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Racer gets audited  The IRS decides to audit Ralph The Racer, and summons him to the IRS office. The IRS auditor is not surprised when Ralph The Racer shows up with his attorney.

The auditor says, "Well, sir, you have an extravagant lifestyle and race expensive cars, which you explain by saying that you win money gambling to pay for it. I'm not sure the IRS finds that believable."

"I'm a great gambler, and I can prove it," says Ralph. "How about a demonstration?"

The auditor thinks for a moment and said, "Okay. Go ahead."

Ralph says, "I'll bet you a thousand dollars that I can bite my own eye."

The auditor thinks a moment and says, "No way! It's a bet."

Ralph removes his glass eye and bites it.

The auditor's jaw drops.

Ralph says, "Now, I'll bet you two thousand dollars that I can bite my other eye."

The auditor can tell Ralph isn't blind, so he takes the bet.

Ralph removes his dentures and bites his good eye.

The stunned auditor now realizes he has wagered and lost three grand, with Ralph's attorney as a witness. He starts to get nervous.

"Want to go double or nothing?" Ralph asks. "I'll bet you six thousand dollars that I can stand on one side of your desk, and pee into that wastebasket on the other side, and never get a drop anywhere in between."

The auditor, twice burned, is cautious now, but he looks carefully and decides there's no way this guy can manage that stunt, so he agrees again.

Ralph stands beside the desk and unzips his pants, but although he strains mightily, he can't make the stream reach the wastebasket on other side, so he pretty much urinates all over the desk.

The auditor leaps with joy, realizing that he has just turned a major loss into a huge win. But Ralph's attorney moans and puts his head in his hands.

"Are you okay?" the auditor asks. "Not really," says the attorney. "This morning, when Ralph told me he'd been summoned for an audit, he bet me twenty thousand dollars that he could come in here and piss all over your desk and that you'd be happy about it."

NASCAR weekly cheating report  NASCAR announced today that Greg Conner, crew chief of the No. 59 Ford driven by Marcos Ambrose and Scott Zipadelli, crew chief of the No. 47 Ford driven by Jon Wood in the NASCAR Busch Series, have been penalized due to rule violations at Texas Motor Speedway.

Both were fined $2,000 for violating Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing), 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used that do not conform to NASCAR rules) and 20A-12A: unapproved rear axle housing (offset) of the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series Rule Book.

The infractions were discovered during opening day inspection on April 12.

Hamilton could be best ever  Lewis Hamilton may become the greatest driver of all time, according to Martin Whitmarsh. "Why not?" said the chief executive of Hamilton's team, McLaren-Mercedes, still taking in the rookie's surge to the joint lead in the world championship. "It's obviously too early to analyze but if the trend continues there is no reason why he could not be the greatest driver ever.
"Since I joined McLaren in 1989 I've worked with a lot of great drivers including [Alain] Prost, [Ayrton] Senna, Mika Hakkinen, Kimi Raikkonen and now Fernando Alonso with Lewis and I think I've developed a pretty clear picture of what gives the top guys that crucial edge over the simply good or average drivers. And I think it is pretty clear that Lewis ticks all the necessary boxes." Whitmarsh said that to be one of the very best a driver had "to assemble a selection of components. Firstly, and obviously, you need the natural skill. Secondly you require a considerable degree of natural toughness. Thirdly some technical empathy is a major benefit because it helps a driver to integrate better with his engineers, which in turn speeds up the car development progress.

"Finally there is fitness, determination and application. Even over their cornflakes the top guys are always thinking what they can do to improve their own performances and work hard. It is almost as if they have some special genetic capability. Lesser drivers don't do this, possibly because they aren't smart enough, aren't committed enough or simply don't care." More at The Guardian

Bid to sabotage F1 race foiled  Police foiled repeated attempts by rioters to sabotage the three-day Formula One race, Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa said yesterday.

There were 70 clashes with police from April 12 to 16 at 17 different locations, mostly in villages, he said.

Shaikh Rashid said the rioters seemed to be trying to make their way closer to the Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, but were resisted by the security forces.

"We would like the media to play a greater role in making these people understand that the F1 event benefits everyone in Bahrain, including them," he said.

The minister added that the residents of these villages were often the ones who are most affected by such acts of violence.

"Roads are blocked and public property burned. The ones who suffer the most are those who live in these areas," said Shaikh Rashid.

Kentucky announces IndyCar sponsors and events  Meijer, Coca-Cola and Edy’s Grand Ice Cream will be the title and presenting sponsors of the Aug. 11 “Meijer Indy 300 presented by Coca-Cola and Edy’s” 300-mile IndyCar Series race at Kentucky Speedway. Radio Disney AM 680 in Louisville, Ky., will bring unique family entertainment to the venue throughout its final race weekend of the 2007 season beginning Aug. 10 with “Radio Disney AM 680 Fanfest.”
NASCAR owner doesn't like NASCAR's officiating  Troy Aikman said the most surprising thing he’s learned since getting into NASCAR in 2006 is how series officials handle penalties.  “I still haven’t been able to quite figure out how NASCAR decides on their degrees of punishment,” he said. “How those are handed down. I don’t want to use the word inconsistency.”

Aikman cited his team’s first race from 2006, when it was docked 25 points and fined $25,000 for using an illegal carburetor in qualifying at the Daytona 500. At the same race, Jimmie Johnson’s team set up the car so it could change height during qualifying. No points were deducted, but the team lost its crew chief for four races.

“I think for the most part,” Aikman said, “how things are handled and how punishment is given out [in the NFL] is pretty consistent from one case to the next, and I don’t know that is the case in NASCAR.” Dallas Morning News

PPI Motorsports to be Auctioned off  The #32 PPI Motorsports Nextel Cup team, owned by Cal Wells III is up for auction for: Race Shop,  Fab Shop,  Machine Shop,  Office Equipment,  Race Cars,  Chassis Dyno,  5th Wheel Trailer,  Motor Coach,  Equipment of All Kinds, from Wednesday, April 18th thru Sunday, April 22nd at Sentman Auctions
iLevel to sponsor Kenseth  Roush Fenway Racing announced today that iLevel by Weyerhaeuser will return in 2007 as a primary sponsor in the NASCAR Busch Series. Weyerhaeuser's iLevel brand will appear four times this season as the primary sponsor on Matt Kenseth's No. 17 Ford Fusion. The first race in which Kenseth's No. 17 will feature iLevel as the primary sponsor will be this weekend at Phoenix. iLevel will also be the primary sponsor for Dover in September and Charlotte in October. iLevel will finish out its season at Texas in November.

iLevel by Weyerhaeuser was a primary sponsor for four races in 2006, splitting time between Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards. The combination of the two drivers proved successful as iLevel finished 2006 with three top-five finishes in just four starts. Biffle and Edwards both fell just short of earning a win for iLevel, Edwards finished second at Dover, while Biffle finished second at Richmond.

"I looked on the calendar and saw the four iLevel races (Phoenix, Dover, Charlotte and Texas) and thought to myself, 'Hey, those four races are pretty good ones for them to be on board,'" said Kenseth. "Historically, we've had a lot of success at those tracks and they're definitely among my favorites. I've been fortunate enough to win at all four of them and would love to add to that total when we go back this year with Drew (Blickensderfer) and the Busch car. I know iLevel came close to getting to Victory Lane last year, ideally we'll be able to take them there at least once in 2007."

Gommendy a man to keep an eye on  Tristan Gommendy wanted to be a Formula 1 driver when he was growing up but with money very hard to find in France it was not easy. He shot to prominence in 2002 by winning the French Formula 3 title and the Macau Grand Prix in 2002 but then did not have the backing to get beyond the Renault World Series until last year when he found the money to do a handful of GP2 races. At 28 he was then forced to recognize that probably he was going to miss out on F1 unless he could make a big impression on the international scene and so signed to drive for PKV in the Champ Car World Series. At Long Beach he gave a hint that he is going to be a contender. He found himself at the front of the pack in Long Beach when the adopted a different strategy to everyone else but he then stayed ahead, despite having much more experienced Sebastien Bourdais right behind him for 13 laps before the team had to face up to the fact that the strategy had failed and so he dropped back to 11th when he had to stop. He is, however, a man worth watching in the US series this year. Grandprix.com
Australian GP chief steps down  (GMM)  Tim Bamford has resigned from his role as chief executive of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation.

After three years in the role, Bamford also decided to leave the Corporation altogether, having been associated with the body for 11 years.

AGPC chairman Ron Walker said Bamford sought a new challenge.

"He is a successful leader and a very decent person who will be missed by all who worked with him," Walker said on Tuesday.

Bamford joined the AGPC as engineering manager when formula one moved from southern city Adelaide to Melbourne in 1996, becoming event manager in 1998, deputy chief executive officer in 2002 and chief executive officer in 2004.

He is replaced by Drew Ward, who was general operations manager at Melbourne's Commonwealth Games last year and a group manager during the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.

tv news
A1GP Shanghai race to be shown on SPEED  The A1GP race run in Shanghai, China on April 15, 2007, will be shown on Wednesday, April 18 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET on SPEED.
NAPA sponsoring Canadian Busch Race and Reutimann  Stock-Car Montréal s.e.c. announced that the NAPA Auto Parts 200 will be the official name of the inaugural NASCAR Busch Series race on August 4 at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. During the press conference, it was also announced that David Reutimann will drive the #99 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota in the Montreal race. Stock-Car Montréal PR
Mixed results for Jani in Long Beach  With a faultless and strong performance, Swiss racer Neel Jani finished in seventh place in the traditional Champ Car event in Long Beach, California. This despite major tuning problems during practice with his Red Bull PKV and after being slowed down by tank-system problems during the race.

"I got the maximum out of a difficult racing weekend", was Neel Jani's conclusion after the race. The Swiss Champ Car rookie showed a faultless race in the "Monte Carlo of the United States". Despite the fact that not everything went according to plan, he managed to make up four places from qualifying and was the top-placed rookie of the race. More ...

Ferrari chiefs discuss their drivers  Felipe's weekend was fantastic and this was due to his capability - and to the car of course." That's how Ferrari's technical director Mario Almondo summarized Felipe Massa's win in Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix, but both Almondo and sporting director Stefano Domenicali (pictured right) paid tribute to the Brazilian's ability to turn around his performance following a poor start and losing the Malaysian Grand Prix to Fernando Alonso the week before. It was not possible to do much work since the last race," continued Almondo. "Of course, we went through videos and all that stuff, looking at last year's race and the last start, trying to go into as much detail as we could, but you can't do anything specific.

"This is the difficult part of the job, because the success of today is linked to Felipe's mental attitude which I have to say was fantastic. The concentration is evident to everybody. The car gave him the possibility to do what he did but basically it's very good revenge for him and we are very happy for him."

Domenicali explained that "Felipe's strength was to react straightaway from one week ago in Malaysia. Everyone said that Felipe was no longer a driver. As always you need to look at the average, and I think that he reacted very very well and that shows his character. I think that he's grown a lot, because he wanted to show first to himself and also to all of us who he is. For sure, his strength is that he had a great reaction in terms of behavior and approach to this race." More ...

Radio LeMans adds another 24 hour race  Radio Show Limited, the rights holder for Radio Le Mans is adding the Nürburgring 24 Hour race to its portfolio of radio events. In addition to the French classic, RSL already provides personnel and broadcast expertise to the official radio services of the Britcar Silverstone 24 Hours and the American Le Mans Series.

“The calendar has been kind to endurance fans this year,” explains John Hindhaugh. “Thankfully the Nürburgring 24 does not clash with Le Mans so we have an opportunity to present a feast of endurance racing in June.”

This is the first time that an English Language station has broadcast from the event which regularly attracts more than 120 entries. Although primarily seen as a national German event it’s pressure from UK and USA-based listeners that has driven the new venture. More ...

Audi driver Mattias Ekström about Hockenheim  
  • Traditional scene of DTM opener
  • Hockenheim holds DTM spectator record
  • Maximum speed and traction are of premium importance

Hockenheim has been the scene of both the opening and final rounds of the most popular international touring car series since the 2000 season. Audi factory driver Mattias Ekström talks about the 4.574 kilometer circuit on which the first DTM race of 2007 is held this coming weekend.
What’s so unique about the Hockenheim circuit?
"Hockenheim is always interesting. It is a big challenge to find the correct set-up. We have, on one hand, extremely high top-speeds, and on the other you need good traction out of the slower corners. We only really go head-to-head with the opposition for the first time each year there after the tests – and in October again for the last time.”
How would you describe the now legendary atmosphere at Hockenheim?
"The atmosphere is something very special. The grandstands are packed out. Such a backdrop sends shivers down anybodies spine. In April 2006, 104,000 spectators showed up and in October and incredible 149,000. That was a new record for the DTM. Even when the paddock is full to bursting I still enjoy it, and love to give lots of autographs.” More ...

British F3
Rodolfo Avila quits Performance Racing  Rodolfo Avila's Management Team announced today that Macanese F3 driver Rodolfo Avila will not continue to race for Performance Racing Europe in the British F3 Championship 2007.
racing news
Quotes of the past week  
CRAIG GORE, Champ Car team co-owner, Team Australia
"Tony George is single-handedly responsible for f---ing up open wheel racing in this country," Gore declared. "He took what was the greatest racing series in the world, no doubt about it, and screwed it. I don't understand the guy at all. A lot of people have tried to work with him, but it never happens. We all know the best thing would be to have one series, but that's not possible and we need to get on with what we do.  We need to define ourselves and brand ourselves and Champ Car needs to be much more aggressive about it," Gore added. "There's got to be one clear, strong message and they've got to get on with selling it. And obviously, it's all about these places -- Long Beach, Surfers Paradise, Toronto -- the great city street race festivals. It's about fantastic racing and a hell of a party too."

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, Champ Car driver, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing
"It [ticks] me off," Bourdais said in the post-race Long beach press conference. "I think if we are a professional series, we should have professional drivers. And when you hear the figures and you hear people asking drivers to bring $3 million to get a ride, it's not right." (After a great job subbing for the injured Paul Tracy in the Champ Car race in Long Beach Sunday, Sebastien Bourdais lashed out at the fact Servia, who filled in for Tracy, does not have a fulltime ride.)

BERNIE ECCLESTONE, President and CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Administration
"I wish people wouldn't keep on talking about him [Lewis Hamilton] being colored and all that because he doesn't need to have the praise because he happens to be colored," said Bernie.  "He is just bloody good. He is also young, good looking and talks to people. That's important.  The point is he is selling the business -- 100 per cent."  (Bernie Ecclestone has urged the F1 media to stop referring to the color of Lewis Hamilton's skin.  He suggested in Bahrain that the McLaren rookie was doing a good enough job this year without needing endless references to his record as the sport's first ever black driver.) More ...

Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Ferrari urge Raikkonen to improve
  • Germany, not Fisi, misses Schumacher
  • Williams would snap up Hamilton
  • Briatore eyes mid-year recovery
  • Fisichella wants Patrese's GP record
  • No tension between McLaren duo - Dennis
  • BMW will win a race in 2007 - Mercedes' Haug
  • Ralf not worried about bad 2007 form

Ferrari urge Raikkonen to improve
(GMM) Ferrari has urged Kimi Raikkonen to improve after the Finn's disappointing race in Bahrain.

Some observers were surprised when the highly rated 27-year-old lagged the leaders at the safety car restart in Sakhir, after Raikkonen also made a poor getaway when the red lights went out and was outpaced all weekend by teammate Felipe Massa.

"I have to say that he has to think of a better way of managing this part of the job," Ferrari's technical director Mario Almondo, referring to the botched restart, told reporters.

The Italian also confirmed to La Gazzetta dello Sport that Raikkonen did not have "any specific technical problems" in Bahrain, while Massa won.

The Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport, meanwhile, summed up Raikkonen's weekend by concluding that the Finn did neither "well nor particularly badly" at Sakhir.

Kimi, however, was reportedly critical of his race strategy on Sunday, reckoning that the Ferrari pitwall should have given him a shorter middle stint to ensure he got past Fernando Alonso in the pits.

He said: "Hopefully in the next test we can find something which is a bit better for me."

Ferrari's sporting director Stefano Domenicali defended Raikkonen, arguing that a team could not be unhappy with a driver that is jointly leading the drivers' championship.

"He is new at Ferrari and he is still developing with us," Domenicali said of Kimi.

"I think he is very happy with us and we are very happy with him."

Ferrari has an upcoming aerodynamic test at Vairano before the Italian squad joins the group action at the pre-Spanish grand prix test. More ...

Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Ticket prices  
Two Days, Saturday and Sunday – Grandstands 1, 3, 4 & 6
Adult: Rows 1 - 11 (top) $100
Adult: Rows 12 - 22 $65
Child (12 years and under): Rows 1 - 11 $85
Child (12 years and under): Rows 12 - 22 $50

Two Days, Saturday and Sunday – Grandstands 2
Adult: Rows 1 - 10 (top) $100
Adult: Rows 11 - 19 $65
Child (12 years and under): Rows 1 - 10 $85
Child (12 years and under): Rows 11 - 19 $50

Single Day, Saturday or Sunday – Grandstands 1, 3, 4 & 6
Adult: Rows 1 - 11 (top) $60
Adult: Rows 12 - 22 $40
Child (12 years and under): Rows 1 - 11 $50
Child (12 years and under): Rows 12 - 22 $30

Single Day, Saturday or Sunday – Grandstands 2
Adult: Rows 1 - 10 (top) $60
Adult: Rows 11 - 19 $40
Child (12 years and under): Rows 1 - 10 $50
Child (12 years and under): Rows 11 - 19 $30
Grandstand 5 and all public areas (Children under 12 are free with ticket-bearing adult):
Two-days, Saturday and Sunday $40
Single day, Saturday OR Sunday $25

Weekend (3 days)
Adults $60
Children – 12 & under $30

Single Day – Saturday OR Sunday
Adults $30
Children – 12 & under $15

Reader Feedback
Fans like improved TV quality  Dear AutoRacing1.Com, As a die-hard fan of Champ Car I wanted to take a moment to thank Champ Car and NBC for what I think have been two of the best open wheel road race broadcasts to have aired on network television in a long, LONG time!  Both the Long Beach and Vegas broadcasts on NBC were very well produced (great camera positions) and I think Champ Car has (FINALLY!) found the right combination of personalities in the booth.  PLEASE, don't change a thing!  I just hope it all carries over to the upcoming telecasts on the other networks!  To everyone at Champ Car and particularly Mark Reilly, "Well Done!"  To NBC: GIVE US MORE CHAMPCAR! J.N. Anderson, Shaker Heights, Ohio

Another writes, A friend said that the Detroit NBC station did not air the Long Beach race on Sunday. Following the Red Wings game they ran paid programming.  Can't get ratings if you don't have coverage.  Did Roger Penske pull strings in Detroit to ensure the race was not shown since he arranged an IRL race in Detroit?  I would not put anything past Penske.  I hear it is he, and not Tony George, that is really standing in the way of a merger, contrary to what Roger says to the media. He's a very bad man.  Donald H.

Spengler’s lucky escape  Herewith are some spectacular photos from yesterday's DTM presentation in Düsseldorf on the Königsallee (comparable to 5th Avenue in New York!). The photos were made by photographer Willem J. Staat. The car which caught fire was the Mercedes Benz C-class DTM car of Canadian Bruno Spengler.

Andretti Green Racing nixes Danica ad  According to SportsBusiness Journal IRL driver Sarah Fisher has replaced Danica Patrick “as the star of a new $30 million ad campaign for AAMCO Transmissions."  Patrick was originally tapped to star in the campaign, which would have paid her over $2M, but Andretti Green Racing “nixed it because of a possible conflict with team sponsor Honda.” Sources said Fisher was paid a small fraction of what Patrick was offered.
Funny send-off for Eric Mauk  In the press meeting Sunday morning at Long Beach John Oreovicz from ESPN got about 100 photographers to stamp their feet, clap their hands and sing chorus to the tune of Queen's "We Will Rock You" to John's revised lyrics: "I am, I am, Indy".   Mauk is moving to the Rahal Letterman IRL team to head up their PR to be closer to his roots in Ohio. Then Michael Levitt from LAT gave Eric an IRL backpack straight off a merchandise rack which reads "I am Indy" and inside a bottle of powdered Kool-Aid, which Eric drank, happily.
90,000 turn out in Long Beach Sunday  This city is a charm for Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais, who on Sunday dominated the 33rd annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach to grab his third consecutive victory here.

An estimated 90,000 packed the shoreline of downtown Long Beach as a pair of Boeing-made F-18 fighter jets roared overhead on a bright and slightly breezy day.

Race Grand Marshal George Lucas, flanked by a pair of "Star Wars" storm troopers, kickstarted the thunderous Champ Car World Series with the words: "Gentlemen, start your engines."

The Red Bull Sky Diving Team landed a few feet from the finish line, following speeches by Grand Prix Association President & CEO Jim Michaelian and Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster.

After the race, Michaelian said attendance on Sunday, as well as for the entire three days, appeared to be the strongest in a while.

The association doesn't give out attendance figures, but Michaelian didn't dispute the estimates of 90,000 for Sunday and 180,000 over the whole three days.

"When we sit down and count the numbers, I think this will be the most successful weekend since 2002," he said. "We had a full house. I thought, all-in-all, it was a fabulously successful weekend." More at Long Beach Press Telegram

Junqueira, new car, breathe new life into Coyne team  Parity brought on by the Champ Car World Series' new chassis, the DP01, continued to pay dividends Sunday for Dale Coyne Racing.

Having so often fielded also-rans, owner Dale Coyne watched a second strong performance. Brazilian Bruno Junqueira, who joined Coyne after being replaced at Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing by 18-year-old prodigy Graham Rahal, finished sixth in the 33rd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Rahal, son of three-time champion Bobby Rahal, finished eighth.

Junqueira's sixth was significant. Since 1984, Coyne's teams have had only two third-place finishes and in only four seasons has it had a race finish better than sixth.

None of Coyne's drivers has finished higher than ninth in the season standings.

Through two of 16 events, Junqueira is fourth, 23 points behind leader Will Power of Team Australia.

Junqueira took seventh last week in Las Vegas, finishing right behind teammate, Katherine Legge.

She finished 10th Sunday and is eighth among the 16 drivers who have started both races.

"It was a good day for us today," said Junqueira, who finished second in the championship three times while at Newman/Haas. "This puts us in great position for the championship." LA Times

Bourdais slams ride-buying  After a great job subbing for the injured Paul Tracy in Long Beach Sunday, Sebastien Bourdais lashed out at the fact Servia, who filled in for Tracy, does not have a fulltime ride.

"It [ticks] me off," Bourdais said in the post-race press conference. "I think if we are a professional series, we should have professional drivers. And when you hear the figures and you hear people asking drivers $3 million to get a ride, it's not right."

Figge OK After Late Race LB Accident  Alex Figge crashed his ride into the tires on Turn 9 on his 71st lap. He did not finish the race, and was wheeled off the track on a gurney. But he did not have to go to the hospital, as he suffered just a bruised foot.

“I made a rookie mistake and got caught out by the turbo on the opening laps which set me behind throughout the race.  I was working on passing Dan Clarke, I felt like I had a good rhythm going, we were turning consistently good lap times. I was coming into turn nine I clipped the apex of the curb and got unsettled, I missed the tires and went into the wall.  I am fine, they gave me a few x-rays and everything is clear.  I am definitely going to be sore for a few days, it was a big hit. I am really disappointed; I was hoping to give Imperial Capital Bank a great result on their home turf.  It was a tough weekend, we had some problems yesterday morning that cost us almost the whole morning practice then brakes in the afternoon, but as I have said before we are learning and we’ll keep pushing.”

Roush slams NASCAR, Chevy  Ford's Jack Roush said that NASCAR has made a big mistake in approving the new engine: "NASCAR shouldn't have approved that engine for Chevrolet. "Chevrolet does a great job, and they're certainly at the head of the pack right now, in terms of doing technical things for their teams. But Chevrolet teams didn't need a new engine. And this just creates another scenario where the status quo is further disrupted and now Ford and Chrysler are under pressure to come back and do things that would otherwise be unnecessary - to build a new engine to counter what Chevrolet has now."  Winston Salem Journal
Peugeot HDi wins at Monza, sends Audi message  It looks like Audi may have some real competition at LeMans this year. The Peugeot 908 HDi FAP driven by Nicolas Minassian and Marc Gené took a fantastic win Sunday in Monza on its first appearance at the Le Mans series, watched by Peugeot’s Director General Frederic Saint-Geours. Their success was crowned by a third place for the second Peugeot crew of Stephane Sarrazin and Pedro Lamy.

This achievement was the culmination of more than a year of hard work from the entire Peugeot Total team, which started its Le Mans program from a blank sheet of paper just 16 months ago. The winning car encountered only two problems: a badly-closed door following the first fuel stop and a warning light for an oil pressure sensor – which was thankfully of no consequence.

The second car experienced a similar problem with its door at the first fuel stop, and then a gearbox glitch that led to the car becoming stuck in first gear after the first chicane on lap 61. Stephane Sarrazin – running in second place at the time, just 20 seconds behind the n°7 908 HDi FAP – nursed the car back to the pits where the mechanics changed the gearshift command unit. He lost five laps and re-joined in 12th place with the bit between his teeth. Stephane set fastest lap before handing the car over to his team mate Pedro Lamy. The Portuguese driver continued the crew’s charge, taking the car to an eventual third place at the finish. More ...

Two teams still suffer from slow refueling  “The team had a good strategy today,” said Neel Jani, “a really good strategy, which got me into second place at one point. But unfortunately we had a mechanical issue when we were fueling and the fuel didn’t come in fast enough. That cost me important seconds on each stop. As a result of that problem we lost a better finishing position because I was right on [Oriol]Servia’s tail and he finished second.”

“We struggled a little bit with the fueling on both stops,” said Graham Rahal, who started and ran fifth in the early stages of the race but lost one spot on his first pit stop and three more on his second en route to an eighth-place finish. “It was not fault of the crew, the new equipment just took longer. We have to fix the issues. I think everybody is having the same issues, but it took us longer to fuel than others.

“On the track I think we were competitive with who ever we were running with. Unfortunately we got behind Jani at the end. He may have been slower than us but he had a lot of straightaway speed. I don’t know where he got it because I was better off the hairpin than he was, but he had some speed which eliminated the possibility of getting by him.”

Latest F1 news in brief  UPDATE Three new items added to this morning's F1 News Briefs below.

  • F1 still needs Europe - Theissen
  • Speedy Massa fined 1400 eur in Bahrain
  • Hamilton a title contender - Alonso
  • Sign Nick quick, Stuck tells BMW
  • Red Bull a match for Renault - Coulthard
  • Red Bull to debut seamless gearbox New
  • Italy forgives Massa for Malaysian mistakes New
  • 'No reason' to let Heidfeld go - Theissen New

F1 still needs Europe - Theissen
(GMM) Mario Theissen has warned Bernie Ecclestone to temper his enthusiasm about introducing formula one to new markets.

The BMW boss told the news agency 'dpa': "We need a healthy mixture of new venues with the traditional European circuits."

Theissen was responding to a wave of newfound interest in the sport by other regions; particularly the Middle East.

Ferrari is five per cent owned by the Abu Dhabi government; 30 per cent of McLaren is owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain; Spyker is significantly sponsored by two Middle Eastern companies, and rumors last week hinted that Kuwait may have joined the list of budding F1 venues.

Theissen explained: "If formula one advances into a new region, it is natural that it becomes interesting for their economy."

Speedy Massa fined 1400 eur in Bahrain
(GMM) If Felipe Massa had repeated a mistake made in qualifying at Sakhir during Sunday's Bahrain grand prix, the Brazilian might have thrown away victory.

The Ferrari driver would not have been merely fined 1400 Euro if he had exceeded the 80kph pit lane speed limit by nearly 9kph on Sunday rather than a day earlier.

During the race, such an indiscretion would have cost him a drive-through penalty and almost certainly his top spot on the podium. More ...

Crew Chief Slams COT  Click here: Meanwhile, NASCAR's car of tomorrow will make its third run of the season this week at Phoenix, in what is shaping up as a key test for its controversial aerodynamics and poor handling. But criticism of the new car continues, with some crew chiefs predicting the next step in its evolution will be NASCAR itself providing full-composite bodies, much as it already provides shocks and rear wings at some tracks.

"Maybe NASCAR could just start handing out the entire car to us each week," one crew chief said, tongue-in-cheek. "That way I could get rid of most of the guys on my team. NASCAR could hand us each a car on Friday, and we could spend the rest of the day painting it up, and then practice and qualify Saturday. That would save us a bunch of money." More at Winston-Salem Journal

Montoya Causes Mayhem for NASCAR Stars  Taking out Tony Raines is one thing. Taking out Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. is something else entirely. Celebrated NASCAR rookie Juan Pablo Montoya sideswiped Stewart in Sunday's Samsung 500, starting a chain of events that first sent Johnson to the garage and later indirectly led to Earnhardt being taken out of contention. CIA Stock Photo

The trouble started on lap 240 when Montoya, criticized for a wreck that hampered Raines' chances in the last race at Martinsville, slid up the track and into Stewart. Johnson had no choice but to run into Stewart during the resulting skid, badly damaging his front end.

Thirteen laps later, Stewart was desperately trying to stay on the lead lap when he lost control. This Stewart skid took out Earnhardt, who slowed quickly to avoid Stewart and was rear-ended hard by Kyle Busch.

Stewart ended up two laps down and finished 25th.

"I don't blame [Montoya]. You can't expect him to learn everything in four or five weeks," Stewart said. "He didn't make friends with me today, so he won't get any help from me in the future."

Montoya, the 2000 Indianapolis 500 champion who made the rare switch from Formula One late last season, took eighth for his third top-10 finish in seven races.

"I tried to pass him three or four times, and he never gave me room," Montoya said. "I went in a little different and got really loose, and I don't know what happened."

Said Stewart, "If we'd have been the one to do that to someone else, we would be slandered in the media for life for doing it."  AOL Sports

Stars of Karting
Outstanding debut for Conor Daly  Cytomax driver Conor Daly had an outstanding debut performance for the ArrowUSA Factory Team at the Stars of Karting, Race of the Americas, in Norman, Oklahoma, April 13th-15th 2007.  Having never seen the kart before official practice on Friday, Conor was on top of the speed charts by the fourth official practice session. He was again fastest in the Saturday morning practice just before qualifying. He qualified third fastest but got a bad start for the first of his two heat races on Saturday and fell back to seventh place. While attempting to take third place he made contact with the other kart and failed to finish. His only satisfaction was that he set the fastest lap of the race. He won the second heat but his starting position for both of Sundays finals would be determined by his accumulated heat race finishing positions....which meant a 15th place start for both of Sundays finals.

In the A final on Sunday he fell back at the start to 19th place at the first corner. He then charged through the field to finish the 18 lap final in second place. In the B final he charged through the field to finish on the podium again with a third place finish. His points total for both races puts him as the joint championship leader after the first two rounds of the series. Conor’s next race will be April 20th-22nd in the Skip Barber race series at Virginia International Raceway.

F1 'small guys' can fight for title  (GMM)  After finishing first and second in Bahrain on Sunday, Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton insist that they are genuine championship challengers.

Former triple world champion Niki Lauda pointed out after the race that both of Ferrari and McLaren's "small guys" had simply driven better at Sakhir than their more highly paid and rated teammates.

It raised the interesting question about the drivers' championship, and the obvious fact that a team supporting one driver more than the other usually has a better chance of beating its opponent.

Massa, whose new teammate Kimi Raikkonen replaced Ferrari's undisputed 'number one' Michael Schumacher in 2007, reckons that winning in Bahrain would not have swayed a decision about which of the Ferrari pair will enjoy the role later this year. More ...

IMSA rules on Long Beach protest  UPDATE IMSA stewards have ruled on a protest filed following Saturday’s Long Beach Grand Prix, Round 3 of the American Le Mans Series. The protest concerned maximum driving times during the 100-minute race. In reviewing the matter, the stewards declared the matter to be “non-protestable”, meaning the provisional results will stand. Penske Motorsports’ Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas retain their overall victory.

The total time of the race used to calculate the maximum time allowed for any driver is the posted race time, not the actual time of the checkered flag. In this case the total posted (scheduled) time is 1 hour, 40 minutes (100 minutes), so the maximum time allowed in the car is 70 minutes. To calculate a driver’s time in the car, the total time the car is in pit lane is not counted. In essence, the race clock begins for everyone at the first green flag. When a car enters the pits (for a driver change) the time for the driver currently in the car ends when the car crosses the pit entry time line. The driver clock begins for the next driver when he exits the pits as determined by the pit out time line. The time in the pits, from time line to time line is not counted for either driver when a change occurs.

04/15/07 IMSA stewards have ruled that a protest filed following Saturday’s Long Beach Grand Prix, Round 3 of the American Le Mans Series. The protest concerned maximum driving times during the 100-minute race. In reviewing the matter, the stewards declared the protest to be without merit, meaning the provisional results will stand. Penske Motorsports’ Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas retain their overall victory.

The total time of the race used to calculate the maximum time allowed for any driver is the posted race time, not the actual time of the checkered flag. In this case the total posted (scheduled) time is 1 hour, 40 minutes (100 minutes), so the maximum time allowed in the car is 70 minutes. To calculate a driver’s time in the car, the total time the car is in pit lane is not counted. In essence, the race clock begins for everyone at the first green flag. When a car enters the pits (for a driver change) the time for the driver currently in the car ends when the car crosses the pit entry time line. The driver clock begins for the next driver when he exits the pits as determined by the pit out time line. The time in the pits, from time line to time line is not counted for either driver when a change occurs.

Seen in Long Beach - 6  Long Beach Grand Prix founder and former CART president Chris Pook (pictured right) was surveying the action at Long Beach on Sunday.

Harry Muermans who supports Robert Doornbos in Champ Car and his son Dominick in the Champ Car Atlantic series was spending time with his friend and movie star Djimon Hounsou (pictured together below left).

Hounsou immigrated to Paris at the age of 13 with a brother, and lived on the streets, until he was discovered by fashion designer Thierry Mugler, who made him a model. Modeling led to acting. His film debut was in Without You I'm Nothing, and he has had television parts on Beverly Hills, 90210 and ER and a guest starring role on Alias, but received a larger role in the science fiction film Stargate. Since then he has done many other movies. Djimon took a ride in the 2-seat Minardi Champ Car and he was thrilled. Like other passengers he banged his head/helmet on the dashboard the first time the driver applied the brakes because he was not ready for it.

We spoke to Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach president Jim Michaelian who said he did not have exact attendance numbers but "we were definitely up all three days over last year."

Charles Zwolsman (pictured right) showed up on Sunday surveying the action and still trying to put a deal together to get back into Champ Car.

Toyota not dropping Waltrip yet  For anyone wondering if Michael Waltrip's crashing a Toyota SUV could end his relationship with Toyota, they should think again, Toyota Racing Development Senior Vice President Lee White said Sunday before the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Waltrip owns three teams and has been the face of Toyota this year in its first year of Nextel Cup racing.
"Our position is still that we have agreements with our teams," White said. "We live up to our agreements. Everybody is working hard. Michael is working hard. His organization is working hard, as is all the others."

White said he views the two events as separate incidents.

"That accident didn't have anything to do with what happened at Daytona," White said. "It was an unfortunate incident. Anybody who looked at the pictures has to be happy that Michael is OK, and we'll leave it at that. The two items are not related in our company's minds."

More upgrades for Assen  The Assen, Holland track is undergoing some fairly extensive upgrades in preparation for this year's MotoGP and Champ Car races.

Racing News
Mirra, Skinner win Pro/Celebrity race  It was billed as "the battle of the sexes" and it lived up to expectations, as BMX champion Dave Mirra crossed the finish line in his race-ready Scion tC ahead of Tennis Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova and actor Joshua Morrow, star of "The Young & The Restless," to take the crown in the 2007 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) Champion Mike Skinner finished first in the Pro category.

"It is always exciting to watch these three powerhouses race," said Les Unger, Toyota Motor Sales USA national motorsports manager. "Martina, Joshua and Dave had all participated in previous years but hadn’t won, and each was hungry to take home the trophy this year. However, all the celebrities came prepared for the challenge, and their competitive spirit made for a thrilling show. Their enthusiasm, both on the track and off, demonstrates exactly what the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race is all about."

Mirra was favored to win among the field of 17 stars of film, television and sports by Hollywagers.com, the professional handicappers who’d been analyzing the drivers for weeks. [The odds were presented solely for entertainment purposes exclusively by Hollywagers.com, powered by Pregame.com, the country’s largest bet-centric information site. There was no actual wagering on the outcome of the race.] And the X-Games champ was determined to make it to Victory Circle this year, since he was unable to finish the 2006 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race due to mechanical problems. More ...

Matos beats Bomarito in Long Beach  It wasn’t exactly an easy day at the beach, but it was a fun Sunday drive for Raphael Matos (#6 ProWorks) in the second round of the Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda.

The 25-year-old Brazilian racer fought off a strong early challenge in the Imperial Capital Bank Atlantic Challenge at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (tape-delayed broadcast on ESPN2 at 5:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 19) and he held his competition at bay to secure his second straight win to open the 2007 season. The flag-to-flag victory represented his third career Atlantic win and, more importantly, it gives him a 65-point total in the series standings. He now leads his closest pursuer by 11 points in the early race for the championship and the $2 million bonus to compete in the Champ Car World Series in 2008.

The 50-minute race on the 1.968-mile classic Long Beach street circuit didn’t start as smoothly as it finished. The car of J.R. Hildebrand (#36 Newman Wachs Racing) ran into trouble on the warm-up lap as the first attempt at a 30-car standing start was aborted. After Hildebrand’s car was cleared off the track the rest of the Mazda-Cosworth/Swift/Cooper machines roared off the line from a standing start. More ...

Funeral arrangements for Scott "Budman" Kircher  Scott "Budman" Kircher, a team member for Ginn Racing, passed away Saturday (April 14) at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte as a result of a motorcycle accident Friday in Mooresville, N.C. A resident of Mooresville, Kircher, 45, was one of the transport drivers for the No. 14 team. He is survived by his wife Lani and daughters Katie (21) and Lacey (14). The funeral will be held Thursday in Kircher's hometown of Peoria, Ill.
Prior to joining Ginn Racing for the 2007 season, Kircher worked at ppc Racing for six years.
A trust fund has been established in the name of Scott's daughters -- Katie and Lacey. A donation can be made at any Bank of America. Donations can also be made to the Transporter Drivers of Motorsports Association, P.O. Box 5478, Mooresville, N.C.  28117. 
skip barber
Ricky Taylor Wins Skip Barber Championship  Ricky Taylor, the 17-year-old up-and-coming racer and son of sports car champion Wayne Taylor, won his first car racing championship this weekend with the 2006-2007 Skip Barber Southern Series.

The oldest of two Taylor sons, Ricky competed in the 12-race Skip Barber Southern Series, beginning at Road Atlanta last November and completing this weekend at the famous Daytona International Raceway. He led the Series championship the entire season. Each event weekend consisted of two races with points awarded towards the championship.

The Skip Barber Southern Series season started off brilliantly for Ricky when he scored a triple-crown weekend at the inaugural Road Atlanta race, collecting the pole, two race victories and set a new track record. This elevated him to first in the points championship, a great start to the season. In December, at Sebring International Raceway, Ricky collected two podiums with third and second-place finishes. In January 2007, Ricky dazzled again by capturing the pole and two victories at Homestead/Miami Speedway. In February they returned to Sebring where another pole and two victories were awarded to the young champ. Last month at Moroso Motorsports Park, Ricky took two more podium finishes with double second-place awards. He had mathematically wrapped up the championship following Moroso and came to Daytona this weekend ready to officially earn the championship, and collected a third and fourth-place finish. An awards banquet and ceremony will be held tonight at Daytona USA to honor Ricky and the other competitors.

2007 DTM opens with record and Audi win  The 2007 DTM opened in Dusseldorf with a spectator record and a first victory for Audi. 180,000 fans attended the official season presentation of the most popular international touring car series during which Christian Abt and Martin Tomczyk cruised up and down the famous Konigsallee ("Kö”) in two A4 DTM cars and the spectators got in the mood for the opening race of the year this coming weekend at Hockenheim.
Mattias Ekström and Vanina Ickx claimed the first Audi win of the new DTM season in Dusseldorf: The two Audi drivers changed the right-hand front wheel on an Audi A4 DTM in only 7.7 seconds and were visibly quicker than two-time Formula 1 World Champion Mika Häkkinen and Susie Stoddart on their Mercedes during the TV pit stop duel.
The two popular singers Shaznay Lewis from the British pop group "All Saints” and Mike-Leon Grosch (German Star Search) experienced the DTM presentation on the "Kö” as passengers in the Audi A4 DTM Race Taxi.
The Audi drivers were impressed by the incredible reception and interest of the fans. "I’ve never ever written so many autographs in my life,” said an astonished Mike Rockenfeller (23), who competes in his first DTM race at Hockenheim.
Seen in Long Beach - 5  Salem bin Dasmal (shown right talking to Paul Stoddart), former CEO of DubaiLand and know VP of Business Development and Marketing for Tatweer (a member of Dubai Holdings), went for a Champ Car Minardi F1x2 ride today. He told AutoRacing1.com, "It was a real thrill. The pressure on your body is tremendous from the acceleration and braking." We know that Dubai wants an F1 race and they have even built a F1 theme park, so it's interesting to see the Prince here at a Champ Car race. Hmmm............The weather in Long Beach has dawned sunny with comfortable temperatures and if it stays this way we should be in for a good race.....We are told that vendor sales are up over 30% so far this year.....The standing start for the Champ Car Atlantic race was the cleanest best looking start we have ever seen at Long Beach...........Some of the 20 cities that are currently trying to get a Champ Car race are here in Long Beach and are very happy with what they are seeing. Per previous rumors you will see some new races add to the schedule in 2009. Mark C.
RBR reliability 'not good enough' - Webber  (GMM) Red Bull's press release took the sting out of angry Australian Mark Webber's real post-race comments after the Bahrain grand prix on Sunday.

Webber said in the press release that his fuel flap becoming stuck open at Sakhir was "bloody frustrating", before his RB3 single seater's gearbox broke.

The release also quoted him as saying: "The pace was good, but the result is the same even so." More ...
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Pit damage did not slow me - Alonso
  • Bernie still thinks Massa can win title
  • Schu inspired me - Hamilton
  • Alonso admits not quick enough in Bahrain New
  • Smiling Theissen seems happy with Heidfeld New

Pit damage did not slow me - Alonso
(GMM) After dominating the Malaysian grand prix just one week ago, Fernando Alonso has denied that a garage incident contributed to his apparent lack of pace this weekend in Bahrain.

With his rookie teammate on the front row of the grid, Spaniard Alonso qualified just fourth in his McLaren on Saturday.

While some suggest that race fuel strategy might have played a role, others agree that the championship leader is simply struggling alongside Hamilton at Sakhir.

Another theory, however, is that a broken overhead garage pit gantry, which fell on Alonso's MP4-22 single seater early on Saturday morning in Bahrain, might explain the reigning world champion's qualifying pace.

Components including the front wing of Alonso's damaged car had to be replaced before track action kicked off on Saturday, reports said.

But asked if he thought the impact had rendered his McLaren slower, 25-year-old Alonso answered prior to the race on Sunday: "No, I doubt it."

We have learned that Alonso has three laps more fuel on-board than teammate Hamilton for the start of the Bahrain grand prix, which might go some way to explaining the two tenth gap.

He played down the impact that not winning today's race might have.

"I need to be on the podium if it is possible at 17 races," Alonso said. "And then win the championship at the end." More ...

Ferrari announces Abu Dhabi theme park  Ferrari is pleased to announce it has signed a contract with Aldar, a leading Abu Dhabi property company, to create a Ferrari theme park within the Yas Island project. The ceremony took place this afternoon in Sakhir, which is currently hosting the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix, in the presence of Ferrari C.E.O. Jean Todt and Aldar C.E.O. Ronald Barrott. Felipe Massa, Ronald Barrott, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Jean Todt, Kimi Raikkonen

"The agreement that has been signed today strengthens our ties with Abu Dhabi which is already one of our shareholders and a sponsor of the Scuderia through the Mubadala company," commented Jean Todt. "The park will constitute an amazing opportunity to experience the world of Ferrari and to appreciate the values that have made the Prancing Horse a unique marque around the world. We are happy to embark on this project with Aldar, a company in the vanguard of its sector of activity which also shares our philosophy of striving for excellence." More ...
Bomarito calls for stiffer fines  "I'm very disappointed with this happening with the red flags," said American Champ Car Atlantic driver Jonathan Bomarito. "The people who are driving out there are crashing in every session, and they're not thinking what they're doing. I just hope that the series takes points away from the drivers and there are consequences."

"It's about keeping it off the wall. There's that fine line with trying to give a bit more, but if you lock wheels on the street course, you lose the left side of the car."

Tracy out 3 months  UPDATE #4 We are told by the team that Tracy's impact with the Turn 1 barrier was just 13 Gs so this is not what broke his back.  It's thought that when the car came down out of the air and hit the track surface that the vertical force compression force is what did the damage.

04/14/07 According to Paul Tracy the doctors told him that the kind of injury he has will take time to heal and he will be out of the car 2.5 to 3.5 months

04/14/07 Forsythe Championship Racing driver Paul Tracy suffered compression fracture to his first lumbar vertebrae during an accident in the Saturday morning practice session at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach which will prevent him from getting back in his #3 INDECK Cosworth/Bridgestone/DP01 this weekend.  Right, Tracy returns to track from St. Mary's hospital and is transported by cart to his Forsythe pit.  His mother Vivian and wife Patti ride on the back of the cart.

Oriol Servia will take over the driving duties for the # 3 Champ Car, and will participate in the second qualifying session and race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.  Further information regarding Paul Tracy’s condition will follow.  Forsythe Racing PR

Champ Car superstar and America’s leading active open-wheel driver in terms of starts, wins and laps led, Paul Tracy, has suffered a compression fracture to his first lumbar vertebrae and will miss this weekend’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.  Tracy suffered a frontal impact in Turn One during Saturday morning’s Champ Car World Series practice at Long Beach. He was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital after reporting back pain, where x-rays and further MRI examinations confirmed the injury. No immediate timetable was given for Tracy’s return. Tracy will be replaced in the Forsythe Championship Racing #3 entry by 2005 Champ Car World Series runner-up Oriol Servia. Champ Car PR

04/14/07 Tracy is complaining of pain in his lower back and he is being transported to a local hospital for X-Rays. We do not yet know whether he will be able to drive the remainder of the weekend and the team has not made a decision as to whether they would put another driver in the car if Paul is out for the weekend. Further updates as we get them.

04/14/07 Veteran Paul Tracy lost control of his Forsythe Champ Car in Turn 1 this morning in practice at Long Beach. Although the accident did not look bad the Safety Crew reported a code 3 and Tracy has been taken to the medical center with a neck brace on. The front wing of the car is gone and the nose is damaged on the car so it appears to be fixable. More later.....

Nakajima penalized for Tung shunt  GP2 rookie driver Ho-Pin Tung (24) crashed out of the race in Bahrain in lap 4 and suffered a minor wrist injury. 'I was in 9th place, shortly after the safety car came in I was defending the racing line when someone hit me from behind and I went straight into the wall,’ explains the disappointed driver in the Bahrain heat conditions which was venue for the first two races of the GP2 season.

The driver responsible for the drama, Japanese DAMS-driver Kazuki Nakajima was already involved in a big crash in Race 1. Kazuki Nakajima will be penalized ten places on wherever he qualifies for the feature race at round two of the championship in Spain next month, after being found guilty of overly-aggressive driving in Bahrain.

Nicolas Lapierre gets GP2 win over Glock  Nicolas Lapierre has finally laid his GP2 demons to rest by claiming an assured victory in race two at Bahrain, controlling the event from start to finish.

The ebullient Frenchman was delighted to finally stand on the top step of the podium, banishing his injuries woes of last year to memory as he jumped for joy in between championship rivals Timo Glock and Luca Filippi.

The win was set up at the start when Lapierre and Garcia were the only two drivers to get cleanly through turn one, with the Frenchman slotting his car precisely inside the poleman, after which he was never bothered for the remainder of the race.

Behind the pair, meanwhile, there was mayhem. Andi Zuber made a strong start but tried to move inside Lucas di Grassi, who couldn’t see him. The pair collided, leaving Bruno Senna with nowhere to go but into the back of the pair, while the rest of the grid was bottled up behind the tangle of cars. More ...

Another bad race for Montoya  Stock car rookie Juan Pablo Montoya didn't need the auto racing lesson that the O'Reilly 300 Busch race threw at him Saturday. A decade of racing at the highest levels of open wheel racing had already taught him that a few bad laps can ruin a great day of racing.

Montoya ran well for most of the 200-lap race and was running in the top five with 38 laps to go. But in the next 19 laps, he had a lug nut fall off, was penalized by NASCAR, brushed the wall and had a crash end his race.

The Colombian driver finished 30th and didn't run the last 21 laps.

"The car ran good, but it was tight for most of the race," Montoya said. "Then we made some adjustments and the car got all loose. Then things got worse, and it wasn't our fault."  Dallas Morning News

Kerr wins sprint race for British team  Shanghai, China - A1 Team Great Britain has taken its second consecutive victory in A1GP and the first win for main driver Robbie Kerr, putting the team on pole for this afternoon's A1GP Shanghai, China Feature race. With the PowerBoost on as the car left the grid, Great Britain took the lead into the first corner and built up an advantage that looked comfortable throughout the race.

'It's an excellent job. We did all the hard work yesterday getting out with P1 and then just trying to keep it steady throughout the race, and that what we did. We set a nice consistent pace, and finally we got one!' said British driver Robbie Kerr.

Commenting on his first race win in A1GP, Kerr continued: 'I'm a bit numb at the minute, I don't know what to think to be honest. To be on P1 for the Feature race and that's the all important focus now. Try not to celebrate the Sprint race now, we can do that tonight.'

While the top three maintained their positions off the start line, aggressive moves from Switzerland and Malaysia saw them climb to fifth and sixth respectively while towards the back of the grid, Ireland and Australia also gained places. More ...

Hamilton warns Massa about 'mind games'  (GMM)  Formula one rookie Lewis Hamilton has warned Felipe Massa that his mind games might backfire in the run to the first corner for today's Bahrain grand prix.

Ferrari's Massa earned pole position for the race but 22-year-old Hamilton, amid ever-intensifying hype about his sensational F1 debut in 2007, shares the front row with the Brazilian after their clash in Malaysia one week ago.

Massa on Thursday expressed no hard feelings about the Sepang incident but he warned Hamilton to not expect another open door on the opening lap.

"Lewis has been making good starts," said Massa, sitting alongside Hamilton in the post-qualifying press conference.

"But we gave him space.  This time we know what he can do, so we won't give him room any more."

Asked if he'll do anything differently in this race, Massa added: "Yes, I'll be more aggressive."

Later, away from Massa in a massed swarm of reporters, Hamilton revealed that he thought the Brazilian was attempting a round of "mind games".

But the Briton, who a couple of years ago won a F3 race here at Sakhir, insisted: "His comments aren't intimidating.  It makes no difference to me.

"I have to be aware that he's going to be more aggressive, but that could be a negative thing for him."

Seen in Long Beach - 4  We had a chance to talk to Cristiano da Matta (pictured right) in Long Beach Saturday. He is looking very well now, so well in fact you would never know he was ever in an accident. He flew into Long Beach from Brazil with his parents and is going to visit the doctors in Wisconsin who treated him when he hit the deer while testing at Road America. We asked him if he's ready to get back into Champ Car. "It's up to the doctors," said da Matta. "They wanted me to stay out of the car extra time so my brain would heal fully in case I were to have another accident. I could come back this year but realistically it is too hard to find a ride mid-season so I am targeting 2008. I am working out every day so physically I am in the best shape of my life."..........ex-Champ Car president Dick Eidswick went for a Champ Car Minardi F1 2-seater ride today in Long Beach as did the Mayor of Long Beach Bob Foster (pictured left with his wife right after the ride). Foster was thrilled to have had the ride, beaming ear-to-ear when he pulled his helmet off......Speaking of the 2-seater program, remember we told you it was going to be rebranded. Well it is. The image to the right shows the new branding - Champ Car F1X2. Other people getting rides today were two woman from England, Belinda Whiteside and Chris Harris, both of whom won the rides as part of a competition of sorts in England.........We ran into Roger Penske, Tim Cindric and his Porsche drivers at L'Opera Ristorante at 101 Pine Avenue Saturday night. They were arriving as we were leaving, obviously in a very good mood after finishing 1-2 at Long Beach Saturday in the ALMS race, and not only beating the two Audi LMP1 cars but also the pole sitting Andretti Green Acura.........Ran into Road America President George Bruggenthies who tells us that work is done on their new tunnel and now that the bridge is gone fans will have great views of one of the fastest turns on the circuit. He tells us that Champ Car simulations put the new Panoz at 3 seconds per lap faster than the Lola so expect a new lap record in August. He tells us he may have a Ferris Wheel at the track this year for families who want to bring their kids. Maybe some day it will be a full-fledged carnival a la LeMans. He tells us the synergy between Champ Car and ALMS is excellent. We spotted Kevin Kalkhoven going into the Racer party Saturday night. Downtown Long Beach was alive with excitement. All the ex-CART people like Penske, Fernandez, Andretti , Green and the like appeared delighted to be back.......Did you know that the Turbo Diesel Audis on ALMS to not have pop-off valves to control turbo boost? Boost pressure controlled electronically by the teams and is monitored via real-time telemetry between the car and race officials. Mark C.
Kenseth Hangs on for O'Reilly 300 Win  FORT WORTH, Texas -- Matt Kenseth survived an early spin and held off charging Denny Hamlin in the closing laps to win Saturday's O'Reilly 300 Busch Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Kenseth took then lead after Hamlin slipped on Lap 192 and stayed out front the rest of the way in winning his second Busch race at TMS and the 23rd of his career. Kenseth led Hamlin by .128 seconds at the stripe, the closest Busch Series finish in track history.

Points leader Carl Edwards ran third, followed by Casey Mears and polesitter David Ragan, who posted his best finish in the series. David Reutimann, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Paul Menard and Jeff Burton completed the top 10.

Kenseth spun in Turn 1 on Lap 54 but managed to keep his No. 17 Roush Fenway Ford off the wall. Though he lost a lap as his crew changed his flat tires, he regained it as the beneficiary after the fourth caution on Lap 125 and gradually worked his way to the front. More ...

Matos sets record to win pole  It’s no surprise that Raphael Matos (#6 ProWorks) is comfortable at the beach. A native of Brazil, where the country is known for its beautiful white-sand beaches, the 25-year-old Sierra Sierra Enterprises racer now lives in Miami where he frequently works out on the beach.

Matos has continued his beach bliss this weekend in the second round of the Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. The series sophomore isn’t spending a lot of time on the sand at the Imperial Capital Bank Atlantic Challenge and the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, but he has been King of the Beach as he’s led every single session in the Atlantic Championship as he continues to pad his lead in the series standings.

The winner of the opening race of the 2007 Atlantic season last week at Las Vegas, Matos kept his record clean on Saturday as he established a new track record at Long Beach while claiming his fifth career series pole. As he did on Friday while leading the opening round of qualifying, the native of Belo Horizonte, Brazil got up to speed quickly after a red-flag caution late in the 35-minute afternoon qualifying to post a blistering lap of 1:15.724 (93.561 mph). The effort gives him another championship point as he now has 33 on the season, leading his closest pursuer by four markers. More ...

GM - Inside look at new engine NASCAR  DETROIT - For the first time since 1955, Team Chevy is introducing an all-new small-block V-8 engine in the top tier of stock car racing. The new Chevrolet R07 is the first purpose-built engine designed and developed by GM Racing specifically for NASCAR Nextel Cup competition. This purebred engine is the successor to the production-based powerplants that have made Chevrolet the most successful manufacturer in NASCAR history. This white paper highlights the Chevrolet R07's development and summarizes its technical features.

Design and Development
The Chevrolet R07 is succeeding the championship-winning SB2 (Small-Block/2nd Generation) engine that has been used by GM teams in NASCAR Cup racing since 1998. NASCAR approved the Chevrolet R07 for competition in 2007, and it is expected that the R07 small-block V-8 will become the exclusive Chevrolet powerplant in the Nextel Cup series as teams turn over their inventory of SB2 engines and components.

Work on a successor to the SB2 began in earnest in 1999, and several variations of the conventional small-block V-8 were designed, tested, and evaluated. In 2004, NASCAR held discussions with the automotive manufacturers about a possible "Engine of the Future" that paralleled the Car of Tomorrow body/chassis program. Although the Engine of the Future did not become reality, the meetings did establish a framework for future NASCAR engines. More ...

Bourdais tops Saturday AM practice  Defending race winner Sebastien Bourdais resumed his position at the top of the speed charts in Long Beach Champ Car practice Saturday morning.  Provisional pole sitter Will Power was 2nd and his Team Australia teammate Simon Pagenaud was third.  Graham Rahal had his best session yet slotting in 4th ahead of Mario Dominguez.

Pos Driver # Lap Time Leader
1 S. Bourdais 1 1:07.732
2 W. Power 5 1:07.985 0.253
3 S. Pagenaud 15 1:08.051 0.319
4 G. Rahal 2 1:08.099 0.367
5 M. Dominguez 7 1:08.215 0.483
6 A. Tagliani 8 1:08.399 0.667
7 J. Wilson 9 1:08.652 0.920
8 N. Jani 21 1:08.681 0.949
9 T. Gommendy 22 1:08.952 1.220
10 B. Junqueira 19 1:09.023 1.291
11 P. Tracy 3 1:09.117 1.385
12 K. Legge 11 1:09.177 1.445
13 M. Halliday 42 1:09.613 1.881
14 R. Doornbos 14 1:09.645 1.913
15 R. Dalziel 28 1:09.789 2.057
16 A. Figge 29 1:10.621 2.889
17 D. Clarke 4 1:25.642 17.910

Busch wrecks his Chevy  After posting the fastest speed in Friday's combined practice sessions for the Samsung 500, Kyle Busch wrecked his primary No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet just five minutes into the opening 50-minute Nextel Cup Series session Saturday morning at Texas Motor Speedway.

Busch, who would have started fifth on Sunday, will be forced to start at the rear of the field in his backup car. Although it was expected that Busch's backup car would be equipped to handle the new R07 Chevrolet engine that Busch was supposed to use this week, it is not, so he will use the current SB2 engine in the event.

Topping the speed chart was Joe Gibbs Racing's Tony Stewart - one of six drivers competing Sunday with the R07 engine - with a lap of 190.712 mph.

Indy deadline just a number now  There was a day when making the 33-car Indy 500 field was an honor - something very special.  Than the IRL was formed and now 33 is just a number according to Tony George.  At one time meeting the early April deadline to enter the Indy 500 was a big deal.  Now, since the IRL was formed, the April deadline is also just a number/date it seems.

Indy Racing League officials hope the price is right to attract even more participants to next month's Indianapolis 500 though the entry deadline has passed. Although the entry deadline has passed, the race's chief steward, Brian Barnhart, has the authority to make exceptions.

In promotional materials recently sent to about 50 potential team owners, including past participants and those currently involved in the Champ Car World Series, the IRL illustrates that equipment for the 91st-annual event can be acquired for as little as $321,200.

That doesn't include paying a driver or crew, much less the cost of food or lodging during the event, but the IRL's goal is to encourage people to join the crowd.

Filippi blitzes field to take first win  Luca Filippi blew away the rest of the field in today’s opening round of the championship, controlling the race from start to finish in a demonstration of what he hopes will be the first of many wins to come during the season.

The Italian was untouchable throughout the race, running first for the entire event apart from his pitstop and maintaining a solid gap back to his closest rivals Timo Glock and Andi Zuber.

At the start Filippi had a conservative start from pole, bunching up his rivals behind him and easily running through the first corner in first place. Behind him Xandi Negrao had a slow start but just kept Zuber behind him, who was forced across the track towards Bruno Senna.

All of which meant that Glock, who had an exceptional start, was able to stay wide out left and pull alongside Negrao into the first turn, with the pair almost inevitably colliding into the next corner. The Brazilian came off worse as he slid off track, slotting back in tenth position with a badly bent steering column. More ...

Tracy crash photos  AutoRacing1.com photographer Bob Heathcote snapped these photos of Paul Tracy just as he impacted the concrete barrier.

Photos by Bob Heathcote/AutoRacing1.com

Gone but not forgotten  UPDATE Here is a link to the Department of Defense website that mentions this sad news.

04/13/07 The Champ Car family is very close and we all suffer our losses together.  Last weekend, Captain Jonathan Grassbaugh was killed on patrol in Iraq.  He was not only a big Champ Car fan, but was also the brother of Dr. Jason Grassbaugh, a member of the Champ Car medical team.  One of his last happy memories of being home last summer was going to the Cleveland Grand Prix (Jon is 2nd from left).  We mourn him and every soldier that has lost their life in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Peugeot dominates in Monza qualifying  The first outing for the all-new Peugeot 908 HDi FAP has got off to a promising start, with both cars dominating the front row of the grid for the Monza 1000kms that takes place tomorrow (Sunday 15 April). Nicolas Minassian claimed an excellent pole position ahead of the other Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, driven by Stephane Sarrazin. Team Peugeot Total took full advantage of the free practice sessions on Friday and Saturday morning to build up to this qualifying result, encountering only a gearshift command problem on car n°7. So far Monza has underlined the performance of the new car, seen for the first time at the official Le Mans Series test at Paul Ricard, but this weekend’s key objective is continue the durability work carried out to date. Spaniard Marc Gené will start the race from pole tomorrow in the n°7 car, while Portuguese driver Pedro Lamy will take the wheel of car n°8. As required by the rules, both cars will take tomorrow’s 1300 start on the tires used for qualifying today.

Nicolas Minassian: “This pole position is a great reward for the whole team, which has worked so hard from the start. We have continually been refining the set-up and handling of the car since Friday morning, always heading in the right direction. I set off quite late for my qualifying run, in order to avoid a dirty track and find a good gap in the traffic. I had to push really hard to set a time quicker than that of Stéphane Sarrazin – who is my team mate but also my key rival.”

Stéphane Sarrazin : “I had a fantastic car but we didn’t anticipate the traffic well. I only got one clear lap, but we still managed to get onto the front row and it’s a very long race ahead…”

Bruno Famin (Technical Director): “The outcome of these first two days has been extremely positive, with no major problems apart from the gearshift command glitch on car n°7 – which was quickly resolved. We’ve managed to work through our entire test program, which has added greatly to our knowledge of the car. Now we just have to keep going for the next 1000 kilometers…”

Full qualifying times for the first round of the 2007 Le Mans Series at Monza, Italy. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief  UPDATE Added two new latest news briefs below.

  • Fry denies 'B' car for Canada
  • Fry denies Honda 'offer' to Brawn
  • Prodrive to reveal F1 plans at British GP
  • STR wants Bernie to solve car sharing row
  • Toro Rosso not planning mirror change
  • 22,000 spectators at Sakhir on Friday
  • Stop mentioning Hamilton's color - Bernie
  • Violence in Bahrain
  • Bahrain near-misses highlight dangers
  • No penalty for rude Raikkonen - FIA
  • Tilke upsets police in Bahrain
  • Renault does not 'understand' struggle New
  • Haug praises rival Massa's pole New

Fry denies 'B' car for Canada
(GMM) Honda's Nick Fry has agreed in Bahrain that reports of a 'new car' for the Canadian grand prix are exaggerated.

As another uncompetitive weekend unfolds for the Japanese squad at the Sakhir circuit, boss Fry said "a large number" of new parts are planned for Barcelona, Montreal and also France, but he denied that they will culminate with effectively a 'B'-spec RA107.

"I think it's just going to be a series of rolling changes, if you like, rather than one change which is going to fix the problem," he said.

Fry explained that the gearbox, engine and rear suspension is likely to be unaltered in the redesign.

"I wouldn't call it a new car but it's not going to be insubstantial either," he concluded.

Fry denies Honda 'offer' to Brawn
(GMM) Nick Fry denied in Bahrain that Honda has made an offer to Ross Brawn in a bid to lure Ferrari's former technical director to the Honda team.

"No, it's not true," the team principal told reporters on Friday, explaining that he thought comments he made in Malaysia had been exaggerated.

Fry explained: "I made one comment along the lines that I'm sure there are a number of people who might be interested in Ross."

The reports sparked comments by members of the Ferrari team, who claim a gentleman's agreement with Brawn exists whereby the 52-year-old will talk to his former team before exploring other options.

Fry said in Bahrain: "In my view he's an incredibly talented person and he would be an asset to most formula one teams."

Although it is true that Brawn is under no contractual obligations to Ferrari, Fry admitted that he thought a handshake agreement does indeed exit.

Fry added: "I'm sure there are a number of people interested in him but we will see what happens later in the year.

"The team principals talk to a lot of people all the time and we are no exception, but obviously in our situation we have spoken to a number of technically adept people.

"We certainly need to strengthen the team in some areas." More ...

Champ Car caravan between Vegas and Long Beach  The caravan of Champ Car transporters got a lot of attention as it made its way from Las Vegas last weekend, trough the desert, to Long Beach this weekend.

Familiar faces at Long Beach  There were a number of familiar faces at Long Beach Friday.  Known more to the Long Beach fans from their Champ Car days, we spotted Dario Franchitti, Michael Andretti, Barry Green, Mika Salo, Bryan Herta, Stefan Johannson, Robert Clarke, Mo Nunn, Max Papis and more....all in the ALMS paddock.

Panoz all the rage, regrets to Lola  No one in Long Beach is shedding a tear for Lola.

Poor Lola. So steadfast and true to the Long Beach Grand Prix and the Champ Car World Series for the last five years, she has been sent packing like a Starter Wife, replaced by a newer, younger, sexier model.

Her name is Panoz.

"Sexy," said Jim Michaelian, the curator of all things Grand Prix as he gazed at Panoz sitting seductively outside the Museum of Latin American Art Wednesday during media festivities.

"A much sleeker body than the blocky look of last year's model," he said. "I think the fans will really notice the difference."

Poor Lola.

At least half of the fans at Sunday's Grand Prix wouldn't know a lug nut from a walnut, so the sexy distinction between the absent "Lola" - the chassis of choice since 2001 for most Champ Car teams - and the new "Panoz" probably will be a popular aesthetic. More at Long Beach Press Telegram

Dale Jr.'s sister not convinced deal will happen  Kelley Earnhardt Elledge, sister, business manager and chief negotiator for #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., isn't yet convinced a contract extension with the company their father founded is on the horizon for NASCAR's biggest star. It's not that talks are going badly. But many variables exist -- and time is precious. "I don't know if we'll get there," Elledge said of an extension. "It's hard. When you start talking about the piece of ownership for Dale in [Dale Earnhardt, Inc.], that's part of my business, too. That's part of [half-brother] Kerry's business. That's part of [half-sister] Taylor's business. "There's a whole lot of dynamics that play into it all." Two variables, in particular, are crucial to Earnhardt's desire for a majority stake in ownership of DEI. "One is the family piece," Elledge explained. "Obviously our dad started [DEI] to field race cars, and all intentions of [Dale Jr.] being a part of that, and the rest of us being a part of it, in terms of my other brothers and sisters. But I think the biggest reason we want a piece of DEI is for control of [Dale Jr.'s] brand, and where it's going. They can all coexist -- the whole Earnhardt family -- as one big brand. And there's several brands underneath it." Elledge said she and Dale Jr. feel DEI has done a good job maintaining their father's brand, but that Dale Jr. has an entirely different brand that they want to control and mesh into the overall Earnhardt brand. She said the entrance of new DEI President Max Siegel into the equation has helped tremendously, and is a bright spot that makes her believe an extension is indeed feasible. "With Max coming onboard, that's something I can foresee in the long run," Elledge said. "At this point, we don't have a lot of time so we're trying to work really hard to make something of it. We met last week. I usually talk to Max at least once a day, if only to say 'Hi.' We're keeping in touch and bouncing ideas off each other, because we really are trying to discuss all options." Elledge admitted, though, that this is not an easy time to be renegotiating. "You've got a new guy on board who's trying to get the ship turned in the right direction, and you still have Teresa there who's trusting this new person, and she's not had anybody in there for a while and things have kind of fell down. So there's a rebuilding going on. It's a bad time to try to renegotiate a contract. You've got the old still sticking there, and this new on the horizon that could be really good, and you're trying to make sense of it all. We'll see if we can get there." ESPN.com
Childress running the #3 car  NASCAR fans often ask Richard Childress when he'll bring back the black #3 Chevrolet made famous by the late Dale Earnhardt. Fans who attended last Saturday's dirt-track races at 311 Speedway know the answer. And they know that Childress, who has said since Earnhardt's death that it would take a unique situation to bring back the best-known number in NASCAR, stayed true to his word. The driver he chose to run #3 is young and talented, clean-cut and polite and thinks the world of Childress. He's Childress' oldest grandson, Austin Dillon. Based on the way he drove in his first Super Late Model race, there may come a day when Dillon is behind the wheel of a similar-looking car in NASCAR. In his first try in dirt racing's elite division, Dillon qualified fifth from a field of more than 30, then drove like a veteran, broad-sliding through the corners, stepping on the accelerator to make the car turn and challenging the drivers in front of him on almost every lap. Childress watched from the top of the team hauler, just as he has done for decades during Nextel Cup races. Every pass brought a big smile to his face. "He's driving the heck out of it," Childress said. "He's doing good for a 16-year-old kid." Childress dotes on his grandsons, Austin and Ty, who is two years younger than Austin and beginning his own racing career. They are the sons of Mike Dillon, a long-time Busch Series driver, and Childress' daughter, Tina. More at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Waltrip not racing or talking  Michael Waltrip isn't talking or racing this weekend. Waltrip will miss his sixth straight NASCAR Nextel Cup race after qualifying at Texas was canceled Friday because of severe storms.

The two-time Daytona 500 winner, in the first year with the Toyota team he owns, doesn't have enough season points to get in the 43-car field.

The latest setback for Waltrip comes less than a week after he was charged with reckless driving and failing to report an accident after hitting a telephone pole and rolling his SUV about a mile from his North Carolina home.

Waltrip didn't grant requests for interviews at the track Friday.

Meeting fails to solve car sharing row  (GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone hosted a team principals' meeting at Sakhir on Saturday morning but the 'car sharing' controversy is no closer to being solved.

The two-hour meeting at the venue for Sunday's Bahrain grand prix broke with Ecclestone, 76, apparently promising to devise a new compromise to present to the teams at a meeting prior to the Spanish GP mid next month.

"I do not know how near we are to a solution," Colin Kolles, whose Spyker team claims that the cars of near rivals Toro Rosso and Super Aguri are illegal copies, told reporters.

"But at least it's getting more and more obvious."

It is understood that Ecclestone's next proposal will clearly define and distinguish a 'constructor' from a mere 'entrant' and set out how their financial benefits should differ.

"It's very hard to get all these people to agree," Bernie said after the meeting at Sakhir.

Hamilton on top but Ferrari quickest  (GMM) Two tenths covered the top four runners in the final pre-qualifying practice session at Sakhir on Saturday morning.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton emerged with officially the quickest time of all, but it should be noted that Felipe Massa - just sixth on the time sheets, and remarkably behind the flying Super Aguri of Anthony Davidson - posted the session's quickest sector times but did not string a fast lap together.

Massa's Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen is also likely to be in the hunt for pole position at 2pm, while both BMWs linger tantalizingly close the pace.

"There will be the two Ferraris and the two McLarens," rookie Hamilton answered plainly when asked about the likely pecking order in Bahrain.

He added: "BMW are extremely quick as well though."

Newey effect taking time at RBR - Coulthard  (GMM)  It is taking time for the effect of Adrian Newey's talents to be felt at Red Bull.

That is the revelation on Saturday of David Coulthard, who was fifteenth quickest in the final pre-qualifying practice session at Sakhir in Bahrain.

He told the German broadcaster 'Premiere' that he thought his RB3 single seater's technical problem late in the session was a broken fuel pump.

The car is the first Red Bull to be penned entirely by Newey, who with Williams and McLaren earned a reputation for designing championship winning formula one cars.

So far, the 2007 Red Bull is about a second and a half on average slower than the leading pace.

Coulthard explained: "Adrian is only one individual and he can only work with the tools that he has at his disposal at the factory.

"Clearly those tools are a little different to what he had at McLaren.

"It is only the first year for him, but there is no secret to success in formula one.  You simply need time and continuity."

Champ Car vs. IRL speed comparison  Recent Champ Car vs. IRL comparison.

St. Pete
ALMS 1:03.039
IRL 1:01.683 1.35 Sec. quicker
ALMS 1:11.838
CCWS 1:07.920 3.9 Sec quicker

Fellows Fast in Friday Long Beach SPEED GT Practice  LONG BEACH, Calif. – Defending race winner Ron Fellows, of Mississauga, Ontario, paced the opening practice for Sunday’s SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship Round Two race, part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Michael Galati, of Olmsted, Ohio, and Lou Gigliotti, of Dallas, Texas, completed the top three.

Driving the No. 16 XM/Mobil 1/Motorola/Bose Cadillac CTS-V, Fellows turned a fastest lap of 1:26.670 (81.745 mph) on his fifth lap around the 11-turn, 1.968-mile street circuit. The lap was 0.324-second shy of Tommy Archer’s 2006 qualifying mark of 1:26.346.

“I enjoy the street circuits,” said Fellows. “Especially from the Trans-Am stuff I’ve done in the past. It’s fun be aggressive on the streets with lined concrete walls, but staying out of trouble is key. On a street circuit, even making a small mistake, you could hit a concrete wall and that makes it tough. You need to be aggressive and very precise at the same time.

“The nice thing is the Cadillac is similar to the Trans-Am cars and similar to the Showroom Stock Camaro I raced in Canada. It feels pretty comfortable out here.” More ...

tv news
Canadian Champ Car TV deal  Score Media Inc. (TSX: SCR) announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, The Score Television Network Ltd, has acquired the Canadian television broadcast rights to ten races of the 2007 Champ Car World Series. Included in the broadcast package are the online and mobile rights to highlights and features. The Score's broadcasts will start in April of 2007.

"We look forward to bringing the best Champ Car coverage to hardcore race fans," said Anthony Cicione, Vice President, Programming of The Score Television Network. "With our recent multi-platform successes, in addition to our television broadcast of the races we will bring race highlights to theScore.ca and Score Mobile Video."
Canadian's Paul Tracy and Alex Tagliani will be back this season tying to steal the title from three time champion, Sebastien Bourdais. Also joining he circuit this year will be newcomer, Graham Rahal - 18 year old son of Bobby Rahal. More ...

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