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DATE News (chronologically)
02/08/07
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Phoenix Champ Car race in center of redevelopment plans  San Diego has the Gaslamp Quarter, Miami has South Beach and Denver has LoDo.  Now, a group of private developers wants to create a hip hangout spot in downtown Phoenix, one that rivals or even surpasses those found in some of the nation's greatest cities.

The proposed Jackson Street Entertainment District would cut a path across the southern end of downtown, stretching from Central Avenue to Chase Field, and could be anchored by the state's first House of Blues music venue. [Note the NASCAR banner ad in the photo.  Rest assured NASCAR will make certain Phoenix people will think the Champ Car race is really a NASCAR race as they will flood the market with NASCAR media in Phoenix before, during and after the Champ Car weekend.  There really is no beating a monopoly and hence why the Sherman Anti-trust laws were created - to break up monopolies so others have a fair competitive chance.  As it is, NASCAR smothers everything else in the USA, but until the government steps in, they will continue to ride roughshod over the industry.]

The blockbuster proposal is significant because it addresses downtown Phoenix's lack of full-time residents and nightlife, both of which are key to turning the area into a true destination spot. The new district, when complete, could boast comedy clubs, signature restaurants, live-music spots and art galleries, as well as office space, housing units and a hotel.

Dale Jensen, part owner of the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Champ Car race promoter [Race will be held in center of this proposed redevelopment] is one of Jackson Street's backers. He said he and his business partners decided to move forward with the idea after realizing that there was nothing to keep people downtown after a Suns or Diamondbacks game.

"The thought was, we have these two big boxes in downtown, the arena and the ballpark, but we really have nothing for people to do but go to that box and go home," he said. More ...

02/08/07
ips
Rookies earn licenses at Phoenix test  Five drivers passed the Indy Pro Series rookie test Feb. 7-8 on the 1-mile oval at Phoenix International Raceway, bringing the number of drivers who have passed the rookie test this off-season to nearly 30.

Sam Schmidt Motorsports' drivers Logan Gomez and Ryan Justice, who each made road course starts in the Indy Pro Series last year, were among the drivers passing the oval rookie test under the eye of Indy Pro Series technical director Butch Meyer.

Other drivers who earned their licenses were Pablo Perez, who has been announced as one of two drivers for Chip Ganassi Racing's new Indy Pro Series entry, as well as potential rookie drivers in the series Ken Losch and Mirl Swan. More ...

02/08/07
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Johnson confident Champ Car can rebound  In this Toronto Star article Champ Car president Steve Johnson admits the sponsorship challenges facing Champ Car but points out that the series is in better shape than it was two years ago. The question is can any race series in the USA flourish against a monopoly in the way of NASCAR, or will it need to branch overseas and become a lower cost version of F1 to eventually find its place in the world. One thing is clear, it will need popular athletes/drivers to succeed, regardless of where it does business.
02/08/07
nascar
Toyota documentary to air before Daytona 500  Torrance, Calif., – Get a behind-the-wall look at history-in-the-making as the first new automaker in nearly 50 years races the clock to make it to the Great American Race. After three years in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Toyota is taking on a historic challenge – the Nextel Cup Series. It all begins with the granddaddy of them all – the 2007 Daytona 500. “Chasing Sunday: The Race to Cup,” airs Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007, 10 a.m. PST / 1 p.m. EST on Fox, giving racing fans a first-time view of the sweat, grit and dedication it really takes to start Cup racing.

Three Toyota teams are determined to prove they’re ready to take the green. Among those featured in this hour-long documentary are Michael Waltrip, Dale Jarrett and David Reutimann of Michael Waltrip Racing, Jeremy Mayfield and Dave Blaney of Bill Davis Racing and Brian Vickers and AJ Allmendinger of Team Red Bull. Supporting all the teams will be the people of Toyota Racing Development. The documentary was produced by Toyota agency of record Saatchi & Saatchi LA and NASCAR Productions. More ...

02/08/07
tv news
Mario Andretti speaks on Thursday  UPDATE #1 Reminder: This special featuring Mario Andretti will air immediately following the SPEED Performance Awards Thursday night.

02/05/07 SPEED will air a 30-minute special Feb. 8 at 10:00pm/et entitled "Mario Andretti - Conversation with a Legend." The special will air immediately following the inaugural SPEED Performance Awards (9:00pm/et), where the SPEED Performer of the Year will be presented with the Mario Andretti Trophy, a bronze sculpture by noted artist Elie Hazak. SPEED PR
02/08/07
Racing News
56,000 fan votes for inaugural SPEED Performance Awards  UPDATE The inaugural SPEED Performance Award show airs tonight at 9:00 PM EST on SPEED TV.  Three-time Champ Car Champion and McDonald's driver Sebastien Bourdais is one of six drivers nominated for the inaugural award.  The winner will be the recipient of the Mario Andretti Trophy designed by artist Elie Hazak.  Scheduled to appear with hosts Tommy Kendall and Patrick Dempsey are:  (In order of appearance)
Travis Pastrana
Calvin Fish
Colin Braun
Dan Wheldon
Helio Castroneves
Nicky Hayden
Ricky Carmichael
David Hobbs
Juan Pablo Montoya
Joey Hand
Mario Andretti
David Gilliland
Max Papis
Katherine Legge
Robin Miller
Tony Schumacher
Danica Patrick
Tony Stewart
Sebastien Bourdais
Elliott Sadler
Jimmy Vasser
Jeff Gordon
Brian Vickers
Jeff Hammond
Paul Tracy and Alex Tagliani
Mike Simko
Sam Hornish Jr.
Jimmie Johnson

12/26/06 More than 56,000 votes were cast for the inaugural SPEED Performance Awards as fans voiced their opinions on nine fan-vote categories. The results, gathered over four weeks of video voting on SPEEDtv.com, will be unveiled as part of a one-hour television special to debut Feb. 8 at 9 p.m. ET. In addition, a panel of 13 broadcasters, journalists, former drivers and motor sports producers will select the inaugural SPEED Performer of the Year, with the winner being presented with the Mario Andretti Trophy, a 100-pound bronze sculpture by artist Elie Hazak.
02/08/07
a1gp
Alex Yoong honored with Bruce McLaren trophy  Alex Yoong, has been announced as the 2006 winner of the British Racing Drivers’ Club Bruce McLaren Trophy.

This accolade is awarded each year to a driver residing in the Commonwealth who has established the most meritorious performances in international motor racing.

Yoong’s strong performance in the inaugural season of the A1GP series was recognized by the BRDC resulting in the Malaysian driver being honored by the organization.

Yoong joins an impressive roster of previous award winners including Mark Webber (Australia), Jacques Villeneuve (Canada), Paul Tracy (Canada), Tomas Scheckter (South Africa) and Jonny Reid (New Zealand). More ...

02/08/07
nascar
Gordon thinks Junior will leave DEI  UPDATE Dale Earnhardt Jr. says that ownership in Dale Earnhardt Inc. is still the prevailing issue in his contract negotiations with the company his father founded.  Speaking at NASCAR Media Day on Thursday, Earnhardt Jr. said that he wanted majority ownership in the team owned and operated by his stepmother, Teresa. Asked if he wanted more than 50 percent ownership, Earnhardt Jr. said, "Absolutely."  "The main factor is the ownership part," Earnhardt Jr. said. "It has nothing to do with money and nothing else, really. I really like my team. ... Everything is on the upswing. But my father has been gone for five, six years now, and I want majority ownership."

01/25/07 Jeff Gordon believes it will be hard for Dale Earnhardt Jr. to stay with his late father's company because of the public battle between the driver and his stepmother. Junior is in the final year of his contract at Dale Earnhardt Inc., and negotiations on a new deal recently exposed the difficult relationship he shares with Teresa Earnhardt. She recently questioned his commitment in a Wall Street Journal article, which angered NASCAR's most popular driver.

As the sides now try to pull their contract talks in-house, Gordon said Wednesday that it may be too late.

"I think that if he's smart, he'll do what's best for him and I hope that's at DEI, I really do," Gordon said during a press event for Hendrick Motorsports. "Is that reality? I think it's gone too far. When it gets ugly in the media, it's usually very, very difficult to rebound from that."  More at Winston Salem Journal

02/08/07
f1
Toro Rosso launch announced  Scuderia Toro Rosso has announced that its 2007 contender will be unveiled next Tuesday at the Barcelona Circuit.

A press release/launch invitation issued this afternoon reads:

"Scuderia Toro Rosso's 2007 car should be ready very soon, although we are not sure exactly when."

Journalists are invited to the event but are warned: "The car might or might not be ready, but Tuesday 13 February is our press day, when you will have plenty of access to Gerhard Berger, Franz Tost, Alex Hitzinger and our drivers."

The drivers have yet to be named, though it is widely speculated that the Italian team will stick with its 2006 line up, which comprised Tonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed.

02/08/07
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irl
Bourdais and Hornish on Cover  Make sure to check out the March issue of Racer Magazine which features triple open wheel champions Sebastien Bourdais and Sam Hornish.  Each was asked to share his perspective on the upcoming season as well as the other driver.  The cover is included in this link: http://www.racer.com/index.asp
02/08/07
nascar
tv news
Turner Sports Introduces State-of-the-Art Rig for TNT  Turner Sports, entering its 24th season of NASCAR coverage, will debut its new state-of-the art mobile production rig (see links below for images), and launch its new NASCAR.COM weekend broadband series with its new host today at Daytona International Speedway.  The new rig will serve as the set for NASCAR.COM’s exclusive online series, NASCAR 24/7 Live, which will webcast live from various tracks prior to 20 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races throughout the course of the season.  The truck will also serve as the home for TNT’s pre-race show during the network’s six consecutive NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races, beginning with the June 10 race telecast from Pocono Raceway and concluding at Chicagoland Speedway on July 15.  The biggest names in auto racing will help drop the flag on the new set from Daytona today, including Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart (see full list of drivers below). More ...
02/08/07
nascar
NASCAR wine consumption soars  ACNielsen and Nielsen Sports, both business units of The Nielsen Company, today released a study showing that wine consumption among NASCAR fans is up 22% from last year, far outpacing the U.S. growth in wine.  In 2006, retail wine sales in the U.S. (total grocery, drug, and selected liquor markets only) reached a new record of $8.4 billion, up 7% from 2005.

Nielsen FANLinks, a service that tracks household consumption among U.S. sports fans, indicates that wine purchases have increased to $81.40 per year, an average dollar increase of about $14.60 per household.  Results also indicate that this increase in wine spending is slightly stronger among avid fans, with their purchases increasing by 26.4%.  While imported wine sales are growing among NASCAR fans, domestic wine still represents a majority of their sales, nearly 70%.  With about 75 million NASCAR fans in the U.S., this could become the next big advertising opportunity for the wine industry.  More ...

02/08/07
f1
Honda wraps up Jerez test  The Honda Racing F1 Team today completed a three-day test at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain. Whilst Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello concentrated on the continued development of the new RA107 car, Christian Klien rounded off the test program for last year's RA106.

Jenson began the test with the RA107 on Tuesday, spending his early laps finding a good balance on the car before working through tire and aero evaluations over the course of the day, completing 99 laps. He continued his aero program on Wednesday, covering a further 95 laps.

Rubens took over in the RA107 on Thursday as wet and windy weather hit the circuit. He spent the day working on the balance and set-up of the new chassis in the changing track conditions, using the wet and extreme wet Bridgestone Potenza tires. Rubens completed 66 laps in total. More ...

02/08/07
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cca
Champ Car test scheduled for Laguna Seca  The Champ Car World Series and Cooper Tires presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship powered by Mazda return to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for a “Spring Training” event March 7 – 10. The Atlantic Championship will test on Wednesday and Thursday, March 7 and 8, with the Champ Car World Series testing on Friday and Saturday, March 9 and 10. More ...
02/08/07
f1
Rain at Jerez: Heidfeld fastest, Andretti again slowest  Nick Heidfeld topped the times on the wet final day of testing at Jerez in Spain on Thursday.  IRL driver Marco Andretti was again slowest, but that might be expected given the IRL's focus on oval tracks.  We can't write the kid off yet, but he certainly did not set the world on fire.  Too bad it rained on his 2nd day where he would have had a chance to show what he might have.

Pos  Driver        Team                      Time     Laps
 1.  Heidfeld      BMW-Sauber           (B)  1:29.486   35
 2.  Wurz          Williams-Toyota      (B)  1:30.051   69
 3.  Glock         BMW-Sauber           (B)  1:30.213   27
 4.  Raikkonen     Ferrari              (B)  1:30.628   89
 5.  Barrichello   Honda                (B)  1:30.684   64
 6.  Rosberg       Williams-Toyota      (B)  1:30.684   47
 7.  Massa         Ferrari              (B)  1:30.746   44
 8.  Trulli        Toyota               (B)  1:30.981   89
 9.  Montagny      Toyota               (B)  1:31.027   75
10.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Renault     (B)  1:31.166   65
11.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault     (B)  1:31.405   68
12.  de la Rosa    McLaren-Mercedes     (B)  1:31.479   71
13.  Alonso        McLaren-Mercedes     (B)  1:31.573    9
14.  Andretti      Honda                (B)  1:32.387   62
15.  Zonta         Renault              (B)  No time     2
16.  Piquet        Renault              (B)  No time     3

02/08/07
f1
Weather cuts short BMW testing  Due to bad weather conditions at Jerez today, and in view of the limited testing mileage, the BMW Sauber team decided to stop testing at mid-day. Timo, who had his first proper run in the F1.07 started the day making starts on extreme weather tires. He then changed to standard wet tires and worked on a baseline set-up. Systems and diagnostics checks were also on his program. Nick also tested the extreme weather tires before switching to standard wet tires. He worked on the fine tuning of the traction control and also made some diagnostics checks.
02/08/07
nascar
CertainTeed to sponsor Nemechek  Ginn Racing announced that CertainTeed Corporation, North America's leading manufacturer of interior and exterior building products, will carry an 18-race primary sponsorship on Joe Nemechek's #13 Chevy during the 2007 Nextel Cup season. At the other 18 of 36 point races, Certain Teed will have a major associate sponsorship on Nemechek’s car. The first race of the CertainTeed primary sponsorship will be the season-opening Daytona 500. Founded in 1904 and headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., CertainTeed and its affiliates have approximately 9,000 employees and 70 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. More info on CertainTeed at certainteed.com. Ginn Racing PR
02/08/07
ips
Andretti Green Racing to Return to Pro Series  Andretti Green Racing announced today it will return to the Indy Pro Series field in 2007 with a car driven by Indy Pro Series veteran Jaime Camara. The #11 oso*fresh Dallara/Firestone will be an Andretti Green Racing entry, and will be prepared and maintained by AFS Racing, owned by Gary Peterson. Camara, who hails from Goiana, Goias, Brazil, ran the full Indy Pro Series slate in 2005 and 2006. He posted two wins, three poles and 11 top 10s on the way to a fifth-place finish in the series standings in 2005. He led the final two laps at The Milwaukee Mile in 2006 to earn the third Indy Pro Series victory of his career. One of the founding teams of the Indy Pro Series, AFS Racing will begin its sixth season of competition in 2007. The team has entered two cars in nearly every Indy Pro Series race since its inception in 2002. AFS Racing has earned 38 top-10 finishes in 56 starts and collected its first two Indy Pro Series wins in 2006 at the Indianapolis road course and at Infineon. Team owner Gary Peterson served as the team's original driver. Both Arie Luyendyk Jr. and former series champion Thiago Medeiros have also made starts for AFS. The 2007 season is Andretti Green's third year of competition in the Indy Pro Series. The team accumulated three wins and three poles with Marco Andretti in 2005 and its best finish in the points championship with Jonathan Klein in 2006 when Klein finished second. By entering a car in Indy Pro Series competition, Andretti Green will earn up to five additional testing days for its IndyCar Series program with Camara gaining an opportunity to test the first half of each day. Camara and the rest of the Indy Pro Series field will open the 2007 season on March 24 at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the Miami 100.
02/08/07
a1gp
Hulkenberg to step down  In order to get ready for the Euro F3 season with the top ASM team, Nico Hulkenberg will step down as Team Germany's lead driver after the next A1GP round in Durban, reports this week's Autosport magazine. Hülkenberg’s place will be taken by Formula BMW world champion Christian Vietoris, who has driven in most of the rookie sessions during this season. The 17-year-old said: "It will be a big challenge for me. The car is a lot of fun but now I need to train more to build my arms and neck up for the race."

[Editor's Note: The reason why the A1GP series will never have a strong following is due to the fact the teams are changing drivers all the time. The athletes are what the fans come to see, and when there is a constant turnover of your stars, the fans follow them elsewhere. Champ Car is afflicted with this same disease, though to a slightly lesser extent.]

02/08/07
cca
Harvey Joins Brooks Associates Racing  Tucson, Arizona - Brooks Associates Racing is proud to announce that respected and accomplished engineer Nick Harvey is joining the BAR squad for the upcoming 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda season.

Harvey worked with the Arizona-based Brooks team during its very successful 2005 season in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship. Engineering the car driven by Andreas Wirth, Harvey helped the Brooks squad earn its first Atlantic win when Wirth captured the checkered flag at Denver. Wirth went on to finish sixth in the series championship that season after missing the final two events of the year due to injury. More ...

02/08/07
f1
Raikkonen making excuses already  With the pressure of following in the footsteps of F1's greatest-ever driver Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen is already making excuses for his lackluster performance, blaming the new-generation Bridgestone tires. BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica was the first driver to conclude that he may have to adapt his style to suit the Bridgestones following the pre-Christmas winter tests. When asked at this week's Jerez test if the Bridgestones suit his driving style, Raikkonen replied: “no, not really. I think we need to work on the car to make it work for me," he was quoted as saying by autosport.com.
02/08/07
f1
Rain at Jerez, Fisichella ill  (GMM) Rain looks set to disrupt the final session of running on Thursday at Jerez. It began to rain at the southern Spanish venue late on Wednesday, and worsened overnight. Teams were greeted with a sodden track and drizzle on Thursday morning, but many teams opted to persevere by sending cars onto the track.

Teams also ruled out extending the test for another day, as the upcoming test at Barcelona kicks off on Monday and teams need to be fully set up at the venue by Sunday night.

Also emerging from Jerez on Thursday is news that Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella is not feeling well and has opted to sit out the final day. Nelson Piquet Jr was scheduled to replace him.

02/08/07
f1
ING launch trackside campaign for ’07  ING today announced a global 'on track' branding campaign to support its title sponsorship of the ING Renault F1 Team. ING will sponsor 14 of the 17 Grand Prix races, including title sponsorship of the ING Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on 16-18th March.
 
With the combined global 'on track' sponsorship, and the title sponsorship of the ING Renault F1 team, ING will further build its global brand awareness as one of the leading global financial institutions providing Banking, Insurance and Asset Management services to over 60 million customers in 50 countries across the world. The combination will also position ING as one of the leading F1 sponsors. More ...
02/08/07
SnapOnStars
Jay Howard forms new team  The newly formed Screaming Talent-Gillard team, owned by 2006 Indy Pro Series champion and karting tuner Jay Howard, will enter the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IndyCar Series season as a series sponsor with contingency prizes up for grabs. Howard saw the program as a way to kick off his involvement as a team owner.

“2007 is going to be a really exciting year for Screaming Talent,” said Howard, who won the Indy Pro Series championship in his first year in a Sam Schmidt Motorsports-prepared car. “I’m confident that we will have a very successful year ahead of us, with the combination of a great driver lineup, my father (Paul) alongside me, and of course world championship-winning Gillard karts.”

02/08/07
nascar
Front Row to field two cars  Front Row Motorsports (FRM) announced today they will run two (2) cars during the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season. FRM will run the #34 driven by Kevin Lepage with Randy Seals as the crew chief.  NASCAR veteran Gere Kennon will be Director of Competition and oversee the efforts of both teams. Both teams will run Dodge Chargers powered by motors built by Ernie Elliott Inc.
02/08/07
nascar
McClure to attempt Daytona 500  Eric McClure hopes to be the "Cinderella Story" of the Daytona 500 as he makes his second attempt to qualify for the Daytona 500. McClure's first attempt dates back to February 2005 with Raabe Racing. Hefty Brand is making its second appearance as primary sponsor of the #04 Chevy during this year's running of the Daytona 500, which is referred to by many as the Super Bowl of Auto Racing. More ...
02/08/07
nascar
NASCAR Sports Grille to debut  On Wednesday, February 14, 2007, there will be a Grand Opening of the NASCAR Sports Grille restaurant in the heart of Universal CityWalk in Orlando, FL. NASCAR Sports Grille is a celebration of cuisine, sports and all things NASCAR and features: a 37' media wall, boothside interactive plasma screens, state-of-the-art speed simulators and games, NASCAR retail, museum quality memorabilia, a 20' artistic adaptation of the Nextel Cup and an absolute dedication to quality food and service. The Cordish Company, a Baltimore, MD based real estate development and entertainment operating company is launching the NASCAR Sports Grille restaurants. Executives from The Cordish Company and NASCAR will be available for interviews and photos. Attending include NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France, #7 Ford driver Robby Gordon, rock group Collective Soul and David Cordish - Chairman, The Cordish Company.
02/08/07
nascar
Some dark clouds on NASCAR’s horizon  At the beginning of each season, hope springs eternal. This is the year that your favorite driver will win the championship, the season that your favorite make of car will turn the tide. But behind every silver lining, there's a dark cloud. And NASCAR has several dark clouds on the horizon for the 2007 season. Here's seven situations just waiting for a tire to blow.

1. Toyota (the manufacturer): The debut of a new manufacturer in Nextel Cup is bound to cause controversy and plenty of rain -- no matter how things go. Most established Cup teams are concerned, believing that well-funded Toyota is going to be a creature of the night that just sucks the life out of stock-car racing. Toyota will be hated if their teams succeed, but will be a failure if the team struggles. Even if the cars are just middle-of-the-pack, the Toyota approach will drive up the cost of doing business, further angering rival teams In other words, there's not a happy ending in sight.  More at SI.com

02/08/07
f1
Glock sees BMW as road back to F1  (GMM) Timo Glock says he wants to use his new test role at BMW as a springboard back to the formula one grid.

The 24-year-old German raced a few times for Jordan at the end of 2004, but he only returned to the interest of the pit lane bosses in the second half of last year with an impressive run in GP2.

BMW-Sauber has snapped him up as a second test driver to support countryman and teenager Sebastian Vettel, but Glock is also touted as a title favorite in F1's support category with the GP2 squad iSport.

"With half a good season in GP2 last year, I created this opportunity (at BMW), so who knows what I can do with a whole season," he told sport1.de.

"My focus though is on F1, because that is my future.

"I want to use this opportunity with BMW to get a firm seat in formula one."

Glock is BMW's fourth driver this year, but he rejected suggestions that the younger age of his teammates Vettel (19) and Robert Kubica (22) means that he is less likely to progress with the Hinwil based squad.

He will get his maiden run in the new 'F1.07' car on Thursday at Jerez.

"Younger does not always mean better," Glock smiled.

"At the age of 22 I collected a lot of experienced with Jordan, so I see that as my advantage."

02/08/07
f1
Schu picked right time to quit - Zanardi  (GMM)  Alex Zanardi has given Michael Schumacher a pat on the back for quitting F1 after an illustrious 16-year career.

The Italian, who left the pinnacle of motor sport in 1999 but later lost his legs in an horror Champ Car shunt, says F1's only seven time world champion picked the right time to call it a day.

"Even with his retirement Michael proved that he has a knack for making the right decision at the right time," Zanardi, 40, told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

He said German Schumacher is presently the only grand prix super-talent who is enjoying "peaceful" winter nights.

"Now he has his fun on the kart tracks, without all the pressure," Zanardi added.

02/08/07
f1
Briatore admits no ’passion’ for F1 world  (GMM)  Flavio Briatore may be a so-called 'Playboy', but the 56-year-old Italian has revealed some of the secrets of his success in the business world.

The managing director and team principal of Renault, winners of the drivers' and constructors' championships in 2005 and 2006, told the executive magazine 'think: act' that he is not in love with high speed.

"I am not particularly passionate about formula one," he explained.  "I just want to win."

Briatore also runs a successful driver-management business and a string of high-end nightclubs but he found his way into the paddock in the 80s through his non-racing links with the clothing company Benetton.

In an interview, Briatore admitted that he likes to have a good time, but insisted: "I am also very disciplined and work hard."

He also likes a challenge, evidenced in Renault's recent beating of better-financed F1 teams including Ferrari, McLaren, Toyota and Honda.

Briatore said: "The more insurmountable the objectives seem, so much the better."

02/08/07
f1
Kimi’s Ferrari breaks down again  (GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen's pre-season woe persisted on Wednesday when the Finn spent much of his test day in the red shod garage.  'La Gazzetta dello Sport' reports that at Jerez the 27-year-old's new 'F2007' Ferrari broke down on the circuit with a failed engine at 1.30pm, as his teammate Felipe Massa returned from a bout of 'flu and topped the times.

Mark Webber's Red Bull also ground to a halt, as did the MP4-22 occupied by world champion Fernando Alonso after a loss of oil pressure, and the red flags also waved for Ralf Schumacher's broken gearbox.

It was a mostly sunny day in the south of Spain but a few drops of rain fell late in the afternoon.  After Thursday's final day, the circus heads to Barcelona to run from Monday.

At an icy Silverstone track on Wednesday, meanwhile, Adrian Sutil concluded Spyker's 'F8-VII' shakedown with a crash into the Copse wall after touching the grass.

The German rookie escaped unhurt but the 2007 car was slightly damaged.

02/08/07
tv news
nascar
Bud Shootout drawing to be televised  UPDATE Reminder: The drawing to determine the Bud Shootout starting order will be televised live Thursday night.

02/01/07 The drawing that determines the starting order for the Budweiser Shootout will be televised for the first time on prime-time television. SPEED officials say the network will broadcast the Feb. 8 drawing at 8 p.m. EST with co-hosts Steve Burns and Kenny Wallace.
02/08/07
cc
irl
Denver axes another big sporting event  The International, known for its unique scoring system on a Castle Pines golf course held in the mile-high air outside Denver, will no longer be on the PGA Tour schedule effective immediately, a tour official said Wednesday.  The absence of a corporate sponsor was mostly responsible for canceling the 21-year-old tournament, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision had not formally been announced.

Pikes Peak in Fountain Colorado shut down, the Denver Grand Prix was axed, and now their PGA Golf Tournament.  Perhaps Denver's place as a big-time sports town is dwindling.

02/07/07
racing news
Andrettis to appear at Bridgestone function  Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc., the exclusive tire company of the Chicago Auto Show, will be using its booth to showcase its products and new technologies.  This marks the second of a three year commitment by the company to participate in North America’s largest consumer automotive show. The show opens to the public Feb. 9.

Bridgestone America's booth will showcase vehicle systems and tire design and will have interactive tire displays and racing display cars including an IndyCar, a Formula 1 car and an exact replica of the car driven by racing legend Mario Andretti when he won the 1967 Daytona 500 40 years ago this month. More ...

02/07/07
alms
Lally Joins Dyson Racing for Sebring  Andy Lally will join Dyson Racing for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.  Lally will drive the team’s new No. 16 Thetford/Norcold Porsche RS Spyder with full-season pilots Andy Wallace and Butch Leitzinger.

"This is an amazing opportunity to be a part of this team" said Lally. "I have been fortunate to test with Dyson Racing on a couple of occasions with the hopes of eventually joining the team as a driver and I don’t think the timing could be any better than right now. The guys on the team have made me feel welcome, we have an incredible new car and on top of that I have four teammates that I get along with very well. It’s an understatement to say that I’m looking forward to it."

02/07/07
nascar
ESPN set for NASCAR return  NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series racing will return to ESPN for the first time in six years with the network’s coverage of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday, July 29, from Indianapolis Motor Speedway. ESPN and ESPN on ABC will have live coverage of the final 17 races of the 2007 season, including all 10 races in the “Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup” by ESPN on ABC, the first time that all Chase races will be on the same network.

  ESPN’s full schedule for the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season will include telecasts of practice and qualifying from 13 races, the season-ending banquet and season preview and review specials. There will also be a dedicated pre-race program for each race telecast called NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Countdown. And, for the first time in televised motorsports, all will be produced totally in High Definition. More ...
02/07/07
cc
iRise Joins Champ Car World Series  iRise®, the world's leading application definition software company, today announced that it has signed a long-term agreement to be an official sponsor of the Champ Car World Series and will be the official software simulation supplier to the Champ Car World Series.
 
As part of its sponsorship, iRise will be hosting a series of CIO Roundtable events using the excitement of world-class racing as a backdrop. Each CIO Roundtable will include peer-based content on the most pressing topics facing IT executives today, followed by opportunities for CIOs to network with each other in a truly unique environment.

"We're proud to be a sponsor of the Champ Car World Series," said Mitch Bishop, chief marketing officer of iRise. "The parallels between high performance racing teams and high performance businesses are obvious. Moreover, Fortune 1000 CIOs with limited time have found that iRise CIO Roundtables eclipse the value of traditional CIO conferences since they provide unmatched access to peer-based content and the chance to build life-long relationships. Our goal is that these events will become the leading networking and content venue for CIOs, delivering incredible value for the time invested." More ...

02/07/07
cc
Toyota GP of Long Beach live on NBC  The six exciting and diverse racing events that will run at the 33rd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 13-15, will be televised on three different national networks and total over seven hours of television race coverage.

The headline event of the weekend, the Champ Car World Series, will air live nationally on NBC at 1:00 p.m. (PT) on Sunday, April 15.  It will be the final appearance of Champ Car racing’s premier event on NBC, following the announcement of a new long-term television partnership between ABC/ESPN and the Champ Car World Series. More ...

02/07/07
lmes
Villeneuve and Bourdais turn first laps  Peugeot has been testing its new 908 V12 HDi in anticipation for its race debut at the first Le Mans Series round at Monza in April.  Three-time Champ Car World Series Champion Sebastien Bourdais and 1997 Formula One Champion Jacques Villeneuve were getting their first laps in the diesel-powered LMP1 coupe at the Paul Ricard High Speed Test Track.
02/07/07
nascar
2007 NASCAR Busch TV schedule  
Date, Race, Track, Network, Time
(All times Eastern and subject to change)
Feb. 17 Orbitz 300, Daytona International Speedway, ESPN2, 1:15 p.m.
Feb. 24 Stater Bros. 300, California Speedway, ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.
March 4 Telcel-Motorola 200, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, ESPN2, 2 p.m.
March 10 Sam's Town 300, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, ABC, 3 p.m.
March 17 Nicorette 300, Atlanta Motor Speedway, ABC, 3 p.m.
March 24 Sharpie Mini 300, Bristol Motor Speedway, ABC, 3 p.m.
April 7 Pepsi 300, Nashville Superspeedway, ESPN2, 3:30 p.m.
April 14 O'Reilly 300, Texas Motor Speedway, ESPN2, 3 p.m.
April 20 Bashas' Supermarkets 200, Phoenix International Raceway, ESPN2, 9:30 p.m.
April 28 Aaron's 312, Talladega Superspeedway, ABC, 3 p.m. More ...
02/07/07
nascar
2007 NASCAR truck TV schedule  
Date, Race, Track, Network, Time
(All times Eastern and subject to change)
Feb. 16 Chevy Silverado HD 250, Daytona International Speedway, Speed, 8 p.m.
Feb. 23 San Bernardino County 200, California Speedway, Speed, 9 p.m.
March 16 American Commercial Lines 200, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Speed, 9 p.m.
March 31 Kroger 250, Martinsville Speedway, Fox, 3 p.m.
April 28 O'Reilly Auto Parts 250, Kansas Speedway, Speed, 6 p.m.
May 18 Quaker Steak and Lube 200, Lowe's Motor Speedway, Speed, 9 p.m.
May 26 City of Mansfield 250, Mansfield Motorsports Park, Fox, 1:30 p.m.
June 1 AAA Insurance 200, Dover, International Raceway Speed, 4:45 p.m. More ...
02/07/07
alms
Ethanol announces ALMS involvement  Rahal Letterman Racing (RLR) and the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) announced today an expansion of the Team Ethanol program to include RLR’s new American Le Mans Series Porsche GT2 program.  The announcement was made in conjunction with the ALMS announcement that Ethanol enhanced fuel (E10) would become one of the official fuel selections of the series. Ethanol is already the official fuel of the IndyCar Series and is the primary partner of the No. 17 Rahal Letterman Team Ethanol entry driven by Jeff Simmons.

In expanding the promotional program Ethanol will be an associate RLR partner for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta and will have the familiar Ethanol logo on the No. 18 Rahal Letterman Racing Bell Microproducts/Porsche.  RLR will make its ALMS debut at Sebring March 17. More ...

02/07/07
motogp
Edwards smashes pole time in Sepang  Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi proved they are more than ready for the season long challenge ahead with their new 800cc Yamahas. The pair clocked some outstanding times on the third and final day of testing in Sepang.

Pos  Driver  Nat  Team  Time  Gap  To 1st 
1.  Colin Edwards  USA  Camel Yamaha Team  2:00.248     
2.  Valentino Rossi  I  Camel Yamaha Team  2:00.793  0.545  0.545 
3.  Randy De Puniet  F  Kawasaki Racing Team  2:02.071  1.278  1.823 
4.  Olivier Jacque  F  Kawasaki Racing Team  2:02.607  0.536  2.359 
5.  Makoto Tamada  J  Tech 3 Yamaha  2:03.380  0.773  3.132 
6.  Sylvain Guintoli  F  Tech 3 Yamaha  2:04.636  1.256  4.388 
7.  Andrew Pitt  AUS  Ilmor SRT  2:07.373  2.737  7.125

02/07/07
cc
Champ Car Announces 2007 Domestic Television Schedule  The busiest racing schedule that the Champ Car World Series has put together in four years will be matched by an impressive television schedule that features six races live on NBC Sports, CBS Sports and ABC, with 10 more to be shown on the ESPN networks.

The season will open with coverage of the Las Vegas and Long Beach events on NBC, will see the Portland, Elkhart Lake and Phoenix events on ABC and includes the always-exciting Grand Prix of Cleveland on CBS. The schedule marks the first time since 1990 that Champ Car races have appeared on all three networks in the same season.

“We made a big push this season to increase our television presence and this package allows us to do that on a number of levels,” said Champ Car President Steve Johnson. “This broadcast schedule increases our exposure, which will not only provide more value for our existing commercial partners, but will also attract new sponsors and partners for the series, our teams and our events.”  More ...

02/07/07
f1
Sutil crash halts Spyker test  The Spyker Formula One Team has concluded its two-day shakedown test with the new F8-VII at Silverstone Circuit, UK.

Taking over driving duties from Christijan Albers, Adrian Sutil completed 134 kilometers in a repeat of yesterday's freezing and icy weather conditions. Once more the team concentrated on gathering engine and control systems data in advance of the F8-VII's first true test in Barcelona, Spain, from 12 - 14 February.

Chief technical officer, Mike Gascoyne, commented, "It's been another useful day of testing. We solved some minor mechanical issues we had yesterday and now head to Barcelona to continue the program in warmer temperatures. Overall it was a very positive shakedown and a good basis to start from." More ...

02/07/07
nascar
TNT Inks Deal With Petty  Turner Network Television (TNT) announced today a multi-year contract agreement with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Kyle Petty to serve as an analyst for the network’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race coverage.  Petty will take a five-week hiatus as driver of the No. 45 Wells Fargo/Marathon/Tire Kingdom Dodge car for Petty Enterprises, marking the first time a Petty will not be behind the wheel in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series for an extended period of time since his grandfather, Lee Petty, raced in NASCAR’s Elite Series in 1949.  Kyle Petty will join announcers Bill Weber (play-by-play) and Wally Dallenbach (analyst) for TNT’s six consecutive NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races in 2007, beginning on Sunday, June 10 from Pocono Raceway and concluding on July 15 from the Chicagoland Speedway.  On Sunday, June 24, Petty will provide analysis from behind the wheel of his No. 45 Dodge throughout TNT’s coverage of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race live from Infineon Speedway in Sonoma, CA.  Petty previously served as an analyst alongside Weber and Dallenbach in 2006 for five Busch Series races on TNT. More ...
02/07/07
nascar
irl
Daytona purse dwarfs Indy 500  America’s richest, biggest and most prestigious motorsports event of the year, will once again carry the biggest purse in the history of stock car racing at more than $18 million. By comparison the Indy 500 purse is a paltry $10.5 million

The posted awards for the “The Great American Race” on Sunday, Feb. 18 will be $18,386,023. The posted awards for the 2006 Daytona 500, which was won for the first time by Jimmie Johnson, was $18,035,635.

The winner of this year’s Daytona 500 will collect a minimum of $1,443,250. The second, third, fourth and fifth-place finishers in the Daytona 500 will receive a minimum of $1,041,525, $747,575, $593,550and $466,000 respectively.

Even the last-place finisher in the Daytona 500 will be well compensated with a minimum of $226,295.

02/07/07
f1
Jerez Wednesday: Massa fastest, Andretti slowest  Ferrari's Felipe Massa was quickest on the second day of testing at the Jerez circuit Wednesday.  Honda's Jenson Button was joined by IRL driver Marco Andretti, who got his second taste of F1 machinery, testing the new RA107. The American IRL driver  (pictured right) finished at the bottom of the times.

Pos  Driver        Team                      Time      Laps
 1.  Massa         Ferrari              (B)  1:19.746   46
 2.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes     (B)  1:19.821  109
 3.  Kubica        BMW-Sauber           (B)  1:19.839   96
 4.  Alonso        McLaren-Mercedes     (B)  1:20.046  101
 5.  Raikkonen     Ferrari              (B)  1:20.068   46
 6.  Piquet        Renault              (B)  1:20.070   76
 7.  Wurz          Williams-Toyota      (B)  1:20.132   78
 8.  Rosberg       Williams-Toyota      (B)  1:20.143   66
 9.  R.Schumacher  Toyota               (B)  1:20.604   59
10.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault     (B)  1:20.629   36
11.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Renault     (B)  1:20.702   70
12.  Heidfeld      BMW-Sauber           (B)  1:20.710   80
13.  Button        Honda                (B)  1:20.751  100
14.  Zonta         Renault              (B)  1:20.767   86
15.  Trulli        Toyota               (B)  1:20.898   80
16.  Andretti      Honda                (B)  1:22.151   74

02/07/07
f1
Coulthard fined for 1999 crash  A Monaco court has fined Formula One driver David Coulthard 500 euros (£330) for injuring a woman passenger when he crashed his Mercedes during a high-speed tour of the principality's grand prix circuit in 1999. A judicial source said the Scot, a Monaco resident who was not present in court for Tuesday's hearing, had lost control of the car after it hit a wet patch. Coulthard, now 35, was traveling at 100-150 kmh through a tunnel on the night of the accident in April 1999, several weeks before that year's Monaco Grand Prix. The passenger was slightly hurt but withdrew her complaint in 2002, the year in which the Scot took his second Monaco victory for Mercedes-powered McLaren, after being compensated by the driver.
02/07/07
nascar
Retirement Living TV to Sponsor James Hylton  Retirement Living TV is proud to announce a primary sponsorship of the #58 Retirement Living Chevrolet driven by James Hylton.  The sponsorship begins this weekend when the JC Weaver-owned team begins their quest to race in this year’s Daytona 500 at the 2.5-mile Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.  Retirement Living TV aims to inform, involve and inspire fans and improve America’s image, attitudes and perception of aging.  Hylton,72, hopes to go down in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest driver to qualify for the prestigious Daytona 500.

“James spirit is everything that Retirement Television stands for,” said Ed Beimfohr, Vice President of Marketing for Retirement Living TV.  “We believe that you are never too old to go out and accomplish goals.  James’ quest to qualify for the Daytona 500, with the help of his friend JC Weaver, showcases that age is not an obstacle.  We fully support his efforts beginning this weekend and into the Daytona 500.  Achievement is ageless.” RLTV will document his efforts with a special, Art of Living. More ...

02/07/07
nascar
Kimmel and Hillenburg team up for 500  Eight-time ARCA Series Champion, Frank Kimmel will attempt to make his first career start in the Daytona 500 Nextel Cup Series race with the help of fellow ARCA Champion Andy Hillenburg. Kimmel will pilot the #71 FastTrack Ford for the Speed Week events including Sunday's qualifying round as well as Thursday's Gatorade Duels which will determine Kimmel's spot in the starting field for the Daytona 500. Kimmel has made seven previous Nextel Cup Series starts in his career with his best starting position coming at the Talladega Superspeedway in 2002 of 29th and his best finish of 26th came at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in October of 2002 while competing for team owner, Travis Carter. Kimmel has many starts at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway including 15 ARCA Series starts, one Craftsman Truck Series start where he finished eighth in 2004 and last season's IROC start where he finished in the third position. "There are a lot of very strong cars and drivers that put a tremendous amount of work into their cars just to come to Daytona and attempt to make the field," said Kimmel. "The FastTrack Racing team is no exception, Andy (Hillenburg) and his team has put together a great car and it would be a great accomplishment for all of us to earn a starting position in the Daytona 500. I do think there is some advantage to having a lot of experience drafting when it comes to making this race because of the unique qualifying format of the Gatorade Duels. That race will be all about keeping my nose clean, but finishing high enough to earn a place in Sunday's race." Kimmel will compete in Saturday's Daytona ARCA 200 event prior to Sunday's initial qualifying round for the Daytona 500 and will have only two practice sessions in preparation for Thursday's Gatorade Duels. LM Motorsports Marketing PR
02/07/07
f1
Allianz extends Williams engagement  Allianz today confirmed the extension of their Formula One sponsorship program. The renewed engagement, which originated in 2000, marks the eighth consecutive year that Allianz will be involved in Formula One and with AT&T Williams.

“The affiliation between Allianz and Formula One has proven its worth over the years,” commented Steven Althaus, responsible for Marketing Communications at Allianz. “Heading into 2007, the Allianz F1 strategy will consist of three main elements. Firstly, on-track and pitlane branding at eight key races over the season will continue to drive the brand’s presence across Allianz’s strategic and emerging markets. A renewed association with longstanding partners, AT&T Williams, will also allow us to bring our Formula One engagement to life via a tangible team connection, while our activation strategy will continue to focus on road safety.”

“We are delighted to extend our important association with Allianz and assist them in their engagement with Formula One as a whole,” said Frank Williams, Team Principal of AT&T Williams. “We value our longstanding partnership with this truly global financial services company and are looking forward to rewarding their support on the race track.”
“It will be a very busy year for Allianz as 2007 also sees the launch of the global marketing campaign,” says Althaus. “The continuous promotion of our additional global sponsorship platforms, namely the Allianz Arena and the sponsorship of the BMW ORACLE Racing Team, who are competing for the America’s Cup sailing accolade in Valencia, Spain, are also very high on the agenda.” AT&T Williams F1 PR

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

Thursday
Who's #1?: Best Drivers
7:00am-8:00am (R) ESPN Classic
NASCAR Drivers: Non-Stop
5:30pm-6:30pm ESPN2
NASCAR Now
6:30pm-7:00pm ESPN2
NASCAR Preseason Thunder
7:00pm-7:30pm SPEED
Bud Shootout Selection Show
Daytona
8:00pm-9:00pm SPEED
SPEED Performance Awards
9:00pm-10:00pm SPEED
Mario Andretti -Conversation with a Legend
10:00pm-10:30pm SPEED

Friday
NASCAR Live! Daytona
2:00pm-4:00pm (L) SPEED
Bud Shootout Practice Daytona
4:00pm-5:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Drivers: Non-Stop
5:00pm-6:00pm ESPN2
NASCAR Live! Daytona
5:00pm-6:30pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Now
6:00pm-6:30pm ESPN2
Bud Shootout Practice Daytona
6:30pm-7:30pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Live! Daytona
7:30pm-8:00pm (L) SPEED
Trackside Daytona
8:00pm-9:00pm SPEED
Tradin' Paint
9:00pm-9:30pm SPEED

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

02/07/07
f1
Now Kimi's red cars break down - Zanardi  (GMM) Alex Zanardi has joined a growing list of skeptics who think Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari may not be a match made in heaven.

Finn Raikkonen, 27, has moved to the Maranello based team to replace the retiring Michael Schumacher, but some have suggested that he is not as complete a package as the great German.

"Raikkonen went to Ferrari because his McLarens always broke down," Italian Zanardi, who last drove in formula one for Williams in 1999, told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

He continued: "But now it seems like his red car is always broken and (Ron) Dennis' machines run like clockwork."

Zanardi singles out reigning back to back title winner Fernando Alonso as his favorite for the 2007 season, but he also vowed to keep an eye on the Spaniard's rookie teammate.

"Hamilton looks fast and could make life difficult for Alonso," Zanardi predicted.

02/07/07
Track News
Pocono offers fans another option  Pocono Raceway will begin offering a new promotion for its grandstand ticket holders for its upcoming NASCAR Nextel Cup events.  The raceway is offering VIP treatment to its grandstand ticket holders at the "The Tricky Triangle Club," providing fans access to a private chalet with a buffet lunch and beer coupons. Guests will also receive a pit tour pass, souvenir program and event pin. Tickets for the club are $99.
02/07/07
Track News
Talladega to Manage Int'l Motorsports HOF  Talladega Superspeedway will oversee day-to-day operations of the nearby International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum, announced Talladega Superspeedway President Grant Lynch.  "Talladega Superspeedway has historically maintained a close relationship with the International Motorsports Hall of Fame Board of Directors," Lynch explained," and we obviously are familiar with the actual facility considering our offices formerly were housed there."
02/07/07
nascar
Alltel to sponsor race  Alltel Wireless, sponsor of Ryan Newman's #12 Alltel Dodge, will make a major announcement early next week regarding what is rumored to be a race unlike any other - the Alltel "My Circle 500." The pursuit begins February 13, 2007. To learn more, fans can visit mycircle500.com. Also two time champion ('84 & '96) Terry Labonte is getting back into racing this season. Labonte is making his return in the highly anticipated Alltel "My Circle 500." Alan Taylor Communications PR
02/07/07
alms
Gidley hired as reserve driver  Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing has signed former Champ Car driver Memo Gidley to act as reserve driver to Tim Bergmeister and Tomas Enge at the opening round of the American Le Mans Series at Sebring.

"Adding Memo to the team is a major plus for us," insisted team manager Dale White, "Memo has a terrific reputation in and out of the car and we knew he was the right guy from the first phone conversation. "Both Tim and Tomas feel confident, and comfortable, running the race on their own, but it is important to have a reserve driver in case there are any problems. Finding that driver is difficult, because you have to have someone that can step in at the last minute and start turning quick laps, but who can also put their ego to the side. Memo can do that. He understands what we are asking him to do and his role within the team. We think this will be the start of a long-term relationship with Memo and we are all excited about that."

02/07/07
f1
Berger denies new Toro Rosso is illegal  Gerhard Berger has brushed off Spyker and Williams' legal threats by insisting that Toro Rosso's plans for 2007 are legal.

The Austrian co-owner's Faenza based outfit, along with Honda satellite Super Aguri, are at the centre of a dispute over the possible use of so-called 'customer cars', even though neither have revealed their machines for this season.

Williams and Spyker have stepped up the argument by promising anything from a case of arbitration to the seeking of injunctions at the scene of the season opener in Melbourne, but Berger says he is confident that he has the governing body on his side.

"We checked very carefully on the legal side, on the FIA side," said the former grand prix winner, who with Red Bull's Dietrich Mateschitz owns Toro Rosso.

Berger told f1.com: "We have checked very carefully the wording of the Concorde Agreement, and it shows very clearly to us that what we are doing is absolutely correct -- that we are inside the regulations.

"We went on a route that even if we wanted we could not go back.  It is done."

Berger suggests that Spyker and Williams' motivation for pushing the issue is simply "fear" of being beaten, but a growing feeling in pit lane is that the besieged teams do intend to breach the 'spirit' of the rules by sliding through loop holes.

Even so, Berger fired back at his rivals' threats to take the matter to court.

"If they want to do so, fine, then we will fight it out," the Austrian charged.

02/07/07
Industry News
Sludge smudges Toyota  Jeff Meckstroth's dispute with Toyota Motor Corp. might have ended quietly on March 1, 2001, when an arbitration panel unanimously agreed that Toyota was liable for the damage to the engine of his 2-year-old $37,000 Lexus RX300 sport utility vehicle.

Instead, it escalated. As the two Toyota representatives packed up their papers, they referred casually to other, similar cases they were handling. "Then we had our suspicions up that this isn't an unusual case, that Lexus knows about the problem, and has formed a response -- just deny, deny, deny," said Meckstroth, a 47-year-old New Orleans stockbroker. "We decided to sue."

His case mushroomed into a class-action suit representing prior and current owners of nearly 4 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles that may have suffered engine damage due to thickening oil, or sludge. It can accumulate and deprive the engine of necessary lubrication. More at Detroit News

02/07/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
Wurz flies in new Williams
Rain may affect Jerez test
New Spyker makes icy debut
Dad is no monster say Bernie's daughters
Alonso success is help and hindrance - Valles
Webber tries new white helmet at Jerez
Doornbos still main RBR tester - manager
Button lacks Alonso 'spark' - Gascoyne
02/07/07
nascar
Analyzing the Budweiser Shootout Field  The days of racing against the clock are over. After a series of tests at Daytona International Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a select group of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers are returning to Daytona a bit early to compete against much more formidable foes: Each other.

They’re coming for Saturday night’s Budweiser Shootout at Daytona (FOX 8:30 p.m.), an annual non-points race providing fans a high-end preview of what’s to come during the 2007 season. The 70-lap race features 21 drivers, 15 of which won a Budweiser Pole during the 2006 season. (The remainder of the field consists of past shootout winners.)

The Budweiser Shootout is one of the more unpredictable races on the NASCAR calendar. But a look at the past gives a glimpse of greatness that can evolve after a shootout victory. More ...

02/06/07
NASCAR
Mexico City race to be on ESPN - in Spanish  The NASCAR Busch Series race March 4 in Mexico City will be televised on ESPN - in Spanish.

The Spanish-speaking telecast, produced by ESPN Deportes, will be televised on ESPN's main network, while the English-speaking telecast will be on ESPN2, which will be home to 29 of the 35 races this year, ESPN/ABC Senior Motorsports Producer Neil Goldberg said Tuesday.

"I don't recall that from ever being done before." Goldberg said. "That's a very unique approach to that broadcast. I've done the last two races in Mexico.. ... It's just phenomenal the growth of the sport not only within the United States but across all the borders."

It is likely the race also will be shown on ESPN Deportes, but ESPN has yet to announce how that telecast will differ from the one on ESPN. Scenedaily.com

02/06/07
Industry News
Ford Embarks on Cyberspace Odyssey  UPDATE Learn more about Ford's new Microsoft Sync product in this video.

01/07/07 New Ford President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally reached for the stars this morning at the 2007 North American International Auto Show, as he sync'd up with Microsoft President Bill Gates via satellite from the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show to introduce the partnership between Ford and Microsoft to provide wired and wireless access as an integrated automotive component.

Powered by Microsoft Auto software, "Sync" is Ford’s new, fully integrated, voice-activated in-car communications and entertainment system for mobile phones and digital music players. A Ford exclusive technology through 2008, Sync — which operates via either Bluetooth or USB technology — will be in 12 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury products, including the 500 and Focus, beginning this year.

Ford President of the Americas Mark Fields said: "Seventy percent of the Ford, Mercury and Lincoln line will be all-new by the end of next year."

02/06/07
nascar
2007 Nextel Cup race start times  Start times for most of the 36 Nextel Cup races were unveiled in the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup media guide released Tuesday.  The first 13 races will be broadcast on Fox, with the next six on TNT and the final 17 on ABC/ESPN.

Date Race, Track, Network, Time
(All times EST)
Feb. 18 Daytona 500, Daytona International Speedway, Fox, 3:15 p.m.
Feb. 25 Auto Club 500, California Speedway, Fox, 3:30 p.m.
March 11 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Fox, 4:30 p.m.
March 18 Atlanta 500, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Fox, 2 p.m.
March 25 Food City 500, Bristol Motor Speedway, Fox, 2 p.m.
April 1 Goody's 500, Martinsville Speedway, Fox, 2 p.m.
April 15 Samsung 500, Texas Motor Speedway, Fox, 2 p.m.
April 21 Subway Fresh Fit 500, Phoenix International Raceway, Fox, 8:30 p.m. More ...

02/06/07
Industry News
GM Unveils Volt All-Electric Concept  UPDATE On the heel's of last Friday's release of an extensive worldwide scientific study that shows beyond a doubt that the burning of fossil fuels is causing global warming, watch the introduction of the new Chevrolet Volt and what it might mean to the earth's environment if this concept ends up being the car technology of the future.

01/07/07 At the 2007 North American International Auto Show today, General Motors’ head honcho Rick Wagoner unveiled the Chevrolet Volt concept sedan and announced that production work has begun on a new generation of electric vehicles that could eliminate gas stations for Americans who live close to their workplaces.

Built on a platform that GM calls the E-flex System, the Volt is a battery-powered electric car that has a range of 40 city miles after a six-hour charge from a household electrical outlet – which would make it a viable, gas-free daily driver for Americans whose one-way work commute is 20 miles or less. That’s 78 percent of all American workers, according to GM car czar Bob Lutz.

The car also has a flex-fuel gasoline engine that extends the range to up to 640 miles. The gas engine does not drive the wheels – instead, it creates electricity that powers the wheels.

The Volt’s sharp-angle body style evokes current Cadillacs. Lutz said the car proves that “environmentally conscious cars can actually look good, as well.”

02/06/07
Industry News
Trends in car design  As we wrote in a number of articles one reason why American car companies are losing market share is because their interiors are lacking compared to their rivals because the interior is where people spend most of their time and now the American manufacturers appear to finally be understanding this simple concept as explained in this video.

02/06/07
nascar
DEI signs another Earnhardt  Dale Earnhardt Inc. officials announced Tuesday the team has signed Jeffrey Earnhardt to a "long-term driving services contract."  Jeffrey is the son of Kerry Earnhardt and the grandson of the late Dale Earnhardt. DEI said Earnhardt would initially be a development driver, competing for Andy Santerre Motorsports in the Busch East Series and also driving in the UARA Late Model Touring Series.
 
"In his young career to date, Jeffrey has displayed many of the attributes we are looking for in a driver," DEI owner Teresa Earnhardt said in a statement. "Experience will be key to developing and preparing Jeffrey to progress to and compete at higher levels."

Jeffrey Earnhardt, 17, turned heads at the General Motors Developmental Program last year.  "Signing with DEI is a dream come true," Earnhardt said. "To progress as a driver at the premier organization that Dale and Teresa built means a lot to me. I know I'll be surrounded with the right equipment to take me to the next level, so now it's up to me to prove myself." Scenedaily.com

02/06/07
scca
SCCA honors its own at annual convention  Sports Car Club of America members gathered last weekend in San Antonio, Texas for the first time in the Club’s 63-year history for its annual meeting, Convention, awards and Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

In Saturday night’s gala awards ceremony concluding the three-day event, emcee Peter Hylton (Indianapolis Region) was presented the Woolf Barnato Award—the Club’s highest honor for long-time service to the Club. A surprised Hylton, who spent the previous three days entertaining the masses, was nearly caught speechless. He recovered, however, remembering the words of the late John McGee, who would close all correspondence with “Yours, for the sport.” Hylton served on SCCA’s Board of Directors (and remains the youngest-ever member elected) and has been its volunteer archivist since 1996. More ...

02/06/07
nascar
Another NASCAR sponsor "gets it"  Tampa, FL – Domino’s Pizza is embarking on its fifth year of involvement with the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. The company has evolved from its entrance into the sport as the Official Pizza of NASCAR and Official Pizza of the Michigan International Speedway, as well as a major sponsor at the team level. In the past two seasons, this included primary paint schemes with Michael Waltrip in both the NASCAR Busch Series, and the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. In 2007 Domino’s Pizza has taken another step by becoming the primary sponsor of the #00 Domino’s Pizza Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing in 17 races throughout this season.

So, why the step forward?

Ken Calwell, Domino’s Chief Marketing Officer, says the company’s involvement with NASCAR has continued to grow because of the way it has helped enhance the Domino’s brand. “When Domino’s became the ‘Official Pizza of NASCAR,’ it was always our intent to grow and maximize our participation in the sport,” Calwell said. “Since then, Domino’s Pizza has moved from #3 to the #1 pizza brand among NASCAR fans. We feel our association with NASCAR is working, and we are excited to take it to the next level by becoming a primary NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series sponsor of the #00 Domino’s Pizza team with Michael Waltrip Racing.”  More ...

02/06/07
f1
Albers puts some laps on the new F8-VII  The Spyker Formula One Team's 2007 challenger, the F8-VII, has concluded a successful first day's running at Silverstone.

With Christijan Albers driving, the team completed 200km and focused on testing systems and gathering data on the new car in advance of the first proper test in Barcelona next week.

Freezing and icy conditions limited track time, however Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne was pleased with the team's progress throughout the day. More ...

02/06/07
nascar
Kenseth tops Busch testing Monday  Busch Series testing results from Monday morning's session at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway:

1. Matt Kenseth, No. 17 Roush Racing Ford, 181.190
2. Kasey Kahne, No. 9 Evernham Motorsports Dodge, 180.923
3. Clint Bowyer, No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, 180.349
4. Kevin Harvick, No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, 180.270
5. Carl Edwards, No. 60 Roush Racing Ford, 180.240
6. Dave Blaney, No. 32 Braun Racing Toyota, 179.820
7. Greg Biffle, No. 16 Roush Racing Ford, 179.766
8. David Stremme, No. 22 Fitz Motorsports Dodge, 179.485
9. David Reutimann, No. 99 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota, 179.390
10. David Ragan, No. 6 Roush Racing Ford, 179.211 More ...

02/06/07
tv news
Despain, Wind Tunnel kick off 5th Season  Dave Despain enters his fifth season behind the wheel of the popular SPEED show Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain, with the 2007 premiere scheduled for Feb. 18 at 9 p.m. ET.

"Wind Tunnel is the only motor sports show in this country that can make you laugh, cuss and pay attention -- all within 60 minutes,” said veteran motor sports journalist Robin Miller, a frequent guest on the show . “It's topical, informative and a little irreverent, much like its host."

"Dave Despain, to me, is probably the most well-rounded motor sports guy that I've ever met,” said NHRA multi-time champ Gary Scelzi. “His show is real, it pulls no punches and it's one if I'm anywhere near a television on Sunday night I make sure I watch -- because it's always entertaining, it's the real deal, and Dave is not afraid to express his opinion." More ...

02/06/07
f1
De la Rosa fastest at Jerez Tuesday  
Pos  Driver        Team                      Time     Laps
 1.  de la Rosa    McLaren-Mercedes     (B)  1:20.001  108 
 2.  Wurz          Williams-Toyota      (B)  1:20.036   72 
 3.  Kubica        BMW-Sauber           (B)  1:20.159   46 
 4.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes     (B)  1:20.233  111 
 5.  Raikkonen     Ferrari              (B)  1:20.245   86 
 6.  R.Schumacher  Toyota               (B)  1:20.254   55 
 7.  Button        Honda                (B)  1:20.371   99 
 8.  Montagny      Toyota               (B)  1:20.409   46 
 9.  Rosberg       Williams-Toyota      (B)  1:20.525   62 
10.  Badoer        Ferrari              (B)  1:20.666   62 
11.  Vettel        BMW-Sauber           (B)  1:20.715   51 
12.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Renault     (B)  1:21.021   48 
13.  Piquet        Renault              (B)  1:21.264  117 
14.  Zonta         Renault              (B)  1:21.392   67 
15.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault     (B)  1:21.858   27 
16.  Klien         Honda                (B)  1:22.083   35
02/06/07
nascar
Wells Fargo renews with Petty Enterprises  Wells Fargo & Company and Petty Enterprises announced today the extension of their NASCAR sponsorship arrangement. The 2007 season represents the fifth year the financial services company has sponsored Petty Enterprises, which includes the Kyle Petty and Bobby Labonte cars as well as a partnership with The King of NASCAR, Richard Petty.

Kyle Petty’s No. 45 will carry a full-car red and gold Wells Fargo paint scheme in 12 races during the 2007 season as the car’s primary sponsor, starting with the Daytona 500.

“The sponsorship has proven to be a winner for us”, said Michael McCoy, group senior vice president for Wells Fargo Financial. “We’ve seen significant returns on our investment as we use the sponsorship to help build relationships with our customers, clients and dealers.”

02/06/07
motogp
Sepang Tuesday - Rossi moves to the front  MotoGP times from the second day of testing at Sepang and attended by Yamaha, Kawasaki, Tech 3 and Ilmor.

1. Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha Racing Team 2min 02.099secs
2. Colin Edwards USA Yamaha Racing Team 2min 02.118secs
3. Randy de Puniet FRA Kawasaki Racing Team 2min 02.554secs
4. Makoto Tamada JAP Tech 3 Yamaha 2min 02.745secs
5. Olivier Jacque FRA Kawasaki Racing Team 2min 02.761secs
6. Sylvian Guintoli FRA Tech 3 Yamaha 2min 05.002secs
7. Andrew Pitt AUS Ilmor GP 2min 07.923secs

02/06/07
TV News
USA TV Reminders for Wednesday: Updated  
Courtesy of TVRacer.com

A1GP
Eastern Creek, Australia (2/4/07)
4:00pm-6:00pm SPEED
Import Racers
5:00pm-5:30pm ESPN2
NASCAR Drivers: Non-stop
5:30pm-6:30pm ESPN2
NASCAR Now
6:30pm-7:00pm ESPN2
NASCAR Preseason Thunder
7:00pm-7:30pm SPEED
Ultimate Factories: Ferrari
9:00pm-10:00pm National Geographic
Check local listings for your time zone 

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

02/06/07
f1
Sauber tips Alonso to defend F1 crowns  (GMM)  Peter Sauber has tipped Fernando Alonso to defend his back to back drivers' championships in 2007.

Two of his former drivers appear to also be in the title hunt, but Sauber reckons the Spaniard is already ahead of the game at the wheel of a new McLaren.

"Alonso could be the key to success for McLaren," the Swiss, who at the end of 2005 sold his Hinwil based squad to BMW, told Motorsport Aktuell.

"The last question mark is whether they can get their reliability right."

In 2001, Sauber gave Kimi Raikkonen his debut, while in 2004 the dwindling career of Giancarlo Fisichella was rescued with a seat for the Swiss team.

But Sauber said: "Alonso has not only the speed of a Raikkonen, but the completeness and race intelligence of a Schumacher.  I don't really see that with Kimi."

Finn Raikkonen, 27, has switched from McLaren after five fruitless seasons to fill Schumacher's vacant post.

Sauber's observations also seem to be borne out in the winter time sheets so far, after the new McLaren MP4-22 appeared more competitive than Ferrari's F2007 car.

He also thinks Renault will miss the departed Alonso, after the French squad emerged from Valencia apparently lacking the performance of their big-two rivals.

Sauber admitted that he has been "disappointed" in the last two seasons with Fisichella's performance.  The Roman's teammate in 2007 will be rookie Heikki Kovalainen.

02/06/07
f1
Renault not worried about rivals' speed  (GMM)  Christian Silk denies that he is worried about the performance of Renault's main rivals after the first major group test of the year last week.

From studying the Valencia time sheets, some observers reckon McLaren and Ferrari lead the pecking order with their newly unveiled 2007 cars, with Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen trailing in the 'R27' racer.

But Silk, who is the French squad's chief test engineer, said trying to log impressive lap times last week was not a priority.

"Well, McLaren and Ferrari have both confirmed that they're quick," he admitted.  "It's not really a big surprise.

"But we're a strong team too and these performances don't worry us."

The 'big three' teams resumed running at Jerez on Tuesday.

02/06/07
f1
New Williams makes track debut  Williams’ new FW29 car has made its track debut on the first day of 2007’s second major test at Jerez on Tuesday morning. Nico Rosberg gave the car its first run at the Spanish test venue at the start of the day, with team-mate Alex Wurz also getting his first taste of the Toyota-powered machine in the second chassis.
02/06/07
Industry News
Toyota reports record profit, sales  Toyota, hot on the heels of General Motors to become the world’s No. 1 automaker, reported a 7.3% jump in quarterly profit Tuesday on booming sales in North America and Europe that offset sluggish demand in Japan.

Toyota Motor Corp. recorded group net profit of 426.8 billion yen ($3.6 billion) in the three months ended Dec. 31, up from 397.6 billion yen the same period the previous year.  Quarterly sales climbed 15.2% to 6.15 trillion yen ($51.2 billion) from 5.33 trillion yen a year ago, as the remodeled RAV 4 SUV and Camry midsize sedan sold briskly in North America, and demand was strong for the Yaris compact in Europe, Toyota said in a news release.

Net profit and sales reached a record for any quarter, said Senior Managing Director Takeshi Suzuki. “We believe our companywide efforts have contributed to these results,” he said in a release.

02/06/07
nascar
ESPN unveils second phase of campaign for NASCAR  After successfully launching its overall NASCAR marketing campaign in January, ESPN today announced phase two of the effort in support of the NASCAR Busch Series. The campaign features drivers Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Stephen Leicht along with 17 other Busch Series drivers and will run throughout the 35-race season.

"Our NASCAR Busch Series campaign brings a face and personality not only to the Busch Series but to the drivers as well," said Katie Lacey, senior vice president, marketing. "We're very pleased to have such talented drivers participate in the campaign."

NASCAR racing returns to the networks on February 17th with the Busch Series season-opener from Daytona International Speedway on ESPN2. More ...

02/06/07
gp2
ASM and ART Grand Prix to merge  ASM and ART Grand Prix are happy to announce a new merger. The two teams already live under the same roof and are managed by the same two men, Frederic Vasseur and Nicolas Todt, so therefore the new merger is a logical continuation that will allow the two teams, one in the F3 Euroseries and the other in GP2, to profit from working together as one.

Created in 1996 by Frederic Vasseur, ASM has had great success in Formula 3 and has been undefeated in the championship F3 Euroseries for the past three seasons. ART Grand Prix, founded two years ago by the harmonious marriage of these two great minds, those of Frederic Vasseur and Nicolas Todt, has secured every title in GP2 since the creation of the championship, the stepping stone to Formula One and allowing young greats such Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton to reach the pinnacle of Motorsports, a trend they plan to continue with other great talents of tomorrow. More ...

02/06/07
nascar
NASCAR looking at FlexAll for entrance to pit road  During a race on Virginia’s Richmond International Raceway in 2003, NASCAR driver Robby Gordon lost control of his car as he roared into the pit at 55mph. He smashed sideways into the concrete slab that separates the crew from the pit road and wrecked his car. Luckily, he didn't do the same to his body. Had he hit the divider head-on, the collision could have transferred a 100G-force jolt to his body, more than enough to kill him.

In an effort to reduce such a nasty risk, NASCAR has turned to scientists at Battelle, an R&D company in Columbus, Ohio. Their solution: a new hyper-elastic material called FlexAll that deforms to absorb an incoming force and then bounces back to its original shape within minutes. After molding the FlexAll into honeycomb-like columns, the researchers repeatedly slammed racecars into it at speeds up to 100 mph. The plastic behaved identically crash after crash, absorbing 92% of an impact's energy each time. In road tests, the cushion reduced maximum G load on the driver by an impressive 60%.

Not just racers but everyday motorists stand to benefit too—Battelle has developed a highway version that can catch vehicles as big as a Hummer, traveling at speeds up to 60 mph. Both barrier systems await final approval from NASCAR and the Federal Highway Administration and could be on a road or racetrack near you as soon as this summer. Popular Science

02/06/07
nascar
Johnson meets with President Bush  Nextel Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was honored today in Washington, D.C. for his 2006 championship. The day began with an Oval Office meeting with President George W. Bush, who congratulated Johnson on his victory. Joining Johnson was team owner Rick Hendrick, Lowes Corporation CEO Robert Niblock, NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France and NASCAR president Mike Helton. Following the White House visit the group made its way up Pennsylvania Ave to the Capitol where they were greeted by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. After that meeting, Johnson and the group made their way across the Capitol for a Senate reception led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Also attending the meeting to congratulate Johnson was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Bob Casey (D-PA). NASCAR Media
02/06/07
nascar
Busch to run gold car in Bud Shootout  Miller Brewing Company today announced it will paint Kurt Busch’s #2 Miller Lite Dodge with an all-gold scheme for the February 10 Bud Shootout. The one-race re-design honors Miller Lite’s fourth gold award in the American-Style Light Lager category at the World Beer Cup. The car will be painted from front to back in gold paint and will feature the World Beer Cup logo and “World Beer Cup Winner” on the hood, spoiler and rear quarter panels. Miller Lite won its fourth gold in the prestigious bi-annual competition in 2006. The 2006 Brewers Association World Beer Cup is the world's largest and most diverse international beer competition for commercial breweries, this year touting 2,221 entries from 540 breweries in 56 countries, including all other major breweries. The World Beer Cup has been held every other year since 1996 and is presented by the Association of Brewers, a not-for-profit educational and trade organization founded in 1978 that is dedicated to the promotion of quality beers and brewing throughout the world. The Association also hosts the annual Great American Beer Festival and is based in Boulder, Colo. Miller Lite Dodge driver Kurt Busch is excited about driving a gold car in this weekend’s Bud Shootout. “Gold is a color long-associated with great achievements,” Kurt said. “Gold always signifies the best in class, and that’s what we’re constantly striving for on the track. And I know the folks in Milwaukee take great pride in the unmatched quality of Miller Lite. We’d love to kick off the 2007 season by putting this awesome looking car in Victory Lane.” Until recently, Kurt was not aware of the great competitive history of Miller-sponsored gold cars at Daytona. “Someone pointed out that Bobby Allison was driving a gold-colored Miller car when he won the ’88 Daytona 500 in that super-exciting battle with his son, Davey,” Kurt said from Las Vegas last Saturday (2/3/07). “It’s nice to know that there is such good fortune associated in the past with the gold color scheme at Daytona. Man, wouldn’t it be cool to follow in Bobby’s footsteps and win the Shootout in another gold Miller car?” The record book also shows that Allison claimed Daytona wins in the 1987 Pepsi 400 and his 1988 “Twin-125” qualifying race behind the wheel of gold Miller-sponsored cars. Tom Roberts PR
02/06/07
irl
Running on star power  This Yahoo! Sports article talks about the 'star' power that the IRL hopes will deliver higher TV ratings in 2007 in the way of Marco Andretti and Danica Patrick. In essence the article says that NASCAR has a two decade head start but that ultimately the success of any series rides on the popularity of its athletes.
02/06/07
f1
Briatore backs Abu Dhabi GP  As Abu Dhabi launched itself onto the F1 stage last Saturday, the world champion ING Renault F1 Team was at the heart of the action, with Nelson Piquet Jr. taking the wheel of the world championship-winning R26 to wow the crowd of 10,000 people watching the ‘Tribute to the Champions’ event.

In conjunction with the spectacular demonstration event, itself reminiscent of the ING Renault F1 Team’s successful Renault F1 Roadshow, Bernie Ecclestone held a well-attended press conference to welcome Abu Dhabi to the Formula 1 family from 2009 onwards.

The new circuit will be 5.6 km in length, located on a man-made island – and will include features such as a marina section reminiscent of Monaco, as well as a host of entertainment facilities around the track itself. More ...

02/06/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
Spyker's Kolles vows to wave black flag
Spyker expect Melbourne trouncing
Former grand prix venue sold
Spyker to run two testers each GP Friday
Imola upgrade well under way
Albers admits time running out in F1 quest
Van der Garde 'sure' of Spyker seat
Spyker owner commits 'long term' to F1
Schu wants Ferrari role to remain vague
Eight teams ready for Jerez test
Villeneuve to release debut music album
F1 Ferrari to drive on Melbourne street
Spyker tester to also race in 2007
02/05/07
nascar
tv news
Why NFL still dwarfs NASCAR  The overnight TV ratings out today saw CBS earn a 42.6/63 overnight Nielsen rating for Super Bowl XLI featuring the Colts-Bears last night, up 2% from a 42.1/62 for the Steelers-Seahawks last year on ABC.  Compare this to the motorsports ratings, and you can see how huge the game is.  The $2.6 million for a :30 second spot during the Super Bowl would get you about 6 Nextel Cup Races as a primary sponsor with a top team, and estimating a 5 rating with each race, you are getting close to the viewership of the game (6 races x 5 = 30), but not equal (30 is still less than 42.6).  Put this to open wheel (either Champ Car or IRL) and you can see just how bad their ROI is in terms of TV audience reach for the same $2.6 million (17 races x say 1.0 per race = 17 for entire season....much less than 42.6). 

There are other factors such as the “buzz” created around Super Bowl ads, plus the fact that the TV ad is a targeted message (sometimes), and a race sponsorship is just a brand on-screen with no message, so the values are not apples to apples.  This is why it is so important for the race sponsorship to include more than just putting the sponsors name on the side of the car.  The teams selling the sponsorship must give the sponsor more value by having the driver speak at sponsor engagements, sign autographs for its key customers and their families, and helping with print and TV ads by making the car and driver available to the sponsor for free to produce their ads.

NASCAR has a long way to go before it can ever hope to rival the NFL in sponsor value and open wheel racing, thanks to the destructive split caused by the creation of the IRL, has an even farther way to go......so racing had better wake up, think outside the box, and deliver new and creative ways of bringing a sponsor a return for their money.

02/05/07
nascar
Jim Beam renews with Robby Gordon  Jim Beam The Official Spirit of Racing, announced that it will continue its partnership with Robby Gordon Motorsports (RGM) as a primary sponsor of the #7 Ford driven by team owner and veteran driver Robby Gordon during the 2007 Nextel Cup season. "We're excited to continue our relationship with Robby Gordon as a primary sponsor in 2007 and look forward to supporting his endeavors to capture his first win as an independent driver and owner in the NASCAR(r) Nextel Cup Series," said Brian Gallagher, manager of Jim Beam Racing. Jim Beam will sponsor 12 races in 2007 which marks the third year of the partnership with RGM. Gordon and Ford Motor Company recently announced the signing of a manufacturer agreement aligning Ford Racing Technology and the #7 car. This will be the first season that Gordon will drive a Ford since the 2000 Cup season. "RGM continues to put a competitive car on the track because of the experience and capabilities of everyone involved," said Gordon. "We are excited to build on our partnership with Jim Beam and look forward to a strong racing program both on and off the track with the #7 Jim Beam Ford Fusion." Jim Beam will utilize its sponsorship of Gordon and the #7 Ford to support the Beam Global Spirits & Wine drink smart initiative. Jim Beam and Beam Global Spirits & Wine will execute programs, with help from Robby Gordon, throughout the 2007 racing season that focus on preventing underage drinking and drunk driving. Details for the 2007 Jim Beam Racing drink smart program will be announced at a later date. Ketchum Public Relations PR
02/05/07
nascar
Grubb named crew chief of No. 25 Chevy  Hendrick Motorsports named Darian Grubb crew chief of the #25 National Guard/GMAC Chevys driven by Casey Mears in the Nextel Cup Series. The 31-year-old Grubb will lead the team into the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 18. "Darian is one of the most respected voices in our organization and has proven to be a terrific leader," said team owner Rick Hendrick. "He and Casey represent an exciting new combination for the #25 team, its sponsors and its fans." Grubb, who holds a mechanical engineering degree from Virginia Tech, joined Hendrick Motorsports from Petty Enterprises in January 2003, assuming the role of team engineer for the #48 Chevys led by crew chief Chad Knaus. A native of Floyd, Va., Grubb was interim crew chief during the first four races of the #48 team's 2006 campaign, leading driver Jimmie Johnson to a pair of victories [including the Daytona 500], one runner-up finish and a sixth-place effort. Grubb assumes the duties of Lance McGrew, who will remain with Hendrick Motorsports in a leadership role. Hendrick Motorsports PR
02/05/07
sbk
Superbike at Mazda Raceway cancelled  MONTEREY, Calif. – Due to expected rains, the AMA Superbike test scheduled at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for Wednesday and Thursday, February 7th and 8th has been cancelled.

With the season opening round in Daytona, Florida on March 10, the test at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will not be rescheduled. More ...

02/05/07
tv news
Top NASCAR drivers on SportsCenter special  In advance of ESPN’s return to live NASCAR racing coverage, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, four of the most successful and popular NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers, will participate in a special roundtable discussion with ESPN motorsports analyst and 1989 NASCAR Cup champion Rusty Wallace to be aired on the 11 p.m. ET edition of ESPN’s SportsCenter on Sunday, Feb. 11. The discussion will originate from Daytona International Speedway and portions of the roundtable will also be available on ESPN.com; ESPN360, ESPNEWS and ESPN Radio.
02/05/07
nascar
Public invited to AAA Roush Racing event  The public is invited to stop by AAA Michigan's Motorsports display at the Men's Expo at Ford Field in Detroit from 11 a.m. to 6 p. m. this Saturday (February 10).

AAA will have the new Roush Racing, AAA sponsored #6 NEXTEL Cup race car on display, and fans will have the opportunity to race in the #6 AAA simulator racecar in a virtual experience of roaring around Daytona International Speedway at more than 200 mph. More ...

02/05/07
F2000
2007 Pacific F2000 Championship Schedule  
(each venue will host two 30-minute races):
March 9-11 California Speedway, Fontana, California
March 31-April 1 Willow Springs International Raceway, Rosamond, California
May 5-6 Buttonwillow Raceway Park, Bakersfield, California
July 14-15 Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah
September 22-23 Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, California
October 13-14 Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, Nevada
02/05/07
nascar
Roush transporter involved in accident  UPDATE #4 Joe Millikan, who was injured in a multi-vehicle accident outside of El Paso, Texas on Wednesday, was released from Thomason Hospital on Friday afternoon.  Millikan returned home to North Carolina on Saturday, February 3.  Millikan was one of two Roush Racing employees injured when the No. 6 NEXTEL Cup transporter was involved in an accident returning home from a test session in Las Vegas, Nev.  Justin Grebe, the driver of the transporter, was treated, released and returned home to North Carolina on January 31.

02/03/07 Joe Milliken remained in the intensive care unit Thomason Hospital in El Paso Texas Thursday a day after he was involved in accident involving a Roush Racing transporter.  Milliken was the co-driver and a passenger in the transporter driven by Justin Grebe that caused a multi-vehicle accident that shut interstate 10 outside El Paso Texas Wednesday.  Photo by KFOX TV News

The accident occurred at a US Border Patrol checkpoint. All vehicles are required to stop but according to witnesses the transporter failed to do so.

"I looked in my rear view mirror and saw this RV directly behind me, and as I turned around I felt the impact," Mike Mize, a truck driver involved in the accident told the local El Paso FOX affiliate. The impact Mize felt was the semi hitting the back of the RV, and then the RV hitting his truck.

"And a split second later a Roush racing team truck whizzed past me, doing 50 mph, and slammed into the truck that was in front of me and his tractor exploded. I mean it just exploded," said Mize.

Mize ran from his cab and went to aid the occupants of the transporter.

"I asked him, didn't you know this was a place to slow down, and he said, he said, he wasn't paying attention, and when he looked up, it was too late," said Mize.

The collision shut down eastbound traffic on I-10 for nearly five hours.

02/01/07 A driver of a tractor-trailer with the NASCAR logo was critically injured in a traffic collision at the Border Patrol checkpoint in Sierra Blanca today, a Texas Department of Public Safety Official said. Joe Millikan, the driver of the NASCAR tractor trailer, was taken by ambulance to Thomason Hospital. Three other people, including Milliken's driving partner, suffered nonlife-threatening injuries. They also were taken to Thomason. Their names were not available, DPS dispatcher Julian Najera said. The cause of the crash has not been determined. Officials were also unable to say what vehicle the other victims were traveling in. El Paso Times More ...
02/05/07
skip barber
JPM, Marco, A.J., Duran and Edwards  Of late there have been a lot of stories, particularly on the internet, regarding the recent exploits of Juan Pablo Montoya, Marco Andretti, A.J. Allmendinger, Salvador Duran and John Edwards. We at Skip Barber are very proud of their past – and current, and likely future – accomplishments. When describing their racing backgrounds during the early parts of their careers, some of the information being passed along has been either not quite correct or incomplete. What we would like to accomplish here at Skip Barber is to get the facts down, so that any fan and/or racing writer who wants to describe the early successes of these five drivers has a resource to refer to… More ...
02/05/07
cca
Paladin Motorsports Enjoys Atlantic Testing Debut  Corona, California  – It was the series debut that Paladin Motorsports dreamed of at the recent Champ Car Atlantic Championship open test at Sebring International Raceway.

After joining the Atlantic series in 2007 after capturing the Formula TR 1600 championship in 2006, Paladin Motorsports came off the starting line quickly at the January 27-28 test in Sebring, Florida. Competing against a very talented 24-car field in the first of three pre-season open tests for the Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, the Paladin crew proved up to the task.

The team and driver Adrien Herberts developed an instant chemistry and soon the #45 Paladin Motorsports entry was running among the series leaders on the 1.6-mile Sebring test track. More ...

02/05/07
nascar
Olympia Steel Buildings Joins Petty Enterprises  Olympia Steel Buildings today announced that the company has entered an agreement with Petty Enterprises to be the “Official Steel Building” of Petty Enterprises and an associate sponsor for drivers Bobby Labonte and Kyle Petty for the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup season.

“Olympia Steel Buildings is pleased to extend our involvement in NASCAR and partner with Petty Enterprises, an organization that exemplifies success, quality and integrity on and off the racetrack,” said Arnold Davis, President of Olympia Steel Buildings.  “We plan to connect with Nextel Cup fans beginning with the Daytona 500 in February, with the goal of becoming the official steel building provider for fans across the country.”

Under the agreement with Petty Enterprises, the Olympia Steel Buildings logo will be featured on the uniform sleeve of both Bobby Labonte and Kyle Petty. In addition, discounts for Olympia Steel Buildings will be given to 2007 Richard Petty Driving Experience participants and NASCAR fans who are visitors to Olympia’s website www.olympiabuildings.com.

02/05/07
british f3
Breen joins Carlin F3 squad  Formula BMW UK Champion Niall Breen has signed with Carlin Motorsport for the 2007 British F3 Championship. Breen, who dominated the 2006 Formula BMW UK season, tested with Carlin in December as part of his prize for taking the title. Breen began his career in karting in his home country of Ireland in 1994. Moving up the karting ranks, he competed in the European FA Kart Championship in 2003. In 2005, the Irishman competed in the highly respected Formula BMW championship, finishing a respectable 11th. In his second season, Breen scored 16 podium finishes – 13 of them consecutive –taking nine race wins to claim the title with three races to go. More ...
02/05/07
motogp
Edwards opens Sepang test on top  Four teams and seven riders were on track today in Malaysia, for MotoGP’s second visit to Sepang of 2007. The teams absent from last week’s Australian excursion all continued their 800cc development under the customary humid conditions, in the first of three testing days.

Both Yamaha factory riders took the early initiative in Asia, with Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi at the top of the timesheets. Edwards put in a lap of 2’02.175 on the latest version of the M1, edging out team-mate and five time premier class World Champion Valentino Rossi by under 5 hundredths of a second. The Italian rode the fewest laps of any rider on day one, going round 40 times.

Kawasaki’s Randy de Puniet was the only other rider to break the 2’03 barrier, albeit over half a second slower than the two official Yamaha representatives. The Frenchman grafted hard on the opening day, and put in over twice as many laps as Rossi on the Ninja ZX-RR800. More ...

02/05/07
f1
Spyker F1 launch interviews  Here is a plethora of interviews with all the key players involved with today's Spyker f1 launch at Silverstone.
02/05/07
ARCA
70 Cars Entered In Daytona ARCA Race  As of today, the number of entries for the ARCA 200 at Daytona International Speedway stands at 70, after swelling to 72 before last Friday’s postmark deadline.  This of course goes to show you that not only is NASCAR flush with sponsors, but so too is the lowly ARCA series.  That's a lot of mouths to feed and you wonder why open wheel teams have a difficult time finding sponsorship.  America truly is a Stock Car Nation now thanks to the destruction of open wheel racing when the IRL was created and the sport split.
02/05/07
Industry News
Hyundai’s hard road  UPDATE The head of Hyundai Motor was sentenced to three years in jail for embezzling funds from the world's No. 6 auto maker, dealing another blow to a company battling a rising won and restive labor unions.  The surprise ruling -- the expectation was that Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Mong-koo would get a suspended jail sentence -- initially sent shares in the country's top carmaker down over 3 percent on Monday as investors worried about a management vacuum.  Chung, 68, wearing a dark gray suit, appeared shaken after the verdict. He quickly left the courtroom, which was filled to capacity with Hyundai group employees, including Chung's son, Chung Eui-sun, the president of sister company Kia Motors Corp.

02/04/07 The name on the court docket reads Chung Mong-koo, but it may be the company he leads that's on trial.  Chung, the 68-year-old chairman of Hyundai Motor Co., faces sentencing Monday for embezzlement and misappropriation of corporate funds. He could receive a six-year jail term.

For Hyundai, his legal troubles could hardly come at a worse time.

Despite earning top quality ratings in American customer surveys, outranking even Japanese rivals Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., Hyundai saw sales flatten last year. Profit skidded 35%, hurt by chronic labor strife, currency exchange fluctuations and reluctance on the part of many American and European buyers to shell out large sums for Hyundai cars and trucks.

Now Chung, who engineered the automaker's transition from industry also-ran to a $29-billion-a-year empire selling in every region of the world, faces an uncertain future.

"Hyundai Motor relies on one man. Only he has power to control management," said Stephen Ahn, an auto analyst at Woori Investment & Securities in Seoul.  More at LA Times

02/05/07
Track News
Historic Donington Park track sold  Donington Park Leisure Limited, operators of Britain's most historic motor racing and event venue, Donington Park, has today been sold by Live Nation (formerly Clear Channel Group) to the newly created Holding company Donington Ventures Leisure Limited (DVLL), led by founders Simon Gillett and Lee Gill. DVLL has simultaneously acquired from Wheatcroft & Sons, substantial surrounding lands and have taken over responsibility for the 'Donington Grand Prix Collection' - the world's largest collection of Grand Prix racing cars. These acquisitions will allow the company to further develop the circuit and motor sport events but also widen the Park's appeal in leisure and entertainment. Donington Park founder Tom Wheatcroft has agreed to join the company and will assume the role of President with immediate effect. Kevin Wheatcroft also joins the company as special advisor and brings expertise and knowledge that will help develop and promote the Donington Grand Prix Collection. More ...
02/05/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
Heidfeld drives on frozen lake
Bernie rules out Dubai grand prix
Bernie wants 20 races on future calendar
Abu Dhabi news not bad - Bahrain
Karthikeyan eyes Le Mans start
RB3 gives Red Bull no wings
Valles hopes for race seat in 2008
Winkelhock hopes for Friday action
STR's no RBR 'satellite' - Horner
Alonso's team switch is 'brave' - Damon Hill
02/04/07
TV News
USA TV reminders for Mon-Wed  
Courtesy of TVRacer.com

Monday
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain -Chris Economaki
8:00am-9:00am (R) SPEED
NASCAR Now
6:30pm-7:00pm ESPN2
NASCAR Preseason Thunder
7:00pm-7:30pm SPEED

Tuesday
NASCAR Drivers: Non-Stop
5:30pm-6:30pm ESPN2
NASCAR Now
6:30pm-7:00pm ESPN2
NASCAR Preseason Thunder
7:00pm-7:30pm SPEED
Crash Science -Race Cars
10:00pm-11:00pm National Geographic
Man, Moment, Machine -Enzo Ferrari & the Historic Race (1951 British Grand Prix)
10:00pm-11:00pm History Channel

Wednesday
AIGP Eastern Creek, Australia
4:00pm-6:00pm (2/4/07) SPEED

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

02/04/07
racing news
Quotes of the week  
MARK WEBBER, F1 driver, Red Bull
"It's like having your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend there. Kimi must go 'what the f***?' 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?"   (Retired Michael Schumacher has been retained for 2007 as an advisor to Ferrari, but Webber thinks the great German's presence is an unreasonable extra pressure for Raikkonen as the Finn adapts to his switch to Ferrari after five years at McLaren)
 
JUAN MONTOYA, NASCAR and Grand-Am driver, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
"I ticked everything I wanted to do in F1. Yes, it would have been nice to win a championship, but it wasn't worth it in the end.  If you want to run like you're behind the safety car, go ahead and do it, but I want to entertain myself."  (Commenting after racing to victory in the Grand-Am Rolex 24 at Daytona.  Montoya turned down a Toro Rosso seat in F1 for 2007, and confirmed recently that he would not return to the Europe-based category even with a top team)
 
JEFF BURTON, NASCAR driver, Richard Childress Racing
"They screwed up Charlotte and didn't do this place any favors. What we do is inherently dangerous, and the racing doesn't have to be this fast. It's hard to get a feel for it. I don't see how too fast racing makes for good racing.  The tires have to be as hard as bricks or they will explode. How many tires have we seen blow out today, three, four? We can expect tire problems when we built this type of a racetrack."  (Commenting on the higher banking after testing at the redesigned Las Vegas Motor Speedway)
02/04/07
nascar
Ambrose looking forward to road course test  Australian Marcos Ambrose will drive a NASCAR on a road course circuit for the first time when he undertakes a test day in the #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion at Virginia International Raceway in Virginia this Thursday.

Ambrose will have three days of testing this week, starting with the second open Busch Series test of the pre-season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Monday and Tuesday (February 5-6). These tests will be followed by a single day of testing at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) on Thursday February 8.

The 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway was significantly redeveloped in 2006, with the banking in the turns increased from 12 to 20 degrees. Ambrose is in a unique situation among the drivers set to drive at the test, never having driven on the old layout, but already familiar with the new banking. More ...

02/04/07
f1
F1 BMW car does ice runs  Zurich/St. Moritz, Even the good weather made an appearance at the premiere hosted by Credit Suisse: Under sunny skies, BMW Sauber F1 Team driver Nick Heidfeld delighted a record crowd of some 15,000 spectators with his Formula One car on the frozen lake of St. Moritz. The occasion was the centennial of White Turf.

Guests attending the first Sunday of the international horse racing event saw something extraordinary today. On the 100th anniversary of this prestigious St. Moritz event, the BMW Sauber F1 Team added plenty more horsepower to what was already on the course. The whole thing was made possible by Credit Suisse, a principal sponsor and long-time partner of the event, together with the other main partner, BMW (Switzerland) AG. It was 2 p.m. when Formula One driver Nick Heidfeld set off on the most unusual drive of his long career. That was quite a unique experience - just seeing the magnificent mountain scenery surrounding the lake is really impressive. The frozen track was of course much rougher than what I'm used to in Formula One. Although it was by no means easy to apply force on such a surface, I enjoyed the drive immensely" he said. More ...

02/04/07
industry news
10,000 jobs may be cut at Chrysler  Up to 10,000 Chrysler Group employees could lose their jobs, and at least three plants appear vulnerable to closure under the company's long-awaited cost-savings plan that is to be made public next week, auto insiders say.

Michigan assembly plants are not among those expected to close, but thousands of the cuts will likely include salaried or contract workers, some of them at Chrysler's Auburn Hills headquarters or at other locations around the state. Chrysler, the Auburn Hills-based arm of DaimlerChrysler AG, plans to announce its restructuring plan Feb. 14, along with its 2006 earnings.

The company lost about $1.5 billion in the third quarter of last year, and speculation has mounted ever since about the unit's future:

• Will Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Tom LaSorda lose his job?

• Will the Germans sell Chrysler?

• Will the company offer a blanket buyout package, like those used by General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co.?

The Valentine's Day announcement is not expected to be as big a blow to the Detroit region as recent cost-cutting plans by cross-town rivals Ford and General Motors, which offered buyouts last year to slash their workforces by tens of thousands of people. More at Detroit Free Press

02/04/07
track news
Lowe’s to upgrade grandstands  UPDATE "This track is constantly evolving and each change is designed to make it more user friendly for our fans, competitors and employees," said Bruton Smith, founder and chairman of Lowe's Motor Speedway. "Fans are absolutely going to love the changes which will bring these prime viewing areas in line with the other modern grandstands around the speedway."

The $4 million frontstretch grandstand project involves renovating the lower portions of the Ford, General Motors and Chrysler sections, all of which were part of the original grandstand when the track opened in 1960.

The renovation is the first phase of a multi-year plan to rebuild the track's frontstretch. This phase includes the construction of a steel and aluminum grandstand which will be placed over the old concrete structure. The new section will include approximately 18,000 stadium-style seats, more walkways, added depth between rows and additional handicap-accessible seating. More ...

02/04/07
irl
Desperate men say desperate things  Darren Manning says he is quite impressed with one of the worse teams in Indy Car Racing - AJ Foyt Enterprises. Of course they now employ the former CART driver who was out of a job so what would you expect him to say?

"I didn't really know what to expect, but I was quite impressed," Manning to autosport.com. "I knew they were doing everything right. Having raced with big teams, the massive organizations, to get back to a proper race team effectively, is quite good and exciting," he added. "There's not the massive infrastructure of management and decision making, there's one guy. AJ (Foyt) makes all the decisions. "You want something done, you go straight to him instead of through several different management levels. You can get stuff done pretty quickly, and it's nice."

He even goes on to insinuate that they will challenge for race wins this year, which is one of the most outrageous things we have heard in quite some time.

"We're going to be going for some race wins out there this year," he said. "AJ knows how to put a racecar under a driver, and he understands what I want. Already we're communicating really well and making changes going forward. That's a testament to how he works with a driver, and his understanding of a driver and the race car."

02/04/07
f1
Abu Dhabi gets F1 race in 7-year deal  UPDATE Related interview with HE Khaldoon Al Mubarak, the Chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Executive Affairs Authority.

02/03/07 (GMM) Formula One Management on Saturday morning confirmed that Abu Dhabi will host its first grand prix in 2009.

As the sport's biggest names congregated in the Middle Eastern emirate for a street demonstration of F1 cars, Bernie Ecclestone told reporters that he had penned a minimally seven year deal with the Abu Dhabi government.

A purpose built circuit, also including distinct street and "marine" sections, will be built on man-made Yas Island, which is just off the east coast of Abu Dhabi and also the scene for a future Ferrari-themed theme park.

An FOM statement revealed that the track, already under construction, will be penned "by renowned formula one circuit designer Hermann Tilke."

Among those on hand for this weekend's Abu Dhabi event are Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Ralf Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, Flavio Briatore, Nick Fry, Gerhard Berger, Aguri Suzuki and Christian Horner.

For the street demonstration on Saturday, runners roared around a temporary barrier-lined city circuit, above which were banners proclaiming "Abu Dhabi 2009". More ...

02/04/07
a1gp
Ho-Pin Tung gives China first ever podium finish  In a champion’s style Ho-Pin Tung made everything work in today’s A1GP race in Sydney, Australia. He ensured a 3rd place in the Feature Race with a breathtaking maneuver in the 22nd lap of the race, when he overtook team Holland by taking the outside line of the circuits first corner. It is China’s first ever podium since the start of the A1GP Nations Cup races. In Australia it was only the third time that Ho-Pin Tung defended the honor of China.

In Sunday mornings Sprintrace Ho-Pin Tung had already started collecting points for China, by finishing 6th. After the main race Ho-Pin delivered eight valuable points, ranking China now ahead of host country Australia. Again Team Germany was dominant all weekend.

Although Ho-Pin lost two places in first lap, the teams’ tactics worked out well. Ho-Pin:’ I had a good speed, the car handled well, and I could do with car exactly what I wanted. I was able to push hard and when looking at the lap charts it is clear that we are closing the gap with the top,’ he said delighted and proud. More ...

02/04/07
f1
cc
Michael says F1 should copy Champ Car rule  Williams technical director Sam Michael says that F1 should copy Champ Car's red-tire rule requiring cars to use two tire compounds in the course of each race and the softer compound to be marked with red sidewalls.

The rule is intended to spice up the racing by introducing an extra variable as Formula 1 moves to a monopoly tire supply situation this season.

But several drivers have claimed that it is pointless because all teams will adopt similar tactics – using the softer (and theoretically faster) compound for the majority of the race and saving the hard one for a short stint at the end, when the cars tend to be more strung out and there are fewer passing opportunities.

But speaking at last Friday’s Williams launch Michael took issue with that view, claiming that there will be plenty of scope for teams to pursue different options.

“I don’t think everyone is doing to do exactly the same thing,” he said. don’t know where that idea has come from because there will definitely be different philosophies out there. More ...

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