Hot News
for your iPhone
for your iPad
Go to our forums to discuss this news
DATE News (chronologically)
Racing News
PanAmerican Race returns PanAmerican Race returnsAfter ten years absence the magical PanAmerican Race returned to Mexico in 2005. The "Carrera Panamericana" is a 3,114 km ( 1,935 miles) long race divided into 7 stages. The race begins in Tuxtla Gutierrez in Oaxaca and it ends in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, taking the cars across almost the entire country.

After the Mexican section of the PanAmerican Highway was completed in 1950, a multi-stage race across the country was established to celebrate this feat, hence the name of the PanAmerican Race. During the 80s the race status grew and many European celebrities decided to run the race (including Pink Floyd members David Gilmour and Nick Mason). In fact many other big American celebrities have participated but who wanted to keep their identify secret.

The sports cars to be used in the race have to be built between 1940 and 1954, and every entry will have a driver and copilot. 90 cars from 15 different countries will participate from November 10th through November 16th. Jose Arrambide reporting from Mexico

Baja 1000
Baja races land big TV deal Baja races land big TV dealLOS ANGELES—Aura360 and SCORE International, the World’s foremost desert racing sanctioning body, announced jointly today the upcoming broadcast program for the 39th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 and 38th Tecate SCORE Baja 500.  For the third consecutive year, NBC will broadcast a one-hour special of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.  This year, NBC plans to expand its coverage to include another one-hour program focusing on the Tecate SCORE Baja 500.  Both programs are scheduled to air in December 2006. 

In addition to coverage on a major national network, the 2006 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 and the 2006 Tecate SCORE Baja 500 will also be telecast worldwide on ESPN International and be shot in high-definition for distribution on an HD cable network. 

“This is absolutely incredible, even phenomenal news for SCORE and we sincerely thank Aura360 for all of their efforts in securing these agreements,” said Sal Fish, SCORE President/CEO. “These TV deals are unprecedented in our sport and will project SCORE desert racing to an even higher level of recognition than ever before in our 32-plus-year history. We are extremely happy for our racers and sponsors to be able to receive this type of added exposure and for our fans around the world to be able to get a closer look at SCORE desert racing. And, on top of all these significant benefits, we are extremely excited about the prospects of all the new fans these telecasts will help develop for SCORE.”

In addition to the premiere broadcast of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 on NBC, the SCORE desert racing series will continue to reach out to mainstream audiences through the new agreement with ESPN International.  The programs featuring the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 and the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 will be distributed throughout the world through ESPN International’s networks in Latin America, the Caribbean Islands, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Africa, Middle East, and Israel, reaching a total of 22 million households.

Dismayed at Bump Day antics Dismayed at Bump Day anticsA reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I was quite amazed to watch the pit reporters and ABC/ESPN staff fawn over themselves trying to make some drama out of ‘non-Bump Day’ at Indy again this year. The farce of AJ Foyt and Ryan Briscoe was particularly amusing as ESPN tried to make something out of nothing.

The simple point of fact is that AJ had NO intention of putting that car on the track unless Marty Roth had somehow, miraculously, put himself into the field. Then he would have sent Briscoe out in a last ditch effort to bump him out. What galls me is the way everyone, including AJ has attempted to make the transparent strategy appear as something it wasn’t: A return to those truly tense Bump Days of years past.

Even more disgusting was the way that IRL lapdogs ESPN and AJ Foyt played along with the strategy, which obviously was at the behest of Tony George/Brian Barnhart. Come on, if they felt Roth wasn’t qualified, they never should have let him pass his orientation session. But what really galled me was the way they simply let Roth keep on going until he finally wreaked. Not only did they (Tony George/Brian Barnhart, ESPN, and AJ Foyt) string the viewers along, they strung along a guy who they had no intentions of letting into the race. What does that say about a ‘racing’ governing body when they’ll let someone just run out there and risk life and limb even though they have no intentions of letting him race?

I’ve listened to or watched the Indy 500 religiously every single year from 1964 until the split. It was my Memorial Day religious experience. I’ve grown increasingly disillusioned with Tony George’s lack of concern with tradition and fan base. Now I’ve resolved myself to never watch another IRL race ever if that’s the lack of respect the IRL has towards its drivers. You would have thought the death of Paul Dana and the horrific injuries to several top competitors over the past several seasons would have given them cause for concern. But after seeing the debacle yesterday, I’ve become 100% convinced that Tony George is nothing more than open-wheel racing’s equivalent to Vince McMahon. Michael Malehorn

Dear Michael, That is one of the reasons why the sport so desperately needs a merger - to restore the luster that open wheel's biggest race has lost. Bump Day is just one aspect. Mark C.

Track News
Watkins Glen announces presenting sponsor Watkins Glen announces presenting sponsorWatkins Glen Int’l today announced that Tissot will be the presenting sponsor of the venue’s June 4 IRL race, which will be called the “2nd Annual Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix presented by Tissot.” Watkins Glen International Raceway
NASCAR driver killed in accident NASCAR driver killed in accidentSpencer Clark, who made his Busch Series debut in March at Las Vegas, was killed in an auto accident Sunday evening.  According to police reports, Clark, 19, was a passenger in a vehicle that rolled near Albuquerque, N.M., killing Clark and 28-year-old Andy Phillips. The two were returning from the Charlotte area and were towing Clark's race car back to Las Vegas.

Clark started 33rd and finished 35th in his inaugural Busch race. He was sixth in NASCAR West Series points for this season with a pole and a best finish of fourth at Phoenix International Raceway.

"This is a sad day for everyone here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway," said Chris Powell, general manager of Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where Clark was the 2001 Legends Semi-Pro champion and in 2003 was named rookie of the year in the Super Late Model division. He won 12 Super Late Model races at the Bullring, including eight in 2005.

"Spencer was one of the most talented race car drivers to ever come through the Las Vegas area. He certainly had the ability to make it to the highest level of NASCAR competition. Our thoughts and prayers are with his parents, T.J. and Debbie, his sister, Candice, and the rest of his family."

Phillips was a crew member for Clark's Allegiant Air Racing Team and was a former all-Western Athletic Conference offensive lineman for the University of Hawaii football team.

Funeral arrangements are pending. NASCAR Daily Scene

Track News
California Speedway Names New VP of Sales and Marketing California Speedway Names New VP of Sales and MarketingCalifornia Speedway President Gillian Zucker today announced Dave Allen will assume the role of Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Southern California motorsports facility and will directly oversee the superspeedway’s marketing, sales and ticketing departments.  Allen replaces Roger Curtis who recently was appointed president of Michigan International Speedway.

“It’s always a pleasure to be able to reward success and loyalty, and Dave Allen is the definition of both,” Zucker said.  “The continuity of vision that Dave brings to this new role will ensure the Speedway’s message remains strong as we prepare to unveil the multi-million dollar Midway renovation and begin a new era for California Speedway and the fans.” 

Allen, 33, takes on his new position after leading California Speedway’s corporate sales and marketing department, most recently as Senior Director of Sales and Marketing.  The Chino resident has overseen the Speedway’s corporate partnerships, sponsorships, hospitality, suite sales, and displays.  He joined California Speedway as a marketing manager in April 1999 after spending one year at Laguna Seca in sales and marketing. 
While working on his speech communication degree from Colorado State University, Allen worked with Anheuser Busch entertaining VIPs at the Fort Collins brewery.  He grew up around racing, as his dad was a racer, competing in everything from sprint cars, midgets and stock cars.

“I am very excited to continue my career advancement with International Speedway Corporation as Vice President of California Speedway,” Allen said.  “I love the Speedway and am honored to lead such a strong and creative staff.  I can’t think of a better time to be moving into this role, with the new Midway opening on Labor Day weekend marking a new beginning for the Speedway.  It’s a very exciting time to be a part of the new vision for the Speedway.  I join our President in her enthusiasm of our fan initiatives to make the Auto Club 500 and SONY HD 500 weekends must attend events in Southern California.

Hornish reaps reward prior to Indianapolis 500 Hornish reaps reward prior to Indianapolis 500Sam Hornish Jr.'s speed in the preparations for the Indianapolis 500 has already paid off.

In addition to the $100,000 prize awarded to the WorldPoints Visa Card Pole Award winner, Hornish claimed $10,000 from Ethanol for the "Ethanol Fast Lap" on May 10, 11, 17 and 18, and $15,000 from Cholula Hot Sauce for posting the "Chulula Hot Lap Award" on May 19 and May 20.

Hornish also earned the $5,000 Mi-Jack "Top Performance" Award for posting the fastest single lap in qualifications and was one of 11 drivers to win the $1,500 Miller Lite Inside Track Award for starting on the inside of each row.

In addition, Matt Jonsson, the chief mechanic for Hornish's pole-winning No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Honda-powered Dallara, earned $10,000 for winning the FreedomRoads Chief Mechanic award.

James Chesson lands ride in Freedom 100 James Chesson lands ride in Freedom 100James Chesson, brother of IndyCar® Series rookie P.J. Chesson, will compete in the Indy Pro Series Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 26. He will drive the No. 76 PSI entry for Part Sourcing International, a new team formed by Steve Eppard. Eppard, who also owns SWE Race Car Parts, which provides gearbox services to Indy Racing League teams, formed the team recently and acquired a Dallara chassis from Hemelgarn Racing.

"I'm jumping in feet first," Eppard said. "It's the same car that Aaron Fike won with at Chicagoland in 2003 and that Paul Dana put on the pole at Homestead in 2004. I've brought on the same group of guys that worked on the car for Hemelgarn, so we think that we'll be fast." Eppard describes Chesson as having a lot of common sense with a winning spirit.

Chesson, 25, made three Indy Pro Series starts for Mo Nunn Racing in 2004, winning from the ninth starting position at Chicagoland. "I'm looking forward to running here, especially on Carb Day," Chesson said. "There's a lot of people here. It's just a special, special race - the Freedom 100. It just sounds bad ass.

"I think Steve has a reputation of knowing his way around these things, and I think he's going to do everything he can to make it fast. Matt (Dove), the crew chief, is real good too. I think with everything put together, we'll be fast." The car will display sponsorship from 360 Brakes in the Freedom 100.

Practice and qualifying for the 40-lap race on the historic 2.5-mile oval are scheduled for May 25.

Track News
Milwaukee Brewers Team Up With The Milwaukee Mile Milwaukee Brewers Team Up With The Milwaukee MileMILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club and The Milwaukee Mile motor speedway are two area institutions.   When the Milwaukee Braves were flourishing at Borchert Field and County Stadium, A.J. Foyt and the other driving heroes of the Indianapolis 500 were racing at The Milwaukee Mile.  In fact, The Mile is the world’s oldest active motor speedway, with auto racing events dating back to 1903.

Fast forward to 2006 and the Milwaukee Brewers are battling against their National League foes at Miller Park and The Milwaukee Mile continues to host one of the most diverse, world-class auto racing schedules in America over four racing weekends.

In the first marketing initiatives between the team and the speedway, Brewers fans can take their ticket stub from any May home game at Miller Park and redeem it at The Milwaukee Mile ticket office for $5 off a race ticket to the Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225, Sunday afternoon, June 4 at The Mile. zzzz

”The Brewers and The Milwaukee Mile are two of the area’s greatest summertime traditions, and we look forward to bringing this added value to our fans,” said Rick Schlesinger, Milwaukee Brewers Executive Vice President - Business Operations. “This is a relationship that will continue to develop as we move forward.”

“This is a partnership that The Milwaukee Mile intends to grow through a variety of marketing platforms.  We have two great community assets that match well and provide great entertainment value,” said Andy Randall, Milwaukee Mile President and CEO.

Fans will notice increased Milwaukee Mile visibility at Miller Park, including the Milwaukee Mile’s Mobile Mile Interactive Tour display accompanied by Milwaukee Mile Grid Girls in the parking lot handing out ticket offers to tailgaters.  In turn, The Milwaukee Brewers will receive prime visibility on the fan midway on race weekends at The Milwaukee Mile.

“With common partners in Miller Brewing and Klement’s Sausage, teaming up with the Milwaukee Brewers gives a summer-long impression for exposure and cross-promotion,” stated Jim Westerman, Milwaukee Mile VP of Marketing.  “It matches up really well, as we have two big weekends - Champ Car and NASCAR race events - in June, our Indy Racing League event weekend in July, and our ARCA Governor’s Cup weekend at the end of August.”

The World Famous Klement’s Racing Sausages will also be involved in the promotions but with an added twist to their traditional race.  The Sausages will be competing in go-karts on the Milwaukee Mile track just prior to the green flag of every major race event in the Klement’s World Famous Racing Sausages Mile Long Classic.

Tickets to Milwaukee Brewers games are available at the Miller Park Box Office, www.milwaukeebrewers.com, tickets.com outlets or by calling 414-90

For information on racing events at The Milwaukee Mile, call the speedway’s ticket office at (414) 453-8277, or visit www.milwaukeemile.com.

Indianapolis 500 field takes bite of Big Apple Indianapolis 500 field takes bite of Big AppleFlanked by the Borg-Warner Trophy, unveiled in New York in 1935, and an IndyCar Series show car, and with the familiar midtown Manhattan skyline as the backdrop, the 33 drivers that will comprise the starting lineup for the 90th Indianapolis 500 lined up in the traditional 11 rows of three for a formal photo on the flight deck of SS Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, the floating museum moored on the Hudson River.

In proclaiming it "Indianapolis 500 Day in New York City," New York City Sports Commission commissioner Ken Podziba said "it truly is an honor to welcome the great and heroic drivers who will compete in the 90th Indianapolis 500 to our city. It, like this ship, is truly an American classic."

Indy Racing League founder and Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO Tony George presented Podziba an IndyCar Series replica front wing/nose assembly signed by all the drivers.

"I don't know if I should show Mayor Bloomberg; he would want to hang it in his office," Podziba said.

George also presented a signed wing/nose replica to Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum executive director Susan Marenoff.  zzzz

"Since 1911, we have run the race on Memorial Day Weekend, and we always take time to honor and celebrate the men and women who serve our country," George said. "This ship is a place of honor for those who have served and are serving our country."

Earlier in the day, George rang the bell to open the New York Stock Exchange. Laura George, Michael and Marco Andretti and the front row for the 500-Mile Race of Sam Hornish Jr., Helio Castroneves and Dan Wheldon joined him on the platform.

Drivers toured the trading floor, and posed for a formal photo outside the Wall Street institution with an Indianapolis 500 Pace Car and Marco Andretti's No. 26 NYSE Dallara/Honda/Firestone.

Jerry Putnam, president of the NYSE Group, presented each driver and Tony and Laura George with a commemorative medallion. Tony George presented Putnam and Catherine Kinney, co-chief operating officer of the NYSE Group with a replica nose/wing assembly signed by all the drivers.

"I can't wait for the race," Putnam said. "I'll be there Friday ready to kick off the weekend in style."

Race week already has begun that way.

TMS to run extensive TV ads TMS to run extensive TV adsTexas Motor Speedway will feature the Indy Racing League’s female sensation Danica Patrick and America Idol semifinalist Celena Rae in innovative television advertising spots to promote the upcoming Bombardier Learjet 500k IRL event during Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 national broadcast on ABC-TV.

The 30-second spots to promote the June 10 Bombardier Learjet 500k – “America’s Original Nighttime Indy Car Race” – will cover 17 markets in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana during the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500. The campaign will effectively reach seven of the nation’s top 100 media markets, including two ranked among the top 10.

“We’ve long been known as the most aggressive and creative promoters in the sport,” Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. “This campaign is the most aggressive we have ever attempted. Both hardcore and casual fans tune in to watch the Indy 500 television broadcast, and we want to capitalize on that opportunity. The telecast is the year’s most-watched Indy car race and we’re using it to let everyone know that the next superspeedway race for Indy cars is the Bombardier Learjet 500k under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway.“ zzzz

The state of Texas will be the focal point of the campaign, with 13 markets being addressed including two of the nation’s top 10 media markets. Dallas/Fort Worth (No. 7) and Houston (No. 10) are joined by San Antonio (No. 37), Waco (No. 94), Lubbock, Wichita Falls, Midland, Odessa, Tyler, Longview, Abilene, Nacogdoches and Lufkin. The campaign also will encompass key markets in Oklahoma and Louisiana, including three that rank among the top 100 media markets. Ad spots are set for Oklahoma City (No. 45), Tulsa (No. 61) and Lawton in Oklahoma, and Shreveport (No. 81) in Louisiana.

The spots will utilize “green-screen” technology to showcase some of the memorable Indy Racing League moments at Texas Motor Speedway while allowing Rae, a Fort Worth native who was a 2005 semifinalist on the hit show American Idol, to be filmed in the middle of the vintage action.

Some of the moments being featured will be the infamous Victory Lane scuffle between car owner A.J. Foyt and race winner Arie Luyendyk during the inaugural IRL event at Texas Motor Speedway in 1997, and the dramatic three-wide finish with winner Sam Hornish Jr., Scott Sharp and Robbie Buhl, respectively, in October of 2001. The .0468 of a second that separated the three is the third-closest 1-2-3 finish in IRL history.

Patrick, the 2005 IRL IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year who burst onto the national scene with a fourth-place finish in the Indy 500, is featured in the close of the spots as she tells viewers to call and get a free Texas Motor Speedway/Indy Racing League t-shirt with a ticket purchase.

The Texas Motor Speedway ticket office will be fully staffed to accommodate ticket orders throughout the Indianapolis 500 broadcast as well as pre- and post-race. The ticket office will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. CT. Viewers in the Fort Worth/Dallas market can call the ticket office at (817) 215-8500 while viewers in the other markets can call toll-free at 888-816-8671.

TV News
Unser Jr. to appear on George Michael Sports Machine Unser Jr. to appear on George Michael Sports MachineNEW YORK, NY-Al Unser, Jr. isn’t sitting idly on his day away from the race track. Al’s media tour blitz begins in the Big Apple today, where he is joining the 32 other drivers of this year’s Indianapolis 500. The field rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange and then headed to the USS Intrepid battleship museum for photos and interviews.

Unser is then jetting to Washington D.C., where he will join A1 TEAM USA owner Rick Weidinger for an appearance on the popular George Michael Sports Machine show this evening live at 5:30 p.m. Little Al’s media tour will continue tomorrow morning in the D.C. area and include a stop at GEICO headquarters. GEICO, the country’s fourth largest private passenger auto insurer, is the sponsor of the No.31 A1 TEAM USA/GEICO car this May. Al and Rick will join GEICO CEO Tony Nicely and the company employees for a “pep rally” for this Sunday’s race.

Unser returns to Indy for Wednesday’s Community Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he will be signing autographs and joining in the pre-race festivities.

Spanish GP TV Rating Spanish GP TV RatingThe final TV Rating for the tape delayed Spanish Grand Prix last Sunday on CBS in the USA was a 1.0/3 share
Lexmark Indy 300 looking for a record number of volunteers Lexmark Indy 300 looking for a record number of volunteersA huge volunteer recruitment drive is currently underway as the Lexmark Indy 300 strives to recruit a record number of volunteers for this year's event.

This year Queensland's premier event has a target of 1,700 volunteers, 200 more than its traditional annual target, which will break its own record for largest amount of volunteers at an annual Australian Major Event or Festival. (In contrast, the F1 race in Melbourne only requires 1,200 volunteers.)

The need for 200 more volunteers across all roles is testament to the Lexmark Indy 300's growth in recent years as crowds now exceed 316,000 over four days and four nights of racing and entertainment.

Volunteers are currently being recruited for roles including pit lane, fire, flag, grid, track and spectator marshals to accreditation centre, gate, grandstand, information booth, corporate usher and pit walk officials.

Volunteers come from around Australia and the world to be a part of the event. The volunteers all enjoy the benefits such as the friendships they develop, spending time on the beautiful Gold Coast with all its celebrated features, mixing with drivers and other celebrities on and off track, enjoying an exclusive post-race party and contributing to the overall success of Queensland's premier event.

For more information about volunteering, or information on how to apply, please visit the volunteers page on the Indy website at http://www.indy.com.au/event/volunteer/index.htm Lexmark Indy 300
ALMS Houston GP TV Rating ALMS Houston GP TV RatingThe final TV Rating for the tape delayed ALMS race at Houston on CBS last Saturday was a 0.7/2share
Houston Champ Car TV Rating Houston Champ Car TV RatingThe final TV Rating for the Houston Grand Prix last Saturday night on SPEED Channel was a 0.1.
Toyota selects sponsor agent for NASCAR Toyota selects sponsor agent for NASCARNorwalk, CT – Velocity Sports & Entertainment, the leading sports and entertainment marketing agency, announced today that it has been selected by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. to be their sponsorship agency for the company’s expansion into the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and the Busch Series.

In this role, Velocity will be responsible for helping Toyota shape their marketing strategy in the sport, as well as building out activation programs both nationally and locally.  In addition,  Velocity will also be assisting the more than 1,200 Toyota dealers in their activation of the company’s expanded NASCAR involvement with the Toyota Camry.
The decision by Toyota to expand its relationship with NASCAR is one of the most important announcements the sport has seen in recent years. This expansion follows three years of Toyota successfully competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with the Tundra.  zzzz

"We’re excited to add Velocity to our marketing team, and we’re looking forward to the expertise they’ll bring to Toyota and its dealers,” said Greg Gollands, National NASCAR Marketing Manager for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.  “Their knowledge and experience, as well as strategic thinking and execution, will definitely be an asset as we move forward with our NASCAR participation.”
“Velocity is pleased to have been chosen to play a lead role in one of auto racing’s most exciting developments," said Alex Nieroth, Velocity Principal.  “Toyota's entry into the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and the NASCAR Busch Series is good for drivers, teams and the fans, and we look forward to helping Toyota achieve their business objectives with marketing programs that are authentic to the NASCAR audience.”

This announcement comes on the heels of Velocity’s announcement that it will open a Charlotte office to spearhead the interests of its clients in NASCAR.

NASCAR to approve HOF contractor NASCAR to approve HOF contractorThe City of Charlotte today will decide whether to approve a joint venture involving Turner Construction and two local contractors to build the $150M NASCAR Hall of Fame. The Daily
BorgWarner Marks 70th Anniversary Indy 500 Trophy BorgWarner Marks 70th Anniversary Indy 500 TrophyAUBURN HILLS, Mich./PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Long termed "the Greatest Spectacle in Racing," the Indianapolis 500 will once again thrill race fans the world over on May 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Making it to Victory Lane at the legendary Brickyard earns the winning driver a place not only in racing history but also at the base of the BorgWarner Indianapolis 500 Trophy, which turns 70 years old this year. 

The Trophy, which features the sterling silver visage of every Indy winner, made its inaugural appearance in Victory Lane in 1936.  In 2004, a new base was constructed and attached to the Trophy to add capacity for future winners through 2034.

"The 70th anniversary of BorgWarner's unique relationship with this icon of excellence serves as a reminder of what the BorgWarner Trophy symbolizes -- achievement, competitive performance, and technology leadership," said Tim Manganello, BorgWarner Chairman and CEO.  "I'm extremely proud that our employees, customers, and race fans throughout the world equate the Trophy and all it stands for with BorgWarner." zzzz

BorgWarner has built on its association with the Indianapolis 500 by establishing the BorgWarner Championship Driver's Trophy, a replica of the BorgWarner Indianapolis 500 Trophy, and the BorgWarner Team Owner's Trophy, a companion to the Championship Driver's Trophy.  The Team Owner's Trophy goes to the owner of the racing team that wins the Indianapolis 500, and like the Championship Driver's Trophy is a replica of the Indianapolis 500 Trophy.  For more information on these as well as the Indianapolis 500 Trophy, go to http://www.borgwarner.com , click on "About BorgWarner," then "Indy 500 Trophy." 

Auburn Hills, Michigan-based BorgWarner Inc. (NYSE: BWA) is a product leader in highly engineered components and systems for vehicle powertrain applications worldwide.  The FORTUNE 500 company operates manufacturing and technical facilities in 62 locations in 17 countries.  Customers include Ford, VW/Audi, DaimlerChrysler, General Motors, Toyota, Renault/Nissan, Hyundai/Kia, Honda, BMW, Caterpillar, Navistar International, and Peugeot.  The Internet address for BorgWarner is: http://www.borgwarner.com

The BorgWarner Indianapolis 500 Trophy is a registered trademark of BorgWarner Inc.

Racing News
PitFit training helps IRL drivers PitFit training helps IRL driversIndianapolis, IN – PitFit Training (PitFit), the recognized leader in developing driver-specific fitness, nutrition and human-performance programs to expressly address the physical and mental demands of the motorsports industry, today announced it continues to utilize the best in technology to help tune the internal engines of the Indy Racing League’s drivers as they prepare for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Indianapolis 500. PitFit Training has partnered with TrainingPeaks.com, a company that provides software to help athletes and coaches monitor, analyze and plan their training routines.

Jim Leo, President of PitFit Training noted that he relies on the software provided by TrainingPeaks.com to help improve communication with his drivers. “The TrainingPeaks.com software is invaluable for PitFit,” said Leo. “Our client base is international, and this allows us to design effective programs for our drivers in England, Australia, South Africa, and literally every country where there is auto racing.”

Leo and his training staff monitor heart rate data and the progress of drivers through products such as the Daily Metrics.

Leo also said it makes sense that today’s top drivers take advantage of the latest technology in fitness training.

“Drivers in the Indy Racing League are used to analyzing tire pressure, gear ratios, wing configurations, and a host of other technical aspects of their race car,” Leo stated. “Why wouldn’t they put the same thought pattern into their fitness?”

One driver taking advantage of the software available at PitFit Training is PitFit client Sam Hornish, Jr. “Our schedules outside of the car can be very hectic with sponsor appearances and travel,” explained Hornish. “Having PitFit custom-design my workouts to fit my sport and my schedule is the reason I am so fit. Waking up and knowing what my workout is going to be that day eliminates the guesswork.”

Hornish said he and Leo communicate daily regarding his workout routine. “Jim will get on me if I am not logging my workouts because he knows that for me to be at 100%, I need to stick with my program,” he said.

The software programs provided by TrainingPeaks.com in conjunction with the regimes provided by the PitFit Training staff have already provided great results for PitFit clients. Hornish recently qualified for the pole position for the upcoming 90th Running of the Indianapolis 500. PitFit Training PR

Kimi Raikkonen describes a lap of Monte Carlo Kimi Raikkonen describes a lap of Monte Carlo"A lap of the Monaco Grand Prix circuit starts on the pit straight, which has a gentle curve to the right along its entire length. You reach 273km/h in sixth gear before braking hard as the track inclines for the infamous tight, bumpy, right of Sainte Devote, which is a virtual 90-degree corner taken at 94km/h in second gear and is usually the scene of first corner incidents."

"Accelerating up the Beau Rivage climb, your speed reaches 270km/h in sixth gear as you approach the long left of Massanet, which is negotiated at 136km/h in third. Keeping close to the inside curb through Massanet, you dab the brakes slightly for the bumpy right of Casino Square, which is taken at 127km/h, in second."

"A burst of acceleration follows, reaching some 209km/h in fourth gear on the downhill approach to the bumpy right-hander of Mirabeau. Keeping tight to the right as you reach the hairpin, you shift down through the gears to take Mirabeau at 80km/h in second gear. This is a possible overtaking opportunity."

"A short spurt of gas takes you to the Grand Hotel Hairpin, the tightest, slowest corner on the circuit, which requires full lock to negotiate it and sees the track continue to plunge downhill and your speed drop to below 46km/h in first gear."

"Two sharp right-handers follow both in second gear, with a maximum speed of 87km/h, the second of which leads you to the entrance to the Tunnel. You have to be careful here as the Armco on the exit is not straight." zzzz

"Pushing hard on the throttle, you sweep through the covered right-hand curve, which is the only flat out section of the track. You reach the maximum speed on the circuit, 282km/h in sixth, as you burst back out into daylight by the sea wall."

"Braking hard for the left-right Nouvelle chicane, your speed drops to 48km/h, before accelerating out along the run to Tabac. This fast left-hander is taken at 155km/h in third."

"Entering the swimming pool complex, your speed increases to just over 186km/h in fourth gear for the first section of the left-right kink, before braking to negotiate the slower, revised section, which now sees a tighter entrance, at 112km/h. Another short period of acceleration follows as you continue along the harbor front, which sees you reach 193km/h in third on the approach to the Rascasse."

"This sharp, right-hand hairpin, which poses a difficult braking maneuver as you swing round 180-degrees is taken at 48km/h in first gear. A short uphill straight leads to the final corner, which is taken in second at 88km/h, before accelerating up the hill along the pit straight to start another lap." McLaren

Schu aims for Monaco win Schu aims for Monaco win(GMM)  Michael Schumacher is aiming this Sunday to win in Monte Carlo for the first time in five years.

Although dominating the sport for much of the intervening period since his 2001 triumph in the Principality for Ferrari, he has however failed to again stand aloft the unique Monaco podium.

But, following his recent back-to-back wins in 2006, 37-year-old Schumacher says he is now feeling optimistic.

''We think we can be confident for this race,'' the German said, even though the Renault of title-leading Fernando Alonso trounced him last time out, at Circuit de Catalunya.

Moreover, while Schumacher tested last week at Fiorano, the blue and yellow cars seemed quicker at the corresponding Paul Ricard fixture, attended for Ferrari by his teammate Felipe Massa.

Still, Schumacher - a five time Monaco winner - added: ''I believe that we can look good there.

''It is great pleasure at those speeds so close to the guard rails because it is so difficult.

''There is not room for a single error.''

He did, however, play down suggestions that qualifying well on the tight street confines is nearly as important as the grand prix itself.

Schumacher said: ''With a good car and a good strategy, you can still do well even without pole.''

FIA starts bidding process for '08 tire supply FIA starts bidding process for '08 tire supply(GMM) F1's governing body, the FIA, has kicked off a six-week chase to find a single tire supplier for 2008.

The Paris-based federation, headed by Max Mosley, invited interested suppliers to make bids for the privilege by late next month.

The winning supplier will be granted the contract for an initial three-year period, to 2010.

Following years of fierce and costly 'tire wars', most recently fought between Bridgestone and Michelin, the FIA is introducing the control-formula in order to cut costs and speeds.

Michelin's exit at the end of this year, however, means effectively that its Japanese rival will have an unofficial monopoly on tire supply in 2007.

Bridgestone is also tipped as a frontrunner for 2008.

McLaren hint at upcoming 'flexi' debut McLaren hint at upcoming 'flexi' debut(GMM)  Martin Whitmarsh has effectively confirmed reports that McLaren is looking to run a Ferrari-like 'flexi' rear wing in the near future.

With the FIA allowing the red team to continue using the contentious design despite regulations outlawing moveable bodywork, other squads are now likely to follow suit in order to keep up with Ferrari's aerodynamic efficiency and eye-opening top speeds.

McLaren's 'F1 CEO', in an interview with Speed TV, described flexi-wings as an 'adventurous interpretation' of the rules.

But Whitmarsh, of Britain, added: ''I think you'll find that Ferrari-esque rear wings will appear on everyone's cars in the next few races.''

Monterrey race up against Mexico’s Super Bowl Monterrey race up against Mexico’s Super BowlUPDATE As we predicted when we reported this, the big soccer match in Monterrey within hours of the Champ Car race resulted in a huge drop in race attendance this year.  If this race survives another year it would be wise to avoid such scheduling conflicts.

05/15/06 Organizers of the Monterrey Grand Prix and Champ Car officials forgot one thing when scheduling this year's race - the championship game of the Mexican soccer league. Like most countries in the world, soccer is the biggest sport in Mexico and the championship game will be played and televised next Sunday. That game is equivalent to the Super Bowl in the USA. While the soccer match will be held at 4 PM local time, and the race at 1 PM local time, the game could still hurt the race ticket sales as fans would have a hard time going from the race to the soccer match in time. Jose Arrambide reporting for AutoRacing1.com

Alonso's no Monaco fan Alonso's no Monaco fan(GMM) Championship leader Fernando Alonso is not a big fan of the Monaco GP.

The Renault driver said that the tight street circuit, albeit unquestionably the sport's glamour event, makes it hard to get the most out of a F1 car.

''From the point of view of getting maximum performance from a formula one car,'' Spaniard Alonso, 24, added on Monday, ''this is not my favorite circuit.''

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
280,000 cheer Alonso in Seville
Bridgestone go super-soft for Monaco
Jordan pans FIA for '08 rejection
Monaco record may tumble - BMW boss
McLaren deny debt crisis
I'm still quick, says Nick
Ferrari's still in it - Fisichella
Bourdais describes how he won in Monterrey Bourdais describes how he won in Monterrey“Well, that was a heck of a day, that's for sure,” said Bourdais.  “I think you had a great showing from the three top cars of the beginning of the season.  I think we really gave each other a run for our money.  Nobody kind of, you know, laid back or anything.  It was running flat out the whole time.  Definitely for the McDonald's car, it seemed to be running exceptionally well at the beginning.  I really thought we had things under control.  But, you know, we had I thought a good pit stop, but probably RuSport short fueled a little bit for the first one.  When we got out of our box, we were second.  From there on, I knew it was going to be a tough race.  My car was extremely good.  The balance was good and everything.  But, you know, it's very difficult to pass, especially when you're fighting against quick cars like Justin and AJ.  As AJ explained, Dan Clarke made a mess of this restart.  I really couldn't believe it.  You know, after that, it was more of a game like, okay, well, let's try not to be too crazy out there, let's capitalize.  It's better to finish third than get together with AJ or during lapped traffic passing or things like that.  I knew my car was going to come to me during the second stint with the standard tires comparing to these guys with the option tires.  I just couldn't pull it off.  I still had to make the mileage to try and go further in case I wasn't going to pass them on the track.  It was kind of a mind game a little bit.  It's a tough call because basically either you go for it, you burn fuel, you have to go by, or you save fuel.  So at some point I felt I really had a shot, couldn't really quite pull it off.  I burned just a little bit too much to really keep in the window.  I was really desperate at the end to make it.  In the meantime, you know, going a lap further doesn't help you if you're too far behind.  It was kind of an up-and-down battle.  At the end of the day, we pulled it off.  We kind of looked bad when we full filled on the first stop, but that definitely helped us towards the end.  I called for the option Bridgestone tires at the end because I knew the last stint was going to be only 20 laps long.  I kind of had the feeling they were a little quicker up to speed, which they definitely were.  That helped me because I pulled out of the pits right in front of Justin.  The out-lap after the second stop was extremely crucial.  Just from there on, it was a sweet ride.  We just had to make sure we were not going to make any mistakes.  In the meantime, I wanted to get the point for the quickest lap of the race, which we did, not by much though.  You know, I'm just extremely happy for this whole McDonald's team.  Couldn't be a better start for this season. 

(On close call near the end of the race:) “Yeah, Katherine I think didn't anticipate I was closing as quickly as I was.  I caught a wreck in turn nine.  I was like, Oh, boy.  Justin was right behind me.  I had to make a tough call because if I was staying behind her, if for some reason she was backing off, I was done.  So I made it on the outside in the dust.  That definitely wasn't easy with the 'push to pass' to keep it flat.  I was sliding forwards.  I was just kind of getting worried I was going to run in the grass on the exit, but didn't.  Justin had to back off a little bit.  He got a run on me, but not good enough.  He didn't really have a shot for turn 10.  That definitely was probably the toughest moment of the race for us.  But, you know, well, maybe not.  I guess the toughest one was to let A.J. by and not take a risk at the restart.  That was just heartbreaking.  Rather take third than nothing.

Monterrey GP fastest race laps Monterrey GP fastest race laps
 Pos Driver Lap Lap Time
1 S. Bourdais 65 1:14.529
2 A. Allmendinger 70 1:14.645
3 J. Wilson 68 1:15.013
4 W. Power 75 1:15.656
5 A. Tagliani 49 1:15.880
6 D. Clarke 69 1:16.009
7 K. Legge 69 1:16.183
8 P. Tracy 61 1:16.206
9 A. Ranger 72 1:16.237
10 B. Junqueira 45 1:16.247
11 C. da Matta 51 1:16.301
12 M. Dominguez 66 1:16.316
13 C. Zwolsman 64 1:16.351
14 O. Servia 51 1:16.423
15 N. Pastorelli 71 1:17.196
16 J. Heylen 49 1:17.571
The Monaco GP gearbox challenge The Monaco GP gearbox challengeThe Monaco Grand Prix is not only one of the hardest stress tests in the Formula One calendar for the drivers: the race on the streets of the Principality on the Cote d'Azur also places huge demands on the machinery, and especially the gearbox.

Going through roughly 3,600 gearshifts, the gearbox has to give its all on the city track with its many corners. That’s extremely hard work – equivalent to one change every second. However, the fact that in Monaco the drivers have to change gear roughly 20 per cent more often than on tracks such as Monza is not the only problem.

“Because of the many undulations and bumps on the city track, the wheels lose ground contact for a fraction of a second every so often,” explains Gordon Day from the WilliamsF1 Team. “That makes shifting gear really difficult, even if the gearbox is set up perfectly.”

The days of manual gearshifts in F1 are long past. That makes the work easier for the drivers, who can engage a new gear with a rocker switch on the steering wheel, but not for the gearbox. A gearshift lasts roughly 25 to 30 milliseconds, and a lot of things happen in that short time that have to be coordinated perfectly.

For instance, if the driver shifts gear at precisely the moment when the engine speed is increasing quickly because he has just driven over a manhole cover, the whole gearshift can often get out of rhythm. The teams closely monitor how well the gearbox copes with the stress: it is completely dismantled after every race and checked for cracks. zzzz

When performing at the limit, the gearbox is subjected to extreme loads. And for his own safety, the driver needs to be able to rely on the fact that all the parts will cope with these strains. No wonder the very best is only just good enough for a Formula One gearbox. For instance, the gearbox housing, which has to be as rigid as possible because the entire rear axle is attached to it, is generally made of titanium and carbon fiber. The ball bearings are ceramic and the gear wheels are made of high strength steel. Due to their low weight, aluminum and various plastics are used as additional materials.

A gearbox is a carefully cultured, high-tech product, and its 400 individual parts are all specially produced – right down to the bearings and seals. Naturally, that all has its price: a F1 gearbox, according to expert estimates, costs about 125,000 euros.

The reliability of the individual parts varies: while the gear wheels are replaced after every race, the gearbox housing normally lasts for the whole season. The gearbox is fastened on the rear of the engine and connected directly to the carbon-fiber clutch, which costs about 10,000 €, weighs less than 1.5kg and has to withstand temperatures up to 500°C.

In passenger cars, the strains on the gearbox and clutch are much less extreme, but even so the gearbox technology in particular has developed dynamically in recent years.

“The trend towards more gears and automatic transmissions is allowing us to develop efficient engine management with speeds that cause lower fuel consumption,” says Dr. Christoph Lauterwasser from the Allianz Centre for Technology. “Thanks to modern control technology, the transmission and engine management and the brake and stabilization systems can be networked together. That means greater driving comfort and the possibility of adapting individually to the specific driving conditions. For instance, the shifting points can be varied from sporty to economical or you can engage or disengage the clutch electronically, depending on the driving situation.”

In F1, every team builds its own gearbox. The regulations stipulate a minimum of four and maximum of seven forward gears and one reverse gear. The design of the gearbox is closely linked to the aerodynamics of the car. In 2005, the gearboxes had to become smaller because there was less space available due to the new aerodynamics regulations. This year, the change from V10 to V8 engines has allowed the teams to continue on this reduction diet. However, the actual advantage of the new gearboxes is not their smaller size, but their lower weight. After all, every kilogram saved can be used somewhere else in the car to aid its balance.

The designers guard the facts about the size of the weight advantage like a state secret. They do not even disclose the precise weight of the gearbox, which is between 25 and 35kg. The experts only let one small fact slip: nowadays, the gearboxes in F1 are not only about 20 per cent lighter than five years ago, but also much more robust – which makes them safer. Source Allianz

Alain Menu wins in the wet at Brands Hatch Alain Menu wins in the wet at Brands HatchBRANDS HATCH – The Chevrolet WTCC Racing lived an historic day at Brands Hatch as Alain Menu scored the first victory of a Chevrolet Lacetti in the World Touring Car Championship. Less than a year and a half since the debut in the world’s top competition for touring cars, Chevrolet has managed to climb on the highest spot of the podium, Race 2 of today’s event and clinching also an excellent fourth place in Race 1 with Rob Huff.

The fifth and sixth rounds of the WTCC took place in appalling weather conditions in the treacherous track of Brands Hatch. In Race 1, Rob Huff and Alain Menu could not take advantage of their excellent positions on the grid (third and fifth, respectively), as pole man Rydell, just ahead of them, had a difficult start, slowing down drivers on the inner side. Huff ran fifth for most of the race, trying his best to overtake the Seats in front of him. He managed to pass one, crossing the line in fourth position. Menu was seventh, while the race of Nicola Larini was ruined at the start when he was hit on the side by Rangoni, which forced him to a long pit stop to repair the steering.

In Race 2, the reversed grid for the first eight finishers of Race 1, offered Alain a spot in the first row and Rob one in the third. Given that the rain became even heavier, these were certainly not bad positions to start from. Unfortunately, the race of Rob lasted only a few hundreds of meters. As the group arrived at Druids, the Brit was surprised by the early braking of the car preceding him and was left with no other choice than going straight into the gravel. zzzz

Menu had a strong start and took the lead on lap 5 when Priaulx did a mistake and went wide in the first corner. Despite the horrible conditions and the poor visibility, the Swiss driver was able to keep the front position, thanks to an impeccable drive and perfectly cool nerves. He controlled with no apparent problems all rivals chasing him and went unscathed through the safety car period in the middle of the race. Larini ended 12th, after having to struggle with the damages incurred in the first race.

Rain and champagne welcomed him in the podium and Alain was almost moved to tears when seeing the cheering Chevrolet crew and listening to the Swiss anthem. “It is really fantastic!”, he said. “I have won many times in Brands, but this is my nicest victory. The team has done a great job since Friday, when have progressed really well with the setting of the car and we knew we could do something nice this. We made some adjustments between the two races and that helped. Things went well and I was lucky to avoid any mistake and any trouble, despite the very difficult conditions. We still have some work to do to be regularly in the same pace of the leading cars but we are getting there”.

Briscoe gets call from AJ, but no attempt made Briscoe gets call from AJ, but no attempt madeFour-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt decided not to make a qualification attempt with the No. 48 Panoz/Honda/Firestone and driver Ryan Briscoe today despite preparing the car for an attempt. Foyt called Briscoe at his Indianapolis home today as Briscoe was watching television and asked him to come to the Speedway for a possible attempt.

A chronology of events:
4:42 p.m. Car #48 towed to pit lane.
4:49 p.m. Ryan Briscoe has passed physical at Clarian Medical Center.
4:55 p.m. Briscoe in driver's suit in A.J. Foyt Racing garage.
5:08 p.m. Briscoe drives golf cart to A.J. Foyt Racing pit.
5:50 p.m. Briscoe leaves Foyt pit on golf cart.

RYAN BRISCOE: (During final moments of Bump Day qualifying): "Before I go out to qualify the car, I really need at least two laps to get up to speed and feel comfortable with the car. I've never driven the car before, and time is ticking away. It's not looking too good." (About receiving call from A.J. Foyt): "I wasn't 100 percent sure that the situation was a good one just to get in the field, and I've been hearing that the car was set up quite well. I don't think it was going to be too difficult to get up to speed." (After qualifying ended, about his emotions): "I haven't even really had time to get excited. But, a little bit of disappointment, yeah. I was home watching the Champ Car race when I got the call. We were already against the wall, and with the (Marty Roth) accident coming when we were getting ready to go out, it just took us out of time. It's disappointing, but when things are put together at this late stage, these things happen. I wasn't expecting to get this. I was ready to come out and do it. I mean, this is an amazing event, and I had a good race last year. I was looking forward to doing it again, but there will be another day for that."

A.J. FOYT: "We were just working on our main car, more than anything, and the crew was out there with it. Larry (Foyt) shook down the car earlier this month, right at 216, and we put a motor in it and was planning on it and we just kind of run out of time right there." (About Ryan Briscoe): "He's very good. They'd have had to finally beat him before the day was over with."

2006 Indy 500 Fast Facts 2006 Indy 500 Fast Facts 
  • Marco and Michael Andretti will become the 20th father-and-son combination to have raced in the Indianapolis 500 and the fourth father-son duo to race in the same event.
  • There are six former Indianapolis 500 winners in the starting field: Al Unser Jr. (1992 and 1994), Buddy Lazier (1996), Eddie Cheever Jr. (1998), Helio Castroneves (2001-02), Buddy Rice (2004) and Dan Wheldon (2005). Between them, they have eight victories. The record is 10, in 1992. The fewest, other than the inaugural race in 1911, is one in 1996, Arie Luyendyk.
  • There are five rookies in the field, the fewest since 1999, when there were four rookies. This year's rookies: Marco Andretti, Townsend Bell, P.J. Chesson, Arie Luyendyk Jr., and Thiago Medeiros. There were six rookies in 2005 and 2001, seven in 2000, eight rookies in 2004 and nine each in 2002 and 2003.
  • Al Unser Jr. is the most experienced driver in the field, with 17 previous Indianapolis 500 starts. The record is 35, set in consecutive years from 1958-92 by A.J. Foyt.
  • Michael Andretti has led 426 career laps in the Indianapolis 500, more than any other driver in this year's field.
  • There are a combined 138 previous Indianapolis 500 starts among the 33 drivers in this year's field. The record is 260 years of experience, set in 1987 and 1992. There were 93 years of combined experience in last year's field.
  • The oldest qualifier is Eddie Cheever, 48. The youngest qualifier is Marco, who turned 19 on March 13.
  • There are 10 Panoz chassis and 23 Dallara chassis in the field.
  • Andretti Green Racing qualified five cars, most of any team, and the most since Team Scandia qualified five cars in 1997.
  • There are six graduates of the Indy Pro Series in the field, the most graduates in the field ever. The six graduates are: Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter, P.J. Chesson, Jeff Simmons, Arie Luyendyk Jr., and Thiago Medeiros.
Martin to return for '07 All-Star race Martin to return for '07 All-Star raceThough he plans to retire from Nextel cup competition after this season, 2005 Challenge champion Mark Martin said he plans to participate in next year's Challenge. USA Today
2006 Indy 500 Starting Grid 2006 Indy 500 Starting GridBrazilian rookie Thiago Medeiros and PDM Racing capped a remarkable recovery since Medeiros crashed Thursday, taking the final spot in the 90th Indianapolis 500 with less than an hour remaining in Bump Day qualifying May 21.

Medeiros, the 2004 Indy Pro Series champion, qualified with a four-lap average of 215.729 mph to become the 33rd qualifier. It ended a roller-coaster three days for Medeiros and his underdog PDM Racing team, which built Medeiros' car from the ground-up in 48 hours.

"It's the 90th edition, so it's a very special situation to be a part of the history for the rest of our lives," Medeiros said. "I really appreciate those guys' effort. We appreciate everybody's effort, especially overnight, and we're glad to be a part of the history of the Indianapolis 500."

The team built the car with parts and pieces acquired from various teams in and around Gasoline Alley.

"I did not think I was going to have a second chance to put this together," Medeiros said. "After the accident, we did not have a second car. We appreciated the surprise from Fernandez Racing, to let us borrow a spare tub. From there, we built a brand-new car, and those guys put everything together in the last 48 hours. We appreciate everyone's continued effort from all the teams in the garages."

Medeiros survived a Bump Day drama, when Canadian veteran Marty Roth's car made hard contact with the Turn 1 wall late in the day while preparing his Honda-powered Dallara for a qualifying attempt.

"The car was pushing for the whole month," Roth said. "It was still pushing today. We did some changes, and it just didn't work out. We're going to be sitting this one out and hope to be in this next year."

Teams already qualified for the race took advantage of available practice time and ran more than 2,000 laps of practice. WorldPoints Visa Card Pole Award winner Sam Hornish Jr., was involved in a minor accident while practicing in his backup car.

"We were working on the race setup of the Marlboro Team Penske car, and we got stuck behind a few people who slowed down," Hornish said. "I slowed up, too, and when I went back on the gas, the back of the car came out from under me. You know, things like this are a part of racing. I just feel bad for the guys on the team, because they now have a lot of extra work to do. Photos courtesy IRL

Starting lineup for the 90th Indy 500.

Yasukawa makes Indy field Yasukawa makes Indy fieldRoger Yasukawa 'Qualified 22nd at an average speed of 218.93 mph for a 4-lap average' today. "Yesterday, I was just walking around the garage and I ended up spotting for Jon Herb, and they put me in the car yesterday afternoon and now I am qualified already. This is the biggest race in the world, and I've been here every day this month. It was painful walking around the garage and not being in the car. I didn't know that I was going to be in the car until this morning. Unfortunately, we did not get the time to make the car to my liking. So, we just wanted to make the show and to be in safely."

"I think we have enough speed for that. We have a lot of work to do for the race. We only have the rest of today and tomorrow for race setup. We'll try to get the most out of the back on the track this afternoon to do some race trim because we haven't really done that yet. But, other than that, the car feels good. I'm really happy to be back here racing at Indianapolis. I came here, and I didn't know if I was going to race, so it is good for the team and for the sponsors. I really have to thank the team for all the hard work they did last night to get me here.

"This is my fourth year, and hopefully I'll finish better than 10th. I think I had about 10 laps to get up to speed to prove that I can do the job. It certainly was not easy. It was a little nerve-wracking, but once you get back into the rhythm, it is better. I hope we can continue. I was originally talking to the team to perhaps do some races later on this year. I guess the deal came sooner than we thought. Hopefully we're trying to make it to extend the deal for perhaps the last three races this year. We're trying and trying to get more attention from the people (sponsors)."

Hornish, Roth hit wall Hornish, Roth hit wallUPDATE No. 25 Marty Roth has also crashed today, making heavy contact with the Turn 1 wall.

05/21/06 There isn't a year that goes by that Sam Hornish does not hit the wall at Indy and this year is no exception. This year's pole sitter spun exiting Turn 1 and hit the Turn 2 wall today while practicing with his backup car. Hornish is OK but the car will require repairs to the left front.

Seen in Monterrey - VII Seen in Monterrey - VIINicky Pastorelli didn't have the greatest race of his career today in Monterrey, but his pit crew had a blast with the Monterrey fans.  The crew decided to help the fans cope with the heat by spraying water on the fans in the grandstands behind their pits......Mario Dominguez may have finished just 6th but you would not know it as the adoring Mexican fans chanted Mario, Mario, Mario after the race.
Tony Stewart in shoving altercation at Lowe’s Tony Stewart in shoving altercation at Lowe’sTony Stewart and Matt Kenseth traded barbs yet again after an incident on Saturday night’s NASCAR Nextel All Star Challenge at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

In the photo to right NASCAR bad-boy Tony Stewart gives Matt Kenseth's crew chief 'the finger' before NASCAR officials hauled him away after a shoving match.

Battling for third on lap two of the final 20-lap segment, Stewart appeared to get underneath the left rear quarterpanel of Kenseth going into turn one. The two cars made contact, sending them both sliding into the outside wall.

Both cars made it back to the garage, but were done for the night.

Talking about the incident, Kenseth put the blame on Stewart.

“At the finish line I could see that Tony was getting a run and I was gonna try to stay on the bottom,” said Kenseth. “I came across the second part of the tri-oval, I thought on the grass, and right before we got to the corner (my spotter) told me he was looking inside and as soon as he said that I moved up but we made contact and I got turned around.  zzzz

Maybe he was way in there and I squeezed him off, I really don’t know.

After apparently hearing Kenseth’s comments on TV while in his hauler, Stewart then returned to the garage to confront Kenseth’s crew chief Robbie Reiser. A physical altercation then ensued between Stewart, Reiser, and members of the no. 17 Dewalt crew. No punches were thrown, and NASCAR officials quickly broke up the incident.

Stewart and Reiser continued to exchange words, and afterward Stewart was adamant that he was not responsible for the crash.

“I got a run on him, like he said, at least he got that part right,” said Stewart. “You could see where they start the camera view that he’s a whole lane-and-a-half low, so obviously he’s blocking there.

“If he wants to complain about me getting under him there, I mean, I was there and any other weekend that would be acceptable. But it’s the Nextel All-Star crashfest. I think he screwed up on this one. If he thinks I did that and that was my fault, he’s screwed up in the head.”

It was the second time this season Stewart and Kenseth have had harsh words for each other.

In the season opening Daytona 500, Stewart appeared to force Kenseth into the grass when Kenseth tried to pass. Kenseth later spun out, and had some critical words for Stewart – even more so after Stewart criticized NASCAR officials for not doing enough to police what Stewart considered an unsafe amount of bump drafting a race a week earlier.

“Tony is always mad a somebody,” said Kenseth on Saturday. “I'm not going to go out and do the name-calling like he does every week. He's always mad at somebody.

“If he was under there and I cut him off and made a mistake, then I made a mistake. There's nothing else I can do about that right now.”

Saturday proved to be a rough night for Stewart, who was also involved in the “Big One” – a seven-car crash on lap 11 during the second, 30-lap segment.

The wreck was triggered when pole sitter Kasey Kahne and Mark Martin made contact while racing for the lead on the backstretch, triggering a crash that collected Jamie McMurray, Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle and Jeremy Mayfield.

Stewart suffered sheet metal damage to the left front of his car, but his crew was able to make repairs and he continued in the event. Pete McCole

formula bmw
Rookie Daniel Morad Takes Round 2 Win Rookie Daniel Morad Takes Round 2 WinLexington, Ohio… Formula BMW USA Rookie driver Daniel Morad (AIM Autosport) took the Round 2 victory today at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, finishing 1.295 seconds ahead of John Zartarian (Gelles Racing) in the 15-lap contest. He set the fastest time of the race (1:33.166) on the penultimate lap as he chased Morad. Adrien Herberts (Gelles Racing), coming from 15th starting position, finished third. 

Morning rain meant the entire 26-car field started on rain tires and the wet track changed the complexion of the race in the second turn of the 2.25-mile, 13 turn circuit. Front row starter Simona de Silvestro (EuroInternational) and fourth place starter Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA) got together in the 'Keyhole' turn bringing out the only caution period of the race. 

Polesitter David Garza (EuroInternational) inherited the lead and held it for three laps after the green flag flew on lap four. Morad, who had moved up from his 12th starting position, passed Garza and Robert Wickens (Team Apex Racing USA), who had to pit from second for a black flag, on lap seven. By lap eight the front of the field saw Morad first, Zartarian second and Doug Boyer (AIM Autosport) third. Boyer fell off course on lap 12 and Herberts took over the last podium position. 

Zartarian, Herberts, fourth-place finisher Ryan Campbell and fifth-place finisher Sebastian Saavedra capped an excellent day for Gelles Racing as the team took four of the top-five spots.  zzzz

The top-finishing Rookies were Morad (P1), Sebastian Saavedra (P5), David Garza (P8), Robert Thorne (P9) and Maxime Pelletier (P11). 

"I am actually surprised myself and am really excited," said a delighted Morad. "I didn't really expect to be in fourth place right after the start. At the start I stayed right behind my teammate Doug Boyer and we made it through this mess. The full course caution came out and everyone just bunched up. I was patient, got into the lead and pulled away. Near the end John Zartarian started closing in, but I stayed on the track and took the finish line first." 

Zartarian said, "I was trying to be cautious in the beginning of the race with all the cars flying off of the track because of the wet surface. I was cautious enough to stay on the track, carry as much speed and make as much time as I could. By the end of the race I found myself in second and Daniel right in front of me." He added, "I am always looking for the best line and in the rain I have been fast all weekend in the practice sessions. I didn't have such a great qualifying, but I knew in the rain I would have an advantage because of my experience. You have to be creative and smart in how to approach a wet track. Obviously, with the result today the team made a great effort." 

Herberts said, "I came from starting position 15 to third and I am not quite sure yet what I did. Obviously I had a good start. I went on the outside of corner one and got by ten cars. At that point I found myself in fifth after one lap. I guess I had some good luck going my way. But when you work hard, you get luck. Robert Wickens got a black flag and Doug Boyer crashed out and all of a sudden I was third. I tried to play the cautious game, keeping the guys behind me, to bring home third." 

Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2006 Formula BMW USA Championship will be held next weekend at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn. 

Round 2 - Results (15 laps)
1 Daniel Morad (R) AIM Autosport 28:09.485
2 John Zartarian Gelles Racing 28:10.780
3 Adrien Herberts Gelles Racing 28:19.147
4 Ryan Campbell Gelles Racing 28:19.905
5 Sebastian Saavedra (R) Gelles Racing 28:20.106
6 Scott Schroeder American Spirit Grand Prix 28:21.315
7 Race Johnson HBR Motorsport Team USA 28:22.798
8 David Garza (R) EuroInternational 28:32.195
9 Robert Thorne (R) Team Autotecnica 28:32.457
10 Jordan Dick (R) Team Apex Racing USA 28:32.680
11 Maxime Pelletier (R) Gelles Racing 28:35.255
12 Ryan Phinny Hearn Motorsports 28:35.298
13 Jules Duc Hearn Motorsports 28:35.657
14 Yannick Hofman HBR Motorsport Team USA 28:43.617
15 David Rangel Haberfeld & Walker Racing 28:47.338
16 David Farias (R) Jensen Motorsport 28:52.513
17 Frankie Muniz Jensen Motorsport 29:04.985
18 Robert Wickens Team Apex Racing USA 29:38.211
19 Marco Santos Haberfeld & Walker Racing 14 laps
20 Matt Lee Team Autotecnica 13 laps
21 Philip Major Atlantic Racing Team 13 laps
22 Doug Boyer AIM Autosport 11 laps
23 Steven Guerrero (R) HBR Motorsport Team USA 5 laps
24 Reed Stevens HBR Motorsport Team USA 0 laps
25 Simona de Silvestro EuroInternational 0 laps
26 Joel Jackson (R) Gelles Racing DNS

Championship points after 2 of 14 races:
1. Daniel Morad (AIM Autosport, 20), 2. Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 20), 3. John Zartarian (Gelles Racing, 18), 4. Adrien Herberts (Gelles Racing, 16), 5. Robert Wickens (Team Apex Racing USA, 15), 6. David Garza (EuroInternational, 15), 7. Ryan Campbell (Gelles Racing, 10), 8. Simona de Silvestro (EuroInternational, 10), 9. Sebastian Saavedra (Gelles Racing, 10), 10. Race Johnson (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 10), 11. Doug Boyer (AIM Autosport, 8), 12. Scott Schroeder (American Spirit Grand Prix, 6), 13. Robert Thorne (Team Autotecnica, 2), 14. Maxime Pelletier (Gelles Racing, 1), 15. Jordan Dick (Team Apex Racing USA, 1), 16. Jules Duc (Hearn Motorsports, 0), 17. David Farias (Jensen MotorSport, 0), 18. Steven Guerrero (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 0), 19. Yannick Hofman (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 0), 20. Joel Jackson (Gelles Racing, 0), 21. Matt Lee (Autotecnica, 0), 22. Philip Major (Atlantic Racing Team, 0), 23. Frankie Muniz (Jensen MotorSport, 0), 24. Ryan Phinny (Hearn Motorsports, 0), 25. David Rangel (Haberfeld & Walker Racing, 0), 26. Marco Santos (Haberfeld & Walker Racing, 0), 

Rookies: 1. David Garza (32), 2. Sebastian Saavedra (30), 3. Daniel Morad (28), 4. Robert Thorne (20), 5. Maxime Pelletier (18), 6. Jordan Dick (14), 7. David Farias (7), 8. Steven Guerrero (7), 9. Joel Jackson (4)

Rahal dominates in first Atlantic win Rahal dominates in first Atlantic winWith a flawless drive in a race that had no yellows 17-year old Graham Rahal won his first Atlantic race in a dominating way. Young Rahal led every lap of the race in his Mi-Jack Conquest Swift Mazda and took the checkered flag more than 3 seconds ahead of second place Simon Pagenaud. Simon never got near Graham and in fact at one point the lead was almost 5 seconds. (Photo right of Bobby Rahal hugging his son Graham after his first win. Photo by Hector Serrano)

Rahal took the green flag this afternoon from his pole spot and he quickly took control of the race, streaking away from the field and building a gap between himself and the chasing pack led by Simon Pagenaud. Rahal lapped consistently, with Pagenaud sitting just one second behind him. As the race reached half distance Pagenaud made a mistake, running wide and losing time, which gave Rahal a comfortable four second lead ahead of the eventual runner-up. As the 32 lap race counted down the young American driver maintained his four second gap and Pagenaud was unable to make any inroads into his lead. Driving a faultless race Rahal kept his cool and celebrated taking his first Atlantics career victory. The win catapults him up the Championship standings to third place overall, and second in the Rookie of the Year fight.

Rahal said after the race, "It was good to come here and take the win, after a tough event at Houston last week when we ran up front but didn't finish. I've had a great weekend, with the car really performing well. Today I just kept putting in the fast laps and eventually wore out everyone else. My crew worked really hard and gave me an excellent car. It's great to have scored my first Atlantics pole and win in the same weekend. We're definitely in the championship hunt."

Graham's father, Bobby, witnessed his son's first Atlantic victory from the trackside and he couldn't have been much closer to the action, taking on pit board duties for the team, showing Graham his position on the board for each of the 32 laps of the race. He was delighted with his son's win, saying, "I'm very proud of Graham. He's run well all weekend, he's been strong, and hasn't put a foot wrong. What more can you ask for?" (Photo left of Bobby Rahal holding the pit board for his son Graham. Photo by Hector Serrano)

Of his pit board duties he adds, "It's kept me busy during the race; I need to be doing something and I'm pleased I could be part of this special day for Graham."

But the high note of the race and probably of the weekend was the third place by local hero David Martinez, especially since local fans were disappointed 3 months ago when Martinez was announced as the A1GP driver of Team Mexico for the Monterrey race and was replaced at the last minute for Salvador Duran. They wanted to cheer their local boy and they got the chance today. Jonathan Bomarito and Stephen Simpson rounded out the top 5 places.

Pos Car# Driver Team Laps Behind Leader Status
1 18 Graham Rahal Mi-Jack Conquest Racing 32 0.000 Running
2 15 Simon Pagenaud Team Australia 32 3.570 Running
3 4 David Martinez US RaceTronics 32 12.949 Running
4 23 Jonathan Bomarito PR1 Motorsports 32 14.023 Running
5 14 Stephen Simpson Gelles Racing 32 16.628 Running
6 37 Andreas Wirth Forsythe Championship Racing 32 22.032 Running
7 12 Alan Sciuto Polestar Racing Group 32 23.694 Running
8 21 Alex Barron Polestar Racing Group 32 24.245 Running
9 34 Joe D'Agostino Newman Wachs Racing 32 38.231 Running
10 7 Leonardo Maia Forsythe Championship Racing 32 39.279 Running
11 8 Luis Schiavo Brooks Associates Racing 32 42.945 Running
12 10 Norbert Siedler Brooks Associates Racing 32 46.406 Running
13 16 Charles Hall Transnet Racing 32 46.944 Running
14 1 Danilo Dirani Condor Motorsports 32 53.602 Running
15 35 Daniel Gaunt Newman Wachs Racing 32 55.774 Running
16 3 James Hinchcliffe Forsythe Championship Racing 32 58.357 Running
17 33 Richard Philippe Forsythe Championship Racing 32 59.002 Running
18 28 Robbie Pecorari Gelles Racing 32 1:00.834 Running
19 26 Justin Sofio Mathiasen Motorsports 32 1:01.988 Running
20 17 Barton Mawer Transnet Racing 32 1:13.241 Running
21 5 James Davison Team Australia 32 1:13.706 Running
22 56 Chris Souliotis Bite Racing 30 2 Laps Running
23 6 Raphael Matos Sierra Sierra Enterprises 29 3 Laps Running
24 2 Tim Bridgman Jensen MotorSport 17 3 Laps Mechanical

Jose Arrambide reporting from Mexico

Victory and DTM lead for Audi driver Kristensen Victory and DTM lead for Audi driver KristensenTom Kristensen kept his word: The Audi factory driver claimed his second DTM race win at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben from pole position and assumed, as a result, the championship lead in the most popular international touring car race series.
64,000 spectators witnessed a dominant performance from the Le Mans record winner, who also celebrated his first DTM race victory at the same venue in 2004. The Dane took control immediately as the lights turned green after making a text book start in the Siemens Audi A4 DTM. Kristensen completed the first lap with an advantage lead of 1.3 seconds. The Audi driver continued to build his lead over his closest rivals, before being held up by two slower Mercedes drivers following the first of his two pit-stops, and as a consequence Bruno Spengler and Jamie Green were able to close the gap. Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline reacted correctly and brought Kristensen in early for his second pit-stop. With an extremely fast lap after changing tires the Dane was once again able to open up a reassuring cushion to his competitors. The Audi driver had a 3.5-second advantage and the championship lead in his pocket at the flag.

Tom Kristensen - "It was a tough race. I made a great start and pushed really hard during the opening laps to create a gap, which I managed, as I had a big lead before making my first pit-stop. I was able to control the race, but after I passed Lauda and Stoddart easily I caught two other Mercedes who appeared to be racing among themselves. They weren’t very quick in the corners and really did hold me up. It was a genius move from the team to bring me into the pits early when Spengler closed in. However, the last stint was very long and I had to look after the tires. In my out-lap after the pit-stop I immediately pulled out a 1.5 second gap to Spengler. Afterwards I could pace myself and drive a little more conservatively; I only forced the pace again in the last five laps when I noticed that the tires would last.”

Melandri takes victory in Grand Prix of France Melandri takes victory in Grand Prix of FranceMarco Melandri took victory at a packed Le Mans circuit in a thrilling Alice Grand Prix of France, becoming the first rider to win two races this season.

The weather ahead of the race left all riders and teams gambling, and the race itself was equally as unpredictable. The first lap was littered with notable incidents, as Melandri took the hole-shot before being overtaken by Suzuki’s John Hopkins and a collision between Randy de Puniet, Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa left Kawasaki’s hometown rider out of the race and pushed Colin Edwards and Sete Gibernau off the track.

After storming his way through the field, Rossi was up into the lead by lap 4, and when Hopkins lost his front end and fell to the back of the pack on lap 10 the stage was set for the season’s long awaited battle between the reigning MotoGP and 250cc World Champions.

Rossi seemed to have the upper hand over young pretender Pedrosa, extending his lead with assertion. However, in the key moment of the day, the charismatic Italian pulled over on lap 21, clearly distraught after suffering mechanical failure.

Three laps later, Melandri made his move and broke past Pedrosa. The Fortuna Honda rider created a gap and crossed the line for the win. Loris Capirossi pulled out one of the greatest outbraking moves of the season to snatch second place.

Casey Stoner continued his run of good form, having not finished outside the top six in his first Motogp season. One rider who did see an end to his personal record was Nicky Hayden. zzzz

The flu-stricken Kentucky Kid was off the podium for the first time for the first time in nine races.

Colin Edwards clawed his way back through the field, ahead of Makoto Tamada and fellow first corner incident sufferer Sete Gibernau. Toni Elias and Chris Vermeulen finished ninth and tenth.

Results from the French MotoGP:

1. Marco Melandri (Italy) Honda 44:57.369
2. Loris Capirossi (Italy) Ducati 44:59.298
3. Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 44:59.638
4. Casey Stoner (Australia) Honda 45:02.863
5. Nicky Hayden (U.S.) Honda 45:03.078
6. Colin Edwards (U.S.) Yamaha 45:08.888
7. Makoto Tamada (Japan) Honda 45:14.061
8. Sete Gibernau (Spain) Ducati 45:15.511

Overall driver standings:
1. Nicky Hayden (U.S.) Honda 83
2. Marco Melandri (Italy) Honda 79
3. Loris Capirossi (Italy) Ducati 79
4. Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 73
5. Casey Stoner (Australia) Honda 65
6. Colin Edwards (U.S.) Yamaha 45
7. Toni Elias (Spain) Honda 44
8. Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha 40
9. Sete Gibernau (Spain) Ducati 33
10. Makoto Tamada (Japan) Honda 33
11. Shinya Nakano (Japan) Kawasaki 32
12. John Hopkins (U.S.) Suzuki 21
13. Kenny Roberts Jr. (U.S.) KR211V 20
14. Chris Vermeulen (Australia) Suzuki 19
15. Carlos Checa (Spain) Yamaha 15
16. Randy de Puniet (France) Kawasaki 8
17. Alex Hofmann (Germany) Ducati 6
18. James Ellison (Britain) Yamaha 5

Monterrey organizers continue to anger fans Monterrey organizers continue to anger fansMonterrey Grand Prix organizers anger fans with every passing day. Friday it was sound problems, Friday and Saturday the Jumbotrons were not working (still not working as of today), and today Sunday they are not letting fans into the race course. Every fan who has received a schedule of activities or that has seen the schedule in local papers have the Atlantic warm-up from 8:00 till 8:15, so a lot of fans came early to see the warm-up, but once they reached the gates they were informed they cannot enter until 9:00 am, which means they will also miss part of the Champ Car warm-up. They can only hear the engines roar. According to the gatekeepers it is an order from OCESA. Does OCESA really want this race to be a success? Do they even care? Jose Arrambide
Loeb wins 5th straight rally Loeb wins 5th straight rallyThe final stage of the day, and the rally, saw Kronos Total Citroen World Rally Team's Sebastien Loeb capture his fifth consecutive FIA World Rally Championship victory of the season in Italy. Loeb's co-driver - Daniel Elena - had another point to celebrate - the solitary hold on the most co-driver victories in WRC history. The victory was Loeb's 25th in his career.

The biggest news from the final stage was the troubles suffered by Subaru drivers Chris Atkinson and Petter Solberg. Solberg suffered mechanical troubles - he broke his Impreza WRC2006's steering midway through the final stage and dropped from seventh overall to well outside of a points finish. "I will not give up. I will be back," the Norwegian said at the end of the stage.

Atkinson went off during the stage after driving cautiously throughout the third day to secure his position. Atkinson held fifth coming into the stage but was unable to complete the final test.

There were several other bright spots on the last stage of Rally d'Italia Sardegna. Mikko Hirvonen captured his best ever finish in a FIA World Rally Championship event - second overall, and the 2005 FIA Junior World Rally Champion Dani Sordo captured his third podium of the season and his first ever podium in a gravel rally. Both young drivers drove with maturity well beyond their years in the three days of Italian rallying.

Interestingly enough, Jan Kopecky captured the fastest time on the final stage of the rally, followed by Hirvonen. Sordo captured the third quickest on the stage.

Kristian Sohlberg moved into sixth overall after both Subaru drivers failed to maintain their position. Sohlberg finished fourth on the stage, 4.5 seconds behind Kopecky. Francois Duval captured the fifth quickest time on the stage and moved into eighth overall - his best result since his sixth overall in this season's RallyRACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada.

Xavier Pons maintained his position and ended the rally holding fourth overall after his sixth fastest time on the stage. Manfred Stohl - another driver who benefited from Atkinson and Solberg's misfortune, finished the stage seventh fastest and captured seventh overall as a result. The reigning champion Sebastien Loeb captured the eighth quickest time on the stage, but with a lead of over two minutes, his stage position did nothing to change the standings.

Pos Driver Make Time
 1. Loeb Citroen 3h 54:18.9
 2. Hirvonen Ford + 2:41.4
 3. Sordo Citroen + 3:27.7
 4. Pons Citroen + 5:28.3
 5. Valimaki Mitsubishi + 7:08.8
 6. Sohlberg Subaru + 7:36.9
 7. Stohl Peugeot + 8:18.4
 8. Duval Skoda + 9:45.8
 9. P Solberg Subaru + 10:19.9
10. MacHale Ford + 14:59.5

Industry News
GM using NASCAR to recruit service technicians GM using NASCAR to recruit service techniciansCONCORD, N.C. - It can be a challenge to land a prime spot on a NASCAR pit crew. Yet vehicle dealerships across the country are scrambling to find qualified automotive technicians for their own "pit crews" - even with salaries of $30,000 to $70,000 or more, depending on the market and the technician's level of training.

Part of the mission of the No. 29 Goodwrench Expertise Challenge is to increase awareness about this lucrative and rewarding yet often-overlooked career, and support training opportunities for future technicians. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the auto industry will need 35,000 new technicians every year through 2010.

"Historically, being an automotive technician has been depicted as a dirty, dead-end kind of job," said Peter Lord, executive director, GM Service Operations. "That old stereotype could not be further from the truth. Today's cars and trucks are very sophisticated - the computer technology in them alone, for example, is nearly 1,000 times more powerful than what took the Apollo mission to the moon."

"GM Goodwrench dealerships need trained, qualified technicians because they know that satisfaction with vehicle service and repair work is closely tied to how customers view their vehicles and the dealership. Being an automotive technician isn't just a 'job,' it's a career."  zzzz

The No. 29 Goodwrench Expertise Challenge benefits automotive technician training like this: If driver Kevin Harvick's No. 29 GM Goodwrench car wins two out of 12 selected NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races beginning May 28 with the Coca-Cola 600, GM Goodwrench will set up a $200,000 scholarship fund to encourage Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) high school students to continue their automotive technical education by attending GM Automotive Service Educational Program (ASEP) colleges. AYES is a nonprofit business and education partnership that creates automotive technology career opportunities for promising young men and women at automotive dealerships. It was founded in 1995 by former GM Chairman Jack Smith as a way to address the growing need for technicians.

"There are thousands of NASCAR fans - and others - who are ideal candidates for a career as an automotive technician," said Larry Cummings, CEO of AYES. "The No. 29 Goodwrench Expertise Challenge is a fun and engaging way to help spread the word about these great career opportunities."

Students enrolled in GM ASEP two-year programs earn while they learn, rotating their time between classes and interning at GM dealerships and other GM service centers. There are 66 GM ASEP participating schools in 38 U.S. states, 15 in Canada and one in the People's Republic of China. Successful students graduate with an associate's degree, and either are ready for or have passed their National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification test. More than 2,000 students are currently enrolled in the program, and there are more than 14,000 graduates.

If Harvick and the team meet the Expertise Challenge by winning 2 of the 12 select races, GM Goodwrench will award 29 Grand Prizes which consist of an All-New 2007 Chevy Avalanche, a $1,000 GM vehicle maintenance certificate, and a trunk full of Reese's products.

If only one race is won during the promotion, GM Goodwrench will award to two lucky winners an All-New 2007 Chevy Avalanche, a $1,000 GM vehicle maintenance certificate, and a trunk full of Reese's products. They will also donate $25,000 to the GM Goodwrench Scholarship Fund. If no races are won during the promotion, GM Goodwrench will still give away an All-New 2007 Chevy Avalanche, a $1,000 GM vehicle maintenance certificate, and a trunk full of Reese's products to one lucky winner, and provide a $25,000 donation to the GM Goodwrench Scholarship fund.

"We urge men and women looking for a challenging, high-demand career that pays well and offers solid job security to consider being an automotive service technician," said Lord. "Good technicians are sure to land themselves on the fast track."

Further program rules and award details are available at: www.goodwrench.com/expertGM

Track News
Taxpayers to vote on new track in Oregon Taxpayers to vote on new track in OregonUPDATE If it were up to the majority of the respondents in last week's Business Pulse survey, we would soon be hearing "Gentlemen (and Ladies) start your engines." We asked: "Should a NASCAR track be sited in Oregon?" Your response: 61 percent said "Yes: Absolutely. It could be an economic driver." Thirty-one percent said "No: I don't like racing, and nobody would go." Two percent were undecided. More at Portland Business Journal

05/16/06 Morrow County (OR) residents today will vote on an “excise tax to help pay for as much as $40[M] in roads, utilities” and other infrastructure around a proposed $300M speedway in Boardman, Oregon.

A new investor group has resurrected a six-year-old proposal to build a $300 million track on public land roughly 120 miles from Portland.

But part of the new deal calls for Morrow County voters to approve an excise tax to help pay for as much as $40 million in roads, utilities and other improvements to serve the speedway. The tax is on Tuesday's ballot.
Backers said they hope to break ground in the fall and start racing in 2008 or 2009.

A roadblock is that the speedway would have to operate without big-draw NASCAR Nextel Cup races.

The nation's largest sanctioning body of motorsports has no interest in the speedway, said Ramsey Poston, a NASCAR spokesman in Daytona Beach, Fla. NASCAR goes to metropolitan areas, he said.

Right now, NASCAR's eye is on a proposed speedway near Bremerton, Wash., Poston said. It's part of a plan to reorganize NASCAR's annual race schedule to move into the Northwest, he said.

An 81,500-seat grandstand is planned on a site between Interstate 84 and a little-used airport runway about five miles west of Boardman.

The grandstand would overlook a 2.5-mile road course, a 5/8-mile oval track, a banked, 1.2-mile "superspeedway," a 3/8-mile dirt oval track, drag strip and go-cart track, all on 1,400 sagebrush-covered acres owned by the Port of Morrow.  Excerpts from Portland Oregonian

Marcomania infects Indy this year Marcomania infects Indy this yearThis Indy Star article talks about Marcomania that has swept the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this May.  While Danica Patrick became the media darling of 2005 largely because she is female and a good looking one at that, Marco Andretti, unlike Patrick, earned his way up to the IRL by actually winning races at every level he has competed.

Marcomania has broken out at the Speedway because the 19-year old Andretti, who looks like he might still be 15, has been calm and cool under pressure - pressure not only brought about because this is Indy, but because he is an Andretti and is expected to do well.

Max has gone mad Max has gone madGenerally we agree with FIA President Max Mosley's ideas, but this time we think he might have gone mad.

Mosley has resurfaced his idea of swapping F1 drivers among teams after every race.

Writing in his column for F1 Racing, says, "Critics who claim the contrary are invariably people who haven't bothered to investigate," Mosley writes, while taking another dig at Michelin, "such as the tire company executive who attacked us for going to a single tire supplier for 2008 without realizing that we did this at the unanimous request of the teams and car manufacturers involved in F1."

"With my scheme, the world championship would work in an entirely different way," Mosley explains in his latest F1 Racing column, Grip 'n' Spin.

"For simplicity, let's assume there are 12 teams and 18 races. Each driver would drive each car once, so that after the first 12 races all 24 drivers would have driven the car of each team once.

"At this point, the leading driver would nominate the six different teams for which he'd drive in the last six races. The driver lying second in the championship would then make his choices, and so on.

"The order in which each driver drove for each team would be decided by lot for both the first 12 races and the last six races. Points for drivers and teams would be awarded as now.

"It would be fascinating, wouldn't it, to see how Michael Schumacher would get on in a McLaren or STR, or Kimi Raikkonen in a Renault or Midland; not to mention the current STR, Midland or Aguri drivers having a go in the top cars? Each race would feature whole new combinations.

"And, most important, no one could even say that a driver won the title because he had the best car or that a car won because it had the best driver. A lot of illusions would be shattered."

Hayden battling flu in France Hayden battling flu in FranceAmerican Honda rider Nicky Hayden is battling more than just his fellow competitors in LeMans, France this weekend - he has a bad case of the flu.

The 24-year-old American star, who leads the world championship, has been suffering from flu since arriving in Le Mans and has taken treatment at the circuit medical centre. Though Hayden will be starting from the 4th row of the grid he'll be determined to extend his run of consecutive podium finishes to nine today. And by qualifying within a second of the top time he still leads the MotoGP Best Qualifier standings thanks to his consistent speed so far this season.

"Sure I'm not happy about starting tenth. Things felt pretty good this morning in full wet conditions - we felt pretty strong. But in the dry we're definitely struggling to get some traction and in these long corners I'm losing a lot of time. We'll just have to put our heads together and come up with a better combination for today and do the best we can. We've got a few ideas for how we can improve things and I believe in the people around me here in the Repsol Honda Team - it's important to have good guys in my corner. Also, thanks to Doctor Costa and his crew for taking good care of me, and hopefully during the race I'll feel a bit better."

NASCAR PC to be sold at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club NASCAR PC to be sold at Wal-Mart and Sam's ClubThe National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) announced today that its official NASCAR PC is now available at select Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations, as well as online at www.wal-mart.com and www.samsclub.com.

The NASCAR PC, manufactured by ZT Cisnet and made in the U.S.A., is a powerful desktop that features an impressive variety of NASCAR extras not found in any other personal computer. The bundle is designed to provide a unique experience for the entire family and includes racing-specific online subscriptions, graphics, software, accessories and various discounts.

Offered at prices starting at $798, the PC bundle is sold with desktop PC, 17’’ or 19’’ LCD display, Nextel TrackPass/Raceday Scanner subscriptions, EA Sports NASCAR SlimRacing with racing wheel and pedals, and a trial membership in the Official NASCAR Members Club.

Unlike typical personal computers, the NASCAR PC is designed to reflect the NASCAR spirit with start-up sound effects, bold racing graphics and pre-loaded, race-related software. The NASCAR PC includes high performance 64-bit processors from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), the official technology partner of NASCAR, and hard drives from Seagate Technologies.  zzzz

NASCAR PC systems, now available online at 20 Wal-Mart stores in 11 states and 15 Sam’s Club stores in 13 states, was awarded a “Best Buy” this month by “PC World” and was ranked the #1 value desktop PC.

“We are proud to partner with NASCAR, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club to bring fans NASCAR excitement via the personal computer,” said Bob Anderson, ZT Cisnet vice president. ”Whether you are buying race tickets online, processing digital photos from the track, or racing stock cars on your PC game, the NASCAR PC delivers a comprehensive computing experience for all race fans.”  For more information, visit www.racefanspc.com.

Kyle Busch Defends NCTS Victory at Lowe's Kyle Busch Defends NCTS Victory at Lowe'sNASCAR NEXTEL Cup veteran Kyle Busch, making his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck start of the 2006 season, successfully defended his Quaker Steak & Lube 200 victory with a crushing, 3.154-second triumph Friday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

Busch, who came from a 20th-place start, passed Budweiser Pole winner Mike Skinner on the 37th of 134 laps around the 1.5-mile superspeedway. Skinner took the lead twice more on pit road under caution but Busch quickly regained the advantage each time then drove away from Terry Cook in a 16-lap sprint following the race’s sixth and final caution.

Busch and Cook finished in the same positions a year ago when – at age 20 – the winner became the youngest driver to capture a series race.

Busch, driving Billy Ballew’s No. 51 National Land Acquisitions Chevrolet, averaged a record 124.845 mph. He won $54,200 from posted awards of $54,200. It was his fourth series victory and third on a 1.5-mile superspeedway.   zzzz

Cook, at the helm of a brand-new Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford, posted his first top-five finish since last June’s third-place effort at Dover International Speedway.

Germain Racing partners Todd Bodine and Ted Musgrave finished third and fourth in Toyotas with Ron Hornaday Jr. fifth in his Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet. David Reutimann, Dennis Setzer, Matt Crafton and Raybestos rookies Aric Almirola and Eric Darnell rounded out the top 10.

Twenty of the race’s 32 finishers completed all 134 laps.

Among the non-finishers was Skinner, whose Toyota suffered engine failure after 115 laps.

Busch and Skinner exchanged the lead five times as six cautions consumed 26 laps.

Bodine, who entered the sixth race of the year with a 12-point advantage over defending champion Musgrave, upped his lead to 17. Cook was the night’s biggest gainer in the standings moving up five places to fifth.

The race was the first in a nine consecutive week stretch which continues May 27 at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway in central Ohio.

Riggs, Petty Advance to All Star Challenge Riggs, Petty Advance to All Star ChallengeScott Riggs led 29 of 30 laps to win Saturday night's Nextel Open to advance to the NASCAR Nextel All Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

After an hour-and-a-half rain delay, Riggs started on the pole but lost the initial lead to Denny Hamlin on the opening lap. Riggs reeled Hamlin in and regained the top spot to lead lap two and never looked back, beating out Jeff Green to pocket $50,000 and advance to the second-to-last position in the All Star field. It will be Riggs' first appearance in the All Star race.

Brian Vickers, the defending winner of the Nextel Open, finished third, followed by Hamlin and J.J. Yeley.

Casey Mears, Kenny Wallace and Scott Wimmer were each involved in cautions during the event.

Kyle Petty topped the fan balloting to get the final spot in the All Star event, his first appearance since 1999. Coca Cola - along with Petty's sponsors Wells Fargo, Schwann's and Tire Kingdom - pledged $250,000 if Petty won the fan vote.

Pete McCole
Legge struggling with slippery Monterrey track Legge struggling with slippery Monterrey trackKatherine Legge, was 16th on the provisional grid with a time 78.159 seconds (96.910 mph) following Friday’s qualifying session.  After an engine change following yesterday’s qualifying and an evening’s worth of data evaluation, the 25-year-old Brit instantly began to find more speed beginning with the morning practice session where she clocked a quick lap of 76.022 seconds (99.634 mph) placing her 12th on both the individual and combined practice reports. 

To right Legge gets some opposite lock on her Lola Ford. (Photo by LAT for Champ Car)

In the afternoon warm-up, Legge could only manage a fast lap of 76.945 seconds (9998.439 mph), which put her 16th on the individual practice report and dropped her to 13th on the combined report based on her morning time.  During final qualifying, Legge went out almost from the opening green flag and appeared to be on the move.  She turned a lap of 76.405 seconds on her fourth lap, but on lap six she spun off and the car stalled.  After getting restarted and returning to the pits, the Bell Micro – PKV Racing team serviced the car and sent her back on track.  She ran her two fastest laps of the weekend during her second stint, but her fastest lap, a 76.09 which would have moved her up one place on the grid, was nullified by the penalty assessed for causing the red flag. 

“Obviously, I am very disappointed,” Legge said about starting last.  “I made a few mistakes out there today and it cost me.  At this point I just have to learn from my mistakes and keep going forward,” she noted.  “The Bell Micro – PKV Racing crew has been great.  They have worked very hard and continue to be extremely supportive.  I am just sorry that I couldn’t have given them a better qualifying effort today.  Hopefully, I can make it up to them by doing a good job in the race,” Legge concluded.

formula bmw
Mansell buys his sons a race team Mansell buys his sons a race teamNigel Mansell, the 1992 FIA Formula One World Drivers Champion has bought the team that has been running his sons in the 2006 Formula BMW UK junior single seater racing championship.

Mansell, who bought the Somerset UK based Team SWR from owner Trevor Powell, said, "This move was a natural progression and it's important we control our own destiny. It's an amicable split and we've bought the assets from Trevor."

Mansell is believed to be forging a deal with the Daventry based Fortec Motorsport organization to run his team. eemsonline.com

Ecclestone slams Alonso, Dennis Ecclestone slams Alonso, DennisBernie Ecclestone has criticized world champion Fernando Alonso for not doing enough with the public to ask not what Formula One can do for him, but what he can do for Formula One.

However, Ecclestone's remarks were not well received by the Renault star, who said he was doing everything that was being asked of him.

"I have a team that pays me to do a job. I do my job - there is nothing more in my contract that I have to do," the Spaniard said.

But Ecclestone is unhappy with that kind of attitude and will ask Alonso to work harder to promote Formula One.

"He is the world champion, and world champions really owe something to the public. They are world champions and they should start giving a bit back to the public. We will have a chat. It's our fault as well as his, through not telling him what we want to do."

Ecclestone also McLaren boss Ron Dennis accusing him of doing the very least to help promote the sport.

"I'm concerned with Ron and his statements because he's the last person to do any of those things," said Ecclestone.

"You can't get his drivers to talk to anybody and they never participate in anything. It would be great if he started doing what he's saying we should be doing. I think what he's saying (is what) everybody else should be doing except McLaren.

"Hopefully the teams and drivers will realize they have to give a little bit more back to the sport," he added.

Third generation Andretti makes good on heritage Third generation Andretti makes good on heritageLike his father Michael and grandfather Mario before him, Marco Andretti (right) is the fastest qualified rookie in the Indianapolis 500.

The 19-year-old driver qualified Saturday for the 90th Indy 500 with a four-lap average of 224.918 mph.

His legendary grandfather, Mario Andretti, was the fastest rookie in 1965 (4th on the grid), when he finished third; his father, Michael, was the quickest rookie in 1984 and finished fifth. Both were rookies of the year.

"It's special," said Marco. "My whole life, I couldn't wait to be here. Now that I am, I'm definitely excited.

"Last week we had to worry about qualifying and the race; now we can just look forward to getting the car ready for the race," he said.

"Qualifying was just what I thought it was going to be, there were no real surprises.  Don't get me wrong, those were definitely the longest four laps of my career. It was nerve-wracking, but the NYSE guys did a great job and gave me a great car. In a way, I sort of knew what the #26 NYSE car was going to do but it doesn't matter. You still have to make it work.

"I'm a little disappointed with my times; they could have been a little better but they could have been a lot worse. It just feels great to be done with it.

"I definitely felt a lot of pressure but I got some great advice from Tony (Kanaan). He just told me to put the helmet on, flip the visor down and go. There are a lot of people that try to tell you to act a certain way out there, but others tell you to just be yourself and drive the car and that's what I try to do."

Marco Andretti will be the youngest driver in the May 28 lineup.

"I'd give him an 'A' so far," said his 43-year-old father, who came out of retirement to drive in his son's rookie race. "He's impressed me. There were times his car was not good and he was still driving it. He was smart enough not to go over the edge."

Michael Andretti was not going for the pole and spent all week working on race setup.  He is here to win the race not pole. At left Mario Andretti talks to his son Michael before qualifying.

Next Sunday Mario Andretti will be watching anxiously as both his son and grandson try to duplicate his win in 1969.  Whether they can match the outright speed of the Penske and Ganassi teams remains to be seen, but as the Andretti legend goes, you know they'll be giving it 100% every lap. Mark C.

formula bmw
Reed Stevens wins BMW season opener Reed Stevens wins BMW season openerLexington, Ohio - Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA) began the 2006 Formula BMW USA championship exactly where he ended the 2005 season - on the top step of the podium. The 20-year old, from Palo Alto, California won the final round last year and led today's Round 1 race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course from start to finish. Jumping into the lead from the outside pole he led Robert Wickens (Team Apex Racing USA) to the checkered flag. Wickens was never more than one second behind Stevens for the entire 17-lap contest.

Polesitter and Junior driver David Garza (EuroInternational) fell to third on the start, but held solidly on the last podium position. The race ended under yellow after a lap 13 accident between Matt Lee (Team Autotecnica) and Joel Jackson (Gelles Racing). The resulting caution period ended the drive of the day by Simona de Silvestro (EuroInternational). Starting from the 10th position the 17-year old moved into sixth on lap four. After a three lap duel with Race Johnson (HBR Motorsport Team USA) she took the fifth position on lap seven and then, only four laps later, moved into fourth, setting the fastest lap of the race (1:27.392).

Other notable performances were given by Gelles Racing teammates John Zartarian and Maxime Pelletier who scored top-10 finishes (8th and 10th) after starting 11th and 12th respectively.  zzzz 

The top-finishing Rookies were Garza (P3), Sebastian Saavedra (P9), Maxime Pelletier (P10), Robert Thorne (P12) and Daniel Morad (P14). "It is sort of an extension from last season and I want to be sure to stay on top this year. My team and I worked very hard and now we are very happy to be here, but we are not surprised at all," said a delighted Stevens. "The competition this season is stiff having two levels of drivers - the returning drivers that are very competitive and a couple of new drivers and rookies that are also very competitive. I do not expect to be on top every weekend. It will be quite a big fight to take the championship." Wickens said, "It is great to finish the first race of the season on the podium. Hopefully I can repeat making podium finishes during the season. I want to thank my team and my sponsors. They made a lot of improvements from last year and my car is amazing. They do so much work just to keep me on my feet and keep me fast."

Garza added, "It is a dream come true. I have worked extremely hard. In past years I never got off my go-kart, I was pushing all day long and today it paid off. I want to thank my team and my sponsors. I had a very good car today and I received great support. I started on pole, finished third, but I am not disappointed. Reed and Robert have much more experience in Formula cars. For me it is my first year. I hope I can get better during season, but for now I am really satisfied with my performance."

The Round 2 race is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow.

Round 1 - Results (17 laps)
1 Reed Stevens HBR Motorsport Team USA 31:22.707
2 Robert Wickens Team Apex Racing USA 31:22.842
3 David Garza (R) EuroInternational 31:23.701
4 Simona de Silvestro EuroInternational 31:24.266
5 Doug Boyer AIM Autosport 31:26.144
6 Race Johnson HBR Motorsport Team USA 31:26.593
7 Adrien Herberts Gelles Racing 31:27.169
8 John Zartarian Gelles Racing 31:27.810
9 Sebastian Saavedra (R) Gelles Racing 31:28.125
10 Maxime Pelletier (R) Gelles Racing 31:28.977
11 Ryan Campbell Gelles Racing 31:29.612
12 Robert Thorne (R) Team Autotecnica 31:30.163
13 Ryan Phinny Hearn Motorsports 31:31.135
14 Daniel Morad (R) AIM Autosport 31:31.398
15 Marco Santos Haberfeld & Walker Racing 31:32.757
16 Philip Major Atlantic Racing Team 31:32.758
17 Jules Duc Hearn Motorsports 31:33.788
18 Scott Schroeder American Spirit Grand Prix 31:34.609
19 Jordan Dick (R) Team Apex Racing USA 31:37.413
20 Frankie Muniz Jensen Motorsport 31:39.404
21 Yannick Hofman HBR Motorsport Team USA 31:40.567
22 Steven Guerrero (R) HBR Motorsport Team USA 15 laps
23 David Farias (R) Jensen Motorsport 14 laps
24 Matt Lee Team Autotecnica 12 laps
25 Joel Jackson (R) Gelles Racing 12 laps
26 David Rangel Haberfeld & Walker Racing 5 laps

Championship points after 1 of 14 races:
1. Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 20), 2. Robert Wickens (Team Apex Racing USA, 15), 3. David Garza (EuroInternational, 12), 4. Simona de Silvestro (EuroInternational, 10), 5. Doug Boyer (AIM Autosport, 8), 6. Race Johnson (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 6), 7. Adrien Herberts (Gelles Racing, 4), 8. John Zartarian (Gelles Racing, 3), 9. Sebastian Saavedra (Gelles Racing, 2), 10. Maxime Pelletier (Gelles Racing, 1), 11. Ryan Campbell (Gelles Racing, 0), 12. Robert Thorne (Team Autotecnica, 0), 13. Ryan Phinny (Hearn Motorsports, 0), 14. Daniel Morad (AIM Autosport, 0), 15. Marco Santos (Haberfeld & Walker Racing, 0), 16. Philip Major (Atlantic Racing Team, 0), 17. Jules Duc (Hearn Motorsports, 0), 18. Scott Schroeder (American Spirit Grand Prix, 0), 19. Jordan Dick (Team Apex Racing USA, 0), 20. Frankie Muniz (Jensen MotorSport, 0), 21. Yannick Hofman (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 0), 22. Steven Guerrero (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 0), 23. David Farias (Jensen MotorSport, 0), 24. Matt Lee (Autotecnica, 0), 25. Joel Jackson (Gelles Racing, 0), 26. David Rangel (Haberfeld & Walker Racing, 0) Rookies: 1. David Garza (20), 2. Sebastian Saavedra (15), 3. Maxime Pelletier (12), 4. Robert Thorne (10), 5. Daniel Morad (8), 6. Jordan Dick (6), 7. Steven Guerrero (4), 8. David Farias (3), 9. Joel Jackson (2)

Rain delays start at Lowe's Rain delays start at Lowe'sA persistent rain at Lowe's Motor Speedway has delayed the start of the NEXTEL Open until the track can be dried again.
Pedrosa takes second pole ahead Pedrosa takes second pole aheadDani Pedrosa will start a MotoGP race from pole for the second time in his career at tomorrow’s Alice Grand Prix of France. The Spaniard put in a storming last lap of 1’33.990 to snatch the spot at the head of the grid from an impressive Shinya Nakano by three tenths of a second.

Pole-man and winner last weekend at the Shanghai Circuit, Pedrosa will be looking to continue his run of form into the Sunday race at the famous Bugatti Circuit.

Nakano looked set to give Kawasaki the top spot for the first time this season, but instead had to settle for his highest qualifying position of 2006.

Rizla Suzuki’s John Hopkins repeated his top three position qualification in China, and following on from his fourth place finish in the race he will be out for a podium place tomorrow afternoon.

Local rider Randy de Puniet completed a memorable day for Kawasaki, delighting the large number of fans present at the Le Mans track by slotting into fourth place. The Frenchman stood on the pit wall to acknowledge the crowd following the session. Marco Melandri and Loris Capirossi completed the top six, both trying to get back on track after disappointing results in China.

World Champion Valentino Rossi and team-mate Colin Edwards were unable to keep their free practice positions at the top of the leaderboard, separated in seventh and ninth by Sete Gibernau. Nicky Hayden completed the top ten just under a second slower than his pole-setting Repsol Honda colleague.

Results from MotoGP qualifying:

1. Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 1:33.990
2. Shinya Nakano (Japan) Kawasaki 1:34.201
3. John Hopkins (U.S.) Suzuki 1:34.636
4. Randy de Puniet (France) Kawasaki 1:34.780
5. Marco Melandri (Italy) Honda 1:34.795
6. Loris Capirossi (Italy) Ducati 1:34.802
7. Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha 1:34.840
8. Sete Gibernau (Spain) Ducati 1:34.870
9. Colin Edwards (U.S.) Yamaha 1:34.970
10. Nicky Hayden (U.S.) Honda 1:34.988

Yasukawa lands Playa Del Racing ride Yasukawa lands Playa Del Racing ridePlaya Del Racing has named Roger Yasukawa as driver of the #12 Playa Del Racing entry.

ROGER YASUKAWA (No. 12 Playa Del Racing Panoz/Honda/Firestone): "The team has a good platform, and the car feels good. Everyone is pushing for more track time, but that's not the case. We're just going to put the car in the show today and worry about the race set-up Sunday. I think everything is going to be good. I'm really excited to be joining the team and have Jaques (Lazier) as a teammate. I think it's going to be good."

SUSAN SCHAFER (co-owner, Playa Del Racing): "Unfortunately, Mother Nature had a hand in it, and us being a second weekend team had a hand in it. Jon (Herb) is a fantastic driver who will now concentrate on his ownership duties. We're very excited about Roger and his performance and Jaques heading into the race."

Seen in Monterrey - VI Seen in Monterrey - VIWe spotted Bobby Rahal in the pits with the biggest grin on his face after his son Graham won pole position for tomorrow's Champ Car Atlantic race.......Paul Newman is personally overseeing his Atlantic effort, not only was he during the practice session but also during qualifying......A few fans on the main straight were complaining today that the Jumbotron that is in front of the main straight grandstands did not have any feed. "Yesterday we didn’t have any audio, today they had trouble with the audio in the morning, and now this. We bought the highest price tickets and it seems as if they don’t care about us.".......The Newman/Haas team decided to put small Mexican flags on Bruno's and Sebastien's cars. It must feel like their home track as they practically own Fundidora Park, and it shows. Today we saw a lot more Sebastien Bourdais caps and shirts from Mexican fans........The Mexican fans came to see Mario Dominguez, but they have shifted their hopes to local boy David Martinez (right), who qualified third for the Atlantics race in his Telmex sponsored car. Dominguez's weekend has been disappointing for local fans, but the third position on the grid Martinez obtained earlier has made local fans hopeful of having at least one Mexican on the podium this weekend. Right now Martinez is the hottest autograph at the track, and everyone wants a picture with him.........We were handed a complimentary copy of Milenio by the Milenio Girls. Milenio is the rival newspaper of El Norte, and they have been sponsoring the races in Monterrey. Every year they send the Milenio girls to hand out free copies of the newspaper to the fans. Could this be the reason El Norte only reports the bad aspects of the Monterrey Grand Prix?.......The A1GP pole in Monterrey was a 1.24.016, the Atlantic Pole by Graham Rahal today was 1.23.217 and the Champ Car pole was a 1:13.253 by Bourdais, so that gives you some indication where A1GP stacks up in terms of performance.....We saw Paul Gentilozzi complaining to Kevin Kalkhoven about something during qualifying, but not sure what it was all about....The Will Power team had problems at the bottom of Power's car and worked very hard at mid session to fix it. They were really in a hurry and didn't want to share what was going on exactly.  Jose Arrambide and Hector Serrano reporting
Rahal breaks record to win pole in Monterrey Rahal breaks record to win pole in Monterrey
Bourdais tops Saturday AM practice in Monterrey Bourdais tops Saturday AM practice in MonterreySebastien Bourdais turned the best time of the weekend in today's morning practice, navigating the 2.104-mile Monterrey circuit in 1:14.097 (102.223 mph), a time that is more than two-tenths of a second faster than yesterday's pole speed set by Justin Wilson.

A.J. Allmendinger was second fastest in the hour-long session with a time of 1:14.388 (101.823 mph) while Wilson checked with the third-best time.

Alex Tagliani (#15 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) had the only contact of the session, spinning and hitting the tires in Turn Five.  He was unhurt and is expected to participate in today's final qualifying session, which gets underway at 2 p.m. local time.

Nicky Pastorelli and Charles Zwolsman missed most of the session while their teams worked on their cars.

Pos Driver Lap Time
1 S. Bourdais 1:14.097
2 A. Allmendinger 1:14.388
3 J. Wilson 1:14.522
4 B. Junqueira 1:14.988
5 P. Tracy 1:14.995
6 O. Servia 1:15.209
7 A. Tagliani 1:15.325
8 M. Dominguez 1:15.477
9 C. da Matta 1:15.631
10 A. Ranger 1:15.713
11 N. Philippe 1:15.765
12 K. Legge 1:16.022
13 J. Heylen 1:16.351
14 W. Power 1:16.421
15 D. Clarke 1:16.791
16 C. Zwolsman 1:17.438
17 N. Pastorelli 1:19.008

Hornish appears to have lock on Indy pole Hornish appears to have lock on Indy poleWith most of the top names now qualified for the Indy 500, Sam Hornish Jr. appears to have pole position in the bag barring any major surprises.  After being fastest every day of practice, Hornish turned a 4-lap average of 228.9 MPH to top his teammate Helio Castroneves who was just above 228 MPH.  The Ganassi teammates of Dixon and Wheldon were 3rd and 4th with 25 cars qualified.  A full report to follow later....
Audi driver Kristensen wins Qualifying thriller Audi driver Kristensen wins Qualifying thrillerThe "King of Le Mans” is well on his way to become "King of Oschersleben” too: Audi factory driver Tom Kristensen in the Siemens Audi A4 DTM cockpit took the pole position at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben for the DTM’s third round. This means the Dane from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline will start from the first row for the third, and from the grid’s top position for the second time in a row at Oschersleben. What is more, in 2004 the seven-time Le Mans winner celebrated his first DTM exploit at Oschersleben.
In Saturday’s shoot-out Qualifying which, yet again, turned out to be a real thriller, he relegated Mercedes driver Jamie Green to the position of the runner-up by 0.009 seconds. Since the leader of the standings, Bernd Schneider, will be starting the race merely from position six, Kristensen has good chances on Sunday to capture the lead in the overall classification.

The starting grid at Oschersleben
1 Tom Kristensen (Siemens Audi A4 DTM), 1m 19.264s
2 Jamie Green (Mercedes), 1m 19.273s
3 Bruno Spengler (Mercedes), 1m 19.513s
4 Mika Häkkinen (Mercedes), 1m 19.561s
5 Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Veltins Audi A4 DTM), 1m 19.820s
6 Bernd Schneider (Mercedes), 1m 19.876s
7 Martin Tomczyk (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM), 1m 19.973s
8 Frank Stippler (S line Audi A4 DTM), 1m 20.480s
9 Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM), 1m 19.929s
10 Christian Abt (Playboy Audi A4 DTM), 1m 20.025s
11 Alexandros Margaritis (Mercedes), 1m 20.087s
12 Timo Scheider (Gebrauchtwagen:plus Audi A4 DTM), 1m 20.123s
13 Pierre Kaffer (Castrol Audi A4 DTM), 1m 20.397s
14 Jean Alesi (Mercedes), 1m 20.441s
15 Daniel la Rosa (Mercedes), 1m 20.747s
16 Stefan Mücke (Mercedes), 1m 20.774s
17 Mathias Lauda (Mercedes), 1m 21.367s
18 Susie Stoddart (Mercedes), 1m 21.432s
19 Vanina Ickx (Original Zubehör Audi A4 DTM), 1m 21.960s
20 Olivier Tielemans (Futurecom Audi A4 DTM), 1m 22.425s

Indy Pro driver Tom Wieringa trial begins Indy Pro driver Tom Wieringa trial beginsUPDATE #2 Correction, he was found not guilty by the jury.

05/19/06 AutoRacing1.com has learned that Tom Wieringa was found not guilty on all counts. Background info on how the law works: An Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) must first review the case and conclude that the agency bringing the charges is warranted in the ‘referral’ and not only correct in their interpretation of the law allegedly broken but that the U.S. Attorneys Office is likely to obtain a conviction before approval is given to allocate the resources (staff, time, budget) to actually seek an indictment and/or file formal charges leading to a trial.

Each enforcement action whether it be administrative, civil, or criminal has to be approved by a series of ever more stringent procedures. For the U.S. Attorneys office to conclude this case was not better suited to administrative or civil enforcement actions and was able to gain approval for a Federal criminal enforcement action says Government attorneys, not only law enforcement agents, concluded willful criminal acts had been committed. People that think importing cool ‘gray market’ cars using loopholes meant for ‘exhibit’ or ‘race’ waivers or falsifying compliance modifications to the EPA and DOT for cars to operate on U.S. roads should be sobered by the fact that not too many years ago a co-sponsor of the F1 Long Beach Grand Prix was indicted for bringing in some Lamborghinis, a couple of Ferraris, and a Rolls Royce and putting them on the streets after having filed false papers. Al Mardikian, of Trend Motor Imports in Newport Beach California, was found guilty of nine counts of making false statements related to those cars and in addition to forfeiting the cars, three of which were crushed with great publicity, sentenced to five years imprisonment and five years probation.

Fortunately, for Mr. Wieringa a jury of his peers disagreed with the U.S. Attorneys Office and found him innocent of all charges.

05/09/06 A wealthy Oak Brook businessman illegally imported in 2000 a rare, $1 million sports car from England, lying to U.S. customs officials in order to skirt import taxes, a prosecutor told a federal jury on Monday.

Thomas Wieringa, who owned his own racing team, used a ruse to import the 1998 McLaren F1, which features a gold-plated engine and can reach speeds of 240 m.p.h., said Assistant U.S. Atty. James M. Kuhn Sr.

Wieringa falsely claimed a British associate owned the McLaren and another car--a 1999 Ferrari 360 Modena, worth about $126,000--and that the two cars would be in the U.S. temporarily, Kuhn said.

In fact, Wieringa "owned both of those cars while he tried to convince customs that [his associate] owned them," Kuhn told jurors in his opening statement.

Wieringa's trial began Monday before a jury and U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly. Wieringa is charged with illegally importing the McLaren and Ferrari and with trying to ship the McLaren back to England after authorities ordered him not to move the vehicle.

As part of the proposed penalty in the case, prosecutors are seeking to make Wieringa forfeit the cars to the government. zzzz

But Wieringa's lawyer, Mark Rotert, argued Monday that Wieringa had not lied to customs officials and that Wieringa's business associate, Paul Cherry, had owned an interest in the car.

"The government in this case has been making mistakes for 6 years now," Rotert said. "Instead of admitting those mistakes ... they have brought this man before you, charged with crimes."

He said Wieringa planned to use the McLaren to promote his racing team, Sigma Autosport in Bridgeview, by offering potential sponsors thrill rides around the track. zzzz

"This was never about smuggling," Rotert said.

Cherry also has been charged. His case is pending.

Kuhn and Rotert sparred Monday over Wieringa's motives and what various customs documents would show.

Kuhn said Wieringa knew he couldn't legally own the cars in the U.S. without modifying them to meet U.S. environmental regulations and U.S. Department of Transportation standards.

Wieringa had Cherry bring the cars into the country on special temporary permits, which are designed for foreign citizens who want to bring a vehicle to the U.S. for less than a year, simply to show or display it, Kuhn said.

By 2002, U.S. customs officials realized the two cars had been in the country longer than a year, Kuhn said.

Rotert said Wieringa had tried his best to answer questions on government forms but was tripped up by an ambiguous question that left room for only a "yes" or "no" answer. He said Wieringa also hired a professional customs broker to handle some paperwork, but the broker made "dumb, clumsy mistakes."

Wieringa owned Sigma Autosport from about 2000 until the team went out of business in 2002. Chicago Tribune

Seen in Monterrey - V Seen in Monterrey - VCharles Zwolsman Sr., father of Charles Zwolsman Jr. (and yes, the same one we wrote about months ago), is visiting his son in Monterrey, Mexico, together with Charles' younger brother Ross (3 years younger than Charles). This is only one of the few races Charles' dad can actually visit this year to see his son race in Champ Car! For reasons we previously reported, he is 'persona non grata' in the US and Canada. Last year he didn't visit any Champ Car Atlantic races where his son was champion, but obviously went to his Champ Car race debut in Mexico City as he was and is allowed to travel in and out of Mexico!
Actually he is a very likeable person with a great passion for motor racing. He used to be a very successful sportscar driver in the Group C days, and had very, now well known, teammates : Michael Schumacher and Heinz-Harald Frentzen amongst others!

Perhaps spurred on by his father's presence, Mi-Jack Conquest Racing rookie Charles Zwolsman put in his best qualifying effort this season by posting a lap of 1:15.162 (100.774 mph) which is good for tenth place on the starting grid for tomorrow’s Tecate Grand Prix of Monterrey.

“We missed nearly the entire session this morning because of an oil leak on the car. Then we decided to make a change before qualifying. It was okay but there is still work to do on the car. We will keep working hard. Nevertheless this is a positive result for us, tenth, and we are making a step in the right direction.”

Zwolsman Will be making his fourth Champ Car start… Won his first Atlantic race in Monterrey, Mexico in 2005 starting on pole… sits 15th in the championship… and 5th in the Rookie of the Year standings… Zwolsman will be participating in only his second Champ Car road course race.

formula bmw
Round2: Garza on pole, de Silvestro second Round2: Garza on pole, de Silvestro secondLexington, Ohio - Formula BMW USA Junior driver David Garza (EuroInternational) backed his performance yesterday to score his second pole of the 2006 Formula BMW USA season with a lap of 1:26.430 minutes around the newly resurfaced 2.4-mile, 15-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in this morning's Round 2 qualifying session. 

Taking the pole on his last lap, he moved teammate Simona de Silvestro (EuroInternational) to second after the 17-year-old Italian, now living in Zionsville, Indiana, was close to the top of the 26-car field for the entire 30-minute session. De Silvestro, only the second female to race in Formula BMW USA, has shown she will be a certain contender this year. Her outside pole time of 1:26.614 minutes was only .184 seconds behind Garza. 

Matt Lee (Autotecnica), disqualified for a technical infraction following his third-place qualifying effort in Round 1, showed he overcame the let down to set the third quickest time today (1:26.698). Garza, de Silvestro and Lee were the only three drivers in the 1:26 second bracket. zzzz

Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA) and Robert Wickens (Team Apex Racing USA) rounded out the top-five. The top-six starters are separated by one second and the top-19 are within two seconds of Garza's pole time ensuring an exciting Round 2 contest.  Following post-qualifying inspection the car of 17th qualifier Joel Jackson was found not to be in compliance. He will start at the rear of the grid.  The fastest Rookies in the field were Garza (P1), Robert Thorne (P7), Sebastian Saavedra (P8), Steven Guerrero (P11) and Daniel Morad (P12).  "I am very excited. I worked so hard for this. Hopefully we will remain the same for all the other upcoming races," said Garza. "Simona will start from second. We are team mates and will both race for the win, but I know we will help each other out to make one of the EuroInternational cars win." 

De Silvestro said, "I feel very good and have a very good car. Yesterday, I was a bit unfortunate since I never came out of the pits again to renew my pole position that I was holding for part of the qualifying session. Today we managed to have both EuroInternational cars on the front row. I hope we can stay in front." 

Lee said, "Today I had the pole for a while, but David and Simona took it away from me. I am still pretty happy with third. We will definitely have a good race. I definitely have the car to win." 

The Round 1 race is scheduled to start at 5:15 p.m. today and the Round 2 race is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow.

Qualifying: Round 2

1 David Garza (R) EuroInternational 1:26.430 (94.051 mph)
2 Simona de Silvestro EuroInternational 1:26.614
3 Matt Lee Team Autotecnica 1:26.698
4 Reed Stevens HBR Motorsport Team USA 1:27.301
5 Robert Wickens Team Apex Racing USA 1:27.424
6 John Zartarian Gelles Racing 1:27.469
7 Robert Thorne (R) Team Autotecnica 1:27.643
8 Sebastian Saavedra (R) Gelles Racing 1:27.699
9 Race Johnson HBR Motorsport Team USA 1:27.707
10 Doug Boyer AIM Autosport 1:27.826
11 Steven Guerrero (R) HBR Motorsport Team USA 1:27.831
12 Daniel Morad (R) AIM Autosport 1:27.861
13 Ryan Campbell Gelles Racing 1:27.941
14 Philip Major Atlantic Racing Team 1:27.990
15 Adrien Herberts Gelles Racing 1:28.083
16 Ryan Phinny Hearn Motorsports 1:28.198
17 Scott Schroeder American Spirit Grand Prix 1:28.219
18 Maxime Pelletier (R) Gelles Racing 1:28.479
19 Jules Duc Hearn Motorsports 1:28.623
20 David Rangel Haberfeld & Walker Racing 1:29.000
21 Marco Santos Haberfeld & Walker Racing 1:29.061
22 Yannick Hofman HBR Motorsport Team USA 1:29.232
23 David Farias (R) Jensen Motorsport 1:29.421
24 Frankie Muniz Jensen Motorsport 1:29.589
25 Jordan Dick (R) Team Apex Racing USA 1:29.928
26 Joel Jackson (R) Gelles Racing no time

Mexican media ignoring Legge Mexican media ignoring LeggeThere has been almost no mention at all of Katherine Legge in the local Mexico media for this weekend's Monterrey GP.  The sport shows are full of Dominguez, Bourdais, Tracy and Wilson reports, but no one is mentioning the fact that the series has a competitive female driver.  In a society where men rule the sports world, one would think a female competing against men would make the news. Jose Arrambide
Hornish close to 230 MPH Hornish close to 230 MPHSam Hornish Jr. came very close to cracking 230 MPH in warm-ups this morning at Indy prior to qualifying. His teammate Helio Castroneves was 2nd, stamping the Penske duo as favorites to win the coveted pole.

Pos Driver Best Speed
1 Sam Hornish Jr (6) 229.996
2 Helio Castroneves (3T) 228.838
3 Scott Dixon (9) 228.092
4 Dan Wheldon (10) 228.085
5 Tony Kanaan (11) 227.292
6 Vitor Meira (4T) 227.083
7 Tomas Scheckter (2) 226.820
8 Townsend Bell (90) 226.552
9 Marco Andretti (26) 226.370
10 Kosuke Matsuura (55) 226.160
11 Bryan Herta (7) 225.965
12 Scott Sharp (8) 225.688
13 Dario Franchitti (27) 225.358
14 Ed Carpenter (20) 225.195
15 Michael Andretti (1) 224.623
16 Danica Patrick (16T) 224.396
17 Buddy Rice (15T) 224.327
18 Max Papis (52) 223.369
19 Eddie Cheever Jr (51) 223.072
20 Jeff Bucknum (92) 222.298
21 Buddy Lazier (5) 222.105
22 PJ Chesson (91) 222.024
23 Jaques Lazier (21) 221.839
24 Larry Foyt (41) 221.744
25 Jeff Simmons (17T) 221.148
26 Airton Dare (88) 221.076
27 Felipe Giaffone (14) 220.928
28 Roger Yasukawa (12) 220.692
29 Al Unser Jr (31) 219.160
30 Marty Roth (25) 219.010
31 Stephan Gregoire (97) 219.009
32 PJ Jones (98) 214.861

CARA Charity Fashion Show gains momentum CARA Charity Fashion Show gains momentumThe Silver Anniversary of  the CARA Charities Indy 500 Fashion Show -- one of the most popular social events surrounding the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race – on Thursday, May 25 – is gaining some serious momentum.

It started in an empty retail area at Keystone at the Crossing on May 25,1982 and has now grown into an annual fashion extravaganza. Right: Michael Andretti carrying two month old Marco in the 1987 Fashion Show.

The event has seen Michael Andretti carry two month old Marco on the runway; Jim Nabors, Florence Henderson and Ruth Buzzi have the attendees in stitches; Thiago Medeiros have the crowd screaming in his checkered boxer shorts and local Survivor star Rupert delight the Westin ballroom contingent.  

The CARA Charities Indianapolis 500 Fashion Show turns “25” next Thursday at the Indianapolis Downtown Westin when more then 1,000 attendees and sponsors raise valuable funds for local and national children’s charities including the CARA/Shirley Bettenhausen Children’s Fun at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Left: Al Unser Jr. walking with four year old Al III in the 1987 Fashion Show. zzzz

Indy 500 drivers, including past BorgWarner Trophy recipients like three-time champion Johnny Rutherford, two-time winner Helio Castroneves and 2004 Indy 500 titleholder Buddy Rice, will walk the runway with their wives, girlfriends and celebrities prior to this year’s 90th running of 500-mile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 25th anniversary edition of the CARA Indy 500 Fashion Show will be highlighted by the presentation of two women that were driving forces behind CARA Charities, the Fashion Show and the 500 Festival committee -- Betty Rutherford and Marge Tarplee.  Rutherford, the founder of CARA in 1981, and Tarplee, the 500 Festival President in 1981, are this year’s honorary chairpersons.  CARA Founder and 2006 Fashion Show Chairperson Betty Rutherford walking with Johnny in 1989 Show

Rupert is among the celebrities returning for the 25th edition of the CARA event along with local news personalities Anne Marie Tiernon and Julia Moffitt from WTHR-TV, Angela Buchman, Karen Henzel and Nicole Manske from WISH-TV, Angela Ganote from WXIN-TV, Stephanie Soviar from WRTV-TV and Kelly McKay from WZPL-FM.  In addition, Michelle Deighton of Terre Haute, runner-up in FOX-TV’s America’s Next Top Model will attend.

ABC-TV's IndyCar Series talent such as Jamie Little, Marty Reid, Jack Arute, Dr. Jerry Punch and NASCAR legend Rusty Wallace are scheduled to walk the runway next Thursday.

The downtown Westin serves as a spectacular backdrop with a packed ballroom for the 24th annual fashion affair that will open with a social hour at 11 a.m., followed by a noon luncheon. The unique fashion show is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

The CARA Charities spectacular will feature fashions from The Secret Ingredient, furs from Day Furs and children’s fashions from Chocolate Soup this year.

CARA Charities, one of motorsport’s leading charitable organizations, also is celebrating twenty-five years in operation and with more than $4 million donated to needy causes. 

Tickets are still available with individual tickets priced at $75 per person.  For more information on tickets, corporate tables or event sponsorships, contact the CARA Charities headquarters at 317-299-2277 or e-mail carachar@aol.com.

Merger article redux Merger article reduxFor those of you who may have been a bit overwhelmed by the length of our recent article by E. Rasmussen Holm title "Making sense of the merger talks," we have broken the article up into sections for a bit easier reading.
Busch donates $1 million Busch donates $1 millionNextel Cup driver Kurt Busch announced Friday he has donated $1 million to the Victory Junction Gang Camp through his charitable foundation.  The donation will go toward the construction of Kurt Busch's Sports Superdome, a 28,000 square-foot facility which will provide opportunities for indoor sports in a climate-controlled environment.

"Many people in the NASCAR family are already very familiar with the Victory Junction Gang Camp created by Pattie and Kyle Petty as an oasis of hope, love and excitement – a true miracle for needy children," said Busch.

"I feel very strongly about this charity and will be proud part of its worthwhile causes."

Overheard in Monterrey - V Overheard in Monterrey - VWe saw Mexican Rock Star Alejandra Guzman in the Forsythe pits (she opened for the Rolling Stones a couple of months ago in their Monterrey concert). Unfortunately she won't do any concerts as she is just here as a guest of the Forsythe team.

We overheard some conversations of the PKV Team after first practice. They didn’t have many kind words for "Speedy Dan Clarke." They were really mad from the sound of things.

Many drivers are complaining about the grip of the track. As usual the track was slippery. Remember that the track is used only one time a year (except for this year - the A1GP held a race here a few months ago). A few of the drivers who had troubles with the track were Paul Tracy, Katherine Legge and Cristiano da Matta.

The Forsythe pit was very busy. We don’t think Mario Dominguez can concentrate on his driving when he is also playing host to many guests in the Forsythe pit during practice.

We overheard the TV Crew talking about some changes on the coverage for the next races. Apparently they are reading the forums to see what the fans think about the TV coverage.

Word in the pits is that the teams tried to save tires as much as possible Friday. Why waste them before the track gets properly rubbered in. Jose Arrambide

Mexican fans cheer their driver Mexican fans cheer their driverEven though there will be another qualifying session for the Atlantic series today, Mexican fans at the Monterrey track Friday cheered the 3rd place time Monterrey native David Martinez turned in during provisional qualifying. Some of the fans had signs supporting the local boy and one female fan had a sign that said, "We couldn’t see you in the A1GP race but nothing will stop us from cheering you this time." After qualifying a lot of fans tried to get an autograph from Martinez. Mexican fans view their drivers as heroes - doing something they can only dream of doing given the average income level in Mexico. Jose Arrambide
Indy 500 pole a fight between Penske and Ganassi boys Indy 500 pole a fight between Penske and Ganassi boysIn the final full day of practice before Pole Day qualifying, Target’s Scott Dixon stepped out of the shadows as he posted the second fastest lap at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a speed of 227.322 mph. While Dixon has been in the top ten in every session, Friday’s fast time put him just ahead teammate Dan Wheldon who posted a lap speed of 227.040 mph. Sam Hornish Jr. (227.925 mph) was fastest once again, with Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan rounding out the top five spots.

"I think a lot of us focused on full tanks this morning, and then there was a bit of a layover to transfer the cars into qualifying setup for later this afternoon,” said Dixon. “I was pretty happy with the race car right out of the box this morning. I think we were a little light on downforce, and Dan proved a bit later when you put some in the car it was a lot better to drive. That's always nice. The car's pretty consistent. We've still got a bit of work to do to try to beat the Penskes."

"Sam did a lot of qualifying simulations today,” said Dixon after Hornish set consistently quick laps, “and we sort of realized that tomorrow's going to be a bit different, so we wanted to save the tires. We trimmed out, but didn't really get to run. Our first run was pretty conservative, and Dan's was pretty conservative as well, so I think everybody's probably got a little bit left on the table."

The defending race winner Wheldon still retains bragging rights for the fastest lap of the month in practice with a 228.663 mph and while he won last year’s Indy 500 from a 16th place starting position, he’s looking to be much strong in qualifying this time around.

“It was a busy day, to tell you the truth, and we had to work very hard on the Target race car,” said Wheldon. “With Pole Day being pushed back a week, you come up against how many sets of tires do you save for Pole Day and how many runs do you allow yourself in race trim with full fuel. I think we balanced that out pretty well. I think the car definitely has the potential to be on the pole. Sam (Hornish Jr.) has been very quick the whole month but I'm pretty happy with where we're at. We're going to give it everything we've got to get pole tomorrow. I would hazard a guess, depending on weather conditions if they were similar to today, I think an average around 227.5 would be pretty good for the pole. Maybe a bit more than that.

"I don't think you'll see many people go out when they're supposed to, or they won't follow the line,” added Wheldon. ”I think you'll see the line's going to go so quick, you can get through it now pretty much in 2 1/2 hours because nobody has T cars and stuff like that. I think you'll see people let the line go through, and then people will start testing. I'm pretty sure that the pole speed won't be laid down until later in the day."

Pole Day qualifying will take place Saturday, with all 33 positions up for grabs and Bump Day on Sunday. The 90th running of the Indianapolis 500 will air live on ABC Sports on Sunday, May 28 at 1:00 p.m. EDT. TCGR

Mattias Ekström “attacks” Heinz-Harald Frentzen Mattias Ekström “attacks” Heinz-Harald FrentzenHeinz-Harald Frentzen received a cake for his 39th birthday on Thursday in the Team & Media Hospitality at the circuit in Oschersleben from Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich and the entire Audi team. The attempt by Mattias Ekström to force his team mate’s face into the cake failed – "HHF” successfully defended himself against the Swede’s attack.
Stoner over Roberts in Practice 3 Stoner over Roberts in Practice 3Practice 3 times from the French Grand Prix as rain arrived on Saturday morning - and could well continue into this afternoon's qualifying session - although race day is still predicted to be dry.

1. Casey Stoner AUS Honda LCR 1min 43.024 secs
2. Kenny Roberts USA Team Roberts 1min 43.615 secs
3. Shinya Nakano JPN Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 44.294 secs
4. Valentino Rossi ITA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 45.197 secs
5. Toni Elias SPA Fortuna Honda 1min 45.298 secs
6. Marco Melandri ITA Fortuna Honda 1min 45.714 secs
7. Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 46.227 secs
8. John Hopkins USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 46.276 secs
9. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team 1min 46.839 secs
10. Chris Vermulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 46.913 secs
11. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team 1min 47.340 secs
12. Randy de Puniet FRA Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 47.591 secs
13. Carlos Checa SPA Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 48.127 secs
14. Sete Gibernau SPA Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 48.398 secs
15. Makoto Tamada JPN Konica Minolta Honda 1min 48.887 secs
16. Colin Edwards USA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 49.561 secs
17. James Ellison GBR Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 49.859 secs
18. Alex Hofmann GER Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 1min 50.985 secs
19. Jose Luis Cardoso SPA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 1min 54.111 secs

Bending the rules Bending the rulesFor years, practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway ends at 6:00 p.m. But on Friday an exception was made for P.J. Jones after the session had concluded.

Jones is the son of 1963 Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones and was named to the second car at Team Leader Racing. IRL President Brian Barnhart allowed the extra time so Jones would be comfortable with the unfamiliar car without any of the other veteran drivers on the track at the same time.

The IRL also stopped practice earlier in the day so Roger Yasukawa could familiarize himself with the Playa del Racing entry after Jon Herb was unable to get it up to speed.

"I didn't have a ride coming into the month and we don't know yet, but fortunately I did get to drive at least and it feels great to be back at the track," Yasukawa said. "I haven't been racing all year, actually since last year, so I'm having a lot of fun, and you are actually seeing me smile now." Yahoo! Sports

TV News
USA TV reminders for Sunday USA TV reminders for Sunday

Courtesy of TVRacer.com
NASCAR’s Brendan Gaughan & Carl Edwards, NHRA’s Tony Bartone and Champ Car's Katherine Legge Topic: Open Wheel Re-unification… It’s happening folks.  Will IndyCar & Champ Car’s merger be able to restore Open Wheel to again be larger than NASCAR?
12:30am-1:00am  SPEED
Inside Drag Racing  
11:00am-11:30am ESPN2
MotoGP 250 Le Mans
11:00am-12:00pm (SDD) SPEED
NHRA 2Day Columbus, OH
11:30am-12:00pm ESPN2
American Dragster  
12:00pm-12:30pm ESPN2
MotoGP World Championship  Le Mans
12:00pm-1:00pm (SDD) SPEED
AMA Superbike  Sonoma, CA (5/20/06) 
1:00pm-2:00pm -Race 1
Also: 11:00pm-12:00am (SDD) -Race 2 SPEED
American Le Mans Series Mid-Ohio
1:00pm-3:00pm (SDD) CBS
IRL -Indy 500 Bump Day Qualifying  Indianapolis
1:00pm-3:00pm (L) ABC
Champ Car Monterrey, Mexico
2:00pm-4:30pm (L) SPEED
IRL -Indy 500 Bump Day Qualifying  Indianapolis
5:00pm-6:30pm (L) ESPN2
Speed News Sunday  
7:00pm-8:00pm SPEED
NHRA Columbus, OH
8:00pm-11:00pm (SDD) ESPN2
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain
Kevin Harvick (NASCAR)  
9:00pm-10:00pm (L) SPEED
AMA Superbike  Sonoma, CA
11:00pm-12:00am (SDD) -Race 2 SPEED

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

Ecclestone and FOM ink deal Ecclestone and FOM ink dealUPDATE The terms of the new deal have not been disclosed.

However, reports suggest that the teams - currently 11 but going up to 12 from 2008 - will get 50% of the $1bn (£530m) annual revenue generated by F1.

Under the terms of the previous agreement, in 1997, teams share around 23% of the revenues.

"This will constitute now the biggest single commercial resolution and will allow us to move forward to focus on the future of Formula One," said McLaren boss Ron Dennis in Barcelona last Sunday.

"This document is only the first step towards (a new) Concorde Agreement, sporting and technical regulations.

"There is a long, long way to go, but this is the core, the absolute cornerstone of the future Concorde Agreement."

05/19/06 FOM boss Bernie Ecclestone has now put his signature on a deal that ends the threat of a breakaway series, autosport.com can reports, after the manufacturers pledged their commitment to the sport last weekend.

"The manufacturers all signed it in the end," Ecclestone told autosport.com. "There were a lot of negotiations and things came to a head in the end thanks to Alain Dassas (Renault F1 president). He, along with Professor Goeschel (BMW board member), was the driving force behind getting the deal.

"They effectively made it happen and saw in the end that the deal made sense. We've now signed our part and it is now just a question of sending it to the lawyers."

Very brave fans needed Very brave fans neededThe thermometer hit 100.4 Degrees Fahrenheit during the qualifying session on Friday in Monterrey. This is not something new at the Monterrey Grand Prix. In fact it is expected that Saturday and Sunday will hit 103 Degrees Fahrenheit.

Some very brave fans are needed to sit in the grandstands. We saw many fans who decided not to sit in their seats and chose to watch practice and qualifying sessions standing up in the different curves of the track with umbrellas, many of them with Ferrari logos. (Photo to right of empty grandstands under the hot Mexican sun by Hector Serrano)

We did a quick unscientific survey, and found that fans will not use their seats until the race on Sunday. Seats are too hot to be in them all day. However, Fundidora Park is a fan friendly track that lets you walk to any curve on the track and gives fans the opportunity to go to the different concert and show stages between activities. But as AutoRacing1 has said before, May is not the best month for a race in Monterrey. If the race returns in 2007, and we hope it does, perhaps an early date in the calendar will be better. Jose Arrambide (Note: Photo to right by Hector Serrano - Tagliani’s suit is wet with perspiration from the heat)

Evel Knievel Slowed by Illness and Pain Evel Knievel Slowed by Illness and PainCLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) -- Evel Knievel has trouble now just walking from his condo to the pool. The '70s cultural icon and poster boy for fast living and derring-do is 67, his body broken by years of spectacular crashes and ravaged by a multitude of serious ailments. The king of the daredevils can hardly get out of bed most days, let alone straddle a Harley.

On bad days, Knievel wishes he had gone into another line of work. On better days, he doesn't regret a minute. Lung disease sometimes makes it hard for him to talk, but his stories still drip with swagger. He can be kind and gracious one minute, irascible and profane the next.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable condition, is scarring and hardening his lungs. He's recovering from a stroke and has diabetes. He's broken about 40 bones, is full of plates and titanium parts and is constantly in pain. Repeated concussions have affected his short-term memory.

The man who survived 300 perilous motorcycle jumps and once climbed into a rocket-powered cycle to fly over a canyon, now stays close to an oxygen tank, ingests 50 pills a day and sucks on lollipops that deliver fentanyl, a heavy-duty painkiller.

''People think I've been through something in my life from what they've seen on national television, my accident at Caesars Palace for instance,'' Knievel says. ''Look at what the hell I'm going through now. How much can the human body endure?''  More of this AP article

Hot News Archives
2000 2001 2002 2003

Search Hot News
Search Help
AutoRacing1 Inc. BBB Business Review