>


Advertisement
Hot News
for your iPhone
for your iPad
Go to our forums to discuss this news
DATE News (chronologically)
06/24/05
cc
FirsTier named Official Bank of Denver GP FirsTier named Official Bank of Denver GPThe CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver presented by PacifiCare announced today that FirsTier Bank has been named as the Official Bank for the 2005 event. FirsTier joins a growing list of partners including PacifiCare, Coors Light and Bridgestone that will participate in the fourth annual event from August 12 - August 14, 2005.

"We are happy to welcome FirsTier Bank as a partner for this year's Grand Prix," said Jim Freudenberg, general manager of the Grand Prix. "What makes the Grand Prix special for Denver is through partnerships with locally-owned businesses, such as FirsTier, we are able to integrate the Grand Prix into the community."

FirsTier Bank is an independent locally-owned community bank based in Louisville, Colorado. As the Official Bank of the 2005 CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver presented by PacifiCare, FirsTier will be active during the event weekend promoting their banking services by displaying prominent signage throughout the race circuit and will also be making a major contribution to YouthBiz, a Grand Prix Foundation charity, prior to the SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT race.

"We're very proud to be a sponsor of the 2005 CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver, and join an outstanding group of companies working in partnership to bring this event to Colorado's growing population of race fans," said Tim Wiens, Chairman of FirsTier Bank and owner/driver of the Denver-based SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT series race team 3R Racing, which will also compete at the Grand Prix. "The event is continuing to grow in stature and popularity, and it gives our bank the chance to reach out to more people and join in the excitement of the weekend."

06/24/05
Industry News
Over six hundred Ferraris on four circuits Over six hundred Ferraris on four circuitsOver 600 Ferrari cars, both competition and road-going will be in action at four different circuits in Europe and North America over this weekend.

Highlight of this red weekend is the Ferrari Days event at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) where around 400 Granturismo cars owned by customers of the marque will provide the backdrop to demonstration runs by the single-seaters prepared by Maranello’s F1 Clienti department. The Ardennes circuit also hosts races for the European series of the Ferrari Challenge Pirelli Trophy, for the 360 Modena cars, as well as the Shell Ferrari Maserati Historic Challenge for historic cars.

The North American editions of both these series will take place at Canada’s Mont Tremblant circuit.

Other Formula 1 cars from the past, including the relatively recent F2003-GA, driven by Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro’s official test driver, Marc Gene and current road cars – 612 Scaglietti, F430 and Superamerica – will be in action at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England.

Rounding off this weekend of hectic international activity for Ferrari, Brno (Czech Republic) plays host to the fifth round of the FIA GT championship, which features entries for the 575 GTC, the 550 Maranello and the 360 GTC. Ferrari

06/24/05
Industry News
USA TV Reminders for Saturday USA TV Reminders for Saturday 
A.  NASCAR Live!  Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, CA
           12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m. ET, Live, SPEED
B.  TOYOTA ATLANTIC
            Portland, Race 1, 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
            Portland, Race 2, 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
C.  FORMULA 1
            Lifestyles of the Fast and Famous
            3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. ET, CBS
D.  NASCAR Nextel Cup, Happy Hour
            Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, CA
            7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. ET, Live, FX
E.  IRL SunTrust Indy Challenge Race, Richmond, VA
            7:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m. ET, Live, ESPN2
 
See TVRacer.com and Race Fan TV links on the Home Page for a complete list of Saturday's TV programs.
06/24/05
irl
Carpentier 4th fastest Carpentier 4th fastestIn a dramatic turn of events, Canadian driver Patrick Carpentier qualified his Red Bull Dallara-Toyota for fourth place on Friday at the Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Carpentier drove around the three-quarter-mile D-shaped oval track in 15.5372 seconds, only two tenths of a second off the pace set by Sam Hornish Jr. of Team Penske.

Hornish Jr. will share the front row with his teammate, Helio Castroneves. As for Carpentier, he will start Round 7 of the Indy Racing League on the outside of row two next to rookie Ryan Briscoe of Sydney, Australia. The top four cars on the grid are all powered by Toyota, which is a first this season. Last week, Toyota invited all of its teams for a test day at the Richmond track. Although no times were released by the engine manufacturer, Red Bull Cheever Racing's engineers, working with their Mecachrome counterparts, were able to work on the suspension package to improve the car's balance. It paid off today.

''Our testing session last week went really well, and I learned a trick or two about this track,'' said an overjoyed Carpentier whose only Richmond experience prior to last week was in a rental car during a cancelled test day earlier in the month. ''Toyota's test session proved beneficial as they worked closely with us to improve the engine. This result is quite a relief for the whole team. After all we went through since the start of the year, I never expected that this would happen. This is the shortest track on the schedule, and the race should be exciting. I know we have a chance, if not to win, to at least have a podium finish.''

Last week, Carpentier signed a personal sponsorship deal with Komatsu Federal Equipment, a heavy machinery manufacturer. Following the Texas race on June 11, the Canadian driver spent some time in Quebec to work on sponsorship deals and other related business.
06/24/05
ta
Graf leads Rocketsports sweep Graf leads Rocketsports sweepGerman rookie Klaus Graf won his second consecutive Trans-Am pole Friday, leading a Rocketsports Racing sweep of the top three qualifying positions for tomorrow's Trans-Am on the Tarmac at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland. Graf, driving the No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR, turned in a 1:14.343-minute time (101.981 miles per hour) to win the pole.

Graf's teammates Paul Gentilozzi (No. 1 Jaguar R Performance XKR) and Tomy Drissi (No. 5 Fantastic Four – The Movie Jaguar) were second and third fastest, respectively. Joey Scarallo (No. 06 Group A Wheels/Autotrend/Toyo Tires Chevrolet Corvette) and Max Lagod (No. 83 Hypermax Chevrolet Corvette) completed the top five.

Graf will start fifth Saturday due to Trans-Am's Fast Five® Qualifying format, which inverts the top five in each Trans-Am race, while Lagod will roll off first.

"This place looks easy, but it's really tricky," said Graf, who earns three bonus points for the pole. "You can do a lot of things with the car, on the different racing surfaces. Where you position your car on the track is the key. I was happy to be able to use Paul (Gentilozzi's) experience here. "It's great to win the second pole position in a row. I'm sure it will be a great show tomorrow."

Gentilozzi, who will start fourth tomorrow, recovered from a crash during final practice earlier today to lay down the runner-up effort. Gentilozzi will make his 200th start tomorrow, and, if he wins, he will take sole possession of the all-time Trans-Am win record. He's currently tied with Mark Donohue with 29 career wins.
06/24/05
USAC
Bob Shannon dies Bob Shannon diesBob Shannon, a long time Midget owner, passed away today after a lengthy illness. Funeral arrangements are pending.
06/24/05
atlantic
Kasemets continues domination Kasemets continues dominationWhen you’re hot, you’re hot and no driver is hotter in the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama these days than series point leader Tonis Kasemets (#6 Flexovit Abrasives/MK Ind./TMI/Redline Oil). The heat continued Friday for the racer from Estonia, literally, as Kasemets claimed the pole for Saturday’s first of two series races this weekend – the BOSPoker.com Toyota Atlantic Grand Prix of Cleveland (tape-delayed broadcast on SPEED Channel - Saturday, July 9 beginning at 2 p.m. ET)

After earning his first Atlantic pole and sweeping both ends of a doubleheader for his first series victories last weekend in Portland, Kasemets continued his momentum, turning the fastest time amid the 90-degree heat and humidity at Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport. The 31-year-old racer posted a time of 1:07.932 (111.606 mph) on his 12th lap during the 30-minute qualifying. Kasemets actually ventured off course between Turns 4 and 5 late in the session, but was able to gather his car and get back on track on his 19th and final lap of qualifying with the pole safely secured.

The top three drivers in the Atlantic championship standings entering this weekend’s double play at Cleveland finished in the same order in qualifying Friday. Charles Zwolsman (#11 Condor Motorsports) of the Netherlands, who sits second in the points, wound up with the second-fastest lap of the day at 1:08.325 (110.964 mph). Zwolsman battled tooth and nail with Canadian Antoine Bessette (#3 Unik Auto Design) in the final few minutes of qualifying as each driver tried desperately to top the mark established by Kasemets. Bessette, ranked third in the championship rundown, posted the third-quickest time of 1:08.381 (110.873 mph).

Germany’s Andreas Wirth (#8 Wurges Windows and Doors) continued his recent roll as well on Friday. The native of Heidelberg, Germany earned a fourth-place qualifying result, extending his streak of top-four starts for all five events this season. Wirth was clocked with a top lap of 1:09.014 (109.856 mph).

Katherine Legge (#12 PKV Racing) had her best qualifying effort of the season at her team’s home race. The 24-year-old, who competes for Chardon, Ohio’s Polestar Racing Group, wound up fifth on the qualifying charts with a time of 1:09.130 (109.672 mph). Legge, who won the season-opening race at Long Beach and is currently fourth in points, topped her previous best qualifying spot of seventh with today’s effort.

Tying his best Atlantic career qualifying result, Al Unser III (#10 BOSPoker.net/PKV Racing) recorded a time of 1:09.544 (109.019 mph) for the sixth-fastest mark of the day. David Martinez (#7 Roshfrans/Aviacsa/RocaAcero/Multigama/Martiga) will start Saturday’s race from seventh position after he checked in at 1:09.938 (108.405 mph). Making his series debut this weekend, promising young racer Leonardo Maia (#2 Konica Minolta) qualified eighth when he turned a quick lap of 1:10.038 (108.250 mph).

The first Atlantic race of the weekend here at Cleveland will take the green flag at 12:45 p.m. ET Saturday. Prior to the 32 lap (67.392 miles) race, the Atlantic cars will qualify for the second race of the weekend. Qualifying is set to get underway at 8:15 a.m. Saturday. Follow all of the action of this weekend’s races live through the Timing link on the series’ official web site www.toyotaatlantic.com. Both races can also be seen on tape delay on SPEED Channel on Saturday, July 9 beginning at 2 p.m. ET.

Notes:

  • Kasemets claimed the $1,000 Toyota pole award for leading today’s round of qualifying. He also earned a championship point for winning the pole and he extended his lead in the series standings, now with 110 points on the year.
  • The top three qualifiers all extended streaks with their results today. Kasemets has now qualified fourth or better in four consecutive events. Zwolsman extended his streak of qualifying third or better to four consecutive races, while Bessette has qualified among the top five in all five series events this season.
  • Saturday’s Atlantic race will start with all cars mandated to stay to the left of the center yellow line entering Turn 1. All cars must make the right-hand turn by maneuvering around a plastic barrel in the turn, which will be removed after all cars complete the turn. The start instructions will expand the radius of the first turn and prevent any dangerous moves by competitors at the outset of the race.

POS NO NAME TIME BEST SPEED BEHIND LEADER BEHIND PRIOR
 1 6 Tonis Kasemets 1:07.932 111.606 0.000 0.000
 2 11 Charles Zwolsman (R) 1:08.432 110.790 0.500 0.500
 3 3 Antoine Bessette (R) 1:08.690 110.374 0.758 0.258
 4 12 Katherine Legge (R) 1:09.130 109.672 1.198 0.440
 5 8 Andreas Wirth (R) 1:09.284 109.428 1.352 0.154
 6 10 Al Unser III 1:09.544 109.019 1.612 0.260
 7 7 David Martinez (R) 1:09.938 108.405 2.006 0.394
 8 2 Leonardo Maia (R) 1:10.111 108.137 2.179 0.173
 9 16 Chris Dyson (R) 1:11.157 106.547 3.225 1.046
 10 49 Dan Selznick 1:11.955 105.366 4.023 0.798
 11 15 Justin Sofio (R) 1:12.966 103.906 5.034 1.011
 12 9 Dan Cobb (R) 1:12.968 103.903 5.036 0.002
 13 63 Daryl Leiski (R) 1:14.510 101.753 6.578 1.542
 14 18 Bob Siska 1:14.902 101.220 6.970 0.392
 15 66 Rich Zober (R) 1:15.448 100.488 7.516 0.546
 16 23 Tom Nastasi (R) No Time --- --- ---
 17 56 Chris Souliotis (R) No Time --- --- ---

06/24/05
f1
Silverstone a sellout Silverstone a sellout100,000 Sell-out crowd for British Grand Prix
Silverstone announced today that the 2005 British Grand Prix, which takes place Friday 8th to Sunday 10th July, is a sell-out, with Sunday’s race scheduled to take place in front of a capacity crowd of 100,000. The event is sold out for the second year running and justifies the hard work and effort that went into securing the future of the event at Silverstone for at least the next five years.

The support for this year’s British Grand Prix has been exceptional with demand for tickets matching that of 2004. Silverstone’s pricing structure, the popularity of the Early Booking Offer – offering all three days at the British Grand Prix for the price of a raceday ticket – and one of the most exciting F1 seasons for several years, have all been instrumental in this sell out.

While general admission tickets are no longer being sold, fans can still purchase hospitality packages for either the weekend or individual days. A limited number of places are available on each of the three days, however, hospitality for race day is close to selling out. The only packages remaining on the Sunday of the British Grand Prix are for either Vale or a private Paddock Suite.
 
So the message from Silverstone is clear: if you haven’t already booked your ticket, please don’t arrive expecting to purchase one on the gate. “We are delighted that F1 fans have once again shown such overwhelming support for the British Grand Prix," stated Richard Phillips, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuits Ltd.

"A sell out crowd is exactly what Silverstone, Formula One and, more importantly, the fans deserve. Silverstone is one of the best racing circuits in the world and is renowned for producing one of the most exciting races of the season. The drivers and teams always enjoy coming to Silverstone. It’s a special event and we’re thoroughly looking forward to another fantastic race weekend at the Home of British Motor Racing.”

The success of last year’s British Grand Prix has also helped ticket sales in 2005. Phillips added: “Last year’s event ran smoothly from start to finish - we even received a compliment from Mr. Ecclestone! The new one-way traffic system worked extremely well, enabling the 195,000 fans who attended over the three days to get in and out of Silverstone with very few delays. The same traffic system will be implemented for this year’s event."

“The Grand Prix Party will also take place again this year, kicking off the post-race celebrations in the centre of the circuit. 15,000 fans stayed behind after the final race in 2004 and we’re expecting a similar crowd to continue the festivities in 2005.”

Phillips concluded: “The sell-out crowd endorses both the popularity of the British Grand Prix and the ongoing improvements that are being made to the facilities and infrastructure of Silverstone. Silverstone is the home of the British Grand Prix and we are extremely proud to host one of the biggest sporting events on the UK sporting calendar.” Silverstone Circuits

06/24/05
irl
8 drivers under Richmond record 8 drivers under Richmond recordIn the initial practice sessions for the SunTrust Indy Challenge, eight drivers unofficially bettered Helio Castroneves’ record of 15.7708 second (171.202 mph) set last year in qualifying for the SunTrust Indy Challenge. Castroneves was one of the leaders in the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone with a quick lap of 15.5965 seconds (173.116 mph) on the 0.75-mile Richmond International Raceway. Teammate Sam Hornish Jr. topped the speed charts with quick laps of 15.4847 (174.366 mph) in the morning and 15.4597 (174.648 mph) in the No. 6 entry.

For his first time on the D-shaped oval, Tomas Enge quickly got in the right groove. Enge, driving the No. 2 RockStar Panther Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, topped the speed chart of the morning first group (15.6123 seconds; 172.941 mph) and was third overall. Another IndyCar Series rookie, Ryan Briscoe, was fourth (15.6251 seconds; 172.799) in the No. 33 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz/Toyota/Firestone. In the afternoon session, Enge was quicker (15.5989; 173.089).

Marlboro Pole Qualifying is at 4:30 p.m. EDT; live broadcast on indycar.com. The fifth SunTrust Indy Challenge takes the green flag at 7:45 p.m. EDT (ESPN2) on June 25.

06/24/05
ta
Graf goes fastest in practice 2 Graf goes fastest in practice 2Klaus Graf carried forward the Rocketsports Racing domination of the Cleveland speed charts by setting the fastest time in second-round practice Friday for tomorrow’s Trans-Am on the Tarmac race at Burke Lakefront Airport. Graf, from Dornhan, Germany, lapped the 2.106-mile airport circuit in one minute, 15.040 seconds (100.051 miles per hour) in his No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR).

“I’ve been to other airport circuits and it’s hard to find your line in the beginning because there are no reference points,” said Graf. “Cleveland is a fun place to be. It’s by the lake; the scenery and the atmosphere are beautiful, and the weather is fantastic too. I really enjoyed my first couple of laps here, we have some work to do on the car, but I’m sure we’ll get better and better as the weekend progresses. We’ll have a good car for qualifying this evening.”

Graf led a Rocketsports sweep second-round practice as Tomy Drissi was second fastest in the No. 5 Fantastic Four – the Movie Jaguar XKR. Paul Gentilozzi (No. 1 Jaguar R Performance XKR) was third fastest, but his session ended early when he made minor contact with the tire wall in turn eight, causing the session to be stopped. Joey Scarallo was fourth quick in the No. 06 Group A Wheels/Autotrend/Toyo Tires Chevrolet Corvette).

Amy Ruman, who is substituting for her father, Bob, this weekend in the No. 23 McNichols/Cenweld Chevrolet Corvette, was fifth fastest in just her second session of Trans-Am competition.

06/24/05
German DTM
Audis fast in testing Audis fast in testingLast Sunday, the Audi R8 triumphed for the fifth time in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Now, the Audi A4 DTM is hitting the headlines again: in extremely humid summer weather, the Audi drivers set the pace in both DTM tests at Oschersleben on Friday. In the first test in the morning, Martin Tomczyk was the quickest. In the afternoon, his team-mate from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Mattias Ekström, clocked the fastest time of the day. Tom Kristensen finished each of the sessions in second place. After his record win in Le Mans, the Dane has a particularly large crowd of fans surrounding him this weekend.
 
Like last year, the 2004-spec Audi A4 DTM cars, too, ‘feel very comfortable’ at the Motopark Oschersleben circuit, where they clinched a 1-2 victory in 2004. In the morning, Christian Abt clocked the third-best time. In the second session, Abt, at the wheel of the A4 DTM entered by Audi Sport Team Joest, was leading the field for a long time before losing a lot of time in the pits due to a leakage problem.
 
On Friday, the quickest 15 cars came within one second of each other. Because overtaking on the 3.667-kilometre circuit at Oschersleben near Magdeburg is considered extremely difficult, qualifying is particularly important. ARD will broadcast the fight for the best grid positions live on Saturday, starting at 2 p.m. (local time).
06/24/05
ta
Trans-Am gets its woman too Trans-Am gets its woman tooKent, Ohio native Amy Ruman will drive the No. 23 NcNichols/Cenweld Chevrolet Corvette in this weekend’s Trans-Am on the Tarmac, Round 3 of the 2005 Trans-Am Series title chase and part of the Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank weekend. Ruman will substitute for her father and longtime Trans-Am competitor Bob Ruman in this weekend’s race, while he recovers from a muscle strain.

Amy Ruman, who has raced in SCCA GT-1 competition since 2002, will compete in Trans-Am’s GT-1 Driver Development Program here. In five years of SCCA Club Racing competition Ruman has won four GT-1 National events, including three straight this year, at BeaveRun, Mid-Ohio and Nelson Ledges, and leads the points in her division.

“It’s definitely going to be exciting to make my Trans-Am debut here in Cleveland,” said Ruman, whose sister Niki and mother Barb are also both accomplished SCCA racers. “I’m looking forward to this because it’s my hometown race. It’s just a thrill to be racing in my own backyard.

“Trans-Am racing is definitely the direction I’ve been heading,” added Ruman, who has also competed twice in the SCCA Runoffs at Mid-Ohio with a best finish of fifth in 2003. “My dad’s injury last week really sped up the process and here I am. I’ve been running GT-1 the last couple of the years, trying to get some experience so I could get to this point.”

06/24/05
Industry News
TV ratings explained TV ratings explainedA reader asks, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I have a question. Why is it that ALMOST every time FINAL ratings come out, Champ Car's is always down from its overnight rating, while NASCAR'S is ALMOST always up? Is there something fishy going on here or is my mind just playing tricks on me? We hear about so many different things that NASCAR and the IRL do to hinder Champ Car's success, could they somehow be pulling this one off too? Stranger things have happened! Deke McTeer, Twin Lake, MI  Dear Deke, The answer is quite simple.  The overnight TV ratings only measure the major markets, whereas the final ratings take into the smaller markets as well.  NASCAR has a strong grassroots following, and that shows up positively when the smaller markets are counted.  The rest of the racing series in the USA have little to no grassroots following hence their final ratings are always lower than their overnights. Mark C.
06/24/05
cc
Cytomax to sponsor Hunter-Reay in Cleveland Cytomax to sponsor Hunter-Reay in ClevelandUPDATE Added photo of Hunter-Reay's car with his new sponsor logos. 06/23/05 Expanding its presence in motorsports, Cytomax Sport Drink will sponsor the Rocketsports Racing entry driven by Ryan Hunter-Reay in the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank this weekend, June 24-26. Round 5 of the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford staged at the temporary Burke Lakefront Airport circuit will mark the brand’s first involvement with both the team and the Series with the #31 Cytomax Sport Drink/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone.

Cytomax Sport Drink also sponsors the #6 Jaguar XKR driven by 1978 Trans-Am Drivers’ Champion Greg Pickett in the legendary Trans-Am Series, which is part of the Champ Car race weekend at Cleveland. Additionally, the brand has been the title sponsor of several Trans-Am races, most recently the Cytomax Challenge, the Series season opener during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend in April. Cytomax also maintains a personal services relationship with two-time Trans-Am Drivers’ Champion and IRL hotshoe Scott Sharp, who qualified third and finished seventh in this year’s Indy 500.

“We’re pleased to work with Paul (Gentilozzi) and Rocketsports this weekend,” said Pickett, who is the majority owner of ChampBev, Inc., the Ready to Drink division of Cytomax. “We’re always looking to explore new opportunities and options and this one made good sense.”

“Cytomax fully understands the importance of sports marketing and will be the official sports beverage of choice at more than 100 sports events nationally this year,” explained Chris Running, CEO of ChampBev, Inc. “The brand has proven itself in the performance sports category and we anticipate similar success in the mainstream consumer market.  Our motorsports participation will help us achieve that goal.

The Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank takes the green flag on Sunday, June 26 at 2 p.m. EDT. The race will be broadcast live on CBS with pre-race coverage beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT.

06/24/05
nascar
cc
TV ratings suffer on Father’s Day TV ratings suffer on Father’s DayUPDATE The final rating for the Champ Car race in Portland was a dismal 0.4/1 share on CBS.  Final Nielsen Media Research numbers show Fox's broadcast of last Sunday's DHL 400 at Michigan International Speedway drew a 4.5 rating and 13 share, down 16.7% from 2003's 5.4/16.  The final rating of the NASCAR Busch Series race was a 1.3/3 share on FX. 06/20/05 TV ratings for both NASCAR and Champ Car took a hit on Father's Day, with most Father's spending time with their families.  NASCAR only got a 4.0/10 share overnight rating on FOX for its Michigan race, which is down from the 5+ ratings in other weeks.  Champ Car came in with an overnight of just 0.6/1 share on CBS for its telecast from Portland.  Both were head-to-head with each other as well as the US Open Golf Tournament on NBC.
06/24/05
ta
Gentilozzi tops Cleveland practice Gentilozzi tops Cleveland practicePaul Gentilozzi took one more step toward history Friday, setting the fastest time in first-round practice for tomorrow’s Trans-Am on the Tarmac, part of the Cleveland Grand Prix presented by U.S. Bank weekend, at Burke Lakefront Airport. Gentilozzi (No. 1 Jaguar R Performance XKR) recorded a 1:15.647-minute lap (100.223 miles per hour) around the 2.106-mile temporary airport circuit. Points leader Randy Ruhlman set the second fastest time (1:15.763) in the No. 49 Preformed Line Products Chevrolet Corvette before hitting the wall in turn nine late in the session. Ruhlman, from Cleveland Heights, Ohio, was unhurt, though the incident cut short the 30-minute session.

Last week’s race winner Klaus Graf was third quick in the No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR, ahead of Joey Scarallo (No. 06 Group A Wheels/Autotrend/Toyo Tires Chevrolet Corvette) and GT-1 competitor Paul Fix (No. 77 StopFlex Ford Mustang).

Second-round practice is scheduled for this afternoon, at 2:15 p.m., followed by qualifying at 5:30 p.m. The Trans-Am on the Tarmac, Round 3 of the 2005 Trans-Am Championship, is scheduled for Saturday, June 25 at 3:30 p.m. EDT. Saturday’s race will air on a tape-delayed basis, Sunday, July 3 at 3 p.m. EDT on SPEED Channel

06/24/05
cc
Tracy tops practice 1 Tracy tops practice 1Paul Tracy turned the fastest lap of 59.3 seconds in Practice 1 of the Champ Car Cleveland GP. Cristiano da Matta, last week's winner in Portland was 2nd fast at 59.6 second and Sebastien Bourdais was 3rd at 59.7 seconds. Last year's pole was a 58.4 sec., but the track will get faster as it gets rubbered in.  Qualifying starts at 3:00 PM ET.

A frustrated rookie Ricardo Sperafico sat out most of the session with no brakes.  He said to AutoRacing1.com, "I'm one guy that needs to learn this track and get laps in and here I sit."  He did eventually get out but ended up slowest.

Pos Driver # Lap Time Mph Behind Leader Behind Previous
1 P. Tracy 3 59.371 127.699   
2 C. da Matta 21 59.670 127.059 0.299 
3 S. Bourdais 1 59.768 126.850 0.397 0.098
4 O. Servia 2 1:00.100 126.150 0.729 0.332
5 M. Dominguez 7 1:00.167 126.009 0.796 0.067
6 J. Vasser 12 1:00.297 125.738 0.926 0.130
7 J. Wilson 9 1:00.912 124.468 1.541 0.615
8 A. Allmendinger 10 1:00.926 124.439 1.555 0.014
9 T. Glock 8 1:00.940 124.411 1.569 0.014
10 R. Bremer 55 1:01.179 123.925 1.808 0.239
11 A. Ranger 27 1:01.229 123.824 1.858 0.050
12 B. Wirdheim 4 1:01.419 123.441 2.048 0.190
13 T. Marques 19 1:01.746 122.787 2.375 0.327
14 A. Tagliani 15 1:01.753 122.773 2.382 0.007
15 R. Hunter-Reay 31 1:01.815 122.650 2.444 0.062
16 N. Philippe 34 1:02.051 122.183 2.680 0.236
17 M. Marshall 5 1:03.775 118.880 4.404 1.724
18 R. Sperafico 11 1:04.835 116.937 5.464 1.060

06/24/05
cc
Suite sales way up in Cleveland Suite sales way up in ClevelandThe number of suites erected and sold in Cleveland this year is at least four times greater than last year.
06/24/05
nascar
Andretti in Reader's Digest Andretti in Reader's DigestHis Nextel Cup career might be on hold due to lack of sponsorship, but John Andretti is managing to get some exposure via a feature article in the July, 2005 edition of Reader's Digest. Reader's Digest used Andretti, who began this season in ppc Racing's #14 Ford until the team pulled out of the series, to explain car care and avoidance of passenger car problems in its latest issue. The segment has a photo of Andretti. "It's kind of neat, especially with a magazine I first saw when I was a kid because my grandmother subscribed to it," Andretti said. "My first thought was, 'I'll be in dentists' offices all over the country.'" NASCAR.com
06/24/05
f1
Another tough day for Renault at Jerez Another tough day for Renault at JerezThe Renault F1 Team experienced another frustrating day of testing in Jerez yesterday. In high temperatures, the team's program was disrupted by a number of stoppages which cost both Franck Montagny and Heikki Kovalainen valuable track time.

However, progress was made with the tire programs for partner Michelin.

"We had another difficult day, but nevertheless completed some useful running – particularly with Franck's car towards the end of the day," said Test Team Chief Engineer Christian Silk.

"We are hoping for a trouble-free day tomorrow (Friday), when Fernando will once again be back in action, in order to complete the essential items of our preparation for the next two races."

Montagny and Kovalainen completed 80 and 67 laps respectively and were fourth and sixth fastest on the day. Renault

06/24/05
f1
Tiago Monteiro to debut new EJ15B today Tiago Monteiro to debut new EJ15B todayThe scheduled test debut for the new Toyota powered Jordan EJ15B did not come to pass on the Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday, after technical issues saw it sidelined for the entire day.

Regular driver Tiago Monteiro was on hand to put the new charger through its paces, however after just one short burst, an oil leak forced the yellow single-seater back to the pits.

The test team tried in vain to repair the failure at the circuit, but finally had to resign to the obvious fact that it was impossible to bandage the wounds of the new EJ15B without new parts from their English base. These have now been shipped to the Montmelo circuit and Monteiro will take to the circuit today.

The Portuguese driver’s main focus will be to determine whether or not the new contender will be ready for introduction at the French Grand Prix next weekend, July 3rd at Magny-Cours. Therefore, the third placed winner from the USGP is not concerned, in fact the sooner they discover these problems, the better. The team now has enough time to correct the problem before the tenth round of the championship.
 
"This type of problem happens all the time with a new car, they are just teething problems," Monteiro said. "The test at Barcelona was organized precisely for this reason. It is to check that everything is in order to allow us to use the new car at Magny-Cours, We are now hoping to get some good running done here on Friday, in order to give to the EJ15B its first laps."

Monteiro will take to the cockpit of the EJ15B in the morning, then will hand the testing duties over to his teammate Narain Karthikeyan for the afternoon session. The new Jordan Toyota is the first designed around the 2005 technical specifications, which see a reduction of downforce by 25 percent.

"I am impatient to test the new aerodynamic package in which we have put great hope," said Monteiro. "It is very different from its predecessor and it should get a certain advantage compared to our direct competitors." Jordan Toyota

06/24/05
f1
Next week's meetings are crucial Next week's meetings are crucialWhile everyone says that they are hopeful that the racing in F1 will not be further affected by politics at the moment there are no guarantees as there are going to be decisive meetings next week in Paris. The F1 teams, with the exception of Ferrari and Jordan, will meet on Tuesday in Paris, in part to discuss what will happen the following day at the FIA World Motor Sports Council and in part to look at the bigger picture of where F1 is going at the moment.  Until these two meetings are out of the way, there will be no clear picture of what is going to happen at Magny-Cours and at Silverstone. Grandprix.com
06/24/05
f1
Q and A with Peter Sauber Q and A with Peter SauberQ: What were your reasons for agreeing to the buyout offer from BMW?
Peter Sauber: In the last ten years, Formula 1 racing has developed by leaps and bounds technically and as a result has become extremely expensive. That has made it extraordinarily difficult for small, independent teams to hold their own. We have an excellent infrastructure and really outstanding people, but otherwise we're a little short on everything. It's very difficult to keep up under these circumstances. That's why I announced years ago that I would be willing to work with a strong partner or even sell provided I could improve the team's motor sport future and safeguard both the jobs in Hinwil and the entire infrastructure. There's another important point. I'm now 62 years old. It was high time to find a good solution for the succession issue. The deal with BMW is thus also ideal in terms of timing.

Q: What's the new ownership situation?

Sauber: Credit Suisse, the main shareholder, will gradually reduce its stake to zero over the next three years. I'll also scale back my shareholding, but ultimately will keep 20%, which is quite a lot.

WQ: as Credit Suisse involved in these negotiations?

Sauber: Of course. It was in the picture right from the word go and welcomed the sale for the same reasons I do. After all, it guarantees progress on the motor sport side and up to a certain point secures the future of Hinwil.

Q: Talking about Hinwil, what's going to change there in future for the staff?

Sauber: Very little will change for them. The team is 300 strong right now and will even be expanded somewhat. Teams like Renault or Williams employ 450 or 500 people. BMW doesn't want to go quite that far, but staff levels will be much higher than right now. And that's important not only for the employees but also for the entire region.

Q: So the jobs of all Sauber employees are guaranteed?

Sauber: There are no guarantees for jobs. I've been doing this for 35 years now. I've always offered attractive jobs and steadily built up the company. I think that's more important than talking about guarantees.

Q: How quickly will the new ownership make its impact felt on the work in Hinwil?

Sauber: The impact will be felt very fast. We have a state-of-the-art wind tunnel that is underutilized now because we don't have the personnel. We're operating only a single shift, whereas our competitors run three shifts. We want to change that, so we're going to increase our personnel as quickly as possible, but with all due caution of course. The same is true, for instance, of the test team, which only operates one car, while everyone else is using two. This is another handicap that we want to eliminate as quickly as possible.

Q: What will Peter Sauber's role be in the new BMW team?

Sauber: I will no longer have any operational role in the team. And that's a good thing. I've put my stamp on this business for the past 35 years. With BMW taking over, the new management will want to do a lot of things differently. BMW also has completely different structures. We need a clean break. However, I'll be around as a consultant to advise BMW and the team in the next few years.

Q: What are your thoughts at the end of this crucial day?

Sauber: That's a bit difficult for me to answer. On the one hand, I feel very relieved that the company with which I am so closely connected is in good hands. Since I started in Formula 1 racing, about ten different teams have come and gone. On the other hand, retiring from active involvement is certainly not easy for me. I think I won't really know what it means for me for another few weeks yet.

Q: Have you got any plans for starting something new?

Sauber: No. That's why I'm happy to have this consulting agreement with BMW. That will take up so much of my energy that it won't make sense to start anything new at the same time. But I hope that things will be a little calmer

06/24/05
f1
It’s incredible It’s incredibleFurther to your Kimi 'held back' in US piece. Thought your readers might find this interesting. It is a quote by Ron Dennis from the European GP race report in AutoWeek, June 6th. " I think it would be hypocritical for us, having won Monte Carlo so convincingly, because of other peoples tire problems, to complain about the current tire regulations. Looking after your tires, and making sure you don't flat spot them, is part of the skill expected of a team in setting up the car, and of a driver in driving it." So why didn't you let them do their jobs Mr. Dennis? Seems like Kimi at least had faith in himself and his team. As Ron said ''It's incredible'' Ray Masters, Hawaii
06/24/05
cc
Drifting
Formula D joins Champ Car in Cleveland Formula D joins Champ Car in ClevelandFormula D slides into Cleveland this weekend (June 24-26) to add to the rubber on the runways of Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport with the 750-horsepower turbocharged Champ Cars for the 24th Annual Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland. Also participating in the three-day performance party will be the SPEED World Challenge GT and Touring Car series and the Mazda Extreme Street car show, with additional racing action from Toyota Atlantic, Trans-Am and the Formula Ford Zetec Cooper Championship Series.

Ken Gushi, winner of the recent Formula D Championship round in Houston, and his Toyo Tires Ford Mustang will be joined by Formula D pro's Dai Yoshihara, Ernie Fixmer, Conrad Grunewald, Casper Canul, and Mike Peters (piloting the infamous "Bubba Drift" El Camino) for an hour of choreographed and tandem runs on the 2.1 miles of airport tarmac. Tickets are available for as little as $20, which buys a "Twilight Ticket" allowing access to the event at 4pm ET in time to catch the Formula D exhibition, SPEED World Challenge races, and Mazda Extreme Street. To purchase tickets call 888/817-RACE or point and click your way to www.grandprixofcleveland.com

06/24/05
f1
Stoddart slams Mosley, Mosley slams back Stoddart slams Mosley, Mosley slams backUPDATE #3 Another reader writes, A few thoughts after reading the last round of bullets from Messrs. Stoddard and Mosley. Paul Stoddard's recounting of the saga while detailed and probably accurate is peppered with personal attacks against the FIA, Max Mosley in particular and Jean Todt.

He goes into much detail about the meetings and agreements to add the chicane but completely ignores the ramifications of such a drastic measure both physically and legally. Meanwhile he disregards and trivializes the suggestions of the FIA in single sentence brush offs.

In his balanced and unemotional response to questions, Mr. Mosley clearly explained the FIA's role in the matter while making compelling comparisons outside the sport to emphasize the outrageous nature of installing a chicane. He only talks about the cure and the many ways in which the FIA was prepared to assist in untangling this mess all the while maintaining their role as an impartial enforcer of rules and maintaining the Championship status of the Grand Prix itself.

It is obvious how politically motivated this event became. That at least 7 teams decided to wreck the current F1 train in order to gain control of the Dollars is gut wrenching to this 45 year fan of the sport. Any way you cut it. The FIA's suggestions could have led to a unique, safe and fair race for all concerned. The Michelin runners would have fought for the valuable points and we would have got to witness what could have been one of the most interesting races in the history of the sport. But no, these teams who put the event in jeopardy in the first place by not being prepared, now only want to race under their rules. I can see a necessity for the chicane if there were no reasonable alternatives. But Max Mosley made it clear that the FIA was open to many alternatives while maintaining the overall integrity of the event, its status as a points paying race and the fairness to all of the teams involved. The fans would certainly not have suffered one iota.

The FIA is there to make and enforce the rules. The end. I think Max displayed an amazing amount of sympathy and respect to all the teams offering several real and fair solutions to the mess. What the hell was so wrong with these guys driving slower through the turn taking a very low line to stay out of the way. Drivers in lesser machines and sports car races do it all the time! I noted the comments of Sam Michael when he stated on TV that it would be unfair to let his drivers out on the tires because they are racers and they would not be able to control their speed/emotions. Bullshit...they do it every time they get in the car. No racer drives his vehicle outside of its limits unless they have a death wish. So can't these guys let off the gas for a second...after all they are the ones crying that they want to race so badly. (Hey give me the keys, I'll do it and I could have earned at least 4 points!!!!) Some of the most legendary sporting moments have occurred when a person or team overcomes the handicap of inferior equipment or bad breaks to come back and attain a position beyond that dreamed of. Last Sunday we could have witness such events. But the greedy 7or 8 only wanted to make the track shorter, the bar lower, the ice less slippery.

I have never felt any need to openly support the FIA or Max Mosley but I wish I could turn back the clock and see what would have happened had these selfish team owners not decided to use this opportunity to destroy the sport we love so much.

In the end it was not Max or Bernie or Tony it was the team owners with probable special mention of Mr. Stoddard who took advantage of this situation to truly bring the SPORT into disrepute. I hope THEY pay the penalty.

(And by the way ...... Rick Benjamin, speak for yourself. I and many like me, look forward to the return of F1 to the USA regardless of last weekend's fiasco. Mark C., I love your crazy Bernie, Max, Ferrari, Champ Car idea. It fits like a glove and smells like a rose. And bravo Champ Car on the ticket freebee, nice gesture.) Ray Masters, Hawaii

06/23/05 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, All I can say in response to Paul Stoddart's letter regarding the Indy fiasco is, WOW! No wonder the team is a perennial loser! With a team owner that has no back-bone, they are destined to be at the back of the grid forever! Mr. Stoddart's obvious attempt to try and rationalize his running (and scoring points) to the Michelin teams (nee GPWC teams) after-the-fact is amazing! Let's review. He runs the race, scores the points (which are incredibly valuable for his team), then, to not lose his standing with Michelin teams (the manufacturer cartel), he writes a "scathing" letter about Max Mosley! What a joke! He should give his championship team points back to the FIA if he feels so strongly about how they mishandled the situation. I hope someone in the F1 community "calls him out" on this pathetic attempt to try and save face, after stealing championship points!

And to try and blame Jean Todt for Michelin's problem? Where is this guy coming from? Do you really think Michelin would give a crap about Bridgestone bringing the wrong tires to Indy? I used to feel sorry for Minardi and hope for them to get an occasional point. I used to want to buy Minardi Merchandise (almost impossible- since they are so pathetic they lack a decent merchandise based website), just because it was counter-culture. But now, after this embarrassing kiss-up by Paul Stoddart, who could root for such a two faced, brown nosing team? Goodbye Minardi- Hello Jordan! Charlie Frank

[Editor's Note: Like we said, Stoddart is kissing up to the manufacturers in the hope one of them will buy him out, much like BMW bought Sauber. He's even volunteered to do GPWC's dirty work by constantly berating Max Mosley in the press. We suspect at some point Mosley is going to lower the boom on him. Perhaps it'll start by finding Minardi cheating and banning his team for a few races. Another possible slam may be a ban of Stoddart from the sport for falsely painting it in a negative light, going so far as to slander Mosley.]

06/22/05 What follows is a press release from the FIA in which Max Mosley answers questions on the events on the US Grand Prix, during before and after. Transcript   06/22/05 In this letter written by Paul Stoddart, he clearly lays all blame on what happened in Indy last weekend on Max Mosley and to a lesser extent on Ferrari's Jean Todt. An interesting read, but is it politically motivated?
06/24/05
irl
f1
Danica upset by Bernie’s putdown Danica upset by Bernie’s putdownUPDATE A reader writes, Dear Autoracing1.com, I think it is funny the way Danica Patrick keep getting attention to herself. Every time the results are not going her way like in Texas where she did not live up the expectations from Indy dropping from the 3rd starting position to 13th in the result we read a story about her so we can feel sympathy for her. This time Bernie Ecclestone had belittled her with sexists remarks and an old time vision on women.
 
But who had leaked this to the press. I have not read anything about Bernie Ecclestone saying this. Bernie Ecclestone might not be best friends to a lot of people but if Danica did come to Formula one the interest alone in Danica would earn Bernie a lot more money and money is what keep Bernie going. If anything Bernie should be disappointed in Danica's thumbs down to a couple of practice laps for BAR-Honda.
 
But to personally call Danica (can anyone tell me where I can find the big book of racing drivers phone numbers because last time I checked I could not find Michael Schumacher's home number on the yellow pages) and say "Women should be all dressed in white like all other domestic appliances." I just don't buy it. Bernie might be a special kind of person but for anything he is not stupid. F1 is in a crisis right now but so is the support of Danica Patrick beginning to disappear. With these comments from Danica Patrick she gets a lot of sympathy that she can take with her to Richmond. Next week we can read about Michael Schumacher kicking dogs. Especially Danica Patrick's dog. Of course that would only come if Danica Patrick fall through again. Keep up the good work. Michael Larsen, Denmark 06/23/05 Danica Patrick is upset at Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone and confused by his comments likening women to "domestic appliances."  Patrick received a telephone call from Ecclestone last week during which he congratulated the Indy Racing League rookie for her performance at the Indianapolis 500, but also reiterated remarks he had made during an interview at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the U.S. Grand Prix was being held.

Among the comments Ecclestone made in the interview and to Patrick was that "Women should be all dressed in white like all other domestic appliances." [Editor's Note:  It sounds to us that Bernie is of the opinion woman should be barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen...with the other domestic appliances. If true, don't look for Patrick racing in F1 anytime soon.]

"I just didn't make sense of it," Patrick said during an IRL teleconference this week. "I was surprised, I guess, somebody would say that to me. And the days after, when it actually came out in the press, people were asking me 'What do you think of that?  I was like, 'You know what he told me? He said that on the phone.'

Patrick said some of Ecclestone's comments were positive and complimentary, which made the exchange more perplexing.

"I can't believe that he would say it to me over the phone, not to my face, but directly to me," she said. "I was a bit confused. ... So I don't really know what to think about it.  I don't know if he was talking about someone else or the majority or what, I'm not really sure. Or, maybe that's his real feeling.  If that's the case, then you know, (it) doesn't really matter because I'm racing in the Indy Racing League."

Ecclestone has made controversial remarks about women before. He told Autosport racing magazine in 2000 that women could not compete in Formula One, but if one did, "she would have to be a woman who was blowing away the boys. ... What I would really like to see happen is to find the right girl, perhaps a black girl with super looks, preferably Jewish or Muslim, who speaks Spanish."  In part from Globe and Mail

06/24/05
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Spain likes it hot
F1 fix at Goodwood
More scorn in Indy wreck
F1 fate at stake
Kimi 'held back' in US
Tire rule to blame - Luca M.
Trulli's pole
Rossi rules out F1
Alonso cringed at Schu 'walk'
Wounded Williams' next move
06/23/05
IPS Series
Corning to sponsor IPS at The Glen Corning to sponsor IPS at The GlenWatkins Glen International announced today that Corning Incorporated is the title sponsor of the Menards Infiniti Pro Series race during the Inaugural Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix presented by Argent Mortgage, September 23-25. The race will be called the Corning 100 and is set to take the green flag prior to the start of the highly anticipated IndyCar Series event on Sunday, September 25.

Corning holds an extensive history at the track dating back to 1983 when Corning Enterprises, a then newly formed subsidiary of Corning purchased the track and formed a partnership with International Speedway Corporation (ISC).  In 1997, ISC became the sole owner of the historic facility and continues to run its operations today.

“We are thrilled to have collaborated with Watkins Glen International, a pillar in our local community, during this historical racing event,” stated Robert L. Ecklin, executive vice president Environmental Products and Strategic Growth at Corning.  “We know that Watkins Glen International has worked hard to bring back open-wheel racing to the community and we are thrilled to be able to support their efforts through the sponsorship of the Corning 100.”

“Corning Incorporated’s support of Watkins Glen International over the years has been outstanding,” stated Craig Rust, president of Watkins Glen International. “Not only did they understand the importance of the track to our local community and carry out a vision for success by reopening the track in 1984, but they are still supporting us today through race sponsorship. We are excited to be able to continue to grow our relationship with them and look forward to collaborating with other Corning (NY) community leaders.”

06/23/05
cc
Will Legge Mania hit Champ Car? Will Legge Mania hit Champ Car?UPDATE A reader writes, Regarding a reader’s comments about Katherine Legge riding on Danica’s coattails, let’s not forget that Katherine joined Toyota Atlantics in the spring and went out and won her very first race at Long Beach.  She’s the first and only woman to date who has won a race.  Danica, as much hype as she’s experiencing, doesn’t even have that claim.  And that, my friends, is why she is deserving of some notoriety.  I’m just surprised it took so long. Anita from Long Beach, CA 06/23/05 A reader writes, The Cleveland Plain Dealer had their special section for the Champ Car race weekend...Pictured on the cover of the section is Katherine Legge. She also has the largest article inside the section. Is there no one in Champ Car with enough star power to be featured or is this simply Danica mania spilling back over to Champ Car? Mark Maslona - Cleveland, Ohio Dear Mark, Stars make a sport. Period. Champ Car's lackluster TV ratings indicate a lot more work needs to be done in that department. We still don't see any sponsors featuring Champ Car drivers in TV ads, for example. Would Champ Car try to ride Danica's coattails with Katherine Legge? We suspect yes. Mark C.
06/23/05
f1
BAR None BAR NoneAfter the USGP, the only two drivers taking part in the world championship not to have scored points are the two BAR Honda  men, Jenson Button and Takuma Sato.  We call that BAR None.
06/23/05
nascar
Chicago Cubs legend to go against NASCAR's elite Chicago Cubs legend to go against NASCAR's eliteBefore NASCAR takes the track at Chicagoland Speedway in a few weeks, 11 of its elite drivers ... including 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Points Champion Kurt Busch ... will hit the softball field with National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, Ryne Sandberg, in the second annual ...Racin... the Bases... celebrity softball game.  The event takes place at Silver Cross Field in Joliet...s City Center on Thurs., July 7.  Gates open at 4 p.m.

..Racin... the Bases... is presented by Chicagoland Speedway, Victory Junction Gang Camp and the Joliet JackHammers as part of the 2005 Joliet Fan Fest.  Festivities kick off with an autograph session from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., followed by the celebrity softball game at 6 p.m.  In addition, fans will have the opportunity to bid on autographed racing memorabilia in the pro shop throughout the game.  Proceeds will benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp.

NASCAR Nextel Cup driver and co-founder of Victory Junction Gang Camp, Kyle Petty, will be joined on the diamond by both Busch brothers (Kurt and his brother, rookie driver Kyle) along with rising NASCAR star Carl Edwards, who has already won two races this year in just his second Nextel Cup season.  2004 Olympic Gold Medalist, Jennie Finch, and three of her teammates from the Chicago Bandits Professional Softball Team, will also participate.  Additionally, former Chicago Bulls center Will Perdue is slated to coach.

The line-up for this year also includes NASCAR drivers Dave Blaney (No. 07 Jack Daniel...s Chevrolet); Tim Fedewa (No. 12 Supercuts Chevrolet); Denny Hamlin (No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet); Stacey Compton (No. 59 Kingsford/Ball Park Franks Ford); Aaron Fike (No. 66 DuraFlame Ford); and Michael Jourdain (No. 10 TBA Ford).

Silver Cross Field is located three miles north of Chicagoland Speedway.  The state-of-the-art ballpark opened in 2002 and has a seating capacity of 4,616, but Silver Cross Field can hold more than 7,000 fans with the General Admission areas (grassy hills).  In 2003, Baseball America ranked Silver Cross Field the second-best of the 66 ballparks in the independent classification of professional baseball and first in the Northern League. 

Ticket prices for ...Racin... the Bases... are as follows: $10 (General Admission), $15 (Reserved Seat and Box Seat).  Tickets are on sale now at the Joliet JackHammers box office. Tickets can be purchased by calling 815-726-BALL (2255) or by visiting www.jackhammerbaseball.com.

06/23/05
Industry News
Land Rover To Open Third Driving School In North America Land Rover To Open Third Driving School In North AmericaCarmel Valley , Calif.– Following the success of its Land Rover Experience Driving Schools, the company today announced it will open its third in North America at Quail Lodge in August 2005.

The latest venue will join already-established Land Rover Driving Schools at Biltmore Estate in Asheville , North Carolina and the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello, near Montreal , Canada .

"The driving school at Quail Lodge is a very welcome asset in the Land Rover portfolio in North America , expanding the reach of outdoor adventure and top class driving instruction throughout the western United States ," said Richard Beattie, executive vice president, marketing & sales Land Rover North America.

"Opening a driving school on the west coast expands our school line-up providing Land Rover enthusiasts and guests of Quail Lodge an opportunity to experience our latest vehicles in an environment that fits the Land Rover lifestyle.”

The Land Rover Experience Driving School will offer participants off-road instruction behind the wheel of the Land Rover LR3, Range Rover Sport and its flagship Range Rover. Guests are coached according to level of experience, with lessons ranging from novice to advanced. Courses take place in and around the lush surroundings of Quail Lodge.

Individual and group courses range from a one-hour session designed to introduce the concept of off-road driving techniques in a fun environment, to half-day and full-day programs with professional instruction by a cadre of the most knowledgeable and experienced Land Rover-trained off-road driving instructors.

Obstacles and terrain vary from school to school, but all are created to demonstrate proper off-road driving techniques teaching expedition type travel covering ascents, descents, rock crawling, winching, and vehicle recovery while following the tenets of Tread Lightly!, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to safe, environmentally responsible use of off-road vehicles.

“Quail Lodge is a fitting locale for the newest driving school as luxury and sophistication are qualities that are inherent in both the resort and the Land Rover model line, which has undergone a complete evolution in the past year," said Michael Oprish, general manager of Valley Resort Management. In the same way, the resort recently re-opened after a major renovation and is poised to embrace the 21 st century, building on its legendary reputation for exemplary facilities and service delivery.”

Since Land Rover first opened its Driving School Experience in North America at The Equinox, in Manchester, Vermont in 1997 more than 20,000 customers and enthusiasts have enjoyed the benefits of taking part in a specially structured program that explains and demonstrates the benefits of owning and using a Land Rover.

To learn more about the property, visit www.quaillodge.com , or call (888) 828-8787. To learn more about the Land Rover Experience Driving Schools, visit www.landroverusa.com/drivingschools, or call (800) 239-0533.
Ford

06/23/05
Industry News
Ferrari at Goodwood Festival of Speed Ferrari at Goodwood Festival of SpeedFerrari tifosi at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed will gather to admire the current masterpieces from Maranello when a Ferrari Superamerica, an F430 in Fiorano Ferrari livery and a 612 Scaglietti will be driven up Goodwood Hill by professional racing drivers and members of the UK media.

The latest addition to the Ferrari stable, the limited-edition 12-cylinder convertible Superamerica will take part in the Supercar run. Just 559 examples of the Superamerica will be built featuring the Revocromico roof, with variable transparency and which can fold back in less than 10 seconds.

The Superamerica punches out 540 hp and accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 4.2 seconds. It will be driven up the Hill on all three days.

The F430 is the latest addition to the new generation of Ferrari V8-engined sports cars. It boasts the electronic differential (E-Diff) initially developed by Ferrari for its F1 single-seaters and the handily placed ‘manettino’ a steering wheel-mounted rotary switch which directly controls the integrated systems governing vehicle dynamics.

The F430 appears at Goodwood in Fiorano Ferrari livery, the exclusive driving program open only to Ferrari clients. With 490 hp available it is capable of accelerating from zero to 62mph in 4 seconds flat and reaches a top speed in excess of 196 mph.

The all-aluminum 612 Scaglietti with its outstandingly luxurious cabin can accommodate four adults in complete comfort. Served by a beautiful V12 engine providing 540 hp, it has a top speed of 199 mph and computerized electronic stability and traction control (CST).

Formula 1
The Ferrari Formula 1 Team will be represented by F1 test driver Marc Gené, who will be driving a Ferrari F2003-GA up Goodwood Hill.

Looking after the car will be Ferrari F1 Clienti, a branch of the Corse Clienti Division. This department was created by Ferrari following increasing demand from customers to purchase and drive Ferrari F1 cars.

Driving Timetable
Friday 24th June - Ferrari Superamerica, Ferrari F430 F1, Ferrari 612 Scaglietti: 10.00-15.00 hrs. Ferrari F2003: Tbd
Saturday 25th June - Ferrari Superamerica, Ferrari F430 F1, Ferrari 612 Scaglietti: 13.25 Hrs. Ferrari F2003: 11.55-15.45 hrs
Domenica 26 June - Ferrari Superamerica, Ferrari F430 F1, Ferrari 612 Scaglietti: 13.25 hrs. Ferrari F2003: 11.55-15.45 hrs
Ferrari

 

06/23/05
cc
Tracy says Ranger and Valiante are the future Tracy says Ranger and Valiante are the futureAlthough his contract with Forsythe Championship Racing expires after this season, Paul Tracy isn't sure where his future lies. "We haven't gotten down to talk about next year," the Toronto Champ Car driver said Thursday. "Right now is the beginning of the season for us, it's only four races in. Once we get to August, September, then we start talking about next year, and see where talks go."

The 36-year-old was in Toronto to promote his hometown race, the 20th annual Molson Indy. Qualifying takes place July 8 and 9, with the race set for July 10 at Exhibition Place.

Tracy has long been rumored to be leaving the Champ Car circuit. NASCAR's Nextel Cup series has been a popular suggestion for him. It's thought his "Thrill from West Hill" persona would mesh well with NASCAR's star system.

Tracy, however, made no mention Thursday of aspirations to drive stock cars. His only stated goal outside of Champ Car is to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For the time being Tracy is focusing on the series he is competing in. And he likes what he is seeing.

"The last couple of years (the schedule) has always been late, and it's been hard to put sponsorship together," he said. "But I think they're on point to get it out by July or August and have the TV (schedule) announced."

Tracy is also encouraged by some of the younger drivers on the series, highlighted by a pair of Canadian rookies. Andrew Ranger, the 18-year-old from Roxton Pond, Que., leads all rookie drivers with 54 points, and sits ninth overall in the series. And 25-year-old Michael Valiante of Burnaby, B.C., placed 11th in his first race last Sunday in Portland.

"How much longer I'm going to be racing Champ cars I don't know, so the future for Canadian drivers in Champ Car is definitely Ranger and Valiante," said Tracy. "I'm impressed by both of them." Canadian Press [Editor's Note: That is exactly what we have been saying, but the Cleveland race is up this weekend and Valiante (pictured right) is benched, replaced by Tarso Marques. Nothing against Marques, he's a very good driver, but he isn't going to help Champ Car win over the Canadian fans in a country that Champ Car has three races.]

06/23/05
atlantic
Unser III joins Atlantic Series at most intense stage Unser III joins Atlantic Series at most intense stageWhile a 2005 season of 10 races may, on paper, make Champ Car's Toyota Atlantic Championship Series presented by Yokohama misinterpreted to be a lax summer of open wheel road racing, series newcomer Al Unser 3 is in no jeopardy of having such a mistaken take on Champ Car's top ladder series. 

Unser, confirmed for the remainder of the 2005 season in the Brooks Associates Racing #10 BOSPoker.Net/PKV Racing car, begins his first stable, consistent ride Atlantics season with the 2005 season's pair of back-to-back double-header race weekends. Following an impressive debut last weekend in Portland that saw Unser notch a pair of top-ten finishes in the 20 car Atlantics field, he and the Brooks Racing BOSPoker.Net/PKV Racing team is now headed to Champ Car's Grand Prix of Cleveland presented by U.S. Bank for another double-header weekend of racing on the tarmac of Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport. Some could call this entree into the league a genuine trial by fire. Al Unser 3 calls it a much-appreciated opportunity.

"That I get to drive four races in two consecutive race seasons is a dream come true," says Unser. "My primary objective this season is seat time, and I can't think of a better way for me and my competitors to get that than these race weekends that effectively give us double the track and seat time. The more seat time I have, the sooner I'll be able to deliver a win to my Brooks Associates team and my sponsors BOSPoker and PKV Racing."

Unser will join fellow PKV driver and Long Beach winner Katherine Legge alongside another huge field of Toyota Atlantic racers June 24-26 at the 24th Annual Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland. Adding to the three-day festival of speed on the runways will be SPEED World Challenge GT and Touring Car action, Trans-Am and Formula Ford Zetec Cooper Series racing, and a Formula D drifting exhibition.

06/23/05
f1
Ferrari by themselves in Barcelona Ferrari by themselves in BarcelonaFerrari continued its third day of testing this week at Circuit de Catalunya today with both Michael Schumacher, the US Grand Prix winner, and Luca Badoer on track for the Italian Champions. As ever, both worked on Bridgestone tire development as well as new components and aerodynamics. Both drivers continue at the circuit on Friday. Meanwhile, Jordan had hoped to have both Tiago Monteiro and Narain Karthikeyan testing the revised and updated Jordan chassis, the EJ15B, today at the Spanish circuit but neither regular race driver completed a timed lap in the new car.
1 . M. Schumacher - Ferrari F2005 - 1:16.046 (+ 0.000 ) - 67 laps
2 . L. Badoer - Ferrari F2005 - 1:17.017 (+ 0.971 ) - 119 laps
06/23/05
nascar
Sprint and Nextel announce new branding Sprint and Nextel announce new brandingUPDATE Scott Warfield, Staff Writer, SportsBusiness Journal reports that the name of NASCAR’s Nextel Cup Series will remain unchanged in ‘06 and any rebranding will not take place until ‘07, Nextel Senior VP/Marketing Mark Schweitzer said this afternoon. Despite the announcement this morning that the new go-to-market brand name of the combined Sprint Nextel will be Sprint, with the Nextel name continuing as a key product brand, it remains unclear how or if the company plans to rebrand NASCAR’s elite series. Schweitzer said the Nextel name will not disappear and that the rebranding should be considered “two brands coming together and not one going away.” A decision for the series’ name will be made by February of next year, he said.  Meanwhile, Sprint and Nextel today unveiled the new logo for their combined company. 06/23/05 Sprint (NYSE: FON) and Nextel Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTL) today announced details surrounding the brand strategy and logo to be used upon completion of the companies' merger, expected in the third quarter of 2005, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals. The new go-to-market brand name of the combined Sprint Nextel will be Sprint, with the Nextel name continuing as a key product brand.

The two companies announced their agreement to merge on Dec. 15, 2004, with a commitment to create America's premier communications company –- offering a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline services to consumer, business and government customers.

"The companies are in the enviable position of possessing two incredibly valuable brands with overwhelming positive and powerful equity in the marketplace," said Mark Schweitzer, designated Chief Marketing Officer for the new company and Nextel's current senior vice president of marketing. "Our brand strategy and logo will integrate the most valuable assets of each company's identity."

The Sprint Master Brand
Given its broad market awareness and its history of innovation, the Sprint name was chosen as the lead go-to-market brand name for the new company. Combining the rich attributes of the Sprint brand with the entrepreneurial, instant-communications traits represented by highlighting Nextel's presence in the product line offers strong positioning for the combined company. This approach was validated through consultation with research firms specializing in brand and name recognition, and with customers and employees, confirming Sprint's consistent ratings as one of the most recognized communications brands in the United States. "The Sprint name, brand attributes and the sentiment they evoke in minds of consumers are relevant today and provide a great foundation for the future. The combination of these characteristics of the Sprint name with the infusion of Nextel's professional-grade characteristics and key elements of the Nextel visual identity are consistent with what the new company aspires to be in the future," said Schweitzer.

Nextel as a Product Brand
Nextel, which currently enjoys among the highest loyalty ratings with customers in the wireless industry, is synonymous with wireless business-oriented products and services such as Nextel's instant, nationwide, digital walkie-talkie service. The combined company will employ the Nextel name as a product brand within the Sprint service portfolio for services provided on Nextel's iDEN network. Solutions carrying the Nextel brand will be geared toward selected businesses, public-sector customers and those high-value individuals who have proven to be avid users of Nextel services.

The New Logo
Blending elements of Sprint's signature "pin drop" – representing clarity – and Nextel's bold yellow and black colors – which command attention – the new logo is a powerful symbol for the new Sprint as a forward-moving, energetic and dynamic brand. Additionally, in advertising, the new Sprint visual treatment will include the line, "Together with Nextel," as a reminder of the equity of these two strong brands coming together as one. Separately, in advertising featuring Nextel products and services in the combined company's markets, there will be a Nextel visual treatment that uses the current Nextel logo with the language "Together with Sprint."

“Today’s announcement is Sprint Nextel’s first step in defining our new company’s identity. One of our next steps is to work with our partners at NASCAR to make decisions regarding how we integrate our new brand into the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series sponsorship, as well as decisions about the timing of any changes.  We remain deeply committed to the sport and to using our technology, products and services to enhance the sport for NASCAR fans and the NASCAR industry.”  Mark Schweitzer, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Nextel Communications, Inc.

“We are excited about the announcement Sprint Nextel made today regarding its brand platform.  In the two years since we first announced that Nextel would be our series sponsor, this has been an incredible partnership. Nextel has contributed greatly to our shared effort to broaden the appeal of NASCAR, and we have no doubt that this will continue to be a good and productive partnership as we move into the future with the new Sprint Nextel.”  Brian France, CEO NASCAR

06/23/05
ta
nascar
Brian Simo gets a chance at Nextel Cup Brian Simo gets a chance at Nextel CupRichard Childress Racing (RCR) and Korbel California Champagnes have reached an agreement for a one-race sponsorship with 2000 SCCA Trans Am Champion Brian Simo piloting RCR’s No. 33 Korbel California Champagnes Chevrolet Monte Carlo in this weekend’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway.

Established in 1882 in Sonoma (Calif.) County's Russian River Valley, Korbel Champagne Cellars produces the United States' most popular méthode champenoise champagne. Owned and managed by the Heck family since 1954, Korbel currently makes 10 champagnes and a limited amount of still wine. In a separate facility, Korbel also produces one of the country's most respected brandies.

“We’re extremely pleased to be able to partner with Korbel California Champagnes this weekend at Infineon,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. “Brian is a veteran road racer and I know he’ll do a fine job for the Heck Family and everyone at Korbel. It’s very exciting for RCR to able showcase another Brown-Forman brand on one of our cars, especially one whose home is right in the heart of wine country in the Sonoma Valley.”

A native of Carlsbad, Calif., Simo boasts a host of road racing accolades. In addition to his SCCA Trans Am championship, Simo recorded four championship runner-ups in the same division. He won the prestigious 2002 Rolex 24 at Daytona in the GTS class and also owns two IMSA GTS class victories. In three previous NEXTEL Cup starts, Simo has a best start of 15th coming in the 2001 Dodge/Save Mart 350 for legendary team owner Junie Donlevy.

“RCR has been great to work with and I’m really looking forward to racing with [crew chief] Bobby Leslie and [engine-builder] Danny Lawrence. I appreciate what Richard Childress and RCR have accomplished, and it’s great to have the opportunity to run with them,” Simo said. “There are only seven spots, so we’ll try to first make it into the field and then worry about the race. We can’t afford any mistakes in qualifying, so we probably need a less-than-fast run, but solid enough to get in the show.”

Korbel California Champagnes reminds race fans to “Celebrate Responsibly.”

06/23/05
f1
Montoya fastest on day 2 Montoya fastest on day 2On the second day of testing at Jerez, Spain, Juan Pablo Montoya set the fastest time of the day again. The Colombian was 0.1 of a second faster than Jenson Button. Jenson's teammate Sato set the third fastest time.  For the second day of testing the Renault F1 team flew in Heikki Kovalainen. The young Finnish talent completed 67 laps when his engine blew up. After his blow up the Renault team tried to fix his car but were unable to fix it before 17.00 and thus Heikki's day of testing was over sooner than expected.

1 . J. P. Montoya - McLaren Mercedes MP4- 20 - 1:17.405 (+ 0.000 ) - 56 laps
2 . J. Button - BAR Honda 007 - 1:17.580 (+ 0.175 ) - 113 laps
3 . T. Sato - BAR Honda 007 - 1:17.764 (+ 0.359 ) - 119 laps
4 . F. Montagny - Renault R25 - 1:17.824 (+ 0.419 ) - 79 laps
5 . R. Zonta - Toyota TF105 - 1:17.962 (+ 0.557 ) - 106 laps
6 . H. Kovalainen - Renault R25 - 1:18.136 (+ 0.731 ) - 67 laps
7 . O. Panis - Toyota TF105 - 1:18.530 (+ 1.125 ) - 40 laps
8 . C. Klien - Red Bull Racing RB1 - 1:18.823 (+ 1.418 ) - 69 laps
9 . A. Pizzonia - BMW Williams FW27 - 1:18.969 (+ 1.564 ) - 62 laps
10 . A. Wurz - McLaren Mercedes MP4-20 - 1:19.237 (+ 1.832 ) - 7 laps
11 . D. Coulthard - Red Bull Racing RB1 - 1:19.439 (+ 2.034 ) - 62 laps
12 . J. Villeneuve - Sauber Petronas C24 - 1:19.611 (+ 2.206 ) - 108 laps
13 . N. Heidfeld - BMW Williams FW27 - 1:19.990 (+ 2.585 ) - 28 laps

06/23/05
Industry News
New California Speedway President named New California Speedway President namedGillian Zucker, who currently serves as Vice President of Business Operations and Development at Daytona International Speedway and once served as Assistant General Manager for the High Desert Mavericks Baseball Club in Adelanto, Calif., has been named President of California Speedway.  John Saunders, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of International Speedway Corporation (ISC) made the announcement today. 

Zucker, 36, replaces William G. Miller, who announced his resignation from the Speedway in March. She will assume her duties July 5th.

"Gillian is a creative and talented individual who brings a tremendous wealth of experience and leadership to her new position," said Saunders.  "We look forward to Gillian continuing to apply her tremendous passion and knowledge of motorsports in her new position at California Speedway."

"I look forward to returning to the West Coast and working with California Speedway's talented team to take California Speedway to the next level," said Zucker.  "California Speedway has a bright future ahead and I'm pleased to be part of it."

As President, Zucker will be responsible for all strategic planning and day-to-day operations of the facility including event execution and fan development.  Originally from Englewood, N.J., a suburb of New York City, she is the fourth president in California Speedway history (Greg Penske, Scott Atherton, Bill Miller).

As Vice President of Business Operations in Daytona, Zucker was responsible for overseeing business operations for Daytona International Speedway which includes sales and marketing, hospitality sales and management, ticket operations, interaction with sanctioning bodies, broadcast partners, sponsors and vendors and coordinating the track budget.  Her responsibilities further include event operations such as traffic, parking and guest amenities as well as oversight of DAYTONA USA, the official attraction of NASCAR.  Zucker additionally assumes corporate responsibilities in new business development across all 12 ISC facilities exploring strategic opportunities with the music, action sports, travel and entertainment industries.  She also has played a pivotal role in ISC's efforts to develop a new motorsports facility in the New York City market. 

Zucker joined ISC in 1998 as director of business development for the Kansas Speedway prior to the ground breaking on that facility. She was promoted to vice president of operational development soon after.  Among her duties at the track, Zucker wrote and executed the business plan that launched Kansas Speedway. She established that track's ticket sales and pricing, marketing and public relations efforts and hired and trained the track's directors.  Later, her responsibilities expanded to include work at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., in an advisory position, while also launching that track's start up efforts.

In addition to her stint as assistant general manager for the Single A California League High Desert Mavericks (1993-94), Zucker has held a variety of minor league baseball positions including assistant general manager for the Durham Bulls Baseball Club in Durham, N.C. (1995-98), where she oversaw public and media relations, stadium operations and administration, ticket sales and promotions.  Zucker also served as general manager for the Sultans of Springfield Baseball Club in Springfield, Ill., (1994) and the Lansing Lugnuts Baseball Club of Lansing, Mich.

06/23/05
irl
Danica and the IRL getting more national press Danica and the IRL getting more national pressThe Danica craze continues as highlighted by this FOX News article, "Herbie," the G-rated movie, which is targeted mainly at kids and Lohan's tween fans, didn't shy away from making the most of the Danica buzz.  Patrick had the "Herbie: Fully Loaded" logo on her car at the IRL IndyCar Series races at Texas Motor Speedway on June 11. She will also sport the logo at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, as part of a partnership between Patrick's team, Rahal Letterman Racing, and Walt Disney Pictures.  Patrick also attended last Sunday's world premiere of "Herbie: Fully Loaded" in Los Angeles, as did NASCAR drivers Duncan and Fisher.
06/23/05
NASCAR
Massive Fireworks Scheduled for Daytona Massive Fireworks Scheduled for DaytonaGuests attending the 47th annual Pepsi 400 at historic Daytona International Speedway will be treated to an All-American evening of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series racing concluding with the largest fireworks display in the Southeast. Santore & Son Fireworks, located in nearby Bunnell, Fla., will once again launch the largest fireworks spectacle in the Southeast following the checkered flag in NASCAR's most exciting nighttime race on Saturday, July 2. "There is no other show in the southeastern United States that has so many shells in one location throughout the July 4th holiday," said Santore & Sons Vice President Anthony Santore. Since the first nighttime running of the Pepsi 400 back in 1998, Santore & Sons has provided the post-race fireworks displays at "The World Center of Racing" and will use a plethora of different resources to produce this year's show including seven days of preparation with 20 technicians, two miles of control cable, 14 locations on the daunting high banks and 10 on the superstretch, two barges on Lake Lloyd, 10,000 pyrotechnic effects (over 8,000 pounds), and 100 lbs of red, white & blue confetti. "Naturally, it's an extremely big challenge," Santore said. "We're trying to entertain folks in the grandstands, folks who are in the towers, folks in the infield. The venue is so large and so spread out. "We're firing from so many positions. The more you spread the positions out, the more difficult it is to produce the show. It's probably the most challenging show we produce here without a doubt." Speedway PR
06/23/05
cc
Bourdais shoots for three at Cleveland Bourdais shoots for three at ClevelandNewman/Haas Racing (NHR) earned the third of their six 1-2 finishes in 2004 on the temporary road course at Burke Lakefront Airport and hope to repeat the performance in this weekend’s 94-lap Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank.  Along the way McDonald’s driver Sebastien Bourdais hopes to be not only the first driver to win three races at the track, he would be the first to win in every start on the 2.106-mile course.

“We had a perfect car in Cleveland in 2003 and we got our first win for McDonald’s in their first race with us,” said Bourdais who started from pole and led 33 laps en route to his first win in the U.S. during his rookie season.  “It was the first time really that year that I could say before the race started that I didn’t think we could lose the race.  At the start I knew the only way to make it safe through Turn 1 was to just lock the inside and deal with whatever we were going to lose in terms of positions on the exit of the turn.  We did that and gave up the lead to Paul (Tracy) and then passed him back on track and it was one of the best races I had in 2003.” 

This week’s Grand Prix of Cleveland is the second in a sequence of the toughest stretch of racing on the 2005 schedule, with four races taking place in five weeks.  Through the first four events this season, there have been four different race winners, four different pole sitters and eight different drivers on the podium.  Bourdais knows that with the competitive field currently in the series, luck could be just as important as skill some weekends.

“Last year it was obviously a different weekend, we were not looking so strong,” said Bourdais, who along with Alex Zanardi are the only two drivers to have earned back-to-back wins here.  “The balance of the McDonald’s car was not good, I had too much understeer and we qualified third and I think that was the place where we should have finished but there was a big incident at the start with (Alex) Tagliani, (Paul) Tracy and Justin (Wilson) and we took the lead and never gave it up the rest of the race.  We had our lucky weekend last year in Cleveland.”

06/23/05
nascar
NASCAR drivers on TV Guide NASCAR drivers on TV GuideThe current issue of TV Guide hits newsstands today, with four collectible covers featuring pairings from NASCAR teams: Hendrick Motorsports’ Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson; Roush Racing’s Mark Martin and Carl Edwards; Dale Earnhardt Inc.’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Michael Waltrip; and Robert Yates Racing’s Elliott Sadler and Dale Jarrett TV Guide


06/23/05
f1
FIA denies Stoddart claim FIA denies Stoddart claimThe FIA has "categorically denied" the suggestion made by Paul Stoddart that Max Mosley told the FIA's most senior representative in the United States, Burdette Martin, that if any kind of non-championship race was run, or any alteration made to the circuit, the US Grand Prix, and indeed, all FIA-regulated motorsport in the US, would be under threat. "No such conversation ever took place," said an FIA spokesman, after consulting with Mosley.

So was Paul Stoddart flat out lying in his letter released yesterday to make Max Mosley look bad as the GPWC tries to break up the Ferrari/Bernie/Max alliance standing in their way? Is Paul Stoddart brown nosing the GPWC and siding with them in the hope one of the manufacturers will buy out his money-strapped team much like BMW bought out Sauber? When in doubt, follow the money.

The World Council hearing will be interesting. Don't be surprised if the FIA slams Paul Stoddart for lying and, thereby, hurting the FIA's reputation. It could get ugly, very ugly.

06/23/05
f1
BAR back testing at Jerez BAR back testing at JerezThe first day of BAR Honda's proposed three-day test in Jerez began Wednesday in very hot conditions, with ambient temperatures reaching 36˚C and track temperatures reaching 47˚C. In chassis 007-06, Anthony Davidson had a successful day running through an aerodynamic evaluation. He completed a total of 113 laps, setting the fourth fastest time of the day – a 1:18.451s. Enrique Bernoldi was in chassis 007-01 for the morning session as he worked through a suspension and brake evaluation. He completed a total of 61 laps.

Adam Carroll had his first run in the BAR Honda 007 car in the afternoon and acclimatized himself well with both the car and the extremely hot conditions. He completed 27 laps. Takuma Sato will take over the car for today's test program. BAR Honda

06/23/05
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Frank may keep BMW power
Hot Jerez in F1 action
'B' Jordan to debut
'Max threatened US axe'
'You can't change the rules'
Bernie in sexist shocker
No Indy refunds yet
JV pleased about BMW boost
Salo in F1 health concern
More sympathy for US fans
Stoddart and the FIA
06/23/05
nascar
Earnhardt Jr. finally wins a race in ’05 Earnhardt Jr. finally wins a race in ’05Dale Earnhardt Jr. has had a bad year to date on the Nextel Cup circuit, but Wednesday he showed the world that he is still capable of winning a race.  He beat up on little 11-year old Andrew Wolocatiuk in a 5-lap go-kart race that served as a promotion for this weekend's Dodge/Save Mart 350 Nextel Cup race at Infineon Raceway.  Wolocatiuk is from Petaluma in the North Bay not too far from the track.  Now that he has proven he can still win, his legions of fans can stand up and rejoice in the fact that an 11-year old kid didn't stand a chance against the great Dale Earnhardt Jr.....not.
06/23/05
cc
Walk the Cleveland track with CARA Charities Walk the Cleveland track with CARA CharitiesRacing fans will have the opportunity for a unique experience at this year’s Grand Prix of Cleveland on the Burke Lakefront Airport racing surface.

The tarmac of the airport has always been one of the most interesting and exciting racing facilities with its uniquely wide straightaways and legendary turns.  The first turn at the Grand Prix of Cleveland is now one of racing’s most famed corners and has produced some of the wildest action in all of auto racing in North America.

As part of the 24th annual Grand Prix of Cleveland, the fans will gain a “close-up view” of the legendary temporary circuit when CARA Charities presents the “Track Walk with the Drivers” on Saturday evening, June 25. 

“Track Walk” participants may enter Gate A at 7:30 p.m. and purchase tickets in the Champions Club Tent.  The “Track Walk” will begin at 8:15 p.m. and tickets are $10 per person.

This event will have Champ Car competitors including Alex Tagliani and his wife Bronte, the Australian model, as well as drivers from many of the other series competing throughout the weekend on the Burke Lakefront Airport track.

All of the proceeds are to CARA Charities, one of auto racing’s leading charitable organization that donates thousands of dollars to needy causes annually.

“It is a great chance for our racing fans to examine the track and see the nuances of the famed Cleveland circuit,” said Rena Shanaman, general manager of the Grand Prix of Cleveland presented by U.S. Bank.  “In addition, drivers competing on the race weekend will be walking the track to get a better view of the straights and turns as they prepare for their competition.  The interesting aspect is that the rest of the year that facility is an airport.  No one is allowed to walk on the runways and taxiways except for this CARA Charities event.  It is truly a great experience for a race fan.  It will give them a new perspective for the ‘Roar by the Lake.”

06/22/05
Atlantic
cc
Kasemets eyes Champ Car Kasemets eyes Champ CarThis article on Toyota Atlantic driver Tonis Kasemets, hot off of back-to-back wins in Portland last weekend tells the story of how this 31-year old father of two from Estonia works his painting business during the week and races hard during the weekend.  Racing consumes him, and his primary focus is winning the Toyota Atlantic championship and getting a shot at a Champ Car ride.  In many respects it's the American dream rags to riches story of a foreign driver who picks up roots and makes America his home.  Against all odds they find a way to succeed.  Just ask Mario Andretti. 
06/22/05
Industry News
Unique Whips and Build or Bust returning to SPEED Unique Whips and Build or Bust returning to SPEED SPEED Channel VP of Programming Robert Ecker announced today the network has renewed both Unique Whips and Build or Bust for second seasons.

"We are extremely pleased that both Unique Whips and Build or Bust will be returning to the SPEED lineup with all-new episodes beginning next spring,” Ecker said.  “Audience response to these enthusiast-themed programs has been very gratifying, and with the impending launch of both Pinks (June 29, 8 p.m. ET) and Texas Hardtails (June 28, 8:30 p.m. ET) we continue to affirm our commitment to this segment of our viewership.  Looking ahead, we currently are identifying additional properties for future seasons that will further bolster the SPEED brand within this category."

 Unique Whips (Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET), shot on location at the New York celebrity car customizing shop of Will Castro, featured season-one appearances by A-list athletes and entertainers, including tennis great Jennifer Capriati, NY Yankees sluggers Jason Giambi and Ruben Sierra, NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, Marcus Camby and Jermaine O’Neal, NFL standouts Lavar Arrington and Byron Leftwich and hip-hop artists Jadakiss and Fat Joe.

 “Season one was a hell of an experience -- I didn’t realize what kind of impact the show would have on the industry,” said Castro, owner of Long Island’s Unique Autosports. “But getting out there on SPEED took our work mainstream and introduced our style and our crew to the entire country.

 “We were a little nervous about putting our business out there in season one, but I think the entire crew is looking forward to season two,” Castro added. “The SPEED viewers are going to see a lot more of the Unique craftsmanship that goes into celebrity cars. I think everyone, including our clients, will be a lot more comfortable with the cameras around and by the end of season two, there will be no doubt as to why Unique stands head and shoulders above some of the other customizing shops.”

 The 12 new Unique Whips episodes planned for season two will give viewers a look at even more stars and their Unique cars, with plans to include appearances by entertainers Jessica Simpson, Pamela Anderson and Busta Rhymes and NBA standout Vince Carter.

06/22/05
cc
Marques to replace Valiante for Cleveland Marques to replace Valiante for ClevelandUPDATE Dale Coyne told AutoRacing1.com - "We are very pleased with Michael Valiante's performance both on and off the track at Portland.  We had considered doing a shoot out on the Wednesday Portland test, but felt it would be better to give Michael our full attention at the test and the race weekend.  He ran well in the race finishing a respectable 11th place in the American Medical Response Lola.
 
"Tarso returns to Dale Coyne Racing for Cleveland where he has had impressive performances in the past.  From his early days of testing which caught the eye and led to a drive with Penske Racing, to his formable job running the development Swift and three appearances in 2004 with us, Tarso has gone well with very little testing. 
 
"We will run this weekend with Tarso and are considering a few test days prior to a final decision before Toronto.  We are keeping all of our options open as we look to put forth the most competitive effort possible for American Medical Response.  No final decision has been made yet for the remainder of the season.  It can be Michael, it can be Tarso.  We shall see.   The plan is to keep Brian Ma as the engineer on Ricardo Sperafico's car the rest of the year and we will have Peter Hansel, formerly with PPI, and  who has worked with us before, on our other car." 06/22/05 Tarso Marques will race in Sunday's Cleveland Grand Prix. He was invited by Dale Coyne and there's a possibility of him running the rest of the 2005 season.

"I received Dale's invitation and I'm very happy to be in the championship again," said Marques. "I always said that Champ Car is the best championship after F1. I can't wait for the race, and depending on the result and team performance, we might be able to run all season."

Tarso will replace Canadian Michael Valiante who ran just one race for Coyne last weekend in Portland, finishing 11th.

06/22/05
gp2
GP2 series invites fans inside at Magny-Cours GP2 series invites fans inside at Magny-CoursThe GP2 series is gaining an ever increasing number of followers through its combination of a full grid of 24 identical cars, high-quality driver line-up and close racing.

With the exciting races seen at the last round in Germany still fresh in everyone’s minds, we are extending an invitation to our fans to visit the GP2 series paddock at the 2005 French Grand Prix.  The time has never been better to give the fans access to the sport that they love. The GP2 series paddock will open its gates to French Grand Prix ticket holders on Friday July 1st and Saturday July 2nd between 17:00 and 19:00. The fans will have a chance to see the teams working on their cars, meet the drivers and experience the GP2 series closer than ever before.

As has been the case at our previous races, a number of GP2 series drivers will also attend an autograph signing session at the Bridgestone unit in the fans’ area on Saturday morning.  The GP2 series is looking forward to another weekend of high-octane thrills on track, as we welcome our valued fans into the heart of our world. GP2 Series

06/22/05
cc
Bridgestone brings Champ Car night to Cleveland Bridgestone brings Champ Car night to ClevelandThanks to Bridgestone, Champ Car fans can experience Champ Car close-up in Cleveland as the series tire supplier is sponsoring a street party in the Historic Warehouse District of Cleveland on Thursday, June 23.

Beginning at 5 pm local time, Champ Car fans will be able to meet some of their heroes as there will be driver autograph sessions, Champ Car displays and the finals of the Face of Champ Car contest all during the Bridgestone Champ Car Night.

This is the third year of the event, which brings Champ Car fans face-to-face with the three-day festival of speed surrounding the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland presented by U.S. Bank.

Schedule on Main Stage at Lakeside:
6:00 pm - 6:20 pm: Question and Answer on-stage for Group #1 Champ Car drivers
6:30 pm - 7:00 pm: Autograph Session Group #1 while Breakfast Club plays ½ hour set
7:00 pm - 7:20 pm: Question and Answer on-stage for Group #2 Champ Car drivers
7:30 pm - 8:00 pm: Autograph Session Group #2 while Breakfast Club plays ½ hour set
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm: Miss Grand Prix Finals
9:30 pm - 10:00 pm: Breakfast Club Plays

Schedule on St. Clair side:
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm: Alcoa Wheels Pit Stop Challenge with the HVM Racing Champ Car

Group #1 includes:
Sebastien Bourdais: #1 McDonald's - Newman/Haas Racing
Ronnie Bremer: #55 HVM Inc - HVM Inc.
Nelson Philippe: #34 Wellbox - Mi-Jack Conquest Racing
Ryan Hunter-Reay: #31 Briggs and Stratton - Rocketsports Racing
Justin Wilson: #9 RuSPORT - RuSPORT
Katherine Legge: #12 PKV Racing - Polestar Racing Group, Toyota Atlantic Championship
Al Unser III: #10 BOSPoker.net/PKV Racing - Brooks Associates Racing, Toyota Atlantic Championship
Tomy Drissi, #5 Fantastic Four - The Movie Jaguar XKR, Trans-Am Series
Klaus Graf, #7 Jaguar R Performance XKR, Trans-Am Series
Formula Drift drivers

Group #2 includes:
A.J. Allmendinger : #10 RuSPORT - RuSPORT
Cristiano da Matta: #21 Bell Micro - PKV Racing
Timo Glock: #8 DHL Global Mail - Rocketsports Racing
Bjorn Wirdheim: #4 HVM Inc. - HVM Inc.
Chip Herr, #48 U.S. Air Force Reserve Ford Focus
Matt Richmond, #37 BimmerWorld BMW 325i
Max Papis, #16 Team Cadillac/XM/Mobil 1/Motorola/On Star Cadillac CTS-V
Andy Pilgrim, #8 Team Cadillac/XM/Mobil 1/Motorola/On Star Cadillac CTS-V
Max Angelelli, #12 Team Cadillac/XM/Mobil 1/Motorola/On Star Cadillac CTS-V

06/22/05
Off-Road
Race official killed at Pikes Peak Race official killed at Pikes PeakThe Pikes Peak International Hill Climb today announced that race official Henry Bresciani, 67, of Colorado Springs, Colo., succumbed to injuries as a result of an accident during the first practice session for the 83rd running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Bresciani was giving competitors the finish flag at the summit of Pikes Peak when he was struck and killed by a mini-sprint car driven by Jay Stewart, a driver based in Peyton, Colorado. EMTs assigned to the Pikes Peak Hill Climb responded to the scene and began life saving procedures. They were then assisted by Event Medical Services paramedics and a Memorial Star Transport Team. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Henry’s family and friends as they cope with this tragedy,” said Phil Layton, race director for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. “It is very difficult to lose a member of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb family.” The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a long-standing tradition in Colorado Springs and the second oldest motorsports event in the United States. An annual event since 1916, 2005 marks the 83rd running of the “Race to the Clouds”. The race is run on a 12-mile course that begins at 9,200 feet and finishes at the 14,110-foot summit of Pikes Peak. It features a variety of automotive, semi truck and motorcycle classes with an average of 150 total competitors. Pikes Peak International Raceway
06/22/05
nascar
Petty Enterprises goes to Germany for help Petty Enterprises goes to Germany for helpPetty Enterprises took a huge step to the forefront of wind tunnel testing this week. Accepting an invitation from Dodge Motorsports, Petty Enterprises spent this week in Stuttgart, Germany, at one of the world’s state-of-the-art wind tunnels.

The wind tunnel in Stuttgart, Germany is equipped with a “rolling road” wind tunnel system in which cars travel on a belt and engineers can simulate different pitches and angles. Used by Mercedes, Petty Enterprises hopes the facility will provide them with unmatched information.

“The rolling road wind tunnel can actually give us better, more realistic data comparable to on-track conditions,” stated Petty Enterprises general manager Jerry Freeze. “We’re hoping to use this data and compare it to the static wind tunnels we use here in the States.”

Petty Enterprises had two main objectives while in Germany, but is keeping in mind the ultimate goal.

“First, we are hoping to learn the tunnel and see how we can take advantage of it,” said Freeze. “Secondly, we want to try different adjustments to the car and gather the data. We are here to win, too. The Dodge Charger is a completely new car this season. We want to continue to learn as much about this car as quickly as possible to get us in victory lane. This is a great opportunity for us.” Petty Enterprises

06/22/05
nascar
NASCAR fines two cheaters NASCAR fines two cheatersNASCAR announced today that two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series crew chiefs have been fined for infractions during last weekend’s events at Michigan International Speedway. Both violations were found during pre-qualifying inspection. Tommy Baldwin, crew chief for the #9 Dodge driven by Kasey Kahne, was fined $10,000 for an unapproved front air dam extension, a violation of Section 12-4-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-Q (parts and/or equipment that do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rulebook.  Jimmy Elledge, crew chief for the #41 Dodge driven by Casey Mears, was fined $1,000 for unapproved body modifications after inspection, a violation of Section 12-4-1 and Section 12-4-Q. NASCAR PR
06/22/05
NASCAR
Shane Hmiel Suspended at least till 2007 Shane Hmiel Suspended at least till 2007Driver Shane Hmiel has been suspended from NASCAR competition until at least 2007, NASCAR officials said Wednesday. At that time, NASCAR will evaluate whether or not he will be allowed to return to competition. Hmiel was suspended indefinitely June 3 after failing a substance abuse test. It was Hmiel's second offense. He was suspended in September, 2003, after failing a substance abuse test. He completed a prescribed rehabilitation program and was reinstated for NASCAR competition in February, 2004.

NASCAR will lay out a road map for Hmiel's possible reinstatement in 2007, including a rehabilitation program that will include medical and psychological reviews, as well as frequent testing. NASCAR will continue to be vigilant in enforcing its Substance Abuse Policy. The policy, based on reasonable suspicion, allows NASCAR to broadly administer tests virtually anytime, anywhere.
06/22/05
irl
New team to launch in IRL New team to launch in IRLAfter creating a driver development program specifically designed to recruit drivers to compete in each series of NASCAR, Craig Racing has decided to form a team to compete in the 2006 IRL Series.

Rick Craig, CEO of Craig Racing, decided after much consideration, to begin scouting for possible members of the company’s future racing team within the IRL Series. Although Craig Racing will always consider stock car racing its main cornerstone in the industry, Craig is excited to branch out and test the waters in other series. The company will immediately begin scouting for a driver as plans have been made to begin construction in the near future on a IRL race car.

“We are very exciting about our possible racing future within the IRL series. I believe Craig Racing will successfully build and manage a strong and very competitive team for 2006,” says Craig.

06/22/05
f1
Mosley recommends ticket refund and free tickets Mosley recommends ticket refund and free ticketsFIA President Max Mosley in a statement today said of Sunday’s U.S. Grand Prix, “My personal view … is that Michelin should offer to compensate the fans on a fair basis and ask the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to coordinate this. Then Tony George and Bernie Ecclestone should jointly announce that the U.S. Grand Prix will take place at Indianapolis in 2006 and that anyone who had a ticket this year would be entitled to the same ticket free-of-charge next year” FIA
06/22/05
f1
Jordan to test new EJ15B Jordan to test new EJ15BJordan Grand Prix announces today that the Team will be testing the first EJ15B at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, with Tiago Monteiro and Narain Karthikeyan sharing the driving duties on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 June 2005.

Adrian Burgess, Jordan Grand Prix Sporting Director, said: “Until we conduct our initial track test at Barcelona on Thursday and Friday, it is hard to say exactly how much of an improvement the new EJ15B will be. The results are a long study of the problems we have with the current car.

"We have addressed as many points and issues as we could without designing a completely new car. This is an updated version. We think we have made substantial gains in terms of downforce and drag reduction. The car should be far more efficient than the previous model and it certainly looks a step closer to the opposition.

"If it performs as well as it looks, hopefully we will be looking forward to challenging the Red Bull and Sauber cars and being further ahead of Minardi.” Jordan Grand Prix

06/22/05
Industry News
Vote for All-Time IROC Team Vote for All-Time IROC TeamCrown Royal and IROC have unveiled a program that will honor IROC's all-time great champions. Dubbed Crown Royal's Legends of Victory Lane, the program will represent the first "all-time team" in IROC history selected by the fans. Twelve finalists for this prestigious all-time team have been selected by an esteemed media panel, which has covered motorsports for over 100 years combined. The finalists represent the three main racing disciplines from which IROC drivers have historically drawn from - stock car, open-wheel and road racing. The finalists include: Mario Andretti, Mark Donohue, Dale Earnhardt, Hurley Haywood, Tom Kendall, Steve Kinser, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin, Scott Pruett, Al Unser Jr., Bobby Unser and Cale Yarborough. Fans will now vote to determine the four finalists that will be named to the all-time team. Voting kiosks will be stationed at the Crown Royal Experience, an interactive racing exhibit for fans trackside, or fans can vote via the Internet at www.crownroyalracing.com. Crown Royal Championship Racing
06/22/05
nascar
SPEED Channel to roll out new NASCAR Nation SPEED Channel to roll out new NASCAR NationSPEED Channel will unveil changes made to its nightly program NASCAR Nation on June 27 at 7 p.m. ET & PT.

Chris Long, SPEED Channel's new VP of Studio Production, has orchestrated the overhaul, changing the format, the set, the cast -- even the logo.

"NASCAR Nation was always intended to be a lifestyle show," Long said. "We didn't want it to turn into another news show or driver reality show, so I felt some significant changes had to be made. We have done some things that I expect will raise the energy level quite a bit and put more of a focus on NASCAR as entertainment.

"SPEED Channel already does a fantastic job with shows like Trackside, Inside NEXTEL Cup and NASCAR This Morning, and our goal is to give all of the studio shows their own individual look and feel," Long added. "We made some of these changes to give NASCAR Nation a very distinctive flavor. When someone tunes into SPEED, we want them to immediately know what show they are watching."

The new NASCAR Nation will feature Leeann Tweeden, along with newcomers Vicki Johnson and Craig Reynolds, in the studio. Original cast members Courtney George and John Willenborg will be joined by Charlotte's Shannon Spake in the field.

"NASCAR lives at the intersection of sports and entertainment and the new look NASCAR Nation takes fans behind the scenes and puts them center stage," said Jeffrey Pollack, Managing Director of Broadcasting and New Media for NASCAR Digital Entertainment.

The 30-minute show will originate live Monday through Thursday from the SPEED Channel studios in Charlotte, N.C.

06/22/05
f1
irl
cc
nascar
SPEED Channel Weekly Top 20 Driver Ranking SPEED Channel Weekly Top 20 Driver RankingUpdated 6-22-05

Pos. (LW) Driver (Series) Pts
1. (8) Michael Schumacher (F1) 9.185
2. (2) Dan Wheldon (IRL) 8.019
3. (33) Rubens Barrichello (F1) 7.875
4. (3) Fernando Alonso (F1) 7.861
5. (15) Greg Biffle (NASCAR) 7.861
6. (14) Sebastien Bourdais (CCWS) 7.591
7. (10) Mark Martin (NASCAR) 7.176
8. (6) Carl Edwards (NASCAR) 7.057
9. (NR) Tony Stewart (NASCAR) 7.002
10. (4) Tony Kanaan (IRL) 6.971
11. (9) Paul Tracy (CCWS) 6.848
12. (22) Elliott Sadler (NASCAR) 6.778
13. (5) Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR) 6.745
14. (17) Michael Waltrip (NASCAR) 6.647
15. (13) Rusty Wallace (NASCAR) 6.601
16. (7) Sam Hornish Jr. (IRL) 6.548
17. (12) Kyle Busch (NASCAR) 6.515
18. (18) Joe Nemechek (NASCAR) 6.508
19. (NR) Ryan Newman (NASCAR) 6.491
20. (1) Kimi Raikkonen (F1) 6.411

Last week's ranking in parenthesis.  Provided by STATS Inc.

06/22/05
cc
nascar
Champ Car take note Champ Car take noteAlthough moderately successful, AutoRacing1.com readers know that one of my biggest beefs with Champ Car's temporary circuit races are the bleacher seats. Race fans pay a lot of money for race tickets and to expect them to sit on a narrow plank of wood with their knees hitting the back of the person in front of them in the hot sun to watch a race when they can go to a NASCAR race or a baseball game and get a contoured seat with a cup holder (some tracks) and a seat back instead, is downright lunacy. And to make matters worse, most of the bleachers are erected at such a flat angle the view is limited.

Champ Car can learn a lesson from Humpy Wheeler, who said, "The rise of racing to major-league status can be attributed to the female influence. In the typical family with two kids, it's the female who usually takes care of the vacation and entertainment itinerary. She's the one who made the decision early on that racing was OK for the family. That's why it is important to make sure our facilities take care of all their needs, from clean restrooms to seating comfort."

If Champ Car expects to see a rise in popularity like NASCAR has experienced, it has to figure out a way to make the females happy and comfortable, and of course it must figure out how to get more females interested in their sport. The expense to erect better temporary grandstands will be higher for sure, but can Champ Car afford not to do it? Certainly there must be companies who make better temporary grandstands. Look at this company's temporary grandstands. Note the seat backs. More companies in Europe have an inventory of temporary grandstands with seat backs. Champ Car must work with companies in the USA to make steeper temporary grandstands with seatbacks. These grandstands can be trucked to various races from 3 or 4 regional repositories in the USA and erected.

Adding to your input on the grandstands, there are portable restroom facilities that are in the form of a trailer. They are rentable from any one of several companies, and have varied levels of function and decor. You can go from a basic restroom to something that looks like a bathroom in a 5-star hotel suite, with air conditioning, hot and cold running water and private vanity sinks in each stall. They also have sound systems where the race announcer audio could be piped in, or radio type ads played featuring race sponsors.
 
One of main things I have experienced myself is the foul experience of using a porta-john. Even for the most "manly-man" who isn’t supposed to care, it can be a very unpleasant thing when those things are so hot and sitting in the hot sun all day...or all weekend long.
 
Ponying up for a few of these units adjacent to a group of grandstands, would be a great addition to the enjoyment of a race event, and not just for the ladies.
 
In fact, I believe I saw one of these a few years back at the USGP, though Indy has permanent bathroom facilities, they added these. I know at the brickyard 400, they had porta-johns in that area.
 
It might be an interesting sponsorship for a consumer goods company associated with this type of facility. You could paint up the units to feature Dial Soap, or Scott Tissue, or Glade Air Fresheners, or even a cologne brand and women’s makeup or skin care brand. It might just work. I can assure you that the ladies would remember that brand name and brand recognition is what racing is all about. Mark C.

06/22/05
f1
BMW announces Sauber takeover BMW announces Sauber takeoverPeter Sauber has sold his F1 team to BMW, the German carmaker revealed at a news conference.  BMW has acquired most of Sauber's shares, and the rest - owned by sponsor Credit Suisse - will change hands progressively until 2008, the parties said in Munich.  The re-branded team will debut in 2006.

Peter Sauber, to stand down as team principal, is to become an 'advisor'. ''For private teams,'' the German speaking Swiss said, ''it has become increasingly difficult to secure solid financing.''  In 2000, BMW re-entered F1 as Frank Williams' engine partner.

Board member Burkhard Goeschel said BMW would now 'discuss the future options' with the Grove team.  He added: ''We do not expect instant success ... but we are convinced that we have chosen the right path for the long term.''  Dr Mario Theissen, tipped to succeed Sauber as team principal, said the Williams option will be decided 'over the next weeks.' Full Story

06/22/05
f1
George was in disbelief George was in disbeliefTony George did not know for sure what would happen as the cars came about turn 13 to line up for the start of the USGP race, only to see six cars take the grid with 14 pulling into the pits.  On the stage of the Pagoda, George dropped his head in disbelief. He then walked off in disgust. According to Fred Nation, the executive vice president of communications for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation, George refused to wave the checkered flag for the winner and told many of his top employees to disassociate themselves from any further involvement in this event. NSSN
06/22/05
ta
Trans-Am trivia Trans-Am triviaDid you know that?
  • Paul Gentilozzi has a chance to set several significant milestones in his long and illustrious Trans-Am career this weekend. This weekend’s race will mark the four-time Trans-Am titleholder’s 200th Trans-Am start. If he wins the race, he will move out of tie with the legendary Mark Donohue for the most wins in Trans-Am history: 30. Gentilozzi is the defending winner here.
  • A Paul Gentilozzi win would also be his fourth at Cleveland, moving him out of tie with fellow four-time champion Tommy Kendall (Cleveland Trans-Am winner: 1990, 1996, and 1997) for most Cleveland Trans-Am wins.
  • Rocketsports Racing is seeking to add to its record six Cleveland victories: 1991, Darin Brassfield; 1998, Bill Saunders; 2000, 2001, and 2004, Paul Gentilozzi; and 2003, Scott Pruett.
  • Jaguar is in the hunt for its fifth Cleveland Trans-Am win in last six years. If a Jaguar wins on Saturday, it will break a tie with Chevrolet for Cleveland marque win leadership.
  • Ford is seeking its first Cleveland Trans-Am victory since 1997 (Tommy Kendall, driving a Roush Racing Mustang).
  • Paul Gentilozzi (pole winner in 2000 and 2001) has the chance to win his third pole here this year. That would tie Tommy Kendall and Scott Pruett for the most poles here.

Historic Milestones…

  • The Trans-Am Series first held an event at Cleveland’s Burke Airport in 1988 and competed here through 1991. After a two-season hiatus, the Series returned to Cleveland in 1994 and competed at the venue through 1998. The Series returned to Cleveland in 2000 and has raced here every year since.
  • The fourteen Cleveland Trans-Am races have produced nine race winners, with only three drivers winning more than once: Tommy Kendall (1990, 1996, 1997), Paul Gentilozzi (2000, 2001, and 2004), and Scott Pruett (1994 and 2003). Seven entrants have scored Cleveland Trans-Am victories, with Rocketsports Racing taking six wins (1991, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004), McCall Racing, two (1994 and 1995), and Roush Racing, two (1996 and 1997). The Group 44 factory Audi team won in 1988, Irv Hoerr in 1989, C&C Racing in 1990, and ACS Express Racing in 2002.
  • Three drivers have scored their career-first Trans-Am victories at Cleveland: Hans Stuck in 1988, Tommy Kendall in 1990, and Bill Saunders in 1998.
  • Six marques have won the 14 Cleveland Trans-Am races. That list is led by Chevrolet (1990, 1994, 1995, 1998) and Jaguar (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004). Ford (1996 and 1997) and Oldsmobile (1989 and 1991) each have two wins. Audi (1988) and Panoz (2002) have one win apiece.
  • Eight nameplates have been victorious here with Jaguar’s XKR scoring the most wins: four (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004). Chevrolet’s Camaro (1994 and 1995), Ford’s Mustang (1996 and 1997), and Oldsmobile’s Cutlass (1989 and 1991) have scored two wins each. Single victories have been posted by Audi’s Quattro (1988), Chevrolet’s Beretta (1990), Chevrolet’s Corvette (1998), and the Panoz Esperante (2002).
  • Nine drivers have won the pole here, with only Scott Pruett (1988, 1994, and 2003) and Tommy Kendall (1990, 1996, 2004) achieving three such honors. Paul Gentilozzi (2000 and 2001) has two Cleveland Trans-Am poles.
  • Jaguar’s XKR (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004) leads in Cleveland Trans-Am fast qualifier honors with four. Ford’s Mustang (1996 through 1998) has three. Chevrolet’s Camaro (1994 and 1995) and Oldsmobile’s Cutlass (1989 and 1991) took two poles apiece with single honors to Mercury’s Merkur (1988), Chevrolet’s Beretta (1990), and Chevrolet’s Corvette (2002).
  • Twelve drivers have posted fastest race laps, with only Paul Gentilozzi (1998 and 2002) and Scott Pruett (1988 and 2003) taking two apiece. Tomy Drissi set the fastest race lap last year.
  • The winning drivers in the first four Cleveland Trans-Am races (Stuck in 1988, Hoerr in 1989, Kendall in 1990, and Brassfield in 1991) each achieved a “clean sweep” of the pole, fastest race lap and the victory. No other winner achieved the feat until Scott Pruett did so in 2003.
  • Seven (50.0%) of the 14 races here have been won from pole (1989, Hoerr; 1990, Kendall; 1991, Brassfield; 1994, Pruett; 2000 and 2001, Gentilozzi; and 2003, Pruett). Three have been won from third (Stuck, 1988; Kendall, 1997; Boris Said, 2002), two from fifth (1995, Fellows and 1996, Kendall), and one from sixth (Saunders in 1988) with Gentilozzi winning in 2004 from 13th for an average race winner’s starting position of 3.21.
  • Lead-lap finishers have ranged from 14 in 1997 to four in 2001 for an average of 9.79 per race. Eight of the 14 races have produced 10 or more lead-lap finishers with 2002 producing 13, one short of the event record.
  • Thirteen of the 14 races here have produced victory margins of less than 10 seconds, with the largest margin only 11.33 seconds in 1996. The record closest Cleveland Trans-Am victory margin of 0.193 of a second was posted in 1998 by Bill Saunders.
06/22/05
f1
This week’s Formula One test schedule This week’s Formula One test scheduleWith an appearance before the FIA awaiting them, and with the cause of Toyota’s Indianapolis tire failures still unconfirmed, the Michelin teams return to the test track this week, along with their Bridgestone rivals, in preparation for the French Grand Prix.

Ralf Schumacher, ruled out of the US Grand Prix following his practice shunt, was due at the wheel from Wednesday when Toyota begin a three-day session at Jerez in Spain. However, although he is expected to be fit for Magny-Cours, the team may decide it's too early to put him back in the car this week.

That would leave Jarno Trulli and Ricardo Zonta to carry the Japanese team’s work load, though they may also call on the services of Olivier Panis, especially as the French veteran is due to run as their third driver at his home race.

Like maiden polesitters Toyota, McLaren were left particularly disappointed after the US affair, as Kimi Raikkonen was hotly tipped for his fourth victory of the season. He will be at Jerez on Thursday alongside team mate Juan Pablo Montoya, with the Colombian also running on Wednesday. Alexander Wurz is scheduled for both those days and Friday.

Sauber also have a three-day program planned at Jerez, as do Renault, who are expected to field Fernando Alonso plus test drivers Franck Montagny, fresh from his stint at Le Mans, and his stand-in as reserve driver at Indy, Heikki Kovalainen. Williams, meanwhile, are due to run Nick Heidfeld and Antonio Pizzonia on Thursday and Friday.

Of the three Bridgestone teams, two are expected to test this week, both in Barcelona. Ferrari begin a three-day session on Tuesday, while Jordan will have Tiago Monteiro on track Thursday and team mate Narain Karthikeyan on Friday.

Check back throughout the week for the latest updates on the teams’ progress. Note - all schedules are provisional and remain subject to change.

06/22/05
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Indy 'disappointed too'
F1 back to work
Teams 'damaged F1' - FIA
Drivers back Michelin stance
Brit GP to be farce-free
More trouble for Bernie
'Don't blame me' - Max
BMW has something to say
Zanardi to drive F1 at Monza
F1's alternate rules
Schu v. The Pope
Indy's F1 race not dead yet
'There were options' - Todt
06/21/05
SCCA
Rahal Rules SCCA National Formula Atlantic Event Rahal Rules SCCA National Formula Atlantic EventSixteen-year-old Graham Rahal gave his father, racing legend Bobby Rahal, a perfect racing weekend as a Father's Day present.  The teen from New Albany, Ohio dominated a SCCA national Formula Atlantic event at Beaver Run Motorsports Complex here over the weekend by winning the pole and then leading every lap of the 30-lap race on Sunday, lapping the entire field and demolishing the previous track record in the process.  He was behind the wheel of a black, yellow and white Team Rahal Swift serviced by Andersen Walko Racing. It is sponsored by The Bobby Rahal Automotive Group, Bosch, Renier Construction and Norwalk Furniture.  There were 28 cars in the race and eight in Rahal's class. "We didn't have any problems at all," the winner said modestly.  "The car was good."  Rahal also dominated a similar event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on June 9.  He'll compete in his Andersen Walko Racing Star Mazda car at the SCCA June Sprints at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. this coming weekend, a track he has driven at many times in the past.
06/21/05
f1
George and Ecclestone relationship on deathbed George and Ecclestone relationship on deathbedUPDATE Dear AutoRacing1.com, What a great idea to have a merged series race twice at Indy, the Indy 500 and the Indy Grand Prix.  Maybe this could be a good selling point to Tony.  Thanks. Kevin Kelch, Omaha, NE  06/20/05 This tombstone says it all - mark yesterday as the day in history that Tony George's relationship with Bernie Ecclestone ended.   The Speedway was reported to be taking a financial bath on the F1 race anyway, but was willing to stick it out because it helped the image of the Speedway and there was always a hope of someday turning a profit.  This may be the opportune time for George not to invite F1 back and to recoup some of its losses in the courtroom. 

We would not be surprised if George invites MotoGP to race there in place of F1, but the turn 13 wall will be an issue for the bikes.  If there is a merger, would the new series run two races at Indy every year - the Indy 500 on the oval and another race on the road course in place of F1?  Anything's possible, but we doubt it at this point.

06/21/05
f1
cc
irl
Through with F1 Through with F1A reader writes, Dear Rick Benjamin, With regard to your article in AutoRacing1.com, I had made the trip to Indy for the USGP on Sunday. As a loyal Champ Car fan and part time volunteer for the CCWS,  I only attended the USGP as a guest of a friend whom had received the tickets for free.  The point being here is that we did not give IMS (Tony George) one cent of our money although he cannot be blamed here (as much as I'd like to) for this fiasco. Enough said about that.

As for the outcome I had read on AutoRacing1.com on Saturday night about a possible Michelin withdrawal and like most fans had dismissed it, however were we fooled. As excited to see the entire field on the formation lap I was fit to be tied when I saw the 14 cars enter the pit lane and withdraw from the event. Along with the cars that retired so did we leave the Speedway and returned home after a dozen laps and watching fans throwing debris on the track.

I am through with F-1 which is sad, however I feel the glory days of the sport are long behind it which began with the passing of Ayrton Senna. My feelings will not go unnoticed, I as well as others will begin to forward letters to Michelin and the FIA in protest. I do agree that a solution should have been found however the FIA does business a different way than what we here in the states are accustomed to, just read Peter Windsor's comments or review his interview from Wind Tunnel on Sunday night.

If there was a time for Champ Car and the IRL to bury the hatchet and unify open wheel racing in the US now is the time! There are numerous fans that are disgusted with the happenings on Sunday and could embrace a united series here in the states. John Mylenek, Howell, MI

06/21/05
nascar
Q and A with Dale Jarrett Q and A with Dale JarrettDale Jarrett, driver of the No. 88 UPS Taurus, has won on every type of track on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series circuit except a road course.  As the series heads west to Infineon Raceway for this Sunday's event, Jarrett plans to brush up on his road-racing skills at the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Phoenix.  Jarrett recently spoke about that trip and the weekend ahead.

DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus -- YOU'RE OFF TO BONDURANT THIS WEEK FOR SOME TESTING.  IS IT JUST LIKE A REFRESHER COURSE FOR YOU TO GET USED TO DRIVING ROAD COURSES AGAIN?  "Yeah.  I don't think it ever hurts to go back.  I've had a couple of the guys from Bondurant come when we were testing somewhere at a road course, but that's a little different.  This way they can get in the car with you and refresh your memory on some of the techniques and hopefully get rid of some of the bad habits you might have gotten into over the years because it's easy to do that.  You get into doing things a certain way and even though it might feel right, it might not necessarily be the proper way.  So Elliott and I are gonna go out for a day and have a little fun and, hopefully, it will benefit us by the time we get there on Friday.

YOU'VE WON ALL THE BIG RACES IN THIS SERIES AND YOU'VE WON A CHAMPIONSHIP, BUT YOU HAVE NOT WON ON A ROAD COURSE.  IS THAT THE ONE THING YOU'D LIKE TO ADD TO YOUR RESUME?  "Yeah, it would be nice.  With the road racers that we have out here now and even with the specialists that come in, it's gonna make that more difficult.  But with strategy playing out the way that it does anything can happen out there, so that's the attitude that you have to go with.  You go make your best effort and, hopefully, maybe your strategy will play out to a point that it could get you in a position to try to win."

A LOT OF GUYS GREW UP RACING GO-KARTS AND COMPETING ON ROAD COURSE-TYPE TRACKS, BUT YOU NEVER REALLY HAD THAT EXPERIENCE DID YOU?  "No, I never had any type of road-race experience.  My first venture at a road course was at Road Atlanta when the Busch Series went there back in the early '80s.  I made the trip out to Bondurant when the school was actually at Sears Point, and that's where I got my road-racing experience to begin with.  But that first race was a lot of fun and it's something I've enjoyed doing over the years.  I've had some really good runs at different times and even though I haven't won, I've had some good moments.  I've also had some embarrassing moments, but if you're gonna do this you're gonna have that happen from time to time."

THE ROAD COURSE AT INFINEON HAS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS.  DOES IT FAVOR YOU THAT NOW IT MIGHT BE MORE OF A SUPERSPEEDWAY THAN ONE WITH A LOT OF TWISTS AND TURNS?  "You'd think maybe it would, but I actually enjoyed the old way better.  I felt like there were more opportunities to pass and that the track was really slick.  Then when they started repaving and changing certain areas, I think that took away some of the things I liked about it.  Everybody has to deal with the same thing, but it's a totally different road course than when I started racing there years ago. Ford

06/21/05
cc
Q and A with Justin Wilson Q and A with Justin WilsonJustin Wilson, driver of the No. 9 RuSPORT/San Disk Ford-Cosworth Lola, has established himself as a fierce competitor in the Champ Car World Series. Now in his second season running Champ Cars, Wilson has captured the first pole of his Champ Car career and his first DNF all in Portland. Currently third in the championship standings heading into this weekend's event in Cleveland, Wilson reflects on his season so far.

Justin Wilson - No. 9 RuSPORT/San Disk Ford-Cosworth Lola - ON HIS PERFORMANCE GOALS THIS SEASON. "Just trying to be competitive as often as we can and give ourselves the opportunity to be at the front on our good days, and on our bad days still be close to the front to pick up some points. Yeah, it would be nice to pick up a few wins this year, but we'll take it one step at a time."

THOUGHTS ON HIS COMPETITIVE TEAMMATE, A.J. ALLMENDINGER. "We push each other. Neither of us wants to be second to the other, but we get along very well away from the track. We do lots together. In my spare time I like playing video games -- not too much online racing like A.J. because it's too much hassle for me to schedule. I'll spend time cycling to keep fit and occasionally play miniature golf when A.J. and I get bored sometimes and are looking for competition."

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE TRACK? "I like the variety. The ovals are quite new to me so I'm trying to get use to that. Road courses are more of what I'm used to. The airport I like the best because of the higher speeds."

IS THERE A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION FOR YOU? "My dad. He's the one that got me started in racing and has been with me all throughout my career. He's coming to the races in Cleveland, Toronto and Denver this season. He used to race when he was younger. I have a younger brother, 11 years younger. He races go-karts and is unable to make it over here (from England) to attend any of the Champ Car races."

WHAT ABOUT THIS WEEKEND'S RACE AT CLEVELAND? "Cleveland was a good start last year (second). Beat the qualifying record in Portland (first),and the car has been working really well so far this season, so I'm really looking to a good race in Cleveland." Ford

06/21/05
Industry News
Ford follows GM's downward slide Ford follows GM's downward slideFord Motor Co. (F) slashed its full-year earnings outlook on Tuesday and said it was planning more job cuts and belt-tightening measures to offset its slumping U.S. vehicle sales.

The second-largest U.S. automaker, which has warned that its core automotive operations may not be profitable this year, said its full-year profit outlook was being cut to a range of $1.00 to $1.25 per share, down from a previous forecast of $1.25 to $1.50.

In addition to the elimination of 2005 bonuses for salaried management employees worldwide, Ford said it was also suspending 401(k) matching grants (search) for its salaried workers and planning to cut another 5 percent, or about 1,700, of its salaried jobs in North America.

The job cuts are in addition to 1,000 salaried positions Ford said it was targeting for cuts in April.

Both Ford and its larger cross-town rival General Motors Corp. (GM) have been reeling this year from a dramatic slowdown in sales of their mid- and large-size sport utility vehicles. The fuel-thirsty SUVs, former profit engines for Detroit's automakers, have entered the slow lane in U.S. vehicle sales as consumer sentiment changes in the face of high gasoline prices. Reuters

06/21/05
f1
Legault’s opinion on Indy Fiasco Legault’s opinion on Indy FiascoLike millions of Formula 1 fans worldwide, Canadian Grand Prix management has expressed its deep disappointment at the outcome of Sunday's US Grand Prix event at Indianapolis. In a statement on Monday, Mr. Normand Legault, President and CEO of the Canadian Grand Prix Inc., said…

“It is not our job to discuss the respective responsibilities of the parties involved in Sunday's Grand Prix, an event in which seven of the ten registered teams failed to present themselves at the start line. Of course, we hope that such a situation will never occur again, for whatever reason, but most especially in the interests of a sporting discipline to which we are devoted fans."

Mr. Legault continued by pointing out that…  "Taking place under such circumstances, the US Grand Prix was a serious disappointment both for the spectators at Indianapolis, and for televiewers worldwide; but it may also be seen as a source of anxiety for the promoters of all those Grand Prix events that are part of the World Championship calendar, and that are also subject to the decisions of sports authorities and participants. Which is why we wish here to indicate our sincere support for Mr. Tony George and his Indianapolis Motor Speedway team, whom we believe cannot in any way be held responsible for yesterdays (Sunday’s) incidents."

In Mr. Legault's opinion…  “At this point, it would appear both premature and inappropriate to attempt to assess the impact of the events at Indianapolis on the presentation of any future US Grand Prix, and even more so on the Canadian Grand Prix. For the time being we would simply express the hope that Formula 1 and all the stakeholders involved may as quickly as possible offer our loyal and enthusiastic spectators the clear assurance that events such as those that took place yesterday will never be repeated."

06/21/05
f1
Williams claims teams were desperate to race Williams claims teams were desperate to raceRight up to the last minute of the US Grand Prix, the Michelin supplied teams as well as Michelin itself were looking forward to facilitating an exciting race with a field of 20 cars. However, due to various reasons an agreement with the International Automobile Federation (FIA) was prevented and the result was that the Michelin teams – amongst them the BMW WilliamsF1 Team – abstained from starting at the ‘Indianapolis Motor Speedway’ for safety reasons.

Team Principal Frank Williams was deeply disappointed at this outcome…. "The teams were desperate to race and put on a good show,“ says the Englishman, "Racing in North America is of fundamental importance to Formula One’s commercial health."

The BMW WilliamsF1 Team also supported the decision of all Michelin-supplied racing teams to waive the chance of scoring World Championship points. Williams declares. "We wanted at least to entertain the fans and we were prepared to let go of the points and give them all to Ferrari. I cannot stress enough how disappointed we were." Williams

06/21/05
nascar
PJ Jones almost had Cup ride PJ Jones almost had Cup rideP.J. Jones was listed in a 2nd Robby Gordon Motorsports Harrah's Chevy for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at the Infineon Raceway.  However, after careful consideration, the team withdrew the car to concentrate fully on its primary car – Gordon’s #7 – given the importance of the event and the need to secure a solid finish. The #7 car will carry Jim Beam and Menards decals on the left and right quarter panels of the Harrah’s Chevrolet respectively. Robby Gordon Motorsports
06/21/05
irl
Lazier to sub for Rutherford Lazier to sub for RutherfordIndyCar Series veteran Jaques Lazier will drive the Chevrolet SSR pace vehicle during this weekend's SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway.  Lazier, who captured the pole for the inaugural SunTrust Indy Challenge in 2001, is substituting for three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford, who will miss this weekend's race so he can attend the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England this weekend.   The festival is honoring the 25th anniversary of Rutherford's 1980 Indianapolis 500 victory.
06/21/05
irl
Castroneves OK after testing incident Castroneves OK after testing incidentIn preparation for the SunTrust Indy Challenge, Marlboro Team Penske's Helio Castroneves and Sam Hornish Jr. participated in a one-day Toyota engine test at Richmond International Raceway June 17. They combined for 427 laps.

Near the end of the session, the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone made contact with the wall between Turns 1 and 2. Castroneves suffered a deep shoulder bruise but will compete in the June 25 race.

"I'm not sure what happened, but the car went straight while exiting Turn 1," said Castroneves, who finished fifth in the Bombardier Learjet 500k on June 11 at Texas Motor Speedway. "It was an unfortunate way for us to end the day as the test was going quite well.  On the positive side, both Sam and I seem to have good setups, and I'm looking forward to returning to Richmond."

06/21/05
Industry News
Sotheby’s at Ferrari Sotheby’s at FerrariON TUESDAY, JUNE 28, 2005 Sotheby’s is delighted to be conducting an unprecedented sale dedicated to Italy’s finest sports cars. The auction of Ferrari and Maserati models spanning seven decades will be unique for many reasons, not least because it will be held on the hallowed ground of the prancing horse headquarters at Maranello, where everything from the 1958 412S to the Formula One F2004 have been built and tested.

Sotheby’s is the only auction house ever to hold a sale supported by Ferrari. The event will also be a first in that every vehicle will be sold with the full authentication from Ferrari’s factory engineers. Months of painstaking research has gone into ensuring that all the cars are genuine and correct in every detail, thereby eliminating the pitfalls often associated with buying the rarest and finest examples of the Ferrari and Maserati marques.

Highlights of the Sale  The sale will present a selection of the most desirable and important Ferraris and Maseratis. Among them is the 1962 Ferrari 330 TRI, which was the last front engine Ferrari to win the Le Mans 24 Hours, and which was in the Bardinon collection for 30 years. Estimate available on request. The beautiful 4-cylinder 1955 750 Monza, a model that contributed to the victory in that championship, is estimated at 1,200,000-1,300,000 EUROS, and the 1961 250 GT “lusso”, by common consent one of the most beautiful road-going Ferraris, is estimated at 800,000-1,200,000 EUROS. The 400th Ferrari Enzo built, is also included in the sale, being offered by Ferrari to benefit the Tsunami appeal. It is estimated at 1,000,000-1,100,000 EUROS.

The sale will be highlighted by the Formula One F2004, chassis number 234, in which Schumacher won the Australian, Malaysian, Bahrain, Imola and Spanish races. When the Formula One F2004 appears at auction in June, it will be the first time that Ferrari has offered a Formula One car from the past season. Estimate available on request.

Maserati entries include a superb 5000 GT, considered the most important Maserati road car. With a beautiful body by Touring and fitted with a 450 S racing engine, it is estimated at 650,000-750,000 EUROS. Also a fine example of the legendary 4CL racing car of the forties, which is estimated to fetch 400,000-550,000 EUROS.

The sale will also include the Maserati MC12 factory car, chassis number 071, a two-seater long-tail coupé-spider with a long wheel base (2800 mm). It has a typical racing set-up with a removable hard top, powered by a naturally aspirated 12-cylinder 65° V engine that displaces 5998 cc and punches out 465 kW at 7500 rpm. Highly advanced composites and alloys have enhanced its structural rigidity and kept its overall weight to a minimum. This particular model won the 2004 FIA GT championship race at Oschersleben, the first victory for Maserati at a major international race in 37 years. It is estimated to fetch 1,200,000-1,400,000 EUROS.

Chief among the highlights of the historic cars in the sale, is the 1958 Ferrari 412 S, #0744, which has an illustrious past in North American racing, having been driven by giants such as Phil Hill and Richie Ginther. It is a unique car with the most powerful front engine offered by Ferrari at that time. This is without doubt one of the greatest cars ever to be offered for sale. It is estimated to fetch 7,000,000-10,000,000 EUROS.

The catalogue for the sale will be available from mid-May and its pages will bring together some of the most historic sports cars ever built.

VIEWING  There will be pre-sale viewing at the Fiorano Circuit in Maranello, Italy from June 25th – 26th Admission by catalogue only

FURTHER DETAILS AVAILABLE AT www.sothebys.com/ferrariauction Ferrari

06/21/05
cc
PKV Racing media teleconference transcript PKV Racing media teleconference transcriptThe winners in Portland Sunday, PKV Racing participated in a media teleconference today.  Dan Pettit, Cristiano da Matta and Jim McGee answered questions. Transcript
06/21/05
f1
Ferrari tests at Barcelona Ferrari tests at BarcelonaToday was the first day of testing this week for the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team as they prepare for round ten on the 2005 agenda, the French Grand Prix, next weekend. Kicking the session off at the Catalunya Circuit on the outskirts of Barcelona was regular test driver Luca Badoer, who tackled a program of set-up and aerodynamic testing under cloudy but dry and warm conditions. The Italian completed a total of 104 laps, the quickest being recorded as a 1’16”996 and he will continues testing at this circuit tomorrow. Ferrari
06/21/05
f1
Lawsuits, Penalties, Fan Unrest Heard As F-1 Teams Head Back To Europe Lawsuits, Penalties, Fan Unrest Heard As F-1 Teams Head Back To EuropeEven the great Michael Schumacher stood on the winner's podium Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in disgust.  The seven-time World Driving Champion had won his first race of the 2005 Grand Prix season but he didn't spray champagne or wave to his team and fans. The winner of the United States Grand Prix simply walked off the podium shaking his head after one of the biggest motor racing debacles ever seen in this country.  With more than 100,000 fans screaming for the start of the 20-car field at the world's most famous racing facility, the screams turned into boos when 14 cars pulled into their garage areas prior to the green flag as a request from their tire manufacturer - Michelin.  Michelin wanted the track changed (with a chicane in turn 13) the morning of the race but the FIA refused that request. Due to tires that Michelin called "unsafe," the seven Michelin-shod F-1 teams decided to park its cars.  So, six cars - teams from Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi and running Bridgestone rubber - took the green flag and completed the 73-lap event.  The finish - with many of the crowd already gone from the speedway - saw Schumacher take the win followed by Rubens Barrichello, Tiago Monteiro, Narain Karthikeyan, Christjian Albers and Patrick Friesacher.

Needless to say, outraged fans were heard around the speedway as well as F-1 fans worldwide.  Lawsuits from racing fans have already been filed against Michelin, FIA, Formula One Management and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and penalties through the FIA are possible to the teams and manufacturers that boycotted the event.  The FIA World Motor Sport Council has demanded that representatives of the seven Michelin teams appear before the Council at the next meeting in Paris on June 29.  The Council has the power to punish the teams of BAR Honda, BMW Williams, McLaren Mercedes, Red Bull Racing, Renault, Sauber Petronas and Toyota.  Has the popularity of F-1 in the U.S. been damaged and the extent of the damage will not be known for some time.  The Speedway currently has a tentative USGP date of June 25, 2006.

On Tuesday, the charges leveled against the seven teams were announced by the FIA. Identical letters, delivered to the seven teams, listed a number of breaches of the regulations including committing "one or more acts prejudicial to the interests of competition, namely the 2005 United States Grand Prix, and/or to the interests of motor sport generally."  The accusations against the seven teams, according to the letter, are that they: "failed to ensure that they had a supply of suitable tires for the race; wrongfully refused to allow their cars to start the race; wrongfully refused to allow their cars to race, subject to a speed restriction in one corner which was safe for such tires as they had available; combined with other teams to make a demonstration damaging to the image of Formula One by pulling into the pits immediately before the start of the race; failed to notify the stewards of their intention not to race, in breach of Article 131 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations."  Article 131 of the regulations states: "The starting grid will be published four hours before the race. Any competitor whose car (s) is (are) unable to start for any whatsoever (or who has good reason to believe that their car (s) will not be ready to start) must inform the stewards accordingly at the earliest opportunity and, in any event, no later than 45 minutes before the start of the race."

The seven teams are expected to receive a full list of the charges within the next 24 hours and have been invited to send any written comments to the FIA prior to the June 29 meeting.  The next F-1 race is scheduled for Magny-Cours, France on July 3.

06/21/05
f1
The FIA’s radical blueprint The FIA’s radical blueprintThis SPEEDTV.com article says, the F1 teams agree with several of FIA president Max Mosley’s propositions, such as the limitation on the use of expensive materials, the elimination of traction control and a reduction of downforce in favor of increased levels of mechanical grip - including the reintroduction of slick tires. The FIA’s statement of last week outlined that the teams have until the end of July to submit their feedback on the governing body’s propositions. Among the new items F1’s “Group of Nine,” of which Stoddart has emerged as an unofficial spokesman of sorts (the Go9 includes all squads bar Ferrari), intends to present to the FIA are the limitation to a single specification of dry tires per race weekend and the return of tire changes. The teams also support the FIA’s idea to limit gearboxes to seven standard ratios but dislike the body’s concept of commissioning a separate company to build units for all teams, preferring to keep gearbox development in-house. "We have a whole set of proposals almost ready to go which are not dissimilar to Max's," Stoddart said, hinting that the Go9 may be willing to find common ground with the FIA and avoid a split of the sport in 2008, when the current Concorde Agreement expires.
06/21/05
atlantic
Maia gets ride for Cleveland Maia gets ride for ClevelandRising American racer Leonardo Maia starts his 2005 Champ Car Toyota Atlantic series competition at the Cleveland Grand Prix this weekend. Maia, from Surfside Florida, will pilot the #2 Swift 014 of Jensen MotorSport with backing from Konica Minolta. Team manager Eric Jensen states, "The team is excited to have a driver with Leonardo's skills and credentials driving for us. Two years ago, Leonardo dominated the Barber Dodge race at the Cleveland Grand Prix; starting on pole and winning by 17 seconds. We will do two test days in advance of the race, so hopefully we can quickly bring Leonardo up to speed in the Atlantic car, so he can compete for podiums straight out of the box."
06/21/05
NASCAR
Scott Pruett Speaks out on USGP Fiasco Scott Pruett Speaks out on USGP FiascoScott Pruett, preparing for his NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Infineon Raceway this weekend, was asked his thoughts on the F-1 race at Indy: "I think that was just horrible. If you think about it, the biggest losers were the fans. I know some of my friends that save their money every year to go to Formula One. They're Formula One fan crazy. They go there and they felt totally ripped off. I think they should have canceled the race and rescheduled it or something, but with the attitude of Formula One they said, 'this is as good as it gets. We're here, we're going to be gone. Who cares about the fans?' I think that was absolutely wrong and it was a travesty to the fans." Dodge Motorsports
06/21/05
f1
irl
nascar
F1 weekend Indy’s biggest F1 weekend Indy’s biggestThis Indy Star article has quotes from many business owners in Indy who say the F1 weekend is their biggest weekend of the year, bigger than the Indy 500 and the NASCAR Brickyard 400.  While the beer and burger crowd of those two races drink Bud Light and dine at McDonald's and Burger King, the wine and cheese crowd of F1 eat filet mignon and drink $1,000 bottles of wine.
06/21/05
f1
Mansell calls Indy fiasco a 'sick joke' Mansell calls Indy fiasco a 'sick joke'Nigel Mansell has said that the US Grand Prix farce could mean the end of F1 in America. The former F1 world champion and CART champion told British tabloid newspaper The Daily Mail that he was 'disgusted', 'saddened' and 'angry' that such a 'race' could be allowed to happened.

"It was, frankly, a sick joke and although I am long retired and was 4,000 miles away, I felt humiliated and embarrassed by what went on. It was like watching someone commit suicide in public. You cannot blame Michelin. I thought it was very brave of them to declare their concern over the integrity of their product and advise the teams. You cannot really blame the teams, who had to react to the advice they were given and not risk the safety of their drivers.

"When the safety of drivers and, possibly, supporters comes into question, you don't mess about. You do whatever is necessary in order to race. A compromise had to be found. And that compromise was a chicane being installed at that final fast corner. Simple and effective. It has been done before. It could have been done again overnight on Saturday and the race could have gone ahead and the public been entertained."

"I don't want to get involved in the politics of F1, but it strikes me as an incredibly sad reflection on the state of the sport that, for whatever reason, a satisfactory deal could not be not achieved in a such a generous timescale," he continued.

"Instead, we have surely seen the end of F1 in the United States. This was a worldwide sporting spectacle at one of the foremost motor racing venues in the world. I drove in the States in 1993 and know their fans' attitude; they expect entertainment and value for money. My heart goes out to all those thousands of F1 fans who traveled from across America - not to mention those who came from overseas. They will not want anything more to do with F1."

06/21/05
f1
Stoddart calls for Mosley to resign Stoddart calls for Mosley to resignSpeaking to BBC Radio Five Live, Minardi boss Paul Stoddart said that Max Mosley's rejection of the introduction of a chicane which would have seen the seven Michelin teams compete in the race had led to the 'saddest day in Formula Ones modern history' and called for Mosley to resign.

"It was a sad, sad day for Formula One," Stoddart said. "There was a solution put forward which would have seen the introduction of a chicane which would have allowed all 20 cars to take part but this suggestion was rejected by Max Mosley, the president of the FIA and not supported by Jean Todt of Ferrari.

"We have just seen the saddest day in Formula Ones modern history and we have completely disgraced ourselves in this country. I think there will be far reaching ramifications for what happened at Indianapolis.

"Max Mosley refused to allow for the introduction of the chicane and he will have some serious questions to answer over why he took that decision.

"The options were there to allow this race to take place, and it could and should have gone ahead with 20 cars. I have heard many calls for Mosley to resign and I would echo that. I feel the president of the FIA needs to take a long look at his position because I think there are a lot of people who feel that his position has become untenable."

However, also speaking to the BBC, Mosley insisted that what had happened at Indianapolis was not his fault and he won't resign.

"If something was my fault I'd be first to consider my position, not because a tire company can't supply the right tires or the teams won't compromise by running a little bit more slowly through a fast corner," he said. "I'd be first to accept blame if it was over something I had control but I don't. If I was in charge of the tires or the teams, it wouldn't have happened."

06/21/05
f1
The charges by the FIA against teams The charges by the FIA against teamsIt has been brought to the attention of the FIA that extracts from the document summoning the seven Michelin teams to the FIA World Motor Sport Council have reached some members of the Press. In the interests of transparency they have therefore decided to publish the charges faced by each team in their entirety, the following letter sent to each team boss at Williams, BAR, McLaren, Sauber, Red Bull, Toyota and Renault.

Dear Sir,
Article 151c of the International Sporting Code

You are hereby requested to appear at the forthcoming meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council which is to be held in Paris on 29 June 2005 (FIA – 8 place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris, meeting room “Salle du Comite” at 09:30 hrs to answer charges that, in breach of the above, you committed one or more acts prejudicial to the interests of a competition, namely the 2005 United States Grand Prix and/or to the interests of motor sport generally in that you…
- failed to ensure that you had a supply of suitable tires for the race and/or
- wrongfully refused to all allow your cars to start the race and/or
- wrongfully refused to allow your cars to race, subject to a speed restriction in one corner which was safe for such tires as you had available and/or
- combined with other teams to make a demonstration damaging to the image of Formula One by pulling into the pits immediately before the start of the race.

And that you failed to notify the stewards of your intention not to race in breach of article 131 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.

A full dossier will be sent to you within 48 hours
At this hearing you may assisted by the council of your choice

Should you wish to send us any comments in writing before this meeting we will make sure that they are circulated to the members of the World Motor Sport Council.

Yours faithfully….FIA

06/21/05
gp2
SPEED Channel adds GP2 coverage SPEED Channel adds GP2 coverageSPEED Channel will add LIVE coverage of the GP2 Championship Series, beginning July 3 at 6:30 a.m. from France.  GP2, introduced this season to replace Formula 3000, is designed to be an affordable training ground for Formula One. GP2 has made it mandatory for all of the teams to use the same chassis, engine and tire supplier so that true driver ability is reflected as opposed to who has the better technology.  For a full schedule of GP2 events on SPEED Channel, visit SPEEDTV.com.
06/21/05
MotoGP
New sponsor for German GP New sponsor for German GPFollowing the success of their partnership with MotoGP and Dorna Sports for the French and Italian rounds of the World Championship, Telecom Italia have also acquired, through their ADSL brand Alice, the title sponsorship package for the 2005 German Grand Prix.  Therefore, the MotoGP race scheduled in Sachsenring on July 31st will be officially called “Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland”.   The Italian telecommunications company’s sponsorship package includes the right to name the event and trackside brand exposure presence.
06/21/05
World Rally
BFG to replace Michelin BFG to replace MichelinBFGoodrich Tires will replace its sister brand Michelin in the FIA World Rally Championship with teams Ford and Skoda in 2006. And rally fans say the move might ignite a tire war with the WRC's other rubber supplier, Pirelli.

BFG already participates in the Dakar Rally, and North America's SCORE Desert Racing Series, so it brings extensive off-road racing experience to the multi-terrained World Rally Championship. The WRC runs events on mountain, snow, gravel and rocky roads on four continents.

06/21/05
a1gp
A1GP to take to hill at Goodwood A1GP to take to hill at GoodwoodEncapsulating the theme of this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed, 'Racing Colors - National Pride and Culture', A1 Grand Prix - the World Cup of Motorsport, will make its debut appearance at the internationally- renowned motor racing event this weekend.

With the backing of motorsport legends such as John Surtees and Alan Jones, world football stars Luis Figo and Ronaldo and a host of international politicians and statesmen, A1 Grand Prix is already taking the world by storm, even before its 25 national cars take to the grid for the Series' first race this September.

Pitting driver against driver and country against country for the first time in motorsport history, A1 Grand Prix will unite 25 nations in a single competition. All racing identical cars with the same V8 engine, no electronic driver aids and matching A1 Cooper slick tires selected for their control and durability, A1 Grand Prix teams will compete under their national flag for the pride of their nation in the first World Cup of Motorsport.

At this weekend's Festival, A1 Grand Prix Founder, President and Chairman, Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum, a member of Dubai's ruling family, will run the A1 Car on Goodwood's famous Hill Climb, stunning the crowds with the colorful sight and awesome sound of the 550bhp single-seat race car.

'Goodwood is the biggest historic motorsport festival in the world and I'm delighted to have the opportunity to display this new motor racing concept at such a celebrated event' said Sheikh Maktoum. 'Since its initial launch in March 2004, A1 Grand Prix has been welcomed by fans, drivers and sponsors who all support the idea of A1 where a level playing field ensures success is determined by driver skill and not team budgets. With identical cars and tires and the innovative PowerBoost system, unique to A1, the Series will deliver exciting racing and an amazing atmosphere. To have 25 cars, each proudly displaying their national flag line up on the grid at the start of every race will be a sight for sore eyes. I can't wait for the first race this September.'

06/21/05
f1
Michael Schumacher talks about Indy Michael Schumacher talks about IndyMichael's leaving the United States so shortly after the Grand Prix at Indianapolis - that took place with just six cars on track, which should be a well known fact by now - was not a reaction to the events that had taken place.

It was due to the World Champion being so eager to see his family after having been overseas for so long, and so his departure had been planned for soon after the race from the beginning on. But the strange race is naturally on his mind.

''This was a strange race, there's no question about it, and it's a bit of a shame that my first win came about this way. Especially because I think that we would have had good chances of winning even under regular circumstances, and would have liked to have shown that,'' he said before leaving. ''But it wasn't our fault that the circumstances were the way they were. I know that many people are trying to put the blame on Ferrari, but we did nothing wrong. We are not the point of reference in regard to this issue, and as of my understanding some of the other drivers said an extra chicane would not have helped matters, anyway.''
 
''I can understand that the fans were disappointed, but on the other hand a lot of them stayed and were happy for us. You have to acknowledge that, too. I think today was not an especially memorable race, but we will see good races here in future regardless of that. I always look forward to coming to the USA, and today surely hasn't changed that.''

The fact that the title-holder has moved up to position 3 in the drivers' championship as a result of this win is something he doesn't want to overrate. ''That's something that's not so important right now. Sure, you could say the championship battle is closer now - but it's not really close just yet. I'll just keep on doing what I've been doing all along, and that means work, stay focused and fight my way ahead step by step.''

In regard to work: Michael will fly to Barcelona on Wednesday and will test there on Thursday and Friday. Ferrari

06/21/05
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
F1 bookies glum
FIA summon Michelin teams
Chicane idea 'ridiculous'
A 'screw up', says Frank
'Kimi could've won' - Haug
'F1 can stomach Indy crisis'
Indy-fever is not contagious
Teams, Michelin, not to blame
Rubens' glum face
'Formula Zero' - press
Indy lawsuits filed
'NASCAR wouldn't do this'
06/20/05
f1
US GP problems will not be repeated in France US GP problems will not be repeated in FranceThe Federation Française du Sport Automobile, promoter of the 2005 Grand Prix de France has received assurances from Michelin that the incidents of the United States Grand Prix will not occur on the Nevers - Magny Cours circuit.  The unfortunate situation was exceptional to the Indianapolis Speedway due to it’s famous high speed, banked last corner which helped make this circuit legendary.  It is evident that such an incident could not occur at the 2005 Grand Prix de France. The Nevers - Magny Cours circuit with its unique layout and racing conditions, is well known to Michelin technicians who use it regularly for testing. Magny-Cours
06/20/05
Industry News
Top 10 Yahoo! Sports searches Top 10 Yahoo! Sports searches
Rank Subject
1  Payne Stewart +487.48%
2  US Grand Prix +287.19%
3  Formula One +245.78%
4  Paula Creamer +156.59%
5  AMA Motocross +146.90%
6  Indy 500 +136.16%
7  Tiger Woods +115.72%
8  Michael Schumacher +115.46%
9  New York Giants +110.95%
10  Champ Car +108.08%
11  Shaquille O'Neal +93.99%
12  Chien-ming Wang +87.40%
13  Annika Sorenstam +84.49%
14  Wimbledon +84.28%
15  Confederation Cup +82.49%
06/20/05
f1
Jean Todt explains Ferrari's position Jean Todt explains Ferrari's positionAfter Sunday’s controversial United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis, Jean Todt clarified Ferrari’s position in the run-up to the situation which led to 14 Michelin runners peeling off into the pits at the end of the parade lap, taking no further part in the race.

But first Todt admitted that “I feel sorry about what happened, but I mainly feel sorry for all the supporters who were here, for the American supporters, for the TV viewers but it was not our decision.”

The reason why the Michelin runners took no part in the race was because they had unsuitable tires on which they were recommended not to race. Compromises were sought from various sources to let the Michelin runners race, even for no points, but no solution was found.

At one point, a chicane was suggested in the quick banked corner at the end of the lap, where one of the Michelin tire failures took place during practice. Todt explained that he was not consulted on this.

“We were never involved with those discussions,” said Todt. “Never involved. We were never asked about that. Whether we would have agreed or not is another question, and I tell you right now, to be sincere, we would not have agreed, but we were never asked about that. But is it serious to decide to put in a chicane half an hour without nobody testing it? It’s ridiculous.”
 
Todt did say that Bernie Ecclestone had talked to him about “different proposals, including a chicane, but again, it’s a matter of the FIA, it’s not a matter of the commercial rights holder (Ecclestone’s position). And I said that for me it was up to the FIA to decide.”

Continuing to explain his position, Todt pointed out that “number one, it’s an FIA decision. Number two, if something happened on the other side; if, for example, we don’t have enough grip for qualifying and we ask for three laps because we have good grip after the third lap, or if we ask for a chicane because we feel it would be safer for our tires, I think everybody would laugh at us. So you just have to be prepared to react to a situation.

“You have two sets of tires which you chose from, one normally is soft, the other one is hard and then you make your choice. I feel sorry for those who could not compete, but I feel more sorry, again, for the supporters.”

Todt then explained the disadvantages of the sudden installation of a chicane. “If we knew beforehand that there would be a chicane, we would have come prepared for a chicane. We would come with different tires, we would have a different set-up on the car, we would have different gear ratios.

“Honestly, why should we compromise? We try to do a good job with Bridgestone, and we did not do a very good job with Bridgestone since the beginning of the year. We arrive, we are in a situation where we see from Friday that we are competitive, we don’t have any problem with tires so for us it’s an opportunity.”

There was even a suggestion that the Michelin teams would compete for no points if a chicane was installed. But Todt’s reply was “would we have competed for no points? I say no. If this race would have been a race without points which cannot be, it would have been out of the FIA standard, we would not have started.”

Asked what sort of harm the boycott had done the image of Formula One, Todt replied “very bad. I wish we could come back to the States because it’s a very important country, it’s now our number one market, the States, and for so many years Bernie has tried to implement something in the States. Unfortunately, it was not the best demonstration today. It has been a hard hit for Formula One today.”

Todt explained that the teams had been warned about pushing the tire situation to the limit. “We all got a letter two weeks ago warning us after the Monte Carlo race and after Nurburgring when Raikkonen had his problem, that we had to pay special attention to the tires, the pressures, about all that, and it’s something we thought could happen for a while.”

Asked under what circumstances he would you have been willing to race with the Michelin runners, Todt said “I would say three options. One, they could have changed their tires. Two, they would have to compromise in this specific corner. And three, they could have used the pit lane. If these cars cannot take this corner, what can I do? You would have had a race.” Ferrari Press

06/20/05
nascar
Ganassi calls on Pruett again Ganassi calls on Pruett againChip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) and Chevron Corporation announced today that defending Grand Am Rolex Series Champion Scott Pruett will pilot a second Texaco/Havoline "Shine On" Dodge in the 110-lap Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway on June 26. Pruett, a native of nearby Sacramento, Calif., will be driving the #39 Dodge, which will be the fourth entry by the team.
06/20/05
f1
Schuco and McLaren increase partnership Schuco and McLaren increase partnershipWest McLaren Mercedes and Schüco are pleased to announce an increase and lengthening of their current long-term Partnership. Schüco's aim to be the leading provider of windows + solar energy technology fits well with West McLaren Mercedes ambition of being the best Formula One team.

Schüco's new logo "Schüco, windows + solar" will be prominently displayed on the front of the overalls of drivers' Kimi Raikkonen, Juan Pablo Montoya, Alexander Wurz and Pedro de la Rosa. The Schüco branding will also continue to appear on the sleeve of the Drivers' overalls as well as the rear wing endplate of the MP4-20.

Dirk U. Hindrichs, CEO of Schüco Group said: "We have been working with West McLaren Mercedes to increase Schüco's global brand awareness for some years. Schüco is going to launch its successful solar energy products for heating and electricity generation in several world markets as well as continuing to increase its market share for windows and facades."

"Our Partnership with West McLaren Mercedes and Formula One will help us to enhance our brand building activities in the most efficient way. To support this strategy, we have increased and lengthened our current partnership with the team and we also hope that this signal will be a positive contribution to Kimi Raikkonen, Juan Pablo Montoya and the team in their efforts to win the 2005 Formula One World Championships."

Ron Dennis, Chairman and CEO of the McLaren Group commented: "During the Partnership with Schüco we have developed close ties with the company. As a result we are extremely pleased that the decision has been made not only to lengthen but also to further deepen our relationship. This commitment to the team and Formula One is great news and we look forward to continue winning with the support of Schüco." McLaren

06/20/05
f1
Fan sues over Grand Prix Fan sues over Grand PrixLarry Bowers, a Colorado resident, has filed a class action lawsuit against the Federation de l’Automobile (FIA), Formula One Group, Formula One Administration, Michelin Tires and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway following Sunday’s United States Grand Prix.

Bowers, represented by Indianapolis-based attorney William Bock III, filed suit claiming the 2005 USGP was fraudulent after 14 of the 20 drivers pitted and withdrew after the formation lap of the race because of a dispute surrounding the use of Michelin tires on the track.

The lawsuit claims Formula One, the FIA, Michelin, the teams equipped by Michelin and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway forged an agreement allowing the Michelin teams to participate in the formation lap and then exit the track prior to the start of the race.

“The alleged ‘race’ participated by just three teams did not constitute a true grand prix race under FIA and Formula One rules in that the race was started with an insufficient number of participants,” the lawsuit reads.

Bowers, who bought five tickets to this year’s race and has been a USGP ticket holder since its inception in 2000, is looking to receive a refund for the tickets as well as other costs paid toward attending the USGP. Indy Star

06/20/05
a1gp
A1 GP brings four countries to table with Mandela A1 GP brings four countries to table with MandelaInternational statesman Nelson Mandela welcomed four A1 Grand Prix National Seat Holders to his home in Cape Town, South Africa last week along with A1 Grand Prix chief executive Tony Teixeira and executive director Brian Menell.

Brazilian international Ronaldo (A1 Team Brazil), Real Madrid's Luis Figo (A1 Team Portugal) and businessmen Tokyo Sexwale (A1 Team South Africa) and Atul Gupta (A1 Team India) met Mandela while in South Africa to promote the A1 Grand Prix series.

The event combined promotion of A1 Grand Prix, the World Cup of Motorsport, with activity for Mandela's own worldwide music-led campaign to raise awareness about HIV and Aids, funding the fight against the pandemic in South Africa. Mandela named both Ronaldo and Figo as ambassadors for the '46664 - Give one minute of your life to Aids' program.

Commenting on the meeting, Tony Teixeira said, 'A1 Grand Prix is a common denominator uniting countries by giving them the opportunity to race competitively on a level playing field. By removing financial advantages and ensuring all nations have the same chance of winning, A1 Grand Prix is building relationships between countries. We have already received the endorsement of Prime Ministers and Presidents and now, through Nelson Mandela A1 Grand Prix has brought four more countries closer together.'
06/20/05
nascar
RCR suing over Earnhardt insurance policy RCR suing over Earnhardt insurance policyUPDATE #5 A settlement has been reached in the trial brought by Richard Childress Racing (RCR) against United of Omaha insurance company in a case that arose out of the death of Dale Earnhardt at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2001.   The jury trial began May 23, 2005, in the Superior Court in Lexington, N.C.   The parties reached a confidential settlement over the weekend of June 17. The settlement was reached after both parties had presented all of their evidence and had a full understanding of the intentions of the other party.  By settling the case, both parties were able to avoid further prolonged litigation which would have included appeals to the North Carolina appellate courts. Also, the settlement precludes any further disagreements or litigation by both parties over the issues and subject matter of the lawsuit. RCR  

06/20/05 The race team of the late Dale Earnhardt said Monday it reached a confidential settlement with an insurer who had refused to pay the stock-car driver's life-insurance policy, ending a nearly month long trial. Richard Childress Racing sought $3.7 million from United of Omaha Life Insurance Co., the amount for which the team had insured the popular driver, in a suit filed in Davidson Superior Court. AP Wire 06/01/05 The public will be allowed to review an edited version of Dale Earnhardt's contract introduced as evidence in a lawsuit against an insurance company that denied a $3.7 million claim in his death, a judge ruled Tuesday. But Superior Court Judge Kimberly Taylor, who has so far denied public access to evidence introduced to the jury in open court, ruled that attorneys for both Richard Childress Racing and insurer United of Omaha can argue that other exhibits admitted into evidence remain sealed. RCR has accused United of Omaha of cheating widow Teresa Earnhardt out of the payment after Earnhardt died in a crash in the 2001 Daytona 500. The racing team took out the policy and is pursuing the matter on the family's behalf. The company claims the policy was never valid for Earnhardt because he had not taken a required physical. CNNSI/AP 05/25/05 A life insurance company cheated the widow of race car driver Dale Earnhardt out of millions of dollars by refusing to pay up when he died, a lawyer for Richard Childress Racing said in the opening statements of a civil trial Wednesday.   But United of Omaha argued the $3.7 million policy was never in effect because Earnhardt had not taken the required physical before he died in a crash at the Daytona 500 in 2001.   "We made a fair decision. We made a reasonable decision. There's no question we made an unpopular decision, but we did what we're supposed to do based on what occurred," company lawyer Stephen Coles told the jury.

Richard Childress Racing took out the policy on Earnhardt's behalf and made the first $5,000 premium payment. It received a second bill just two days before Earnhardt died in the last-lap crash Feb. 18, 2001.  John Morrow, lawyer for Earnhardt's widow, Teresa, accused the insurer of failing to properly investigate the claim.

But Coles countered that despite the payment, the policy hadn't attached to the 49-year-old Earnhardt, one of the most popular drivers in the history of stock-car racing, because he had put off requests to undergo a physical.   "Just because somebody files an application doesn't mean they get a policy," Coles said. "It's not automatic. It's especially not automatic when it's the amount of money in this case." USA Today

05/23/05 Court proceedings in the lawsuit filed by Richard Childress Racing against the United of Omaha Life Insurance Company will begin on May 23, 2004, at 10:00 a.m., in Superior Court in nearby Lexington, NC. This case arises out of life insurance covering the death of Dale Earnhardt at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 18, 2001. It involves the three-year contract Earnhardt and Richard Childress signed in 2000 to cover the years 2001 through 2003. Richard Childress Racing agreed to insure Earnhardt for $7.2 million, to be payable to Teresa Earnhardt if he died during the first year of the contract. A $3.5 million life insurance policy was already in effect with National Life of Vermont and Richard Childress Racing purchased an additional policy worth $3.7 million through agents of United of Omaha, a subsidiary of Mutual of Omaha prior to Earnhardt's death.

The insurance policy application with United of Omaha was completed and signed in January 2001 by all parties involved: Richard Childress Racing, Dale Earnhardt personally, and United of Omaha. Two premium payments were made by Richard Childress Racing to agents of United of Omaha.

Within 24 hours of Earnhardt's death, United of Omaha declined payment on the $3.7 million policy and stated they had closed their file on the case. Shortly after that, National Life of Vermont sent a check for $3.5 million to Richard Childress Racing, which was delivered to Teresa Earnhardt. The lawsuit against United of Omaha is for violation of North Carolina laws dealing with bad faith and unfair and deceptive trade practices by insurance companies. Under those laws, insurance companies must conduct a reasonable investigation of all claims based upon all available information. Richard Childress Racing contends that United of Omaha did not conduct such an investigation and illegally refused to pay under the policy, thus violating the law and regulations applicable to insurance companies in North Carolina. He is pursing this case on behalf of Dale Earnhardt, Dale's memory, and Teresa Earnhardt.

This trial is set for a special session of the Superior Court of Davidson County in Lexington, N.C., which will begin May 23, 2005, at 10:00 a.m. The case will be heard by a resident Superior Court judge in Davidson County, the Honorable Kimberly G. Taylor. This is to be a trial by jury that is expected to last for one to two weeks. RCR PR

05/23/05 The Charlotte Observer reports that Richard Childress Racing (RCR) is suing  the insurance company over “portions of a $3.7 million life insurance policy” RCR tried to place on driver Dale Earnhardt before his death in 2001 at the Daytona 500.  Earnhardt did not take a required physical for the policy, but RCR claims that the driver’s assistant “was told the physical could wait until after” the race.  United of Omaha “denied any claim” the day after Earnhardt died, saying that the policy “had never been in effect.”
06/20/05
f1
Michelin teams summoned by FIA Michelin teams summoned by FIAThe FIA has ordered the seven Michelin teams to appear at a hearing of its World Motor Sport Council on Wednesday June 29 following their controversial withdrawal from the US Grand Prix.
 
The summons follows a statement issued by Formula One racing’s governing body earlier on Monday, in which it outlines its position on Michelin's decision to pull out of the race. The statement reads:

"Formula One is a sporting contest. It must operate to clear rules. These cannot be negotiated each time a competitor brings the wrong equipment to a race.

"At Indianapolis we were told by Michelin that their tires would be unsafe unless their cars were slowed in the main corner. We understood and among other suggestions offered to help them by monitoring speeds and penalizing any excess. However, the Michelin teams refused to agree unless the Bridgestone runners were slowed by the same amount. They suggested a chicane.

"The Michelin teams seemed unable to understand that this would have been grossly unfair as well as contrary to the rules. The Bridgestone teams had suitable tires. They did not need to slow down. The Michelin teams’ lack of speed through turn 13 would have been a direct result of inferior equipment, as often happens in Formula One. It must also be remembered that the FIA wrote to all of the teams and both tire manufacturers on June 1, 2005, to emphasize that "tires should be built to be reliable under all circumstances".

"A chicane would have forced all cars, including those with tires optimized for high-speed, to run on a circuit whose characteristics had changed fundamentally – from ultra-high speed (because of turn 13) to very slow and twisting. It would also have involved changing the circuit without following any of the modern safety procedures, possibly with implications for the cars and their brakes. It is not difficult to imagine the reaction of an American court had there been an accident (whatever its cause) with the FIA having to admit it had failed to follow its own rules and safety procedures.

"The reason for this debacle is clear. Each team is allowed to bring two types of tire: one an on-the-limit potential race winner, the other a back-up which, although slower, is absolutely reliable. Apparently, none of the Michelin teams brought a back-up to Indianapolis. They subsequently announced they were flying in new tires from France but then claimed that these too were unsafe.

"What about the American fans? What about Formula One fans world-wide? Rather than boycott the race the Michelin teams should have agreed to run at reduced speed in turn 13. The rules would have been kept, they would have earned Championship points and the fans would have had a race. As it is, by refusing to run unless the FIA broke the rules and handicapped the Bridgestone runners, they have damaged themselves and the sport. It should also be made clear that Formula One Management and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as commercial entities, can have no role in the enforcement of the rules."

06/20/05
f1
Sir Stirling Moss Comments on USGP Sir Stirling Moss Comments on USGPSir Stirling Moss, one of Britain's most popular and admired motor racing figures and a noted sportsman, has made public his thoughts on the 2005 United States Grand Prix held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race was turned into a farce when, just moments before the start of the race, all team using Michelin tires withdrew from the contest. This left only six cars on the grid, all shod with Bridgestones, including the Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi teams. "This year we have had some truly exciting racing," said Sir Stirling. "After an apology of an event at Indianapolis, I am so embarrassed for Formula 1 that I find impossible to make a realistic comment." When asked about Michelin’s role in the fiasco, Moss commented, "We were let down by Michelin." Moss went on to speak to the various alternatives floated by the teams and others to run the race, "I can see no reason why a chicane (at turn 13) was not used, so that a good race could have taken place for the spectators, even if it did not count for points." Moss concluded his remarks by making this observation, "This debacle will be debated for years to come, but the main point is that our sport let a lot of its fans down. In my reasoning, they should have come first, after safety." 
06/20/05
f1
Wind Tunnel quotes F1 USGP Wind Tunnel quotes F1 USGPBelow are select quotes from SPEED Channel Formula One analyst Peter Windsor from a Sunday night appearance on 'Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain.'  Windsor comments on the Formula One debacle, where Michelin teams refused to race at the USGP, citing safety issues for its drivers, leaving the lone F1 event in the U.S. with a six-car field.

Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain airs Sunday nights at 9 on SPEED Channel.

WINDSOR: "I think this business about the Michelin tires being unsafe to race has been exaggerated by the teams and, indeed, by Michelin, because as far as I understand it, they were only considered to be unsafe, by Michelin, on one very specific corner. And talking to a lot of the drivers, there were ways of getting around that corner, reducing the amount of load that was going through it - obviously we are talking about Turn 13, the vertical load. So, I think first of all, we need to be very careful about "the tires were unsafe." I think they were unsafe, but unsafe when used in a specific way. Beyond that, I am as shattered as anyone else. I love Formula One. I've been involved for 30 years and to see that happen on the warm-up lap, the formation lap, all those cars coming in like that, I think it was an absolute disgrace. To be honest, our obligation in this sport, or any sport is to the fans and for that to happen is just appalling."

"I think the Michelin was naïve in thinking that there would be a solution  that falls outside the framework of the Formula One regulations ... because they suggested a chicane that makes cars go slower through Turn 13, but that was never going to happen in a million years. The FIA, the governing body of the sport - this is the governing body that disqualifies cars for having a brake duct half a millimeter too large - they are never going to put in a chicane in on race morning, around which the cars are not allowed to practice or do anything at all ... equally, there was talk about using another batch of tires, but that was never going to happen either."

"Tell me where the difference is in what happened today and what might happen at any Grand Prix where there is a sudden downpour and one tire company, on intermediate tires, with no grip at all, everybody spins off on the straight and there is only five cars left in the race. That's happened before and everyone thinks 'Wow, what a great race.' They should have been out there racing and if there are problems, you drive around the problems as best you can. Racers are racers."

"It's the teams, these massively paid teams and drivers, who have a responsibility to the fans ... not one of those Michelin team guys said 'We made a horrendous mistake today and we take full responsibility. All they did was blame the FIA, blame Bernie, blame Ferrari, blame Bridgestone, blame everyone else, but they never actually blamed themselves. Do you know how many teams from Michelin actually did the pre-USA tire test to select the correct tire for Indianapolis? ... Two - Felipe Massa and Anthony Davidson - everyone else was at Silverstone."

"One of the watersheds of today was that Bernie Ecclestone stared people in the eye, literally eyeball to eyeball before the race, and said you are going to get in that car and race - not to the drivers, but to the team owners ... and they stared him back. At the end of the day, in this particular situation, the eyeballing didn't work for Bernie. It's the first time I can remember it not working for him and there will be repercussions."

"F1 is about people getting out there and going motor racing. We race in the rain. We race in the wind. We race in the hail. We race in the hot weather. And we have tire failures and lots of other terrible things, but that's what Formula One is all about, for good and for bad."

06/20/05
nascar
Hendrick announces personnel changes Hendrick announces personnel changesIn a tactical realignment of his business entities, Rick Hendrick today announced personnel changes affecting the Hendrick Automotive Group (HAG), Hendrick Motorsports and, now, the Hendrick Companies.

“Great people are by far the most valuable resource we have,” said Hendrick, chairman of HAG, Hendrick Motorsports and the Hendrick Cos.  “Regardless of job title or office location, we must be able to take advantage of our collective knowledge.  This structure will ease that process and provide an improved ability to develop leadership that will be crucial to our future success.

“Our goal is to foster growth, stability and opportunity.  By working to build a deep, multi-layered organization, we can continually benefit from one another and prosper as a whole.”

As part of the refreshed business model, Hendrick introduced longtime Automotive Group executive Jim Huzl as president and chief executive officer of Charlotte-based HAG.  In his new role, effective July 1, Huzl will oversee the direction of one of the nation’s largest privately held auto retailers with 68 franchises, 4,000 employees and more than $3.5 billion in revenue.

Sharing Huzl’s former duties as HAG’s chief operating officer will be three new senior vice presidents: Tom Blocker, East Division; Kirk Heppler, West Division; and Gary Davis, who will manage retail operations support.

Huzl succeeds Jim Perkins, who will transition to become the first president and COO of the Hendrick Cos., an organization recently formed to manage strategic initiatives relative to Hendrick’s various business enterprises.  Perkins will continue to serve as a member of HAG’s partnership committee.

Bobby Rice, a trusted friend and business associate of Hendrick since 1976, was named executive vice president of the Hendrick Cos. and special adviser to the chairman.  Rice also will work in a consultative capacity with Hendrick Motorsports, which fields multiple stock-car racing teams in two different divisions of sanctioning body NASCAR.

ABOUT JIM HUZL:  James F. “Jim” Huzl, 60, joined the Hendrick Automotive Group in 1985 as vice president of finance, and in 1992 was promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer.  He was appointed chief administrative officer in June 2000 and chief operating officer in November 2004.

In two decades of service with HAG, Huzl has managed financial institution relationships; directed corporate and dealership risk management initiatives; coordinated employee benefit programs; supervised corporate and dealership financial management information; and overseen investor relations.

Huzl’s responsibilities have also included human relations, information technology and internal audits, along with real estate and construction management.

A Mason City, Iowa, native, Huzl in 1968 graduated from the University of Arkansas, where he also completed two years of law curriculum.  He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and completed the Navy’s Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) before earning a master’s degree in business administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1979.

ABOUT JIM PERKINS:  Known throughout the automotive industry as an innovative and dynamic leader, J.C. “Jim” Perkins was named president and CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group in August 1997 following his spring 1996 retirement from General Motors.

As general manager of the Chevrolet Motor Division, Perkins led the manufacturer’s financial turnaround in the early 1990s.  He reinvigorated product lines with 16 new models and restored the brand’s prominence by increasing sales and vastly improving customer, employee and dealer relations.

While heading Chevrolet, Perkins also oversaw the performance of General Motors’ Motorsports Technology Group (now GM Racing), which is responsible for the make’s auto racing programs.  Chevrolet won NASCAR’s manufacturer’s championship in five of his seven seasons as general manager.

Perkins spent five years of his career (1984-1989) with Toyota Motor Sales, where he oversaw the development of the luxury car later identified as Lexus.  The Waco, Texas, native in 1987 was named senior vice president of the Lexus Division, where he directed the successful design, development and launch of Lexus.

Perkins, 70, has been recognized three times as an Automotive News “All-Star” and was inducted into the National Corvette Hall of Fame in 1999.

ABOUT BOBBY RICE:  Originally from New Bern, N.C., Robert C. “Bobby” Rice Jr. served as a certified public accountant for 31 years before retiring from Dixon Hughes PLLC in May 2005.

As a partner in Dixon Hughes, Rice founded and managed the automobile dealership practice of the North Carolina-based firm for more than 18 years.  Under his direction, the dealership practice became the largest of its kind in the United States.

For more than a decade Rice also sat on the Dixon Hughes Executive Committee and served as its chairman for six years.

Rice, 58, graduated in 1969 from the University of North Carolina with a degree in business administration.  He served in the U.S. Navy on the destroyer U.S.S. Meredith from 1969-72 before receiving a master’s degree in business administration from East Carolina University in 1973.

06/20/05
f1
Teams to blame - FIA Teams to blame - FIAF1's governing FIA has pinned the blame for Sunday's Indianapolis catastrophe on the Michelin-clad grand prix teams. In a statement, the Paris body - led by president Max Mosley - said it suggested that speeds be 'monitored', and excesses 'penalized', in the notorious oval corner.

''However, (they) refused to agree unless the Bridgestone runners were slowed by the same amount,'' the statement read. ''This would have been grossly unfair. (The) Bridgestone teams ... did not need to slow down. F1 is a sporting contest. It must operate to clear rules. These cannot be negotiated each time a competitor brings the wrong equipment. Rather than boycott the race the Michelin teams should have agreed to run at reduced speed in turn 13. They have damaged themselves and the sport.''

06/20/05
f1
Michelin consider future Michelin consider futureMichelin has doubted Bernie Ecclestone's claim that calamity at Indy may affect the tire supplier's F1 future. ''I really don't believe (it will),'' Bibendum director Frederic Henry-Biabaud told 'Europe 1' radio.

The French marque told its seven partner teams not to contest the United States grand prix due to tire concerns. Henry-Biabaud continued: ''We are convinced our decision was a professional one but it is too early to say what consequences this will have. I prefer ... we find ourselves in this position rather than (have) an accident.''

06/20/05
f1
Places blame on Michelin Places blame on MichelinUPDATE Another reader writes, I'm still bloody angry over yesterday's disgrace.   I've been a Formula One anorak for a long, long time.  I refuse to miss a race, organizing my weekends around the schedule.  As a teenager, I used to sit in my lounge and compile lap charts and classifications in front of the television.  Over the recent years, I've commentated races, written articles on the sport and memorized the rule book.  I've traveled to countless circuits all over Europe to watch the spectacle. 

That changed yesterday.  The sport I love above all others turned into a joke.  A group of 10-year olds at my local go-cart track could've pulled off a more professional meeting.  I'm hiding at my desk, tired of trying to explain it to my colleagues.  My friends and family are phoning and texting and asking searching questions. 

Who's the primary culprit?  That's an easy one to answer  - Michelin.  They arrived at a circuit that is hardly new to them with inadequate equipment.  When the scale of the problem became apparent on Saturday, it transpired that they didn't have a suitable backup tire.  All season long, they've concentrated on performance with fantastic results while Bridgestone have taken the cautious route.  The tires back in France were equally useless and I'm guessing that it was probably then that the panic started to set in. 

The one bit of credit I'll give them is that they refused to let their team’s race.  They knew what could happen to a driver if a tire let go on the Indy banking and at least they had the common sense not to allow it. 

Nevertheless, they deserve to be booted out of the Championship at the end of the season.  But, while Michelin made the mistake, it was the rest of the Formula One fraternity who turned a very bad situation into a complete and utter shambles. 

The rules are the rules and the FIA was correct to follow them.  But, with this being primarily an issue of safety, a compromise should’ve been found.  Secondly, it’s the show that counts for the tens of thousands or track-side spectators and the tens of millions watching on TV.  They all expected opera and got the local circus. 

In their defense, the FIA did propose a number of possible solutions.  None were acceptable to either Michelin or its teams and they started banging on about a new chicane.  Max Mosley and Charlie Whiting were right to dismiss it.  There were other options available - using pitlane limiters, changing tires regularly or driving through the pitlane.  But, Michelin had an idea and it didn’t take long for them to sell it to their teams.  Thereafter, all they had to do was to convince Jordan’s new owners and get Paul Stoddart onboard.  Getting Stoddart on your side when the target is Mosley and the FIA is about as difficult as finding a prostitute in Amsterdam’s red light district.  The Ferrari brass, however, were not impressed. 

Ferrari were well within their rights to dismiss the chicane idea.  As far their press officer was concerned, it was a decision that would need to be made by the FIA.  Besides, they and Bridgestone had ensured that they had the correct tires.  It would be grossly unfair to penalize them for Michelin’s cock-up. 

Anyway, does anyone really think, even for one solitary second, that if Bridgestone had suffered the problem this past weekend, that the Michelin-shod teams would agree to a chicane?  Fat chance! 

In my opinion, you can't simply slap a chicane on a circuit hosting the world's fastest cars and hope it's going to work out.  It was the most desperate solution, put forward by panicked people.  Circuit layout is a science, requiring months of detailed planning and simulations before any construction work starts. 

Besides, there’s precious little that’s good about the F1 track at Indy.  The banking at turn 13 is the sole highlight in a circuit that makes the Hungaroring look adventurous.  Take the thrill of the banking away and you’re left with bugger-all. 

Of course, most of the media loved the chicane idea.  And, quite simply, a unsettling number of them feel that the whole debacle is the fault of the FIA and Ferrari.  The FIA are, after all, the bunch who scuppered the Middle East peace process, while Ferrari and Michael Schumacher are personally responsible for the poverty in Africa. 

It pains me to write this but you can’t blame Tony George.  The man who played the biggest part in the destruction of US open-wheel racing and who turned the ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ into a mere spectacle is, for the first time in a decade, completely blameless.  He’s right to feel angry and I wouldn’t blame him if he tells Bernie Ecclestone what to do with his 2006 contract.  Can you imagine trying to promote next year’s US Grand Prix?  ‘The US GP  -  this time they might actually race’. 

Formula One is up a certain creek without a necessary implement this morning.  The US market might quite possibly never recover and the fall-out from this  -  which is yet to begin in earnest  -  will be horrendous.  Just as the racing was getting good, the sport shoots itself in the foot again... Andrew Crean, UK Looking for a new sport to love

06/20/05 Dear AutoRacing1.com, I feel after reading all the information on your site about today’s disaster in Indy, that this is entirely suspicious of Michelin and it was entirely Michelin's failure and they should bear the full responsibility of the event. Not every Michelin team had problems! Likely many had set-up issues in relation to the tires. But what I really think is the tires themselves were not necessarily unsafe but rather Michelin just brought the wrong tires. In other words they grabbed the tires that were meant for another race. Then realizing their mistake they tried to find a way to rectify their mistake under the guise of safety. Yes having the wrong tires can be unsafe but the underlying thing is Michelin, in my opinion, made a mistake, lied about it, and tried to use leverage they never should have tried, to try and recover from their mistake. Bad form on their part. I do not think this is the FIA, Bernie, Indy, or FOM's fault, and I don't blame Bridgestone for carrying on with the race rather than support Michelin's horrible rape of the fans and the series. What Michelin did here, regardless of my opinion, lacks any consideration to the fans, the series, the sponsors, their own teams, and the Indy Speedway. They totally disregarded the financial impact their decision would have. I'm sure they could have found a way to race that would have dealt with set-up. Even if it came to the same result, it would have been better than this! They do deserve to be booted out of F1. James Smith, Phoenix AZ.
06/20/05
ta
Catch Ruhlman live tonight Catch Ruhlman live tonightFresh from the podium at Portland International Raceway, Randy Ruhlman will be returning to internet radio tonight at 10 PM EDT on sportstalkcleveland.com http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ .  The Trans-Am Series points leader, Ruhlman will be talking about the recent Portland race, developments in the Series, and this weekend’s upcoming race at the Cleveland Grand Prix.

The live motorsports show can be found on http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com.  It combines cutting edge Internet radio with streaming video and allows fans from all over the country to email and call-in live. Sportstalkcleveland.com has over 800,000 subscribers and over 4 million unique hits each month.

Ruhlman, a native of Cleveland, Ohio and the driver of the Preformed Line Products #49 Corvette, stretched his point’s lead on Saturday in the 2005 Trans-Am Driver’s Championship.  Ruhlman followed up his the win at the Long Beach Grand Prix with a second place finish at the Portland International Raceway in Round 2 of the 2005 Trans-Am Series and new “fast lap” race record.  The current points are Ruhlman with 59 points, followed by Greg Pickett (51) and Klaus Graf (50).  The Portland podium finish gives Ruhlman his ninth consecutive top five result in Trans-Am.

Randy Ruhlman finished third overall in the 2004 Trans-Am Driver’s Championship, in the closest points battle ever in Trans-Am history. Last year, Ruhlman scored seven straight top five finishes, including three podiums: a second at Road America, another second at Toronto, and a third at Infineon.  He was the pole sitter for the Road America race and sat on the front row for the Cleveland Grand Prix.  Randy Ruhlman is fourth in Top Ten finishes in Trans-Am history.

06/20/05
atlantic
Legge in 2nd podium finish Legge in 2nd podium finishKatherine Legge has marked her second podium finish of the series, since her win at Long Beach in the season’s opening Atlantic race in April. The British Racer, finished in third position in Sunday’s race at Portland International Raceway - after a tough weekend overall.

Katherine lined up in seventh place on Saturday’s race, after recording a time of 1:10.710 (99.992 mph) during qualifying. However, she suffered her worst performance to date, finishing the race in ninth position.

Sunday’s race saw her bouncing back with an impressive performance, as she moved steadily from her tenth place starting position to finish third overall - benefiting from Kyle Kelley’s misfortune, who was disqualified from the race, after his car failed a post-race technical inspection.

After four rounds in the 2005 Toyota Atlantic Championship, the quest for the championship is hotting up. Tonis Kasemets moves into the series points lead with 109 points, Charles Zwolsman falls into second with 103 points, Katherine’s PKV Racing team-mate, Antoine Bessette, is in third place and Legge’s second podium effort, keeps her firmly in the picture - just a cool 17 points behind the leader, in fourth position.

Katherine commented on her performance:

“It was a tough race, coming from 10th position like I did. It was a disappointing weekend for me overall. I was pleased to end it on a high note. It’s not the way you want to move up to third, with someone being disqualified, but I’ll take the point’s however I can get them, I really need them. This was certainly one of my better races, but it was tough and it was such a difficult place to pass on. My perseverance paid off eventually and I was able to pass David Martinez. If I could have had another 10 laps, I think I might have been able to finish as high as second”

The young driver is determined to improve on this weekend’s performance, as she prepares for her second double-header weekend at the Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland (USA) on 25th & 26th June.

For further information about the series or to discuss possible opportunities for Katherine, please contact Claire Windsor + 44 (0)1246 212 540 or visit www.gokatherine.com

06/20/05
f1
Indy farce makes race unsafe Indy farce makes race unsafeUPDATE Related article from the Indy Star - 'Don't let the door hit you F1 on your way out,' really slams F1. 06/20/05 Ironically, Indianapolis' farcical F1 race might actually have been safer with the other fourteen cars on track.  Water bottles, beer cans and other spectator missiles, directed at the six racers, embodied the fans' boycott fury.

''I was thinking 'I wish I had a microphone to explain the situation','' said Rubens Barrichello, who ran over a bottle and just dodged a full can.

Jordan's Tiago Monteiro, over the moon to finish his ninth ever F1 race on the podium, also saw the flying missiles, then collected by brave marshals.  The Portuguese said: ''In a way I understand, but it could have been dangerous for us.''

Michael Schumacher also exonerated the confused and disappointed crowd.  ''It was just a few,'' said the race winner.  ''Ok, on the podium, some people booed, but a lot more cheered.  I suppose some others had probably already left.''

The world champion denied that Sunday was the darkest day in the history of Formula One.  ''I think there was a day in '94 that was much darker,'' Schumacher said, referring to the death of Ayrton Senna in Italy. GMMf1NET

06/20/05
f1
F1 begins to add up its losses F1 begins to add up its lossesAfter the shame of the day before, F1 woke on Monday to begin counting the cost of what is being described as 'the most catastrophic public relations disaster in the 56-year history of the official world championship.' Or, to put it another way, F1's darkest hour. The sight of 14 F1 cars pulling off the track at the end of the formation lap for the U.S GP and returning to the Indianapolis pits instead of racing is already being regarded as the death knell of the sport in the American market.

'Simply stated, this race is done. Forget what the contract says about future events,' read the Indianapolis Star’s obituary. Tellingly, Speedway President Joie Chitwood immediately announced that the circuit held no commitment to invite F1 back in 2006. "We're as much a victim of what transpired today as the fans are," he said. "Mr. Ecclestone is aware of our position and our unhappiness today."

Even Bernie, desperate to break the American market, admitted the sport's future on the other side of the Atlantic is bleak.

"I'm furious at the stupidity of it all. There should have been a compromise but we could not get one. I tried a million things and thought that if we could get them on the grid we were halfway there. But it did not happen," he complained. "We were just starting to build a great image in America on TV and with the fans. All of that has gone out of the window."

The first bills for F1's most shameful episode are expected to be issued in the next few hours. 'Sponsors will be lining up to claim millions in compensation from the teams that did not run, while Bernie Ecclestone, the sport's ringmaster, could also be liable to pay huge compensation,' reported The Times.

Michelin, however, are likely to bear the immediate brunt of F1's shame. The FIA are expected to charge the French tire manufacturers, whose admission that their rubber was unsafe to use at Indy precipitated Sunday's shambles, with bringing the sport into disrepute this week.

The withering response of Charlie Whiting, the FIA's race director, to Michelin’s request for a chicane to be introduced, in which he scorned their failure to supply "correct tires", is likely to be a mere taster of the FIA's response.

'We are very surprised that this difficulty has arisen,' he continued. 'As you know, each team is allowed to bring two different types of tire to an event so as to ensure that a back-up (usually of lower performance) is available should problems occur. It is hard to understand why you have not supplied your teams with such a tire given your years of experience at Indianapolis.

'That the teams you supply are not in possession of such a tire will also be a matter for the FIA to consider in due course under Article 151c of the International Sporting Code.'

Under the terms of Article 151C, penalties can be applied for "any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to any competition or to the sport in general".

Michelin's apparent incompetence could not be worst timed, coming just days after the FIA published proposals to limit tire supply to just one organization for 2008 and beyond. Moreover, 'Michelin's failure to supply its teams with safe and durable tires less than two weeks after it was warned by the FIA not to sacrifice safety for performance [after Kimi Raikkonen's tire failure at the Nurburgring] could force the French tire company's withdrawal from the sport,' noted The Guardian.

"The bottom line is Michelin made a mistake. But after that the FIA had it in their hands to find a solution and ensure we all raced out there. The most important people, the fans, have been forgotten in all of this," noted Coulthard.

Jacques Villeneuve, meanwhile, blamed Ferrari for their failure to agree to the introduction of a chicane: “We could have raced with a chicane, if a chicane had been put before the banking, but Ferrari didn't accept."

Michael Schumacher's comment, "I don't know what Michelin's problem is, but this wasn't our problem," spoke volumes about Ferrari's intransigence ahead of F1's race of shame.

F1's blame game is set to explode in the coming days but the damage has already been done. On Sunday this was a sport that imploded. The cost, which will perhaps never be fully appreciated, will be borne by all those shamed by their association to this reprehensible debacle. Excerpts from Planet-F1.com

06/20/05
cc
Friends save Kalkhoven from death Friends save Kalkhoven from deathHad longtime friend/partner Dan Pettit and fellow car owner Carl Haas not persisted in getting Kalkhoven to the Mayo Clinic, the 60-year-old Kevin Kalkhoven might have died. Injured three months ago when a snowboarder slammed into him while skiing in Aspen, Kalkhoven suffered several nasty fractures in his right arm and shoulder. Metal pins and screws were inserted during surgery and he was sent off to rehab and to heal.

But he began losing weight (18 pounds) and the pain got worse instead of better despite "eating Vicodin like candy”. Kalkhoven finally checked into the Mayo Clinic and what doctors found was frightening. "All the joints were held together by metal screws through the bone and, externally, it looked fine," said Kalkhoven, who few into Portland International Raceway on Saturday morning. "But when they opened me up at Mayo they found my whole bone (in my arm) had a bacterial infection.

"And this particular bacteria keeps feeding off the marrow and growing until it attacks your heart. And it's usually fatal. The doctors said I had another six weeks and that was it."

Getting Kalkhoven off his G5 jet and into the Mayo Clinic was the toughest part. "Carl (Haas) was so persistent, he called me every day and then helped get me into the clinic," said Kalkhoven. "And Dan (Pettit) went along to make sure I checked in. I'm obviously very thankful for their friendship and for Dr. Ian Hayes and the folks at the Mayo Clinic." SPEEDTV.com

06/20/05
f1
'I would've raced' - DC 'I would've raced' - DCDavid Coulthard says he would have taken the risk and put on a show for Indianapolis' F1 crowd.  Red Bull's veteran added: ''Did I feel fear (on the warm up lap?)  Not at all.  ''I'm a racer.''

Indeed, on the fated installation lap, the 34-year-old's radio crackled into action and DC issued his message for a final time -- ''If it's up to me, let's race.''  Coulthard said later: ''I was clarifying that they should not take a decision on my behalf if I can be part of it.  ''(I said) if I am part of the process, I'm going racing.''

06/20/05
f1
Michelin's mess Michelin's messThe wider ramifications of Michelin's American F1 fiasco are already starting to be felt.  Not only is the Indy race's future doubtful, but a Dow Jones report indicated that Michelin's stock fell 1.3% on Monday.

But an analyst said the market may just be 'overreacting' on a slow news day.  With Bibendum bruised and embarrassed, Michelin motor sport director Pierre Dupasquier, 67, admitted that the French marque 'screwed up.'

''It's the most embarrassing moment in my career,'' he told Autosport, ''but you only ruin your reputation if you're stupid.  If you race and go into the wall, then you ruin your reputation.''

There are, though, walls to be rebuilt.  Two fans at the airport wore white t-shirts with 'f**k you Michelin' scrawled in text on the back.  ''We didn't know what was happening,'' one told Indianapolis' 'Eyewitness News, ''but we know we're mad at Michelin.  No one said what was happening on the speaker.''  GMMf1NET

06/20/05
f1
Rubens' Indy solution Rubens' Indy solutionFormula One had forty eight hours to see Sunday's Indy fiasco coming.

BAR CEO Nick Fry admitted that bosses were still discussing rejected compromise upon broken solution to the Michelin boycott within five minutes of the pointless formation lap. ''In the end we ran out of time and options,'' he explained.

With all the advice sought, perhaps the pinnacle of global motor racing failed to knock on Brazilian Ferrari star Rubens Barrichello's door.

''You can't change the corners,'' he responded to calls for a last minute chicane to be erected. ''First, Bridgestone can handle it, so why do we agree? But what happens if we'd done the chicane and they go and crash there as well? Maybe a bigger crash -- it's silly.''

Rubens wonders why, as a second-to-last resort, bosses didn't instruct Michelin drivers to skip turn 13 and pull into pitlane on each lap. ''Then drive out at the end,'' he said. ''The fastest two would get points.'' Fans might, then, not have thrown beer cans at his car.

Jacques Villeneuve, a past winner at the hugely popular Indy 500, admitted that he might not have finished his 'Bud' had he stood in the crowd. ''I'd probably do the same thing,'' said the Canadian. ''But it's not Ferrari's fault that our tires don't work. I'm not sure that F1 will ever recover in America now.'' GMMf1NET

06/20/05
f1
'Max should be axed' 'Max should be axed'In 2002, Paul Stoddart cried in Mark Webber's arms as the Minardi boss reveled in a two-point finish. At Indy, the disgusted Australian didn't even watch as he offered a thumbs-down to Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher's 7-point haul. It's Minardi's best result in 16 years.

''I don't care,'' Stoddart - then aiming fire at Max Mosley - moaned at Indy. ''In any other walk of business there would be calls for the person who did this to resign.''

Indeed, the six car procession - following Michelin's fourteen car boycott - may just have killed F1's latest bid for popularity in the United States.

''If we do come back,'' said David Coulthard, ''half the crowd in the stands today won't.''

Triple world champion Sir Jackie Stewart agreed that the debacle could have a 'domino effect' for F1 in America. He told the 'Daily Telegraph': ''Whether the people ... will want to renew (their contract) is another thing.'' GMMf1NET

06/20/05
cc
Eventful weekend for Valiante Eventful weekend for ValianteRookie Michael Valiante had an eventful weekend in Portland.  "We had some gearbox troubles all weekend and in qualifying Saturday just when I was ready to turn my fastest laps the throttle stuck wide open," said Valiante. 

"Luckily the engine management system can sense when a throttle is stuck open and it shut itself down.  We had a pit fire on Sunday morning with me in the car.  I was on fire.  However, the team came through when it counted and we had a pretty good race.  I got stuck behind Timo Glock at the end but when I was by myself I was able to gain ground.   My teammate, Ricardo Sperafico, was turning some really fast laps at the end (8th fastest of race), so we have some potential.

"Dale Coyne has a great sponsor in AMR.  They are all really nice people and they are very supportive of our efforts.

"As to whether I will be in the car in Cleveland, I hope so, but I have to talk to Dale on Monday.  I'm not sure who will be my engineer though."

06/20/05
f1
Bernie 'furious' Bernie 'furious'Bernie Ecclestone says he 'tried a million things' to convince F1 teams to race at Indianapolis. ''I am furious,'' the 74-year-old F1 supremo said. Bernie said that, in the 'good old days', he would have forced them to the green light.

Indeed, Martin Brundle - ex-racer and TV pundit - recalled Adelaide 1991, when, in pouring rain, Ecclestone toured the grid, driver by driver, yelling them into their cars.

He said: ''Those days are over. ''Let's be honest. If you were a promoter you would not want to risk this happening again. We'd just started to build a great image for Formula One in America ... and that is all ruined.''

FIA president Max Mosley slammed Michelin for not bringing a 'back up' tire to America, or taking up one of the governing body's race options.

''As a result,'' said the Briton, ''Formula One and motor sport fans are the losers. We are now awaiting a report from ... Indianapolis before deciding on the next step.''

And the future of F1 in America, and of Michelin in F1? ''Not good,'' Mr. Ecclestone stared, ''on both counts.'' GMMf1NET

06/20/05
f1
Ferrari 'knock out' Ferrari 'knock out'Jean Todt equated victory at Indy to a boxing-like 'technical KO' for Ferrari and Bridgestone. Shaking his head on the pitwall, though, the Frenchman seemed to take no joy from beating Jordan and Minardi for his 80th win since joining the Scuderia in 1993.

Some even pointed a finger of blame at the intransigent principal for not agreeing to back Michelin teams' plea for a temporary chicane in turn 13. ''I prefer not to comment on things that are not directly my responsibility,'' he insisted. Bridgestone is doing an extraordinary job.''

Race winner Michael Schumacher, not his usual chirpy self on the winner's podium, also jabbed at Bridgestone's French F1 rival. ''I know that we left at home tires that had more performance,'' the 36-year-old German said, ''and less durability.''

Michelin, meanwhile, maintained that it still could not find a technical reason for Friday's tire failures. ''It is regrettable,'' an apologetic statement read, ''that our pre-race suggestions ... were not adopted.'' GMMf1NET

06/20/05
f1
cc
A PR clanger A PR clangerFormula Gone.' That's how one disgruntled fan, on a hastily scrawled flag, described the sport's future in America while walking out during the Indy abomination.

The domestic open wheeler Champ Car series tried to cheer up the 120,000 strong crowd by vowing to honor their grand prix tickets at the upcoming race in Cleveland. ''(Champ Car) has always been about its fans,'' read a statement.

While Champ Car enjoyed the PR present, F1 bosses - during the race - must have realized the full gravity of the disaster in a meeting in Frank Williams' hospitality area. A joint press release, issued instead of post race reports, apologized for the Indy calamity.

''Michelin did not consider the tire to be safe to be used for the race,'' an excerpt read. ''(The teams) were obliged to follow Michelin's requirements not to race. All proposals (for a solution) were rejected by the FIA.'' GMMf1NET

Hot News Archives
2000 2001 2002 2003
2004200520062007
2008200920102011
2012201320142015

Search Hot News
Search Help