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DATE News (chronologically)
02/03/07
nascar
NASCAR renews with Goodyear  The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and NASCAR today jointly announced they have signed an extended agreement for Goodyear to continue as the exclusive tire used in NASCAR’s top three racing series for the next five years.  

Robert Keegan, Goodyear Chairman and CEO prepares to sign a contract extension for the company to continue as the exclusive tire used in NASCAR’s top three racing series for the next five years.  Looking on are Mike Helton, President of NASCAR and NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip. The announcement was made during Goodyear’s annual dealer conference in Orlando, FL on February 3.

The agreement through 2012, naming Goodyear the “Exclusive Tire Supplier” of NASCAR’s NEXTEL Cup Series, the NASCAR Busch Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, was signed here in front of more than 2,000 attendees at the 2007 Goodyear Dealer Conference.  Goodyear Chairman and CEO Bob Keegan, Jon Rich, president of the company’s North American Tire business, and Mike Helton, NASCAR president, delivered the news to Goodyear’s customers. More ...

02/03/07
a1gp
Hulkenberg takes Sprint race for 5th win  Eastern Creek, Australia - A1 Team Germany has taken its fifth win of the 2006/07 season winning the A1GP Sydney, Australia Sprint race ahead of New Zealand and France, so when the team lines up on pole for the Feature race it will be its fourth consecutive A1GP start from this coveted position.

A1 Team Germany made a clean start to the race, pulling ahead of second placed New Zealand who was immediately put under pressure by Great Britain. After the two cars touched wheels at turn three, New Zealand was forced to concede and the red, white and blue car of Great Britain overtook Black Beauty into turn four. More ...

02/03/07
alms
lmes
Ford GT to race at LeMans in '08  A Ford GT should be on the grid for the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2008. Doran sports car team boss Kevin Doran said the new GT2 contender he is working on for a consortium of wealthy individuals is indeed Ford’s GT40 look-alike. He explained the plan was to give the car its debut in the American Le Mans Series’ Petit Le Mans endurance race this October ahead of an assault on Sebring and Le Mans in 2008.  The car will be known as the Ford GTR and will be powered by a normally aspirated version of the street car’s supercharged V8. AutoWeek
02/03/07
cc
Conquest to run 1, maybe 2 cars in 2007  Robin Miller wrote an article on SPEEDTV.com saying that Eric Bachelart had found a sponsor and would run one Champ Car in 2007 so we phoned Eric today to find out more. 

"We've been talking to a sponsor in New York for quite some time and it finally came together on Friday," the Conquest Racing owner told AutoRacing1.com.  "It is a new sponsor to racing and we will announce it soon.  We definitely will be able to run one Champ Car and two Atlantic cars this year. 

"We are still trying to do a second Champ Car but right now that is a stretch, but you never know," added Bachelart.  We are talking to a number of drivers including Andrew Ranger and Charles Zwolsman but I have a list of drivers I started to call this morning that had contacted us over the winter.

"We definitely will be at the Houston test.  The car has been ready since before Sebring.  I just cannot tell you who we will test in Houston just yet."

02/03/07
nascar
Larry Foyt to run in Daytona Truck Race  Former Nextel Cup driver, Larry Foyt, Silestone USA and Key Motorsports have announced a partnership that will enter Foyt in the 2007 season-opening Truck Series race at Daytona. The Silestone by Cosentino sponsored Chevy will become the first truck to bear the new Key Motorsports #44, joining the #40 Key Motorsports entry that will be driven by former NCTS champion Mike Bliss. Silestone USA was originally established in 1998 as Cosentino USA to distribute and market Silestone natural quartz surfaces in North America. Silestone today is the world's largest manufacturer of such products with 75% of all natural quartz surface sales in North America made by the company. Key Motorsports PR
02/03/07
nascar
Toyota makes NASCAR old timers boil  Who knew a Toyota Camry could cause such controversy? America’s favorite family car has the NASCAR Nation all revved up in a heady debate over globalization. When the green flag drops on the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18, a radically souped-up version of Toyota’s humble sedan will become the first foreign car to roll into stock-car racing’s marquee circuit since Jaguar gave it a spin in the 1950s. And that doesn’t sit too well with some of the good ole boys who drive Fords, Chevys and Dodges. They see Toyota as a deep-pocketed predator out to overrun an American institution. “They will use their money and their technology to make the rest of us play catch-up,” racing team owner Jack Roush griped recently, adding for good measure: “Americans shouldn’t buy Japanese cars.”  More at Newsweek.com
02/03/07
f1
Super Aguri stake claim on van der Garde  UPDATE Van der Garde's website is interesting considering Super Aguri's claim that they hold the rights to him.

02/02/07 (GMM)  Super Aguri issued a statement on Friday staking its claim on Dutch test rookie Giedo van der Garde.

The 22-year-old signed for the Japanese squad in December, but on Thursday was announced in a similar and conflicting role for the Dutch squad Spyker.

"(Super Aguri) has a valid contract with Giedo van der Garde to drive for the team in the position of Friday and Test Driver for the 2007 FIA formula one world championship," the statement issued from Leafield (UK) read.

Super Aguri said the contract was lodged with the Contracts Recognition Board on 23 January.

The last time the CRB was called into action for a contract dispute was in 2004, when Williams and BAR-Honda fought over the services of Jenson Button.

Super Aguri's chief financial officer Wayne Humphreys told Reuters: "We were surprised by the Spyker press release and (van der Garde) is still under contract.  That's very clear."

02/03/07
Industry News
More bad news for Ford  It seems everything Ford touches these days is a disaster.  Mazda is the only piece of Ford (they only own 33.4% of Mazda) that is doing well.  More bad news for its Volvo brand.  Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, reports sales in the United States of 7,819 units for January, representing a 12 percent decrease compared to the same period last year.  Overall, Volvo sales for North America (United States, including Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico) were 8,628 units, which is 11 percent down compared to the beginning of 2006. Volvo Canada sales were down 4.5 percent, with 571 units sold, while Volvo sales in Mexico were ahead of last year by 15.5 percent, selling 238 units.
02/03/07
scca
Prill Named VP of Marketing and Communications  Sports Car Club of America, Inc. and SCCA Pro Racing jointly announced today that Eric Prill has been named Vice President of Marketing & Communications for both companies.

Prill, 33, had previously served as Director of Marketing Communications and fills the executive position that has been vacant since February 2006.

“Eric provides that perfect blend of deep and long term experience with the Club combined with outstanding job skills in both Marketing and Communications,” SCCA President and CEO Jim Julow said.

“To join the executive team of an organization that I grew up with, literally as a member from my childhood and now professionally for the last 10 years, is quite an honor,” Prill said. “I’m excited to begin my new role with SCCA and help the organization achieve new levels of excellence.” More ...

02/03/07
nascar
tv news
FOX and SPEED at Daytona w/Schedule  UPDATE SPEED released this revised schedule:

Thursday, Feb. 8
• Daytona Media Day coverage (6 p.m. ET)
• Best of the Budweiser Shootout (7 p.m. ET)
• Budweiser Shootout Drawing (8 p.m. ET)
• Inaugural SPEED Performance Awards (9 p.m. ET)
• Mario Andretti: Conversation with a Legend (10 p.m. ET)

Friday, Feb. 9
• Daytona Media Day coverage (1 p.m. ET, replay)
• NASCAR Live! (2 p.m. ET)
• Budweiser Shootout Practice (4 p.m. ET, LIVE)
• NASCAR Live! (5 p.m. ET)
• Budweiser Shootout Practice (6:30 p.m. ET, LIVE)
• NASCAR Live! (7:30 p.m. ET)
• Trackside Live @ Daytona (8 p.m. ET)
• Tradin’ Paint from Daytona (9 p.m. ET)

Saturday, Feb. 10
• NASCAR Live! (10 a.m. ET)
• NASCAR Nextel Cup Series practice (10:30 a.m. ET, LIVE)
• NASCAR Live! (12:30 p.m. ET)
• ARCA Re/Max Series race (4 p.m. ET, LIVE)
• NASCAR RaceDay Budweiser Shootout Special (6 p.m. ET, LIVE)
• Budweiser Shootout on FOX (8 p.m. ET, LIVE)
• SPEED Performance Awards (8 p.m. ET, replay)
• NASCAR Victory Lane Budweiser Shootout Special (10 p.m. ET)
• The SPEED Report (10:30 p.m. ET) More ...

02/03/07
nascar
Tire Kingdom again backs Petty  Tire Kingdom, the largest independent tire and automotive services retailer in the United States, will once again serve as a primary sponsor on the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge driven by Kyle Petty in 2007. Tire Kingdom is a division of TBC Corporation and is the largest tire dealer in the country with over 650 locations under the Tire Kingdom, National Tire and Battery and Merchants Tires and Auto Center names. All names will appear as primary sponsors on Petty's Dodge this season joining Wells Fargo and Marathon as primary sponsors. Tire Kingdom and its names stores will serve as primary sponsor in seven races throughout the season and be an associate throughout the entire season. "Tire Kingdom has been great for us so far," said Petty, driver of the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge. "They became a big partner for us last season and we're looking to grow the relationship this season. Their stores have a national presence and we see that in the broad number of races that they will serve as a primary. We hope this partnership helps leverage them as the leading tire and automotive services retailer in the nation." Petty Racing PR
02/03/07
nascar
Roush guys lap Infineon  Carl Edwards and David Ragan spent Friday afternoon testing the twists and turns of Infineon Raceway in preparation for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Nextel Cup Series race, June 22-24. It was the first time on the road course for Ragan, while Edwards has two starts in Sonoma, including a career-best finish of sixth place in 2006. Both piloted American Speed Association (ASA) stock cars supplied by Pioneer Motorsports out of Lake Oroville. The drivers were coached by Mark Wolocatiuk, lead instructor at the Jim Russell Racing Schools, which is based at Infineon Raceway. Edwards and Ragan, a rookie, each completed around 40 laps over the serpentine circuit. Both drive for Roush Racing. Ragan has limited road-racing experience, while Edwards placed 38th in his rookie season at Infineon Raceway in 2005 and sixth last year after starting 20th. Infineon Raceway PR
02/03/07
f1
Q and A with Bridgestone's van de Grint  
Q. Can you clarify how many specifications of tire Bridgestone will be producing this year

Kees van de Grint, Bridgestone Motorsport Head of Track Engineering Operations: The current plan is to produce four specifications of dry weather tire which will be known as: Hard, Medium, Soft and Super Soft. From these four specifications two will be chosen for use at each Grand Prix.

Q. What were the aims of this week's test and which tires were tested at Valencia?

KvdG: This week's test was the only opportunity for the teams and drivers to conduct comparisons of the medium and soft Bridgestone specifications prior to their use at the Australian Grand Prix in March. It was also a good opportunity to ascertain what the potential lap time difference may be between those two specifications.

Q. Did all the drivers manage to complete comparisons between the soft and medium tires?

KvdG: The majority of drivers this week did run on both specifications, giving them a feel for what to expect in Melbourne. More ...

02/03/07
nascar
Hornish, Busch teams to test at LVMS  Indianapolis 500 winner Sam Hornish Jr. will return to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the first time in seven years next week as he takes part in the Busch Series edition of NASCAR Preseason Thunder Las Vegas. He will be joined by 44 other drivers for the test.

Hornish, who finished a then career best third in the 2000 Vegas Indy 300 Indy Racing League event at LVMS, will test on Tuesday, Feb. 6. Teammate Kurt Busch will test the car on Monday, Feb. 5. More ...

02/03/07
nascar
Toyota helping NASCAR teams at track  Michael Waltrip says he is pleased with the progress of his three-car NASCAR Nextel Cup operation and thinks his Toyota team is ready to beat up on Ford, Chevy and Dodge.

"It's been challenging, but it's been really fun and at times rewarding with all the hurdles we've cleared," he said. "The on-track testing that we've conducted so far [has been] very positive. Obviously getting Dale [Jarrett] and [sponsors] UPS and Domino's and NAPA and everybody signed up to go, it just made you smile that those people trusted their marketing dollars with our organization to say, 'We think you can go race with those guys.' That meant the world to me."

Waltrip says the team has close to 200 employees and that Toyota Racing Development has 20 people dedicated to the teams at the track with four or five focusing on Waltrip's cars.

"Toyota has been a huge support, obviously. I think that the media and people in general just missed the whole key to what Toyota did for me. They brought me credibility. They allowed me to go to NAPA [and] say, 'Toyota is going to be my manufacturer. They're going to provide me with technology and equipment that will allow me to go race these other guys.'  Scenedaily.com 

02/03/07
a1gp
Hulkenberg tops final practice in Eastern Creek  A1 Team Australia has solved its set up problems of yesterday, making good headway towards a strong home performance in the last official practice session for the A1GP Sydney, Australia. The team moved up from twelfth place on the timing sheet yesterday to sixth place this morning, despite an earlier hiccup when refueling which saw the nozzle burst and driver, Karl Reindler sprayed with fuel.

A1 Team Germany took over from New Zealand at the top of the time sheets with Great Britain slotting into second place ahead of New Zealand. A1 Team Great Britain were delighted with this result having made suspension changes over night which seemed to do the trick, giving them the biggest jump up the time sheets from 13th place yesterday afternoon to second today. More ...

02/02/07
TV News
USA TV reminders for Saturday and Sunday  
Courtesy of TVRacer.com

Saturday
NASCAR Angels
1:30pm-2:00pm ABC
NASCAR Angels
5:30pm-6:00pm WGN

Sunday
AMA Supercross Anaheim
3:00pm-4:00pm (2/3/07) SPEED

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

02/02/07
cc
Champ Car axes Ford  UPDATE More proof that it was Champ Car that pushed Ford out and not the other way around. "I'm really upset with those guys," Ford's Dan Davis told AutoWeek. "We're out because Champ Car pushed us off the island." In other words Champ Car axed Ford.

How so? They killed the Hot Lap program," Davis said. This is where Ford brought in potential customers to run hot laps around the race track prior to the race. One reason why Champ Car killed Ford's little exclusive program was 'to allow individual race promoters to sell 'Official Car' rights to other manufacturers." While Ford's Hot Lap program benefited Ford, it brought nothing to Champ Car but to take away valuable race weekend track time that could be better used to entertain race fans. And now XYZ car company can be the "official car of the ABC Grand Prix."

Ford's annual payment to Champ Car was said to be a paltry $1M a year and for this they got track time at every event, Ford logos on all the race cars, on the engines and the Ford name as part of the series. And how many advertisements did you see Ford run mentioning Champ Car? That's right, zero. If that isn't a one-sided deal in favor of Ford we don't know what is. We're surprised Champ Car didn't tell Ford to take a hike a lot sooner....and now you know the real story....

01/24/07 Champ Car and Ford have decided to end their relationship. Champ Car President Steve Johnson had this to say.

"Today’s decision was made from a business standpoint on both sides and in no way should tarnish the long legacy of success that the Ford Motor Company has established in Champ Car competition. We thank Ford for what it has done for the series, but we are continuing building a bright future for the series and are exploring a number of other options for a manufacturer partner."
02/02/07
irl
Panther Racing has ties to Indianapolis Colts  At Panther Racing, when one of your most recognizable team owners is a member of the Indianapolis Colts "Ring of Honor," and the CEO is a die-hard fan of the AFC Champions, there is little debate about who will win Super Bowl XLI.

"There better not be any Bears fans in this building," said Panther CEO John Barnes, who is attending the Super Bowl in Miami. Of course when your boss is former NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh, and one of the team's IndyCar Series machines carries the number he wore as a Colt, it's probably a good idea to keep your Chicago Bears hat at home - even if Harbaugh did play for the Bears, too.

"I'm just so happy for the Irsay family, for Peyton (Manning) and for all those people that are still with Indianapolis," Harbaugh said during his visit to the Panther shop late last month. "They were so great to me it's great to see them enjoying this moment." More ...

02/02/07
irl
Drivers give new fuel 100 percent support  The Daytona International Speedway Open Test was the first opportunity for the full IndyCar Series field to use the 100-percent fuel grade ethanol in its 3.5-liter Honda Indy V-8 engine, which will power the series in 2007.

The 17 IndyCar Series drivers and teams who participated recorded nearly 1,700 laps on the 10-turn, 2.72-mile road course with no major issues.

"I really didn't notice any difference at all, which I think is the point," said 2005 IndyCar Series champion Dan Wheldon, who ran the 100 percent fuel grade ethanol for the first time at the test. "It's better for the environment, fuel efficient and hasn't affected engine performance." More ...

02/02/07
f1
irl
Andretti to get 2nd F1 test  IndyCar Series driver Marco Andretti will join the Honda Racing F1 Team for a second test in Jerez on Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 February.  

With Jenson Button and Christian Klien focused on developing the first of the RA107 chassis, the team will have completed all meaningful running with last year's RA106 car, which presents the ideal opportunity for a further test with Marco.  

In his debut Formula One test with Honda last December, Marco impressed the team with his obvious potential and the Honda team will be interested to see how he performs during a more comprehensive two-day program in the RA106 in Jerez.  More ...

02/02/07
f1
Hamilton over Raikkonen at Valencia  Lewis Hamilton threw off the cloud of his major test shunt at Valencia last week by setting the quickest time on his return to the circuit on Friday.

The extended four-day session ended in Spain with cold but dry conditions, and Hamilton's best at the wheel of the new McLaren was seven tenths quicker than the Ferrari driven by Kimi Raikkonen.

BMW, Renault, Red Bull and Honda also tested on Friday.

F1's winter action resumes at Jerez next week, where a second 'F2007' will be occupied by Raikkonen's teammate Felipe Massa. More ...

02/02/07
industry news
GM January China sales tops 100,000 mark  General Motors Corp said it sold 101,926 vehicles in mainland China in January, topping the 100,000-unit mark for the first time in a single month. In a statement, GM said Shanghai GM, its joint venture with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, maintained its lead position among domestic passenger car manufacturers with 40,570 vehicle sales in January. GM’s commercial vehicle venture, SAIC-GM-Wuling, sold 61,200 vehicles last month, the statement said. Last year, GM and its mainland China operations sold 876,747 vehicles, an increase of 31.8 pct from 2005.
02/02/07
f1
Williams confirms Rod Nelson  The AT&T Williams has confirmed that former Renault-man, Rod Nelson, will start working for them on March 1 as Chief Operations Engineer. Nelson will take some of Sam Michael's on-track responsibilities away from him.
02/02/07
irl
nascar
NASCAR's PR machine laps IRL's  As I write this, it's 1:30 on Wednesday afternoon. The afternoon portion of the Indy Racing League test opened for business 30 minutes ago.

Roughly 300 people stand on the Fan Deck atop one of the Daytona garages. Out on the track -- nothing.

Inside the garages sit most of the cars, each with a varying number of crewmen performing various tasks.

"This is our first test of the year, and we have a lot of changes to make on the cars," says one crewman.

Well, you certainly don't want to argue with a man who knows infinitely more than you about the workings of an Indy car. But imagine, if you can, observing the same empty-track scene 30 minutes into the afternoon session of a preseason NASCAR test.

It just won't happen.

And there's this, which might smack of "inside baseball," but still symbolizes the difference between NASCAR and all those standing in its shadow. During Wednesday's noon-to-1 lunch break, Danica Patrick was scheduled to visit the media center and toss out some of the usual preseason comments familiar to all those who follow auto racing.

She didn't show.  More at Daytona Beach News Journal

02/02/07
track news
Road Atlanta Renovations  BRASELTON, GA -- A repaving of the entire 2.54-mile racing surface is the focal point of a renovation and capital improvements project at Road Atlanta.  Prior to the repaving, the concrete barrier block walls on both sides of the lower part of the Esses – the signature set of turns 3-5 – have been moved back as much as 30 feet, giving competitors additional runoff room.  Moving the walls back will also improve sight lines for spectators from Spectator Hill looking from Turn 5 back to Turn 3.

“We were able to move the walls back further than we initially thought,” says Road Atlanta General Manager Brian Skuza, “and that gives the competitors a larger runoff area.  This has been a massive project, but the weather has been our biggest problem.  All of the ground preparation has gone smoothly, and the paving process has been done without a major problem.”

Also, prior to repaving all of the concrete patches were completely dug up and filled with a gravel base and asphalt.  Extensive milling of the old surface, especially in the corners, also was done. That will give the new asphalt top better adhesion completely around the track.  The curbs have been repaired or replaced as well. More ...

02/02/07
f1
Lenovo signs on as major sponsor for Williams  Lenovo, a leading computer company that creates the best-engineered PCs in the world, today announced a top sponsorship agreement with the AT&T Williams team competing in the Formula One World Championship. Lenovo’s announcement took place at the launch of the team’s 2007 race car at AT&T Williams headquarters near Oxford, UK.

Lenovo PC technology will be used throughout the AT&T Williams team, on functions ranging from ignition checks to race operations and inventory and the Lenovo logo will be displayed in the dominant branding position on the 2007 cars of drivers Nico Rosberg and Alex Wurz. “Lenovo is an international technology company obsessed with innovation, and they will undoubtedly help us achieve success in every area of our business," said Frank Williams, Team Principal of AT&T Williams. More ...

02/02/07
f1
New water sponsor for Spyker  Oxy Fusion, the producer of innovative oxygenated water, has confirmed today that it will sponsor Spyker Formula One in its debut season in the FIA Formula One World Championship.

A range of the company's revolutionary products will be launched this year. Oxy Fusion water is an oxygen enriched natural mineral water aimed at promoting a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Water originating from a spring in the Italian Dolomite Mountains is transfused with oxygen ions charged by the patented Oxy System to give a charged burst of energy. More ...

02/02/07
scca
Sponsor for SCCA runoffs announced  Heartland Park Topeka owner Raymond Irwin announced today that AT&T will be the presenting sponsor of the 2007 SCCA National Championship Runoffs®.   AT&T has been a long time friend and supporter of HPT activities, both racing and community events,” said Irwin. “HPT is pleased to provide AT&T with the opportunity to receive nation-wide recognition for their involvement through the SCCA Runoffs.”
02/02/07
nascar
tv news
Fox gears up for High-Def Daytona broadcast  When the green flag drops on the 49th Daytona 500, Sunday, February 18 (2:00 PM ET), FOX Sports’ multi-Emmy Award-winning NASCAR production team will be perched throughout the 2.5 mile tri-oval at Daytona International Speedway to take in every twist, pass and scrape at the most exciting and most-watched motorsports event in America.  The broadcast will mark the network’s fourth presentation of The Great American Race and the first of a new rights agreement that designates FOX Sports as The Official Television Home of The Daytona 500 through 2014.  More....

[Editor's Note:   All NASCAR races are broadcast in high definition enabling NASCAR to present a much better looking product to TV viewers than any other USA race series.  With high definition TV sets now cheap enough that they are flying off store shelves, race fans and sponsors will soon be demanding that other USA race series get with the program.]

02/02/07
Industry News
The New Big 3 - GM, Toyota and Chrysler  For the first time in recent memory, Ford Motor Co. fell to No. 4 in U.S. auto sales behind General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp., and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group, demonstrating just how far the automaker has fallen as it battles to keep its doors open.  Last month, Ford's domestic brands -- Ford, Lincoln and Mercury -- were outsold by Chrysler's U.S. brands -- Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep.  Ford's U.S. brand sales dropped 19.6 percent to 153,026 vehicles in January, while demand for Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep models rose slightly to 156,308 units.
02/02/07
irl
Helio sizzles, Danica and Foyt fizzle  UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Danica is all show and no go. You simply cannot be that far off your teammates pace and expect anyone to think you have any talent whatsoever. Her advantage up until now has been her 50 pound weight advantage on 100% throttle no talent required ovals. Now that she is on a road course where you actually must have some driving talent to excel, she's 2 seconds off the pace. She should stick to modeling with half her clothes off. It's obvious the only way she will win a race is if the IRL gives her the call. Jeff Rossi, Chicago, IL

02/01/07 Thursday morning test times from Daytona show the Penske cars on top and Danica Patrick and AJ Foyt IV way off the pace as expected because this is a road course where talent is required.  100% throttle oval racing masks driver deficiencies.
Pos Driver Diff Best Time
1 Helio Castroneves (3) ... 1:12.6128
2 Sam Hornish Jr (6) 0.1542 1:12.7670
3 Dan Wheldon (10) 0.2237 1:12.8365
4 Tony Kanaan (11) 0.2992 1:12.9120
5 Scott Sharp (8) 0.7597 1:13.3725
6 Marco Andretti (26) 1.0894 1:13.7022
7 Dario Franchitti (27) 1.1167 1:13.7295
8 Vitor Meira (4) 1.1630 1:13.7758
9 Jeff Simmons (17) 1.1947 1:13.8075
10 Scott Dixon (9) 1.2500 1:13.8628
11 Darren Manning (14) 1.4993 1:14.1121
12 Kosuke Matsuura (55) 1.6053 1:14.2181
13 Tomas Scheckter (2) 1.7348 1:14.3476
14 Buddy Rice (15) 2.0218 1:14.6346
15 Ed Carpenter (20) 2.2247 1:14.8375
16 Danica Patrick (7) 2.5825 1:15.1953
17 AJ Foyt IV (22) 2.6278 1:15.2406
02/02/07
f1
High temperatures slow Toyota testing  High temperatures were recorded around the rear crash structure of Toyota last night, leaving the team no option but to run only Schumacher today and give Jarno Trulli an unscheduled day off.

"Obviously our final day did not go as planned due to the high temperatures around the rear crash structure that we discovered on Wednesday night," said Pascal Vasselon, senior general chassis manager. "Unfortunately this meant we were not able to run a two-car program as planned."

"These kind of things are a natural part of testing and they are one of the reasons why all teams test their cars so much before the season," he added. "The guys worked hard to make sure Ralf had a chance to put some more miles on the TF107 in the afternoon and that gave us some important information."

02/02/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
Button blanks 'green Honda' rumor
Honda duo rave about 2007 car
Axed Imola begins search for new chief
Spyker signs Aguri tester van der Garde
Kimi fizzles as Ralf leads Valencia action
Rossi ends F1 talk with two year MotoGP deal
Ferrari rival pans "high risk" 2007 car
Stepney still at Ferrari - spokesman
Pedro tells Hamilton to take it slow
New Renault "very strong" - Fisichella
'I'm not the new Schu' - A1's Hulkenberg
02/02/07
nascar
tv news
NASCAR Now to debut on Monday Night  After more than a year of planning and preparation, NASCAR Now, ESPN’s first-ever daily news show totally dedicated to NASCAR, will premiere Monday, Feb. 5, at 6:30pm/et on ESPN2. NASCAR Now will be produced in High Definition and originate from a new state-of-the-art studio at ESPN’s campus in Bristol, Conn.

Host Erik Kuselias will guide viewers through 30 minutes of fast-paced highlights, opinion, debate, analysis and the latest news from drivers, crew chiefs and insiders both on and off the track. For the debut show, as well as episodes on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 6-7, Kuselias will be joined in the studio by ESPN motorsports analysts Rusty Wallace, the 1989 NASCAR Cup Series champion, and two-time Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer. Wallace and Brewer will select their top five drivers of 2007 in addition to discussing and debating topics including the Car of Tomorrow, Toyota’s emergence in the top levels of NASCAR and NASCAR’s announced changes to the format of the Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup. More ...

02/02/07
cc
Champ Car axes Denver race  UPDATE #3 Veteran Champ Car driver Paul Tracy said losing Denver is "obviously a shame." On the other hand, I'm very excited about the 2007 season and the direction that Champ Car is headed," Tracy said. "Yes, we lost the Denver event, but we are also going to have brand new ones in China, Europe, Las Vegas and Phoenix. The pros still, by far, outweigh the cons."  Denver Post

02/02/07 This postponement affects the Champ Car Atlantic series, which was also slated to race in Denver.  Now down to 11 races, it remains to be seen where they add a 12th event.  Phoenix is possible but that is late, December 2nd, and the series usually likes to wrap up their season around Labor Day.  However, we suspect they will just run a doubleheader at one of the other tracks they are already racing at.

02/01/07 The Grand of Prix of Denver has been "postponed for two years," a Champ Car spokesman told the Rocky today.  The race has been put on blocks because of the lack of a title sponsor and conflicts with the 2008 Democratic National Convention this summer, Champ Car spokesman Eric Mauk said.

The race, scheduled for Aug. 17-19, was to take place near the Pepsi Center, where the DNC is scheduled to take place in August '08.

Shell sponsored the first Grand Prix at the Pepsi Center in 2002, and Centrix Financial was the sponsor from 2003-2005. The attendance dipped from about 100,000 in 2002 to 68,000, but it surged to 112,000 in 2004 and to an estimated 150,000 in 2005. It dropped a bit in 2006, but not enough to discourage Champ Car from returning.  The Champ Car season begins April 8 in Las Vegas. Denver was No. 12 on the schedule.  Rocky Mountain News



02/01/07 The Champ Car World Series today announced the postponement of this season’s Denver Grand Prix, which was to be run on August 15.

The event, which has run for the last five seasons around the Pepsi Center in downtown Denver, will be removed from the 2007 calendar due to concerns over time conflicts with the facilities surrounding the temporary street course. Efforts to find a replacement date that accommodated the Pepsi Center and Champ Car, as well as the University of Colorado Auraria Campus that borders the track layout, were unable to find a suitable date that fit unto the series’ race schedule. In addition, Denver’s status as the host city for the Democratic National Convention in 2008 will force Champ Car to keep the event off of the ’08 calendar as well.

“The strong attendance numbers, the backing the event received from the corporate sector as well as the city and county government, and the support of the people of Denver have shown that a Champ Car event can flourish there,” said Champ Car President Steve Johnson. “Champ Car has made a major investment in building this event over the last five years. We are committed to making every effort to returning to the Mile High City as soon as a viable replacement date can be found.”

The postponement reduces to 16 the number of events on the 2007 Champ Car World Series schedule, the largest number of races on the Champ Car calendar since the 2003 season. Champ Car PR

02/02/07
alms
Danica Patrick hopes to go faster in ALMS  UPDATE Danica Patrick hasn't been confirmed, but she will drive an Acura in the 12 Hours of Sebring (Fla.) race March 14-17. She will be Bryan Herta's teammate. IndyStar

01/23/07 Danica Patrick made her return to American Le Mans Series competition Tuesday afternoon for Andretti Green Racing. She drove approximately 20 laps at Sebring International Raceway in the team’s Acura-powered Courage LC75 with a best time of 1:52.4 around the 17-turn, 3.7-mile circuit. It was Patrick’s first prototype experience in the Series and her first appearance since Petit Le Mans in 2003 when she drove a Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello in GTS.

Patrick shared her initial thoughts on returning to the Series, its challenges, her impressions of the Courage-Acura and running at Sebring:

The Sebring circuit:
“It’s almost like a giant road course and almost two minutes around here. It’s been about six years since I was here last. I definitely forgot most of it when I got on the track. It quickly came back. Either that or I quickly adapted. As a driver that’s what we’re supposed to do is get used to things and adapt. We have a little ways to go but I think it’s going good.” More ...

02/02/07
irl
Look for Patrick on Super Sunday  It's a go for Danica Patrick to be featured in a GoDaddy.com commercial during Super Bowl XLI on Feb. 4. Titled "The Office," it will air three times (sixth and 22nd commercial breaks and during the post game show). The ad features an executive walking down a typical office hallway and talking about GoDaddy.com. When he opens the door to the marketing department, the corporate atmosphere quickly evaporates. Inside is a host of celebrities, including Patrick.
02/02/07
f1
Spyker announces test and reserve drivers  UPDATE Dutchman Giedo van der Garde was also listed by the team, despite having a contract with the Super Aguri squad, for whom he was testing just this week at Valencia.  Wayne Humphreys, Super Aguri's Chief Financial Officer, told autosport.com: "We are surprised to read the press release issued today as we have a contract with Giedo van der Garde to drive with the Super Aguri F1 team."

02/01/07 Spyker Formula One Team is proud to announce the following drivers as its test and reserve drivers for the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship season:

Fairuz Fauzy
Malaysian Fairuz joins the team from GP2 and the A1GP series. He started in karting, securing numerous titles in national and international competitions and later expanded his racing experience when he moved to Europe in 2000 to compete in Formula Ford and Formula Renault. After gathering valuable single-seater mileage he then started a serious campaign in the British Formula 3 series. More ...
02/02/07
a1gp
American rookie tops first session  American Jonathan Summerton marked his A1GP debut by setting the pace in the rookie practice session at Eastern Creek, Australia by setting a fast lap near the end of the session as the track dried.

POS DRIVER TEAM TIME GAP_FIRST
1 Jonathan SUMMERTON USA 1:36.569 -
2 Christian VIETORIS GERMANY 1:36.910 +0.341
3 Renger VAN DER ZANDE NETHERLANDS 1:37.209 +0.640
4 Marcel FASSLER SWITZERLAND 1:37.518 +0.949
5 Loic DUVAL FRANCE 1:37.822 +1.253
6 Christian MURCHISON SINGAPORE 1:38.055 +1.486
7 Alan VAN DER MERWE SOUTH AFRICA 1:38.220 +1.651
8 Ian DYK AUSTRALIA 1:38.524 +1.955
9 Oliver JARVIS GREAT BRITAIN 1:38.530 +1.961
10 Michele RUGOLO ITALY 1:38.542 +1.973
11 Ho-Pin TUNG CHINA 1:38.623 +2.054
12 Tuka ROCHA BRAZIL 1:38.690 +2.121
13 Richard LYONS IRELAND 1:39.262 +2.693
14 Sergio PEREZ MEXICO 1:39.294 +2.725
15 Alex KHATEEB LEBANON 1:39.830 +3.261
16 Parthiva SURESHWAREN INDIA 1:43.816 +7.247
17 Moreno SOEPRAPTO INDONESIA 1:45.544 +8.975
18 Nur ALI PAKISTAN 1:54.583 +18.014

02/01/07
irl
Penske drivers dominate final day at Daytona  Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Sam Hornish Jr., led the final day of the IndyCar Series' Open Test at the Daytona International Speedway.

Castroneves led the morning session with a lap of 1 minute, 12.6128 seconds, 134.852 mph in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone. Hornish was just behind at 1:12.7670, 134.566 mph in the No. 6 Team Penske Honda-powered Dallara. Dan Wheldon (134.438 mph), Tony Kanaan (134.299 mph) and Scott Dixon (134.120 mph) rounded out the fast five for the day.

"First, thanks to the Daytona track," Castroneves said. "This morning they went out and tried to fix Turn 5, which at the beginning we were swaying in and out. But it looks like in the end, people were getting use to it. There was certainly an improvement. The winds shifted today. That's why we had a little bit of a hard time. The wind was the opposite from yesterday and some corners, especially the bus stop, affected a lot of the drivers. At the end of the day, we were able to test quite well and try a lot of things. Both Sam and I tried to discuss everything. It was a great and productive test for Team Penske. More ...

02/01/07
industry news
Toyota sees sales climb 9.5%  Toyota Motor Corp.’s U.S. sales rose 9.5% for January to 175,850 vehicles. The Camry and RAV4, both redesigned last year, saw sales go up 14.7% and 27.1%. Sales of the Lexus LS460, the company’s top-end luxury car, almost tripled compared to its predecessor, the LS430. Sales of the Sienna, 4Runner and Sequoia all fell by double-digit percentages, but Toyota was able to more than make up for these losses through gains in the rest of its cars and trucks. The biggest Japanese automaker said it was its best-ever January for Lexus sales and for Toyota division sales.
02/01/07
motogp
Yamaha extends Rossi's contract  Yamaha Motor Co. has extended its contract with seven-time motorcycling world champion Valentino Rossi through 2008, the company announced Thursday.  Rossi, who turns 28 this month, will ride as part of Yamaha's Official Factory Team for another two seasons, Yamaha said in a statement. Rossi has won two MotoGP World Championship titles and 25 Grand Prix since joining the team in 2004, it said. "I'm very happy I renewed the contract with Yamaha until the end of 2008 so now I can just concentrate on racing this season," the statement quoted Rossi as saying.
02/01/07
f1
Schumacher fastest in Valencia Thursday  
Pos  Driver        Team                      Time      Laps
 1.  R.Schumacher  Toyota               (B)  1:11.297   60
 2.  Fisichella    Renault              (B)  1:11.621  121
 3.  Kovalainen    Renault              (B)  1:11.643  108
 4.  Alonso        McLaren-Mercedes     (B)  1:11.710   95
 5.  Heidfeld      BMW-Sauber           (B)  1:11.989   99
 6.  Raikkonen     Ferrari              (B)  1:12.360   66
 7.  de la Rosa    McLaren-Mercedes     (B)  1:12.361   69
 8.  Massa         Ferrari              (B)  1:12.418   98
 9.  Kubica        BMW-Sauber           (B)  1:12.857   20
10.  Button        Honda                (B)  1:12.976   77
11.  Davidson      Super Aguri-Honda    (B)  1:13.143  133
12.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Renault     (B)  1:13.450   59
13.  Rossiter      Honda                (B)  1:13.728   03
14.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault     (B)  1:13.796   23
15.  Nakajima      Williams-Toyota      (B)  1:13.945   82
02/01/07
irl
Corvette to again pace the Indy 500  The 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible will serve as the Official Pace Car for the 91st Indianapolis 500, a record fourth consecutive turn at the front of the field of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

It's the ninth time Corvette will pace the Indianapolis 500, a record for the event. The previous years were 1978, 1986, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006. It's the 18th time a Chevrolet will lead the field, also an event record.

The 91st Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with live coverage on ABC Sports and the IMS Radio Network. The Pace Car driver will be announced at a later date.

"Corvette is synonymous with speed to millions of worldwide automotive enthusiasts, so it's only fitting that the 2007 Corvette Convertible will pace the field for the 91st Indianapolis 500," IMS President Joie Chitwood said. "The heritage of Corvette performance that started with the first model in 1953 is a perfect match for the history and tradition of 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.'" More ...

02/01/07
ips
Andersen Racing to Field Indy Pro Series Car  Dan Andersen of Andersen Racing is pleased to announce that Joey Scarallo of Smithtown, N.Y. will drive an Andersen Racing entry in the 2007 Indy Pro Series.

Scarallo joins Andrew Prendeville of Morristown, N.J. as the drivers the Fairfield, N.J.-based team will use for the entire 16-race season. It begins Saturday, March 24 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla.

The Indy Pro Series is the official development series of IndyCar.  All the races will be televised on ESPN2. More ...

02/01/07
gp2
Trident announces Maldonado  Trident Racing announced today that Pastor Maldonado will drive for their GP2 team for 2007. "After reviewing all the proposals that I had for 2007, I think we have made the best decision in signing with Trident," said Maldonado.  "They are a very professional team with which we are going to work hard to fight for the top positions in GP2."
02/01/07
motogp
Phillip Island MotoGP Test – Day 3  The Repsol Honda pairing of Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa finished on top of the timesheets at the Phillip Island circuit today, setting the fastest lap times of the three-day MotoGP test. Demonstrating the continued progress of the new RC212V, both factory Honda riders were able to improve their pace on race tires, before taking the opportunity to try a flying lap on Michelin qualifying tires towards the end of the day.

World Champion Nicky Hayden was pleased with the day’s work as he put in a massive 101 laps on the prototype 800cc machine that will be campaigned for the first time at the season opener in Qatar on March 10. Finding a positive combination of chassis geometry, tires and suspension settings, the 25-year-old American was able to set consistently quick lap times and bring his best on race tires down to 1m 30.45s. Then, with the qualifier fitted, Hayden once again demonstrated the pace that took him to pole position here in September’s Australian Grand Prix by putting in a lap of 1m 29.52s – the fastest time of anyone over the three-day test. More ...

02/01/07
TV News
USA TV reminders for Thursday and Friday  
Courtesy of TVRacer.com

Thursday
NASCAR Preseason Thunder -Recap Las Vegas
12:00am-12:30am (R) SPEED
Classic NASCAR: 1990 Holly Farms 400 North Wilkesboro, NC
5:00pm-7:00pm (R) ESPN Classic
NASCAR Preseason Thunder 
7:00pm-7:30pm SPEED

Friday
AMA Supercross San Francisco
12:00pm-1:00pm (R) SPEED
NASCAR Preseason Thunder
7:00pm-7:30pm SPEED
Two Guys Go to PRI -2006
The Performance Racing Industry Trade Show Orlando, FL
8:00pm-9:00pm SPEED

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

02/01/07
cca
US RaceTronics Sizes Up the Competition  US RaceTronics (USRT) headed to Sebring International Raceway last week to participate in the first series-sanctioned open test of 2007.  And while the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda season opener in Las Vegas is a full two months away the team used this test as a critical part in preparing for the season.  Both USRT drivers David Garza and Carl Skerlong put some serious mileage on the cars during the two day test.  As the team continued to gel and the drivers continued to get comfortable with the cars, by the end of the test it was evident that this year’s talent pool was top notch.

Asked about the test USRT Team Owner Shane Seneviratne commented, “Overall I was pleased with the results.  With each test we keep making progress.  The fact that it rained on the second day really helped us in that it gave Carl and David some valuable experience running in the rain and helped us get familiar with our wet setup with the Cooper tires”.   “The competition this year is going to be very close so hard work and smart decision making is going to help us greatly”, adds Seneviratne.

For David Garza who will be piloting the # 4 Axtel/Madisa/Tecate/US RaceTronics Swift Mazda-Cosworth in 2007 the test confirmed what he knew already, that this year the competition would be fierce. “The test at Sebring went well.  We learned a lot about the car’s setup and how to work on the new tires, but most of all we learned how hard it is going to be just to be at the front of the grid. One small mistake can put you back 5 or 6 positions and every tenth is really fought out. This just means we have to work harder and the good results will come”, states Garza.

For Carl Skerlong who will pilot the # 24 King Taco/US RaceTronics Swift Mazda-Cosworth entry, the test also solidified the notion that this was going to be a demanding year for all drivers.  “This is going to be a super competitive championship this season,” reflected Skerlong.  “We spent the test working on a lot of different things with both the car and my driving style but you could see by how close the lap times were the level of competition in the Atlantics.  It’s good to spend more time with the team and we worked on our communication process as we develop our relationship ahead of the start of the season.  We accomplished a lot more than the lap times reflect and we definitely have a good starting point in terms of our car’s set-up prior to the next official test.”

US RaceTronics returns to testing mode in a couple of weeks at MSR Houston road circuit in Angleton, Texas.  The 2007 season officially gets underway at the inaugural Vegas Grand Prix Fueled by Visa, April 6th – 8th in Las Vegas.

02/01/07
irl
nascar
IRL drive Indy 500 out of top-10  The Indy 500 used to be ranked right up near the top of this ranking, but now that it is an IRL, it has fallen out of the top-10. Unfortunately the continued split between the IRL and Champ Car has driven the value of open wheel racing's most cherished event downward.

Rank Event Brand Value ($mil)
1 NFL Super Bowl 379
2 Olympic Games (Summer) 176
3 FIFA World Cup 103
4 NASCAR Daytona 500 91
5 Rose Bowl 88
6 NCAA Men's Final Four 82
7 Olympic Winter Games 82
8 Kentucky Derby 69
9 MLB World Series 56
10 NBA Finals 47 Forbes.com

02/01/07
irl
IRL drivers look silly at Daytona  Many of the 17 IRL IndyCar drivers who tested Wednesday on a modified road course at Daytona International Speedway had a tough time staying within the lines.  Helio Castroneves, Sam Hornish Jr. and Dario Franchitti were among the drivers who slid off the 10-turn, 2.72-mile track. There were a dozen full-course yellow flags during Wednesday's two sessions. USA Today 

[Editor's Note: No fans showed up to watch this test, and we doubt many fans will show up if the IRL ever raced at Daytona.  Fans have little interest watching races on Daytona's road course.  Yes, the infield was full for the 24 Hours of Daytona.  With 70 cars on the grid, a good chunk of the infield was taken up by team personnel vehicles.  As for the grandstands, empty as usual.]

02/01/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
'Too soon' to write off rivals - Alonso
Zonta, Piquet, both Renault 'reserves'
More bad weather but Alonso still on top
Kimi puts brave face on Ferrari pace
STR 'not ready' to name drivers - Berger
Schu back at wheel of Tony Kart
De la Rosa 'cautious' about new McLaren pace
Veterans Stepney, Dernie, leave F1 teams
Michelin gives new meaning to 'tire war'
Toyota go Japanese in quest for first F1 win
Williams, Spyker, to skip Abu Dhabi event
01/31/07
gp2
Pantano and Petrov to lead Campos GP2 effort  Campos Grand Prix have announced their new 2007 driver lineup that will consist of already proven race winner Giorgio Pantano and Russian racer Vitaly Petrov (pictured right), the two men set to lead the Spanish team’s quest for championship honors in the third year of the GP2 championship. "We start our third season in the GP2 Series with the aim of winning races and to see up to where we are capable of coming," said team boss Adrian Campos. "Pantano represents a sure bet because his quality is not in any doubt. Petrov will be the second driver. He already knows the category having disputed the last four meetings of 2006, and I hope that he adapts quickly to the team.”
01/31/07
Industry News
Ford sales fall 20%  Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday that it expects to post a 20 percent drop in January U.S. auto sales compared with the same month a year ago, largely on lower sales to rental-car companies.  But the automaker said its turnaround plan is on track.  Car companies report January sales Thursday. Sales by Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. should rise, but General Motors Corp. said last week it expects January sales to fall because of lower rental fleet sales.

[Editor's Note:  Let's see if we have this right.  Ford's sales fall 20% and they say their turnaround plan is on track.  We wonder how many MBAs it took to come to that brilliant conclusion?  They're in worse shape than we thought.  Order the flowers and plan the funeral.]

01/31/07
scca
Haas to be Inducted  Carl A. Haas will be inducted into the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Hall of Fame on Saturday night in San Antonio, Texas.  Hall of Fame inductees are selected for having made a significant contribution to the development and/or the preservation of SCCA that had a direct impact on the Club being the organization it is today.  The induction will be the culmination of the three day national convention being held at the Crowne Plaza Riverwalk February 1-3.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the SCCA,” said Haas.  “I joined the organization when I started racing and through the SCCA I have been able to meet and work with some phenomenal people such as Jim Hall, Peter Revson, Jackie Stewart, David Hobbs, Brian Redmond, Jacky Ickx, Paul Newman, Augie Pabst, Hap Sharp, Roger Penske, Dan Gurney and Mario and Michael Andretti, as well as many others.  The relationships I have forged through the SCCA have helped me achieve success in many areas of Motorsports and I thank the organization for the role it has played in this and the enjoyment it has brought.” More ...

01/31/07
ga
TV News
TV Ratings up for Rolex 24  The LIVE broadcast of the 2007 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve Rolex 24 At Daytona on SPEED set ratings records for the network over this past weekend. According to Nielsen Media Research, overall household viewership rose 26 percent (0.43 to 0.54) from year-over-year totals as Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Pruett, Juan Pablo Montoya and Salvador Duran teamed up for a dramatic overall victory in the No. 01 TELMEX/Target Lexus Riley.

Buoyed by FOX Sports lead-off broadcast, the Jan. 27, 2:30-6 pm, ET coverage window became the most-watched singular Rolex 24 At Daytona telecast in SPEED history. The network also enjoyed a three-day average increase of 28 percent over last year, as 458,000 viewers tuned into the telecast versus 359,000 in 2006. More ...

01/31/07
irl
Delphi to sponsor Panther Racing  Panther Racing announced that its No. 4 entry will be sponsored by Delphi Corporation for the next two seasons. The partnership comes as both Panther and Delphi are entering their 10th season of involvement in the IndyCar Series.

"We've known the great folks at Delphi for a long time now and we're honored that they've become a partner with Panther Racing," team co-owner John Barnes said. "Our team knows that this is the kind of boost we needed to get Vitor Meira to the front of the championship chase. We had a great run together last year, and we've got even bigger plans with Delphi for 2007 and 2008. Both Panther and Delphi have been winning races in this series for 10 years, and now it's time to win some together." More ...

01/31/07
a1gp
Summerton to be Rookie Test Driver  Jonathan Summerton is to be the Rookie Test Driver for the A1GP Team USA in Australia this weekend. Jonathan, who showed his speed last weekend in the Champ Car Atlantic car at Sebring, jetted off to Australia on a 22 hour flight on Monday. When asked about this golden opportunity Jonathan said, "I hope to prove to everyone that I am as fast as any A1GP driver, especially considering I have only been in the car for a couple of hours to date. I am thankful to Rick Weidinger for the opportunity. It is a privilege to represent the USA in A1GP, and  hopefully one day it will be in Formula 1. In addition, it is awesome to be visiting Australia."
01/31/07
irl
Kanaan tops first day at Daytona  UPDATE At the end of the day, Tony Kanaan had turned the fastest lap, 1 minute 12.2393 seconds, 135.549 mph in the No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Honda-powered Dallara. Kanaan's best lap, set late in the afternoon session, eclipsed the mark set by Helio Castroneves 1:12.3653, 135.313 mph.

"It is a good first day for the Team 7-Eleven crew," Kanaan said. "We were not really too worried about where we were going to finish, but obviously when you finish at the top, like we did today, it makes you feel good. It sure says a lot for all the work the guys did in the off-season.

"It's very early in the season and this really doesn't mean too much. We don't race here and it's just a test. What I am happy about is not the position we finished today, but what we accomplished with the setup and the changes we made to the Team 7-Eleven car. It was a pretty good day for us, for sure.

"I have to brag a little bit because I only have a few hours left and by tomorrow everyone will forget who was first today. Honestly, it is good for the boys who worked all winter long trying to catch up. It's a good first day and it will massage everyone's egos right now. I'm happy for my guys and it was a good day for us."

Afternoon Times

Pos Car Driver Time Gap to First Speed
1. 11 Tony Kanaan 1:12.2393 N/A 135.549
2. 3 Helio Castroneves 1:12.3653 0.1260 135.313
3. 10 Dan Wheldon 1:12.4121 0.0468 135.226
4. 27 Dario Franchitti 1:12.4613 0.0492 135.134
5. 6 Sam Hornish Jr 1:12.5033 0.0420 135.056
6. 9 Scott Dixon 1:12.8365 0.3332 134.438
7. 4 Vitor Meira 1:12.9935 0.1570 134.149
8. 8 Scott Sharp 1:13.5587 0.5652 133.118
9. 55 Kosuke Matsuura 1:13.6206 0.0619 133.006
10. 26 Marco Andretti 1:13.7594 0.1388 132.756
11. 17 Jeff Simmons 1:13.9616 0.2022 132.393
12. 14 Darren Manning 1:14.2641 0.3025 131.854
13. 2 Tomas Scheckter 1:14.2794 0.0153 131.827
14. 7 Danica Patrick 1:14.4986 0.2192 131.439
15. 15 Buddy Rice 1:14.5694 0.0708 131.314
16. 20 Ed Carpenter 1:15.5953 1.0259 129.532
17. 22 AJ Foyt IV 1:16.5095 0.9142 127.984

01/31/07 The IndyCar Series kicked off a two-day spring training test session at historic Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday.

The roar of 17 IndyCar Series teams can be heard throughout a 2.73-mile road course at the "The World Center of Racing." The teams are using the two-day test at DIS to prep for the five road/street course events on the 2007 IndyCar Series schedule.

The preseason test is the second visit for the IndyCar Series to Daytona International Speedway. Last September, the IndyCar Series held a compatibility test at Daytona International Speedway with four teams - Chip Ganassi Racing, Penske Racing, Panther Racing and Andretti Green Racing.

Said Andretti Green Racing's Tony Kanaan during the lunch break: "I walked into this place in September, it was my first time ever here, and I was pretty impressed. Again, last night when I walked in the gate, it always gives you that passion like it's Daytona. You're in Daytona." More ...

01/31/07
nascar
Bristol testing open to public  With NASCAR debuting the Car of Tomorrow [COT] during the Food City 500 weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway March 23-25, Nextel Cup teams will be visiting the famed half-mile oval in advance to put the new car through its paces. The Feb. 28-March 1 COT test session, which is expected to feature nearly every Nextel Cup team, will be open to the public both days. The test sessions will begin at 9:00am and end at 5:00pm/et. An hour break in on-track action is scheduled from noon to 1:00pm/et each day. Fans wishing to watch the test sessions will enter BMS through the South entrance and will enter the backstretch grandstands through Gate 6. Parking will be in the lot directly across from Gate 6. Spectator gates will open at 8:45am. both days. Concessions also will be available for spectators. Tickets for the races are available online at http://www.bristoltix.com/ or may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office at (423) 989-6900. BMS PR
01/31/07
nascar
RCR Announces 2007 Driver Development Program  Richard Childress Racing (RCR) will run its 2007 Driver Development Program through the Golden Gate Racing Team (GGRT) with drivers Tim McCreadie and Ryan Foster competing in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series.

GGRT, headed by Jim Offenbach, competed in the NASCAR Grand National Division West Series from 1997 to 1999 with a lineup of drivers that included Mike Skinner, Mike Dillon, Steve Portenga and Jay Sauter. Portenga, who finished fifth in the final standings in 1999 while driving the GGRT entry in the series, will serve as the team’s crew chief this year. More ...

01/31/07
irl
IRL's Tony George to leads Indy's bid for Super Bowl  Indianapolis Motor Speedway Chief Executive Officer Tony George was named as one of four co-chairs of the organization that is working to bring Super Bowl XLV to Indianapolis in 2011.

George, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson were announced as co-chairs of Indianapolis 2011, Inc. during a press conference Jan. 31 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.

"I am looking forward to participating in the effort to bring the Super Bowl to Indianapolis in 2011," George said. "We are up against stiff competition, but I will do whatever I can to help get the job done."

If Super Bowl XLV was awarded to Indianapolis, the game would be played in Lucas Oil Stadium, the state-of-the-art future home of the Indianapolis Colts currently under construction in downtown Indianapolis and scheduled to open in fall 2008. More ...

01/31/07
f1
Williams axe Dernie  Engineer Frank Dernie will not continue working with Williams this year, autosport.com reports, after it was agreed that his contract with the team would not be renewed.
01/31/07
nascar
Past Champions Limited To 6 Provisional Berths  NASCAR announced today an update to the past champion’s provisional rule in the Nextel Cup Series for 2007. Beginning this season, a past champion’s provisional may be used by an eligible driver a maximum of six times over the course of the season. In addition, a team with a past champion eligible driver may only use this provisional a maximum of six times during a season. Previously, there was no limit on usage of the past champion’s provisional over the course of the 36-race season. The provisional gives the eligible driver the 43rd and final starting position in the race field. "As NASCAR seeks to place more emphasis on competition, we have decided the time is right to limit the number of provisionals allowed,” said NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton. “We believe this revision brings the provisional policy in line with the continued growth of the sport.” NASCAR PR
01/31/07
cca
Gelles Racing ahead on testing schedule  Indianapolis, Indiana – Gelles Racing successfully completed the Champ Car Atlantic first official test days in Sebring last weekend and technical director Gerald Tyler was all smiles by the time the last of the eight sessions was over. Everything went according to our established testing plan as the team was working with different scenarios simulating set ups applicable to future road courses. Drivers Maxi Götz and Alan Sciuto demonstrated they can pace the field with consistent Top-5 times. Team owner Bob Gelles agreed the team is quickly gelling with the official testing season now underway and will be ready to win in 67 days at the first race in Las Vegas.

˝We’re very happy with the way the testing sessions went, mentioned team principal Bob Gelles. Maxi and Alan were very quick in the dry; Sunday morning in the wet, Maxi proved he is the Rain Meister lapping the circuit a full second ahead of all competitors on the new Cooper rain compounds while Alan was an impressive P3. I’m especially happy with the direction the team is taking since everyone on the team is working in harmony and with amazing team chemistry. Gerald (Tyler) is really leading this team well and his goal is to be ready by Vegas in April.” More ...

01/31/07
f1
Abu Dhabi F1 festival schedule  This Saturday, the first F1 Festival at Abu Dhabi will take place in the city of Abu Dhabi to cement interest in the city hosting an F1 race in the near future. The street circuit will stretch along Abu Dhabi's city waterfront, running from the Emirates Palace, along the Corniche through to the Marina Mall. The route has been designed to give the public the best possible views as the event is free for the public. The event will see the biggest gathering of F1 cars and drivers outside a Grand Prix.

The full schedule is as follows:

09:00: Road closures in place. Entertainment begins on big screens.
09:30: Drivers practice in FIA Safety Car - to be shown on big screens.
10:00: VIP pit visit, led by ex-driver Martin Brundle - to be shown on big screens.
10:40: Driver parade.
11:00: Formula One cars perform a lap of the circuit, one team at a time.
12:10: Formula One cars perform a final lap in 2006 championship order.
12:20: Fly-past by Etihad Airways.
12:25: Event concludes.

01/31/07
f1
Nakajima tests, Alonso fastest  The Williams team returned to testing in the week leading up to the launch of the new FW29 this Friday. The day started with wet conditions affecting the drivers ability to complete test schedules. It cleared up later in the day allowing Kazuki Nakajima to commence testing in the interim Toyota powered car. But the Japanese driver would not have the best of days brining out three red flags, two due to mechanical problems and one when he went off track in the afternoon.

AT&T Williams Test Team Manager Mike Condliffe commented: "Kazuki was driving in Valencia today on a damp track with poor grip, particularly in the morning session. We were mainly testing the gearbox and various software throughout the day. Today's running was interrupted by no less than 10 red flags, a function of the number of cars and the slippery surface." Nico will drive the FW28 and Alex will continue his program in the FW27C.

Pos Driver Team Best Time Total Laps
1 F Alonso McLaren 1:12.741 78 / 99
2 N Piquet Renault F1 1:13.543 26 / 31
3 S Vettel BMW Sauber 1:13.665 74 /85
4 F Montagny Renault F1 1:13.678 30 / 37
5 K Raikkonen Ferrari 1:13.691 33 / 45
6 J Trulli Toyota 1:13.734 59 / 60
7 G Fisichella Renault F1 1:13.863 31 / 38
8 N Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:13.866 56 / 59
9 R Barrichello Honda 1:14.003 36 / 37
10 K Nakajima AT&T Williams 1:14.519 76 / 81
11 J Rossiter Honda 1:14.833 32 / 46
12 T Sato Super Aguri 1:15.677 28 / 33
13 M Webber Red Bull 1:15.722 31 / 32
14 L Badoer Ferrari 1:16.391 47 / 48
01/31/07
f1
Lost chassis a McLaren 'blow' - de la Rosa  (GMM) Pedro de la Rosa says McLaren rookie Lewis Hamilton's big crash last week is a "blow" to the Woking team.

The team's Spanish test driver, who was disappointed to miss out on the race seat alongside countryman Fernando Alonso this year, told the newspaper 'Marca' that the badly damaged MP4-22 - one of just two finished 2007 McLarens that was destroyed against a Valencia tire barrier - has set the silver camp back a few days.

"We have lost several days right in the middle of the preseason," de la Rosa said, "so we must recover quickly.

"The important thing is that Lewis is fine and I am sure he will recover from the fright. But it is of course not a good thing that he is not out there with Fernando (at Valencia).

"He will have to work doubly hard when the car is ready."

De la Rosa, however, admitted that it is possible that the damaged chassis might be out of action for the rest of the test week.

01/31/07
f1
Still wet at Valencia  (GMM)  Wednesday morning at Valencia dawned brighter but still damp as formula one's first group test of 2007 continued.

Cars were fitted with Bridgestone's wet weather products before lunch, with runners including David Coulthard and Ralf Schumacher getting a taste of their new mounts.

'Friday' driver Guido van der Garde was also spotted in pit lane, as the young Dutchman prepares to run in a Super Aguri in order to qualify for his Super License.

01/31/07
irl
Danica’s husband in hot water  The husband of race car driver Danica Patrick, Paul Hospenthal (pictured right next to Helio Castroneves and Danica - Photo courtesy the IRL), is in trouble for a past relationship -- before he was married. A woman claims she and Hospenthal had a sexual relationship years ago while she was his patient and just 16 years old. Hospenthal, a high profile physical therapist in Scottsdale, has worked with professional golfers and baseball players. But according a document from the State of Arizona, he crossed the line with one patient.

Patrick is about the hottest thing on wheels -- race car driver, spokesperson and model. But her husband recently hit a career speed-bump and is being disciplined by the State Board of Physical Therapy. It seems he has a weakness for young girls.

It started with a simple email. A woman wrote the board with questions. But she also claimed the two had a consensual sexual relationship seven years ago and that they had sex at least once in his office. She also claimed that the relationship started when she was his patient -- at the age of 16. Hospenthal, now 40, admits to bad judgment. He admits to have had taken the girl to his home a couple of times, having her clean and helping her with homework.

In the end, the board agreed unanimously siding with her and punishing him. Hospenthal was issued a public reprimand -- six months probation -- where he's stays on the job and attends classes on patient boundaries. He did not appeal. More at KTVKI News

01/31/07
tv news
National Geographic special "Moonshine"  UPDATE Reminder: Footage from the National Geographic Channel special entitled "Moonshine" will be shown tonight on "NASCAR Preseason Thunder" at 7 p.m. ET.

01/29/07 SPEED will offer NASCAR fans a first look at footage from the upcoming National Geographic Channel special entitled “Moonshine” Wednesday night on “NASCAR Preseason Thunder” at 7 p.m. ET.

It is called “Moonshine,” “Rot Gut” or even “White Lightning.” It is the rebel liquor that sparked a deadly war between bootleggers and the law during prohibition and launched NASCAR as a nationwide sensation.  Who created “Moonshine”? What crafty tricks keep these outlaws one step ahead of the law?  And is “Moonshine” safe to drink?  National Geographic Channels travels to the Appalachian backwoods to uncover the secrets behind this unlawful liquor.  Meet Junior Johnson, the legendary NASCAR driver who got his start as a “Moonshine” hauler, and the late Benny Parsons, a legendary NASCAR Champion, and head to the Indy Racing League track to see who is really putting “Moonshine” in their tanks.

The National Geographic Channel world premiere of “Moonshine” is scheduled for Feb. 6 at 9 p.m. ET. Unedited footage from the special will be available on NGC.com and SPEEDtv.com later this week.

01/31/07
f1
Give 100% - Chevrier  The ING Renault F1 Team chief on-track engineer, Denis Chevrier, comments on the changes made to the sporting regulations for the 2007 season and the supply of the Renault V8 engine to the Red Bull Racing Team.

Denis, how have the sporting regulations evolved for this year?
“The main change concerns the grand prix weekend. Friday is now considered a test day and the grand prix build-up will really begin on Saturday. Henceforth, the life-cycle of the engines will be four days for two grand prix weekends, and each V8 will cover fewer kilometers than in 2005 and 2006.”

Will Renault use all of Friday to prepare for the weekend?
“Not entirely. As the number of private test days per car has been limited this season, we’re going to use Friday to implement an on-going technical agenda, and take advantage of this additional test day to spread out our development program over the season.”

What will the supply to Red Bull change in terms of trackside exploitation?
“In certain areas our relationship with Red Bull will be very open but in other cases it will be completely separate from our 100% Renault activity. We’ll be rivals out on the track. The only exception to this rule will occur when we have to react very quickly to an engine issue. Then there’ll be complete openness to make sure that the V8s are working in the best possible conditions.” More ...

01/31/07
nascar
Sadler fastest Tuesday  Dodge driver Elliott Sadler was the fastest overall as NASCAR Preseason Thunder Las Vegas concluded. Sadler's best lap of 28.606 sec./188.772 mph was more than one mile per hour faster than second-place driver Scott Riggs (187.318 mph).  Listed below are the top 20 times and speeds overall for Tuesday.

Pos   Driver              Make          Time          Speed
 1. Elliott Sadler      (Dodge)      28.606 sec.     188.772 mph.
 2. Scott Riggs         (Dodge)      28.828 sec.     187.318 mph.
 3. David Gilliland     (Ford)       28.850 sec.     187.175 mph.
 4. David Stremme       (Dodge)      28.854 sec.     187.149 mph.
 5. Johnny Sauter       (Chevrolet)  28.867 sec.     187.065 mph.
 6. Jeff Green          (Chevrolet)  28.907 sec.     186.806 mph.
 7. Clint Bowyer        (Chevrolet)  28.943 sec.     186.574 mph.
 8. Bobby Labonte       (Dodge)      28.990 sec.     186.271 mph.
 9. Michael Waltrip     (Toyota)     29.007 sec.     186.162 mph.
10. Aric Almirola       (Chevrolet)  29.022 sec.     186.066 mph.
11. Tony Stewart        (Chevrolet)  29.059 sec.     186.829 mph.
12. Jeremy Mayfield     (Toyota)     29.098 sec.     185.580 mph.
13. Joe Nemechek        (Chevrolet)  29.104 sec.     185.542 mph.
14. Jimmie Johnson      (Chevrolet)  29.125 sec.     185.408 mph.
15. Mark Martin         (Chevrolet)  29.134 sec.     185.350 mph.
16. Jon Wood            (Ford)       29.143 sec.     185.293 mph.
17. Ricky Rudd          (Ford)       29.145 sec.     185.280 mph.
18. Sterling Marlin     (Chevrolet)  29.155 sec.     185.217 mph.
19. Kevin Harvick       (Chevrolet)  29.179 sec.     185.065 mph.
20. Dale Earnhardt Jr.  (Chevrolet)  29.180 sec.     185.058 mph.

01/31/07
industry news
Big 3's call for U.S. aid gets cool reception  The opening round of congressional hearings this year on global warming and alternative fuels showed one fact is clear: The climate for automakers on Capitol Hill is becoming increasingly unforgiving.   While General Motors Corp. asked Congress on Tuesday to dramatically increase federal support for the development of advanced powertrain technologies, it faced skepticism from lawmakers clamoring for tougher fuel economy mandates.

Momentum is building in Washington to force automakers to markedly improve the fuel efficiency of their vehicles -- a requirement that could cost them billions of dollars by forcing them to produce smaller cars and more hybrids, or even drop out of some market segments. More ...

01/31/07
nascar
Allmendinger wrecks yet again  UPDATE "I felt something wasn't right with the car and I wasn't sure whether we should come in to pit or stay out," Allmendinger said. "I decided to stay out another lap, and unfortunately the right front tire blew going into Turn 2 and we brushed the wall."  Blown Goodyear tires, a right of passage in NASCAR.

01/30/07 About 10 minutes into the Tuesday test session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, #84-A.J. Allmendinger crashed again in the turn 2. Allmendinger looped the car coming out of two and damaged the drivers side. It appears Red Bull Racing is putting Allmendinger in the #83 Toyota back-up car of teammate Brian Vickers. Allmendinger also wrecked on Monday. PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show 

[Editor's Note: The majority of crashes so far, and there have been 4 or 5, have been caused by Goodyear's inferior tires popping.  How many more years must this continue?  When is NASCAR going to sign on a proper tire manufacturer, when someone gets killed and they have to bring out the body bags?]

01/31/07
motogp
Honda: Phillip Island MotoGP Test – Day 2  Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa were back on track today as the second MotoGP test of 2007 resumed at Phillip Island. The fine weather allowed the Repsol Honda pair to complete many valuable miles as they continue the development of the new-for-2007 RC2112V. Both riders significantly improved their lap times from yesterday as they worked on chassis, engine and Michelin tire testing.

World Champion Nicky Hayden ran a series of tests on geometry settings and tire options as he and his crew adjusted the machine to suit the 4.448km (2.764 miles) Australian circuit. Completing an impressive 91 laps, the 25-year-old American was able to take 0.57s off his best from yesterday, setting a lap time of 1m 30.61s on race tires, with further set-up improvements expected tomorrow.

Dani Pedrosa also upped his pace today as he again worked on chassis, suspension and engine settings. In the afternoon the 21-year-old from Barcelona, Spain focused on adjusting the power characteristics of the 800cc V4 powerplant to allow him to get the most from the new engine. Pedrosa also spent time with the Michelin technicians as they continued the tire testing schedule, setting a best lap of 1m 30.45s today. More ...

01/31/07
nascar
Montoya Anticipates Learning Curve  Buoyed by a good night’s sleep and a sense of accomplishment, Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) embarked on a second day of preseason testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Tuesday, continuing his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series education.

And, his pursuit of excellence.

Forty-eight hours and three time zones removed from Sunday’s victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway, Montoya was turning stock-car laps after co-driving Sunday’s winning entry with Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Pruett and Salvador Duran.

“It was a great experience actually to get back in the car,” Montoya said of his 3,400-pound NASCAR NEXTEL Cup car. More ...

01/31/07
lmes
Audi engined Lola gets set for Le Mans  Lola will be working with yet another high profile manufacturer in 2007 after it was announced today that the Geneva based Swiss Spirit team will race a Lola B07/10 in this years Le Mans 24 Hours and Le Mans Series with factory support from Audi.

With an all Swiss driver line up of Marcel Fassler and Jean Denis Deletraz, the team are sure to be front runners with the Audi V8 bi-turbo powered Lola LMP1. Today's announcement means that Lola now have programs involving three manufacturers; Acura (Honda), Mazda and now the manufacturer that has recently re-written the sportscar history books - Audi.

Last season the Swiss Spirit team competed in a full European program with the French, Courage chassis manufacturer. With Fassler continuing with the team for 2007 it was decided to upgrade to the Lola B07/10 chassis, that proved to be the only consistent challenger to the Audi R10's in last seasons American Le Mans Series. More ...
01/31/07
f1
DC disappointed with new Barca bend  (GMM)  David Coulthard says he is "disappointed" with the revised layout at Spanish grand prix venue Circuit de Catalunya.

After checking out the changes at the Barcelona track last week during the launch of Red Bull's new 'RB3' car, the veteran Scot suggested that officials had missed an opportunity to consult drivers before penning the slower section.

'Europcar', the previously quick right hander near the end of the lap, has been tightened, now leading into a slow 90-degree left instead of immediately connecting to the super fast final bend.

35-year-old Coulthard insisted that he supports the improvement of safety but said he is "disappointed" that most drivers didn't even know the changes were going to happen.

He said: "I don't know anyone who looks at this and thinks 'wow, what a really nice solution'.

"I don't know any driver who knew about the changes."

01/31/07
a1gp
Karthikeyan to complete 'A1' season after Oz  (GMM)  Narain Karthikeyan will return to the A1GP circuit after this weekend's Sydney race, it has emerged.

The 30-year-old debuted impressively for 'Team India' in New Zealand earlier this month, but has to sit out the subsequent round in Australia because it clashes with the launch of Williams' new formula one car for 2007.

Karthikeyan is an official test driver for the Oxfordshire squad.

"Unfortunately Narain has to head for the UK this weekend," said Team India's Yohann Setna, "but the good news is that he will race for us in the four subsequent rounds."

After Australia, A1 heads to Durban, Mexico City, Shanghai and Brands Hatch.

01/31/07
f1
Alonso ’not as good’ as reputation - Briatore  (GMM)  Flavio Briatore has played down the contribution made to Renault's recent success by the now departed back to back champion Fernando Alonso.

The Spanish racer, who has switched to McLaren for a new challenge, scored 267 points compared to 2007 team leader Giancarlo Fisichella's 130 in 2005 and last year, but boss Briatore insists that the Enstone based team is the real star.

"Fernando is good," the Italian told Auto Motor und Sport, "but not as good as many people think."

Briatore is putting his faith in the Roman 33-year-old Fisichella, to be partnered at Renault this year by rookie Finn Heikki Kovalainen.

Referring to Fisichella, he said: "He beat all of his teammates until he came to Fernando."

Briatore also enthused about 25-year-old Kovalainen, who he says "reminds me of a young Schumacher or Alonso", even if Flavio admits that pressuring Heikki to immediately emulate Alonso's feats would be "wrong".

But he said: "There is no reason why he cannot become as good as Fernando.  Heikki is our investment into the future."

01/31/07
f1
Kubica hails Spa return, mourns Suzuka  (GMM)  Robert Kubica has hailed the return of Belgium's legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit to the F1 calendar in 2007, but mourns the departure of Suzuka.

Due to the bankruptcy of the promoter and lagging circuit improvements, Spa fell off the schedule in 2006, but returns for 2007 with new facilities and a slightly altered layout.

"I think it is very good that Spa is back," Kubica, the rookie Pole who drives for BMW-Sauber, said this week.

22-year-old Kubica has not driven a formula one car at the forest-lined venue in the Belgian Ardennes, but he knows Spa well after his junior career.

He compared the historic Belgian venue to Suzuka, which has lost the Japanese grand prix to the refurbished and Toyota-sponsored Fuji.

"I will miss Suzuka," Kubica lamented.  "It was very nice to compete at that challenging track in 2006.

"I don't know much about Fuji.  I saw a bit of film footage about the track when I was in Tokyo recently; it looks quite interesting but it is not the same as Suzuka which is really unique."

01/31/07
f1
Alonso collides with Badoer at Valencia  (GMM) World champion Fernando Alonso on Tuesday had his first noteworthy on-track incident of the year.

As the first major group test of 2007 got going at Valencia, the Spaniard reportedly punted Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer (right) from behind and into the gravel.

His new McLaren later stopped with an oil leak, but it had already clocked a best time nearly a full second clear of Kimi Raikkonen's F2007 Ferrari.

Badoer, meanwhile, struck mechanical trouble in the older '248'.

It was wet and cold in the east of Spain, with many of the fourteen runners not lapping seriously until the track dried late in the day.

Bridgestone's new wet weather tire, however, saw its first action, but no fewer than ten red flags slowed the progress, moving Renault to announce the extension of the test to also include Friday.

James Rossiter flicked up gravel in one off-track moment, but Williams' Kazuki Nakajima was a serial offender, with three spins.

Mark Webber also went off track in the new Red Bull, as did Franck Montagny, whose 'TF107' Toyota stopped with a mechanical issue in front of more than 5000 spectators and 100 media.

Jarno Trulli also had his first run in the new red and white car and observed: "It is still too early to judge but my first impressions were positive."

McLaren ran with just one MP4-22 because the second is still being repaired back at Woking following Lewis Hamilton's huge shunt at the circuit last week.

BMW struck trouble with the F1.07 -- Sebastian Vettel was observed with an apparent engine failure, and Nick Heidfeld also spent time in the garage for repairs.

Better weather is forecast for Wednesday.

"We basically lost a day's work but that can happen at this time of the year," said Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella.

01/30/07
nascar
3M unveils NASCAR sponsorship program  Officials from 3M have unveiled a NASCAR sponsorship program for 2007 that includes backing a Nextel Cup race, a Cup team and a Busch Series team.  The program includes title sponsorship of the 3M Performance 400 Nextel Cup race at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 19.  Also, the No. 16 Roush Racing Ford of Greg Biffle will carry 3M sponsorship for seven Cup races, while the No. 16 Roush Busch team of Biffle and Todd Kluever will carry primary sponsorship from 3M for all 35 races.
01/30/07
Track News
TMS to be featured on The Weather Channel  The Weather Channel’s “Road Crew” recently stopped by Texas Motor Speedway while shooting segments in the Fort Worth area. The “Road Crew” spent time with Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage to discuss how TMS prepares for inclement weather during race weekends to accommodate drivers and race fans. The segment, filmed Jan. 10, is scheduled to air Wednesday between 8-10 p.m. CT. The feature will re-air during Super Bowl weekend. It also can be viewed by visiting www.weather.com.
01/30/07
Track News
TMS to run ads  Texas Motor Speedway recently completed production for its television ad campaign for April’s Samsung 500. Two spots were created, with the first scheduled to run during the Daytona 500 in three states that cover 11 markets, including Dallas/Ft. Worth, Oklahoma City and Austin. The second spot will run in Dallas/Ft. Worth and Oklahoma City in the weeks preceding the Samsung 500 race weekend. NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver and Texas native David Starr is a featured “guest” in the television spots.
01/30/07
irl
IRL qualifying shifts nights  Indy Racing League IndyCar Series qualifying for the Bombardier Learjet 550k, traditionally run on the same evening as the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series qualifying, will move to Friday, June 8. IRL qualifying, which will begin at 6 p.m., will be followed by the Sam’s Town 400 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at 8 p.m. The Indy cars will be on track for practice Thursday, June 7, but that evening will be reserved for NCTS qualifying exclusively, beginning at 6 p.m.
01/30/07
Track News
Fans can bid to be in Pro/Celebrity race  If you've ever dreamed of racing wheel-to-wheel against a field of stars from TV, movies and the sports world on America's most famous street circuit, now's your chance!

Beginning Monday, February 5, you can bid on a seat in the starting lineup to race along side a star-studded field in the 31st annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, part of the 33rd annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend April 13-15, by logging on to www.longbeachgp.com.

Bidding begins at $50,000 and runs from 12:01 a.m. Feb. 5 through midnight Wednesday, Feb. 14.  All proceeds from the winning bid will go to the Grand Prix Foundation of Long Beach which, since its inception, has contributed more than $2 million to a wide cross-section of charitable organizations throughout the greater Long Beach area. More ...

01/30/07
Track News
Vegas Grand Prix road improvements nearing completion  Resurfacing and improvements to the 2.44-mile, 12-turn track for the Vegas Grand Prix is progressing well, according to Chris Kneifel, circuit manager for the event scheduled to race through the streets of downtown Las Vegas April 6-8. The City of Las Vegas Department of Public Works has already completed about 80 percent of the street improvements required for the race.

Presented by DDB Ventures, the inaugural festival of speed and entertainment will include Champ Car World Series, Champ Car Atlantic and Historic Grand Prix races along with concerts, boxing matches, a charity gala, a poker tournament and more.

Recently, Main Street was repaved from Bonneville Avenue to Carson Avenue, while Carson has been resurfaced from Main Street to First Street and from Casino Center Boulevard to Fourth Street. The intersection of Grand Central Parkway and Bonneville was also resurfaced with additional work scheduled on Grand Central Parkway in February following a major function at the World Market Center.

Additional work around the Golden Nugget bordered by Casino Center Boulevard, First Street and Bridger Avenue is also being completed soon.

For Vegas Grand Prix tickets, event and volunteer information, visit www.vegasgrandprix.com.

01/30/07
track news
Baltimore Orioles Legend to Pace Daytona 500 Field  Cal Ripken Jr., best known as baseball's "Iron Man", playing in a record 2,632 straight games for the Baltimore Orioles, will be behind the wheel of a 2007 Chevrolet Corvette as he paces the field for the 49th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway.

Voted to baseball's Hall of Fame in 2007, his consecutive games played record, which took 16 years to establish, made him a popular player with baseball fans everywhere as evidenced by his 19 All-Star Game appearances.

"The Daytona 500 is one of the most storied sporting events in the country and I am thrilled and honored to be a part of it. NASCAR drivers are tremendous athletes and I look forward to being in that environment," said Ripken. More ...

01/30/07
nascar
Evernham Motorsports Announces Promotions  STATESVILLE, N.C. – Evernham Motorsports announced today the promotions of four senior team members who, along with Ray Evernham, team owner and CEO of Evernham Motorsports, comprise the leadership of the organization.

Rick Russell, who has been with Evernham Motorsports since 2000, was promoted to president in addition to his current responsibilities as general manager and chief financial officer. He will oversee all operations of the company in the United States and Evernham’s operations in the United Kingdom. Russell has been instrumental in building Evernham Motorsports’ business operations, including capital development, financial management and facility expansions.

Dr. Eric Warren was promoted to vice president in addition to his current responsibilities as technical director. A member of Evernham Motorsports since 2002, he leads the company’s engineering operations. Under Dr. Warren's leadership, the company has continued to reinvest a growing amount into technology and engineering resources. Dr. Warren has also directed Evernham Motorsports’ development of the Dodge Charger and the Dodge Avenger for NASCAR competition. More ...

01/30/07
nascar
NASCAR looking for $30 million from new sponsor  NASCAR is seeking approximately $30 million annually to sponsor its second series, multiple sources close to ongoing negotiations told ESPN.com on Monday. The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that is roughly twice the annual investment Anheuser-Busch forked out to sponsor the series with its Busch brand for the past several years. Sources say there is no clear front-runner at this point, but did admit that previously-speculated suitors Subway, Samsung and Wal-Mart are accurate. Sources also said Dunkin Donuts is a player, and that NASCAR met with Allstate last week. One key issue, though, is potential conflicts with existing sponsors. Sources said NASCAR went through all sponsors that would present conflicts with NASCAR's official partners, the race teams and tracks -- which is where Allstate presents an issue; all six Speedway Motorsports tracks are sponsored by Nationwide -- and created a short list before approaching existing partners to gauge interest. One source said the best-case scenario is to close the deal within the next three months. Asked for worst case, the source said "it doesn't sell." Asked for comment on the matter, NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston didn't deny the accuracy of the speculation and did say there is plenty of interest from corporate America. "I can confirm that there has been great interest from a number of multinational companies that are interested in this sponsorship," Poston said. "The entitlement would provide the eventual sponsor over $100 million annually in brand exposure, and that, along with the partnership with ESPN2, makes this a very desirable position in sports." ESPN.com
01/30/07
f1
Alonso fastest on opening day  McLaren driver Fernando Alonso was the fastest man on the first day of testing at Valencia this week. He was well clear of the rest.

Valencia F1 testing times – Tuesday:

1) Alonso, McLaren-Mercedes (B), 1:12.563, 65 laps
2) Raikkonen, Ferrari (B), 1:13.529, 47
3) Piquet, Renault (B), 1:13.549, 27
4) Montagny, Toyota (B), 1:13.672, 33
5) Vettel, BMW-Sauber (B), 1:13.683, 75
6) Trulli, Toyota (B), 1:13.735, 60
7) Heidfeld, BMW-Sauber (B), 1:13.848, 49
8) Fisichella, Renault (B), 1:13.867, 34
9) Barrichello, Honda (B), 1:14.026, 29
10) Nakajima, Williams-Toyota (B), 1:14.520, 51
11) Rossiter, Honda (B), 1:14.643, 37
12) Sato, Super Aguri-Honda (B), 1:15.674, 27
13) Webber, Red Bull-Renault (B), 1:15.726, 27
14) Badoer, Ferrari (B), 1:16.334, 35

01/30/07
nascar
ABC to televise six Busch races in 2007  Six NASCAR Busch Series races will be televised on ABC this season - Las Vegas (March 10), Atlanta (March 17), Bristol (March 24), Talladega (April 28), New Hampshire (June 30) and Chicago (July 14).  The rest will be n ESPN/ESPN2.
01/30/07
f1
Kimi tests new Ferrari at Valencia  (GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen on Tuesday made his debut at the wheel of Ferrari's new car.

In damp conditions at Valencia, the Finn started work in the 'F2007', accompanied on track by some key rivals for this season including world champion Fernando Alonso, in the McLaren MP4-22.

Renault test driver Nelson Piquet Jr steered Renault's newly-liveried R27, while in a plain white helmet Mark Webber got the 2007 Red Bull on track.

Jarno Trulli was spotted on track in Toyota's TF107, and Nick Heidfeld at the wheel of the 'F1.07' BMW.  Honda and Super Aguri were also on track.

01/30/07
f1
Montoya may have thrived at Honda - Fry  (GMM)  Nick Fry says Juan Pablo Montoya's formula one career would have developed differently had he raced for Honda.

The Japanese squad's principal argued to 'Motorsport Aktuell' that nurturing driver psychology is an aspect of the sport that is often not given enough consideration by teams.

Colombian Montoya, now a fixture of the American NASCAR scene, raced for Williams and McLaren between 2001 and last year and notably ended both relationships by falling out with his bosses.

Fry said: "I am sure that Juan Pablo would have developed differently with us, because we also consider the mental side."

01/30/07
a1gp
A1GP gets ready for Eastern Creek return  Eastern Creek, Australia – A1GP World Cup of Motorsport organizers have high hopes for the seventh race meeting on their 2006/07 calendar which will be held at the Eastern Creek International Raceway this weekend (2-4 February). The New South Wales track attracted over 50,000 race fans for its first A1GP weekend 15 months ago and it was declared a great success.

A1 Team Australia will once again be lead by Karl Reindler, with Ian Dyk as Rookie, and for Alan Jones, Seat Holder for A1 Team Australia, there is a feeling that the home-crowd advantage combined with local track knowledge will bolster the Team and regain some of the fantastic momentum that they started the season with.

“When you hear the roar of the crowd and see the wash of green and gold supporters, you can’t help but pick up your game and give it your all! Last year was an extraordinary display of national spirit, but we do have a fantastic multi-cultural mix here in Australia so although we plan to use the home-crowd to our own advantage I know that every team out there will find their fair share of supporters. But that will just make the racing and the competition all the more exciting!” said Alan. More ...

01/30/07
f1
Super Aguri to launch in March  The Super Aguri F1 team will launch its car for the 2007 FIA Formula One™ World Championship, the SA07, on Monday 12th March in Tokyo, Japan.
01/30/07
tv news
nascar
ESPN names Said and Compton  NASCAR drivers Boris Said and Stacy Compton and popular urban radio host Doug Banks have joined the experienced team of hosts, analysts and reporters for NASCAR’s return to ESPN’s multimedia platforms in 2007. The three will be part of NASCAR Now, ESPN’s first-ever daily news show totally dedicated to NASCAR, debuting Monday, Feb. 5 [at 6:30pm/et]. Said and Compton will bring their years of racing experience to NASCAR Now as expert analysts, joining two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Tim Brewer and five-time NBA All-Star and former winning NASCAR team owner Brad Daugherty in that position. Banks will contribute to the show’s host role with primary host Erik Kuselias. NASCAR Now will air at 6:30pm/et Monday through Friday on ESPN2, with special editions to air on NASCAR race weekends. Reporter Shannon Spake and NASCAR Insiders Angelique Chengelis, Tim Cowlishaw and Marty Smith will also contribute to a fast-paced menu of highlights, opinion, debate, analysis and the latest news from drivers, crew chiefs and insiders both on and off the track. Live NASCAR racing returns to ESPN for the first time in six years with coverage of the NASCAR Busch Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 1:15pm/et on ESPN2. ESPN PR
01/30/07
gp2
Borja Garcia signs for Durango  The Spaniard Borja Garcia will drive for Durango in the GP2 2007 Championship. The 24 year old has much experience in the racing world. In the 2006 season he classified amongst the top drivers in the World Series Renault Championship racing for RC Motorsport. Within the next few days Durango will announce the name of the driver who will partner Garcia in GP2-2007, [believed to be Clivio Piccione who has given up on plans to race in Champ Car.]

Ivone Pinton
I'm very happy with Borja Garcia's choice as he represents one of the emerging talents in Spanish motorsport. I was impressed by his talent during the tests in Valencia on 1st December where he obtained excellent results. I believe Borja is capable of finishing among the top positions next season and Durango will do everything possible to help him do so. We're very optimistic about the 2007 season and are looking forward to obtaining great results with Borja.  Durango PR

01/30/07
f1
Bahrain Grand Prix extended till 2013, but miffed  UPDATE Bahrain has extended its contract to host Formula 1 racing, possibly until 2019. The country was the first to embrace the sport and has enjoyed an exclusive deal to host a Grand Prix in the Gulf region for the last few years but now rivals are popping up and in the next few days there will be confirmation that Abu Dhabi will be hosting a Grand Prix from 2009 onwards. Bahrain was not very happy with that news but has countered by extending a non-exclusive contract way into the future, to underline the commitment to F1 and to support the planned growth of the Sakhir development as a hub for motorsport and automotive activities in the region. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are both embracing the same concept with their circuits and theme parks, but Bahrain clearly wants to remain as the first and the most serious. The Bahrain track cost $150m to build and while the locals have made much of the value of the revenue generated by the three Grands Prix to date, the grandstands are still not full when the F1 racers come to town. That can change in the years ahead and with the development of land around the circuit as an automotive industry centre the project can still be successful, even if Abu Dhabi has bought its way onto the F1 bandwagon. Grandprix.com

01/29/07 The Kingdom of Bahrain announced that it had secured the long-term future of the Bahrain Grand Prix until 2013 on Monday.  The inaugural race was held in 2004 and Formula 1's commercial rights' owner Bernie Ecclestone expressed his delight at the news.

"It was a real pleasure to bring Formula One to the Kingdom of Bahrain, and I'm pleased to confirm that this relationship will continue into the future. Just three years ago Formula One - and motor sport in general - did not have any presence in the region.

"Bahrain has not only built a venue that is among the very best in the world and deservedly won acclaim for its Grand Prix, but has also built foundations for the current growth of interest and investment in Formula One across the Middle East.

"I look forward to continuing our relationship with His Highness the Crown Prince, the Bahraini government, the team at the Bahrain International Circuit as well as enjoying the warm and friendly welcome for which the Kingdom is renowned in the seasons ahead."

01/30/07
Industry News
Ford Contracts With Penske  Ford Motor Co. has contracted with Penske Logistics to provide material planning and handling services at a Ford plant in England, Penske announced Monday. The auto plant in Southampton makes about 80,000 vans per year. Penske Logistics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Penske Truck Leasing, began material planning and handling operations at the plant in October. Penske also assumed responsibility for employing its existing work force.
01/30/07
f1
Q and A with Christian Horner  Christian Horner sat down with the F1 media at last Friday's launch to talk about the team's first Adrian Newey-designed car, his views on the customer car row and RBR's experienced driver line-up.

Q: We’ve finally seen the RB3, we like it…

Christian Horner: Good, Adrian has a habit of producing good-looking cars.

Inevitably expectations are high, because it’s very easy to look simplistically and say that with Adrian Newey, Renault engines, Bridgestone tyres being the same for everyone and a strong driver line-up, we’ll be competing for wins, but…

Q: How much of a no-compromise brief did Adrian have? Obviously the car is all-new – how much was that was a controlled risk and how much did you say we’ll throw the kitchen sink at it and just go for it?

CH: Adrian hasn’t had any constraints. He’s had technical freedom; he turned up with a clean sheet of paper and started drawing from the day he arrived.

And what has been massively encouraging is that he’s very much brought out the best in the guys in the team, [encouraged] their creative flair, and they’ve got a sounding board with him that they can bounce ideas off.  More ...

01/30/07
cca
Summerton thinks he can win in Atlantics  When offered the opportunity to drive for Walker Racing at the Sunday Sebring Atlantic test Jonathan Summerton jumped at it. Jonathan said, " It was a great opportunity to compare the Atlantic Car with the Formula 3 car." .
 
Although Jonathan had never driven the Champ Car Atlantic car he started the session off motoring through the field in a rain soaked track. By his 10th lap he was already pushing the leaders and by the end of the session he was third fastest. Way to go, Jonathan!!! After analyzing his data with his engineer they found a couple of places to improve.
 
In the next session, under dry conditions, again the team could see Jonathan was going for it, continuously pulling his times down. 3rd fastest again, showing his ability go fast safely. More ...
01/30/07
motogp
Phillip Island MotoGP Test – Day 1  The second three-day MotoGP test of 2007 began well for the Repsol Honda Team at Phillip Island today with both riders improving their lap times from the race here last September. Riding the new 800cc Honda RC212V, World Champion Nicky Hayden and team-mate Dani Pedrosa spent the day working on bike settings for the fast and flowing 4.448km (2.764 miles) circuit – a track which presents a different set of challenges to Sepang in Malaysia where the team tested last week.

25-year-old American Nicky Hayden confirmed the rapid progress of the RC212V on its first outing at the Australian track by setting a time of 1m 31.18s. This was 0.25s faster than his 2006 best race lap of 1m 31.43s. Pedrosa was also quickly up to speed, the 21-year-old Spaniard shaving 0.14s from his fastest race lap of 2006 to set a time of 1m 31.29s today.

Rain showers at 4pm curtailed the day’s testing, so the teams will resume work tomorrow morning as they prepare for the eagerly-awaited 2007 season opener at Qatar on March 10. More ...

01/30/07
f1
Schu's new role 'strange' - Webber  (GMM) Red Bull's Mark Webber has hinted that he would not put up with a Schumacher-style of "suffocation" if he was Kimi Raikkonen.

The Australian racer expressed surprise that Raikkonen has so far been willing to accept the presence of his Ferrari predecessor, Michael Schumacher, during his early appearances in the Maranello based squad's garage.

Retired Schumacher has been retained for 2007 as an advisor, but Webber thinks the great German's presence is an unreasonable extra pressure for 27-year-old Raikkonen as the Finn adapts to his switch after five years at McLaren.

"It's like having your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend there. Kimi must go 'what the f***?'" Webber is quoted as saying by ITV.

"It must feel so strange to have the teacher's pet standing above you while you are trying to get on with your own new program.

"Suffocation or what?"

At the recent launch of Red Bull's newly Renault-powered RB3, 30-year-old Webber also suggested that his former role-model - Schumacher - has not always been "good for the sport."

01/30/07
lmes
dtm
Montoya received Audi offer for 2007  (GMM) Juan Pablo Montoya has revealed that he received an offer from Audi to continue his racing career in Europe in 2007.

The German carmaker, with a foray in Le Mans-style sports car racing, also runs a program in the DTM series.

It has been rumored that Audi boss Dr Wolfgang Ullrich contacted Montoya, 31, about staying in Europe this year rather than racing NASCAR in America.

But the Colombian is quoted by news agency 'sid' as saying: "My manager did receive an official enquiry (from Audi) but I had already signed a contract with Chip Ganassi."

In the same press report, the Colombian said he has not retained contact with any of his former colleagues in Europe and doesn't even plan to watch grands prix this year on television.

Montoya, who won the Daytona 24-hours at the weekend, added: "I don't want to think about formula one any more. That chapter is over."

01/30/07
f1
Doornbos pulls out of Toro Rosso race  (GMM)  Robert Doornbos has counted himself out of the running for one of the vacant race drives at Toro Rosso.

The Dutchman was reportedly in contention for a pay-driver ride at the Faenza squad until he penned a contract to again be the 'reserve' and test driver at parent team Red Bull in 2007.

Doornbos, 25, also confirmed that he will spearhead his new test and grand prix duties with a race seat in America, although he has not yet inked a race deal with one of two possible Champ Car teams -- Forsythe and Minardi.

Referring to Adrian Newey's 'RB3', he said: "If it proves as quick as it looks, we can look forward to a great year!"

01/30/07
f1
Valencia to host first new-car showdown  (GMM)  Leading F1 teams' newly-launched cars for 2007 will go head-to-head from Tuesday as the sport gathers for its first major test of the year.

Although key runners have been in action for private tests, the 'Circuit de la Comunitat Ricardo Tormo' - otherwise known as Valencia in Spain - is to be the scene of a bumper three days of action.

Only Spyker and Toro Rosso will sit out the session, as Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, BMW-Sauber, Toyota, Honda and Red Bull put their brand new machines on track.

Kimi Raikkonen is slated to make his debut in the F2007, while Williams and Super Aguri continue to run with their 'interim' cars.  Williams is to launch its new FW29 on Friday, and Spyker next Monday.

Valencia action will run daily from 10am (local) until 5pm, before the circus heads off to Barcelona and Jerez and then Bahrain for its second annual test.

The season-opening Australian grand prix will be raced on March 18.

01/30/07
nascar
Kahne tops PM testing in Vegas  
Rank car# driver Make Time Speed (mph)
1 9B Kasey Kahne Dodge 29.239 184.685
2 07A Clint Bowyer Chevy 29.292 184.351
3 99A Carl Edwards Ford 29.315 184.206
4 18B J.J. Yeley Chevy 29.359 183.930
5 88B Ricky Rudd Ford 29.370 183.861
6 9A Kasey Kahne Dodge 29.382 183.786
7 23A Mike Skinner Toyota 29.389 183.742
8 20 Tony Stewart Chevy 29.401 183.667
9 20B Tony Stewart Chevy 29.402 183.661
10 2A Kurt Busch Dodge 29.402 183.661 More ...
01/30/07
tv news
nascar
DIRECTV picks first 5 NASCAR drivers  DirecTV today announced that NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart and Michael Waltrip will be the first five drivers for the debut of NASCAR HotPass, which will offer five channels per week dedicated to specific drivers during the series’ races. DirecTV also has completed its first national ad campaign for the service, with a spot featuring Earnhardt Jr. to debut just before the Daytona 500. DirecTV PR
01/30/07
tv news
Motorsports This Week on ESPN2  
NASCAR NOW DEBUT ONE WEEK AWAY
NASCAR Now, ESPN’s first-ever daily news show totally dedicated to NASCAR, will debut Monday, Feb. 5, at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The half-hour show will air Monday through Friday, with special editions on NASCAR race weekends.
 
Host Erik Kuselias will navigate viewers through a fast-paced program of highlights, opinion, debate, analysis, and the latest news from drivers, crew chiefs and insiders both on and off the track.
 
Analysts joining Kuselias will include two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Tim Brewer and five-time NBA All-Star and former winning NASCAR team owner Brad Daugherty, along with current NASCAR drivers Boris Said and Stacy Compton. More ...
01/30/07
cc
TV News
MTV catches up with Paul Tracy  After a few weeks of consecutive collisions and track-side scuffles, MTV will catch up with this lead-footed race car driver in La Belle Province. Under the scrutiny of the French Canadian fans and media we'll watch as Paul Tracy spins his tires and turns some heads with his racy comments and wild antics. Couple that with a Mexican wrestling mask, some boxing gloves and a well used rental car, and you've got an MTV Diary that'll be sure to get you all revved up. The MTV Diary of Paul Tracy will air Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. ET on MTV.

It is also scheduled to repeat on the following times/dates (subject to change):

Thursday, Feb. 1 at 7pm ET
Saturday, Feb. 3 at 10:30 pm ET
Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 7pm ET
Saturday, Feb. 10 at 6:30 pm ET

The Diary of Paul Tracy will also be available on MTV.ca immediately following the premiere on-air broadcast.

01/30/07
nascar
Budweiser Shootout 2007 By The Numbers  It's only 11 days until the first NASCAR Nextel Cup event of the year: The Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. Here are some interesting facts about this year’s event.  0
Zero:
David Gilliland is the only driver in this year’s starting line-up with no previous starts in the Budweiser Shootout. 

01
Zero One :
Mark Martin has started every Shootout since 1989 in a #6 Ford, but will make his debut Saturday night, Feb. 10 in the #01 Army Chevrolet. His first start in the event was 1982, in the #2 Apache Stove Buick. He finished eighth.  Mark won the Shootout in 1999. More ...

01/30/07
f1
Prodrive hit out at Williams  David Richards, the chairman of Prodrive, has hit back at Frank Williams' assertion that chassis sharing and the use of so-called "customer cars" has not yet been agreed for the 2008 formula one world championship. "There is absolutely no question about it, customer cars are permitted in 2008," said Richards, who may lease cars from McLaren-Mercedes for Prodrive's formula one debut next year. "Williams have entered the 2008 world championship accepting that condition. It all seems absolutely clear to me." Williams may take legal action against Scuderia Toro Rosso and Super Aguri if they use cars they have not designed and built themselves. The Guardian
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