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DATE News (chronologically)
07/06/07
nascar
NASCAR-Goodyear Auction Off Tires For Charity  Daytona Beach, FL - The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, the exclusive tire supplier of NASCAR, today announced it will provide 43 autographed race-used Goodyear Eagle tires for a special auction to benefit The NASCAR Foundation. The Goodyear ‘Get there’ Charity Auction, held online at www.goodyeargarage.com and hosted by The NASCAR Foundation, will run from 12:00 Noon Eastern on Friday, July 6th through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 15th and offers fans the opportunity to bid on 43 authentic Goodyear tires individually autographed by the top NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers, including Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and others.

All proceeds from the sale of these Goodyear tires will be donated to The NASCAR Foundation to benefit charities that the individual drivers select. This is the largest collection of certified, autographed race-used Goodyear Eagle tires that NASCAR and Goodyear have combined to offer at auction.

Each autographed race-used Goodyear Eagle will come with a certificate of authenticity that includes the driver’s name and car number, the race in which the tire was used, the driver’s finish in that race and the tire’s RFID number. A minimum sale price has been set for each tire depending upon expected interest levels and ranges from $100 to $250; minimum sale prices will be displayed in each individual listing. More ...
07/06/07
racing news
Andretti and Foyt talk about NASCAR and open wheel  Many of the men who have won the Daytona 500 in their careers gathered Thursday at Daytona International Speedway as the track continues to prepare for the 50th running of that race in February.

At one point during this extraordinary gathering of motorsports legends, Observer motorsports reporter David Poole found himself among a handful of reporters standing between Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt as they discussed a number of topics.

Here are highlights of that memorable conversation, which began with Andretti talking about his 1967 Daytona 500 victory.  More.....

07/06/07
cc
Interviews with Steve Johnson and Kevin Kalkhoven  Two weeks ago, when the Champ Car World Series stopped for a race in Cleveland, Norris McDonald, motorsport writer for Toronto Star Wheels and wheels.ca, sat down with Steve Johnson, president of Champ Car, and Kevin Kalkhoven, co-owner of the series (with Gerald Forsythe and Paul Gentilozzi), for a couple of wide-ranging interviews.

Here are transcripts of their conversations.

Interview with Steve Johnson:

STAR: You opened the season with three quick races (Las Vegas, Long Beach, Houston), then there was a six-week gap. There are several of those "gaps" before you end the season in Phoenix in early December. What are you going to do to compress your schedule next year?

JOHNSON: We’re working on tightening things up right now. It’s unfortunate what happened this year but we’re working now to avoid that in 2008. Right now, we’re in talks with about 14 different cities in several countries. Our intention is to close some of these gaps because (when we stop) we lose momentum, continuity and consistency.

But the type of racing we do - grand prix racing through city streets - creates problems. Sometimes you can’t race when you want to. For instance, this spring Las Vegas told us, "You either come race this weekend or you don’t race." Phoenix said, "Here’s the weekend you can race or you don’t race."

So you’re kind of handcuffed a little bit when you do our kind of racing. If we raced on permanent road courses and ovals, we could do 14 races in 14 weeks. But we don’t and we can’t.

STAR: So how, exactly, will you solve some of these scheduling problems?

JOHNSON: For next year, we could have 18 races. That doesn’t mean we’re going to have 18 races, but we could accommodate 18 races based on the economics of the teams and the series. Eventually, as teams get healthier and we move forward, I could see a 20-race schedule.

I can’t tell you the name, but I was in a city in recent days that I think would be ideal for our style of racing and it’s about the same size as Edmonton. Everybody laughed when we said we were going to Edmonton and it’s turned into one of our top five events. It’s a great city that’s supported us and the city I talked to this week would be the same kind of city.

STAR: Your TV ratings leave something to be desired. What are you going to do to boost those ratings? More at wheels.ca

Interview with Kevin Kalkhoven

STAR: Over the winter, car count for 2007 didn’t look good. Only at the last minute did it go up to 17. What are you going to do to stabilize things?

KALKHOVEN: We’ve got 17 and we will grow. I’ve pointed out for years that Formula One was stuck for a long time at 18 and now they’re up to 22 and will soon be to 24. We’ll get there. We’re well within the bounds of where we should be.

Do we want more? Of course. But what we’ve seen with the new car this year is great racing. And what’s interesting is that although Sebastien (Bourdais) has won, there have been great battles. It’s all been very entertaining.

STAR: You mention Bourdais who, after Tracy, is your biggest star. There’s talk he’s champing at the bit to go off to F1 . . .

KALKHOVEN: You know, I don’t know where all that talk comes from. He’s under a long-term contract to Carl Haas so I don’t know how he’s going to go racing in F1.

STAR: I asked Steve Johnson this question, and I’ll ask you: is unification talk as dead a subject as some people say it is?

KALKHOVEN: I really don’t want to talk about it. I will say this, however: in our case, we’re all in favor of doing it under the right circumstances. Our position hasn’t changed. We would be happy to meet, to do whatever. . . More at wheels.ca

07/06/07
irl
SAMAX parks the IRL’s latest sex kitten  Known more for the size of her chest than her driving skill, and fearful of exposing her for how bad a driver she really is, SAMAX Motorsport and driver Milka Duno released the following statement about not competing this weekend.

MILKA DUNO: "When we originally announced the 10-race schedule in March, we had planned on racing at Watkins Glen. However, for various reasons that were not anticipated, we just ended up not having enough time to test and prepare for a road course race in July. Watkins Glen is one of my favorite race tracks, and I was very much looking forward to making my first road course appearance here as an IndyCar Series driver. Instead, my next race will be in Nashville on July 14, and I am expecting that my first road course race in an IndyCar will be at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma on August 26."
07/06/07
ips
Cunningham wins Indy Pro pole  Wade Cunningham earned the provisional pole for the first race of the Corning Twin 100s Indy Pro Series doubleheader at Watkins Glen, topping the first of two 30 minute qualifying sessions.  Cunningham lapped the 3.4-miles road course in 1:36.7418, 125.406 mph, nearly three seconds faster than his 2005 event record. The second 30-minute qualifying session is scheduled for Saturday morning followed by the first of two 29-lap races.

Pos Driver                  Diff     Time         Speed
1 Wade Cunningham (27) ... 1:36.7418 125.406
2 Alex Lloyd (7) 0.4774 1:37.2192 124.790
3 Daniel Herrington (44) 0.9614 1:37.7032 124.172
4 Hideki Mutoh (55) 1.4008 1:38.1426 123.616
5 Phil Giebler (12) 1.6272 1:38.3690 123.332
6 Robbie Pecorari (13) 1.7210 1:38.4628 123.214
7 Richard Antinucci (51) 1.8096 1:38.5514 123.103
8 Ryan Justice (38) 1.9020 1:38.6438 122.988
9 Jonathan Klein (2) 2.0501 1:38.7919 122.804
10 Bobby Wilson (1) 2.0722 1:38.8140 122.776 More ...

07/06/07
nascar
Waltrip says Teresa Earnhardt should sell DEI  Three-time champion turned TV analyst Darrell Waltrip said Thursday at Daytona International Speedway that it might be time for Teresa Earnhardt to move on.

“I’d like to know what Teresa’s thinking about the future of DEI,” Waltrip said. ”I think she’s at a crossroads. Junior’s obviously leaving; I read where Menard said he’s thinking about moving so that basically leaves Martin (Truex Junior). They’re talking about having four cars and they have four numbers, but I only see potential for one car right now.”

“I say this in all honesty,” Waltrip added. “If I were in her shoes this might be the point where I might say ‘look I don’t need to own any racecars anymore. I just need to take care of Dale’s legacy, continue to work on the (Earnhardt) Foundation. Send Martin down to Richard Childress and let Childress have four teams and I’ll take care of the things that I have a passion about’.”

07/06/07
nascar
Busch narrows list of potential teams to five  Kyle Busch has narrowed his list of prospective teams to Joe Gibbs Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Dale Earnhardt Inc., Evernham Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing, sources close to the situation said on Thursday.  The 22-year-old driver visited eight teams and then narrowed his search to three Chevrolet teams and two Dodge teams. He is expected to have a new deal by early August.  ESPN.com
07/06/07
cc
Tracy slams street racing  There is no prize in street racing other than the likelihood of ending up dead, says Paul Tracy.

The Canadian race car champion has joined a three-year campaign aimed at putting an end to extreme driving on Ontario roads with the message that racing is uncool and leads to extreme consequences.

These include hundreds of traffic-related deaths each year and thousands of injuries resulting in permanent disabilities.

"We need to keep driving the point home that there is no reward for racing and sooner or later you are going to lose your car or even your life," said Tracy, the 2003 Champ Car World Series champion.

"If you want to prove yourself behind the wheel, save it for the race track. I have a team around me preparing my car. If I get in an accident, there are doctors. Get involved in organized racing.

"(Street racing) will only cause pain and suffering down the line."

07/06/07
cc
AVN Racing Reynard Show car - FOR SALE!!!!!  UPDATE Here is the link to eBay for the bid.

07/06/07 Own a piece of history. The first ever and only racecar ever to be sponsored by the Adult Entertainment Industry is available for sale. "Over the past week I have received many calls from fans and individuals inquiring if the AVN Racing show car is for sale" states Russ Herriott, President & CEO of AVN Racing.

Herriott told AutoRacing1.com that AVN Racing's plans are moving forward much faster than expected and because AVN Racing will soon have access to the current Champ Car chassis the company has decided to post the show car to eBay to see if a fan or business is interested to purchase the car. (see related rumor)
07/06/07
nascar
NASCAR Busch Series Race Postponed  The NASCAR Busch Series event scheduled for Friday night at Daytona International Speedway -- the Winn-Dixie 250 Presented by Pepsico -- has been postponed due to inclement weather. The race will now run Saturday, July 7th at 9 a.m.

The NASCAR Busch Series garage opens at 6:30 a.m. and driver introductions are scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m.

07/06/07
cc
No power for Will Power  Australian Will Power had a day to forget Friday in Toronto Champ Car qualifying. His #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01 had a wiring loom fail in the first lap of qualifying, his car left stranded at Turn One.

Once repairs were made to Power’s car the reigning Champ Car Roshfrans Rookie of the Year had only limited time remaining to set a fast time and it would only be the Toowoomba-born driver’s second fastest time that would count, as rules dictate that any driver causing a red flag stoppage will lose their fastest time.

The mechanical problems put Power down in 17th in provisional qualifying, but with final qualifying tomorrow Team Australia is confident of improvement.

07/06/07
nascar
Rain washes out Pepsi 400 qualifying  With 14 of the 53 cars still waiting to qualify, rain showers moved over "The World Center of Racing" and NASCAR was forced to set the field based on owner's points.

Jeff Gordon, a three-time Pepsi 400 champion and the current points leader, will start from the pole in the No. 24 DuPont/Pepsi Chevrolet and Denny Hamlin will start on the outside pole.

The rain showers ruined the qualifying chances for a number of teams outside the top 35 in owner's points who needed to qualify for the Pepsi 400 including Boris Said, who was sitting on the pole.

"As much as we needed rain for as bad as we qualified, it's really upsetting for those guys who were outside of the top 35, especially guys like Boris who put up such a great effort," Gordon said. "It was pretty exciting to see him running as good as he did here last year. So, I know they are disappointed. More ...

07/06/07
ips
cca
Atlantic driver hurt in IPS car  UPDATE Heistand has a mild concussion (if there is such a thing) and chest bruising from the belts.

07/06/07 Richard Heistand brought out an early end to the Pro Series practice session when he went off at Turn 8 and hit the tire barrier head on. From replays, it looked as though perhaps Heistand's throttle had stuck, as his rear wheels were under power during the entire accident. It was also reported that he had driven all 4 wheels over the curb at Turn 1 earlier on that lap, and that the Pro Series officials had wanted to check the car out.

Taking a look at the car after the incident confirms what was seen in the replays. Heistand's car seemed to kind of skip across the gravel trap before he made very hard contact with the tire barrier and the armco behind it. The front of the tub was intact as the crushing was mostly taken up by the bolt-on nose cone. The tub itself appeared to be intact and was not damaged except for maybe the pick up points for the suspension. Both the left and right side suspension parts were folded back considerably. The car was being examined in the garage area by IRL officials, as well as the crew led by Tim Whiting.

Heistand was taken out of the car on a stretcher, and it has since been reported that he is awake and alert and is being transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. Since Heistand's car had broken the armco on impact, the session was flagged to conclusion so it could be fixed. No driver managed more than 6 laps in the 11 minutes the session was green.
07/06/07
nascar
Nextel Cup qualifying rain delay  Qualifying for Saturday night's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway is back under a rain delay, the 2nd of the session.  Boris Said is fastest so far.
07/06/07
alms
Rain washes out Lime Rock qualifying  Romain Dumas claimed his second overall pole position at Lime Rock Park on Friday as rain and lightning forced the cancellation of qualifying for the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix. Dumas and Timo Bernhard will start at the head of the grid for Penske Motorsports and Porsche for the sixth round of the 2007 American Le Mans Series.

Storm clouds rolled into Lime Rock early in the afternoon, bringing heavy rain and lightning with them. With a chance of rain looming for later in the afternoon plus concerns for driver safety, IMSA officials decided to set the lineup based on Friday morning’s practice times. That put Dumas and his Porsche RS Spyder on pole position and Dyson Racing’s Porsche of Guy Smith and Chris Dyson on the outside front row as LMP2 teams held the top six positions. More ...

07/06/07
tv news
TV ratings from this past weekend  UPDATE #2
Final Ratings
MotoGP: A-Style TT Assen (same-day tape) CBS  0.5/1
F1: French Grand Prix  Fox 0.8/2
NASCAR Busch Series: AT&T 250 ESPN2 1.1
NASCAR Nextel Cup: Toyota/SaveMart 350 TNT 3.8
IndyCar Richmond ESPN 0.59
Mont Tremblant  0.24 ESPN

07/04/07 The overnight TV rating for the NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Loudon, New Hampshire last Sunday on TNT was a 3.3, down 8% from last year, which was also on TNT.

07/02/07 The top three USA series - Nextel Cup, Champ Car and the IRL were all on cable TV this past weekend and their ratings won't be out until later this week.

Overnight Ratings
NASCAR Busch Series at New Hampshire live on ABC 1.5/3 share
F1 French Grand Prix tape delayed on FOX 0.9./2 share
MotoGP from Assen, Holland tape delayed on CBS 0.5/1 share 

07/06/07
cca
Matos takes provisional Atlantic pole  Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda points leader Raphael Matos (#6 ProWorks) scored his fifth consecutive provisional pole position in first round qualifying for Sunday’s Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto (ESPN360.com, Live, 10:00 a.m. ET).

Matos turned a best lap at 1:1:05.694 (96.173 mph). The Brazilian has now been quickest in provisional qualifying for every race since Round 2 at Long Beach. The run does not include the doubleheader at Portland International Raceway last month, where only one round of qualifying was held for each race and each pole was won by Matos’ Sierra Sierra Enterprises teammate James Hinchcliffe (#9 NOCO/ProWorks). With the provisional pole, Matos again extended his lead in the championship standings over Hinchcliffe to 34, 202-168.

On the final lap of the session, American Jonathan Bomarito (#23 Miracle Sealants/Konica Minolta/Dynacor) claimed second on the provisional grid with a lap at 1:05.917 (95.848 mph). Bomarito also started and finished second in last year’s Atlantic event at Toronto’s Canadian National Exhibition Place and has finished inside the top-four positions in four of seven events thus far in 2007 with PR1 Motorsports. Bomarito is still looking for his first Atlantic victory of the season. More ...

07/06/07
nascar
Next year's NASCAR schedule not finalized  NASCAR President Mike Helton says that the sanctioning body is working on the schedules for next season, but that they are not finalized yet. He also addressed the length of races and other issues Friday morning at Daytona International Speedway.

Helton said that NASCAR is working on the 2008 schedules and that, so far, the sanctioning body doesn't foresee any changes in the Chase For The Nextel Cup segment of the season.
 
As to the length of races, Helton said that the sanctioning body wasn't necessarily aiming for a three-hour window, but that it was monitoring the length of events.

"We went through a cycle where we modified several races from 500 miles to 400 miles and different things," he said. "I remember that cycle a few years back. Currently we don't see anything that is high on the radar of changing the distance of events right now." More at Scenedaily.com

07/06/07
irl
Foyt crashes at The Glen  A.J. Foyt IV spins and makes contact with the tires in Turn 8 during practice for the Camping World Watkins Glen Grand Prix. Video
07/06/07
alms
Porsche leads opening practice at Lime Rock  It took Romain Dumas one session to get below last year’s qualifying record at Lime Rock Park. The Frenchman and Porsche factory pilot posted a best time of 44.659 in the opening practice for the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at the picturesque Connecticut circuit. The No. 7 Penske Motorsports Porsche RS Spyder led a contingent of LMP2 cars that held the top six spots.

Dumas, who won the P2 class last year and finished second overall, sat on the overall pole last year in the RS Spyder’s first appearance at Lime Rock with a lap of 45.588. The team tested Tuesday, and the benefits already are evident. Behind Dumas sat Dyson Racing’s Guy Smith in another Porsche prototype at 45.176. More ...

07/06/07
irl
Rice leads opening Indy Car practice at The Glen  
Pos Driver Diff Best Time
1 Buddy Rice (15) ... 1:30.2580
2 Dario Franchitti (27) 0.0530 1:30.3110
3 Sam Hornish Jr (6) 0.1143 1:30.3723
4 Helio Castroneves (3) 0.2374 1:30.4954
5 Scott Dixon (9) 0.3154 1:30.5734
6 Dan Wheldon (10) 0.4418 1:30.6998
7 Vitor Meira (4) 0.6172 1:30.8752
8 Tony Kanaan (11) 0.6223 1:30.8803
9 Kosuke Matsuura (55) 0.9117 1:31.1697
10 Marco Andretti (26) 1.1354 1:31.3934
11 Tomas Scheckter (2) 1.6887 1:31.9467
12 Darren Manning (14) 1.7707 1:32.0287
13 Scott Sharp (8) 1.8760 1:32.1340
14 Danica Patrick (7) 1.9244 1:32.1824
15 Jeff Simmons (17) 2.3787 1:32.6367
16 Ed Carpenter (20) 4.0082 1:34.2662
17 AJ Foyt IV (22) 4.8167 1:35.0747
18 Sarah Fisher (5) 6.5072 1:36.7652
07/06/07
f1
Record Friday crowd at Silverstone  Silverstone Silverstone Circuits Limited, the organizer and promoter of the 2007 Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix, has announced a record crowd figure for the first day of the three day event. 42,000 fans, four thousand more than on the Friday in 2006, watched Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, David Coulthard and Anthony Davidson in practice as the British Grand Prix -- one of the biggest events on the UK sporting calendar -- got underway.

Richard Phillips, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuits Limited, commented: "Today's attendance of 42,000 is a record for a Friday of the British Grand Prix. We have the best fans in the world and the fact that they've all come out in the current weather conditions is a true testament to their commitment and passion for the sport."

"Each year we get more and more fans coming to Silverstone for all three days of the British Grand Prix. We are now a three day event which, with tickets available from as little as £99 – effectively £33 per day – offers great value for money. The weather forecast looks good over the weekend, so we can hopefully look forward to a fantastic race on Sunday."

07/06/07
f1
Sutil crashes into barriers at Copse  Under grey, cloudy skies Christijan completed 30 laps in the first session and 35 in the latter as he evaluated set-ups and the medium and hard Bridgestone Potenza tires available this weekend for the British GP. Adrian similarly worked through his development program until his brush with the barriers brought his day to a premature end.

After a final one hour practice session tomorrow morning, Qualifying will start at 13:00 local time.

Adrian Sutil "We started off well in the beginning but then we had some problems with the harder tire compound that really did not seem to work. Then we made some changes to the set-up but the car had a lot of understeer and was very difficult to drive. Then I lost it in Copse and crashed into the barriers, but fortunately it was not a big incident. In the middle of the second session a few drops of rain fell when I went out on the hard tires but it did not really affect the lap times, maybe by only a couple of tenths. I hope we can improve tomorrow."

Christijan Albers "We had a good day today. We could do some long runs to look how the tires react over longer distances and I was happier with the balance. Although I'm still not really, really satisfied with the set-up there is still another day tomorrow where it's possible to improve. Hopefully it will go OK in Qualifying,"

Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer "A fairly productive day that was frustrated at the end by the shunt. We had a reasonable balance over both sessions and had no real mechanical issues on either cars, and the good news is that we were reasonably competitive with the group in front of us. Unfortunately though, Adrian has ensured that our composite department will not be bored."

07/06/07
f1
Zuber wins GP2 pole in England  Andi Zuber has claimed his long overdue first GP2 pole in blustery conditions at the Silverstone circuit today, pushing hard throughout the session as championship leader Timo Glock spun off on his outlap on fresh tires while trying to outdo his teammate.

Zuber constantly improved his times, with his best lap of 1:28.043 grabbing pole with just a few minutes remaining in the session. The time was two tenths faster than Mike Conway and Lucas di Grassi could manage, despite last minute charges from the pair.

The conditions played a big part in the session today, with strong winds blowing the cars around and low temperatures obliging the drivers to push hard from the outset to get heat into their tires. More ...

07/06/07
nascar
Three Cup drivers confirmed for Montreal  Three Nextel Cup drivers confirmed their participation in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 Busch Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve next month.

Defending Busch Series champion Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton will drive for Richard Childress Racing, with Harvick in the No. 21 and Burton in the No. 29. Also, Robby Gordon will drive his own No. 55 Robby Gordon Motorsports Ford in the event.
 
Burton said he and Harvick will not be able to qualify for the race since they will be practicing their Nextel Cup cars in Pocono Raceway, but Gordon said he will qualify in Montreal.
07/06/07
cca
Mathiasen Motorsports and Stone Brewing Announce Partnership  (Encino, CA) Mathiasen Motorsports, competitors in the Cooper Tires presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship powered by Mazda, are pleased to welcome Stone Brewing as an associate partner to the team.

Based in Escondido, California, Stone Brewing crafts award winning beers that are distributed in 20 states across the U.S.  From widely distributed beers like their flagship Stone Pale Ale and Arrogant Bastard Ale, to their special releases like Vertical Epic and Double Bastard Ale, Stone Brewing crafts beers that mirror their unofficial mission statement “Be Amazing”.

  “I have enjoyed the beers from Stone Brewing for some time”, says Mathiasen Motorsports owner Ray Mathiasen, “and I am happy that we have been able to establish a partnership.  I look forward to continuing the relationship in the years to come.”

At the Grand Prix of Toronto, Mathiasen Motorsports will be running decals showcasing Stone Brewing’s Vertical Epic Ale and its celebrated release date of 07-07-07, to help bring good luck to the team.  The team will also showcase other Stone Brewing products throughout the remainder of the season.
07/06/07
f1
Richards delays Prodrive announcements  (GMM) David Richards on Friday stepped away from expectations that he would this weekend outline Prodrive's plans for its first season in formula one next year.

The Silverstone paddock was eagerly awaiting details about drivers, sponsors, and confirmation of the customer McLaren-Mercedes chassis deal, but Richards instead said the news would be revealed later this summer as planned.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis had even imposed a July deadline, but Richards denied that he promised an announcement at this event.

He told Speed TV: "I said it could be the British GP. But we are very close to being able to announce something."

There is, however, little doubt that the deal with McLaren will eventually be sealed, which is sure to include staff of the Woking based team and even the support of their commercial departments for the finding of sponsors.

"I did say the summer, and I'll by stand the summer," Richards added.
07/06/07
f1
Honda comments on Stepney saga  Given the speculation surrounding the legal investigations at Ferrari and McLaren, the Honda Racing F1 Team would like to clarify that earlier this year Nigel Stepney, formerly of Scuderia Ferrari, requested a meeting with Nick Fry, Chief Executive Officer of the Honda Racing F1 Team. Nigel Stepney subsequently met in June of this year with Nick Fry and brought with him Mike Coughlan of McLaren, with a view to investigating job opportunities within the Honda Racing F1 Team.

Honda would like to stress that at no point during this meeting was any confidential information offered or received. Nick Fry informed Jean Todt and Ron Dennis of the meeting and has offered to provide any information required by Ferrari and McLaren.
07/06/07
f1
Honda admits meeting with F1 spies  Given the speculation surrounding the legal investigations at Ferrari and McLaren, the Honda Racing F1 Team would like to clarify that earlier this year Nigel Stepney, formerly of Scuderia Ferrari, requested a meeting with Nick Fry, Chief Executive Officer of the Honda Racing F1 Team. Nigel Stepney subsequently met in June of this year with Nick Fry and brought with him Mike Coughlan of McLaren, with a view to investigating job opportunities within the Honda Racing F1 Team.

Honda would like to stress that at no point during this meeting was any confidential information offered or received. Nick Fry informed Jean Todt and Ron Dennis of the meeting and has offered to provide any information required by Ferrari and McLaren.
07/06/07
cc
Bourdais tops morning practice in Toronto  It has been three years since Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald's Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) visited Victory Lane in Toronto, but it did not show as he took the top spot on the timesheet in the first practice session for the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto, posting a lap of 1:00.055 (105.204 mph). With time winding down in the session Bourdais saw his top time threatened by a hot lap by Justin Wilson (#9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone), but in a last lap dash the Frenchman ran his best lap of the session clinching the top spot.

The first round of qualifying will take the green flag at 1:15 pm local time.

Pos Driver       Team                                    Time Behind Leader
1 S. Bourdais Newman/ Haas/ Lanigan Racing 1:00.055 
2 J. Wilson RSPORTS 1:00.391 0.336
3 O. Servia Forsythe Championship Racing 1:00.401 0.346
4 A. Tagliani RSPORTS 1:00.420 0.365
5 W. Power Team Australia 1:00.557 0.502
6 R. Doornbos Minardi Team USA 1:00.720 0.665
7 B. Junqueira Dale Coyne Racing 1:00.760 0.705
8 S. Pagenaud Team Australia 1:00.775 0.720
9 P. Tracy Forsythe Championship Racing 1:00.775 0.720
10 G. Rahal Newman/ Haas/ Lanigan Racing 1:01.302 1.247
11 J. Heylen Conquest Racing 1:01.486 1.431
12 N. Jani PKV Racing 1:01.538 1.483
13 K. Legge Dale Coyne Racing 1:01.604 1.549
14 D. Clarke Minardi Team USA 1:01.696 1.641
15 T. Gommendy PKV Racing 1:01.796 1.741
16 R. Dalziel Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:02.274 2.219
17 A. Figge Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:02.802 2.747

07/06/07
f1
British GP: Ferrari 1-2 in practice 2  Kimi Raikkonen led a Ferrari one-two in the Friday afternoon practice session at Silverstone. Rain did interrupt about 20 min of the session.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
 1. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:20.639 35
 2. Massa Ferrari 1:21.138 + 0.499 30
 3. R.Schumacher Toyota 1:21.381 + 0.742 34
 4. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.381 + 0.742 39
 5. Trulli Toyota 1:21.467 + 0.828 35
 6. Alonso McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.616 + 0.977 35
 7. Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:21.619 + 0.980 40
 8. Wurz Williams-Toyota 1:21.650 + 1.011 37
 9. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:22.137 + 1.498 31
10. Davidson Super Aguri-Honda 1:22.143 + 1.504 40
11. Kovalainen Renault 1:22.189 + 1.550 42
12. Fisichella Renault 1:22.257 + 1.618 39
13. Kubica BMW Sauber 1:22.372 + 1.733 41
14. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 1:22.428 + 1.789 23
15. Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:22.486 + 1.847 34
16. Sato Super Aguri-Honda 1:22.487 + 1.848 38
17. Barrichello Honda 1:22.511 + 1.872 39
18. Klien Honda 1:22.833 + 2.194 45
19. Speed Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:22.840 + 2.201 42
20. Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:23.105 + 2.466 35
21. Albers Spyker-Ferrari 1:23.113 + 2.474 35
22. Sutil Spyker-Ferrari 1:23.720 + 3.081 30

07/06/07
f1
'Illegal car' row nears end at Silverstone  (GMM) The long-running 'customer car' row is nearing an end, Bernie Ecclestone admitted at Silverstone on Friday.

Super Aguri and Toro Rosso are expected to sign an agreement with Spyker on Saturday, following another meeting about the issue at lunchtime on the scene of the British grand prix.

The locally-based Spyker argues that the other two teams' cars are illegal copies of their parent outfits' works single seaters, and is backed by F1's chief executive who wants all three to share their commercial income at the end of the year.

Prior to a new agreement, the eleventh-placed team in 2007 stands to earn no additional income according to the terms of the existing Concorde Agreement.

"We're in the middle of it," Ecclestone said coyly in the paddock on Friday.

"We never finalise anything, we're always in the middle of meetings. Until everybody signs a document anything can happen."
07/06/07
f1
Honda dragged into F1 spy saga  (GMM) A third team is being dragged into the Ferrari-McLaren espionage affair -- Honda.

The German specialist publication Auto Motor und Sport now reports that, in addition to McLaren, disgruntled Ferrari veteran Nigel Stepney had also offered classified team data to his colleagues at the Japanese team, but they turned him down.

It is additionally rumoured in the Silverstone paddock that both he and McLaren's suspended chief designer Mike Coughlan intended to defect to Brackley based Honda, and that the Nick Fry-led outfit intend to clarify their position with an official statement later on Friday.

Auto Motor und Sport says the sacked Stepney and Coughlan were trying to pool information and also proposing to bring a group of engineers to Honda, who were targeted as a struggling but well-funded operation that could offer high profile and highly paid jobs.

It is also suggested that McLaren's managing director Jonathan Neale tried to prevent the affair from exploding by asking Coughlan to destroy the stolen Ferrari information before it had been copied or used or fully analysed.
07/06/07
f1
Klien stands in for injured Button  (GMM) Team test driver and former Red Bull and Jaguar racer Christian Klien on Friday stood in for the injured Jenson Button in afternoon practice for the British grand prix.

A Honda spokeswoman at the Silverstone circuit insisted that Button is merely suffering from a muscle twinge and should be back in action on Saturday.

Briton Button, who has always carried a back injury that dates back to his karting days, sat out scheduled testing at the Jerez circuit late last month with back pain.

The same Honda spokeswoman said the injury is probably related to the slight back complaint aggravated during his first corner incident at Indianapolis.
07/06/07
f1
Red Bull confirm 2008 driver lineup  (GMM) Red Bull will field an unchanged driver lineup in 2008, the locally-based team announced at Silverstone on Friday.

It emerged in reports this week that veteran Scot Coulthard had agreed terms for a fourth consecutive season with the Austrian-owned squad. Mark Webber remains under contract for 2008.

"Red Bull Racing is pleased to announce that it has extended its contract with David Coulthard to the end of the 2008 formula one season," a statement confirmed.

"This means the team's driver pairing for next year remains unchanged."
07/06/07
f1
Hamilton quick, Button hurts back  (GMM) Lewis Hamilton gave hope to swarms of patriotic countrymen by topping the opening practice session at Silverstone on Friday morning.

A record (US) $20 million has been gambled on the British rookie by fellow Britons ahead of his first home race in Northamptonshire this Sunday.

Despite a couple of spins, Hamilton, 22, went barely quicker than both Ferraris and his McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso in overcast conditions.

"Hamilton has sparked a betting frenzy on the race and the betting turnover is up to ten times what is was last year -- when Jenson Button was an outsider in the race," said a spokesman for the bookmaker William Hill.

In completely contrasting fortunes, Hamilton's countryman Button ended the session a distant fifteenth and aggravated an injury in his back over the bumps in the high speed Beckett's complex.

The Honda driver will sit out the afternoon session.

Another Briton, Scotland's David Coulthard, ended his own session in the gravel, at the wheel of his Red Bull car that is uniquely plastered with thousands of photographs of fans.
07/06/07
TV News
Thursday - Sunday USA TV reminders  UPDATE #2 The full Sunday TV listings have been added below.

07/05/07 The full Saturday TV listings have been added below. The full Sunday listings will follow.

07/04/07
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
Thursday
ESPN First Take - Daytona 500: Darrell Waltrip
Part of Show 12:00pm-2:00pm ESPN2
NASCAR Nextel Cup Replay - Lenox Industrial Tools 300 New Hampshire
12:00pm-3:00pm (R) SPEED
ESPN First Take -Daytona 500: Darrell Waltrip
Part of Show 2:00pm-4:00pm (R) ESPN2
NASCAR Now
4:00pm-4:30pm ESPN2
NASCAR Nextel Cup Practice Daytona
4:30pm-5:30pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Busch Series Final Practice Daytona
5:30pm-6:30pm (L) ESPN2
NASCAR Nextel Cup Final Practice Daytona
6:30pm-8:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup Replay -High Definition Lenox Industrial Tools 300 New Hampshire
8:00pm-10:30pm (R) HDNet
Rolex Sports Car Series Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona Daytona
8:00pm-10:30pm (L) SPEED
ESPN Ultimate NASCAR -Greatest Drivers
9:00pm-10:00pm ESPN More ...
07/06/07
f1
British GP: Hamilton tops practice 1  Lewis Hamilton delivered a heroes performance in the first free practice session at Silverstone to top the speed charts in practice 1 ahead of the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa's.

Clearly on the limit, Hamilton looked typically ragged throughout. Twice he went off-track, spinning at Abbey and then running onto the grass at Priory, before finally setting a 1m21.100s lap, which was good enough to go ahead of the red cars.

1. HAMILTON McLaren 1m21.100s
2. RAIKKONEN Ferrari      1m21.211s
3. MASSA Ferrari 1m21.285s
4. ALONSO Mclaren 1m21.675s
5. ROSBERG Williams 1m22.006s
6. KUBICA BMW 1m22.107s
7. HEIDFELD BMW 1m22.176s
8. WURZ Williams     1m22.216s
9. R. SCHUMACHER Toyota 1m22.878s
10. BARRICHELLO Honda 1m22.956s
11. TRULLI Toyota 1m23.030s
12. DAVIDSON Super Aguri  1m23.037s
13. KOVALAINEN    Renault 1m23.099s
14. FISICHELLA Renault 1m23.179s
15. BUTTON Honda 1m23.517s
16. SATO Super Aguri  1m23.548s
17. WEBBER  Red Bull     1m23.564s
18. COULTHARD Red Bull     1m23.618s
19. SPEED Toro Rosso   1m23.854s
20. SUTIL Spyker       1m23.954s
21. LIUZZI Toro Rosso   1m24.154s
22. ALBERS Spyker       1m24.172s
07/06/07
industry news
Hybrid owner sues Honda over mileage claims  Facing $3-a-gallon gasoline prices in California last year, John True decided to stop driving his Mercedes-Benz E320 and bought a Honda Civic Hybrid.

Impressed by the gas-electric hybrid's advertised mileage -- 49 miles per gallon in the city, 51 mpg on the highway -- True plunked down $28,470, at least $7,000 more for a comparable nonhybrid Civic EX.

But after 6,000 miles of driving, True said he averaged 32 mpg in mixed city/highway driving. So in March, True, an Ontario, Calif., professional jazz piano player, filed a class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Riverside, Calif., in what appears to be the first legal challenge of the mileage claims of hybrid vehicles.

True's frustration with the actual mileage of his hybrid vs. the advertised mileage echoes that of other owners, many of whom voice their complaints on online message boards, and reflects the findings of some independent tests, including one by Consumer Reports.

The lawsuit claims American Honda Motor Co. has misled consumers in its advertisements and on its Web site. The suit notes that while the Environmental Protection Agency and automobile window stickers say "mileage will vary," some Honda advertisements read "mileage may vary." That implies that it's possible to get the mileage advertised, said William H. Anderson, a Washington, D.C., attorney for True. Detroit News

07/06/07
f1
A lap around Silverstone with Jenson Button  With average lap speeds approaching 130mph, Silverstone is one of the fastest circuits on the Grand Prix calendar. It's certainly one of Jenson Button's top tracks: the Englishman not only loves racing at home but he also gives the layout a big thumbs-up. "Racing at Silverstone in my home race is always very exciting," he admits.
 
"The fans are incredibly supportive and the circuit is one of my favorites. The track flows with lots of quick corners but there aren't many places to overtake.

"We start a lap along the main straight in seventh gear into Copse, a fast right-hander, which you take in sixth gear. It is a completely blind corner as part of the pit wall sticks out and you can't see where the exit is as the circuit dips away, so it is pretty exciting. Next is Maggots, a very quick chicane. You carry a lot of speed through here, lifting slightly off the power on the second apex before braking for Becketts, a fifth-gear right hander. You take as much curb on the inside of Becketts as you can before you go down to fourth or third gear for the approach to one of the maddest corners in Formula One! More ...

07/06/07
nascar
Ginn Racing seeking sponsors, Army back in 2008  Though the #13 and #14 Ginn Racing teams seek sponsorship, CEO Jay Frye anticipates Ginn will remain a three-car team in the future. There has been speculation of late that the #13 team would soon be shut down; while Frye discounts that, he doesn't hide the need for financial backing. "We have no intention to shut it down, but there comes a point that you have to get it funded," Frye said of the #13 team, driven by Joe Nemechek. "We're very close." Back in January, Ginn Racing chose to add the third team on the promise that it had secured lock-tight business associations. Two of those deals [Panasonic?] ultimately fell apart, but having committed to the team, it seemed more viable to secure sponsorship by running the car than by letting it sit idle. "I keep hearing we're in trouble, but the fact is the business is still better than last year," Frye said. "It has to get fixed this year, though. No doubt. In reality, I'd rather be a strong two-car team than a three-car team without a sponsor. We can't do what we did this year -- in January we thought we were good." They're also close to securing sponsorship for Sterling Marlin's #14, Frye said. The hope there, he said, is to find a sponsor to pick up the rest of 2007 and then extend the deal into the future. The U.S. Army will return as a full-time team sponsor for Ginn in 2008, Frye said. ESPN.com
07/06/07
track news
ISC revs up sales and marketing drive  US motorsports company International Speedway Corporation [ISC] has made a series of executive promotions to integrate its sales, marketing and event production efforts.

Roger VanDerSnick, formerly vice president and chief marketing officer, will become senior vice president, Marketing and Business Operations, overseeing management of ISC's facilities and MRN Radio, as well as all marketing and sales activities.

VanDerSnick will report to ISC's executive vice president and COO, John Saunders.
In addition, Grant Lynch Jr, formerly vice president of ISC and president of Talladega Superspeedway, will become senior vice president, Business Operations, responsible for numerous ISC subsidiaries, including the ISC's 13 wholly-owned and/or operated racetracks and Americrown.

Lynch will report to VanDerSnick.

"This improved structure will ensure the ongoing success of our outstanding team of leaders and employees at ISC's facilities and related business operations," said Saunders.

ISC currently promotes more than 100 racing events in the US, annually as well as numerous other motorsports-related activities.

07/06/07
nascar
Pepsi 400 Practice 2 speeds  
Pos No. Driver Make Time Speed
1 7 Robby Gordon Ford 47.687 188.731
2 5 Kyle Busch Chevy 47.704 188.663
3 31 Jeff Burton Chevy 47.877 187.982
4 40 David Stremme Dodge 47.996 187.516
5 70 Johnny Sauter Chevy 48.051 187.301
6 38 David Gilliland Ford 48.091 187.145
7 20 Tony Stewart Chevy 48.096 187.126
8 *22 Dave Blaney Toyota 48.102 187.102
9 26 Jamie McMurray Ford 48.178 186.807
10 12 Ryan Newman Dodge 48.229 186.610
11 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevy 48.244 186.552
12 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge 48.288 186.382
13 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge 48.304 186.320
14 25 Casey Mears Chevy 48.376 186.043
15 66 Jeff Green Chevy 48.391 185.985 More ...
07/06/07
nascar
Pepsi 400 Practice 1 speeds  
Pos No. Driver Make Time Speed
1 18 J.J. Yeley Chevy 47.365 190.014
2 16 Greg Biffle Ford 47.368 190.002
3 7 Clint Bowyer Chevy 47.449 189.677
4 12 Ryan Newman Dodge 47.503 189.462
5 2 Kurt Busch Dodge 47.800 188.285
6 25 Casey Mears Ford 47.811 188.241
7 29 Kevin Harvick Chevy 47.868 188.017
8 01 Mark Martin Chevy 47.890 187.931
9 11 Denny Hamlin Chevy 47.896 187.907
10 14 Sterling Marlin Chevy 47.954 187.680
11 7 Robby Gordon Chevy 48.025 187.402
12 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevy 48.080 187.188
13 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge 48.110 187.071
14 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge 48.130 186.994
15 20 Tony Stewart Chevy 48.156 186.893 More ...
07/06/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Spy scandal brings tears to Dennis' eyes
  • Whole world stunned by Hamilton phenomenon
  • F1 veteran backs McLaren amid spy saga
  • Bernie rules out London grand prix
  • Stepney interrogated by Italian police

Spy scandal brings tears to Dennis' eyes
(GMM) The Ferrari-McLaren spy scandal threatened to overshadow Lewis Hamilton's first home grand prix as the world of formula one converged on Silverstone on Thursday.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis wiped away tears on the steps of the team's monstrous new 'Brand Centre' motorhome as rumors swilled that another of his employees might be caught up in the alleged transfer of material from Ferrari's sacked Nigel Stepney to McLaren's suspended chief designer Mike Coughlan.

It is rumored that Stepney handed over a confidential 500-page dossier to Coughlan around the time of a test in Spain in May. A staff member at a commercial printing shop apparently then tipped-off Ferrari when Coughlan tried to copy the team secrets, which were marked by a 'confidential' stamp featuring a Prancing Horse.

"It has been a difficult two or three days, especially for me," the emotional Dennis, with a wavering voice, said.

"My personal integrity is very important to me and my company's integrity is even more important.

"There is no way anything incorrect would ever happen in our team. Thanks," he finished.

La Gazzetta dello Sport claims that a second McLaren employee is now under suspicion, following another search on the dwelling of Stepney, who returned to Italy on Thursday.

Whole world stunned by Hamilton phenomenon
(GMM) England is reveling in its new hero, but the Lewis Hamilton phenomenon is leaving the rest of the world even more stunned.

A reporter for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo called arriving at Silverstone on Thursday like being hit by the 'Hamilton tsunami', and the Daily Mirror's headline 'Genius of a Lifetime' summed up the mood on the London newsstands.

At the circuit, tempers flared during a media scrum around the rookie championship leader, with a couple of cameramen nearly coming to blows as they jostled for a good view of the dazzled Briton. More ...

07/06/07
ga
Gurney, Fogarty conquer Brumos Porsche 250  DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty stamped their names in the record books of Daytona International Speedway tonight, piloting their No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac-powered Riley into Victory Lane from the pole in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Brumos Porsche 250. But their third consecutive win and fourth of the year was not an easy one, as Fogarty was forced to mount a stirring charge through the field after serving a questionable stop-and-go penalty on Lap 15.
 
The penalty, issued to Fogarty for what Grand-Am officials called “avoidable contact” with the No. 23 and No. 01 cars, dropped the GAINSCO machine back to 15th on Lap 16. In the GAINSCO pits, disbelief at the penalty hardened into a quiet determination to fight back into Victory Lane and keep the team’s win streak alive. With 54 laps left in the 70-lap, 250-mile event, team owner Bob Stallings told his crew that they’d overcome greater obstacles, and that with a car that fairly flew around the 3.56-mile speedway road course, his drivers could salvage a solid finish. They delivered. Fogarty scythed through the field, landing in third place on Lap 43, when he handed the car over to Gurney. Along the way, the two-time Toyota Atlantic champion recorded the race’s fastest lap, a blistering circuit of 1:45.269, set on Lap 37.
 
A blazing-fast pit stop from Link Smith and the GAINSCO Boys sent the second-generation star back on course in the lead, and from there, Gurney and the No. 99 never looked back, sailing under the checkered flag 7.48 seconds ahead of second-placed Max Angelelli in the No. 10 machine.

"We in the history books now,” an exuberant Gurney said. “It feels awesome to win at this track, a place with so much history, where my dad won one of the first sports car races ever. Jon and I had the car to beat all the way, and when we got that penalty we knew we just had to overcome it. The crew gave us a great pit stop to get me out in front of the 10 car and I knew the outlap was a critical moment. I had to get on it to stay in front, and when I did that and got clear, it was all about being smart in traffic and taking it to the checkers.” More ...
07/05/07
nascar
Lure of NASCAR big threat to open-wheel racing  Juan Pablo Montoya's Nextel Cup win two weeks ago in Sonoma was the latest example of a former open-wheel driver succeeding in NASCAR. It certainly won't be the last.

As NASCAR's star rises, open-wheel racing's continues to fade, and losing its top talent to stock cars isn't helping one bit.

Montoya, who left a stellar career in both Indy Car racing and Formula One before moving over NASCAR, is just the latest talent to come over to the promised land of stock-car racing.

Like Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, Casey Mears, J.J. Yeley, Robby Gordon, A.J. Allmendinger and even Jeff Gordon, Montoya decided the best path to the top of the motorsports ladder was in NASCAR.

"Obviously NASCAR has grown to become just about the biggest thing in racing," said Montoya, who is one of only two drivers to win a NASCAR Nextel Cup race, Formula One and the Indy 500, joining Mario Andretti in that accomplishment.

"I was at a point in my career where I wanted to try something challenging and do something that would get me involved with what I think still has the potential to be even larger than it is today."  More at Sportsline.com

07/05/07
ga
Fogarty makes it four with scorching pole lap  DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Jon Fogarty showed the Daytona Prototype field how it’s done this afternoon in qualifying for tonight’s Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway, as he stuck the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac-powered Riley that he’ll share with Alex Gurney solidly on the pole position – and in the process, recording GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing’s fourth Rolex Series pole in a row. Tonight, the team will look to take its third consecutive victory.
 
Fogarty’s final lap of the 3.56-mile speedway road course was his fastest, setting a time of 1:44.043 at an average speed of 123.180 mph. But it wasn’t as easy as the 1.035-second margin might make it look – in fact, the 99 team nearly didn’t get a chance to set a fast lap at all. A black-flag period took the middle of the 15-minute qualifying session out of the picture, coming out just as Fogarty was about to cross the stripe to complete his first timed lap. Had the black flag lasted just minutes longer, the timesheet could have looked much different. But Jon responded to the pressure, turning in a pair of blistering laps as the clock wound down to zero. More ...
07/05/07
f1
British GP: Thursday Press Conference   

Participating:
Rubens Barrichello (Honda)
Jenson Button (Honda)
Anthony Davidson (Super Aguri)
Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
Alexander Wurz (Williams).

Q. Alex, it's been a few years since you raced here, but you've had a third and a fourth here. What are your thoughts on this circuit?

Alexander Wurz: Yes, it's a nice circuit. I was here testing a few weeks ago and obviously there are some very high speeds here so the first five corners are quite incredible. Turn one, if everything is alright and the wind is coming from the correct direction, is flat out.

You arrive in seventh, flat out through the first corner. Then the whole section of Becketts, the first two corners, flat, just one downshift for turn five and you're on Hangar Straight. You haven't even touched the brakes until then. That's quite cool. It's a really a nice circuit.

Q. So far this year you've had some good races, but not necessarily good qualifying. What's been going wrong in qualifying?

AW: Well, if you call it wrong or not good enough, whatever it is, it's a few hundredths, a few tenths here and there and yeah, I have to work on that. As you say, the races are very strong, especially the starts. At every start, I have always overtaken people.

I think I'm actually the leader in overtaking manoeuvres on the race track in the 2007 season. But generally I have to work a little bit with the tyres, they are not really designed for my driving style, if you want to call it this. It was much better last year with the different constructions but that's something you have to dial your brain into, your processing into and I don't see any reason why that should cause me sleepless nights. But the racing is nice for sure. More ...

07/05/07
alms
Brabham ready for Lime Rock success  David Brabham feels like he hasn’t come back down. The joyous jump on the top step of the podium at Le Mans after winning in GT1 for Aston Martin is forever etched in the minds of Brabham’s faithful followers who saw their hero take his first win at Le Mans in 14 tries.

“It was quite a special day. Le Mans to me is the most important race of the year,” Brabham said at Lime Rock Park, site of this weekend’s American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix and the start of the second half of the American Le Mans Series season. “After so long, sometimes I think it’s better to wait awhile because it feels that much better. We were pretty confident heading into the race with the preparations Aston Martin had done. During the race we had one of those perfect races. We had good speed. We had zero problems considering the weather. I started the race and finished the race so I got spoiled.”

Now it’s back to work with Highcroft Racing and Acura in North America. Brabham is one of the core members of a Highcroft squad that is based in nearby Danbury, Conn. With an LMP2 podium finish at St. Petersburg and Brabham’s overall pole position at Houston, the early part of Highcroft’s Acura program can be rated a success. More ...

07/05/07
cc
Race Car Driver Season 2 to air in the United Kingdom  Race Car Driver Season 2 is now airing in the United Kingdom through UKTV G2.  The second season of the popular reality show is based on the 2006 Champ Car World Series and highlights Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, Forsythe Championship Racing, RuSPORT and PKV Racing.

Ride along with Race Car Driver as the second season gears up with more exciting twists and turns!  There’s plenty of action on and off the track as viewers get a turbo-charged glimpse inside the celebrity lifestyles of the men and women of Champ Car.  Race Car Driver puts the viewer in the driver’s seat on some of the most challenging tracks throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Australia and behind the scenes at the exclusive parties and high-stakes strategy sessions.

Additionally, London based Viasat have once again acquired broadcast rights for Race Car Driver to air Season 2 across the Nordic and Baltic Northern and Eastern European countries.  More ...

07/05/07
alms
Rick Mayer on being successful at Lime Rock  Risi Competizione Race Engineer Rick Mayer gives his thoughts and insights on what it takes to successful at Lime Rock Park, site of this weekend’s American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix.

The Track
Lime Rock is the shortest permanent race track on the American Le Mans Series schedule. It is approximately 1.53 miles and has only two left turns including the chicane that IMSA runs. Being quick through the chicane requires being good on the curbs. If you can run a lot of the curbs in the chicane, you can gain a significant advantage.

You need to set the car up basically for an oval and almost disregard the two left turns. The 430GT needs to be good going into T1; this braking zone is one of the few passing opportunities at Lime Rock. But the T1 braking zone is also quite bumpy, not harsh but bumpy in an undulating way. A lot of the corners have a mix of concrete and asphalt through the center, and so the grip changes as the tarmac changes; the long first turn is no exception. It’s particularly important to get a good run down the hill into the last turn as this leads onto the longest straight and to the passing area at the entrance of T1.
 
This last corner is the fastest corner at Lime Rock with a minimum speed of about 110 mph. It’s flat (full throttle) for the LMPs but not the GT2s. You need to run the exit out to the edge of the track, but get too much dirt and not enough track and you’re in the tire wall at the exit which is what happened to our No. 61 Ferrari last year.   More ...

07/05/07
cc
Bridgestone Toronto Preview  
Race Details: Timed event - 1 hour, 45 minutes. Track distance is 1.755 miles (2.824 kilometers).

Television Broadcast: Live - Sunday, July 8, at 1 p.m. EDT on ESPN.

Bridgestone Potenza(tm) Tires Supplied:
* 574 primary (black-sidewall) dry-condition slicks; 192 alternate (red-sidewall) dry slicks; 324 wet-condition (rain) tires.
* Each car receives seven sets of primary tires, two sets of alternates and four sets of rain tires for the race weekend.
* In a normal dry-condition race, each car must use at least one set of primary and one set of alternate Potenzas. The primary and alternate tires' construction is identical, but the alternates possess a tread compound with better grip ("softer"), making them faster but possibly not quite as durable.
* Bridgestone Motorsport is bringing its "softest" (highest-grip) primary, alternate and rain Potenzas to take on the twisting temporary street circuit around Exhibition Place. All three tire specifications for this weekend are battle-tested, having been used on the temporary courses at Las Vegas and Houston earlier this year, with the primary and rain specs also utilized at Long Beach.

From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Bridgestone Motorsport: "The second round of the Champ Car Canadian Triple Crown has been one of our favorite venues for a long time. Toronto fans are passionate and knowledgeable, and that makes for an intense and enjoyable weekend of racing. There should be no guessing about how the tires will perform this weekend. The Potenzas we have selected are the same specs across the board that we chose to run in Toronto last year. Plus, teams have used these same specs at most of the street courses this season, so they should be quite familiar with the tires' tendencies. The championship is heating up, new teams and drivers are challenging up front, and we're awaiting Champ Car's first standing start on a street circuit. We have all the ingredients for another wild Toronto race."

07/05/07
f1
Losing title not end of world - Alonso  (GMM)  Although not renowned for his qualities as a good loser, Fernando Alonso says not winning a third consecutive world championship this year would not be the end of the world.

The Spaniard arrives at his teammate Lewis Hamilton's home race this weekend a full 14 points behind the English rookie, dismissing some of his recent lowly finishes as down to pure bad luck.

"If I do not become world champion again this time, then - God willing - I will get another chance next year," Alonso said at Silverstone on Thursday.

"There are still nine races left in this season for me to go for it, but - if not - then it is not the end of the world.

"If I was at Honda or another team and still had zero points, then I would really be unhappy.  But instead I am second and I still have every chance to succeed," Alonso said.

The 25-year-old thinks ill-fated races, such as his gearbox problem during French grand prix qualifying last weekend and because of the Safety Car in Canada, have exacerbated his points deficit, but insisted that similar luck could also strike his title rivals.

But he also acknowledged that true consistency is usually a crucial element for any successful championship campaign.

"You have to be on the podium at every race," Alonso said, "so that if you can not win, you are collecting as many points as possible.

"But I was fifth in Bahrain and seventh twice in Canada and France -- and if you want to be world champion, seventh places are not really acceptable."

07/05/07
f1
Webber owns English pub  (GMM) Australian F1 driver Mark Webber has bought a restaurant in England.

Not quite in the league of his Red Bull teammate David Coulthard's five-star Columbus Hotel in glamorous Monaco, Webber's Mediterranean-style restaurant 'Il Maschio' is part of 'The Stag Inn' pub.

As well as taking in one of compatriot Lleyton Hewitt's tennis games at Wimbledon this week, 30-year-old Webber also stopped off at his pub, which is located in Mentmore Village in Buckinghamshire (UK).
07/05/07
f1
Vettel - 'I want to race' in 2008  (GMM) Sebastian Vettel on Thursday would not be drawn on rumours this week that he is heading for a race seat at Toro Rosso in 2008.

With BMW-Sauber looking to field an unchanged lineup next year, it was reported that the team's promising reserve driver Vettel, who is 20, could be loaned to STR for up to two seasons.

On the eve of the British grand prix at Silverstone, however, Vettel gave little away but interestingly refused to deny the story. More ...
07/05/07
f1
Verstappen ruled out for Albers' seat  (GMM) With Christijan Albers' Spyker future in doubt, the Dutch team's boss Michiel Mol has played down speculation that an old favourite could make a formula one return.

Mol suggested that Jos Verstappen's planned one-off on the Friday preceding the Belgian grand prix is still likely to happen later this year but ruled the Dutchman out as a serious contender for a race seat.

"You really shouldn't read too much into it," Spyker Cars' CEO told the team's magazine.

"No, Jos is not a candidate for the seat. I think we won't be seeing him in action as a race driver any more."

Mol also clarified that Verstappen, the 35-year-old who last appeared on the grid for Minardi in 2003, will probably not participate in the pre-race test at Spa-Francorchamps this month.

He insisted: "But it is still a good idea -- Jos in a formula one car one last time, and a Spyker to boot."
07/05/07
cc
Champ Car first to offer iPhone downloads  In partnership with 29HD Network, the Champ Car World Series was the first to have a non-Apple video site for the Apple iPhone, the new combination widescreen iPod, mobile phone and Internet device taking the world by storm.

  The Champ Car World Series iPhone video site was launched 30 minutes before the device first became available on Friday.

  iPhone owners can go to www.ccws2.com/i  and click on any title and immediately watch the related video as it starts to download into the iPhone. With access to WiFi, the Apple iPhone allows quick video downloads and the high bit-rate encoding of the Champ Car World Series videos gives the user a vibrant and thrilling racing experience. More ...
07/05/07
f1
BRDC rejects offer to help save Brit GP  (GMM) Organisers of the British grand prix on Thursday rejected a proposal to help safe the endangered race.

Businessman Bill Archer, who founded the Focus do-it-yourself stores in the UK, has teamed up with entrepreneur Mike Rockall and vowed to "ensure immediate funds are available for essential improvements" at the Silverstone circuit.

They also want to give the race "a new promoter, relieving the BRDC of the significantly increasing cost of underwriting the event." More ...
07/05/07
cc
Tracy's Rap Sheet  He's fast, aggressive and hates to lose. Here are some of the incidents that have made Paul Tracy, the Thrill from West Hill, one of the most controversial drivers of his generation.

APRIL 4, 1993 Crashes while leading Phoenix race by two laps as he tries to pass Jimmy Vasser, who denies cutting Tracy off. The good friends still laugh about it today.

AUG. 22, 1993 Wins race at Elkhart Lake despite ankle and neck injuries from crashing into wall during practice.

MAY 14, 1994 Suffers concussion and bruised foot in Indy 500 practice, still races and finishes 25th.

JULY 3, 1995 Suffers broken left foot in go-kart race in Arizona and needs surgery. Six days later, finishes second to Jacques Villeneuve at Elkhart Lake.

JULY 27, 1996 Suffers broken leg in crash during practice at Michigan Speedway. More ...

07/05/07
nascar
NASCAR's weekly cheater penalties  NASCAR has issued penalties and fines to the #5 and #70 teams that compete in the Nextel Cup Series, as a result of rule infractions found this past weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, N.H.

Both cars, the #5 Chevy driven by Kyle Busch and the #70 Chevy driven by Johnny Sauter, were found to be in violation of Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used do not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8.1B, COT Technical Bulletin #3, dated 4/10/07 (failed to meet the minimum front car heights) of the 2007 NASCAR rule book. The violations were found during post-race inspection last Sunday.

As a result, Kyle Busch and Sauter have each been penalized 25 driver championship points. Their respective crew chiefs, Alan Gustafson and Robert ‘Bootie’ Barker, have each been fined $25,000 and placed on probation until Sept. 19. In addition, Rick Hendrick, owner of the #5, has been penalized 25 car owner championship points as has Joe Custer, the owner of the #70.

07/05/07
f1
New bid to secure British GP future  Two UK businessmen have submitted a joint venture proposal to Silverstone owner the British Racing Drivers' Club in the hope of securing the British Grand Prix's future.

Bill Archer, the founder and former chairman of the Focus/Wickes DIY chain, and entrepreneur Mike Rockall, whose interests include the Whittlebury Hall spa resort near Silverstone, are behind the bid.

They have proposed a partnership with the BRDC, and have pledged to do the following: More ...

07/05/07
f1
Massa - "Luck was not on my side"  Looking back at Magny-Cours with a few days to think about it, I cannot say I am unhappy to end up second, having been in the lead for much of the race. In fact I am happy to have contributed to a Ferrari one-two, the first time I have done this with Kimi. But, I am just a little bit disappointed that I was not the one in front at the end of the race.

Everything worked perfectly that afternoon, except that, at the key moment in the race I was not very lucky and last Sunday, Kimi had all the lucky points in his hands. That's the way it goes sometimes. In qualifying he gained an extra lap being the first man out, then at the start of the race he was lucky to pass Hamilton and then he was lucky I got stuck in traffic. That is why I could not win the race, but apart from that I was quickest all weekend, taking pole position and the fastest lap in the race. Unfortunately, luck was not on my side, but I am still happy that we got a great result as a team. We need to be happy and focus on getting many more good results like this in the rest of the season. More ...

07/05/07
f1
British GP - A challenging race-track  Silverstone - Just one week after securing Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's first one-two finish of the season, Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa will be in action again for the ninth round of the world championship at the Silverstone circuit. For Massa's race engineer, Rob Smedley, this means a trip to his English homeland.

"As usual, Silverstone is a great challenge for drivers and for the engineers especially, as there is such a disparity between some very high speed corners and some low speed sections," says Smedley of a circuit that he knows so well. "It is both a challenge and a headache, but if you get it right you get the rewards. Silverstone is a reasonably high downforce track because there are so many corners, but you have to find the right compromise over the weekend and its character actually changes very slightly over the course of the three days, so you have to make sure you have the right settings on the car at the right time."

During the year, Smedley does not get home very often, but this weekend is his second trip to the UK in three weeks. "We tested at Silverstone prior to the French Grand Prix and tried a new aero package, which we ran in France and will now use in England with some further modifications to suit the more high speed nature of Silverstone," he says. "The test was very encouraging and very positive, especially after the results of the races in North America. Since then, we have also changed some of our preparation aimed at getting the most out of the car on a first timed lap on new tires and that has helped, while the characteristics of Silverstone circuit are also more predisposed to helping us to get a strong first lap." More ...

07/05/07
gp2
Albuquerque to replace Viso  Portugal's Filipe Albuquerque will step into the #15 Racing Engineering car this weekend, to partner Spaniard Javier Villa following the team's first win of 2007 last weekend in Magny-Cours. Felipe's callup to the team comes following Ernesto Viso's huge accident in Race One, which will see the Venezuelan out of action this weekend following the concussion he suffered in the incident.

Filipe comes to the series as the reigning European Formula Renault champion, and has a good relationship with the Racing Engineering team, having worked with them in Spanish Formula Three.

"This will make for an ideal coordination between the drivers and the team, allowing Filipe, the 2006 Formula Renault Europe champion, to fully focus on maximizing this great opportunity to drive one of the Racing Engineering’s GP2 cars," the team said in a statement.

"Filipe will stand in at Silverstone for Ernesto Viso as the Venezuelan driver has not yet received the all clear from the doctors following his accident last Saturday at Magny Cours," the statement continued. "This unfortunate incident showed up the professionalism and the great work ethic of the whole Racing Engineering technical staff as they were able to build a totally new car despite the pressure of such a short gap between the French and British races."

07/05/07
cc
Trans-Tasman rivalry to fire in Surfers  The Australia Gold Coast streets are set to ignite with Trans-Tasman rivalry during the Lexmark Indy 300 from October 18-21, with confirmation New Zealand driver Matt Halliday (right) will drive for Conquest Racing in the Australian Champ Car World Series event.

Team Australia’s Will Power has already proved himself at home in the International field after capturing an elusive pole position during last year’s event and it’s now up to Halliday to take up the challenge to win support during the closest thing to a home event for the 27 year-old Kiwi.

With valuable backing from New Zealand Vodka company 42 Below, Halliday has already gained an appreciation for the International open wheelers after fulfilling an initial three-race contract during 2007.

That baptism of fire is sure to hold him well as he now aims to make his mark during the final five rounds of the Champ Car World Series, which includes Queensland’s crown jewel event on the streets of Surfers Paradise.

Halliday joins the ranks of fellow New Zealand driver, Brisbane born Scott Dixon who represented his homeland on the Gold Coast at the 2001 and 2002 events following Championship success in the Indy Lights Series in 2000.

Halliday’s inclusion in the starters list for the 17th running of the Lexmark Indy 300 on October 18-21 is sure to entice many parochial Kiwi fans to the Gold Coast for the annual four day/four night extravaganza. More ...

07/05/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Silverstone braces for wet weekend
  • Drivers to escape spy scandal penalties
  • Lewis can't save Brit GP - Ecclestone
  • Hamilton wants to never leave McLaren

Silverstone braces for wet weekend
(GMM) British grand prix Silverstone is bracing for wild weather on the eve of the 2007 event.

As players at the Wimbledon tennis tournament can attest to, much of the UK has been affected by torrential rain in recent days, and Northamptonshire is counting on much the same for the F1 weekend.

Plenty of spots pattered the Silverstone paddock on Wednesday, and local forecasters predict more uncertain weather through to the race on Sunday.

Bracing for the storm, race organizers have announced that, for example, extra manpower and temporary roadways have been drafted in to avoid the carpark quagmire that was the British grand prix in 2000.

"We have actioned a number of contingency plans to minimize disruption to the fans and ensure that the customer experience is not compromised," the circuit's managing director Richard Phillips confirmed.

Drivers to escape spy scandal penalties
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone and sources close to Max Mosley have allayed fears that the Ferrari-McLaren spy scandal could affect the outcome of the drivers' world championship.

F1 chief executive Ecclestone, however, warned that if McLaren is found guilty by the newly established FIA investigation, constructors' points could be docked.

But he said similar fates were not likely to dent Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso's charge for the title.

"I don't see that," 76-year-old Ecclestone is quoted as saying by the Guardian.

"There is no way it would affect the driver. It is nothing to do with them."

Nonetheless, F1's governing body is looking into possible breaches of the International Sporting Code and the F1 regulations, and its maximum powers include a team's total exclusion from the championship.

A source close to FIA president Max Mosley, however, said McLaren had so far reacted correctly to the saga.

"It may well be that McLaren will be vindicated in this and the whole business be put down to a couple of renegades," the source said.

Auto Motor und Sport, though, revealed that the issue is not about a few mere design blueprints transferred from Ferrari's sacked Nigel Stepney to Mike Coughlan, who has been suspended by McLaren.

In the 'package' sent to Coughlan in May was also details about internal structures, operating procedures, engineers, car setup data, race strategy secrets, future developments plans, as well as notes relating to quality control and tests. More ...

07/05/07
tv news
cca
Mont-Tremblant Atlantic race to be shown on ESPN2  The Champ Car Atlantic Championship race run in beautiful Mont-Tremblant, Quebec on July 1 will be shown on Friday, July 6 at 6:00 pm - 6:30 pm ET on ESPN2.
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