Hot News
for your iPhone
for your iPad
Go to our forums to discuss this news
DATE News (chronologically)

Tempers flare as Matos wins pole
Tempers flared in final qualifying, but when the dust settled, 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda points leader Raphael Matos (#6 ProWorks) emerged as the polesitter for Sunday’s Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto (ESPN360.com, Live, 10:00 a.m. ET).

The qualifying session left many drivers, including Matos, fuming as they believed their best qualifying laps were in some way impeded by at least one of the other 22 drivers on the 1.755-mile temporary street circuit. Matos—who already earned a front-row starting spot by being the fastest in Friday’s provisional qualifying session—salted away his fourth Atlantic pole of the season in Saturday’s final round with a lap at 1:05.621 (96.280 mph). The Brazilian is looking to become the first non-American or Canadian to win an Atlantic race at Toronto’s Canadian National Exhibition Place. All 16 previous Atlantic races in Toronto have been won by either American or Canadian drivers.

History may be on Matos’ side, however, as he led every lap en route to the victory in the first three Atlantic races he started from the pole position in 2007. Matos again extended his points lead by claiming the bonus point for leading final qualifying, and he now leads his Sierra Sierra Enterprises teammate James Hinchcliffe (#9 NOCO/ProWorks) by 35 points, 203-168, heading into Sunday’s Round 8 of the 12-race 2007 Champ Car Atlantic Championship.

Read more & Comment...

Title sponsorship working for Steelback
Since signing a multi-year title sponsorship agreement in March with the Grand Prix of Toronto, Steelback Brewery of Tiverton, Ont., has been full throttle in its promotion of the race scheduled this weekend at Exhibition Place.

Sales of Steelback beer have “skyrocketed” over the last four months as the company launched into its promotion of the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto, including a national advertising campaign. 

“We are thrilled with the promotion and advertising for this event and what it has done for our company,” said Steelback President and CEO Frank D’Angelo.  “The support from Champ Car World Series and the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto has been second to none, and we are looking forward to this relationship going forward.  Not only have we seen unbelievable results leading up to the race, but in our first day on site, we had to bring in two extra trucks to handle the volume.  With the fantastic weather and great racing ahead, we expect an incredible weekend of sales.”

The company also hosted an after Qualifying Party at the Steelback Beer Garden following a thrilling round of Champ Car qualifying on Friday.  The party featured members of the Toronto Argonauts while a similar party, featuring Phil Esposito and other hockey legends, is slated for post-qualifying on Saturday.

“Frank and his Steelback team truly understand what we are trying to do with the Champ Car World Series, which is to create a festive atmosphere built around the great racing,” said Champ Car President & CEO Steve Johnson. “They’re excellent partners, and the fun, lively event that they’ve created here is impressive.”

Read more & Comment...

NSSN thinks Mont-Tremblant is Montreal
A reader writes, Is National Speed Sport News worth the paper it is written on?  Last week they showed the Montreal track layout as being the next race for Champ Car when it should have been Mont-Tremblant.  Then, after the race was run their headline calls Doornbos the 'Master of Montreal."   Since when did Mont-Tremblant become Montreal and when is the publication going to stop brown-nosing the Xenophobic oval track crowd in the USA who don't have a clue of the world outside their own borders?  Sidney Black


IRL’s biggest stars fizzle at The Glen
Since Watkins Glen is not a 100% throttle no talent required oval the true driving skill of the drivers shine through on the historic upstate NY road course. IndyCar's biggest star, Danica Patrick qualified 15th on Saturday a whopping 3.55 seconds off the pace of the polesitter Helio Castroneves.

Meanwhile star #2, Sarah Fisher never even attempted to qualify after being some 7 seconds off the pace all weekend. At left she gets it all wrong under braking in morning practice.

And Milka Duno, the newest member of the IRL star-club has been so slow the team decided to skip the race altogether to avoid further embarrassment.

To her credit, even though she is not with the top Champ Car team, Katherine Legge, who is also struggling against the men in that series, is never that far off the pace.

Do they care if their superior male drivers leave the series? Apparently not. Rumored NASCAR bound Sam Hornish Jr. had this to say recently:

“The League hasn’t said two words to me about it,” Hornish said, referring to the Indy Racing League, which sanctions the IndyCar Series. “You feel like they don’t need you sometimes.

“They’ve got their stars. That’s another reason why you might want to do something else.”

As we have written previously, all other professional and high school sports have a separate league for woman and racing should be no different. Especially road racing where strength and skill are paramount.


NASCAR and Sprint announce new name
Sprint Nextel and NASCAR today announced NASCAR’s premier series will be known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning Jan. 1, 2008. The logo was unveiled in a press conference at Daytona International Speedway.

Sprint and NASCAR took extensive measures to talk with race fans throughout the logo and name review process, which included numerous focus groups and surveys. After receiving fan feedback, the decision was clear to focus on the Sprint brand and use a similar logo and name.

“NASCAR has an incredibly loyal fan base, and we listened closely to fan feedback to help make this decision,” said Tim Kelly, chief marketing officer of Sprint. “It was a long and thorough process to determine how to integrate our NASCAR sponsorship into our overall brand strategy, while still keeping the NASCAR fan at the heart of the decision.

Read more & Comment...

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Fact Sheet
Name & Logo Quick Facts
• The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series will be known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2008.
• The determination of the new logo and name was made after months of extensive research by Sprint and NASCAR. The research included fan focus groups and surveys.

• Sprint and NASCAR announced the new name and unveiled the logo July 7, 2007 at Daytona International Speedway.
• The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series name and logo will be used beginning Jan. 1, 2008. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series name and logo will be remain in use until Dec. 31, 2007.
• The timing of the announcement coincided with Sprint’s new national brand campaign, “Sprint Ahead,” which focuses on Sprint’s ability to do business with SprintSpeed™. The corporate-wide campaign launched July 1, 2007.

The SprintSpeed™ Million presented by Motorola Sweepstakes
• One driver wins the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Championship, and one fan wins $1 million – guaranteed.
• Detailed information about The SprintSpeed™ Million will be released Saturday, July 14. The sweepstakes opens to the public Sunday, July 15.
• Entries will be accepted from July 15 – Sept. 3. Entrants will select the driver they think will win the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Championship.
• Once the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers are set, a drawing will be held to select 12 finalists. Twelve finalists will be paired with the 12 Chase drivers and will each receive a call from their selected driver in addition to a trip to a Chase race for an ultimate behind-the-scenes experience and a meeting with their selected driver.
• The fan paired with the driver who wins the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Championship, wins $1 million. The check will be presented in Victory Lane at Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov. 18, 2007.

Series History
• This marks the sixth name for NASCAR’s top division since its inception.
• NASCAR’s premier division began in 1948 under the name Strictly stock
• The name changed to NASCAR Grand National in 1950.
• The name changed to Winston Cup Grand National in 1972.
• The name changed to NASCAR Winston Cup Series in 1986.
• The name changed to NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in 2004.


NASCAR Glen race picks up sponsor
Centurion Boats announced during a press conference held at Daytona International Speedway this afternoon, that they will sponsor the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Race at Watkins Glen International through 2009. The newly titled “Centurion Boats at The Glen” is scheduled to take the green flag at 2:00 pm on Sunday, August 12, during its traditional race weekend, and will be broadcast live on ESPN.

"We are proud of our new partnership with Centurion Boats and believe it is a great fit for both companies,” stated Craig Rust, President of Watkins Glen International. “Our NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race is not only a great platform to showcase the Centurion Boats brand to the national audience but also an ideal way to reach all the watersports enthusiasts for which the Finger Lakes Region is known.”

“All of us at Centurion are very excited about our growing relationship with NASCAR through Daytona International Speedway and Watkins Glen International,” said Rick Lee, president of Centurion.  “What started as an outside-the-box marketing experiment has exploded into a national branding effort that allows Centurion to showcase not only our World Championship Towboats, but the sport of wakeboarding, wakesurfing and waterski.”


Papis to run Montreal NASCAR Busch race UPDATE Added photos of Papis with his car below.

07/06/07 2004 Rolex Grand-Am Series champion ‘Mad Max’ Papis will be behind the wheel of the #1 Miccosukee Resorts & Gaming Chevrolet fielded by Phoenix Racing and team owner James Finch when the NASCAR Busch Series makes its debut appearance in Canada. When Papis rolls into Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the August 4th race, he will be replacing J.J. Yeley while Yeley focuses on his Nextel Cup effort at Pocono Raceway.

An open-wheel and sports-car racing sensation, Max Papis has previously raced at the challenging road course in Montreal as a Champ Car driver.

Montreal will be Papis’s second appearance in a NASCAR Busch Series road course race, as he made his debut a year ago in Watkins Glen driving the #36 Sport Clips Chevrolet. Starting the race in the 43rd position, Papis moved quickly to the front as he picked up 29 spots and recorded a 14th place finish in his first ever NASCAR road course race.

Read more & Comment...

Drivers could be punished in spy scandal - Mosley
(GMM)  Max Mosley has dismissed as "wrong" Bernie Ecclestone's claim that the Ferrari-McLaren spy scandal will surely not affect the outcome of the drivers' world championship.

Ecclestone, as the key representative of F1's commercial rights holder, has an obvious interest in the maintenance of the current four-way fight for the title in 2007.

He this week allayed fears that Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso might be docked points if the FIA found their McLaren team guilty of unfair play.

"There is no way it would affect the driver," Ecclestone said.

FIA president Mosley, however, offered a totally contradictory view when addressing reporters at Silverstone on Saturday.

Asked about Bernie's view, the Briton said plainly: "That is wrong.  It is incorrect.

"I don't want to speculate on what might happen, but it is only in the most absolute exceptional circumstances that a penalty for a team is different from a penalty for the driver," Mosley added.

The FIA president said his Paris-based body was taking the allegations of industrial espionage "very seriously" and said Charlie Whiting's focus was on discovering if McLaren have gained an unfair advantage.

Referring to the package of what is now believed to be up to 700 pages of confidential Ferrari data illegally transferred from Nigel Stepney to Mike Coughlan, Mosley reflected: "It's not really fair if one team has that information about another team.

"(And) it is in the formula one regulations -- a team is responsible for its personnel."


Zuber powers to race 1 win
Andi Zuber has finally converted the blistering pace he has shown all season into dominant racing form by storming to his first win of the year in race one at Silverstone, two seconds ahead of local hero Mike Conway.

Zuber, whose starts have been troubled to say the least so far this year, put such thoughts to rest by leading the pack through the first turn and holding on to the lead for the rest of the race, apart from his pitstop, to stand on the top step of the podium between Conway and Kazuki Nakajima.

After leading the pack around on their warm up lap it looked as though Zuber's start curse may have struck again: the lights failed to come on, but he had the presence of mind to peel off again for another warm up lap as proscribed, and the next time around he made a smart get away with Conway and Lucas di Grassi nipping at his heels as they went through Stowe.

Read more & Comment...

Watkins Glen: Castroneves again fastest in practice 3
Rank Car Driver Name  Time
1 3 Castroneves, Helio 01:29.5359
2 27 Franchitti, Dario 01:29.7664
3 9 Dixon, Scott 01:29.9555
4 11 Kanaan, Tony 01:30.2937
5 6 Hornish Jr, Sam 01:30.3042
6 4 Meira, Vitor 01:30.3743
7 26 Andretti, Marco 01:30.7304
8 14 Manning, Darren 01:30.8192
9 15 Rice, Buddy 01:30.9014
10 55 Matsuura, Kosuke 01:30.9896
11 10 Wheldon, Dan 01:31.1899
12 8 Sharp, Scott 01:31.2918
13 7 Patrick, Danica 01:31.3268
14 17 Simmons, Jeff 01:31.4528
15 2 Scheckter, Tomas 01:31.6454
16 22 Foyt IV, AJ 01:32.5242
17 20 Carpenter, Ed 01:32.5724
18 5 Fisher, Sarah 01:34.6716


Cunningham holds off Mutoh
Polesitter Wade Cunningham rebounded from a crash in the morning qualifying session and led every lap to win the first Corning Twin 100.  Cunningham, who earned the pole with his time from Saturday's qualifying, held off a late charge from Hideki Mutoh to claim his first win of the season and fifth win of his career.

1. (1) Wade Cunningham, 29, Running $23,000
2. (4) Hideki Mutoh, 29, Running $17,000
3. (2) Alex Lloyd, 29, Running $13,500
4. (5) Phil Giebler, 29, Running $11,000
5. (10) Bobby Wilson, 29, Running $10,500
6. (3) Daniel Herrington, 29, Running $10,000
7. (12) Jaime Camara, 29, Running $9,750
8. (7) Richard Antinucci, 29, Running $9,500
9. (16) Mike Potekhen, 29, Running $9,000
10. (11) Andrew Prendeville, 29, Running $8,750
11. (9) Jonathan Klein, 29, Running $8,500
12. (14) Stephen Simpson, 29, Running $8,000
13. (18) Brad Jaeger, 29, Running $7,750
14. (13) Logan Gomez, 29, Running $7,500
15. (15) Sean Guthrie, 29, Running $7,000
16. (19) Joey Scarallo, 29, Running $6,500
17. (20) Arie Luyendyk Jr., 29, Running $6,000
18. (24) CR Crews, 29, Running $5,000
19. (23) Ken Losch, 29, Running $4,000
20. (21) Jon Brownson, 29, Running $3,000
21. (17) Chris Festa, 8, Contact $2,000
22. (6) Robbie Pecorari, 7, Spin $1,250
23. (8) Ryan Justice, 1, Spin $1,000
24. (22) Doug Boyer, 0, DNS $1,000

        Race Statistics
       Winner's average speed: 105.997 mph
       Time of race: 55:19.2394
       Margin of victory: 0.0758 of a second
       Cautions: 2 caution flags for 5 laps
       Lead changes: 0
       Lap leaders: Cunningham 1-29.
       Point standings: Lloyd 425, Mutoh 311, Wilson 259, Cunningham
230, Camara 211, Potekhen 205, Festa 190, Klein 176, Pecorari 170, Gomez 166.

Read more & Comment...

Dyson Porsche fastest in warm-up
The home-track advantage seems to be working for Dyson Racing. Guy Smith turned in the fastest lap in a 25-minute warm-up for Saturday’s American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park. The No. 20 Porsche RS Spyder posted a lap of 45.464 in the prelude to the sixth round of the 2007 American Le Mans Series season.

The Dyson Porsche will start second overall with Chris Dyson at the wheel when the green flag falls at 3 p.m. ET. He will be alongside the Penske Motorsports Porsche of Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas.

“Chris tested here on Tuesday and was fastest,” Smith said. “We tested before the Salt Lake race and last month at Elkhart Lake and Mid-Ohio and this highlights the hard work the team has been putting in. The car is quite fun to drive which is reflected in the lap times.”

Read more & Comment...

Back twinge no excuse for Button in Britain
(GMM)  After qualifying a lowly eighteenth at Silverstone, Jenson Button said he did not experience a repeat of the back problem that left him in a London clinic on Friday.

While a record crowd of 80,000 converged to watch rookie countryman Lewis Hamilton secure pole at his home circuit, Button in his Honda failed even to pass the 'Q1' cut, unlike teammate Rubens Barrichello who will line up fourteenth on the grid.

But Button, 27, told reporters that his back twinge on Friday was not an excuse for qualifying so low today.

"It didn't help but it didn't cause a problem today," the Briton said.

He added: "The important thing is the race.  We've got to do a lot of physio on it to make sure it's right."

track news

Lime Rock 'Club' announced
Lakeville, CT -  Skip Barber, President of Lime Rock Park, today announced his plan for the future of the track.  The objective is to guarantee Lime Rock Park remains the premier race course in the Northeast; that the facility is significantly improved without losing any of its charm or character; and that the track is a viable business for the next fifty years. As a huge step towards these goals, Skip has created The Club at Lime Rock Park.

The Club at Lime Rock Park is an opportunity for a limited number of people, 300 maximum, to have significant track time with 60 dates annually to choose from while also enjoying the company of like-minded enthusiasts. This is unprecedented access to Lime Rock Park where it is currently impossible to rent even an hour.

Read more & Comment...
industry news

China wants to join Ethanol craze
The ethanol craze is arriving in China. The Chinese government is investing in searching the crop that will satisfy, at least partially, China's needs for fuels. The best candidates so far are sorghum and tapioca. The country is currently the world's third largest ethanol producer, although far behind numbers 1 and 2, Brazil and the US. The current crop of choice is corn and it's claimed that it's the reason behind a recent 30 percent rise of the price of grains in China.

Therefore, the government has given instructions to stop producing ethanol from grains and switch to sorghum and tapioca but also rapeseed and sugarcane. Current targets for 2010 are 3.8 million tons of biodiesel and 6 million tons of ethanol. However, these numbers are far short from the country's needs and government campaigns to reduce pollution.

Someone is seeing a business here. According to Marcia Doner, economy advisor at the Brazilian embassy in Beijing, "China's population is gigantic and all the agricultural land is already being used. They will need to import huge quantities of ethanol". However, importing ethanol isn't the only option they have and they are currently investing in cellulosic ethanol, as Abdolreza Abbasian from FAO said.


Toronto: Wilson over Bourdais in Practice 3
CDW driver Justin Wilson turned the fastest lap in Saturday morning practice for the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto to beat McDonald's ace Sebastien Bourdais. Paul Tracy moved up to third quick to give the hometown fans something to cheer about.

Pos Driver Team          Lap Time Behind Leader
1 J. Wilson RSPORTS 59.018 
2 S. Bourdais Newman/ Haas/ Lanigan Racing 59.137 0.119
3 P. Tracy Forsythe Championship Racing 59.342 0.324
4 B. Junqueira Dale Coyne Racing 59.375 0.357
5 O. Servia Forsythe Championship Racing 59.414 0.396
6 A. Tagliani RSPORTS 59.580 0.562
7 D. Clarke Minardi Team USA 59.606 0.588
8 T. Gommendy PKV Racing 59.616 0.598
9 R. Doornbos Minardi Team USA 59.703 0.685
10 S. Pagenaud Team Australia 59.711 0.693
11 J. Heylen Conquest Racing 59.889 0.871
12 W. Power Team Australia 59.937 0.919
13 G. Rahal Newman/ Haas/ Lanigan Racing 59.945 0.927
14 N. Jani PKV Racing 1:00.020 1.002
15 K. Legge Dale Coyne Racing 1:00.415 1.397
16 R. Dalziel Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:00.812 1.794
17 A. Figge Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:00.915 1.897


FIA to 'sort' spy saga within weeks - Mosley
(GMM)  F1's seemingly deepening spy scandal could be completely resolved within a few weeks, Max Mosley said on Saturday.

The president of the sport's governing body told reporters at the scene of the British grand prix that an FIA investigation into the affair, which is being led by race director Charlie Whiting, is already under way.

"When we've got all the facts then we will decide what to do," Briton Mosley said.

He added: "I hope that, as far as the sport is concerned, it should all be clarified within the next three weeks."

Mosley also clarified that Honda is not part of the investigation, despite the Japanese team clarifying on Friday that principal Nick Fry recently held a meeting with the alleged conspirators, Nigel Stepney and Mike Coughlan.

He played down the damage the affair could have on F1's reputation.

"I think these things happen in all sports, we'll sort it out," Mosley said.


Duhamel to replace injured Elias
Miguel Duhamel will be replacing the injured Toni Elias for Honda Gresini Racing at the US Grand Prix of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP) to take place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on July 22nd.


Winning comes with the territory for Rahal
The pride of a father was clearly evident in Bobby Rahal's voice.

"It's fantastic," said the retired Champ Car legend as he watched the Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing crew strapping his son, Graham, securely into the cockpit of the Panoz DP01 for the start of yesterday's preliminary qualifying session for tomorrow's Toronto Grand Prix.

"I'm very proud of him."

In 1986, three years before his son was born, the elder Rahal had roared out of the very same pit lane to win the inaugural Toronto Champ Car race, one of 24 victories he recorded before his retirement in 1998.

But almost as soon as Graham Rahal could walk it was evident that he would follow in his father's footsteps – make that tire tracks.

"There was no question he would be involved in racing," said Rahal. "When he was growing up he was stuck to my side. We used to call him Shadow.

"We'd go racing by ourselves and then to dinner, but he wouldn't bug me to go home. When he got too tired he'd put his head on my lap and go to sleep. I never pushed him. I never even recommended him. This was what he wanted to do. It was very clear."  More at The Star


Dennis: 'Brit GP needs government help'
McLaren boss Ron Dennis has backed calls for the British government to invest in Silverstone.

"A lot of grand prix teams are here, a lot of successful grand prix teams are here and therefore I think we should have the best grand prix circuit in the world," he said.

"And for that to be possible, there has to be investment.

"Do I think it's appropriate for the government to invest in Silverstone?

"Yes. If they can invest in the Olympic Games.

"If they can invest in other areas that they feel are required to make England the pinnacle of any sport, then why not one where we traditionally had that position?

"It doesn't mean to say a complete free hand-out but there could be efforts made on planning, there could be support on infrastructure and there certainly could be a pound-for-pound match on any money that the club (BRDC) raises.” There are people who are members of this club who have that capability and I strongly believe that Silverstone and the British Grand Prix has a future, but everybody's got to come to the party."

Dennis also dismissed any suggestions that Silverstone's owner the British Racing Drivers' Club could sell the circuit.

"I am one of the guardians of the BRDC and this circuit," he said.

"There has to be unanimous agreement for Silverstone to be sold to a developer or into a structure that will see the membership sharing the proceeds.

"That will never happen if I'm breathing, so those people who are de-stabilizing the club by those suggestions are really wasting their time because ultimately, the guardians have the power to stop it."

"The circuit is, obviously, given plenty of criticism and sometimes it's deserved but it is a true grand prix circuit, it is a circuit that's challenging for the drivers," Dennis said.

"Yes, the facilities could be better but they're significantly better than a lot of other grand prix circuits in the world."


Duno: I never imagined I'd be a race car driver
"Ms. Duno recently admitted she “never imagined she’d be a race driver,” and, for the record, she’s not. A bad experiment that, thankfully, hasn’t resulted in any bodily injuries -- yet. Milka is a nice lady, but so is Mari Hulman George and she doesn’t belong in an Indy car, either. The crew boasts a lot of good people -- they just need a real driver. The IRL deserves an F for granting her a license." Robin Miller, SPEEDTV.com

[Editor's Note: Whereas all other professional (and even high school and college) sports have a separate league for woman, the IRL's three most popular drivers are its three woman. What does that say about the sport? And you wonder why the men, who win all the races, are looking to race elsewhere?]


Champ Car drivers heart info sent real-time
Signalife, Inc. has announced that it has successfully developed and tested a novel ECG recorder capable of real-time transmission of Champ Car driver heart rate data from the vehicle to the team's computers. The system was first tested June 22-24, 2007, during the Grand Prix of Cleveland and will be tested again during the Grand Prix of Toronto to be held July 6-8, 2007 in Toronto, Canada.

In addition to real-time heart rate transmission, the Signalife device is capable of broadcasting single ECG channel data via vehicle telemetry system. Simultaneously with transmission, the novel ECG recorder can store three full clinical-bandwidth ECG channels in the internal recorder memory for later review by the physicians.

Read more & Comment...

Check the archives
During busy race weekends we suggest you check our archive pages because we publish so much news in any given day that info scrolls off the hot news page and into the archives before you may have a chance to read it.  The archives pages can be accessed using the drop-down menus at the bottom of this page.  Here is a direct link to yesterday's news you may have missed.


British GP: Kimi stays fastest in Practice 3
Kimi Raikkonen was again fastest for Ferrari in the Saturday morning practice session at Silverstone. Fernando Alonso was 2nd ahead of Felipe Massa. Crowd favorite Lewis Hamilton was fourth quickest.


Pos  Driver        Team               Time      Gap    Laps
 1.  Raikkonen     Ferrari            1:19.751           17
 2.  Alonso        McLaren-Mercedes   1:19.920 + 0.169   12
 3.  Massa         Ferrari            1:19.969 + 0.218   17
 4.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes   1:20.344 + 0.593   12
 5.  Rosberg       Williams-Toyota    1:20.666 + 0.915   17
 6.  R.Schumacher  Toyota             1:20.770 + 1.019   21
 7.  Liuzzi        Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:20.876 + 1.125   21
 8.  Kovalainen    Renault            1:20.882 + 1.131   17
 9.  Heidfeld      BMW Sauber         1:20.882 + 1.131   19
10.  Davidson      Super Aguri-Honda  1:20.915 + 1.164   23
11.  Fisichella    Renault            1:20.983 + 1.232   19
12.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault   1:21.002 + 1.251   16
13.  Speed         Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:21.039 + 1.288   19
14.  Barrichello   Honda              1:21.140 + 1.389   22
15.  Wurz          Williams-Toyota    1:21.148 + 1.397   17
16.  Kubica        BMW Sauber         1:21.156 + 1.405   17
17.  Trulli        Toyota             1:21.321 + 1.570   18
18.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Renault   1:21.343 + 1.592   16
19.  Button        Honda              1:21.583 + 1.832   24
20.  Sato          Super Aguri-Honda  1:21.745 + 1.994   23
21.  Albers        Spyker-Ferrari     1:22.101 + 2.350   23
22.  Sutil         Spyker-Ferrari     1:22.180 + 2.429   24


Ex-CART drivers dominate Indy Car practice UPDATE "It's pretty wild, pretty fast. It's only my fourth time in an Indy car on a road course, so I'm very much a rookie at this," said Sarah Fisher, back racing a complete schedule for the first time since 2003. "But we're trying to learn a lot and have Buddy to look up to and compare to and learn from. It's a big challenge to take on," Fisher said. "My background is World of Outlaws sprint cars, not road courses like all these other guys, so I'm at a bit of a disadvantage there."

[Editor's Note: If she is an oval track driver then why are the ex-CART road racers eating her lunch on ovals too?]

07/06/07 The best drivers in the IRL, the ex-CART drivers, topped the timesheets Friday at Watkins Glen, with Helio Castroneves just beating Scott Dixon.  The bottom half of the field are pretty much out to lunch with Sarah Fisher being so slow it's almost comical.  As a comparison, 2 seconds covers the Champ Car field in Toronto, while at Watkins Glen it's 6.6 seconds.  At The Glen this weekend it's not a 100% throttle no talent required track so the times show just how weak the Indy Car grid is.

Pos Driver                 Diff   Best Time
1 Helio Castroneves (3) ... 1:30.1192
2 Scott Dixon (9) 0.0395 1:30.1587
3 Tony Kanaan (11) 0.3194 1:30.4386
4 Dario Franchitti (27) 0.5824 1:30.7016
5 Kosuke Matsuura (55) 0.7456 1:30.8648
6 Dan Wheldon (10) 0.8250 1:30.9442
7 Marco Andretti (26) 1.0277 1:31.1469
8 Buddy Rice (15) 1.0573 1:31.1765
9 Vitor Meira (4) 1.1205 1:31.2397
10 Sam Hornish Jr (6) 1.1581 1:31.2773
11 Darren Manning (14) 1.4722 1:31.5914
12 Danica Patrick (7) 1.6800 1:31.7992
13 Tomas Scheckter (2) 1.9791 1:32.0983
14 Jeff Simmons (17) 2.2014 1:32.3206
15 Scott Sharp (8) 2.4875 1:32.6067
16 AJ Foyt IV (22) 3.6301 1:33.7493
17 Ed Carpenter (20) 4.6718 1:34.7910
18 Sarah Fisher (5) 6.5913 1:36.7105


Chase races to remain the same in 2008
NASCAR President Mike Helton said the 10 races for next year's Chase should be the same as this year. "It's still a work in progress, but so far at least we don't see anything different in the Chase part of the season," Helton said Friday of next year's schedule. We're not quite through yet, but I don't suspect any changes to come up in that part of the schedule." The 10 Chase races this season are New Hampshire, Dover, Kansas, Talladega, Charlotte, Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead. Roanoke Times


Hutchens Hybrid to join HANS in NASCAR
Hutchens Hybrid to join HANS in NASCAR: on July 13th, the Hutchens Hybrid joins the HANS Device as the only head and neck restraint systems allowed by NASCAR for use by drivers in all its touring series. Both restraint systems meet SFI 38.1 certification, the only standard currently recognized by NASCAR to measure head load and rapid egress requirements. Trevor Ashline, designer of the original Hutchens device and president of Safety Solutions, said his new Hybrid easily passed the rigorous SFI 38.1 testing process, with impressive angular impact numbers, and exceeded the stringent NASCAR head and neck restraint criteria. ESPN Icons


British GP: Friday quotes and Press Conference
Team Quotes

Friday Press Conference Transcript


Bernie reveals $6000 F1 book
(GMM) F1's billionaire chief executive Bernie Ecclestone at Silverstone revealed the epic 'Opus' -- a highly-exclusive 37kg official book about formula one history.

It measures a half-meter square, took two years to put together and is presented in a clamshell box made of carbon fibre -- for the whopping price of (US) $6000.

100 copies, topping the scales at the outlandish price of $40,000, have been personally signed by every living world champion.

"As a document it is unparalleled," Ecclestone said.

"It is a must have for anyone who lives formula one."


News briefs from Silverstone: Saturday
(GMM) Reveling in what is being described as 'Hamilton hysteria', Silverstone recorded a record Friday crowd of 42,000 spectators at the scene of the 2007 British grand prix.

The official figure is 4000 higher than last year.


Silverstone will stay cool and overcast on Saturday but Friday's high winds seem to have died down in the hours preceding qualifying at 1pm.

World champion Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, revealed that McLaren's renowned expert forecast for Sunday is for a dry but windy race.

"There is always the possibility of rain here," he told reporters, "but our forecasts speak of a situation similar to today (Friday)."


Honda's Jenson Button returned to the cockpit of his number-7 Honda on Saturday morning after sitting out Friday's second practice session with back pain. He had traveled to a London clinic for checks.


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.

Read more & Comment...
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.....


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


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."


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

Read more & Comment...

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’.”


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


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."


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)


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.


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.


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.

Read more & Comment...

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.


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.


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.

Read more & Comment...
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 


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.

Read more & Comment...

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


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


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.

Read more & Comment...

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


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."


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."


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.

Read more & Comment...

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


'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."


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.


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.


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."


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.

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.

Courtesy of TVRacer.com
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
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

Read more & Comment...

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

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


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!

Read more & Comment...

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

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.


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

Read more & Comment...

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

Read more & Comment...

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.

Read more & Comment...

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.” 

Read more & Comment...

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


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.

Read more & Comment...

British GP: Thursday Press Conference

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.

Read more & Comment...

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.

Read more & Comment...

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. 

Read more & Comment...

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.   

Read more & Comment...

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."


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."


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).


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.

Read more & Comment...

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."


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. 

Read more & Comment...

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."

Read more & Comment...

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.

Read more & Comment...

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.


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:

Read more & Comment...

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.

Read more & Comment...

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."

Read more & Comment...

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."


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.

Read more & Comment...

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.

Read more & Comment...
tv news

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.

Hot News Archives
2000 2001 2002 2003

Search Hot News
Search Help
AutoRacing1 Inc. BBB Business Review