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"Side-By-Side" Returns for Remainder of 2005 "Side-By-Side" Returns for Remainder of 2005ESPN's and ABC Sports' remaining 12 telecasts of the 2005 IRL IndyCar® Series season races again will feature continuous coverage of race action through all national commercial breaks through "Side-By-Side," a split screen of the race and commercials.

The popular feature, which debuted earlier this season, returns beginning with ESPN's telecast of the Bombardier Learjet 500k June 11 from Texas Motor Speedway.

"We're excited that ABC Sports and ESPN will continue to showcase the IndyCar Series in such an innovative way," said Ken Ungar, senior vice president of business affairs for the Indy Racing League. "With the IndyCar Series' blazing speed and fierce, flag-to-flag racing, this initiative will continue to give fans the opportunity to see even more of our sport."

With "Side-By-Side," ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Sports' coverage remains with the race action during all national commercials. When the networks take a national break:

  • The screen will be split into two pictures with the race action on the left and the advertiser's commercial with audio in a larger box to the right.
  • A graphic above the race box will display the top three drivers of the race at the time of the break and the location of the event.
  • The sponsor logo or name will be at the top of the screen and change in correspondence to the advertiser.

The networks' local commercial breaks during the entire race telecast will be full screen with no race coverage. IRL 

Kite to substitute for injured Dana at Texas Kite to substitute for injured Dana at TexasIndyCar Series veteran Jimmy Kite will drive the No. 91 Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone in the Bombardier 500k on June 11 at Texas Motor Speedway. Kite also substituted for injured driver Paul Dana at the 89th Indianapolis 500 on May 29.

"I'm honored that Ron (Hemelgarn) and Paul asked me to come back and run the Ethanol-Remy-Life Fitness machine," said Kite, who has three career starts at Texas Motor Speedway. "We didn't get the finish that we wanted to, or expected to, at Indy. This will give us all a chance to make up for that a little bit."

Kite will be pulling double duty at Texas as he attempts to compete in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Chex 400 as well as the IndyCar Series event.

"It'll be an awful lot of work but it should be a lot of fun too," Kite said. "Both the MRD and Ethanol Hemelgarn folks are excited about us trying this and the more I'm on a track, the happier I am. The schedule is pretty tight so I am going to be busy going from one garage to the other, jumping from the IndyCar to the Craftsman Truck and back in practice." IRL

Industry News
Ford Motor Company And SIRIUS Satellite Radio Extend Relationship Ford Motor Company And SIRIUS Satellite Radio Extend RelationshipSIRIUS Satellite Radio, and the Ford Motor Company, today announced an agreement that extends SIRIUS' exclusive relationship with Ford through September 2011, on certain terms and conditions. All Ford brands in the U.S - Ford, Lincoln Mercury, Land Rover, Jaguar, Volvo, Aston Martin and Mazda - are covered by the agreement.

"Subscriptions to SIRIUS have increased dramatically over the past several years," said Phil Martens, Ford's Group Vice President of Product Creation. "So, it's only natural that Ford would want to continue to make SIRIUS' unique mix of programming available to Ford buyers in the future. Our relationship provides customers with the best of both worlds - innovative technology, style and driving experience."

"We are delighted that Ford has decided to extend its exclusivity with SIRIUS, enabling future Ford buyers to experience the best programming in satellite radio," said Mel Karmazin, CEO of SIRIUS. "Ford and SIRIUS are both dedicated to providing our customers with the best quality possible. Now, Ford buyers can be assured that our two companies will continue to work together in the future to make their driving experience even more pleasurable."

Earlier this year, Ford and Lincoln Mercury announced plans to target up to 21 vehicle lines for factory installation of SIRIUS over the 2006 and 2007 model years, and announced that they expect to generate up to one million SIRIUS subscribers over the two model year period. In total, nearly 90% of Ford and Lincoln Mercury vehicles will have SIRIUS as a factory installed option for the 2008 model year. Factory installed volumes are expected to significantly increase.

Land Rover recently announced plans to offer SIRIUS as a factory-installed option on select vehicle lines, beginning with the 2006 model year. Volvo, Jaguar and Mazda currently offer SIRIUS as a dealer-installed option, with future plans to offer SIRIUS as a factory-installed option and/or as an option installed as overseas vehicles enter U.S. ports.

Ford has the option to extend the agreement through September 2013. The agreement also contains customary terms and conditions, including termination rights. Beginning in January 2009, Ford may elect to become nonexclusive under the agreement, in which case Ford would forfeit all future economic benefits, which could be significant. Ford

Barrichello: Morale in the team is still high Barrichello: Morale in the team is still highMaranello, In the middle of driving on two days of a three day session for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro at Silverstone last week, Rubens Barrichello talked about the test itself and his hopes for the next two races across the Atlantic. “Testing is going well, although the temperatures are very cool,” began the Brazilian. “We have plenty to test in terms of tires, and also in terms of car set-up for the British Grand Prix. There is nothing specific we are doing here for Canada and the USA.”

Outlining his hopes for Round 8 of the World Championship, Barrichello is as upbeat as ever. “I go to Canada, hoping the championship changes a bit for us and that we can start winning,” he said. “The next two tracks are ones where we are usually very strong so I go there in a positive frame of mind. I really like the atmosphere in Canada and I am enthusiastic about it. We are not going to Canada just to score points. We are thinking we can win. We need to see if we can get the best set-up and the best possible tire. Renault and McLaren are very strong. But with a bit of luck and a good strategy, the car is good so if we make the right tire choice we should be okay.”

It was business as usual at Silverstone and Barrichello confirmed that the current difficulties experienced by the Scuderia have not affected the team’s approach. “Morale in the team is still high, even though we have not won yet and this new car has yet to record a victory,” maintained Rubens. “We are working hard all the time. This is a team that has won in the past and knows how to win and in my opinion, we don’t need much to get back to winning again. Our rivals have managed to improve their cars and the way they use the tires with the new regulations, while we have not progressed as much, compared to last year. We need to keep pushing, but we have the same commitment and work level, it is just the performance that is slightly lacking.”

Barrichello does not share the view that the championship titles are already lost. “I think it is still possible for us to win them,” he insisted. “We have plenty of chance if we start winning soon. I don’t think Renault is as dominant any more and I think McLaren is really on top at the moment. We have to see how it develops, but we must start winning races if we are to have a chance to win the championship. Our job is harder than at any other time in the recent past, but it is possible. There is always a way out of trouble. 2003 was a difficult year but we still won. This year seems even more difficult but we are just keeping on working. If we win it or not, we have to keep working. If we are not champions, but win the last four races that means we have done a good job.”

It is now well documented that the Scuderia’s main problem is a lack of qualifying pace, which is preventing the drivers from fully exploiting its excellent race pace. Barrichello explained there is no instant solution to the problem. “It will not happen overnight. We are working here at Silverstone and at Monza. But I still think we have a chance of winning in Canada. We might just get the right tire and win the race, it might rain and we might win the race, or we might win the race. I want to win the race! We are tire testing exhaustively but with more races this year, there is not so much time to develop the car in between the races. It is a difficult situation but we are doing our best to manage it.”

Finally, Barrichello was asked to comment on Kimi Raikkonen’s Nurburgring accident, when his suspension broke, as a result of excessive vibration caused when the Finn flat-spotted a tire. “There are two ways of looking at it,” reckoned Rubens. “We know that the new tire rules are the same for everyone and, in my opinion, it is more dangerous because you don’t know if the tires are going to hang on or not. On the other hand, if I was in Kimi’s position I would have stopped to change the tire.” Ferrari

Schumacher: We have to continue in this direction Schumacher: We have to continue in this directionMaranello, The mind is free from all distractions, the body in perfect physical shape and the mood brilliant. Taking a short break in the USA ahead of the twin challenges of Montreal and Indianapolis has some advantages. Michael, in the company of his family and friends, left for North America the evening after the GP of Europe. He planned to enjoy a few days of freedom and the holiday has had the desired effect as he approaches the GP of Canada in tip-top condition. “We have had a lot of fun here. We have enjoyed it and did something different every day”, revealed Michael. “Our short break before overseas races is now a tradition and it gets better each time we come. The countryside is dreamlike! Corinna and I not really townies and so we really enjoy spending our free time together here”.

With the season in full swing, the world champion is not totally relaxed and analyzed the feedback from the Ferrari tests held last week by other Scuderia drivers. Naturally, the results of the tests and the information obtained would be of interest, but the reigning champion could not be drawn on the outcome of the two upcoming races: “I prefer to skip that one”, he smiled. “Lately, I have not made very accurate predictions. I will be going to Montreal and there, with the team, will be doing the best that we can. First of all we have to wait for free practice on Friday and only then will we have a clearer idea of how things stand. There are many teams who have worked hard and so I would prefer to wait before evaluating the situation. What is certain is that we will be fighting right down to the last”.

The Canadian GP is one that Michael enjoys, not only for Montreal’s friendly atmosphere, but also because it is a race in which he has often been successful in the past. It is understandable that the seven-time world champion is looking forward to it: “we want to get back to the top. If there had not been the untidy start at Nurburgring that compromised my race, Rubens and I would now be in a very good position. However, we have taken a step in the right direction and it is in this direction that we have to continue”. Ferrari

Champ Car TV schedule in Mexico Champ Car TV schedule in MexicoChamp Car TV schedule in Mexico.  Not too many are live, but it beats last years TV in Mexico which was pretty much non-existent and which therefore, had a direct impact on Mexican sponsorship this year, i.e. there is almost none.
Apr 10 Long Beach, USA Azteca 7 24:00 HRS
May-22 Monterrey, Mexico Azteca 7 LIVE
Jun-04 Milwaukee, USA Azteca 7 LIVE
Jun-19 Portland, USA Azteca 7 24:00 HRS
Jun-26 Cleveland, USA Azteca 7 24:00 HRS
Jul-10 Toronto, Canada Azteca 7 LIVE
Jul-17 Edmonton, USA Azteca 7 24:00 HRS
Jul-31 San José, USA Azteca 7 24:00 HRS
Aug 14 Denver, USA Azteca 7 24:00 HRS
Aug 28 Montreal, Canada Azteca 7 24:00 HRS
Sep-24 Las Vegas, USA Azteca 7 11:00 HRS
Oct-16 Ansan, South Korea Azteca 7 11:00 HRS
Oct-23 Surfers Paradise, Australia Azteca 7 11:00 HRS
Nov-06 Ciudad de México, México Azteca 7 LIVE
USGP pre-event festivities USGP pre-event festivitiesA calendar full of cultural, social and sporting events will fill Indianapolis' sidewalks and streets this June, creating "A Grand Week in Indy" culminating with the United States Grand Prix on Sunday, June 19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The week will be dedicated to cars, concerts and causes as Indianapolis revs its cultural engine for residents and visitors of all ages and for racing fans from all around the world during a "Grand Week."

All of the events will lead up to United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which will play host to the stars of Formula One. "Grand Week" information is available at www.indy.org, the official Web site of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association. Additional USGP event information is available at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.

The USGP Fan Guide, which lists many of the "Grand Week" activities with locations and times, will be available at several locations during Race Week around the Indianapolis area, including the Indianapolis International Airport, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's ticket office and Hall of Fame Museum and various other locations.

The public is invited to a "Grand Prix-View" as Indianapolis welcomes the world on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis at 11 a.m. (local time) June 13. Mayor Bart Peterson and city leaders will kick off the "Grand Week in Indy" with music, remarks and classic collector and vintage cars.

Core events scheduled during "Grand Week" include:

  • United States Grand Pit Walkabout on Thursday, June 16 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Race fans who have purchased Race Day tickets can walk the pits and stand adjacent to the open garages, providing a clear view of the sleek cars, high-tech equipment and skilled personnel of all 10 Formula One teams. (www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com)
  • Indy Jazz Fest, June 17-19, a family-oriented, three-day, multi-stage event featuring the best in local and national jazz, blues, roots, rhythm & blues and gospel, including national recording artists The Commodores and the legendary Tony Bennett. (www.indyjazzfest.net)
  • The National Gathering of Ferrari, showcasing a collection of vintage race and road cars from Ferrari. (www.fca-cic.org)
  • CARA Charities "Indy Shop Tour" on Thursday, June 17, featuring Formula One commentator Peter Windsor (www.caracharities.org)
  • Chrysler Indianapolis Concours Grand Prix antique and collector car show Saturday, June 18 on Monument Circle. (www.indyconcours.com)
  • Formula One practice and qualifications are scheduled for Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18 at IMS, with the USGP scheduled for a 1 p.m. (local time) start Sunday, June 19.
German DTM
Audi takes DTM lead Audi takes DTM leadAt Brno, defending champion Mattias Ekström gave the new Audi A4 DTM its first victory and took the overall lead of Europe´s most popular Touring Car Series. With his second-place finish, Tom Kristensen made a perfect 1-2 victory. The two Audi drivers had a thrilling fight with the former runner-up of the Formula 1 World Championship, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, before taking the lead and increasing the gap to almost 25 seconds. In front of 38,000 spectators, Audi also showed a strong team performance: Five of the eight Audi A4 DTM cars scored points with top-eight positions. Allan McNish scored his first ever DTM points, finishing seventh despite a ‘drive-trough’ penalty. Christian Abt was the best driver of a year-old car in sixth position, Frank Stippler finished eighth. Almost 2.5 million spectators watched the race "live” on German TV.
USA Audi team completes LeMans test USA Audi team completes LeMans testUPDATE Here are the complete test times from LeMans this past weekend. 06/05/05 Team ADT Champion Racing (Pompano Beach, FL) had their work cut out for them today during the traditional pre-practice test for the 73rd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Despite this year's handicaps to both Audi R8's (50 additional kilograms of weight, power reduced by 30hp), the team managed to use the practice session to find the best set-up to maneuver the 8.625-mile circuit de la Sarthe.

Piloting the No. 3 Audi R8, drivers JJ Lehto and Marco Werner managed a best time of 3:38.719 placing them in the fourth fastest position of the 50 cars that tested. This year's time is 4.5 seconds slower than last year's practice time of 3:34:176 due solely to the additional weight and the reduced engine power.

After a rough morning session, the No. 2 Audi, the sister car driven by three time Le Mans winners Frank Biela and Emanule Pirro, finished their day under wet conditions and found themselves eighth in order with a time of 3:39.418.

Missing from today's practice session was the third driver for each car, Tom Kristensen who will join the No. 3 Audi with Lehto and Werner and Allan McNish who will team up with the No. 2 car with drivers Pirro and Biela. Both Kristensen and McNish could not attend the test session as they were competing in the DTM race that was held in the Czech Republic.

Despite the new regulations, the goal for Team ADT Champion Racing is the same: to clinch their first 24 Hours of Le Mans victory and give Audi its fifth Le Mans victory. This won't be easy due to the handicaps however the R8's reliability, ease of servicing the car and the low fuel consumption of the Turbo FSI engine should give Champion Racing a good chance. Most important this year will be the performance by the teams and the drivers. Perfection will be the essential.

The 73rd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world's most famous endurance race, will be run June 18-19 at the Circuit de La Sarthe in Le Mans, France. SPEED Channel will provide TV coverage starting at 10:00 am EDT on June 18.

Pre-practice results (Top 10)
 1. Collard/Boullion/Comas (Pescarolo-Judd) 3m32.468s
2. Loeb/Hélary/Ayari (Pescarolo-Judd) 3m35.893s
3. Cochet/Nakano/Jouanny (Courage-Judd) 3m37.674s
4. Lehto/Werner (Audi R8) 3m38.719s
5. Michigami/Ara/Kaneishi (Dome-Mugen) 3m38.875s
6. Short/Barbosa/Ickx (Dallara-Judd) 3m38.976s
7. Gounon/Montagny/Ortelli (Audi R8) 3m39.060s
8. Biela/Pirro (Audi R8) 3m39.418s
9. Minassien/Campbell/Wallace (DBA-Judd) 3m39.568s
10. Schwager/Frei/Vann (Courage-Judd) 3m39.633s

Danica Patrick on cover of Sports Illustrated Danica Patrick on cover of Sports IllustratedUPDATE #2 This Fort Worth Star-Telegram article examines the Danicamania news that has hit the USA, but the ending is what we have been saying -  in the end, it's not about looks or looking. It's about winning and she still hasn't won a thing. 06/06/05 Did you know the last time a Indy 500 driver was on the cover of Sports Illustrated was 20 years ago!  Back on June 3rd, 1985, Danny Sullivan's spin-and-win at the Indianapolis 500 graced the cover. 05/31/05 The June 6 edition of Sports Illustrated, which hits newsstands June 1, features Danica Patrick on the cover and two stories about the Indianapolis 500 inside. Patrick, who started and finished fourth, had fans on their feet when she was leading the 500-Mile Race – the first female ever to lead -- with six laps remaining until being passed by eventual winner Wheldon.

In the main story, E.M. Swift writes that Patrick lived up to the pre-race media build-up that included interviews, video and photos on everything from “ABC World News Tonight” to the cover of USA Today.

“For more than three hours on Sunday -- from the time Indianapolis Motor Speedway chairman of the board Mari Hulman George intoned, “Lady and gentlemen, start your engines,” to the moment British driver Dan Wheldon crossed the finish line under checkered and yellow caution flags -- the 23-year-old Patrick gave the boys all they could handle until she had to back off for lack of fuel. She also gave the sea of 300,000 spectators what they were hoping to witness: history. No woman had ever led, never mind won, the Indy 500.”

Kelly Anderson writes in the second story that the Indianapolis 500 turned the Roscoe, Ill. , native into a one-name celebrity.

“I try not to get too overwhelmed by the media attention,” Patrick said regarding the magazine, which reaches an audience of 20 million adults each week. “But for someone like Sports Illustrated to notice how good our Rahal Letterman team has been this month and to recognize the IndyCar Series like this is great. We have made an impact.”

Patrick also will be featured in this week’s issue of Us Weekly and in an upcoming issue of Glamour magazine. ESPN will air a special behind-the-scenes show focusing on Patrick at 7:30 p.m. (EDT) June 11, preceding its coverage of the Bombardier Learjet 500k from Texas Motor Speedway. Indy Car

More trouble for Button More trouble for ButtonUPDATE The jilted fiancée of Formula 1 star Jenson Button is planning to sell her giant engagement sparkler. Devastated Louise Griffiths, 26, is ready to flog the beautiful, heart-shaped diamond ring, which is worth at least £50,000.

She was dumped by the race ace last month, and the move scotches rumors that they are set to reunite. A close friend said last night: "Louise has been left devastated by the break-up. She's still stunned that Jenson called off their wedding when the invites had been sent out. "Even so, she knows she needs money now. And as much as her engagement ring meant to her, she still has to pay the bills."

Singer Louise is considering selling the huge rock anonymously through a well-known auctioneer. It is believed she will use the money as a deposit on a new house.

Jenson, 25, proposed to Louise in October 2003 at the Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados - presenting her with the enormous engagement ring. The pair were due to marry this summer - and had even sent out the wedding invitations. But the BAR racing driver ended their four-year romance last month after rows over children. Louise, who had already chosen her wedding dress, was keen to have kids soon, but Jenson - estimated to be worth £20 million - preferred to concentrate on his career.

Earlier this year, Louise had hinted at the disagreement, saying: "I want loads of kids. We've spoken about it a lot and have slightly different views. I want three children naturally, but I'd also like to adopt two as well. "At the moment, Jenson would just be happy with the three." Sunday Mirror

05/06/05 Racing driver Jenson Button has split from his fiancée Louise Griffiths in a row over starting a family.  Jenson, 25, ended their relationship after nearly five years because she was ready to have kids but he wasn’t.  It comes three months before their planned August wedding, for which he was handing out invites just weeks ago.  The race ace’s agent James Williamson confirmed yesterday: “They have come to a decision and will be taking a break from their relationship.”

Former Fame Academy hopeful Louise, 26, recently admitted the subject of children was causing cracks in their relationship.  She said: “I want loads of kids. I want to have three children naturally but I’d also like to adopt two.  “We’ve spoken about it a lot and we have slightly different views.”

The couple met in 2000 and got engaged two years ago.  But in March she moved in with her parents while he remained in Monaco.  Jenson has since been seen on the town several times without her and last week left a club with race pal David Coulthard and two mystery women.  His romance finally hit the skids last Saturday after last-ditch talks failed to heal the rift. The Mirror

Stewart Gordon feud starts again Stewart Gordon feud starts againThis SPEEDTV.com article talks about Tony Stewart knocking Jeff Gordon out of Sunday's Dover race.  "Tony was a little bit better than me, and there's no doubt I was holding him up," he began politely. "I wanted to see if my car would come to me, and he just ran out of patience.  I just think it's a little uncalled for to start something that [early]. I probably would have let him go once we got out there -- it's a long race. All I can say that the next time Tony's holding me up, it won't be very long for him to be out of my way.'

Stewart fired back after the race (he finished 15th), and as usual returned the challenge with a slap to the face.  "I got into the back of him," he snorted. "It doesn't take too much of a rocket scientist to figure that out, does it?  Everybody else was doing a pretty good job of give-and-take. It's just when you get around Jeff, I guess the rules are different with him. He does more taking than he does giving. The intention wasn't to knock him up out of the way. I just wanted to get behind him close enough that he knew I was there.  I don't know why it is with him and Jimmie [Johnson] and Ryan [Newman], but it's a group of them that think that the roads are named after them -- one-way."

Biffle honors fallen soldier in car Biffle honors fallen soldier in carGreg Biffle's racecar is sponsored by the National Guard, and Biffle had a picture of a young man named Ryan Doltz, a National Guard soldier, who was killed in Iraq exactly one year ago Sunday. It was taped to the roll bar of his racecar. Biffle also said "I'm so excited to win here in Dover (with) all the soldiers I met this weekend. I'm going to give the trophy to a soldier that's here this weekend. (He) lost his leg in Iraq, and he's up here from Walter Reed Hospital. He's around here somewhere. I can't wait to celebrate with him." FoxSports
No shifting at Pocono No shifting at PoconoChanges in NASCAR's gear rules mean competitors will not be able to shift through the turns this Sunday at Pocono.  "I disagree with the gear rule," Jeff Gordon says. "At Pocono, we'll be way down on RPM, and we won't be able to shift. It's like putting a restrictor plate on the cars at New Hampshire. We won't be able to pass, and that's not a good thing." Many competitors feel the lack of horsepower will produce single-file racing. Sporting News
Ford and Chevy working on new 2006 models Ford and Chevy working on new 2006 modelsBoth Chevrolet and Ford have been busy working on their new models for Cup and Busch competition starting next season. Chevrolet will debut the newly-redesigned Monte Carlo at Daytona in February 2006, while Ford will switch from the Taurus to the Ford 500 next year. Yahoo Sports
NASCAR declines option to extend with FOX NASCAR declines option to extend with FOXUPDATE Only half the NASCAR TV renegotiations story with Fox came out last week. NASCAR officials said they had decided not to renew the final two-year option with Fox for 2007 and 2008. But the real story, according to sources, is that Fox has proposed canceling that two-year option in order to sign a new six-year contract with NASCAR, for 2007 through 2112, for a slight bump in money. And Fox executives are reportedly pleased with David Hill's work last week at Charlotte in his negotiations with NASCAR. Hill is Fox's sports boss; his duties have also expanded to include running DirecTV, the satellite network. It is unclear what role DirecTV might play, if any, in any new Fox-NASCAR contract. NASCAR officials are very interested in expanding their sport's international television coverage. Winston Salem Journal 06/04/05 NASCAR declined an option to extend its TV contract with Fox Sports past the 2006 racing season, said Dick Glover, NASCAR's vice president of broadcasting and new media. Fox, NBC and Turner Sports are in the fifth year of a six-year, $2.4 billion contract to televise NASCAR races. NASCAR had to decide by May 31 whether to pick up its option with Fox through 2008. Glover said the move was made to end all of its television contracts simultaneously. "All it means is we've synced up the agreements with our broadcast partners," Glover said. "We've said all along we'd like to renew with all of them. That hasn't changed." Glover didn't disclose the size of the option. "Our contract runs through 2006, and we are continuing discussions with NASCAR about a new deal," Fox spokesman Dan Bell said. Former ABC Sports Executive Steve Solomon said ABC and ESPN are possible bidders for NASCAR's rights when the current agreements expire after the 2006 season. Tennessean
Heidfeld impressed with development pace Heidfeld impressed with development paceThere is one characteristic all the teams have in common: The engineers are never satisfied with the current performance level. All the time teams are working on further improvements to gain an advantage over their rivals.

When it comes to the BMW Williams the tireless work in the wind tunnels in Grove and on the BMW test stands in Munich are supposed to make sure that Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld are able to battle it out at the front end of the Formula One field.

“I have been with a lot of teams over the last couple of years, but I have never seen so many improvements and new parts coming for each race,” Heidfeld told the WilliamsF1 website. “In the past, I was happy if there was something for each race, and if it was two or three parts, then fantastic. Now, for some races we probably have up to 10 new parts. So it is pretty impressive.”

After a difficult start to the season, the team has been very successful in recent events, with an impressive balance of 22 points won in the past two Grand Prix.

“I think in a smaller team, if you are behind, then you pretty much stay there," said Heidfeld. "But Williams has shown in the last couple of years that it can turn things around and become a winner later in the season.” WilliamsF1

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Kimi defends tire 'gamble'
BAR's Button
Jordan request penalty delay
'Turkey's ok' - Bernie
Schu to lose tax paradise
Liuzzi on two wheels
Grove 'on the rise' - Head
Mrs. Bernie
Sir Frank admits BMW strife
F1 tire to 'hurt' driver - DC
F1's next Dad
DC downbeat
Canadian action
Fisi hopes for better luck
Toyota not ruled by Japan
One year down for Rob Finlay One year down for Rob FinlayWhat a difference a year makes.  On this weekend in 2004, Rob Finlay was a new graduate of the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving making his first start in a professional race, co-driving in the Saturday Grand Am Cup race with his racing school instructor, Michael McDowell.  After leading the race, then running out of gas on track, the duo finished 8th.

Fast forward to the same race in 2005, and Rob Finlay is now not only podium-finishing driver, but also owner of Finlay Motorsports, which fields two of the top teams in the Grand American series.

“To have my first professional race at a legendary track like Watkins Glen was overwhelming and exciting and the fulfillment of a life-long dream,” says Finlay.  “That experience was the launching pad for my motorsports ambitions, and we have moved forward very quickly in developing a team of top professionals capable of fielding front-running efforts in both Grand Am Cup and the Rolex series while attracting major sponsors like the Air Force Reserve and the Make A Wish Foundation.  More major changes are in the works, including an expansion of the team and the addition of new sponsors, but it will be a pleasure to put all the business details aside this weekend and get back to the uncomplicated pleasures of driving a race car.”

Both Finlay Motorsports cars competing at Watkins Glen this weekend will feature the new logo of the Air Force Reserve.  Consisting of the traditional Air Force star surrounded by a pair of stylized wings, the new logo is already in use at the Air Force Reserve web site at www.AFReserve.com.

Finlay and McDowell will co-drive the #60 BMW M3 in Saturday’s Chemung Canal Trust 200 for Grand Am Cup event.  The 200-mile / 59-lap / 2 ½-hour event is scheduled to take the green flag at 2:00 pm ET, and will be broadcast on the SPEED Channel at 5:00 pm ET, Sunday, June 19.  A re-broadcast will air on SPEED at 1:00 pm ET, Tuesday, June 21.

Indy winner on Letterman show Indy winner on Letterman showDan Wheldon, fresh off his victory in the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500 last weekend, will appear on The Late Show with David Letterman on Monday night, June 6.  Joining him on the Late Show will be Cedric The Entertainer and musical group, Black Eyed Peas.  Check local listings for air times in your market.

Since taking the checkered flag at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 29, Wheldon has been on a whirlwind four-day media tour which took him to New York City, Bristol, Conn., Richmond, Va., Kansas City, Mo., and Ft. Worth, Texas.

While in New York, Wheldon appeared on the "Regis & Kelly Show", "CNN's American Morning," and also threw out the first pitch at the New York Mets game on June 1.  After a media luncheon in the Big Apple with numerous national media in attendance, he then traveled to ESPN headquarters in Bristol to tape segments for ESPN SportsCenter, ESPN News and ESPN International.

While in Richmond, Kansas City and Ft. Worth, Wheldon sat down with local media to talk about his Indy 500 win and highlight the next three races on the Indy Racing League's calendar.

'Shumi Plan' means end of Switzerland tax haven 'Shumi Plan' means end of Switzerland tax havenIt has long been a haven for the super-rich, but moves are underway to end Switzerland's status as one of the favorite refuges of tax exiles from all over Europe and beyond. The "Schumi Initiative" - a petition to parliament named after German Formula One racing driving Michael Schumacher, who is currently building a lavish mansion on the shores of Lake Geneva - seeks to put an end to local deals that allow some 3,000 wealthy expats living in Switzerland to negotiate low rates of tax.

Schumacher, who has an estimated fortune of £500 million, is believed to pay less than 10 per cent of his earnings in tax. He is officially listed as "unemployed" in his adopted homeland, where he moved to from Germany in 1996 to escape crippling income taxes of 42 per cent, coupled with 53 per cent on investments and an extra 5 per cent on his total tax bill to fund the rebuilding of East Germany.

Suzanne Oberholzer, an MP for the Social Democrats, is behind the petition to parliament and has already gained support among other politicians. She said: "We expect a decision in the autumn. It cannot be right for Michael Schumacher and some 3,000 other foreign, rich inhabitants of Switzerland to be free from normal income tax rules. "It is unfair to the Swiss people and to the people of neighboring lands who must shoulder their fair share of financial obligations. The ability to negotiate these customized deals should go. He should pay his fair share like everyone else."

If the law is successful, Schumacher could end up paying more than 40 per cent tax in total: almost as much as if he moved back across the border to Germany. More at The Scotsman

Aero changes for Williams at Canada Aero changes for Williams at CanadaTraditionally when teams head to the double header in America, it marks the half way point in the championship and it isn’t far off this season with Canada and Indy being rounds eight and nine in a record breaking 19 round championship.

For the BMW Williams team, the next round in Montreal comes after podium results in Monaco and Nürburgring, and with a successful test this week at Silverstone under their belts and a number of aerodynamic upgrades on the FW27’s, they are expecting to see some very strong results.

“Montreal is a lower drag circuit, dominated by straights between a lot of slow corners and chicanes. There are two good overtaking opportunities, and the circuit is the hardest on brake wear and temperatures,” explained technical director Sam Michael. “We have brought a number of aerodynamic upgrades to the car, in the form of front and rear wings and some bodywork parts, all a result of the ongoing development program for the FW27. A lot of further investigation by BMW and WilliamsF1 has gone into our starts so we hope to improve upon the current situation.”

The team’s recent performances in Canada have been strong with the FW27 seemingly suited to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, even though the long straight place extreme demands on the reliability and performance of the BMW P84/5 engine. However, based on their 2004 data, the team recorded the third highest speed of 343.2 km/h during the race in Montreal, something they only topped that at Monza and at Indianapolis. The longest flat-out section is 955 meters, and the full-throttle ratio over a complete lap averages at 55 percent

“Leaves falling from the trees, however, present a certain risk as they can block the radiator,” explained Mario Theissen. “Other than that, we do not expect any unusual thermal loads. Even in summer weather, the engines should still get sufficient cooling air on the straights. The atmosphere at the Canadian Grand Prix is always something special, firstly because the paddock and the race track are in such a picturesque setting, and secondly because the whole city comes out to welcome Formula One. There are always plenty of events laid on over the race weekend, which include the BMW M Night, for which a street in the downtown area is closed off on Saturday night.” Williams

Texas tickets at bargain price Texas tickets at bargain priceA purchase of $25 or more at your local Albertsons gets you a special Family 4-Pack offer: Four IndyCar or Truck race tickets, four hot dogs and four Cokes for only $79 at Texas Motor Speedway this Saturday night for the IRL race.
Mark Martin Press Conference Mark Martin Press ConferenceNo. 6 Viagra Taurus (finished 3rd) – IT ALMOST LOOKED LIKE LAST YEAR FOR YOU. “Yeah, our guys did an awesome job with the car. It was off a little bit at the start and we got it really, really good through the middle of the race and I really thought that we are on track to contend to win, and then late in the race we started having a push that we couldn’t get out of the car, and it looked like Biffle and his guys hit it right on the money and they just put a whippin’ on us.”

HOW DID THE HEAT AFFECT YOU TODAY? “We used to do 500 here. So, this used to be a tough race. But I do want to say one thing: That was good, old-school racing. The best man won, and that’s the way racing should be. I really enjoyed that race today. Green-flag racing, plenty of it. The guys who had the best cars were able to go to the front and stay in the front and the guys who made the best adjustments in the last 200 laps or 150 laps really are the ones that won the race, because up until that point Biffle was behind me. So those guys hit it on the money and we didn’t.”

YOU MENTIONED THIS WAS GOOD OLD-SCHOOL RACING. HOW CAN ALL RACING BE THAT WAY? “You have to start with the race track. You can’t make it more difficult for us than normal. We had more difficult than normal circumstances last week, and we weren’t successful, we hadn’t been successful most of the year with good conditions, so certainly we were going to have a failure last week. But it really is the drivers. The problem is that, and Kyle worked awesome out there with me today, there are not very many newcomers – I’m not even going to use the age thing – I’m just saying there’s not that many newcomers that really get the hang of how to run these long races and so they fight tooth-and-nail and they won’t let people get by them. So you have to over-extend yourself to pass ’em and there’s the wreck. Wheareas just as Kyle and I raced throughout the day when he was faster than me I let him go and when I caught him and got all over him he let me go, and we didn’t jeopardize our cars or our finishes by being hard-headed. So the drivers are a lot to blame for all the cautions, but there’s pressure on these guys, enormous pressure. Why do you think this is my last year?”

ON TONY STEWART APPARENTLY SAYING THAT MARK MARTIN SHOULD START ON A SCHOOL ON HOW TO DRIVE RESEPECTFULLY. “I do make mistakes, too. But, and I’m not sure Jeff Gordon needs to attend one of my seminars, but I do think that Tony Stewart ought to hold court and teach some of these young guys how to give the older guys that have been there the respect that they have coming. You’ve got some that do and you’ve got some that don’t, and that doesn’t mix and that’s what happens on the race track. And that all gets back to when someone’s faster than someone else and it’s 100 laps in or 10 laps in or 300 laps in, you can do one of two things. Man, we used to fix these things ourselves. And we used to get fired if we wrecked ’em. You’d wreck one about four, five, six times and you’re out of a ride. That’s not like that anymore. You can wreck ’em every week and it seems like you can keep your job. So there’s a lot of reasons why we have accidents today and I can’t bash ’em all. I’m under pressure, too. I wrecked a lot of cars the year before last, too, because my car ran in the middle of the pack and it’s wild back there and you have to race really hard. If you race for 25th, I don’t care who you are, you’re going to get tore up a lot more than if you race in the top 10.”

WE HAVEN’T SEEN A LOT OF GREEN-FLAG PIT STOPS THIS SEASON, BUT THIS RACE DOWN TO THAT. “My comment is, ‘Thank God.’ That’s old-school racing. That’s what it’s all about. Then when you do that, usually the best man wins. It doesn’t always work out that way when you have 15 or 20 cautions.”

CAN YOU COMMENT ON THE SEASON THAT GREG BIFFLE AND HIS TEAM ARE HAVING? “Well, they’re just spectacular. The guys have just really, really hit on something about half or two-thirds of the way through the season last year. It’s just the little things. Like I say, I thought at lap 225 today or maybe 250, I thought, certainly at 225, I didn’t think I would have to beat him to win the race, but those guys got it back together and got it wired in. They’re on a roll right now. They’re making the cars go fast, and he always drove the fool out of ’em, but now the cars are working for him and they’re pitting it well and doing everything right.”

CAN YOU COMMENT ON GREG’S FOUR WINS THIS YEAR, AND HAS THAT SUCCESS COME OUT OF NOWHERE? “Greg’s four wins this season have not come out of nowhere, they dominated the end of the season last year with speed, maybe not with wins, but definitely with speed. They’ve been gaining momentum since mid-season last year. They’re on it, man. That’s how it goes in this business.” Ford

Greg Biffle Wins Again Greg Biffle Wins Again
Rossi wins again Rossi wins againValentino Rossi extended his lead at the top of the MotoGP World Championship standings to 49 points after a dramatic home victory ahead of a trio of compatriots at the Gran Premio Alice d’Italia on Sunday. As Sete Gibernau sensationally crashed out of the race on the sixth lap to the delight of the 88,367 fans, Rossi came under intense pressure from Max Biaggi, Marco Melandri and Loris Capirossi. All three took turns leading the race before a typical late charge from Rossi that saw him take the flag by 0.359 seconds from Biaggi, with Capirossi holding off an attack from Melandri in the final corner to clinch Ducati’s first podium of the season in third place.

“That was an incredible race and the best possible finish for the crowd, with four Italian riders in the top four positions,” said Rossi. “It was a great battle – full of passes and full of attacks. In the beginning I tried to go alone but I had some problems with the front tire and decided just to concentrate on my rhythm. Then Melandri arrived and we had a great fight, also with Biaggi after that. We set a high pace to the finish, I made my attack with three laps to go and it worked so of course I am very happy.”

German DTM
Double victory for Audi Double victory for AudiWith a dominating double victory at Brno, Audi has captured the lead in the DTM standings. Like last year, Mattias Ekström won the race on the Czech Grand Prix circuit ahead of his teammate Tom Kristensen. The two Audi drivers crossed the finish line almost 25 seconds ahead of the third-placed contender. By clinching the new Audi A4 DTM car’s first victory, the reigning DTM Champion, Mattias Ekström, took the lead in the overall standings. Tom Kristensen moved up to third place. In the manufacturers’ standings, Audi has added 15 points to its score, thus reducing its disadvantage to a mere four points.
OWRS has some decisions to make OWRS has some decisions to makeA reader from Germany writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, This weekend was the first disappointment since OWRS took over Champ Car. The handling to substitute Bruno looked to us not very well orchestrated between the race-teams. Did they never think about this? This was not professional. A starting grid of 17 cars is not really impressive for the sponsors either. The disappointing crowd at the race track was not really surprising. Oval racing in USA is all NASCAR now, therefore, OWRS should eliminate them. If they want to continue we see better chances for oval-races outside the USA, for example Germany or England. This would be something special in Europe because we don't have much oval racing. We think that with professional advertising and organization both could be successful events. We are very sad that Europe is not on target for OWRS. We have a lot of respect for the work OWRS has done, but they have to make a few big decisions soon. Alexander Besserer, Germany
Newman Wants Medical Crew Newman Wants Medical CrewRyan Newman yesterday told the American College of Sports Medicine that NASCAR does an "overall excellent" job when it comes to driver safety but took the association to task in one area.   Newman said NASCAR is remiss in not appointing a permanent safety and medical crew to travel the circuit, work crashes and provide medical attention for injured drivers. "It's a no-brainer, and I'm 100 percent in favor of it," said Newman, who addressed a seminar which was part of the ACSM's three-day meeting at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.  "It's simple. If you had to travel across the U.S. every year and had to see different doctors each place you went, would that be as good as having a doctor traveling with you who knows your medical history?" Tennessean
Dale Jr. still supports his drug addict friend Dale Jr. still supports his drug addict friendDale Earnhardt Jr. says he won’t turn his back on his friend Shane Hmiel in lieu of NASCAR suspending Hmiel for testing positive for a banned substance. The Bud Chevy driver said "It’s disappointing, but I won’t turn my back on my friend. I’ll help him however he needs to be helped. Just thinking about him this weekend, I know he’s probably down but that’s a tough one...that’s tough you know. It’s a mistake that you hate to see somebody make twice but he could still turn his life around so whatever I can do to help." PRN's Garage Pass
DuPont renews with the No. 24 and Gordon DuPont renews with the No. 24 and GordonDuPont and Hendrick Motorsports today announced the extension of DuPont's longstanding sponsorship of the #24 Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. The new pact builds on an association launched 13 years ago with a flashy "rainbow" paint scheme and a 21-year-old rookie driver named Jeff Gordon. Under the new contract, DuPont continues as the primary sponsor for three years, through the 2008 racing season, with the option to extend for an additional two years. Financial terms were not disclosed. The DuPont-Hendrick association began in 1992 with Gordon's Cup Series debut and his first full season in 1993, when he earned Rookie of the Year honors. The combination has since netted 72 wins and four championships in NASCAR's premier division. Yahoo Biz
World Series by Renault
Epsilon Euskadi team 1-2 in race 1 Epsilon Euskadi team 1-2 in race 1The Epsilon Euskadi team pulled off the first ever one-two in the World Series by Renault. Starting from pole position, local driver Felix Porteiro never let his team mate Robert Kubica seriously trouble him. The final place on the podium went to Australian Will Power (Carlin Motorsport).

Eric Salignon (Cram) stalled at the beginning of the formation lap and as a result had to start the race from the back of the grid. Felix Porteiro and Robert Kubica had no difficulty therefore in taking the lead. Colin Fleming (Jenzer) lost several places as a result of a skirmish with the gravel pit, whereas the race came to a premature end for Medhi Bennani (Avelon), who got stuck in the gravel.

Neck and neck, the two Epsilon Euskadi Formula Renault 3.5 cars quickly moved several lengths ahead of Will Power (Carlin), Adrian Valles (Pons), Simon Pagenaud (Saulnier), Andreas Zuber (Carlin), Markus Winkelhock (Draco), Tristan Gommendy (KTR), Patrick Pilet (Jenzer) and Jaap Van Lagen (KTR). The top 10 broke away from a second group led by Alx Danielsson (DAMS). Van Lagen put his car in an impressive 360° spin on the second lap, but he regained control and was able to continue the race.

After three laps, the first five had built up a clear lead over the chasing pack. Fleming had made a fine comeback, as he had already moved up to 10th position. Markus Winkelhock made a costly mistake that lost him five places, whilst Andreas Zuber was forced to bring his car back to the Pit lane and out of the race, victim of a mechanical failure.

Felix Porteiro established a one second lead over his team mate Robert Kubica. The Polish driver continued to be under threat from Power, Valles and Pagenaud. Gommendy, Pilet, Danielson, Fleming and Toccacelo made up the provisional top 10.

The fight for places was still as fierce as ever in the main field: Montanari (Draco), winner at Monaco, moved past La Rosa (Interwetten.com) to take 12th place, whilst Van Lagen got the better of Pavlovic (GD Racing). Raffaele Giammaria (DAMS) continued to make progress on his World Series learning curve, but the Italian’s race came to a premature end on lap 8 in the gravel pit. Indian driver Karun Chandhok (RC Motorsport) put in a fine performance, managing to overtake Celso Miguez (Pons) and then Ryo Fukuda (Saulnier)!

Tristan Gommendy made an error that allowed his fellow countryman, Patrick Pilet, to move past him into 6th place. On lap 14 of 19, the race lost another two drivers: Tomas Kostka (Victory Engineering) and Giorgio Mondini (Eurointernational).  These two retirements were the last incidents in a race won by the Epsilon Euskadi team!

Felix Porteiro: “It’s very special to get my first race win of the season at home. The most important thing here was to get the pole for the sprint race. When I saw that Salignon had stalled, I thought that that would make things easier. After that, it was a good race, even though I had a lot of oversteer at the end.”

Robert Kubica: “This is a good result for the championship and an excellent result for the team. The car was understeering a lot of the time and that affected the performance. We need to confirm our good form in the second race – race tactics will be extremely important.”

Will Power: “The car was quick enough for me to get pole, but I made one or two mistakes. It was a good race, it’s nice to finish on the podium after a disastrous weekend at Zolder and my poor result in qualifying at Monaco. I can aim for 5th place in the second race.”

Race 1

1 F.PORTEIRO ESP Epsilon Euskadi 19 26'46.474 
2 R.KUBICA POL Epsilon Euskadi 19 26'47.621 1,147 
3 W.POWER AUS Carlin Motorsport 19 26'48.448 1,974 
4 A.VALLES ESP Pons Racing 19 26'49.077 2,603 
5 S.PAGENAUD FRA DHG Saulnier Racing 19 26'50.018 3,544 
6 P.PILET FRA Jenzer Motorsport 19 26'55.710 9,236 
7 T.GOMMENDY FRA KTR 19 26'56.438 9,964 
8 A.DANIELSSON SWE Dams 19 26'58.447 11,973 
9 C.FLEMING USA Jenzer Motorsport 19 27'00.016 13,542 
10 E.TOCCACELO ITA Victory Engineering 19 27'00.660 14,186 
11 M.WINKELHOCK GER Draco Multiracing Usa 19 27'01.399 14,925 
12 C.MONTANARI SMR Draco Multiracing Usa 19 27'01.842 15,368 
13 D.LA ROSA GER Interwetten 19 27'04.110 17,636 
14 J.VAN LAGEN NED KTR 19 27'06.021 19,547 
15 M.PAVLOVIC YUG GD Racing 19 27'07.854 21,38 
16 K.CHANDHOK IND RC Motorsport 19 27'08.357 21,883 
17 R.FUKUDA JPN DHG Saulnier Racing 19 27'11.934 25,46 
18 C.MIGUEZ ESP Pons Racing 19 27'22.467 35,993 
19 F.VERVISH BEL GD Racing 19 27'22.806 36,332 
20 D.PASINI FRA Cram Competition 19 27'35.178 48,704 
21 G.TEDESCHI ITA RC Motorsport 19 27'36.381 49,907 
22 I.BELLAROSA ITA Avelon Formula 19 27'44.432 57,958 
23 E.SALIGNON FRA Cram Competition 17 24'57.365 2 laps 
NC G.MONDINI ITA Eurointernational 13 18'52.750 6 laps 
NC T.KOSTKA CZE Victory Engineering 13 19'23.792 6 laps 
NC R.GIAMMARIA ITA Dams 7 10'23.519 12 laps 
NC A.ZUBER AUT Carlin Motorsport 3 4'33.921 16 laps 
NC M.BENNANI MAR Avelon Formula

Robby Gordon Wins 2005 Baja 500 Overall Robby Gordon Wins 2005 Baja 500 OverallReturning to his racing roots, NASCAR Team Owner/Driver Robby Gordon began his double-duty weekend with a stunning overall 4-wheel and SCORE Trophy-Truck victory in the 37th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 desert race in Ensenada, Mexico. Leaving shortly after finishing the race to return to Dover, Del., to drive in Sunday’s NASCAR Nextel Cup race, Gordon charged to the front early in his No. 83 Red Bull Chevy CK1500 and stayed there, covering the brutally-tough 419-mile course in 9 hours, 10 minutes, 32 seconds, averaging 45.66 miles per hour.
Gordon, 36, who lives in Mooresville, N.C. and races out of his Robby Gordon desert race team shop in Anaheim, Calif., captured the 4-wheel vehicle win with a flawless, flat-free race over a boulder-strewn, silt-grabbing desert course in front of a massive crowd estimated at over 150,000 spread out along the course by Mexican tourism officials.

The race featured a near-record 345 starters, from 20 U.S. States, Mexico, Canada and Japan, for round 3 of the six-race 2005 SCORE Desert Series, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series. The large field, competing in 24 Pro and 5 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, was the fourth-largest in the storied history of the summer desert classic and the most since the event record was set and then tied in 1976 and 1977. With a 17-hour time limit, the race course will remain open until 4 a.m. Sunday morning.

Beating an impressive race-record field of 29 SCORE Trophy-Trucks for his first Tecate SCORE Baja 500 win in the marquee SCORE racing division for 800-horsepower, high-tech, unlimited production trucks, Gordon claimed his third overall 4-Wheel crown in the event and his fourth class win.  His previous class wins were in 1988, 1989 and 1990 and his other two overall crowns were the last two years of that string. Spending most of the last nine years as a part-time SCORE desert racer, Gordon won his first SCORE race since winning four races on the way to the 1996 SCORE Trophy-Truck season point champion.

Looking much like an inverted deflating balloon on a string, the 419-mile race course started in downtown Ensenada adjacent to the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center and finished inside the Deportivo Antonio Palacios baseball stadium in the heart of Ensenada.

“We earned this one,” said Gordon. “The race was tough, it was a pretty slow average and a lot of rocks. It’s nice to win one – we’ve come so close so many times. It was a good run for us. I just drove and easy pace. I am sick so my ears kept popping. We were tight was Jason (Baldwin, No. 1) but then he had a problem – I think he got a flat. We had a great race today. We race in Dover, Delaware tomorrow. The only bad news today was the private plane we were going to use is broken. I’ve got some good friends, so I have to see what I can do.”

It’s all about car setup It’s all about car setupWhile high banking masks an ill handling car to some degree, a flat mile oval like Milwaukee is all about car setup.  The driver means very little.  Last year Ryan Hunter-Reay had an unprecedented and unrepeated, 250-lap, flag-to-flag victory at Milwaukee. Michel Jourdain Jr. led 234 of 250 the year before and on Sunday Paul Tracy had things his way 192 of 221 laps.  The drivers who know how to setup a car for an oval track do well, those that don't flounder.  The skill of doing well on ovals is more about how to work with your engineer to get the car right, and very little about how fast you can actually drive.
Sparse Milwaukee crowd could spell race’s doom Sparse Milwaukee crowd could spell race’s doomUPDATE #3 In the five decades I've attended races at Milwaukee, Saturday's crowd was by far the worst ever -- laughably announced at 26,012. Drop the 2 and you'd be closer (i.e. 6,012) as it rivaled the IRL's Saturday show at Phoenix last March (8,312 the official number) Robin Miller, SPEEDTV.com 06/05/05 Milwaukee Mile officials announced a ticket distribution of 26,012 for the event. Despite extensive promotion through Time Warner and Bridgestone and marketing to military personnel, actual attendance during the race appeared to be less than half that (i.e. less than 13,000 - AutoRacing1.com estimated 8,000 to 10,000), a significant decrease from the estimated 20,000 from last year, when the race was held at night. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 06/04/05 The track announced today's attendance at 26,012.  Given that the grandstands were about 1/5 to 1/4 full, that means Milwaukee's new attendance capacity is 104,000 to 130,000.  We missed that press release. 06/04/05 A sparse crowd estimated at around 8,000 to 10,000 for today's Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225 Champ Car race at the Milwaukee Mile could mean the ultimate demise of this race that has been struggling for years. Conveniently George Bruggenthies scheduled an AMA Superbike race this weekend at Road America, which probably had a negative impact on this race.
Industry News
Media center naming rights Media center naming rightsNaming rights for the new Milton Peck Media Center in the Milwaukee Mile paddock, dedicated Friday, will be worth a total of $250,000 to State Fair Park, board chairman Martin Greenberg said.
Tracy had good teachers Tracy had good teachersThe 29th victory of Paul Tracy's career at Milwaukee Saturday tied him for seventh on the all-time list with Rick Mears, Tracy's teammate at Penske Racing in 1992. Mears, who continued to serve as Tracy's mentor after his retirement, earned three of his victories at the Mile and was among those Tracy credits for his success, particularly at this track.  "I had great teammates to learn from," Tracy said. "In the beginning of my career, I had Rick and Emerson (Fittipaldi) and then Al (Unser Jr.) came. And then Michael (Andretti, at Newman / Haas Racing), who won here I don't know how many times. I learned how to do these 1-mile ovals, how to do the restarts, all that good stuff."  Tracy learned well enough, and on Saturday he taught the youngsters a lesson.
Kimmel Captures Checkers at Milwaukee Kimmel Captures Checkers at MilwaukeeFrank Kimmel knows a thing or two about winning races in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. The six-time series champion charged through the field after a lap 47 pit stop to lead a total of 89 of the 150 laps in Saturday afternoon's ARCA RE/MAX 150 race at The Milwaukee Mile, and captured his 59th ARCA checkered flag. Kimmel had to withstand the pesky challenges of hungry young drivers Chad Blount, then Joey Miller, to withstand two caution flags and subsequent single-file restarts in the final laps to secure his first win of 2005.
Condor Motorsports propels Zwolsman to win Condor Motorsports propels Zwolsman to winThe dust settled after a hot, humid and exciting weekend in Monterrey, Mexico last weekend. For Condor Motorsports it was a weekend that validated the competitiveness of the team and the driver, especially after the Grand Prix of Long Beach events.

The event started in normal fashion, taking it slow and analyzing data after the first session. With a fairly well-balanced car from the beginning, Charles Zwolsman (right) and team concentrated in making adjustments to improve overall grip. In the first qualifying, Zwolsman started the session and traded fast laps with several competitors. A red flag was displayed with about twelve minutes left on the session at which point Charles had the fastest time. Immediately, after the session resumed the team's hopes of capturing the pole vanished as the engine developed an electrical miss. Unfortunately, while the track got better and faster the car sat in the pits with the Condor Motorsports crew diagnosing the problem. The electrical miss was traced to a coil harness and after replacing the offending item the goal was to regain lost ground and concentrate on Saturday's qualifying.

With Zwolsman topping the charts in Saturday's practice session, the driver was back in true form and looking forward to the rest of the weekend. For the second and last qualifying session he repeated his results by posting the fastest lap and qualifying for pole position. He surprised everyone when this lap was actually registered while overtaking a slower car in a difficult place. The crew was looking at the pit monitors at the time and almost disregard the lap as a "balked" one. There were many double takes to the lap time since it was nearly seven tenths faster than second place.

Remembering the events that followed the Long Beach post qualifying inspection, hereby mentioned for the last time, brought the understandable jitters to the team until the car was cleared from tech. This seal of approval was very special since it now validates Zwolsman's speed and lifts any doubts over past performances.

For the race, Charles had a choice to start either on the left or right side of the track. The obvious decision was driver's right, but his main concern was that it actually was the dirty side of the track approaching turn one. After the fall of the green flag, Zwolsman arrived to turn one with a slight advantage over a very close Kasemets. Charles took the lead as they ran very close to each other until the half way point when Zwolsman appeared to have gained a second plus advantage over Tonis Kasemets. That gap evaporated a few laps later when Zwolsman was forced to back off the throttle due to a lapped car. Kasemets saw the opportunity and quickly got alongside Zwolsman on the inside of turn one. At this time Kasemets, the lapped car and Zwolsman were almost three abreast in the braking zone for turn one. Somehow, nearly touching wheels Zwolsman, driving on the outside of turn one was able to retain the lead.

The Condor Motorsports machine, guided by Charles Zwolsman crossed the finish line a second-and-a-half ahead of Kasemets to win the Tecate/Telmex Grand Prix Presented by Roshfrans.

New surface to greet F1 and Champ Car in Montreal New surface to greet F1 and Champ Car in Montreal“The Montreal circuit has been completely resurfaced since last season. Our engineers have taken a look at the track and their research indicates that the asphalt won’t be particularly abrasive. That said, it is completely new and has yet to be tested by any racing cars. It is likely that track conditions will evolve significantly throughout the weekend, largely due to the chemical reactions that are an unpredictable by- product of any freshly-laid surface.” Michelin
Danica a hit in Brazil Danica a hit in BrazilA reader writes, Danica Patrick and her Indy 500 results are getting A LOT OF media here in Brazil. She has articles in the 2 biggest magazines (Veja and Istoé), in the biggest financial magazine (Istoé Dinheiro), in our biggest journals (Folha de São Paulo, Estado de São Paulo, O Globo).  I couldn't imagine it before the Indy 500...Filipe de Melo Barbosa  [Editor's Note: A big kudos goes out to the IRL PR department that have taken full advantage of Danica's popularity.]
Seen at Milwaukee Seen at MilwaukeeToyota Atlantic rookie Katherine Legge (Pictured right with PKV Manager Jim McGee, Ryan Dalziel and Jimmy Vasser - photo courtesy Champ Car) spent time in the PKV pits learning all she could about Champ Car and the car setups, clearly with an eye toward Champ Car in the future. Both PKV drivers went very loose during today's race in Milwaukee and fell backward, so she won't want to use whatever setups she heard this weekend. Like many, we asked her about Danica Patrick's success at Indy. "I think it's great," said Legge. I always knew women could do it given the right opportunity.........Ryan Dalziel was also with Legge, being groomed for a future Champ Car driver when Jimmy Vasser decides to hang up the driving gloves......Former Joint Chiefs of Staff General Tommy Franks (pictured left) was on hand as a special guest to give the command to start engines.....Champ Car President Dick Eidswick returned to the track after flying home to be with his wife who fell ill again......Many Milwaukee fans expressed concern that they would lose their Champ Car race after the poor spectator turnout today. One local told us, "As a fan of CART/Champ Car I am sorry to say that Milwaukee is dead for the Champ Car series. I would be happy if there were 15K fans today, the fact of the matter it looked like much less. It's time for Champ Car to move forward with their business model of street racing. Clearly the oval racing fan is now NASCAR. It will be interesting to see if the IRL draws a better crowd at Milwaukee with Danica. The sad part is that in 1996 you needed to get in line before the sun came up to get a great infield location for the Milwaukee race. Today you could have been here 15 minutes before the start and got any seat you wanted"......The ARCA race attendance that followed the Champ Car race was even worse as a rain shower that temporarily red-flagged the race sent many fans home, not to return.....Mario Haberfeld was roaming the paddock.  He spotted for Alex Tagliani on Saturday.
Truex wins Busch race (Photos too) Truex wins Busch race (Photos too)Martin Truex Jr. bided his time until the handling on Kevin Harvick's car went away, then passed him for the lead with 70 laps to go and eventually drove away to an easy victory in the NASCAR Busch series race Saturday at Dover International Speedway. It was the second consecutive victory on The Monster Mile for the series champion, his third this year and ninth overall in Busch competition. After passing Harvick, Truex was out of the lead for only four more laps.  "At the end of the race, it was the best my car was all day long," Truex said. "Once I got into clean air, it was game over."

Photos by Jim Garrahan

NASCAR looking for its Danica NASCAR looking for its DanicaErin Crocker nervously watched the Indianapolis 500, silently rooting on Danica Patrick while doing her best to suppress any feelings of jealousy.  ''It was nice to see another woman do well, and prove to the whole nation that a woman can do this,'' Crocker said. ''But part of it was hard because there was all this news about Danica. It was frustrating because I want to be in the spotlight. I want to prove that I can do it.''

Crocker and dozens of other female racers soon might get their chance: NASCAR now wants its own version of Patrick after watching the rookie wow Indianapolis last weekend with a fourth-place finish.  Already the most popular form of auto racing in the United States, NASCAR doesn't need the publicity buzz that Patrick gave the Indy Racing League. But from their boardroom in Daytona Beach, Fla., NASCAR's executives recognized the possibilities that surround a competitive young woman.

''What Danica did in Indianapolis was spectacular,'' said NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter. ''We absolutely would love to have a female competing in our series and we do have some on the horizon. It's just a question of getting them in the right equipment and getting them experience.''  More at AP article

Ray Evernham said he is "very, very close" to having a deal to start a third full-time Cup team to join Mayfield and Kasey Kahne. He said that a final decision on whether that will happen should come by Daytona in early July.

The news on Crocker, the former World of Outlaws series driver in a driver development program for Evernham, is that she will run her first Automobile Racing Club of America race in an Evernham-owned Dodge at Michigan in two weeks.

Evernham said plans are for Crocker, who has been testing this year, to run in five Busch Series races later this season and perhaps share a car in that series with Kahne next year.  Evernham said he plans to resist the urge to bring Crocker along faster than he deems proper, despite the increased attention on female drivers in light of Danica Patrick's fourth-place finish in last week's Indianapolis 500.

"If it were about business and about getting press, that would be tempting," Evernham said. "But I've seen too many people get thrown into a high-pressure situation too soon and it ruins their career.   I care about the people who work and drive for me. It's not about making money. I want to help her, I want her to succeed. ...I believe that Erin Crocker has the talent to be a superstar in NASCAR. If we do the right things and find the right sponsorships, you will see her make a big name for herself and have a big impact on this sport." ThatsRacin.com

Penalty cost Coulthard podium Penalty cost Coulthard podiumDavid Coulthard missed out on scoring Red Bull Racing's debut podium finish at the European Grand Prix by going just 0.2kmh over the speed limit, the Scottish driver has revealed in his regular column for the Daily Record newspaper. "I should, however, have had a podium place but picked up a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane - 81.2kmh in an 80 limit. They give you a 1kmh margin, so I was penalized for 0.2 kmh. I was trying to beat a Minardi out of the pit lane and made a calculated risk to switch off my limiter as the front wheels hit the marker line," he added. "I will be fined $5250 but am fortunate enough to make more than that in a weekend."
Hunter-Reay takes hard hit at Milwaukee Hunter-Reay takes hard hit at MilwaukeeUPDATE #3 Ryan has been released and is in his hotel. He has a bruised lung and a very sore back. They are going to look at him again tomorrow. The hit was a massive 171 G's. He was never out but they were careful because his back hurt. 06/04/05 Ryan Hunter-Reay has a slight bruised lung but will be released from the hospital this evening. The X-Ray of his neck was negative. 06/04/05 Hunter-Reay is awake and alert complaining of mild neck pain. He is being transported to a local hospital for precautionary X-Rays. 06/04/05 American Ryan Hunter-Reay lost control in Turn 2 at Milwaukee today and the car impacted rear-first into the outside concrete wall. Hunter-Reay was not moving in the car when the safety crew arrived and reported a preliminary code 3. Code 3 typically means injured but not life threatening. Milwaukee is one of the few oval tracks in the USA that does not have the SAFER Barrier installed. Hunter-Reay was placed on a backboard, loaded into the ambulance and taken to the Champ Car Medical Center located inside the track.
Champ Car race preempted in many markets Champ Car race preempted in many marketsUPDATE #4 This is something I have been trying to tell people for years. The Children's Miracle Network Telethon is always this weekend. Every year, it's the same thing. It is always pre-empted in local markets. It is often carried on different (or multiple) networks in various markets. I am in Central Florida and I did not get it. When I lived in Massachusetts...I didn’t get it. When I lived in Denver...nope. When I lived in Chicago.....ditto. It should be checked to see where the race actually did air. It always pre-empts the Milwaukee race. I think the only year I was able to watch the race was when it was on Spike. This has been going on for about 20 years now. You would think they might figure it out. No attendance. No TV. Interesting thing is, I have Time Warner Cable, and could not watch the Time Warner sponsored race. I have even gone so far in past years as to call CART/Champ Car and tell them about this. I don't see the sense in buying TV time when nobody can see the race if they wanted to. Really frustrating. Scott Norrison, Orlando, FL 06/04/05 The CBS affiliate in Topeka, KS and Cincinnati, OH chose not to show the Champ Car race today preferring to show the Children’s Miracle Network Celebration, a telethon that runs all day. After the Long Beach and Monterrey television debacles I would suspect that no one in Topeka (home of the road course Heartland Park, SCCA National offices, NHRA Summer Nationals, two excellent Sprint Car tracks and 40 miles from the Kansas Speedway) knows that the Champ Car World Series even exists. Sweet! But we get all the IRL races. I guess if I'm going to be an open wheel motor sport fan I'll have to be an IRL fan. Niles Anders 06/04/05 It's 1 PM in Ryan Hunter-Reay's home town of Boca Raton Florida and the West Palm Beach affiliate just ran a crawl across the bottom of the screen that the race would be broadcast from 2:15- 4:15 AM Monday morning. That time slot should draw a lot of viewers....not. 06/04/05 The Milwaukee race is also being preempted in some markets in central Texas. The fundraising event, Children's Miracle Network Celebration, is being held on CBS today and tomorrow. 06/04/05 We are getting reports that the Champ Car race on CBS won't be shown in some southern Florida markets as they have been preempted for some other special event. That combined with the fact the race is on Saturday when the casual viewer won't be watching, will mean another race with lackluster ratings for Champ Car.
Mayfield renews with Evernham Mayfield renews with EvernhamJeremy Mayfield will be driving for Evernham Motorsports for the foreseeable future. The 36-year-old driver has signed a multiyear contract with the Dodge team. "Year after year, he has shown that he can be a constant candidate to win races and make the Chase for the Nextel Cup," Ray Evernham said Saturday at Dover International Speedway. "He has been a great team player for Evernham Motorsports." CBS Sportsline/AP
John Laux dies John Laux diesJohn F. Laux, 83, of Speedway, IN, passed away Wednesday, June 1, 2005.  He is survived by his wife Ginger; daughter Shari; granddaughter Tasha; and several great grandchildren.  He was a member of Pentalpha Masonic Lodge 564 Indianapolis, Scottish Rite, and Murat Shrine.  John was an Army veteran having served during World War II.
In the mid-50's Laux was assistant manager of Firestone Racing Division.  In 1964 he became field manager of Goodyear Championship Division.  In 1967 he established a championship car race team in association with Gene White of Atlanta.
Laux was presented a "Smokey Yunick Award" Lifetime Racing Achievement by Charlotte Motor Speedway.  A Memorial Service will be held Sunday, June 5, 2005 at 2:00 PM in Conkle Funeral Home, Speedway Chapel, with visitation one hour prior.  Excerpted from Indy Star News
Valentino Rossi takes pole in Italy Valentino Rossi takes pole in ItalyValentino Rossi has taken home pole position for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix MotoGP race at Mugello, beating Spaniard Sete Gibernau with a record breaking last lap to take pole position for Yamaha and Italy by 0.138secs.
Servia likes race chances Servia likes race chancesOriol Servia qualified 9th for his first race with Newman/Haas, not as good as some may have expected for a Newman/Haas car. Servia isn't too worried. "We are lacking front grip but the PacifiCare car feels solid which is good for the race, just not in qualifying. This is a great opportunity for me to work with Newman/Haas Racing. They are the most successful team in the series and it has been good to work with them so far. Our qualifying performance wasn’t as good as I had hoped but we are working in the right direction.”
Bourdais still struggles at Milwaukee Bourdais still struggles at MilwaukeeFrenchman Sebastien Bourdais continues to struggle at the Milwaukee Mile.  Today will be his third race here.  He started second in 2004 but crashed while fifth and finished 18th. Qualifying was rained out in 2003 and the drivers started the race based on practice times.  Bourdais started 13th and was forced to pit prior to the start of the race due to an overheating engine.  He finished ninth. 

 “We are struggling in Milwaukee again.  It’s tough to improve on this track when you only race on a one-mile oval once a season and each time I have raced here the conditions are different.  The first baseline setup we ran on the McDonald’s car today was okay but everything we tried after that did not improve the car.  Then we had to work on the race setup and never had time to get back to the qualifying setup before the session was over.  The car was loose and neutral in Turns 1 and 2 and was pushing and loose in Turns 3 and 4.  I have never had that before and we don’t understand why it is this way.  We will work on improving the car overnight and try to get a top-five finish from the race.”

Tracy likes race chances Tracy likes race chancesPaul Tracy qualified fifth and will start today's race in Milwaukee on the third row. "We had a little too much understeer and I had to back out of it in the middle of the turns," said Tracy. "That really hurts the lap times here since the corners are so long. "But we had a really fast car in practice this morning on worn tires and heavy with fuel, so I think we're going to be strong in the race."
Industry News
Scion Racing Makes Its Debut at Moroso Motorsports Park Scion Racing Makes Its Debut at Moroso Motorsports ParkScion is entering the motorsports arena with Scion Racing and has partnered with Sport Compact drag racing stars Christian Rado of WORLD Racing and Leslie Durst of Horizon Motorsports. Rado and Durst, both 29, will campaign Scion tC competition vehicles in a series of NHRA and NDRA national events beginning in 2005.

Rado's tC will make its competition debut in the Pro Outlaw Front Wheel Drive (FWD) class at the June 4-5 NDRA Xbox Event at Florida's Moroso Motorsports Park. The 2,000-lb., silver streak mica tC is powered by a race-modified 2.7-liter 3RZFE Toyota engine producing 1,200 horsepower on methanol. The tC race car was recently on display at SEMA's International Auto Salon Show in Atlantic City, N.J. Details on his Pro FWD Scion racer can be seen on his Web site, www.world-racing.com.

Christian began racing in 2001, which was the inaugural year for NHRA Sport Compact drag racing. He competed in his WORLD Racing Celica and still holds the Atco Pro FWD track record of 8.478 seconds and 176.14 mph.

Durst, of Long Beach, Calif., Turbo magazine's 2003 Rookie of the Year, has an All-Motor/Pro Stock class competition tC in the works for the 2006 season. The stock 2.4-liter 2AZFE tC engine has been race-modified to produce approximately 320-hp on methanol. This coupe sports a full tube chassis and will be shown at the November 2005 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. When completed, Durst expects the All-Motor/Pro Stock tC to run in the high 9-second range.

In just three years at the All-Motor starting line, Durst has scored an impressive run of both high speed and elapsed time records, including clocking the class' first 9-second run and setting the Pomona (Calif.) Raceway track record of 9.934 seconds, both of which were set in 2003. In 2004, she set top speed runs of 132.88 mph and 130.28 mph at NHRA events in Englishtown, N.J., and Las Vegas, respectively.

She has a racing partnership with her dad, Mike Durst, who also serves as her crew chief. Toyota

Third and final day of testing for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Third and final day of testing for Scuderia Ferrari MarlboroThird and final day of testing this week for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, once again working at two circuits, Monza and Silverstone.

At the Italian track, Marc Gene continued with a program centered on Bridgestone tire development and aerodynamics for the forthcoming races. The Spanish tester completed a total of 63 laps, the quickest in a time of 1’21”428.

At the circuit which hosts the British Grand Prix on 10th July, Rubens Barrichello continued with work begun on Wednesday by Luca Badoer, on finding the best set-up for the F2005. The Brazilian driver covered a total of 73 laps, setting a best time of 1’20”156.

At Fiorano, Luca Badoer carried out the shakedown of the three cars that will be used in the forthcoming Canadian Grand Prix. The Italian driver did a total of 27 laps, (ten on the short version of the track,) setting a best time of 59”622.

Dover truck race rained out Dover truck race rained outToday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race from Dover has been rained out. A replay of the Trucks race from Charlotte will fill the time until 7 o'clock, when Trackside airs as scheduled. Weather permitting, the race has been rescheduled for 9 a.m ET tomorrow morning.  Speed will record the race and air it at 7:30pm ET, replacing NASCAR Live, F1 Decade and Cars at Carlisle.
Honeywell LeMans sponsorship for AER Honeywell LeMans sponsorship for AERHoneywell today announced its sponsorship of AER Limited in its race engine programs, starting with 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 18, 2005 and continuing through the 2005 Le Mans Endurance Series (LMES) and American Le Mans Series (ALMS) racing seasons.  As a sponsor, Honeywell Turbo Technologies, the maker of Garrett turbochargers, has entered into a technical partnership with AER Limited, working together to exploit the performance, fuel efficiency and durability potential of turbocharged engines for endurance racing.  “We’re pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with AER, the worldwide leader in the development of turbocharged race engines available to private teams for prototype sportscar racing,” according to Doug Milliken, Manager of Motorsports Engineering at Honeywell Turbo Technologies.  AER race engines equipped with Honeywell’s Garrett turbos most recently demonstrated their performance capabilities with Dyson Racing, taking a 1-2 overall victory at the ALMS race in Lexington, Ohio May 22.  Chamberlain-Synergy Racing, also using a Garrett-boosted AER race engine, won the LMP2 class at the LMES race at Spa, Belgium on April 17. For the last three years, the ALMS Drivers’ Champions in the LMP2/LMP675 categories have been won by Garrett-boosted AER engines, which have also helped AER win the ALMS Manufacturers’ championship in two of the last three seasons.
Kimi keeps McLaren on top Kimi keeps McLaren on topMcLaren completed a clean sweep of all three sessions of testing at Silverstone, with Kimi Raikkonen taking the fastest time on the final day at the British Grand Prix venue. The Finn out-paced Ralf Schumacher's Toyota by more than one-and-a-half seconds to add to his quickest performance from Thursday, smashing his own personal benchmark by roughly the same amount.

Kimi Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes 1min 16.948secs 82 laps
Ralf Schumacher Toyota-Toyota 1min 18.569secs 80 laps
Jarno Trulli Toyota-Toyota 1min 18.858secs 74 laps
Giancarlo Fisichella Renault-Renault 1min 19.123secs 85 laps
Juan Pablo Montoya McLaren-Mercedes 1min 19.153secs 55 laps
Mark Webber Williams-BMW 1min 19.621secs 80 laps
Fernando Alonso Renault-Renault 1min 19.727secs 81 laps
David Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth 1min 19.926secs 64 laps
Nico Rosberg Williams-BMW 1min 19.945secs 69 laps
Christian Klien Red Bull-Cosworth 1min 20.146secs 35 laps
Rubens Barrichello Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 20.148secs 70 laps*
Scott Speed Red Bull-Cosworth 1min 23.166secs 18 laps

Gene tops Monza testing again Gene tops Monza testing againMarc Gene topped the times at Monza for the second successive day of testing. The Spaniard shaved another tenth from his Thursday time to keep out of the clutches of BAR's Anthony Davidson as the three-day session drew to a close, setting the target at 1min 21.431secs. Davidson, who revealed overnight that he had turned down the opportunity to make his Champ Car debut with the crack Newman/Haas team at Milwaukee this weekend, clocked a best lap just 0.380secs slower than the Ferrari in the midst of a mammoth 145-lap program
Marc Gene Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 21.431secs 63 laps*
Anthony Davidson BAR-Honda 1min 21.811secs 145 laps
Felipe Massa Sauber-Petronas 1min 21.937secs 92 laps
Enrique Bernoldi BAR-Honda 1min 22.642secs 94 laps
Jeff Burton talks drug testing Jeff Burton talks drug testingNASCAR driver Jeff Burton appeared on SPEED Channel's "NASCAR Live" Friday afternoon to discuss the recent suspension of NASCAR Busch Series driver Shane Hmiel and the call for more drug testing in NASCAR. Here is what Burton had to say:

BURTON: "I'm on the same line as NASCAR -- we want this sport to be very clean. We owe it to the fans. We owe it to ourselves. We owe it to the competitors to be safe and to be clean. We also owe it from an image standpoint -- there are a lot of kids watching this sport, and they need to know that we do not use drugs. And if someone is caught using drugs, a severe penalty is applicable.

"It's a very sad situation what went on here yesterday, there's no doubt about it. Shane's a guy that not only do we need to enforce a rule, but we need to find a way to help. What can we do as a community to help Shane or anybody else through these problems? We need to find a way to do that too.

"I'm a stern believer in enforcement and I am a stern believer in testing. I think testing is a great way to take our sport and always have it above all the other sports. That's why I admire NASCAR so much, because they lead the way in so many things to put our sport above other sports and I think a drug testing policy has a great chance to do that as well."

SPEED CHANNEL'S JOHN ROBERTS: "Is it safe to say that when a football player or baseball player is caught using steroids, that's cheating. In NASCAR, if it's drugs on the race track, it's a matter of life and death?"

BURTON: "Well, it is. I watched an NBA player here last year and he was caught using marijuana I believe, and his penalty was ... well, there was no penalty. It was his second offense. The third offense, he'd have to sit out five games or some ridiculous penalty. I applaud NASCAR for taking a really strong stance on it. I believe more testing is a good thing. I believe more testing is where we are and with our image and all those things, I believe that is a really good thing. I know we have privacy rules and laws and I have a lot of respect for that too, but at the same time, for our sport to be where it is, for it to continue to be where it is and to get bigger yet, we have to lead the way in a lot of categories and I think this is one of the places where we can lead the way."

Queen for a day Queen for a dayThis slate.com article belittles open wheel racing and calls Danica Patrick overrated - a queen for the day (of the 500).  This website prides itself in calling a spade a spade, but many times goes too far.  However, there is some truth in what they say - i.e. until Danica Patrick starts winning it would be best to temper the accolades because if she fails to produce, it will be that much worse for her.  After all, racing is a sport first and foremost.  Sex and glamour should be just a sideshow.
Indy 500 beats NASCAR TV Rating Indy 500 beats NASCAR TV RatingUPDATE #2 The Indy 500 did it.  Their final rating of 6.5/18 share beat NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 6.1 final rating for the first time in many years.  Hopefully it is the first sign of returning open wheel racing to a strong position in the USA. 06/02/05 Hold the presses.  Fox earned a 6.1/13 final Nielsen rating for the 5 ½-hour NASCAR Nextel Cup Coca-Cola 600 Sunday night, marking a 22% jump from a 5.0/11 last year and Fox’ highest rated Coca-Cola 600 since it began broadcasting the race in ’00 THE DAILY  We expect that this 6.1 final rating may beat the Indy 500 final rating, which isn't out yet. Stay tuned..... 05/31/05 Fueled by the Danica Patrick mania, the 2005 Indy 500 got an overnight 6.6 rating and 17 share, which went up to 8.8/21 in the last 15 minutes of the race when Wheldon and Patrick were battling for the lead. The NASCAR race in Concord, N.C. drew a 4.8 overnight rating and 10 share. With a record 22 cautions in 600 miles, it took an agonizing 51/2 hours to complete. This is the first time in years that the Indy 500 has beaten the Coca-Cola 600 in the TV rating race, hence why we wrote after the race on Sunday why Danica Patrick was good for open wheel racing.
Indy 500 TV rating up 59% Indy 500 TV rating up 59%UPDATE #5 ABC Sports' live broadcast of the 89th  Indianapolis 500 on May 29 drew a national rating nearly 60 percent higher  than the 2004 race and the highest rating for the "Greatest Spectacle in  Racing" since 1996, according to figures released June 3.  The coverage delivered a national household rating of 6.5/18 share, a 59  percent increase from last year's 4.7/11. The rating peaked at 8.6/23 from  4-4:14 p.m. (EDT), when eventual winner Dan Wheldon and rookie sensation  Danica Patrick dueled for the lead in the last 15 laps of the race.  "We're thrilled that so many people tuned into ABC's exciting broadcast of  the 89th Indianapolis 500," said Joie Chitwood, Indianapolis Motor Speedway  president and chief operating officer. "A combination of factors contributed  to the ratings' increase, including aggressive promotion by our broadcast  partners at ABC, moving back the start time of the race one hour and, of  course, the thrilling race featuring non-stop action, especially between Dan  Wheldon and Danica Patrick near the finish. Add all of those to Danica's  rising popularity through the month, and it was a recipe for success."  ABC's pre-race show also delivered increased ratings of 3.7/12. That's a 61-percent jump from last year's 2.3/8.  This was the highest-rated Indianapolis 500 broadcast since the 1996 race delivered 7.1/23. 06/02/05 No final rating out yet, but the Indy Star did have this today:  For the first time since 2000, it appears the 500 had more viewers nationally than the same-day Coca-Cola 600.  Nielsen Media Research will announce final national TV ratings soon, but Sunday's 500 earned a 7.2 preliminary national rating based on an average of the country's top 56 markets, said Dawn Stout, director of research for WRTV-6 (ABC), which televises the 500. 06/02/05 In Canada, TSN’s Indy 500 coverage drew 311,000 viewers, up from 104,000 last year, making it the most-watched Indy 500 in Canada since TSN began televising the event in ’99. The previous high was 242,000 viewers in ’01 CP 06/01/05 A reader adds, I think the Indy 500 did so well on TV for two reasons. 1) for Danica P. sparking interest 2) Newman/Haas back in the 500.  I've been watching USA open wheel for the past 20 years. It's obvious the fans are torn. I'm sure I speak for a lot of open wheelers (CART/ChampCar) as we don't watch or speak of the IRL. I haven't watched a race in the past couple of years (IRL) or the 500 since the Paul Tracy debacle.  Well for once I came back to watch and to cheer on my Champ Car representation Newman/Haas.  And this I believe is a main factor for increased ratings too. We want to see them steal the money from the defectors, only to watch the lower level talent in IRL take them out.  Each series garnishes a 1 TV share avg per each race.  Bring them together and I'm sure the avg. would move up to a 2 share or higher. Steve K., Wolcott, CT 05/31/05 The pre-race show for the Indy 500 was up 58% to a 4.1 overnight. 05/30/05 [Editor's Note: As we predicted yesterday]  Danica Patrick's first Indianapolis 500 made for great television. ABC's broadcast on Sunday drew a 6.6 overnight rating and a 17 share, up 40 percent from last year and the highest since 1997. Patrick, who became the first woman to hold the lead at the Indy 500, led several of the final laps before settling for fourth. The ratings during the last 15 minutes of the race spiked to 8.8/21.  Last year's race, won by Patrick's Rahal-Letterman teammate Buddy Rice, drew a 4.7/11 overnight. AP article
Junqueira to be released Sunday Junqueira to be released SundayUPDATE Correction, Bruno will be released Sunday morning.  He has been on a stair machine and walking on a treadmill. 06/03/05 Bruno Junqueira has been released from Methodist Hospital in Indy and is doing well. No back brace needed, which should help his rehab.
NASCAR catches another cheater NASCAR catches another cheaterNASCAR announced today that Charlie Lewis, crew chief for the No. 25 Ford driven by Ashton Lewis Jr. in the NASCAR Busch Series, has been fined $500 for a fuel filler rule infraction that occurred last week at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.
Vasser tops opening practice in Milwaukee Vasser tops opening practice in MilwaukeePKV's Jimmy Vasser was fastest in opening practice for Saturday's Road Runner 225 Champ Car race at the Milwaukee Mile.
Pos Driver # Lap Time Mph Behind Previous
1 J. Vasser 12 20.987 177.024 
2 A. Allmendinger 10 21.044 176.544 
3 P. Tracy 3 21.073 176.301 0.029
4 J. Wilson 9 21.107 176.017 0.034
5 C. da Matta 21 21.208 175.179 0.101
6 S. Bourdais 1 21.327 174.202 0.119
7 O. Servia 2 21.437 173.308 0.110
8 R. Hunter-Reay 31 21.522 172.623 0.085
9 B. Wirdheim 4 21.585 172.120 0.063
10 M. Dominguez 7 21.586 172.112 0.001
11 A. Tagliani 15 21.615 171.881 0.029
12 A. Ranger 27 21.807 170.367 0.192
13 T. Glock 8 21.909 169.574 0.102
14 M. Marshall 5 21.914 169.535 0.005
15 R. Bremer 55 21.956 169.211 0.042
16 N. Philippe 34 21.976 169.057 0.020
17 R. Sperafico 19 22.571 164.601 0.595
Rain at Dover washes out Cup qualifying Rain at Dover washes out Cup qualifyingRain at Dover International Speedway has forced NASCAR officials to cancel Nextel Cup qualifying for Sunday's MBNA 400.  Jimmie Johnson will start from the pole by virtue of the No. 48 Chevrolet's first-place standing in owner points.  Showers were forecast to remain in the area of the Delaware speedway throughout the day Friday.
Servia dons Pacifcare colors Servia dons Pacifcare colorsPhoto of Oriol Servia who will drive the No. 2 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone race car at this Saturday's Time Warner Cable Roadrunner 225 at the Milwaukee Mile. (Photo Credit: Dan Boyd)  Servia ended up 7th fastest in the first practice session at Milwaukee and his teammate, Sebastien Bourdais, 6th.
Red Bull F1 team announces Scott Speed Red Bull F1 team announces Scott SpeedCHRISTIAN HORNER, Sporting Director Red Bull Team - "For this weekend and next week in Indianapolis, we have decided to give Red Bull Junior driver Scott Speed a couple of outings in the third car on Friday morning, following a successful test at Silverstone this week and in Barcelona earlier in the year. These races coincide with a gap in his GP2 schedule. We will be watching his progress  with  interest.  Scott  is  obviously  the  most  promising  talent  to  come  out  of  the  USA  for  some considerable time. His achievements in Europe have been extremely impressive."
Peter Windsor to speak at CARA event Peter Windsor to speak at CARA eventCurrent Speed Channel commentator Peter Windsor might know his sport better than any television sportscaster in the world. Windsor, the 53-year-old British pit moderator, has served in a variety of roles in the very complex world of Formula One racing. Windsor currently works for the Speed Channel on all Grand Prix races in 2005 as well as the moderator for all F-1 post-qualifying and post-race press conferences.  In addition, the Brit, who grew up in Australia, is a consultant editor for F1 Racing magazine where he writes a monthly column. Windsor will be the primary speaker for the CARA Charities' annual Indianapolis Race Team and Technology Tour on Thursday, June 16, that begins at 3:30 p.m. The popular and very exclusive racing tour will include IRL IndyCar® Series' Fernandez Racing, located in the northwest side of Indianapolis, NHRA's championship drag racing's Don Schumacher Racing, in Brownsburg, Ind., and North America's premier aerodynamic and vehicle dynamic testing facility, the Auto Research Center, also on the northwest end of the Indy metropolitan area. "This year's tour will have a great lineup of racing facilities this year," said Barbara Butz, president of CARA Charities.  "But bringing in a Formula One expert like Peter Windsor is someone that any racing fan would love to talk to about Grand Prix Racing.  Peter's knowledge and expertise with the sport is unmatched.  We are very excited about having Peter and our other speakers at part of this year's tour and presentation.
Earnhardt was paid $7 million Earnhardt was paid $7 millionA Davidson County judge released court documents Thursday that show that the late NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt made more than $7 million a year.  The disclosure puts to rest a legal fight over public access to court records and sheds light on Earnhardt's finances and health.  It also provides a rare glimpse into a NASCAR salary, which is typically a closely guarded industry secret.  Superior Court Judge Kimberly Taylor lifted a previous order and granted public access to 41 exhibits introduced as evidence in a lawsuit over a life insurance policy.  Earnhardt drove the famed No. 3 car owned by Richard Childress Racing. ThatsRacin
Industry News
Two people killed at California Speedway Two people killed at California SpeedwayTwo people were killed Thursday in a crash at California Speedway in Fontana. A private car club was renting the speedway at the time of the crash. A Porsche Carrera GT crashed into a retaining wall and came to rest on the track's infield. Authorities said two people were in the vehicle at the time of the crash. One person was pronounced dead at the scene. The second person in the car was transported by Mercy Air to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. That person later died. The track is home to the California 500, Nextel Cup 500, the Toyota Indy 400 and other motorsport events. The 2-mile D-shaped oval surrounds an infield portion used for road courses and a 13-turn interior test circuit. Private parties can rent the track to turn laps. NBC4.tv
Stewart: Patrick has earned a shot at NASCAR Stewart: Patrick has earned a shot at NASCARNow that Danica Patrick has created a flood of publicity and generated new interest in the open-wheel racing ranks, is it time for the stock car folks to go find a petite and pretty driver and put her in the starting grid for every Nextel Cup race? The often painfully frank Tony Stewart put the brakes on that venture yesterday, saying during a visit to Michigan International Speedway that it should only occur under the "right" circumstances.

Stewart thinks everyone should climb the same ladder in stock car racing, and he wants no part of any move that has even a hint of publicity stunt or marketing ploy to it. I don't think that's the right way to do it," the 2002 Winston Cup champion said. "I don't think we need to rush that. I don't think they need to just find a woman and put her in the race car and say, here, we need to do this because we need a woman out there like Danica Patrick. I think that is the wrong reason to do that."

Patrick, who shook the racing world with her fourth-place finish in Sunday's Indy 500 - a race she led three times for a total of 19 laps - has earned Stewart's respect after she worked her way through the developmental circuits for several years before getting her first qualifying run at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in early May.

"Danica is there for the right reasons, not the wrong reasons," Stewart said. "She has earned her way up there, she's got the talent to do the job and do it right, and she is serious about it." More at Toledo Blade

Will Danica help Texas race too? Will Danica help Texas race too?Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) President Eddie Gossage appeared on ESPNews last night and discussed the effect Danica Patrick’s performance at the Indy 500 will have on the sport and specifically the next race at TMS, the Bombardier Learjet 500. Gossage: “We’ve gotten a number of media requests from folks that had not planned to come cover the race that are now coming ... and that’s a big, big deal.” ESPNews
Indy 500 Ad Monitor: Toyota Is Leading Advertiser Indy 500 Ad Monitor: Toyota Is Leading AdvertiserThe following chart presents the national advertisers on ABC’s broadcast of Sunday’s Indianapolis 500. The feed was monitored from Charlotte’s WSOC-ABC, but regional ads are not included in the chart. Advertisers are listed in terms of frequency and length of spots. More....
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Kimi still stirred
'Pit or be pitted' - Mosley
Ilmor arm sold
Davidson 'no' to Champ Car
Trulli torrid tale
DC to keep riding 'Bull
Renault defend McLaren
Piquet to drive Dad's F1
Heidfeld 'like Schumacher'
'06 'Bull set for wind tunnel
Peter Collins
'Sigh of relief'
Canada resurfaced
'My man's bound for title'
Trulli sleeps in spare room
Industry news
Toyota most efficient car maker Toyota most efficient car makerToyota Motor Co. has moved past Nissan Motor Co. as the most efficient producer of new cars and trucks in North America, according to the annual Harbour report released Thursday. Toyota was also the most-improved automaker in the annual study, which tracks how many labor hours it takes an automaker to assemble a vehicle, stamp out its parts and build the engine and transmission.

General Motors Corp. remained the most efficient among the three Detroit automakers, though still a few hours behind Toyota, Nissan or Honda. It was followed by the Chrysler Group, which made the most improvements over the last three years, reducing its labor hours by 19 percent.  Ford Motor Co. was last among the six automakers ranked by the Harbour report.

The report ranks Toyota production efficiency the best overall, even though the automaker's assembly plants in Princeton, Ind., and Cambridge, Ontario, did not participate in the study -- as they have not in the past. Several of Nissan's and Honda Motor Co.'s plants also did not participate this year, which also has happened in previous years.

"Toyota's labor productivity lead equates to a $350 to $500 per vehicle cost advantage relative to domestic manufacturers," said Harbour President Ron Harbour, whose firm has been doing annual surveys or automotive labor efficiency in North America since 1994.

On average, Toyota needs 27.9 labor hours to build a vehicle. That figure includes both hourly and salaried workers at a plant. Nissan needs about 29.4 labor hours per vehicle, followed by Honda at 32 hours. GM required 34.3 labor hours per vehicle, the fewest number of hours any of the domestic hours have ever needed to build a vehicle.

GM had the most efficient plant in North America as its Oshawa, Ontario, #1 plant edged past Nissan's Altima line in Smyrna, Tenn. Oshawa, which builds the Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo, used 15.85 labor hours per vehicle.

Nissan, which had been the most efficient automaker in the Harbor report for several years, was the one automaker to fare worse in this year's study than last year's..  Harbour said that was because the automaker introduced several redesigned products in 2004, including the Maxima sedan, Pathfinder SUV and the Frontier pickup at its Smyrna plant. Detroit Free Press

Lally to Compete in Prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans Lally to Compete in Prestigious 24 Hours of Le MansAndy Lally will join Miracle Motorsports for the 2005 24 Hours of Le Mans.  Lally, a Northport, N.Y. native who currently resides in Dacula, Ga., will join teammates John Macaluso and Ian James in their Courage C65 AER turbo LMP2 car for the team's first trip to the 13.6-kilometer open-road course near Sarthe, France.

"I'm thrilled," Lally said. "I am very thankful to John for giving me the chance to race at Le Mans. I had a chance to test the car at Road Atlanta as well as Sebring in the last month, and it is such a pleasure [to drive] and so fun."

Lally has been a star of the American Le Mans Series and the Grand American Rolex Series for many years. Although this is his first trip to Le Mans, he won the 24 Hours of Daytona as well as Grand American's Sports Racing Prototype II championship in 2001.

"It's going to be a tough race," Lally said. "My class is the most competitive than it has ever been.  We'll treat it like any other endurance race," he added.  "There is a ton of preparation needed to be able to do this race right and there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work by the crew that is so important.  The pressure is then on us to take their baby and keep it safe for 24 hours," he continued. "The cars must be taken care of and driven smart in order to make it to the finish."

What comes to most drivers' minds when they envision Le Mans is the famous Mulsanne Straight, an 8.4-mile stretch that allows drivers to push their machines to their maximum potential.

"It [the Mulsanne Straight] will be pretty wild," Lally said. "It's an event really. I look at it as an accomplishment the first time, putting the pedal down. Then I will put the neat factor behind me and focus on keeping the car in one piece and helping my team do what they need to do to make the car as bullet proof as possible."

Miracle Motorsports will have to be "bullet proof," as it faces 14 other entries in its class.   Lally is confident in his team's abilities and chances. Miracle Motorsports won its class at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2004 and 2005.

"If we can finish the race, stay out of the pits as much as possible except for fuel, I believe we have a very good chance," Lally said. "The package is good and the drivers are good. As long as the car doesn't break and we keep our heads on our shoulders, we'll do OK."

Second day of testing for Scuderia Second day of testing for ScuderiaSecond day of testing this week for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, once again working at two circuits, Monza and Silverstone.

At the Italian track, Marc Gene continued with a program centered on Bridgestone tire development and aerodynamics for the forthcoming races. The Spanish tester completed a total of 115 laps, the quickest in a time of 1’21”536.

At the circuit which hosts the British Grand Prix on 10th July, Rubens Barrichello continued with work begun yesterday by Luca Badoer, on finding the best set-up for the F2005. The Brazilian driver covered a total of 79 laps, setting a best time of 1’20”287.

The Scuderia continues testing tomorrow, as per the following schedule, again with Barrichello at Silverstone and Gene at Monza. Ferrari

Richer, safer circuit could lure Patrick Richer, safer circuit could lure Patrick[Editor's Note: Although at least one motorsports writer is already predicting the eminent demise of Champ Car because the IRL has Danica, this article points out that the IRL's joy may be short-lived. The IRL's young, female driver may well seek out a safer mode of racing.] Danica Patrick has a dazzling future in motor racing. But which kind?

Never before in its 10-year history has the Indy Racing League had a property remotely as valuable as the 23-year-old woman who this week is the first Indy driver on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 20 years.

She was singularly responsible for a 40 percent spike in ABC's Indy 500 TV ratings, this year over last, to the best in eight years. Because of her, Indy beat NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte--even with the 600's prime-time slot to Indy's afternoon--in ratings for the first time in four years.

For this she is being paid only nominally by professional racing standards. And she is driving cars with mysterious safety flaws.

She could lead IndyCar racing into a stunning resurgence. Or she could be lured away by the much higher salaries and safer workplaces of NASCAR or Formula One.

American open-wheel racing has fumbled away godsends before.

CART ignored Jeff Gordon at the dawn of his career. Tony Stewart, when he was the IRL's star and potential savior, couldn't make a decent salary.

This time, with Patrick, it won't be nearly as simple for the IRL as fighting the fat checkbooks of NASCAR. That's because the even bigger money of Formula One is afloat.

Michael Schumacher's manager, Willi Weber--for just one--has shown significant interest in signing Patrick to a long-term deal, sources say.

Weber may have more money in his petty-cash drawer than team owner Bobby Rahal is paying Patrick--in the low six figures, by best estimates from the vibes at Indy.

Stewart reportedly makes a base salary of $8 million a year from Joe Gibbs, so you can imagine what a real money machine like Hendrick Motorsports would pay for an instant household name. Patrick on the same team with Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson? Competing with Dale Earnhardt Jr.?

Could she handle stock cars? Ford Motor Co. racing chieftains privately had her test a Busch car a few years ago, and she wowed them.

Now the frightening part: There was an alarming outbreak of back and neck injuries to drivers in IRL cars during May at Indianapolis. More at ChicagoTribune.com
Cleveland GP lands title sponsor Cleveland GP lands title sponsorContinuing  its efforts to secure and activate sponsorship from leading, locally-based businesses, the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank today announced that Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes has entered into an agreement to serve as an official sponsor of the Grand Prix for both the 2005 and 2006 events.

“Sherwin-Williams is one of the most established and well-respected companies in Northeastern Ohio, with a quality brand that is recognized around the world,” said Rena Shanaman, General Manager of the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland. “We’re very pleased to welcome them aboard as a sponsor and we’re delighted that Sherwin-Williams has committed to the Grand Prix not only for this year, but for next year as well. We’re certainly excited about building our relationship with this important Cleveland company in the future.”

The partnership with Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes represents the first time in the 24-year history of the popular race event that the Cleveland-based business will serve as an official sponsor of the Grand Prix. One of Cleveland’s most anticipated and well-attended summer celebrations, the annual Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank will be run at Burke Lakefront Airport, June 24-26.

“For years, some of the biggest names in racing have trusted their car finishes to Sherwin-Williams,” said Blair LaCour, President and General Manager, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes Corp. “It was only natural for us to expand that partnership as a proud sponsor of one of Ohio’s most exciting sporting events – the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland. With our headquarters in Cleveland, and hundreds of employees who call this city home, we felt it was important to team up with such a tremendous event that benefits the entire greater Cleveland community.”

Sherwin-Williams’ agreement with the Grand Prix will include full hospitality and entertainment elements for this year’s race and the on-track activities will also feature a dedicated Sherwin-Williams pace car as part of the relationship.

In addition to establishing the sponsorship with Sherwin-Williams, race officials also unveiled details of several other special promotional partnerships for this year’s race. The Grand Prix is proud to team with Giant Eagle, one of the nation’s largest food retailers and distributors and the top supermarket retailer in Northeast Ohio. The race has also established a relationship with GetGo – from Giant Eagle fuel stations and convenience stores.

Through the affiliation with Giant Eagle and GetGo, customers who purchase a 20-ounce Coke or Diet Coke product can receive a voucher for either a free Friday, June 24 Grand Prix event ticket or $5 off the purchase of any grandstand ticket for Saturday, June 25 or Sunday, June 26.  The promotion is being offered at more than 60 participating GetGo locations throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio

Two Cleveland-area Giant Eagle supermarket locations will also host special Grand Prix Parking Lot parties in the month of June. Through its affiliation with race sponsor U.S. Bank and the Grand Prix, the Giant Eagle Parking Lot parties will feature activities including appearances by local radio personalities, interactive games and prizes, show car displays and Giant Eagle food sampling. Grand Prix ticket vouchers will be distributed to all party attendees, providing free access to Friday’s event festivities or a $5 discount on the purchase of a Saturday and/or Sunday grandstand race ticket. The Rocky River Giant Eagle, located at 22160 Center Ridge Road, will host the first parking lot party on Saturday, June 11 from noon to 2:00 p.m. The Broadview Heights Giant Eagle, located at 7400 Broadview Road, will be the site for the second event the following Saturday, June 18 from noon to 2:00 p.m.

The Grand Prix also announced that Gillingham Ford will serve as the Official Car Dealership of this year’s event.  Gillingham Ford will provide trucks as official Grand Prix vehicles during race week and the dealership will also feature the new Saleen Mustang on display at the Roar by the Shore on race weekend.

Through an agreement with Paramount Distillers, Corazon DeAgave will be the Official Tequila for the 2005 Grand Prix of Cleveland. Corazon tequila is produced by Sidney Franks Import & Company.

Returning as a race sponsor this summer after several years without serving as an active partner of the race, both the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com are back as associate sponsors in 2005.  Both the Plain Dealer, Cleveland’s top newspaper, and Cleveland.com, the leading source for Northeast Ohio’s news on the World Wide Web, will partner with the Grand Prix to promote the Twilight ticket plan for Saturday, June 25. Fans can purchase a lower reserved grandstand ticket for just $20 and get an opportunity to see all of the exciting Saturday night action after 4 p.m. ET at the Grand Prix. The evening activities include the conclusion of the Trans-Am Road Racing series event, the Formula Ford 2000 race, action from both the SPEED Touring Car and GT series and a special drifting exhibition by the Formula Drift competitors. Cleveland Plain-Dealer

Industry News
Japanese join US in sales decline Japanese join US in sales declineMay was a double-digit downer for several big automakers -- domestic and foreign -- and the continuing weak performance will result in a nationwide reaction to reduce the number of new cars and trucks that have built up on dealer lots this year.  Several local automakers said Wednesday they will cut production in factories through September and offer a variety of new incentive programs to generate sales. One of those efforts, offered by General Motors Corp., will give many consumers the big discounts usually reserved only for employees.

The Detroit-based GM, Dearborn-based Ford Motor Co. and Auburn Hills-based Chrysler Group all announced that sales of their new cars and trucks declined in May compared to the same period a year ago.  But they weren't alone. Japanese automakers Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. also reported that sales were off.

The most noteworthy losses for May, compared to the same month a year ago, were posted by:
•Honda, which was down 14.7% compared with the same month a year ago. Cars such as the Accord and Civic were down substantially, dragging on the overall performance of the company.
•GM, which was down 12.6%. Of the company's eight brands, only Cadillac and Hummer posted sales improvements.
•Ford, which was down 10.6 %. All of the company's six brands posted declines despite some boosts from new products, such as the Ford Mustang sports car.

Most other major automakers posted smaller declines: 2.5% at DaimlerChrysler AG, which includes the local Chrysler Group, and 0.5% at Toyota. Detroit Free Press

Start Your Engines for Meals On Wheels Start Your Engines for Meals On WheelsStart Your Engines for Meals On Wheels
Thursday, August 25, 2005
6 :00 – 9:00 pm
Please join the Michael Andretti Foundation and Andretti Winery for an evening charity benefit that will bring the stars of the IndyCar series to the Andretti Winery for an entertaining and enjoyable evening.  Join us for a fabulous evening of gourmet appetizers, wine tasting, racing stars and entertainment along with a silent auction of a wonderful assortment of items all in the beautiful setting of the Andretti Winery.   In this fun and educational event, we will combine two of the things the Andrettis love best….. Racing and Wine…..  We will have guests from both Andretti Green Racing and the Andretti Winery at the event to educate you on some of the dynamics of both industries.

The evening’s activities will take place beginning at 6:00 pm with wine tasting out on the back courtyard overlooking the beautiful Andretti Winery vineyards.  Andretti Green Racing owner Michael Andretti and his four IndyCar drivers, Dario Franchitti, Bryan Herta, Tony Kanaan and 2005 Indy 500 Winner Dan Wheldon will participate in a question and answer session with guests during the evening.  The Andretti Winery Winemaker Bob Pepi, will also be providing information on the process of making the best wine on the market, Andretti Wines. 

Guests will have the opportunity to bid on unique auction items featuring racing collectibles, wine, travel, and lifestyle items with proceeds benefiting the Meals on Wheels Program for the Community Action of Napa Valley.  Tickets are available for $100 each and can be purchased by contacting: foundation@andretti.com Andretti.com

Nothing to prove Nothing to proveDidn't Janet Guthrie prove that women could compete with men 28 years ago? Didn't Lyn St. James prove it in the 1990s? Heck, Sarah Fisher proved it as recently as last year. How quickly most of us forget.

As the first woman to lead a lap in the Indianapolis 500 and the first woman to finish as high as fourth, Patrick deserves your applause. But the only thing she proved Sunday is that she's a good driver with a good team behind her.

One groundbreaking performance doesn't make a career. Guthrie broke the Indianapolis 500 gender barrier in 1977. She raced three times at Indy, finishing ninth in 1978. St. James raced seven times at Indy, finishing 11th in 1992. Fisher raced five times at Indy, beginning in 2000. All three women were good drivers. But the buzz surrounding them died down pretty quickly.

How fortunate for Patrick that she has Team Rahal Letterman behind her. Because, at Indy, the car means a lot. And how fortunate for Patrick that she has sponsorship. You see, for women, it has never been about the driving. It has always been about the financing -- getting it and keeping it. Without it, a driver can't hope to win -- or even to finish as high as fourth.

Guthrie once told me she was forced out of racing because she couldn't get adequate sponsorship. Given the harsh economic reality she faced, the fact that Guthrie even made it to Indianapolis is astonishing. But even after performing well there, she couldn't attract sponsorship.

"And my record compared with anyone's,'' Guthrie said during a 1999 interview. "It's a disgrace that money still isn't available to women racers.''

That was six years ago. Not surprisingly, not much has changed since then. Which means little has changed since Guthrie first came on the scene more than 40 years ago. Sure, Patrick has been able to obtain the necessary money to compete, which is a great thing. But Patrick is only one woman, and there's only so much money to go around. There are lots of women in racing, and they would love to have the same kind of opportunity Patrick has been given.  More at Chicago Sun-Times

Mario Andretti to appear in Toronto Mario Andretti to appear in TorontoAhead of the Toronto Champ Car race, Mario Andretti will greet fans and sign autographs Saturday, June 11 from 1:00 pm until 3:00 pm at the Tirecraft Auto Centre located at 1976 Kipling Avenue in Toronto, Ontario. A longtime spokesman for Chevron, Mario will be in town to promote the high quality automotive products provided by Chevron to Tirecraft. Chevron is one of Tirecraft's critical partners, providing high quality automotive products. Mario's visit on June 11 reaffirms his loyalty to that company, and the long-term winning relationship he and Chevron have built together.
Industry News
Possible new CA track in works Possible new CA track in worksOn a swath of farmland northeast of Atwater, the hum of engines is much rarer than the sound of wind blowing through almond trees. Maybe not for long.  Riverside Motorsports Park, LLC, wants to build a massive, eight-track race park on a former 1,187-acre almond farm adjacent to Castle Airport Aviation and Development Center.

Riverside officials say they plan to spend about $200 million - not including environmental mitigation - to create an entertainment destination for racers and fans from all over the country. Organizers say their events could draw a maximum audience of 50,000 a few times a year, but crowds would more frequently hover around 10,000.

They say they want a world-class track that can host events with NASCAR, NHRA, the Indy Racing League, Champ Car World Series and any of the other 40 national racing sanctioning bodies. They also see a place for summer concerts, a thriving business park, automotive schools and an educational relationship with engineering students at the University of California, Merced.

But opponents have a different vision: more traffic, pollution and noise. They worry about how the sounds of race cars, trucks, motorcycles and go-karts and pollution will affect public health, and how the developers can make up for the farmland the raceway would destroy.

Merced County Supervisor Mike Nelson, whose district covers the southern portion of the project site, calls the raceway a polarizing issue. "On one hand, this could bring a lot of jobs, not only to the Castle area but to the whole county," Nelson said. "On the other hand, you've got what could be considered major environmental challenges. "So the question will be: Is RMP able to mitigate for those environmental challenges?" Merced Sun-Star

Texas Governor signs fan alcohol law Texas Governor signs fan alcohol lawTexas Gov. Rick Perry today signed into law the “fan choice” legislation that will allow for the first time fans to purchase beer and wine in the grandstand during race weekends at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS).  TMS becomes the first sports facility in the state of Texas to serve beer and wine and also allow fans to bring their own coolers with alcoholic beverages into the facility.  The bill authorizes the granting of temporary beer and wine permits during major event weekends, such as NASCAR or IRL races.  The change only affects the grandstand area and will not apply to the infield luxury suites or Speedway Club. TMS
New ticket packages for Denver GP New ticket packages for Denver GPThe CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver Presented by PacifiCare announced today new ticket packages that will enhance the race weekend experience. These new packages offer cost savings for families, access to Six Flags Elitch Gardens and tickets for Grand Prix fans.

"There is such a variety of things to do at the Grand Prix that we wanted to make it convenient and fun for our guests to come out and experience everything the race weekend has to offer," said Jim Freudenberg, Grand Prix of Denver's general manager. "We have partnered with Six Flags Elitch Gardens, Coors Light and Pepsi to put together ticket packages that will make the Grand Prix affordable and fun all weekend long."

The following ticket packages are available for purchase at www.gpdenver.com, at TicketMaster outlets or on www.ticketmaster.com:

Race N' Ride: $30

Combination general admission ticket for both the Grand Prix of Denver and Six Flags Elitch Gardens

* Tickets must be purchased in advance
* Six Flags Elitch Gardens ticket is valid for one day- Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
* Grand Prix of Denver ticket is valid for one day-- Friday, Saturday or Sunday and is general admission
* Parking
* Six Flags Elitch Gardens $9.00 (regular price)
* Grand Prix $20 (regular price)
* Blue ticket gate (bridge connecting Elitch's and Grand Prix) will be open for Race N' Ride customers only

Pepsi Family Four Pack: $74
* Four Sunday general admission tickets to the Grand Prix of Denver
* Four hot dog coupons
* Four Pepsi drink coupons

Coors Race Pack: $80
* Two Reserved Saturday/Sunday Tickets with choice of Grandstands 2 through 7
* Two Coors beers per ticket (four total)

Raikkonen fastest at Silverstone Raikkonen fastest at SilverstoneKimi Raikkonen bounced back from his European Grand Prix heartbreak by setting a stunning pace on the second day of testing this week at Silverstone. Raikkonen clocked a lap of 1m18.140s finishing over a second quicker than the next fastest driver - McLaren tester Pedro de la Rosa. Conditions were overcast but there was none of the rain that cut yesterday's testing short. McLaren had a much better day than any of their rivals as the team worked on tire testing and set-up for next month's British Grand Prix. While Raikkonen had a trouble free session, De la Rosa's day was interrupted by an engine failure mid morning but he was back on track after the lunch break. Jenson Button set an encouraging pace for BAR Honda in third. The British driver spent the day testing aerodynamic modifications to the BAR007 while team mate Takuma Sato focused on tire testing for the entire day completing 163 laps.
1 . K. Raikkonen - McLaren Mercedes MP4- 20 - 1:18.144 (+ 0.000 ) - 103 laps
2 . P. de la Rosa - McLaren Mercedes MP4- 20 - 1:19.212 (+ 1.068 ) - 72 laps
3 . G. Fisichella - Renault R25 - 1:19.286 (+ 1.142 ) - 101 laps
4 . J. Button - BAR Honda 007 - 1:19.601 (+ 1.457 ) - 99 laps
5 . F. Alonso - Renault R25 - 1:19.769 (+ 1.625 ) - 87 laps
6 . D. Coulthard - Red Bull Racing RB1 - 1:19.773 (+ 1.629 ) - 72 laps
7 . J. Trulli - Toyota TF105 - 1:19.983 (+ 1.839 ) - 108 laps
8 . T. Sato - BAR Honda 007 - 1:20.135 (+ 1.991 ) - 166 laps
9 . R. Barrichello - Ferrari F2005 - 1:20.276 (+ 2.132 ) - 79 laps
10 . C. Klien - Red Bull Racing RB1 - 1:20.542 (+ 2.398 ) - 96 laps
11 . R. Schumacher - Toyota TF105 - 1:20.654 (+ 2.510 ) - 68 laps
12 . N. Heidfeld - BMW Williams FW27 - 1:20.947 (+ 2.803 ) - 93 laps
13 . M. Webber - BMW Williams FW27 - 1:21.085 (+ 2.941 ) - 79 laps
14 . T. Monteiro - Jordan Toyota EJ15 - 1:23.263 (+ 5.119 ) - 105 laps
Gene outpaces Massa Gene outpaces MassaFerrari test driver Marc Gené outpaced Sauber Petronas driver Felipe Massa by half a second on the second day of testing this week at Monza, Italy. Gené and Massa were the only two drivers in action today. Gené was working mainly on tire testing while Massa's focus was set-up work and tire testing for the US Grand Prix at Indianapolis. It was a hot and sunny day at the circuit with air temperature reaching 29 degrees Centigrade.

The second day of testing this week for Ferrari saw the squad once again working at two circuits, Monza and Silverstone. At the Italian track, Marc Gene continued with a program centered on Bridgestone tire development and aerodynamics for the forthcoming races. The Spanish tester completed a total of 115 laps, the quickest in a time of 1:21.536s. At the circuit which hosts the British Grand Prix on 10th July, Rubens Barrichello continued with work begun yesterday by Luca Badoer, on finding the best set-up for the F2005. The Brazilian driver covered a total of 79 laps, setting a best time of 1:20.287 which was good enough for ninth fastest of the 14 drivers on track. Ferrari continues testing tomorrow, as per the following schedule, again with Barrichello at Silverstone and Gene at Monza. Michael Schumacher is taking a holiday in Canada ahead of the Montreal round of the championship. Ferrari

Balanced article on Danica Patrick Balanced article on Danica PatrickThis article in the Dallas Morning News is pretty fair and balanced on all the hoopla (sex appeal) surrounding Danica. He (not the usual motorsports writer Terry Blount) does not belittle or degrade her, he just points out that her photo spread probably had more to do with her attention than any previous on-track results. He makes mention of Katherine Legge's success (talent) and another female racer. He also mentions that "Indy" was once racing's greatest stage. All in all, it's not quite the jump on the bandwagon articles most writers have been doing. That having been said, IRL races in Fort Worth in a couple of weeks and chances are he'll be singing a different tune then.
Other winners in Danica mania Other winners in Danica maniaIt seems that Argent Mortgage and Honda should also be very happy about the amount of coverage Danica is receiving. In every interview and photo, she is wearing her driver's suit or a sponsor logo shirt. Do you think the exposure her sponsors are getting will draw any new sponsors to American open wheel racing?  How can American open wheel racing capitalize on the momentum from Indy? Now seems the best time for Champ Car and IRL to announce a common formula for 2007 and the joint five or six races. This would give both series 18 months to properly market this (friendly) rivalry. They could steal a page from NASCAR when it comes to this type of marketing. John Farney
How bad was ABC’s Danica cheerleading? How bad was ABC’s Danica cheerleading?In Richmond, Jerry Lindquist, on ABC replacing Paul Page with Harris: “Viewers lose. [Page’s] professionalism was missed.” Harris’ “enthusiasm for the event was over the edge” RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 5/30. In Toronto, Chris Zelkovich wrote Harris “compared [Patrick’s] accomplishment to those of Amelia Earhart and Sally Ride.” When Wheldon passed Patrick, Harris “let out an audible groan. Of course, Harris may have just been following ABC’s lead. They focused on Patrick all day, even when she was near the back of the pack” TORONTO STAR, 5/30. In Houston, David Barron, during ABC’s pre-race show plus the first 90 minutes of the race, “counted an average of one Patrick reference every five minutes, and each reference generally went on for some time” HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/30. In Orlando, Jerry Greene wrote Harris “said many stupid things Sunday because of Ms. Patrick’s efforts. One remark was ‘50 years from now, you will remember where you were.’ I seriously doubt it, Todd” ORLANDO SENTINEL, 5/31. NEWSDAY’s Steve Zipay wrote Harris during the final laps “raised the volume in what seemed suspiciously like rooting for Patrick” NEWSDAY, 5/31 

While the presence and solid performance of Danica Patrick helped ABC’s Indy 500 ratings, in N.Y., Dave Caldwell noted viewership also was “helped by the absence of rain delays and a starting time” of 1:00pm ET, one hour later than usual N.Y. TIMES, 5/31. ABC Sports VP/Media Relations Mark Mandel: “It was obvious there was a great deal of interest in this year’s race due to the realistic expectations that Danica would do well. We also had great weather and a terrific finish and as a result we had a great rating” CNNMONEY.com, 5/30. But N.Y.-based Mindshare USA Exec Dir of National Broadcast Jason Maltby said of Patrick, “I don’t think [the rating] has anything to do with her. It has to do with the base level of interest in IRL. It’s pretty much the Indy 500, and then what else is there?” Baltimore SUN, 6/1  Compiled by Sports Business Daily

Let's talk about a female that can win races Let's talk about a female that can win racesEnough of the Danica Patrick mania, here's an article about a female race driver, Katherine Legge, that has proven she can win races, having won her first time out in the ultra-competitive Toyota Atlantic series. When Danica proves she can win a race, we will be the first to congratulate her.
Exploitation of Danica Patrick is wrong Exploitation of Danica Patrick is wrongThe challenge was issued. The gauntlet was thrown down. Can Danica Patrick, the 23-year-old, ultra talented, ultra hot female Indy Racing League driver, turn yours truly into an auto racing fan?

And the answer is no. Why? So glad you asked.  It's because Danica is ultra hot, and because Danica is female.

Let me make this extremely clear. I'm all for women's sports, even consider myself a proponent of Title IX despite its inherent flaws. I have no problem with Danica taking on the boys. Actually, I think it's pretty cool and hope she wins the Indianapolis 500 one of these days.  What I'm against, however, is how the media publicizes a select few of today's female athletes, and this weekend was a perfect example.

The fact of the matter is, Patrick is talented. Anyone who saw her finish fourth in the Indy 500 and pull out of that spin on Sunday knows she can handle a car, even if some believe she has an advantage because she weighs 100 pounds and IRL does not include drivers when setting its weight restrictions on cars.

But her abilities on the track are only part of the reason she's supposed to unite two factions of auto racing and bring Indy racing back into the mainstream after sucking NASCAR's exhaust for the last decade.

It's only part of the reason people like   me, who could care less about the "sport," are suddenly supposed to pay attention. The real reason is because Danica is attractive, and if you're a female athlete these days, unfortunately, that is still the only way to grab the typical sports fan's attention (read: men).

Talent is nice, but sex sells. Always has, always will. Just ask Anna Kournikova. The fact Patrick happens to have both good looks and talent separates her from Kournikova and instead places her alongside marketable female athletes such as Mia Hamm, Serena Williams, Jennie Finch, Heather Mitts and Lisa Harrison, to name a few. Certainly there's no shame in that.

But let's face it. Indy was becoming obsolete before Danica - anybody know who won last year or the year before? ? and if she looked like a cross between Bea Arthur and a duckbill platypus, there's no way the media would have converged on the Brickyard in the manner it did.

For as much as we've talked about the rise in women's sports in the last two decades or so, when TV is involved and there's millions of dollars at stake, it still comes back to sex appeal.  And that's wrong. More at Inside Bay Area

Milwaukee Trivia Milwaukee TriviaThe Milwaukee Mile saw a different type of horsepower when first opened in 1876 as a horse-racing track. Automobiles began racing around the one mile track in 1903, making it the oldest continuously operating motor speedway in the world. That does not mean that it was used for racing exclusively though, in the 1930s the Green Bay Packers played two games a year in the infield of the track. Champ Cars made their first appearance at The Milwaukee Mile on July 17, 1933. But before the 100-mile race could get underway, a rainstorm hit the track, washing out the show. A group of drivers, led by Wilbur Shaw, convinced the promoter to run the race the following day, in the process coining the now-popular term "rain date." Mauri Rose went on to win that first event.

1954- The year that the Milwaukee Mile was first paved. 1933- The first year Champ Car first raced at the Milwaukee Mile. 1876- The Milwaukee Mile Opens as a privately owned horse-race track. 289- Number of laps that Paul Tracy has led on his way to three Champ Car victories at the Milwaukee Mile (1995, 1999, and 2002) 250-Number of laps led by Ryan Hunter-Reay on route to setting a new single event Champ Car Record for laps led. (2004) 102 – How many years race cars have been racing at Milwaukee. 100- Number of miles in the first race Champ Car ran at the Milwaukee Mile. 27- Number of points Green Bay Packers beat the New York Giants in the 1939 NFL Championship game played in the infield of the Milwaukee Mile. 7- Highest number of wins a single driver (Rodger Ward) has recorded at the Mile. 1.032- The actual distance around the Milwaukee Mile.

Piquet Jr to drive FW11B at Goodwood Piquet Jr to drive FW11B at GoodwoodNelson Piquet Jr will be following in the footsteps of his triple- Formula One title-winning father at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, on 24, 25 and 26 June, when he drives a 1987 Williams-Honda FW11B, the same car with which Nelson Piquet Senior won his final Formula One World Championship.

“I’m really excited about going to such a big event," Piquet stated. "I’ve heard a lot about Goodwood, and how fantastic it is, and I think it’s going to be great being a part of the whole thing. I’m really excited about driving the FW11B. It’s really special to me to have the opportunity to drive that car. This is the same F1 car that my father won the World Championship with in 1987, when I was only two years old."

The 2005 event is themed as ‘Racing Colors - National Pride and Culture’, and is designed to celebrate the essence of different countries’ sporting passions. 19-year-old Piquet embraces much of the well-established passion of motorsport in Brazil, and he will be attending the Festival of Speed to fly the flag for the country that has brought to motorsport true heroes such as Ayrton Senna, Emerson Fittipaldi, Rubens Barrichello and, of course, his father, Nelson Piquet.

"I’ve driven current F1 cars with Williams and BAR Honda over the last couple of years, but today’s cars are so different to those my father drove. My GP2 car is pretty powerful and has no technical aids, but I’m sure this will be a completely different experience. When you think of how much the cars and technology have changed, and how much power the cars had back then..."
"The great thing about this event is that I’m going to be able to do everything I love - drive a great car, meet really interesting people who have achieved things that I want to achieve, and get to look at a lot of special cars. Driving in front of the British fans for the first time since I won the British F3 title is going to be pretty special too. I live in Britain, so to be able to take part at Goodwood, whilst also representing Brazil, my family, and my heritage, makes me really proud.”

The prestigious Goodwood Festival of Speed has achieved worldwide recognition as the biggest motorsport celebration of the year, and attracts a who’s who of motorsport royalty from across the ages. Piquetsports

Minardi switching to Noran Engineering Minardi switching to Noran EngineeringNoran Engineering, Inc. (www.NENastran.com) announced that the Minardi Formula 1 Race Team of Faenza, Italy has completed an intensive six month evaluation program and has selected NEiNastran finite element analysis software for the future design and analysis of its race cars.

Minardi revealed that NEiNastran will be used in the design of its monocoque carbon fiber chassis in which a thorough and comprehensive analysis will render everything digitally, down to the smallest fiber. This will allow the chassis to be tested accurately and precisely in FEA to meet stringent safety standards. In addition, a host of design criteria including aerodynamics, flexural stiffness, structural requirements for suspension and engine mounting and weight can be analyzed. This ability to perform highly accurate analyses will enable Minardi designers to wring the most performance out of their designs, reduce their design-to-fabrication cycle time, and result in monetary savings by reducing the number of iterations needed in the thorough testing program prototypes must undergo.

Paolo Marabini, Chief Engineer for Structures and Calculation at Minardi F1 Team, commented on their software change, “We have chosen NEiNastran after an extensive and detailed internal benchmarking process, comparing the results, the performance and the features of the solver developed by Noran Engineering Inc. with those of our former FEA platform. Full compatibility, accuracy, along with the professionalism and quick turnaround of the technical support from Noran Engineering and SmartCAE have been the main reasons why we selected NEiNastran as our FEA software for the future.”

DEI team is self-destructing DEI team is self-destructingUPDATE Former Budweiser Chevrolet crew chief Pete Rondeau told Sirius Speedway (MRN/Sirius Satellite Radio) host Dave Moody that he is baffled by his release from the team, saying he gave Dale Earnhardt, Jr., exactly what he asked for. "At the beginning, he said he wanted me to be the crew chief, and let him be the driver. I tried giving him information over the radio on race day, but he told me I was talking too much. I stopped giving him that information, and not long after, I was shown the door. Now they say I wasn't communicating. I'm not sure they even know what they want." Rondeau confirmed that a clause in his contract required him to be given six weeks notice in the event of any performance-related issues, but that Theresa Earnhardt never signed the contract. "I asked about it a couple of weeks into the season, and was told that `It fell through the cracks.' I signed the contract, but I never got it back. Looking at the way things turned out, I guess I understand why."

Rondeau said communication with Earnhardt was frequently a bone of contention, citing an incident at Talladega Superspeedway earlier this season. "We had some issues at Talladega, and some things got said that I wasn't happy with. I told Junior that I wanted to talk with him about it after the race was over, but it never happened." He also repeated his assertion that he spoke only once with DEI Director of Competition Tony Eury, Sr., with that conversation coming at Daytona in February. "I voiced my concerns about the lack of information being exchanged between the teams, but I ran into a stone wall. It became pretty clear to me that that's the way it was going to be, and there wasn't much I could do about it. I don't know if those people were all in denial or what, but it's interesting that last weekend at Charlotte, all three teams were in the trailer talking after every practice. Maybe it took me losing my job for them to figure that out." Rondeau said he knew he was in for an uphill climb when he took the job, saying, "I wasn't sure the `team swap' deal was going to work from the start. There is a lot of competition between the teams, and the personalities of the two groups is completely different. I was afraid it was going to become an issue, and it did." He said he would like to remain in a crew chief’s position, but does not consider the car chief’s job on the DEI #1 Chevy to be a viable option. "I'm out there talking to anyone who wants to listen," he said. "We'll see what happens." MRN/Sirius Satellite Radio

05/30/05 Dale Earnhardt Jr. was jeered by the fans, criticized by his fired crew chief and ripped by his uncle, the man who typically has been his most loyal supporter. Add in his season-long slump and the five-car accident he caused in the Coca-Cola 600 by running into his teammate, and the situation becomes all too clear: NASCAR's biggest star is in big, big trouble. More....
Skinner back in the No. 23 at Dover Skinner back in the No. 23 at DoverBill Davis Racing confirmed Sunday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway that Skinner and Scott Wimmer will team up at least two more times this year to compete in the upcoming NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races at Dover International Speedway and Michigan International Speedway this month. Skinner most recently raced in the Coca-Cola 600 at LMS this past weekend, but fell out of competition early due to engine problems (started 22nd, finished 41st). He also piloted the #23 BDR Dodge last month at Talladega Superspeedway, where he was taken out of contention in the 25-car pileup on lap 132 of the 194-lap event (started 34th, finished 42nd). In February, he had an impressive performance in the #23 during the two weeks of Speedweeks competition, qualifying 13th during the time trials and finishing third—neck-and-neck with the Dale Earnhardt Inc. cars—in the first Gatorade 150 Duel, which lined him up seventh to start the 47th running of the Daytona 500. With barely 13 laps left to run in the 500, Skinner was collected in the ninth and final caution of the race, relegating him from a top-10 run to a 30th-place finish.  Skinner’s upcoming Nextel Cup Series entries are part of The History Channel’s launch of its inventive new series—“AutoManiac.” Hosted by pro wrestling and feature film star Bill Goldberg, AutoManiac episodes will focus on unique vehicles that have made a mark in history in the last century, including gangster cars, muscle cars, extreme bikes and more. The AutoManiac series premiered on The History Channel last night (June 1) at 10:00pm/et. The #23 History Channel AutoManiac Dodge made its Nextel Cup debut this past weekend in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and will run this weekend in the MBNA RacePoints 400 at Dover International Speedway, as well as later this month in the Batman Begins 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 19. To learn more about AutoManiac, go to www.historychannel.com. Bill Davis Racing
New Chassis on the way for DEI New Chassis on the way for DEIWhile some teams use chassis built in-house to incorporate details that make them more suitable to their driver's styles, DEI is taking a chassis it bought from a manufacturer and modifying it in an attempt to develop a feel that works best for Earnhardt Jr., Waltrip and Martin Truex Jr. The chassis has been tested at Kentucky Speedway, but DEI has yet to try it in a race just yet. Truex almost drove the chassis at Charlotte, but went with a more proven car. Earnhardt thinks it will make a big difference once the refined car becomes part of his arsenal. ESPN.com
Wallace Flooded with Offers Wallace Flooded with OffersThe 1989 NASCAR Cup champion spent several hours Tuesday at Kentucky Speedway testing the No. 64 Dodge he will drive in the Meijer 300 Busch Series event later this month at the 1.5-mile track.  During a break in the schedule, he joined his brother, Kenny, for a news conference previewing the June 18 race, and spoke about life beyond racing and an opportunity that could keep him in the Nextel Cup Series beyond this season.  "I don't mean to be teasing anybody with that," Wallace, 48, said, "but, boy, these offers keep coming, and you've just got to keep thinking about it.  "It just really gets enticing to think about those things." Enquirer
Charlotte Unveils $140 Million Dollar HOF Charlotte Unveils $140 Million Dollar HOFLeaders of Charlotte's bid for the NASCAR Hall of Fame unveiled detailed architectural renderings of the proposed $137.5 million facility at an uptown rally Tuesday afternoon.  The design of the structure, which would be connected to the Charlotte Convention Center, features a sweeping plaza leading to a modern structure replete with NASCAR's signature corporate sponsor banners and draped in an oval-shaped crown that resembles a track.  The design is the work of Pei, Cobb & Freed Partners, which is responsible for more than 100 high-profile projects around the world, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the John Hancock Tower in Boston and the National Gallery. Charlotte Business Journal
Drivers Say Lowe's Needs Asphalt Drivers Say Lowe's Needs AsphaltThe new smoother surface at Lowe's Motor Speedway wasn't the only problem facing Jimmie Johnson, Bobby Labonte and the rest of the Coca-Cola 600 field on Saturday night. One concrete patch broke loose early in the race and smashed into the nose of Jeff Gordon's car.  "It looked like boulders were flying," Labonte said. "There was definitely something that came apart.  "After that, the ruts were there ... but they weren't as bad as the stuff coming up."  Gordon said track owner Bruton Smith may have to repave the track after all.  "The track is too fast, the tires are too hard (for good racing)," Gordon said. "But for the most part, things were good.  "Once they fix the crack, the track may mature and really come to us and get better (before the October 500). But if not, they're going to have to repave it." Dale Earnhardt Jr. agreed with Gordon that new asphalt might be needed: "The track was real slick. It has a lot of grips in spots, and then spots where there's no grip. Winston Salem-Journal
Foyt Released from Hospital Foyt Released from HospitalLarry Foyt was released from Methodist Hospital Monday afternoon and is expected to fly home to Charlotte Tuesday. Foyt was taken to the hospital Sunday following his crash in the Indianapolis 500 on lap 15. Foyt’s No. 41 ABC Supply/Dallara/Toyota spun entering turn one spinning backwards into the SAFER Barrier. Foyt sustained a compressed vertebra and a chipped disk in his lower spine. He was fitted with a back brace on Monday and released. He is expected to make a full recovery which could take up to six weeks. Foyt Racing
Champ Car backstage Champ Car backstageHave you ever wanted to go behind-the-scenes at a Champ Car event? Here's your chance at the Milwaukee Mile as Champ Car is offering a very limited number of Champ Car: Backstage passes for the Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225 Presented by U.S. Bank.

You can experience Champ Car racing at the Milwaukee Mile in a way that they never have before! For $225 per person, here is what you get:

A Weekend Pit and Paddock Pass
A Pace Car ride on Friday with the Champ Car Fast Lap Pace Car Team
A Pit and Paddock Tour hosted by Champ Car Fast Lap Pace Car Team Drivers
A 300-level Reserved Grandstand Seat for Saturday's Race.

There are a very limited number of these special Champ Car: Backstage passes, available ONLY through The Milwaukee Mile ticket office (414) 453-8277. Must be purchased by 5 p.m. today.

Edmonton track will be racy Edmonton track will be racyA city-centre airport being quickly converted to a 3.1-kilometre street race circuit is promising a free-wheeling inaugural Grand Prix of Edmonton. "Anything can happen based on this kind of track," said Greg Macdonald, president and general manager of the new stop on the Champ Car World Series schedule. "Here, you won't win the race in qualifying."

Aircraft were still landing and taking off this week as paving crews rolled out race-quality asphalt onto the runways and tarmac that are being converted for the July 17 race. Unlike the urban tracks or racing ovals used for other auto races, the open space of an airport will mean fewer barriers, giving the drivers of 750-horsepower race cars several advantages. "Because you don't have concrete walls on each side, it's a more forgiving racetrack for the drivers," said race spokesman Sid Priddle. "The drivers will probably be able to take some extra chances to make a pass."

Macdonald says two of Canada's top drivers have already seen the track and raised their eyebrows over the possibilities for risky passing maneuvers. "This won't be a follow-the-leader race by any means," he said. "Alex Tagliani and Paul Tracy just smiled after they drove this track because they felt there's the potential for three or four cars going into turn one." More from Canadian Press

San Jose sales on target San Jose sales on targetSan Jose GP plans are on schedule. Necessary street repaving is complete. The infrastructure of fencing, bleachers and tents will start going up in early July.  Dale Jantzen, president of the organization promoting the San Jose Grand Prix, would not divulge the status of ticket sales. Word among the downtown business community is that although luxury-suite sales have been brisk, grandstand locations are moving much more slowly. Jantzen denied that and said he is pleased with sales across the board.  A quick check Tuesday of Ticketmaster.com showed that some grandstands were more full than others -- but seats were available in all categories. Organizers will be happy to sell one to Danica Patrick. Mercury News
Industry news
BMW wins Engine of the Year award BMW wins Engine of the Year awardBMW has won this year's International Engine of the Year awards with its 5.0-litre V10 unit from the new BMW M5. The 507bhp engine, which will also be seen in the forthcoming M6 Coupe, was picked by a panel of judges from around the world, who praised the engine's flexibility and high power output. The company finished second as well with the 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel engine that powers the BMW 535d. Grandprix.com
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Michelin defend F1 tires
Schu 'guru' quits F1
Sodden Speed made to wait
Magny Cours' F1 sell out
F1 'flex' to get flick
Williams and Bridgestone
Bruce McLaren
Richards - 'I may be back'
'Dull, dense' Iceman
Webber clash rued
JV marked in Sauber book
Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. Receives Distribution from CART, Inc. Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. Receives Distribution from CART, Inc.Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. ("Championship" or "Company") announced today that the bankruptcy proceedings for its wholly owned subsidiary CART, Inc. is estimated to result in a distribution to the Company of between $400,000 and $450,000, the exact amount to be dependent upon final administrative expenses and a resolution of other minor claims. The Company intends to proceed with winding up its affairs as soon as practicable.
American F1 hopeful to appear in Sports Illustrated American F1 hopeful to appear in Sports IllustratedScott Speed, who is on the cusp of becoming the first American driver in Formula One since 1993, is featured in a story in the June 6 issue of Sports Illustrated.  Speed is featured in a story entitled, "Formula Won," by SI writer Lars Anderson in the magazine's "American Speed" package. 2005 Indianapolis 500 JPMorgan Chase Rookie of the Year Danica Patrick is the cover subject of the issue, which hit newsstands Wednesday, June 1.  Sports Illustrated has a circulation of 3.3 million and reaches an audience of 20 million adults each week.

Californian Speed, 22, is competing in the new GP2 series this season, the final stepping-stone before Formula One. He has three podium finishes and is second in the point standings.  Speed is a winner of the Red Bull Driver Search, a program designed to groom top young American talent for a seat in Formula One. 1985 Indianapolis 500 winner and F1 veteran Danny Sullivan oversees the program.

Red Bull Racing may employ Speed as a test driver at the Canadian Grand Prix on June 10-12 and the United States Grand Prix on June 17-19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Red Bull Racing is one of the six F1 teams permitted to use a third car and driver during the two Friday practice sessions of a Grand Prix.  If Speed drives in practice at Montreal and Indianapolis, he would become the first driver from the United States to take part in a Grand Prix weekend since Michael Andretti finished third in the 1993 Italian Grand Prix.

General Tommy Franks Grand Marshal for Champ Car race General Tommy Franks Grand Marshal for Champ Car raceUPDATE The highly-acclaimed Albany Marine Band out of Albany, Georgia will perform during this Saturday morning’s “Salute To America’s Military Champions” at The Milwaukee Mile.  This band of fifty Marines travels throughout the United States and internationally to fulfill its mission of serving as musical ambassadors.  This will mark the band’s second appearance at The Milwaukee Mile.

The “Salute To America’s Military Champions” begins at 11:00 a.m. CST, with the introduction of the day’s Grand Marshal, 4-Star General Tommy Franks.  Every branch of America’s military will be represented, with past, present and future military filling the historic speedway’s front stretch.  “As a U.S. Marine veteran, I am very proud to welcome back the highly-trained members of the Albany Marine Band to perform at The Milwaukee Mile,” said Gary Girard, the speedway’s general manager.

All Active, Active Reserve and Retired Military who present Military I.D. at designated grandstand ticket windows at The Milwaukee Mile this Saturday will be admitted free to witness this special “Salute To America’s Military Champions” and the two world-class auto races that follow.  The high-speed drivers of the Champ Car World Series take to the track for 225 miles of racing at 12:00 p.m. CST, with the stock car wheelmen and women of the ARCA RE/MAX Series competing for 150 laps beginning at 2:30 p.m.  Country music legend Lee Greenwood will perform his trademark song, “God Bless The U.S.A.”

05/16/05 Four-star General Tommy Franks will lead The Milwaukee Mile’s “Salute To America’s Military Champions” on Saturday, June 4, headlining the pre-race festivities for the historic speedway’s afternoon of racing featuring a doubleheader of Champ Car World Series and ARCA RE/MAX Series action.

Franks, who will serve as the race day Grand Marshal June 4, is best known for his leadership of American and Coalition troops in two strategically unprecedented campaigns in two years – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.  He was promoted to four-star General and assigned as Commander-in-Chief, United States Central Command in June, 2000, the culmination of an almost four-decade military career.

Since his retirement from the military in 2003, the General has traveled the world speaking on leadership, character and the value of Democracy.  His autobiography, American Soldier reached Number #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list in August 2004.

Between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Saturday June 4 at The Milwaukee Mile, all six branches of the military will be represented in a unified display of past, present and future members of America’s armed forces.  This “Salute To America’s Military Champions” will serve as a prelude to the nationally-televised “Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225 presented by U.S. Bank” Champ Car race on CBS.

Military Personnel Admitted Free

As an outreach to include the participation of all active, active reserve and retired military personnel, one free ticket will be given to all servicemen and women who present Military I.D. in advance of the race at The Milwaukee Mile Ticket Office, 7722 W. Greenfield Ave., or at designated ticket booths at the speedway on Saturday June 4.  For details, call (414) 453-8277.

“As a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, it gives me great satisfaction to present a special Milwaukee Mile ‘Salute To America’s Military Champions’,” commented Milwaukee Mile GM Gary Girard.  “And to complete our salute to these fine individuals we are honored to have Gen. Tommy Franks serve as our Grand Marshal for the weekend.”

One Busy Race Weekend

For the first time, stock car racing has been added to what’s been traditionally an open-wheel weekend at America’s Legendary Oval.  The ARCA RE/MAX Series makes its return with a 150-mile contest on Saturday afternoon.  Formula Drift-sanctioned events will also introduce drifting competition to the Midwest June 3-4.  All practice and qualifying on-track action will take place on Friday, June 3.

Kicking-off an event-filled day, Formula Drift will sanction the fine-art of modified street vehicle power slide competition at 10:20 a.m. on Saturday June 4.  Gen. Franks’ participation in The Milwaukee Mile “Salute To America’s Military Champions” follows at 11 a.m.

The Champ Car “Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225 presented by U.S. Bank” Champ Car race takes the green flag at 12 p.m., with a 150-lap ARCA RE/MAX Series race starting at 2:30 p.m., all on Saturday afternoon, June 4.  For tickets and information, call (414) 453-8277, or visit www.milwaukeemile.com.

Industry news
Chevrolet continues to reach Asian audiences Chevrolet continues to reach Asian audiencesChevrolet is continuing its outreach to the Asian community by extending its New Era/Revolution advertising campaign with the introduction of a new in-language ad and the launch of an industry-leading Chinese website. Chevy will also continue its unique in-store grocery campaign begun last year.

The new website — www.chevy.com/chinese — takes Chevrolet into a pioneering position by offering an in-language site not matched in the industry. The site went live in April and offers detailed product information in Chinese. No other automaker offers such a comprehensive site.

Maria Lee Rohrer, Chevrolet manager for Diversity Advertising and Promotional efforts, said it’s critical for Chevy to reach out to the Asian audience in an applicable, genuine way.

“The U.S. is a mosaic, filled with diverse people and remarkable cultures,” Rohrer said. “Chevrolet is part of the fabric of the American mosaic, and we must do our best to reach all our nation’s people in a culturally relevant way. That means reaching this audience with the right promotions in the right language.”

Rohrer said Chevrolet is stepping up its efforts to reach Asian consumers in a number of new ways. For example, GM’s call center in Portland, Oregon launched a Chinese toll-free number with six fully trained bilingual staff members who speak Mandarin. The toll-free number is 1-866-801-8011.

Chevy’s newest Chinese television spot launches this month with two versions of a Cobalt ad. The first is in Chinese to target in-language audience, and the second version is in English to target second generation Asian Americans. The spots will run in New York, LA and San Francisco on appropriate programming. In New York, the spots are targeted for Sino Vision TV and Sino TV; in LA they will appear on KSCI-Ch 18, Power TV, the Jade Channel and Phoenix TV; and in San Francisco the spots will run on TSF and Jade TV. In addition, Chevy is running the spots on the International Channel and Phoenix TV on the National satellite.

Industry News
Josephine Ford, only granddaughter of Henry Ford, Dies at 81 Josephine Ford, only granddaughter of Henry Ford, Dies at 81Josephine Ford, the only granddaughter of company founder Henry Ford and one of the most significant philanthropists in metropolitan Detroit history, died Wednesday. She was 81 and lived in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan.

Josephine Ford, known as "Dody" to friends and family, provided unstinting financial support to arts, education, cultural and health care institutions in metropolitan Detroit. She also provided support for Acadia National Park in Maine, a state where she maintained a summer home.

"She followed in the footsteps of my grandmother in terms of giving," said Alfred Ford, one of four children of Josephine and Walter Buhl Ford II. "Her support for the arts and for outdoor activities was very important to her, as was her faithful allegiance to Ford Motor Company for many, many years."

Josephine Ford, born in 1923 to Edsel and Eleanor Ford, was the third of Henry and Clara Ford's four grandchildren. She married Walter Buhl Ford II, who came from another Ford family, and together they raised four children: Walter Buhl Ford III, Eleanor Clay Ford, Josephine Clay Ford and Alfred. Walter Buhl Ford II, a partner in the design firm Ford & Earl, died in 1991.

She became one of Ford Motor Company's largest shareholders, with more than 13 million shares of Class B stock (18 percent) at the time of her death. Those shares will remain in the hands of the Ford family.

She was a major benefactor to the Detroit Institute of Arts. Her donations included $20 million as well as a painting by Vincent Van Gogh, "The Postman", that was valued at $40 million. In addition, she bequeathed artwork to the museum.

She donated $25 million to the College for Creative Studies in Detroit to promote education in design and the creative arts. She also pledged an additional $50 million to CCS as part of a matching gift program.

She gave more than $10 million to the Henry Ford Health System, whose Josephine Ford Cancer Center is one of the largest cancer centers in Michigan and is consistently ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top cancer centers in the nation.

Her name also graces the Josephine Ford Plaza at Greenfield Village, part of The Henry Ford complex founded by her grandfather to which she donated $10 million.

"My mother brought a great deal of joy to all of us – not only family members, but members of the communities in which she was involved," said Alfred Ford. "We'll always remember her as a fun person to be with. We'll miss her."FORD

Scuderia working at Monza and Silverstone Scuderia working at Monza and SilverstoneFirst day of testing this week for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, working at two circuits, Monza and Silverstone.

At the Italian track, Marc Gene worked on Bridgestone tire development and aerodynamics for the forthcoming races. The Spanish tester completed a total of 127 laps, the quickest in a time of 1’22”381.

At the circuit which hosts the British Grand Prix on 10th July, Luca Badoer was tackling a program centered on set-up work and tires. The day was affected by adverse weather, with intermittent rain which made it rather difficult to work through the planned program. Badoer covered a total of 23 laps, the quickest in a time of 1’22”935.

The Scuderia continues testing tomorrow, as per the following schedule: Rubens Barrichello will be on track at Silverstone, while Marc Gene will continue running at Monza.

Where to watch Milwaukee Champ Car race Where to watch Milwaukee Champ Car raceUNITED STATES: CBS - Live
June 4 - Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225 presented by US Bank
CBS | Sat, Jun 4 1:00 PM ET | Race Live
EUROPE (All Countries): EUROSPORT - Live
Eurosport is the most widely available channel in Europe, reaching over 95 million homes and 250 million viewers in 54 countries! Incredibly, over 96% of Eurosport's viewers can watch their favorite sports in their native language. Eurosport will provide LIVE coverage of the 2005 Champ Car World Series season on its pan-European channel. The best moments can also be seen on its multimedia platform with Eurosportnews and eurosport.com.
Sweden: Sport Expressen, LIVE
Holland: RTL5 and Raceworld TV, LIVE
Sat. Jun 4 - 1:00 pm et / 10:00 am pt
 RDS – Live @ 1pm on Saturday
Replay @ 22:30 on June 5
Replay @ 09:00 on June 7

(Mexico, Caribbean, Venezuela, Colombia),

& Sinopse da Formula Mundial

sábado - dia 02 às 01h00
domingo - dia 10 às 13h30

domingo - dia 17 às 16h00, 17h00

India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Dubai: Ten Sports. LIVE

A delayed basis in the following countries:

Australia: (Network 10)
Japan : (Jsports)
Korea: (MBC)
UK: (MotorsTV)
France: (AB Moteurs )
Spain: (Teledeporte )
India: (Zee Sports)
Italy: (Sportitalia, Telenova)
Middle East: (Fox Sports)

Rice cleared for Texas Rice cleared for TexasRahal Letterman Racing driver Buddy Rice will be back on the track next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.  Dr. Henry Bock, Indy Racing League senior director of medical services, cleared the 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner to compete in the June 11 Bombardier Learjet 500k at the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval in Fort Worth, Texas.
Forums Up Forums UpUPDATE Our discussion forums are now back up. 06/01/05 For the many of you that use our discussion forums, we apologize that our server that hosts the forums is down.  The forums are outsourced to a contractor and we are waiting like you for them to get it fixed.  We heard possibly today.  We apologize for the inconvenience. Mark C.
Indy 500 race rebroadcast Indy 500 race rebroadcastESPN Classic will rebroadcast the 89th Indianapolis 500, one of the most thrilling and competitive editions of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing," as an "Instant Classic" at 9 p.m. (EDT) Friday, June 3.

Dan Wheldon earned a spot on the Borg-Warner Trophy for the first time with a stirring victory in the No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone. He passed rookie sensation Danica Patrick for the lead on Lap 194 of the 200-lap race and stayed in front until the finish.

Wheldon's winning pass was the 27th and final lead change of the race, just two short of the all-time record set in 1960. Wheldon and Patrick were two of the seven drivers to lead at least one lap.

Preceding the "Instant Classic" telecast of the 89th Indianapolis 500, ESPN Classic will re-broadcast the "SportsCenter at the Indy 500" from May that featured the history of women at the Indianapolis 500. Patrick finished fourth in the No. 16 Rahal Letterman Racing Argent Pioneer Panoz/Honda/Firestone, the best finish ever by a woman in the race's history. She also led 19 laps to become the first woman to lead the race.

Overnight ratings for the ABC Sports live broadcast of the 89th Indianapolis 500 on May 29 were 40 percent higher than last year.

ESPN Classic, which reaches more than 55 million homes, is devoted to telecasting the greatest memories in the history of sports while adding a current perspective.

The 90th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 28, 2006. Fans are encouraged to submit their ticket renewals, upgrades and orders for the race to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as soon as possible. The most convenient, fastest method is online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.

The deadline for renewals, which give fans the opportunity to guarantee the same seating assignment, is Monday, June 13. Existing ticket customers who renew their seats online before June 13 will receive a free collector's edition DVD of highlights from the 89th Indianapolis 500, including the dramatic late-race duel between Wheldon and Patrick.

Davidson fastest at Monza Davidson fastest at MonzaBAR Honda driver Anthony Davidson set the pace on the opening day of testing this week at Monza in Italy. Four teams were in action at the circuit near Milan where it was warm and sunny.  Davidson completed over 100 laps to finish almost a second ahead of Ferrari test driver Marc Gené. Jarno Trulli was third fastest for Toyota as all teams present focused on testing for the next two races in Canada and America.  Testing at Monza continues tomorrow.
1 . A. Davidson - BAR Honda 007 - 1:21.490 (+ 0.000 ) - 112 laps
2 . M. Gene - Ferrari F2004M - 1:22.375 (+ 0.885 ) - 126 laps
3 . J. Trulli - Toyota TF105 - 1:22.542 (+ 1.052 ) - 89 laps
4 . E. Bernoldi - BAR Honda 007 - 1:22.614 (+ 1.124 ) - 124 laps
5 . J. Villeneuve - Sauber Petronas C24 - 1:22.796 (+ 1.306 ) - 95 laps.
Industry News
ISC sells Nazareth property ISC sells Nazareth propertyISC today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Pennsylvania Int’l Raceway has entered into an agreement with Brookside Realty for the sale of 158 acres on which Nazareth Speedway is located for approximately $19M.  ISC expects to record an after-tax gain from discontinued operations of $6-7M, or $0.11-0.13 per share.  Nazareth Speedway suspended motorsports event operations following the ’04 season, and its NASCAR Busch Series and IRL events were shifted to ISC’s Watkins Glen Int’l beginning this year. ISC
Servia to replace Junqueira at Milwaukee Servia to replace Junqueira at MilwaukeeOriol Servia (right) has been named to replace the injured Bruno Junqueira in the No. 2 PacifiCare entry for Newman/Haas Racing at this weekend’s Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225 at the legendary Milwaukee Mile.  Junqueira was injured after contact with a lapped car during Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 and sustained a fracture to his T-12 and L-1 vertebra which were repaired on Monday by Dr. Terry Trammell.

“We have watched Oriol race over the years in the Champ Car series and believe we can put together a competitive effort with him this weekend despite the limited time to prepare,” said Carl Haas, co-owner with Paul Newman of Newman/Haas Racing.  “Oriol was running in second place in Mexico and we believe he is a good fit for our program in Milwaukee.”

Now in his sixth season in the Champ Car series, Servia has made 87 starts while driving for teams such as PPI Motorsports (2000), Sigma Motorsports (2001), PWR/Patrick Racing (2002), Patrick Racing (2003), and Dale Coyne Racing (2004 and the first two events of 2005).  Of his five career top-three, podium finishes, his highest is second place at 2003 events in Milwaukee and Montreal.  His best career start is second place in Montreal and Denver in 2003.

“It is a great opportunity for me to be able to step into the PacifiCare car that is leading the championship,” said Servia, 30. “I’m grateful that Newman/Haas Racing thought of me.  Bruno is my friend and I felt really bad for him when the accident happened but I know he will get well soon and we can cycle together again.”

Setting the record straight on the Newman/Haas ride Setting the record straight on the Newman/Haas rideKevin Kalkhoven contacted AutoRacing1.com today from his hospital bed at the Mayo Clinic 5 minutes before they were to put him under. That's how concerned he was that Paul Gentilozzi was getting an unfair rap over this Ryan Hunter-Reay for Bruno Junqueira story. "I am calling to set the record straight," said Kalkhoven. "On Sunday night Paul Gentilozzi, Paul Newman and myself were discussing who might substitute for the injured Bruno Junqueira. Paul G. immediately offered to give up Ryan Hunter-Reay without even being prompted.

"He felt it was best for the series and for Newman/Haas to have Hunter-Reay drive for them, no strings attached - i.e. no extra fees, etc. It also would be good for Hunter-Reay's career. Paul had nothing to gain by doing this. In fact it would force him to find another driver in the 11th hour, which would have been difficult.

"Unfortunately Newman/Haas would only take Ryan for one race and that's what forced Paul G. to then say no because, whereas he could find a driver for the rest of the season, finding one for just one race, when that one race is an oval, where the consequences can be high, would have been near impossible. There are sponsorship issues and logistics issues, but most importantly, you can't just throw a driver into an oval situation without recent experience and testing.

"I just want to get the word out that Paul did nothing to hinder Ryan's career, and in my view bent over backwards by giving up his driver for the rest of the season for one of the top rides in the series. Paul is getting a bum rap on this and I felt it necessary to set the record straight."

When asked why Newman/Haas would only take Ryan for a single race Kalkhoven responded, "Carl Haas has many options, so you will have to ask him why."

With that Kalkhoven had to hang up as they came into his room to wheel him away. We tried to reach Carl Haas or a team spokesperson for a statement and when we get one will keep our readers updated. Mark C.

SPEED Channel Weekly Top 20 Driver Ranking SPEED Channel Weekly Top 20 Driver RankingUpdated 6-1-05

Pos. (LW) Driver (Series) Pts
1. (1) Fernando Alonso (F1) 12.655
2. (2) Dan Wheldon (IRL) 10.280
3. (NR) Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR) 7.840
4. (6) Greg Biffle (NASCAR) 7.540
5. (3) Bruno Junqueira (CCWS) 7.254
6. (10) Ryan Newman (NASCAR) 7.243
7. (22) Carl Edwards (NASCAR) 7.053
8. (17) Jeremy Mayfield (NASCAR) 6.993
9. (14) Tony Kanaan (IRL) 6.905
10. (11) Elliott Sadler (NASCAR) 6.865
11. (4) Sebastien Bourdais (CCWS) 6.861
12. (NR) Bobby Labonte (NASCAR) 6.640
13. (9) Kevin Harvick (NASCAR) 6.605
14. (35) Vitor Meira (IRL) 6.598
15. (NR) Dale Jarrett (NASCAR) 6.428
16. (26) Bryan Herta (IRL) 6.387
17. (25) Nick Heidfeld (F1) 6.344
18. (NR) Rusty Wallace (NASCAR) 6.344
19. (12) Jamie McMurray (NASCAR) 6.239
20. (7) Tony Stewart (NASCAR) 6.194
Last week's ranking in parenthesis
Provided by STATS Inc.
Current year results, last 10 races, last five races and last race are factored in equally, with an adjustment factor to compensate for the series different scoring systems. In addition, a competition difficulty factor has been included to balance the competitive depth of each series.

Danica Patrick exploitation Danica Patrick exploitationUPDATE A related article on the exploitation of Danica Patrick.  It rightly points out all the mistakes she made during the race, any one of which could have ended her day....and with it much of the post-race hype. 05/31/05 A reader writes, I'm a little bit suspicious of this coverage of Danica. I think back to how not much  has been said of her for so long, she does a couple magazine spreads and that didn't bring that much more attention than she already was getting. Now Indy which has been fading to nothingness for so long, and although it gets some attention still, how much of this did they actually pay for compared to people who really wanted to cover it. Don't get me wrong, she is marketable and if they did pay for it, but it just seems to me to be a jump beyond normal, especially when it's such a NASCAR driven media. And truthfully I don't find this as good for the sport as they are saying.

It was a smart move but the attention on her probably will fade if nothing more come from this, and I really don't think it's good for the winner as he's not going to get much attention in this. Also TRUTHFULLY they are overdoing her run there. She made quite a few rookie mistakes and got lucky that she didn't feel the consequences and still got back out up front. Plus to say Wheldon spoiled it for her!?!? He blazed right by her along with two other drivers. I don't want to put her down, I just don't like it hyped up beyond what is true. She's never won anything and though she is good, she is not yet at the level of so many including Mr. Wheldon who did a great job and didn't make her mistakes. Joseph Smith, Camden, NJ

Edmonton race organizers want city to chip-in Edmonton race organizers want city to chip-inOrganizers of this summer's Grand Prix Edmonton are asking the city to provide up to $650,000 worth of services, including transit, policing and road work, free of charge during the three-day event. City council will debate the request today, but at least one councilor already opposes it. "The race is a great thing for Edmonton, but I think it's going too far to ask the city to contribute tax dollars," Ward 2 Coun. Ron Hayter said Monday. "If this was an event being put on by a community-based, non-profit group, then I'd say yes, we should give consideration to funding. But what we're talking about here is a private undertaking."

Grand Prix events will be held July 15-17 at the City Centre Airport, culminating in the Champ Car World Series race that will feature Canadian drivers Paul Tracy and Alex Tagliani speeding around the 3.1-kilometre track. The expected attendance is 60,000 on the Friday and up to 70,000 on both Saturday and Sunday. Grand Prix staff report that 55 per cent of the grandstand seats have been sold along with all of the suites. More at Edmonton Journal

Wheldon's phone ringing off the hook Wheldon's phone ringing off the hookIndy 500 winner Dan Wheldon appeared on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” last night to participate in the “Fact or Fiction” segment. Wheldon, on whether his phone “is ringing off the hook with endorsements right now”: “It’s been busy. I’m amazed. … We’ll let things calm down and then we’ll get back on the phone to everybody.” “SportsCenter,” ESPN
HOF bids due today HOF bids due todayUPDATE The Atlanta Constitution reports that NASCAR yesterday received the bids from the five cities competing to land the NASCAR HOF: Atlanta, Charlotte, Daytona Beach, K.C. and Richmond. NASCAR will “spend the next 60 days evaluating” the bids and racing officials “will tour the cities and meet” the bid teams in early August. 05/31/05 The bids from the following five cities competing to land the NASCAR Hall of Fame are due today: Charlotte, Daytona Beach, Atlanta, Richmond and Kansas City.
Beneficial to Sponsor RCR’s No. 31 Cup Team at MIS Beneficial to Sponsor RCR’s No. 31 Cup Team at MISBeneficial will be the primary sponsor of Richard Childress Racing’s (RCR) No. 31 Chevrolet for the June 19 Batman Begins 400 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS).  The consumer lending company joined RCR’s family of sponsors this season an associate sponsor of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench and No. 31 Cingular Wireless teams driven in the NASCAR Cup Series by Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton, respectively, and is the “Official Consumer Lending Company of RCR.”  “All the hard work the folks at Beneficial have been doing since we announced our partnership in late February will be rewarded with getting to see their own paint scheme on the No. 31 car at Michigan,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. “Jeff has had some strong runs at Michigan over the years so I know he and the rest of the No. 31 team will do everything they can to give Beneficial a great experience.”
Broken back for Junqueira and Foyt Broken back for Junqueira and FoytUPDATE #4 According to this SPEEDTV article, Bruno Junqueira was sitting up and talking Tuesday at Methodist Hospital following his surgery for fractures to his T-12 and L-1 vertebras -- sustained when he slammed into the Turn 2 wall after Anthony Foyt IV clipped his right rear tire.   "He's doing nicely but it's going to be six months before he can drive again," said Trammell, who performed the four-hour surgery. "His injury is similar to Jason Priestly and Tom Wood (both injured in Infiniti Pro Series races)."

The savage impact ripped the front of the car off and left the brake pedal dangling by a thread.  "Bruno was unlucky to be in that crash but he was lucky not to have had his feet badly broken," said Brack, one of several drivers to visit Junqueira the past two days.  Diana Junqueira, Bruno's younger sister, personal PR director and cheerleader, said her brother is very positive. "He says he's going to make the fastest comeback ever."

05/30/05 Larry Foyt and Bruno Junqueira remained hospitalized at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis following separate accidents during the 89th Indianapolis 500. Foyt, driver of the No. 41 ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone, suffered a chip fracture of his lower spine in a single-car accident on lap 18. He was fitted with a back brace and is expected to be released from the hospital by Tuesday.

Junqueira, driver of the No. 36 Newman Haas Racing Team Centrix Panoz/Honda/Firestone, is in fair condition following successful surgery on his fractured T-12 and L-1 vertebras on Monday.

Dr. Terry Trammell, who performed the surgery on Junqueira, said the 28-year-old Brazilian suffered no additional spinal injuries and will remain hospitalized until the end of the week. IRL 05/30/05 It turns out Larry Foyt, AJ's son, also has a back injury.  Foyt spun in Turn 1 and was taken to the medical centre in the infield, but after complaining of lower back pain, he was transported to Methodist Hospital for further evaluation.   Speedway Medical Director Dr. Bock said Foyt "has been diagnosed with a chip fracture of the lower spine. He was held overnight at Methodist Hospital for further evaluation." 05/29/05 Carl Haas, Co-Owner of Newman/Haas Racing:  “Today’s incident was very unfortunate.  Bruno had been running an excellent race and he was very happy with the performance of the racecar.  He was running in sixth place when on lap 77 there was contact made with the lapped car of A.J. Foyt IV.  This is certainly not the way we had hoped to end the month of May, but Bruno is in the very capable hands of Dr. Terry Trammel and the medical team at Methodist Hospital.  Thankfully, Bruno was conscious after the incident and the extent of his injuries and best course of treatment are still being determined.” 05/29/05 Champ Car driver Bruno Junqueira was taken out of the Indy 500 by AJ Foyt IV today when he turned down on him while be passed.  The backmarker Foyt could not get out of his own way all race long.  Track officials said Junqueira was in fair condition after suffering a concussion and fractures of the T-12 and L-1 vertebras and would require surgery Monday.   He will miss a few Champ Car races.

The carnage of oval racing continues, despite the SAFER Barrier.

SPEED Channel hires Tweeden SPEED Channel hires TweedenSpeed Channel has hired Leeann Tweeden as a host of its "NASCAR Nation" program and she will debut with the network on June 27, Speed officials have confirmed.  Tweeden has most recently appeared as a regular on Fox's "Best Damn Sports Show Period" and has appeared on several other Fox programs, including "High Octane," "Blue Torch" and FX Network's Toughman Contest.
Humpy Wheeler eats his words again Humpy Wheeler eats his words again[Editor's Note: Throughout history Lowe's Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler has been known for coming up with harebrain schemes aimed at getting himself some media attention. His latest claim to fame was "levigating" a word only he can invent. Most call it diamond grinding. His levigating scheme failed like most of his schemes do.] Altering the track surface at Lowe's Motor Speedway was supposed to create a more competitive race. Instead, it helped turn the Coca-Cola 600 into a demolition derby. A NASCAR-record 22 cautions marred the event, and drivers complained that track changes caused many of them.

"I know their intentions were good here, but anytime that you make our cars go faster somewhere the racing is not going to be as good," Dale Jarrett said. "You're on the edge too much and things like that are going to happen."

Lowe's Motor Speedway president Humpy Wheeler spent $250,000 to grind out the track's trademark bumps to create a smooth surface that would foster more side-by-side racing. The process, called "levigating," was only done in the turns.

After watching Sunday night's marathon race - at one point fans hung a sign: "So this is levigating?" - Wheeler said he was second-guessing some of the changes. "I don't feel particularly good as the promoter having the most cautions in a race in NASCAR history," he said Tuesday. "We may have to look into making a few changes before the next race here." More at AP Story

Wheldon and Hornish say Patrick has unfair advantage Wheldon and Hornish say Patrick has unfair advantageRobby Gordon was not being critical of Danica Patrick when he said she had an unfair weight advantage in the Indianapolis 500. Rather, he said he was simply discussing a flaw in the Indy Racing League's rules.   "The only thing I was saying was that I have a problem with the rule, not any particular driver," Gordon said Tuesday. "I've been impressed with Danica from the first time she got in an IRL car earlier this year, and I certainly did not mean to disrespect her or any other driver."

In NASCAR, where Gordon currently competes, the minimum weight requirement includes the driver (so does Champ Car and F1, but the IRL doesn't want to be fair to all drivers as they ride the Danica Patrick horse for all it's worth).   But in the IRL, a car must weigh 1,525 pounds before the fuel and driver are added. A smaller driver would have at least a slight edge over heavier ones because of the rule.

"This rule has been around for years, and it's something that Paul Tracy and I have talked about for a long time," said Gordon, who weighs nearly 200 pounds.

"It makes a big difference," race-winner Dan Wheldon said Tuesday. "If it didn't in qualifying, you wouldn't worry about the fuel. We try to make it basically run out during qualifying, and that's what a difference of six or seven pounds makes. I definitely think it's an advantage and I'm pretty sure in due time you'll have a rule change on that."

Sam Hornish Jr., who weighs roughly 60 pounds more than Patrick, said two days before the race that the size difference gave her an edge.   "That's got to be worth something," Hornish told the Toledo Blade. "Whether you calculate speed or fuel economy, that little difference is a factor."   Hornish's bosses at Penske Racing even figured out the mathematical advantage Patrick had.   "That's probably worth something like 0.8 of a mile an hour," team president Tim Cindric said. IRL officials have said they are not considering changing the weight requirements. AP Story

Glock was fastest in Monterrey Glock was fastest in MonterreyIn this Champ Car diary article, Timo Glock reveals that he was the fastest car on the track in Monterrey, and if not for some rookie mistakes, would have had a certain podium finish.

"The hard work and determination of my crew proved to pay off on Sunday morning, as we were the fastest car during the warm-up session. With that result, we were excited to get racing that afternoon.

"We started 12th and had several rough laps followed by an incident that caused me to spin and stall after I locked my brakes. We lost one lap due to this incident, and I thought that would be the end of the day in terms of a good finish. But, the team rallied back by changing the race strategy completely and before I knew it, we were back on the lead lap.

"The afternoon heat played well with the car as it continued to be fast, setting lap times a second quicker than the leader driving through the field to find myself up to the third spot. Then I was involved in another incident when I made contact with Jimmy Vasser after battling on track with him. I was then penalized and had to serve a stop-and-go penalty because of this incident and lost our top three position.

"Within 19 laps, I was able to work my way up through half the field before I was hit from behind by Nelson Philippe. I did not see him in my mirrors and did not know he was there until I was bumped, causing my day to end with only seven laps to go.

"The positive of the weekend was that we showed we have a fast car and a good team behind it. Being only my second race in the Champ Car World Series, I feel that we are really making progress that is needed to be finishing on the podium."

Jourdain had to turn down Newman/Haas ride Jourdain had to turn down Newman/Haas rideMichel Jourdain Jr., the eight-year Champ Car vet turned stock car driver, turned down an offer to replace the injured Bruno Junqueira, according to a statement released to Spanish-language media Tuesday.  "It is the dream of any driver to pilot (a car for) Newman/Haas, the best (team) at the present time in Champ Car," said Jourdain, who runs a full schedule in NASCAR's Busch Series with ppc Racing. "… Unfortunately I am not going to be able to take this opportunity because (I'm in) NASCAR and I have a race at the same time as the race in Milwaukee."  Jourdain said Tuesday that he was only asked to fill this Saturday's race. The Busch Series races at the same time (10 a.m. Pacific time) at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.  Long Beach Press Telegram
'We would have done exactly the same thing' 'We would have done exactly the same thing'At the recent European Grand Prix, Kimi Räikkönen held the lead right until the last lap for McLaren Mercedes. However, during the final stages of the race, a flat-spotted tire caused massive vibrations on the right front wheel, which finally resulted in a collapse of the suspension with only a few kilometres to go. Despite the tire problems, the team decided not to make a security pit stop and left Räikkönen out on the track. According to Sam Michael, WilliamsF1’s Technical Director, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team would have acted the same way.

"To give up your position, when it's a win, is difficult, and you would do everything to hold that off," the Australian told the WilliamsF1 web site, "I can understand exactly what happened with McLaren. It's easy to try and be critical in hindsight, but if I look at it we would have done exactly the same thing," he admitted.

The result was exactly what Kimi Raikkonen did not need as he was classified out of the points and despite his two recent race wins, now trails Fernando Alonso by 32 points. To put the gap into perspective, with 12 races remaining Raikkonen could win every one of them, but if Alonso finished second in each, he would take the 2005 drivers' championship by eight points. WilliamsF1

Williams pushing hard for Montreal Williams pushing hard for MontrealAfter the back-to-back races at Monaco and the Nürburgring, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team has scheduled tests at Silverstone for this week, from Wednesday to Friday.   The Anglo-German partnership will evaluate further improvements to the Williams BMW FW27 package at Silverstone.  Today, Heidfeld and the BMW WilliamsF1 Team's test and reserve driver, Nico Rosberg, will take to the track at Silverstone, while Webber is set to join the two on Thursday.   The Monaco and European Grand Prix proved that the development work of the recent months paid off for the team. Nick Heidfeld and Mark Webber scored a total of 22 points in these two races.  Furthermore, Heidfeld achieved his first ever F1 career pole position at the Nürburgring, something the team and Heidfeld are keen to replicate in Montreal. WilliamsF1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Pedro fond of F1 tire rule
Yellow Jordan to race on
'Drivers not to blame'
Speed hopeful of F1 gong
I won't quit - Schu
To 'b' or not to 'b'
'Turkey won't be late'
Red Bull to get Indy boost
'Unity' intact - Schu
JV keen on 'home' return
'Blame Max'
Jo Gartner dies
Sato vows BAR comeback
Kalkhoven and Forsythe bring fresh thinking Kalkhoven and Forsythe bring fresh thinkingDover officials would not confirm the identity of the other bidder for the GPALB, but whoever it was likely had IRL founder George as a silent partner. If so, the GPALB acquisition would mark the third time in the last 18 months that Kalkhoven and his associates claimed a key business victory over their cross-town Indianapolis rival -- that doesn't surprise Jim Michaelian.

"There are a number of very positive aspects in terms of how they work," Michaelian said of Kalkhoven and Co. "They don't have a huge bureaucracy, so they make decisions fairly quickly. And quite frankly, they look at things from somewhat of a different perspective than the old traditionalists have. I think that brings a refreshing new insight into the sport.

"In the end, Kevin and Jerry came forward and placed a deal on the table that Dover found attractive," he concluded. "That deal was consummated and now we are owned by those two individuals in a company affiliated with Champ Car." National Speed Sport News

Can BAM! plus AJR equal WIN? Can BAM! plus AJR equal WIN?At this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, we may find out. For the second year in a row, Mike Rockenfeller, Marc Lieb and Leo Hindery are teaming for the famed French endurance classic as BAM! and Alex Job Racing join forces in LM GT2 for the June 18-19 race at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

The trio finished 223 laps before retiring from last year's running at Le Mans. It was a disappointment of sorts for Lieb and Hindery, who finished the 2003 race second in LM GT2. The car was running second last year when it went out with a broken gearbox.

"A podium comes with a combination of preparedness, quality equipment, a committed crew, high driver skill and good fortune," Hindery said. "It is the latter item that is always in question, and while it is our burden to deliver the first four items, we are confident we will."

The AJR-BAM No. 71 Porsche will vie with 14 other LM GT2 teams at Le Mans, including two-time defending class champion Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing, which partnered with Alex Job Racing in 2003. Panoz Motor Sports and Flying Lizard Motorsports, are among the other class entrants. For this race, Alex Job will serve as team manager while BAM!'s Tim Munday will serve as crew chief and engineer. ALMS

"John Ratzenberger’s Made in America" to Feature Panoz Esperante "John Ratzenberger’s Made in America" to Feature Panoz EsperanteA visit to Panoz Auto Development factory will highlight the Panoz Esperante sports car on "John Ratzenberger's Made in America" on the Travel Channel at 9:00 p.m. EST tonight.  Ratzenberger, perhaps best known for his role as Cliff Clavin on the classic show, "Cheers," is also the star of his own show on the Travel Channel. "John Ratzenberger's Made in America" is a program that features people around the United States that are responsible for making products that are the backbone of the American economy. Ratzenberger made a stop during his national tour at Panoz Auto Development in Hoschton, Ga., earlier this year to see just how the all-American Panoz Esperante sports car is produced.

In addition to having the distinction of an American Made high-end muscle car, the Panoz Esperante also competes in the American Le Mans Series in the GT2 class. The Esperante took its first win at Round 2 of the ALMS season at the Sportsbook.com Grand Prix of Atlanta. ALMS

Milwaukee weekend schedule Milwaukee weekend scheduleUPDATE A reminder for this weekend.  See update in bold text below.


Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford
Formula Drift

Friday, June 3   
8:30am Grandstands and Infield Open to Public
9:00am - 9:30am  Formula Drift session
10:00am - 12:00pm CHAMP CAR Practice
12:15pm - 1:45pm  ARCA RE/MAX Series Practice 
12:30pm - 1:30pm  CHAMP CAR Fan Forum (Location TBA) 
2:45pm - 4:00pm CHAMP CAR Qualifying
4:15pm - 4:45pm Pace Car On Track Activities 
4:45pm - 5:10pm Formula Drift session 
5:30pm - 6:45pm ARCA RE/MAX Series Qualifying 
6:00pm - 7:00pm  CHAMP CAR Fan Appreciation Activity (All Driver Autograph Session - Location TBA)
7:45pm -               Champ Car Inner Circle member dinner (AutoRacing1's Mark Cipolloni to speak) 
Where: Pedro’s (
Address: 17105 Bluemound Road, Brookfield, WI
Phone: 262-784-7233
Price: $13 per person (Tax & Tip included) / $2.95 - kids 12 and under
Space is limited so please RSVP Marilyn at
m2sara@yahoo.com no later than Wednesday 6/1/2005
Saturday, June 4   
7:30am  Grandstands and Infield Open to Public
8:00am - 8:15am  Formula Drift session 
8:30am - 9:00am CHAMP CAR warm up 
9:45am - 10:30am Formula Drift Competition 
11:15am The Milwaukee Mile's "Salute To America's Military Champions" 
12:00pm Champ Car "Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225 presented by U.S. Bank" 
2:30pm ARCA RE/MAX Series 150-lap Race

Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Taking Momentum to Milwaukee Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Taking Momentum to MilwaukeeTo find success in the Champ Car World Series, drivers and their teams must prepare for a wide variety of race tracks, and after a highly successful road course race in round two, Mi-Jack Conquest Racing is now ready for a completely different challenge in round three of the 2005 Champ Car season for the Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225 presented by US Bank at the historic Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin.
Mi-Jack Conquest Racing had a breakthrough event in Monterrey, Mexico, as Nelson Philippe led his first laps in Champ Car competition, going on to lead the most laps of the race before contact from another car took him out of contention.
Philippe’s teammate, series rookie Andrew Ranger, had his own strong performance in Mexico as well, moving up from fourteenth at the start to take second place, setting the record as the youngest driver to stand on a Champ Car podium.
The Monterrey race showed that with the two youngest drivers in Champ Car Series history, Mi-Jack Conquest Racing has a lot of potential to deliver solid results, and with the strong race behind them, the team is now looking forward to taking that momentum to Milwaukee’s tricky Mile.
"We are very excited for this weekends race at the Milwaukee Mile, especially after getting a great result in Monterrey,” said team co-owner Eric Bachelart. “Andrew is now leading in points for the "rookie of the year" after his 2nd place finish, and Nelson lead the most laps in Monterrey.”
Bachelart, who took championships of his own as a driver before making the move into team co-ownership, has worked hard to improve his team’s engineering infrastructure and technical program, and feels as though the Monterrey race could be a sign of things to come.
“Our team is improving and the Monterrey event has given us some good momentum, so hopefully we can have a strong showing at Milwaukee. We were able to test there earlier this season, and while preparing for the first oval race of the season is a challenge, we are optimistic that we can have another good race weekend and that our results will show how much effort is being made by the team and our drivers.”
Philippe, who has raced at the Milwaukee track in Barber Dodge and Champ Car competition, knows that oval racing can be difficult and is one of the unique challenges of the Champ Car championship.
“It is one of the trickiest places we will race at this year and definitely not my favorite,” said Philippe. “Oval racing, though tough, is part of the beauty and diversity of Champ Car. I think that our car should be pretty good for the race and all I hope for is that it is in one piece at the checkered flag. We will try to keep the momentum up from Monterrey, the team is really hyped. While on the subject of ovals, I want to wish Bruno a healthy and quick recovery from his accident.”
Ranger, who took ‘rookie of the year’ honors in Toyota Atlantic last season, also has experience on the track, and is hoping to put the lessons learned racing and testing there to good use.
“I am looking forward to racing at Milwaukee,” said Ranger.  “We tested there earlier this year though as always, race conditions are very different from testing, and the race will be a great challenge.  The Milwaukee Mile is a short track and is constantly busy.  I enjoy this aspect of racing and will need to keep focused during the race.  I finished third last year in the Toyota Atlantic Series and I hope to build on the success that Mi-Jack Conquest Racing and I had in Monterrey.”
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