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Atlantic Championship Notebook  One of the hallmarks of open-wheel racing over the past several years was the presence of a dedicated, full-time safety team at each event. On several occasions, the safety team has literally saved the lives of drivers involved in incidents on-course.

Since the Champ Car World Series merged with the Indy Racing League earlier this spring, the safety team that normally serviced the Atlantic Championship was disbanded. However, through the generosity of an Atlantic Championship volunteer, a small safety team will be present for the Sommet des Legends event at Canada’s picturesque Circuit Mont-Tremblant on the weekend of June 29. Polly Gallimore, who volunteers with the Atlantic communications department to produce pit notes on race weekends, has agreed to fund the safety team for the Mont-Tremblant weekend.

Gallimore is one of the more colorful characters in the Atlantic paddock and has befriended many of the drivers and teams in the series. When she is not feverishly typing pit notes at her computer, she can usually be found in the paddock with camera in hand.

“After years of watching some of the most exciting on-track action with some of the most talented drivers the world has ever seen work their way through the Atlantic Championship, it is a pleasure to be able to give something back even in such a small way,” Gallimore said. “It is true that we have been witness to incredible safety improvements on race cars and race tracks, but I believe that the most important improvement has been the development of this safety crew.  We work diligently to ensure that these drivers are as safe as possible, but we are also acutely aware, and have sometimes seen, that lives can be changed in the blink of an eye. At these moments, it is readily apparent that time is of the essence and every second counts. The other thing is it’s different when you know the kids in those cars. It was with that in mind that I decided to do this.  It has been said that racing is just a business.  It’ has also been said that family takes care of its own.” More ...

Father's Day Ticket Special  Just in time for Father’s Day, motorcycle road racing fans can take advantage of a special offer when purchasing their Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix tickets.

Fans buying a pair of general admission tickets (one-day, two-day or three-day) will receive a free $15 gift card for use in any Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca souvenir store location during the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix.  The free gift card is redeemable for all Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca merchandise, excluding Piloti shoes. 

The offer is valid for all tickets purchased between now and Father’s Day, June 15.

While all reserved hospitality areas are sold out, general admission tickets, general camping sites, reserved grandstand seats and paddock passes remain available for the July 18-20 race weekend. 

Tickets for Sunday’s race are only $55 each, while the three-day ticket is $90.  Complete ticket information is available at (800) 327-SECA and www.laguna-seca.com.

Quotes recall 20 years of NASCAR at Infineon  Infineon Raceway will celebrate 20 years of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing in the Sonoma Valley at the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 20-22. Below are quotes from NASCAR personalities regarding the anniversary:

“I think just the people I’ve met are so unbelievable and I’m amazed at the people who come up and thank me for what I’ve done.  I’m thinking, ‘Gee whiz, we’re a corporation and we’re trying to make it better, and I don’t know that I deserve all the thanks.’  I’m amazed all the people who come up, and I’ve never seen them in my life, and want to thank me.  I sure appreciate it.”  Bruton Smith, chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., which owns Infineon Raceway

“They have kept up with the times, as well as brought a tremendous amount of diversity to the sport. One of the things that Sonoma has done is bring a different culture, a different type of race fan, which I think is really cool. The racetrack is so unique. It’s very different, the racetrack itself is different. The grounds are different. The location is incredible.”  Jeff Burton, driver of the No. 31 AT&T Mobility Chevrolet More ...

Jourdain rejoins Fernandez team  Lowe’s Fernandez Racing today announced that open-wheel and NASCAR talent Michel Jourdain Jr. has been signed as a third driver for the team in the American Le Mans Series. Jourdain will join long-time friends and fellow countrymen Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz behind the wheel of the #15 Lowe’s Acura ARX LMP2 prototype beginning with the renowned 1,000-mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans endurance classic on October 4. He will also drive for the team in the 2009 Twelve Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.

“I have known Michel a long time,” noted Fernandez. “His father used to organize the Marlboro Cup in Mexico which was, in my days in the ‘80s, the best national series, and he was one of the first to help me with sponsorship. So I have known Michel since he was young and that carried through our days in Champ Cars together. We have always kept up a good relationship, have always tried to help each other and always looked for an opportunity to do something together. For one reason or another, that wasn’t possible until now.

“After the Twelve Hours of Sebring this year, we realized that we needed a third driver to help Luis and me. I gave Michel a call and the timing was right to start working with him. He is very experienced and very talented, and he is one of the most well-known and successful drivers in my homeland. Lowe’s will be opening stores in Mexico next year and to have Michel join the team is a great addition to our program on and off the track. I am looking forward to the three of us working together. Michel understands that we would like to have him with us on a more regular basis, but at least this is a start and you never know what can happen from here.”

track news
Fireworks on and above Pocono Raceway  NASCAR’s top stars will be at Pocono Raceway this weekend for the 27th  annual Pocono 500. Point leader Kyle Busch, defending Pocono 500 winner Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Tony Stewart and all of the superstars of NASCAR will be providing the fireworks on the track.

The skies will be lighting up above the Raceway too, as a dazzling aerial fireworks display will take place on Saturday evening, June 7. The fireworks display is being provided solely for race fans staying in Pocono’s infield or other on-grounds camping locations. The 30-minute sky lighting spectacular begins at 9:30pm.

More infield activities include the “Kids Inflatable Fun Zone” which runs Friday to Sunday from 10:00am to 8:00pm.

Also on Friday and Saturday evening beginning at 8:30pm it will be “FREE Family Movie Nights.” Friday’s presentation will be Herbie Fully Loaded and on Saturday the feature will be Disney/Pixar’s Cars. The movies will be shown in the Infield Fan Fair Area near Tunnel Road.

On track fireworks begin with Friday morning practice for the ARCA RE/MAX Series at 10:15am followed by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at noon. ARCA pole qualifying is set for 1:45pm followed by Weis Markets NASCAR qualifying at 3:40pm. More ...

TUMS Track Tour Guide for Pocono  TUMS Racing is all about enjoying life on the racing circuit, from the fast action on the track to local cuisine in each race market. Each week, motorsports insiders scope out the favorite restaurants of the host city, from the best BBQ to the local diner to the greatest pizza. And when the circuit visits Pocono Raceway, steak-on-a stone is one of the best belly-filling items on the menu.

TUMS conducted a survey among motorsports media members, drivers and team owners to determine the restaurants with the most local flavor, the most unique settings, the most down-home fare and the most TUMS-worthy menu items.

The TUMS Track Tour Guide provides a list of the favorite restaurants at each and every track in racing along with some insight from our experts on each establishment. From well-known spots like the Tobacco Warehouse in Richmond to the local favorites around Lowe’s Motor Speedway, the TUMS Track Tour Guide offers a glimpse into all of the racing world’s best-kept dining secrets. The TUMS Track Tour Guide is available at www.TUMSracing.com.

Topping the favorites surrounding Pocono Raceway in the TUMS Track Tour Guide are:

Blakeslee Restaurant
1140 Rt 940
Blakeslee, PA

Offers extraordinary cuisine with American and Tuscan influence.

Rt 940
Pocono Lake, PA

An original in the NASCAR world. Don’t miss the steak-on-a stone.

Added to the TUMS Track Tour Guide for 2008:

The Ugly Mug
217-219 Main Street
Winter Haven, PA

A true local experience and home to “all-you-can-eat”

Complete Restaurant Guide Available at www.TUMSracing.com

TUMS Top 10 from Dover  The 13th stop of the 2008 season at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del., had the stars of the Sprint Cup Series experiencing heartburn.  From an early multi-car wreck to a race ending that lacked suspense, a fair share of big-name drivers had several TUMS moments.  Each weekend PRN lead anchor Doug Rice picks the Top 10 TUMS Moments from the weekend’s racing activities.

This week’s Top 10 TUMS honors go to:

10. Miles the Monster must have been taking a nap as there were only five cautions during the entire race. It was not your typical Dover wreck-fest.

9.  Brian Vickers was on the receiving end of two NASCAR speeding penalties which cost him a sure shot at a top-10 finish.

8.  The driver of the track’s jet dryer could have used some TUMS QuikPak after the jet dryer blew a huge hole in the asphalt on the track apron.

7.  Kasey Kahne’s bid to continue his two race winning streak was snapped as he settled for a disappointing 31st-place finish.

6.  Only six of 43 drivers somehow managed to finish on the lead lap - so much for parity.

5.  Jeff Burton finishes eighth to remain second in points, but still loses ground to the point’s leader Kyle Busch.

4.  Reed Sorenson’s frustrating season continued as he drove to a 26th-place finish. This season Sorenson has an average finish of 27th.

3.  Elliott Sadler had his contract extended at Gillette Evernham early in the weekend before getting involved in a race-ending crash just barely after the green flag fell. 

2.  Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. get caught up in the “big one” and both ended up spending way too much time in the garage. 

1.  Denny Hamlin took a big hit by finishing dead last and completing just 18 laps.

Toyota, BMW, want to move on from Mosley scandal  (GMM)  Toyota has become the second formula one outfit to vow to move on in the wake of the Max Mosley sex scandal.

After the scandal-gripped FIA president survived a confidence vote in Paris this week, BMW-Sauber chief Mario Theissen said it is "important now for everyone concerned to turn their undivided attention back to the sport".

From the scene of the Canadian grand prix at Montreal, Toyota on Thursday followed suit, expressing the hope that the sport can now "conduct its activities unhindered by scandal, controversy and negative publicity".

In the statement issued by the German based Japanese team, however, Toyota empathized with those who are still uncomfortable about Mosley's ongoing tenure.

"We also acknowledge and understand the position of the major touring clubs, of which many of our customers are members," the statement added.

BMW and Toyota's sentiments represent changes of position for the manufacturers, after Toyota said at the Bahrain grand prix that it condemned "any behavior which could be seen to damage formula one's image, in particular any behavior which could be understood to be racist or anti-Semitic".

Also in April, German carmakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz jointly condemned Mosley's reported behavior as "disgraceful".

Milwaukee Indy Lights race to be televised  The Firestone Indy Lights race run in Milwaukee on June 1 will be aired on Thursday, June 5, 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm ET on ESPN2.
Montezemolo retracts Mosley quit call  UPDATE (GMM)  Ferrari's president has back-paddled on his reported call for embattled FIA president Max Mosley to step down over the sex scandal.

The famous Italian marque has been traditionally aligned with the Paris based federation, but - following Mosley's survival at a confidence vote this week - Luca di Montezemolo was quoted as effectively calling for the 68-year-old to now quit.

"I think that he should realize that sometimes it is necessary to say to yourself 'I have to leave for reasons of credibility'," he told Bloomberg TV.

But on Thursday, Ferrari issued a clarification attributed to Montezemolo, who is also chairman of the Italian manufacturer Fiat.

"I am happy that Max Mosley has been re-elected president of the FIA," the 60-year-old Italian said.

"He has done excellent work for formula one in recent years.  With regard to the future, it will be entirely up to him to decide if and when he should take a step back."

Luca di Montezemolo
After winning a resounding vote of confidence on Tuesday, Max Mosley lost the support of a man thought to be among his staunchest allies last night when Luca di Montezemolo, the head of Ferrari, called on him to resign the presidency of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). "I think that he should realize that sometimes it is necessary to say to yourself I have to leave for reasons of credibility," Montezemolo told the Ansa news agency.

The Italian team, the current world champions, have long been closely aligned with Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone, the controller of formula one's commercial rights. They significantly failed to join other major teams - including Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Toyota and BMW - who were quick to condemn Mosley's refusal to step down after the revelations of his involvement in a sadomasochistic orgy, published in the News of the World nine weeks ago.

Like Mosley, Montezemolo is a qualified lawyer, but he is a figure of far greater substance. A protégé of Enzo Ferrari and of Gianni Agnelli, he was a rally driver before taking over the Ferrari team in time to guide Niki Lauda to the first of the Austrian driver's world championships in 1975. He then headed the Cinzano drinks company, became general manager of Juventus, managed Italy's challenge in the 1982 America's Cup, ran the 1990 World Cup organizing committee and returned to Ferrari in 1991, masterminding the revival that resulted in Michael Schumacher's five world titles. In 2004 he became president of Italy's industrial confederation, and a year later he was made chairman of the entire Fiat empire.

No sponsor for Robby Gordon at Pocono  For the first time this season, #7-Robby Gordon Motorsports will be racing a "back in black" unsponsored race car. For sponsorship opportunities available for the top-35 team.  More info at Robbygordon.com
Kubica not a title challenger - Theissen  (GMM)  Robert Kubica is not a genuine challenger for the 2008 title, despite lying just six points behind Lewis Hamilton's championship lead.

That is the insistence of the impressive 23-year-old Pole's team boss Mario Theissen, who said BMW-Sauber is staying firm on its pre-season objective of winning its first race.

When asked by the German news agency SID if Kubica can stay in with a shout of the drivers' crown throughout the season, Theissen replied: "That would be unrealistic.

"We have an ambitious timetable: we want to win our first race this year, and then starting from 2009 be fighting for the title.

"Since we took over Sauber, we achieved the goals we set for ourselves and we want to keep making one step after the other," he added.

Theissen also backed Kubica's teammate, Nick Heidfeld, to emerge from his current performance trough, thought to have been traced to the 31-year-old's difficulty in getting heat into the 2008 car's tires.

"We have to do everything we can so that he can get out of this low as quickly as possible," the German said.

"We know what he can do, especially when he is under pressure -- in these situations he can deal with it and be at his best."

Hamilton's father crashes $600,000 car  UPDATE These articles have photos of the car Hamilton's father crashed. Article 1 | Article 2

Lewis Hamilton with his father Anthony
(GMM)  McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton's father has crashed a borrowed sports car into a children's playground, according to reports.

The British newspaper The Daily Telegraph said 47-year-old Hamilton, who also manages his son's formula one career, apologized for the damage after he lost control just 200 meters from his home in Hertfordshire (UK).

A witness told another newspaper, The Mirror: "He started revving the car really hard and wheel-spinned off.  He had the roof down and looked at me before he put his foot down.

"He roared off and 50 yards down the road lost it on the corner."

The $600,000 silver Porsche Carrera GT, which ploughed through a hedge aside the 30mph country road, was photographed with significant damage after police arrived.

"This is my first crash in almost 30 years and it had to happen in someone else's car," Anthony Hamilton said.

"Thankfully the only thing hurt was the car, and a bush fence -- for which I am extremely sorry."

Stewart wins feature in ‘Prelude to the Dream’  Tony Stewart won his own charity dirt-track race Wednesday, leading nearly the entire way. Robby Gordon was second in the Old Spice Prelude to the Dream, followed by Clint Bowyer.
Stewart grabbed the lead from Kevin Harvick on the first lap at Eldora Speedway and led the rest of the way in the 30-lap race.

Gordon moved into second by the 20th lap, but couldn’t close.

After the victory, Stewart raised his arms to the cheers of the crowd and then climbed to the top on the chain-link fence that separated the fans from the track.

“This is a new car, a little different design than what we’ve had in the past,” Stewart said. “This thing was just easy to drive. It didn’t take skill on my part. The car was just that good. It made it easy.”

Stewart applauded Gordon’s effort.

“I told him for years I thought he would be great in a dirt car,” Stewart said. “I think he’s one of the most naturally talented drivers that races every week in the Sprint Cup series. I’m proud of it (Gordon’s performance) because it makes me look like a genius.”

Coming so close to winning the race last year is one thing that brought Kyle Busch back for another try.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader finished second in the 2007 Prelude to the Dream, edged out by winner Carl Edwards — by 0.3 seconds — and finishing just ahead of Jeff Gordon.

He was among the 25 drivers who competed in the contest Wednesday evening.

“We’re back for more,” Busch said. “Finishing second and being so close — that was obviously the first thing, to try to come back and win. Not only that but just the fun.” More ...

tv news
TNT begins six race NASCAR coverage  Turner Network Television (TNT) is gearing up for its 2008 Sprint Cup Series six week race package by unveiling new, exclusive on-air features and announcing drivers who will join the set during the network’s extensive 90 minute pre-race coverage.

Current Sprint Cup drivers who will join TNT’s pre-race show each week include #11 Denny Hamlin (Pocono), #99 Carl Edwards (Michigan), #42 Juan Montoya (Sonoma) and #31 Jeff Burton (New Hampshire). TNT will also showcase both new and veteran NASCAR faces in weekly series called NASCAR Future Stars, featuring the future faces of the Sprint Cup Series, and the Pride of NASCAR, which will highlight six racing legends such as Bobby Allison, Raymond Parks, Ernie Irvan and Marvin Panch among others.

TNT’s Wally Dallenbach hops back in the car for Wally’s World, this time joined in a second car by Kyle Petty as they get behind the wheel of stock cars and demonstrate to viewers the nuances of each racetrack and break down the strategy required to be successful each week. Finally, pit reporter Lindsay Czarniak will uncover little known facts and stories from each of the race locations in a weekly segment called Lindsay on Location.

Buddy Rice helps promote Richmond race  IndyCar Series driver Buddy Rice, the winner of the 2004 Indianapolis 500, visited downtown Richmond yesterday in advance of the upcoming SunTrust Indy Challenge IndyCar Series race at Richmond International Raceway. Rice participated in media day activities and signed autographs for fans at the downtown SunTrust building, helping promote the June 28 SunTrust Indy Challenge race at America's Premier Short Track.

"I do truly enjoy coming [to Richmond International Raceway]," said Rice, who is in his second season driving for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. "I like the track. I like the uniqueness of it. It's a high-banked, short oval track and [the race] is under the lights."

Rice will return to Richmond International Raceway June 27-28 for the SunTrust Indy Challenge IndyCar Series weekend, featuring three races in two nights. Rice will be joined by 2008 Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon, Danica Patrick, Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, Graham Rahal, and the rest of the IndyCar Series stars. More ...

British Grand Prix sold out  
The Silverstone circuit has announced that race day tickets for the Sunday of the 2008 British Grand Prix are now sold out. The event, taking place on 4-6 July, is one of the highlights of the UK sporting calendar and, following record levels of demand for tickets, British drivers Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and David Coulthard can now look forward to lining up on the start grid in front of packed grandstands and a capacity home crowd.

Jenson Button, David Coulthard and Lewis Hamilton can look forward to a race day sell-out crowd for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone Nothing beats the exhilarating live experience of the British Grand Prix and with tickets for the Sunday sold out, fans wanting a taste of this year's F1 action are now switching their attention to individual day tickets for both practice on Friday 4 and qualifying on Saturday 5 July.  More ...

Kovalainen not 'number two' now - Haug  
Kovalainen is No. 2 at McLaren despite what Norbert Haug says
(GMM)  Heikki Kovalainen's 23 point deficit to his McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton has not relegated him to de facto 'number two' status.

That is the insistence of team engine partner Mercedes-Benz's competition boss Norbert Haug, who denies that the Finnish driver will now fall in line to protect Hamilton's slim championship lead over the two Ferrari competitors.

Asked by Switzerland's Motorsport Aktuell when the right moment will arrive to concentrate on just a single driver, Haug replied: "In our opinion, never."

Although delivering good pace relative to Briton Hamilton this year, team newcomer Kovalainen, 26, has been struck by bad lack and in the eyes of some is unlikely to now bridge the gap in the title chase.

But Germany's Haug insists: "After six races, I would not say that.

"You only need to look at last year -- at a later stage than this in the championship, Kimi Raikkonen was a greater distance from the top than Heikki is now."

Local council wants to keep Magny Cours race  (GMM)  The regional council of Nievre, which houses the Magny Cours circuit, is hopeful the local French grand prix can be retained beyond the forthcoming June event.

F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone wants to move the race to the capital Paris, saying recently that 2008 is to be his sport's last visit to the unpopular Magny Cours venue.

Magny Cours, located in central rural France, is commonly cited as among the least popular destinations on the calendar, due to its isolated location and lack of accommodation.

With the event's prospects diminishing, last hopes have turned to Nievre, whose president of the general council is Marcel Charmant.

"I will apply every effort so that the Grand Prix de France takes place on the Circuit de Magny Cours in 2009," he is quoted as saying by the news agency Belga/lpb.

Champ Car Asset auction  UPDATE #4 This AP article provides more information about who bought some of the assets at the auction.

06/04/08 Champ Car raised $1.2 million from its asset liquidation auction Tuesday, according to chief financial officer Gene Cottingham.  That money will be turned over to the U.S. bankruptcy court for distribution to the defunct racing series' remaining creditors. Cottingham said final disposition could take several months.  "We're going to try to get it done in as timely and equitable a fashion as possible," he said.  The auction, conducted on site and over the Internet, drew a larger-than-expected crowd to Champ Car's Northwestside headquarters.  "There were some bargains to be had, but the bigger items seemed to go for fair market value," Cottingham said. "Overall, we're pleased with the results."  Indy Star

06/04/08 The final remnants of what was the Champ Car World Series were carried, hauled and driven away from its former Northwestside headquarters after an asset liquidation auction Tuesday.

Just about everything not nailed down, from race cars to shop equipment to fire suits to cleaning supplies, was up for bid, on site and on the Internet. All proceeds go to the U.S. bankruptcy court to be distributed to Champ Car's creditors.

Gene Cottingham, Champ Car's chief financial officer, expected to learn the final tally from Gallivan Auctioneers today. All indications, from the size of the crowd to the competitive bidding, were that it went well.

"We didn't do an appraisal, and when you're dealing with artifacts, it's difficult to know what they're worth," Cottingham said. "It seems like there's a lot of things going for more than retail."

Eddie Wachs was surprised by the size of the gathering, which numbered several hundred people and was a mix of fans, collectors and racers. He came to bid on a transporter for his Atlantic Series team and wound up paying $92,000 for a 1998 Featherlite trailer.

"We thought it would go for around $50,000," he lamented. More ...

Race Central brings exciting Australian racing action to USA  Race Central, one of the Nations premier Television and Radio homes for local, national and international motorsports coverage, today announced it has been named the U.S. provider of coverage of the V8 Supercars Australia Championship Series (Aussie V8), an exciting racing series based in Australia. The Aussie V8 series is a groundbreaking addition to Race Central’s lineup of TV, and radio productions that bring the greatest names in motorsports to fans throughout the U.S.

After a significant absence from American television, Aussie V8 Supercar racing action can be seen on national network TV beginning this Thursday, Friday and Saturday on Race Central TV via the Altitude Sports & Entertainment network. Race Central TV will air the premiere show of the Aussie V8 series Thursday Night, June 5, at 5:30 pm MDT and 9:30 pm MDT; On Friday, June 6 at 10:00 am MDT and again at 4:30 pm MDT; Saturdays after NASCAR Hooters Pro Cup Racing at 2 pm MDT and on the Rocky Mountain Regional Network at 5 pm MDT. More ...

Dixon tests his athletic skills  Indianapolis 500 motor race champion Scott Dixon tested his athletic skills against the results of some of the best in other professional sports during a visit to the Michael Johnson Performance Centre in McKinney this week.

New Zealander Dixon, a fitness enthusiast and triathlete, visited the centre's Nike SST Lab - one of two in the world - and took part in an abbreviated, 90-minute session of Sparq training, which stands for Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness. It was the first visit to the sports lab for a race car driver.

"It was very interesting in there," said Dixon, who will compete on Saturday night in the IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

"It's definitely a big difference from what I normally do, and to get the side of analyzing things has been big.

"I think, most of the time, as has been said today, you're always working on endurance and not so much your technique, I think that it's good to see it from a different point of view." More ...

track news
Lowe's to lower ticket prices  Faced with an increasing number of empty seats for its NASCAR races, Lowe's Speedway's new boss, Marcus Smith, said today at a media luncheon that Lowe's will be lowering tickets prices after years of continual price increases.  The NASCAR fans are starting to say "stop raking us over the coals!"
One point separates leaders in Firestone Indy Lights  It was a tough race weekend at Milwaukee for Richard Antinucci and Dillon Battistini. They remain 1-2 in the Firestone Indy Lights championship standings through six rounds, but the difference is one point and they have company.
Antinucci, who had recorded a victory and three runner-up spots in the first five races, dropped five positions to finish a season-low 16th in the Milwaukee 100 on The Milwaukee Mile on June 1.
Battistini advanced six spots but still finished 14th. Eight days earlier, he won the Firestone Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - his second victory of the season on an oval.
J.R. Hildebrand is 15 points back, AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing teammates Raphael Matos (-31) and Arie Luyendyk Jr. (-50) and Team Moore Racing's Jeff Simmons (-58) are in the hunt heading to Iowa Speedway. More ...
Richmond, Nashville races move to ESPN  The IndyCar Series races at Richmond International Raceway and Nashville Superspeedway will be telecast on ESPN instead of ESPN2 as originally scheduled.
The SunTrust Indy Challenge is scheduled for 8 p.m. (ET) June 28 at Richmond, and the Firestone Indy 200 is scheduled for 8 p.m. (ET) July 12 at Nashville.
Behind the Scenes with MotoGP  A unique and exclusive behind-the-scenes peak at the MotoGP World Championship is being made available to 50 lucky fans at the 2008 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The organizers of the event and Dorna have made this possible to help raise money for the work of Riders for Health in Africa. This treat will take place on Thursday, July 17, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, in Monterey, California.

Tickets are now on sale for $500. This special ticket includes:
• A half-day motorcycle tour down Hwy 1 into Big Sur and the back roads of Monterey County,
• Catered lunch in the Turn 4 Paddock Suite;
• An exclusive behind-the-scenes MotoGP paddock and pit lane tour;
• VIP paved 3-day motorcycle parking or 3-day on-site auto parking;
• Three motorcycle parade laps of the circuit (or a van ride for those not on motorcycles);
• Meet-and-greet with MotoGP riders past and present, including MotoGP legends Wayne Rainey and Randy Mamola;
• A live auction of exclusive MotoGP team and rider items.

Even those who don’t ride bikes can join in, as they will take part in a shuttle tour down Hwy 1 into Big Sur and an on-track tour of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. More ...

Luca di Montezemolo - I'm optimistic about Italy's future  I'm optimistic about Italy's future" declares Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo on Charlie Rose's popular American talk show : - "I'm optimistic about my country's future," Luca di Montezemolo told renowned American journalist Charlie Rose who hosts the eponymous nationwide talk show on the PBS network.

"There are three main reasons for this, firstly we have a solid coalition in government, and secondly, so far there seems to me to be a constructive atmosphere between the majority and the opposition despite their differing roles. Thirdly because we are finally realizing that we all, every single one of us, has to do our bit in the face of this economic crisis, particularly the best resources in the country."

Charlie Rose, whose talk show guests include politicians, economists, entertainers and cultural exponents, interviewed Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo on a variety of subjects for a full 40 minutes: Italy, politics, the economy and, naturally, Ferrari and Formula 1. More ...

Kubica wants 'best option' for F1 future  (GMM)  Robert Kubica is refusing to give any hints about the likely shape of his bright future on the formula one grid.

The 23-year-old Pole is arguably the most impressive driver of the class of 2008 so far, driving his BMW-Sauber to within six points of Lewis Hamilton's championship lead.

Kubica's meteoric start to this season triggered rumblings about his future, as rumors suggest that - notwithstanding BMW's apparent option to extend his contract into 2009 - Ferrari and Renault are interested.

His current boss, Mario Theissen, revealed recently that BMW-Sauber's 2009 driver lineup will be unveiled in the summer.

Kubica said: "I would just like the best option for me, but we will see what it will be.

"For now I am just concentrating on this year and doing the best job possible.  Then we will have to see," he is quoted as saying by the news agency AP.

Ferrari Canadian GP preview  Maranello - It is a cruel aspect of all sport that, after the event, all that is left are the statistics and, in the case of the last round of the Formula 1 World Championship in Monaco, those statistics show that Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro finished third and ninth. What those statistics do not show is that the race started with an all-red front row and that during the race, especially in the hands of Felipe Massa, the F2008 showed good pace and, in general terms, the Scuderia was far more competitive around the streets of the Principality than it had been in recent years. However, the team did a less than perfect job and made a couple of errors in terms of strategy, which is all part of the game in Formula 1.

Also on the positive side, the new methodology and approach the team applied to the race weekend as a whole paid dividends and this will be continued over the coming three days of running in Montreal. The result of the 2007 Canadian GP was poor, chiefly because of problems in qualifying, even if the race pace was acceptable, although compromised by the inevitable Montreal Safety Car period. Prior to the Monaco race, all the teams had one day's testing on the "Canada-spec" layout at the Paul Ricard circuit, however the day was pretty much washed out by rain and so there are no real indicators of who has done the best preparation work for what is the first low downforce configuration circuit on the calendar. So far this year, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro has been competitive at all types of track and the team has enjoyed great success on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in the past, even if it has not won here for the past three years: there have been eleven wins here for the Prancing Horse and Kimi Raikkonen won with another team in 2005. More ...

Press leads fallout of Mosley survival  (GMM)  The English speaking press delivered a foreboding message, after scandal gripped Max Mosley was confirmed as FIA president in Tuesday's Paris confidence vote.

"Mosley wins vote but will he really be able to lead a fragmented FIA?" the New York Times-owned international 'IHT' newspaper wondered, as the fallout of the continuing turmoil emerged.

Britain's The Times, which like the notorious News of the World tabloid is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, agreed that the 68-year-old Briton may have seemingly survived the sadomasochistic sex-triggered humiliation but he is "not out of trouble yet".

Another Times Online headline predicts a "bumpy road ahead for FIA with divisive figure at the wheel".

On the slightly lighter side, the online version of Management Today magazine likened Mosley's clinging to power as "taking self-preservation to the Max", while time.com said the vote's 103:55 result would be "enough to make (shamed former New York governor) Eliot Spitzer green with envy".

In the Italian tongue, La Gazzetta dello Sport revealed that its native Italy bucked the trend of other major automobile clubs and voted to retain Mosley, who the sports daily described as a "perfect leader" who was able to save himself "despite the sharp polemic".

Corriere dello Sport, another Italian sports daily, also noted Mosley's political victory but said as a result the automotive and motor racing governing body may have sped "to the edge of a devastating split".

NASCAR drivers salaries are skyrocketing  UPDATE Both Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon have contracts worth over $20 million, plus they sell millions in merchandise every year.

06/04/08 Unlike other big league professional sports, NASCAR’s teams and drivers don’t disclose compensation. The public knows what Peyton Manning, Alex Rodriguez and Kobe Bryant earn, but can only guess and wonder about Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch.

NASCAR does release money won from purses, and it’s a recognized fact that drivers get a healthy percentage, splitting the rest with the team. But how big a cut is open to negotiation and also can be dependant upon where a driver finishes in races and the season standings. It’s safe to assume, for example, that with four wins and $3,245,614 in official Sprint Cup earnings in 13 races this year, Kyle Busch has already cleared more than $1 million in prize money.

Salaries and bonuses are closely guarded secrets by both sides. There are no salary caps or player unions or minimums based upon years in the league in NASCAR, or any other form of racing, and it allows them to keep their business private. They like it that way.

When Jeff Gordon was going through his divorce with first wife several years ago, she sued to force Hendrick Motorsports to open its books and show what Jeff had made. Hendrick and Gordon were able to block the demand in court, but it points to fact that even some husbands don’t tell their wives about their contracts on the circuit.

Owners, drivers, agents, sponsors and manufacturers, who are all part of the contract process, wouldn’t talk about specific drivers and teams, but several sources say compensation at the top of the Sprint Cup food chain has been rising dramatically in the past year and a half.

Here are the parameters of what they’ve told me that drivers anywhere in the top 10, and not necessarily toward the top, are receiving this year: Retainers of $6.5 million to $7 million, $2 million in guaranteed prize money, a $500,000 to $1 million signing bonus and a personal services contract with the manufacturer or sponsor of $400,000 to $500,000. They also make big bucks on merchandising, but it’s difficult to assign a hard number because of the broad range that is based upon a driver’s popularity.

The bottom line: Every driver signing a new contract for 2009 can expect to make $10 million to $12 million over the life of a deal and ink a contract between three and five years in length.  More at Sports Illustrated

Memo Gidley TV Interview  UPDATE A reminder that this program will be shown on Wednesday night, June 4.

06/02/08 Memo Gidley, Northern California’s best-known and most accomplished racing driver and driver of the #77 Doran Racing Kodak Dallara Ford in the Grand-Am Rolex Daytona Prototype series, is the subject of an extended interview on the upcoming episode of the Comcast SportsNet Motorsports TV show “Zero to 60.”  The show, hosted by Jim Kozimor, focuses on Northern California drivers competing in top-level motorsports series such as Grand Am, NASCAR and Indy Racing League.

Zero to 60, now entering its second season, will premiere Wednesday night June 4th at 8:00 pm on Comcast SportsNet West, with re-airs on Thursday, June 5th and Friday, June 6.  The show will also appear on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area on Thursday evening at 6:30 pm.  All times are West Coast (PDT) time.

“I’m pleased to be a guest on the debut episode of Zero to 60’s second season and hope all my fans in the Bay Area will tune in and see the show,” says Gidley, who was born in La Paz, Mexico to an American mother and Canadian father but has made his home in Novato, California.  “I had a great time chatting with anchor Jim Kozimor, who is very well-informed, hope to be on the show several more times during the season as the Doran Kodak team and I score the Grand-Am victories that we’re certain are right around the corner.”

Valencia street circuit to be tested next month  In order to make sure everything is safe and secure the Valencia Street Circuit will play host to a Spanish F3 championship race at the end of next month. It will be the first proper test for the organizers in Valencia to see if everything comes together at the brand-new street track.

The Valencia Street Circuit will hold different races 26 and 27 of July. These events will be the Spanish Championship of Formula 3, the International GT Open and the Regional Championship, which will guarantee that the Valencia Street Circuit be in perfect conditions to carry out the Gran Prix in August.

Around 20.000 people will attend these events, approximately. Valmor Sports, the company organizing the Formula 1 street race in Valencia, will sell the tickets from July 1 through Servientrada Bancaja and El Corte Inglés with a price around 20 and 60 euros.

Sponsor wanted for Formula One Cinema Screenings  Odeon and Formula One Management agreed a deal to show the remaining 12 Formula One races live at 30 Odeon cinemas around the UK. Carlton Screen Advertising has been charged with finding a sponsor to support the project.

The scheme was first tried out as a one-off event for the British Grand Prix in 2007 during the height of Lewis Hamilton fever. The broadcast is shot exclusively for the cinema screenings. The feeds are broadcast in High Definition with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. It is the only way for British audiences to watch the races un-interrupted by advertising.

ITV has refused to allow their commentary team to be used and there has been criticism that the quality of the commentary provided is not up to standard.

The sponsor will receive 13 minutes screen time before the race itself as well as promotions around the cinema and samplings. There is also an underpinning marketing campaign in which they will feature.

Canadian GP: Renault technical preview  Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a stop-start, temporary circuit. The long straights mean plenty of heavy braking, while numerous slow corners put the emphasis on strong traction and good engine torque to launch the cars out of them. A competitive car will give the drivers confidence to brake late, while also looking after the rear tires on a circuit where teams will be running the softest of Bridgestone's 2008 compounds.

Montreal will see the team run with a 'low downforce' aerodynamic package. The circuit can be considered as including no high-speed corners, as turn 5 is taken comfortably at full throttle in fifth and sixth gears. The primary focus is therefore on minimizing drag levels in order to achieve competitive straight-line speeds (with a maximum of over 320 kph), while the downforce will assist vehicle stability under heavy braking. The low downforce levels mean the car feels light to drive, and nervous under braking, and so the drivers need to be more delicate with their steering inputs, and when applying the brakes and throttle.


The cars need a responsive change of direction in the chicanes while maintaining good stability under braking and traction out of the slow corners. Brake locking must also be taken into consideration when tuning the suspension, as excessive locking at front or rear will cost lap-time.


Along with Monza, Montreal is the most demanding circuit of the year for the brakes. Overheating is not the primary concern, as the discs and pads have ample time to cool on the straights. However, the braking energies are very high, with four braking events from over 300 kph - and the other two from above 250 kph. Basic wear is therefore our primary concern, and we monitor this in real time during the race. The driver may be asked to adjust the brake balance if wear levels become alarming at front or rear, and some of our work in practice will focus on ensuring that brake wear levels are under control on representative race fuel loads. More ...

Stupid USA carmakers drowning in their big trucks  Asian automakers outsold Detroit's Big Three for the first time in May as the industry continued its dramatic shift toward more fuel-efficient cars. Helped by a reputation for fuel-sipping models, Asian brands captured 47.8 percent of the U.S. market, while American automakers held just 45.4 percent of their home turf last month.

Exemplifying the landslide toward cars, the Honda Civic supplanted the Ford F-Series pickup as the nation's best-selling vehicle.

"May was a watershed month," said Jim Farley, Ford Motor Co.'s group vice president for marketing and communications. "We as an industry are catching up with breathtaking choices customers are making." Last month, 57 percent of all vehicles sold were passenger cars, according to Autodata Corp. A year ago, they accounted for less than 50 percent of the market.

Overall, truck sales continued their nosedive in May, falling 23.6 percent, while cars posted a modest 2.4 percent increase. The Civic, Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla and Honda Accord all outsold Ford's flagship vehicle last month, marking May as the first month since the early 1990s that a car, not a pickup, was the best selling vehicle in the United States. On an annual basis, the F-series has been the nation's top-selling vehicle since 1981. Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. all gained market share in May, while the Big Three all lost ground. The total Asian market share includes Mazda Motor Co., a Japanese automaker in which Ford holds a one-third and controlling stake. More ...
NASCAR on Fox TV ratings & viewership rise in 2008  Putting the brakes on a two-year trend, overall viewership figures for the Emmy Award-winning series in 2008 rose year-to-year for the first time since 2005, posting an impressive 5.7/12 average national household rating and share (9.4 million viewers), up +2% over last year’s 5.6/13 (9.3 million). NASCAR Sprint Cup racing on FOX concluded its season as the top-rated and most-watched regular season sport from February through June for the eighth consecutive year.

Eleven out of the thirteen NASCAR Sprint Cup points races on FOX either grew or equaled last year’s viewing levels, a first for the sport on the network. In addition to households, NASCAR on FOX also posted year-to-year increases in the sports’ traditionally strong male demographics. The rating for men age 35-54 was up +5% (6.5 vs. 6.2) over last season, while ratings in the broader male, 25-54 category were up +2% (5.4 vs. 5.3).

NASCAR on FOX concluded its 2008 campaign with two big races. First, on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend (5/25), the Coca Cola 600, the longest race of the season, posted a 4.7/10 household rating (7.6 million viewers), +4% over the 2007 race and was the top-rated and most-watched event of the holiday weekend. This marks the eighth straight year that the Coke 600 on FOX delivered a larger audience than the Indy 500 4.6/13, (7.2 million). Last Sunday, in the FOX season finale, the race from Dover scored a 4.5/11 (7.1 million viewers), and was the top-rated event for the weekend. The Dover race a year ago was washed out on Sunday and posted a 2.3/7 when run on Monday.

Haas team to appeal penalties  With severe penalties looming, Haas-CNC Motorsports has decided to appeal NASCAR's ruling that the team's cars were illegally altered for the May 25 Coca-Cola 600, sources told ESPN.com's David Newton. NASCAR handed down its most severe penalties yet concerning alterations to its new car on May 28, when the crew chiefs and car chiefs for Scott Riggs and Johnny Sauter were suspended six races apiece for tampering with the rear wings on their Chevrolets at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Additionally, crew chiefs Bootie Barker and Dave Skog were fined $100,000 each. Derick Jennings and Thomas Harris, the car chiefs, were not fined but their suspensions are unprecedented. All four must sit out until the July 12 race in Chicago, and are on probation through the end of the year. Riggs and Sauter were each docked 150 driver points, penalties that severely hurt the struggling teams. The cars are both fielded by Haas-CNC Motorsports, which was docked 150 owner points for each Chevrolet. Haas general manager Joe Custer is listed as the owner for Riggs' #66, and Margaret Haas is listed as the owner of Sauter's #77. Gene Haas, who actually owns the fledgling two-car team, began serving a two-year prison sentence for tax evasion in January. The team is widely believed to be for sale, and two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart has acknowledged he's received an offer to buy the organization. ESPN.com
F-Series loses No. 1 sales spot  After decades of sales domination, the Ford F-Series was outdone as the best-selling vehicle in America in May by four Japanese cars -- a development that symbolizes the difficulty Ford Motor Co.'s turnaround now faces.

The F-Series, which is built at factories in Dearborn, Kansas City, Kan., and Louisville, Ky., represents about one-fourth of the company's total sales.

In May, F-Series sales plummeted 30.6%, to 42,973, as customers continued to reject trucks in favor of more affordable, fuel-efficient cars.

"It is a sign of the times," said Jim Farley, Ford's group vice president for marketing and communications. "But it is not surprising, given the fuel price. We have never seen $4.20-a-gallon gas."

The F-Series decline meant the title of top-selling vehicle went to the Honda Civic, which starts at $15,010 and is rated at 29 m.p.g. in combined city-highway driving. The sporty compact car earned the purchases of 53,299 customers last month, an increase of 37.1%.

The Civic lead was followed by the Toyota Corolla, with 52,826 sales; the Toyota Camry, with 51,291 sales, and the Honda Accord, with 43,728 sales.

The F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States for 26 years, but there have been months when it has been bested by another truck, usually the Chevrolet Silverado.

The last time the F-Series was outsold by a car, however, was December 1992, when more than 65,000 Ford Taurus sedans were sold, said Ford's top sales analyst, George Pipas. Detroit Free Press

Gene to skip Montreal after Le Mans crash  
Marc Gene is also a Ferrari test driver
(GMM)  Marc Gene has called off his scheduled attendance at the Canadian grand prix this weekend following his huge testing crash for the famous Le Mans race.

The some-time Ferrari test driver was hospitalized on Sunday after his Peugeot sports car slid on the wet grass and flipped before striking a barrier at high speed.

Spanish media reports on Tuesday said Gene, who is 34, checked out of hospital with severe bruises all over his body and feet.

The news agency EFE also said Gene has been ordered to rest, with the impact also resulting in the contracture of two vertebrae and the dislocation of a toe.

He has therefore decided to cancel his planned journey with the Ferrari team to Montreal, as his injuries have made it difficult for him to easily walk.

The Le Mans 24 hour race takes place next weekend.

"I will see how I go over the week, but doctors have advised me to rest," Gene said.  "Le Mans is very close and I want to recover so that I am ready."

Williams F1 presents its Grand Prix Collection  
Click photo to play video

The Williams Grand Prix Museum was created as part of the Williams Conference Centre in 1988 at the team’s headquarters in Grove, England.

The collection features the teams’ most successful racecars from the 30 years of the team’s history.

karting news
Memo Gidley wins Mazda SuperKart Race in Mexico  
Memo Gidley takes a victory lap
Memo Gidley added to his already impressive and extensive racing resume with a victory in Mexico driving in the Mazda 250F SuperKart Series.  Born in La Paz and raised in the U.S., Gidley – who has dual American/Mexican citizenship – made his second trip to Monterey, Mexico to compete in the season-opening event of the Mazda SuperKart series and scored his second consecutive victory on a temporary track in the parking lot of the “Parque Tunidura” on the river of Sta. Catarina.

The hotly-contested race of the SK 250 and SK 250 Pro category started at 2:30 with regional participants and special guest driver Gidley, whose regular ride is at the controls of the #77 Kodak Doran/Dallara Ford Daytona Prototype in the Grand-Am Rolex Series. 

At the start, Adolfo Berain (# 28), who qualified second, surprised Memo by jumping to the front, but after completing the first lap, Gidley made the pass to re-take the lead, a  spot he never relinquished for the remainder of the 20-lap race.  In addition to winning, Gidley and his and his #19 Trackmagic kart also set the fastest lap of the race. More ...

Ambrose tests Wood Brothers No. 21  Australian NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose has completed his first test with Wood Brothers Racing in preparation for his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California in three weeks time.

Ambrose in the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford
Ambrose drove the famous 21 Wood Brothers Ford in an open test at Virginia International Raceway which was attended by the majority of the Sprint Cup field.

Ambrose completed 38 laps for a total of about 85 miles (136kms) and was conservatively in the top five cars at the end of the day, which was not officially recorded or timed.

Ambrose will make his debut in NASCAR’s top ranks in a Little Debbie-backed Wood Brothers Ford Fusion at Sonoma on June 22. He will then run a further seven events for Wood Brothers at New Hampshire, Watkins Glen, Michigan, California, Dover, Texas and Phoenix.

Ambrose will also drive four Sprint Cup events for JTG Racing, the first of which will be at Indianapolis in August. He will also run at Kansas, Atlanta and Homestead for that team.

“Overall I would have to say the test was very encouraging,” said Ambrose. More ...

Coulthard has no intention of switching to NASCAR  Two drivers, two continents and two very different ways to prepare for the Canadian Grand Prix because while Red Bull Racing’s David Coulthard crossed over to north America early to check out how they do things at NASCAR, teammate Mark Webber was watching the most famous and dangerous motorcycling road race in the world: the Isle of Man TT.

So, what was David’s take on closed wheel racing in the good ol' US of A?

David Coulthard climbs into Brian Vickers Red Bull car at Dover
“It’s been great to get to see behind the scenes at the NASCAR race,” said DC. “We had dinner with Brian Vickers (who drives for Team Red Bull) in his motorhome on Saturday night – and everyone’s been really accommodating. I had a look in the pit complex this morning and met some of the officials, who have been very welcoming.  It’s incredible to see how close all the competitors work together, shocking is too strong a word, but it’s amazing that the mechanics hardly have any space around the cars to work.”

“I heard that this is one of smaller complexes NASCAR visits, but you can understand how the self-policing system works here! No-one can get away with anything as everyone’s working right alongside each other, very closely so you can see what each team is doing all the time. It’s very different to F1, you’re working in small, hot areas and it shows the importance of the team working very well together.”

“It’s also interesting to see that teammates and team cars are not next to each other in the garage and that the car/garage order is arranged on the points system instead, logistically that doesn’t seem very clever, but it obviously works. It separates out the individual cars and drivers and shows that, although you have one team with two cars, the two cars are very much driving and competing against each other.”

“It’s great to come here as a fellow competitor from another series. It’s good to see the sport close up as I’ve admired it for many years on the television, and it’s interesting to see the rules and regulations they have out here. From a racing spirit point of view, NASCAR is a good as it gets, wheel-to-wheel racing 36 weekends of the year. To see what the drivers have to do here – fighting the heavy cars around the ovals is impressive, it’s very different to single-seater racing. I’ve been asked if I’m planning to switch to NASCAR and the answer is no. As much as I admire the series, my experience and enjoyment is in single-seater racing cars.” More ...

28 cars entered for IndyCar Texas race  
No. Driver Hometown Team Race Strategist
2 A.J. Foyt IV Hockley, Texas Vision Racing Tony George
3 Helio Castroneves Sao Paulo, Brazil Team Penske Tim Cindric
4 Vitor Meira Brasilia, Brazil Panther Racing John Barnes
5 Oriol Servia Pals, Catalonia, Spain KV Racing Technology Jimmy Vasser
6 Ryan Briscoe Sydney, Australia Team Penske Roger Penske
7 Danica Patrick Roscoe, Ill. Andretti Green Racing Kyle Moyer
8 Will Power (R) Toowoomba, Australia KV Racing Technology Mark Johnson
9 Scott Dixon Auckland, New Zealand Target Chip Ganassi Racing Mike Hull
10 Dan Wheldon Emberton, England Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chip Ganassi
11 Tony Kanaan Salvador, Bahia, Brazil Andretti Green Racing George Klotz
12 Tomas Scheckter Cape Town, South Africa Luczo Dragon Racing Jay Penske
14 Darren Manning North Yorkshire, England A.J. Foyt Enterprises A.J. Foyt
15 Buddy Rice Phoenix Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dennis Reinbold
17 Ryan Hunter-Reay Boca Raton, Fla. Rahal Letterman Racing Scott Roembke
18 Bruno Junqueira Belo Horizonte, Brazil Dale Coyne Racing Dale Coyne
19 Mario Moraes (R) Sao Paulo, Brazil Dale Coyne Racing Adam Schaechter
20 Ed Carpenter Indianapolis Vision Racing Jeff Britton
23 Milka Duno Caracas, Venezuela Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Robbie Buhl
24 John Andretti Indianapolis Roth Racing Larry Curry
25 Marty Roth Toronto Roth Racing Larry Curry
26 Marco Andretti Nazareth, Pa. Andretti Green Racing Paul Harcus
27 Hideki Mutoh (R) Tokyo Andretti Green Racing Kim Green
33 E.J. Viso (R) Caracas, Venezuela HVM Racing Michael Cannon
34 Jaime Camara (R) Goiania, Brazil Conquest Racing Eric Zeto
36 Enrique Bernoldi (R) Curitiva, Brazil Conquest Racing Brandon Fry
96 Mario Dominguez (R) Mexico City Pacific Coast Motorsports Michael Harvey
02 Justin Wilson (R) Sheffield, England Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Mike Talbott
06 Graham Rahal (R) New Albany, Ohio Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Todd Malloy
Fisher races to get back on track  
Sarah Fisher
Sarah Fisher is speeding ahead with plans to do at least two more Indy Racing League races this season. Despite the defection of two main sponsors and a crash at last month’s Indianapolis 500, Fisher still thinks her team will be ready to hit the track in August.

“We’re working hard to get the car prepared,” said Sarah Fisher Racing spokesman Klint Briney. “The goal is still to do Kentucky and Chicago.”

SFR officials are working with some new sponsors that came aboard in May, that are considering expanding their relationship with the team through the end of the season and possibly into next season, Briney said.

“Some of our sponsors saw a huge return during May, and they are responding to that,” Briney said.

Fisher, long a fan favorite of open-wheel racing followers, got some additional press when presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stopped by the Speedway to show support for the driver.

Fisher last week got an unexpected boost from Andretti Green Racing. AGR officials donated an underwing to the team, a car part that costs about $18,000. AGR driver Tony Kanaan crashed at Indianapolis and took out Fisher on lap 106. Kanaan put part of the blame on AGR teammate Marco Andretti, who passed Kanaan on the inside, sending him into the wall. Kanaan then slid into Fisher’s path. But Fisher’s team wasn’t expecting the handout.

“They didn’t owe us anything,” Briney said of AGR. “It was a racing accident. This just speaks to the type of person Tony Kanaan is.”

Briney said the tub, or the main part of Fisher’s car, was unharmed in the crash.

“When we saw the crash, we all gasped. But it wasn’t as bad as it looked,” Briney said.

AGR didn’t stop at a mere parts donation. Kanaan also put a logo of one of Fisher’s biggest sponsors, Milwaukee-based Direct Supply, on his car during Sunday’s IRL race at the Milwaukee Mile. Due to financial constraints, Fisher was unable to race at Milwaukee.

“That was quite a gesture, and I can’t tell you how much it meant to our sponsor,” Briney said. “That kind of support is just going to help us get back in the race that much faster.” IBJ.com

Ford, Toyota and Chrysler report lower sales  Chrysler LLC said on Tuesday its U.S. sales fell 25 percent in May from a year earlier on an unadjusted basis, under pressure from declining demand for large pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles.  Chrysler said its sales fell to 148,747 vehicles in May for its Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands, down from 199,393 a year earlier. Car sales fell 33 percent and truck sales fell 22 percent, it said.  The company ended May with inventory of 412,009 vehicles, or a 75-day supply, down 14 percent from a year earlier.

Ford Motor Company's US sales fell 16 percent in May to 217,998 vehicles amid a sharp drop in demand for gasoline-guzzling truck and sport utility vehicles, the automaker said Tuesday.  Car sales, however, rose a monthly 3.8 percent to 85,542 from April amid strong demand for more fuel-efficient models but were still five percent lower than May 2007 amid a general economic slowdown.  "Our products and our dealers are getting us back in the car business," said Jim Farley, Ford group vice president of marketing and communications.  Our small and mid-size cars are outperforming the industry, and we're only just beginning."

Toyota Motor Corp.’s May sales were not immune to the shifting buying patterns of U.S. consumers as the world’s No. 2 automaker reported a sales decline of 4.3% to 257,404 vehicles.  Sales of all Toyota brand cars and trucks fell 2.7% to 230,811 vehicles while sales of Lexus fell 16.6% to 26,593.  And then there was this surprise for Toyota: Sales of the Prius, its highest volume hybrid vehicle, fell 27.5% to 15,011 vehicles.  “We just didn’t have the supply, May of this year versus May of last year,” said Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota division.

Addington wins Wypall crew chief award for Dover performance  Steve Addington, crew chief for the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team and driver Kyle Busch, has been named the Wypall Wipers crew chief of the race for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Best Buy 400 at Dover International Speedway.
Addington's team won for the fourth time this season and leads the Sprint Cup standings.
“Steve made some great calls, adjusting air pressures, etc., just trying to make the car a little bit better,” Busch said.
The combination of Addington’s strategy and consistent 12-second pit stops by the crew aided the driver's ability to race at the front of the pack and take the win.
“The way we got ahead was just great green-flag pit stops,” Addington said. “That gave us a big advantage.”
The 2008 Wypall Wipers Crew Chief Challenge is a season-long contest for crew chiefs in the Sprint Cup Series. Following each race, a panel will vote to determine which crew chief demonstrated the most outstanding strategy and leadership during the race. The honoree isn’t necessarily the crew chief who goes to victory lane but the crew chief who makes the biggest difference for his team.
In addition to a $1,000 check, the winning crew chief will receive signage to announce the win on their pit box the following week. The crew chief with the most weekly wins will be presented a $20,000 check at the season finale in Homestead, Fla.
FIA orders bridge wing changes  Several Formula One teams will be forced to make alterations to their cars ahead of this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix.

Bridge wing on the front of Felipe Massa's Ferrari
Autosport.com reports that the FIA has informed teams employing 'bridge wings' that the devices must be secured to the nose cone of the car to ensure that it does not flex, providing an illegal aerodynamic advantage. McLaren pioneered the bridge wing last year and since then five other teams - Toyota, Renault, Williams, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso - have all added the device, which spans the top of the nose section of the car.

Renault already had a support for the wing which attaches to the nose in compliance with the FIA request.
racing news
George Couzens dies  George Lang Couzens, internationally renowned and highly respected motor racing official and track designer, passed away Saturday, May 31, 2008.  He was 70 years old. (Website)

A graduate of Notre Dame, where he played football for the Fighting Irish, Couzens became a police officer in his native Detroit after graduation, later serving in the FBI in the same city.  Always a strong competitor in all his endeavors, George decided to pursue racing, and became a winning factory driver in offshore powerboat racing, first for Donzi and then Bertram, where he remained to become vice president of sales.

The competitive bug bit again, but this time Couzens turned to automobile racing, where he assumed a managerial role, leading a resurgence in sportscar racing as SCCA’s vice president of Pro Racing.  He later moved to a more significant position as head of the club’s international racing operations, overseeing SCCA’s role in sanctioning the Formula One races held in the U.S. 

George left the SCCA in 1986 to form his own firm, Motor Racing Management, co-founded by his youngest son, Brian. As president of MRM, Couzens became a leading industry authority on the safety, design and construction of temporary street circuits, most notably Detroit for the Formula 1 Grands Prix, and Miami for the IMSA GTP Championships. After retiring from motorsports, Couzens served on the Board of several charities in the Denver area.

In failing health for the past several months, Couzens died peacefully of natural causes. He is survived by three grown sons, George, Jr. (Chip), Christopher and Brian, and two grandchildren.  A private memorial will be held, and the family requests that any donations be made to Howard Dental Center, 1420 Ogden St., Denver, CO  80218, or The Make-a-Wish Foundation of Colorado, 7951 E. Maplewood Ave., Suite 126, Greenwood Village, CO  80111.

GM closing 4 truck and SUV plants  General Motors is closing four truck and SUV plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico as surging fuel prices hasten a dramatic shift to smaller vehicles.

CEO Rick Wagoner said Tuesday before the automaker's annual meeting in Delaware the plants to be idled are in Oshawa, Ontario; Moraine, Ohio; Janesville, Wis.; and Toluca, Mexico. He also said the iconic Hummer brand will be reviewed and potentially sold or revamped. Wagoner said the GM board has approved production of a new small Chevrolet car at a plant in Lordstown, Ohio, in mid-2010 and production of the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle in Detroit.

Wagoner announced the moves in response to slumping sales of pickups and SUVs brought on by high oil prices. He said a market shift to smaller vehicles is permanent.

The moves will save the company $1 billion per year starting in 2010. Combined with previous efforts, GM by 2011 will have cut costs by $15 billion a year compared with 2005, Wagoner said.

F1 stars among world's top sports earners  (GMM)  Formula one drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso are among the world's highest paid athletes, according to the major American sports magazine Sports Illustrated.

Raikkonen, the reigning world champion who drives for Ferrari, reportedly earned $46 million in 2007, ranking him second only to football's David Beckham on the list of highest earning sports personalities from outside the US.

Beckham, third on the worldwide list behind golfers Tiger Woods ($128m) and Phil Mickelson, topped the non-US list at $48.2m, with Sports Illustrated explaining that the cited dollar amounts are retainers plus endorsements.

Sports Illustrated also said former double world champion Fernando Alonso made $40m in 2007, which was more than the earnings of football's Ronaldinho ($37.5m), tennis' Roger Federer ($35.1m) and MotoGP star Valentino Rossi ($34m).

Mosley victory 'changes nothing' - Ecclestone  (GMM) Max Mosley's controversial victory in Paris on Tuesday did nothing to ease the tensions with his former ally Bernie Ecclestone, F1's chief executive and commercial rights holder.

Ecclestone, 77, had pleaded with the embattled FIA president to step down prior to the confidence vote, and last month interpreted Mosley's attempted widening of the sex scandal as a possible "declaration of war".

Speaking to the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday evening, Ecclestone denied that Mosley's victory will make it any easier for him to return to full flight as FIA president.

"There were many people who didn't want to speak to him before. I can't think they will want to speak to him now as a result of what has happened.

"Nothing has changed in that respect. Just because he gets a few clubs from Africa voting for him will not make the king of Spain want to shake his hand," Ecclestone added. More ...
BMW supports Mosley vote  Max Mosley remains in office as President of the International Automobile Federation (FIA). The FIA General Assembly reached this decision in Paris today. BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen issued to following statement:

"The relevant bodies of the FIA have passed a vote of confidence in Max Mosley, which means he will see out his term of office as President of the FIA, ending in October 2009. We respect this decision, which was made by the delegates in full knowledge of the facts. It is important now for everyone concerned to turn their undivided attention back to the sport."
Stoddart predicts end of FIA  Paul Stoddart has warned that the FIA will never recover from the repercussions of their decision to endorse the presidency of Max Mosley.

According to Stoddart, the former team boss of Minardi, the threat should not be taken lightly.

"This is a sad day for motorsport because this is the beginning of the end of the FIA" he told BBC Radio Five Live. "The damage done is irreparable and we will now see the demise of the FIA."
Mosley news bad for British GP - Hill  (GMM) The retention of Max Mosley as FIA president is a further blow to Silverstone's hopes of retaining the British grand prix beyond 2009, Damon Hill said on Tuesday.

The 1996 world champion, who is president of the circuit-owning club the BRDC, argued that with such a controversial figure at the helm of the sport's governing body, his task of safeguarding the historic event's future is harder.

Mosley, 68, won 103 of the 169 votes in a confidence ballot in Paris earlier on Tuesday, following widespread condemnation of his involvement in a sordid sex scandal.

Hill, at odds with F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone about a new British grand prix promoters' contract for 2010, said the BRDC needs "an organisation like the FIA to help us protect our position so that we can have reasonable terms with the commercial rights holders".

"It's very difficult, though, when you have a president who is as controversial as Max is, to go to governments and argue the case for formula one," he told the BBC.

Meanwhile, despite Mosley's insistence that he will now stay on as FIA president until the end of his elected term late next year, a former grand prix team owner believes the controversial Briton could step down now on his own terms.

"My hope is he will think about the damage," Eddie Jordan told BBC radio Five Live on Tuesday.

"There are a lot of countries where F1 goes and lots of the rulers of those countries don't want to deal with him. That is clearly not acceptable.

"My hope is that he will listen to the comments and then go. I'm quite certain he will stand down before the end of the year," the Irishman, who sold his Silverstone based team at the end of the 2004 season, added.
Jordan: Mosley will stand down  Eddie Jordan has predicted that Max Mosley will resign as FIA President even after he survived a vote of no confidence during Tuesday's General Assembly meeting in Paris.

The ruling means that Mosley can stay on in his position until his term of office runs out in October 2009, but Jordan expects Mosley to leave before then.

"I'm quite certain he will stand down before the end of the year," the former F1 team boss told BBC Radio Five Live. "As much as I like Max for what he did for safety, unfortunately this is no longer a private affair. It has become public and I think he will now stand down on his own terms."

Nor did Jordan regard Mosley's apparent success in Paris as an overwhelming mandate to continue.

"I'm not surprised that he has won, Max is a very clever man and he would not have called this meeting if he thought he couldn't win, but I'm surprised that there was so much opposition to him. He will be very disappointed by that."
FIA statement on Mosley vote  The full statement from the FIA following a vote of confidence in its President Max Mosley in Paris on Tuesday.

FIA Extraordinary General Assembly - Vote

During the Extraordinary General Assembly (EGA) held in Paris today, the FIA Member Clubs voted on a motion of confidence in the FIA President.

The FIA membership voted as follows:

For the motion: 103 Against the motion: 55 Abstentions: 7 Invalid votes 4

Voting in the EGA was made by secret ballot. Votes were counted in private by the FIA legal department in the presence of four scrutineers, selected by the EGA from a list of Delegates proposed by the Chairman of the meeting (the President of the FIA Senate).

The entire voting procedure was supervised by an external Huissier de Justice (French state-appointed public witness).
Mosley survives Paris confidence vote  (GMM)  Max Mosley will remain FIA president, after achieving a clear win in the secret confidence ballot conducted in Paris on Tuesday.

A statement issued by the locally-based body revealed that, of the 169 votes cast, 103 expressed confidence in the 68-year-old, who has been embroiled in a highly controversial scandal following a media expose about his private sex life.

55 votes were against the motion, while the final 11 were abstentions or invalid, the FIA added.

Germany boycotts FIA, USA may follow  (GMM)  The fallout of Max Mosley's survival as FIA president has begun, with Europe's largest automobile club vowing to now boycott the Paris based governing body.

After a clear majority of FIA affiliates voted to keep the scandal-gripped Briton as president on Tuesday, Germany's Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club (ADAC) announced in a statement they would boycott the FIA in protest.

The club said it viewed the outcome of the vote "with regret and incredulity".

"This is a reason for Europe's largest automobile club to let its functions and co-operation in FIA working groups rest at world level," the statement read.

"ADAC will stay with its decision as long as Max Mosley holds the top FIA office as president."

The representative of America's automobile association (AAA), Robert Darbelnet, said the club was considering joining ACAC in the protest.

He told reporters in Paris that the result was a "disappointing day for the FIA".

"I will give it very serious consideration whether or not to remain effectively engaged in an organization that condones this type of activity," Darbelnet added.

Renault reaffirms commitment to F1  Formula One team, Renault, has moved to quell speculation that it will walk away from the championship if its performance does not improve soon.

The squad, which has not won a race since Fernando Alonso triumphed in the 2006 Japanese Grand Prix, has notched up just 60 points since the end of the 2006 campaign, contrasting starkly with the 191 tallied in 2005 and 206 the following year.

Renault’s chief executive, Carlos Ghosn, however, dismissed suggestions that Renault will withdraw from the top flight should it fail find a return to form, saying: "We are committed to F1 for many years. We certainly won't leave while we're not winning. The fruits of our work on the way to recovery will be seen in the second part of the season. It's clear that I'm not happy with the results”.

The 33-times grand prix winners are currently seventh in the title standings after the opening third of the season.

Alonso has high hopes for Montreal race  The Renault team has prepared for the seventh round of the 2008 Formula 1 World Championship: the Canadian Grand Prix that will take place this coming weekend at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit in Montreal and double world champion Fernando Alonso has reassured his legion of fans that the French based squad will do everything to be on the pace…

Fernando Alonso
Fernando, the team has spoken of a missed opportunity in Monaco. What are your thoughts on the race?
We were not able to achieve what could have been possible in normal conditions, and so it was disappointing. As we are not fighting for the championship, we tried to take our chances and that meant we took some risks, although they did not pay us back. But now I am looking forward to getting back in the car this weekend to see what we can achieve in Montreal, which is a very different circuit.

Canada is generally a popular venue for the teams. Is it a circuit that you like?
Yes, there is always a good atmosphere in Montreal. The whole city gets involved in the Grand Prix and it's clear that Canadians like motor sport and particularly F1, which makes it a very enjoyable race. I won the Grand Prix in 2006, so I have some happy memories, and I'm sure that this year we will have another interesting race.

The circuit in Montreal is demanding on the brakes. Is that an area you will concentrate on when you start working on the set-up of the car?
Absolutely. We must pay special attention to brake cooling and managing them in the race will be very important. But it's not something I'm worried about, and we will work on this in free practice on Friday. Overall I think that the R28 should work well.

A low downforce set-up is essential in Canada. Do you think that the car will handle well in this configuration?
There is no reason why it shouldn't as the team has been preparing for this race for several weeks, including a test session in Paul Ricard. We have made some progress recently and we are trying to continue moving forward as much as possible. Since the Spanish Grand Prix we seem to have been on the pace, and so should be in Canada as well, and we will do everything to try and make sure that we are.

Chrysler gas gimmick fails  Even the lure of $2.99-a-gallon gas for three years didn't bolster Chrysler LLC's sagging sales in May, automotive analysts predict.

While Chrysler's Gas Guarantee promotion -- introduced May 5 -- has attracted more customers to its showrooms, that interest is not translating into a sales turnaround for the Auburn Hills automaker. Analysts say Chrysler's lineup is too heavy on trucks and SUVs and void of the hybrids and compact cars consumers are buying to offset $4-a-gallon gas.

Edmunds.com projects that Chrysler's May sales will be down 18.2 percent compared with the same month a year ago, outpacing an expected industry-wide downturn of 7.4 percent. Detroit News

Soft and super soft tires for Canada  Formula One heads to the fabulous city of Montreal in Canada for the seventh round of the FIA Formula One World Championship where Bridgestone’s soft and super soft compound Potenza tires will be put through their paces on the temporary street course located on the Isle Notre Dame. This will be the 39th running of the Canadian Grand Prix, and the 30th time the event has taken place on the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve on the Isle Notre Dame, an artificial island created for the Expo 67, and used for the 1976 Summer Olympics.

As the roads that make up the course are seldom used for racing activities during the rest of the year, the track surface usually starts the weekend with very low levels of grip. As the circuit gets cleaned and rubber laid, so grip levels improve, and lap times get quicker. The circuit layout features high speed sections, a significant straight, and numerous heavy braking areas over its 4.36km. The weather in Montreal can vary from being one of the hotter grands prix of the year, to one of the cooler.  More ...

Bike falls not hurting Schu's image - manager  
Schumacher picks up his bike after crashing.  He started 25th and was up to 17th before the spill
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher's manager has rejected suggestions that the most successful driver in formula one history is destroying his image with his two-wheeled forays.

Following yet another fall during Schumacher's German Superbike outing at the Nurburgring at the weekend, some of the former Ferrari racer's strongest supporters have urged him to stop before his reputation is ruined or he hurts himself.

"If you have as good a reputation as Michael Schumacher's, nothing can destroy it," his manager, Willy Weber, told the German newspaper Bild.

"I am happy that he is enjoying himself," he added.

F1 to get more night practice in Singapore  (GMM)  Organizers of formula one's first night race in Singapore have agreed to modify the timetable of the inaugural September event so that drivers get more practice under floodlights.

Concerns were raised earlier this year that only 90 minutes of floodlit practice had been allocated before qualifying takes place after sunset at 8pm on Saturday.

Initial Friday practice, for instance, is currently scheduled to take place in daylight (4pm), and - similarly - pre-qualifying practice on Saturday is scheduled for 5pm.

But it now emerges that the FIA, which has notified the teams, is set to rubber-stamp a timetable change.

It is understood that the major changes to the timetable are later practice start times for the initial Friday and Saturday practice sessions.

Sunday's race start time of 8pm remains unchanged, but the knock-on effect of the other changes means that qualifying is set to begin as late as 10pm on Saturday night.

Elsewhere, organizers of the inaugural street race at Valencia have revealed that - to test the port circuit before the late August grand prix - regional F3 and GT races will be held there in July.

Video of Gene Peugeot wreck at LeMans  UPDATE Marc Gene says he thought he was going to die when he crashed and rolled a Peugeot 908 HDi at Le Mans.

"The truth is that I didn't think I would survive the accident," he said on his personal website. "This has been, without a doubt, the biggest crash of my career and it was a miracle that I walked away.

"I just want to thank Peugeot for building a car that saved my life. Now I'm only thinking about recovering and being ready for the race. We face a great challenge to rebuild the car but I trust Peugeot, who have supported me a lot since the accident."

06/02/08 Below is a video of the accident suffered by Marc Gene in one of the Peugeots in LeMans testing over the weekend.  Gene was very lucky to survive to say the least.

Test thoughts from LeMans test  It was 10 hours of testing on the schedule but in reality competitors at Le Mans got in limited meaningful laps during Sunday’s Test Day for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. The American Le Mans Series contingent, 41 drivers strong, did themselves well on a damp and dreary circuit that didn’t really allow for meaningful test programs. Nevertheless, it’s still Le Mans and it’s still one of the biggest thrills and challenges in motorsport.

Chris McMurry, Autocon Motorsports
Creation CA07-Judd (LMP1)
“We put an engine in that came back from Judd and it has been leaking oil. It was giving us problems at Sebring so it’s not fixed. We were trying to get our 10 laps in. We will switch our engines here in the next few days. Judd has seen I think only two engines fail here at Le Mans so it’s a remarkable thing.

“Mike (Lewis) runs a great team and it's nice to be partnered up with the Creation guys this week. That will help a lot. Most of the teams are focusing on getting their laps in this week. Next week will be different anyway...we hope.”

Romain Dumas, Pescarolo Sport
Pescarolo-Judd (LMP1)
“It’s very good to be with this team again. This year will be more difficult. Our target is to be the first of the diesels. We have a good car, good balance. But it (was) very difficult with the rain coming and going.

Marco Werner, Audi Sport North America
Audi R10 TDI (LMP1)
“Although in the rain and in changing conditions we were able to sort and try many things, we’d have preferred driving on a dry track for a longer period of time. I think that the results we saw on the times monitor do not truly reflect the situation yet. But, in any event, we’ve still got a lot of work to do during the race week.” More ...

tv news
NCTS Ratings Up for Fourth Consecutive Race on SPEED  The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race from Dover scored an average Nielsen Household Rating of 0.82 (597,000 households) on SPEED, up 14 percent from last year’s 0.72 (513,000 households). This year’s race at the Monster Mile peaked at a 0.99 (719,000 households), up 16 percent from last year’s peak of 0.85 (600,000 households).

The Trucks, with Nielsen Ratings up for the last four consecutive races on SPEED and nearly 20 percent year-to-year from 2007, are back on track this weekend, with live coverage from Texas Motor Speedway beginning Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET live and exclusively on SPEED.

racing news
Dixon Hands PitFit Training 3rd Straight Indy 500 Win  PitFit Training (PitFit) today announced Scott Dixon, a PitFit client, won the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500. This is the third year in a row where a PitFit Training client has won the Indianapolis 500, starting with Sam Hornish, Jr. in 2006. Dario Franchitti won in 2007 and now Dixon. Hornish and Franchitti have gone on to race in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series.

The 27-year old Dixon led 115 of 200 laps in a race plagued by numerous and lengthy cautions, including two incidents during caution laps. He is the first New Zealander to win the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

“Obviously we work hard on my conditioning,” noted Dixon of his preparation for the 500. “The Indianapolis 500 is a long race, and I never really felt the fatigue some other drivers might have encountered. Jim has always made sure I was ready for every race, and we will continue the training to stay in position to win the championship.” More ...

Open-wheel hotshoe joins Doran for The Glen  
Richard Antinucci
Richard Antinucci, the current championship points leader in the Firestone Indy Lights series, will join the Doran Racing driver lineup for this weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen. 

Antinucci, who finished 5th in the 2007 Indy Lights event at The Glen and made his Rolex Series Daytona Prototype debut at the Miller Motorsports Park season-closer – turning the fastest race lap in the process – will co-drive with Burt Frisselle and Gabriele Gardel in #47 Doran Racing/BSI/CDOC/Anasten Plus Ford Dallara.  The driver lineup for the team’s #77 Doran Racing Kodak Doran/Dallara Ford, Memo Gidley and Brad Jaeger, remains unchanged.  Jaeger also raced in the Indy Lights event at The Glen in 2007.

“I’m really looking forward to the Watkins Glen race as a big opportunity to expand my career in new directions,” says the 27 year-old native of Rome, Italy.  “I contacted Doran Racing over the winter because I really wanted to drive the new Dallara package which I think has a lot of potential.  The driving style is very different from my Indy Lights car; the prototype is less forgiving and you really have to be on your toes, but the good thing is that how you drive can really make a difference in this kind of car.  On an oval, the car is everything, but in a six-hour prototype race, you can really put your signature on the drive.”

Antinucci, nephew of F1 and Indy Car veteran Eddie Cheever, won the formula 3 World Cup championship in 2003, and has competed in both the Japanese Formula 3 and Formula 3 Euroseries.  He has tested twice with the Williams-BMW Formula One team, won three Indy Pro Series races in 2007 and is currently leading the 2008 IPS championship in the #7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car with one win, one pole and three podium finishes. More ...

tv news
Scott Dixon will be a guest on the David Letterman show  UPDATE A reminder that Scott Dixon will be a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight.

06/01/08 The Indy 500 winner, Scott Dixon, will be a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman on Monday, June 2.  The show airs at 11:35 pm - 12:35 am ET on CBS in most time zones.  Please check your local listings for your time zone.
Drama ahead with 11 races in next 14 weeks  IndyCar Series fans might want to set their TiVos. On the cusp of 11 races in the next 14 weekends, the battle at racetracks across the United States and Canada could prove to be fiercer than last summer.
Already five drivers have claimed victories in the first six races, including three first-time winners. Graham Rahal, Danica Patrick and Ryan Briscoe have all added their names to the IndyCar Series history book. Scott Dixon, the only repeat winner in 2008, leads the point standings by 28 over winless Helio Castroneves.
What happens out of the cockpit could add to the drama. When 26 drivers race hard every weekend, tempers are bound to flare. There have already been incidents that have left drivers pointing fingers and laying blame. In the heat of the summer, there could be more.
Remember last year when: Danica Patrick confronted Dan Wheldon on pit lane at Milwaukee; Tomas Scheckter hurled his gloves at Marco Andretti at Texas; Six cars crashed in a single accident at Iowa; Sam Hornish confronted Tony Kanaan on pit lane at Watkins Glen; three Andretti Green cars had trouble on the first lap at Mid-Ohio; opponents accused AGR of team tactics at Infineon.
Summer 2008 promises to be full of drama. Stay tuned.  IRL PR
Confidence-inspiring win for Briscoe  While Ryan Briscoe celebrated his first career victory with Team Penske crew members, Roger Penske stood off to the side in Victory Circle at The Milwaukee Mile smiling.
Penske, who hired Briscoe in 2007 to drive the Porsche RS Spyder in ALMS, was happy for the young Aussie. Not only happy that Briscoe scored his first IndyCar Series victory and Team Penske’s first since last June at Texas Motor Speedway, but also genuinely happy for a race car driver who had limited success since debuting in the 2005 season. Three DNFs in the first six races of this season – including a pit lane incident with Danica Patrick a week earlier in the latter stages of the 92nd Indianapolis 500 – didn’t inspire confidence.
“I think first he really got the monkey off his back, and we knew how good a race driver he was when he ran for us in the Porsche program last year,” said Penske after Briscoe led Scott Dixon across the line under caution because of a late-race incident involving four cars.
“I think from the standpoint of his confidence, there's no question that this is exactly what he needed to break the ice. I think we are going to see a real new race driver come above now as we go forward.”
Briscoe broke into the series in ’05 with Target Chip Ganassi Racing as a teammate to Dixon. More ...
racing news
Conor Daly sets another lap record in Canada  In rounds three and four of the Ontario Formula Ford Championship held at Shannonville Motorsport Park, Ontario, Canada, Indeck/Cytomax driver Conor Daly scored two podium finishes, and for the second consecutive race weekend, set another new race lap record for the Formula Ford 1600 class.  His second and third place finishes keeps him second in the championship.

Daly qualified on the front row of the starting grid for both races and after falling back on the opening lap of race one on Saturday, he battled back and made a last gasp effort to take the lead on the last corner of the last lap, but had to be content with second place. He also set fastest lap of the race.

Race two on Sunday saw Daly start on the outside of the front row where he again fell back to fourth place at the end of lap one. Former champion Shane Jantsi pulled out a commanding lead before a full course yellow bunched up the field. After the restart, Daly hounded second place Matt White before passing him on the penultimate lap. On the last lap Daly reeled in leader Jantsi and in a daring move for the win, made contact with Jantsi at the final corner, which broke Daly’s steering arm. The incident allowed White through to finish second with Daly crossing the line in third place with a deranged front end. His chase of Jantsi netted him a new race lap record. 

Daly’s next races will be a double/double when he will contest rounds five and six of both the  Ontario Formula Ford 1600 championship and the Skip Barber National Championship to be held in Mosport International Raceway, Ontario,  June 14th-15th. Conor Daly PR

More candidates emerge for Mosley's job  (GMM)  At least three more serious prospective candidates may have emerged in the event that Max Mosley is forced to step down as FIA president following Tuesday's Paris vote.

We previously reported that well-known F1 personalities Jean Todt, the former Ferrari boss, and Toro Rosso co-owner and former grand prix winner Gerhard Berger, could be amongst the frontrunners to inherit control of the sport's global governing body.

It was also recently reported that it may be current French prime minister Francois Fillon's "dream" to be FIA president.

The German news agency SID on Monday published a list of other probable candidates, including Marco Piccinini, the Italian deputy president of the FIA, who at Monaco replaced the scandal-gripped Mosley as the official on-site FIA representative.

Also mentioned by the agency was 57-year-old Hermann Tomczyk, a high ranking German motor racing official and current FIA vice president, as well as Prof. Jurgen Hubbert, 68, the former long-time chief of the manufacturer DaimlerChrysler.

Dover race well short of sellout  The crowd was an estimated 25,000 short of a sellout. The speedway seats about 140,000. Nine fan-less sections each in Turns 2 and 3 were covered with advertising banners. Rising gas prices and food prices are seen as the reasons for the smallest crowd in years. Philadelphia Daily News  [Editor's Note: If that were the case why was the IndyCar race in Milwaukee up 30%]
racing news
Quotes of the week  
"Note to rumor writers. Please note that David [Coulthard] is visiting this event [NASCAR race at Dover] solely to shoot a film for Red Bull, and we would appreciate it if you did not start a load of silly rumors about him switching from F1 to NASCAR in 2009.  Yee Ha!"  The always humorous Milton Keynes based Red Bull press office cheekily explained Coulthard's NASCAR visit in a press release.

"Well, Charles [Burns] is security. So the primary word being 'secure.'  Indy you've got nothing that's a hundred percent secure. It's definitely more scary when your car is uncomfortable at Indy going into Turn One. I mean, I can tell you that I never made a whole lap flat in the race so long as I was in it. When the car is not right at Indy, it's the most difficult track. So definitely Turn One. Charles and I are friends. He was looking out for me. He is not intimidating to me. But I do listen." (Responding to a question asking which was more intimidating: going into Turn 1 at Indy or Charles Burns, head of IRL Security, saying no.)  Danica Patrick, IndyCar driver, Andretti Green Racing

"I'll be running, man. I'll be running (laughter). I think if you get involved in that, it can only be bad." (Responding to a question about how he would react if Danica would confront him on pit road regarding a racing incident.)  Scott Dixon, winner of the Indy 500, Target Chip Ganassi Racing More ...

A lap of Montreal with Alex Wurz  Round seven of the 2008 Formula One championship season will get underway at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit this coming weekend, marking the thirtieth anniversary of Formula One cars roaring around the Montreal track. Here Honda test driver, Alex Wurz, who has completed many laps of this particular circuit during his time as an active F1 racer, tells us just what to expect…..

"Montreal is a nice Grand Prix. It feels quite similar to Australia in that everyone likes going there and there is a great city nearby that offers good restaurants and a vibrant atmosphere. I made my F1 debut at this race in 1997, so I associate it with the moment when it all came together for me and I like going back to Canada as a result. Coming straight after Monaco, the cars feel strange to drive in low-downforce trim. They are always sliding around and you have to get your head around the fact that you rarely find a good balance. Tire graining is also a big issue.”

"You arrive at Turn 1 in sixth gear and it's one of those corners that invites you to brake too late. You want to use the left-hand curb as much as possible and if you brake too late, the car becomes unstable and the curb feels much worse than it actually is. This corner leads straight into a first-gear right-hander, which is very slippery early on in the weekend but improves as more rubber goes down. Turns 3 and 4 make up another chicane and as the track improves you can jump the chicanes and be very aggressive. You run very close to the right-hand barrier at the exit, before positioning the car on the left in preparation for the flat-out right-hander.”

"The next chicane is quite bumpy under braking, but you can still brake very late and use the curb on the left. You have to be careful not to unsettle the car because you need to be flat through the right-hander, which is followed by a long straight. Then you go under a bridge and you're into another chicane, which has only one turn-in point. It's very easy to miss the entry point here and every year we see drivers getting it wrong and going straight on.”

"Next comes the hairpin. It is second or third gear, depending on your gear ratios, and it's very important to have good traction at the exit because the longest straight on the lap follows. You're flat-out for 15 seconds, before stamping on the brakes for the final chicane. You try to brake later and later into here, but you have to be careful because things can go wrong very quickly. A small mistake and you'll be in the 'wall of champions' before you know it. The two best overtaking points on the lap are into the hairpin and the last chicane, but it's not so easy due to the marbles off-line, especially late in the race."

AGR team helps Fisher  Andretti Green Racing has helped out Sarah Fisher's tiny team by providing her with an underwing for her car that was damaged in a crash with AGR driver Tony Kanaan in the Indianapolis 500. Kanaan's car carried a decal for Direct Supply, a Milwaukee company that backed Fisher's Indy effort.  JSOnline.com
Drive of the day by Servia  With Rahal out, Oriol Servia ended up as the highest finishing driver from among the former Champ Car teams, with an impressive sixth place.

Servia's front wing suffered damage in contact with Enrique Bernoldi on the first lap, dropping him to the rear of the field after he started ninth. But he raced his way back onto the lead lap and then picked off car after car to get as high as fifth.

"The whole race was just keep fighting, keep fighting, and every pit stop we gained spots," said Servia, who managed his best IndyCar finish.  JSOnline.com

Backmarker Manning ruined Rahal's great race  
The softer Firestone tires at Milwaukee this year may have contributed to more marbles, which caught Rahal out and put him in the wall.
Jim Haines/IRL
A great performance turned ugly in a hurry for Graham Rahal as the 19-year-old oval-track newcomer crashed out much as he did a week earlier in the Indianapolis 500.

Rahal started second and was running third on the 130th lap when he went high around two lapped cars in the third turn, lost traction and slid into the outside wall.

"We were hanging there - that's the thing - and we were looking pretty darn good," said Rahal, who placed the blame on Darren Manning.

Manning was trying to pass Buddy Rice, and for Rahal to go around would have required a three-wide pass.

"I was being patient for 50 laps with those guys and they were blocking me the whole time," he said. "So I don't think it has anything to do with patience.

"The officials need to do a better job. If these guys are way off the pace, they need to park 'em. They're holding up the leaders and ruining a good show, I think."

Manning, though, saw the incident as a byproduct of a tough, lap-after-lap battle.

"Buddy was coming into the pits," Manning said. "I had to kind of go around the outside of him, and then Graham was trying to go around the outside of me, and there was nowhere to go in the marbles there." JSOnline.com

Busch almost loses helmet  Kyle Busch almost had to go to a backup helmet this weekend. His helmet was stolen from the garage Friday night, but track security officers caught the culprit. "Somebody snuck in the garage with the cleanup crew and stole it," Busch said. "Somebody saw it happen, I guess, and they told security guards outside. They were checking everybody that was leaving and they found him and brought the helmet back." Did the helmet have any special significance to Busch? "It didn't matter," he said. "It's not a lucky helmet." But Busch now has two victories with that helmet, including Atlanta. "On second thought, it might be a lucky helmet," team owner Joe Gibbs said. ESPN.com
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Ferrari tester Gene hurt in Le Mans crash
  • Mosley vote on Tuesday could go either way
  • McLaren's Whitmarsh happy with Kovalainen
  • Rossi - Ferrari wanted me for F1
  • Sutil would not have scored points at Monaco
  • Hamilton 'lucky' to win Monaco GP - Sauber
  • Schu suffers another fall in bike race

Ferrari tester Gene hurt in Le Mans crash
(GMM)  Some time Ferrari test driver Marc Gene survived with light injuries after a huge crash during testing on Sunday for the forthcoming 24 hours of Le Mans event.

The 34-year-old Spaniard, whose teammate for the famous race is 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, lost control of the Peugeot sports car, which flipped before striking a barrier backwards.

The car is a write-off, and Gene was treated at the scene and at the circuit's medical centre before he was transferred to a local hospital for a night of observation and tests.

He suffered a fractured toe and a bruised elbow, confirmed reports said, and Gene should be fit to race later in June.

Mosley vote on Tuesday could go either way
(GMM)  In between Max Mosley's reported confidence, and the opposing widespread resistance to his continuing role as FIA president, the outcome of Tuesday's crucial Paris vote is truly unclear.

24 major FIA member clubs, all with hypothetical votes at the FIA senate, condemned the 68-year-old Briton in a recent letter.

But some other affiliates - some with two votes apiece - have not shown their hands.

Some that want Mosley to be removed, meanwhile - including India, Russia and Jamaica - will not be present on Tuesday because they are ineligible to vote, mainly because they were late to pay FIA fees or missed the proxy deadline.

In fact, the news agency Associated Press also said the governing body has confirmed that just 180 of the 222 FIA member clubs will attend the Paris vote.

Elsewhere, the British newspaper The Guardian conducted a poll of 100 of the eligible FIA voters that showed 37 per cent want Mosley to go.

The newspaper said 25 per cent are set to vote in the FIA president's favor, 9 per cent are undecided or ineligible, while 29 per cent declined to comment. More ...

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