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Open Pantry teams with Milwaukee Mile Open Pantry teams with Milwaukee MileThe green flag is waving on the latest partnership with The Milwaukee Mile, as Open Pantry was announced today as the “Official Convenience Store of The Milwaukee Mile.” This move by Wisconsin’s leading convenience store will translate into summer-long savings for race fans on popular products ranging from Miller Beer to Golden Guernsey milk, to Snickers candy bars, through obtaining an exclusive Open Pantry Pit Stop Card.

“Race fans have come to enjoy the convenience of their neighborhood Open Pantry stores. This alliance with The Milwaukee Mile for Open Pantry is the first step into tapping into the millions of diehard auto racing fans with what we believe are some very attractive offers,” commented Jim Fiene, Open Pantry senior vice president, sales and operations. “We’re also giving away all-expenses paid race trips, and welcome race fans to pick up their own Open Pantry Pit Stop Card to start saving on their next trip to work or to the racetrack.”

The Open Pantry Pit Stop Card is an attractive key fob that displays the familiar logos of the products offered at a discount simply by presenting the card at the register at any of the 42 Milwaukee area and Northern Illinois Open Pantry Food Mart locations.

Matos wins again in Star Mazda Matos wins again in Star MazdaRaphael Matos, of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, earned his fourth consecutive victory of the season this afternoon in Round Four of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, held at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit as part of the Formula One Grand Prix of Canada weekend activities. Matos, driving the Ocean Tomo Racing Mazda edged out second place finisher Graham Rahal, of New Albany, Ohio, by 2.775 seconds, while Rahal would lead his Andersen Walko Racing teammate Robbie Pecorari, of Aston, Pennsylvania, across the finish line to complete the podium.

For the second consecutive race Matos would lead every lap, and put on a powerhouse display to maintain his stranglehold on the top step of the podium. “It is a tremendous feeling to win on this circuit in front of  these amazing fans,” Matos said. “I had my work cut out for me this race as Scott Jenkins, Graham Rahal and Robbie Pecorari were all running fast as well.  At the start Scott was looking to take the lead into the first corner but I was able to hang on, and then on the restart after the safety car period Graham had a strong run, but the Ocean Tomo car worked perfectly.”

As Matos was looking to put some space on the field the battle for the second spot was intense with Rahal, James Hinchcliffe and Pecorari all looking to lead the pack chasing Matos. Hinchcliffe, driving on his home soil for AIM Autosport, held onto the position early but Rahal wasn’t to be denied and once through worked to close the gap and fend off the challengers. “The Andersen Walko Racing team gave me a great car and after taking myself out of the podium battle at Mid-Ohio it feels good to come here and earn my second podium of the season,” Rahal commented. “The biggest challenge of the weekend was handling the lapped traffic.  It seemed that I would always catch the traffic in the corners while Raphael had passed them on the straights so I’d have to work hard to regain the lost time.”

Pecorari, a rookie in the championship like Rahal, put in another veteran performance to earn his second straight podium visit in the SAI Hydraulics Mazda. “The lapped traffic was a real challenge out there but it was great to be racing with Graham as we work together on the team and know that we will race each other hard but clean,” Pecorari said. “The chemistry on the team has helped as we’ve worked on closing the gap to Raphael and we keep getting closer.”

While Rahal and Pecorari were dicing for second Jenkins was battling his way to a fourth place finish, fending off challenges from Ross Smith, Mark Wilkins and Marco Andretti in the process. “It was a pretty aggressive race out there today as everyone was fighting for the positions from the start to the finish,” Jenkins explained. “Rahal and I made contact with other a couple of times on the opening lap and I dropped a few places early but as the race went on my Team Bucknum Racing car was really strong. I was asking my team if we had more laps as I was gaining on people but we ran out of laps.”

Rounding out the top five would be Marco Andretti in the Vonage MJ Motorsports Mazda. Andretti, grandson to 1978 Formula One World Driving Champion Mario Andretti, would set the fast lap of the race as he worked his way up from the eleventh spot on the grid.

Max Angelelli grabs pole Max Angelelli grabs poleUPDATE Max Angelelli, right, qualifying driver of the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley, gives the double thumbs up and says where are all the fans after snatching the pole position on the last qualifying lap for Sunday's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen race at Watkins Glen International.  As is the case with all Grand-Am races, the France family continues to pump huge amounts of money into the series, but because they don't understand what road racing fans like, hardly anyone shows up to watch their races.  06/11/05 For the second year in-a-row, Italian driver Max Angelelli will start the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen from the pole position after posting a best lap of 1:45.687 (115.814 mph) in qualifying for Sunday's race at Watkins Glen International (SPEED Channel, Part 1 - 10 a.m. ET, Part 2 - 12:30 p.m. ET).

Angelelli's pole-winning lap in the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley came as time expired in the qualifying session and capped a flurry of fast times at the end of the session. It was the second pole position of Angelelli's Rolex Series career and came one year after his first. Last year, Angelelli and co-driver Wayne Taylor finished second in the race, which the duo is hoping to top this year. The duo is currently locked in a battle for the Daytona Prototype championship with No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley co-drivers Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz, who they lead by five points (155-150) heading into the race.

"I am really happy," Angelelli said. "It took so long because our car was performing really well with old tires so, I needed just to drive and drive and drive to use the tires a little bit more. It's really well balanced with old tires so it's kind of strange but this is how it works here. "It's my first pole of the year. Finally Scott (Pruett) let me get it. Thank you, Scott. I appreciate that. Now we'll see tomorrow."

For the first time in his Daytona Prototype career, Pruett will start the race from somewhere other than the pole position in the No. 01 machine. Pruett stood atop the time charts through most of the session and improved his lap times on each lap, ending up with a best qualifying lap of 1:45.959 (115.516 mph). While he missed out on the pole position, it must be noted that last year, Pruett's co-driver Max Papis started a season-worst 11th due to an electrical problem in qualifying and the duo charged to the victory. Pruett is looking for a repeat performance this weekend with co-driver Luis Diaz.

"We gave it all we had for qualifying," Pruett said. "The CompUSA guys gave us a good car. We have been concentrating on race setup, so we have a great race car, but fell a little short on the qualifying. It will be a long race tomorrow and the heat is definitely a concern."

Michael McDowell will start a career-best third in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen on the strength of a best lap at 1:46.139 (115.320 mph) in the No. 19 Make A Wish/Air Force Reserve/Commercial Defeasance BMW Riley for Finlay Motorsports. On two different occasions in the final five minutes of qualifying, McDowell was in line for a front row starting position, only to be knocked off by Angelelli. Nevertheless, he and co-driver Memo Gidley are in good position to score their first career Rolex Series victory.

Stefan Johansson will start fourth in the No. 02 New Century Mortgage Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley for the fourth time in six races thanks to a best lap of 1:46.391 (115.047 mph). Johansson and co-driver Cort Wagner finished on the podium for the first time this season with a second-place performance at Mont-Tremblant last month, and are looking to make it two podiums in-a-row this weekend.
Ford and Champ Car Ford and Champ CarFord, happy to for the most part do little in the way of promoting the Champ Car World Series despite having their name on the engines, at least gives Champ Car equal billing on their Ford Racing website. While Honda and Toyota regularly run full page ads for their IRL wins, we see nary a peep from Ford whatsoever when it comes to Champ Car. The problem all along for Champ Car has been the inability of their marketing department to get any of their sponsors to activate.
IRL now featured on Yahoo! Sports IRL now featured on Yahoo! SportsA reader writes, The IRL now has their own link at the top along with NASCAR on Yahoo! sports. I visit the sports page quite often and this has just happened since The Indy 500. Before you had to click on a more sports link that had links info for Champ Car, F1 & various motorcycle series. I wonder if they put up some cash for that? Brian Kellione, Colorado Springs, CO.
Gregg nips Cunningham in IPS Gregg nips Cunningham in IPSIRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series Firestone 100 Fort Worth, Texas - Results Saturday of the Firestone 100 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series event June 11 at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any): 

1. (1) Travis Gregg, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
2. (4) Wade Cunningham, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
3. (2) Chris Festa, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
4. (5) Jay Drake, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
5. (6) Nick Bussell, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
6. (8) Marty Roth, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
7. (11) Jon Herb, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
8. (9) Jeff Simmons, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
9. (3) Jaime Camara, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
10. (7) Arie Luyendyk Jr., Dallara-Infiniti, 67
11. (10) P.J. Abbott, Dallara-Infiniti, 50, Accident       

Race Statistics      
Winner's average speed: 168.967 mph      
Time of race: 00:34:37.0057 sec      
Margin of victory: 0.0424 of a second      
Cautions: 1 for 5 laps      
Lead changes: 2 among 2 drivers      
Lap leaders: Gregg 1-51, Festa 52, Gregg 53-67      
Point standings: Gregg 191, Cunningham 187, Camara 151, Herb 149,
Festa 143, Bussell 138, Drake 134, Roth 126, Simmons 108, Unser 106.

Wheldon drinking George’s Kool-Aid Wheldon drinking George’s Kool-AidUPDATE More Kool-Aid talk from Dan Wheldon - "There are guys out there other than Danica, probably some better," Wheldon commented. "It wasn't just Danica pushing up the television ratings by 40 (actually 59) percent, it was all 33 drivers. I keep telling the IRL that we need to be pushing all the personalities more in front of different people. She's not the only driver that has a fan base."

Wheldon went on to say that thanks to the sudden attention that Patrick brought to the IndyCar Series, he can visualize it matching or exceeding NASCAR's popularity in America.  "If people come to one race, they are back for more," he said. "Everybody likes change now and then. The product we're putting on the track is best in the world and slowly people are starting to see that.  With help of Danica and the races we've been having lately, people are starting to get attracted to these particular personalities," Wheldon added. "We blew NASCAR's numbers up in the last race. Every driver in this series is loving being part of it right now and if I was a NASCAR official I'd be scared." ESPN.com

06/09/05 From the too funny department - Dan Wheldon told the Las Vegas Sun, "In a year or two we'll be putting out numbers as big, if not bigger, than NASCAR." We recall Tony George making that same prediction two years ago at a motorsports conference in Indy. Dan Wheldon is drinking from the same glass of Kool-Aid as IRL boss Tony George.
LBGP, Toyota eye future LBGP, Toyota eye futureAs the sale of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach became final Friday, focus turned to retaining Toyota as the title sponsor of the annual race.  The Japanese automaker has served as the title sponsor of the Long Beach Grand Prix since 1980, although Toyota has been involved in the race since the inaugural event in 1975.  The contract which is estimated to be worth somewhere in the seven-figure range annually to the GPALB expired following April's race.

"Our relationship with Toyota is extremely important," said GPALB chief Jim Michaelian. "We consider Toyota more as a partner than purely a sponsor. When you consider the longevity of the relationship 31 years there has to be something very special there."

Toyota also serves as the race's No. 1 promotional tool through its local dealers as well as sponsor of the Pro/Celebrity Race, an event Toyota has orchestrated since 1977.  The race has evolved into a vital part of the weekend and has seen celebrities such as Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman and David Hasselhoff as well as pros like Al Unser and recent Indy 500 sensation Danica Patrick run on LBGP circuit.  The Press-Telegram reported in April that Toyota has ordered a fleet of Scions Toyota's new youth-oriented brand to run in the 30th edition of the Pro/Celebrity Race. The Scion tC will replace the Toyota Celica.

Many have theorized that since LBGP will continue with Champ Cars, that Toyota which runs in the competing IRL would not return as sponsor, but chances look good that Toyota won't be going anywhere.  "We look forward to beginning discussions," said Toyota spokesman John Procida. "We've done business with them for years. The same people are going to be in charge and we've had an excellent relationship with them in the past. I don't anticipate any changes in the future."

Les Unger, the national motorsports manager for Toyota, said previously that he will sit down with GPALB officials as soon as the deal is finalized.  That took place Friday when Dover Motorsports, the GPALB's former parent company, announced in a press release that the $15 million transaction had been completed. Aquarium Asset Management, a company headed by two of Champ Car's owners, purchased the GPALB to keep the marquee event on its schedule. Long Beach Press Telegram

Raikkonen moves to top in Montreal Practice 4 Raikkonen moves to top in Montreal Practice 4Kimi Raikkonen, with just over three minutes remaining in the session turned the fastest lap with a 1:14.232s best as the checkered flag flew at the end of the 45-minute session. His teammate, Juan Pablo Montoya, topped the timesheets for much of the session in his McLaren Mercedes, ending the session just over half a second shy
1. KIMI RAIKKONEN McLaren-Mercedes M 1:14.232
2. FERNANDO ALONSO Renault M 1:14.670
3. JUAN PABLO MONTOYA McLaren-Mercedes M 1:14.745
4. GIANCARLO FISICHELLA Renault M 1:14.746
5. TAKUMA SATO BAR-Honda M 1:14.883
6. RALF SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1:15.280
7. JENSON BUTTON BAR-Honda M 1:15.282
8. MICHAEL SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1:15.316
9. NICK HEIDFELD Williams-BMW M 1:15.723
10. MARK WEBBER Williams-BMW M 1:15.894
11. RUBENS BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1:15.995
12. FELIPE MASSA Sauber-Petronas M 1:16.020
13. JARNO TRULLI Toyota M 1:16.063
14. DAVID COULTHARD Red Bull-Cosworth M 1:16.341
15. JACQUES VILLENEUVE Sauber-Petronas M 1:16.355
16. CHRISTIAN KLIEN Red Bull-Cosworth M 1:16.355
17. NARAIN KARTHIKEYAN Jordan-Toyota B 1:17.215
18. TIAGO MONTEIRO Jordan-Toyota B 1:17.618
19. PATRICK FRIESACHER Minardi-Cosworth B 1:17.621
20. CHRISTIJAN ALBERS Minardi-Cosworth B 1:17.725
Alonso fastest in Montreal Practice 3 Alonso fastest in Montreal Practice 3
1. FERNANDO ALONSO Renault M 1:15.582
2. GIANCARLO FISICHELLA Renault M 1:15.758
3. KIMI RAIKKONEN McLaren-Mercedes M 1:15.826
4. TAKUMA SATO BAR-Honda M 1:16.109
5. JENSON BUTTON BAR-Honda M 1:16.386
6. MARK WEBBER Williams-BMW M 1:16.463
7. MICHAEL SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1:16.538
8. NICK HEIDFELD Williams-BMW M 1:16.569
9. JUAN PABLO MONTOYA McLaren-Mercedes M 1:16.749
10. FELIPE MASSA Sauber-Petronas M 1:16.816
11. RALF SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1:16.999
12. JARNO TRULLI Toyota M 1:17.441
13. JACQUES VILLENEUVE Sauber-Petronas M 1:17.469
14. CHRISTIAN KLIEN Red Bull-Cosworth M 1:17.595
15. RUBENS BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1:17.908
16. DAVID COULTHARD Red Bull-Cosworth M 1:17.992
17. NARAIN KARTHIKEYAN Jordan-Toyota B 1:18.338
18. TIAGO MONTEIRO Jordan-Toyota B 1:18.710
19. PATRICK FRIESACHER Minardi-Cosworth B 1:21.031
20. CHRISTIJAN ALBERS Minardi-Cosworth B 1:21.882
Schrader Safe with BAM Schrader Safe with BAMFew changes are anticipated for BAM Racing and the #49 Schwan's Home Service Dodge team and driver Ken Schrader for 2006. Team owner Beth Ann Morgenthau said contrary to an erroneous Internet report Friday, plans are moving forward for the future.

'While we're certainly going to make the changes and additions we need to make to improve our race team now and in the future, we are very much planning on Ken Schrader remaining in our car, and every indication Kenny has given us is that he plans on remaining in our car,' Ms. Morgenthau said. 'We've already begun discussions with Schwan's in regards to our plans for 2006 and the future, as well as the years following that. We've discussed marketing and promotional plans for the future, and those involve Ken Schrader too.'

Schrader, 50, has driven the #49 Schwan's Home Service Dodge since the beginning of the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season, and has indicated publicly several times this year he plans on remaining in the car the rest of his Cup career. Frank R reporting from Pocono

Impound Rule in Affect at Pocono Impound Rule in Affect at PoconoFollowing today's Nextel Cup qualifying, the cars will be escorted to their respective garage stalls by a NASCAR official. Once in the garage stalls, two crew members will shut off all switches, remove radios, check tire pressures and cover the car. The only exception will be the top five qualifying cars, which will be sent to the inspection area. Pit location assignments will be selected immediately after the last car has qualified.Doug B reporting from Pocono
Formula BMW
Qualifying Results Round 5 and 6 Qualifying Results Round 5 and 6In his North American racing debut, 15- year old Tobias Hegewald (Atlantic Racing Team) scored the pole position for both Rounds 5 and 6 of the 2005 Formula BMW USA Championship. Hegewald, a BMW Junior scholarship winner racing in the German Formula BMW ADAC Championship, made the most of the Formula BMW rule allowing drivers to compete in two race weekends outside their own Championship. He drove the fastest two laps of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve during the single 30-minute qualifying session to score the double-pole.

BMW Junior driver Robert Wickens (Team Apex Racing USA), of Etobicoke, Ontario, saved his best qualifying effort for Montreal and qualified second for Round 5. Daniel Herrington (Jensen MotorSport) will start third. Herrington qualified second and BMW Junior driver Justin Moon will start third in Round 6.

The session was marked by two red flags that brought the 23 FB02s to a halt. Maxime Soulet and Robert Wickens got together to bring out the first red flag in the first part of the session, but both drivers were able to continue after the track was cleaned. The second stoppage came approximately 10 minutes later after James Davison spun and hit the wall. Davison (HBR Motorsport Team USA) had recorded the second fastest times, but this accident caused the team to withdraw his car for the weekend's races.

The two red flags were notable not for what they caused, but what they may not have allowed. The stoppages did not give many of the drivers opportunities for quick laps and that could make for a very exciting two Rounds of Formula BMW USA action as they will be only be able to show their speed in the race.

Pole winner Hegewald's post-qualifying quote was as to-the-point as his qualifying effort, "The track is really cool, I like it. There were many red flags, two times, but I had two good laps and good timing before the second red flag came out. I want to win tomorrow and on Sunday."

Wickens was buoyed by his best qualifying session of the year, "Hopefully, I can go into tomorrow's race with this great momentum. Maybe I can go a little bit faster tomorrow as I know I will be looking for the win."

Herrington is one of three drivers in the race that competed here last season, "One qualifying session is a little bit more pressure to get all done. The track definitely changed from last year. They just paved it and it was the first time that cars were on it today. The track got better every lap you were on it. I am pretty happy with my starting positions. I just hope I can moving up during the race."

The quickest Rookies for Round 5 were Wickens (P2), Lacroix (P4), Boyer (P6), Moon (P7) and Lee (P8). In Round 6 the fastest Rookies were Moon (P3), Lacroix (P4), Boyer (P5), Wickens (P6) and Stevens (P7).

The Round 5 race is scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Sunday's Round 6 race is scheduled to start at 9:15 a.m.

Qualifying: Round 5
1 Tobias Hegewald Atlantic Racing Team 1:47.523 (90.701mph)
2 Robert Wickens (R) Team Apex Racing USA 1:47.777
3 Daniel Herrington Jensen MotorSport 1:48.073
4 Kevin Lacroix (R) AIM Autosport 1:48.107
5 Jonathan Summerton Walker Racing 1:48.124
6 Doug Boyer (R) Jensen MotorSport 1:48.277
7 Justin Moon (R) Gelles Racing 1:48.291
8 Matthew Lee (R) Twintooth/BRM Motorsport 1:48.530
9 Maxime Soulet Gelles Racing 1:48.594
10 Darin Marcus (R) Gelles Racing 1:48.711
11 Reed Stevens (R) HBR Motorsport Team USA 1:48.786
12 John Zartarian (R) Jensen MotorSport 1:48.994
13 Tom Sutherland HBR Motorsport Team USA 1:49.128
14 Race Johnson (R) HBR Motorsport Team USA 1:49.295
15 Edoardo Piscopo (R) EuroInternational 1:49.543
16 Rob Bunker (R) AIM Autosport 1:49.784
17 Richard Philippe (R) Team Autotecnica 1:49.804
18 Paul Rees Walker Racing 1:50.604
19 Adrien Herberts (R) Atlantic Racing Team 1:52.878
20 Derek Burseth Burseth Racing 1:53.443
21 Jules Duc (R) Jensen MotorSport 1:53.512
22 Ryan Campbell (R) Gelles Racing 1:57.445
23 WD James Davison (R) HBR Motorsport Team USA 1:47.725

Qualifying: Round 6
1 Tobias Hegewald Atlantic Racing Team 1:47.882 (90.399 mph)
2 Daniel Herrington Jensen MotorSport 1:48.146
3 Justin Moon (R) Gelles Racing 1:48.393
4 Kevin Lacroix (R) AIM Autosport 1:48.464
5 Doug Boyer (R) Jensen MotorSport 1:48.595
6 Robert Wickens (R) Team Apex Racing USA 1:48.599
7 Reed Stevens (R) HBR Motorsport Team USA 1:49.111
8 Matthew Lee (R) Twintooth/BRM Motorsport 1:49.137
9 Jonathan Summerton Walker Racing 1:49.167
10 Tom Sutherland HBR Motorsport Team USA 1:49.209
11 Darin Marcus (R) Gelles Racing 1:49.394
12 Race Johnson (R) HBR Motorsport Team USA 1:49.694
13 John Zartarian (R) Jensen MotorSport 1:49.747
14 Rob Bunker (R) AIM Autosport 1:50.247
15 Edoardo Piscopo (R) EuroInternational 1:50.315
16 Maxime Soulet Gelles Racing 1:50.424
17 Paul Rees Walker Racing 1:52.353
18 Richard Philippe (R) Team Autotecnica 1:52.590
19 Jules Duc (R) Jensen MotorSport 1:53.551
20 Derek Burseth Burseth Racing 1:56.552
21 Adrien Herberts (R) Atlantic Racing Team 1:59.917
22 Ryan Campbell (R) Gelles Racing -.---
WD James Davison (R) HBR Motorsport Team USA 1:47.996

Patrick overshadows all else in IRL Patrick overshadows all else in IRLDan Wheldon can make history tonight at Texas Motor Speedway as the first IRL driver to win four consecutive races.  That is not the historic moment most fans attending the Bombardier Learjet 500 are hoping to see.

This race is all about Danica Patrick. The TMS crowd, the record media contingent and the national TV audience are watching to see if Patrick can become the first woman to win a major auto-racing event.  "There are points in history that will be remembered," Patrick said. "I understand that. The possibility brings a lot of attention. But I'm not looking to be the first woman to do this. And I'm not looking to be a calendar girl. I just want to win." Dallas Morning News

Q and A with Danica Patrick Q and A with Danica PatrickDanica Patrick has been a one-woman media magnet at the Indy Racing League's Bombardier Learjet 500 this week in Fort Worth. On Friday, she sat down and answered media questions for 45 minutes. The topics ranged from role models to modeling underwear.   Here are the highlights
Case study on Champ Car Case study on Champ CarHere is an interesting case study in Champ Car titled Champ Car: Marketing's role in regaining prestige (PDF 3.6 MB).  The study was done by students Maggie Bullard, Michael Dixon and Jay Gardner at the university of Utah.  It's interesting that many of the recommendations have been preached for years on these pages, the primary ones being brand recognition of the product and "star" athletes.
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Why did Carlin quit?
Jacques' no good for F1
New surface praised
Kimi fined
Theissen responds to Head
'Legal' BAR too slow
Schu defends tire rule
Fast Indian told to hurry up
Sauber hits back at JV
NASCAR testing at Daytona NASCAR testing at DaytonaTesting in preparation for the 47th annual Pepsi 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race and the fourth annual Winn Dixie 250 presented by Pepsico NASCAR Busch Series race will be held Monday, June 13 and Tuesday, June 14, 9:00am to 5:00pm/et. Drivers scheduled to test: , #0-Mike Bliss [on Tuesday if recovered from hernia operation] and Busch driver #67-C.W. Smith [Tuesday]. The test sessions are free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA. DIS
Industry News
TV reminder TV reminderIn case you never saw the 1977 movie, Bobby Deerfield, starring Al Pacino, it will be shown Sunday, June 12, at 8:00 p.m. ET and again at 11:00 p.m. ET on ESPN Classic.  Sydney Pollack directs this romantic European drama starring Al Pacino as Bobby Deerfield, a cripplingly self-absorbed champion Grand Prix race driver...includes some exciting footage of actual Formula One drivers: Carlos Pace, Tom Pryce, James Hunt, Patrick Depailler, and Mario Andretti. The film was shot entirely on location in Europe.

The IRL's Bombardier Learjet 500k will be televised live by ESPN at 8:30 p.m. (EDT) Saturday night. The race will be shown immediately after ESPN's Original Entertainment special "The Season: Danica Patrick's Race for Indy," which will be telecast at 7:30 p.m. (EDT) on ESPN.

Unification talks continue Unification talks continue"There is a great deal of interest in working toward reunification. Some of the most popular and prominent people in open wheel racing have encouraged us to work hard on bringing the two series together. We continue to seek a solution that is acceptable to everyone but we are not there yet." Champ Car President Dick Eidswick on Champcar.ws  [Editor's Note: The primary issue remains one of control.  Tony George wants majority control, OWRS wants a 50/50 equal split.]
MBV and Valvoline to split MBV and Valvoline to splitMBV Motorsports and co-owner Valvoline are working on an amicable split that would allow the owners of MB2 Motorsports to buy out Valvoline’s ownership in the organization’s No. 10 Chevrolets, ThatsRacin.com has learned. Valvoline, one of the more recognizable sponsors in motorsports, bought into the No. 10 team in 2000 and the team took on the name MBV Motorsports. The team currently fields driver Scott Riggs in the Nextel Cup Series. MB2, majority-owned by Nelson Bowers, runs the No. 01 Chevrolets driven by Joe Nemechek. The team is expected to take over full ownership of the No. 10 by next season, sources confirmed. ThatsRacin
Impressive result from Air Force team Impressive result from Air Force teamAlthough the afternoon times for the Rolex cars on Friday were slower due to higher temperatures and humidity, the #19 Air Force Reserve / Make A Wish BMW Riley driven by Michael McDowell was second fast in the afternoon with a time of 1:47.491... this from a team that has only run five Rolex races, and served notice of its competitiveness by coming back from three laps down to finish fourth in the last race at Mont-Tremblant.

"We got off to a slow start in Thursday testing when a mis-stamped gear resulted in us running the first session with two identical ratios in 3rd and 4th," said McDowell.  "Since then, we've worked through our development program step-by-step and the results are starting to show.  We had the fastest car on most parts of the track this afternoon, and we were running an older engine that was somewhat down on power.  The crew guys started changing engines  as soon as the session was over, and we should be in good shape to go for the pole in qualifying and run at the front in the race.  This rain was actually a great thing for the crew because it cooled things down to a reasonable level for what is a hot, sweaty job under the best of conditions."

A Fast Lap of Watkins Glen with Jörg Bergmeister A Fast Lap of Watkins Glen with Jörg BergmeisterJorg Bergmeister, driver of the number 66 Krohn Racing-TRG Pontiac Riley lapped his Rolex Series Daytona Prototype in the morning practice with a time of 1:46.5 and average speed of 115 mph around the 11-turn 3.4-mile circuit.  The German driver explains a lap of the historic New York track.

Coming down the front straight I am flat-out in fifth gear and begin braking at the 300-foot marker.  Turn one can be deceiving, it is banked, but there is a concrete section at the middle of the turn that has less grip than the asphalt on the rest of the track.  These concrete patches make the car push so you have to be careful.  I take turn one in third gear making sure to maximize my exit speed as the exit of turn-one to the entrance of turn five which is the chicane makes up the longest “straight” which is not really straight but includes the esses on the whole circuit.  We will reach speeds of around 165 mph through this section.

Before entering the braking zone into the chicane you get by as many GT and slower DP cars as possible.  I brake at the 300-foot marker, go hard over the  right-hand curb and back to flat on the throttle from the middle of the chicane to the entrance of the Outer Loop.

I take the car deep into turn six, again respecting the concrete patches, getting  into fourth gear as I approach the down hill turn nine or entrance to the Boot section.  Six is the entrance to the boot and there is a lot of road room to pass and a couple of different lines you can take when there is not traffic.  I am in fourth at the exit for the run up to turn seven.

At the entrance of seven, I shift down to second, mindful of the concrete in the center of the turn going to third for the run up the hill.  I am flat on the gas to the braking zone of eight going up the hill wishing I had more horsepower.

Eight is the entry to the Heel of the Boot and I go down to second and back to third through turn nine shifting up to fourth and then back down to third for the fast left hand turn ten. 

The final turn, eleven, is taken in third and there is a lot of room in this curve.  If you happen to miss the apex passing a slower car you can hold your speed as the banking keeps the car planted so you can cross the start finish line flat-out.

Bergmeister will team with Christian Fittipaldi for Sunday’s running of the Sahlen’s Six Hour of the Glen.  The race will start at 10:00 a.m. with live coverage on the Speed Channel.

Friday round-up from Montreal Friday round-up from MontrealTeam-by-team Fri. roundup from Montreal
Red Bull: Scott Speed, the first American in over a decade to grace a grand prix track, ended his 'third' car debut in a spin. But it probably doesn't matter -- the RB1 is not quick at warm and humid Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. ''We're quite a distance from the front,'' said David Coulthard.

Ferrari: Montreal is unlikely to be the scene of Maranello's comeback -- Michael Schumacher, in particular, appears woefully slow. Rubens Barrichello, although quicker, struggled with an odd brake problem. ''It seems we don't have a very competitive car here,'' said the tenth placed Brazilian. Bridgestone's Hisao Suganuma said: ''We did see some tire graining today.''

Renault: Another near-perfect day for title leader Fernando Alonso, quickest of the non-Friday drivers. As per normal, Giancarlo Fisichella - who blamed traffic - trails by a margin. ''We didn't run too much in the morning,'' said Pat Symonds, ''as we felt the new surface needed some rubber on it.''

Jordan: Narain Karthikeyan and Tiago Monteiro both have a quicker Minardi ahead of them. ''We need to analyze the data,'' said Monteiro, who lost morning running, ''in order to get a more stable car.'' Trevor Carlin's acting successor Adrian Burgess, meanwhile, kicked off his first team statement quote by bemoaning rookie Karthikeyan's 'silly' spin.

Sauber: Jacques Villeneuve, who has been sticking the boot in at Montreal, probably didn't expect to end the day ahead of teammate Felipe Massa. ''The car seems better suited to chicanes and heavy braking,'' said the local hero. But Massa warned: ''There's more to come from me.''

Toyota: 2001 Canada victor Ralf Schumacher outpaced Jarno Trulli - who hosted a wine party for the whole Toyota team on Thursday - for ninth quickest. ''It's difficult to say where we are at this point,'' said the latter Italian.

Williams: Twelfth and fifteenth for Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld. ''It's better than what we had on Friday at the Nurburgring,'' Webber smiled. ''It's been quite a hot day,'' Heidfeld added, ''which should be similar to Sunday.''

BAR: After a dismal showing at the Nurburgring, almost anything is better for the Honda powered camp. Jenson Button and Takuma Sato finished session two seventh and eighth. ''We'll have to work hard to stay competitive,'' Sato cautioned, while sporting director Gil de Ferran hinted that the balance is still iffy.

McLaren: Like Renault, the silver machines are looking good on the high speed layout. Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen, who's not entirely happy with the setup, slotted in behind Alonso. ''The tires are working harder in this heat,'' said JPM, ''which could help us.''

Minardi: ''It's pleasing to be competitive with the Jordans,'' said team boss Paul Stoddart, ''and within two tenths of one of the Red Bulls.'' Patrick Friesacher consistently outperformed fellow rookie Christijan Albers.

Enge leads practice times in Texas Enge leads practice times in TexasRookie Tomas Enge led both practice sessions as IRL IndyCar Series teams continued preparations for the Bombardier Learjet 500k at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway. Enge, driver of the No. 2 ROCKSTAR Panther Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, recorded a lap of 24.2529 seconds, 215.622 mph in the final practice session before the June 11 race. The Bombardier Learjet 500k will be televised live by ESPN at 8:30 p.m. (EDT). The race will be shown immediately after ESPN's Original Entertainment special "The Season: Danica Patrick's Race for Indy," which will be telecast at 7:30 p.m. (EDT) on ESPN.

TOMAS ENGE (No. 2 ROCKSTAR Panther Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I'm happy, obviously. The car is very good in either groove, and everything is going well, so far. We're just practicing for the big night, which is tomorrow because we need to finish a race. We need to have both cars in one piece at the finish. I don't want to talk about any success yet, because for me success is when I finish the race. I will fight as much as possible. We've had several possibilities this year for a good result, but we had bad luck. Hopefully, this weekend can be when the luck turns around."

DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We were running full tanks, for sure, trying to catch those Panther cars. It seems they're pretty comfortable out front, but as you know, this race is run in traffic. (About winning the Indianapolis 500): "The Indianapolis 500 is the best race in the world. It's the biggest race in the world. I'm certainly happy to be the Indianapolis 500 champion. I'm just trying to represent like all the past champions. It makes me smile every morning when I get up. When you have the frustrations, like in qualifying here yesterday, it brings a little smile to your face knowing you won that race." (About competitiveness of Bombardier Learjet 500k field): "The thing that the IndyCar Series has is it's been so competitive. We blew NASCAR's numbers up in the last race. You can't sit on your backside. Just because you're the Indianapolis 500 champion you can't think you'll win the rest of the races. There are too many good drivers to think that."

TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "For sure, things are looking good for us. We're quite happy with the Pennzoil Platinum Chevy today. We know we have a fast car, and there was no need for us to run too much in practice. I wish tomorrow was today because we're ready to go now."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/ Firestone): "We're not quite where we need to be, so we just need to keep working. It's a challenge because we're practicing in the heat, but we have to account for the fact that tomorrow's race will be much cooler. We'll use the final practice session tonight to try and fine tune the Marlboro Team Penske car, and hopefully we'll be in good shape for the race."

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/ Firestone): "We're not very happy with how the Marlboro Team Penske car ran in the afternoon warm-up. We need to fine-tune our setup and get it where it needs to be by the final practice. We're going to be running in traffic all night so we need a car that is handling well. The race is going to be all about staying with the lead pack, getting to the end and putting ourselves in a position to win."

Speed fastest, then spins Speed fastest, then spinsBetween them, David Coulthard, Christian Klien and Scott Speed completed 110 laps in today’s free practice sessions. Coulthard and Klien managed the 17th and 18th best times.

Driving aboard the team’s third car, GP2 driver Scott Speed used the sessions to familiarize himself with his car’s set-up, while gaining valuable test data for the team. He was faster than both regular drivers in the first session. Unfortunately, he ran wide on a corner and spun during the second practice, which bought his session to a premature end which resulted in him being slowest in the second session.

David Coulthard - “Similarly to Friday in Nurburgring, the pace of the car hasn’t been so good today and we need to try and understand which areas to target in order to improve performance. We’ll see where we are tomorrow but, at the moment, we’re quite a distance from the front- runners.”

Christian Klien - “Overall, that was not so good. We did three long runs to compare the tires and collected some useful data, which will help us decide which to use tomorrow. However, we’re struggling for speed a little on this circuit, especially on the long straights. I think we need to find something extra if we’re to do well here.”
Scott Speed - “The car is comfortable to drive and I was out there trying to do the best job I could, to enable the team to get the data they needed. I was concentrating on trying to give the team some good feedback from the laps I completed. It was a shame I went off before the end of the session. Before that, the balance of the car had felt good and the condition of the track was improving with every lap.”

Günther Steiner, Technical Director - “We need to look at why Scott suffered his incident and will be analyzing the data we get from his car. At the moment, the overriding factor is that we’re not fast enough. We need to analyze why this is and try to do something about it before tomorrow." Red Bull Racing

Charlotte lands NASCAR Reality TV show Charlotte lands NASCAR Reality TV showTwenty-five aspiring drivers will compete in a new reality-TV show filmed in Charlotte starting this month and shown next fall on The Discovery Channel.  The winner will compete in the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.  The producers for "America's Next Top Driver" -- still a working title -- are now in Charlotte and hiring crew members for the four to six weeks of shooting.  The 13-episode series will be filmed here to take advantage of Charlotte's racing ties and to capture the talent hunt conducted by Concord's Roush Racing team, said Beth Petty, director of the Charlotte Regional Film Office, a division of Charlotte Regional Partnership. The Film Office is working on the project with TV production company BrainBox Productions.  "We're thrilled they're here, to showcase Charlotte and to bring these jobs," said Petty.  More at Charlotte Observer
IPS Texas qualifying results IPS Texas qualifying resultsTravis Gregg added to his impressive total by recording a quick lap of 187.517 mph (27.9335 seconds) in SWE Race Car Parts qualifying for the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series Firestone 100. It was the fourth career pole position and third of the season for the Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver from Camden, Ohio.

Gregg, who won from the pole in the opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway, led a front-row sweep of Sam Schmidt Motorsports entries - the sixth time the team has swept the front row in the four-year history of the season.

Chris Festa, driving the No. 19 SpacePak/CareCentric/SSM car, had a lap of 186.827 mph for a share of the front row. Jaime Camara, another Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver, will start third in the No. 1 CELG - SSM car (186.753 mph). The teammates also were 1-2-3, though not in the same order, at the race at Phoenix International Raceway in March.

Qualifying Friday for the Firestone 100 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series event on the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway, with starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine and speed: 

1. (7) Travis Gregg, Dallara-Infiniti, 187.517
2. (19) Chris Festa, Dallara-Infiniti, 186.827
3. (1) Jaime Camara, Dallara-Infiniti, 186.753
4. (33) Wade Cunningham, Dallara-Infiniti, 186.189
5. (20) Jay Drake, Dallara-Infiniti, 185.506
6. (21) Nick Bussell, Dallara-Infiniti, 184.356
7. (3) Arie Luyendyk Jr., Dallara-Infiniti, 183.919
8. (4) Marty Roth, Dallara-Infiniti, 183.090
9. (24) Jeff Simmons, Dallara-Infiniti, 182.648
10. (11) P.J. Abbott, Dallara-Infiniti, no speed
11. (6) Jon Herb, Dallara-Infiniti, no speed

Ecclestone slams Villeneuve Ecclestone slams VilleneuveFormula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has accused former world champion Jacques Villeneuve of being useless.  "If he was quick he would be good for the sport but he's lost his motivation. He is no good for himself or anybody else anymore," Ecclestone said.  But Villeneuve's business manager Craig Pollock responded: "I am actually very surprised that Bernie would say that.  "Losing his motivation is definitely totally incorrect. He has not lost his motivation."
GP of Long Beach asset sale complete GP of Long Beach asset sale completeDover Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE Symbol: DVD) announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, Inc., closed on the sale of its Grand Prix of Long Beach event for $15 million in cash to Aquarium Asset Management, LLC, an affiliate of Champ Car World Series, LLC.  The Company previously announced entering into the asset purchase agreement on May 24, 2005.  "We're delighted that this transaction has now been completed and we can now concentrate on working with our new partners at Champ Car in making next year's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach an even more spectacular event," said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix.  The 32nd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will take place April 7-9, 2006.
No. 10 SunTrust car fastest at The Glen No. 10 SunTrust car fastest at The GlenIn Friday’s practice sessions at Watkins Glen International, Daytona Prototype co-points leader Max Angelelli logged a best lap of 1:45.097 (116.464 mph) in the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley to top the time charts in preparation for Sunday’s Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen (SPEED Channel, Live, Part 1 – 10:00 a.m. ET, Part 2 – 12:30 p.m. ET).

In warm and humid conditions, Angelelli’s best lap came during the first of the day’s two practice sessions. However, co-driver Wayne Taylor was quickest in the afternoon session, albeit with a lap nearly two seconds slower than Angelelli’s morning flyer. Taylor and Angelelli are hoping that today’s performance is a precursor to a strong weekend as they look to build on their five-point lead in the Daytona Prototype driver standings over Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz (155-150).

“Obviously, I’m very happy with the car and everything,” Angelelli said. “We seem to have a nice car for the race. We just plan to carry on and tune a little more, and we’re ready to go.”

Pruett ran the day’s second-fastest lap in the No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley, clocking a best time of 1:46.409 (115.028 mph). Pruett—who also turned his best lap in the morning session—and the No. 01 team are the defending champions of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. He and Diaz have been chipping away at the No. 10 duo’s points lead over the past few races, and a repeat performance of the team’s 2004 success could give them the top spot in the standings for the first time all season.

“We have a reasonable race car but are still looking to make a few changes on old tires,” Pruett said. “We will see how it is for qualifying tomorrow.”

Third-quickest was Jorg Bergmeister in the No. 66 Krohn Racing/TRG Pontiac Riley at 1:46.550 (114.876 mph). The German and his co-driver, Christian Fittipaldi, have been among the fastest drivers throughout the early portion of the 2005 season, but the teammates are still looking for their first victory of the season.

Stefan Johansson made it two Chip Ganassi Racing cars in the top-four positions as he turned-in a best lap of 1:46.919 (114.479 mph) in the No. 02 New Century Mortgage Lexus Riley. Johansson shares the No. 02 with Cort Wagner, and they too are seeking their first victory of the season this weekend.

Porsche factory driver Lucas Luhr completed the top five on the strength of a best lap at 1:47.084 (114.303 mph) in the No. 58 Red Bull Porsche Fabcar for Brumos Racing. Luhr is sharing the No. 58 this weekend with Darren Law and David Donohue, the latter of whom won this race two years ago in the No. 58 machine with co-drivers Mike Borkowski and Scott Goodyear.

Scotland’s Ryan Dalziel—who is making just his second career Rolex Series appearance this weekend—turned the fastest lap of GT practice in the No. 71 SAMAX Porsche GT3 Cup at 1:57.679 (104.012 mph). In Dalziel’s previous Rolex Series appearance at the Grand Prix of Miami in March, co-driver Bryan Sellers qualified on the pole position and led early on before a mechanical failure ended their day early. Dalziel has been reunited with Sellers this weekend in the car they also share with Mark Greenberg.

Kurt Busch Tops Final Practice Kurt Busch Tops Final PracticeFinal practice (Happy Hour) has ended at Pocono and Kurt Busch turned the fastest lap time of 54.015 seconds (166.62 MPH). Rounding out the top five fastest lap times were Ryan Newman, Brian Vickers, Sterling Marlin, and Scott Marlin. Drivers of note with disappointing results include Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart with the 39th and 44th fastest times, respectively. The only on-track incident involved Carl Long, who cut a tire and hit the outside wall. Doug B reporting from Pocono
Ford and Chevy tied again Ford and Chevy tied againAfter 13 races in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season, Ford got its sixth victory of 2005 last Sunday thanks to Greg Biffle’s (No. 16 National Guard Ford) win at Dover International Speedway. Although tied with Chevrolet in wins, Ford remains second in the series’ Manufacturers Championship standings, with Dodge running third with one win. Chevrolet retains its edge (94-90) in points. Dodge has 63 points.

Chevrolet has won the Manufacturers Championship 28 times while Ford has won 15 times; the other 10 years the championship has been awarded, it has been won by Hudson (3), Dodge (2), Buick (2), Oldsmobile (1), Pontiac (1) and Plymouth (1).

Points are earned thusly: Nine points to the highest-finishing car type; six points to the second-highest finishing type; four points for the third-highest finishing type.

Chevrolet has won the championship the last two years.  Jimmie Johnson is currently the leading Chevrolet driver, as the series point leader. Greg Biffle, second in points, is the top Ford driver. Ryan Newman (No. 12 Alltel Dodge) is the leading Dodge driver, fourth in the points.

Official Web Site for Red Bull USGP Launched Official Web Site for Red Bull USGP LaunchedRace fans counting down the days until next month’s U.S. round of the MotoGP World Championship can now get the latest news and other information about the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix on the event’s official Web site – www.RedBullUSGrandPrix.com.

The site contains information on the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix July 8-10 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, including details on the MotoGP World Championship, bios of MotoGP riders, a link to ticket information, a gallery of MotoGP images, a forum for fans to interact within, and information on The Rallye, a collection of Red Bull Energy Stops across the U.S. for motorcyclists road-tripping to the event.

The 2005 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix marks the return of the MotoGP World Championship to the United States for the first time since 1994. Support events include the AMA Superbike, Superstock and Supersport races, as well as the Yamaha & GE-sponsored Superstars of Super Karts featuring Grand Prix motorcycle legends Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson and Kevin Schwantz competing in racing karts powered with 250cc Yamaha engines with semi-enclosed bodywork and rear wings.

Tickets are available for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix on the official Web site www.RedBullUSGrandPrix.com, by calling (800) 327-SECA or logging onto www.laguna-seca.com or www.ticketmaster.com. More information on the MotoGP World Championship is available at www.motogp.com.

Taking a spin through the San Jose Grand Prix course Taking a spin through the San Jose Grand Prix courseThis San Jose Mercury News article gives a hint of what the San Jose race course will be like. 

Question: What happens when you take 750-horsepower machines that can travel the length of a football field in a second, and you plop them into a normal city where people go to work (and eat) every day?

Answer: We have no idea in Northern California, because it has never been done. Seven weeks from now, we'll see. But I wanted a preview. Allmendinger was in town to promote the new title sponsor for the San Jose Grand Prix -- or, excuse me, the Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose -- so I lured him into a ride around the 1.6-mile downtown course that the Champ Car circuit has mapped out.

His initial verdict: The San Jose track has the potential to be more exciting than the street course in Long Beach, the oldest and best on the circuit.

``I think there are going to be more passing opportunities than Long Beach,'' Allmendinger said. ``Long Beach for the most part becomes a lot of follow-the-leader, because everything is really tight. This is going to be great for the fans to watch because you can see so much of the track.''

Of course, Allmendinger could be biased. He grew up in San Jose and drove his Ford Ranger to Leigh High School every day. But he has lived in Colorado since becoming a fixture on the Champ Car circuit, winning the 2004 rookie of the year award. More....

Injured Junqueira on Wind Tunnel Injured Junqueira on Wind TunnelPacifiCare driver Bruno Junqueira will be a guest on the popular racing show "Wind Tunnel" this Sunday.  The show will air on Speed Channel from 9:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. EST and Junqueira is expected to appear during the middle portion of the first hour of the show.  Junqueira was injured in a crash while attempting to pass a lapped car in the Indianapolis 500 on May 29.  Dr. Terry Trammell performed surgery on Junqueira at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis on Monday, May 30 to repair damage to his fractured T-12 and L-1 vertebras.  He was released from the hospital on Sunday, June 5 and remained in Indianapolis until this morning when he returned to his U.S. base of Miami to continue rehabilitation at the Miami Project.  He has been swimming, walking and climbing stairs multiple times a day.  Prior to his accident, Junqueira and the PacifiCare team were leading the Champ Car World Series championship after having won the previous race in Monterrey, Mexico as well as posting a third place finish in the season-opener in Long Beach.
SAFER Barrier Update from Pocono SAFER Barrier Update from PoconoARCA RE/MAX Series driver Ted Olswfski has been transported to a local hospital following an on track incident during Friday's practice session. Olswfski impacted the third turn SAFER barrier in a wicked single car crash, but was able to exit the car under his own power. Olswfski, from Pennington NJ, was examined at the infield car center before being sent to a local hospital for further evaluation. The SAFER barrier required repairs, which delayed the ARCA practice until the foam energy cells could be replaced. Frank R reporting from Pocono
Gear Rule Affects Pocono Gear Rule Affects PoconoThe 2005 Gear Rule implemented by NASCAR is designed to help reduce costs. It will have a wide-reaching affect at Pocono, where horsepower and handling are critical on the 2.5 mile track. Circling the track in past years required shifting from 3rd to 4th and vice versa. The restriction from using an overdrive gear may limit the number and location of shifts. As John Darby (NASCAR Nextel Director) said, "They could still potentially shift, just at a different point of the track". It is still uncertain how this will affect fuel mileage and pit windows. Doug B reporting from Pocono
Herbie to ride with Danica Herbie to ride with DanicaRahal Letterman Racing and Walt Disney Pictures today announced a promotion for the upcoming release “Herbie: Fully Loaded,” under which the movie’s logo will appear on the No. 16 Argent Mortgage/Pioneer Honda of Danica Patrick during Saturday’s IRL Bombardier Learjet 500 at Texas Motor Speedway and the June 25 SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond Int’l Raceway. Patrick will attend the June 19 world premiere of “Herbie: Fully Loaded” at the El Capitan Theatre in L.A. Rahal Letterman Racing
De la Rosa and McLaren remain fastest in Montreal De la Rosa and McLaren remain fastest in MontrealPedro de la Rosa continued where he left off dominating the second practice session of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend. As was the case in the first session, it was again Ricardo Zonta who came closest to beating the Spaniard for pace in his Toyota, but had to settle for second position just under two- tenths of a second off the ultimate pace.
1. PEDRO DE LA ROSA McLaren-Mercedes M 1:14.662
2. RICARDO ZONTA Toyota M 1:14.858
3. FERNANDO ALONSO Renault M 1:15.376
4. JUAN PABLO MONTOYA McLaren-Mercedes M 1:15.625
5. KIMI RAIKKONEN McLaren-Mercedes M 1:15.679
6. GIANCARLO FISICHELLA Renault M 1:15.846
7. JENSON BUTTON BAR-Honda M 1:16.190
8. TAKUMA SATO BAR-Honda M 1:16.313
9. RALF SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1:16.364
10. RUBENS BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1:16.459
11. JARNO TRULLI Toyota M 1:16.638
12. MARK WEBBER Williams-BMW M 1:16.661
13. JACQUES VILLENEUVE Sauber-Petronas M 1:16.718
14. FELIPE MASSA Sauber-Petronas M 1:16.727
15. NICK HEIDFELD Williams-BMW M 1:16.826
16. MICHAEL SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1:17.200
17. DAVID COULTHARD Red Bull-Cosworth M 1:17.299
18. CHRISTIAN KLIEN Red Bull-Cosworth M 1:17.922
19. PATRICK FRIESACHER Minardi-Cosworth B 1:18.115
20. NARAIN KARTHIKEYAN Jordan-Toyota B 1:18.234
21. CHRISTIJAN ALBERS Minardi-Cosworth B 1:18.463
22. TIAGO MONTEIRO Jordan-Toyota B 1:19.186
23. SCOTT SPEED Red Bull Racing M 1:19.270
Canadian GP - Schumacher: We are facing a different challenge Canadian GP - Schumacher: We are facing a different challengeMichael Schumacher only arrived at the track in the afternoon on Thursday and his first job was to sit down amongst the plants and bushes that decorate the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro paddock area and talk to the press.

It was a brief meeting and the first question was about concerns raised after Kimi Raikkonen’s accident a fortnight ago at the Nurburgring, after his flat-spotted front tire caused his suspension to break. “You cannot just say this accident was due to the new rule forbidding tire changing during a race,” began the reigning world champion. “If you look at the situation last year, when tire changes were allowed, we saw some tire failures even then. It is down to the tire manufacturers to now produce tires that last the whole distance, but in the case of Kimi it was actually caused by driver error, as flat-spotted the tire. You cannot insure against ever making mistakes. It was his decision to stay out on track which is fair enough, as it is very difficult decision to make in a situation like that.”

As for this weekend in Montreal, Michael agreed with a questioner who reminded him of his excellent record in the Canadian GP. “Yes, that’s true,” said the German “ and we would like to maintain that this weekend. We have some improvements on the car, but the question is always the same – will it be enough. Anyway, we will keep fighting.”

The Ferrari man went on to maintain that, apart from the obvious disappointment, he was able to deal with this period of races without a win. “In the past, we went many years without winning and I dealt with it then and it is not a problem now. We are facing a different challenge at the moment and although the results have not been so good, our race pace is competitive, so we just have to keep on working to get it right in the other areas.”

Regarding his chances of maintaining his championship title, Michael took the same view as he always has done in these situations. “I just think it is not yet over mathematically and so that’s the way I look at it.” Ferrari

San Jose GP Title sponsor announced San Jose GP Title sponsor announcedUPDATE Naming rights cost Taylor Woodrow $320,000 this year -- though that figure is expected to balloon for the remaining years on a contract that extends through 2009, according to Scott Menard, president of the company's Northern California division. All of the money goes to race operators to defray costs in setting up the 1.6-mile course through the streets of downtown San Jose for the Champ Car race.  Taylor Woodrow began building homes in the South Bay about two years ago. It has three developments in San Jose and one in Santa Clara.  Race president Dale Jantzen said he expects to announce next week that some grandstand sections are sold out, but he stopped short of identifying which ones are close to full. Mercury News 06/09/05 San José Grand Prix announced today that Taylor Woodrow Homes has become the title sponsor of the inaugural race. The inaugural Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San José, which proudly supports the Canary Fund, will be contested July 29-31 on an approximately 1.6-mile, 11-turn downtown San Jose street circuit. It is the eighth stop on the 2005 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford schedule and Northern California’s historic first downtown street race. See Home Page for full article.
Elliott Sadler and M&Ms Extend with Yates Elliott Sadler and M&Ms Extend with YatesM&M's announced earlier today that they have extended their contract with Robert Yates Racing and Elliott Sadler for three years, which will keep Sadler behind the wheel through 2008. Sadler currently sits in third place in NEXTEL Cup points, finishing 10th last week in Dover and looking forward to Pocono this weekend.

"I want to thank Eddie (D'Hondt) for that and Robert and Doug and everybody at RCR, it was a very exciting day this past week when we signed and made everything official".
SPEED Channel to provide full live coverage of USGP SPEED Channel to provide full live coverage of USGPSpeed Channel will provide complete coverage of the United States Grand Prix Formula One race, qualifying and practice sessions June 17-19 from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Live Race Day coverage from the 13-turn, 2.605-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course begins on Speed with a race preview show at 10:30 a.m. (EDT) Sunday, June 19. The live pre-race show starts at 1:30 p.m. (EDT) Sunday, June 19, with the race getting underway at 2 p.m.

Speed also will broadcast a feature looking behind the scenes of Formula One entitled "Inside Grand Prix" at 1 p.m. (EDT) June 19. Four hours of live practice coverage on Speed will air from noon-4 p.m. (EDT) Friday, June 17. Speed will telecast Saturday's practice session on a delayed basis from 1-2 p.m. June 18 and then televise qualifying live from 2-3 p.m.

Speed Channel's coverage team for the United States Grand Prix: Bob Varsha, play-by-play; David Hobbs and Steve Matchett, analysts; Peter Windsor and Derek Daly, pit reporters. Sam Posey, a former Formula One and Indianapolis 500 competitor and respected broadcaster, has joined Speed Channel's USGP broadcast team to provide feature commentary.

United States Grand Prix spectators and Indianapolis-area residents also can listen to the race live on local radio station WIBC-AM 1070, with coverage provided by the familiar voices of the IMS Radio Network from 12:30-3 p.m. (local time) June 19.

The IMS Radio Network's coverage team: Mike King, host; Dave Wilson, color commentator; Brian Livingston, pit reporter; Mark Jaynes, Chris Denari, Kevin Lee and Jerry Baker, turn reporters. Joining King and Wilson in the booth will be IndyCar® Series driver Darren Manning, who will serve as driver analyst.

ESPN2 will televise the Liberty Challenge Menards Infiniti Pro Series race June 18 at the United States Grand Prix from 5-6 p.m. (EDT) Tuesday, June 21.

Pedro de la Rosa tops Practice 1 Pedro de la Rosa tops Practice 1Pedro de la Rosa in the third McLaren Mercedes topped the timesheets by two- tenths of a second from fellow test driver Ricardo Zonta in the Toyota in Friday morning's first practice for the Canadian GP. McLaren dominated the session with both race drivers and de la Rosa all taking turns to head the timesheets.

1. PEDRO DE LA ROSA McLaren-Mercedes M 1:16.416
2. RICARDO ZONTA Toyota M 1:16.584
3. KIMI RAIKKONEN McLaren-Mercedes M 1:16.677
4. JENSON BUTTON BAR-Honda M 1:16.710
5. MICHAEL SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1:16.872
6. JUAN PABLO MONTOYA McLaren-Mercedes M 1:16.945
7. GIANCARLO FISICHELLA Renault M 1:17.281
8. TAKUMA SATO BAR-Honda M 1:17.458
9. RALF SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1:17.497
10. RUBENS BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1:17.541
11. NICK HEIDFELD Williams-BMW M 1:17.739
12. JARNO TRULLI Toyota M 1:18.049
13. MARK WEBBER Williams-BMW M 1:18.138
14. FELIPE MASSA Sauber-Petronas M 1:18.252
15. SCOTT SPEED Red Bull Racing M 1:18.499
16. JACQUES VILLENEUVE Sauber-Petronas M 1:18.732
17. CHRISTIAN KLIEN Red Bull-Cosworth M 1:19.212
18. DAVID COULTHARD Red Bull-Cosworth M 1:19.694
19. NARAIN KARTHIKEYAN Jordan-Toyota B 1:19.791
20. PATRICK FRIESACHER Minardi-Cosworth B 1:21.990
21. CHRISTIJAN ALBERS Minardi-Cosworth B 1:22.452
22. TIAGO MONTEIRO Jordan-Toyota B 1:23.152
23. FERNANDO ALONSO Renault M No Time

Kevin Kalkhoven medical update Kevin Kalkhoven medical updateChamp Car co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven has come through surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and is recuperating. It was a fairly major surgery to remove all the metal that was in his shattered shoulder. They were able to do this because the bones had healed sufficiently. The metal, and the infection that developed because of it, was causing him severe pain requiring him to be on a lot of pain medication, which of course at times made him drowsy. Since the surgery last week we hear he already looks better than before he went under the knife and his recovery is right on schedule. He probably won't be skiing anytime soon, however. Mark C.
Canadian GP Thursday Press Conference Canadian GP Thursday Press ConferenceAhead of the Canadian Grand Prix, Rubens Barrichello, Christian Klien, Kimi Raikkonen and Jacques Villeneuve talk of the season to date and their hopes for the future. What follows is the Thursday press conference organized by the FIA. Transcript
Vivid Wheels to sponsor Grand-Am car Vivid Wheels to sponsor Grand-Am carVivid Entertainment, the world's leading adult film studio, has signed a licensing agreement with MZL LLC of Miami to market a line of high-end wheels.  The light alloy Vivid Wheels, for use on SUVs, pickup trucks, and luxury cars that feature the distinctive Vivid "V" logo, will be available beginning September in leading automotive aftermarket stores nationwide. Initially there will be two designs in 20", 22" and 24" rims. 

Vivid Girl Mercedez will introduce the wheel line and sign autographs at The Dub Show at the Miami Beach Convention Center Sunday June 12th (Noon - 6pm, 1901 Convention Center Drive). Vivid Wheels will also sponsor a JMR Daytona Prototype that will race in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race during the Six Hours of Watkins Glen on June 10-12, which will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel.

Matt Zuber, president of MZL and a veteran of the specialty automobile wheel industry, said the primary market for Vivid Wheels would be car and truck enthusiasts 18 to 40 years of age who are interested in premium products that reflect their individuality and daring. The wheels will be advertised in leading publications such as Truckin', DUB™ magazine and DuPont Registry.  MZL will also have a presence with the products at major automotive-related trade shows

"The high quality road wheel market is growing rapidly and car owners have a thirst for first-class products that set them apart from their buddies and perform flawlessly," said Mr. Zuber. "That's what we'll be providing with the Vivid Wheels. Every young man in America knows that Vivid stands for the best in adult films with the most beautiful women, and these wheels will reflect that market position."

Portland track changes for the better Portland track changes for the betterThis Champcar.ws article talks about the reconfigured Festival Curves at Portland.  Once Mickey Mouse, the right-left-right complex should make for much better racing.  "I like the changes," says Justin Wilson. "They've basically moved the track. The left is a full track-width sooner than what it used to be, so it's opened up that radius and made the corner and the whole section flow a lot better."

And while the profile of the first part of the turn remains the same, the fact that the gravel trap where many a driver's hopes of a strong finish ended with his car "beached" is now a distant memory will likely result in competitors taking a new approach to the corner.  "It'll make it a lot easier for cars that have contact and go off course . . . or just go off course . . . to keep running," says Wilson. "If you have to go straight on, for whatever reason, you don't get stuck in the gravel.  You just cross the concrete and you're fine.  "The only downside is that it takes away the limit of the corner, somewhat, because if you get it wrong the penalty is less severe. It's a lot easier to be brave there now!"

Drivers involved in crash at Indy take shots at rookie Drivers involved in crash at Indy take shots at rookieThe top qualifier for the first Indy Racing League event since the Indy 500 was Tomas Scheckter (213.847 mph); Panther Racing teammate Tomas Enge (212.861) will start second. Both drivers were involved in an accident with Patrick on lap 155 at Indy. Both were knocked out of the race, and both had constructive criticism for the rookie after qualifying on Thursday.

The accident came on a restart when Patrick spun into the back of Enge's car, and Scheckter crashed into both cars. After minor repairs, Patrick continued running and led as late as lap 193, when Dan Wheldon overtook her and won. Scheckter was asked if he was concerned about Patrick starting the race directly behind the two drivers she had the crash with at Indy.

"She's usually more trouble when she's in front, by the looks of things at Indy," said Scheckter. "No, she should be fine. She's done a great job. She made a little mistake (at Indy). ... I've got no problem racing (with) her."

Enge indicated he will keep his eyes open when Patrick is in his vicinity. "I think it's great for the whole IRL that she's running in front the last few races," said Enge. "We've got to get some more attention and more spectators. ... We have to be a little careful with her from what I saw at Indianapolis. I didn't see a consistent run from her when I was behind her. You had to be careful. One lap, she was on this line. The next lap, she was on that line." Houston Chronicle [Editor's Note: We saw her miss her line in the first turn of the first lap of qualifying at Indy, almost lose it, make a great save, but she lost a sure pole position with her 50 to 100 pound weight advantage. Texas is another 100% throttle track, so with her weight advantage she should run away and hide. If a car went through tech inspection 50 to 100 pounds underweight it would be deemed a serious violation. The fact that Danica's car is that much lighter than everyone else's is analogous to her car going through tech inspection that much underweight - if she doesn't crash she should win every race!]

IRL set to play its Danica card again IRL set to play its Danica card againWill any of those May 29 viewers follow the series and Danica Patrick to ESPN and Saturday night's race at Texas Motor Speedway?   NASCAR seems to be wondering the same thing. It announced this week that Erin Crocker, stock car racing's answer to Patrick, tested this week for Evernham Motorsports at Michigan International Speedway. Coaching Crocker was former champion Bill Elliott.   Meantime, the IRL is still computing the impact Patrick had on the Indy 500 and open-wheel racing.
For example, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced that sales of Patrick-themed merchandise outsold the combined totals of the 32 men drivers in the Indy 500 field by a sizable margin.  Although Patrick merchandise was reordered throughout May, when the shops closed following the race the only Patrick-related items in the gift shops on IMS grounds were one baseball cap, two T-shirts and one die-cast replica of her car.   If the ratings show a bump this week, IRL officials will have further proof that they may finally have found the answer to NASCAR's soaring popularity. San Diego Union-Tribune
Can Patrick possibly live up to hype? Can Patrick possibly live up to hype?This Indy Star article talks about the fact that the media has set Danica Patrick up for a fall by over hyping her. We disagree. She can't lose. With her 50 to 100 pound weight advantage (which is analogous to a car going through tech inspection 50 to 100 pounds underweight) how can she not win? The IRL rules have given Danica Patrick (and any other driver as light as her) a distinct and unfair advantage.
Cleveland GP news Cleveland GP newsGrand Prix of Cleveland officials report out-of-town ticket sales continue to move strongly for the 24th annual June 24-26 weekend event at Burke Lakefront Airport. Race officials also announced earlier this week that several partners are back on board with the race.  Most notably, Budweiser, through the House of LaRose, is back on board. They are not the title sponsor, as they were during the first years of the race, but they are back as the official beer of the event.  "The race is a great marketing and promotional platform for our brands," said Jim LaRose, president of the House of LaRose. Cleveland Plain-Dealer
Gidley chosen to write another karting book Gidley chosen to write another karting bookMemo Gidley, accomplished open wheel racecar driver, shifter kart champion and pilot of the #19 AIR FORCE RESERVE Daytona Prototype will again join forces with author/publisher Jeff Grist to produce a new title for Motorbooks. The new book, titled Karting: Everything You Need to Know, is part of a new Motorbooks series launching fall 2005.

“The Everything You Need to Know series is a great way to introduce enthusiasts to the activities they care about and in which they want to participate,” said Peter Bodensteiner, acquisitions editor for Motorbooks. “Each book in the series will serve as a mentor, allowing people new to the sport or activity to get started. I am confident that even intermediate and advanced karters will learn a lot from this new addition to this exciting book series.”

The success of the Secrets of Speed series is proof positive that there is a strong appetite for more information and insight into the mechanics and dynamics of karting. Feeding that pent up demand is the single-minded focus for both Gidley and Grist.

“The response from karters around the world for our books has been amazing,” states Gidley. “This new book will help to bring all forms of karting together under one title,” continues Gidley from his home in Novato, California. “I am really excited about the effort that Motorbooks is putting behind this project.”

With three successful titles under their belt and three more Memo Gidley Secrets of Speed books to come, this writing duo feel they understand what kart racers are looking for in a how to-book. Being selected to work on this project by Motorbooks is proof this writing is on the right track.

“This new book will build on the incredible success of Secrets of Speed series,” states Jeff Grist, co-author and publisher of Memo Gidley’s Secrets of Speed series. “With the help and support of the entire team at Motorbooks, we hope to bring karting to a new and bigger audience,” continues Grist from his home in Grimsby, Ontario, Canada. “I think working with Motorbooks will help us become better ambassadors for the sport of karting.”

Karting: Everything You Need to Know will retail at $24.95, with approximately 160 pages and 300 color photos. Like other books in the series, the karting book answers all the common questions a newcomer is likely to have. It features plenty of instructive anecdotes, definitions of critical terms, and helpful tips. Detailed and plentiful photos and captions add context and encourage the reader to “learn by doing.” The text is welcoming, encouraging, conversational, and casual in tone. Additional features include a comprehensive table of contents, content summaries at the head of each chapter, frequent subheads, and extensive resource listings.

“I wasn’t planning on writing another book this summer,” smiles Gidley. “But this is really a great opportunity for Jeff and I to promote karting at a new level,” continues Gidley as he prepares for the next round of 2005 Grand Am Series.

Barrichello looking forwards not back Barrichello looking forwards not backRubens Barrichello admits that his drive to the podium at the Nurburgring a fortnight ago had been 'encouraging,' and when quizzed about last week’s testing at the Silverstone circuit, Barrichello remained upbeat about the team's chances at Nurburgring.

“We made some improvements, but the difference is not night and day, rather we are making small steps forward,” said the Brazilian. “It was actually a bit too cold at Silverstone to get some meaningful data on the tire side, but in any case, we were not working specifically for this race in Canada, which is what our team working in Monza was looking at.”

Barrichello reckoned the outcome of this weekend’s race is hard to predict.

“The top teams have all upped their game and we at Ferrari can fight for the win. There is an unknown factor in that the track has been resurfaced and I understand the weather could also have some surprises. But while I think we don’t have the quickest car on the grid, I don’t think we are far from being able to win this weekend.”

Asked about the mood in the team, Rubens reckoned that it was still positive and that it reminded him of when he first joined the squad.
“Back then, everyone was saying “how can we improve, how can we do better?” Then, we started winning races and the championship and everyone was smiling. Naturally, with no race wins yet this year, we are back to that same question from the past. But the potential is there and I think we can win races."

"The championship will be very hard to win, especially if Alonso keeps finishing on the podium. But there are still 12 races to go and anything can happen. Our Thursday meetings before a race are always encouraging. The post-races meetings on Sunday afternoon have been a bit different without the winner’s trophy to look at on the table, but we are moving forward all the time."

Barrichello is tenth in the driver's standings with 15 points, one behind teammate Michael Schumacher. Ferrari

Michael Schumacher pushes on Michael Schumacher pushes onMichael Schumacher only arrived at the track in the afternoon on Thursday and his first job was to sit down amongst the plants and bushes that decorate the Ferrari paddock area and talk to the press.  It was a brief meeting and the first question was about concerns raised after Kimi Raikkonen’s accident a fortnight ago at the Nurburgring, after his flat-spotted front tire caused his suspension to break.

“You cannot just say this accident was due to the new rule forbidding tire changing during a race,” began the reigning world champion. “If you look at the situation last year, when tire changes were allowed, we saw some tire failures even then."

"It is down to the tire manufacturers to now produce tires that last the whole distance, but in the case of Kimi it was actually caused by driver error, as he flat-spotted the tire. You cannot insure against ever making mistakes. It was his decision to stay out on track which is fair enough, as it is very difficult decision to make in a situation like that.”
As for this weekend in Montreal, Schumacher agreed with a questioner who reminded him of his excellent record in the Canadian GP. “Yes, that’s true,” said the German, “and we would like to maintain that this weekend. We have some improvements on the car, but the question is always the same – will it be enough. Anyway, we will keep fighting.”

The Ferrari man went on to maintain that, apart from the obvious disappointment, he was able to deal with this period of races without a win. “In the past, we went many years without winning and I dealt with it then and it is not a problem now. We are facing a different challenge at the moment and although the results have not been so good, our race pace is competitive, so we just have to keep on working to get it right in the other areas.”

Regarding his chances of maintaining his championship title, Schumacher took the same view as he always has done in these situations. “I just think it is not yet over mathematically and so that’s the way I look at it.” Ferrari

Q and A with Flavio Briatore Q and A with Flavio Briatore The Renault F1 Team's Managing Director Flavio Briatore gives his thoughts on the season so far. His verdict? He's happy, but not complacent. More....
Scott Speed ready for F1 debut Scott Speed ready for F1 debut"I'm pleased my introduction to Formula One is in Canada and Indianapolis, it is probably the best situation," said Scott Speed, who has tested twice for the team away from Grand Prix this season.  "There is no car out there that I've ever driven that comes close to a Formula One car in the aerodynamic performance."

"I don't consider myself any different to anyone else driving the cars. I know the tracks since I was a kid, playing Playstation so it won't be a shock to me. Obviously it's a bit different with all the media attention and I don't really know what to expect, but I am looking forward to it."

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
'Kimi should've pitted'
Carlin quits Jordan
'FIA deaf to drivers' fear'
Why Red Bull canned 'swap'
Head has stab at BMW 'KO'
Schu would race female driver
Rumble in the F1 press
'Alonso needs three more'
Jacques' hobby
Liuzzi turns spectator
Praying for rain
Alonso 'reserved'
'BAR won't win' - Button
Giebler wins, lines up Toyota Atlantic drive Giebler wins, lines up Toyota Atlantic driveThis past Saturday at the Stars of Karting race at the Reno Hilton in Reno Nevada, Phil Giebler (right) reminded people of why he is considered a legend in American Karting.  Giebler started 11th in the ICA main (due a broken chain in the prefinal) and quickly began slicing his way though the field. Midway through the 23-lap race he was third and the only question was when he would take the lead.  The answer: The very next lap.

Displaying the expertise he honed on the  tracks of Europe, Giebler used the narrowest of openings to shoot into the lead. From there, he pulled away and took a convincing win. “They were battling and I took advantage of all their mistakes,” Giebler said of the lead drivers. “I was really strong in the infield section, through all the tight twists and turns and over the bumps. I took advantage of a good kart and my experience.” The highly technical Hilton GP circuit is considered a driver's course. “For this track you've got to have good handling, but it’s all about rhythm and knowing how to use the kart, so I think a driver is really critical here,” Giebler said. “There's such a fine line here because if you overdrive, then the kart really bounces out of control. If you go too slow into a corner, or too cautious, then the kart doesn't work hard enough and you bog on the exit. There’s a really fine window of how hard to push. I definitely had better rhythm through all the bumpy sections.”

Giebler, 24, of Oxnard, Calif., grew up racing karts in national events. He began at 9 and was winning races within a year and National championships within two. Seven seasons ago he moved to France to begin racings cars in the world famous ELF LaFiliere Formula Renault Championship, from there he moved up to French Formula 3b, British, German & Spanish F3 and then competed half a season driving for series front runners, Super Nova in the series one rung below F1...F3000. Mid season his sponsorship ran out and he returned to the US and a partial season in the IRL's Infiniti Pro series, where he won in his very first IPS race at Miami in his first ever oval race. Phil went on to score a 2nd, 3rd & 5th, along with the win in just five events.

The time away from karts certainly didn't dull his karting skills. Giebler’s been in the top five in every Stars race so far this year. He hopes success in the series will re-kick-start his "car" career and lead back into to a ride in a higher level series. He already has a one off drive lined up in the Toyota Atlantic series later this summer and said there should be more to follow.

Waltrip to field third Toyota Waltrip to field third ToyotaDarrell Waltrip Motorsports and Toyota announced today that Ken Schrader will pilot the No. 11 Federated Auto Parts Toyota Tundra in the upcoming NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race at Michigan International Speedway. “After a successful second half to the 2004 season, we’ve had a rather slow start this year,” said Pat Wall, NCTS Program Manager at TRD. “We’ve asked Darrell Waltrip Motorsports to help us evaluate the overall Tundra package in order to enable us to continue to be successful.”  Overall, Toyota Tundras have recorded four wins, seven pole positions, 31 top-five and 68 top-10 finishes since the beginning of the 2004 season.  “Toyota was very successful during their first year of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition,” said Darrell Waltrip. “We welcome the opportunity to field a third truck for Toyota. I know that Bobby Kennedy and our group will do everything possible to make this a successful endeavor. Having a third truck at Michigan will not only be valuable to TRD, but it will be beneficial to both of our teams throughout the rest of the season. We’re looking forward to Michigan.”   Live race coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, June 18th begins at 3:15 EDT on SPEED Channel. MRN Radio will broadcast the event.
Klien confirmed for next 4 races Klien confirmed for next 4 racesAustrian Christian Klien will race the next four grands prix for Red Bull and probably the two after that as well, team boss Christian Horner said on Thursday.  "Christian will certainly do the next four races, they are both back to back events -- here to Indianapolis and Magny-Cours to Silverstone," he said at the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix.

"We'll just keep evaluating the situation but it's most likely he will do the following sequence of back-to-backs as well from Germany to Budapest," added Horner.  Klien is returning to the race seat in Montreal after trading places with Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi, who competed in the last four grands prix, as part of a pre-arranged share. Reuters

San Jose press conference highlights San Jose press conference highlightsAt today's San Jose title sponsor announcement AJ Allmendinger talked about attending Leigh High School here in San Jose and that he's "already drove the San Jose Grand Prix course but that was years ago". He then mentioned something about the local San Jose police dept, but we guess that’s another story. He also noted that the course will produce the greatest deceleration point of any Champ Car circuit, with the cars traveling from a top speed of 190 mph as the speed down Almaden Blvd while braking down to 40 mph at the hairpin corner near the DeAnza Hotel. That's a 150 mph drop in speed! AJ stated that he's going to have to concentrate on neck exercises before the event! As for the photos in the feature story, most of them are self-explanatory, the blond woman with AJ is San Jose's Vice Mayor Susan Hammer, while the other person you don't recognize is Taylor Woodrow's Iain Napler (an Englishman who used to sell motorcars!)

According to General Manager Bob Singleton the grandstands start going up July 1st, while the actual track barrier work will begin July 11th.

ABC television from SF just had a story on tonight’s nightly news. It was in-depth with footage from today’s media event, downtown circuit video, and excerpts from a couple of Champ Car events. One thing mentioned was that they have sold 25,000 seats so far which was thought to be pretty good and they expect massive sales in the weeks before the event. Paul Castoro reporting from San Jose

CopperKey to provide key analysis for Denver GP CopperKey to provide key analysis for Denver GP[Editor's Note:  All Champ Car promoters should make use of this company.  Why hasn't Champ Car signed these guys up as a service for all its promoters?]  The CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver presented by PacifiCare announced today a partnership with CopperKey and its on-demand analytic product, BizFusion. For Grand Prix of Denver sponsors and partners, BizFusion will provide market information such as customer statistics with profiles and segmentation, mapping, and automated predictive modeling that allow businesses to better understand the Denver market and therefore have a higher return on their sponsorship investment.

BizFusion, combined with Internet promotions, or printed materials with Internet codes, will allow the Grand Prix of Denver and its partners to identify and create customized marketing lists.  These highly targeted lists will consist of potential customers who closely resemble the profile of current customers and who are most likely to purchase products from the Grand Prix and its partners.

“This is a very unique marketing application for a motorsports property,” said Jim Freudenberg, general manager of the Grand Prix of Denver.  “The BizFusion product is extremely applicable to the way we do our sponsorship business for the Grand Prix.  We rely heavily on expanding business-to-business relationships for our partners and BizFusion is the tool to better serve our partners and adapt more quickly to market trends.”

“We are thrilled with our strategic relationship with the Grand Prix of Denver,” said Mike Vrh, director of motorsports strategies for CopperKey. “BizFusion will provide the Grand Prix and its sponsors an event ROI mechanism that is revolutionary to the motorsport industry.  We look forward to working closely with the Grand Prix and its partners to make their investment in the race a profitable venture that accomplishes their sponsorship objectives.”

About CopperKey
Founded in 1997, CopperKey has developed a new generation of technology that automates predictive and economic models to reveal hidden value inside data. CopperKey's products and services are a result of our unique combination of expert knowledge in predictive modeling, artificial intelligence, and software development.

CopperKey is the first to offer affordable, on-line business intelligence services to companies of all sizes.  It provides customer and market analysis, along with predictive prospect identification solutions, delivered immediately to the desktop: anytime, anywhere there’s an Internet connection, whether you sell to consumers or other businesses.  For more information on CopperKey, please visit our Web site at www.copperkey.com.

Button: Danica not good enough for F1 Button: Danica not good enough for F1World champion Michael Schumacher said here Thursday that Indianapolis 500 success story Danica Patrick should be given a chance to prove her talent in Formula One.  American Patrick has been thrown into the limelight after finishing fourth in the classic United States Indy Car race two weeks ago, the highest a woman has finished in its history. And Schumacher said: "I would love to have her here to race with us. I don't know (if she could compete), there have been guys who have been able to do so and others who have not, but it would be interesting to find out."

But Briton Jenson Button believes her impressive recent results have been boosted by the way Indy Car racing is run and believes the female racer will never make it into Formula One.  "It is really difficult to know how good someone is in that category because the driver's weight doesn't matter," explained Button. "If you are 20kg lighter than another guy, you should be quicker." Source: AFP

Ford and Jaguar return as sponsors Ford and Jaguar return as sponsorsFord Motor Company and Jaguar Cars North America highlight a long list of returning contingency sponsors for this year’s Trans-Am Series championship.

Jaguar returns to the Series for a fifth consecutive year at the 2005 season opener in Long Beach and sponsors the Jaguar Pole Award. The Jaguar Pole Award gives $2,500 to any Jaguar XKR driver winning a pole at each Trans-Am race this year. Ford awards those teams fielding Mustangs a $2,500 bonus for a first-place finish, $1,000 for second and $500 for third.

“We are pleased to welcome back our returning contingency sponsors,” said Trans-Am Executive Director John Clagett. “This is elite group of companies represents the best of the best in their respective industries. We’re privileged to have them participate in the Trans-Am Series this year.”

To celebrate BFGoodrich® Tires’ eighth consecutive year as Trans-Am’s spec radial racing tire supplier, it offers the Anniversary Award, which gives the driver who finishes eighth in each race this season one set of tires. BBS Wheels also returned this year, and continues its backing of the year-end BBS Most Improved Driver Award, which is given to a deserving Trans-Am Series driver in a vote by his or her fellow competitors.

VP Fuels, the Official Racing Fuel of the Trans-Am Series, backs the Hard Charger Award in the featured Trans-Am Series, the GT-1 Driver Development Program and the GT America Class. The Hard Charger Award goes to the competitor who makes up the most positions in a race based on original qualifying position. Bosch, which supplies the Series’ official spec fuel injection system, also offers bonuses and product awards in all three classes to drivers using its spark plugs,

BSR/Performance Friction Carbon Metallic also continues its contingency program this year, as does Design 500 Racewear. Racefab offers contingency bonuses at each race this season to Trans-Am and GT-1 teams using its chassis. Airgas also returns as a contingency sponsor, as well as being the Series’ Official Nitrogen Supplier.

Trans-Am official sponsors also include MSD Ignition and Intercomp Scales. MSD continues to supply the Series spec ignition systems used on all Trans-Am cars. Intercomp Scales is the Official Scale Supplier to the Trans-Am Series. Racing Electronics was previously announced as the Series Official Radio Supplier, as was Featherlite, which is the Official Trailer of the Trans-Am Series. Jacobsen returns for its second-consecutive year as the Official Utility Vehicle Supplier to the Trans-Am Series. Trans-Am

Hmiel suspended again for substance abuse Hmiel suspended again for substance abuseUPDATE Busch Series driver Shane Hmiel will not be allowed to appeal his indefinite suspension for a second violation of NASCAR’s substance abuse policy, a NASCAR official confirmed Thursday.  "It cannot be appealed. We have a very structured process for violations of our substance abuse policy,” said Jim Hunter, NASCAR’s vice president of corporate communications.  “Right now, he is suspended indefinitely. If that were to change, we would inform everyone.” 06/02/05 NASCAR on Thursday suspended driver Shane Hmiel indefinitely for violation of the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. It is the second time in less than two years that Hmiel has been suspended for substance abuse.  Hmiel, 24, was in Dover, Del., preparing for Saturday's MBNA RacePoints 200. He practiced his car Thursday, but was escorted out of the garage by several NASCAR officials before the second session.  Hmiel was replaced by Ron Hornaday in the No. 32 Chevrolet fielded by Braun Racing.

NASCAR officials said that Hmiel tested positive for banned substances after Busch Series qualifying at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. The positive test violates Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-E (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2005 NASCAR rule book.  Hmiel, who is 14th in the Busch Series point standings, was suspended indefinitely in September 2003 for the same offenses.

Hmiel is the son of Steve Hmiel, the longtime technical director at Dale Earnhardt Inc., who recently became Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s interim crew chief.  To emphasize the importance of a substance-free sport, NASCAR, in 1988, created its Substance Abuse Policy. The policy provides for testing under reasonable suspicion, an approach that is well suited to NASCAR because of the close and continuing contact between officials and competitors.

As a result of his positive test in 2003, Steve Hmiel was released by his Busch Series team, Innovative Motorsports. Ironically, it also was at Dover where Hmiel was unseated.   Hmiel was cleared to return to competition by NASCAR in February 2004. His reinstatement carried several conditions, among them random drug testing at NASCAR's discretion. NASCAR

Industry News
Huge motorsports park planned for Long Island Huge motorsports park planned for Long IslandAs an investment group of motor-sports enthusiasts pursues a racing-oriented entertainment complex on 353 undeveloped acres in Yaphank, the Suffolk County Legislature Tuesday passed a resolution calling for the creation of a community advisory board to scrutinize all proposals. Called The Suffolk County Sports and Entertainment Park, the latest and largest proposal for the massive tract of land south of the Long Island Expressway at Exit 67 -- adjacent to a Grucci fireworks plant and the county prison farm -- proposes construction of a NASCAR-type oval track, drag strip, motocross park, motor-sport museum and an ATV park.

Additionally, according to Neil Rosenberg, vice president of Top Gun Sports & Entertainment Inc. in Bohemia, the facility would be home to a concert amphitheater and an arena, a 135-room "destination" hotel, RV park, a "youth zone," and "Pleasure Isle" of restaurants, dance clubs and bars. The proposal was first reported in Long Island Business News.

"It's the passion of a group of people who have no place to take their kids and are tired of going to New Jersey to see motor sports," said Rosenberg, who declined to name the 20 investors. One of them, according to business records, is Peter Scalise, the group's chief executive, who as president of Northeast Motorsports led an unsuccessful proposal two years ago to build a similar complex in Calverton.

Rosenberg would say only that the $180 million proposal was five years in the making and that many of the investors are from the previous project. The group would finance development and lease the land from the county, turning over a percentage of annual profits. The group is seizing on an appeal by County Executive Steve Levy earlier this year for proposals for the site that incorporate affordable worker housing, entertainment and recreational uses.

The Top Gun group is opposed to the affordable housing element of the plan -- a possible sticking point for the county. "If they do affordable housing there's going to be a detrimental impact to the school district," Rosenberg said.

The group's Web site, which opens with a video of Levy's state-of-the-county address earlier this year, suggests political obstacles won't be a factor. More at Newsday

Newman/Haas selects Servia Newman/Haas selects ServiaNewman/Haas Racing has named Spaniard Oriol Servia to drive the No. 2 PacifiCare entry while Bruno Junqueira recovers from the injury he sustained after contact with a lapped car during the Indianapolis 500 on May 29. Servia made his debut with the team at the previous Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford race in Milwaukee and drove to a third place finish.

“Oriol (pictured right with Haas and Newman. Photo Credit: Dan Boyd, Courtesy of PacifiCare Racing) did a good job for us at Milwaukee, which has been one of our more difficult tracks the past few years,” said Carl Haas, co-owner with Paul Newman of Newman/Haas Racing. “He is currently in sixth place in the point standings and we feel that together we could bring PacifiCare some good results.”

In Milwaukee, Servia earned his sixth podium finish with his third place result with Newman/Haas Racing. Now in his sixth season in the Champ Car series, Servia has made 88 starts while driving for teams such as PPI Motorsports (2000), Sigma Motorsports (2001), PWR/Patrick Racing (2002), Patrick Racing (2003), Dale Coyne Racing (2004 and the first two events of 2005), and Newman/Haas Racing (2005 Milwaukee). Of his six career top-three, podium finishes, his highest to date is second place at 2003 events in Milwaukee and Montreal. He finished third in Milwaukee (2005), Laguna Seca (2004), Denver (2003) and Detroit (2000). His best career start is second place in Montreal and Denver in 2003.

“I enjoyed every moment I spent with Newman/Haas Racing in Milwaukee and am honored that they chose me to drive the PacifiCare car,” said Servia, 30. “ This is a great opportunity for me and I will work very hard to bring good results and make Bruno proud. We are entering the heart of the season and will be racing at great events on tracks I love. I’m looking forward to getting my first road course experience with Newman/Haas Racing in the PacifiCare car in Portland and will work on getting everyone a great result there.”

Barrichello: how can we improve, how can we do better? Barrichello: how can we improve, how can we do better?Rubens Barrichello had an earlier start than usual to his pre-Grand Prix Thursday, as the FIA press conference took place at 11 o’clock local time, to fit in with European news deadlines.

After admitting that his drive to the podium at the Nurburgring a fortnight ago had been “encouraging,” the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver was quizzed about last week’s testing at the Silverstone circuit. “We made some improvements, but the difference is not night and day, rather we are making small steps forward,” said the Brazilian. “It was actually a bit too cold at Silverstone to get some meaningful data on the tire side, but in any case, we were not working specifically for this race in Canada, which is what our team working in Monza was looking at.” Barrichello reckoned the outcome of this weekend’s race is hard to predict. “The top teams have all upped their game and we at Ferrari can fight for the win. There is an unknown factor in that the track has been resurfaced and I understand the weather could also have some surprises. But while I think we don’t have the quickest car on the grid, I don’t think we are far from being able to win this weekend.”

Asked about the mood in the team, Rubens reckoned that it was still positive and that it reminded him of when he first joined the Scuderia. “Back then, everyone was saying “how can we improve, how can we do better?” Then, we started winning races and the championship and everyone was smiling. Naturally, with no race wins yet this year, we are back to that same question from the past. But the potential is there and I think we can win races. The championship will be very hard to win, especially if Alonso keeps finishing on the podium. But there are still 12 races to go and anything can happen. Our Thursday meetings before a race are always encouraging. The post-races meetings on Sunday afternoon have been a bit different without the winner’s trophy to look at on the table, but we are moving forward all the time.” Ferrari

Jaskol wins back-to-back ASA races Jaskol wins back-to-back ASA racesRookie Matt Jaskol showed that his early success at ASA Truck racing was no fluke as he put together consecutive wins at Mesa-Marin and the Las Vegas Bullring to take over the series championship lead.

At Mesa-Marin, two weeks ago, Matt started from the pole and led all 75 laps on the half-mile track to score the victory in his 03 United Auto Nissan.

"Although I led all the way, it wasn't as easy as it looked", commented Matt, "I had to deal with seven re-starts with a bunch of hungry drivers right on my tailgate. I tried to use the caution laps as an opportunity to cool down my tires and set myself up to get the jump".

Just last weekend, at the 3/8 of a mile Las Vegas Bullring, the 20 year-old ex-karting champion repeated the performance, leading all the way to score his third victory of the season. Once again it was his uncanny ability to make jackrabbit re-starts that gave him the edge.
"It's the truck", said Jaskol, "The United Nissan Team has given me such a good machine, and they really deserve the credit for me upping my game."

Matt's immediate success at truck racing has caused him to skip the last two races of the Star Mazda road racing series, despite standing second in the championship chase.

Canadian GP sellout Canadian GP selloutLooking at the Canadian GP website, this weekend's Canadian GP F1 race has every grandstand marked "Sold Out."  And to think, two years ago Bernie Ecclestone threatened to kill this race over the tobacco laws despite the teams and drivers voting this event their favorite.
2006 Rolex 24 date 2006 Rolex 24 dateThe dates for the 44th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona will be a week earlier in 2006, Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig announced today. The prestigious sports car race, which is traditionally held in the first week of February, will now be held on Jan. 26-29, 2006 - the weekend between the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl.

"The Rolex 24 At Daytona is the premier sports car race in America and annually kicks off the international motorsports calendar as well as Speedweeks," Braig said. "Changing the date of the race will allow the sports world focus on America's only 24-hour sports car race.”

"We feel strongly that by moving the date of the 2006 Rolex 24 At Daytona, it will bring even more attention to what we expect will be another star-studded event," Grand American Road Racing Association President Roger Edmondson said. "The Rolex 24 has already become a must-see event for hard core race fans of various series. Moving the race to a more open weekend on the annual sports calendar should make it easier to capture the attention of casual fans, and may also make it easier to get this historic event the attention it so richly deserves."

The Rolex 24 At Daytona, which serves as the kick-off race to Speedweeks, is the crown jewel event of the Rolex Sports Car Series. The 2005 edition of the twice-around-the-clock challenge featured a record field of competitive Daytona Prototypes and a star-studded cast of drivers that represented more than 100 major driving championships.

"I'm planning on driving in the Rolex 24 Hour race again next year," said 2001 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion Bobby Labonte, who finished ninth overall in the 2005 Rolex 24. "I had a blast driving Kevin Doran's car with Terry (Labonte), Bryan (Herta) and Jan (Magnussen). The date doesn't matter too much to me, I'm planning on being there anyway, no matter what the date. The atmosphere there is unbelievable and I think that moving the event up one week will help draw even more attention. It's just a really cool deal, and hopefully, with the race a week earlier, even more people will find that out."

Tickets for the 44th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Grand-Am

Industry News
Mesa Marin Raceway Closing Mesa Marin Raceway ClosingThe days for Mesa Marin Raceway are numbered as owners announced, Wednesday the race track has been sold.  The surprise announcement was made during a news conference to publicize the next big NASCAR driver coming to Bakersfield.

Mesa Marin Raceway was holding its monthly luncheon at Buck Owens Crystal Palace, when the track’s Senior Vice President Larry Collins stepped to the podium and stunned everybody by announcing that Mesa Marin Raceway had been sold.  The news dropped the checkered flag on 28 years of racing at the East Bakersfield facility.  It first opened in 1977 and it rapidly grew in popularity and eventually earned the knick-name, the West's Fastest Half Mile.

Among its highlights were the development of the Craftsmen Truck Series, and its pioneering of the High School Racing Series.  And of course it is marked for being the training ground for many hot shot young drivers like Kevin Harvick. KGET.com 

Jordan Sporting Director Carlin steps down Jordan Sporting Director Carlin steps downJordan Grand Prix today announces the appointment of Adrian Burgess as acting Sporting Director, effective immediately, taking over the duties previously administered by Trevor Carlin, who will focus on his ongoing duties as Managing Director of Carlin Motorsport. In addition to these new responsibilities, Mr. Burgess will continue in his role as Sporting Manager, overseeing all aspects of the team’s race and test divisions.

Burgess, 36, has more than 20 years’ experience at the top levels of open-wheel motor racing. He began his motor racing career at the age of 15 before joining McLaren in 1991. Trevor Carlin spotted his talent and appointed him race engineer with Carlin Motorsport in 1999. During his time at Carlin, he went on to manage their British F3 and World Series teams. In 2005, he joined Mr. Carlin at Jordan Grand Prix as Sporting Manager.

“I want to thank Trevor Carlin for the exceptional work he has done to bring Jordan Grand Prix back on track," stated Colin Kolles, Jordan’s Managing Director. "I fully understand his reasons for stepping down, though his departure does create a void, both within the team and for me personally. We have worked together for several years and I consider him a trusted friend and colleague. I am grateful that he was able to nurture a talent like Adrian Burgess, who brings valuable and relevant skills to the team."
"I have followed Adrian’s career for the last five years and am very proud that we are being given the chance to make use of his impressive experience," Kolles continued. "As I have always maintained, our situation of being in a transition year gives us the unique opportunity to try different options to ensure that next year, when the team will race as Midland F1, we will be able to be competitive from the very beginning. With Adrian at the helm of the race and test divisions and Trevor Carlin in the background as our senior advisor, I am confident we can achieve our objectives.”

Trevor Carlin, outgoing Sporting Director, commented: “I am very pleased to be involved in the whole Midland F1 Project from its conception, and I hand over my role as Sporting Director at Jordan Grand Prix to Adrian Burgess, knowing he will do a superb job. Alex Shnaider and Colin Kolles have a very clear vision of where they want to take Midland F1 and the purchase of the Jordan Grand Prix Team was the first step.”

Adrian Burgess, acting Sporting Director, stated: “I would like to thank Trevor for all the hard work he has put into rebuilding the team for the future and for helping to put in place the building blocks we need to move this team forward. Now, we must get our heads down and get on with the job of preparing for our entry as Midland F1 in the 2006 championship." Jordan Grand Prix

Champ Car stars at Canadian GP Champ Car stars at Canadian GPUPDATE Bourdais was requested and he was interested in the possibility but ultimately he had a scheduling conflict so he had to decline an appearance at this event. 06/08/05 Motorsport fans coming to the Grand Prix of Canada will get a taste of the Champ Car race to be held in Montreal on August 26, 27 and 28. Not only will they see a Champ Car, as well as Atlantic, Trans-Am and Honda-Michelin series cars, in a stand set up inside the track, they’ll also be able to meet some drivers from the popular North American series each day at lunch hour. Planned appearances include Alexandre Tagliani (Friday), Sébastien Bourdais (Saturday) and young Quebec sensation Andrew Ranger (Sunday). Tune in to Radio Grand Prix and watch the giant screens for more details and confirmation of these special guests. Tickets on sale now for the Montreal Champ Car event. To order yours, call (514) 397-4639 or visit molsonindy.com.
Narain slams Villeneuve Narain slams VilleneuveNarain Karthikeyan is so enraged with former world champion Jacques Villeneuve, who accused the Indian of blocking his way in the European Formula One Grand Prix, that he says he would not mind repeating his act in future if needed, media reports said in Montreal on Thursday.  Canadian Villeneuve had confronted Karthikeyan after the European Grand Prix, accusing India's first F-1 driver of blocking him.  Karthikeyan insisted he did nothing wrong and would not mind doing the same again if required.

"I didn't block - maybe once on a straight - but he thought differently. I was angry," the 28-year-old Jordan driver was quoted as saying by the local media.  You don't expect him to (confront) like that. We'll see. I'm here to race and I'll do the same next time."

Karthikeyan justified his tactics in the race where he finished 16th, three places behind the 1997 world champion Villeneuve, whose best performance this season was fourth at the San Marino Grand Prix.

"You need to race, especially if you have half a chance," the Indian said.  "Villeneuve's car wasn't two seconds faster than mine. I thought I was doing the right thing and I still think so."  Karthikeyan, however, suggested that he and Villeneuve should talk it over now. Rediff.com

Andretti in the booth Andretti in the boothJohn Andretti will be in the television booth during Friday night's Chex 400 at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway, serving as an analyst for SPEED's national broadcast of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. "Usually I am sitting behind the steering wheel so I guess this will be a little further away than usual," said Andretti, "but I am really looking forward to it. I've worked some with SPEED on its television programs in the past and I am a regular contributor to WIBC Radio (Indianapolis) but this will be my first shot as a color analyst for a live race broadcast." He has also worked on FOX Sports Net's Totally NASCAR show as a regular contributor, and the Brickyard 400 broadcast last year as color analyst for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. Andretti, who has two NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race wins, has not driven in the Truck series but follows it closely. "I'd love to try it sometime because it is great racing," Andretti said. "I love the side-by-side stuff and the close finishes. I can't think of a racer anywhere who wouldn't want to try the Truck series." The Indianapolis, Ind., native who now lives in Mooresville has driven - and won - in just about every form of motorsports. He is one of just three drivers in motorsports history with major race victories in NASCAR Nextel Cup, Indy Car and major league sports car racing. In 1994, he became the first driver to run both the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500 in the same day; no other driver had even attempted the feat prior to that. Williams Company
Details of Charlotte HOF proposal Details of Charlotte HOF proposalIf Charlotte gets the hall, the project, including a new ballroom for the uptown convention center, would cost $137.5 million. Costs would be split among the city, state and private contributors, with much of the city money coming from a hike in the sales tax on hotel rooms.

The question that officials haven't answered, though, is what happens after the hall is built.

The records released this week -- which constitute more than any other city has revealed about its proposal -- help fill in significant gaps in the public's knowledge about Charlotte's plan, although holes remain.

According to the draft and other hall-related documents:

Charlotte envisions "no NASCAR contribution" to building or running the hall. NASCAR would receive a guaranteed annual royalty payment for use of its name, as well as a bonus based on the number of visitors per year and licensing fees for merchandise sold. But City Council member Warren Turner questioned why the city would have to pay NASCAR anything. "We're going to build it," the Democrat said. "Why do we have to pay them? Why should they get anything from it? You're hitting us twice. Nobody should profit from it more than the city."

The city would own the 130,000-square-foot building on Second Street and proposes that the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, a public agency that runs the Charlotte Convention Center and markets the city to tourists, would operate it.

The grand opening in 2008 would require a $5 million to $10 million budget for public relations, advertising and putting on the weeklong event. One idea: Show cars designed by local artists or celebrities placed all around Charlotte, like the rocking chairs displayed citywide a few years ago.

The plan includes expenses of $750,000 a year, growing by $50,000 each year after opening, to build new exhibits -- much like Walt Disney World and other theme parks periodically add new attractions. That's intended to keep the hall fresh and give visitors a reason to come back. Kimble wouldn't talk about the proposed operating budget or other financial details included in the pro forma. But money for ongoing expenses such as advertising and new displays would likely come from the hall's ticket sales, souvenirs and concessions.

Leaders involved in the effort said they've prepared budgets for the hall using conservative attendance and revenue projections, and they're confident the city won't lose money. Charlotte Observer

Audis won’t be fastest at LeMans anymore Audis won’t be fastest at LeMans anymoreThe two Audi importer teams from the USA and France are faced with a particularly difficult task during the 73rd running of the 24 Hour race at Le Mans on 18/19 June. In contrast to last year, the Audi R8 is no longer the fastest car on the grid. At its sixth and final appearance, the most successful Le Mans Prototype in history with 54 wins (four of those in Le Mans) must start with 50 kilograms of ballast and approximately 30 hp less – the regulations handing the latest generation of sportscars an advantage.
The effects were clearly visible during pre-practice: The three Audi R8 prototypes lost over six seconds to the fastest of the new LM P1-Prototypes, which can compete with significantly more engine power. That is five-tenths of a second per kilometer. The maximum speed along the renowned Hunaudières Straight is now only just 310 kph. At its debut in 2000, the R8 reached almost 330 kph at Le Mans. At that time the V8 twin-turbo power plant produced 610 hp, and now it’s down to approximately 520 hp due to the smaller diameter engine intake air restrictors stipulated by the latest Le Mans regulations.
The two competing Audi teams, ADT Champion Racing and Audi PlayStation Team ORECA, must therefore take their chances over the distance. The teams are not expecting to qualify on the front two rows. However, in the race they will attempt to exploit the Audi R8 prototype’s known strengths: the almost legendary reliability, the Turbo FSI engine’s low fuel consumption and the serviceability.
Furthermore, all three Audi cockpits are filled with high-caliber squads. The drivers of the two "American” R8 sports cars can lay claim to a total of 14 Le Mans victories. The former Audi works driver Stéphane Ortelli is the only Le Mans winner in the French importer team. However, his team mates Jean-Marc Gounon and Franck Montagny are Le Mans veterans.
Audi works driver Tom Kristensen, who has already won Le Mans six times in only eight attempts, could write Le Mans history. A seventh victory would make the Dane the most successful Le Mans driver ever. This time Kristensen drives alongside JJ Lehto and Marco Werner, who is the only Champion team driver never to have won in Le Mans. Frank Biela, Allan McNish and Emanuele Pirro share driving duties in the other R8. Italy’s Pirro can be proud of a unique record: Since 1999 he has started the race six times in an Audi, and has stood on the winners’ rostrum six times in succession.
During qualifying on Wednesday (15 June) and on Thursday (16 June), the two Audi teams will concentrate solely on setting the cars up for the race, which starts on 18 June at 4 p.m. The French flag will be waved at this time by Dr Martin Winterkorn. The Chairman of the Executive Board of AUDI AG was invited as honorary starter by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO).
Audi team sponsor providing security at LeMans Audi team sponsor providing security at LeMansADT, the world’s leading provider of electronic security solutions, and Team ADT Champion Racing, a leading contender for the upcoming Le Mans 24 hour race in France, have teamed up to overcome a unique challenge at Le Mans this year.

Unlike previous years, in 2005 the Le Mans testing weekend (5 June) and race weekend (18/19 June) are just 13 days apart. Historically, all the race teams have packed up and left the venue after testing and returned several weeks later for the race, however because of the short gap between test and race they are remaining on site this year, which poses a new security challenge for the teams.

In response to growing concerns over the security of Team ADT Champion Racing’s equipment, components and spares - worth several million dollars - and to ensure maximum protection for the team in the lead up to the race weekend, ADT is providing electronic surveillance for the team. This is the first time ever in the 73 year history of Le Mans that a race team is being provided with electronic surveillance of this nature.

The surveillance operation is being carried out via a new state of the art mobile closed circuit television (CCTV) vehicle that is positioned in Team ADT Champion Racing’s pit paddock area. This vehicle has been fitted out with the latest digital CCTV technology, to provide continuous 24 hour monitoring for the team in the lead up to the race. This includes a live feed of vision from strategically positioned cameras into Team ADT Champion Racing’s management centre. Team ADT

Good News for Pocono Race Traffic Good News for Pocono Race TrafficRace fans driving to this weekend's Pocono 500 will get a break from road construction.  Road work along Interstate 80 and I-380 will be halted from 6 a.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Monday due to the expected increase in traffic from the NASCAR event, the state Department of Transportation said.  "We understand the need to keep traffic flowing for major events like this, and are happy to adjust our schedule for the tens of thousands of race fans who will meet in Long Pond this week," PennDOT District Executive Amar C. Bhajandas said.  PennDOT said construction work will also be halted on secondary roads in Monroe and Carbon counties, include routes 115, 209, 534, 903, Long Pond Road and Kuhnenbeaker Road. Philly.com
Labbe Back Labbe BackCrew chief Slugger Labbe plans to return for the Pocono race after missing Sunday's race with Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Kenny Francis reunited with driver Jeremy Mayfield at Dover while Labbe dealt with the illness. He attempted to return to work Tuesday but vowed to be back in Mayfield's pit box Sunday. "You'll see a slimmed-down Slugger at Pocono," spokesman Denny Darnell said Tuesday. USA Today
NASCAR Dover TV rating NASCAR Dover TV ratingUPDATE Ratings for FX’s live NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series races for the first half of the racing season which FX airs, along with sister broadcast network, Fox, are the highest ever on the network since it has been airing NASCAR races in 2001.  FX’s final Nextel Cup race this season, the MBNA 400 from Dover, Del., last Sunday, was the network’s highest-rated race ever, posting a 4.9 final household rating and drawing in 6.1 million viewers.  For the 2005 season, FX’s three Nextel racing events posted an 18 percent increase in household rating (to a 4.5 from a 4.0 last season), a 14 percent gain in viewers to 5.7 million from 5.0 million, and a 6 percent hike in adults 18-49, reaching 2.8 million viewers per telecast vs. 2.5 million last year. Media Week 06/07/05 The overnight TV Rating for the MBNA RacePoints 400 at Dover International Speedway on FX was a 3.9/10 share (6.1 million viewers), up +15% over last year's 3.4/9 share.
Former NASCAR Driver Fittipaldi Debuts at the Glen Former NASCAR Driver Fittipaldi Debuts at the GlenChristian Fittipaldi is too young to remember his father and uncle competing at Watkins Glen International. The Fittipaldi name first made its mark in international racing at the Glen during the U.S. Grand Prix in 1970. That year, a young Emerson, with only a few races under his belt, won his first Formula One race. The Brazilian driver went on to win two Formula One championships and the Indianapolis 500. His 34-year-old nephew, Christian, is scheduled to make his first start on the famed 3.4-mile Grand Prix course where his uncle jump-started his career when he races in Sunday's Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen, the culmination of three days of racing at the track this weekend. Star Gazette
Stewart Ticketed for speeding Stewart Ticketed for speedingFormer NASCAR champion Tony Stewart had the pedal to the metal, but not on a racetrack. Instead he was caught speeding on a rural Jackson County highway.  An Indiana State Trooper clocked the 33-year-old Stewart at 80 miles per hour. He was driving his 2004 Humvee well above the posted limit of 55 miles per hour north of the city on U-S 31.  Stewart, of Columbus, at first decided to fight the May fifth citation in court. But he has changed his mind and will instead pay 141 dollars to enter a deferral program. WANE
Why MotoGP also dwarfs NASCAR Why MotoGP also dwarfs NASCARHeroes, star athletes make or break a sport.  Without them the sport is nothing.  One reason why F1 dwarfs NASCAR is the popularity of Michael Schumacher and Ferrari.  MotoGP has its Michael Schumacher - Valentino Rossi.  Last Sunday’s MotoGP race in Mugello, Italy, achieved impressive ratings across Europe and set an Italian record. The 45-minute race that saw superstar Valentino Rossi finally win out against fellow Italians Max Biaggi, Loris Capirossi and Marco Melandri recorded a 47.3 per cent market share and was seen by an average 7.6 million viewers through Mediaset’s channel Italia 1, more than NASCAR gets in the USA and Italy is a much smaller country than the USA.  It is the largest ever audience figure for motorcycle racing in Italy in terms of market share, and the total number of single viewers who tuned into the transmission during the coverage was said to be well over 10 million. In the UK the BBC garnered 1.3 million viewers and a 16 per cent share while in Spain the market share for the broadcast in TVE-1 was more than 31 per cent.

The IRL realizes this and have latched onto Danica Patrick who took the Indy 500 to new heights in 2005.  Champ Car, ALMS, Grand-Am, Trans-Am etc are not making heroes out of their drivers through proper marketing and PR and hence continue to flounder.

Counterfeit Merchandise Seized at Dover Counterfeit Merchandise Seized at DoverAn undercover initiative to stop the sale of counterfeit merchandise at Dover International Speedway has proven very successful. Dover International Speedway, in conjunction with the FBI, Dover Police Department and Delaware State Police, conducted an undercover sting to prevent counterfeit merchandise from being sold on the property on race weekends. Law enforcement officials, disguised as race fans, canvassed the parking lots at Dover International Speedway throughout race weekend. Officers focused on locating main distribution points of counterfeit merchandise early in the weekend, and began apprehending the major conspirators on Saturday. Historically, as race weekends progress, the appearance of unlicensed merchandise becomes more visible. This year, by the start of the Sunday, June 5 race at Dover International Speedway, illegal vendors were almost nonexistent. Over the course of the weekend, eight individuals, identified as illegal vendors, were removed from track property, detained and questioned. All counterfeit merchandise in their possession was seized. The FBI played a crucial role in the overall success of the initiative. Several months of planning and coordination efforts with state and local law enforcement were the keys to the program's smooth and efficient operation. "Through collaboration with Dover International Speedway, the FBI, Delaware State Police and the Dover Police Dept., we were able to significantly reduce the sale of counterfeit merchandise," said Major Ray Taraila, Deputy Chief of Dover Police Dept. "We have made a real impact on the illegal sale of unlicensed merchandise in Dover, and hopefully made a positive impact on legitimate, law abiding businesses and vendors." Dover International Speedway
NASCAR drivers to compete at Eldora NASCAR drivers to compete at EldoraUPDATE The $10,000 winner's paycheck was far from the standard amount that Nextel Cup or the Busch Series award. What's more, there were no points to be won, either. Yet Kenny Wallace had one of the best times he's ever had behind the wheel of a race car Wednesday night, winning the inaugural Nextel Prelude to a Dream late model modified stock car race at the Tony Stewart-owned Eldora Speedway. Although the main event was just a 25-lap sprint, the nearly 20,000 fans in attendance saw plenty of action, including a surprise pole-winning performance by 70-something-year-old – he admits to being "somewhere between 75 and 70" – stock car legend Red Farmer, and a surprise appearance and strong fifth-place performance by semi-retired NASCAR great Bill Elliott. Given the success – and the nearly $75,000 raised for Kyle Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp (Petty finished 13th out of 14 cars) – Stewart said what started out as an experiment will return for an encore performance next year. The finishing order was Wallace, followed by Stewart and sprint car ace Danny Lasoski. Ken Schrader was fourth, followed by Elliott, Dave Blaney, Bobby Labonte, Farmer, drag racer Ron Capps, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Green, Kevin Harvick, Petty and Mike Wallace, who was the only driver who failed to finish, suffering a blown motor midway through the race. Yahoo Sports

06/08/05 Legendary half-mile clay oval Eldora Speedway will host an all-star event for NASCAR racers, the “Nextel Prelude to the Dream,” this Wednesday, June 8. The unique event, for the track reports that tickets are already sold out, will feature identically prepared Super Late Model cars, will lead in to the weekend’s $100,000-to-win Dirt Late Model Dream event.  Eldora track owner Tony Stewart, a multi-time race winner at the legendary speedway, will headline the list of entrants on June 8. Joining Stewart from NASCAR will be Bobby Labonte, Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Petty, Ken Schrader and Kenny Wallace, Dave Blaney , Jeff Green and Mike Wallace, as well as World of Outlaws' star Danny Lasoski, and the legendary Red Farmer. NHRA Funny Car driver Ron Capps will also hit the clay.

“This is going to be a great event,” said Stewart. “Eldora has always tried to go above and beyond for its fans, and that's something we plan to continue with this event. Nextel really stepped up in being the title sponsor and has already shown phenomenal commitment in helping us give the local, grassroots fans a special and memorable evening. We’ll have some of the best race car drivers in the world competing right here at Eldora.”

New sponsor for Ganassi New sponsor for GanassiNew 2006 Sponsor for Ganassi....team  Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced the signing of Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon to a multi-year sponsorship. The long-term agreement begins with the 2006 NASCAR season. Specific details are to follow at a later date. Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon is a restaurant chain that offers full-service casual dining, featuring Texas-style ambiance. There are over 300 locations nationwide. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR
Williams well-aware of Montreal braking issues Williams well-aware of Montreal braking issuesCircuit Gilles Villeneuve represents a special challenge for the cars of the BMW Williams, with the stop-and-go character of the track pushing the brakes on the FW27 to the very limit.

Last year at the same circuit, Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya were stripped of their second and fifth place finishes respectively with the team as it was found post-race that the team, under the direction of Technical Director Sam Michael for the first time, had run illegal brake ducts in error. Toyota had the same problem. This year, the team will be very aware of the rules and regulations.

“The braking process of a car is a highly complex matter,” Chief Designer Gavin Fisher told the WilliamsF1 site. "It takes the interplay between the brakes, tires and aerodynamically generated downforce to guarantee ideal deceleration."

“The challenging thing about Canada,” added Head of Special Projects Frank Dernie, “is keeping the brakes cool enough between the corners for them to provide optimal performance.”

Because liquid coolants are prohibited in Formula One, the only means of keeping the temperature down is the air streaming through the brake cooling vents.

Therefore, the engineers vary the diameter of the holes according to the respective race track in order to find the best possible balance between high deceleration and acceptable wear. WilliamsF1

Q and A with Jacques Villeneuve Q and A with Jacques VilleneuveEvery year Jacques Villeneuve holds a press conference ahead of his home GP in Montreal. More....
Red Bull to take Ferrari name in 2006 Red Bull to take Ferrari name in 2006The Red Bull Racing Formula One team will be renamed Red Bull Ferrari in 2006 when it gets Ferrari engines, team owner Dietrich Mateschitz revealed this week.

"We decided [to go with Ferrari] with the background of risk minimization, performance of the engine and marketing value," the Austrian told Swiss newspaper Motorsport Aktuell. "Ferrari was the dream partner, and Ferrari wanted to have us as well. We also will have their name in the team name next year - Red Bull Ferrari."

Mateschitz also said the team had not yet decided whether to switch to Bridgestone for the 2006 season, but hinted that his team may well choose the Japanese tire maker, partners of Ferrari, over their current supplier, Michelin. Bridgestone currently supplier tires to Ferrari and Ferrari have suffered because of it - not enough test data as Michelin gets.

BAR renews with Alcon BAR renews with AlconLucky Strike B*A*R Honda is pleased to announce the extension of its Team Technical Partnership with Alcon brake calipers and master cylinders for a further two years. The renewal of the relationship follows a successful Team Technical Partnership in 2004, the highlight of which was B*A*R Honda's success as runner-up in the 2004 Formula One World Championship.

Brake wear management is critical in Formula One. Many of the circuits in the F1 calendar, with varying characteristics and track conditions, are especially demanding on brakes and it is therefore vital that brake temperatures are controlled. Alcon's technology ensures that the brake system remains well within the operating temperature limits during a Grand Prix weekend.

B*A*R Honda Technical Director, Geoffrey Willis, commented: "Alcon continues to be an ideal Technical Partner for the B*A*R Honda team, as its wealth of experience in the motorsport industry is important to us as we pursue our objective of challenging for race wins.  We are confident that Alcon's range of F1 calipers will contribute towards reaching that objective."

Alistair Fergusson, Alcon's Managing Director enthused: "I am delighted that we have renewed our Agreement with B*A*R Honda. Over the past few years our two companies have worked closely together to develop technology to beat the competition, and we are looking forward to continuing our Team Technical Partnership for the second consecutive year and beyond." BAR Honda

18 year old did F1 TV deal in USA 18 year old did F1 TV deal in USAThis article in the Motorsports section of the Orange County Register tells the amazing story of Michael Heyward. Heyward is only a high schooler but has done more for open wheel racing this season than Tony George. He is also behind creating a second venue for the F-1 race in the US and could likely pull it off.

He has worked on a national marketing campaign with PONY, become an executive with a production company and negotiated a network TV deal with one of the richest, most powerful men in motor sports. Just think what Michael Heyward will be able to do once he graduates from high school. "Sure, I am proud of what I have accomplished so far," said Heyward, who has just finished his junior year at Crossroads in Santa Monica. "But I still have a lot of work to do. A lot"

Heyward's plan is to make Formula One more than just an afterthought in the United States. That's going to be one tough job. And he knows it. Heyward's Grand Prix Entertainment has aired two races (the San Marino Grand Prix and the Spanish Grand Prix), earning a 1.2 and 1.1 rating respectively. Not bad considering an average IRL race rates a .8. The German Grand Prix on July 24 will be the final CBS Formula One telecast this season.

"It was a great starting point, but the majority of the demographic that we have been targeting wasn't watching," he said. "The audience that watched those other two races has a ceiling. But, yes, I am still very happy. Just getting them on the air was a huge accomplishment. We have come a long way from where we started."

But how did this all get started?

A couple of years go, Ecclestone called Andy Heyward, Michael's dad, to see if he could produce a Formula One-themed cartoon series for him. Andy owns DIC Entertainment, which has the second-largest animation catalog in the world with more than 2,500 titles.

But Michael persuaded his dad to forget about doing a cartoon. He told him they need to get all of the U.S. broadcast and licensing rights for the series, which is one of the most popular sports in the world.

"I told Michael that I am a little bit busy running a business here. I told him if he felt that strongly about it, he should run with it, and I would lend a little support from behind the scenes," Andy said. "He is a savant when it comes to business."

Michael, 15 at the time, was working in Beverly Hills at The Firm, a talent management company with a client list that includes Cameron Diaz and Leonardo DiCaprio. The Firm, Michael Heyward said, began to branch out, adding a product-branding division. That's where Heyward hooked up with PONY, helping market the tennis shoes to teens.

Then Ecclestone called. Heyward eventually decided to leave The Firm to devote all of his time to drawing up a business plan and began to correspond with Ecclestone via fax.

Ecclestone had no idea that Heyward was a high school student. Once, Andy Heyward said, Ecclestone called Michael during geometry class. Michael didn't want to give away his secret, so he told Ecclestone he was in the middle of an important client meeting and would have to call him back.

When school let out a few months later in June, bringing his freshman year to an end, Heyward traveled to London with his dad to meet Ecclestone. For the first 40 minutes, Andy said his son did all of the talking, pointing to charts and graphs while explaining about demographics. After Michael stated his case and gave solutions to all of the problems facing F1 in the United States, Ecclestone, Andy said, leaned across his desk until he was inches from his son's face and asked, "How old are you?" More....

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Villeneuve slams Sauber
'FIA rule could kill us'
BMW respond to Williams blast
Indy alive
BAR line up Davidson heir
Webber slams Safety Car
Red Bull take Mosley's hand
Want Schu's Ferrari?
JV doesn't scare F1's Indian

Why no Germans, Mercedes?
Other Racing
Driver loses arm and hand Driver loses arm and handSteven Osborne is a hobby stock race car driver who races mostly out of Thunder Hill Raceway in Kyle , TX.  He is 33 years old, and together with his wife Carla they have four children (ages 3,7,13,14).  Steven is passionate about racing and lives to drive.  He is often referred to in the pits as just being a “great guy” who loves to talk racing and help other drivers with whatever he can.  One local driver said “Steven would bend over backwards to help anyone, whether he knew them or not.  He is just that kind of a person…he has a huge heart.”  To support his family, he moves mobile homes for small company in central Texas.

On May 26, Steven was raising an electrical line up so the mobile home could be moved out without hitting the power lines.  He was holding onto the ground wire when the primary wire came down and hit him, sending a large and very unexpected jolt of electricity through his body.

He was rushed to a local hospital where he was initially listed in critical condition. Doctors were very concerned about the damage caused by the electrocution.  His condition has improved slightly in the days since his accident.  Vital signs have improved and there appears to be little damage to his internal organs.  However, he has had substantial damage done to his arms, and chest.  His left arm had to be amputated just above the elbow and news just came out today that he will  loose the right hand somewhere between the wrist and elbow tomorrow.  He has had several skin grafts on his chest, with more to come. With so much happening to him at once, he is also now experiencing post traumatic syndrome (he is having nightmares, waking up screaming, etc.). They are giving him medication to help.

He will be in the hospital for at least 2-3 more weeks, then he will have daily out patient treatment for months.  He is currently in a hospital in San Antonio and they live in Elgin, (near Austin, TX 1 ½ -2 hours away) His wife is staying with him in the hospital, relatives and daycare are taking care of the children at home.  They will have to rent a temporary apartment in San Antonio during the recovery period. But with the financial situation of the family this is going to be difficult.

Steven was the only source of support for his family. The family did not have any type of insurance or savings and like many of us; they lived pay check to pay check. The company he was working for did not carry Workman’s Compensation or any form of insurance.  The family has been on their own in this battle.

What we are asking is for the racing community to come together to help a fellow family member with this struggle.  Imagine if this had suddenly happened to one of us.  Many of the tracks in Texas have already donated funds and sent drivers and volunteers into the stands to take donations from the fans during the races. Volunteers have been sent into the pits to collect from drivers and so far, all have been willing to pitch in whatever they could to help.  Imagine what the hospital bills alone will be like for this already struggling family.  Then, imagine the children and the struggle they will endure while seeing the changes in their father.  No one knows if he will ever work again.  Yet, still every day Steven can he heard crying out from his hospital bed “I will race again, I will race again!”  With that spirit, we hope that he can.

Please, we ask each of you to join together with tracks like Thunder Hill Raceway in Kyle; San Antonio Speedway; and Corpus Christi Speedway and ask each of your drivers to contribute whatever they can to help the Osborne family.   Can you as a track or as a person in the racing community help take up a collection from fans this weekend or the weekend after?  Every little bit will help. Remember, that we are all a family in the racing community , it is times like these when we need to pull together.

For more information please contact: Debbie Chancellor 512-663-8059

Donations can be made to:
First National Bank
1312 E Hwy 290
Elgin, TX 78621
Osborne Family Benefit Account
# 0766535



KYLE, TX-After hearing about a fellow driver’s work related accident the Central Texas racing community has banded together to provide relief for the Steve Osborne family.  The 33-year-old Hobby Stock driver at Thunder Hill Raceway, in Kyle, was at his full time job of moving mobile homes two weeks ago when he became entangled with some electrical wires and was badly burned.  Doctors had to amputate his left arm above the elbow and his right arm between the wrist and elbow. He has also had to have some skin grafted to his chest.   His wife reports his attitude is good, and that he declares, “I will race again!”

The Elgin, TX, resident was the sole provider for his wife and four children, ages 3, 7, 13, and 14-years-old, and the company he worked for had no health insurance, nor Workmen’s Compensation.

He is hospitalized in San Antonio and his family will most likely have to move there while he undergoes therapy and rehabilitation.  Drivers and volunteers passed the helmet through the pits and stands after hearing of the accident and collected over $2,200, with some drivers donating their winnings for the night.

Thunder Hill Raceway is planning a benefit for the Osborne family on Friday, June 17. Beginning at 7 p.m., there will be BBQ plates for sale, live music, and an auction. The benefit is open to the general public and admission is free.

Thunder Hill Raceway is located on Interstate Highway 35, just 20 minutes south of Austin, at Exit 210 (Yarrington Road).

Sponsors, drivers, and fans throughout Central Texas are currently donating items for the auction, or pledging money for the family.  Everyone interested in donating items for the auction, or to pledge money, may send them to: Jon Sagester, 300 S. Stagecoach Trail, #3321, San Marcos, TX, 78666: or call (512) 393-9471.

A bank account has been opened and donations may be sent to: First National Bank, 1312 E. Hwy 290, Elgin, TX, 78621. The account number is: Osborne Family Benefit Account, #0766535.

Anyone wanting to send letters or cards, the Osborne’s mailing address is: Steve & Carla Osborne, 1296 Co. Rd. 461, Elgin, TX, 78621.  For more information call Thunder Hill Raceway at (512) 262-1352: or visit their website at www.thunderhillraceway.com
Information and updates on Steve Osborne’s condition are also posted on the Texas Speed Zone racing website, http://www.txsz.com.

Rain washes out 2nd day of testing Rain washes out 2nd day of testingThe second day of a two-day NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series test session was canceled on Wednesday at Infineon Raceway because of rain. Boris Said (Centrix Financial Chevrolet), who has placed sixth the last two years at Infineon Raceway in the Dodge/Save Mart 350, posted the top time on Tuesday over the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course at 1 minute, 16.50 seconds. Jeff Gordon (DuPont Chevrolet) holds the track qualifying record of 1:15.968, set in 2004.   The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series will visit the Sonoma Valley, June 24-26, for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 weekend.

Other testers on Tuesday included: Scott Pruett (Target Dodge, 1:16.60); Jamie McMurray (Texaco Havoline Dodge, 1:16.60); Kyle Busch (Kellogg’s Chevrolet, 1:17.25); Brian Simo (Richard Childress Racing, 1:17.49); and Chris Cook (NEMCO Motorsports, no time).

Robby Gordon (Harrah’s Chevrolet) was scheduled for a one-day test on Wednesday, but will return to Infineon Raceway next Tuesday (June 14). Gordon is the only driver scheduled to return to the Sonoma Valley next week.

“The rain hurt us today but we’ll come out here next week and get some work in,” said Gordon, winner of the 2003 Dodge/Save Mart 350. “I’ve always performed pretty well here and we can use the work to get ready for the race.” Great tickets are still available for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 by calling 800-870-RACE or visiting www.infineonraceway.com or www.ticketmaster.com

Formula BMW
Walker Racing to field Formula BMW USA team Walker Racing to field Formula BMW USA teamPoleVision Racing and Walker Racing announced plans today of a joint effort to compete in the Formula BMW USA series under the Walker Racing banner. The new partnership will attend the Montreal Canadian Grand Prix and the Indianapolis United States Grand Prix events with divers Jonathan Summerton of the United States, who is currently racing full time in the Formula BMW European Championship, and Paul Rees who is competing in the Formula BMW UK Championship.

Walker Racing, a veteran Champ Car team, is currently racing a two car program known as  “ Team Australia “ with drivers Alex Tagliani and Marcus Marshall. Team owner Derrick Walker says of the Formula BMW program, “I have long been impressed with what Formula BMW represents and wanted to compete in the series. “Teaming up with Benoit Morand makes it possible”, continuing Walker said “Benoit and I share the interest to developing a strong program that seeks out our stars on the future. What better way to start than with two talented young drivers like Jonathan and Paul.”

The partnership intends to compete at as many events as possible in the 2005 season with a two car program.  Discussions continue with interested drivers and sponsors. Says team principal  Benoit Morand, “I am really pleased with our long term plans. We will be able to offer a very comprehensive program, but for now we are focused on racing in the remaining 2005 events.” Walker Racing

Why the war must end Why the war must endA reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, You converted me to Champ Car and I no longer want to see the ovals. Frankly I am beginning to care more for the drivers wellbeing than my own entertainment. I like your proposal to merge Champ Car and the IRL, and your article on why the war must end. Is there any way the fan base can put pressure on the two groups to get talking? I know these things can be hokey at times, but would a petition of some sort with an open letter to the two leagues, with some good ole fashioned media work do the trick? Or perhaps a letter to the major suppliers and sponsors of the two leagues advising we've seen enough etc.... A house divided against itself cannot stand. You have that on pretty good authority. Al Rommal, Maryland Dear Al, While some of our colleagues have given up hope of there ever being a merger as long as Tony George is in the picture, we are not so pessimistic that all hope is lost. Our biggest concern is that people Tony George has surrounded himself with giving him anti-merger advice for job security. There comes a time in every man's life, Tony George included, that he put personal interest aside to do what is best for the whole. Let's hope that 10 years from now we are not writing about Tony's pyrrhic victory, i.e. the war is over but both sides are dead. Mark C.
Your chance at Danica mania Your chance at Danica maniaDanica Patrick's mangled wing from the Indy 500 when she eliminated two cars with one fell swoop is for sale on eBay by Panther Racing to recoup some of the crash damage she caused.   Current high bid is $4,800.  Here's your chance to own a piece of the car of the greatest driver in the IRL's history, Danica Patrick.
GPALB statement on City Council vote GPALB statement on City Council voteThe sale of the assets of Grand Prix Association of Long Beach to Aquarium Asset Management, LLC, an affiliate of the Champ Car World Series, was unanimously approved by the Long Beach City Council last night at its weekly meeting. On May 24, it was announced that the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach had agreed to sell its assets to Aquarium Asset Management, owned by Champ Car principals Gerry Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven, for $15 million. The City Council vote was the final approval on the sale, due to the race's contract with the City of Long Beach that runs through 2010. The sale is due to close on Friday, June 10.

The sale ensures that the Champ Car World Series will continue to run as the featured event at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, as it has since 1984.  "We are delighted that the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be a partner of the Champ Car World Series for years to come," said Kalkhoven. "This is a world-class event and we plan to continue to grow the race for the good of Long Beach and the Champ Car series."

"It is very gratifying to see the unanimous support that the City Council has given to this transaction," said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association. "It is another reflection of the extraordinary 'public-private' partnership that this event enjoys with the City of Long Beach. Our new relationship with Champ Car should result in an even more exciting race here in 2006."  The 32nd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will run April 7-9, 2006.

USGP pit walkabout offers fans up-close look USGP pit walkabout offers fans up-close lookThe United States Grand Prix Pit Walkabout on Thursday, June 16 will offer more fan-friendly features than ever this year, getting fans geared up for the annual Formula One race weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Pit Walkabout officially kicks off the United States Grand Prix weekend at IMS, as it serves as a prelude to practice Friday, June 17, practice and qualifying Saturday, June 18 and the race Sunday, June 19.

Public gates open at 7:30 a.m. (local time) June 16. A Race Day ticket is required to participate in the Pit Walkabout, which takes place from 8 a.m.-noon on pit lane.

Once on pit lane, fans can stand adjacent to the open garages, providing a clear view of the sleek cars, high-tech equipment and skilled personnel of all 10 Formula One teams, including standouts Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, Mild Seven Renault, BMW WilliamsF1 Team, Lucky Strike BAR Honda and West McLaren Mercedes.

The Menards Infiniti Pro Series paddock also will be open during the Pit Walkabout, so fans can get close to the cars of the IndyCar® Series' primary ladder series, which will race on the road circuit at the Speedway during the USGP weekend.

A variety of other USGP-related activities also will take place from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Pagoda Plaza at IMS.

The highlight will be a press conference with seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher presented by Bridgestone/Firestone, which starts at 9:30 a.m. on the stage at the edge of the Pagoda Plaza. Hiroshi Yasukawa, Bridgestone Corporation's director of motorsport, also will participate in the press conference, with Speed Channel Formula One host Bob Varsha serving as the host.

A question-and-answer session with the Speed Channel Formula One broadcast team - Varsha, Derek Daly, David Hobbs, Steve Matchett and Peter Windsor - will follow at 10:45 a.m. on stage. Former Speed F1 analyst and Indianapolis 500 veteran Sam Posey also will participate on the Speed panel.

Various Formula One personalities, including top drivers, will appear on stage after the Speed presentation until mid-afternoon. Autograph sessions with selected F1 drivers and personalities, and Menards Infiniti Pro Series drivers also are scheduled from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-3:30 p.m. in the Plaza.

Among the drivers and personalities who will take part in the question-and-answer and autograph sessions are 1978 World Champion and 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti, Menards Infiniti Pro Series race winner Marco Andretti and Red Bull Racing third driver Scott Speed, who will participate in the Formula One Friday practice sessions at the United States Grand Prix to become the first American driver to take part in a Grand Prix weekend since 1993.

A complete schedule of personalities appearing on stage and participating in the autograph sessions will be released soon.

F1 trivia questions F1 trivia questionsF1 trivia
1. This world champion raced in the last Grand Prix of his career in Canada in 1973. Who is he?
a. Emerson Fittipaldi
b. Graham Hill
c. Denny Hulme
d. Jackie Stewart

2. This world champion took the last win of his career at the 1991 Grand Prix of Canada. Who is he?
a. Nigel Mansell
b. Nelson Piquet
c. Alain Prost
d. Ayrton Senna
3. Which Italian driver has the greatest number of starts in the Grand Prix of Canada?
a. Michele Alboreto
b. Andrea de Cesaris
c. Giancarlo Fisichella
d. Riccardo Patrese

4. What happened on June 11?
a. Jackie Stewart was born in 1939.
b. Jean Alesi was born in 1964.
c. F1 was held in Montreal for the first time in the month of June in 1982.
d. Jean Alesi's celebrated— and only—victory in Montreal in 1995.

Answers 1. d 2. b 3. d 4. All of the above—a, b, c and d are all correct.

17.5 hours of LeMans coverage 17.5 hours of LeMans coverageSPEED Channel will bring viewers 17.5 hours of LIVE coverage from the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans beginning June 18 at 9:30 a.m. ET. It will mark the 10th consecutive year SPEED will cover the world's premier sports car endurance race.

And despite covering hundreds of motor sports events every year, there always is something special about Le Mans for the SPEED Channel team. Some of it challenging. Some of it wonderful. All of it unique.

Rick Miner, SPEED Channel's SVP Programming/Production and Executive Producer, will lead a multinational group of 82 contractors and staff members to the French countryside. Here is an inside look at what it takes to bring U.S. race fans a true taste of racing history:

The main feed: French television will provide the primary race cut for the event, using three separate mobile units to cover a circuit that is more than eight miles long. Last year, the feed reached more than 200 million homes worldwide.

SPEED Channel extras: Additional cameras, including remote pit cameras that allow for exclusive interviews and coverage. SPEED also will have dedicated on-board camera with Corvette Racing Team No. 63 will be shared with the world feed.

"This isn't just an endurance race, it's endurance television," Miner said. "We have part of our team in France already, with the majority of the crew heading over June 14."

The talent: Led by play-by-play announcers Leigh Diffey and Greg Creamer, the SPEED Channel on-air team will include analysis from Dorsey Schroeder and Alain de Cadenet, and pit reports from Calvin Fish, Brian Till, Chris Neville and Andrew Marriott. SPEED will take an "all-hands-on-deck" approach to opening and closing coverage, with the crew taking rotating naps in the production trailer as coverage allows. From 2 a.m. until 6 a.m. ET, audio commentary will be provided by Radio Le Mans to allow for an extended break.

The challenges: European technical standards are different from those in the U.S., making it necessary for the SPEED Channel team to prepare a large number of interviews, historical vignettes and graphics packages in advance, so they can be converted for use in European production trucks.

"We will not have access to our extensive Le Mans library on the fly," Miner said. "Therefore, if we haven't thought of it before we go over there, we won't have it."

To secure this valuable material, SPEED Channel hand-carries the tapes to France to ensure against customs delays and misrouting of materials.

The venue itself offers additional logistical challenges.

"It's a large facility with more than 300,000 race fans wandering around all over the place," Miner said. "European events do not have the same level of crowd control and restricted access that we have in the U.S., which makes getting from point A to point B extremely challenging. If you need to get somewhere in a hurry, it can be frustrating."

The perks: The French do food better than anyone else.

"The crew catering is phenomenal," Miner said. "There is wine on the table at all times. China, silver and linen -- not plastic and paper. If you want to go from an Aperitif to after-dinner drinks, it's available."

The matchups: American-based teams won three of the four categories in 2004, and Americans will have plenty of rooting interests again in 2005. Corvette Racing has a battle on its hands as Aston Martin returned to major endurance racing by winning the GT1 division at Sebring and they are looking for first victory at Le Mans since 1959. Tom Kristensen is looking for his sixth consecutive overall win at Le Mans.

The Web: SPEEDTV.com will maintain a link to Radio Le Mans for the entire 24 hours of racing and Corvette Racing driver Johnny O'Connell is sending "Postcards from Le Mans" to the SPEED Channel Web site.

In addition, there is no hiding the international scope of the event. In 2004, nearly 1,000 accredited journalists representing 27 nations covered the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Throw in the television crews and the number approaches 2,000.

"Le Mans is not only one of the top automotive events in the world, it is one of the top events in all of sports," Miner said. "SPEED Channel has carried Le Mans since the network went on the air in 1996, and we are proud to continue the tradition of extensive coverage of one of the network's truly signature events." SPEED Channel

Champ Car transfer gets 9-0 nod in Long Beach Champ Car transfer gets 9-0 nod in Long BeachUPDATE What follows is a statement from the Champ Car World Series concerning today's Long Beach City Council vote that allowed the Champ Car World Series to continue holding the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach.  Aquarium Asset Management, LLC purchased the rights to conduct the Grand Prix of Long Beach from Dover Downs Entertainment on May 24, 2005. If used in print, the statement should be attributed to Champ Car President Dick Eidswick.

“The Champ Car World Series could not be happier about today’s positive vote from the Long Beach City Council, which clears the way for us to continue one of the finest motorsports events anywhere in the United States. We have never wavered in our commitment to the city of Long Beach and the Champ Car fans in Southern California and today’s vote will help Champ Car usher in a new era in the history of the Grand Prix of Long Beach.

“We have all seen what having a world-class racing event of the caliber of the Grand Prix of Long Beach can mean for a city, and we will do everything possible to continue the pattern of growth that the race has brought to the people of Long Beach.”

06/08/05 The Long Beach City Council voted Tuesday night to transfer the Long Beach Champ Car race to Aquarium Assets by a vote of 9-0. Champ Car is now safe in Long Beach. Councilman Baker made the motion, Councilwoman Gabelich seconded it. Champ Car president Dick Eidswick was there and thanked everyone. Jim Michaelian said they were happy to get this behind them and are ready for an even more successful event in 2006.
SPEED Channel Weekly Top 20 Driver Ranking SPEED Channel Weekly Top 20 Driver RankingSPEED Channel Weekly Top 20 Driver Ranking. Updated 6-8-05

Pos. (LW) Driver (Series)                Pts
1. (1) Fernando Alonso (F1)          12.655
2. (2) Dan Wheldon (IRL)             10.280
3. (4) Greg Biffle (NASCAR)           8.383
4. (3) Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR)        7.664
5. (10) Elliott Sadler (NASCAR)       7.057
6. (6) Ryan Newman (NASCAR)           7.031
7. (36) Paul Tracy (CCWS)             6.923
8. (9) Tony Kanaan (IRL)              6.905
9. (NR) Mark Martin (NASCAR)          6.886
10. (18) Rusty Wallace (NASCAR)       6.818
11. (11) Sebastien Bourdais (CCWS)    6.764
12. (20) Tony Stewart (NASCAR)        6.608
13. (14) Vitor Meira (IRL)            6.598
14. (8) Jeremy Mayfield (NASCAR)      6.479
15. (NR) Kyle Busch (NASCAR)          6.470
16. (16) Bryan Herta (IRL)            6.387
17. (17) Nick Heidfeld (F1)           6.344
18. (7) Carl Edwards (NASCAR)         6.223
19. (27) Justin Wilson (CCWS)         6.209
20. (23) Jeff Burton (NASCAR)         6.160
Last week's ranking in parenthesis
Provided by STATS Inc.

Toyota's new 4-cylinder engine project Toyota's new 4-cylinder engine projectNow that TRD probably won't be building 4-cylinder engines for the Toyota Atlantic series anymore, they have taken on a new 4-cylinder engine project. It fits right in with the rumor that NASCAR might buy USAC and sew up the short track grassroots oval market and their rumored move out of the IRL and over to NASCAR. After all, the best drivers in NASCAR all came from the open wheel short track ranks. In partnership with 9 Racing and Ed Pink Racing Engines, Toyota Motorsports and Toyota Racing Development (TRD) will develop a new, four-cylinder race engine for USAC Midget competition in time for the start of the 2006 race season. The new Toyota midget engine will mate a V-8 cylinder head used by Toyota NASCAR truck teams and a 4-cylinder aluminum block designed by Ed Pink Racing Engines.

“We’re all racers here at TRD, and we’re always looking at ways of getting involved in other venues,” said Gary Reed, Vice President of Special Racing Projects at TRD. “The USAC National Midget series is a very good place for driver development, and we see it as a place we need to be. Our goal is to produce a high quality, competitively priced Midget engine parts kit that we – following our initial development phase – can make available to any team which wants to compete with a Toyota Midget engine.”

Paul Tracy to co-host Wind Tunnel Paul Tracy to co-host Wind TunnelPaul Tracy will be Dave Despain’s Guest Co-Host this Sunday night on Wind Tunnel. As one of the most experienced racers in North America, Tracy has a lot of knowledge to draw upon in developing his opinions about the motorsports world – and as anyone who knows anything about PT well knows, he’s not at all shy about sharing those opinions!

Tracy is now in the 15th season of his Champ Car career, which has brought him 29 wins, the most recent of which came last Sunday at the Milwaukee Mile. He’s been one of the most prominent stalwarts of the CART/Champ Car camp in its struggle with Indy Racing League, particularly since his controversial loss of the 2003 Indianapolis 500 to Helio Castroneves (and Tracy’s former team boss, Roger Penske). Yet Tracy – who tested for the Benetton F1 team back in 1994 – has maintained interest in other forms of racing, too. He ran the Rolex 24 at Daytona this year, and he confirmed to RACER’s David Phillips last month that he would still like to race at Le Mans and would consider a move to NASCAR before he hangs up his helmet.

Tracy came into Champ Cars after cleaning up in Formula Ford in his native Canada, then dominating the Indy Lights series in 1990. After a brief debut with Dale Coyne’s team in 1991, he was signed up as a development driver by Penske. He claimed his first victory with Penske in 1993, and went on to score four more wins that season. He’s been a consistent race winner ever since, as well as a lightning rod for both criticism and fanatic support from fans for his aggressive style both on and off the racetrack.

If not for Red Bull Speed would be in Champ Car If not for Red Bull Speed would be in Champ CarNew Red Bull third driver Scott Speed claims that American interest in Formula 1 is much greater than is generally appreciated in European racing circles.  This Friday in Montreal, the 22-year-old will become the first American to take part in a grand prix meeting since Michael Andretti’s F1 swansong at Monza in 1993.  The conventional wisdom in Europe is that most up-and-coming American drivers are indifferent to F1 and fixated on a career in NASCAR, the most popular and lucrative form of racing in the USA.

But Speed believes that most of his countrymen would jump at the chance to cross the Pond and prove themselves on the world stage.  “It is a common misconception that people in America are not interested in F1,” he said. “From my experience, everyone racing in the States would love to compete in F1. But for an American, it can be an unattainable target.  For a start, you have to move to Europe, which financially is almost impossible for most kids. It means you have to leave home and that requires a big sacrifice in terms of leaving your family behind.  In my case, backing from Red Bull made it possible. Without that, I would probably be on my way to Champ Car.  To the kids growing up in karting, to those competing in NASCAR and the IRL, it is obvious that F1 is the ultimate.  Interest in F1 in the States is definitely growing.” ITV-F1

New engine, chassis buoy Minardi boss New engine, chassis buoy Minardi bossPaul Stoddart is looking forward to Formula One's two North American stops - at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this weekend and Indianapolis the next. "They are races in which we've shown well in the past, and we will be aiming for a strong performance in both," the Minardi F1 team principal said on the team's Web site last week. Stoddart and his crew have reason to be optimistic following positive results from the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring two weeks ago.

Of course, this being F1's perennial worst team, everything is relative. Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher finished 17th and 18th, respectively, at the Nurburgring - the first double finish of the season for Minardi's new PS05 chassis. The chassis, which replaced last year's PS04B, took flight at the San Marino Grand Prix in late April.

Along with the earlier arrival of a new engine from Cosworth Racing, Stoddart said the team now has the machinery to enable it to post more positive results the rest of the season. "We have been exceptionally impressed with the TJ2005 engine just in the short time we have been running it in the PS05," he said. "We can't praise highly enough the power, driveability and reliability of the new power unit." Montreal Gazette

Team Sahlen and Stanton Reunite for the Glen Team Sahlen and Stanton Reunite for the GlenThe combination is one that left a mark on the Grand-Am Cup that had never been seen before. A total of six wins, one at Watkins Glen International, that brought Team Sahlen's 2004 effort the Drivers, Team, and Manufacturers championship. The force that dominated the 2004 Grand-Am Cup Grand Sport class is now back in action once again.   Team Sahlen and Craig Stanton will reunite for the Chemung Canal Trust 200 in their first race together for the 2005 Grand-Am Cup season. Team Sahlen will enter this weekend's race with their Porsche 996's with a line up fused by excitement.   Stanton will be joined in the Team Sahlen No. 43 driver's seat by Pat Flanagan. Flanagan is a highly accomplished driver who comes from a racing family. Flanagan has substantial experience in Porsches that will greatly complement the Team Sahlen machines.
San Jose hotel room available San Jose hotel room availableA longtime Champ Car fan has fallen ill and can't make the San Jose GP.   They write, I'm not up to traveling right now with all of my health issues, so if you know of anyone who could use a room for the San Jose race, please have them get in touch with me (contact AutoRacing1.com).  I have a room reserved at the Hotel De Anza (see hairpin on map to right) for four nights, July 28 to July 31 - Thursday night through Sunday night.  I reserved the room before the race was finalized, so I have a very good rate.  The room is $109 for Friday and Saturday night, and $159 for Thursday and Sunday night.  The hotel said I could transfer the room to someone else with no increase in price.  They have a three night minimum stay, and require a non-refundable deposit for three nights by June 15.  If I don't hear back from anyone, I'll be canceling it by June 15. Name Withheld
The IRL is for girls The IRL is for girlsA reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, In all other sports women compete in separate leagues from men because of physical ability. However, the IRL's 100% throttle racing must be so easy their women drivers are always their biggest stars. Now it is Danica Patrick and before that Sarah Fisher was their big star. Maybe the male drivers in the IRL should have a sex change so they can get equal billing. Steve Stanford, Rockville, IL Dear Steve, Given both Sarah and Danica have not won a race it is quite amazing that they are/were the IRL's biggest stars. Let's hope the men won't have to get the sex change operation you suggest to get the credit they deserve for winning all the races. Mark C.
IRS slams ISC IRS slams ISCThe IRS is performing an examination of ISC's federal income tax returns for 1999 through 2003, and is challenging the tax depreciation they used for a significant portion of ISC's assets. The Internal Revenue Service is calling for a $33 and $37 million to ISC's tax depreciation expense for the fiscal years of 1999 and 2000, respectively. Similar adjustments for 2001 through 2004 are expected later. If ISC fails in its appeal process, which can take up to 18 months, they can be forced to pay back to the IRS upwards of $100 million for all the years, which would send its stock price spiraling downward.
Industry news
DaimlerChrysler to make big USA push DaimlerChrysler to make big USA pushDaimlerChrysler AG says it will spend $40bn over the next five years to revamp its North American operations and introduced new models. The announcement came at the start of a three-day exhibition in Washington DC. The company has a total of 37 factories in 13 US states and has around 100,000 employees. It provides a huge amount of funding for suppliers.  The plan involves expanding production, retooling and introducing new models. Grandprix.com
A lap around Montreal with Juan Montoya A lap around Montreal with Juan MontoyaJuan Pablo Montoya heads to the Canadian Grand Prix, seeking his first podium position of the season. The Colombian certainly knows his way around the 4.361KM Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

"You reach 297km/h in seventh gear along the short pit straight, before braking hard for the left-right weave of turns one and two. Located just before the pit lane exit, turn one is taken at 112km/h in third gear, and is immediately followed by the Coin Senna. This right-hand hairpin is negotiated at 80Km/h in second gear."

"You push hard on the throttle as you exit the Coin Senna for the short straight that leads to the chicane of turns three and four. You drop from 257km/h in fifth to negotiate the right-left flick at 131km/h in second."

"Exiting turn four, you sweep flat out through the long right-hand curve of turn five, reaching 273km/h in sixth before once again braking hard for the left-right flick of turns six and seven. The first left-hander is taken at 80km/h in second with your speed increasing to some 144km/h in third for the right of turn seven."
"Full on the throttle on the exit as you power along the Place de la Concorde, achieving speeds of up to 318km/h in seventh gear, before dropping back through the gears for the right-left sequence of turns eight and nine. Entering the bumpy braking zone under the bridge for turn eight, your speed decreases to 112km/h in third gear."

"The slightly faster turn nine follows and this can be taken at 128km/h, still in third gear. Exiting turn nine, you blast along the sweeping straight that leads to the L'Epingle hairpin. Having reached speeds of 257km/h in fifth gear, you brake hard for the 180- degrees right hander, which swings you round onto the Droit du Casino."

"Accelerating along the main straight, you reach 318km/h in seventh gear as you approach the hardest braking point on the track. You pull -3.8G as you brake sharply to negotiate the final two corners that take you back to the start-finish straight. The right-left complex of bends is negotiated at 115km/h in third gear and you have to be careful not to jump the kerbs too aggressively." McLaren Mercedes

Mont-Tremblant TV rating Mont-Tremblant TV ratingMore than 1.2 million unique viewers tuned in to SPEED Channel for the recent Rolex Sports Car Series 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant on Saturday, May 21, helping the six-hour race telecast record an overall ratings increase of 78 percent over the 2004 broadcast of the same event.

The impressive audience and ratings jump was fueled in part by flag-to-flag coverage of the Mont-Tremblant race in its entirety (11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. ET), a one-hour increase over the 2004’s five-and-a-half hours of coverage.  The expanded scheduled saw a total of 1.22 million unique viewers tune in to SPEED for the Rolex Series race. [Editor's Note:  Unique viewers?  Highly doubtful.  They added the ratings up for each hour to get a total of 1.2 million when in fact many of the same people watched the entire race....so they are NOT unique.  With that said, the 0.32 overall rating was not too bad.] 

Even better, the 2005 race’s ratings outperformed 2004 ratings in every half hour, and peaked in the final 30-minute segment thanks in part to a down-to-the-wire battle between Rolex Sports Car Series stars Andy Wallace, Max Angelelli and Scott Pruett.  Wallace passed both drivers with slightly more than 10 minutes remaining in the race to take his first win of the season in the No. 2 CITGO Howard Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford with co-drivers Milka Duno and Jan Lammers.

The telecast’s average rating grew in the second hour and held steady for the duration of the event before spiking to a 0.40 in the final 30-minute segment.  The average rating for the entire 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant was a 0.32.

“We are going in the right direction,” said Grand American Road Racing Association President Roger Edmondson.  “More fans than ever before tuned in to see some great Rolex Sports Car Series racing from one of North America’s most beautiful facilities and I want to thank our teams and drivers for putting on a great show and our colleagues at SPEED for delivering such a great product to our fans.”

The strong result was earned despite the Mont-Tremblant event airing directly against the Preakness Stakes pre-race show, Indianapolis 500 time trials and MLB, PGA and WNBA events.

Additionally, the 2005 Mont-Tremblant SPEED telecast recorded impressive audience increases in every measurable key demographic group.  In particular, triple-digit percentage increases were seen in the 24-54 male category and the 18-plus female category.

Riley Technologies Releases new P1 Car Renderings Riley Technologies Releases new P1 Car RenderingsAmerican race chassis manufacturer, Riley Technologies LLC, previously announced its plans to build a Le Mans Prototype car this past March. Further development of this car has been produced, including the attached rendering. Following further study, a closed-top design was selected for the new Riley Mk.XIV Le Mans P1 car, over an open-top design, in order to reduce drag and for better airflow to the rear wing. The new chassis will include electric power-assisted steering and a unique shock and spring package with a third spring in the front and rear, all in a full carbon tub and roll over structure. The chassis is designed to accept twin turbo V-8’s, as well as normally aspirated V-8 and V-10 engines.

Customer support from Riley Technologies, including an expanded parts division, will be available for the new Le Mans Prototype car. The cost of the new Riley Mk.XIV Le Mans P1 chassis is $675,000, without engine and electronic systems. Delivery can start as early as November 2005, depending on order date.

“We are quite excited about this new prototype program,” said Bill Riley. “We believe we have put together a competitive, safe, reliable, cost-effective P1 chassis that is American-made. The time has come for an American manufacturer to build a Prototype car and we have the knowledge and experience to do it. Although our focus is on the P1 car, a P2 version is being considered, if the interest is there.”

Riley Motorsports continues to lead the Daytona Prototype class points championship in the 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series in the U.S. with its SunTrust Pontiac Riley Mk.XI team, with victories at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Miami. Riley Technologies won the Daytona Prototype Chassis Constructer award in 2004 with poles in all twelve races and victories in seven.

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Klien to stay in '05 seat
'Ferrari can still win'
'Olly' in Montreal
Williams -Mercedes-Benz?
Schu buggy in fatal shunt
Sauber coughs at BMW talk
FIA survey to end
'I'm not champion yet'

Nick not ready for F1 win
Minardi eye stronger spell
Low grip in Canada
IRL and Champ Car must merge IRL and Champ Car must merge
Wallace, Duno and Lammers Look For Repeat Win Wallace, Duno and Lammers Look For Repeat WinOn the heels of their first Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series victory of the 2005 season in the 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant last month, No. 2 CITGO Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford co-drivers Andy Wallace, Milka Duno and Jan Lammers head to New York’s Finger Lakes region looking for their second-consecutive win in Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen (SPEED Channel, Live, Part 1 – 10:00 a.m. ET, Part 2 – 12:30 p.m. ET). The six-hour event will be the first of three Rolex Series races in 2005 at the historic Watkins Glen International circuit.

Duno, Wallace and Lammers will be looking to duplicate the performance of the other 2005 Rolex Series race winners by taking back-to-back victories this weekend. No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley co-drivers Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli opened the season with wins in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona and Round 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In Round 3, No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley co-drivers Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz broke through for their first win of the season in the Ferrari Maserati 400 at California Speedway and scored a second-straight triumph in the Road & Track 250 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

However, if the CITGO trio is to score a repeat victory and continue the trend, they will most certainly have to overcome strong challenges from the No. 01 and No. 10 teams. Pruett and the No. 01 team are the race’s defending champions, while Diaz earned his first career Rolex Series podium result in the 2004 Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen with a third-place performance. Likewise, Angelelli placed the SunTrust machine on the pole position for last year’s six-hour event on the 3.4-mile, 11-turn circuit before finishing second alongside Taylor on race day. The two teams are once again battling it out atop the Daytona Prototype standings, with Angelelli and Taylor leading the driver championship by just five points, 155-150, over Pruett and Diaz with five of 14 races in the books. Grand-Am

Quote of the week Quote of the week"When I raced against Danica Patrick in the Barber/Dodge series in 2002 I never even saw her. She was always a second or two off my lap times." AJ Allmendinger [Editor's Note: The Barber Dodge cars are equally prepared. As we have stated, Danica Patrick hasn't even won a race of any kind. She may be good, but until she proves she is good, and without the 50 to 100 pound weight advantage she enjoys in the IRL, she is nothing more than an over hyped sexy woman in a male dominated sport being exploited by a race series in desperate need of help. If another car was underweight by 50 or 100 pounds in tech inspection that would be deemed cheating (a major rules infraction where 5 pounds light is considered a lot), but if her car is 50 or 100 pounds less than everyone else's that's OK because she is the IRL's PR sideshow. In our book it's analogous to cheating.]
Larry Carrier dies Larry Carrier diesLarry Carrier, one of three men who built what is now called Bristol Motor Speedway, died Tuesday morning.  "Larry Carrier brought motorsports to Bristol," said Jeff Byrd, general manager of the Tennessee track. "He had the foresight to know that NASCAR was going to be something big and he went out and built one of the greatest facilities of that time.  "Larry was certainly a leader in the racing industry. His contributions to Bristol and the world of motorsports were monumental."

After attending the first World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Carrier worked with two other businessmen to build the .533-mile Bristol track.  Carrier also built Bristol Dragway and was the founder of the International Hot Rod Association in 1965. He was the owner of both the oval track and drag strip when they were purchased by Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports Inc. in 1996.

The funeral will be Thursday at 8 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 3358 Highway 126, Blountville, Tenn. Visitation will be from 5 to 7:45 p.m. prior to the service. Burial will be at 11 a.m. Friday in Glenwood Cemetery.  Memorials may be made to the Haven of Rest Rescue Mission at 624 Anderson Street, Bristol, Tenn. Weaver Funeral Home at 630 Locust St. in Bristol is in charge of arrangements.  Charlotte Observer

PJ Jones to pilot No. 34 PJ Jones to pilot No. 34Denver, NC based MACH 1 announced today that PJ Jones will pilot the #34 Chevrolet Monte Carlo beginning this weekend at Pocono. Jeff Fuller, the teams primary driver is also committed to the #7 Busch car, a relationship that was established prior to MACH 1 team owner Chris Edwards tapping Fuller to drive his Cup car earlier this season. The non-companion races were identified as logistical challenges by MACH 1 with Fuller as their driver. The team searched for a driver that could step in and assist on the non-companion weekends. PJ Jones was selected and has agreed to drive for the team this weekend at Pocono and again next weekend in Michigan when the Busch cars will be in Kentucky. PJ competed at both Pocono and Michigan last year finishing 22nd at Pocono and 25th at Michigan. MACH 1 PR
Said tops test times Said tops test timesBoris Said (Centrix Financial Chevrolet pictured right by James Wirth) posted the fastest time on Tuesday during the first day of a two-day NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series test session at Infineon Raceway.   Said, who has placed sixth the last two years at Infineon Raceway in the Dodge/Save Mart 350, turned the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course in 1 minute, 16.50 seconds. Jeff Gordon (DuPont Chevrolet) holds the track qualifying record of 1:15.968, set in 2004.    “I’ve always enjoyed coming out here and I’m hoping we can have a good finish in a few weeks,” commented Said, who has won at Infineon Raceway in a variety of classes, including the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 1998. “I know this track pretty well and think we’ll have a good shot at it.”   The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series will visit the Sonoma Valley, June 24-26, for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 weekend.   Said was one of six drivers testing the course on Tuesday. Scott Pruett (Target Dodge) and Jamie McMurray (Texaco Havoline Dodge) both posted identical times of 1:16.60, while Kyle Busch (Kellogg’s Chevrolet) clocked in at 1:17.25. Pruett, a road-race specialist and native of Sacramento, placed third in last year’s event, while McMurray took second.   “I wish they had more than just the two road courses on the schedule,” Busch said. “I’d like to see at least four, just to make the schedule more diversified.”   Brian Simo, a road-race specialist who will compete for Richard Childress Racing in Sonoma, ran a 1:17.49. Chris Cook (NEMCO Motorsports) did not report a time.   Testing resumes on Wednesday with a full day scheduled from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (Pacific). Robby Gordon (Harrah’s Chevrolet) is scheduled to join the group on Wednesday. Gordon, the 2003 Dodge/Save Mart 350 champion, has decided to make this a one-day test.
Joe Gibbs Racing Update Joe Gibbs Racing UpdateJoe Gibbs Racing has hired veteran crew chief Mike Ford to oversee the #11 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series team of driver Jason Leffler effective immediately. Dave Rogers, the #11 team's former crew chief and a member of Joe Gibbs Racing since 1998, will remain with the organization. "Despite extremely hard work by everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing, the performance of the #11 team wasn't where it needed to be," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "The #11 team is still a new operation, and we believe that adding the experienced leadership of Mike Ford to an already exceptional crew will be invaluable as we shape the #11 into a winning race team. Dave Rogers has been and will continue to be a tremendous asset to Joe Gibbs Racing. He was an integral part of our championship seasons with Bobby Labonte in 2000 and Tony Stewart in 2002, and he put together an absolutely first class crew from scratch in his debut as a crew chief." A member of the motorsports community since the late 1980s, Ford's first crew chief position came with Bill Elliott in 2000. In four years together the duo logged four wins, including the prestigious Brickyard 400 in 2002. Ford moved to Robert Yates Racing in 2004, where he served as Dale Jarrett's crew chief through the first 11 races of this season.
Canadian GP - It’s not all about speed and power Canadian GP - It’s not all about speed and powerThe eighth round of the World Championship takes place on the Ile Notre Dame, an island in the St. Lawrence Seaway, a short subway ride from the city of Montreal. The location was used for the Expo 67 world fair and the paddock backs onto a rowing basin built for the 1976 Olympic Games.

Hemmed in on all sides by water the facilities and the circuit itself are rather cramped, with the barriers very near the side of the track, which follows the perimeter of the island. This means it has some very high speed sections, linked by tight ninety degree corners and a couple of hairpins.

The Montreal circuit is known for being hard on engines and that will be particularly applicable this year as Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro and the majority of other teams will be tackling the Canadian event with the same engines that have already gone through a weekend’s use at the Nurburgring. Montreal is not particularly demanding on the engine in terms of the percentage of the lap spent at full throttle, while the longest time spent at full throttle is pretty much the same as the season average. The stress comes from the fact that the circuit not only has some of the quickest sections of the year, it also has some of the slowest, so the perfect Montreal engine has to be very flexible at all speeds, while providing plenty of torque to power out of the tight slow corners.

Those corners lead to another key element at the “Gilles Villeneuve” circuit – the brakes. “The fast nature of the circuit means we run in low aerodynamic downforce configuration, the lowest of the season apart from Monza,” explains Luca Baldisserri, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro’s Head of Race Engineers. “Because of this we have to brake from very high speeds of around 340 km/h down to around 60 km/h, so the speed differential is huge. This is why it is very hard work for the brakes.”

Unlike road cars that usually use steel brake discs and an organic pad material, F1 cars use carbon discs and carbon pads. The advantages of carbon are that the components are about half the weight of those made from conventional materials and it also offers a much higher coefficient of friction and therefore greater braking force.

The disadvantages are that the carbon set up requires very high (over 650 Celsius) temperatures to operate properly and that the discs and pads wear out much more quickly than those made of conventional materials. This is because wear is caused not simply by the normal mechanism experienced by frictional material, but through a process of oxidization where the carbon actually burns away. “In Canada, we try different materials, because we need a lot of bite from the brakes to stop the car in as short a time as possible,” says Baldisserri. “The standard brakes we normally use at other tracks are less efficient and different materials can improve that characteristic. One must not forget the life of the components, as brake wear is an important factor for this race. We need to find a good material that gives a lot of bite but that will still work effectively throughout the whole race distance"

Canada is also known for being heavy on fuel consumption and obviously, carrying more fuel adds to the stresses already placed on the brakes, as a heavier car is harder to stop. Changes to the qualifying format introduced at the European GP might have an effect on this, as Baldisserri explains. “The rule requiring a driver to complete the race distance on one set of tires definitely reduced the number of race pit-stops in the first part of the season, but, at the Nurburgring, with just the one qualifying session which cars contested using the fuel for the first stint of the race, we saw that some people were going back towards a more aggressive race strategy and stopping earlier as was the case last year. In Canada some teams might go in that direction, so as to run a lighter car. Depending on tire performance, you can decide to be conservative or aggressive. Last year in Montreal for example, at Ferrari we had tires that were not the fastest in terms of performance so we decided to go for a two stop race. Qualifying was not great but it was a successful race for us, with a one-two finish.”

The whole braking process is complicated further by the laws of aerodynamics. When the driver first applies the brakes at very high speeds, the downforce generated by the car prevents the wheels from locking up, by pressing the wheels down onto the track. As the speed decreases so too does the downforce and therefore the amount of grip from the tires. But this lack of grip coincides with the point at which the brakes are fully up to temperature and are working most effectively. This means that, when the brakes are at their best, the car is least able to transmit the braking forces to the road thus leading to locking wheels and the chance of skidding off the road.

In order to prevent this phenomenon, the cars can harness the braking characteristics of the engine. All 4-stroke engines produce engine braking when a driver lifts off the throttle, but F1 engineers can harness this ability to meet the specific needs of any braking situation. “We can modify engine braking, the amount of braking forces generated by the engine, during the braking phase,” says Baldisserri. “This allows us to modulate the rear wheels locking. A lot of engine braking tends to lock the rear more and we can reduce that by opening the throttle without the driver having to do anything, as allowed by the rules. So depending if the front or the rear is locking up, we can either reduce or increase the engine braking. If the car is locking the fronts, we need more engine braking to reduce the amount of normal braking at the front. This is something the driver can adjust from the cockpit, in the same way as traction control, to suit individual corners on the track.”

Although F1 brakes operate at high temperatures, heat is what causes the brakes to wear out and fail. The brakes are cooled by forcing air inside and around the discs through ducts at the front of the car. However, regulations restrict the size of these ducts and in any case, large ducts affect the car’s performance in other ways. “You have to find a balance between cooling the brakes and the car’s overall efficiency,” maintains Baldisserri. “The brake cooling ducts have an effect on the aerodynamic efficiency of the car. In simple terms, the bigger the brake ducts, the worse the efficiency of the car, so we have to find the right compromise.”

The conclusion is that, while Formula 1 is perceived as being all about speed and power, in Canada, being able to stop the car efficiently is the real secret to a quick lap. Ferrari

Hammond buying into Red Horse Racing Hammond buying into Red Horse RacingJeff Hammond, NASCAR TV analyst and former Cup crew chief, and Tom DeLoach Jr., a corporate executive who is now heavily involved in motorsports, will partner with Marty Gaunt as co-owners of Red Horse Racing LLC. The new organization has purchased Clean Line Motorsports, which fields the No. 38 McMillin Homes/Cure Autism Now Toyota Tundra, from Dan and Karen Whitt. The team is in its second year of operation.

“We are very pleased to have Tom DeLoach and Jeff Hammond joining the team,” said Gaunt, who has been part Owner and General Manager of the team since its inception.

“Dan and Karen (Whitt) worked very hard and did a great job in helping start this race team but they realized we needed to do more to move it ahead,” Gaunt said. “Tom DeLoach’s business and marketing savvy, and Jeff Hammond’s motorsports knowledge will complement our team perfectly, and will give us what we need to take our next step.” SPEEDTV.com

A lap around LeMans with Wallace A lap around LeMans with WallaceThe 24 hours of Le Mans is one of the most famous and challenging motor races in the world. For a sports car driver it is the single most important and prestigious event on the racing calendar.

One of Dyson Racing's super-experienced sportscar drivers, and arguably one of the most successful in terms of his race-winning achievements, is Andy Wallace.  The ALMS and Grand-Am regular, who won Le Mans in a TWR Jaguar in 1988, is approaching his 16th event at the La Sarthe track - more than any other Briton on the grid. 

His view on what it takes to succeed in the biggest motorsport test of man and machine is based on many years of hard-earned experience, and he has already been able to bring that experience to bear in a very positive way with the Creation Autosportif team with whom he is contesting the 73rd running of Le Mans.  The relatively new team is making its debut this year, and Wallace, together with Creation's regular drivers Nicolas Minassian and Jamie Campbell-Walter, is anxious to fulfill the promise shown to date by the electric blue DBA-Judd.      Below is Andy Wallace's lap of Le Mans:

"The circuit itself is very fast, with long straights and quick corners, and demands much from both man and machine. It features high top speeds and areas of heavy braking. Successful cars need to have speed, durability and extreme aerodynamic efficiency.

"Oh, and by the way, for a driver this is one of the most exhilarating circuits in use today, and certainly one of my favorites.  

"From the start/finish line there is a short straight heading towards the Dunlop Chicane. You just reach 6th gear and about 260kmh as the road bends gently right. With the road still turning you have to brake and go down into 2nd gear, taking care not to let the rear of the car get away from you.

  "Dunlop is a tight left followed by a slightly faster right. I use 2nd for the left which helps keep the car tight in to the apex, into 3rd before the right.  Then gently feed on as much power as possible through the corner, up to 4th for the blast downhill to the Esses. Before you get there you have to negotiate a flat out left/right which leads you into the Esses.  It's easy flat, but causes a few problems if you catch slower traffic at this point.

"The Esses are a quick left then right, taken in 3rd or 4th gear. You arrive in 4th or 5th, go down one gear, and then keep as much momentum as possible. You can go quicker than you first think. It's bumpy and the road drops away towards the exit, so you need to stay tight to the right-hand apex before the short sprint to Tertre Rouge".

"Tertre Rouge is a short 3rd or 4th gear right-hand corner. It's important to get a clean exit, as it leads onto one of the fastest straights. No real problems here, except for a dip in the road just after the apex, which can unsettle the rear.

"The straight down to the first chicane gives the driver a brief "rest" before heavy braking for the right-left-right chicane. The quickest cars are traveling at over 310kmh here. It's hard to pick out just where the corner is, especially at night. From as early as possible in the week you need to pick out the distance markers in order to get your bearings. You can brake incredibly late if the car has enough downforce, and then pull the car into the first apex with the brake still on, and down to 3rd gear. There is always some understeer through the left part, then you can go full throttle moments later and onto the next straight leading down to the second chicane.

 "The second chicane is basically the same as the first, but in reverse. The same applies here; except that the arrival speed is about 5kmh less, meaning you can brake a few meters later. The exit is bumpy, but there is no problem using full throttle. This leads you onto the straight towards Mulsanne corner.  

"Mulsanne corner is a slow 1st or 2nd gear right-hander. You arrive at about 290kmh, and can brake quite deep. It's bumpy and easy to overshoot the corner here though, so you need to ensure you drag enough speed off before turning-in. Traction is difficult, so you must feed the power on gently before the blast down to Indianapolis.   

"You approach Indianapolis at around 310kmh. This is one of my favorite corners. The road is quite narrow, but you can carry massive speed through the right-hander in 5th or 6th gear then must immediately jump on the brakes to lose enough speed to make the 3rd gear left-hander. This part is banked around the apex, but level on the exit, so it's easy to suddenly use up more road than you thought on the exit.

"Next comes Arnage, a slow 1st gear right-hander. It is difficult to stop for this one, and therefore easy to overshoot. The exit is slippery and uneven, so wheel spin is a problem. This leads to the twisty but flat-out run to the Porsche curves.

"The Porsche curves are a flowing combination of fast sweepers. You arrive in 6th gear at about 280kmh, go down to 4th under braking, and then keep as much throttle and momentum on as possible through the right-left-left-right-left. These are quick corners and are important for a good lap time.  If the car is working well here you can win time. The last part is an off camber left.  It's easy to slide off the edge of the road on the exit, and you need to lose speed in a hurry if you feel yourself running out of road. Just after the exit there is a flat-out right-left taken in 5th gear on the way to the Ford chicane.

"The Ford chicane is really two left-right chicanes back to back. I use 3rd gear in the first one before downshifting to 2nd for the final corner. This leads back onto the pit straight, and into another lap of this amazing circuit.

"It takes quite a number of laps around Le Mans to feel comfortable with the circuit and the high speeds. With each lap you complete, you "nibble" at the lap time, braking deeper and deeper into the chicanes as you get acclimatized, and carry more and more speed through the quicker corners. As you get close to the limit, the feeling is very satisfying.     "By the end of the 24-hour race (if all goes well!), you will have completed well over a hundred laps (per driver), and feel as though you could drive around the place blindfolded.

A year later, and you find yourself going through the learning curve all over again, in a new car. I wouldn't miss it for the world!"

Creation will be next seen on the Le Mans track when practice/qualifying starts at 7pm (local time) on Wednesday 15th June.  Four hours of track time are available on both Wednesday and Thursday.  The race itself begins at 4pm (local) on Saturday, 18th June and finishes at 4pm on Sunday.

Danica must win sooner rather than later Danica must win sooner rather than laterThe difference between what Tiger Woods has done for golf, or what Jeff Gordon has done for NASCAR, and Danica Patrick's performance is winning (she hasn't won a darn thing and when she should have won the Indy 500 pole she blew it in the first corner of the first lap).  Would it be called the Masters of the Ages if Woods finished fourth? Gordon would be another Robby Gordon if he had not won all those races.  Patrick is going to have to win sooner rather than later.......Open-wheel racing has been losing prestige since the split when Tony George wanted an all-oval series and CART wanted an oval/road series. Unification of Champ Car World Series and the IRL can only happen if egos are put aside and a ruling body organized. Former drivers should make up a large portion of this body, with George and the owners having controlled input.......What a shame and how ironic to see A.J. Foyt reduced to the laughingstock of open-wheel racing circa 2005. It's too bad he has decided not to adapt, evolve and embrace the changes that have taken place in open-wheel racing in the last 10 to 15 years......Here's hoping that Foyt realizes that although he was and will always be a great champion, the sport has passed him by, much like the front-runners blew his grandson off the track last Sunday. I sincerely hope he realizes it, though, before he kills A.J. IV or another competitor.  More at Indy Star
Office Depot announces new NASCAR program Office Depot announces new NASCAR programOffice Depot (NYSE:ODP), a leading global provider of office products and services, Monday announced a new promotion for its small business customers in five key markets across the country. Following the success of the Company’s recent “Official Small Business of NASCAR” courtesy of Office Depot national sweepstakes, Office Depot is now offering small businesses in Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas and Miami the opportunity to be named the “Office Depot Official Small Business of the Race.”

Each winning business will have its company name featured on the No. 99 Office Depot Ford driven by Carl Edwards in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race located in that market. The winner will also receive a $1,000 Office Depot Shopping Spree, a VIP NASCAR Nextel Cup weekend experience, and a host of other prizes.

“Every aspect of our NASCAR sponsorship is focused on involving the small business community in the sport that they helped support in the early days of racing,” said Tony Ueber, Vice President of Marketing Strategy for Office Depot. “With close to 100,000 entries for Office Depot’s ‘Official Small Business of NASCAR’ sweepstakes, it’s clear that our core customer is not only passionate about racing, but committed to finding ways to promote their own businesses. And we’re thrilled to be able to bring another high visibility marketing opportunity to a new group of small businesses across the country.”

A lap around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve A lap around Circuit Gilles VilleneuveAhead of the upcoming Canadian GP Takuma Sato takes us for a lap around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.

"The Canadian Grand Prix is always an exciting race due to its overtaking opportunities. Even though there are no high speed corners, the circuit is very demanding for brakes.  Approaching turn one you have to brake quite hard, whilst carrying good speed through the corner. Your exit is very important because it determines the entry to the Senna corner, a slow, right-hander which you take in first gear. It is important to find good traction on the exit of these slow corners.

"The next chicane is the fastest on the track and is tricky because it is a blind, undulating corner that dips down away to the right, so you really need to settle the car and get it right.

"After the next long, right-hander, which is usually taken flat out in the dry, comes a short straight and a high-speed 'S' bend. You need to be tidy through the first bend here to be sure of a good exit out of turn seven so that you can build up good speed along the Place de la Concorde straight and take advantage of the overtaking opportunity at the end of it.

"You brake very heavily approaching the next chicane and carry your speed through the rhythmical bends to the next straight. There is another overtaking opportunity under the heavy braking at the end of the straight for L'Epingle - a very tight hairpin and the slowest corner of the track.

"You must be careful not to make a mistake into this tricky hairpin because you have to carry your speed through for the longest straight of the track. Down the straight you reach approximately 330kmh and use all slipstreaming opportunities. You brake heavily for the last, mid-speed chicane which is quite difficult because you carry a lot of speed into it, but when you get it right, it is a great feeling!"

'F1 resort' on target 'F1 resort' on targetVisitors to the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix next year will be able to stay at a major resort now under construction in the desert, it was revealed yesterday. The Al Areen Desert Spa and Resort in Sakhir, is on schedule to accommodate guests by the end of March. Its client relations centre has been up and running since the foundation stone was laid over two months ago. Work is continuing on the spa itself, which costs over $100 million and includes over 70 villas available for rent.

Marketing manager Talal Kanafani said that work on the spa is moving fast. The project, co-owned by Gulf Finance House (GFH) and the Bahrain government, will include infrastructure such as retail facilities, a water park and restaurants. Plots of land have also been sold to investors to be developed independently, which should speed up the project.

The entire project is being built on a site measuring two million square meters and costs over $750m altogether. The entire development is scheduled for completion by 2008. Around 16,000 to 20,000 people are expected to live and work there, said Mr. Kanafani. Electricity and Water Minister Shaikh Abdulla bin Salman Al Khalifa visited the site of the project yesterday to discuss the supply of water and power. Gulf Daily News

Prince Albert II of Monaco writes to Clivio Piccione Prince Albert II of Monaco writes to Clivio PiccioneHis Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco offered his personal congratulations to Clivio Piccione after the young Monegasque driver secured his first, spectacular GP2 victory at the Nürburgring on 29th May. 

In a letter to Clivio, His Serene Highness stated:

 “Congratulations on your brilliant GP2 victory at the Nürburgring last weekend.  You have flown the flag for the Principality at the highest level and I hope we will continue to hear the Monaco national anthem played regularly at race weekends.  For you it signifies success, whilst for us it creates a huge sense of national pride.  You have all my support and encouragement for the future.”

Amongst others, Clivio was also congratulated by Formula 1 Chief Executive, Bernie Ecclestone after the podium ceremony at the Nürburgring.  With a victory and eight Championship points under his belt, Clivio now has his sights firmly set on maintaining his race-winning momentum going into the next GP2 race in Magny Cours at the start of July.  In the meantime, Clivio will make his first visit to the Formula 1 paddock at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal this weekend before taking part in the forthcoming GP2 test at Le Castellet on 15th and 16th June. Clivio Piccione PR

Toyota Chief Race Engineer Q and A Toyota Chief Race Engineer Q and AToyota chassis Technical Director Mike Gascoyne is spending more time at the team's Cologne design office working on the design of next year's TF106 charger. In the meantime, Toyota are running the TF105 on track and heading to Montreal and then a week later to Indianapolis, Chief Race Engineer Dieter Gass handling the technical aspects of the Grand Prix weekend.

Dieter, what are the technical characteristics of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve?
"Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a medium-low downforce circuit with a reasonable high top speed over the lap. The car needs to have very good traction and a good change of direction to cope with the heavy braking corners and the necessity to be quick on the throttle and up to speed along the straights. We will need to give Jarno and Ralf a precise car, which means finding the right compromise on the mechanical set-up."

What are the critical areas of car performance in Canada?
"The circuit's characteristics make it quite hard on the rear tires, so we will be looking to make good use of Ricardo in the third car for our Friday tire evaluation. It is one of the most demanding circuits on the brakes. In fact, it is second only to Bahrain for stress on the brakes. We performed well in Bahrain earlier in the year and did not experience any braking difficulties, so I do not expect too much of a struggle in Canada. The braking energy over a lap is close to that in Bahrain, so we should see similar wear figures and temperatures."

Are there any good overtaking opportunities?
"Canada is one of the better circuits for overtaking. The hairpin is a slow first-gear corner just prior to the start-finish line, which is one of the track's unique characteristics and I think we should see some good passing maneuvers there."

Ralf is going out 2nd in the all-important qualifying session in Canada. How detrimental will that be to his weekend?
"Ralf's retirement at the Nürburgring means he will be the second car out in the new single qualifying session and that is definitely going to put him at a disadvantage. The Montreal track is partly a street circuit, so it is often dusty at the start of the weekend and at the beginning of each session. There is unfortunately nothing we can do to help the problem. Having one car go out before us will make a small difference, but nowhere near enough, as it normally requires five or more cars to go out before the track rubbers in significantly enough to improve the lap time."

What can Panasonic Toyota Racing realistically expect to achieve in Montreal?
"After a run of medium-high downforce circuits, we will run with a different aero configuration in Montreal, so all the cars will be quite mixed up again. Traditionally we have not performed too badly in Canada and I personally see no reason why we cannot do well this year. I am optimistic of another strong result."

Indianapolis comes just a few days after Montreal. How do the two tracks differ?
"Indianapolis, like Montreal is a medium-low downforce circuit, but it is even a bit lower. Indy reminds me a bit of the old Hockenheimring with its ultra-long, ultra-fast straight followed by a tight, slow infield section. We need to set the cars up to attain a good top speed down the straight into the first corner, as well as having good traction out of the slower corners."

How do you achieve this aero compromise?
"Basically, we run a lot of simulations back in the factory to see in which direction to go, but also at the race track we have to carefully monitor the top speeds of our competitors. One particular aspect of Indy is that the lap time actually stays consistent whether you run with higher or lower downforce settings. The time you gain in one section will be lost in the other and vice versa. For the ultimate lap time, you can run with more downforce, but this will be to your detriment in the race because a good top speed down the 24-second full-throttle banked start-finish straight will enable the driver to overtake heading into the first corner."

What are your targets for Indy weekend, almost half-distance through the demanding 19-race 2005 calendar?
"I think the season so far has shown that anything is possible during the race weekend. Reliability is a very important factor to picking up points, more so than in previous years. I do not think we have the performance in the car to win a race yet – not without a bit of luck - but I think we are at a stage where we can go into each race weekend with the podium as a realistic target. We did it in Malaysia, Bahrain and Spain and could have done so in Monaco and Nürburgring, so a trip to the podium must be at the forefront of our minds for both Canada and Indianapolis." Toyota
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Schu laps up anonymity
'I always believed in Alonso'
'Lay off the booze, Kimi'
'Schu tiring of F1'
F1 loves Montreal
'America likes F1' - Speed
Jordan men to 'toughen up'
Grey cloud in Canada
Pedro takes McLaren ride
Keep an eye on JV
Rossi has 'no chance'
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