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DATE News (chronologically)
06/18/07
nascar

Rice takes hot laps at Sonoma
Jerry Rice has won three Super Bowls and caught more passes than any wide receiver in NFL history, but nothing could have prepared him for what he experienced on Monday at Infineon Raceway.

Rice was treated to four laps around the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course in the Sonoma Valley in the passenger seat of a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup stock car, supplied by the Richard Petty Driving Experience.

Rice, who will serve as Grand Marshal of this weekend’s Toyota/Save Mart 350, was in the passenger seat of the Burger King Toyota, with driver Shane MacMillan as his tour guide. The two reached speeds in excess of 100 mph over the twists and turns of Infineon Raceway. The stock car featured 700-horsepower.

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06/18/07
cc

Conquest team happy with Day 1 at Road America
After his first race of the 2007 season, Jan Heylen and the Conquest Racing team used their week off to improve their knowledge of the DP01 in preparation for two days of testing at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. During the first testing session on Monday morning, Jan took the #34 Champ Car Grand Prix of Belgium / Cosworth / DP01 / Bridgestone to the top position. In the afternoon, the session was interrupted by a red flag and Heylen was unable to improve his earlier performance where he ended his day in the third position with a time of 1m44.68, just behind Simon Pagenaud and the leader Will Power.

“We had a very fast day that has given us a lot of confidence to move forward,” began Heylen. “We had some good time away from the track which gave us a chance to process all of the information that we had from Portland International Raceway. We were quick on our first time out this morning and are greatly improving every time the team gets on the track which has been a good boost of confidence for all of us. We unfortunately missed our window of opportunity in this afternoon’s session and weren’t able to maximize our final set of tires because a red flag ended the session. Overall, I’m happy to see we could compete at the same level as the series leaders.”

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06/18/07
cc

New Champ Car hits Road America
Elkhart Lake – A new look Road America welcomed Champ Car teams and their new DP01 chassis to the classic 4.048-mile layout in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin as Team Australia’s Will Power (#5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) and Simon Pagenaud (#15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) topped the time sheets.

Power turned a quick lap of 1m43.75 seconds during the afternoon session edging the rookie Pagenaud’s time of 1m43.87 seconds. Third on the speed charts was Conquest Racing’s Jan Heylen (#34 Champ Car Grand Prix of Belgium Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) who was fastest in the morning session.

“It was good out there today,” said the Belgian driver Heylen. “The team and the driver did a good job and we only used four sets of tires. Our morning session went really well and when you’re quick like that it gives everyone a boost. I’m really happy with the progress we’ve made. It was difficult coming in to this drive after an eight month layoff and I was a couple of laps short of getting to know the car after my one day test and the Portland race weekend. We are making progress now and I really like it.”

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06/18/07
cc

Holmatro Safety Team honored by Boy Scouts
When growing up most kids have the dream of someday becoming a hero, whether it be a policeman helping fight crime or a firefighter risking their life to save others.

During Champ Car races the Holmatro Safety Team may not take a checkered flag or stand in Victory Lane, but they bring security and comfort to all those on and off the track, and in every meaning of the word they are some of Champ Car's biggest heroes.

In Portland, last weekend the Boy Scouts of America named the Holmatro Safety Team Motorsportsmen of the Year at their 18th annual Motorsports Breakfast. One of the biggest fund raisers for the Boy Scouts of America's Cascade Pacific Council, the Breakfast honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the sport. Several members of the team were in attendance and Safety Director Lon Bromley accepted the award on behalf of the team.

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06/18/07
nascar

Gibson wins Crew Chief of race award
Amidst the media cloud and controversy that surrounded Dale Earnhardt Incorporated this week following the announcement of Dale Earnhardt Jr. moving to a new camp for 2008, the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet team was determined to prove they were still focused on giving solid performances.  With their team leader, Tony Eury Jr., still serving the remainder of his suspension, it was left up to substitute crew chief, Tony Gibson, to lead the DEI team.  Gibson rallied his crew during the Citizens Bank 400 at Michigan International Speedway while tending to front end damage and handling problems, enabling his team to finish strong, gaining a well-deserved fifth place finish.  For his ability to keep the crew focused on the task at hand by providing solid race day leadership, Gibson was awarded the WYPALL* Wipers Crew Chief of the Race.

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06/18/07
nascar

ATT Signs 3yr Contract Renewal with RCR
AT&T has exercised the option in its current contract with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) by signing a contract extension that will ensure that the #31 AT&T Chevy remains a competitor in the NASCAR Cup Series for years to come. At the same time, Jeff Burton, driver of the #31 AT&T Chevy, has reached agreement with RCR on a contract extension with the 10-time NASCAR championship-winning organization. "As long-time supporters of racing and its fans, we are very pleased to continue our involvement with the sport as a team sponsor in the wireless category," said Dave Garver, executive director of high growth segments and sponsorships for the wireless division at AT&T. "We've enjoyed our relationship with Jeff and RCR, and look forward to continuing to work with them through many more winning seasons. In the past decade, we've developed innovative ways to bring fans closer to racing, with interactive content that can be accessed via their wireless handsets, alerts sent directly to their phones and on-the-ground activities promoting wireless services at and around racing events. We're looking ahead, planning even more engaging ways to bring the latest in wireless technology to fans."

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06/18/07
nascan

Ranger Wins Dickies 200 NASCAR race
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario — Andrew Ranger survived not one, but two, stock car rookie mistakes to collect his first win in NASCAR at the Dickies 200 at Mosport International Speedway.

As the pole sitter, he jumped the start of the race and was penalized with a pass-through penalty costing him nearly 10 positions. Then, on a lap 22 pit stop he seemingly stopped too close to the wall giving the jackman the difficult task of lifting the right side of the car.

Ranger took the lead for good on lap 43 of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Sirius Satellite Radio event. It was a lead that he had to wrestle away from second-place finisher J.R. Fitzpatrick. After flirting with a nearly three second lead, Ranger beat Fitzgerald to the line by 1.694 seconds.

A native of Roxton Pond, Quebec, Ranger had not spent a great deal of time behind the wheel of a stock car, but was able to earn his first win in just his second NASCAR event. A year ago, Ranger finished 10th in the CHAMP Car final point standings. He made the full-time switch to the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series last off season.

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06/18/07
cc

RSPORTS Testing in Road America this week
The Portland event kicked off a summer full of racing for the Champ Car World Series 2007 season, which will see six races taking place in eight of the summer weeks, but despite the busy schedule, RSPORTS has made some time to test at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin en route to Cleveland, Ohio for Round 5, June 22-24.

During a two-day testing effort, RSPORTS’ drivers Justin Wilson and Alex Tagliani will take to the 4.048-mile permanent road course in the rolling hills of mid-Wisconsin first thing Monday morning. The team will pack up, then head East on Wednesday for the Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by LaSalle Bank.

“Hopefully we can learn some more things about the #9 CDW DP01,” said the driver of the #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone, Wilson. “We will be testing for additional knowledge, but also preparing for our upcoming race at Road America in August. This is going to be our final test of the season, so we have to make the most of it.”

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06/18/07
f1

Latest F1 news in brief
  • Even Spain hails Hamilton conquest
  • Title not over for Ferrari - Ecclestone
  • Swerve shows Alonso 'annoyed' - Haug
  • 'No news' on US GP future - Bernie
  • Kubica to also sit out Silverstone test

Even Spain hails Hamilton conquest
(GMM) Even the usually fiercely partisan Spanish press had to hail rookie and runaway championship leader Lewis Hamilton's defeat of Fernando Alonso at Indianapolis on Sunday.

The British media's Monday morning reaction was predictable enough -- the Daily Mirror crowned the 22-year-old back to back winner president of the "Lewnited States of America".

But even Spain's Diario As called Hamilton's performance in the US grand prix, just seven days after his career breakthrough in Montreal, "faultless".

The daily 'Marca' added: "For Alonso, the challenge of Hamilton seems even more difficult than Michael Schumacher (was). Once again, the world champion must be content with second place".

Spain's 'Sport' praised Hamilton's 73-lap charge on Sunday, including defending Alonso's overtaking attempt, as "merciless".

"Alonso put on the pressure from the beginning, but McLaren's Briton closed all the doors and again drove faultlessly".

El Mundo Deportivo stayed slightly more loyal to F1's defending title winner, claiming that pole position had been the "most crucial" element of the US grand prix.

But the radio transmitter Cadena SER marveled: "Who would have thought that Alonso's worst adversary would lurk within his own team?

"Hamilton has emerged as his strongest opponent for the coming years".

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06/18/07
racing news

Dragster goes into crowd killing 6, injuring scores
SELMER, Tennessee (AP) -- As drag racers revved their engines and burned their wheels for hundreds of spectators standing shoulder-to-shoulder along each side of a highway, metal guard rails protected only a small portion of the half-mile parade route.

When it was pro drag racer Troy Warren Critchley's turn to show off at the Cars for Kids charity event, his engine roared and his tires smoked, but then the car got away from him.

In just seconds, he sped a few hundred yards past the section with guard rails, lost control and skidded left into the crowd, tossing bodies into the air. (Watch car go out of control; hear crowd react )

Six people died, all in their teens and early 20s, Tennessee Highway Patrol spokesman Mike Browning said. Saturday's wreck injured at least 18 others, including a 5-year-old boy, who were taken to hospitals in Tennessee and Mississippi.  More from AP article

Comment
06/18/07
f1

Busy week for Red Bull
Racing drivers are never really happy unless they are winning, which at every Grand Prix turns out to have been an unrealistic target for all but one of them, so it’s fair to say that Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber was more than relieved than happy to have finally clocked up some all important points to open up his scorecard in his debut season for the Milton Keynes based squad.

The Australian racer secured two points after successfully finishing in seventh place overall at the Indy circuit on Sunday afternoon and he is now hoping that this is a sign of more to come as the F1 circus heads into the long hot European summer, that will see a run of races on some of the more famous race tracks in the world.

“I’m actually very pleased with that,” Mark said. “We’ve had a bit of tricky weekend so far, so it was good to get some extra time on the track in today’s third qualifying session. It’s encouraging. It’s very, very tight in the middle group and, as this is quite an easy track to over-drive, you’ve got to be a bit patient here, which isn’t easy for guys like us!”

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06/18/07
f1

Not perfect, but one of our best this year
RenaultF1’s technical director, Bob Bell, leaves the Indianapolis circuit today with optimism after analyzing the data from Sunday’s race that was held at the famous Brickyard. However, that said, he is still very determined to see the car improve even further in the coming weeks.

From a team point of view, it wasn’t a perfect day, but it was probably one of your best races so far, with good race pace. What’s your analysis?
I think that’s pretty accurate. We finished P4 at the last race, but this fifth place was really achieved in merit. And more importantly, we have shown that we have made up part of the gap to BMW and Ferrari. I think that will give us all confidence. I should acknowledge the hard work from everybody in the team in the past few weeks, to help us climb back into a stronger position like we demonstrated today.

Heikki had a good start, and kept Raikkonen at bay in the first stint. It’s his best race so far…
Absolutely. It showed how good a fighter he is. When the car is working well, he is capable of exceptional performances.

Giancarlo had a great start, but then things went wrong on the second lap…
He paid a heavy price for a small mistake. He could have finished very well. He was on a one-stop strategy and given the pace he showed and his good start, he would have finished close to Heikki, certainly.

Renault has been improving the R27 constantly since Monaco. A home race at Magny-Cours is just two weeks away. How are you feeling?
We all get extra motivation from good results, but we are realistic: there is a still a performance deficit of around 6 or 7 tenths to McLaren, so there’s still a lot of hard work in front of us if we want to fight for race wins. But we are coming back, step by step, and that’s our target. Magny-Cours will be another important test, and we will be working flat out between now and then to improve further.

Comment
06/18/07
f1

Tire strategies used at USGP
In 2007, the tire regulations stipulate that the two dry tire specifications must be visibly distinguishable from each other. At the US Grand Prix, the soft compound Bridgestone Potenza tire was marked with a white line in the second from inside groove.

Giancarlo Fisichella Soft – Medium
Heikki Kovalainen Soft – Soft – Medium
Felipe Massa Soft – Soft – Medium
Kimi Raikkonen Medium – Soft – Soft
Fernando Alonso Soft – Soft – Medium
Lewis Hamilton Soft – Soft – Medium
Jenson Button Soft – Medium
Rubens Barrichello Soft – DNF
Nick Heidfeld Soft – Medium – Medium – DNF
Sebastien Vettel Soft – Soft – Medium
Ralf Schumacher Soft - DNF
Jarno Trulli Soft – Soft – Medium
David Coulthard Soft – DNF
Mark Webber Soft – Soft – Medium
Nico Rosberg Soft – Medium – DNF
Alex Wurz Soft – Medium
Vitantonio Liuzzi Medium – Soft – DNF
Scott Speed Soft – Medium
Christijan Albers Medium – Soft
Adrian Sutil Medium – Soft – Soft
Takuma Sato Soft - DNF
Anthony Davidson Medium – Soft – Soft

Comment
06/18/07
cc

New sponsor, bridge enliven race weekend
While the Grand Prix of Cleveland continues its search for a title sponsor for the 26-year-old event, it shows signs of a solid pulse after Chicago construction mogul Michael Lanigan, owner of Mi-Jack Promotions, purchased the event.

The June 22-24 event has a new presenting sponsor in LaSalle Bank, based in Chicago, and a new feature for the 10-turn venue at Burke Lakefront Airport. A pedestrian bridge is in place at the west end of the track and will allow race fans into the infield to watch the race and view the pits.

"We are always looking for ways to improve the fan experience," said Chuck Kosich, general manager of the Grand Prix. So we're excited to introduce the pedestrian bridge this year. The circuit here in Cleveland has always been one of the best places in the country for spectators to watch a race, and opening up the infield pit area will make it even better by giving fans the opportunity to enjoy the action from an entirely new vantage point."

As for LaSalle, the bank deal anchors increased sponsorship for the race.

"It is a pleasure to welcome LaSalle Bank," Lanigan said in a news release. "Having the support of the business community is vital in the success of our event, so I could not be happier that LaSalle Bank has chosen to make this investment in the Grand Prix."  Cleveland.com

Comment
06/18/07
nascar

Gordon knew Hendrick was negotiating with Earnhardt
Jeff Gordon was in on the secret all along. Privately he listened to team owner Rick Hendrick agonize over the arduous, closed-door maneuvering to sign Dale Earnhardt Jr. "Rick was going back and forth, back and forth," Gordon said. "He was like, 'Man, I would love to do this,' and at the same time, 'I don't know how I'm going to do it.' And, 'Should we do it?' " Gordon didn't waver. "I was very supportive of it from the beginning," he said, sitting in the lounge of his team transporter during preparations for the Citizens Bank 400. "Because I've been at Hendrick for 15 years and I have equity in the company, I probably got let into it a little bit sooner," Gordon said. "I actually told Rick, 'Don't give me too many details because I know I'm going to get asked.' But I knew they were in talks." Orlando Sentinel

Comment
06/18/07
f1

Upcoming F1 tests
Bridgestone Potenza Formula One tires will next be in action this coming Tuesday as nine teams take part in a three day test at Silverstone using the medium and hard compounds and two teams test at Jerez using the medium compound.

Comment
06/18/07
lmes
alms

How Corvette might have beat Aston Martin
No. 63 Corvette C6.R Has Flawless Run to Second Spot on GT1 Podium LE MANS, France, June 17, 2007 - Corvette Racing experienced the agony and the ecstasy of endurance racing in the 75th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Drivers Ron Fellows, Johnny O'Connell and Jan Magnussen piloted their No. 63 Compuware Corvette C6.R to a runner-up finish in the GT1 class and sixth overall in the world's most prestigious sports car race. It was the team's eighth consecutive podium finish, a streak that began with the team's first foray to Le Mans in 2000. While the No. 64 Compuware Corvette of Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta and Max Papis was sidelined by a broken driveshaft in the race's second hour, its sister car had a flawless run throughout the long day and night of racing.

Clear skies through the night gave way to storm clouds and heavy rain in the afternoon as the cars raced toward the 3 p.m. finish. With Canadian ace Ron Fellows at the wheel, the No. 63 Corvette C6.R was carving into the one-lap lead held by the No. 009 Aston Martin DBR9. Gaining as much as 30 seconds per lap, Fellows' charge was stymied by a safety car period for rain that began 49 minutes before the scheduled finish. A final 10-minute dash under the green flag was not enough time for Fellows to catch the Aston Martin. 

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06/18/07
f1

Seen at Indy
Spotted former Champ Car driver Charles Zwolsman hugging Lewis Hamilton after Sunday's race (before Lewis went to the podium).  They were teammates in 2004 at Manor Motorsport in the Euroseries F3.

Comment
06/18/07
nascar

NASCAR countersues ATT for $100 Million UPDATE A reader writes, What kind of message does it send to other big potential sponsors when NASCAR is so aggressive in pursuing legal action against AT&T?  If I was a corporate type looking to enter NASCAR, I would certainly take note of this. Ira F.

Dear Ira, We doubt NASCAR expects to win.  They just want to show Nextel that they did everything in their power to protect their rights.  Mark C.

06/17/07 Today NASCAR filed a counter claim in U.S. District Court against AT&T Mobility/Cingular Wireless and AT&T Inc., alleging breach of contract, fraud and misrepresentation, and conspiracy to aid and abet wrongful interference with Nextel’s exclusive sponsorship agreement. NASCAR is seeking a minimum of $100 million in damages. The NASCAR Rule Book governs participation in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and its contents are agreed to in writing by all NASCAR members and participants. Cingular is a member of NASCAR and agreed to abide by all NASCAR rules and regulations when its representatives signed official documents such as the NASCAR Membership and License Application. NASCAR’s suit further alleges that AT&T, Cingular and its representatives breached its explicit agreements with NASCAR when they re-branded the #31 car; entered into contract with RCR knowing that they would litigate against NASCAR; and when they sought to ambush Nextel’s exclusive sponsorship rights. NASCAR also submitted its response today to a suit filed by AT&T Mobility/Cingular Wireless by soundly rejecting each of their claims. The response demonstrates the clarity of NASCAR’s rule book and the baseless allegations made by AT&T Mobility/Cingular Wireless in its attempts to re-brand the #31. NASCAR PR

"Cingular’s refusal to follow NASCAR rules and accept NASCAR’s denial of this paint scheme, and the filing of this lawsuit, has undermined NASCAR’s authority as the sanctioning body of stock car auto racing," said the suit.

Most notable among those "certain actions" is that "NASCAR may exercise its discretion not to offer NASCAR membership to Cingular or AT&T for the 2008 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season."

NASCAR also contends it should have the right to not offer a driver and car owner agreement for 2008 to any car sponsored by a telecommunications company other than Nextel.

Alltel sponsors Ryan Newman for Penske Racing.

Comment
06/18/07
f1

Video: Watch Lewis Hamilton win in karts
Watch this Lewis Hamilton video and see how polished he was as a 13-year old in karting and how he comes from the back to win.

From Saturday 16th June, Vodafone are offering sports fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get their hands on a real object of desire! Lewis Hamilton – the rising star of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and of Formula 1 – will be auctioning a specially customized Vodafone McLaren Mercedes go-kart on eBay with all money raised going to Tommy’s The Baby Charity.

The bid will close three days later, at midnight on Tuesday 19th June, and the person submitting the winning bid will be able to collect this special go-kart in person from Lewis in a central London location on Thursday 21st June.

As well as raising money for charity the auction will showcase the recently launched Vodafone Mobile Internet that will deliver an accurate representation of the internet on their customer’s mobile phones.

Comment
06/17/07
nascar

Post-race notes from Michigan
- Last year, neither of the Michigan NASCAR races sold out, the first time in some 18 years. This year, despite 5,000 seats having been removed, hundreds of empty seats were very visible at Michigan, probably for the first time in 20 years for a NASCAR event. In addition, at least one VIP suite as well as one corporate suite went for trade-out to a local radio station. In fact, the MIS PR department sent out an email to members of the press, asking them to push ticket sales for this race. This is in spite of a concerted marketing effort to sell MIS tickets over the past 2 months.
 
Perhaps part of the reason for the MIS ticket situation is the high cost in a state with a weak economy. For instance, the premium RV infield camping spots at MIS , where the 5,000 seats were removed over the winter, cost $3,000 for the weekend, plus $300 per person if you have more than 3 people camping with you. The cheapest seats, in turn 3 (almost a mile away from the start-finish line), go for $55 per person, and hundreds went unsold today.
 
- It is an tradition that selected cars are tested on a chassis dyno after a NASCAR race at Michigan. Michigan is as tough as any track on engines, with peak horsepower being needed for long periods of time, with few caution laps, so everyone runs their strongest motors. When asked what NASCAR would find, a Toyota team member remarked, "That we're all pretty much equal."
 
- The average track width at Indy is 46 feet, sometimes as wide as 60 feet. At 52 feet wide, the pit road at MIS is wider than most of the racing surface at Indy.
 
- Kidding or not? Radio chatter from drivers still indicate that drivers want to "mess" with Juan Pablo Montoya, making comments about needing to bump him a little before they come into the pits. It seems as though some drivers think that JPM's press is much better than his ability. One can only imagine if he was driving a Toyota... perhaps he should borrow his team mate's "Target" logo for the back his car?
 
- Trouble ahead? While not going into detail, a Team Red Bull member indicated that they might be facing troubles in the future. He didn't specify the kind of problems, but did question the continued presence of the team. Tim Wohlford reporting for AutoRacing1.com

Comment
06/17/07
f1

Alonso denies angry pitwall swerve
(GMM) Fernando Alonso on Sunday denied race commentators' claims that he swerved at the pit wall during the US grand prix to 'send a message' to his McLaren chiefs.

Some TV angles suggested that the Spaniard also shook his fist, a lap after failing to make an attempt to pass his teammate Lewis Hamilton stick for the lead of the race at Indianapolis.

But in the post-race press conference, 25-year-old Alonso said he was just trying to cool his car.

"I followed (Lewis for) so many laps that my overalls were black from the carbon brakes.

"I think my brakes and all of my car was hotter than normal, so I tried to pull away from the slipstream sometimes just to cool the car."

Comment
06/17/07
f1

’Baby Schumi’ is F1’s youngest scorer
(GMM) Sebastian Vettel on Sunday overtook Jenson Button to become the youngest driver in the history of formula one to score a point.

At the age of 19 years and 350 days, the BMW-Sauber test driver - standing in for the injured Robert Kubica - finished eighth on debut in the US grand prix at Indianapolis, less than a second from Mark Webber at the flag.

Button, twelfth at Indy in his Honda, held the record after scoring points at the age of 20 for Williams in 2000.

Baby-faced Vettel has been nicknamed 'baby Schumi' in the German press, after - like seven time world champion Michael Schumacher - also qualifying seventh for his first formula one race.

BMW chiefs poked fun at him before today's grand prix by presenting the rookie youngster with a baby's bottle and bib.

Vettel admitted that he was "exhausted" after 73 laps on the Indianapolis road layout.

"I mean, the car was working well but I could have been a bit quicker," he told reporters, also confessing to messing up his first ever first-corner and losing three places.

Comment
06/17/07
f1

Latest F1 news in brief UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

06/17/07
  • Alonso vows to try to pass Hamilton
  • Errors won't cost Sutil his seat
  • Albers - 'no excuse' for lagging Sutil
  • Ralf avoids Magny Cours axe New
  • Dennis insists no team orders at Indy New

Alonso vows to try to pass Hamilton
(GMM) Fernando Alonso says he will try to overtake fellow McLaren driver and championship Lewis Hamilton at Indianapolis' tricky first corner on Sunday.

The Spaniard tried a similar move on the first lap in Montreal one week ago, after also qualifying behind his rookie teammate, but ran wide and fell down the order.

Alonso, 25, hit the gravel in Barcelona last month too, when attempting to pass Felipe Massa at turn one.

He told Spanish reporters at Indianapolis: "I am going to try it; especially as the track is so wide."

Alonso denied that his team boss Ron Dennis will instruct him to play it safe, even though one year ago at Indianapolis both McLarens - then driven by Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya - crashed out after a clash.

"No, we have the freedom to fight," Alonso insisted, adding that his starting fuel load is "very similar" to pole sitter Hamilton's.

Alonso also explained that he opted to sweep the unused inside part of the US GP grid on Saturday after realizing that his last qualifying lap would not be quick enough to beat Hamilton.

Read more & Comment...
06/17/07
f1

Sato docked ten places for French GP grid
(GMM)  Takuma Sato has been docked ten starting places on the Magny Cours grid in two weeks after stewards at Indianapolis ruled that he illegally overtook when yellow flags were waving.

The Super Aguri driver claims that it was in fact Honda-powered colleague Jenson Button who tried to pass him in the early stages of the US grand prix, but Sato will nonetheless be docked ten places for the next event after spinning into retirement on lap 13.

"No," he said in the pits, "Jenson was overtaking me, so I wasn't overtaking at that time."

At the front of the field, Lewis Hamilton extended his championship lead over McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso to ten points on Sunday by winning a second successive race in the space of seven days.

Comment
06/17/07
Formula BMW

Gutierrez wins race 2 at Indy
Results Sunday for the Formula BMW USA Race 2 on the 2.605-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with starting position in parenthesis, driver, team, laps completed and reasons out, if any:

1. (1) Esteban Gutierrez, Autotecnica, 15
2. (3) Daniel Morad, Eurointernational, 15
3. (2) Maxime Pelletier, HBR Motorsport Team USA, 15
4. (8) Ricardo Favoretto, HBR Motorsport Team USA, 15
5. (12) Sebastian Saavedra, Eurointernational, 15
6. (5) Alexander Rossi, Hearn Motorsports, 15
7. (7) Jordan Dick, JD Racing, 15
8. (11) Jeffrey Petriello, Team KMA Racing, 15
9. (10) Steven Guerrero, HBR Motorsport Team USA, 15
10. (14) Yannick Hofman, Eurointernational, 15
11. (15) Mike Hill, Team KMA Racing, 15
12. (17) Julia Landauer, Team KMA Racing, 15
13. (16) Eric Morrow, Hearn Motorsports, 15
14. (18) Lindsey Adams, Team Apex Racing USA, 15
15. (13) Tim Hollowell, TADD Motorsports, 14, contact
16. (9) Robert Thorne, Team Apex Racing USA, 14, contact
17. (4) Philip Major, Autotecnica, 14
18. (6) Adrien Tambay, Eurointernational, 2, contact

Comment
06/17/07
f1

US press attacks Ecclestone, F1
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone awoke to a hostile American media on Sunday morning after suggesting that formula one can live without its annual visit to the States.

The F1 supremo, who earlier described the US grand prix as "not vital", had declared at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday evening that his American hosts "haven't done anything" to get behind his series, which in decades of history and eight years at its current venue has failed to break the US market.

Ecclestone, 76, was speaking after three meetings with Indy's Tony George this weekend failed to result in the extension of the expiring GP contract.

A writer for the local Post-Tribute responded: "Yeah, Bernie, you can go to Russia or India, but in what country does Ferrari, your biggest car owner, sell its most cars?

"That's America, in case you had a brain freeze."

Even a writer for the usually supportive Indianapolis Star headlined that "Arrogant F1 should hit road out of Indy".

"I've got advice for (Tony) George.  Learn how to say 'Bite me' in all the languages of today's F1 drivers.

"They are the Guests From Hell.  And it's time for them to leave.

"Let me mention something to F1: Nobody outside of Indy cares about this race.  And the truth is, very few inside of Indy care about this race."

A journalist for ESPN, the dedicated sports-related network, even described Ecclestone as a "man who looks like a geriatric Harry Potter".

Comment
06/17/07
ips

Wilson wins 2nd Indy pro race at Indy
Bobby Wilson passed for the lead on Turn 1 of the opening lap of Race 2 of the Liberty Challenge on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and then cruised to a 10.5-second victory over series points leader Alex Lloyd.

Wilson started on the outside of Row 1 in the No. 1 Ocala Gran Prix entry as a result of a seventh-place finish in Race 1 on June 16. (The top eight finishers were inverted for the start of Race 2). Wilson made a move on polesitter Ryan Justice in the first corner and drove all 18 laps unchallenged on the 13-turn, 2.605-mile circuit.

The victory was Wilson's second in the Indy Pro Series and the first while driving for Brian Stewart Racing.

Lloyd, who maintains a 104-point advantage in the point standings, finished second for the second consecutive race after coming into race weekend with a record five-race winning streak.

Read more & Comment...
06/17/07
f1

Death will return to formula one - Lauda
(GMM) Death will again knock on formula one's door, triple world champion Niki Lauda warned on Sunday.

The great Austrian still wears the scars from his near-fatal fiery accident in 1976, and he insists that - only a decade or so ago - Robert Kubica would have certainly been crushed "like an accordion" in his car in Montreal last week.

Indeed, in the days after Kubica's 200kph-plus impact, calls are being made for flatter run-off at the Canadian circuit and a higher and re-profiled retaining wall separating the two sides of the Casino hairpin.

Lauda, though, praised today's safety standards in formula one but warned that the prospect of death will never be banished from the paddock.

"The fact that thirteen years have passed with nothing happening is just enormous luck," he told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

Comment
06/17/07
f1

News briefs from Indy: Sunday
(GMM) It won't be a sellout, but only two years after they stormed out in droves for the six-car debacle, a healthy crowd of about 100,000 is expected for the US grand prix at Indianapolis on Sunday.

Like qualifying, race day will also be hot at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with a cloudy top of 33-degrees expected. No rain is forecast.
-
After world champion Fernando Alonso missed pole on Saturday despite dominating the rest of the US GP weekend, he said he hoped his Renault car was the reason he has never scored a good result at Indianapolis in the past.

His best finish here was a fifth last year, and - now driving a McLaren - the Spaniard said: "I hope it was the Renault car and not me."
-
BMW boss Mario Theissen warned Sebastian Vettel's fans not to expect to see the teenage German on a formula one grid for the remainder of the season.

"As soon as Robert (Kubica) is fit again, he will be back in the car," Theissen said on Saturday.

Comment
06/17/07
lmes
alms

LeMans 22 Hours: Rain hits, Audi leads
Heavy rain has hit LeMans with 2 hours to go. The No. 1 Audi of Marco Werner still leads by 8 laps over the Peugeot of Sebastien Bourdais. The No. 7 Peugeot just fell out.  The Audi is just cruising now, not taking any chances on the treacherous track.  Victory is almost assured.

Pos # Class Drivers Car Laps
1. 1 LMP1 Biela, Pirro, Werner Audi R10 TDI 346 Laps
2. 8 LMP1 Sarrazin, Lamy, Bourdais Peugeot 908 338 Laps
3. 7 LMP1 Minassian, Gene, Villeneuve Peugeot 908 337 Laps
4. 16 LMP1 Collard, Boullion, Dumas Pescarolo-Judd 01 335 Laps
5. 18 LMP1 Short, Barbosa, Hall Pescarolo-Judd 01 325 Laps
6. 009 LMGT1 Turner, Brabham, Rydell Aston Martin DBR9 320 Laps
7. 63 LMGT1 Fellows, O'Connell, Magnussen Corvette C6-R 318 Laps
8. 008 LMGT1 Bouchut, Gollin, Elgaard Aston Martin DBR9 317 Laps
9. 15 LMP1 Charouz, Yoong, Mucke Lola-Judd B07-17 315 Laps
10. 007 LMGT1 Herbert, Enge, Kox Aston Martin DBR9 314 Laps

Read more & Comment...
06/17/07
nascar

Hamilton's success putting pressure on NASCAR
The biggest story in NASCAR this weekend may not be at Michigan International Speedway, but rather at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Lewis Hamilton, a 22-year-old Formula One surprise winner last weekend in Montreal, will be heading the world-class cast for the United States Grand Prix.

Hamilton just scored the biggest motor-sports win ever for a black driver. He’s also leading the points in Formula One, just seven races into his major-league career.

Hamilton’s quick success has put NASCAR and its execs on the hot seat, because NASCAR’s long-running and highly promoted “Drive for Diversity” has yet to come up with any such dramatic success.

Charlotte promoter Humpy Wheeler said that ups the pressure.

“Lewis Hamilton is the exact example of what’s got to happen here in NASCAR - he started out at an early age (at 9). And his path is exactly the path we’ve got to get our kids on - we’ve got to get black kids at an early age… start them out when they’re 10 or 12 years old, in something like our Bandoleros.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have as many black drivers as we should have. But we’ve got more black drivers in this type of racing than any other type of racing.

“But the problem is unfortunately not a lot of black kids that age can afford to go racing. And culturally it’s not something that driving them. They want to be the center fielder for the Yankees, or a running back in the NFL. They don’t think about being a race driver. And that’s what we’ve got to change.” More at Winston Salem Journal

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06/17/07
lmes
alms

LeMans: 21 Hour standings
Pos # Class Drivers                   Car                  Laps
1. 1 LMP1 Biela, Pirro, Werner Audi R10 TDI 334 Laps
2. 7 LMP1 Minassian, Gene, Villeneuve Peugeot 908 329 Laps
3. 8 LMP1 Sarrazin, Lamy, Bourdais Peugeot 908 327 Laps
4. 16 LMP1 Collard, Boullion, Dumas Pescarolo-Judd 01 323 Laps
5. 18 LMP1 Short, Barbosa, Hall Pescarolo-Judd 01 314 Laps
6. 009 LMGT1 Turner, Brabham, Rydell Aston Martin DBR9 309 Laps
7. 63 LMGT1 Fellows, O'Connell, Magnussen Corvette C6-R 307 Laps
8. 008 LMGT1 Bouchut, Gollin, Elgaard Aston Martin DBR9 306 Laps
9. 15 LMP1 Charouz, Yoong, Mucke Lola-Judd B07-17 303 Laps
10. 007 LMGT1 Herbert, Enge, Kox Aston Martin DBR9 6.711 

Read more & Comment...
06/17/07
nascar

Leicht Captures First NASCAR Busch Series Win
Steve Wallace made sure Carl Edwards wouldn’t win another NASCAR Busch Series race.

Instead, 20-year-old Stephen Leicht became a first-time winner in the series, passing his best friend Brad Coleman with 12 laps to go and pulling away to win the Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway.

The 19-year-old Coleman, who took the lead on Lap 157, finished second. Scott Wimmer was third, with David Stremme fourth and Shane Huffman fifth.

Aric Almirola was sixth, followed by Kelly Bires, David Ragan, Mike Bliss and Greg Biffle.

Read more & Comment...
06/17/07
nascar

Roush: Aflac deal could be sign of things to come
Jack Roush says that his team's new partnership with Aflac could highlight how future sponsorships will work in the sport. The company is sponsoring eight Nextel Cup races as primary sponsor for #16-Greg Biffle this season. It is also sponsoring four Busch Series races with drivers Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray. It's a business move that gives the company access to four of the organization's drivers. "The time may be waning when a new sponsor could come into our business and understand how to make their marketing program be configured in order to give them the value for a full schedule," Roush said Friday at Michigan International Speedway. "I think that the way that Aflac is coming in with a limited schedule, with some races in the Busch as well as the Cup side with multiple drivers I think is a prudent way to do it." SceneDaily.com

Comment
06/17/07
f1

George should tell Bernie "Bite me"
In a way, this has become an unhealthy, abusive relationship between Formula One and Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- and, to an extent, the money-hungry city of Indianapolis.
 
The worse F-1 treats everybody, the more disrespectful they become, and the more IMS and the city beg for their love and attention.

It's sad.

It's pathetic.

And it's got to end the moment today's glorified, high-tech parade lap through and around the Speedway is finished.

This is the last year of the F-1/IMS contract, and it's said Tony George and Bernie "The British Warhol'' Ecclestone are preparing to sit down to talk about the future.

I've got advice for George.

Learn how to say "Bite me'' in all the languages of today's F-1 drivers.

Did you catch Ecclestone's most recent comments? He said F-1 in the U.S. is "not vital'' to the series. "There are bigger markets for us (in) other parts of the world,'' he told the Daily Express of England. "We could be in India soon instead of the United States. We don't have a lot of sponsors from the U.S., no American teams and only one driver.''

OK, so all of that is true.

But is that any way to treat your host?

That's like somebody spending the weekend in your home, then telling the world, "We were hoping for reservations in a better neighborhood. The food is average and the house smells like mothballs.'' More at Indy Star

Comment
06/17/07
lmes
alms

LeMans 20 Hours: Audi leads with 4 hours to go
Now the race is on. There are less than four hours to go at the 75th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Marco Werner is still driving hard in the leading Audi R10 TDI, the lone entry left for the German manufacturer. Werner held a five-lap lead over former F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve in one of the factor Peugeots.

Werner and teammates Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro were on their own as the last of three Audis entered in the world’s greatest sports car race. The No. 3 Audi with Mike Rockenfeller at the wheel crashed and retired in the second hours after heavy contact at Tertre Rouge. But even more shocking was Dindo Capello’s off in the 16th hour while leading by two laps. A broken left-rear wheel sent him flying into the gravel at Indianapolis Corner to end a race where the No. 2 Audi had dominated since the start.

So it was understandable that Pirro wasn’t taking anything for granted. This year’s race has been particularly brutal with 22 retirements through 20 hours.

“When anyone asks me who is our main competitor, I always say it is the race itself,” Pirro said. “To win this race you need a lot of luck. You can lose this race many ways. Only the last mile is the one that counts.”

The GT1 battle was living up to its hype with Aston Martin and Corvette going head-to-head down to the wire for the third year in a row. Darren Turner in the No. 009 factory Aston Martin DBR9 led Johnny O’Connell in the last remaining works Corvette C6.R by a lap.

If this sounds familiar, it should. Aston Martin has had Corvette covered that last two years heading into the final stages. Last year the leading Aston was forced to pit for clutch repairs, giving the win to one of the factory Corvettes.

Read more & Comment...
06/17/07
tv news
CA

Portland Champ Car Atlantic races to be televised
The Champ Car Atlantic Championship races run in Portland will be shown on ESPN2 on Monday, June 18.  Round 4, run on June 9, will be aired at 5:00 pm - 5:30 pm ET.  Round 5, run on June 10, will be aired immediately following at 5:30 pm - 6:00 pm ET. 

Comment
06/17/07
nascar

Kvapil Wins NCTS Michigan 200
BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Travis Kvapil won the pole in the morning and the Craftsman Trucks Series race in the afternoon Saturday at Michigan International Speedway. But it was nowhere near as easy as it sounds. In between, he had to outlast a stronger truck and outdrive four others every bit as fast as he was.
      
Mark Martin, who started next to Kvapil on the front two, dominated the first half of the race, leading 36 of the first 48 laps before the engine in his Wood Brothers Racing truck quit. “Martin was the class of the field today. He was gone,” Kyle Busch said. “Nobody could touch him.”
      
Martin’s departure set up a spirited battle over the last 80 miles, and the winner wasn’t decided until the last three. With 40 laps to go, Mike Skinner, Busch and Kvapil dodged, weaved and traded the lead, each taking a different route around the track. They entered the corners up near the wall but spread out to manage the turns.

Read more & Comment...
06/17/07
lmes
alms

LeMans Halfway: Audi still 1-2
Audi is halfway home to another victory at Le Mans. Tom Kristensen held a three-lap lead on the sister car of Marco Werner after 12 hours at the world’s most famous auto race. Kristensen, Allan McNish and Dindo Capello have dominated so far as the German manufacturer looks to win Le Mans again with diesel power.

The leading Audi had been out front for all but two laps in the first half of the race. As the night progressed, Audi began to triple-stint their drivers as it continued to put pressure on diesel challenger Peugeot as well as the lead Pescarolo. Uncertainty remained however as rain still loomed in the forecast for Sunday.

It was Capello who made a storming start to assume the lead on the opening lap. The first and second place showings helped take away the sting of Mike Rockenfeller’s wreck that forced the retirement of the third Audi in the second hour.

Read more & Comment...
06/17/07
lmes
alms

LeMans 14 Hours: Audi, Aston Martin lead
Pos # Class Drivers                                Car                  Laps
1. 2 LMP1 Capello, McNish, Kristensen Audi R10 TDI 217 Laps
2. 1 LMP1 Biela, Pirro, Werner Audi R10 TDI 215 Laps
3. 7 LMP1 Minassian, Gene, Villeneuve Peugeot 908 211 Laps
4. 16 LMP1 Collard, Boullion, Dumas Pescarolo-Judd 01 210 Laps
5. 8 LMP1 Sarrazin, Lamy, Bourdais Peugeot 908 208 Laps
6. 18 LMP1 Short, Barbosa, Hall Pescarolo-Judd 01 202 Laps
7. 007 LMGT1 Herbert, Enge, Kox Aston Martin DBR9 199 Laps
8. 009 LMGT1 Turner, Brabham, Rydell Aston Martin DBR9 59.730
9. 63 LMGT1 Fellows, O'Connell, Magnussen Corvette C6-R 198 Laps
10. 008 LMGT1 Bouchut, Gollin, Elgaard Aston Martin DBR9 197 Laps

Read more & Comment...
06/17/07
f1

No deal yet for US GP in 2008 UPDATE #2 "They haven't done anything to really get behind it have they?" Bernie Ecclestone told Reuters on Saturday when asked if he was satisfied with the race at the Brickyard.

"We arrive in town, what do we get? We get banners saying the Indy 500. Not really the way to promote Formula One," added the Briton. "They haven't got behind it, full stop."

06/16/07 After a series of conversations between Formula One Management CEO Bernie Ecclestone and Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO Tony George about the future of the United States Grand Prix, IMS President and COO Joie Chitwood said both parties are working toward an agreement for 2008 and beyond.

“Tony has stressed to Bernie in these meetings that we want to continue the event, and we believe he feels the same,” Chitwood said. “With eight years experience with the USGP, both Tony and Bernie know what the challenges are. They are exploring ways to get to a long-term agreement, and we expect to make an announcement no later than July 12.

“If we are going to have a USGP in 2008, we know that we need to make the announcement and start working on the event by the second week of July.”

Chitwood said he continues to be optimistic about the future of the event.

Read more & Comment...
06/17/07
f1

USGP Saturday Notebook
Sunday's United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a crucial race for Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen's championship challenge.

After the third race of the year, Raikkonen, who won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, was tied for the lead of the FIA Formula One World Championship with Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes teammates Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

But three races later, Raikkonen dropped to fourth place in the standings and is 21 points behind championship leader Hamilton. Raikkonen's goal is to earn as many points as possible Sunday and win the United States Grand Prix.

"Every point is important," said Raikkonen, who starts tomorrow's race from fourth on the grid, "but it all depends on what the other people will do in the races. So we try to do the best race (in Indianapolis) and score as many points as we can, and hopefully we can win the race and that will help us."

Despite only scoring five points in the last three races, Raikkonen remains motivated and focused on the championship.

"Sometimes you have difficult moments in racing and the championship," he said. "It is not the first time for me. You just need to be patient and work hard and try to get everything right. So it is not too late yet, and we try to get back there."

It's not as bad as it looks: Scott Speed qualified his Toro Rosso Ferrari 20th for his home Grand Prix of the United States. But Speed, America's only F1 driver, said the car will perform better in the race than it did in qualifying, and he believes he can make up ground.

"We know we have worse acceleration than all of the guys in front of us," he said. "The only possible way we can race is to take off all of the wing. Certainly, in the infield, we're sliding around more than everyone else.

Read more & Comment...
06/17/07
nascar

Roush not interested in Busch
His ride gone for next season and then his agent, Kyle Busch faces more changes. He'll search for a new ride and could be barred from some Hendrick Motorsports team meetings even as he tries to make the title chase. Although Dale Earnhardt Jr. replaces him next year, Busch wouldn't mope about his situation Friday at Michigan International Speedway. "I'm interested in talking to ... whoever's got an open seat," Busch said before qualifying third for Sunday's race. "Let's sit down. Let's have dinner." Many owners are expected to answer, but not Jack Roush, for whom Busch drove before moving to Hendrick in 2003. "I am not interested in Kyle Busch," Roush said. "I've been there and I've done that." Roanoke Times

Comment
06/17/07
nascar

Jones replaces Reutimann
Add David Reutimann to the list of Michael Waltrip Racing drivers who will skip next weekend’s Nextel Cup Series road course race at Sonoma, Calif. Team owner and driver Michael Waltrip announced last week he would step out of the road course events at Sonoma and Watkins Glen, N.Y., instead using two-time Nextel Cup champion Terry Labonte in both events.  On Saturday, MWR officials announced road-racing ace P.J. Jones will take over the driving duties for Reutimann’s No. 00 Toyota at Sonoma. Reutimann will still compete next weekend in the Busch Series at the Milwaukee Mile. ThatsRacin

Comment
06/17/07
f1

Watch out for harder times, Haug tells Lewis
(GMM)  Norbert Haug heralded Lewis Hamilton's second consecutive career pole position at Indianapolis but warned the British rookie to also expect tougher times.

McLaren's championship leader Hamilton continues to live up to his hype in his first formula one season, outpacing his teammate Fernando Alonso on Saturday despite the world champion dominating the other sessions prior to qualifying for the US grand prix.

"Lewis is riding on a wave," Mercedes' competition chief Haug told the German broadcaster RTL, "but - without wanting to be negative - I must also say that more difficult times for him will come.

"Only then will we see if he is a genuine championship prospect.

"Everyone has only good things to say about him now, but perhaps soon the time will come when nobody is interested in him.

"You also have to be able to deal with that as well."

Haug, though, admitted that 22-year-old Hamilton has exceeded even the team's own expectations for his first season on the grid.

"He is a giant talent and he has a good team," the German said.  "In this game everything must fit, or the achievements do not come."

Comment
06/17/07
alms
lmes

LeMans Hour 8: Audi still leads
The eighth hour of the 75th 24 Hours of Le Mans saw Audi continue running strong and holding the top two spots in the diesel-powered Audi R10 TDIs. Rinaldo Capello had retaken control of the leading Audi following an exceptional run by teammate Allan McNish during a safety car period near the seventh hour and led Frank Biela by two laps.

McNish’s exit from the car completed the first full rotation for the Audi. During his stint, the Scot had turned more than a few laps in the 3:27 range. His best effort was 3:27.684 and nearly four seconds better than Tom Kristensen’s fast lap from 2006.

It was Capello who made a storming start to assume the lead on the opening lap. The Italian showed no sign of letting up as full darkness began to set in. The first and second place showings helped take away the sting of Mike Rockenfeller’s wreck that forced the retirement of the third Audi in the second hour.

“When Mike Rockenfeller made that mistake at the Tertre Rouge corner, I wasn’t happy at all,” said Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport. “But this doesn’t disturb our plans too much, and remember this is a very long race. I am expecting a long fight. Our opponents are waiting for us, and we can’t afford to let this affect our strategy. The good thing is the excellent result so far for the 1 and 2 cars.”

Read more & Comment...
06/16/07
lmes
alms

LeMans Halfway: Audi still 1-2
Audi is halfway home to another victory at Le Mans. Tom Kristensen held a three-lap lead on the sister car of Marco Werner after 12 hours at the world’s most famous auto race. Kristensen, Allan McNish and Dindo Capello have dominated so far as the German manufacturer looks to win Le Mans again with diesel power.

The leading Audi had been out front for all but two laps in the first half of the race. As the night progressed, Audi began to triple-stint their drivers as it continued to put pressure on diesel challenger Peugeot as well as the lead Pescarolo. Uncertainty remained however as rain still loomed in the forecast for Sunday.

It was Capello who made a storming start to assume the lead on the opening lap. The first and second place showings helped take away the sting of Mike Rockenfeller’s wreck that forced the retirement of the third Audi in the second hour.

Read more & Comment...
06/16/07
alms
lmes

LeMans Hour 11 standings
Pos # Class Drivers                                Car                  Laps
1. 2 LMP1 Capello, McNish, Kristensen Audi R10 TDI 170 Laps
2. 1 LMP1 Biela, Pirro, Werner Audi R10 TDI 168 Laps
3. 7 LMP1 Minassian, Gene, Villeneuve Peugeot 908 165 Laps
4. 16 LMP1 Collard, Boullion, Dumas Pescarolo-Judd 01 164 Laps
5. 8 LMP1 Sarrazin, Lamy, Bourdais Peugeot 908 162 Laps
6. 15 LMP1 Charouz, Yoong, Mucke Lola-Judd B07-17 161 Laps
7. 18 LMP1 Short, Barbosa, Hall Pescarolo-Judd 01 159 Laps
8. 007 LMGT1 Herbert, Enge, Kox Aston Martin DBR9 156 Laps
9. 009 LMGT1 Turner, Brabham, Rydell Aston Martin DBR9 32.507
10. 63 LMGT1 Fellows, O'Connell, Magnussen Corvette C6-R 155 Laps

Read more & Comment...
06/16/07
nascar

Kvapil Wins NCTS Michigan 200
BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Travis Kvapil won the pole in the morning and the Craftsman Trucks Series race in the afternoon Saturday at Michigan International Speedway. But it was nowhere near as easy as it sounds. In between, he had to outlast a stronger truck and outdrive four others every bit as fast as he was.
      
Mark Martin, who started next to Kvapil on the front two, dominated the first half of the race, leading 36 of the first 48 laps before the engine in his Wood Brothers Racing truck quit. “Martin was the class of the field today. He was gone,” Kyle Busch said. “Nobody could touch him.”
      
Martin’s departure set up a spirited battle over the last 80 miles, and the winner wasn’t decided until the last three. With 40 laps to go, Mike Skinner, Busch and Kvapil dodged, weaved and traded the lead, each taking a different route around the track. They entered the corners up near the wall but spread out to manage the turns.

Read more & Comment...
06/16/07
f1

USGP Saturday Notebook
Sunday's United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a crucial race for Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen's championship challenge.

After the third race of the year, Raikkonen, who won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, was tied for the lead of the FIA Formula One World Championship with Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes teammates Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

But three races later, Raikkonen dropped to fourth place in the standings and is 21 points behind championship leader Hamilton. Raikkonen's goal is to earn as many points as possible Sunday and win the United States Grand Prix.

"Every point is important," said Raikkonen, who starts tomorrow's race from fourth on the grid, "but it all depends on what the other people will do in the races. So we try to do the best race (in Indianapolis) and score as many points as we can, and hopefully we can win the race and that will help us."

Despite only scoring five points in the last three races, Raikkonen remains motivated and focused on the championship.

"Sometimes you have difficult moments in racing and the championship," he said. "It is not the first time for me. You just need to be patient and work hard and try to get everything right. So it is not too late yet, and we try to get back there."

It's not as bad as it looks: Scott Speed qualified his Toro Rosso Ferrari 20th for his home Grand Prix of the United States. But Speed, America's only F1 driver, said the car will perform better in the race than it did in qualifying, and he believes he can make up ground.

"We know we have worse acceleration than all of the guys in front of us," he said. "The only possible way we can race is to take off all of the wing. Certainly, in the infield, we're sliding around more than everyone else.

Read more & Comment...
06/16/07
f1

No deal yet for US GP in 2008 UPDATE #2 "They haven't done anything to really get behind it have they?" Bernie Ecclestone told Reuters on Saturday when asked if he was satisfied with the race at the Brickyard.

"We arrive in town, what do we get? We get banners saying the Indy 500. Not really the way to promote Formula One," added the Briton. "They haven't got behind it, full stop."

06/16/07 After a series of conversations between Formula One Management CEO Bernie Ecclestone and Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO Tony George about the future of the United States Grand Prix, IMS President and COO Joie Chitwood said both parties are working toward an agreement for 2008 and beyond.

“Tony has stressed to Bernie in these meetings that we want to continue the event, and we believe he feels the same,” Chitwood said. “With eight years experience with the USGP, both Tony and Bernie know what the challenges are. They are exploring ways to get to a long-term agreement, and we expect to make an announcement no later than July 12.

“If we are going to have a USGP in 2008, we know that we need to make the announcement and start working on the event by the second week of July.”

Chitwood said he continues to be optimistic about the future of the event.

Read more & Comment...
06/16/07
ips

Mutoh wins first race at Indy
Hideki Mutoh continued his domination of the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After leading practice and winning the SWE Pole Award on June 15, Mutoh led all 18 laps of Race 1 of the Liberty Challenge to claim his first Indy Pro Series victory.

The win was the first for Panther Racing since 2003 when the team won the championship with Mark Taylor.

The victory on the 13-turn, 2.605-mile circuit snapped the record five-race winning streak of Alex Lloyd. Lloyd, who started second in the No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon Systems/SSM car, finished second, 6.273 seconds behind.

Read more & Comment...
06/16/07
alms
lmes

LeMans Hour 8: Audi still leads
The eighth hour of the 75th 24 Hours of Le Mans saw Audi continue running strong and holding the top two spots in the diesel-powered Audi R10 TDIs. Rinaldo Capello had retaken control of the leading Audi following an exceptional run by teammate Allan McNish during a safety car period near the seventh hour and led Frank Biela by two laps.

McNish’s exit from the car completed the first full rotation for the Audi. During his stint, the Scot had turned more than a few laps in the 3:27 range. His best effort was 3:27.684 and nearly four seconds better than Tom Kristensen’s fast lap from 2006.

It was Capello who made a storming start to assume the lead on the opening lap. The Italian showed no sign of letting up as full darkness began to set in. The first and second place showings helped take away the sting of Mike Rockenfeller’s wreck that forced the retirement of the third Audi in the second hour.

“When Mike Rockenfeller made that mistake at the Tertre Rouge corner, I wasn’t happy at all,” said Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport. “But this doesn’t disturb our plans too much, and remember this is a very long race. I am expecting a long fight. Our opponents are waiting for us, and we can’t afford to let this affect our strategy. The good thing is the excellent result so far for the 1 and 2 cars.”

Read more & Comment...
06/16/07
f1

Watch out for harder times, Haug tells Lewis
(GMM)  Norbert Haug heralded Lewis Hamilton's second consecutive career pole position at Indianapolis but warned the British rookie to also expect tougher times.

McLaren's championship leader Hamilton continues to live up to his hype in his first formula one season, outpacing his teammate Fernando Alonso on Saturday despite the world champion dominating the other sessions prior to qualifying for the US grand prix.

"Lewis is riding on a wave," Mercedes' competition chief Haug told the German broadcaster RTL, "but - without wanting to be negative - I must also say that more difficult times for him will come.

"Only then will we see if he is a genuine championship prospect.

"Everyone has only good things to say about him now, but perhaps soon the time will come when nobody is interested in him.

"You also have to be able to deal with that as well."

Haug, though, admitted that 22-year-old Hamilton has exceeded even the team's own expectations for his first season on the grid.

"He is a giant talent and he has a good team," the German said.  "In this game everything must fit, or the achievements do not come."

Comment
06/16/07
nascar

Jones replaces Reutimann
Add David Reutimann to the list of Michael Waltrip Racing drivers who will skip next weekend’s Nextel Cup Series road course race at Sonoma, Calif. Team owner and driver Michael Waltrip announced last week he would step out of the road course events at Sonoma and Watkins Glen, N.Y., instead using two-time Nextel Cup champion Terry Labonte in both events.  On Saturday, MWR officials announced road-racing ace P.J. Jones will take over the driving duties for Reutimann’s No. 00 Toyota at Sonoma. Reutimann will still compete next weekend in the Busch Series at the Milwaukee Mile. ThatsRacin

Comment
06/16/07
nascar

Roush not interested in Busch
His ride gone for next season and then his agent, Kyle Busch faces more changes. He'll search for a new ride and could be barred from some Hendrick Motorsports team meetings even as he tries to make the title chase. Although Dale Earnhardt Jr. replaces him next year, Busch wouldn't mope about his situation Friday at Michigan International Speedway. "I'm interested in talking to ... whoever's got an open seat," Busch said before qualifying third for Sunday's race. "Let's sit down. Let's have dinner." Many owners are expected to answer, but not Jack Roush, for whom Busch drove before moving to Hendrick in 2003. "I am not interested in Kyle Busch," Roush said. "I've been there and I've done that." Roanoke Times

Comment
06/16/07
Formula BMW

Formula BMW USA Race #1 results
Results Saturday for the Formula BMW USA Race 1 on the 2.605-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with starting position in parenthesis, driver, team, laps completed and reasons out, if any:

1. (3) Daniel Morad, EuroInternational, 15
2. (2) Maxime Pelletier, HBR Motorsport Team USA, 15
3. (1) Esteban Gutierrez, Autotecnica, 15
4. (5) Alexander Rossi, Hearn Motorsports, 15
5. (7) Adrien Tambay, Eurointernational, 15
6. (9) Steven Guerrero, HBR Motorsport Team USA, 15
7. (8) Jordan Dick, JD Racing, 15
8. (12) Jeffrey Petriello, Team KMA Racing, 15
9. (10) Sebastian Saavedra, Eurointernational, 15
10. (14) Yannick Hofman, Eurointernational, 15

Read more & Comment...
06/16/07
alms
lmes

LeMans Hour 4: Kristensen Audi builds lead
Audi’s Tom Kristensen had built a lead of nearly two minutes at the 75th 24 Hours of Le Mans as the four-hour mark came and went. The seven-time Le Mans winner put some space between himself and teammate Emanuele Pirro, who had moved past one of the factory Peugeots into second place. The two Audi diesels were running the fastest laps of the race as clouds finally cleared for the first time all week.

Kristensen’s Audi was faced with a couple of small maladies that did not figure to be serious. The team changed the nose of the car due to a faulty headlight and brought the car in to check out a potential overheating program when Audi’s telemetry showed the engine getting hot behind the safety car.

The issue arose when Mike Rockenfeller in the third Audi crashed into safety posts at the entry of Tertre Rouge. The severe damage was concentrated throughout the rear of the car, which was retired during the third hour and brought out the safety car.

Read more & Comment...
06/16/07
f1

Latest F1 news in brief
  • McLaren enjoying 'Alonso factor' - Fittipaldi
  • 'My data helps Hamilton' - Alonso
  • Massa - 'no comment' on McLaren spat

McLaren enjoying 'Alonso factor' - Fittipaldi
(GMM) Emerson Fittipaldi says McLaren are enjoying the fruits of the 'Alonso factor' in 2007.

Officials at Renault have consistently played down the effect that the double world champion's departure has had on the team's performance this year, but Fittipaldi - twice a title winner in the 70s - said the influence of a successful driver can be "very important" for a winning grand prix team.

"Every team has a very positive attitude when they pick up the best driver," the Brazilian told Diario As.

"It changes (the situation) a lot. Fernando has shown for years his capacity to drive and develop his cars on a high level. He also brought a lot of privileged information (from Renault).

"He is doing at McLaren exactly what he did at Renault."

Fittipaldi, 60, also denied that Alonso needs to worry about the 'Lewis Hamilton factor' at McLaren, after the Spaniard complained in recent days about the support his rookie teammate gets from the British squad.

"There is no danger for Fernando," he insisted. "All he needs to do is forget about everything except winning.

"Every country goes crazy if they have a driver who is doing good things.

"But inside the McLaren team the drivers are equal, because it is in their interest that they have two top drivers.

"I know Ron Dennis, and he wants to win, win and win, and that is all. And both the drivers have the possibility to achieve it."

Read more & Comment...
06/16/07
alms
lmes

LeMans Hour 2: Audi leads, one crashes
Audi continued to lead the Le Mans 24 Hours after two hours with Tom Kristensen ahead in the #2 Audi and Emmanuelle Pirro following in the #1 car, but the factory team third car, the #3 Audi Sport Team Joest, had a big accident and dropped out of contention.

Mike Rockenfeller, in the #3 Audi, crashed at the Tetre Rouge turn on lap 23. The Corvette team also lost one of its two cars hen Oliver Gavin's Vette came to a halt on the circuit.

Pos # Class Drivers Car Gap
1. 2 LMP1 Capello, McNish, Kristensen Audi R10 TDI -28
2. 16 LMP1 Collard, Boullion, Dumas Pescarolo-Judd 01 -27
3. 8 LMP1 Sarrazin, Lamy, Bourdais Peugeot 908 1.529
4. 7 LMP1 Minassian, Gene, Villeneuve Peugeot 908 4.831
5. 1 LMP1 Biela, Pirro, Werner Audi R10 TDI 7.987
6. 15 LMP1 Charouz, Yoong, Mucke Lola-Judd B07-17 3:19.610
7. 18 LMP1 Short, Barbosa, Hall Pescarolo-Judd 01 3:21.113
8. 40 LMP2 Amaral, Angel de Castro, Hughes Lola-AER B05-40 -26
9. 13 LMP1 Marc Gounon, Moreau, Johansson Courage-AER LC70 2:26.065
10. 14 LMP1 Lammers, Bleekemolen, Hart Dome-Judd S101 2:30.089

Read more & Comment...
06/16/07
f1

News briefs from Indy: Saturday
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton gave his McLaren another test of strength on Friday.

After brushing the barriers a few times in Monaco, and then kissing the concrete once or twice last weekend in Canada, the championship leading rookie went off while practicing in Indianapolis and had to return to the pits for repairs.

"The chassis was ok, but we lost some (aerodynamic) bits," managing director Martin Whitmarsh smiled.
-
US grand prix stewards on Friday launched an investigation after David Coulthard apparently set his quickest time of the day while yellow flags were waving on Friday.

After studying the relevant data, it was decided that the F1 veteran and his team Red Bull Racing should not be penalised.
-
Scotland's Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti visited the Indianapolis F1 paddock on Friday, and praised his friend Lewis Hamilton.

Franchitti said he has known the McLaren driver for years because his cousin, Paul di Resta, grew up racing against Hamilton in junior categories.

"He seems to be handling it very well, which I thought he would," Franchitti said.
-
FIA spokesman Richard Woods on Friday revealed that the first formula one night-race tests staged here on Thursday evening had been "positive".
-
F1 car designer Adrian Newey in Indianapolis rejected suggestions that he wants to test his own Red Bull single seater in the near future.

"I would not be quick enough to be of any use," said the Briton, who is actually an avid amateur racing driver. "I have no illusions about that."
-
In the heat of the apparent 'civil war' between his drivers, McLaren boss Ron Dennis on Friday declared that he has "never had such disdain for the media".

Mercedes' Norbert Haug, however, took a different tack, suggesting that the tit-for-tat exchange between Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton shows that the duo are "pushing each other in a positive way"."I understand people are looking for controversial stories, but inside the team it's different. I honestly don't think that with bad feelings you could achieve our track record of the last couple of races," the German added.

Comment
06/16/07
alms
lmes

LeMans Hour 1: Audi 1-2-3
It took just 30 minutes for Audi to assume a 1-2-3 formation at Le Mans as the German manufacturer asserted itself in the early stages of the 75th 24 Hours of Le Mans. Rinaldo Capello held the point through the first hour before rain pelted the circuit at the 1:02 mark.

Audi appears out to keep diesel rival Peugeot off the podium with a strong opening performance. The entire field came in when the rain began to pour to change to intermediate and full wets. The heavy precipitation ended after only about five minutes so the track didn’t get too wet. Frank Biela said the No. 1 Audi he shares with Emanuele Pirro and Marco Werner, stayed on slick tires.

Once the caution period concluded, Tom Kristensen replaced Capello and held the lead with Pirro passing one of the Peugeots on the back of the course on the restart.

Read more & Comment...
06/16/07
lmes

Audi grabs early lead at LeMans
Polesitter Sebastien Bourdais made a slight error in the second corner chicane on a wet track and the Audi of Capello dove underneath to take the early lead at LeMans.  Bourdais went off course and slotted into 4th place but by the third lap had worked his way back up to 2nd.  Meanwhile the Capello Audi is pulling away to an early lead and the strategy appears to be this one Audi will play the hare in the hopes of breaking the two Peugeots.  It's currently Audi-Peugeot-Audi-Peugeot-Audi in the top 5.

Comment
06/16/07
f1

I'm not jealous, Button tells Hamilton
(GMM)  Honda will test an unofficial 'B' car in Jerez next week, ahead of its expected debut in the French grand prix.

The Japanese squad has had a dire start to the 2007 season and hopes the heavily revised RA107 is a significant step forward in order to rebuild for next year.

Jenson Button in Indianapolis confirmed his participation in the test, but expressed some disappointment that there will not be any competitive teams there to compare with.

But "we should know very quickly whether we've made a big enough difference," he said on Friday, adding that Super Aguri will run as well.

Button also denied that he is jealous of the success that rookie and countryman Lewis Hamilton is enjoying in 2007.

"I am not p-ssed off at him because he's winning," he insisted.

"Lewis is in a great car.  I am not.  There is no comparison."

1964 world champion John Surtees, meanwhile, warned Hamilton to remain more "focused" than Button is if he wants to continue his charge for the F1 title.

"Lewis is a lot more focused (than Button) on getting the job done," he told the Sun.

"Whether Jenson was advised badly or had bad people around him, I don't know.  But he is somewhat the architect of his own misfortune."

Comment
06/16/07
f1

Wurz grumbles about team's 'Friday' policy
(GMM)  Alex Wurz hinted on Friday that he is not happy with Williams' policy of using a test driver on most Fridays in 2007.

The Grove based team's racers alternate sitting out the morning session at races when GP2 driver Kazuki Nakajima, with close ties to engine partner Toyota, is available to drive.

At Indianapolis, it was Wurz's turn to skip the action, but his quest to set up the car in the afternoon then took another setback in the form of a gearbox oil leak.

When the normally steadfast team player was asked by broadcaster ORF what he thought of Williams' policy, Wurz answered: "You are asking the wrong person.

"If we did not have the (technical) problem then we would have had enough time to make some progress with the setup.

"But I have to say that I was not content with the setup that was handed over to me (by Kazuki)."

Comment
06/16/07
nascar

Widow settles lawsuit with Hendrick Motorsports
The widow of Tony Stewart pilot Scott Lathram, a passenger on the plane where 10 people died on a Hendrick Motorsports flight in October 2004 while heading to the race at Martinsville, Va., has settled a lawsuit against the race team. Tracy Lathram will get the biggest portion of the settlement proceeds, while her three children are also beneficiaries, according to the settlement motion in U.S. District Court in North Carolina. The settlement, which is confidential, still needs to be approved by the judge. Three widows had filed suits against the team, and this would be the second settlement. Linda Turner, whose husband, Jeff Turner, was the team general manager, also has settled. Dianne Dorton, widow of team engine builder Randy Dorton, still has her suit pending. SceneDaily.com

Comment
06/16/07
TV News

Weekend USA TV reminders UPDATE All Sunday TV listings now shown.

06/15/07
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
Friday
Formula 1 Practice United States Grand Prix Indianapolis
10:00am-11:30am (L) SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup Practice Michigan
11:30am-1:00pm (L) SPEED
Formula 1 Practice United States Grand Prix Indianapolis
1:00pm-3:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup Qualifying Michigan
3:00pm-5:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Busch Practice Kentucky
5:00pm-6:00pm (L) ESPN2
ARCA RE/MAX Michigan
5:00pm-7:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Now
6:00pm-6:30pm ESPN2
Trackside Michigan
7:00pm-8:00pm SPEED
Saturday
Inside Grand Prix -United States Grand Prix Indianapolis
12:30am-1:00am SPEED
NASCAR Now
1:00am-1:30am ESPN2
Survival of the Fastest Pocono
4:30am-5:00am (R) SPEED
Biography -Paul Newman
7:00am-8:00am (R) A&E
24 Hours of Le Mans Le Mans
7:30am-8:00am -Test Day
8:00am-8:30am -Pre-Qualifying
8:30am-11:00am (L) -Start
Continues at 5:30pm SPEED
Formula One Practice & Qualifying United States Grand Prix
11:00am-2:30pm (SDD/L) SPEED
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Michigan 200 Brooklyn, MI
2:30pm-5:30pm (L) Incl Preshow SPEED
NASCAR Busch Series Qualifying Kentucky
5:00pm-7:00pm (L) ESPN2
24 Hours of Le Mans Le Mans
5:30pm-7:00pm (L)
Continues at 8:00pm SPEED
24 Hours at Indy Indianapolis
7:00pm-8:00pm ESPN2
NASCAR Nextel Cup Final Practice Michigan
7:00pm-8:00pm (SDD) SPEED
NASCAR Busch Series Meijer 300 presented by Oreo Sparta, KY
8:00pm-11:00pm (L) Incl Preshow ESPN2
24 Hours of Le Mans Le Mans
8:00pm-12:00am (L) -Night Into Day SPEED
Sunday
24 Hours of Le Mans Day Racing
12:00am-6:00am (L) - SPEED
24 Hours of Le Mans Finish
6:00am-9:30am (L) SPEED
NASCAR Performance
9:30am-10:00am SPEED
Tradin' Paint Michigan
10:00am-10:30am SPEED
NASCAR Now
10:00am-11:00am ESPN2
NASCAR RaceDay Michigan
11:00am-1:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup Citizens Bank 400 Brooklyn, MI
12:30pm-5:30pm (L) Incl Preshows TNT
Formula 1 United States Grand Prix Indianapolis
1:00pm-3:00pm (L) FOX
Superbike World Championship San Marino
3:00pm-4:00pm (SDD) -Race 1
4:00pm-5:00pm (SDD) -Race 2 SPEED
AMA Motocross Southwick, MA Mechanicsville, MD
5:00pm-6:00pm (6/10/07)
Motocross 338
6:00pm-7:00pm (SDD)
Budds Creek Motocross Park SPEED
The SPEED Report
7:00pm-8:00pm SPEED
Fast Cars & Superstars: The Young Guns Celebrity Race NASCAR drivers teach
celebrities how to race stock cars, then the stars compete against each other
8:00pm-8:30pm ABC
* Check local listings for your time zone
NASCAR Victory Lane Michigan
8:00pm-9:00pm (SDD) SPEED
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain
Darrell Waltrip (NASCAR Analyst)
9:00pm-10:00pm (L) SPEED

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



Comment
06/16/07
alms
lmes

Guessing game begins at LeMans
It wasn’t long after the conclusion of Saturday morning’s 45-minute warm-up for the 24 Hours of Le Mans that the guessing game began and the entire paddock turned into weather forecasters. The last session before the 75th running of the endurance classic began with showers, saw the sun peek out and finished under grey skies.

American Le Mans Series drivers and teams were fully entrenched at and near the top of the standings. Sebastien Bourdais went quickest in one of the pole-sitting Peugeots but Audi sat second and third as the diesel showdown grew closer.

The first Audi R10 TDI of Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and Dindo Capello was the field’s fastest car, save the Peugeot, at 4:03.46. Marco Werner in the sister car took advantage of the drying track and turned in the best time for the third-place Audi with a 4:04.809.

A crystal ball would suit the grid with rain likely to fall off and on during the course of the race. That meant race strategies will not be full entrenched until shortly before the start at 3 p.m. local time.

Read more & Comment...
06/16/07
f1

USGP Notebook Friday
Golf superstar Tiger Woods is keen to see how Lewis Hamilton will perform in the United States Grand Prix on Sunday, June 17 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Woods is playing in the U.S. Open in Oakmont, Pa., this weekend.

"I'll be interested to see how Lewis Hamilton goes in our Grand Prix on Sunday," Woods told the English newspaper The Sun, "and I will catch up with it at some stage. But hopefully not live. I hope to be taking care of business myself then."

Woods, a motor racing fan, praised Hamilton for his stunning rookie season.

"I've been following his progress pretty closely, and I think it is great he won the Canadian Grand Prix after going close in all his previous races," Woods said. "Without a doubt, he is one of the most exciting talents to hit the sporting scene in recent years. Any time a rookie comes through and wins big, it is a story that captures the imagination.

"But it's not just his results. I've been impressed by the way he has handled himself off the racetrack, and I think he has the potential to be a terrific role model."

McLaren duo gets along just fine: Contrary to various reports, there is no friction between Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes teammates Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, a top Mercedes Benz official said.

"We have a situation right now where they speak their mind," said Norbert Haug, vice president of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, "but I have to really tell you it is not a problem at all inside the team. I think it is very, very balanced, and I cannot see any of these frictions. Of course, you have a positive competition between the drivers and between the teams, the left-hand and right-hand side of the garage.

"I understand that people are looking for controversial stories. But inside the team, it's different. If you look at our track records in the last couple of races, I honestly do not think that (if) we have the bad feelings inside the team you can achieve that. We must have positive and good feelings, and I think that's what we achieved."

Read more & Comment...
06/16/07
f1

USGP Friday combined practice results
Practice session Friday for the United States Grand Prix on the 2.605-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with car number in parenthesis, driver, chassis-engine and speed.

1. (1) Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes, 130.375 mph
2. (2) Lewis Hamilton, McLaren Mercedes, 129.683
3. (9) Nick Heidfeld, BMW, 129.535
4. (5) Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 129.457
5. (6) Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 129.186
6. (10) Sebastian Vettel, BMW, 128.686
7. (16) Nico Rosberg, Williams Toyota, 128.420
8. (14) David Coulthard, RBR Renault, 128.380
9. (4) Heikki Kovalainen, Renault, 128.261
10. (8) Rubens Barrichello, Honda, 128.202
11. (7) Jenson Button, Honda, 128.101
12. (15) Mark Webber, RBR Renault, 127.994 
13. (18) Vitantonio Liuzzi, STR Ferrari, 127.873
14. (23) Anthony Davidson, SA Honda, 127.818
15. (3) Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault, 127.765
16. (17) Alex Wurz, Williams Toyota, 127.513
17. (12) Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 127.249
18. (19) Scott Speed, STR Ferrari, 127.214 
19. (22) Takuma Sato, SA Honda, 127.144
20. (11) Ralf Schumacher, Toyota, 127.123
21. (38) Kazuki Nakajima, Williams Toyota, 127.087
22. (21) Christijan Albers, Spyker Ferrari, 126.335
23. (20) Adrian Sutil, Spyker Ferrari, 125.847

Comment
06/16/07
arca

Darnell wins ARCA Michigan race
Roush Racing driver Erik Darnell will carry momentum into the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race Saturday at Michigan International Speedway as he won the ARCA Re/Max 200 Friday afternoon at the track.  The Roush Fenway Racing driver led 58 of the 100 laps and won by more than two seconds over Penske Racing's Sam Hornish Jr., who won the pole for the event.  Evernham Motorsports' Erin Crocker was third, with Richard Childress Racing's Tim McCreadie fourth.

Comment
06/16/07
nascar

Alfac signs with Roush
With a successful acting career in television commercials and even movies, the Aflac Duck has added yet another role to its already impressive repertoire - race-car driving. Aflac Incorporated announced that it is partnering with Roush Fenway Racing to sponsor eight Nextel Cup and Busch Series races in the 2007 season. Greg Biffle will drive the #16 Aflac Ford for its debut at the Nextel Cup race on July 1 at New Hampshire International Speedway for a total of four races. Aflac is also sponsoring four Busch Series races with drivers Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray. "We look forward to working with a world-class team like Roush Fenway Racing to bring the Aflac brand closer to NASCAR fans," said Paul S. Amos II, president, Aflac; COO, U.S. Operations. "In addition to uniting with another great brand and working with these exciting drivers, this sponsorship will be a useful platform to build additional awareness of how our products can help consumers in their quest to balance everyday living expenses with out-of-pocket health care costs not covered by their existing major medical insurance." The paint scheme was unveiled today at Michigan International Speedway and can be viewed at aflacracing.com. The Aflac Racing schedule below is also available on the Web site.
Greg Biffle - #16 Aflac Ford, Nextel Cup Series:
* July 1, New Hampshire International Speedway
* July 15, Chicagoland Speedway
* Sept. 2, California Speedway
* Sept. 30, Kansas Speedway
Carl Edwards - #60 Aflac Ford, Busch Series, July 6 at Daytona
Matt Kenseth - #17 Aflac Ford, Busch Series, Aug. 11, Watkins Glen
Jamie McMurray - #26 Aflac Ford, Busch Series, Aug. 24 at Bristol and Sept. 7 at Richmond
To find out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com. Roush Fenway Racing PR

Comment
06/16/07
cc

Champ Car adds fresh start to Cleveland GP
In past years, one could not stand still for the start of the annual Grand Prix of Cleveland. This year, the drivers will have to.

For the first time in its 26-year history, the GPC will begin from a standing start, which Champ Car officials say should enhance, not detract, from the annual dash into the signature hairpin first turn of the race at Burke Lakefront Airport the weekend of June 22-24.

"No matter what kind of start, Cleveland offers the excitement of what I call the 'Turn One Vortex,' " said Tony Cotman, Champ Car's vice president of operations. "That's Cleveland, no matter what we do.

“I like standing starts for a couple of reasons. One, I think it’s far more adrenaline for the fans and for the drivers. And, on a standing start, you never know who is going to get off the line better than anyone else. You could be starting five, and in position one by the first turn if you got yourself a good start.”

Initially, there was uneasy feelings from the drivers about a standing start.

Read more & Comment...
06/16/07
f1

Albers splits with manager
(GMM)  Christijan Albers has split with his management team.

The move follows differences with the Spyker driver's manager Lodewijk Varossieau, according to the Dutch magazine Formule 1 Race Report.

Dutchman Albers entered formula one with Minardi in 2005, but the 28-year-old has been managed by Varossieau's company GR8 Industries for the past nearly seven years.

"We are incredibly proud of everything that we have achieved with Christijan," Varossieau said, "both sporting and commercial.

"We have gotten the maximum out of the relation, and hopefully new management can help him with the next and perhaps most important step in his career.

"We hope that he will score the first points for Spyker and then get the chance to drive to the podium next year.

"But already, regarding sponsorship and merchandising, he is the most successful Dutch driver ever."

Comment
06/16/07
f1

USGP Practice 2: Alonso again fastest
Two-time defending Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso led practice June 15 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as teams began preparations for United States Grand Prix qualifying and race.

Alonso, driving the No. 1 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes lapped the 13-turn, 2.605-mile road circuit in 1 minute, 11.925 seconds, 130.375 mph during the morning session.

Air and track temperatures soared to 90 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively, by the start of the second practice session in the afternoon. The fastest lap of that session was 1:12.156, 129.957 by Alonso, who has finished the USGP only once in his five previous attempts, earning a fifth-place finish in 2006.

"It has been a very difficult race in the past for me here," Alonso said. "I never been competitive at Indianapolis, the car, the luck, whatever, myself, so today to be P1 is a little bit of surprise for me. I never was in the top at Indianapolis so I enjoyed a lot today. And if I can finish on the podium Sunday, it will be a fantastic surprise."

Read more & Comment...
06/16/07
f1

Webber breaks down, again
(GMM)  Mark Webber in Indianapolis suffered a mechanical breakdown in his Red Bull on Friday afternoon, after he declared that the Austrian squad must up its game in 2007.

"To finish every race and score no points is one thing, but no one is interested in the shopping list of excuses," the Australian, who has yet to score a single point so far this year, is quoted as saying by the Edmonton Sun.

He did admit, however, that his RB3 has shown signs of improving in terms of reliability in recent races.

In Canada, for example, he finished just out of the points in ninth, but his teammate David Coulthard exited with what is becoming a trademark gearbox failure for the team based in Milton Keynes (UK).

Webber said: "When we're on the track we're going pretty well, but we're not always able to run for as long as we'd like."

In the similar STR2 single seater, Toro Rosso's Scott Speed also struck mechanical trouble at Indianapolis as the second 90-minute session of the day played out in hot conditions.

Comment
06/16/07
Formula BMW

Formula BMW USA Race #1 qualifying results
Qualification session results Friday for the Formula BMW USA race #1 on the 2.605-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with car number in parenthesis, driver, team and speed.

1. (7) Esteban Gutierrez, Autotecnica, 95.291 mph
2. (10) Maxime Pelletier, HBR Motorsport Team USA, 94.850
3. (70) Daniel Morad, Eurointernational, 94.701
4. (34) Ricardo Favoretto, HBR Motorsport Team USA, 94.680
5. (16) Alexander Rossi, Hearn Motorsports, 94.655
6. (14) Philip Major, Autotecnica, 94.613
7. (50) Adrien Tambay, Eurointernational, 94.594
8. (19) Jordan Dick, JD Racing, 94.548
9. (90) Steven Guerrero, HBR Motorsport Team USA, 94.406
10. (5) Sebastian Saavedra, Eurointernational, 94.308
11. (8) Robert Thorne, Team Apex Racing USA, 94.251
12. (13) Jeffrey Petriello, Team KMA Racing, 94.226
13. (31) Tim Hollowell, TADD Motorsports, 94.156
14. (4) Yannick Hofman, Eurointernational, 94.041
15. (53) Mike Hill, Team KMA Racing, 93.880
16. (12) Eric Morrow, Hearn Motorsports, 93.813
17. (55) Julia Landauer, Team KMA Racing, 93.398
18. (27) Lindsey Adams, Team Apex Racing USA, 92.364

Comment
06/16/07
lmes
alms

ACO mandates closed-top LMP1 cars by 2010
The Automobile Club de l'Ouest, the organizing body of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, introduced future regulations Thursday that will transform the LMP1 class from 2010 onward. The ACO will mandate starting in 2010 that cars in the top prototype class move to closed-top designs that will enable manufacturers to build prototypes that more closely mirror their showroom cars.

The move harkens back to the days of historic closed-top prototypes from Porsche, Jaguar, Ford and countless others that captured the imaginations of sports car fans around the world. The new regulations will go into effect beginning in 2010 and keep existing P1 cars (both open- and closed-top) eligible up to 2011. The prototype evolution also calls for wider windscreens than the current rules and a specified front that features a manufacturer badge and brand.

The ACO considers LMP1 to be a dream class of cars and hopes creating cars that represent a particular manufacturer will aid spectators in recognizing one marque from another and allow a greater marketing platform for the manufacturers through the world's greatest auto race.

Read more & Comment...
06/16/07
f1

Sutil beaches Spyker at Indy
(GMM)  Adrian Sutil risked putting his Spyker bosses in even more of a spin on Friday by beaching his car in the gravel.

The German youngster had to abandon Spyker's F8-VII single seater after a spin in Indianapolis' penultimate corner, mere hours after team officials Colin Kolles and Mike Gascoyne warned both he and teammate Christijan Albers to cut out the silly mistakes.

Sutil had earlier left the Indianapolis circuit at turn 8, losing time.

"If you can't take some constructive criticism then there is no place in any team for you," team principal Kolles said.

Ralf Schumacher is also under pressure to retain his seat, and had an off-track moment during the first practice session for the 2007 US grand prix.

McLaren's Fernando Alonso dominated the top of the time sheets, but BMW-Sauber's runners - including stand-in debutant Sebastian Vettel - also impressed after clocking the second and fourth best times.

Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa were fifth and seventh in their Ferraris, while Renault's duo conspicuously lagged the pace; Heikki Kovalainen managing to better only Anthony Davidson and the two slowest Spykers.

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06/16/07
f1

Champ Car and F1 TV ratings UPDATE The final TV rating for the Champ Car race in Portland was a 0.6/2 share, the final rating for the F1 race from Montreal was a 1.0/3 share and the final rating for the MotoGP race from Barcelona was a0.6/2 share.

06/11/07 The overnight TV rating for the Canada F1 race on FOX from Montreal was a 1.1/3 share. The overnight rating for the Mazda Champ Car GP of Portland on ABC was a 0.7/2 share, up 16% from last year's overnight of 0.6/1 share on CBS.

The overnight rating of the MotoGP Grand Prix of Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain) was a 0.6/2 share.

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06/16/07
f1

Schu and Kimi make Forbes list
(GMM)  He has retired from formula one driving, and has not yet even been spotted at the scene of Sunday's US grand prix, but Michael Schumacher is still one of the world's most powerful celebrities.

Forbes magazine published its annual 'Celebrity 100 Power List' on Thursday, on which Ferrari's 38-year-old Schumacher - now only an 'advisor' to the Maranello based team - ranked twenty fourth among mostly American icons including Oprah Winfrey and Tiger Woods.

Income is a primary factor in Forbes' ranking system, but other factors including influence, internet hits and television and magazine cover are also taken into consideration.

Interestingly, Schumacher's driving replacement this year, Kimi Raikkonen, ranked 41st.

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