Racing League’s future that it be able to hang on to its stars and cultivate the long-term name recognition that separates it from NASCAR.

Read more & Comment...
01/28/07
cc
ga

Champ Car’s Tagliani smashes Daytona record
After spending the week testing his new Panoz DP01 Champ Car with Rocketsports Racing in Sebring, Alex Tagliani jumped into his rental car and headed north to Daytona to join Blackforest Motorsports for the 45th Rolex 24 at Daytona on Thursday.
 
The three hour tour was well worth the trip, as less than five laps into his first practice session in the car, Tagliani pegged a time of 1:51.649 seconds in the new Rolex Sports Car Series GT-Class Ford Mustang Cobra GT, smashing the previous GT qualifying track record by nearly two seconds and proving to be quicker than the GT class pole-winning time set on Thursday.
 
“I was kind of surprised because we hadn’t had much chance to test the car and yet to go out and be that much faster than the track record was pretty encouraging,” said Tagliani. “Brian Nott does an amazing job preparing Mustangs and I knew this was a great package with the Roush/Yates motor in the Mustang, but we didn’t expect that kind of result so fast, especially because most of the other cars in the class are a couple hundred pounds lighter than we are.”

Comment
01/28/07
ga
cc

Dalziel happy with 2nd place in Rolex 24
The Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona has turned into a Who’s Who of racing, with champions and great race winners from around the planet gathering at Daytona for the historic twice-around-the-clock Grand American Road Racing Series event.

And for one stunning hour, Champ Car World Series rookie Ryan Dalziel was the best of them all.

With three hours to run in the 24-hour event, Dalziel not only had his #11 CITGO-sponsored machine in the lead, he was bravely fighting off the advances of former Champ Car champion Juan Pablo Montoya as well as those of former Daytona winner Max Angelelli. Dalziel held the point for the better part of an hour before falling back to second during pit stops, and ended up as the second Champ Car driver in as many years to finish second in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.

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01/28/07
cca

Sebring: Rookie sensation Hildebrand tops Sunday times
If the teams of the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda were hoping to see how their race cars responded to ever-changing conditions during this weekend’s two-day, pre-season open test, then Sunday had to be considered a smashing success.

The 15 Atlantic teams that participated in the first of three series-sanctioned test sessions scheduled prior to the beginning of the ’07 season encountered nearly every possible scenario Sunday at Sebring International Raceway. The day began with a steady downpour of rain dousing the 1.669-mile short road course and conditions turned dry, but cold and windy by mid day. The Florida sunshine began to emerge in the afternoon, bringing warm conditions to the already-challenging circuit, and by the end of the day the weather began to cool once more with gusty winds adding to the chill.

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01/28/07
ga

Daytona 24: Hour 23 standings
POS NO  CLASS  DRIVER LAPS BEHIND STATUS
 1 01 DP Scott Pruett 638 0.000 Active
 2 10 DP Jan Magnussen 637 21.183 Active
 3 11 DP Patrick Carpentier 637 :27.674 Active
 4 59 DP Joao Barbosa 633 5LAPS Active
 5 61 DP David Empringham 626 12LAPS Active
 6 77 DP Memo Gidley 624 14LAPS Active
 7 7 DP Tomas Enge 624 14LAPS Active
 8 19 DP Michael Valiante 621 17LAPS Active
 9 47 DP Bernhard/ Zacharias 607 31LAPS Active
 10 60 DP Sam Hornish Jr 599 39LAPS Active

Read more & Comment...
01/28/07
a1gp

Buemi to replaced injured Jani
Sebastien Buemi has been called upon again to represent the Swiss A1GP team in the upcoming Australia race after regular driver Neel Jani hurt his hand in a car door, a freak accident, after his recent Champ Car test in Sebring.

"It is quite a responsibility because I have never seen the track before and it will be my first time in Australia as well. I had a quick look at the layout of the track before repacking my suitcase. What I've seen so far on the videos from the race last year is interesting and the circuit looks really like it has a good mix of fast and slow corners.

"But it's difficult for me to guess how much grip the track will have until I am out there. I'll be one of the few drivers who won't know the track from last year. It feels really good to know I'll be driving again."

Comment
01/28/07
ga

Daytona 24: Hour 20 standings
Standings at the 20h25min mark of 24h race.
POS NO CLASS DRIVER LAPS BEHIND STATUS
 1 11 DP Ryan Dalziel 548 0.000 Active
 2 01 DP Juan Pablo Montoya 548 2.388 Active
 3 10 DP Max Angelelli 548 5.591 Active
 4 59 DP Roberto Moreno 547 1LAP Active
 5 7 DP Chris Festa 545 3LAPS Active
 6 61 DP David Empringham 539 9LAPS Active
 7 02 DP Memo Rojas 538 10LAPS Active
 8 23 DP Jorg Bergmeister 538 10LAPS Active
 9 77 DP Oriol Servia 536 12LAPS Active
 10 19 DP Michael McDowell 536 12LAPS Active

Read more & Comment...
01/28/07
ga
nascar

Gordon admits NASCAR driver shortcomings
Interviewed live on SPEED TV Sunday morning during the Rolex 24 Hour endurance classic NASCAR's best road racing driver, Jeff Gordon, admitted that he could not get within 1-second of his co-driver Max Angelelli's lap times.  We have long maintained that if you take a NASCAR driver out of a stock car they would not fare so well.

Comment
01/28/07
ga

Daytona 24: Hour 19 standings
POS NO CLASS NAME LAPS BEHIND STATUS
 1 01 DP Pruett/Duran/Montoya 511 0.000 Active
 2 11 DP Carpentier/Duno/Dalziel/Manning 511 14.011 Active
 3 02 DP Dan Wheldon 510 1LAP Active
 4 10 DP Jan Magnussen 510 1LAP Active
 5 59 DP Hurley Haywood 510 1LAP Active
 6 7 DP Tomas Enge 509 2LAPS Active
 7 61 DP Brian Frisselle 502 9LAPS Active
 8 23 DP Romain Dumas 500 11LAPS Active
 9 19 DP Rob Finlay 500 11LAPS Active
 10 77 DP Oriol Servia 499 12LAPS Active

Read more & Comment...
01/28/07
ga

Daytona 24: Hour 18 standings (Heavy Rain)
At the three-quarter mark of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mexican rising star Salvador Duran held the lead in the No. 01 TELMEX/Target Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley. The car--which is being driven by Duran, Scott Pruett and Juan Pablo Montoya--has been a consistent front-runner throughout the 18 hours of racing, and has avoided any trips to the garage for lengthy repairs.

Running second and just 6.3 seconds behind Duran was Darren Manning in the No. 11 CITGO/SAMAX Pontiac Riley. Manning and his co-drivers, Ryan Dalziel, Patrick Carpentier and Milka Duno have also had an impressive run and are in good position to challenge for the victory with six hours remaining.

One lap down to the leaders and running third is Dan Wheldon in the No. 02 Target/TELMEX Lexus Riley. Wheldon is co-driving the No. 02 machine with Scott Dixon--with whom he co-drove to the overall victory in the 2006 Rolex 24--and Memo Rojas, who had an off-course excursion in the overnight hours that required the team to replace the car's nose.

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01/28/07
ga

Daytona 24: Hour 16 standings
POS NO CLASS DRIVER LAP BEHIND LEADER LAPS LED STATUS
 1 01 DP Pruett/Duran/Montoya Lexus Riley 438 0.000 84 
 2 11 DP Carpentier/Duno/Dalziel/Man. Pontiac 438 15.404 2 
 3 02 DP Dixon/Wheldon/Rojas 436 2LAPS 0
 4 10 DP Angelelli/Gordon/Taylor/Magnussen 436 2LAPS 0
 5 59 DP Barbosa/France/Dono/Hayward 436 2LAPS 0
 6 7 DP Kris Szekeres 435 3LAPS 0 Active
 7 61 DP David Empringham 431 7LAPS 0 Active
 8 19 DP Michael Valiante 427 11LAPS 0 Active
 9 23 DP Patrick Long 426 12LAPS 0 Active
 10 77 DP Michel Jourdain 426 12LAPS 0 Active
 11 47 DP Timo Bernhard 414 24LAPS 0 Active
 12 91 DP Ryan Hunter-Reay 413 25LAPS 0 Active
 13 17 GT Greg Wilkins 410 28LAPS 0 Active
 14 85 GT Jorg Hardt 410 28LAPS 0 Active
 15 07 GT Andy Pilgrim 410 28LAPS 0 Active

Read more & Comment...
01/28/07
ga

Mazzacane injured in Porsche crash
Porsche's pursuit of both Chip Ganassi Racing and possible honors in the Rolex 24 at Daytona took a hit in the tenth hour of the race when both the leading Brumos entry and the debutant VICI Racing crashed out.

Although the VICI team was not a contender for victory, the resurgent Brumos squad led by David Donohue and Darren Law certainly was, having swapped places with the leading #01 Ganassi Riley-Lexus. It all came crashing down around their ears, however, when the Red Bull-backed entry, co-crewed by IRL race winners Buddy Rice and Scott Sharp, was collected by a lapped GT car while chasing down leader.

The contact forced the #58 to retire to the garage area, where the Brumos engineers diagnosed a cracked bell housing which saw the crew set about replacing the entire rear end.

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01/28/07
ga

Daytona 24: Hour 12 standings (Red Flag)
Ryan Dalziel in the No. 11 CITGO/SAMAX Pontiac Riley leads at the halfway point in the Rolex 24 At Daytona under a red flag as track workers make repairs to a damaged guardrail in Turn 1 near pit out. The guardrail was damaged as a result of heavy contact from the No. 82 Synergy Racing/Team Seattle Porsche GT3 being driven by Chris Pallis, who got out of the car under his own power with no apparent injuries.

The No. 11 machine, being co-driven by Dalziel, Darren Manning, Milka Duno and Patrick Carpentier, is one of two Daytona Prototypes on the lead lap at the halfway point.

Running second at the time of the red flag was Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 01 TELMEX/Target Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley that he is sharing with Salvador Duran and Scott Pruett. Montoya's teammate, Memo Rojas, was third in the No. 02 Target/TELMEX Lexus Riley, one lap behind the leaders. Rojas is sharing the car with defending Rolex 24 At Daytona overall winners Dan Wheldon and Scott Dixon.

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01/27/07
ga

Daytona 24: Hour 9 standings
POS NO  CLASS  DRIVER BEHIND LEADER
 1 11 DP Darren Manning 0.000
 2 01 DP Salvador Duran 0.503
 3 02 DP Dan Wheldon 14.484
 4 05 DP Karl Wendlinger 17.479
 5 59 DP Hurley Haywood 1LAP
 6 10 DP Wayne Taylor 2LAPS
 7 61 DP David Empringham 2LAPS
 8 7 DP Tomas Enge 5LAPS
 9 77 DP Memo Gidley 6LAPS
 10 19 DP Michael Valiante 7LAPS

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01/27/07
cca

Matos leads Atlantic test times at Sebring
SEBRING, Florida– In the first day of open testing Saturday for the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, it sort of felt like the first day of school.

With 25 drivers representing nine different countries – including a remarkable 19 rookie Atlantic racers – posting lap times at Sebring International Raceway, the first part of the day seemed to be dedicated to just getting acquainted. As drivers became acclimated to their new teams and each other on the 1.669-mile Sebring short course, the competitive rhythm began to settle in and it quickly became evident that the ’07 Atlantic field is going to be very tough and very talented.

The Mazda-Cosworth/Swift Atlantic machines, riding on the new Cooper racing rubber, completed a remarkable 4,760 relatively trouble-free miles under sunny skies and 75-degree temperatures Saturday in the first of three pre-season open tests prior to the official beginning of the ’07 season on April 8 in Las Vegas. And after seven hours of intense testing, the top 21 competitors were separated by less than a second on the timing sheets.

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01/27/07
cca

Sutherland and Muniz at Jensen
Jensen MotorSport is pleased to announce that Tom Sutherland will drive the team's #2 Swift Mazda Cosworth in the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda.

Tom Sutherland (17) enjoyed a successful four race program with Jensen MotorSport in the 2006 Formula BMW USA championship. Tom qualified second and finished a career-best second place in his home race at San Jose California; and now has the record for the most Formula BMW USA starts and finishes at 32. Over the course of his Formula BMW career, Tom has racked up 19 top-10 finishes and three top-five finishes.

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01/27/07
ga

Pruett Leads Rolex 24 At Daytona After Six Hours
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- In search of his second overall victory and record seventh class triumph in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Scott Pruett led through the first quarter of the 45th Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Co-driving the No. 01 TELMEX/Target Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley with Juan Pablo Montoya and Salvador Duran, Pruett led 1996 IRL IndyCar Series champion Scott Sharp in the No. 58 Red Bull Brumos Racing Porsche Riley by 23.751 seconds. Pruett and Sharp--who is co-driving with Rolex Series regulars David Donohue and Darren Law and 2004 Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice, were the only cars on the lead lap.

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01/27/07
ga

Pirelli to be spec tire for Grand-Am
Pirelli Competizione announced its partnership with Grand American to be the official supplier of its P Zero Racing tires to the Grand-Am Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve for the 2008-2010 seasons. Pirellis is celebrating its 100th year in motor racing during 2007 and will continue its racing history with Grand Am for the years to come.

Roger Edmondson stated that a key part in the decision to move forward with Pirelli was its ability to market the series and the sport within at the retail level, which Hoosier, the previous supplier, was not able to do since they only manufacture racing tires and nothing to the public.

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01/27/07
ga

Daytona 24: Hour 4 standings
Pos Num Class Team Car Laps
1. 01 DP Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley 132
2. 91 DP Matthews Motorsports Pontiac Riley 132
3. 02 DP Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley 132
4. 39 DP Cheever Racing Porsche Crawford 131
5. 58 DP Brumos Porsche Porsche Riley 131
6. 05 DP Sigalsport BMW BMW Riley 131
7. 77 DP Doran Racing Ford Doran 130
8. 60 DP Michael Shank Racing Lexus Riley 130
9. 11 DP SAMAX Pontiac Riley 130
10. 59 DP Brumos Porsche Porsche Riley 130

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01/27/07
ga

Daytona 24: Hour 2 standings
Pos Num Class Team Car Laps
1. 01 DP Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley 70
2. 6 DP Michael Shank Racing Lexus Riley 69
3. 05 DP Sigalsport BMW BMW Riley 69
4. 02 DP Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley 69
5. 58 DP Brumos Porsche Porsche Riley 69
6. 39 DP Cheever Racing Porsche Crawford 69
7. 91 DP Matthews Motorsports Pontiac Riley 69
8. 75 DP Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley 69
9. 7 DP SAMAX Pontiac Riley 69
10. 11 DP SAMAX Pontiac Riley 69 

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01/27/07
Industry News

Toyota closes gap to GM
Toyota Motor Corp. built more than 9 million vehicles last year for the first time, narrowing the gap with General Motors Corp. Toyota reported Friday that its output, including production by its Daihatsu and Hino affiliates, rose 9.5 percent in 2006 to 9.02 million vehicles.  GM produced 9.18 million vehicles worldwide last year, a slight increase from 9.05 million in 2005, and many analysts expect it will fall to second place behind Toyota as early as this year. Toyota is forecasting sales of 9.34 million vehicles for 2007.

Comment
01/27/07
cca

US RaceTronics team makes changes for 2007
As US RaceTronics (USRT) prepares for the upcoming 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, several pieces of the puzzle have already fallen into place nicely.  To date USRT has put together a new and experienced engineering staff led by veterans Peter Jacobs and Walter Preston, signed two fiercely talented drivers in David Garza and Carl Skerlong, and added new sponsors.   The team is now pleased to announce that it has launched not only a new and exciting team website, but a website for David Garza as well.

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01/27/07
cca

Sebring Atlantic Testing: Session 1 times
Pos Driver Car# Team Lap Time Behind Leader
1 John Edwards 7 Forsythe Championship Racing 58.769 0.000
2 J.R. Hildebrand 36 Newman Wachs Racing 58.813 0.044
3 Raphael Matos 6 Sierra Sierra Enterprises 58.870 0.101
4 Jonathan Bomarito 23 PR1 Motorsports 58.889 0.120
5 Ryan Lewis 10 Walker Racing 58.899 0.130
6 Matt Lee 44 Mi-Jack Conquest Racing 58.930 0.161
7 Simona De Silvestro 5 Walker Racing 58.964 0.195
8 Patrick Hogan 18 Mi-Jack Conquest Racing 59.037 0.268
9 Junior Strous 11 Condor Motorsports 59.050 0.281
10 Alan Sciuto 28 Gelles Racing 59.082 0.313

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01/27/07
ga

Daytona 24: Hour 1 standings
Pos Num Class Team Car Laps
1. 91 DP Matthews Motorsports Pontiac Riley 33
2. 01 DP Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley 33
3. 05 DP Sigalsport BMW BMW Riley 33
4. 10 DP SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley 32
5. 77 DP Doran Racing Ford Doran 32
6. 23 DP Alex Job Racing Porsche Crawford 32
7. 60 DP Michael Shank Racing Lexus Riley 32
8. 19 DP Finlay Motorsports Ford Crawford 32
9. 58 DP Brumos Porsche Porsche Riley 32
10. 6 DP Michael Shank Racing Lexus Riley 32 

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01/27/07
alms

Audi's Kettler: We will have hands full
Audi Sport North America technical director Brad Kettler was a very interested observer in the Sebring pitlane and paddock this weekend at the American Le Mans Series Winter Test. In an exclusive interview (mp3) with americanlemans.com, Kettler touched on a number of subjects leading up to the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

The influx of new prototypes:
"We will have our hands full. Acura and Porsche have both done very well to bring the level of the Series up. There are a lot of good-looking teams and good-looking cars. There's a lot of buzz and we're excited about it because it will be good competition."

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01/27/07
nascar

Earnhardt Jr. re-signs with Wrangler
Wrangler Jeans Co. officials say the company has re-signed as sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the Dale Earnhardt Inc. No. 8 Chevrolet.  Wrangler first paired with Earnhardt Jr. in 2004.

Comment
01/27/07
cca

Justin Sofio returns for Mathiasen Motorsports
ENCINO, CALIFORNIA- Mathiasen Motorsports has announced that it has assembled a team with extensive motor racing experience to compete in the Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda and that Justin Sofio will return as its driver in a one-car effort for the 2007 season.

Mathiasen Motorsports, owned by Ray Mathiasen, returns for its third year of competition in the Atlantic Championship after winning the 2005 C2 Atlantic title and then moving up to a much higher level of competition and a new race car in 2006. “Although our success on the race track in 2006 did not match our first year in the series, it did exceed my expectations given how competitive this series has become. I was pleased with the knowledge we gained as to what will be necessary for us to achieve our goal of being able to compete against the top teams and drivers in the 2007 Championship,” said Mathiasen.

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01/27/07
nascar

NASCAR trying to save att/Cingular sponsorship UPDATE #3 "We are still working closely with the folks at RCR," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's vice president of racing operations. "We are in the process of working with them. They understand the rules that we have in our partnership with Nextel. We are positive we will be able to come to an amicable relationship with those guys and look forward to 2007."

When NASCAR struck its deal with Nextel, team owners complained the telecommunications sponsorship ban was far too restrictive. O'Donnell said NASCAR is sensitive to owners' needs.

"At the end of the day, we need team sponsors," O'Donnell said. "The team realizes that and NASCAR realizes that."

Childress, a longtime friend of NASCAR's ruling France family and former car owner for the late Dale Earnhardt, isn't one to air his dirty laundry in public. But he doesn't want to be left scrambling to find a new sponsor on short notice, either.

"All that's being handled right now with NASCAR," Childress said. "I can't really comment on it. It's just (up to) NASCAR right now. Nextel's a great series sponsor, and we can work this thing out."

But they haven't told you no, right?

"All I can say is they're working it out now," Childress said.

Burton said his sponsor wants to stay put -- if allowed to.

"We have a sponsor that wants to be involved in the sport, and they want to try to find a way to do it," Burton said. "They're extremely committed to being part of it, and it's going to require some finesse." Sporting News

01/16/07 Jeff Burton said sponsor Cingular would like to stay in the sport and is looking at ways to remain a car sponsor while changing its name to AT&T. When Nextel signed the title sponsorship for NASCAR's premier series in June 2003, it grandfathered in Cingular and Alltel as team sponsors. It prohibited other telecommunication companies from becoming team sponsors and prohibited any moves by Cingular and Alltel to other teams or, in case of a merger or name change, to a new brand. With Cingular's merger with AT&T and the Cingular name being phased out, the sponsorship of the #31 Richard Childress Racing team and Burton is up in the air because AT&T cannot be branded on the car. Cingular is in its final year of its deal with RCR. "I can tell you that Cingular is extremely excited about their involvement with AT&T," Burton said Monday. "I can tell you that they're extremely excited about being involved in this sport. They love their sponsorship opportunity and they're going to do everything in their power to continue it. It's an interesting situation to be in, and time will tell exactly what happens. But from a marketing standpoint, it certainly is going to require some creativity and it's going to require some interesting strategies. But they're committed to doing what it takes to make it work, and I'm confident that they will." SceneDaily.com

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01/27/07
irl

IRL test open to fans
Spectators can watch the IndyCar Series Open Test on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at Daytona International Speedway (10 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m.) from the Nextel FanZone by purchasing a special $10 Daytona USA track tour ticket.

The first Open Test of '07 will be the first time all IndyCar Series cars will be using 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol and the first time all will be on the historic Daytona International Speedway. A modified 2.73-mile, 10-turn road course, which incorporates the high banking of Turns 3 and 4, will be used.

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01/27/07
tv news
nascar

ESPN signs Compton as lead analyst
Stacy Compton has agreed to terms on a contract that will make him ESPN's "lead analyst," the driver confirmed Thursday. He said the contract is for one year with a two-year option for 2008 and 09. ESPN will make a formal announcement of Compton's hiring next Tuesday. Compton made his first ESPN appearance on Thursday night's 6 p.m. SportsCenter. He will be a regular contributor to the ultra-popular sports news show, and he will share his racing expertise on three racing-exclusive programs a week during the season. He and host Erik Kuselias will do a Monday "NASCAR Now" program, and Compton will also appear on two Sunday "RaceDay" shows. Most of the programs will air from ESPN's Bristol, Conn., studios, but Compton expects to do some work from NASCAR tracks. Official airdates of "NASCAR Now" and "RaceDay" will be announced next week. Compton's only regret about his budding television career is it will cut into his racing slate. He recently signed to drive an abbreviated Craftsman Truck Series schedule for 2007 with Wood Brothers/JTG Motorsports, the team he drove for in the Busch Series from 2001-06. Compton will share the driving duties of the #09 Ford F-150 with Georgia driver Joey Clanton. Compton is signed to pilot the truck for nine races, and Clanton is scheduled to drive the other 16. There also are plans for Compton to drive some Busch Series races for Wood Brothers Racing. Compton is talking with other teams about possible race dates, too. News and Advance

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01/27/07
nascar

Fugitive tried to get Tony Stewart
A fugitive who apparently fled to Tennessee to see his ailing mother was being sought Friday in Florida in the theft of a tour bus owned by country singer Crystal Gayle. A man believed to be Christopher Daniel Gay was seen Thursday with the bus at a racetrack in Lakeland, Fla., telling the manager he was there to pick up NASCAR driver Tony Stewart, WTVF-TV of Nashville reported. Police in Nashville said USA International Speedway officials became suspicious because the man's unkempt appearance didn't fit with the tour bus.  "He stated that he was leaving the racetrack to go to McDonald's to get a hamburger, and he has yet to be seen," Capt. Rich Foley said.

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01/27/07
Industry News

GM delays earnings, expects 4Q profit
General Motors Corp. will delay its fourth-quarter and 2006 earnings reports while the automaker restates earnings dating back to 2002, the company announced Thursday.

The world's largest automaker also said it expects to post "significant" improvements in net results from last year, including a profitable fourth quarter with record revenue.

GM, which has restated results in seven of its last eight quarters, said the changes are due primarily to tax accounting adjustments and "could be material."

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01/27/07
lmes

Pescarolo Sport signs Harold Primat
Pescarolo Sport, the team which, for the second year in a row, won both the Le Mans Series drivers' and teams' championships last season, have signed Swiss driver Harold Primat for their assault on the 2007 championship as well as the 2007 Le Mans 24 Hours. Four times Le Mans winner and Pescarolo Sport team boss Henri Pescarolo also confirmed today that he will enter two Pescarolo-Judd cars for the 2007 Le Mans Series.

Primat will form part of the driver line-up as Pescarolo Sports' two-car squad look to win a third consecutive Le Mans Series title and challenge works outfits Audi and Peugeot for victory at the legendary endurance race in June.

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01/27/07
f1

Friday F1 test times
(GMM) Top F1 squads McLaren, Ferrari and Honda endured difficult winter days on Friday.

After grinding to a halt just three corners into his 'RA107' debut a day earlier, Honda's Jenson Button was again left without power, this at the end of the end of the Barcelona pitlane.

He was trialing a new black and white helmet livery.

At Valencia in Spain, McLaren ordered Fernando Alonso to stay dry as torrential rain pounded the garage roofs.

The silver team will resume work on Tuesday, as will Ferrari, featuring Kimi Raikkonen at work for the first time in the F2007.

North of Rome on Friday, Felipe Massa endured more technical trouble in the new red car at Vallelunga, and he also crashed in the final bend.

Observers noted heavy damage to the front wing and suspension after the 25-year-old Brazilian left a part of the circuit which is particularly close to the tire barrier.

Conditions were reportedly damp and Massa only did nine laps.

The Italian agency ANSA, however, quoted him as saying: "For me we are already a step ahead compared to last year's car, especially in terms of stability."

Vallelunga
Pos Driver Nat Team Laps Time Gap
1. Kimi Raikkonen FIN Ferrari 52 1:19.758
2. Felipe Massa BR Ferrari 9 1:22.279 2.521

Barcelona
Pos Driver Nat Team Laps Time Gap
1. Jenson Button GB Honda 86 1:21.600
2. Christian Klien A Honda 105 1:22.310 0.710

Comment
01/27/07
ga

Blackforest leads Mustang 1-2 at Daytona
David Empringham out-dueled friend and fellow Mustang pilot Scott Maxwell to cross the line in first place by a slim 0.356-second-margin to claim Blackforest Motorsports’ second Fresh From Florida 200 victory at Daytona International Speedway in three years. The race featured a huge 106 car starting grid. Empringham shared the driving duties and the champagne spraying with Tom Nastasi, who started the Koni Challenge race from third position, but made quick work of making his way to the front of the pack before turning the USG Sheetrock Mustang FR500C over to Empringham.

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01/27/07
cc
alms

Generac to sponsor Road America races
Generac Power Systems Inc. of Waukesha has signed on to be the title sponsor of the American Le Mans Series and the Champ Car World Series events in August at Road America in Elkhart Lake.

Financial terms of the sponsorship were not disclosed.

Road America said that the event, slated for Aug. 9-12 and dubbed the Generac Power Weekend, is the first time in the track's history that both series have run on the same weekend. The event will feature the Generac 500 with the American Le Mans Series and the Generac Champ Car Grand Prix.

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01/27/07
ga

Cosmo last minute addition to Rolex 24
Road racing stand-out and 2005 American Le Mans Series Rookie of the Year, Guy Cosmo, will join Blackforest Motorsports in this year's all-star lineup for the 45th running of the Grand-Am Series Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Cosmo brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Blackforest team. He joins Champ Car pilot Alex Tagliani and car owner Tom Nastasi running the only Mustang Cobra GT entry in a field of 40 GT cars.

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01/26/07
cc

Walker thanks Kalkhoven and Forsythe
AutoRacing1.com was able to obtain a copy of a letter that was penned by Derrick Walker on Thursday and sent to Gerald Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven regarding the new Panoz Champ Car.

Dear Kevin,
Sitting here at a very wet Sebring and we are lapping around in the pissing rain and I just thought on behalf of Craig [Gore - Team Australia] and I to drop you and Jerry a line regarding the new car.

The negativity expressed prior to this test is well documented by our Monday morning quarterbacks, by wise team members and media. I am sure by now that you both will have received positive reports that things here from the test are overall going well with the new car.

Craig and I want to add our congratulations to you and Jerry for having the balls to push ahead with the car project, and all our complements to all concerned who had a plan and worked through to get us to this point. Job well done to all at Champ Car, Panoz, Hewland, Cosworth and Pi. Over time this car will confirm that this new generation Champ Car was worth all the effort and commitment it took to make it happen.

Cheers and congratulations gentlemen,

Signed Derrick Walker

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01/26/07
cc

PKV eyes move up the Champ Car grid
PKV Racing showed it will be a team to content with in 2007 by topping the speed charts during the final day of the Champ Car open test at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. 

Oriol Servia, driving the #22 Gulfstream/Bell Micro PKV Racing Cosworth/Panoz/Bridgestone car, recorded the fastest time of the day, and in fact of the three days of open testing, clocking a quick time of 50.741 seconds (118.413 mph) on the 1.66-mile Sebring short course.  Champ Car Rookie Neel Jani notched the second fastest time of the day, and the third fastest of the open test, piloting the #21 Red Bull PKV Racing Cosworth/Panoz/Bridgestone machine to a fast lap of 50.904 seconds (118.034 mph).  Both drivers recorded their quick laps during the afternoon practice after steady rain limited on-track action in the morning.

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01/26/07
nascar

Jeff Green adds Samsung sponsorship
Best Buy announced that one of their retail partners, Samsung Electronics America, Inc., will be an associate sponsor of the #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevy, driven by Jeff Green in the Nextel Cup Series. Samsung will be featured on the rear quarter panels of the #66 entry in the 21 events in which Best Buy is the primary sponsor, and will serve as the primary sponsor in one additional event (TBD). Samsung Electronics America, Inc., markets a broad range of award-winning, advanced digital consumer electronics, information systems and home appliance products, many of which are available at Best Buy retail locations and at www.BestBuy.com. Driver Jeff Green, along with representatives from Samsung and Best Buy, unveiled the new paint design of the #66 during a luncheon for media members at Haas CNC Racing's new 150,000-square foot facility in Kannapolis, NC, on Thursday. Best Buy Racing/GMR Live Marke

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01/26/07
ga

Wayne Taylor Racing welcomes Toshiba
As the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley of the newly created Wayne Taylor Racing kicks off practice and qualifying for this weekend’s Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, the team proudly welcomes Toshiba Business Solutions as an associate sponsor.

Toshiba Business Solutions, based in Irvine, Calif., operates a network of wholly owned office equipment subsidiaries throughout the United States, one of which is Toshiba Business Solutions-Florida.

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01/26/07
nascar

Yellow moves to Cup with Sauter
For Team Yellow Racing, 2007 represents both a continuation and a transformation in NASCAR competition as they embark on their first Nextel Cup Series effort with driver Johnny Sauter behind the wheel of the #70 Yellow Transportation Chevy. Over the past two seasons, Sauter has become a devoted spokesperson for Yellow and represents their ideology of Creating Possibilities. On the Track. In Transportation. As they celebrate our 10th anniversary in 2007, Team Yellow looks ahead to the coming season with great anticipation. While Sauter is slated to carry the Yellow logo throughout the entire schedule, Yellow will take center stage as primary sponsor in 14 events, this season. Those events include: Daytona-2/18, California-2/25, Las Vegas-3/11, Atlanta-3/18, Bristol-3/25, Texas-4/15, Richmond-5/5, Dover-6/3, Pocono-6/10, Chicago-7/15, Michigan-8/19, Kansas-9/30, Charlotte-10/13 and Homestead-11/18. Plans include primary sponsorship for two Busch Series events as well - the inaugural event in Montreal-8/4 and the Yellow Transportation 300 at Kansas Speedway-9/29. Joining the Team Yellow family this season is NASCAR veteran and Haas CNC Racing teammate Jeff Green, who will pilot the #66 Yellow Chevy for two of the 14 primary events at California and Atlanta. teamyellowracing.com

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01/26/07
f1

Piquet ready to impress
Talent runs in the genes of the Piquet household with a triple world champion in '81, '83 and '87, Nelson Sr. made his mark with a flamboyant driving style on the track and a charismatic presence off it. As a rival of Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, among others, he stood out with his passion for free speech and as such he became a darling of the sport’s media.

The name ‘Piquet’ certainly made an impression, so therefore  it comes as no surprise that it brings with it a certain level of expectation when it’s attached to a new young sportsman!

Ever since his first laps, Nelsinho has given ample proof that he has inherited his father’s prowess behind the wheel. But this year, the young Brazilian will pass another milestone as he becomes test driver for the Renault F1 Team. Although the talent may be inherited, the media will have to look elsewhere for the brazen declarations of his father: Nelsinho is a shy young man. Discreet and hard-working, he prefers the quiet of the motor home to the flash of photographers’ cameras.

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01/26/07
cc

Paul Newman turns 82
Today is Champ Car team owner Paul Newman's 82nd Birthday.  Newman/Haas Racing celebrated this with him at Sebring. Pictured left to right - Sebastien Bourdais, Paul Newman and soon to be announced new addition to the team Graham Rahal.

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01/26/07
f1

McLaren ends test early
McLaren brought an early end to their Jerez test by electing not to take to the track on Friday.  The British squad, who had run world champion Fernando Alonso, Pedro de la Rosa and Lewis Hamilton this week at the circuit, were dealt a blow when the latter wrecked his car in a high-speed shunt on Thursday.  And following the onset of bad weather, they decided to pack up a day early. They will however return for more running next week. Eurosport

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01/26/07
nascar

Actor Nicolas Cage grand marshal for Daytona 500
Nicolas Cage, the star of the upcoming action-adventure Ghost Rider from Columbia Pictures, in theaters everywhere on February 16th, has been named Grand Marshal of the 49th annual Daytona 500, Cage will command the drivers, "Gentlemen, start your engines!" at NASCAR's signature event, which will run on Sunday, Feb. 18 at historic Daytona International Speedway. Cage has starred in more than 50 films including such popular releases as National Treasure, Gone in Sixty Seconds, Face/Off, Con Air, The Rock, Raising Arizona, and Leaving Las Vegas, which garnered him an Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Actor. DIS PR

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01/26/07
nascar

Stewart calls new Nextel car junk
Two-time Cup champion Tony Stewart is one of several drivers who have been openly critical of the new Car of Tomorrow Nextel Cup cars. On his radio show Tuesday on the SIRIUS Satellite Network, Stewart said he finally drove one of the COTs at Lakeland, Fla., and was far from impressed.

"Oh, what a basket of junk," Stewart said.

"It drives like a station wagon, an old station wagon, like an old Oldsmobile station wagon, green with wood panel trim on the sides," he added. "Granted, I know we were on harder tires than what they would run there but, boy, it didn't feel good.

"You know, it's like anything else, though. I'm sure the more we'll run it, the better we'll get the setups and all that."

Comment
01/26/07
ips

Team KMA signs Pecorari
Team KMA principals Ingo Strackerjan and Jon Lewis announced today that they have signed for the 2007 Indy Pro Series season, the well-known Pennsylvania native, Robbie Pecorari, as their Driver. Pecorari passed his Indy Pro Series Rookie test today at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Robbie Pecorari will be driving the Cabo Wabo sponsored 430 hp Dallara racecar for the full 2007 season in a field of more than 26 equally powered Indy Pro Series racecars on Street, Oval and Road courses. The infamous Cabo Wabo Tequila, owned by legendary rocker Sammy Hagar is a sponsor of Team KMA Racing and in an announcement made earlier last week, it was confirmed that Sammy Hagar had also become a co-owner of the Indy Pro Series race car.

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01/26/07
wrc

Well, we can always make lemonade
Where's a good pit crew when you need one.  This video (link) shows a Citroen Saxo in a Road Rally.  Citron in French means lemon.

Comment
01/26/07
cca

Conquest Atlantic team ready for Sebring test
The first open test of the season for the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda gets underway tomorrow at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida and the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Atlantic Team is eager to measure itself to this year’s competition as well as continue its 2007 pre-season testing program with drivers Matt Lee and Patrick Hogan at the first of three two-day series tests being held before the start of the season in Las Vegas in April.

Formula BMW USA graduate Matt Lee, who will be making his Atlantic debut this season with Mi-Jack Conquest, has participated in six days of testing with the Atlantic squad. However, the senior at Syosset High School, says he, like the rest of the team, is looking forward to this test in particular.

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01/26/07
track news

MIS alters post-race traffic patterns
In a continuing commitment to improve the fan experience at Michigan International Speedway, track officials, together with the Michigan Department of Transportation and surrounding townships, have made changes to the speedway’s outbound traffic pattern.

These outbound traffic initiatives are some of the most significant improvements at Michigan International Speedway in the track’s 39-year history, speedway President Roger Curtis said.

“Traffic affects every single person who comes to Michigan International Speedway, so I can’t emphasize how important this outbound traffic plan is,” Curtis said. “A primary concern at any sporting facility has to be addressing traffic. It is our top priority to get all our race fans home safely and in a timely manner following the races. This revised, outbound pattern will help us in doing that, and will improve the overall guest experience.”

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01/26/07
f1

Massa crashes new Ferrari
The Ferrari team continued to be hampered by bad weather in testing at the Vallelunga circuit in Italy after Felipe Massa crashed the new F2007 this morning in the F2007 when he went off the track at the Roma corner.  The Brazilian was not hurt but the car sustained heavy damage to the front end.

Comment
01/26/07
f1
cc

Doornbos to continue Red Bull test role
Robert Doornbos will continue as Red Bull Racing’s third driver for 2007, despite a late bid to take one of the still unconfirmed seats at Toro Rosso for next season. The Dutchman carried out the role of RBR’s test and reserve driver last year and competed in the final three races of the campaign following Christian Klien’s premature departure.

"I'm happy and proud to be here," he said in a statement on his official website. He was also present at today's launch of the new car. "I had an awesome time within the Red Bull family last year and proved my worth in the three races I was given. Next to this I was able to witness the team's boundless ambition and determination to realize their objectives from a close distance. No wonder I wanted to be part of the team's plans again in 2007. If the car proves to be just as quick as it looks like, we can look forward to a great year."

He still has not been announced as a full-time Champ Car driver for 2007 as well - something he told AutoRacing1.com at Sebring this past Monday.

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01/26/07
TV News

USA TV reminders for Saturday and Sunday
Courtesy of TVRacer.com

Saturday
A1GP Indonesia
3:00am-5:00am (R) SPEED
Rolex Sports Car Series Rolex 24 at Daytona
1:00pm-2:30pm (L) -Start FOX
Rolex Sports Car Series Rolex 24 at Daytona
2:30pm-6:00pm (L) -Part 1 SPEED
Rolex Sports Car Series Rolex 24 at Daytona
8:00pm-10:00pm (L) -Part 2 SPEED

Sunday
A1GP New Zealand
3:00am-5:00am (R) SPEED
Rolex Sports Car Series Rolex 24 at Daytona
6:00am-2:00pm (L) -Part 3 SPEED
AMA Supercross San Francisco
12:00pm-1:00pm (1/27/07) CBS
The SPEED Report
7:00pm-8:00pm SPEED
Michael Waltrip Racing: A New Era
11:00pm-12:00am ESPN2

All times listed are ET. For a complete listing of TV Programs, see TVRacer.com.

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01/26/07
dtm

Hakkinen renews DTM contract for 2007
Former Formula One world champion Mika Hakkinen of Finland has renewed his German Touring Car (DTM) series deal with Mercedes for the 2007 season, the carmaker said on Friday. Hakkinen won the F1 title for McLaren-Mercedes in 1998 and 1999. He quit F1 in 2001 and joined the DTM in 2005, winning one race in his debut season and getting three podium finishes in 2006.  "I am convinced that the fans will see the best Mika ever in 2007," said Mercedes motorsport supremo Norbert Haug.

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01/26/07
nascar

Evernham looking for a Sugar Daddy
Ray Evernham, owner of Evernham Motorsports [#9,#10,#19] is looking for a financial partner to help keep up with rising costs, and he believes other owners will follow suit if they hope to survive. Some already have. Jack Roush is close to a deal that would sell 25-50 percent of Roush Racing to Boston Red Sox owner John Henry and Fenway Sports Group. Real estate tycoon Bobby Ginn purchased a reported 80 percent of MB2 Motorsports -- now Ginn Racing -- in August. Richard Childress sold part of Richard Childress Racing to Chartwell Investments a few years go. ESPN.com

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01/26/07
f1

Ammermuller is Red Bull Test Driver
He’s German, he’s called Michael and his name ends in ‘er’. No wonder Michael Ammermüller has found his way into Formula One!

A product of the Red Bull Junior Program, Michael was its most successful driver in 2005. Racing in the Italian Formula Renault Championship and the Eurocup, he scored nine victories, 21 podiums, seven pole positions and seven fastest laps.

In 2006 Michael moved to GP2, where he contested the Championship for the Arden International Team. He made a notable start by winning his second race at the Championship’s opening round in Valencia, Spain.

The bespectacled racer got his break as Red Bull Racing’s Friday-driver in China, Japan and Brazil, when Robert Doornbos replaced Christian Klien as race driver for the final three grands prix of 2006. Impressed by Michael’s speed and technical feedback, Red Bull Racing confirmed his appointment to the role of full-time tester early in 2007. Ammermüller has a busy year in prospect as he continues to race in GP2, this time with the championship-winning ART team.

Date of Birth: 14/02/1986
Birthplace: Passau
Lives: Pocking, Bavaria
Marital Status: Single
Height 1.8m
Weight: 68kg
Interests: Snowboarding, Karting, cycling

Comment
01/26/07
f1

Low-key ’launch’ for new Red Bull
(GMM)  In the lowest-key 'launch' so far this winter, Red Bull on Friday unveiled the Adrian Newey-penned RB3 on a crisp morning at Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.

Without the fireworks of McLaren's event or even an auditorium within sight, mechanics for the Milton-Keynes based squad simply rolled the curvy car into the Barcelona pit lane shortly before 9am for photographers to snap.

With a lower and thinner nose and distinctly McLaren-esque curvy side pods, the car was later taken onto the circuit by Mark Webber, who has joined Red Bull from Williams to be veteran David Coulthard's new teammate.

Also present at the launch were Newey and team boss Christian Horner, both wearing heavy winter jackets, and Renault's Rob White, representing the team's new engine partner. More....

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