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Roush duo top Brickyard testing Roush duo top Brickyard testingRoush Racing teammates Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth served notice that they will contend for victory in the 12th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard by posting the fastest laps in private testing July 11 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Biffle turned the fastest lap of the day at 181.963 mph in the No. 16 National Guard Ford. Kenseth was just .22 of a mph slower at 181.742 in the No. 17 DeWalt Tools Ford.

Roush Racing's Kurt Busch was fastest in two days of testing last week at 180.208.

Biffle sits second in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series points, but he said the team's approach to the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard will not change despite its comfortable position heading into the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup.

"We come here to win," he said. "We're going to be as focused as we can and as conscious of everything that's going on as we can. We're pretty happy with the test so far today, and we're just going to continue to do what we can do."

Rounding out the top five were Ken Schrader in the No. 49 Schwan's Home Service Dodge at 181.727, Robby Gordon in fourth at 181.722 in the No. 7 Fruit of the Loom Chevrolet and Elliott Sadler at 181.495 in the No. 38 M&M's Ford.

Sadler took Biffle's thoughts about the upcoming Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (EDT) Sunday, Aug. 7, a step further by saying that all bets are off come the first weekend of August.

"The guys that are up front (in the Chase) are ones that are being consistent," he said. "We're not going to take any big chances, until we come to Indy because Indy's in a league of it's own as far as trying to win the race.

"Do the math: How many teams are out here testing? This is not just another race on the schedule, I don't think. The George family does such a great job promoting it. We have more fans here than anywhere else we race. It's a lot of prestige that comes with running here, and you ask any team that's won here how much fun it was and how much emphasis they put on it. I know our team spends just as much time preparing a car here as it does for the Daytona 500 because it just means so much."

2003 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard champion Kevin Harvick knows how much fun it was to win at Indianapolis, and reflected on the memories of winning from the pole two years ago.

"The thing I remember the most about winning here was taking the victory lap after the race, seeing all the fans that stayed over and just letting it all sink in after Victory Lane and kissing the bricks," Harvick said. "To share that moment with (wife) DeLana and (owner) Richard (Childress) and take it all in for a nice, slow victory lap around the track was probably the most memorable thing of the weekend. We put a lot of effort into this race, so everybody was pretty pumped up. This is where you bring your next generation of motors, usually, and your best car, and hopefully you bring your 'A' game."

Weather forecasts call for the remnants of Hurricane Dennis to bring heavy rain to Indianapolis over the next several days, so the 23 NEXTEL Cup Series drivers and teams on hand at IMS took advantage of cloudy but dry skies - save for a few afternoon sprinkles - to turn a total of 1,988 laps on the 2.5-mile oval. Boris Said, who will attempt to qualify for his first Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, turned the most laps of any driver with 137.

Testing is scheduled for Tuesday, July 12, with more testing July 18-19. Drivers scheduled to participate next week include former Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winners Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett and Bill Elliott, Indiana native Tony Stewart, former USAC standout Kasey Kahne, Indiana native Tony Raines and Dale Earnhardt Jr., winner of the NEXTEL Cup Series race July 10 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Fans are welcome to watch testing July 12, 18 and 19 from the South Terrace grandstands, located in the infield between Turns 1 and 2. Admission is free.

Rank Car No. Driver Speed (mph) Total Laps
1. 16 Greg Biffle 181.963 112
2. 17 Matt Kenseth 181.742 90
3. 49 Ken Schrader 181.727 47
4. 7 Robby Gordon 181.722 45
5. 38 Elliott Sadler 181.495 79
6. 41 Casey Mears 181.296 90
7. 01 Joe Nemechek 180.751 133
8. 31 Jeff Burton 180.402 84
9. 11 Jason Leffler 180.270 126
10. 15 Michael Waltrip 180.260 95
11. 29 Kevin Harvick 180.060 62
12. 37 Kevin Lepage 179.725 27
13. 42 Jamie McMurray 179.674 117
14. 19 Jeremy Mayfield 179.661 134
15. 2 Rusty Wallace 179.633 49
16. 77 Travis Kvapil 179.525 92
17. 18 Bobby Labonte 179.506 109
18. 45 Kyle Petty 179.265 98
19. 07 Dave Blaney 178.813 61
20. 10 Scott Riggs 178.477 75
21. 36 Boris Said 177.298 137
22. 4 Mike Wallace 177.110 84
23. 66 Mike Garvey 174.795 42

Hog roast at Indy Speedway Hog roast at Indy SpeedwayNASCAR fans can enjoy the roar of NEXTEL Cup Series cars and the sweet sounds of country music superstars Diamond Rio, all while enjoying free pork sandwiches, during the HANK'S "Good Hands" Hog Roast at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Saturday, Aug. 6 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

With the purchase of a Saturday Qualification Day ticket from IMS, fans will have access to the concert starring Diamond Rio and Emerson Drive, as well as free food to the first 10,000 people. The concert and free food are presented by Indianapolis country music station 97.1 HANK FM, Allstate and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Festivities begin at noon (local time) with free pork sandwiches, cole slaw and baked beans, while supplies last, for the first 10,000 people. Emerson Drive hits the stage at 3 p.m., followed by headliner Diamond Rio at 4:45 p.m. Concert goers can also participate in country karaoke, line dancing lessons, and see the semi-finals and finals of the Allstate Drivers Change Challenge, where one lucky winner will receive a one-of-a-kind NASCAR experience.

Diamond Rio, known for rich three-part harmonies and renowned musicianship, has had nine No. 1 hits, including "Meet In the Middle," "One More Day," "Beautiful Mess" and "I Believe." The band has sold more than 10 million albums.

Emerson Drive began its career playing in a high school talent contest. The band's debut album, released in 2002, cracked the Top 5 with "I Should Be Sleeping" and "Fall Into Me."

97.1 HANK FM's sister station, 1070 WIBC, also will be on site at the Hog Roast. Both stations will broadcast the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard live on the air. Indy Speedway

Grand-Am purses hit record amounts Grand-Am purses hit record amountsA record $1.6 million in race purse and contingency awards has been paid out to Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series competitors halfway through the 2005 season, which hit the mid-year mark with the recent Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway. 

Although the first half of 2005 included one more race than last year as part of this season’s expanded 14-race schedule, the main reasons for the increase are unprecedented race fields, the lucrative Hoosier PaceSetter program and the biggest contingency program in Rolex Series history. The trend will continue throughout the remaining seven races, which concludes November 5 at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City with an event that is expected to be one of the largest attended North American sports car races in history.

“By any measure, the Rolex Series is growing, and the important area of purse and bonus awards money is in step with that growth,” Grand American President Roger Edmondson said. “It’s our teams and drivers that put on the show for our great fans and sponsors, and we are pleased that they benefit from the increased purse and bonus awards that they greatly deserve.” Grand-Am

Champ Car Series getting strong support Champ Car Series getting strong supportThis weekend’s Molson Indy Toronto proved to be another in a long line of outstanding events on the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford schedule, with a strong race-day crowd of 73,155 boosting three-day attendance numbers to over 160,000 for the 12th consecutive year.

The successful Toronto event launches the Champ Car World Series toward a strong summer schedule where its three-day Festivals of Speed head to new events and growing venues that will attract some of the strongest support of the season. This weekend’s Molson Indy Toronto will be directly followed by two inaugural events, with the West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix of Edmonton next week and the Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose to be run two weeks later, July 29-31.  The two new races combined are expected to host nearly 300,000 fans.

Next week’s West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix of Edmonton will bring Champ Car racing to the Province of Alberta, Canada for the first time in series history and is poised to be an immediate success. The event is projected to sell out by race day based on the strong pace of ticket sales and over 80 corporate hospitality suites have been sold

“We are anticipating that our Champ Car race in Edmonton will be the most successful entertainment event ever held in the Province of Alberta,” said West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix of Edmonton General Manager Greg MacDonald. “The track layout provides great views of the entire circuit for all spectators and the atmosphere at the event and within the Edmonton market will be electric.”

The Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose which follows next week’s Edmonton event is also a new event that has already sold nearly all of its grandstand tickets and hospitality suites.

“We are extremely happy with the way grandstand ticket sales are progressing,” said Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San José Vice President and General Manager Bob Singleton. “We have already sold out four grandstands and are very close to filling several more. Ticket sales are on a pace to meet our expectations and when combined with the number and quality of sponsors that are already on board plus the fact that we have sold most of our hospitality suites, we are looking forward to a very successful inaugural event.”

San Jose will be followed by the fourth running of the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver, an event that saw a 40 percent rise in attendance last year, setting a new event standard with 112,000 fans coming to see the 2004 race. Denver event organizers are again expecting another jump in attendance, with ticket sales being three times ahead of where they were at this time last season, thanks in part to added in-market promotional help from over 400 Bridgestone and McDonald’s store locations in Colorado. In addition, the Denver event has attracted more than 35 new sponsors that will be involved with the 2005 race weekend.

“The growth of last year’s Champ Car race in Denver has given us great momentum for 2005 and beyond,” said event General Manager Jim Freudenberg. “The support of the area business community has begun to match the enthusiasm that our fans have, and we anticipate another great event in 2005.”

The summer sweep will conclude in picturesque Montreal where the fourth running of the Molson Indy Montreal will take place August 26-28. The Montreal event has seen an average of 150,000 attending the three-day Festivals of Speed that take place at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, and will also be televised nationally by NBC.

“We’re delighted to have the opportunity for a large global audience to see why Montreal and Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve are one of the greatest venues for professional motorsports, mainly because of our loyal fans,” said Molson Indy Montreal General Manager Martin Spaulding. “Our loyal fans are the primary reason for our Champ Car event’s success.

“We are very excited to see the support growing for our summer stretch of events,” said Champ Car President Dick Eidswick. “The advance projections for each of the races on the summer part of our schedule serve as an indication to all of us in Champ Car that we are providing an exciting and entertaining product, not only for our fans, but for our valued business and commercial partners as well. It is also an indicator of continued steady growth for the company.”

Champ Car World Series enthusiasts can purchase tickets or obtain information for any of these upcoming events by visiting www.champcarworldseries.comChamp Car

IRL gets it right IRL gets it rightCNN is advertising heavily a feature on Danica Patrick tonight, with Paula Zahn.  This is the type of cross promotion a network can do to help TV ratings and grow the popularity of a sports figure.  We were chastised for saying that CBS should cross promote/advertise its Champ Car races on other CBS shows.  We were told a network won't cross promote a time buy, yet we see CNN doing just that and the IRL isn't paying them a dime!  They are doing it to increase Paula Zahn's TV ratings by letting viewers know who the guests will be.  If it works for that, it can work for time buys.

Anyone in TV who says a network should not cross promote a time buy should be fired on the spot.  That is not the kind of attitude that will grow TV ratings for both parties.  If ratings go up, the network can collect a higher fee the next year or event on a sliding scale that is beneficial to both parties.  The problem that we see with TV personnel at times is the inability to think outside the box and figure out how to be successful rather than simply relying on old school practices.  

Six cars to the wind tunnel after Chicago Six cars to the wind tunnel after ChicagoNASCAR officials plan to take six cars from Sunday's race to the Lockheed wind tunnel in Marietta [AG] to determine how the various manufacturers stack up on aerodynamic issues: the Chevrolets driven by #48-Jimmie Johnson and #20-Tony Stewart, the Fords of #17-Matt Kenseth and #6-Mark Martin, and the Dodges driven by #19-Jeremy Mayfield and #2-Rusty Wallace. Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Industry News
Budweiser Official Beer of The Glen Budweiser Official Beer of The GlenWatkins Glen International (WGI) president Craig Rust announced today that Anheuser-Busch, Inc. and WGI have entered into a partnership making Budweiser the official beer of the historic facility until 2006. 

“This partnership marks the beginning of a new era with Budweiser at Watkins Glen International,” said Rust. “Anheuser-Busch, Inc. has always had a strong commitment to motorsports and we are excited to partner with them again for the next two years.”

Budweiser was previously the title sponsor of the NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Watkins Glen International known as Bud at The Glen.  From the inaugural NASCAR event in 1986, the “king of beers” held the title position of the Cup race until 2001.

“We have been involved at the track for a number of years and it is nice to be able to continue that relationship,” stated John Potter president of Seneca Beverage Corp., the leading distributor in the Southern-Tier of New York. “We are looking forward to a great year at the track for Budweiser.”

Bernie calls breakaway series a load of crap Bernie calls breakaway series a load of crapBernie Ecclestone on the potential breakaway series: It's crap.. Ferrari is the only team fans care about and they would stay with us. Daily Mirror
Bernie slams GPWC and team bosses Bernie slams GPWC and team bossesF1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone last night launched a blistering verbal attack on the men who are trying to plunge the sport into civil war. In his most revealing interview ever, Ecclestone said that his last wish as F1 chief was to head off the threat of a split.

The sport has lurched into chaos since team owners forced Ecclestone to loosen his grip, even though he made them all millionaires.

But on the eve of the British Grand Prix, Ecclestone, the promotional genius who turned F1 into a global phenomenon, said the sport needed a dictator again. He said his wife Slavica had urged him to turn his back on the bunglers who turned last month's USGP into a farce.

And he ridiculed the bosses who run giant engine manufacturers like Mercedes, BMW and Renault for trying to set up a breakaway series starting in 2008.

"People who run big corporations are okay at ticking boxes but they make decisions and they do not understand the side-effects of the decisions," Ecclestone, 74, said. "We have got a few new kids on the block now. They don't know what they don't know. They put a hat on that says 'president' or 'chief executive' and they find themselves in a position above their ability. They are like guys who have read dirty books but have never been to bed with a woman. You can't turn the clock back but, if they are bright enough, they will realize they are meddling with something that did not need to be fixed. In time they will start to understand. Their egos will melt away quietly. At the moment the sport is a so-called democracy where everybody wants a say but nobody knows what to say.

"They seem to think they can try and run the sport as if it was a big company. But if they do that they will be in trouble. You have got to run Formula One like a boutique, not a supermarket.

"We have got people with massive egos in the sport now. They use Formula One to promote themselves. If I was in charge of a detective agency and I was looking for a hidden camera somewhere, I'd hire a couple of our team owners - they always seem to be able to find a camera wherever they are. But at the same time the sponsors and the teams seem to jump on anyone who has got a bit of character. I felt sorry for Kimi Raikkonen when he went out and got p***ed and was told it must never happen again. They made a big fuss about that. But I remember the days when the drivers used to be out all night and they'd come back and drive without having gone to bed." More at Daily Mirror

Goodyear tires again failing Goodyear tires again failingAlthough not as widespread as last month at Pocono, Goodyear Tire officials faced criticism again Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway as a several teams experienced blistering on tires, particularly on right-rears. At least five teams experienced serious blistering on tires, including Carl Edwards, Dave Blaney, Elliott Sadler, Michael Waltrip and Jimmie Johnson.  Edwards was the first victim, blowing a right-front tire on Lap 80.

"I think what might be going on here is the tire might be a tick soft for the race track, and the loads on it," he said. "We had at least two right-rears come apart yesterday a little bit, and today we had what appears to be a right-front come apart." (At right NASCAR official looks at one of Goodyear's junk tires.  Photo by CIA Stock Photo)

Goodyear officials said the tires were blistering in part because they were not wearing out as quickly as hoped. Tire wear helps cool the tires, they said, and with less tire wear the extreme heat of the day caused the blistering.

"It’s real similar to what we had in Michigan, where the tire may have been just a little but too soft. If a perfect tire is 100-percent worn after a full run, you could get 45 (laps) today pretty easy," said Nextel Cup series director John Darby.

"So, we were just missing just a little bit. The excessive heat just aggravated it. Some of the right-rears we had some blisters on. That’s a problem that Goodyear is already working on it. They'll get that addressed." That'sRacin

Wilson happy he ditched F1 Wilson happy he ditched F1We quizzed Justin Wilson after he won Sunday's 20th Molson Indy Toronto in front of over 71,000 enthusiastic fans if he is happy he made the move to Champ Car. "I love driving a Champ Car," said Wilson. "The driver gets to make a real difference with these cars, you have to shift, there's no traction control, you work on setup with your engineer and everyone has the same engine and chassis." Anyone can win in Champ Car, unlike F1 where the car wins and the driver is along for the ride.

Are Champ Cars harder to drive than F1 because of less technology? "Yes, and no," said Wilson. "These cars are harder to drive but because they are heavier, they don't beat you up as much. In an F1 car, because they are so light and fast, when you hit a bump the car goes up and down so fast. While the car is already back down on the ground your body is still up and the seat belts act like rubber bands and slam you back down. The same thing happens under braking. The G-forces on the neck muscles are also higher in F1 because the turn speeds are so high."

"It seems hard to believe that we finally broke the duck," he added. "It's something that has been on the cards for the last couple of races and now we can move forward."

"It's still hard to believe but I'm very, very happy."

CNBC special on NASCAR CNBC special on NASCARUPDATE Reminder that this show will air tonight. 07/06/05 CNBC is set to premiere a one-hour documentary about the sport of NASCAR.  Reported by Dylan Ratigan, “NASCAR Gold” will feature numerous industry personalities, including the France family and team owner Rick Hendrick.  The program will air Monday, July 11 at 8 and 11 p.m. ET.
Driver killed Driver killedSprint car racing veteran Don Townsend died Saturday night during a USAC National event at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. He was 70. Townsend was on the track in the No. 77R sprint car when he hit the wall in turn 3 during one of the final hot lap sessions before qualifying. He was taken off the track by ambulance and then flown to The Ohio State University in Columbus. According to the Rebman Motorsports Web site, Townsend was in his 52nd year of racing. He has driven several types of open-wheeled racers during his career—from coupes to offset roadsters to winged and non-winged sprint cars. He raced on both dirt and asphalt. Townsend's first sprint car ride came in 1968. His resume included more than 100 feature wins. Mansfield News Journal
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
'Flav' urges F1 cease fire
Alonso feeling blue
'Raw' Webber to skip test
Naked hack keeps his word
'We want Button'
Michelin vow to race in '06
Jordan may axe 'b' car
Max invites drivers to France
'F1 will return to Indy'
Schu to get Ferrari update
Montoya's relief
Kimi slams '05 aero rules
'I lifted for title' - Alonso
CDW rides to win on first outing CDW rides to win on first outingCDW Canada got more than they bargained for when Justin Wilson drove to victory in Toronto, the very first time the company sponsored a RuSPORT Lola Ford.
Date set for '06 Red Bull USGP Date set for '06 Red Bull USGPOn the day that saw 57,932 people watch American Nicky Hayden win his first MotoGP World Championship race, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca officials announced that the 2006 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix will take place July 21-23.  Renewal information for assignable items such as premier pit row suites and reserved camping will be mailed to customers this week.  Tickets go on sale to the general public Sept. 1 via (800) 327-SECA and Ticketmaster outlets.  More information on the 2006 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix will be announced soon.
San Jose fans will get to see Silicon Valley showcase San Jose fans will get to see Silicon Valley showcaseSilicon Valley's prized showcase, The Tech Museum of Innovation has announced they will be open "free" to all San Jose Grand Prix spectators on Saturday and Sunday July 30 & 31. This world class technology site which features exhibits, displays and demonstrations of the many technical advances of the of the 21st century is located inside the Grand Prix grounds.

The distinctive mango colored landmark with it's huge dome sits just inside SJGP's turn 6, will no doubt be a gathering point for spectators as The Tech's IMAX Theater will be screening Mario Andretti's "Super Speedway" during the course of the race weekend. This site is a "must see" when visiting the Silicon Valley's gateway city, San Jose.

To learn more about The Tech Museum of Innovation contact: www.thetech.org

In addition, the organizers of the San Jose Grand Prix are teaming up with The Tech to offer a "Museum Family Combo Package" which will include race admission, plus tickets to the IMAX feature Super Speedway, a SJGP Hat & Program. The Combo Package also includes admission to the San Jose Children's Discovery Museum which is located directly next to the Champ car Paddock. The Discovery Museum is where youngsters and parents are given the opportunity to use a "real" racing simulator and take a trip on the, "Chu-Chu" Caboose train ride among hundreds of other interesting, and fun things to do! For more details contact on the Museum Family Combo Package contact: http://www.sanjosegrandprix.com/museumfamilycombopackage.html

San Jose native Grant Ryley joins Jensen San Jose native Grant Ryley joins JensenVeteran Toyota Atlantic racer Grant Ryley will return to the seat for the inaugural San Jose Grand Prix, July 29th – 31st, 2005. Grant is a veteran of several years of Atlantic competition, with multiple podiums while driving in 2001 and 2002.

“Driving in the San Jose Grand Prix will be quite exciting”, says Ryley. “The atmosphere should be awesome given the success of similar downtown street races on the Champ Car schedule. Plus being the hometown boy should be a great deal of fun with the various appearances and media attention planned.”

Partnering with Jensen MotorSport to put Grant Ryley in the seat are several successful Silicon Valley companies. Among them, Intervision Systems, Inc. will be the feature car sponsor, with Network Appliance a primary partner.

Ryley, from San Jose, California, will pilot the #2 Swift 014 of Jensen MotorSport.

Team manager Eric Jensen states, “The team is excited to have a driver with Grant’s skills and credentials driving for us. As a driver, I raced with Grant many times, and I know how quick he is, especially on tricky street tracks. Moreover, I have always thought highly of Grant as a person, so this should be some good fun working with him professionally.”

The team will test for two days in advance of the San Jose Grand Prix during the week of July 18th.

For more information about Grant’s sponsor Intervision, visit their web-site at www.intervision.com

For more details about Jensen MotorSport, visit our web-site at www.jensenmotorsport.com

To request more information about the team and Grant Ryley, contact Eric Jensen by e-mail at team@jensenmotorsport.com

Champ Car, Molson finally get TV right Champ Car, Molson finally get TV rightUPDATE A reader adds, Spot on with the CBS Champ Car coverage about timed race; they had a 2.5 hour TV slot and they didn't start until 1/2 hour in. Heard the announcers say it was "whatever" laps or 1hr 45min. I thought Champ Car had the same 2 hour rule as F1, when did they change it? It would have been perfect if they used the 2 hour rule, started the race 15 minutes into the program and then had 15 minutes at the end for interviews. I can understand the 1hr 45min rule for 2 hour TV slots, but they had the time here!
Paul Tracy must be retained by Champ Car at all costs! His intensity and determination is priceless to the series. He is the Dale Earnhardt of Champ Car. His drive today with half a front wing for a whole stint shows his incredible talent and importance to the series. And some of the stuff that makes NASCAR so popular could be starting here: the feud between Tracy and Bourdais should be promoted by Champ Car...this is the stuff people who don't follow closely love. I sense an opportunity to increase viewership. For a TV commercial show the contact from the multiple encounters, then a head shot of each driver with a pissed-off face, and then some talking head saying they will be meeting again this week. I know this is anathema to us "refined" fans, but anything that gets some increased ratings would benefit all Champ Car fans. Bob Lowe, Woburn, MA  Dear Bob, The rules actually allow Race Control to determine if the race will be a timed race or a distance race, including deciding during the race. The rules were changed so that the call for a timed race has been eliminated. Instead, it is now a call for a distance race if a time limit has been indicated. Mark C.  07/10/05 Hats off to Champ Car, Molson Productions and CBS for putting on the best Champ Car TV race broadcast we have seen in quite some time.  Perhaps the intrigue of the race helped, but the broadcast team kept the viewers interested by keeping the information flowing on almost all aspects.  The only downside was yet another timed race.  They must go or the race start times adjusted to allow these races to finish their full distance.  Ending a race two or three laps shy when there is still 15 min. of air time remaining has to end.  Change the rule guys so that the Chief Steward can use his discretion based on the circumstances.
Wilson dedicates win to bomb victims Wilson dedicates win to bomb victimsJustin Wilson paused for a few moments in the post race celebrations to dedicated his first Champ Car win to the victims of Thursday's terrorist bombings in London. "Obviously, it's very sad news to hear about the bombings, especially after the celebration of the Olympics only 24 hours earlier," he said. "The only thing that we can actually do is just carry on as normal and try and not let that kind of thing disturb us any more than it needs to."
British GP - Scuderia in the points British GP - Scuderia in the pointsJean Todt : “I said yesterday that we could expect a difficult race and that getting both our cars home in the points was our only realistic target. Unfortunately, that is how things turned out. We are not capable of matching the pace of the leaders and the final result is a reasonably accurate reflection of the current pecking order here at Silverstone today. The only satisfying point to take away from here is the level of reliability we demonstrated this afternoon.”

Michael Schumacher : “Of course, I cannot be happy to have finished sixth, especially looking at my lap times in the race. Clearly, we are simply not fast enough at the moment. If I had not been delayed by Trulli, I might have been able to fight with Button, but I am not keen on using the word “if” as an excuse. If you compare our performance from the two North American races to these last two, we appear to be going backwards instead of forwards. We are not up to the level of our competitors. I am still looking forward to my home race in Hockenheim, but I wish I could promise the fans there a bit more than this.”

Rubens Barrichello : “This was quite a difficult race. Basically, we did not have the pace which we thought we might have. I made a good start and I knew I had to pass Trulli at this point if my race was going to go to plan. It was all going pretty smoothly apart from the fact I was held up by Button which cost me time. This meant that the three stop strategy I had adopted did not work out the way it should have done. I had some brake problems, as at Magny-Cours. But seeing how the race evolved, I don’t think I could have done much better.”

Ross Brawn : “Obviously this was a disappointing race. We went through practice and qualifying hoping that it would all come together in the race, but once again today, it was difficult. Our drivers were reasonably happy with their cars, it’s just that they simply lacked overall pace. There were no particular problems, although there were a couple of stages when we got held up, including the early part when Michael got delayed by Trulli, but I am not sure that we could have done better.” Ferrari

Hayden takes flag-to-flag win Hayden takes flag-to-flag winNicky Hayden joined a long list of American racing legends today as he became a MotoGP winner for the first time in his career at the Red Bull US Grand Prix. The 23 year old Honda rider led his home race from start to finish, bolting from pole position and leaving the rest of the 21-rider field trailing in his wake. With celebrities including Brad Pitt, Matt LeBlanc and Michael Jordan amongst the 57,932 sell-out crowd cheering him throughout 32 intense laps, Hayden established a two-second advantage over the chasing Valentino Rossi in the first part of the race and then held strong under late pressure from compatriot Colin Edwards to take a memorable first win.

“I can honestly say that this is a dream come true for me,” said Hayden, who admitted climbing over the Laguna Seca fences to witness the last Grand Prix here as a 12-year-old in 1994. “You spend your whole life rehearsing the speech for a day like this but now it has happened I can’t find the words to describe how I feel. It hasn’t been easy for me in MotoGP over the past two seasons but every dog has its day and this was mine. Hopefully it can be the start of bigger things from now on.”

With Edwards having snatched second place from Rossi with a daring move in the Corkscrew corner at the halfway stage of the race, the American fans were able to celebrate a memorable home one-two in the first MotoGP race here for over a decade. With Edwards also celebrating consecutive podium finishes for the first time in his Grand Prix career, Rossi was equally delighted with a tenth straight rostrum in third place, which extended his series lead to a massive 79 points over Marco Melandri, who crashed out with Alex Barros at the end of a combative first lap.

As well as losing ground on Rossi in the championship Melandri is also coming under pressure for second place from Max Biaggi, who took fourth place today to close the gap to just seven points. Sete Gibernau is also looming a further five points behind Biaggi after a spirited ride today, when he charged from thirteenth on the grid to take fifth place in his first visit to the Californian circuit.

After initially fighting with Rossi for second place on the opening lap, Troy Bayliss progressively lost ground until becoming involved in an intense battle in the second half of the race for sixth place. The Australian eventually got the better of Makoto Tamada to record his best result of the season, with the Japanese rider taking an impressive seventh just ten days after undergoing surgery on an arm problem.

John Hopkins, Shinya Nakano and Loris Capirossi also joined in the skirmish with Bayliss and Tamada before eventually crossing the line in eighth, ninth and tenth respectively, whilst Ruben Xaus came home in a lonely eleventh. Further back, Toni Elías produced a determined performance on his return from a three-race absence through injury but eventually conceded twelfth place to Alex Hofmann on the line. Kenny Roberts Jr. and Shane Byrne completed the top fifteen, with Byrne picking up an historic first point for the KTM-powered Proton KR machine.

NASCAR can't race in Toronto NASCAR can't race in TorontoAfter watching the Mickey Mouse crash fest of a CASCAR race in Toronto today at Exhibition Place (Home of the Champ Car race) it is clear that NASCAR cars would simply be too big and slow for this track. Ditto for the Montreal F1/Champ Car circuit. Mosport is a better option.
Toronto postscript Toronto postscriptJustin Wilson became the 242nd driver to win a Champ Car race, and the fifth different winner in the 2005 Champ Car World

Justin Wilson became the second driver ever to claim his first Champ Car win in Toronto. The only other driver to get his maiden victory in Toronto was Adrian Fernandez in 1996.

Four drivers led at least 10 laps in today’s race, marking the first time in Toronto event history that four different drivers have led as many as 10 laps in a race.
Sebastien Bourdais led a race-high 34 laps today, giving him 855 in his career. He is just nine laps behind Wally Dallenbach for 26th place on the all-time Champ Car list.
Alex Tagliani’s third-place finish today allowed Canada to widen its advantage in the Nations Cup to 25 points over France.

Timo Glock holds a three-point lead in the Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year standings over Andrew Ranger after six races.

World Series by Renault
World Series by Renault results from LeMans World Series by Renault results from LeMans
Race 1
Markus Winkelhock (Draco Multiracing USA) is the sixth winner in as many races in the World Series Formula Renault 3.5! The German finished ahead of his countryman Daniel La Rosa, who took a first podium spot for Interwetten.com! Robert Kubica (Epsilon Euskadi), who still heads up the overall standings, was the third man on the podium.  1. Marcus Winkelhock (GER) 2. Daniel LaRosa (GER) 3. Robert Kubica

Race 2
Robert Kubica mistimed his start allowing Will Power to go into turn one first ahead of Eric Salignon. In the field, Jaap Van Lagen (KTR) forced Simon Pagenaud (DHG Saulnier Racing) off into the gravel trap. This collision also signaled the end of the race for Giorgio Mondini (Eurointernational), Daniel La Rosa (Interwetten.com) and Tomas Kostka (Victory Engineering).  1. Will Power (AUS) 2. Robert Kubica (POL) 3. Colin Fleming (USA)

Champ Car’s TV ratings in gutter in Canada Champ Car’s TV ratings in gutter in CanadaUPDATE #2 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, This discussion is missing a couple of factors that I believe must be considered.   Champ Car on TSN is occasionally delayed and in some cases until midnight or later - as they give a preference to golf and other sports.

Now, if I can watch a race live on CBS (they can't blackout air channels like they do Speed TV thank goodness) versus midnight or later on TSN, what do you think I'm going to do?   Right, I watch it on CBS.  So, I'm a viewer but not counted in the stats for TSN.   Even when the CC race is on Speed and blacked out here, but only delayed until 8 PM, it still loses its luster since many people don't want to watch history  (they know the results and may have followed the race on the CC web site).  Can anyone imagine delayed football or baseball games?

Second,  Bell Expressvu (which owns about 68% of TSN (ESPN owns the rest) has managed to shut off the supply of new Dish Network and DirecTV dishes in Canada (anyone who wants a US dish has to buy it in the US and smuggle it across the border, and they will require a US address for billing.  By the way, the same thing applies trying to get a Canadian dish in the US.).  However, the total number of US dishes in Canada is estimated at well over a half million (can you imagine 5 million Expressvu and Star Choice dishes in the US!!!!!) and many were acquired over the past decade by Canadians who wanted US sports coverage - including Speed TV without blackouts.   I had a Dish network installation before we got our digital system  in Canada.  Our system was a couple of years behind the US system because of satellite problems.  So, for these reasons it is very difficult to get precise viewer numbers and the question is how much are they understated.

Now, take those 326,000 viewers (and likely more) for the Canadian races and make a comparison with the US.  The same penetration would mean 3, 260,000 viewers.  Other than NASCAR and the I-500, I'm not sure too many other races get that many viewers in the US?  The 326,000 viewers may even be on the light side.  Today's race is being carried live on CBS and some fans may simply have on CBS depending on which broadcast crew they prefer (assuming they will be different this year).

The same issues apply to F1 viewer numbers in Canada.  Speed TV is NOT blacked out for F1 coverage (it was for several years).  Many viewers prefer to watch the Speed TV version.  My preference is the British coverage but since I have both Rogers Cable and Expressvu satellite, I often switch back and forth or do a split screen if I want to learn what each broadcast crew thinks of a specific event or situation.   I know some fans who will automatically watch Speed TV for F1 because they have a desire to punish TSN for insisting on a Champ Car blackout on Speed TV in Canada when it is delaying its race broadcast in Canada until late in the evening or after midnight.  I have to say TSN's practice frustrates me as well.  I believe they should be doing a deal with Speed TV to remove the Champ Car blackout, have TSN's advertisements carried on Speed TV, with a revenue sharing arrangement.  After all, those commercials must be worth more for a larger live audience than they would be for virtually no audience after midnight (or VCR or PVR recorders that let one skip commercials).  Further, Speed can't be getting my eyeballs on the set during these blackout periods.   What may well prevent this is the relationship between Speed TV and ESPN in the US.  My recollection is that ever since Speed started the two networks have not been the best of friends.  I believe ESPN still has certain veto rights with respect to TSN programming in Canada (just imagine that one working in reverse if you can). Don Leslie, Toronto

07/10/05 It should be noted that ratings have always been marginal in Canada, which may explain why teams have a hard time getting Canadian sponsorship. 07/10/05 While they're up 9 per cent in Canada, TSN's (cable) average of 84,000 viewers for Champ Car races ranks it slightly behind bowling.  But at least things are looking up, if only because the ratings are pretty much near the bottom. But when on Network TV the Toronto Indy drew an impressive 326,000 viewers to Global last year (Good number given Canada's population), which shows that despite Champ Car's problems this is still a big event in Canada. The Star
Alex Sperafico in best finish ever Alex Sperafico in best finish ever“My goal today, no matter what, was to finish the race.  I wanted to make sure that I didn’t make any mistakes and to guarantee that I would be there at the end.  I think because of that, I may have been a little too cautious at times, but I am happy to have finished in the top-ten.  This team is very good and it gives me a lot more confidence knowing I have such talent behind me.  The stops were great today, the race was tough at times because it was so busy, especially at the end, but I think we are all happy with the result.  I had a great car and I am looking forward to the next event, in fact I cannot wait to get to Edmonton.” Alex Sperafico
Bessette over Martinez in Toronto Bessette over Martinez in TorontoUPDATE Canadian rookie Antoine Bessette (#3 Unik Auto Design) didn’t care where he earned his first victory in the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama, but all things considered, he’s pretty happy that his first series visit to Victory Circle happened to be in front of a supportive and capacity crowd Sunday at the Molson Indy Toronto.

Bessette, a 23-year-old native of St. Bruno, Quebec, took advantage of an opportunity late in the 35-lap race and seized the lead just two laps from the checkered flag. He was able to hold off Mexican David Martinez (#7 Roshfrans/US RaceTronics) for his third podium finish and his first Atlantic victory in his seventh start, capturing Round 7 of 12 in the ’05 Atlantic championship (tape-delayed broadcast on SPEED Channel - Saturday, July 16 at 2 p.m. ET) by just 1.281 seconds over Martinez.

The 15th Atlantic race at the 1.755-mile Exhibition Place street circuit got off to a clean start as polesitter Charles Zwolsman (#11 Condor Motorsports) led the field to the green flag Sunday morning. Martinez, coming off a career-best second-place qualifying effort Saturday, tried desperately to get past Zwolsman on the opening lap but the Dutch driver and series point leader turned Martinez away each time.

Results from Sunday’s race with starting position in parentheses, driver, type of car, laps completed and reason out, if any:
1. (3) Antoine Bessette, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 35.
2. (2) David Martinez, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 35.
3. (4) Andreas Wirth, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 35.
4. (7) Al Unser III, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 35.
5. (9) Eric Jensen, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 35.
6. (6) Katherine Legge, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 35.
7. (10) Justin Sofio, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 35.
8. (5) Tonis Kasemets, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 34.
9. (15) Daryl Leiske, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 34.
10. (14) Bob Siska, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 34.
11. (8) Tom Nastasi, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 29.
12. (1) Charles Zwolsman, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 26, mechanical.
13. (13) Chris Souliotis, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 16, contact.
14. (12) Dan Cobb, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 13, mechanical.
15. (11) Tim Hauraney, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 7, off course.

07/10/05 Canadian Antoine Bessette beat David Martinez in a thrilling next to last lap pass to win the Toyota Atlantic race in Toronto.  Andreas Wirth from Germany was third, Al Unser III fourth and Eric Jensen 5th.  Full report later.
Toronto attendance Toronto attendanceUPDATE #2 Sunday's attendance was announced officially as 71,433 for a 3-day total of 160,315, down from 164,218 a year ago. 07/10/05 Saturday's attendance for the Molson Indy Toronto was 48,012.  Advance ticket sales for Sunday's race are up 9% over 2004, however, so far this year 88,882 have come through the gates, down from 91,657 in 2004.  Race day attendance for the 2004 Molson Indy Toronto Champ Car race was announced as 72,561 making it a 3-day weekend total of 164,218.  To surpass last year's total attendance number, at least 75,336 fans will have to come through the gates on Sunday.  Mark C. 07/09/05 40,870 fans, down 834 from last year's Friday crowd, showed up to watch practice and qualifying Friday in Toronto where the Champ Car's are preparing for Sunday's 20th Molson Indy Toronto.
Walker to Australia Walker to AustraliaTeam Australia boss Derrick Walker is soon off to Australia to work on a plan to develop more Australian drivers for the Champ Car World Series.
Pla wins Sunday GP2 race Pla wins Sunday GP2 raceOlivier Pla has won a dramatic race two at Silverstone, soaking up race long pressure to record his first victory in the GP2 series, ahead of Scott Speed and Heikki Kovalainen. Pla took the lead from pole after making a quick getaway at the start, with fellow front row starter Gimmi Bruni bogging down and weaving across the track to keep his pursuers behind. It was to no avail – Clivio Piccione stayed left and was by the Italian for second on track. 

Speed was right on Bruni’s tail through the first turn, followed Neel Jani, Alex Premat and Nicolas Lapierre. The Kovalainen and Nico Rosberg roadshow was making itself known right from the start – they left Lapierre behind on lap two, and were through Premat together a lap later, and then by Jani next time around. 

At the front Pla was driving the race of his life, soaking up the early pressure from Piccione despite sliding all over the track. The Frenchman was under enormous pressure after suffering a number of spins in recent races, but looked commanding at the front of the pack. 

On lap eight Nelson Piquet Jr spun at turn three behind Borja Garcia, stalling in the middle of the track and prompting the safety car into making an appearance. Bruni came into the pits from third, apparently handed a drive through penalty for a jump start despite his slow pace off the line. 

Speed gratefully claimed third spot, and a few laps later the pack was unleashed again, running like a train across the start line on lap eleven. Piccione took the opportunity to push hard on Pla’s tail, while Speed was dropping back into the clutches of fourth placed Kovalainen. 

Piccione’s pressure came to naught – after pushing hard for the lead he suddenly slowed on lap 17, and Speed, Kovalainen and Rosberg were past in successive corners, with Premat following them by a few corners later. The Monegasque driver was soon back in the pits and out of the car, the victim of an unknown malady on his car. 

On track the pace was fierce – the top four were running together and covered by less than two seconds, with Speed looking for a way by Pla but also having to protect his position from Kovalainen and Rosberg. 

The four slid around the track together for the remaining laps, but Pla was equal to the challenge – he absorbed the pressure and took a tremendous win, crossing the line with Speed, Kovalainen and Rosberg right on his tail. 

Behind them Can Artam managed to punt Xandi Negrao off track on the last lap, the second such incident in as many races, but ahead of them Alex Premat and Neel Jani lasted the distance and took the final points paying positions in an eventful race two at Silverstone. 

Hmiel talks about drug addict son Shane Hmiel talks about drug addict son ShaneCrew chief Steve Hmiel attempts to revive Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s championship hopes one weekend at a time. It's a welcome distraction and helps ease Hmiel's pain from the "terrific hole in my heart.'' Hmiel anguishes for his son, Shane, who has been banished from the sport until 2007. NASCAR suspended Shane Hmiel last month after the 25-year-old violated the sport's substance abuse policy for the second time within two years. "There are times I want to kill him and there are times I want to hug him,'' Steve Hmiel said of his son. "That's true of every parent and every situation. Our family is here to support him.'' So, as Steve Hmiel heads to the track each weekend, Shane remains at the family's Pleasant Garden, N.C., home. He's been there since shortly after series officials escorted him out of the garage at Dover five weeks ago. "What Shane is doing is he's sitting at home on the couch and he has good days and bad,'' Steve Hmiel said. "A good day is not sitting there with your heart broken. A bad day is thinking the world is coming to an end. There are no real good days.'' Roanoke.com
Monteiro to start last Monteiro to start lastTiago Monteiro will start this afternoon’s British Grand Prix, the eleventh round of the 2005 championship season, from last position on the starting grid after suffering at the hands of a blown Toyota engine on the opening day of free practice at the Silverstone circuit.

Due to the rules this season, the change of engine in Tiago’s EJ15 means an automatic ten place demotion, so therefore his race strategy has been changed accordingly. In qualifying the Portuguese driver carried out an installation lap only and then returned to his garage without setting a time. 

"We carefully studied the various possible strategies for the race, and decided to not set a time in qualifying as the session was already ruined by this penalty. I therefore returned to the pits in order to save some fuel."

BAR Honda to Bonneville BAR Honda to BonnevilleBAR-Honda is to send a car to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in October to see what the top speed of an F1 car can be in an out-and-out burst of speed. The BAR-Honda 007 is expected to be driven by James Rossiter or Adam Carroll. The car will be fitted with a rear parachute to slow it down after the run, which are being staged as a promotion for Lucky Strike. The car is expected to clock more than 250mph. Grandprix.com
'The pressure is still on' - Denis Chevrier 'The pressure is still on' - Denis ChevrierThe Renault F1 Team’s Head of Engine Operations Denis Chevrier explains why development must never stop – if you want to be on pole halfway through the season.

Denis, are you pleased with the weekend so far?
"Yes, absolutely. We are very pleased with our levels of performance, and things are looking good: one car is starting from the front, and the other will be able to fight for the podium. We still need to watch out for the strategies other cars are running, but we are in a strong position."

Fernando’s lap was impressive…
"Fernando put in an outstanding lap. It’s just one proof that everybody in the team is very motivated. We have only just reached mid-season, and nothing is fixed yet: we are in a good position for the championship, but we can’t let up the pressure. Every race, every qualifying session and every test are important."

What kind of satisfaction do you get from a performance like today?
"I think that, for a team like Renault, to take pole position in the first race of the year, and do so again halfway through the season, is a reason to be proud. It proves that our development is continuing, and that we are still pushing hard."

What are your aims for the race?
"We will certainly have to deal with hotter conditions, but that won’t be a problem. We also need to be able to react to any unpredictable situations, like a safety car or something else. What we want above all is that the first race for our C spec engine turns out to be a successful one!" Renault

F1 teams to appeal World Council decision F1 teams to appeal World Council decisionUPDATE #2 Formula One's governing body the FIA has confirmed that an International Court of Appeal hearing over their criticism of seven Michelin-shod teams will be heard on September 28 following the Brazilian Grand Prix and before the Japanese race, the penultimate race of the season.

Michelin has already promised to refund race day tickets and buy the first 20,000 for the 2006 race but there are other costs expected to develop and the teams could be sentenced if the bill is not footed appropriately.

The date of the appeal hearing has been arranged to offer the teams time to respond to any punishment that may be handed out.  The International Court of Appeal decision is expected on the afternoon of Thursday September 29.

06/29/05 Written statements submitted by the six Michelin teams to the World Council today. 06/29/05 BAR-Honda, BMW Williams, Renault F1, Sauber Petronas, Team McLaren Mercedes and Toyota Motorsport GmbH - but not Red Bull Racing - have reacted to the announcement from the FIA World Council.

The teams say that they are "very disappointed" by the decision of the World Motor Sport Council to find them guilty of two of the five charges brought against them by the FIA.

"In relation to the finding that they failed to ensure that they were in possession of suitable tires," the teams said in a statement, "the teams point out that they reasonably relied on Michelin, an approved FIA tire supplier and a highly reputable manufacturer of tires worldwide, to provide suitable tires for that race. As Michelin have already acknowledged, they were responsible for the supply of unsuitable tires for the Indianapolis circuit. The FIA's decision accepts that there were "strong mitigating circumstances" for the teams. In truth, those circumstances provided a complete answer to the charge, given that the teams cannot be held responsible for what occurred.

"In relation to the finding that the teams wrongfully refused to allow their cars to start the race having regard to their right to use the pit lane on each lap, the teams respond as follows: The charges suggested only one means by which the teams could safely have raced (the use of a speed restriction). On that charge, the teams were found not guilty. The teams cannot understand how they can be found guilty by reference to another proposed solution, which was not part of the charges brought against them, which was not suggested by the FIA at Indianapolis, which was considered unsafe and which, in any event, would not have achieved a satisfactory race for the fans.

"The teams therefore will be lodging an appeal against each of these findings.

"The teams explained to the World Motor Sport Council that, in the light of the clear and written advice from Michelin that it was unsafe to race at Indianapolis on the tires supplied by that company, the teams had no choice but to decline to race. Any other decision would have been irresponsible. Nineteen of the current Formula One drivers have expressed their agreement with the decision of the teams. The teams much regret that the American public were unable to enjoy a race involving all 10 Formula 1 teams, and would like to express their thanks to the many fans who have communicated their support for the stance taken by the teams and by Michelin on grounds of safety.

"The teams are pleased that Michelin have agreed to compensate fans who attended the race.

"The teams very much look forward to the next Grand Prix on Sunday."

Legge won't be made into sex symbol Legge won't be made into sex symbolChamp Car co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven says he has no intention of using Katherine Legge as a sex symbol to promote the series.

That doesn't mean she couldn't get a promotion to Champ Car next season from the Atlantic series, where she'll start from sixth place on the grid in today's race. But she'll have to earn the right.

"No matter what happens, I'm not going to automatically put her in and say, `We need you for publicity, would you mind getting into a bikini and draping yourself over a car,'" said Kalkhoven, in reference to IRL driver Danica Patrick, who posed in next to nothing for a men's magazine. Toronto Star

Hunter-Reay: We are lost Hunter-Reay: We are lostRyan Hunter-Reay appeared to be on his way to becoming the next American star of the Champ Car series when he finished ninth in the championship last year, moving up from 14th as a rookie in 2003.  But after moving to Rocketsports this year following the disappearance of the Mexican team Herdez Competition, he's had nothing but frustrations.

"We are lost," he said yesterday after qualifying 17th in the 18-car Toronto Indy field. "That is all there is to it.  It's very frustrating and difficult to be in this situation as a team." Toronto Star

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Cool Kimi calm but cross
'Ok, I can win' - Alonso
No denial in red-Button move
F1 teams' appeal date
Bernie to broken F1's rescue
Record crowd
Mosley - shut up, or go away
F1's most powerful - magazine
'Drivers to lose Mosley race'
Kimi's out, says Schu
Hayden gets MotoGP pole at Laguna Seca Hayden gets MotoGP pole at Laguna SecaNicky Hayden will start the Red Bull US Grand Prix from the front of the grid on Sunday after setting his first ever MotoGP pole position in today’s sell-out qualifying practice at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The Honda rider dominated the morning free practice and set a scorching pace throughout the afternoon before knocking over a second off his best time with a stunning late lap of 1’22.670.

“It’s a great feeling after all these years to be first when it counts,” said Hayden (pictured right). “It’s been a frustrating couple of years for me because I was used to being on pole and winning races before I arrived in MotoGP and since then it hasn’t happened. The weekend just keeps getting better and better and it’s great to give my people something to cheer about, I just hope it keeps going that way tomorrow. The whole team has done a great job and the bike feels so good. I’m not really worried about the race - I just want to enjoy it.”

Hayden’s effort left the rest of the field reeling, with reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi the only rider able to get close in the final stages but still some 0.354 seconds adrift of the 2003 MotoGP Rookie of the Year. Whilst Rossi’s late effort secured a place on the front row after spending much of the session outside the top five positions, Alex Barros made a similar charge to clinch third at the expense of his Honda team-mate Troy Bayliss. However, fourth place for Bayliss represents his best grid position so far this season and the Australian will start from the second row for the first time since the final race of 2004 at Valencia, when he also finished on the podium.

Colin Edwards will start alongside Bayliss in fifth place as the pair chase a repeat of previous victories here in the World Superbike series, with the American also looking to score consecutive podium finishes for the first time in his MotoGP career after finishing third in the last round at Assen. John Hopkins joins Edwards and Hayden as the third home rider to qualify on the front two rows after lapping sixth fastest on the Suzuki.

With Marco Melandri qualifying eleventh fastest after crashing for the second time this weekend in this afternoon’s qualifying practice, Max Biaggi will be aiming to close the gap to second place in the championship as he starts from seventh. The Italian currently lies twenty points adrift of his compatriot and a further 63 points behind series leader Rossi.

Biaggi is joined on the third row of the grid by Ducati’s Carlos Checa and Honda rider Makoto Tamada, who was the fastest rider other than Rossi to have no previous race experience at this circuit - despite the fact that he underwent an arm operation just nine days ago. Shinya Nakano completed the top ten ahead of Melandri, Kenny Roberts and Sete Gibernau, whilst Loris Capirossi recovered from a bout of gastroenteritis to qualify fourteenth.

Rosberg wins Saturday GP2 race Rosberg wins Saturday GP2 raceNico Rosberg has taken his second win in a row after leading the entirety of the race apart from his pitstop in race one at Silverstone, ahead of Heikki Kovalainen and Alex Premat.

Rosberg, looking confident ahead the race, was handed an early present when front row starter Nelson Piquet Jr’s car stopped on track as the cars circulated to the grid ahead of the warm up lap. It was a heartbreaking blow for Piquet, who was looking for a strong points score to get his championship challenge back on track.

At the start Rosberg tore away from third placed starter Heikki Kovalainen, who signaled his intentions by forming up pointing to the right side of the track, with Adam Carroll slotting in behind the Finn.

Behind the front three Neel Jani headed a fast moving queue, with Scott Speed, Jose Maria Lopez and Giorgio Pantano lining up immediately behind the Swiss driver.

Ryan Sharp, driving in his home race was back in the pits early after his car stopped on the first lap, as Rosberg pushed for an early advantage at the front. Further back Premat and Gimmi Bruni came in for an extremely early stop in an attempt to get some clear track in front of them and push ahead as the others stopped after them.

It was clearly working for Premat: on lap four he was the fastest man on track after and extremely quick stop, and the ART drivers were clearly on form – teammate Rosberg was already almost two seconds ahead of Kovalainen.

On lap nine Scott Speed and Giorgio Pantano came in for their stops, with Jani in two laps later as the front running pitstop strategies were beginning to emerge. Jani, after a good stop, was out just ahead of Bruni and pushing hard for a good points haul.

The leading pair were in together on lap 15, with Rosberg bringing a 3.8 second lead in and losing most of it in the stop, as Kovalainen exited on his tail. Carroll was in a lap later, followed one tour afterwards by Clivio Piccione, and the pitstops were complete.

The race order had re-established itself: Rosberg led from Kovalainen and Premat, for whom the pitstop strategy had worked like a treat, with Carroll, Speed, Jani, Piccione and Bruni filling out the points paying positions.

Further back Nicolas Lapierre and Juan Cruz Alvarez were at the start of a battle which was to last for the remainder of the race – the pair were all over each other, sliding sideways through corners together but somehow just managing to avoid running into each other.

On lap 20 Can Artam had a rush of blood to the head: seeing a gap which wasn’t there he tried going inside of Xandi Negrao, tapping the Brazilian into a spin which should never have happened before continuing.

Back at the front Rosberg had re-established his dominance, leading Kovalainen by 2.5 seconds and controlling the race masterfully. The Finn was clearly fast – he was leaving Premat behind at a great rate – but he was unable to do anything about the speed of the leader.

Scott Speed was now ramping up the pressure on fourth placed Adam Carroll, driving all over the rear of his car and hoping to force him into an error. The pair ran together for ten laps or so, but it seemed certain that an incident was on the cards.

And so it proved – on lap 29 Carroll ran slightly wide and put two wheels onto the grass through Stowe, which flicked the car around before he could do anything to arrest the movement. His car control was excellent though, and he snapped the car out of the spin and back on track, but Speed was already through and gone.

But up at the front it was all over – Rosberg controlled the speed of the race and finished just ahead of Kovalainen, who he allowed to close up at the end, while there was a huge gap back to third placed Premat, who also claimed fastest lap. Speed slotted in behind the Frenchman, with Jani just ahead of Piccione.

Bruni and Pla filled out the final points positions, just ahead of Lopez, while Carroll limped back to the pits with a flat right rear tire, a victim of his off track excursion and well out of the points.

Seen in Toronto - III Seen in Toronto - IIIThe Newman/Haas crew was doing their best to hide their endplates on their rear wing in Toronto with towels as shown to the right.  They were doing a pretty good job of it until a gust of wind came along and blew one of the towels up revealing two slots we had never noticed before, and probably would not have, until they covered them up and perked our interest.  The function/purpose of the indentations is not yet known by us, but it is thought they allow air pressure on the wing to vent.
Gentilozzi breaks record for most wins Gentilozzi breaks record for most winsFour-time Trans-Am series champion, Paul Gentilozzi, has rewritten the record book again by winning the Trans-Am in TO event, part of the Molson Indy Toronto. Taking the checkered flag in the No. 1 Jaguar R Performance XKR for the thirtieth time in his long and illustrious career, the Michigan native broke the record for Most Series Wins today. A record of 29 career wins in the Trans Am racing series was held by the Late Mark Donohue, in which Gentilozzi tied after going to victory circle in Denver last year.

Gentilozzi’s first career Trans-Am start was in 1987 on the streets on Detroit where he started ninth and finished fourth. In 1988 he won the first of his thirty events in Long Beach. Over the last 18 years, he has set many records including most podiums, most top-fives, most top-tens and is the career lap leader with 1770 laps.

As humble as he was last year when he tied the record, Gentilozzi, quickly turned the attention to the ones around him. “It is a privilege, to have the people around me make the sacrifices for me to do this,” said the new record holder. “A lot of drivers could have this many victories or more if they had the team of people that I have had throughout my career. Having the people in your life that will make the sacrifice for you to follow your dream – that is what is makes this achievement so special.”

Fellow competitor and friend, 1978 series champion, Greg Pickett, is the closest active driver to breaking the new all-time wins record with 15 victories. After finishing second in the No. 6 Cytomax Jaguar, the veteran driver paid homage to his friend. “It is an honor to be up here on the podium with the guy who is the winningest Trans-Am driver of all-time,” declared Pickett. “Everybody had their era, Mark did it in a relatively short period of time, but that should not have anything to do his (Gentilozzi) accomplishment today.”

Tune in to SPEED TV to watch the history making moment of four-time champion Paul Gentilozzi break the record for Most Career Wins on Sunday July 17th at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. See story on Home Page

Seats are selling fast for San Jose GP Seats are selling fast for San Jose GPTaylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San José officials confirmed today that four of the grandstands have already sold out for the event which is scheduled for July 29-31 on the streets of downtown San José.

With just under three weeks remaining before the first on-track action commences, grandstand #2 in Plaza de César Chávez, grandstand #3A in the 'hairpin' turn and grandstands #4A and #4D along Almaden Blvd. are all sold out with the rest of the grandstands filling up fast. 

Today's announcement of brisk and escalating grandstand ticket sales coupled with recent announcements including title sponsorship by Taylor Woodrow Homes, agreement with 15 Official Sponsors and that over 80% of the hospitality suites have been sold, are all indications that the inaugural Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San José is on course and schedule to be a major success.

'We are extremely happy with the way grandstand ticket sales are progressing,' said Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San José Vice President and General Manager Bob Singleton.  'We have already sold out four grandstands and are very close to filling several more.  Ticket sales are on a pace to meet our expectations and when combined with the number and quality of sponsors that are already on board plus the fact that we have sold over 80% of our hospitality suites, we are looking forward to a very successful inaugural event,' Singleton concluded.

In addition to title sponsor Taylor Woodrow Homes the list of Official Sponsors includes: AAA Towing ' Auto Club Membership, Autobahn Motors Mercedes Benz, Clear Channel, Cytomax Sports Drink, the Fairmont Hotel, Hertz Rental Cars, Ikon, iLoop Mobile Inc., KNTV NBC 11, Miller Brewing Company/South Bay Beverage, San José Mercury News, Telemundo, Toyota, Wine and Roses Limousine Service and Yellow Checker Cab Co.

The inaugural Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San José, the eighth stop on the 2005 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford schedule, is Northern California's historic first downtown street race.  The weekend of racing, which will be contested on an approximately 1.6-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit, will draw over 100,000 spectators to northern California's largest city generating an economic impact of approximately $20 million for the City of San José.  In addition, the race will be televised live on SPEED Channel on Sunday, July 31 with a second airing on KNTV NBC 11 that evening.  It will also be broadcast in 160 countries thus showcasing the city of San José to viewers around the world.

The Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San José will be much more than a race.  In addition to practice, qualifying and races for five events, the schedule calls for a week of activities in downtown San Jose. 

The Champ Car race, which features some of the greatest drivers in the world including former champions: Morgan Hill's Jimmy Vasser (1996), Cristiano da Matta (2002), Paul Tracy (2003) and Sebastien Bourdias (2004) plus Los Gatos native A. J. Allmendinger and Mexican star Mario Dominquez, piloting cars that will approach speeds of 190 mph, will be run at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 31. 

The Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San José proudly supports Canary Fund.  Canary Fund, which was founded by Don Listwin, is dedicated to advancing the science of the early detection of cancer and was also recently announced as the Official Social Cause of the Champ Car World Series.

Tickets for the Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix San José are on sale now and can be purchased through Ticketmaster (call: 408-998-tixs or 510-625-tixs or 415-421-tixs).  Ticket plans range from a single day general admission price of $25 on Friday to $150 for a three-day Gold Grandstand seat which includes a paddock pass.  Corporate and group discount rates are also available. For corporate sponsorships, hospitality and group tickets call: 408-277-9470.

Kalkhoven happy with Champ Car progress Kalkhoven happy with Champ Car progressUPDATE We also discussed getting a Korean and Chinese driver into the series for the Ansan and Beijing fans to follow and start to take an interest in Champ Car.  "We will do some testing in the off-season to see if there are any drivers who are ready for Champ Car," said Kalkhoven, "but my guess is that we will have to groom them in Atlantics first."

As for engine manufacturers, Kalkhoven didn't seem to be in any hurry.  "Besides our discussions with Honda, we have not seriously made a pitch to the manufacturers yet.  We have some work to do and it wasn't in our business plan to bring manufacturers in until the 3rd or 4th year.  We are going to work on improving our marketing, PR and sales staff, and finish the rebuilding of our schedule. When the time is right that's when we will bring them in."

We did touch upon the Hyundai rumors in F1 but he indicated to us that they appear to have their mind set on World Rally first.  "After we are established in Korea and China we'll see what interest we get from manufacturers in Asia." Mark C.

07/09/05 AutoRacing1.com sat down this afternoon in Toronto to talk with Kevin Kalkhoven about his views on the 'State of Champ Car.' "Our plan is working. Our two new urban races, San Jose and Edmonton are near sellouts and the corporate sponsorship and suite sales are phenomenal. I'm convinced we are on the right track, we just have to keep working our plan. Cities are now coming to us to make presentations in the hope we will race in their city. There are currently eight cities on the table.

"Meanwhile our new overseas races are taking place. South Korea is looking very good. The local sales and promotion are going very well and I am happy with what I am seeing down there. Beijing will be huge for us. We will be at Goldenport until the 2008 Olympics at which time the race will move to the Olympic site.

"We continue to look at South America, but as you know, the politics down there are difficult. South Africa is making all the right noises. We'll have to see if the government puts enough resources behind it."

AutoRacing1.com got a sneak look at the over 2-mile Cape Town course. We can't reveal the layout just yet, but the track looks fast and very racy for a street circuit. More later......Mark C.

Zwolsman over Martinez for Toronto pole Zwolsman over Martinez for Toronto poleEven though he wasn’t happy with his car’s set up, rookie Charles Zwolsman (#11 Condor Motorsports) was able to continue his recent hot streak in the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama, winning his third career series pole in only his seventh race as he posted the fastest qualifying lap Saturday at the Molson Indy Toronto.

Winner of the last two races on the Atlantic calendar, Zwolsman made it two straight series poles as well when he carded the fastest time of the weekend at 1:07.335 (93.829 mph) on his second-to-last lap of qualifying. The first-year series sensation had already locked up a front-row starting spot after leading the first round of qualifying on Friday. He also sat atop the scoring charts with the fastest lap of today’s session when he went out and topped his own time with the qualifying clock winding down.

Despite his success this weekend, Zwolsman still isn’t happy with his car’s performance. He remarked after winning the pole that he and the Condor Motorsports team are still trying to find the right balance in the car and they’ll continue to try and improve the set up for Sunday’s race. By claiming the championship point for winning the pole, Zwolsman extends his lead in the Atlantic title chase to nine points, 171-162, over his closest pursuer – second-year driver Tonis Kasemets (#6 Flexovit Abrasives/MK Ind./TMI/Redline Oil).

When Zwolsman starts from the point in Sunday’s Round 7 of the Toyota Atlantic Championship (tape-delayed broadcast on SPEED Channel - Saturday, July 16 at 2 p.m. ET), he’ll have to contend with two drivers right behind him that have experience racing up front at the tight, 1.755-mile Toronto street circuit.

1. (11) Charles Zwolsman, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:07.335, 93.829 mph.
2. (7) David Martinez, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:07.415 93.718 mph.
3. (3) Antoine Bessette, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:07.607, 93.452 mph.
4. (8) Andreas Wirth, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:07.728, 93.285 mph.
5. (6) Tonis Kasemets, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:07.920, 93.021 mph.
6. (12) Katherine Legge, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:07.944, 92.988 mph.
7. (10) Al Unser III, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:08.813, 91.814 mph.
8. (23) Tom Nastasi, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:09.080, 91.459 mph.
9. (2) Eric Jensen, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:09.088, 91.449 mph.
10. (15) Justin Sofio, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:10.454, 89.676 mph.
11. (31) Tim Hauraney, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:11.314, 88.594 mph.
12. (9) Dan Cobb, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:11.974, 87.782 mph.
13. (56) Chris Souliotis, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:12.227, 87.474 mph.
14. (18) Bob Siska, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:12.234, 87.466 mph.
15. (63) Daryl Leiske, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:12.529, 87.110 mph.

Philippe and Ranger pushing each other hard Philippe and Ranger pushing each other hardMi-Jack Conquest Racing drivers Nelson Philippe and rookie Andrew Ranger both improved their times by over a second in the final qualifying session and will line up tenth and eleventh respectively on the grid for Sunday’s Molson Indy Toronto for round six of the Champ Car World Series.
Underscoring the highly competitive nature of the Champ Car World Series, the top eleven drivers were within one second of the pole-sitters time. Philippe’s best lap time was the ninth quickest of the second session, but he will line up tenth on the grid due to Cristiano da Matta having scored his best time in Friday’s qualifying session.
In the Friday qualifying session, the young duo of Ranger and Philippe were closely matched, posting times that were separated by a remarkably narrow margin, as Philippe took a lap that was just .001 of a second quicker than Ranger.  Both drivers were convinced they had more speed in the car, and the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing engineering team worked hard overnight to help the young drivers shave a second off their times from Friday on the 1.755-mile concrete-lined temporary street circuit near Toronto’s Exhibition Place.
Despite nursing an injured ankle back to full strength, Philippe was able to score his best Champ Car qualifying effort yet in the second session as the young Frenchman, who led twenty-three laps in the second round race in Monterrey, Mexico, continues to improve with his Wellbox/Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Lola.
“It is a pretty good qualifying position considering the guys who are ahead of me,” said Philippe. “We are still a second off the lead – it’s closer than we’ve ever been but definitely we want to be closer but I think for tomorrow, it will be alright. If we can get the balance just a little bit better, I know we can go even faster tomorrow. We will work on it and see what happens in the warm-up Sunday. But overall I am happy with my performance today and that’s good for the future.”
Despite a big improvement in the second session, Ranger was unable to improve on the eleventh starting position he'd earned on Friday, so he is hoping for even more speed come race time to try and score another podium finish in his young Champ Car career.
“The car was much better then yesterday and this morning, but I still need a couple seconds,” said Ranger  “The engineers gave me the best car we had for today, and I did a little mistake in one corner, but it’s racing and it’s a very close competition. We got everything we could out of the car for qualifying, I changed my line in a couple of corners and try to improve. We will look at the data tonight, and I'll work with the engineers to get ready for the long race tomorrow.”
For Mi-Jack Conquest Racing team owner Eric Bachelart, the qualifying results from his two young charges showed the continued progress the team has made during the season thanks to an improved engineering program and good effort from their drivers.

“We had a good run today, first top ten in qualifying for Nelson and I'm very pleased with that,” said Bachelart. “We have to keep on working some more on the car and make it even better to have a good race tomorrow. Andrew had a bit of hard time getting used to the track, but he improved quite a bit for qualifying. It looks like we are moving in the right direction.” Mi-Jack Conquest Racing

Harvick wins Chicago Busch race Harvick wins Chicago Busch raceRyan Newman had the dominant car, but a costly penalty allowed Kevin Harvick to take the lead and win Saturday's USG Durock 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. Greg Biffle was second. In all, the top five spots were swept by Nextel Cup Series regulars.

"His car was really strong," Harvick said of Newman. "He probably had the best car for about 20 laps, then our car was better the next 20 laps. It probably would have been a good fight at the end, but I'm glad we didn't have to see it."

A late-race caution with 10 laps remaining bunched up front-runners, but after the single-file restart with six laps to go Newman jetted past Carl Edwards for third place behind Harvick and Biffle. Edwards finished fourth and Mark Martin was fifth -- meaning Nextel Cup regulars finished 1-5.

"I knew that Biffle was good on the restarts," Harvick said. "I just had to feel my car out and do what I thought was right. It was a good restart.

"We kept adjusting on the car, a little half a pound [of air in the tires] here and there and it was real good at the end."

For Harvick, this is his 15th NASCAR Busch Series win.  The victory came in his 121st career NASCAR Busch Series start:  he started fifth.

Chicagoland like home for Newman Chicagoland like home for NewmanChicagoland USG Durock 300 NASCAR Busch Series pole winner Ryan Newman playing with the race field just like he used to do while racing midgets in the UMARA series when he used to frequently visit the little Grundy County Speedway in little Morris, Illinois on I-80 just West of Joliet.  His early racing career evolved into a full blown NEXTEL Cup success and it seems he is just saying hello to this Joliet 1.5 mile track full of people who remember and know him.  He has the same demeanor now that he had back in the 90’s in Morris.  Get the lead and stay there.  He has led this race for over 100 laps so far. 

For Newman, driving the #39 Mobil/Alltel Dodge for car owner Don Miller (crew chief Roy McCauley), this is his seventh NASCAR Busch Series pole and his 17th career NASCAR Busch Series start.  Newman won the pole for the inaugural NASCAR Busch Series event at Chicagoland Speedway on July 14, 2001.

This year’s Chicagoland event marks Newman’s second NASCAR Busch Series start of 2005.  He started 14th and finished third on May 28 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

Newman has one career win, three top-five and nine top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Busch Series.

Newman’s first career NASCAR Busch series start came on February 24, 2001 at North Carolina Speedway; he finished ninth at that race.

Wilson ready to win Wilson ready to winQ and A with Justin Wilson after qualifying 2nd fastest in Toronto:

Your team has been sniffing around a win. Are you ready to win now?
Yes, we are putting ourselves in position to win and that's hard to do because the grid is really competitive these days. We had a dream weekend in Portland and could have won had the car not broke.

You made a bigger improvement in qualifying today than your competitors. What was the difference?
Rather than make wholesale changes last night, we looked at the data and worked with what we thought was right and made a few key changes. In the pre-qualifying session the car really started to come good. We didn’t touch it from then until qualifying, we just added new tires. I’m pleased with turning it around from yesterday. My engineer and crew worked really hard for me. I am disappointed-to lose one place to two-thousandths, but to lose two! The CDW car had more in it, but I made a slight mistake on the last turn on my last lap and it only cost me about a half of a tenth. With this series being as competitive as it is, that half of a tenth was huge.

You have two fast guys in front of you in Bourdais and Tracy. Can you get by them?
It will be hard but we will work the strategy to see whether we conserve fuel early and try to stretch our pit window and get by that way. It is also important to have a good balance on the car because this track is hard on tires. If you can keep the tires under you and the others don't, you can slip by.

Just two more races for Option Tires Just two more races for Option TiresBridgestone did not bring the Option Tires to the Toronto race and as we understand it, only Edmonton and Mexico City remain for the option tires.
Stewart back in car Stewart back in carTony Stewart just told us he is sore but is doing ok. He has posted a top speed of 182.045 mph in the first practice session which began at 9:30AM CDT. J.J. Yeley qualified the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet at 186.168 mph in Stewarts backup car (Pictured right - JJ Yeley listens to Tony Stewart talk about yesterdays wreck in practice. Yeley qualified Stewarts car in 13th for Sundays race). The pole qualifying speed by Jimmie Johnson was 188.147. The second (final) practice is scheduled to begin at 11:55AM prior to the start of the NASCAR Busch Series USG Durock 300 which begins at 1:05PM CST. Fastest practice lap was produced by the #17 USG Sheetrock/DeWalt Ford driven by Matt Kenseth at 183.599 mph and is driving the race namesake for car owner Mark Martin.
Sandberg and NASCAR drivers have fun raising money Sandberg and NASCAR drivers have fun raising moneyA large, enthusiastic crowd turned out for the second annual 'Racin' the Bases' celebrity softball game at Silver Cross Field in Joliet's City Center Thursday evening. Eleven of NASCAR Nextel Cup's elite drivers ' including 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Points Champion Kurt Busch ' took the softball field with other celebrities like National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, Ryne Sandberg, and 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Jennie Finch.

Hundreds of fans showed up for an autograph session before the softball game to meet their favorite celebrities before the rest of the 5,000-plus crowd filed in for the celebrity showdown. Between innings, fans were treated to a dance-off featuring Fox's Mark Suppelsa and ZooperStars 'shark McGuire'. They also took home souvenir softballs the celebs threw into the stands throughout the contest.

NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Kurt Busch recorded the first hit of the game in the bottom of the first. Chicago Bandits outfielder, Selena Collins, drove in the elder Busch brother on a single to centerfield, giving the Blue Team an early 1-0 lead. With runners on first and second, ESPN AM 1000 radio host Jurko laced a line drive deep to centerfield. The former Green Bay Packer was thrown out at home after he dove headfirst over White Team's catcher 'Big John Howell,' trying to stretch a triple into an in-the-park homerun.

The White Team scored its first run in the top of the third after Busch Series rookie Michel Jourdain, Jr. drove in 94.7 The Zone's 'Freak,' who stumbled around first base and crawled to second. The Blue Team answered back in the bottom half of the inning when Sandberg drove a base hit into left field, scoring NASCAR Nextel Cup driver and co-founder of Victory Junction Gang Camp, Kyle Petty. The Blue Team never looked back, defeating the White Team by a final of 9-3.

More excitement is yet to come, but it's all business from here on out for the NASCAR drivers. USG NASCAR weekend kicks off tomorrow with the USG Pole Day practice and qualifying. Tickets for USG Pole Day are $15, children 12 and under are free.

New Champ Car Diecast cars coming New Champ Car Diecast cars comingLook for new 1/18th scale diecast cars for Timo Glock, Sebastien Bourdais, Paul Tracy, Mario Dominguez, Jimmy Vasser and Cristiano da Matta by the end of August. There will be two versions - with and without removable engine and shock covers. The price will be $59 and $99 and available on ChampCarStuff.com and Speedgear.com.
Kalkhoven improving Kalkhoven improvingKevin Kalkhoven's health is improving significantly. "I feel much better now, I have almost zero pain at all now. The doctors at the Mayo Clinic are incredible," said Kalkhoven.
Bourdais tops Wilson Bourdais tops WilsonSebastien Bourdais topped Justin Wilson by 4/10ths of a second for top honors in Saturday morning practice for the Molson Indy Toronto Champ Car race. Bourdais' teammate, Oriol Servia was third and provisional pole sitter Paul Tracy 4th. Mario Dominguez rounded out the top 5.
Seen in Toronto - II Seen in Toronto - IIFedEx sponsor is now on the PKV Racing Champ Cars as an associate sponsor.......Eric Jensen did a deal with Alex Sperafico and his Konica Minolta sponsorship signage is on the rear wing of Sperafico's car. Jensen could not put together a deal to run the three Canadian races as originally planned.
Mi-Jack crew in traffic accident Mi-Jack crew in traffic accidentUPDATE AutoRacing1.com was told by a team spokesperson that the pedestrian that was hit is OK and that the police report shows it was the pedestrian's fault for stepping out between two cars. 07/08/05 Some of the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing crew in a car on the way from the track to their hotel this evening hit a pedestrian on King Street in Toronto.  The pedestrian was seen lying on the ground, but still alive.  An ambulance was on its way.  King Street was closed causing traffic jams during the evening rush hour.
Graf wins third pole Graf wins third poleGerman Trans-Am rookie Klaus Graf won his third Trans-Am pole Friday, and took sole possession of second in the championship, at the Molson Indy Toronto. Graf, driving the No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR, turned in a 1:12.147-minute time (87.571 miles per hour) around the 1.755-mile temporary circuit.

Greg Pickett (No. 6 Cytomax Jaguar XKR) was second quick, ahead of Tomy Drissi (No. 5 Supercross – The Movie Jaguar XKR) and points leader Randy Ruhlman (No. 49 Performed Line Products Canada Chevrolet Corvette). Paul Gentilozzi (No. 1 Jaguar R Performance XKR) completed the top five.

Graf will start fifth Saturday due to Trans-Am's Fast Five® Qualifying format, which inverts the top five in each Trans-Am race, while Gentilozzi will roll off first. Graf earns three bonus points for the pole, while Pickett earns one marker for his runner-up effort. Graf also earns the Jaguar Pole Award, worth $2,500. "Every point is important," said Graf, who won at Portland earlier this year. "I'm happy to get these three points. We're obviously trying to catch Randy (Ruhlman) and every little bit helps.

"We didn't want to abuse our tires, so we set our fast lap early," added Graf. "The really good thing about Trans-Am and Champ Car is they set the timing line before the pit entrance, so it allows you to set a fast lap and go directly into the pits. You don't have to do another lap. It's really important not to put any more laps on the tires than necessary."
Another Mercedes explodes Another Mercedes explodesPre-race favorite Kimi Raikkonen suffered a huge blow to his hopes of victory in Sunday's British Grand Prix when his Mercedes engine on his McLaren failed in the final practice session. Raikkonen was forced to stop at Club corner just seven minutes into second morning session when the engine failure stopped him in its tracks and his team will now have to change the engine for Saturday qualifying. This is the 2nd race in a row that Raikkonen has lost an engine and 10 spots on the grid.
Why Walker Racing is so fast now Why Walker Racing is so fast nowWe asked Edwards why the Walker Racing outfit is so much better this year.  "It really comes down to having a Lola now," said Edwards.  I think that having to work so hard to make the Reynards competitive has made us that much better of a team now that we have the Lola.  It also helps that Alex Tagliani is a hell of a good driver."

Tagliani of Lachenaie, Que., is fitting in nicely with Team Australia Racing this season.  He's tied with Andrew Ranger of Roxton Pond, Que., for ninth spot in the overall standings with 69 points. Tagliani was asked about his solid start to the season considering there were team staff changes and tinkering with the car.  ''I'm very, very surprised,'' Tagliani said. ''If you would have asked me the same question three months ago, I would have been a little bit more cautious to say we would have been competitive. But Rob Edwards is my engineer. He's the team manager of the team. Obviously, it's where we want to be. I think the fact that we get along very well together, it's a very good thing."

Tracy to save tires Tracy to save tiresThe varying track surface in Toronto is hard on tires. Because provisional Molson Indy Toronto polesitter Paul Tracy is guaranteed a front row spot in Sunday's race he said on Friday, "I can be a little more conservative tomorrow and save tires for Sunday as well as work on race setup." Meanwhile, Sebastien Bourdais, 2nd fastest on Friday, hopes to duplicate last year's pole winning effort on Saturday by knocking Tracy off the inside front row and gain a valuable point towards the championship.
Alonso nips Montoya in session 4 Alonso nips Montoya in session 4The fourth and final practice session ahead of qualifying saw Fernando Alonso set the pace by a fraction of a second over Juan Pablo Montoya while pre-race favorite Kimi Raikkonen failed to record a lap time in his McLaren Mercedes. Raikkonen sat on the sidelines with some kind of mechanical drama with his MP4-20.
 P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires Times Ave/Gaps
 1. 5 ALONSO Renault M 1'20"077 231.123 Km/h
 2. 10 MONTOYA McLaren Mercedes M 1'20"128 + 0'00"051
 3. 16 TRULLI Toyota M 1'20"449 + 0'00"372
 4. 17 R.SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1'20"524 + 0'00"447
 5. 3 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'20"763 + 0'00"686
 6. 6 FISICHELLA Renault M 1'20"798 + 0'00"721
 7. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'20"893 + 0'00"816
 8. 7 WEBBER Williams BMW M 1'21"004 + 0'00"927
 9. 8 HEIDFELD Williams BMW M 1'21"052 + 0'00"975
10. 15 KLIEN Red Bull Cosworth M 1'21"064 + 0'00"987
11. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'21"371 + 0'01"294
12. 11 VILLENEUVE Sauber Petronas M 1'21"476 + 0'01"399
13. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas M 1'21"704 + 0'01"627
14. 4 SATO BAR Honda M 1'21"931 + 0'01"854
15. 18 MONTEIRO Jordan Toyota B 1'22"036 + 0'01"959
16. 19 KARTHIKEYAN Jordan Toyota B 1'22"634 + 0'02"557
17. 14 COULTHARD Red Bull Cosworth M 1'23"165 + 0'03"088
18. 21 ALBERS Minardi Cosworth B 1'23"444 + 0'03"367
19. 20 FRIESACHER Minardi Cosworth B 1'23"586 + 0'03"509
Hayden on top Friday at Laguna Seca Hayden on top Friday at Laguna SecaThe MotoGP World Championship returned to the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the first time in over a decade today as the first free practice sessions signaled the start of the Red Bull US Grand Prix in front of a bumper crowd. With tickets for tomorrow’s qualifying practice and Sunday’s race already sold out, today provided a unique chance for thousands of fans to see the world’s premier motorcycles and riders perform at the legendary venue.

Local enthusiasts were certainly not disappointed as home favorite Nicky Hayden set the fastest time of the day in the hour-long afternoon session after conceding superiority to compatriot John Hopkins in a split morning practice totaling one hour and 50 minutes. Hayden’s time of 1’24.228 was enough to drop Troy Bayliss to second place by 0.223 seconds after the Australian had dominated for much of the session, with Max Biaggi and Alex Barros completing an all-Honda top four.

“It’s nice to be fastest here at home – a real good feeling,” said Hayden. “The weekend has started out great. The bike is working well and we have made a pretty good guess with the settings. Laguna is about how I remember it although I haven’t been here for three years. It does seem a little smaller on a MotoGP bike though; I seem to remember the straight being really long but it feels pretty short now! I’m really enjoying myself here with my brothers and my friends, so hopefully the weekend can continue like this.”

Hopkins built on his scorching early pace with an improved lap time in the afternoon but eventually dropped to fifth on the combined time sheets, with fellow American Colin Edwards also on the pace with the sixth quickest time. Sete Gibernau was the fastest of the ten riders in the current MotoGP field to have no previous race experience of Laguna Seca, lapping just 0.574 seconds slower than Hayden in seventh place overall.

However, it was a tough first day for the Spaniard’s team-mate Marco Melandri, who suffered a spectacular crash in the notorious ‘Corkscrew’ section and was lucky to escape with only bruising to his ankle and wrist. The Italian’s fall came at the end of the morning’s first outing and, even though he missed the next 50 minutes of available track time as he underwent checks in the Clinica Mobile, he bounced back in the afternoon to set the eighth fastest time.

Melandri’s brave efforts eclipsed a disappointing first day for his compatriot Valentino Rossi, whom he trails in the championship by 63 points. Rossi, who has won six out of seven races so far this season, clocked the ninth fastest time on his first visit to the track riding in the black and yellow colors of Yamaha USA, also sported by his factory team-mate Edwards.

Whilst Ducati rider Carlos Checa completed the top ten, his team-mate Loris Capirossi ended the day 16th fastest after suffering a bout of nausea, headache and fever after just a few laps of this afternoon's practice. The Italian was treated in the Clinica Mobile for gastroenteritis, although doctors are not sure whether the sickness was caused by cold or bad food. MotoGP’s medical clinic also gave brief checks to Ruben Xaus and Franco Battaini, who both escaped unhurt after crashing.

World Champ Coming to Grips with Laguna Seca World Champ Coming to Grips with Laguna SecaYamaha Factory Racing riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards began their preparations for the eighth round of the MotoGP World Championship in front of a bumper crowd Friday as the series returned to Laguna Seca after an exile of more than a decade. It was a day of contrasting experiences for the Yamaha pair, with the reigning World Champion paying his first visit to the legendary Californian circuit while his American team-mate made an exciting homecoming to a track he grew up on in the national AMA series.

Whilst Rossi tentatively found his bearings at the rollercoaster track, Edwards benefited from his previous knowledge of its intricate layout to immediately begin set-up work in this morning's first free practice, which was split into two extended sessions of 55 minutes. The Texan lapped consistently amongst the fastest riders as he ran through a series of suspension and tire tests, clocking the sixth quickest time of the day in the afternoon's hour-long second free practice. Rossi, one of ten riders in the MotoGP class to have no previous race experience at Laguna Seca, set his best time in the morning and lies ninth fastest on the combined time sheets. Nicky Hayden (Honda) clocked the fastest time of the day with a lap of 1'24.228 after overturning Troy Bayliss (Honda) in the afternoon session.

Colin Edwards (Gauloises Yamaha Team) 6th, 1'24.696
"It's great to be back here at Laguna Seca and the support I've had even today has been awesome. With this being my home Grand Prix and having Valentino as my team-mate, the backing for the whole team has been incredible. As far as the bike is concerned, we've already got the rear end working probably better than anything I've ever ridden around this circuit and generally it feels great. The only thing I'm having a little trouble with is keeping the front on the ground and turning into the corners, so we have a few areas that we need to strengthen. I'm really happy with my pace and my lap time because I know there is a lot more to come from us tomorrow."

Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Yamaha Team) 9th, 1'24.969
"This is an 'old style' track and to be honest I think maybe our bike is a little too fast for it, so today I haven't been able to push to the limit. It is hard to find the right set-up in these circumstances and at the moment we still have a lot work to do. We need more time on the track and more kilometers with the bike to find out where we can push harder, make up some time and be stronger. I am a little concerned about the safety of the track and today we will have a meeting with the other riders to discuss it. Anyway, I have enjoyed riding at Laguna Seca, especially the Corkscrew, because in the past I have only seen it on the television. The big crowds here show that MotoGP should be in America, but we also need to make sure it is safe."

Round: 8 - Laguna Seca MotoGP
Circuit: Laguna Seca
Circuit Length: 3610
Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 24.228 (Nicky Hayden, 2005)
Date: 8 July 2005
Temp: 20ºC

Free Practice:
1 N. Hayden Honda USA 1' 24.228
2 T. Bayliss Honda AUS 1' 24.451
3 M. Biaggi Honda ITA 1' 24.542
4 A. Barros Honda BRA 1' 24.564
5 J. Hopkins Suzuki USA 1' 24.679
6 C. Edwards Yamaha USA 1' 24.696
7 S. Gibernau Honda ESP 1' 24.802
8 M. Melandri Honda ITA 1' 24.938
9 V. Rossi Yamaha ITA 1' 24.969
10 C. Checa Ducati ESP 1' 25.042
11 K. Roberts Suzuki USA 1' 25.265
12 S. Nakano Kawasaki JPN 1' 25.309
13 M. Tamada Honda JPN 1' 25.457
14 T. Elias Yamaha ESP 1' 25.574
15 A. Hofman Kawasaki GER 1' 25.882
16 L. Capirossi Ducati ITA 1' 25.967
17 R. Axis Yamaha ESP 1' 26.392

Pressure on Servia to perform Pressure on Servia to performAs far as athletic accomplishments go, it would be on par with playing alongside Wayne Gretzky and getting nothing more than an assist. Or hitting a bloop single in batting practice. When Oriol Servia was asked by team owners Paul Newman and Carl Haas to become the replacement driver for the injured Bruno Junqueira, he was the envy of every other racer in the open-wheel series.

Newman/Haas, after all, is the New York Yankees of Champ Car World Series. They have captured 84 checkered flags in their 23-year history and are the only team to have won titles with five different drivers.

But for Servia, who has driven for six different teams in the last six years, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was double-edged: success in one of racing's legendary cockpits is all but guaranteed, so nothing short of finishing atop the podium would be considered a failure.

"For the team, a third is OK," said Servia, who was the last man on the podium in Cleveland and Milwaukee, two of the last three Champ Car stops. "With Dale Coyne Racing [the team he raced for before replacing Junqueira], a third-place finish would have been our best ever. But here, it's just OK."

Those that have been in Servia's seat before agree. "If he doesn't perform well his career could be in jeopardy, because right now he's in the best car," said Paul Tracy, who won two races for Newman/Haas in 1995. "If it doesn't go well for him, then he's finished."

"Right now this could be a make or break situation for Oriol," added Mario Andretti, the team's first series champion. "The pressure is on him and if he doesn't perform at the level that is expected, then I think his career is basically going to take a downturn. I don't think he'll have the esteem if he fails with a top-level team."

Twenty-two years ago, it was Andretti who convinced Newman and Haas, then Can-Am drivers, to channel their on-track competitive spirit into starting a team. "It was the most unlikely partnership," said Andretti. "Carl and Paul were not on the best of terms, because Paul used to accuse Carl of selling him overweight Lola cars."

Their passion for winning, Andretti said, spawned the racing team's success. "These are individuals who accept no less," he said. "They're not in the sport because they just want a taste of it. They're there to win. You could never foresee the future, but it certainly turned out to be a legacy."

Indeed, with Andretti and his son Michael at the wheel, the team captured two championships and 49 wins in the1980s and '90s. Through the years, Nigel Mansell, Cristiano da Matta and Sebastien Bourdais would all win titles for Newman/Haas and help cement the team's status as the most successful in motorsports. "I give them credit for choosing their staff," said Andretti. "Carl has an uncanny feel for choosing drivers. I think he really does. And I think he's proven right most of the time." National Post

Industry News
Cash, not ability, drives racing Cash, not ability, drives racingIn the tradition of the Villeneuves, from the late Gilles to the lamentable Jacques, Antoine Bessette is another in the line of promising young Québécois race car drivers. He's got talent and he's getting results, running third in the developmental Toyota Atlantic series. But the odds say Bessette is unlikely to reach his sport's highest levels.

He'll fall short, chances are, not because he lacks skills, but because he can't pay the bills.

"You've either got to be from a rich family or be lucky enough to find a sponsor. I'm not rich, so I'll have to be lucky," says Bessette, a 23-year-old Montrealer. "Probably 30 per cent of the guys driving, or maybe more, are rich guys who (were) able to have the talent and money to go there, or a dad with a lot of money.

"I'm pretty sure that the most talented guy in the world is not racing right now. He's maybe on his farm somewhere, I don't know. ... It's so hard (financially) that many guys give up."

Such has long been the reality in auto racing. But the reality is getting harder these days, now that anti-tobacco legislation has killed the Player's racing program that took much of the financial worry out of the lives of Canada's finest young racers. This year one of the most promising up-and-comers, Burnaby's Michael Valiante, 25, has seen his rise through the ranks stopped by a lack of sponsorship. And he's not alone. Montreal's Alex Tagliani was bumped from his seat at Rocketsports by Germany's Timo Glock, who may or may not be a better driver, but earned the nod by attracting some $4 million (U.S.) in European sponsorship. Tagliani caught on with Team Australia Racing. But this week Denmark's promising rookie Ronnie Bremer was bounced from his Champ Car seat with HVM because he ran out of sponsorship money.

"To be honest, it sucks. Not always do the most talented people get the opportunity," said A.J. Allmendinger, last year's Champ Car rookie of the year who, because of his golden-boy status, doesn't lack for funding. "It's not right and it's not fair, but that's the way this game is."

What other athletic endeavor — and yes, your correspondent is among the speed-smitten whack jobs who consider race drivers athletes — puts that kind of roadblock in the path of its prodigies? There's equestrian, and some would argue hockey has become too expensive to be the people's game.

Still, perhaps that's why Champ Car hasn't spent much time or money marketing its drivers. For one thing, there's no sure thing that all of them are going to be here next week or next year (even series leader Paul Tracy's failure to attract a sponsor has left his future up in the air). For another, it's hard to say if some of them are any good. Are we watching skilled speedsters or deft corporate schmoozers? Sportsmen or spokesmen? When one skill is as important as the other, something must be suffering.

When talent and hard work won't get you to the top without regular infusions of cold, hard cash — suddenly the folks who say auto racing is more of a show than a sport are beginning to sound frighteningly logical. More at Toronto Star  [Editor's Note:  Something we have preached for a long time.]

Home Depot Racing Team Forced to Backup Car Home Depot Racing Team Forced to Backup CarTony Stewart crashed his primary Home Depot Chevrolet midway through this morning's practice session at Chicagoland Speedway. He cut a right front tire upon entering turn four of the 1.5-mile oval, making a hard right side impact with the turn four retaining wall. The #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Team will now race Chassis No. 100 in Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400. This is just the second time in its six-and-a-half year existence the #20 team has had to use its backup race car following a crash in practice. The only other time where its backup race car was used due to a crash in practice was last year at Chicagoland. There, in the morning practice session, Stewart hit oil in turn three, spun, and impacted the turn three wall with the left side of the race car. Stewart went on to win last year's race at Chicagoland in his backup race car. Following today's crash, Stewart was evaluated in the infield care center. While Stewart was awake, alert and able to walk on his own, medical personnel determined that further examination was needed at St. Joseph's Hospital in Joliet. There, Stewart underwent precautionary X-rays. All tests came back negative.

J.J. Yeley, driver of the #18 Vigoro/Home Depot Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Busch Series, qualified the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet a respectable 13th for the USG Sheetrock 400. The sophomore Busch Series driver toured the 1.5-mile oval in 29.006 seconds with an average speed of 186.168 mph. Yeley was fitted into the seat of the #20 car and was able to make two mock qualifying runs before today's practice session ended. In his first career Busch Series start last year at Chicagoland, Yeley led 25 laps before a late race pit stop dropped him to ninth. With Yeley qualifying the #20 car, Stewart will start the USG Sheetrock 400 from the 43rd and last position. The benefit of Yeley making a qualifying attempt was for the #20 team to obtain the best pit selection possible. Stewart will drive the #20 car in tomorrow's two practice sessions and in Sunday's race.

"My guys had to work and their efforts got us a 13th in qualifying trim," said crew chief Greg Zipadelli. "So our pit pick is a little bit better than if we didn't do it. And most importantly, we did the drill. We put somebody else in who hadn't been in our car and we just missed the top-10 in qualifying. So, I'm proud of my guys. I think a big part of it is keeping our momentum going, but also keeping our confidence that we can do what we need to do. That's important this time of year."

"If Tony's not feeling up to it, we won't run that much tomorrow," added Zipadelli. "We'll let J.J. run some and go from there. We'll just keep J.J. as a backup driver. He's done a great job for us. If he's got a good race track, this is one of them. He just tested two days up here in his Busch car. He was really good this morning and really comfortable. He got in our car and did a great job. I wouldn't think twice about anybody else." True Speed Communication

Raikkonen tops practice 3 at Silverstone Raikkonen tops practice 3 at SilverstoneAlthough not many laps were run by teams in an effort to save engines and tires for the race, McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest time in the first practice session Saturday morning in Silverstone in preparation for pole qualifying later today. Championship leader Fernando Alonso was over 4/10ths of a second slower.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:20.975 7
 2. Alonso Renault (M) 1:21.402 + 0.427 9
 3. Button BAR-Honda (M) 1:21.996 + 1.021 6
 4. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:22.331 + 1.356 9
 5. Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:22.377 + 1.402 5
 6. Sato BAR-Honda (M) 1:22.389 + 1.414 12
 7. Massa Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:22.413 + 1.438 14
 8. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:22.496 + 1.521 8
 9. Klien Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:22.645 + 1.670 6
10. R.Schumacher Toyota (M) 1:22.775 + 1.800 7
11. Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:23.026 + 2.051 8
12. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:23.182 + 2.207 8
13. Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:23.191 + 2.216 12
14. Trulli Toyota (M) 1:23.458 + 2.483 4
15. Heidfeld Williams-BMW (M) 1:23.480 + 2.505 7
16. Webber Williams-BMW (M) 1:23.705 + 2.730 5
17. Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:23.820 + 2.845 13
18. Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:24.230 + 3.255 8
19. Albers Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:25.007 + 4.032 13
20. Friesacher Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:25.696 + 4.721 15
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Red-Button rumor slammed
Sam wants engine call 'soon'
Quali change 'too late'
Terror won't terrify F1
'Axe Max'? No, says Mosley
'Pressure? Winning is fun!'
DC had other F1 offers
'Toyota Trulli disappointing'
'Stop the politics'
DC vows 'aggressive' race
Industry News
USA TV Reminders for Sunday USA TV Reminders for Sunday 
    'Inside Grand Prix'
    British Grand Prix
    4:30 a.m.-5:00 a.m. ET, SPEED
    6:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m. ET (SDD) SPEED
    British Grand Prix
    7:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. ET, Live, SPEED
NASCAR This Morning
    Chicagoland Speedway
    11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET, Live, SPEED
    IndyCar Series: The Fast Life
    Patrick Carpentier, Ed Carpenter, Kosuke Matsuura
    12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2
    Molson Indy Toronto
    12:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ET, Live, CBS
    Cleveland, Race 2, 6/26/05
    3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
    USG Sheetrock 400
    Chicagoland Speedway
    3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. ET, Live, NBC
    Laguna Seca
    4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. ET (SDD) SPEED
    Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix
    Laguna Seca
    5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET, Live, SPEED
    Laguna Seca, 7/9/05
    6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
NASCAR Victory Lane
    Chicagoland Speedway
    8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. ET (SDD) SPEED
WIND TUNNEL with Dave Despain
    Co-host:  Gary Scelzi
    Expert Analyst:  David Hobbs
    Featured Interviews: Don Prudhomme and Tom McEwen
    9:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. ET, Live, SPEED
For a complete listing of Sunday's TV Programs, see the TVRacer.com and Race Fan TV links on the Home Page.
Police nail Tagliani Police nail TaglianiLeaving the Westin to go to dinner and there's a new white Ford GT parked near the lobby.  Alex Tagliani and his drop dead gorgeous wife Bronte get in and he goes   tearing out of the hotel and spins the tires down the street for  about half a block.  Much to his surprise there was a cop sitting right there and he went tearing after him and pulled him over a couple blocks down. He could probably get away with that in Montreal, but we’re guessing they didn't take too kindly to it here in Toronto.  Not sure what the outcome was.
Edmonton to be big success Edmonton to be big successWe are told we will be amazed how enthusiastic the race fans in Edmonton will be next weekend. Our sources, who lived in Calgary and did a lot of business in Edmonton tells us that Edmonton is a big racing town, which we never knew, and has perhaps the most passionate racing fans anywhere in Canada. Given the pace of ticket sales and the sold out suites, all indications are that after this year's race, people forget that Vancouver ever existed.
Why Toronto is successful Why Toronto is successfulOne of the key reasons the Toronto race has been such a huge success all these years is the fact that the city really gets behind the race. Nightly news on one of the local TV stations devoted their full 1-hour nightly news program to the race, reporting live from the track. There's advertising everywhere and the newspapers are loaded with stories about the race weekend. There are parties in the street at night and one featured one of Canada's most popular bands, from Nova Scotia. Toronto, like Long Beach, epitomize the grand plan by Champ Car of eventually having 18-20 3-day festivals of speed, like Long Beach and Toronto, each year.
Dalziel 16th in Champ Car debut Dalziel 16th in Champ Car debutRyan Dalziel made his Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford debut today in Canada behind the wheel of the Dale Coyne Racing entered #19 American Medical Response  Bridgestone/Ford-Cosworth/Lola. 

The 23-year-old Scot, with just one day of testing heading into the weekend, took to the 1.755-mile street course in practice and first qualifying ahead of Sunday’s 88-lap Molson Indy Toronto.

Dalziel set the 16th fastest time in this afternoon’s qualifying session with his lap time of 1:00.877s averaging 103.783-mph.  Paul Tracy, the home-town favorite and 2003 Series Champion, holds provisional pole heading into tomorrow’s second and final qualifying session courtesy of a hot lap today of 58.877s.

Following Friday’s on-track activities Ryan commented:  “I’m pretty happy with the first day here in Toronto.  The car ran well all day and the lap times were pretty close.  Obviously I’d like to be further up but there’s more time in the car and there’s more time in me.  We’ve got some things we can look at tomorrow and hopefully we can get a top ten out of it.  I have to thank Dale Coyne and American Medical Response for this opportunity and I look forward to see what happens tomorrow.”

Hayes Comes from Cosworth to Head RCR Engine R and D Program Hayes Comes from Cosworth to Head RCR Engine R and D ProgramNick Hayes has been named by Richard Childress Racing (RCR) as its engine research and development director and will lead all RCR engine research and development activities from a newly-created R&D facility at the RCR complex.

Hayes comes to RCR after a well-documented yet unique career at Cosworth, which is based in England, including spells in Formula One engine design, development and track support before rising through the ranks to lead its F1 program through the late 1990s. Recent years saw him leading all technical activities at Cosworth as Technical Director.

The move to RCR marks the start of a new chapter in Hayes’ illustrious and successful race engine career that has covered a wide variety of series but, until now, has not touched NASCAR significantly.

“There are a number of factors that have contributed to my decision to move over the water to join RCR,” said Hayes. “First and foremost, I have been immensely impressed with Richard Childress’s clear vision looking forward and with his obvious desire to fight back to the front of all three NASCAR series. I have seen that kind of determination and focus before and it has always led to success. Having spent a few exploratory weeks at RCR, I can also genuinely say that I am really looking forward to working with all the guys at RCR. They are a great group of people, steeped with years of NASCAR experience yet very open and motivated to move forwards into the future.”

“The working environment at RCR is also excellent and we have everything we need right here within the RCR complex. The cars are built here and run from here and we have excellent machining capabilities with a state-of-the-art showcase Okuma manufacturing center at our disposal. I have a great deal to learn from everyone here about NASCAR but, last time I looked, the laws of physics are the same on both sides of the Atlantic and the issues associated with racing  are the same, also, so I hope that I can bring a lot to RCR.”

Hayes’ move is the latest step in the reorganization of RCR’s championship-winning engine department.

 “We are very excited that Nick has joined us,” said Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “All of us at RCR recognize that competition is getting tougher and we have to shift gears if we are to get ahead. Nick’s appointment is just the latest piece of a plan that saw us move our entire engine production group into a brand new, 40,000-square foot facility at the end of last year. We then moved our engine R&D group, now under Nick’s guidance, into the former engine shop building next door.”

“RCR is proud to represent a great group of sponsors on the race track and it is proud to be one of GM’s ‘Key Partners’. Race engine R&D always takes time to come through but, combined  with all the improvements we have made on the chassis side and our strong driver line up, we know more race wins are coming.”

British GP Friday Press Conference British GP Friday Press ConferenceFriday FIA press conference with Ross Brawn (Ferrari), Mike Gascoyne (Toyota), Sam Michael (Williams), Adrian Newey (McLaren), Pat Symonds (Renault). Transcript
Haas CNC to relocate Haas CNC to relocateA $16 million proposal to relocate Haas CNC Racing Inc. from Harrisburg could bring Kannapolis Gateway Business Park its second tenant. Haas would bring 130 jobs and a 140,000-square-foot building to the park if all goes as planned. Under the proposal, the company would move from a 40,000-square-foot building in Harrisburg. Haas, a NASCAR team operation that includes drivers Mike Bliss and Justin Labonte, is buying 23 acres in the park, where the operation will likely grow, says Mike Legg, Kannapolis city manager. "They will expand at some future date," he says. The 85-acre park is on N.C. Highway 73 at Kannapolis Parkway, one mile from Interstate 85. Charlotte Biz Journal
Nemechek and U.S. Army renew with MB2 Motorsports Nemechek and U.S. Army renew with MB2 MotorsportsIn conjunction with the U.S. Army partnership renewal with MB2 Motorsports in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, Joe Nemechek has received a multiyear contract extension from MB2 to drive the #01 Army Chevrolet. Nemechek took over the driving duties of the U.S. Army/MB2 entry with four races remaining in the 2003 season. "It's been a privilege to drive the U.S. Army car and represent the men and women in uniform," said Nemechek. "This Army team continues to make progress and as time goes on we're only going to get better and better. The future is bright because we have talented people associated with this team. I am grateful to be part of MB2 Motorsports -- it's a first-class organization that is 100 percent committed to fielding quality teams in the most competitive form of racing." Jay Frye, MB2's general manager and chief executive officer, was equally thrilled in Nemechek's contract extension and the Army partnership renewal. "We are honored with the continued support the U.S. Army has placed with our team," said Frye. "We have a special partner in the Army and are very proud of the association. Our Army of One team has been competitive week in and week out and we are excited about Joe's extension. Everyone at MB2 Motorsports feels that we are on the cusp of something great." Nemechek, a native of Lakeland, Fla., has 375 career NASCAR Cup starts. His first Cup race was in 1993, the year after he won the Busch Series championship. MB2 Motorsports PR
Stewart wrecks in practice Stewart wrecks in practiceTony Stewart crashed in turn 4 during cup practice for the USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Rescue workers took their time in helping Stewart out of the #20-Home Depot Chevy. He appeared a bit groggy, however walked to the ambulance under his own power and waved to the fans.

The right front and right side of the car were heavily damaged when Stewart cut a right front tire in Turn 4 and smacked the wall after sliding up the track midway through the session. The car then rolled to a stop in the infield grass and Stewart was assisted by track workers.

He was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital for precautionary x-rays. The team will go to a back up car. Stewart's car may have cut down a right front tire, however at this time crew chief Greg Zipadelli doesn't know what happened. Joe Gibbs Racing's Busch driver, J.J. Yeley is practicing Stewart's backup car. PRN's Garage Pass at the track

Stewart will come back to the track and if cleared at the track, he could qualify the car, if not, J.J. Yeley would qualify the car and Stewart would race the car, falling to the rear of the field on Sunday. Stewart has no broken bones and is alert and ok, may have a possible concussion.

Photos by CIA Stock Photo

RCR Continues to Reorganize its Engine Department RCR Continues to Reorganize its Engine DepartmentRichard Childress Racing (RCR) continues to make personnel moves to improve its championship-winning engine department.

Engine shop manager Spenny Clendenen, an RCR employee since 1985 and head engine builder from 1995 to 1997, has been named to the position of general manager in charge of the department’s business and administrative responsibilities. He will also be the focal point for RCR’s customer engine program, which furnishes engines for Kevin Harvick, Inc. (Busch and Truck), PPI Motorsports (NEXTEL Cup) and Morgan-Dollar Motorsports (Truck).

Rick Mann has been named chief engine builder and will oversee all competition-related responsibilities. He brings 17 years of NASCAR engine building experience and nearly 30 years of overall engine building experience to his new position.

Assistant engine shop manager Danny Lawrence, an RCR employee since 1985 and head engine builder from 1998 to 2001, has been named assistant chief engine builder. He will responsible for all at-track activities involving RCR’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series team engine tuners and will assist Mann at the shop.

“I think the reorganization we’ve made is a positive new start to our entire engine department,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. ”We’ve had tremendous growth at RCR over the past couple of years and the workload we’ve asked our management group to be responsible for was keeping us from achieving the success I know we’re capable of. These moves, in addition to bringing on Nick Hayes to head up our engine research and development department, have put RCR in a much better position to reach the goals we’ve set for ourselves.”  New engine shop and engine R&D shop managers will be named at a later date.

Zwolsman fastest in Qualifying 1 Zwolsman fastest in Qualifying 1Through the first half of the 2005 Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama season, Dutch rookie Charles Zwolsman (#11 Condor Motorsports) has proven to be a very quick study. That trend continued Friday as the 26-year-old racer began the second half of the year by leading the opening round of qualifying in his first experience competing at the Molson Indy in Toronto.

After biding his time in Friday morning’s practice session at the tight, 1.755-mile street circuit, learning the proper driving line and finding the right balance in his car, Zwolsman posted fast lap after fast lap in the afternoon qualifying session. He wound up carding a quick time of 1:07.387 (93.757 mph) on his 22nd and final lap of the session.

Despite the fact that Zwolsman has not competed at any of the tracks on the ’05 Atlantic circuit, the driver that’s spent most of his career racing in Europe has demonstrated the unique ability to learn a course and master it quickly this season. He was able to call upon that skill again Friday, securing a front row starting spot for Sunday’s Molson Indy Toronto Atlantic race (tape-delayed broadcast on SPEED Channel - Saturday, July 16 at 2 p.m. ET) by leading qualifying and securing a championship point for his efforts. Zwolsman now carries a 170-162 lead over rival Tonis Kasemets (#6 Flexovit Abrasives/MK ind./TMI/Redline Oil) entering Saturday’s final round of qualifying as the tight championship chase continues in Round 7 of 12 of the Atlantic series.

If it weren’t for Zwolsman’s unique ability to adapt and overcome, Friday would’ve belonged to Canadian Antoine Bessette (#3 Unik Auto Design). The Polestar Racing Group driver looked dominant while leading the morning practice session and he gave Zwolsman a run in qualifying before settling for the second-fastest lap of the day at 1:07.607 (93.452 mph). The St. Bruno, Quebec native enters this weekend ranked third in the championship rundown and after finishing fourth in his two previous visits to Toronto in other racing series, he’s hoping to improve his standing in the title chase with a strong performance on the Toronto streets.

Kasemets arrived in Toronto hoping to regain the series lead from Zwolsman and he got off to a solid start Friday by recording the third-quickest time of the day at 1:07.920 (93.021 mph). The native of Parnu, Estonia is also seeing his first series action in Toronto this weekend

Katherine Legge (#12 PKV Racing) won the last street race on the Atlantic calendar when she became the first woman to produce a victory in a major open-wheel race in North America at Long Beach in April. Legge had a strong qualifying on the Toronto blacktop, despite making contact with the wall and damaging her car’s suspension late in the session. The Northampton, England native posted a time of 1:07.944 (92.988 mph) to place fourth in provisional qualifying.

After starting off strong this morning, battling Bessette for the lead of the Atlantic practice session, Andreas Wirth (#8 Wurges Windows and Doors) of Germany completed the top five from the opening-round of qualifying with a time of 1:08.243 (92.581 mph).

Finishing sixth in today’s running order was Mexican racer David Martinez with a top lap of 1:08.750 (91.898 mph) while American Tom Nastasi (#23 USG Sheetrock/DeWalt Tools/Ramset Tools) recorded a time of 1:09.080 (91.459 mph) in seventh position. Slotting in eighth with a mark of 1:09.196 (91.306 mph) was Brooks Associates Racing’s Al Unser III (#10 BOSPoker.net/PKV Racing) while owner/driver Eric Jensen of Canada ranked ninth overall at 1:10.213 (89.983 mph).

Leading the C2 class contingent in Friday’s qualifying was category point leader Justin Sofio (#15 RLM Investments). After carding a time of 1:10.881 (89.135 mph), good for 10th overall in the qualifying results, Sofio paced all five drivers competing this weekend in the Yokohama Tire C2 Cup

Saturday will see the Toyota Atlantic cars return to the track at 8:30 a.m. ET for a 30-minute practice session. The final round of qualifying will be held from 12:30-1 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. Sunday’s race will take the green flag at 10 a.m. with the event scheduled for 35 laps or 50 minutes. Follow all of this weekend’s action live from Toronto through the Timing link on the series’ official website, www.toyotaatlantic.com

Following are the quotes from the top three qualifiers from today’s qualifying session:

CHARLES ZWOLSMAN (#11 Condor Motorsports): “Every track is new for me so when I turn the first few laps, I have a lot to learn. But for qualifying I try to be there because that’s when it really counts. For today’s qualifying we did make a few changes but I am still not happy with the car. I guess this is the kind of track where you can never find the perfect balance because of all the concrete patches on the course. But I think that’s what makes street races more exciting. (On earning a bonus point for his pole today) I think that every point counts because Kasemets and I are really close for the championship, so the point I earned today could make the difference at the end.”

ANTOINE BESSETTE (#3 Unik Auto Design – Polestar Racing): “We had some problems after the first qualifying session because I did not like how the car handled the bumps. So we rolled the dice and we made a really big change. It turned out okay but we will have to make more changes for tomorrow. We are going to work on that tonight. I have a good feeling for the car so I think that we are going to be able to find more speed in the car and we will be in good shape for tomorrow. (On his success on this track) It is funny because most drivers don’t like to drive between the walls and I actually do like that.” 

TONIS KASEMETS (#6 Flexovit Abrasive Prods/MK/TMI/Red Line Oil – Dan Cobb Racing/Team Tonis): “For a first day it was not bad at all. We worked to make a few changes on the car and now we think we know which way to go. So let’s hope that we’ll make the right call and if we do, we should run fastest times tomorrow. From this morning to this afternoon we did not make big changes on the car. I am still learning the track and I think it is all about finding the right balance. I hope that the changes we’ll make will give the balance I like the car and the lap time should come.”

Bruno Junqueira broke his ankle too Bruno Junqueira broke his ankle tooChamp Car driver Bruno Junqueira (right), who was seriously injured in this year's Indy 500, is attending the Molson Indy Toronto this weekend and took time out to meet the press this afternoon. After walking into the media center very gingerly as a result of not being able to bend his broken back, here are some highlights of what he had to say:
  • Everyone is making him feel very welcome - his team, the drivers, the media and his friends.
  • He feels good but his back is still very sore because of all the rods and plates screwed into his spine. He is doing therapy every day, with a physical therapist coming to his house three times per week.  Unable to do much work at first, Junqueira estimated he lost 15 pounds in his legs and back.  But now that he's working out again, he said the weight is slowly coming back.  His new routine has him working out with a trainer three times a week at his Miami home, and on his own the other four days. He recently began riding a stationary bike in a swimming pool to give his legs some exercise.
  • He had a setback a couple of weeks ago when they found out he had a broken ankle that they didn't know about, further underscoring the oval track danger. His injuries were so bad because he missed the SAFER Barrier by about 50 feet. (Bruno shown right getting a warm welcome in Toronto)
  • It was the biggest hit he ever had in his career and he does not remember anything from before he touched wheels with AJ Foyt IV until sometime on Monday. He remembers nothing about the accident and has never heard an apology from Foyt IV (they did send flowers), who he feels sorry for because he thinks he is in over his head and has a lot of pressure on him as a result of the Foyt name.
  • He is happy that PacifiCare is his sponsor. Being in the healthcare business, they have been a big help to him to get better. (Bruno shown right with his substitute driver Oriol Servia)
  • He will know in about three months whether he can perhaps drive in the last two or three races this year. Looking at him and his restricted movement we doubt it.
  • Oriol Servia and he are good friends and he is happy Oriol has a chance to show how good he is with such a good team as Newman/Haas.  At home they race each other on Playstation often as they both live in Miami.  Oriol is good at Playstation he says.
  • He never realized how much he loved driving until he could not do it anymore. He gets a much different perspective watching the races on TV and from the pits. Mark C. (Photos by Dan Boyd)
Rosberg and Piguet 1-2 at Silverstone Rosberg and Piguet 1-2 at SilverstoneNico Rosberg and Nelson Piquet Jr set up 1985 deja vu in GP2 series qualifying at Silverstone. They will share tomorrow’s front row for race one at Silverstone, with the pair split by just 0.041 of a second.

Rosberg set the fastest time of the session, 1:31.509, early in the session and kept the spot throughout, despite a fierce challenge from Piquet, who continuously chipped away but was just unable to take his first pole in the series.

Behind the pair, championship leader Heikki Kovalainen will line up third, unable to do better than four tenths off Rosberg’s pace. Alex Premat, who took the fourth fastest lap with a time 0.478 off his teammate, will drop back to 14th on the grid due to a ten position penalty handed to him in race two at Magny Cours. Similarly Ernesto Viso, 15th in the session, will line up on the last spot of the grid for tomorrow's race. Heikki will therefore be joined on row two by his championship rival Adam Carroll.

The session was bookended by spins, with DPR’s

Olivier Pla spinning into a stall in the middle of the track early on and requiring a push from the marshals to get restarted, while Xandi Negrao found the gravel in a cloud of dust with a minute to go, effectively closing the session.

The front row starters will be emulating their illustrious fathers’ fierce battle in the British Grand Prix on 1985, when Keke Rosberg headed Nelson Piquet on the grid at Silverstone.

They may not want to repeat their performances though – Piquet finished fourth in the race, while Rosberg retired.

Friday roundup - Silverstone Friday roundup - Silverstone
German tangle: Jean Todt said the London bombings show how 'unimportant' the constant 'bickering' in F1 can be. Perhaps the Ferrari boss also wanted to divert attention from Michael Schumacher's pitlane ding with compatriot Nick Heidfeld. ''I wasn't concentrating enough,'' red-faced Michael - with a bit of front nose damage - admitted in windy England. ''Not surprisingly McLaren seem very strong.''

Tiago blow: Jordan's Tiago Monteiro will almost certainly start the race from the back of the grid after an engine failure. Perhaps even more ominously, the 'b' car - tested again by 'Friday' driver Robert Doornbos - also struck technical trouble. In the yellow clad pits, Russian driver Roman Rusinov curiously watched on.

On the verge: Patrick Friesacher's day started badly when a transmission problem relocated him to the side of the English track.

Sato struggle: Japan's Takuma Sato trickled down the timesheet when his BAR developed an electrical problem in the afternoon. But, when running, he wasn't happy either. ''I was surprised at how little grip I had,'' the 28-year-old frowned.

Slippery Jacques: Jacques Villeneuve spun at turn six and bemoaned a lack of grip at chilly Silverstone. ''It was like being on dry tires in the wet,'' he marveled. ''I had understeer everywhere except Copse, where I had oversteer. Then I hit something.'' Sauber could not repair the damage, believe it or not, because spare parts from Hinwil were held up in English traffic.

Cheery spinner: Another Silverstone spinner was Christian Klien, but he reckons the Red Bull car is looking ok. ''We definitely seem to be more competitive here,'' said the Austrian.

Fisi's luck: Giancarlo Fisichella's run of incredibly bad luck continued in England -- his Renault had to have a suspension change. ''The car feels completely different to testing here a few weeks ago,'' he also rued.

Office Depot signs multi-year deal with Roush Office Depot signs multi-year deal with RoushIn the midst of its inaugural season in NASCAR, Office Depot (NYSE:ODP), the "Official Office Products Partner of NASCAR" and Roush Racing announced today that Office Depot has signed a new multi-year deal to be the primary sponsor of the No. 99 Roush Racing Ford, driven by Carl Edwards beginning in the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season.

"I'm really excited to have Office Depot on board as the primary sponsor of the No. 99 Ford in 2006 and beyond," said Edwards.  "I'm proud to represent Office Depot and all of their employees and customers across the country.  There is an obvious cross-over between the NASCAR fan base and Office Depot's customers and I'm excited that they've chosen me, Roush Racing and the No. 99 team as their vehicle to communicate their messaging.  I know I speak for my entire team when I say we look forward to having Office Depot as a part of our team in the future."

The new sponsorship deal catapults Office Depot to the forefront of the promising career of Edwards, whose early success in NASCAR's NEXTEL Cup Series has earned him recognition as one of NASCAR's hottest young drivers and the sport's newest rising star.  Office Depot's foray into NASCAR began this February when the Company announced its sponsorship of Roush Racing's No. 99 Ford that ultimately extended to a total of 17 races for the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season.

"We've only been in the sport a few months but we have already seen our relationships with Carl Edwards, Roush Racing and NASCAR drive sales for Office Depot and raise our brand awareness in markets where we have conducted promotional activities and events," said Chuck Rubin, Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising/Marketing Officer for Office Depot."

Rubin also noted that "our core business customers continue to embrace NASCAR," citing the 100,000 small businesses that entered Office Depot's first national promotion to become the "Official Small Business of NASCAR courtesy of Office Depot" and the early successes of a local NASCAR promotion culminating at this weekend's USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 10 (NBC 3:35 p.m. EDT). 

According to NASCAR, more than six million small business owners call themselves NASCAR fans.  Office Depot is leveraging its association with NASCAR to reach out to business customers, the segment responsible for more than 80 percent of the Company's sales on a global basis, across all channels.  Rubin added that Office Depot "will look to broaden our reach in the communities where our customers run their businesses, while extending promotions to NASCAR fans through retail and track activities."

"With our customer base and employees wholeheartedly embracing our association with NASCAR, and with Carl fast becoming one of the most exciting young drivers in the sport, we are thrilled that Office Depot will be supporting this winning team in a very meaningful way," said Tony Ueber, Vice President of Marketing Strategy for Office Depot.  "Office Depot's decision to expand our relationship with Roush Racing confirms a strategic move we made to redefine our brand and focus more intently on the business customer.  NASCAR is the marketing platform that allows us to reach millions of customers each week and communicate directly with them."

Seen in Toronto - I Seen in Toronto - IRicardo Sperafico has a new Engineer this weekend. Brian Ma has moved over to the Ryan Dalziel car and Stefan Dwornik is back with the Coyne team and working with Sperafico. So far the duo are looking pretty racy (Pictured right, team owner Dale Coyne, center, talks to Brian Ma and Ryan Dalziel)......Spotted Yong Kim, City representative for the Ansan, South Korea race.  He tells us they are expecting a huge race day attendance in the neighborhood of 100,000. However, they are erecting only 15,000 grandstand seats the first year. The other 85,000 will view from earthen mounds all around the track. He tells us the track is completely paved and they are working on the finishing touches. Everything is go for a successful event. Mark C.
Bourdais tops session 1 in Toronto Bourdais tops session 1 in TorontoSebastien Bourdais was fastest in opening practice for the Champ Cars in Toronto ahead of Paul Tracy and Alex Tagliani. Oriol Servia was 4th. The weather is sunny and warm. More later.
Western Union back with Allmendinger Western Union back with AllmendingerWestern Union is back on AJ Allmendinger’s RuSPORT Lola for four races - Toronto, Edmonton, Montreal and Denver. More later. Mark C.
Pedro de la Rosa leads 2nd practice for British GP Pedro de la Rosa leads 2nd practice for British GPPedro de la Rosa emerged fastest as the British Grand Prix swung into action at the historic, 5.141-kilometre (3.194-mile) Silverstone circuit - setting for the inaugural world championship Formula One race 55 years ago. The McLaren-Mercedes/Michelin test driver lapped in 1m 18.530s during today's second session, 0.434s quicker than Toyota/Michelin counterpart Ricardo Zonta. 

Jenson Button (B·A·R-Honda/Michelin) was third on aggregate - and fastest of the regular race drivers - with a 1m 20.211s lap this morning. Juan Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen were 3rd and 4th giving McLaren three of the four fastest times. They are heavily favored to dominate on Sunday. 

It was a strange session at Silverstone as the fastest two runners, the test drivers, were over a second and a half faster than anyone, probably due to different fuel loads. Both McLaren Mercedes and Toyota seem strong on both empty and full tanks.
 P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires Times Ave/Gaps
 1. 35 DE LA ROSA McLaren Mercedes M 1'18"530 235.676 Km/h
 2. 38 ZONTA Toyota M 1'18"964 + 0'00"434
 3. 10 MONTOYA McLaren Mercedes M 1'20"252 + 0'01"722
 4. 9 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'20"384 + 0'01"854
 5. 17 R.SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1'20"602 + 0'02"072
 6. 16 TRULLI Toyota M 1'20"816 + 0'02"286
 7. 5 ALONSO Renault M 1'20"990 + 0'02"460
 8. 37 LIUZZI Red Bull Cosworth M 1'21"004 + 0'02"474
 9. 14 COULTHARD Red Bull Cosworth M 1'21"034 + 0'02"504
10. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'21"044 + 0'02"514
11. 3 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'21"186 + 0'02"656
12. 7 WEBBER Williams BMW M 1'21"235 + 0'02"705
13. 6 FISICHELLA Renault M 1'21"279 + 0'02"749

Gentilozzi fastest in opening practice Gentilozzi fastest in opening practicePaul Gentilozzi set the fastest time in first-round practice Friday for Saturday’s Trans-Am in T.O. race at the Molson Indy Toronto. The four-time Trans-Am champion, driving the No. 1 Jaguar R Performance XKR, turned in a 1:14.197-minute time (85.152 miles per hour) at the 1.755-mile temporary street course.

Gentilozzi’s Rocketsports Racing teammate Klaus Graf was second fastest in the No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR, ahead of points leader Randy Ruhlman (No. 49 Preformed Line Products Chevrolet Corvette). Greg Pickett (No. 6 Cytomax Jaguar XKR) and John Baucom (No. 86 MAP Quality Engineering/Softwaretoolbox.com Ford Mustang) completed the top five.

Second-round practice is scheduled for today 12:30 p.m., followed by qualifying at 4 p.m. The Trans-Am in the T.O., Round 4 of the 2005 Trans-Am Championship, is scheduled for Saturday, July 9 at 3 p.m. EDT. Saturday’s race will air on a tape-delayed basis, Sunday, July 17 at 12:30 p.m. EDT on SPEED Channel.

BAR Honda snaps up young Brits BAR Honda snaps up young BritsLucky Strike B*A*R Honda has rewarded two members of its Young Driver Program by signing a long-term agreement between them and the team following their impressive performances this season. 22-year-old Adam Carroll and James Rossiter, aged 21, join the team's current four-man race and test driver line-up with immediate effect and will steadily gain track time in the B*A*R Honda 007 over the coming months.

The B*A*R Honda Young Driver Program was established in the autumn of 2004. The initiative, led by Sporting Director Gil de Ferran and Senior Race Engineer Jock Clear, is designed to help develop emerging motorsport talent from which the team could potentially benefit in the longer-term.

Adam is currently competing in the GP2 series which supports the European rounds of the Formula One calendar. After five races he is second in the Championship with seven rounds remaining. James is currently lying 3rd in the Formula 3 Euroseries at the mid-point of the season.

At the same time as making their mark in these junior formulae, as members of the Young Driver Program, Adam and James have benefited from track time in the B*A*R Honda 2004 racecar, a comprehensive program of technical assistance with their respective racing programs and the same level of fitness and human performance coaching enjoyed by the team's race drivers Jenson Button and Takuma Sato.

In addition to the experience he has of the B*A*R Honda 006, Adam was invited to join the team's regular testing program in Jerez two weeks ago, where he got his first taste of this year's B*A*R Honda 007 race car. Both Adam and James will now be steadily integrated into the team for the remainder of the F1 season whilst continuing to compete in their current formulae.

Commenting on this exciting move for both drivers, Project Leader Jock Clear said: "We are delighted to sign Adam and James at B*A*R Honda and to see that all of the effort that has been put into the Young Driver Program is starting to reap rewards for both the team and the drivers. They have both clearly demonstrated the high standard of their racing skills in their respective formulae this season, and we feel that the time is right for them to make the next step. Whilst our Young Driver Program will continue to focus on their all round development, they now become available for testing duties, and with that comes the responsibility of making a positive contribution to the team's progress."

Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director at B*A*R Honda, commented: "Adam and James have clearly demonstrated enormous talent and success to date. That alone shows tremendous potential. We are delighted to have them on board and hopefully our relationship will help them develop their considerable skills and reward our support for them."

Adam Carroll said: "This is fantastic news for me and I hope this is where my racing career will really start to take off now. Being part of the Young Driver Program has been a great opportunity to get behind the scenes in Formula One and understand exactly what it takes to be a Grand Prix driver, because there's no other formula quite like it. I have learned so much about the car and how to work on my fitness, and this has been a tremendous bonus for me in competition this year. I'm really looking forward to the future with B*A*R Honda."

James Rossiter commented: "This is a great opportunity for me and a dream come true, especially as this is only my fourth season of motor racing. The Young Driver Program has already been a huge step in my career and has really helped me progress in all aspects. B*A*R Honda and its partners have put a lot of effort into the program and I am very thankful for the trust that they have placed in my abilities. This doesn't mean that everything is done for me, I still have a great deal to learn and accomplish in my career and it is up to me to put the hard work in to achieve the targets set by the team. It will be great to get in the car and work with the team in the future."

McMurray to drive No. 6 McMurray to drive No. 6UPDATE “I have signed a multi-year agreement with Roush Racing to drive the No. 6 car beginning with the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season.  However, my focus and commitment remains with the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline/Home123 team as we continue our bid for the Chase for the Championship.” --- Jamie McMurray 07/07/05 Roush Racing announced today that it has signed Jamie McMurray to a multi-year contract to drive its No. 6  NASCAR Nextel Cup entry commencing with the 2007 season.  No decision has been made with regard to the driver of the No. 6 for the 2006 season.
Industry News
Broadband explodes Broadband explodesThe FCC yesterday said that high-speed Internet use by U.S. businesses and households last year reached 37.9 million, an increase of 34%, which means increasingly racing and its constituents cannot only rely on TV ratings to measure exposure of their products to consumers.  Increasingly people are spending more time in front of the computer and less time in front of the boob tube.  The beauty of the internet is that it reaches consumers worldwide without the need for all those TV contracts in all those countries.  Someday all TV may be via the internet, thanks in large part to the proliferation of broadband. Sponsors still rely for the most part on TV ratings to measure sponsorship value, and increasingly that will be inaccurate if the internet is not factored in. Mark C.
Coulthard pisses off Mosley, cancels meeting Coulthard pisses off Mosley, cancels meetingUPDATE F1 President Max Mosley has changed his mind and will meet with members of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association in Silverstone, England, today to hear their concerns/complaints after the fiasco over tire safety at the last month’s U.S. Grand Prix. 07/05/05 The meeting between Formula 1 drivers and Max Mosley, announced at Magny-Cours to take place at Silverstone, has been cancelled by the FIA president.

Mosley perceived Coulthard’s comments to the media Monday regarding the rules as unnecessarily turning a meeting about safety into a political discussion.

"You asked me to meet the drivers at Silverstone to discuss the possibility of the FIA imposing safety measures at private test sessions equal to those in force at a Grand Prix," Mosley wrote to Coulthard in a letter obtained by Autosport-Atlas.

“Regrettably, you have now used the prospect of this meeting as a reason to air your personal views on current regulations to the press (…) Your press comments have distorted the purpose of the Silverstone meeting and made a calm discussion of a major safety issue impossible. As a result the meeting will not now take place."

Mosley outlined, however that the meeting can still happen away from a GP weekend under calmer circumstances: "As you know we consider improving driver safety to be of paramount importance. I should therefore be happy to invite all the drivers to a formal meeting in Paris or Monaco on a mutually convenient date and discuss any issues which trouble them.”

Pedro de la Rosa leads practice 1 at Silverstone Pedro de la Rosa leads practice 1 at SilverstonePedro de la Rosa was almost a full second clear of the 2nd fastest driver on Friday morning at Silverstone.  Clearly he is doing qualifying setups for the McLaren team while the regular drivers work on race setups.
P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires Times Ave/Gaps
 1. 35 DE LA ROSA McLaren Mercedes M 1'19"205 233.667 Km/h
 2. 38 ZONTA Toyota M 1'20"139 + 0'00"934
 3. 3 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'20"211 + 0'01"006
 4. 9 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'20"411 + 0'01"206
 5. 17 R.SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1'21"080 + 0'01"875
 6. 10 MONTOYA McLaren Mercedes M 1'21"091 + 0'01"886
 7. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'21"453 + 0'02"248
 8. 4 SATO BAR Honda M 1'21"582 + 0'02"377
 9. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'22"216 + 0'03"011
10. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas M 1'22"350 + 0'03"145
11. 14 COULTHARD RedBull Cosworth M 1'22"403 + 0'03"198
12. 15 KLIEN RedBull Cosworth M 1'22"456 + 0'03"251
13. 37 LIUZZI RedBull Cosworth M 1'22"615 + 0'03"410
14. 11 VILLENEUVE Sauber Petronas M 1'23"370 + 0'04"165
15. 7 WEBBER Williams BMW M 1'23"394 + 0'04"189
16. 8 HEIDFELD Williams BMW M 1'24"321 + 0'05"116
17. 19 KARTHIKEYAN Jordan Toyota B 1'24"581 + 0'05"376
18. 18 MONTEIRO Jordan Toyota B 1'25"488 + 0'06"283
19. 39 DOORNBOS Jordan Toyota B 1'25"560 + 0'06"355
20. 21 ALBERS Minardi Cosworth B 1'25"897 + 0'06"692
21. 20 FRIESACHER Minardi Cosworth B 1'27"246 + 0'08"041
Alex Sperafico joins HVM Alex Sperafico joins HVMAlex Sperafico Joins HVM Racing
HVM, a competitor in the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, today announced Alex Sperafico as the driver of the #55 HVM/Ford-Cosworth/Lola.

Sperafico, 31, of Toledo, Brazil will make his debut with the HVM Racing team this weekend at the Molson Indy Toronto, the same event where he scored his first Champ Car top-ten finish in 2004 while driving for Mi Jack/Conquest Racing.

“We are pleased to welcome Alex to the team, we intend to give him a very good car and our best efforts for him to excel in the Champ Car World Series,” said owner and managing director, Keith Wiggins.

This will mark Sperafico’s 11th start in Champ Car.  He drove for Dale Coyne Racing in 2003 when he completed two events and last year, he drove for Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing during eight events.  A familiar name in the Champ Car paddock, Alex joins his cousin Ricardo who drives for Dale Coyne Racing this season.  “This is a fantastic opportunity for me.  HVM is known for their professionalism, they consistently prepare fast and reliable racecars and I am honored and excited to represent them in the Champ Car World Series.  This is the best opportunity I have had in my professional racing career and I intend to maximize this chance.”

Earning three victories, and eight podium finishes in just five years; HVM has enjoyed early success in the Champ Car World Series. With more than 2.2 million people attending Champ Car races annually and a massive worldwide audience, HVM also offers a range of proven marketing and advertising platforms to enhance the business of its corporate partners. For more information on HVM and its partners, visit www.HVMRacing.com.

German DTM
"Home game" for DTM Champions Audi "Home game" for DTM Champions AudiThe DTM race at the Norisring on 17 July is Audi Sport's "home game", but nevertheless a very special challenge for the team of Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport: The 2.3 kilometer street circuit between the Franken Stadium and the Dutzendteich, on which Audi has already won three DTM races (1990, 1991 and 2002), was not the A4 DTM car's favorite circuit last year. Its main strengths were the corners ' and there are just four of these at the Norisring.

Audi Sport Team Joest, with its four 2004-spec cars, faces a really tough race weekend. On the other hand, championship leader Mattias Ekström and his three Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline team mates fancy their chances of fighting for victory at the Norisring this time around: The new Audi A4 DTM with its striking single-frame radiator grille has a different aerodynamic configuration than last year's championship winning car and is on a par with the competition as far as top speed is concerned. Not only is pure top speed of importance at the Norisring but also efficient brake cooling and excellent traction - both disciplines in which Audi was always very strong and in which Audi Sport attached great value to during the preparation.

Things in Nuremburg are not only completely different because of the unusual circuit: Saturday's qualifying and the race on Sunday will be held late in the afternoon to prevent a clash with the ARD "Tour de France" TV coverage. As usual, ARD broadcasts both events live. Last year 132,000 fans attended the Norisring weekend. The organizers expect even more spectator interest this year.

British GP: Thursday Press Conference British GP: Thursday Press ConferenceWhat follows is the first part of the Thursday FIA Press Conference from Silverstone in which Jenson Button, David Coulthard, Giancarlo Fisichella and Mark Webber talk of the weekend ahead and the politics of the moment. Transcript
Jacques' happy again Jacques' happy againFormer champion Jacques Villeneuve says a miserable start to his F1 comeback is now behind him. The French Canadian sat out most of last year before struggling to come to terms with the 2005 Sauber challenger.

''I hated the beginning of this season,'' JV, 34, admitted in England on Thursday, 'but I'm enjoying it now. It was hard working with a new group and accepting the fact that it took them a while to believe what I said.''

But even in the face of all the criticism, and all the 'will he quit' or 'will he be pushed' speculation, Villeneuve denied it got to him. ''Maybe it's because I took a year off. Maybe it's been easier ... compared to what I had during the last two years at BAR.''

Jacques' positive outlook might have something to do with the impending arrival of BMW, and his motivation to charge ahead with them in 2006. Even teammate Felipe Massa, though, leapt to Villeneuve's defense, insisting that the 1997 title winner is 'not slow.'

''Everyone said to me 'Jacques, he talks too much, he's a bastard','' the 24-year-old Brazilian driver quipped. ''But I don't think so. Step by step, I saw he's a nice guy.''

Q and A with Ralf Schumacher Q and A with Ralf SchumacherRalf Schumacher finished seventh at Magny Cours last Sunday in what was a quiet race from the Toyota racer as he returned to the cockpit for the first time since hitting the wall at the infamous turn 13 at Indianapolis.

How are you physically after your Indianapolis crash?
"I'm fine. I saw the FIA doctor Gary Hartstein, the circuit medical staff and then I went to the hospital just to have some precautionary X-rays done. But I'm in good shape."

So there were no repercussions at all?
"No. The impact was much smaller than the one last year. That's why I'm here."

You must be thinking that you are jinxed in Turn 13 at Indianapolis? "You could say that! I always thought that lightning doesn't strike the same place twice but now I know different!"

You qualified 12th quickest in France. Was that simply a result of having to go out first because you didn't take part at Indy?
"Yes. There is always a tendency to push 110% to try to make up for the penalty of having less grip when you are first out onto the track and there is no rubber down. The problem is, it becomes a vicious circle. I braked a little bit late for the Adelaide Hairpin and you can call it a mistake, but there simply wasn't the grip available. I'd say it cost me around 0.3s and so perhaps I could have been a couple of places better off."

How frustrating is it being penalized at the next race by events beyond your control?
"It is frustrating, for sure, but you have to play the cards that you are dealt. I know that a few people have made comments about the rules but they are not made by the drivers and it is our job to get on with the task under the rules that are in force. Sometimes they work for you and sometimes against, but over the course of a season you expect it to even out."

How did the car feel generally at Magny-Cours?
"Really good at first, actually. I was second quickest in Saturday morning free practice and then Jarno qualified second, so we definitely had the potential to score another podium."

You seemed to make a lot of progress on Saturday?
"I don't think it was anything specific. On Friday we were primarily working towards the race set-up; tire choice and so forth. But we did manage to improve the car and we did look to be in good shape."

When you qualify mid-grid, what is the approach for the race?
"You hope to get a good start, make up a couple of positions and then see what you can do. But overtaking is difficult at Magny- Cours."

Why is that, when you have a long straight followed by a tight hairpin?
"The problem is that immediately before the straight you have Turn 3, which is a long, fast, sweeping corner taken in fourth gear at high speed. The way the aerodynamics work with a Formula 1 car, if you get very close to the car in front the front wing does not work efficiently and you lose downforce through the corner. That makes you slower coming out of the turn and the result is that unless you have a very big straight-line speed advantage, you are too far behind to have a realistic chance of out-braking someone into the hairpin. Generally, if you have a slow corner onto a long straight with a tight corner at the other end, then you have a better chance."

So unless you have a big car advantage, overtaking is almost impossible?
"Exactly. We saw that in the race with Kimi Raikkonen, who had a very quick car but started 13th on the grid because of a 10-place penalty after an engine failure. He had the pace to set the race's fastest lap but was still unable to make much progress in traffic until the cars ahead of him started to pit."

Did you have any significant updates on the car in France?
"No. There are always little aerodynamic updates coming at each race, but nothing special."

Finally, there was a story about your dog being stolen. What happened?
"Yeah, that's pretty sad. It was stolen, or kidnapped, we don't know yet, last weekend in the south of France. We had gone to St Tropez for a bit of recovery time after Indy before coming here. We just went out and usually he stays roundabout our feet but all of a sudden we turned around and he was gone, basically. We looked everywhere but apparently it's something quite common for people to steal dogs there and then sell them again." Toyota

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
'I'm F1's best' - Button
Max re-invited to meeting
Red Bull to axe driver swap
How fast can a F1 car go?
'Fans want more' - F1 survey
Olympic boost for London GP
No way out of Webber woe
Alonso calls on flower power
Rubens expects good weekend
Terror won't black flag GP Terror won't black flag GPThe British grand prix will go ahead this weekend despite Thursday's multiple terror attacks in English capital London.  Silverstone boss Richard Phillips confirmed that 'no changes' would be made to the F1 schedule despite the deaths of at least 37 people on the public transport system.  ''Everyone wants the event to go ahead as planned,'' he said.

That aside, security was ramped up on Thursday, as everyone entering the Northamptonshire circuit - even the drivers and team chiefs - had their bags checked.

Sniffer dogs and more police than usual darted around the Paddock.   ''(We are) confident that our security measures are adequate to ensure the safety of all attending,'' read a statement.

World champion Michael Schumacher and wife Corinna were in London at the time of the bombings in tube trains and a bus. ''I don't think we feel totally safe anywhere in the world any more,'' the German remarked.

Industry News
USA TV Reminders for Saturday USA TV Reminders for Saturday
    'Inside Grand Prix'
    British Grand Prix, Silverstone
    12:00 a.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, SPEED
FORMULA 1 - Practice
    British Grand Prix, Silverstone
    12:30 a.m.-1:30 a.m. ET (R) SPEED
FORMULA 1 - Qualifying
    British Grand Prix, Silverstone
    8:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m. ET (SDD) SPEED
NASCAR NEXTEL CUP - Final Practice
    USG Sheetrock 400
    Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, IL
    12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. ET, Live, SPEED
    Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, IL
    1:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. ET, Live, SPEED
    USG Durock 300
    Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, IL
    2:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. ET, Live, NBC
    Cleveland,  Race #1, 6/25/05
    3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
    Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix
    Laguna Seca, CA
    5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET, Live, SPEED
    Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, IL
    7:30 p.m.-8.00 p.m. ET, Live, SPEED
    Local Dodge Dealers 150
    Lake Erie Speedway, North East, PA
    8:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m. ET, Live, HDNet
    Built Ford Tough 225
    Kentucky Speedway, Sparta, KY
    8:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m. ET, Live, SPEED
For a complete listing of TV programs for Saturday, see the TVRacer.com and TV Race Fan links on the Home Page.
IMS Radio Network begins Podcasts IMS Radio Network begins Podcasts"Indy Racing Weekly," the IMS Radio Network's weekly program about the IndyCar Series can be downloaded at www.indycar.com  Each week's program will be available for download to user's computers or portable audio devices through podcasting technology. In addition to the weekly show hosted by IMS Radio Network anchor Mike King, IndyCar Series races and other IMS Radio Network programming will be available via podcast.  Podcasting is a method of publishing files to the Internet, that allows users to subscribe to a feed and receive new files automatically by subscription. There is no fee associated with the IMS Radio Network podcasts and a free client can be obtained at www.indycar.com/multimedia/radio.
Enge pleased with test at Infineon Raceway Enge pleased with test at Infineon RacewayIndyCar Series rookie Tomas Enge took his first trip around Infineon Raceway's twisting road course behind the wheel of an open-wheel car on Wednesday and came away pleased. Enge, who drives for ROCKSTAR Panther Racing, took part in a one-day test session and posted a top time of 1 minute, 18.90 seconds over the 12-turn, 2.26-mile serpentine circuit. The native of the Czech Republic did not participate in the IRL's open test session at Infineon Raceway in April. 

"I have raced here before in a Ferrari in the ALMS (American Le Mans Series) and the track layout is different but I like it," Enge said. "It will be good to come back here and race again. It's a good circuit."

Enge drove a Ferrari at Infineon Raceway in ALMS competition in 2003 with co-driver Peter Kox. The duo placed fourth in the GTS class. Enge tested in advance of the Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix, set for Aug. 26-28 at Infineon Raceway. This will mark the first-ever event on a permanent road course in the 10-year history of the IRL, as well as the first major open-wheel race in 35 years at Infineon Raceway.

Horag-Lista Racing Lola Judd to debut at Monza Horag-Lista Racing Lola Judd to debut at MonzaThe new Lista Lola B05/40 Judd V8 has been delivered and prepared, the pre-race testing was recently completed in the Czech Republic, and now Didier Theys, Fredy Lienhard Sr. and the rest of the Horag-Lista Racing team are ready to join the Le Mans Endurance Series (LMES) at its race at Monza, Italy this weekend. 

Lista, the worldwide leader in modular storage units, is the primary sponsor of the No. 27 that will compete in the LMES' LMP2 class in Europe as well as at the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta Motorsports Park in Braselton, Ga. Sept. 30-Oct. 1.  The team will use Michelin tires. 

This weekend's race is a 1,000-kilometer event that will take about six hours to complete.  "Testing went very well, although it was very hot and humid and it rained," Theys said.   "We had some things to sort out with the electronics, but overall things went well. There are a lot of things that can happen in any race, especially with a brand-new race car. We are very pleased to be running on Michelin tires. We're starting mid-way through the season, and we're all anxious to get a race under our belts." 

Lienhard concurred.  "After Monza, we will know more!" he said.  "After our first tests I have a better feel of what is coming.  The car is kind of perfect for me because it is only 750 kg, and that makes it a little bit easier for me.  The technology is fantastic, especially the power steering and the paddle shift system.  "I have always like the open-cockpit cars, and for the rest of my career I don't want to race anything else anymore.  Monza is a great track but quite demanding," Lienhard continued. "The biggest challenge for me is the braking.  I have to get used to that again.  Braking from 300 km to around 80 with carbon brakes is something very special. It takes courage and strong nerves.  I look forward to the challenge, but as always after a long break (my last race was in Watkins Glen with Doran Lista Racing just a year ago!) I am a little bit nervous, but I trust that with a good attitude and good teamwork, especially with Didier and Markus [Hotz, the team owner], I will be OK."

Stewart looks to defend title at Chicagoland Stewart looks to defend title at ChicagolandTony Stewart looks to record his second consecutive victory at Chicagoland Speedway on Sun., July 10. The defending champion enters the USG Sheetrock 400 ranked third in the championship point standings, just 136 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson.

In the past three NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races held at the 1.5-mile oval, no driver has led more laps than Stewart, pacing the field for 275 of the 801 total laps. The 21-time NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race winner also broke the Chicagoland Speedway track record in qualifying for the 2003 race, only to have Jeff Gordon beat his mark in last year's time trials.

See what Stewart had to say about the momentum he is currently riding, and his thoughts on racing at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend.

You were the winner last year at Chicagoland. Can you repeat?

"I'm not sure. Obviously, this year it's a different challenge than the last couple of years. You've got the Roush teams and the Hendrick teams that are heads above everybody else in the mile-and-a-half to 2-mile programs, so we're hoping Chicagoland is a place where some of the stuff we learned at Michigan will help us out. We'll just have to wait and see this weekend."

Momentum is always a word that is used in this sport. With two wins in a row, you have it right now. But does what you did on a road course and a restrictor plate track carry any weight at Chicagoland?

"We hope so. We've got momentum on our side and momentum goes a long way in this series. It's definitely momentum that we need, but we're realists too. Granted, one of 'em was a road course, which we only have two of those a year, and the other one was on a superspeedway, which we have only four of those a year. We had a good weekend."

"But probably the most substantial weekend was running second at Michigan, believe it or not. It's probably more substantial than winning the last two weeks. This weekend is going to tell us a lot if we're actually making the gains or not. I felt like we took a huge step forward at Michigan. If we can have a good run this weekend at Chicago, I think it's really going to give the team a huge, huge boost. Obviously, the morale of the team is real high right now with the last two weeks. But at the same time, if we can go out and have a good weekend at Chicago - that's a scenario where Roush and Hendrick teams have dominated so far - if we could be the third team to get into the mix this weekend, it would help us out a bunch....

"We've had three great weeks even with running second at Michigan. We just have to keep building on that momentum and hope we don't have any disasters in the next nine weeks so that we can stay up there in the points and try to win a championship."

Chicagoland and its sister track in Kansas look exactly alike. Are they?

"They're about as close as you can get to being the same. You aren't going to find any two tracks that are more identical than Kansas and Chicago. The only difference between the two tracks -the backstretch at Chicago is a little bit rounded while Kansas' is straight."

Track position and pit strategy seem to be the two biggest variables at Chicagoland. When and how do you make the decision to sacrifice tires for track position, or depending on the circumstances, track position for tires?

"I think it just depends on how your car is working. If your car is driving well, one that keeps you up toward the front all day because it's fast, then just two tires can keep you pretty quick. In that situation, you could make a big gain at the end by just taking on two tires and maintaining your track position. Even some guys who are behind and don't have their car the way they want, by taking on two tires, the track position they gain helps out more than four tires would. But when you get right down to it, I think Chicago is a track where if your car's good, then it doesn't matter whether you take two tires or four."

Year Event Start Finish Status/Laps Laps Led Earnings
2004 Tropicana 400 10 1 Running/267 160 $336,803
2003 Tropicana 400 1 2 Running/267 80 $213,468
2002 Tropicana 400 6 3 Running/267 35 $153,928
2001 Tropicana 400 27 33 Accident/257 0 $65,900

Ferrari drivers meet the press Ferrari drivers meet the pressThe Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro drivers had been in England for a day before appearing at the Silverstone circuit this afternoon. Both he and Michael had been to the nearby Rockingham circuit to drive some special cars used by Shell for an Economy Run.

"Shell does some fantastic things with its technology," said Rubens as he faced the press in the Ferrari Media motorhome. "But I have to admit I got frustrated with the lack of speed!"

Having left London that morning, Barrichello was asked for his comments on the events in the capital city that morning. "When I am in Europe, I often see TV reports about violence in Brazil, but this refers to people stealing your watch in the street, not bombings like this," he began.

"So, all I can feel is a great disappointment that these things happen. Terrorism is absurd and all we can do as racing drivers is put on a good show this weekend and try and take people's minds off what happened."

Back to more familiar territory as the Ferrari man was asked to assess the effect of completing an entire race on one set of tires, now that half a season has been completed under this rule. "Well, it is definitely not safer," he maintained.

"But it does produce more overtaking, especially towards the end of the race when, either through tire problems or simply the differences between the two makes of tire, you get more passing moves."

It is well known that Silverstone is one of Barrichello's favorite tracks and he agreed he was looking forward to this race. "Silverstone has always been good to me, whether in the wet or dry, so I am sure I can have a good weekend."

"Even if most of the practice is in the wet and then qualifying is dry, I will feel confident to push hard over the single lap, because I know the track so well I could almost drive it with my eyes closed," he joked.

Schumacher: "some moments have been very enjoyable"

As Rubens left the meeting he was replaced by teammate Michael Schumacher, who was also immediately asked about incidents in London, but admitted he had not been able to see any relevant news bulletins.

However, when asked if he felt security could be a problem for the British Grand Prix, he replied: "I think that in these situations it is often safer to be close to the incident and I am sure there will be increased and adequate security in place here at Silverstone."

Back to the racing and with half of the season gone, the reigning world champion was asked if had been surprised at how tough this year's races had been. "Not really, because we understood the situation when we started testing in the winter," commented Michael. "We face a really big challenge and some moments have been very enjoyable while others were less so."

Like his team-mate, Schumacher was asked to comment on the one tire per race rule. "Honestly, I don't think it makes that much difference," reckoned the Ferrari man. "Of course, as racing drivers, we would like to be able to use new tires all the time."

Earlier, Barrichello had reiterated his love of slick tires and Michael reminded his audience this is part of the proposed package for 2008. "They want to reduce the balance between aerodynamic downforce and mechanical grip and slick tires would certainly be a good way to go about doing that."

And this weekend's challenge? "You know, our race in Magny-Cours did not turn out as expected," he said. "We had a very good test there earlier in the season and free practice on Friday and Saturday went well, so we expected to be competitive."

"But we were not and I think that was mainly down to the circumstances of the circuit. With the improvements we have made recently, I expect to be more competitive at Silverstone." Ferrari

F1 fans back FIA 2008 rules proposal F1 fans back FIA 2008 rules proposalThis Grandprix.com article says, The FIA has announced details of its survey of race fans, which took place before the recent debacle at Indianapolis. The survey attracted 93,000 answers and revealed pretty much what one expect to see from fans. They want more overtaking first and foremost with three-quarters saying that they want more emphasis placed on driver skill. Sixty-nine percent want more teams and 84% want 18 or more races. Only 15% of the respondents said that F1 incorporates the right balance of technology and driver skill. The most popular circuits are Monaco and Spa with 55% and 53% of fans with Silverstone, Monza and Suzuka all scoring well. Almost all the people polled watch the races but only 76% watch all of them. Ninety-five percent have visited an F1 website but only 55% are willing to buy an F1 publication. Nearly half the fans said that they had bought merchandise, this being highest in the United States and lowest in Germany.

Not surprisingly the FIA says that the survey supports its long term aims for the sport.  For full details go to: Survey Results

Industry News
Mario Andretti and Phil Hill at Road America Mario Andretti and Phil Hill at Road America1978 World Champion, multiple Driver of the  Year, racing patriarch and racing ambassador Mario Andretti will be honored as the  grand marshal during Road America's Brian Redman International Challenge (BRIC)  Presented by Jaguar, July 14-17.  Also attending the event as special guest is Phil Hill  whose driving career spans two decades of countless wins in a wide range of sports and  formula cars. In 1961 Hill became the first American to win the Formula One World  Drivers Championship, the ultimate competition in all of motorsports. For 17 years his  record was unchallenged and today is shared with only one other American, Mario  Andretti, who won in 1978. Hill remains the only American-born Formula One  champion. 

Andretti is often called the greatest race car driver of all time, with stellar  accomplishments in many racing disciplines.  To date, he is the only driver to be named  Driver of the Year in three decades-in 1967, 1978 and 1984.  He won the Formula One  World Championship in 1978.  He is a four-time Champ Car National Champion, in  1965, 1966, 1969 and 1984. In Champ Cars, Andretti won at Road America in 1983,  1984 and 1987. He was the Indy 500 winner in 1969 and pole winner in 1966, 1967 and  1987. Andretti collected important podium honors in Florida, winning NASCAR's  Daytona 500 in 1967; and the 12 Hours of Sebring three times, 1967, 1970 and 1972, in  sports cars.  

Phil Hill is a three-time winner of the 24 Hours of LeMans, first to win the 12  Hours of Sebring three times, three-time winner of the Argentine 1000Km, two-time  winner of the Grand Prix of Italy and Belgian Grand Prix, winner of the initial road race  for the United States at Pebble Beach, the first American to win the World Driving  Championship (1961), and holds international speed records at Bonneville.  On  September 11, 1955, during Road America's inaugural weekend, Hill drove a Ferrari  Monza to win the SCCA Nationals feature race. 

The vintage event, one of the largest in the U.S., will feature 10 racing groups and  36 classes including a historic Formula One and a Can-Am race, both series in which  Andretti competed, plus other classes for vintage sports cars.  A BRIC display tent will  feature cars driven by Mario Andretti, autograph sessions and live painting sessions by  motorsports artist Randy Owens. An anniversary poster created by Owens, and an  anniversary book compiled by historian Tom Schultz, commemorate the track's 50th  anniversary and are both available for purchase. 

In addition to on-track activities, Road America will organize a concours in the  Village of Elkhart Lake on Friday and Saturday evening, 6:00-8:00 p.m.  Over 100 cars  are featured each night-race cars on Friday and sports cars on Saturday. Judging takes  place each night and awards are given in 10 categories. The evening concours are  sponsored by Road and Track magazine and are free to spectators. 

A Super Ticket for all four days is $70, and includes parking and access to the  paddock, where the teams, shops and autograph sessions are located. Daily ticket prices  are Thursday, $10; Friday, $15, Saturday, $35 and Sunday, $35.  Children 12 and under   are free when accompanied by a paid adult. Tickets may be ordered online at www.roadamerica.com 

ISC announces Q2 earnings ISC announces Q2 earningsInt’l Speedway Corp. (ISC) today said its Q2 ’05 profit more than quadrupled to $0.50 per share, up from $0.11 per share a year ago. Net income rose to $26.5M, up from $6.1M in the year-ago period. Sales increased 20% to $157.4M. ISC said that several extra races occurring in the quarter, the acquisition of Martinsville Speedway and a “boost in broadcast revenues and higher corporate sponsorships” were among reasons for the rise in earnings. The company also reported a gain of $1.8M from the CART bankruptcy settlement BLOOMBERG NEWS
Ford of Canada sponsors Champ Car contest Ford of Canada sponsors Champ Car contestWhen the Champ Car Series arrives in Las Vegas you could be there too! One winner and a guest to join the Champ Car World Series – Powered By Ford, for a VIP weekend at the Las Vegas Champ Car World Series event. In addition to a behind the scenes VIP tour, the prize package includes airfare to Las Vegas, accommodations, rental car and a complete ticket package (including paddock passes) for the Las Vegas Race.

The Grand Prize Package includes:

  • Two (2) round trip airline tickets (“regular fare” class) from the major Canadian airport served by the airline carrier closest to the winner's residence, to Las Vegas International Airport
  • One Hertz rental car package (midsize) for Thursday September 22, 2005 through Sunday September 25, 2005
  • Three (3) nights accommodation in a standard Hotel (with double occupancy)
  • Two (2) “race weekend” ticket packages for the Champ Car World Series race (includes Paddock passes and a VIP tour) from Thursday, September 22, 2005 through Saturday, September 24, 2005 (inclusive)
  • Two (2) Ford Racing Apparel packages including, golf shirts, hats and travel bags
    $1000 USD spending money More.....
A Racer's Gift A Racer's GiftAs one racer to another, Finlay Motorsports owner/driver Rob Finlay felt an immediate connection with Robby Duke when they met for the first time at the Rolex 24 at Daytona earlier this year.

In an adventure arranged by the Make A Wish Foundation, a Finlay Motorsports team sponsor, the 7 year-old budding motocross champion and his family attended the race as guests of the team and Robby’s enthusiasm for all forms of motorsports proved an inspiration to Finlay and the entire team. 

When Finlay found out that what Robby really needed to help move his motocross career forward was a trailer to haul his bikes and gear to the race, he promised the youngster that he’d get one – and on Thursday, June 30, just prior to the Grand American Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona, that promise was fulfilled.  With assistance from Featherlite Trailers, the team presented Robby with a 12-ft. enclosed trailer fitted out for transporting motorcycles.

“I’m so happy and surprised to get this gift from the team,” says Robby.  “They were so nice to me and my family when we met them at the race, and they were really interested in my racing.  This trailer will be a big help to me and my dad when we go to my races, and the next time I win, it will be my present back to the team.”

Robby began his riding career at the age of 5 with a BMX bike he got for Christmas. He then graduated to a Honda 50 mini motocross bike but his budding career suffered a setback when his epileptic seizures became so frequent he was unable to do the thing he loved most.  In an effort to control the problem, an electronic device about the size of a hockey puck called a VGN (vagal nerve stimulator) was implanted in his chest just above his heart.  The VNS sends electrical impulses to his brain via the vagal nerve, and Robby’s response to the device has been little short of miraculous.

Two weeks after his surgery he was back on his bike practicing and tearing it up like never before.  About six months after his surgery, Robby returned to the track for his first race on a Kawasaki KX 65; now, with nine races under his belt, he has several podium finishes, regularly finishes in the top-10 and is currently 10th in his championship.

“Robby was such a great kid, and he obviously loved racing so much, that I felt a real connection and wanted to do something for him beyond just having him and his family at the race,” says Finlay, who’s passion for racing extends back into his own childhood.  “They were struggling to get his bikes and equipment to the track, and with the assistance of the people from Featherlite Trailers, we were able to help out.  We’ll be keeping an interested eye on his progress.”

Robby was born on September 10, 1997, and his favorite forms of racing are AMA SuperCross, NASCAR Nextel Cup and Grand American.  His favorite racers include James Stewart, Ricky Carmichael and Rusty Wallace, as well as Finlay Motorsports drivers Michael McDowell and Memo Gidley.  His favorite music is alternative rock, and his interests outside of motorcycle and car racing include skateboarding, the X-Games, playing games on his X-Box, and doing fundraising projects for Make A Wish and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  Fans can follow his racing exploits at this web site: www.robbyduke.com.

Kalkhoven looks to future Kalkhoven looks to futureKevin Kalkhoven doesn't expect the reunification between his Champ Car series and the rival Indy Racing League to take place anytime soon — if ever. And he says he's not losing any sleep over the issue. "Frankly, at this moment that's a red herring," he says. "We have our business under control. We have all we need for the future."

Champ Car purchased Cosworth engines last November. Then Kalkhoven swung the deal to purchase the Grand Prix of Long Beach, a race coveted by the IRL and regarded by the Champ Car principal as "the most important race on our calendar."

"I'm pleasantly surprised with the progress we've made," he says. "The momentum is positive, but there's still a lot of work to do. I'm not going to say we're there, yet."

The CART series, he decided, had two of the three — a loyal fan following and an excellent product. The revamped Champ Car needed to find the right markets. It is still learning. Milwaukee was a disaster. Just over 8,000 fans showed up for a race that began at noon on a Saturday. "We screwed up," Kalkhoven admits. "Staging a Saturday afternoon race, which began at noon, and going up against a baseball game was a dumb thing to do."

Milwaukee was raced on an oval and Kalkhoven appears to favor street races.

Television has been another hard learning experience for Champ. Last year, Champ suffered through a disastrous year on the Spike cable network. This season, it has returned to Speed Channel and also managed to buy time on NBC and CBS.

"It (television) is not there yet," says Kalkhoven. "This year we made significant improvements. But we have to, obviously, go further."

The improved television exposure has not ended Champ Car's sponsorship problems.

Scarborough's Paul Tracy, who comes into this week's Toronto Indy atop the drivers' standings, does not have an outside title sponsor. Forsythe is footing the bills using the logo of his company, Indeck, on the side of not only Tracy's car, but the second car driven by Mario Dominguez. "All forms of motor sports are struggling to gain sponsors," Kalkhoven says. "F1 and the IRL are experiencing the same problems."

It's perhaps one reason why an informal meeting between IRL and Champ Car principals in May was more cordial than previous contacts. There is still a long way to go before there can be a reunification but a recent blow to the IRL must have made series founder Tony George think twice about the wisdom of separate development. Toyota, the giant Japanese auto maker, announced it was leaving the IRL after the 2006 season to focus its racing efforts on NASCAR and Formula One.

Kalkhoven, however, refuses to gloat over the IRL's predicament. "It doesn't affect us," he said. "We control our own engine supply with Cosworth. I'm sure for the IRL, Toyota's departure will have some serious repercussions, but I don't rely on the bad luck that others suffer to build our success." More at the Toronto Star

Carpentier featured on “The Fast Life” on ESPN2 Carpentier featured on “The Fast Life” on ESPN2Red Bull Cheever Racing driver, Patrick Carpentier will be featured on this week’s “The Fast Life” program on ESPN2. The 30-minute show, which airs weekly during the heart of the IndyCar Series season, takes an inside look at driver lives away from the track. For Carpentier’s segment, a camera crew followed him at his home in Joliette, Quebec where he spent his day cycling, spending time with his family and working on his farm. The show will air on Sunday, July 10 at noon ET. Check local listings for channel information.
No option tires for Toronto No option tires for TorontoBridgestone delivered 668 dry-condition and 304 wet-condition Potenza race tires for use this weekend. All were produced at the Bridgestone Technical Center in Akron, Ohio. For this event, Bridgestone has brought a single dry-tire specification and a single wet-tire specification, allowing every driver equal footing on the racetrack.

Dry-condition tires ("slicks"): Each car receives eight sets of slicks (32 tires) for the weekend, to use in the practice, qualifying and race sessions. Bridgestone Motorsport engineers have chosen their most popular street-course tire specification for Toronto's race weekend. It contains the compound formula with the most grip - the "softest" standard specification available in the Bridgestone street course inventory (excluding the alternate specs used at selected t! racks).  The same spec ran successfully at Toronto in 2004 and was used as the standard tire spec in the 2005 season opener at Long Beach.

Wet-condition tires ("rains"): Each car receives up to four new sets of grooved-tread Potenza rain tires per weekend on road and street courses, as needed. In addition, each car may use two sets of same-spec rain tires issued at a previous event. Bridgestone has two rain-tire specifications at its disposal, a more durable one for the faster circuits and a softer version for the slower, tighter tracks. The softer rain tire is available this weekend.

Quote from Al Speyer, Executive Director, Bridgestone Motorsport: "The diversity of the Champ Car World Series and the demands it places on Bridgestone as official tire supplier have never been more evident than in the past month. First it was a tight, short oval at Milwaukee. Then it was a traditional road course in Portland, followed by a wide-open airport circuit at Cleveland. Now we're back in the concrete jungle for the tight street circuit of Toronto. The Potenza race tires have stood up well to each of these dramatically different tracks so far, and we expect that to continue this weekend as we return with a tire specification already proven here. Toronto is one of Bridgestone's favorite Champ Car locales because the fans are so passionate for the sport. We look forward to the Potenza tires helping provide them another memorable race."

Industry News
BMW worldwide sales up BMW worldwide sales upBMW AG said Wednesday that worldwide sales of its cars rose nearly 12% in June and 9% for the first six months of the year.  The Munich, Germany-based company said exact figures on the number of cars sold would be released today.   CEO Helmut Panke said BMW is on track for 2005 sales and pretax earnings similar to 2004, when it posted a pretax profit of 3.5 billion euros ($4.2 billion) on revenue of 44.3 billion euros ($52.8 billion).

He said BMW sales were boosted by increased demand for its new 3-series.  "After the 3-series sedan has been introduced on the Asian and American markets in the second quarter, we expect more impetus going forward," Panke said.

New England GP by the numbers New England GP by the numbersThe 2005 American Le Mans Series is shaping up to be one of the fastest in the ALMS' seven-year history. For the second straight race, all four class qualifying records fell as the ALMS' powerful sports cars turned up the Fourth of July heat on Lime Rock Park and the New England Grand Prix.

Marco Werner in the No. 1 Champion Racing Audi R8, Jeff Bucknum in the No. 10 Miracle Motorsports Courage, Olivier Beretta in the No. 4 Corvette Racing C6-R and Romain Dumas in the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche all bettered qualifying marks set the previous year at Lime Rock.

It was the same in Round 3, the American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio. Hayanari Shimoda (Zytek), Jon Field (Intersport Lola B05/40), Oliver Gavin (Corvette Racing C6-R) and Timo Bernhard (Alex Job Racing Porsche) all shattered the track's speed marks. And at Road Atlanta, two of the four class marks went down during the Grand Prix of Atlanta. There was no qualifying at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring as rain forced its cancellation.

So what's the deal with all the speed? The answers vary from teams having better equipment, drivers getting more comfortable with the circuits or just not knowing at all.

"I was thinking about that a little bit," said Bucknum, who also won the P2 pole at Lime Rock in 2004 in a Pilbeam. "The (Courage) is better than the car we had here last year. So that may have something to do with it. But I don't think Audi has a better car."

Patrick Long, who recorded his first ALMS pole in GT2, says the recent qualifying speeds can be attributed to many things. One is that new cars have not only gotten faster, but they also are reliable.

"The development of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR is getting better," Long said. "For myself, I'm seeing these tracks for a second time, and that helps."

TIE AT THE TOP: When JJ Lehto crossed the finish line in his No. 1 Champion Racing Audi R8, he moved back into a tie with Johnny O'Connell and Ron Fellows for the most career ALMS victories (23). Lehto and Werner now have three victories in four events this year, plus their overall win at Le Mans.

MARCO THE MAGNIFICENT: Werner apparently baffled even the computers in the Champion Racing paddock when he put the No. 1 Audi R8 on the pole at Lime Rock. According to team data, the car's best theoretical lap was in the low 47-second range. A theoretical lap comes from computer data from a car, track, tire and temperature.

Apparently, Werner is either a little smarter or better than a computer, perhaps both. His record qualifying time of 46.753 destroyed James Weaver's 2004 effort by nearly a second. Perhaps it was a slight case of self-inflicted road rage that spurred last year's LMP1 driver's co-champion beyond the limit.

"We check all our data and try to learn more push a little bit more every time on the track," Werner said. "I learned from JJ, and I gave it everything I had. I also was a little mad because I went off the track during the earlier practice session. I didn't think it was possible for us to do in the low 47s in practice, and I certainly didn't think it was possible to go below 47 seconds."

MORE FROM MARCO: Werner said he was delighted to get back to racing in North America and the ALMS, despite his utter thrill at winning the overall title at Le Mans. Part of the reason is that his No.1 Champion Racing Audi R8 he shares with Werner is rid of 50 kilograms of ballast and a larger restrictor that reduced horsepower at Le Mans, moves that were mandated by the ACO for all R8s entered in the race.

"It was a big challenge to win at Le Mans," Werner said. "It's a difficult road. You had to be smooth there. But we're happy we can come back to America with the lighter weight and more horsepower."

A LONG, STRANGE TRIP: With three races in the span of five weekends, and four events in seven weeks if you count the ALMS teams that competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, July is shaping up to the busiest month of the 2005 ALMS. From Lime Rock, teams are headed west to Infineon Raceway for the Infineon Technologies Grand Prix of Sonoma presented by Ravenswood Winery, set for July 15-17. After that, it's time to head north to Portland International Raceway and the Portland Grand Prix two weeks later.

It's enough to make even the most seasoned traveler a little weary. But such is a life in motorsports.

"I haven't had a schedule quite like this before," said Jamie Bach, one of the drivers of the Mazda-powered No. 8 B-K Motorsports Courage C65. Bach has competed in the Star Mazda Championship, so being on the road is nothing new. "We didn't have the East Coast to West Coast trips that we have now. But we should be all right. Our goal is the same at every race, no matter how far we travel, and that's to win races."

AROUND THE PADDOCK: Gavin and Beretta's third-place overall finish at Lime Rock was the highest finish for any non-prototype in the series history. They also pulled off the feat at Road America last year. . Fellows and O'Connell finished third overall at Mid-Ohio and Portland last year in their No. 3 Corvette Racing C5-R. With a GT2 victory Monday, Alex Job Racing now has won at every track on the 2005 ALMS schedule. Entering the season, the team hadn't won at Mid-Ohio or Lime Rock until Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas claimed class victories in their No. 23 AJR Porsche.

The next race for the American Le Mans Series is the Infineon Technologies Grand Prix of Sonoma presented by Ravenswood Winery, set for 11 a.m. PDT on July 17 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. CBS Sports will have television coverage from 3 to 5 p.m. EDT. American Le Mans Radio and Live Timing and Scoring can be found at www.americanlemans.com.

Nigel Stepney talks Silverstone Nigel Stepney talks SilverstoneWhile the British Grand Prix is set in an equally remote location to last weekend’s race at Magny-Cours, the atmosphere at Silverstone always has more of a buzz about it and is a more popular venue. This is partly because it is an historic location – the 2005 race will mark the 39th time the Northamptonshire track has hosted the event – but also because it is the home race for six of the ten teams competing in the World Championship.

English is very much the dominant language of the sport, with most of the non-British teams, including Ferrari, employing some personnel from the Anglo-Saxon world.

One such 'refugee' is Nigel Stepney, Ferrari’s race and test technical manager, who has been part of the Maranello squad since 1993. His first job in F1 dates back to the mid-Seventies, when he was a mechanic for the Shadow team. More....

Pedro de la Rosa’s lap of Silverstone Pedro de la Rosa’s lap of SilverstonePedro de la Rosa will pilot the third McLaren Mercedes in Friday practice at Silverstone. The Spaniard talks you through a lap of the Silverstone circuit.

"A flying lap of Silverstone begins with the extremely fast and challenging Copse Corner. You arrive at the right hander at 290km/h, before dabbing the brakes, with your speed dropping slightly to 265km/h in sixth as you swing through the bend, which is off-camber at the exit.

A short burst of power takes you to one of the best complex of corners we have at any Grand Prix track, the Maggots-Becketts-Chapel S-bends. You have to be careful as you reach Maggots as this is where you drive past the pit exit, however throughout the complex you maintain speeds of 210km/h to 285km/h as you take the sequence of right and left flicks flat out, before being swung onto the fastest section of the track, Hanger straight.

Taken flat out with a top speed of 305km/h in sixth gear, this long blast leads to Stowe. Due to the late nature of the apex you are braking all the way into the corner, flicking down the gears to 180km/h to negotiate the right-hander. The worst thing you can get here is understeer as it will affect your lap time a lot in that particular corner.
You then roll out into a very straight forward exit along Vale that takes you down into Club, reaching 280km/h before braking for the long right-hander. You can develop a bit of oversteer here, as you accelerate through the corner reaching 210km/h.

Then there is a straightforward acceleration from second to sixth gear out of Club corner which has been made easier by traction control. Then you go down the short straight to the left of Abbey corner, which is taken in third gear, at 120km/h, has a very fast entry and is a good place for overtaking.

There is a short exit before the flick right of Farm, and you then go up and over the hill into Bridge corner, which is taken flat at 245km/h in fifth gear.

You then enter the Stadium Complex and some of the best overtaking opportunities on the track. It starts with a quick entry into Luffield in fourth gear. It’s quite fun to drift the car out there and it tends to dance around with the back end.

You come out of Luffield and get on the brakes straight away for the tight left of Priory, which is taken at 155km/h, and is immediately followed by the 88km/h second gear tight left of Brooklands, which sees you steer the car through 180-degrees.

The final corner in the complex is Luffield. Entering this long right hander your speed is around the 160km/h mark in third gear, dropping to 104km/h in the same gear as you exit. The sweeping right of Woodcote is the final corner, you accelerate through the two apexes of the bend as you swing back round onto the pit straight to begin another lap of Silverstone." McLaren Mercedes

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Kimi to 'walk' Brit win
F1 war goes to Munich
'Young guns have no respect'
DC defends 'old' Silverstone
BMW works team wants wins
Webber's Williams woe
Fans told to reject US refund
Button's off to Grove
Historic Silverstone
Ferrari 'on way back' - Brawn
Eyeing a Silver podium
Carl Long to drive for minority team Carl Long to drive for minority teamVictory Motorsports, owned by Terance Mathis, former All-Pro Wide Receiver for the Atlanta Falcons, yesterday unveiled the names of, Morty Buckles, an accomplished driver that will represent Victory Motorsports in the ARCA Racing Remax Series, and Carl Long, a skillful and experienced driver that will represent Victory Motorsports in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, and drive car #94. 

Morty Buckles, an African-American driver, has been a part of the NASCAR world for a number of years, most recently in the Drive for Diversity Program, and the NASCAR/Dodge Weekly Series, winning races and respect all around the organization.  Morty Buckles, a native of Decatur, Georgia, started racing go-carts at the age of 8, with his father and grandfather by his side.  Buckles received his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from Southern Polytechnic State University, located in Marietta, Georgia.  Buckles has been a part of the NASCAR family since the early 1990’s, and has raced on some of NASCAR’s Super Speedways, including Atlanta Motor Speedway, Daytona International Speedway, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Talladega Super Speedway, and Chicagoland Speedway. 

“These days’ racers have to be the entire package.  The knowledge about the car, the knowledge of the tracks, and the solid support team, which is what I bring to Victory Motorsports, and what they bring to me,” explains Buckles.

Carl Long, a resident of Troutman, North Carolina, has a solid 22 years of racing under his belt.  Raised in Roxboro, North Carolina, Long started racing in the early 80’s, and won his first Track Championship at South Boston Speedway in 1987.  In 1992, Long was named the Winston Racing Rookie of the Year at Orange County Speedway.  In 2000, Long made his first Winston Cup race, and in 2004 made a career high of six Nextel Cup races.  Carl Long has participated at several levels of NASCAR racing, including Nextel Cup Series, Busch Series, and the Craftsman Truck Series.  Teaming up with Victory Motorsports now gives Long the opportunity to channel his energy and passion to become the next NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion.

“Joining Victory Motorsports is like the reunion of a family that has been apart, and now has the opportunity to come together and make some great things happen.  I am truly excited about representing this team, I have great support, and an excellent opportunity to excel in NASCAR racing,” says Long.

Pepsi 400 TV rating Pepsi 400 TV ratingUPDATE Despite not ending until 2:00am/et Sunday morning, NBC's inaugural race broadcast of the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup season, the Pepsi 400 from Daytona International Speedway, drew a 5.5 national 'final' rating and 13 share (9:55 p.m.-2 a.m. ET), up six percent from 2004 (5.2/12 on FOX, 9:36 p.m.-12:26 a.m. ET), even with being delayed more than two and a half hours by rain. NBC's live rain-delay coverage, featuring NBC/TNT pit reporters interviewing NASCAR drivers, (7:45-9:55 p.m. ET) drew a 3.6/8, and was the highest rated program in the 8-9 p.m. ET time period on Saturday. From 8-11 p.m. ET, NBC Sports' coverage of the Pepsi 400 ranked No. 1 in Saturday primetime against all networks in adults 18-49 and total viewers. The actual race telecast averaged a 3.2/13 in 18-49 from 9:55 p.m.-2 a.m. ET. Though most of the race occurred outside of primetime in the Eastern and Central time zones, the race telecast of the Pepsi 400 ranked as the week's No. 7 program in 18-49.  This week at Chicago on "Wally's World," U.S. Olympic gold medalist Jennie Finch, of the U.S. women's softball team, joins NBC/TNT analyst Wally Dallenbach for a few laps on the racetrack. NBC PR . 07/05/05 NBC and TNT's coverage of the second half of the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup season kicked off on Saturday night as Tony Stewart took the checkered flag in the Pepsi 400 just before 2:00am/et [1:41am/et], in a race delayed more than two and a half hours by rain at Daytona International Speedway. The race drew a 4.9 overnight rating with a 12 share between 10:30pm/et and 2:00am/et, down only two percent from last year's 5.0/10 on FOX (9:34pm/et-12:26am/et). The rating peaked between 11:00-11:30pm/et with a 5.5/11, the time that the race, if it hadn't been delayed, would likely have been completed. The rain-delayed race broadcast (7:45pm/et -2am/et) rated a 4.2/9. NBC PR
Michael Andretti fundraiser at Andretti Winery Michael Andretti fundraiser at Andretti WineryThe Andretti Winery will host a special fundraising event for the Michael Andretti Foundation.  The evening will feature special guests including owner Michael Andretti and his IndyCar® drivers. The VIP event will also include an informal wine tasting and wine presentation by the Andretti Winery.

The event is scheduled for Thursday, August 25th and will be held in conjunction with the Indy Racing League's inaugural visit to Infineon Raceway and the Napa Valley region. The evening's activities will take place beginning at 6:00 pm with wine tasting out on the back courtyard overlooking the beautiful Andretti vineyards.

Participants will have the opportunity to mingle around the winery grounds while enjoying a special question and answer session with the Andretti Green Racing drivers. Owner Michael Andretti will also be on hand to speak to guests in a fun and informative environment.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will be donated on behalf of The Michael Andretti Foundation to Meals On Wheels of Napa Valley. Guests can secure a spot at the event by sending an e-mail to: foundation@andretti.com.  Specific schedules & information pertaining to the event is available on the Foundation website at: www.andretti.com. The event schedule and the guests scheduled to appear are subject to change depending on alterations in scheduling or driver availability.

The Michael Andretti Foundation is a 501(c)(3) foundation that was established to help people who have shown need and to help promote programs for better health, education and welfare of America's children and citizens.  For more information about The Michael Andretti Foundation, visit www.andretti.com. Contact: Paula Hozza - The Michael Andretti Foundation (610) 248-9111 or paulaprime@andretti.com

Bourdais looking to return to winning ways Bourdais looking to return to winning waysAs a testament to the level playing field in the Champ Car World Series, there has only been one repeat winner so far in five 2005 events and Newman/Haas Racing (NHR) has only earned two of those wins.  After an early season set-back that led to the temporary sidelining of Bruno Junqueira due to injury, NHR has settled into a rhythm and both McDonald’s® driver Sebastien Bourdais and PacifiCare driver Oriol Servia expect to make gains in their championship standings at this weekend’s Molson Indy Toronto.

“The season has been so-so, so far,” said Bourdais, 26, who won seven races en route to the Championship in 2004.  “Championship-wise it was an okay start but it is not really satisfying for the McDonald’s team.  We will continue to work hard to get back on top beginning in Toronto.”

In the 2004 race here Bourdais led 75 of 84 laps as well as set the fastest race lap en route to victory from pole position.  A duplicate weekend could enable him to regain the points lead from Paul Tracy, who vaulted one point ahead (128-127) of the Frenchman with his win from pole in the previous race in Cleveland while Bourdais finished fifth.  Bourdais hopes the “look” of this year’s race will be similar to the other event he ran here in McDonald’s colors.

“We’ve had two very different races in Toronto,” said Bourdais.  “McDonald’s wasn’t involved with us the first season in Toronto and we didn’t really succeed all that well there.  We finished fifth; we had a tough day, it was just difficult.  Last year we had a great event; we unloaded the McDonald’s car and it was balanced and I was feeling comfortable.  We were flying all weekend and the McDonald’s car won the race and it was my first street course win so I was very happy with the things went last year. 

In addition to having had four different winners in five races so far this season, there have been four different drivers to have started from pole.  Qualifying could well be the key to victory in Sunday’s 88-lap event as the driver that has won the pole in each of the last three years has gone on to win the race (Cristiano da Matta, 2002; Paul Tracy, 2003; Sebastien Bourdais, 2004). In fact qualifying success has been a sign of even bigger things than a race win as the last four Toronto pole sitters have gone on to claim the series championship in that same season.  Bourdais earned eight poles in 2004 and feels that starting from the front helps reduce the chance of getting caught up in accidents and therefore help your title bid. N/H

Crisis, what crisis? Crisis, what crisis?UPDATE The details of what happened in Munich on Wednesday are a closely-guarded secret but our spies suggest that the focus of the F1 teams was very much on the long-term future rather than getting too much involved with politics. We are told that the question of the FIA elections did not even come up and that the main players are veering away from any form of showdown with FIA President Max Mosley, preferring to play a longer game. The major goal was to finish off the rules which the teams have in the planning stages so that they can be presented to the world in a few weeks from now.

The teams may not even bother to challenge Mosley at the election in October because the electoral system makes life difficult for outsiders.

The FIA President is elected by the General Assembly, which is made up of representatives from each of the member clubs. It has never been a very revolutionary body and tends to follow the wishes of the leadership, rather than rocking the boat. To make matters even more complicated electoral procedures were changed recently and now require the General Assembly to elect not a person but rather a "list" of no fewer than 23 names to fill the major positions. There are in additional restrictions on who can be included in such lists as regional representation is necessary and a candidate from one list may not appear on another list so ambitious candidates have to be careful how they choose the list they wish to be on. Signing on for a list which loses is a guarantee of obscurity for four years.

The alternative route is to create a rival championship and simply ignore the FIA. The teams are bound to compete in Formula 1 until the end of 2007 but afterwards are free to depart. The FIA would then need to find new teams to be the opposition to Ferrari and while having some kind of advanced GP2 series instead of F1 is a weak alternative, particularly as it is hard to see Ferrari agreeing to anything other than running its own engines and chassis.

The teams appear keen to give the impression that there is no hint of bluff in their dealings although the last time this was tried - ironically by Mosley in November 1980 - it was a bluff. That was called the World Federation of Motor Sport, which was set up in competition to the FISA (the sporting arm of the FIA) led at the time by the mercurial Jean-Marie Balestre.

The WFMS announced a World Professional Drivers Championship.

"The split was inevitable," said Frank Williams, "under Balestre FISA is no longer capable of administering professional motorsport."

"After 25 years in Grand Prix racing I would rather stop than continue under Balestre," said Lotus boss Colin Chapman.

The bluff went on until February 1981 when rebel teams raced in South Africa. That event featured Williams, Tyrrell, Brabham, McLaren, ATS, Lotus, Ensign, March, Fittipaldi, Arrows and Theodore but Renault, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Talbot Ligier and Osella did not attend. It then became clear that there was no viable rebel series and a compromise was reached.

The only real difference today is that there are nine teams - Jordan also attended the Munich meeting - and this time the manufacturers are with the opposition rather than the establishment. Grandprix.com

07/06/05 Today in Munich there is another meeting of the Formula 1 teams which are opposed to the current way in which the sport is being run and, depending on who you talk to, this meeting will either finalize the future rules package which the teams have been working on for the last six months or it will pick a candidate to stand against Max Mosley in the FIA elections in October. Perhaps both.

If the latter does occur, it is going to be a bitter campaign because Mosley and his supporters have turned the FIA into a fortress. The electoral system was changed just a few months ago to favor the incumbent and all internal resistance to Mosley seems to have been crushed, or at least has gone underground. The current structure exists because the people involved do not want things to change. There is nothing wrong with such a system as long as people outside are happy but increasingly, and particularly in the high profile world of Formula 1, they are not. There is griping in World Rallying, there is discontent in trucks. There are law suits in raid rallying.

The election in October will provide a test for Mosley. If the FIA wants to keep him on as its leader, then so be it. The risk of doing that is that it will plunge the opposing forces into further and more extreme acts of rebellion and perhaps even secession.

This is all politics. Both sides have elements in their arguments that make some sense. Both sides have done things which might be construed as being right and as being wrong. But fundamentally, when all is said and done, it is a battle for control of the sport, disguised behind populist notions such as safety, cost-cutting and better racing.

Race fans do not care about rich men fighting over money nor about one man's ego against another man's ego, unless these men are driving racing cars. In their battles to be in control the people in the sport are forgetting the sport itself, forgetting the fans who ultimately pay for it all.

There needs to be an end to this politics or else one drifts into a situation as they have today in France where the entire political class is not trusted by the people. The process of change, if there is to be change, needs to be done quickly. More at Grandprix.com

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