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German GP - An upside down day German GP - An upside down dayMichael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello ended the second hour of today’s free practice in tenth and sixteenth places, posting slower times than in the morning session. The reason for this unusual situation can be traced to concerns about the weather. The usual Hockenheim heatwave has yet to appear this weekend and Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro’s weather forecast reckoned there was a strong chance of some rain showers this afternoon. Therefore the decision was taken to reverse the usual Friday program which sees the drivers do a limited number of laps in the morning when the track can be dirty and lack grip, before putting in more laps in the afternoon to properly evaluate the two types of tire supplied by Bridgestone. Today, most of that evaluation was done in the morning, leaving Michael and Rubens to run on used rubber in the afternoon.

As events turned out, the rain arrived, but about one hour after the end of practice. Even allowing for this unusual program and the standard uncertainties about the fuel loads in the other cars, the general feeling is that the F2005 lacks performance compared to the pace setters at the head of the field. On the positive side, both drivers were happy with their cars’ handling and the performance a new compound of tire that Bridgestone has introduced here. McLaren-Mercedes continues to be the dominant force with three cars in the top four: Alex Wurz first, Kimi Raikkonen second and, winner of the last race at Silverstone, Montoya in fourth. Splitting them in third spot is the Renault of Fernando Alonso. Ricardo Zonta is fifth for Toyota followed by the Renault of Giancarlo Fisichella.

Changes on the driver front: formerly Jordan’s Friday driver, Robert Doornbos takes over the Minardi race seat vacated by Friesacher, thus forming the first ever all-Dutch driver line-up with team-mate Christijan Albers. Nicholas Kiesa replaced Doornbos at Jordan today. Ferrari Press

Sadler talks about accident Sadler talks about accidentElliott Sadler was involved in a single-car accident during the second practice session on Friday and will be forced to a back-up for Sunday's Pennsylvania 500.  He spoke about the incident afterwards.

ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus - "I just lost it.  You know you've got to start the car off loose to be good on long runs and I was just wanting to keep trying to drive through it, and I just 100 percent lost it myself.  It's a bad feeling.  Anytime the guys put so much hard work into the primary car and to come up here and destroy it like that is not good.   It's a shame.  We've got a lot of good tracks coming up for us and had a couple of good cars lined up for it and now we've lost two cars in two weeks.  That's gonna put us behind.  The fab shop has been working hard, so this is gonna make them work even harder.  We'll just regroup.  I think my guys can do it, if anybody, and we'll just have to come out here and get a good top 10 or top 15 finish and move on." 

YOU GOT A FEW MINUTES WITH THE BACKUP.  HOW DID IT FEEL?  "It feels OK.  I've run that car before.  There isn't anything wrong with that car.  It's fine.  It drove good and we got it comfortable.  We didn't want to take any chances, so we parked it right there at the end of practice.  I think we'll be close with it.  I don't think we're gonna be out to lunch or anything.  We're just gonna fine tune on it Sunday and see what happens." 

WHERE HAVE YOU RUN THIS CAR BEFORE?  "I ran it at Atlanta and finished eighth with it.  I ran it at Texas and was running pretty good until we lost the motor, so it's a good race car.  We've updated the body and stuff on it and made it a little bit better.  This is the first time it's been back on the track and it's a good car.  I've liked it everywhere we've taken it, so we should be fine tomorrow."

Milwaukee practice quotes Milwaukee practice quotesQuotes from IRL practice at Milwaukee today:
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "We struggled this morning and seemed to struggle a little bit this afternoon, but suddenly we found some stuff that was wrong with the car. We kept working on the race car. Obviously, tomorrow we're going to have a qualifying practice. We were just going to keep working the race pace. Its seems a little bit fast right now. I don't think we're going to go that fast. We're very confident. Again, its a very hard place because there is no banking, so its makes the car very difficult. Sometimes you find yourself in a good position in (Turn) 1 and (Turn) 2, and then suddenly, (Turn) 3 and (Turn) 4 go away from you. Then, the  next lap is the opposite."

TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The first session I was completely out of it. I don't think I was in the top 10. The good thing we did in the first session, we tested a lot of things with the car back and forth to see which direction we wanted to go in the second session, and we really didn't care about times. I think that's really what helped us in the second session. We sat down and tested, 'OK this doesn't work, and this doesn't work so let's try this.' Certainly it helped. I still think we can go much quicker tomorrow."  zzzz

DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We tried qualifying simulation in the second session. The track, right now, is extra slippery for the Andretti Green Racing boys. We're just trying to get work towards the front. I think we'll be OK. I think we'll have a good qualifying car, and I'm hoping that can carry over to the race. We working on getting quicker, but the conditions, right now, are very slippery. This can be a difficult place to drive. People always say that about Milwaukee, but if you have a good car, you can get right up to the front."

DANICA PATRICK (No. 16 Rahal Letterman Racing Argent Pioneer Panoz/Honda/Firestone): "I feel pretty good about where we are with the Argent/Pioneer Honda. We were pretty quick this morning so this afternoon we decided to focus on race setup, and we ran the entire session with full tanks. I really like the balance of the car. I had to make a couple of adjustments with the weight jacker, but overall we were pretty much spot on. We sure have come a long way since our first day at Richmond.  It is a good sign that we are making progress as a team on the short ovals, because that has been our weakness this season. With Milwaukee being a short oval, it is tougher to pass here than at the bigger tracks so it will be vital to start up front. I don't know if we can win the pole, but at least we will be in the hunt, which is amazing considering how far we were off a few weeks ago in Richmond."

PATRICK CARPENTIER (No. 83 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "I'm pretty happy with the work we got in today. We struggled a bit early in the second session, but we got it figured out and put up our best lap of the day. The car is decent, but it needs some work. We were pushing at times and a little bit loose right now, but we've got some time tomorrow to make the final changes before qualifying. We're definitely going in the right direction, but we just need to keep going."

ALEX BARRON (No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "It was a really good day for us. The track changed a lot from the first practice session to the second, so that posed some challenges. However, all of the adjustments we made on the car between the sessions made us quicker. I think we have a pretty good car for qualifying as well as the race. With a three-day event, you get a lot of track time, and everything is going very smoothly right now."

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "We worked on our race setup all day, and overall I'm happy with the Marlboro Team Penske car. It handles well in and out of traffic, which is key for the race. Tomorrow we'll focus on our qualifying setup. It's always nice to be up front to avoid any problems on the start, but you can win this race from anywhere on the grid. I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend if things continue to go this well."

San Jose Schedule of events San Jose Schedule of events
Castroneves fastest at Milwaukee Castroneves fastest at MilwaukeeTwo-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves paced the opening day of practice at The Milwaukee Mile as IRL IndyCar® Series teams began preparations for the ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt 225.

Castroneves recorded a lap of 21.9732 seconds, 166.293 mph, in the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone during the afternoon session. He was the only driver to record a lap of less than 22 seconds. 2005 Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon led the morning session with a lap of 22.0645 seconds, 165.605 mph in the No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone. Tomas Scheckter was third-fastest with a lap of 22.0933 seconds, 165.390 mph in the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone.

Pos No Driver Name Best Time Best Speed Best Lap Total Laps
1 3 Helio Castroneves 21.9732 166.293 22 45
2 4 Tomas Scheckter 22.0933 165.390 14 50
3 6 Sam Hornish Jr. 22.2758 164.035 32 36
4 10 Darren Manning 22.4144 163.020 7 41
5 11 Tony Kanaan 22.4901 162.471 3 35
6 7 Bryan Herta 22.4963 162.427 4 42
7 83 Patrick Carpentier 22.5184 162.267 27 33
8 51 Alex Barron 22.5675 161.914 40 41
9 26 Dan Wheldon 22.5695 161.900 4 35
10 2 Buddy Lazier 22.5985 161.692 15 34
11 33 Ryan Briscoe 22.6195 161.542 5 38
12 8 Scott Sharp 22.7427 160.667 28 38
13 91 Jimmy Kite 22.8090 160.200 44 44
14 24 Roger Yasukawa 22.9050 159.528 8 39
15 14 A.J. Foyt IV 22.9626 159.128 16 32
16 20 Ed Carpenter 22.9961 158.897 14 33
17 15 Buddy Rice 23.0438 158.568 14 51
18 55 Kosuke Matsuura 23.1183 158.057 19 39
19 16 Danica Patrick 23.1737 157.679 40 44
20 9 Scott Dixon 23.2957 156.853 25 33
21 17 Vitor Meira 23.3157 156.718 4 28
22 27 Dario Franchitti 23.3995 156.157 53 68

Moreno to sub for Labonte Moreno to sub for LabonteThe driver they call "Super Sub," Roberto Moreno, has just gotten the call to fill in for a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver.  The twist is that when he subs this time, he'll be strapping into a DORAN JE4 Daytona Prototype that competes in the Grand American Rolex series.  Moreno recently got the call to join NASCAR star Bobby Labonte behind the wheel of Doran Labonte Racing's Loctite/Henkel DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 44 for the Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant Rolex series race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. July 29-31.Moreno is substituting for Terry Labonte, who will miss this race in order to be at Gateway International Speedway near St. Louis for a NASCAR Busch series event. Terry Labonte is still slated to co-drive with his brother at the CompUSA 200 Rolex series race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y. Aug. 11.-12 prior to the NASCAR Busch series and NEXTEL Cup races there Aug. 13-14.
HVM team announces sponsors HVM team announces sponsorsHVM Racing today announced Bradford White and WHCI have joined their Champ Car team as associate sponsors for the upcoming Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose.

The #4 and #55 HVM Racing Champ Car World Series entries will carry the Bradford White and WHCI logos for the inaugural San Jose Grand Prix and guests will take part in a variety of promotional and hospitality activities.  An HVM show car and crew have already joined WHCI for a July 14th promotion in Union City where WHCI and Bradford White customers enjoyed pit-stop competitions, and other commercial and promotional activities.

HVM owner and Managing Director, Keith Wiggins welcomed Bradford White and WHCI to the team, “HVM is delighted to work with Bradford White and WHCI in what is a most creative approach to both expanding sales opportunities and consolidating relationships with their distribution chain and customer base.”

With a long and successful history dating back to 1881 Bradford White today is one of the most technologically advanced water heater manufacturers in the world.  A leader in water heaters for residential, commercial and hydronic space heating, consumers can “Count on Bradford White for everything Hot Water,” for more information on Bradford White, visit www.BradfordWhite.com.

Based in Union City, California, WHCI, is one of Silicon Valley’s finest wholesale distributors of plumbing supplies and a leading seller of Bradford White water heaters.  Tom Alkire of Rep-West, Bradford Whites local representative, developed the sponsorship program to promote his clients and their products, “teaming up with HVM Racing for The Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose is an excellent advertising platform.  Locally, this is an opportunity for over 100,000 race fans to see our clients branding on some of the fastest cars in the world, which is fantastic for WHCI who are based here in the Silicon Valley.  Bradford White is an International company with excellent sales in our region, so this is a great local, National and even International opportunity for us to reach Champ Car’s global television audience, which is relevant to the Bradford White brand.”

The Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix will be televised live in the United States on SPEED from 4:00 – 6:30 ET on Sunday, July 31st and live in Europe on Eurosport.

Industry News
China's Nanjing Automotive Buys collapsed MG Rover China's Nanjing Automotive Buys collapsed MG RoverAdministrators for MG Rover Group Ltd. said Friday that the collapsed British automaker has been bought by Chinese carmaker Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corp.
The announcement ended months of speculation about the future of Rover, the country's last major automaker, but also raised questions about how much production Nanjing would retain in Britain -- and how many jobs would be involved.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, which took over administration of Rover when the automaker filed for bankruptcy in April, said Nanjing had bought the assets of both MG Rover Group and its engine-producing subsidiary, Powertrain Ltd.  The terms were not disclosed and PwC said it did not intend to announce any further details Friday. A person close to the deal, however, said Nanjing paid just over 50 million pounds (US$87 million; euro73 million).

Nanjing had faced two competitors in its bid to buy Rover's assets -- a similar offer from China's state-owned Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp., which prompted the company's collapse earlier this year when it pulled out of talks about a merger, and an offer by British businessman David James to buy two parts of the company.  Tony Lomas, joint administrator at PwC, said in a statement that the "level and conditionality of SAIC's bid left Nanjing's bid as the preferred way forward."  More from AP article

Danicamania helps bolster sagging IRL Danicamania helps bolster sagging IRLDanica Patrick mania is saving the IRL from continuing its plummet in popularity that it was experiencing before she came in and saved the day.  The IRL reports - Key areas such as television, sponsor exposure, Internet, radio, attendance and licensed product sales have shown significant growth from the same time last year.

"Over the past two years, we have been laying the groundwork for a strong business platform for our sport," said Ken Ungar, senior vice president, business affairs for the Indy Racing League. "It's rewarding to see such strong growth and momentum in the IndyCar Series with benefits that are passed on to our broadcast and sponsor partners."

A look at key areas of growth for the league follows:

Television: For the sixth consecutive race, the IndyCar Series has shown an audience increase and/or ratings record as Saturday's Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway on ESPN recorded a 16 percent household increase over last season's race according to Nielsen Media Research. 

Year-to-date, IndyCar Series television viewership (combined ABC and ESPN) has shown an increase of 32 percent compared to the same time last year.

Dating back to March, IndyCar Series television highlights include: Motegi (ESPN, 327 percent household viewership increase); Indianapolis (ABC Sports, 60 percent viewership increase); Texas (ESPN, 160 percent viewership increase); Richmond (ESPN2, 89 percent viewership increase); and Kansas (ESPN, an all-time best IndyCar Series rating of 1.1).

Sponsor Exposure: According to the Joyce Julius and Associates mid-year IndyCar Series Sponsors Report, 606 sponsors received visual and/or verbal recognition on the league's ABC Sports and ESPN broadcasts. Collectively, the sponsors amassed 46 hours, 43 minutes, 44 seconds (46:43:44) of clear, in-focus exposure time, a 14:21:57 (31 percent) increase from same time last season.

IndyCar.com: The league's website is reporting, that from January through June, the site has recorded a 73 percent increase in hits, a 265 percent rise in visits and page views have grown by 330 percent compared to the same six month period in 2004.

IMS Radio Network: The home of the IndyCar Series radio broadcasts throughout the season is reporting it has increased its total households reached by over 1.2 million over the same time last year and the number of stations carrying Indy Racing Weekly has increased by 76 percent from last season.

Attendance: According to media estimates, the league has calculated a 9.9 percent increase in attendance season-to-date compared to the same time last season.

Licensed Product Sales: The League's at-track licensed product sales has seen a 64 percent increase from the same time last season.
The IndyCar Series also is enjoying unprecedented media exposure including a Sports Illustrated cover story in the June 6 issue, the first cover for the series in its history and first Indianapolis 500 cover since 1985. Additionally such non-traditional outlets such as CNN, Time, Newsweek, TV Guide, MAXIM, People, US Weekly, Esquire and FHM have covered the action around the IndyCar Series.

On the day following the Indianapolis 500, 44 of the top 50 newspapers around the country featured "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on its cover. The league also has witnessed an increase in coverage in major markets as well as an increase in credentialed media at all of its events. [Editor's Note: 100% driven by Danicamania]

Ferrari tests 2006 V8 Ferrari tests 2006 V8Third and final day of testing this week for the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team, working again today at the Mugello Circuit. Both Marc Gene and Luca Badoer were on track. 
Luca Badoer worked on electronic developments for the F2005 while running 100 laps in the F2005, with a fastest time of 1’22.006.  Marc Gene began testing for the 2006 season as he carried out engine testing for next year. Gene ran a total of 90 laps in an F2004, with a quickest time of 1’24.300. Note that the V8 is within 2 seconds of this year's V10.
Wheldon tops first Milwaukee practice Wheldon tops first Milwaukee practiceDan Wheldon said he believes in the short-oval package for the No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone. In the first practice session for the ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt 225 at The Milwaukee Mile, it was justified.   The IndyCar Series points leader topped the speed chart on the tight oval with a quick lap of 165.605 mph (22.0645 seconds) on a clear and warm day at the Wisconsin State Fair Park.

Andretti Green Racing teammate Dario Franchitti, the defending race champion and the race winner last wee at Nashville Superspeedway, was second (165.372 mph) in the No. 27 ArcaEx entry, while Helio Castroneves was third (164.642 mph) in the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone.

IndyCar Series rookie Danica Patrick was fourth (163.385 mph) in the No. 16 Rahal Letterman Racing Panoz/Honda/Firestone. Reigning series champion Tony Kanaan was fifth (163.223) in the No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone.

Castroneves’ teammate, Sam Hornish Jr., was sixth (162.985). Vitor Meira, the pole winner here last year in the IndyCar Series’ debut at The Mile, was seventh at 162.895 mph. Meira is seeking his first series victory.

“The first win is something that is always there in my mind, but I can’t dwell on it,” said Meira, driver of the No. 17 Menards Johns Manville Panoz/Honda/Firestone. “All I can do is focus on the task at hand and make sure that we are making the car as competitive as possible for the track we are at.

“The Milwaukee track is a tricky one. We run on a lot of banked tracks in the IndyCar Series, but The Milwaukee Mile is nearly flat. You have to have a special set-up for that kind of track. It is wide and you can pass if your car is handling well. Plus you need power off the corners.”  IndyCar.com

Steve Toth to race for Cure Steve Toth to race for CureSteve Toth, who competes in the Trans-Am Series’ GT America Class, will drive in support of The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation’s San Francisco Affiliate during the July 29-30 Cytomax Sport Drink 100, part of the Taylor Woodrow San Jose Grand Prix.
As part of the agreement, Toth’s No. 63 Pontiac Grand Prix will carry the organization’s Race for the Cure® trademark and the internationally recognized pink ribbon, which symbolizes breast cancer awareness, on the hood. Also, the Toth Motorsports Girls will raffle off racing memorabilia at his racing transporter in the Trans-Am paddock. All ticket proceeds will benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and early detection of breast cancer.

Toth will return to competition at San Jose after recovering from a back injury. His son, Stevie, as always, will be cheering for him from the pits.

“Little Stevie and I are very excited I’m back in the driver’s seat, and we’re ecstatic to see the growth in Trans-Am’s GTA Class,” said Toth. “The in-market promotional strength from GTA allows us to raise additional funds for a very good cause. We’re proud to be racing for the cure this weekend.

“The Toth Motorsports Girls will be raffling off some really great prizes, and with your donation you can help support breast cancer research and early detection,” concluded Toth. “When breast cancer is detected early, there is a 95% cure rate.”

Creation does deal with Cirtek Creation does deal with CirtekLe Mans Endurance Series front runner, Creation Autosportif, has, in a one-off move, agreed a deal with Cirtek Motorsport which will see Jamie Campbell-Walter and Nicolas Minassian racing a Ferrari 550 Maranello in the Proximus 24 Hours of Spa.

The Anglo-French duo, who have set alight every track they’ve visited this year with their speed and racecraft, will be partnering Nikolay Fomenko and Alexey Vasiliev.  The Russian drivers’ regular FIA GT partner, Christophe Bouchut, is being loaned to Larbre Competition for this one race.

Creation Team Director, Michael Jankowski, is looking forward to seeing how his drivers perform in one of the most successful GT cars in recent years.  “I’m pleased for Nic and Jamie’s sake that we’ve been able to reach an agreement for this to happen.  The car has a proven track record, Cirtek has been one of the consistent front runners in all their races so far this year, and we know just how good the drivers are.  It will be fun to see how they get on!”

Drivers fined Drivers finedMcLaren driver Alex Wurz was fined $5000 after being adjudged to have ignored yellow flags during practice for the German Grand Prix.  In the same session, Nick Heidfeld received a $1500 penalty for the offense of pit-lane speeding, having been clocked at 63kph.
ALMS TV Rating ALMS TV RatingUPDATE The final rating for the ALMS race came in as a 0.8/2 share. 07/19/05 The overnight TV rating for the ALMS at Infineon Raceway on Sunday on CBS was a 0.7/2 share.  Two years ago the ALMS was getting higher TV ratings than Champ Car and IRL with over 1.0 ratings on network TV.  However, this year they have taken a nosedive.
Crocker to co-host Wind Tunnel Crocker to co-host Wind TunnelDriver Erin Crocker, currently in the Evernham Motorsports driver development program, will co-host this weekend’s Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain on SPEED Channel (Sunday at 9 p.m. ET). Featured interviews on this week’s program will include AMA Pro Racing CEO Scott Hollingsworth and NEXTEL Cup Series team owner Beth Ann Morgenthau. SPEED Channel F1 analyst Steve Matchett also will join the program to break down the German Grand Prix.
Rosberg wins GP2 pole Rosberg wins GP2 poleNico Rosberg has taken pole at his home race by half a second from Scott Speed for the GP2 series' first race at Hockenheim, with the German’s teammate Alex Premat lining up behind him on tomorrow’s grid.

The drivers went out to the track under a gloomy, cloud filled sky, but apart from a few drops the rain stayed away throughout the session, allowing Rosberg to set a lap time of 1:24.691 on dry weather tires.

With the clouds threatening to open at any time, every driver bar Gimmi Bruni was immediately on track, and the opening round went to Rosberg, who slotted in at the top of the sheets, just ahead of Premat and Speed.

The trio then spent the remainder of the session trying to outdo each other – Speed claimed first place at the halfway mark with a time of 1:25.195, but Rosberg came out a few minutes later and reclaimed the top spot and was not headed again.

Behind them a number of drivers were caught out in the tricky conditions – Fairuz Fauzy spun into the last corner before driving back along the track to re-enter the pits, while Jose Maria Lopez and Olivier Pla also spun during the session.

Nelson Piquet was unlucky not to claim the top spot – late in the session he set the fastest first sector overall and his quickest second sector, but was unable to close the deal in the final section. He will line up eighth on the grid tomorrow.

Behind the top three Pla resumed his new found form by claiming fourth spot, ahead of an impressively quick Borja Garcia and Ernesto Viso. Championship contenders Adam Carroll and Heikki Kovalainen will line up seventh and ninth respectively on the grid for tomorrow’s race.
Position Driver Team Best Time Gap
1 N. Rosberg ART 01'24"691 -
2 S. Speed iSport 01'25"195 00'00"504
3 A. Premat ART 01'25"623 00'00"932
4 O. Pla DPR 01'25"832 00'01"141
5 B. Garcia Racing Eng. 01'25"845 00'01"154
6 E. Viso BCN Comp. 01'25"861 00'01"170
7 A. Carroll Super Nova 01'25"955 00'01"264
8 N. Piquet Hitech Piquet 01'26"006 00'01"315
9 H. Kovalainen Arden 01'26"041 00'01"350
10 C. Piccione Durango 01'26"126 00'01"435
11 G. Pantano Super Nova 01'26"249 00'01"558
12 H. Yoshimoto BCN Comp. 01'26"279 00'01"588
13 G. Bruni Coloni 01'26"325 00'01"634
14 N. Jani Racing Eng. 01'26"368 00'01"677
15 N. Lapierre Arden 01'26"403 00'01"712
16 R. Sharp DPR 01'26"561 00'01"870
17 F. Monfardini Durango 01'26"610 00'01"919
18 A. Negrão Hitech Piquet 01'26"627 00'01"936
19 J. Alvarez Campos Racing 01'26"680 00'01"989
20 J. Lopez DAMS 01'26"693 00'02"002
21 F. Fauzy DAMS 01'26"982 00'02"291
22 M. Lauda Coloni 01'27"157 00'02"466
23 S. Hernandez Campos Racing 01'27"245 00'02"554
24 C. Artam iSport 01'27"319 00'02"628

Friday roundup - Hockenheim Friday roundup - Hockenheim
Another tough one: BMW-Williams has some way to pull itself out of the mire, Mark Webber said as an unusually cool and grey Hockenheim threatened rain on Friday. ''We must find some more pace,'' said the Australian, whose car is running revised pieces for the troublesome 'MKII' bodywork.

Wurz up?: 'Friday' driver Alex Wurz, demonstrating that a silver package is the one to have at Hockenheim, was Friday's quickest. McLaren racer Kimi Raikkonen, a title contender, made no bones about his trip to Germany: ''The aim is to win the race and we should be able to.''

Double Dutch: A good first day at the office for new arrival Robert Doornbos. ''I feel very confident in the car,'' said the former 'Friday' Jordan driver, who almost matched countryman and Minardi teammate Christijan Albers' pace. The second Dutchman, though, lost time after he tangled with Fisichella and damaged the front suspension.

Bang!: David Coulthard smashed his suspension against the wall at turn 17 after a spin. ''I lost the back end,'' the Red Bull driving Scot plainly confessed.

No show: Neither blue and yellow Renault made an appearance in the morning, due to 'software problems'. Fernando Alonso bemoaned the cold weather and lack of grip. ''The car was really hard to drive,'' he said.

Sore rookie: Jordan's new 'man Friday', Nicolas Kiesa, struggled for fitness at the Hockenheim -- the last time he drove an F1 car, a Minardi, was at Suzuka in 2003. ''Doing ten lap runs was quite hard on my neck,'' said the Dane, who may or may not still be in the car in Hungary in seven days' time. ''In the end, my face was pointing in the other direction of the corners.''

Power boost: Jarno Trulli called Toyota's uprated engine 'a good step' at Hockenheim. ''It should help us to improve our pace and hopefully to score more points.''

Home downer: Michael Schumacher, whose Ferrari is supposedly benefiting from a new Bridgestone tire compound, was blunt: ''We lack performance. It will be tough to finish on the podium.''

Dry dissatisfaction: One man disappointed that German clouds decided not to dump their contents on Hockenheim was Pierre Dupasquier. Michelin's racing boss said the overcast but dry conditions looked promising but 'denied an opportunity' to try the latest wet tire. ''It is not the first time this has happened,'' the 67-year-old Frenchman smiled.

Jordan sign Brewery sponsorship deal Jordan sign Brewery sponsorship dealBrewery becomes First Canadian Company to Sponsor Midland’s F1 Team Steelback Brewery is gearing up to enter the high-speed, high- profile world of Grand Prix racing with today’s announcement of an official sponsorship agreement with Jordan Grand Prix Limited for the remainder of the 2005 Formula One World Championship Season.

Steelback, which currently produces nine specialty beers from its Tiverton, Ontario brewery, will supply the team’s race guests with premium, all-natural pilsners and lagers, crafted in the finest Canadian tradition. Steelback also becomes the first Canadian company to have its logo – which incorporates a maple leaf graphic – appear on a Jordan F1 car.

“I am very pleased to have Steelback aboard as a team partner,” says Alex Shnaider, Chairman of Midland Group, which acquired Jordan earlier in the year. “It’s great to see a Canadian company step up and support our team, especially an exciting new premium brand like Steelback.

"Obviously, Mr. D’Angelo recognizes the powerful marketing advantages of Formula One and we are confident this partnership will be a successful one for both parties.”

“I think this is an excellent fit for both teams,” says Frank D’Angelo, CEO of Steelback Brewery. “Formula One is the pinnacle of motorsport and since our beer is a premium product, we wanted to associate ourselves with a sport that’s at the top of its class. And, since we’re a Canadian company, it’s only natural that we should join forces with a dynamic, Canadian-owned racing team like Jordan Grand Prix.” Jordan Toyota

Industry News
Mohegan Sun renews with The Glen Mohegan Sun renews with The GlenWatkins Glen International announced today that Mohegan Sun, located in Uncasville, Conn., has renewed their partnership as the Official Casino at the Home of American Road Racing. The Mohegan Sun provides the best in gaming and entertainment and has been an official partner at The Glen for the past three years. 

“We are very pleased to have Mohegan Sun back as an official sponsor for the 2005 season, which is gearing to be the best season in over 20 years,” said Rust. “Mohegan Sun has become a staple in the Northeast for gaming and entertainment, and a partner that we are very proud to be associated with”.

“Mohegan Sun is proud to continue its relationship Watkins Glen International in New York,” said Mitchell Etess, executive vice president of Mohegan Sun. “This agreement further demonstrates our long-standing support of auto racing in the Northeast. We're looking forward to another great year.”

FIA cancels USGP verdict FIA cancels USGP verdictThe guilty verdict of the seven teams who refused to race at the United States Formula One Grand Prix last month has been cancelled by the FIA.  FIA said in the statement: "Having examined the new evidence previously submitted to the FIA Senate, the FIA World Motor Sport Council has voted overwhelmingly to accept the recommendation of the FIA Senate regarding events at the 2005 United States Grand Prix. The guilty verdicts of June 29 made against the seven Michelin teams have therefore been cancelled."
McLaren miles ahead in Germany McLaren miles ahead in GermanyMcLaren Mercedes test driver Alex Wurz was the fastest man on track once again in the second practice session today at Hockenheim. The McLaren Mercedes test driver led the way by six- tenths of a second from Kimi Raikkonen in what was a dominating display of superiority. Fernando Alonso took the third best time in his Championship leading Renault, but was a full second slower than his championship rival Raikkonen and some 1.5 seconds off the pace of Alex Wurz.

Kimi Raikkonen - We spent today working on our race set-up. The car was quick almost immediately which is always a good sign, and we could spend some more time on our Michelin tire program. I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend where I hope that the weather will stay dry and sunny. The aim is to win the race and after today's sessions I'm certain that we have a very strong package which will allow us to do that."

Juan Pablo Montoya - "The car looks very competitive compared to the rest of the field, and the Michelin tires are working well. However, I'm struggling with the brake balance which is so important here at Hockenheim. I'm sure that we will find a solution to the problem in time for tomorrow's qualifying. I will be doing my flying lap last for the first time this year which hopefully will provide me with a bit of an advantage, but as always anything can happen particularly if it starts raining."

Alex Wurz - "I'm really happy with our performance today at the Mercedes-Benz home grand prix, and it's especially satisfying to have set the fastest time of the day. We still have some work to do regarding our Michelin tire choice and the general fine tuning of our race set-up. The track was very slippery in the first session which took me by surprise, but the grip level continued to increase throughout the day. The results of my long runs provided us with plenty of data which will help Kimi and Juan Pablo for the rest of the weekend."
P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires Times Ave/Gaps
 1. 35 WURZ McLaren Mercedes M 1'13"973 222.600 Km/h
 2. 9 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'14"576 + 0'00"603
 3. 5 ALONSO Renault M 1'15"560 + 0'01"587
 4. 10 MONTOYA McLaren Mercedes M 1'15"772 + 0'01"799
 5. 38 ZONTA Toyota M 1'16"091 + 0'02"118
 6. 6 FISICHELLA Renault M 1'16"146 + 0'02"173
 7. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas M 1'16"161 + 0'02"188
 8. 37 LIUZZI RedBull Cosworth M 1'16"297 + 0'02"324
 9. 16 TRULLI Toyota M 1'16"411 + 0'02"438
10. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'16"474 + 0'02"501
11. 17 R.SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1'16"575 + 0'02"602
12. 15 KLIEN RedBull Cosworth M 1'16"658 + 0'02"685
13. 3 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'16"752 + 0'02"779
14. 7 WEBBER Williams BMW M 1'16"879 + 0'02"906
15. 8 HEIDFELD Williams BMW M 1'16"893 + 0'02"920
16. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'16"913 + 0'02"940
17. 11 VILLENEUVE Sauber Petronas M 1'16"938 + 0'02"965
18. 4 SATO BAR Honda M 1'16"992 + 0'03"019
19. 19 KARTHIKEYAN Jordan Toyota B 1'17"506 + 0'03"533
20. 21 ALBERS Minardi Cosworth B 1'17"830 + 0'03"857
21. 20 DOORNBOS Minardi Cosworth B 1'17"978 + 0'04"005
22. 18 MONTEIRO Jordan Toyota B 1'18"227 + 0'04"254
23. 39 KIESA Jordan Toyota B 1'19"484 + 0'05"511

Legge eyes ’06 Title Legge eyes ’06 TitleAfter becoming the first woman to win in a major open-wheel series in America, when she triumphed at the Toyota Atlantic championship’s season-opener at Long Beach, Katherine Legge didn’t take long to become the first woman to win twice in a major open-wheel series in America.

Last weekend at the inaugural Edmonton GP, the British female racer put on a bold - some would say too bold - move on championship leader Charles Zwolsman en route to her second victory in the series.

Consistency had eluded Legge in between those triumphs, however, and as a result she lies only fifth in the points standings in spite of her win tally being second only to Zwolsman himself (championship runner-up Tonis Kasemets has also won twice).

But that doesn’t seem to concern the 25-year-old, who has clearly mapped her goals for the second half of the Atlantic season, which begins at the San Jose Grand Prix on July 31. More at SPEEDTV.com

American Speed fastest American Speed fastestScott Speed was the fastest man on track in the GP2 free practice session at Hockenheim, setting the quickest lap on his first flying lap and staying ahead of the rest by slightly improving his time later in the session. Speed, who claimed the top spot with a time of 1:26.706, was four tenths faster than Olivier Pla and Heikki Kovalainen, who set his fastest time just as the session ended.

Nelson Piquet and Giorgio Pantano were the early pacesetters behind Speed, but their times were slowly eroded by the ever-improving Pla, who built up to speed throughout the session, and a last lap effort by Kovalainen.

The final few minutes saw a flurry of off-track activity as the drivers found and passed the limits – Sergio Hernandez ran backwards into the wall with five minutes to go, before Fairuz Fauzy spun like a top on the edge of the track, throwing up a smokescreen to his pursuers and littering the circuit in soil.

Nicolas Lapierre stopped on the side of the track by Hernandez’s car with no obvious damage a minute later, just before Pantano clipped the curb at the first turn, removing his front wing and throwing him across the track and into the gravel in a manner reminiscent of his off at the same spot last year while driving in F1 for Jordan.

As ever, the field was remarkably close – the first 14 drivers were covered by just one second, with second through to seventh covered by just one tenth. The entire grid was covered by just 2.1 seconds.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1. Speed iSport International 1:26.706 16
 2. Pla DPR 1:27.132 + 0.426 15
 3. Kovalainen Arden International 1:27.136 + 0.430 15
 4. Bruni Coloni Motorsport 1:27.151 + 0.445 15
 5. Pantano Super Nova International 1:27.191 + 0.485 12
 6. Piquet Jr. Hitech Piquet Sports 1:27.192 + 0.486 17
 7. Carroll Super Nova International 1:27.213 + 0.507 16
 8. Rosberg ART Grand Prix 1:27.246 + 0.540 13
 9. Premat ART Grand Prix 1:27.463 + 0.757 14
10. Piccione Durango 1:27.537 + 0.831 18
11. Yoshimoto BCN Competicion 1:27.611 + 0.905 17
12. Lapierre Arden International 1:27.614 + 0.908 11
13. Lopez DAMS 1:27.694 + 0.988 14
14. Monfardini Durango 1:27.742 + 1.036 13
15. Garcia Racing Engineering 1:27.782 + 1.076 16
16. Viso BCN Competicion 1:28.029 + 1.323 13
17. Jani Racing Engineering 1:28.052 + 1.346 18
18. Alvarez Campos Racing 1:28.154 + 1.448 14
19. Fauzy DAMS 1:28.231 + 1.525 16
20. Artam iSport International 1:28.392 + 1.686 17
21. Hernandez Campos Racing 1:28.555 + 1.849 9
22. Lauda Coloni Motorsport 1:28.672 + 1.966 15
23. Sharp DPR 1:28.722 + 2.016 15
24. Negrao Hitech Piquet Sports 1:28.899 + 2.193 18 GP2 Series

Wurz leads opening practice in Germany Wurz leads opening practice in Germany
P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires Times Ave/Gaps
 1. 35 WURZ McLaren Mercedes M 1'14"277 221.689 Km/h
 2. 38 ZONTA Toyota M 1'15"634 + 0'01"357
 3. 9 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'15"644 + 0'01"367
 4. 3 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'15"851 + 0'01"574
 5. 10 MONTOYA McLaren Mercedes M 1'15"901 + 0'01"624
 6. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'16"259 + 0'01"982
 7. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'16"280 + 0'02"003
 8. 37 LIUZZI RedBull Cosworth M 1'16"733 + 0'02"456
 9. 4 SATO BAR Honda M 1'16"795 + 0'02"518
10. 17 R.SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1'17"197 + 0'02"920
11. 14 COULTHARD RedBull Cosworth M 1'17"277 + 0'03"000
12. 16 TRULLI Toyota M 1'17"341 + 0'03"064
13. 15 KLIEN RedBull Cosworth M 1'17"423 + 0'03"146
14. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas M 1'17"442 + 0'03"165
15. 8 HEIDFELD Williams BMW M 1'17"665 + 0'03"388
16. 7 WEBBER Williams BMW M 1'17"689 + 0'03"412
17. 11 VILLENEUVE Sauber Petronas M 1'18"132 + 0'03"855
18. 19 KARTHIKEYAN Jordan Toyota B 1'18"988 + 0'04"711
19. 21 ALBERS Minardi Cosworth B 1'19"151 + 0'04"874
20. 18 MONTEIRO Jordan Toyota B 1'19"400 + 0'05"123
21. 39 KIESA Jordan Toyota B 1'19"933 + 0'05"656
22. 20 DOORNBOS Minardi Cosworth B 1'20"108 + 0'05"831
Thursday German GP Press Conference Thursday German GP Press ConferenceThursday's FIA press conference with Juan Pablo Montoya (McLaren), Ralf Schumacher (Toyota), John Howett (Toyota) and Norbert Haug (Mercedes). Transcript
Danicamania roars into Milwaukee Danicamania roars into MilwaukeeThis Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article says, For the Milwaukee Mile, the arrival of the Indy Racing League this week signals an opportunity for a small, old fairgrounds racetrack to bask in the reflected glow of Danicamania.
Danica Patrick, that feisty little phenomenon from Roscoe, Ill., set the sport on its ear this spring when she coupled strong on-track performances with a commanding off-track presence. Everywhere she goes, everything she does attracts as much attention as the rest of the league combined.

But before Danica Patrick became DANICA PATRICK in big, bold headline type, she raced at the Milwaukee Mile in the Toyota Atlantic championship - in fact, the Mile is the only track on the IRL circuit that she'd actually driven before - and she and her team like the idea of a rare head start.

"That should help her a lot," said Jim Prescott, crew chief for the Rahal Letterman Racing IndyCar Series team and the former general manager of Patrick's program in Atlantics. "At least she'll know the racing line. We'll just move more quickly getting up to speed. . . It's a comfort level."

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
V10's a better 2006 bet
Ralf defends Mosley snub
Karthikeyan cross
Liuzzi wants another shot
'No '06 deal yet' - Heidfeld
Schu can't win
Kiesa to Jordan - official
'Ball in Jordan's court'
Ferrari still on it
Button blasts F1 champ
F1 tries to kick habit
Alonso 'proud' to fight Kimi
Montoya - 'I'm still in it'
'The car is the problem'
Residents express concern over street closure Residents express concern over street closureGrand Prix racing is coming to downtown San Jose, but some people living along Balbach Street are upset because the city plans to shut down the street where they live in preparation for the event.  At a community meeting Tuesday night, residents expressed concern about plans to relocate them to a hotel several miles away.

"I can't afford the gas, the extra money for the food - we'd be better off staying in our homes, and if we do, they're going to lock us in," said Balbach resident Mario Reyes.  "We know it was an inconvenience but hotels were filling up in the area," said David Rahn with the San Jose Grand Prix.

Nine homes are affected by the closure. There will be no access to Balbach Street starting Thursday night. NBC11.com

Industry News
USA TV reminders for Saturday USA TV reminders for Saturday 
FORMULA ONE - Practice
    Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Germany
    2:00 a.m.-3:00 a.m. ET (Replay) SPEED
FORMULA ONE - Qualifying
    Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Germany
    7:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m. ET (Live) SPEED
    Pocono Raceway
    12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
    Toronto, 07/10/05
        Winner: Antoine Bessette
        1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
    Edmonton, 07/17/05
        Winner: Katherine Legge
        2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
    Pennsylvania 500
    Pocono Raceway
    1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m., ET, TNT
    Pennsylvania 200
    Pocono Raceway
    3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
    Salute to The Troops 250
    Pikes Peak International Raceway
    3:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET (Live) TNT
     Pocono Raceway
     7:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
    O'Reilly 200
    Memphis, TN
    8:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
    King Taco 150
    Irwindale, CA
    11:00 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET (Live) HDNet
For a complete listing of Saturday's TV Programs, see TVRacer.com and Race Fan TV.
Schumacher wants old qualifying back Schumacher wants old qualifying backOn the eve of the German Grand Prix at the Hockenheim circuit, Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello sat down with the media for his first appointment of the weekend. The Brazilian driver is all revved up ahead of round twelve, the first of the final back-to-back event this season and admitted that the Italian team was ready to fight again this weekend, however, he wouldn’t be fighting his teammate, Michael Schumacher…..

 “…but fighting together to get Ferrari winning again as soon as possible,” he smiled.

With eight races remaining in the 2005 championship season, Ferrari sits 28 points behind championship leaders at Renault and even if the Drivers’ championship looks like an unlikely goal, Rubens knows there is still a chance in the constructors battle so they will need to keep pushing as hard as possible.

 “The Constructors’ title is a more realistic possibility, so we need to start bring home some big points from the coming races.”

However, that said, Rubens would not allow himself to make optimistic predictions for this weekend, especially after he thought glory in Britain was a distinct possibility.

“I was confident for Silverstone, but although the car was consistent, it was not quick enough,” he maintained. “But last week in testing we made some steps forward in terms of tires and aerodynamics, so we should be strong here. All we can do is try and get even more out of the car package.”

The last question for the Ferrari man concerned discussions regarding the possible future format of qualifying.

“At first, I thought the one lap idea was good, but now I think we need to get back to qualifying on low fuel with new tires. Qualifying needs the Wow factor, so maybe a return to 12 or 8 laps would be the way to go.” Ferrari

Wheldon says don't forget about us Wheldon says don't forget about usIndianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon has a little advice for the Indy Racing League and track promoters around the country: make the most of rookie Danica Patrick, but, please, don't forget the rest of the drivers.
Wheldon, who flew into Detroit on Wednesday for a short visit with reporters in Ann Arbor, was responding to questions about the amount of attention directed at Patrick this season.

Wheldon wasn't slamming Patrick, who finished fourth on May 29 in her first 500, or detracting from her performance; in fact, the personable British driver is extremely impressed with the first female to lead a lap at the Brickyard.

"Danica did a very good job," said Wheldon, who is the IRL points leader. "She's hot. She's female. She's different to us. She's good for the sport."

Wheldon, who drives for Andretti Green Racing, did warn, however, that it would be foolhardy to build a series around a single driver, including Patrick, who is 11th in series points.

"You never know what can happen in the future with her," said Wheldon, 27. "There's not just one person in the public eye. They (IRL) should be pushing everyone." In part from That's Racin.com

Q and A with Norbert Haug and John Howett Q and A with Norbert Haug and John HowettFor the opening round of press conferences ahead of this weekend’s German Grand Prix, team chiefs from Mercedes and Toyota, Norbert Haug and John Howett, were in the spotlight, answering questions in regard to the new V8 power plants and their intentions to supply a second Formula One team in the future.

For both the manufacturer representatives, what are your feelings about V8s versus V10s? There was a piece in Autosport magazine this week that suggested the V8s might be less competitive than the V10s and so the V10s might be better to have. What are your feelings on that? Does the V10 have a future as far as you are concerned?
John HOWETT: It is too early to say what the end result will be because the equivalence ratio between the 2.4-litre V8 and the 3-litre V10 is not defined. I mean, clearly, if you just equate the power there is a strong probability that a V10, with a mid-range torque, would be a better option. From our perspective, the spirit of the regulation is that the engine to be used is a 2.4-litre V8 and therefore, for the next two to three years, our full effort is in developing that engine.
Norbert HAUG: As John pointed out, it depends on the limit you put on the V10. As I understand the rules, the V10 should be as much handicapped so it is inferior to V8. That is the current situation but it depends on the revs or air restrictor or whatever is the plan. Basically you can are going to have an advantage with a V10 in terms of weight, fuel consumption, power, whatever, drivability, but my understanding, our common understanding, by the way, of all manufacturers, is that the V10 will be handicapped in the right manner so that it is not superior to the V8.

Does the V10 have a future in your plans?
NH: Currently not, no.

Again, to both of you, Michelin said yesterday that they would like to see a more even spread with Bridgestone, more Bridgestone runners rather than seven or eight Michelin runners and two Bridgestone runners. What are your feelings about that?
NH: I think that depends. The current rule says that as long as you are asked to supply tires, and it depends. In my view, I am very open. I would have nothing against five teams choosing Bridgestone and five teams choosing Michelin.
JH: I think a similar position. Obviously, the burden for Michelin is quite high and as we have two competing tire brands you probably need a balance of teams with the tire brand to help the tire companies. Given the current structure of tire supply it is probably a very reasonable position from Michelin. But who would be persuaded to leave them with the current competitive position of their tire is difficult to understand.

John, quite some while ago we were told there was a possibility there would be an announcement about Jordan’s engine supply. Why hasn’t anything happened and have you had overtures from another company?
The position of Toyota is that we are committed to supply Jordan. I am not sure there is a rush to make an announcement from our side. We are still finalizing contractual details and to some extent the ball is in Jordan’s court, but I can confirm that our intention is to supply Jordan with engines next year. We have had an approach, it is clear, from Williams, to our corporate headquarters in Japan, which has been referred back to us and there is some informal discussion moving forward. But I think we have no intentional capability to supply next year. It is dangerous to say never but I think it is fundamentally too late now to actually establish the production volumes we need to supply that kind of demand.

Norbert, obviously some problems at the last couple of races. Have you solved those problems? Was it the same problem at both races?
No, different problems in France and Silverstone and we never have had these problems before. We communicated the issues already but I am happy to repeat it, it was a bearing in the engine in Magny-Cours and it was a shaft connecting the oil pump and water pump in Silverstone. We changed it, we checked it, we did a lot of testing since, we did some very good testing in Jerez, I am sure Juan Pablo can go into details because he was driving. We had one engine failure there, we had two other engines as stated in our press release already and they did more than 1,200km, more than 1,400km, we put the engine that did more than 1,200km on the dyno and put an additional 500km on this engine and really put a lot of stress on that engine, which we did over the whole course of the year during testing and dyno running and everything was fine. I pointed out earlier that none of us is in a position to say it never can happen. We are all on the limit, we are all revving very high, I think the power is higher than we saw last year, so everything is very close to the limit or at the limit. Having said that our reliability was very good so far and I am quite happy that the failures occurred during practice and not during in the race because, in a way, we repaired it and got a second and third place out of it, which wasn’t too bad a result, but obviously we all have to be concerned, if they are serious, it is a tough formula but we did everything we possibly could have done to be in the best possible situation.

We are told that we are going to get a document from what was the GPWC this weekend, is that the case? When can we expect it?
NH: I am not sure whether it is going to happen this weekend. We will have some meetings and then we will discuss and decide but I don’t think that we will have one this weekend.

Norbert, Patrick Head told me recently that apart from BMW, he’s talking to a German company for engines. Could it be you?
NH: He didn’t speak to me and I should know it. Obviously I would be happy to discuss but I don’t there is a conversation going on on that subject.

Could I ask the two team guys the same, but regarding the two race per engine rule?
NH: I think my point is very clear. It’s the same for everybody but I would have preferred one engine per race and I think there are quite good ideas in place to put some mileage on the engines during testing for example and to find some rules there which is possible. But obviously we accept the current rules. Personally I would have preferred to have a new engine at the next race and that situation hasn’t changed. Having said that, we accept what we have.
JH: From our side, it depends on the perspective. Clearly with our two-race engine we couldn’t supply a second team because we have a fixed production capacity within TMG in Germany to manufacture engines, so as a consequence of a two-race engine we can supply Jordan. I think our costs have certainly dropped. We have shifted some costs because we have to do much longer dyno runs to homologate the parts and be confident and longer runs at the track, but overall I can say we have saved costs and we have a capacity to supply a second team. And I don’t really think the racing has been compromised that much, but I can sympathize with Norbert’s perspective and sometimes the fan perspective of being a little bit confused by what is happening. FIA

Ford Fusion ready to test Ford Fusion ready to testNASCAR and Team Ford Racing will get their first on-track look at the new Fusion in two weeks in a team effort. Wood Brothers Racing [#21] will run a prototype with former Nextel Cup champion #88-Dale Jarrett of Robert Yates Racing testing at the Atlanta Motor Speedway on Aug. 2. The 1.5-mile track south of Atlanta is available despite almost $40 million in property damage from a recent tornado. “As of right now [the Sunday morning of the recent New England 300 at Loudon, N. H.], we’re still planning to test the new Ford and the new Chevrolet that day,” said Robin Pemberton, a former crew chief and Ford Racing official, and now NASCAR’s vice-president for competition.

“They were hit pretty hard, but they’re cleaning up and making progress.” With small variations, it will go something like this: The Chevy and Ford haulers will arrive at AMS early in the morning. The team that tests first—that hasn’t been determined—will wait for the other team to leave the premises before unloading and testing. Once its test is done, NASCAR officials will accompany the car to the Lockheed wind tunnel in Marietta. The second car won’t be unloaded and tested until the other car is off the premises.

Once its on-track test is completed, officials will accompany the second car to the wind tunnel at Marietta [GA]. “Mainly, we want to compare the cars’ performances to each other on the track and in the wind tunnel,” Pemberton said. “We have target numbers for what downforce and drag numbers we expect in the tunnel, and what speeds we expect on the track. But there’s no reason to think either car won’t be approved. Everybody’s so tuned into what it takes for approval. The teams and engineers know the aerodynamic numbers, so the tests are to cover our bases. They’re just to verify that the cars are what we expect. It’ll be a neat and orderly process. The teams will get the go-ahead within a few weeks to start building new cars.” Ford Racing

2006 Fontana tickets on sale 2006 Fontana tickets on saleFollowing an encouraging round of season ticket renewals for 2006, the next stage of ticket sales kicks in for the February 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Auto Club 500 weekend, which will be contested one week after the season-opening Daytona 500.

On Saturday, July 23rd, new season ticket sales, along with the two-day NASCAR Fan Pack and single-day tickets for the February NASCAR event will go on sale.  The speedway's box office, located at 9300 Cherry Ave., Fontana, Calif., will open at 8 a.m. and remain open until 4 p.m.  Tickets can also be purchased online at www.californiaspeedway.com or by calling 800-944-RACE [7223].

Renewable season ticket plans for 2006 include the California Speedway Club (CSC), located in the middle upper section overlooking the start/finish line.  The tickets include a one-time seat license ($1,200), and guests in this section have a preordered meal delivered to their seats, along with premier reserved parking, stadium seating with personalized placard, an annual gift and quarterly e-newsletters.  New for this year, CSC members can purchase Sunday only NASCAR tickets along with the license fee, or tickets for all of California Speedway's 2006 events.

For the NASCAR fan that doesn't want to miss any on-track excitement, the NASCAR Action Pack features a six-day season ticket to include all practice, qualifying and racing events during the February and September NASCAR weekends at California Speedway.  The $330 NASCAR Action Pack is a renewable reserved upper level seat, and guests will enjoy food and beverage service via roaming vendors, a quarterly e-newsletter and an annual gift.  Also available with season add-on that includes special parking for NASCAR weekends and tickets to the IRL, AMA, Grand American and Historic Sports Car events.

Ticket options available for February only include the NASCAR Fan Pack and single-day tickets.

Champ Car TV ratings up/down Champ Car TV ratings up/downThe following presents race-by-race final Nielsen ratings for CBS’ ’05 Champ Car coverage. CBS averaged a 0.8/2 final Nielsen rating for four races, down 20.0% from a 1.0 in ’03, the last year CBS televised Champ Car, and down 20.0% from a 1.0 in ’02. It should be noted that ratings in '05 are much higher than they were in '04 on SPIKE, but comparing to the last time they were on CBS, they are down. In other words, Champ Car still has a long way to go. Ratings won't go up until the drivers become heroes. THE DAILY.


June 4 Milwaukee^ 0.7/2 0.6/2 16.7%
June 19 Portland 0.4/1 0.9/2 -55.6%
June 26 Cleveland 0.9/2 1.1/3 -18.2%
July 10 Toronto 1.0/3 1.2/4 -16.7%

^ = Compared to the Grand Prix of Monterey in ’03.

FreedomRoads to Sponsor ppc Racing FreedomRoads to Sponsor ppc Racingppc Racing officials announced today FreedomRoads, the largest recreational vehicle retailer in the United States, will sponsor the No. 22 ppc Racing Ford Taurus race team with driver Kenny Wallace this weekend at Pikes Peak International Raceway (PPIR).  FreedomRoads, located in 21 states, has more than 9,000 RV models to choose from as it looks to consistently deliver highest quality recreational experience to its customers.

“Pikes Peak is a great place for FreedomRoads to showcase its brand with the NASCAR Busch Series race this weekend,” said Marcus Lemonis, Chairman and CEO at FreedomRoads.  “Race fans will see FreedomRoads and K&C RV on the 22 car this weekend.  K&C RV, Colorado's largest RV dealer with locations in Denver, Golden and Colorado Springs has been part of the FreedomRoads family of dealerships for just over a year.  Being associated with a race team that is contending for the championship and running up front will give us the exposure we’re looking for through sports marketing.  Many of our FreedomRoads employees and customers will be enjoying the race weekend from the comfort of a recreational vehicle as we cheer on Kenny.”

“We’re definitely pleased to see FreedomRoads jump on the ‘golden egg’ with Kenny Wallace,” said Greg Pollex, car owner at ppc Racing.  “They recognize the fan-following in NASCAR as many race fans themselves travel in RVs to the race tracks.  For the race fan, it’s more than just the race; they camp out and experience a NASCAR race weekend.  What they will see is the No. 22 FreedomRoads Ford Taurus in the race and hopefully in Victory Lane.”

Wallace enters PPIR fifth in NBS driver points standings with nine top-10 finishes this season.  He has finishes second twice and considers PPIR his favorite track on the schedule.  The green flag is slated to drop at 3:30 p.m. EDT.

All paths lead to NASCAR All paths lead to NASCARThis TheDay.com article talks about the fact that young stock car and open wheel drivers now look to NASCAR as the ultimate goal for their career in the USA.  So much for Road to Indy hats that the IRL was handing out a couple of years ago.
Lazier to fill in for injured Enge at Milwaukee Lazier to fill in for injured Enge at MilwaukeeBuddy Lazier will get an additional race on his limited IndyCar Series schedule by filling in for the injured Tomas Enge in the ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt 225 on July 24 at The Milwaukee Mile.

Lazier, who competed last week at Nashville Superspeedway with Panther Racing and has at least three other events on his calendar, will drive the No. 2 ROCKSTAR Panther Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone on the 1-mile oval. Enge suffered compression fractures to the T12 and L1 vertebrae during a crash on Lap 28 of the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville.

"My No. 1 concern is for the health of my teammate Tomas Enge," said Lazier, who has finished fifth (89th Indianapolis 500) and ninth (Nashville) in the No. 95 entry. "I don't like that I will be competing in this race because he is injured, but I'm thankful again to Panther Racing, ROCKSTAR Energy Drink and Chevrolet for giving me another great opportunity. We'll do our best this weekend in Milwaukee."

Enge, an IndyCar Series rookie, has five top-10 starts and one top-10 finish in the nine events. Lazier also has been confirmed for upcoming races at Michigan International Speedway (July 31), Kentucky Speedway (Aug. 14) and Chicagoland Speedway (Sept. 11).

"We're fortunate to have a driver as talented and experienced as Buddy Lazier to fill in for Tomas this weekend," Panther co-owner John Barnes said. "But at the same time we're looking forward to having Enge back as soon as possible. Tomas is a fighter, and he's done a great job for us this season and we're looking forward to having him back in a race car as soon as the doctors say it's OK."

Red Bull USGP ticket renewals Red Bull USGP ticket renewalsMazda Raceway Laguna Seca has distributed applications for renewals on all premium seating locations for the 2006 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix July 21-23, 2006. The deadline for all renewal applications is August 20, 2005.

Ticket packages available for renewal are all Premier Pit Row Suites, Turn 3 Paddock Suites, Turn 2 Suites, Flagroom, and Laguna Club. Premier and Reserved Camping locations are also renewable purchases. All remaining tickets, including general admission, paddock passes, remaining grandstand seats and remaining camping go on sale September 1.

Renewal opportunities for the 2005 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, marking the return of the MotoGP series to the United States, were offered to previous World Superbike Championship event ticket holders. This year's event sold out of Saturday and Sunday tickets one week in advance of the event, drawing an announced crowd of 153,653 during three days of activity.

Due to the quantity of orders for the 2006 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, there will be no exceptions to renewal applications received after the August 20 deadline. Renewal orders are accepted by mail or walk-up only.

More information on the ticket process is available by calling (800) 327-SECA or logging on to www.laguna-seca.com.
Kiesa to Jordan - official Kiesa to Jordan - officialNicolas Kiesa will fill departed Jordan 'Friday' driver Robert Doornbos' seat at Hockenheim, the Midland owned team announced.  With the Netherlands' Doornbos off to Minardi, his replacement - confirmed only for the German grand prix stint - is from Denmark.  Jordan MD Colin Kolles said a 'longer term position' would be discussed at the track.

Kiesa, 27, was a similar ring-in at Minardi in 2003, when he replaced Jaguar-bound Justin Wilson's race role.  ''Nicolas will bring some good experience and another viewpoint,'' sporting director Adrian Burgess added, ''and this can only help (race drivers) Narain (Karthikeyan) and Tiago (Monteiro).''

Coincidentally, Copenhagen-born Kiesa made his F1 debut for Minardi on the revised Hockenheimring layout.  He finished five laps down.

Industry News
Movie classics tonight Movie classics tonightTonight on Turner Classic Movies (TCM), some real racing classics:
8:00 PM EST Winning(Paul Newman)
10:15 PM EST Grand Prix (A Classic)
(Following) The Crowd Roars(shots of Legion Ascot?)
(Following) Indianapolis Speedway (1939)
Penske ALMS drivers named Penske ALMS drivers namedWhen it comes to motorsports Porsche does its business the right way, and the winning way based on its performance in the American Le Mans Series. So the drivers that the German manufacturer has named to pilot its new LMP2 race car when it debuts in the final two ALMS races of 2005 should come as no surprise.

Veteran Porsche factory drivers Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr have been named to drive the Penske Motorsports Porsche RS Spyder at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta and the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Maassen has 22 career ALMS victories, the most entering this season, and Luhr has 19, including a class victory this year at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Twice, they have teamed to win the ALMS GT2 championship, and they joined with Emannuel Collard to win in GT2 at Le Mans in 2003 and at Sebring in 2001. Collard will make Petit Le Mans a reunion for the trio when he joins Maassen and Luhr in the new prototype at Road Atlanta.

“No other drivers in the history of the American Le Mans Series personify Porsche like Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr,” said Scott Atherton, president and CEO of the American Le Mans Series. “They have been one of the most successful pairings in the ALMS with 14 GT2 victories together, plus a class win at Le Mans. Having Penske Motorsports team with Porsche in this historic venture was a huge positive in itself for the American Le Mans Series. Bringing Lucas and Sascha into the fold, along with Emmanuel Collard at Petit Le Mans, only will increase the excitement for our fans and sponsors.”

Luhr and Maassen recently tested the Porsche RS Spyder on the famed 2.603-mile, 13-turn Formula 1 track in Estoril, Portugal. Also on hand for the first tests of the Porsche LMP2 prototype was Peter Schwarzenbauer, president of Porsche Cars North America, who commissioned Porsche to build the car for Porsche customer race teams in the ALMS.

All parties present were pleased with the three-day test session, expressing satisfaction with the performance of the car’s completely new 3.4-liter V8 engine, sequential six-speed transmission and carbon fiber chassis.

The first track test session of the Porsche RS Spyder saw a truly international motorsport gathering of participants from Germany, the United States, Italy, Belgium, Ireland, Holland, France and England. They included engine, transmission, suspension, aerodynamic, and race engineers and technicians from Porsche AG, as well as race engineers and technicians from Penske Motorsports.    

The Estoril test was the first event in a testing program in 2005 for the new Porsche RS Spyder that includes sessions at other major venues in Europe and America, and concludes with the two races at Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca. This program serves as a prelude to a two-car Penske Motorsports Porsche LMP2 effort that will contest the entire 2006 ALMS season.

“If anyone has been a student of the way Penske goes racing, you know that it is second-to-none,” Atherton said. “How they will approach the American Le Mans Series is a point of curiosity for all of us. The expectations are very high, but I don’t think anyone will be disappointed.”

The next round of the American Le Mans Series is the Portland Grand Prix set for July 28-30 at Portland International Raceway. The race will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel from 8 to 11 p.m. EDT July 30, the first prime-time broadcast for an ALMS race. Live Timing and Scoring will be available at www.americanlemans.com.

Hockenheim offers fans the ultimate experience Hockenheim offers fans the ultimate experienceThere are only a few days left until the 12th German Grand Prix, the highlight of the Formula 1 calendar in Germany. From July 22nd to 24th the Hockenheimring offers exciting races, first class entertainment and plenty more besides for all motorsport fans and spectators. Race fans are in for a treat as what can only be described as an unusual 2005 season continues to unfold; the potential winner of the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix is very much up for debate.

Added to this outside of the usual racing excitement Hockenheimring is set to offer even more to its fans - the German circuit will present an entertainment program over the race weekend equal to this year’s nail biting F1 action.

Autograph Sessions
Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Meeting point: Hori Stage, behind the South Grandstand

Motorsport at its closest! Last year more than 1,000 fans at the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix were rewarded with the chance to have their photo taken with their favorite F1 drivers. A unique opportunity that turned the day into a memorable occasion for everybody who attended. This year at a new location, the individual autograph sessions will take place at the Hori stage in the fan area. Timetable will be sent separately.
Pit Walkabout
Thursday: 16.00 . 18.00h
Entrance: South H

This will be a unique experience for all fans who have ever dreamed of having a closer look into the world of F1. Thursday, July 21st at 16.00h, the pit lane will be open for visitors. All holders of a weekend ticket will have the opportunity to get closer to the action with a stroll down the pit lane as the F1 teams prepare for the weekend. In order to avoid crowding the access will be limited to 3000 people.

Guided Bus Tours around the Track
Thursday: 16.00 . 18.00h
Entrance: South H

After the success of 2004, visitors will once again be able to take guided bus rides around the track. In order to get a view of the circuit from a driver’s perspective, racing experts such as F1 Safety Car driver Bernd Mayländer, GP2 and Porsche Michelin Supercup drivers will commentate during the tours. For two hours on Thursday, four buses will drive up and down, getting the fans to see every bit of the race track. This event is also limited to 3000 people.

Pit Stop Challenge
Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11.00 . 18.00h
Meeting point: .Hori. Stage, behind the South Grandstand

Here the Hockenheim fans can prove their strong nerves by feeling like they’re Schumi at the pit stop, and win fantastic prizes. From morning to evening, the onstage program includes competitions, live music acts and the big pit stop challenge, presented by motorsport expert Ralf Krabbe.

Joy Fleming sings national anthem
Musicians like her, showing such talent and professionalism, are not easily found in Germany. Despite a fully booked timetable, Joy Fleming will visit the Hockenheimring to sing the national anthem before the start of the F1 race on 24th July.
Experience World - following the steps of your idols
Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11.00 . 18.00h
Meeting point: .Fahrsicherheitszentrum., behind the Inside Grandstand

The professionals of F1 race on the track in their fast cars and in the Fahrsicherheitszentrum, being only a stone’s throw away from the inside grand stand, the F1 fans can test their own driving abilities. Visitors get the chance to drive fast race cars during the race breaks or to get a ride in the race taxi. A thrilling experience to test fans’ own limits!

FAN TV on Giant Screens
The program of the Hockenheimring offers non-stop entertainment with its adrenalin pumping races of the Formula 1, the young GP2, the Porsche Michelin Supercup and the Mini Cooper Challenge. At major events like the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix some of the most interesting events take place backstage away from where the fans can traditionally see. This will not be the case at the Hockenheimring! FAN TV broadcasts LIVE on giant video walls behind-the-scenes footage from the paddock and all around the circuit, interviewing stars and celebrities in the paddock, drivers, fitness trainers and experts from the pit lane.

SWR3 Race Radio
Be closer to the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix from July 22nd to 24th: For the fourth time official radio partner of the Hockenheimring, SWR3 broadcasts the .SWR3 Race Radio directly from the F1 track. Daily from 7.00 until 19.00h on 92.4 FM, the race radio features all important information about the race, the drivers and the track. A special team of producers, radio journalists, presenters and technicians broadcast live from the mobile SWR3 studio placed right at the circuit. Get the latest news from the pit lane as well as useful traffic and parking information, tips for camping and of course the latest hits to party to. Two big parties organized by radio SWR3 in Hockenheim city on Friday and Saturday night will warm up the crowd in advance of the big race on Sunday.

Motorsport Museum - Jim Clark Exhibition and Race Simulators
Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11.00 . 20.00
Meeting point: Motorsport museum, behind South Grandstand

The ultimate experience to really feel motorsport history first hand. With the motorsport museum the Hockenheimring presents a very special exhibition honoring Jim Clark, former race icon and legend of his time, twice F1 champion, who was killed April 7th in 1968 during a Formula 2 European Championship race taking place at the Hockenheimring. Dive into the Golden Days. After the exhibition you will not want to miss a little mental stimulation at the six PlayStation race simulators. Definitely worth a visit!

Dragster, Hot Wheels & Cheerleaders
As everybody knows Sunday is the big day. Spectators don’t have to wait until the afternoon to see exciting race action. Followed by the drivers’ parade of all F1 drivers, dragsters from the USA will impress the fans with their thrilling burn-outs and ultimate exhilaration. In order to heat up the atmosphere cheerleaders drawn from all over Germany will welcome spectators at the Grandstands.

Party, Beer Gardens & Live Music
From Friday through till Sunday you will not find a calm minute on the fan side of the circuit live music and show acts of talented young musicians will do their best to entertain the crowd. The cultural part of the program is not missing. Hockenheim’s private associations will surprise with their own presentations. The Erlebnispark Innentribüne offers entertainment for families with music trucks, live bands and more. Hockenheim

Lowe's selling "Super Ticket" Lowe's selling "Super Ticket"Lowe's Motor Speedway is once again offering a $99 "super ticket" for four nights of racing in October.  The tickets will be good for the Mopar Sprint Car Nationals at the Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway on Oct. 12, then for Nextel Cup qualifying on Oct. 13, a Busch Series race on Oct. 14 and for a Diamond Tower Terrace seat for the UAW-GM 500 Cup race at the main track on Saturday, Oct. 15.  The tickets can be purchased by calling the ticket office at (800) 455-FANS.
McLaren drivers to miss meeting McLaren drivers to miss meetingMcLaren Mercedes drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya said they will not be attending an August 1st meeting of FIA President Max Mosley about driver safety because they are on vacation.

Raikkonen said: "I will not be going. I am on holiday," while Montoya said it was inconvenient for him too. "The meeting was a good thing and it had been scheduled for Silverstone (two weeks ago) but then it was decided to have it during the holidays," Montoya said.

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Kiesa signs Jordan deal
Michelin want less teams
McLaren men snub Max summit
Ferrari won't 'give up'
F1 sponsor in hot water
Rossi switch would be costly
DC told to 'be yourself'
Lauda fit for F1 return
Wheldon keeps eye on F1
Pitchforth back on F1 scene
Wants in-depth Kalkhoven interview Wants in-depth Kalkhoven interviewA reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Outstanding interview with Jeremy Dale! I just wish you could have an in-depth interview with that period of time with Kevin Kalkhoven.... Hard questions that Kevin and co. should really be answering. I disagree that they're not utilizing the European fans. Keep ignoring them and they will disappear. There is surely room for at least 2-3 European races. Either way it goes I'll be there. Excellent interview Mark! James Shaw, Las Vegas, NV Dear James, We believe Champ Car will someday be back in Europe, but not in the immediate future. It must first focus on solidifying North America and Pacific Rim venues. As for doing a similar interview with Kevin Kalkhoven, we'll do one when the time is right. Mark C.
World Series by Renault
100K turn out for World Series by Renault race 100K turn out for World Series by Renault raceThey had 100,000 spectators on the streets in Bilbao, Spain for last weekend's World Series by Renault race (See photos on our Home Page).
Race 1:
1. Robert Kubica (POL)
2. Will Power (AUS)
3. Tristan Gommendy (FRA)
Race 2:
1. Will Power (AUS)
2. Alex Danielsson (SWE)
3. Milos Pavlovic (YUG)
Washington (Seattle) start your engines Washington (Seattle) start your enginesCome out and meet International Speedway Corporation officials on Wednesday, July 27 from 5pm - 8pm at South Kitsap High School. Learn more about the proposed facility and have a chance to take home some great items including race tickets and autographed memorabilia. The open house will feature a silent auction with all proceeds benefiting local Kitsap County charities and schools.
Event Details:
"The Commons" at South Kitsap High School
425 Mitchell Avenue
Port Orchard, WA

Parking in north parking lot. Please use north entrance. For additional information visit race2wa.com
Legge's future still in doubt Legge's future still in doubtDespite having immediate success in the Toyota Atlantic series, Katherine Legge still doesn't know if she has a future in racing because, unlike Danica Patrick, who is flooded with sponsor offers, Legge's phone is not yet ringing off the hook. She had this to say on Wednesday's Champ Car media conference.

Q: Katherine, I just basically wanted to follow up on what was just said. Do you have a definite arrangement for next year in place to return to Atlantics or is everything still a bit up in the air?
KATHERINE LEGGE: No, absolutely not. I mean, everything's still really up in the air. If I won every race from now till the end of the year, who knows what would happen. I really can't say right now. I need to find some sponsors, which I'm not having much luck at the moment. I really don't know. I really can't answer what I'm going to be doing yet because at the moment we're so focused on getting this year out of the way, that until we get to Montreal at the end of the year and we think about what we're going to do next year.

I mean, I'm hoping if I do Atlantics again next year, I can do a lot of pre-season testing because we're not sure what's happening with the cars and different engines and things. We're not sure whether they're going to bring it in with the Champ Car changes, which are due in 2007. It seems to be an awkward time to be moving around right now.

Q. Is all of the publicity being given to another woman driver in the States right now helping or hindering you?
KATHERINE LEGGE: It's really not affecting me at all, you know, apart from the press trying to make it into something that it's really not, it's having no effect. You know, Danica is just going down a completely different route to the route I'm going down. I think she's a really good driver and I really genuinely wish her well. If we were in the same series, I could understand the deal that's being made out of it, but we're really not.

I think the most important thing is we want to be seen as drivers. We're not terribly keen on being seen as female drivers. Obviously, we wouldn't change the fact that we're female, but I think the most important thing to us is that we're seen as competitive.
NASCAR slams another cheater NASCAR slams another cheaterNASCAR announced today that Danny Gill, crew chief for the No. 32 Chevrolet driven by Bobby Hamilton Jr., in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, has been fined $1,000 for an infraction discovered during opening day inspection at New Hampshire International Speedway last weekend. Gill was fined for a seat belt with an expired manufacturer’s date, a violation of Section 12-4-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 17-2-C (seat belts) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rule book. NASCAR PR
Speedway and Airport to work together in WA Speedway and Airport to work together in WAWhile International Speedway Corp. (ISC) keeps the entire county waiting in anticipation of its racetrack proposal, the issues surrounding the Bremerton National Airport could become a key part of the decision. “Since we haven’t seen the proposal, we don’t know whether it will be a good deal or a bad deal,” said Port of Bremerton Commissioner Bill Mahan. “As for the airport, it depends on what the proposal says. If it requires a local business to shut down for a month, then we would take a serious look as to whether we would support it or not.” North Kitsap County Commissioner Chris Endresen also has said that she would not support the NASCAR track if it had a negative effect on the airport’s growth. According to ISC spokesman Stann Tate, it will be several months before the  company submits its proposal.  With respect to the airport, the most important issue is the proximity of the grandstands to the runways. Federal Aviation Administration regulations established after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks required airports within a certain distance of a large public assembly to close down during that event. Fred Salisbury, director of airport and industrial operations, said that two major racing days a year would not cause a great inconvenience. A NASCAR facility also usually increases airport traffic and business considerably — even with the imposition of some blackout times. The practice of establishing Temporary Flight Restrictions existed prior to Sept. 11 but has been refined since then. A TFR represents an area three miles and 3,000 feet from the event, through which no planes are permitted from one hour before to one hour after the event. TFRs are established according to the event’s expected attendance. The FAA does not disclose the level at which it establishes a restriction. More at The Reporter
Andrea Stella talks about his role at the Scuderia Andrea Stella talks about his role at the ScuderiaWhatever the situation in the Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships, it is clear that Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro is still as keen as ever to win races and although his rivals often comment on Michael Schumacher’s seemingly endless enthusiasm for victory, the fact that this weekend is the reigning World Champion’s home race, adds some extra spice to his weekend.

Michael can count on the full support of the entire team, particularly those members directly involved in his car. The most obvious point of contact between driver and team is his race engineer, however, as the amount of telemetric data available has grown over the years, the driver and race engineer now work with a vehicle engineer, who is one step removed from the action in the pit garage, as it is his job to analyze all the data coming off the car. In Schumacher’s case that role falls to Andrea Stella.

“My job and that of the race engineer are complementary,” he says. “While the race engineer lives in the garage or on the pit wall, I am glued to the computer screens studying the telemetry data to understand how the car is performing, what are the handling issues, the braking performance and the traction of the car. Having studied all the data, I then have to correlate it with our driver’s comments. It is a two way communication between me and the driver. Together we try and assess the overall situation with the car, looking to find areas where we have to improve the set-up, both mechanical and aerodynamic. Another important part of my job is to set up the traction control and engine braking and the differential, which are the “active” systems that we have running in the car.”

Based on this analysis, Stella then discusses his findings along with Michael’s race engineer, Chris Dyer. “It is a team job and Michael is very open to suggestions and to discussion,” maintains Stella. “Most of our solutions come from discussion within the team and that is a very enjoyable way of working.” The fact that Schumacher has a fearsome reputation for getting involved in every last detail of car set-up and performance is an added plus for Stella and his team. “Michael has a very good understanding of the car and this makes our life much easier in a way, because he can give you not only the feeling he has from actually driving the car, but also the feeling on which direction we should go in terms of setting up the car. In fact, I think he could almost engineer his own car!”

For Hockenheim, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro will be introducing a new aerodynamic package for the German Grand Prix. “This proves that Ferrari is still pushing with the development program on the F2005 and we have certainly not given up,” maintains Stella. “For every race we usually have something new because we are still fighting to win, whatever the current situation in the championships. In this situation, when we have new components, I have seen all the data produced from testing with them. We have a lot of very specialized engineers to look after specific areas on the car, while my job is more related to the overall car- tire-performance package.”

So, from behind the telemetry screens, what will the Hockenheim track serve up for the Ferrari engineers? “In a way the old Hockenheim, with its very long straights, was more challenging technically, but the current circuit also has its own interesting points,” begins Stella. “To get a good lap time here, you need good braking, good traction and cars that possess these characteristics will perform very well. There is an overtaking opportunity, at the hairpin, so this makes the racing interesting here.

“The track surface gets very hot, which makes life tough for the tires. This is a constraint that prevents us running a tire that is softer, which ideally is what you want for good braking and traction. The Stadium area is still very interesting for the drivers and also for spectators. The set-up you now use for the complex is actually similar to the rest of the track, whereas in the past, you had to face the big challenge of getting the cars to work in the Stadium with the very low downforce you had to adopt for the long straights.
I like the last two corners, which is effectively one long corner, as it is very important for a good lap time. The drivers never seem to tackle it the same way lap after lap. In some corners, drivers take an identical approach for every lap. With Michael, it is definitely different each time as he has a tendency to improve every lap, which is one of his trademarks, improving all the time, getting nearer and nearer to the limits of the car.”

All drivers are keen to shine at their home race and Stella reckons Schumacher will be no exception to the rule this weekend. “This is the third year I have worked on Michael’s car, having started at Monza in 2002. I think for sure, he wants to do very well in Hockenheim, because it is his home race and also, because he still wants to win every race he enters. One can also consider that, earlier this year, he did not have a good race at the Nurburgring and he would like to make up for that.”

Whether or not Schumacher feels any additional pressure at his home Grand Prix, Stella is looking forward to another weekend working with his driver. “Working with Michael is always a pleasure, because not only does he have a good understanding of what the car is doing, but also he can give you feedback while driving round the track,” claims Stella. “He can talk you round a lap in great detail as to what the car is doing, but the lap time will be no different to when he drives a lap in silence. I have the impression that while most drivers need nearly all their brainpower to drive the car and can only use a tiny percentage to analyze what the car is doing, Michael can perform at his maximum using only 50% of his brain, leaving the other 50 to think about what the car is doing and to analyze it.” Ferrari Press

Kalkhoven, Kneifel happy with Edmonton Kalkhoven, Kneifel happy with EdmontonKneifel has additional ideas of his own about improving and expanding spectator areas around the track.

"We also know what we need more of in terms of additional spectator areas," Kneifel said. "I need to speak to the promoters, Tom and Greg, because it's their call, but I'd like to take what I call the island area from turn four to the entry to turn seven. There's a big grass island there and we could build a conventional run-off from turn four and then bring a block line from driver's left all the way from turn four up to turn seven and we could create a fantastic viewing area there.

"The general admission areas were absolutely one hundred percent packed so my mind has already shifted to next year in terms of what can we do to get more room for spectators and improved viewing, and also thinking about what can we do to tweak the racetrack and the over-the-track signage. How do we improve that so it's better for the drivers and better for the fans so we're not interrupting sightlines? It's a matter of looking at the location of certain things and tying back into the overall facility and coming back and doing a better job next time.

"But we're tickled to death. Dave Lambert and his crew behind the scenes deserve a big amount of credit because they've been awesome. And Doug Francouer, who's essentially our landlord with the airport, has been instrumental whether it's getting the big sweepers out on Saturday or working on the spectator areas. The assistance from him has been fantastic. He and his people have just made the event better. We'll learn a lot from the race and sit down and properly asses what we can do to make it better."

Kevin Kalkhoven could not have been more delighted with what he saw in Edmonton last weekend.

"We knew it was going to be strong," Kalkhoven commented in the pitlane before the race. "We knew it was pretty much a sell-out. But you hear these things and it's only when you actually see the people in the grandstands that you completely believe it.

"The Canadian fans are unique. Certainly Edmonton is probably the most unique. On Saturday I was wandering around in the rain and the stands were full of people and I heard one guy say to another, 'You guys are nuts.' And the other guy said, 'It's not snowing!'

"This is a wonderful event," Kalkhoven added. "We've got at least a five-year contract here and we're looking forward to every one of those and more. One of the things we've had to do is go to these type of urban events which are wonderful for spectators that fit our marketing strategy. It's clearly been proven that people love these type of events. We go from here to San Jose, which is going to be equally strong, and then to Denver, which will be stronger than ever this year. Champ Car is alive and thriving."  More at ChampCar.ws

Cleveland vs. Edmonton Cleveland vs. EdmontonThis SPEEDTV.com article talks about what lessons Cleveland (another airport circuit) can learn from Edmonton's success.   Unfortunately it omits two key issues. 1) Whereas the Edmonton race was run in comfortable temperatures, the Cleveland race is always scheduled when it is hot and humid that the fans can hardly stand sitting in the wretched conditions on hard plank seats with little leg room.  Would you pay $40, $50 or more to torture yourself?  2) Cleveland as a city is not behind the race like Edmonton was, not even close.  Edmonton also has a lot of sponsors that helped promote the race.  Cleveland and Edmonton are not even in the same league.
Sharp eyes milestone Sharp eyes milestoneSharp looks forward to milestone start: Scott Sharp doesn't look the worse for wear after competing in 99 consecutive races. At 37, he's fit, fast in the No. 8 Delphi Panoz/Honda/Firestone and flattered to have had long-time sponsorship and friendships in the IndyCar Series.

No. 100 in a row (he passed the century mark for career races at Phoenix this year) is a testament to his abilities and fortitude, and the event will add to the occasion.

A decade after competing in his initial Indianapolis 500 in an A.J. Foyt Enterprises-prepared car, Sharp will drive in the ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt 225 at The Milwaukee Mile. Foyt competed as a driver more times The Milwaukee Mile than at any other track in his storied career (an estimated 98 races in Indy-style cars, stock cars, midgets and sprint cars).

Q and A with Paul Tracy, Katherine Legge and Bob Singleton Q and A with Paul Tracy, Katherine Legge and Bob SingletonToday's Champ Car media teleconference featured a Q and A session with Paul Tracy, Katherine Legge and Bob Singleton, promoter of the next Champ Car race in San Jose. Transcript
Champ Car steals page from NASCAR Champ Car steals page from NASCARA reader write, Dear AutoRAcing1.com, Good Autoracing1.com coverage from Edmonton, thanks... I have some quick comments regarding Champ Car's broadcast from Edmonton. Yes, the NASCAR guys did steal a few of the victory celebrations from the Champ Car guys (Donuts- Zanardi, climbing the fence- Castroneves). But, Champ Car's TV production crew did borrow a page from NASCAR's book when they really built up the Bourdais/Tracy rivalry! Maybe it is just the white trash in me, but a big reason I tuned into the race on Sunday was to see how the rivalry worked out! My wife, (who I am afraid to admit isn't a big racing fan) was even interested enough from the Tracy/Bourdais rivalry lead-in, to watch the race!
I have never been a fan of Bourdais or Tracy. Bourdais seems to dull for me, and Tracy has always seemed like a spoiled rich kid to me! But now with the rivalry, I can't wait to see what these two do on the track! So I say, if Champ Car wants to push the rivalry and fighting between these two, GREAT, it is building new fans and bigger ratings.
In regards to the race coverage itself. I'm not a big Daly fan, but overall, the coverage is 300% better than it was a year ago. The guys at Molson Entertainment are doing a great job. I particularly liked the music fades to commercials. It's subtle things that make the broadcast better, and these guys on really on-top of it! Charlie Frank, Westlake Village, CA
Industry News
Ford up but problems remain Ford up but problems remainFord Motor Co. earned more than Wall Street expected in the second quarter, but investors were disappointed by problems in North America -- and the lack of a plan to fix those problems.  The company's automaking operations in the region were plagued once again by plunging market share, rising costs and quality setbacks, leading to a huge pretax loss.  But despite the North American loss, Ford announced Tuesday that it earned $946 million, or 47 cents per share, in the April-to-June quarter, down 22% from the $1.2 billion earned in the same months of 2004.

Excluding onetime events and discontinued operations, as Wall Street analysts typically do, the company earned $936 million, or 47 cents per share, topping the average analyst expectation of 33 cents a share by about 42%.  But analysts said the surprising strength was mostly related to a tax settlement and related interest, which were not treated as onetime items but are nevertheless unlikely to be repeated. More at Detroit Free Press

Industry News
Penske recommends no-haggling pricing Penske recommends no-haggling pricingThe nation's second-largest new-car dealer, Roger Penske, said Tuesday that automakers should implement no-haggle pricing across the board because customers like it better.  The chairman of Bloomfield Hills-based United Auto Group Inc., which sells new and used cars at more than 143 franchised dealerships in the United States and 96 internationally, made the remarks during a conference call about his company's second-quarter financial results. Penske was asked about the success of General Motors Corp.'s Employee Discount for Everyone program, which was implemented in June.

"My one takeaway is that ... the closer we can get to one price in this business, the better we are going to be long-term," said Penske, who noted that brands from Scion to Ferrari sell under a fixed-price model.

GM's employee discount program set a low no-haggle price for all its models, and Penske said the program helped clear about 50% of UAG's inventory of GM cars and trucks. One reason for that success, Penske speculated, is that customers feel more comfortable that they are getting a good deal under the program. "I think the consumer sees the price, knows the price," he said.  More at Detroit Free Press

Michelin wants better balance Michelin wants better balanceSince its return to Formula One, Michelin has noticed a strong imbalance in its favor; 7 teams having requested Michelin to provide tires to them. This tendency has continued since an eighth team has now asked Michelin for a partnership agreement.

Michelin is obviously delighted by the confidence this demonstrates, both in the positive appreciation of its products by its partners and also in the recognition of its policy of treating all its partners equally.

However, this situation does not help the development of long-term competition between tire manufacturers; a principle to which Michelin is firmly committed.

As Michelin Chairman and CEO, Edouard Michelin has often reiterated: “Formula One must remain the marvelous technological showcase that it is, thus allowing the world’s automobile players to compete, whilst offering a true show for the fans, as well as providing benefits within the automotive industry. It is with this in mind that tire manufacturers must be able to make their own contribution towards improving the performances of the teams they supply. This supposes that there be at least two tire manufacturers involved, maybe even more.”

Michelin is therefore completely open to allowing for a more balanced split of teams among tire manufacturers, starting as early as the 2006 season. Furthermore, as Michelin has often stated, it remains fully in favor of working on adapting the regulations relating to tires in the F1 environment, with a view to better cost-control, improving safety and to continuing to develop exciting racing for the fans. Michelin

EU tobacco legislation set to kick in EU tobacco legislation set to kick inAll print advertising, radio advertising and event sponsorship by tobacco companies will be outlawed per the EU.  July 31st falls the Sunday of the Hungarian Grand Prix, so teams have to switch from tobacco livery to non-tobacco livery on the Saturday evening for Sunday’s race.

"I think we need to watch very carefully what happens post July 31st," Paul Stoddart said last October in an FIA scheduled press conference. "I am quite sure that if we see Bernie or Jean Todt going to jail then you can rapidly see the demise of tobacco in Formula One."  The message is now clear – no tobacco advertising.

Michael Shank Racing expands to two cars Michael Shank Racing expands to two carsMichael Shank Racing announced today that the team will expand to a two-car effort for four races during the second half of the 2005 Rolex Sports Car Series season, with drivers Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson rejoining MSR after making a successful debut with the team at Laguna Seca.
The Columbus, Ohio-based team will become a two-car effort starting with their home race in the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio in August, and will also race in the Watkins Glen 250 in September before racing in the final two Rolex events of the season at Virginia International Raceway and in Mexico City.
Michael Shank Racing will be adding staff to run the program in tandem with the full-season effort Mears Motor Coach Pontiac-Riley of Paul Mears Jr. and Mike Borkowski as the team continues to grow.
“This is really very exciting for us,” said Shank. “Since first getting started racing in Rolex, we have been working hard to grow our program to be able to support a two-car effort, and these races with Oswaldo and Mark are an important part of that process. I’m really pleased that we have taken this path and that it has created opportunity like this for the team. Mark and Oswaldo did a great job for us at Laguna Seca and, and we hope that this is the first step towards a full-time two car effort in 2006.”
Industry News
SPEED Channel Weekly Top 20 Driver Ranking SPEED Channel Weekly Top 20 Driver RankingUpdated 7-20-05
Pos. (LW) Driver (Series) Pts
1. (1) Fernando Alonso (F1) 10.427
2. (3) Tony Stewart (NASCAR) 8.499
3. (13) Sebastien Bourdais (CCWS) 7.774
4. (4) Kimi Raikkonen (F1) 7.663
5. (10) Greg Biffle (NASCAR) 7.330
6. (31) Paul Tracy (CCWS) 7.242
7. (8) Rusty Wallace (NASCAR) 7.215
8. (23) Dario Franchitti (IRL) 7.175
9. (16) Kurt Busch (NASCAR) 6.999
10. (NR) Ryan Newman (NASCAR) 6.841
11. (6) Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR) 6.756
12. (9) Justin Wilson (CCWS) 6.740
13. (14) Michael Schumacher (F1) 6.736
14. (7) Matt Kenseth (NASCAR) 6.701
15. (20) Oriol Servia (CCWS) 6.639
16. (12) Dale Earnhardt Jr. (NASCAR) 6.400
17. (26) Kyle Busch (NASCAR) 6.393
18. (NR) Bobby Labonte (NASCAR) 6.329
19. (15) Mark Martin (NASCAR) 6.298
20. (18) Dale Jarrett (NASCAR) 6.215
Last week’s ranking in parenthesis
Champ Car sees increase in exposure Champ Car sees increase in exposureThe Champ Car World Series put great effort into improving its television package as it prepared for the 2005 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season, and is beginning to see that effort pay off as the season hits the halfway point.

A recent run of four consecutive races shown live on CBS showed steady growth in Nielsen ratings numbers, topping out at the Molson Indy Toronto with a final rating of 1.0, signifying that over one million households tuned in to watch Justin Wilson (#9 CDW Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) score his first Champ Car win. The hometown broadcaster of the Molson Indy Toronto also showed a large increase in viewership as RDS reported that it more than doubled its household numbers for the 2005 Champ Car event. In addition, international presence has increased over 2004, especially in France, Denmark and Sweden where interest has been spiked by the successes of series champion Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald’s Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and the addition of Ronnie Bremer (#19 American Medical Response Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and Bjorn Wirdheim (#4 HVM Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) to the driver lineup.

“We believe that our television presence is vital to the continued growth of the series, as it is with any major sports entity,” said Champ Car President Dick Eidswick. “It is encouraging when you see steady growth in your television numbers, and how it relates to attendance like with the 200,000 fans we saw in Edmonton this past weekend. All of those factors support the fact that the Champ Car business model is following the right path.”

In addition to the increased television viewership, the four CBS races showed a quantum leap in sponsor, team and manufacturer exposure times. Exposure time – or the time that a sponsor, team or manufacturer’s name or logo is visible to the viewer – increased by more than a full hour in each of the events shown on CBS.

“Exposure time on television is a very valuable asset for Champ Car,” said Executive Vice-President of Sales & Marketing Will Wilson. “These increases in time that our partners are visible to the television audience not only provides added value to our existing partners, it helps attract new sponsors and partners and spurs even further growth.”

The series will next head to another inaugural event, as the streets of San Jose, California will be filled with the roar of turbocharged Champ Car engines during the Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose July 29-31. The event has announced strong ticket sales, with a number of grandstands already sold out and attendance expected to approach 125,000. The San Jose race will be followed by strong events in Denver and Montreal, where race organizers report as many as 30 new sponsor commitments for this year’s Champ Car events. Champ Car

Edmonton deal for 5 years Edmonton deal for 5 yearsJoe Chrnelich stated in the post-race briefing in Edmonton that the deal is for five years with options, meaning the deal with Champ Car is through 2009 with options.
Q and A with IRL drivers Q and A with IRL driversQ and A with IRL drivers on this week's IRL media conference"
Danica Patrick
Scott Sharp and Patrick Carpentier
Driver meeting to go ahead Driver meeting to go aheadA driver meeting with Max Mosley will go ahead next month, the FIA has confirmed. A spokesman for the governing body told Reuters that twelve super license holders would attend the summit in Cannes on the day after the Hungarian grand prix.

''Although this level of interest is disappointing,'' he added, ''the FIA ... feel the meeting should take place.''

The meeting will discuss safety, but - as suggested by leading GPDA director David Coulthard - also the questionable handling of the six-car Indianapolis fiasco.

Friesacher wants 2005 job Friesacher wants 2005 jobDespite losing his Minardi drive, Patrick Friesacher has vowed not to give up on a career at the pinnacle of racing. The 24-year-old Austrian, who slides aside for Robert Doornbos after some sponsors did not pay up, said he 'understands' Faenza boss Paul Stoddart's call.

He also told his website: ''I really felt good with the team. Within the next few days my manager and I will go through the next course of action.''

Top of the list is a 2005 role -- for example, Doornbos' vacated 'Friday' seat at Midland owned Jordan.  ''In addition,'' Patrick Friesacher revealed, ''we work on a 2006 ... package.'' [Editor's Note: There is always Champ Car]

Now Jordan sign Concorde Now Jordan sign ConcordeJordan has joined Ferrari and Red Bull in signing Bernie Ecclestone's new 2008-2012 Concorde agreement.  Team boss Colin Kolles said the F1 supremo had been 'instrumental' in bringing owner Alex Shnaider, to rebrand the team 'Midland' from next year, onto the grid.  ''From the very beginning,'' he added, ''(Alex) was supportive of (Bernie's) vision for the future of (F1). We are happy and proud to be in at the beginning of this process.'' [Editor's Note: Slowly but surely Max and Bernie are winning the war, like they always do.  We have said all along that the GPWC was a joke and just there to squeeze more money out of Bernie for the teams.]
Industry News
Honda expects sales rise Honda expects sales riseHonda Motor Co., Japan's third- largest automaker, expects sales to rise at least 16 percent by the year ending in March, 2008, as unit sales rise to 4 million vehicles.

Honda will have sales of more than 10 trillion yen ($88 billion) in fiscal 2007, said President Takeo Fukui, speaking at a press conference in Tokyo. Last fiscal year, the company had sales of 8.65 trillion yen.

Honda may have to rely more on the U.S., where it earns up to 64 percent of annual operating profit, as sales growth slows in China, the world's third-largest vehicle market. Tokyo-based Honda will introduce a redesigned version of its second-most popular vehicle model, the Civic compact car, in the U.S. in the second half and plans to begin exporting the Fit car to the U.S.

``Honda's shares as well as its earnings have been performing well as its strategy in releasing new and redesigned models globally has really helped in recent years,'' said Norihito Kanai, an analyst at Meiji Dresdner Asset Management Co. in Tokyo, which manages $2.5 billion in equities, including auto shares.

Honda shares have gained 7.3 percent so far this year, outperforming Toyota Motor Corp.'s 0.7 percent gain and Nissan Motor Co.'s 3.4 percent rise during the same period. Bloomberg

A lap around Hockenheim with Wurz A lap around Hockenheim with Wurz"Powering down the pit straight at the revised Hockenheim circuit, you reach 294km/h in seventh gear before dabbing the brakes for the fast Nordkurve. Taken at 200km/h, it is important to maintain your speed through this right-hander.

"Jumping the curbs as you exit, you accelerate along to Parabolica, a tight right hander, which we believe will be negotiated at 110km/h in second and marks the beginning of the new section of the track.

"A slight left hander immediately follows Parabolika and flicks you onto a long sweeping left curve. Taken flat out, it is estimated that you will reach speeds of 310km/h in seventh gear, before braking dramatically for the right-handed hairpin that has replaced the Ostkurve. Probably taken at some 70km/h, it is the tightest corner on the track and sees you rejoin the old circuit momentarily.

"Accelerating out, it is estimated that you will reach 300km/h in seventh before braking for the new Spitzkehre complex. This begins with a fast right hander that will probably see speeds of 100km/h in second gear. A quick burst of power follows along a short straight, before negotiating a tighter left hander. A slight left kink is followed by a sweeping right hander, which will take you back onto the original back straight.

"You will again build up speed at full throttle as you burst out of the forest and into the Stadium complex. The Mobil 1 Kurve marks the entry to the complex and this fast right hander is taken in fourth gear at 169km/h.

"Next is the long left hairpin of Sachs, shifting down into second it is negotiated at 105km/h. The track then sweeps through a slight left-right kink on the approach to the final section of the Stadium complex and the lap, the Südkurve. This double apex right hand hairpin is taken at some 152km/h in third and leads you back onto the start-finish straight to begin another lap." McLaren

Gascoyne talks about V8 test Gascoyne talks about V8 testMike Gascoyne, Toyota Chassis Technical Director talks of the team's first outing with the V8 engine last week at Jerez and how the team adapted the chassis to accommodate the new powerplant.

Did you run the V8 in a specially adapted TF105 chassis in Jerez?
"Yes. We have put a spacer between the chassis and the engine and so have just permanently modified one chassis."

From the overall design perspective, is it easier to work with a V8 because you have smaller dimensions?
"It is more compact and so that means you have a bit more freedom in terms of volume. You have to decide where you are going to put the engine from a weight distribution point of view, but it can give more space either in front of the gearbox or, for fuel volume, in the rear of the chassis."

Fuel consumption will be less and so does that have implications for fuel tank size?
"Fuel consumption will go down and you've obviously got additional volume to put fuel in, but really it will depend on the qualifying regulations – whether you have to qualify with fuel or without fuel. That significantly alters your strategy .

Are there any downsides to a V8, vibration for instance?
"The vibration levels are significantly increased and it's been an issue on the test bench with some of the engine ancillaries. But we anticipated that we would have those problems and we don't foresee any long-term difficulties."

What are the implications of a V8 for chassis stiffness?
"Obviously the shorter you make the engine the stiffer it gets. Basically, when you reduce the engine length and put the length on the chassis, the chassis at that point is actually very stiff and so it can aid overall stiffness. But I wouldn't say that it is a hugely significant factor." Toyota

Luca Marmorini talks Toyota V8 power Luca Marmorini talks Toyota V8 powerLuca Marmorini, Toyota Technical Director of Engines, talks of next year's V8 engine that the German-based team recently tested for the first time at Jerez in the hands of Olivier Panis.

How long have you been working on the new Toyota V8 engine?
"It took around eight months to have the first V8 prototype ready and the engine was first fired up on the test bench on March 21. I don't normally remember those things but it was the first day of Spring, and a new dawn for us as well!"

Is it difficult to run parallel V10 and V8 development programs?
"We had no choice. The 2005 rules say that we have to run a V10 but from March 2006 we have to race with a 2.4-litre V8. Obviously the winter off-season does not give sufficient time to develop a new engine and so we have to do the two programs in parallel. Fortunately the engine department has the resources to do that and it is interesting from an engineering viewpoint."

Presumably you started work as soon as the V8 rules for '06 became firm?
"Exactly. But at the very beginning we also had to make some critical assumptions before the rules were confirmed and then adapt slightly. It took time before some of the stipulations were confirmed, for example the 96.5mm distance between cylinders and the minimum weight of 96kgs. When you look at the weight of typical V10s this year and then consider that you are building an engine that is 20% smaller, it would have been possible for the weight to be less than 85kgs, for example."
Do you have specific targets to achieve for the start of next year, in terms of horsepower and revs?
"We would like the V8 to rev slightly higher than the best V10 figures seen this year. And in terms of power, the target is 80% of the best V10 power figures seen in 2005. Approximately, that means that we would like to see power figures between 730-760bhp by the start of the 2006 season."

What are the major design issues with a V8?
"Normally the internals -- pistons, connecting rods and bearings -- will look similar, but the castings are different and the stresses from vibrations present quite a tough challenge."

Why does a V8 engine vibrate more?
"A 12-cylinder engine is fully balanced and you can have some 10- cylinder engine configurations that are well balanced. For example, the current Toyota V10 has very few vibrations. But if you use a 90- degree block and a flat crank typical for a V8, it's impossible to balance the second order vibrations. With a road car engine you might do it with a counter-rotating shaft, but on a racing engine, you don't. That is one of the main reasons why we wanted to run the engine so early. It is not so much for direct engine purposes but to monitor the components around the engine and the effects of the extra vibration."

How has the shakedown gone at Jerez?
"The first test in Jerez went very well. It has been interesting. On the final day of the test Olivier Panis did a 1m21.2s lap as against a typical same car-spec' V10 time of around 1m18s. That is already quite impressive when you consider that the engine is being run conservatively with something like 200bhp less, in an adapted chassis. I think Olivier's experience will be very useful. The first day was very good – the engine ran well and we solved some ancillary problems. On the second day we had a failure, but that's part of development, and on the third day we worked on several longer runs."

Is an eight-cylinder engine new territory for you personally?
"My previous work included experience with eight cylinder performance road car engines but not racing engines. So, yes, it's an exciting activity for me. It's very different with lots of new problems to overcome. Toyota, however, has experience in CART, although I would say that running a V8 engine at more than 19,000rpm is a different and unique challenge. An open book, shall we say!" Toyota

Newman wrecks at Bristol Newman wrecks at BristolWhat was supposed to be a routine practice session at Bristol Motor Speedway instead nearly turned into a catastrophe for NASCAR driver Ryan Newman arrived at Bristol Motor Speedway Tuesday hoping to get in some practice with his #39 Busch car, but his day came to an abrupt end. Only a few laps into the session, Newman hit the wall outside of turn four. Emergency personnel and Newman's team were on hand almost immediately to assess the damage. The right front fender and the right front tire were worse for wear. Newman got out of the car under his own power, but was obviously concerned with what went wrong. 6 Sports tried to talk to Newman after the crash but he refused our questions. He did say that he was all right. 6 Sports
V8 Supercars
Scott Dixon talks break down Scott Dixon talks break downTalks have broken down and Scott Dixon will not be driving a Team Kiwi V8 Supercar at Bathurst in October.  Time has run out for Team Kiwi in their attempts to have Scott Dixon drive at Bathurst.  The V8 Supercar team had been chasing the US based New Zealander for a one off drive in the great race but that will not now happen.

Team Kiwi boss David John says they have all but given up on Dixon so close to October's race, with talks breaking down between the New Zealanders and Dixon's Indy car team.  He says Dixon would have tested the Team Kiwi car numerous times by now if a drive was a possibility.

However, David John says it is disappointing but they are moving on, and they are not ruling out attempts to secure Dixon in the future.  He says they are now working on securing the best combinations for October's long distance race. NZCity.co.nz

Infineon F1 bribe investigation Infineon F1 bribe investigationThe head of German microchip firm Infineon Technologies has resigned on suspicion of having accepted bribes in connection with motorsports sponsorships.  Prosecutors in Munich raided 15 locations in Germany and Switzerland last week to investigate whether Andreas von Zitzewitz received bribes from a marketing agency between 2002 and 2004. Evidence reviewed so far "confirms the suspicion of payments," the chief prosecutor said in a statement.  In addition to investigating von Zitzewitz, prosecutors said they were targeting a former Infineon board member, Harald Eggers, and the head of a Swiss marketing company for motorsports. Under the former Infineon chief executive, Ulrich Schumacher, Infineon sponsored Le Mans races and supplied the Ferrari Formula One team.  Infineon has also sponsored the Jordan Formula One team. Bloomberg
Industry News
GM reports 2nd Qtr. loss GM reports 2nd Qtr. lossGeneral Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM) today reported a loss of $318 million, or $0.56 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2005, excluding special items and a tax-rate adjustment. These results compare with net income of $1.4 billion, or $2.42 per share, in the second quarter of 2004. Revenue was $48.5 billion, compared with $49.3 billion a year ago.

For the second quarter of 2005, GM reported a loss of $286 million, or $0.51 per share, including special items. The special items include a $126-million restructuring charge at GM Europe, and recognition of the recurring tax benefits above those reflected in the 15-percent rate used in GM's adjusted earnings. These items had a net favorable effect of $32 million, or $0.05 per share.

"Our second-quarter results reflect a mix of some important pluses and minuses," GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner said. " On the positive side, sales were up in all regions and global market share increased as our new cars and trucks continued to gain traction and show strong customer acceptance. In addition, financial results were positive in four of our operating units, with GMAC and GM Latin America / Africa /Mid-East continuing their recent favorable performance and GM Europe and GM Asia Pacific showing significant improvement from the first quarter.

"But, importantly, on the minus side, GM North America's financial performance continued to be very disappointing. While the results reflect a significant reduction in U.S. dealer inventory, with second-quarter inventories down 349,000 units from mid-year 2004 and 224,000 units from the first quarter of 2005, they also re-emphasize the need for us to significantly improve our cost structure in all major areas – material costs, productivity, capacity utilization and especially health care."

DC eyes wins DC eyes winsDavid Coulthard has refused to rule out future grand prix wins for his Red Bull Formula One team. The veteran Scot, who spent the majority of his long career at Williams and McLaren, reckons that - at 34 - he nonetheless still has 'lots to offer' the pinnacle of racing.  ''You always have to aim high,'' DC told the 'Today' publication.  ''If you settle for less ... you're not a proper racer. I know I'm a good driver ... and Red Bull ... obviously agree.''

Coulthard, who this month backtracked on claims the grand prix drivers' association might strike over safety, agrees that race wins are at the top of a high mountain for the Red Bull camp.

He vowed: ''We will try ... but we also know that we're a new, non-manufacturer backed team.  It take time to develop.  We have been pushing hard and have made remarkable progress so far.''

Twynholm-born David said the next step is a podium.  ''We have to make sure we're not trying to run before we can walk.  ''It takes time,'' Coulthard warned, ''but we have a lot to offer and I'm looking forward to using the Ferrari engine in our RB2 car next year.'' GMMf1NET

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Ferrari in Italian action
'Game on' - McLaren
Doornbos 'can't wait'
'Care' urged in quali verdict

'Title on way to the wire'
Happy F1 birthday!
Cloud still above Hockenheim
McLaren 'favorite'
Denver GP adds benefit concert Denver GP adds benefit concertThe CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver presented by PacifiCare has added another element to the city's most unique summer festival by announcing that Steven Page of the Barenaked Ladies will headline a concert performing works from his new album, The Vanity Project, on Saturday, August 13 at the Universal Lending Pavilion.

The Vanity Project, released last week, is Page's first collaborative work outside of Barenaked Ladies. The Vanity Project is a compilation of songs that Steven co-wrote with long time collaborator Stephen Duffy and can be heard at www.vanity-project.com. Opening for Page will be Clarias, www.clariasmusic.com, who will start the show at 8:00 p.m., followed by Page at 8:45 p.m.

Good friend and Grand Prix of Denver Grand Marshall, Jason Priestley, who is an active supporter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, invited Page to the Grand Prix event. The concert is a unique event for Page as he will be donating his time and all proceeds from the concert to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

"I am so happy that I am able to be part of the Grand Prix weekend," said Page. "More importantly it is a pleasure to play my new album in front of the great fans in Denver and have it all benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation."

Tickets for the concert go on sale on July 1 and can be purchased through any Ticketmaster outlet, through www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 303-830-TIXS. Tickets are $35 each and included in the purchase price is a free ticket to all of Saturday's Grand Prix of Denver events.

CBS To Air Its Final F1 Race of the 2005 Season CBS To Air Its Final F1 Race of the 2005 SeasonThe German Grand Prix, the fourth and final race of CBS’ F1 coverage this season will be aired Sunday, July 24th at 12pm EST.  The first three racing installments on CBS this season have all garnered over a 1.1 TV rating.
Schumacher building dream home on Lake Leman Schumacher building dream home on Lake LemanUPDATE The seven-Time World Champion Michael Schumacher may not be having the best year of his career, but he is building an enormous house which might alleviate some his mid-season frustrations.  Construction began on what will be a 7,218 square foot house built on an astonishing 37-acre beachfront plot of land in Gland, Switzerland.  The estate will feature 24 rooms, including eight bedrooms, five bathrooms, a sixty-foot swimming pool, Jacuzzi, a fitness center, a movie theatre for 30, a 206 square foot trophy room, an underground garage for 25 cars and a 30-foot tall tower that will house the German Champion’s office.  The construction work will cost an estimated $29 million on top of the $13.5 million that was paid for the land.  Construction is expected to be complete in 2007. 07/03/05 Michael Schumacher is investing 24 million euros worth of the fortune he's amassed from motor racing in a dream home on the shores of Lake Leman in Switzerland.

The seven-time Formula One champion's 24-room villa features a 15 meter-high medieval tower, a 30-seat cinema, swimming pool, gym, and a private beach, Saturday's edition of Bild reported.

"It's an extraordinary pleasure to build a home like this," the Ferrari ace told the newspaper. "But it's also very stressful," added the 36-year- old Schumacher who set up home in Switzerland several years ago for tax reasons.

'Chateau Schumi' as the construction is dubbed in the press has parking space for 25 cars - including inevitably a few Ferraris - and a 63 meter room to house the owner's extensive collection of trophies. AFP

A Hamilton affair at the Brickyard A Hamilton affair at the BrickyardIt was a family affair atop the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series testing speed charts July 19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as the father-son tandem of Bobby Hamilton and Bobby Hamilton Jr. posted the top laps, respectively.

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular Bobby Hamilton topped the NEXTEL Cup Series regulars on the final day of testing for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Aug. 7 with a lap of 183.905 mph in the No. 04 Bobby Hamilton Racing Dodge. It was the fastest lap overall over six days of testing the last three weeks at the historic 2.5-mile oval.

Bobby Hamilton Jr. was second fastest today at 182.576 in the No. 32 Tide Chevrolet, which he drives full time in the NEXTEL Cup Series.

"We were actually up doing some chassis stuff for my truck and ended up running good," Bobby Hamilton said. "Obviously, if everything goes right we've got time to paint the car and all. It's an in-house car. We built it ourselves; we bought the chassis from PPI (Motorsports) and then put on our front and rear clips."

2002 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winner Bill Elliott, now on a limited NEXTEL Cup Series schedule, was third at 182.562 in the No. 91 Stanley Tools Dodge while Kyle Busch was fourth at 182.450 in the No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet.

The top four today were faster than the previous fastest lap of the month, 181.963, by Greg Biffle on July 11.  Indiana native Tony Stewart, winner of three of the last four NEXTEL Cup Series races, tested today with a top lap of 178.385 in the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet, good for 15th overall.

Four-time race winner Jeff Gordon also tested, as he continues his fight to earn a spot in the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup, as he is 120 points out of the top 10 in points. With only seven races remaining before the Chase begins, a successful race at Indianapolis would do much more than just bolster the team's position in the points.

"Everywhere we've tested this year, we've run well, (and) winning a big race like this definitely can help the morale of the team and build some momentum," Gordon said. "Right now we're looking at a stretch of races coming up that we have to run well to get in the top 10, and Indianapolis is one. It's an important race for us already, but it's one that we'd love to win."

Gordon has a shot at making history at the 2005 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard by becoming the first five-time winner of a major motorsports event at Indianapolis. While he wants a piece of history, Gordon said a fifth victory versus the four of Indianapolis 500 winners A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears, and four-time United States Grand Prix winner Michael Schumacher, cannot be compared.

"Last year we were inspired," Gordon said. "To get number four was a great moment for me and this team. If the media wants to keep pumping it up, that's fine. For me, growing up as a kid and watching the Indy 500, I recognize that there's a difference between the two races. It's not that I wouldn't want to be compared to A.J. (Foyt), (Al) Unser and (Rick) Mears; it's just a different race and different circumstances."

The first two rounds of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup practice take place at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. (local time) Aug. 5. Qualifying is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6, followed by additional practices at 2:15 and 3:45 p.m. The 12th running of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 7.

Tuesday Speeds

Rank Car No. Driver Speed (mph) Total Laps
1. 04 Bobby Hamilton 183.905 53
2. 32 Bobby Hamilton Jr. 182.576 33
3. 91 Bill Elliott 182.562 60
4. 5 Kyle Busch 182.450 73
5. 1 Martin Truex Jr. 181.668 73
6. 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 181.494 67
7. 6 Mark Martin 180.760 78
8. 23 Mike Skinner 180.396 30
9. 24 Jeff Gordon 180.303 65
10. 40 Sterling Marlin 180.083 84
11. 9 Kasey Kahne 179.601 107
12. 51 Stuart Kirby 179.293 15
13. 43 Jeff Green 179.225 33
14. 44 Terry Labonte 178.683 61
15. 20 Tony Stewart 178.385 82
16. 88 Dale Jarrett 178.177 101
17. 92 Tony Raines 178.115 18
18. 25 Brian Vickers 177.502 90

Combined Two Days

Rank Car No. Driver Speed (mph) Total Laps
1. 04 Bobby Hamilton 183.905 78
2. 32 Bobby Hamilton Jr. 182.576 73
3. 91 Bill Elliott 182.562 136
4. 5 Kyle Busch 182.450 132
5. 1 Martin Truex Jr. 181.668 163
6. 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 181.494 94
7. 6 Mark Martin 180.760 215
8. 23 Mike Skinner 180.692 87
9. 24 Jeff Gordon 180.303 65
10. 40 Sterling Marlin 180.083 160
11. 9 Kasey Kahne 179.601 220
12. 51 Stuart Kirby 179.293 74
13. 43 Jeff Green 179.225 84
14. 44 Terry Labonte 178.683 114
15. 20 Tony Stewart 178.385 82
16. 88 Dale Jarrett 178.177 202
17. 92 Tony Raines 178.115 48
18. 25 Brian Vickers 177.502 155
19. 22 Scott Wimmer 176.918 75

McLaren keep Newey McLaren keep NeweyAdrian Newey surprised the F1 world on Tuesday by revealing that he will stay at McLaren throughout next year.  McLaren's top designer and technical director, after recently signing a short-range extension to his contract, let it slip to Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.  ''I had intended to have a rest,'' said the Englishman, ''but for the moment this step can wait.''
Las Vegas Truck and Champ Car schedule Las Vegas Truck and Champ Car scheduleSchedule for Sept. 22-24 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Las Vegas 350 and Champ Car World Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Thursday, Sept. 22 -- No spectator grandstand activity
8 a.m.–8 p.m. -- Champ Car paddock open to all participants.
9 a.m.–5 p.m. – Registration (Gate 2 Credentials).
1–5 p.m. – Technical inspection.
2–4 p.m. – On-track orientation for teams and drivers.
Friday, Sept. 23
9 a.m. – Champ Car paddock opens for participants.
10 a.m.–6 p.m. – Registration.
11 a.m.–7:30 p.m. – Champ Car technical inspection.
11:30 a.m. – Champ Car driver and team meeting.
Noon – Spectator gates open.
Noon-12:45 p.m. – Champ Car rookie practice.
12:45–2:30 p.m. – Champ Car practice.
1 p.m. – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) haulers enter.
1:30 p.m. – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series registration opens.
2 p.m. – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series garages open (inspection only).
2:30 p.m. – Champ Car logistics and operations meeting.
2:45–3:30 p.m. – Champ Car “Back Seat Driver” activities.
3:30–4:15 p.m. – Pace car on-track activities.
4:30–6 p.m. – Champ Car qualifying.
6:15–7 p.m. – Champ Car “Back Seat Driver” activities.
7 p.m. – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series garage and registration closes.
7– 7:45 p.m. – Pace Car on-track activities.
8–9:30 p.m. – Champ Car practice.

Saturday, Sept. 24
7 a.m. – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series garage and registration opens.
7 a.m. – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series track service meeting.
8 a.m. – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rookie and spotter meeting.
8 a.m. – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drawing for qualifying order.
9 a.m. – Reserved seating gates open.
9-10 a.m. – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series practice.
10:30-11:30 a.m. – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series final practice.
Noon – Champ Car paddock opens to participants.
2 p.m. – General admission seating gates open.
2–6 p.m. – Champ Car registration.
3–8 p.m. – Champ Car technical inspection.
3 p.m. – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series qualifying (two laps, all positions).
(Trucks will be impounded)
3 p.m. – Champ Car driver and team manager meeting.
4-4:15 p.m. – Champ Car track inspection.
4:15-4:45 p.m. – Champ Car warm-ups.
4:30 p.m. – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver and crew chief meeting.
4:45 p.m. – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series final adjustments and grid trucks.
5-5:45 p.m. – Champ Car “Back Seat Driver” activities.
6 p.m. – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver introductions.
6:15 p.m. – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Las Vegas 350 (146 laps, 219 miles).
7 p.m. – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series registration closes.
7:45 p.m. – Grid Champ Cars (infield).
8:30 p.m. (time approximate) – Champ Car World Series race (166 Laps, 400 km).

Kahne's lawyers ask to throw Ford suit out Kahne's lawyers ask to throw Ford suit outAttorneys for #9-Kasey Kahne asked a federal judge to throw out Ford's breach-of-contract lawsuit against the NASCAR driver, one of his lawyers said Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland in Detroit was to hear arguments on the request Wednesday, attorney David Baum said from New York. Ford sued Kahne in Wayne County Circuit Court in July 2004, the county where the Michigan automaker is headquartered. The company claimed he signed a contract that obligated him to drive Fords for Robert Yates Racing and appear in promotional activities. But in October 2003, the suit alleged, Kahne bolted Ford and joined a Dodge team owned by Ray Evernham. The lawsuit was transferred to federal court shortly after it was filed because the parties are from different states, Baum said. Kahne lives in Huntersville, N.C. Ford has called the suit "unfortunate," and said it believes in honoring contracts. NASCAR views its teams as independents and drivers as contracted workers hired by each team. Disputes are worked out among each other, with NASCAR having no influence in the results. ESPN.com/AP
GPS Industries to sponsor IRL race GPS Industries to sponsor IRL raceKentucky Speedway and Amber Alert announced today that GPS Industries will be the presenting sponsor of the August 14th IRL IndyCar Series race, which will be called the Amber Alert Indy 300 Presented By GPS Industries. Kentucky Speedway
Kudos to Bremer Kudos to BremerA reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I have seen many articles about last Sunday's race (Edmonton). It was a great race and I hope they keep this for awhile (make it less bumpy). There were articles about Tracy, Bourdais, Allmendinger, Wilson, Servia and Tag. I did not see an article about Bremer. Here is a racer, battling for Rookie of the Year who missed last race due to financial woes and raced for Dale Coyne at Edmonton. Despite this he is only 11 points out of the lead for ROTY. As we have seen over the past decade not many drivers can shine in Dale Coyne cars. I have nothing against the Dale Coyne organization, but the team never seems to really click. Yet this young man finished sixth place in the race. That is quite an accomplishment. Bremer has consistently been faster than Wirdheim and right there with Glock and Ranger. If Bremer had not missed Toronto, he very likely would be in the lead for ROTY. I was hoping that you could put out an article about his drive this year. So far, he has earned it. Peter Swanson
NASCAR hires ex-NFL executive NASCAR hires ex-NFL executiveNASCAR has announced the hiring of former NFL executive Scott Phelps as its vice president of corporate marketing. Phelps, 42, will succeed Brett Yormark, who left to become chief executive officer of the New Jersey Nets. Phelps, who was vice president of corporate sponsorship at the NFL before leaving 13 months ago, is scheduled to start his new position in NASCAR's New York office on Aug. 8. NASCAR also announced the promotion of Roger VanDerSnick from director of brand and consumer marketing to vice president, marketing. NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter
NASCAR New Hampshire TV Rating NASCAR New Hampshire TV RatingThe overnight NASCAR TV rating on cable channel TNT was a 3.7 for Sunday's New Hampshire Nextel Cup race, down 5% from last year, but still quite good for cable.
Foyt IV to drive IRL and Silver Crown cars at Milwaukee Foyt IV to drive IRL and Silver Crown cars at MilwaukeeThe A.J. Foyt - George Snider relationship has continued for over 30 years, and this weekend, it will add another chapter.

Indy Racing League IndyCar Series driver A.J. Foyt IV of Hockley, Texas will pull double duty this weekend, competing in the IRL IndyCar Series race as well as for George Snider in Saturday’s USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series 100-mile race, set to kick off at 4:30 p.m.  It will be Foyt IV’s second career start in America’s premier front-engine open-wheel series. The 21-year-old made his series debut in the Sept. 28, 2001 “Hoosier Hundred” at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, driving his grandfather A.J.’s car.

“We knew how good George’s cars were there last year, and grandpa asked me if I wanted to run one,” said Foyt IV, who has tested pavement Silver Crown cars at Phoenix International Raceway and Indianapolis Raceway Park.  “Obviously we had to help get the car ready; this pretty much was my grandfather giving me the opportunity, because we’ve been struggling in the IndyCars, to get me into something different. These (Silver Crown) cars are extremely fun to drive, and George has an extremely good team.”

Snider will provide Foyt IV with the No. 111 ABC Supply Co. Inc. Beast/Chevy.  Foyt IV has competed in all nine races on the IRL IndyCar Series circuit, with a best finish of ninth in the season opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In his only start at The Milwaukee Mile in an IndyCar Series race, Foyt finished 16th.

Foyt and Snider partnered throughout the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s as driver/owner combinations, in addition to working together in promotional activities. Snider won the first Silver Crown race at Milwaukee in 1988, at the first race Foyt ever promoted.

Tony ’Porky Pig’ Stewart Tony ’Porky Pig’ StewartUPDATE While NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Tony Stewart has been gaining notoriety for his newly adopted “fence climb” when he takes the checkered flag, it’s important to take note of how what has come to be one of the most famous victory celebrations in motorsports was born.

On June 18, 2000, at the Detroit Grand Prix, Marlboro Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves took his first checkered flag in an Indy car. He was so overcome with emotion, that he forgot to pull into the pits and instead stopped on the front straight. When he saw all the fans cheering on the front straight, he went and scaled the fence to celebrate with them.

“I was so overcome with emotion that all I wanted to do was show how excited I was to all the fans that had come out to the race,” recalls Castroneves. “I just stopped my car and my first reaction was to run over to the fence and climb it just to show how much that win meant to me. From there, the rest is history. Most racecar drivers are so calm when they win and I get so overcome with emotion that all I want to do is celebrate with the fans. I think it’s a great tradition and something I look forward to doing for a long time to come.”

Since that fateful day in 2000, Castroneves has replicated his “fence climb” twelve more times after each victory he’s earned including two trips up the fence at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway when he won the Indianapolis 500 in 2001 and 2002. “I think it’s great that Tony (Stewart) is climbing the fence after he wins, it’s good to see drivers showing their emotions when they win,” continued Castroneves. “I’m flattered that he has chosen my way to celebrate. Every time I see a driver climb the fence it makes me smile because I think it says a lot about the excitement that I convey to the fans when I take the checkered flag.” Marlboro Team Penske [Editor's Note: The NASCAR drivers copied Champ Car driver Alex Zanardi's donuts and now they are copying ex-Champ Car driver Helio Castroneves (he started doing it when in Champ Car) fence climbing. Have they no mind of their own?]

07/18/05 "Trust me, I'll be glad to be panting like a dog when I get up there," he said. "It's something they like and I'll keep doing it for them," said Tony Stewart after climbing the fence a la Helio Castroneves, at New Hampshire (see photos of week on our Home page)

Stewart said he needs a personal trainer.  "Yes, I'm still too old and too fat to be doing that stuff," the 34-year-old driver said. "I'm probably going to fall and bust my butt before it's over. I'm glad they let me go through the gate instead of climbing back down."

BMW already helping Sauber BMW already helping SauberBMW has moved quickly to strengthen Sauber's under funded wind tunnel program and hopes to have the facility in Hinwil running much more than is currently possible as soon as there are engineers to run it. The wind tunnel is being used for development work on the current Sauber and to design next year's car, which will use the new BMW V8 engine, which ran for the first time in the back of a Williams last week.

The technical team is headed by former BMW engineer Willy Rampf and his position is unlikely to be under threat as he is well-connected in BMW circles. The aerodynamics department is headed by Britain's Seamus Mullarkey, a graduate of Imperial College, London, who worked at Robin Herd's design bureau in the early 1990s, on the Fomet 1 and Larrousse F1 cars before doing development work for the Forsythe CART team. In 1996 he moved to Galmer Engineering and a year later joined Jordan. In 1998 he became chief aerodynamicist at Sauber and has been there ever since. Grandprix.com

Red Bull breaks ranks and signs Concorde Agreement Red Bull breaks ranks and signs Concorde AgreementUPDATE Speaking to Reuters, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said the decision was a 'totally independent decision' and the team acted in its own interests (not to be part of the GPWC vs. FIA war).  We felt the timing was right to state our intentions.  Hopefully all the parties will get around the table in the near future but we wanted to make a decision prior to being involved in a meeting that involved voting." 07/18/05 Ever the loose cannon, Red Bull Racing has taken the very strange decision to become the second team to agree to sign the Concorde Agreement extension from 2008-2012. Red Bull Racing thus joins its future engine supplier Ferrari as the only two teams to agree to the deal.  Red Bull Racing team management says that the decision was taken independently from Ferrari but it is very clear that the Red Bull's move is an attempt to strengthen Ferrari's weak and isolated position in F1 politics. Grandprix.com
Skinner fastest at Brickyard Skinner fastest at BrickyardMike Skinner put his No. 23 History Channel AutoManiac Dodge atop the speed charts in private NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series testing July 18 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a lap of 180.692 mph.

Bobby Hamilton Jr. was second fastest in the No. 32 Tide Chevrolet at 179.565, and Martin Truex Jr. was third in the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Chevrolet at 179.460.

This is the third consecutive, and final, week of testing at Indianapolis in preparation for the 12th annual Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Aug. 7.

Skinner had the two fastest cars of the session, as his No. 23B backup car was fastest, and he drove his primary No. 23 car to a slightly faster lap than Hamilton's speed, at 179.653.

Skinner, who has three top-10 starts in six appearances at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, said he was pleased with the performance of his Bill Davis Racing entry and of the asphalt surface that was applied to the 2.5-mile oval in fall 2004.

"I think the racetrack is awesome, as usual," he said. "This place is probably the best-maintained racetrack on the circuit. Our AutoManiac/History Channel car is running pretty good. We're in qualifying mode, about three-quarter qualifying mode, because we're a 'go' or 'no go' car. Right now I like our chances."

Dale Earnhardt, Inc. driver Truex, who will attempt to make his first Allstate 400 at the Brickyard start, gave himself a good grade for his first day at the Speedway.

"We're just working on our car real hard to get it balanced and get me comfortable," 2004 NASCAR Busch Series champion Truex said. "We made a qualifying run there at the end. We got the car going pretty good. It's pretty comfortable; we just need to find some more speed out of it. We've got all day tomorrow to do that."

Truex's teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. did not practice in the morning but turned 27 laps in the afternoon, turning a fast lap of 176.470 in the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet. Earnhardt said the team plans to complete a full day of testing on July 19, the final day of pre-Allstate 400 at the Brickyard private testing.

The drivers who tested today are scheduled to be joined by four-time race winner Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart, a resident of Columbus, Ind., and winner of three of the last four NEXTEL Cup Series events.

Fans are welcome to watch testing July 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. 23 Mike Skinner 180.692 57
2. 32 Bobby Hamilton Jr. 179.565 40
3. 1 Martin Truex Jr. 179.460 90
4. 5 Kyle Busch 178.874 59
5. 04 Bobby Hamilton 178.690 25
6. 6 Mark Martin 178.580 137
7. 9 Kasey Kahne 178.537 113
8. 40 Sterling Marlin 178.495 76
9. 44 Terry Labonte 178.341 53
10. 91 Bill Elliott 178.304 76
11. 43 Jeff Green 178.054 51
12. 88 Dale Jarrett 177.703 101
13. 51 Stuart Kirby 177.527 59
14. 25 Brian Vickers 177.384 65
15. 22 Scott Wimmer 176.918 75
16. 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 176.470 27
17. 92 Tony Raines 174.518 30

Indy fans invited to Milwaukee event Indy fans invited to Milwaukee eventThis Friday night, the Indy Racing League (IRL) and The Milwaukee Mile are opening up the pit and paddock area for an unprecedented opportunity for race fans to get an up-close look at the inner workings of the IRL IndyCar Series.  ACCESS AMPLIFIED will offer hands-on demonstrations and open discussions with team engineers and mechanics, with the inner workings of IRL IndyCar Series’ team’s work areas open to everyone to explore.

ACCESS AMPLIFIED is a free-to-attend event that does not require a ticket purchase.  Adults are encouraged to bring their children to experience the excitement of IndyCar Series racing first-hand.

From 5:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, July 22, sports fans can talk with team engineers and mechanics right at their transporters, with full access to the garage and pit lane areas of the historic oval.  Generally, this is a restricted area where teams prepare their IndyCars to reach speeds in excess of 175mph around The Milwaukee Mile.

During ACCESS AMPLIFIED, Indy Racing League team members will be putting the final touches on their chassis set-ups, fresh from a day of on-track practice in preparation for Saturday’s Husar’s House of Fine Diamonds Pole Day.  Time Trials on Saturday will set the field for Sunday afternoon’s ABC Supply / A.J. Foyt 225 IRL IndyCar Series race at the historic oval.

Winners of 11 Indianapolis 500 races collectively will be on hand for a free Legends of The Indy 500 autograph session.  Driving superstars Rick Mears and Al Unser, Sr, each four-time winners of the world’s most famous auto race, will be signing autographs and interacting with fans, as will current IRL IndyCar Series pace car driver Johnny Rutherford, a three-time winner of the Indy 500.

This unique happening will also feature the Target cut-away IndyCar, which is a real IndyCar with sections of the car’s body panels, engine and suspension removed, exposing these components in full view.  Team transporters, pit equipment and the technical inspection process will all be available to discover.

“ACCESS AMPLIFIED is a great way to bring our loyal fans on the inside, to get to see how IndyCar Series teams prepare for the demands of racing on The Milwaukee Mile,” commented Gary Girard, Milwaukee Mile general manager.  “We are pleased Indy 500 legends Rick Mears, Al Unser, Sr. and Johnny Rutherford will be here Friday night to sign autographs.  Each of them won IndyCar Series races at America’s Legendary Oval during their storied careers, truly representing our rich tradition of Indy car racing at The Milwaukee Mile.”

A collection of upwards of twenty vintage open wheel race cars will be on display, including Indy cars and dirt cars driven by A.J. Foyt, Jr., Tony Bettenhausen, Sr. and Rodger Ward.

To experience ACCESS AMPLIFIED, enter The Milwaukee Mile tunnel that goes under the historic oval at grandstand Gate 10 between 5:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. this Friday night, July 22.

For complete weekend details and race weekend ticket options, visit www.milwaukeemile.com, or call The Milwaukee Mile ticket office at (414) 453-8277.

Red Bull in Turkey Red Bull in TurkeyRed Bull will race a special 'Turkey' livery for the inaugural grand prix in Istanbul.  On the bargeboards, instead of normal branding of the energy drink-owner, the 'Turkey' logo will be displayed.

The livery was unveiled on Sunday by the Turkish minister for tourism as Scotland's David Coulthard drove his grand prix machine over the Europe-Asia Bosphorus bridge.

Red Bull's 34-year-old driver also visited the site of next month's grand prix and sampled its curves in a road car.  ''It really is one of the best facilities I've seen,'' he said. ''The (circuit) layout looks tough -- there are difficult turns and demanding ups and downs.''.

Photos Courtesy of Red Bull Racing

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Red Bull not persuaded
DC set for Mosley summit
Schu to head late Mugello run
Friesacher verdict due
Ralf eyes quickest revival
Fisi eyes '05 win
Date set for Kanaan's BAR run
EJ points finger at F1
Green light for Hockenheim
Renault ward off tire crisis
DC u-turn on strike threat DC u-turn on strike threatDavid Coulthard has backtracked on his unmistakable threat of a driver 'strike' in Formula One.  At a news conference in Istanbul, the veteran Scot denied there was 'any risk' of action because of lagging safety at test sessions. ''F1 is very well regulated,'' the 34-year-old added, ''the safety has improved over the last ten years -- the only thing we've been working towards is improving testing safety. When we go testing, we do two grands prix, and the facilities are not as good as when we go to a grand prix.'' 34-year-old DC's row with Max Mosley escalated when the FIA president called off a planned appearance at a recent meeting of the grand prix drivers' association.
Yet another broken back in the IRL: Enge - Yes Yet another broken back in the IRL: Enge - YesUPDATE #4 We are getting conflicting reports on this. Here is an IRL statement - IRL IndyCar® Series driver Tomas Enge is in good condition and resting at his Indianapolis home following an accident in the Firestone Indy 225 on July 16. According to Dr. Henry Bock, IRL senior director of medical services, Enge suffered fractures to his T-12 and L-1 vertebra in the accident, which occurred when his car suffered a mechanical failure on Lap 28. Enge's driving status will be re-evaluated in approximately three weeks. "I have some pain, but it is much better than the broken ribs (suffered in Japan earlier this season)," Enge said in a statement released by Panther Racing. "If it was my decision I would go back to racing now, because we were very quick in the last races, and we are hungry for success." IRL 07/18/05 As it turns out the vertebrae in Enge's back are not fractured as originally reported by Enge's website and Enge hopes to be back by the next race.  "The impact was really heavy and I immediately felt some pain. The examination fortunately showed no fractures but there are some swellings. I have some pain but it is much better than the broken ribs.  "The car suddenly snapped away on Lap 28 and I was just a passenger. It was a rear suspension failure, but we have not found which exact part of the rear suspension collapsed yet." 07/17/05 We hear that Tomas Enge has hairline fractures of Vertebra T12 and L1 and his manager Antonin Charouz told the Czech Telegraph Office that Enge was going to miss the next two races. No word yet who will replace the Czech driver. Mark C. 07/17/05 Tomas Enge broke two bones in his back and was listed in fair condition at University Medical Center in Lebanon.......as the injuries mount in what many still call the 'Injury' Racing League (IRL).  What many don't realize is just how bad Champ Car driver Bruno Junqueira was hurt at Indy as it was never publicized, though we hear Enge's fractures are not as severe.  After recently talking to Bruno in Toronto, AutoRacing1.com staff was surprised to learn how difficult it has been for him.  He must keep the steel plates and foot-long steel rods in his back forever to support his vertebrae because they can no longer support themselves. Panoz and Dallara are happy though.  Their cash registers went ca-ching many times last night as one car after another hit the wall, some pretty spectacularly with balls of flame engulfing the car.  07/16/05 Tomas Enge spun and hit the wall at the beginning of the Firestone Indy 200 IRL race in Nashville tonight.  He is complaining of lower back pain and he has been transported to the hospital for X-Rays.  Hopefully he has not suffered one of the IRL patented broken backs.
Industry News
California Speedway inks Sony deal California Speedway inks Sony dealCalifornia Speedway announced today that Sony Electronics has signed a multi-year agreement to title sponsor the track’s NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race on Labor Day weekend, to be called the Sony HD 500. Sony, an associate sponsor of Penske Racing South’s No. 12 Alltel Dodge driven by Ryan Newman, will be primary sponsor for the No. 12 Sony HDTV Dodge for the September 4 race. The race used to be called the Pop Secret 500. California Speedway

SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL reports that the deal is for two years, with ’07 and ‘08 being option years for Sony, which “has been in talks with NASCAR about a league-wide sponsorship.” The deal is estimated to be in the low- to mid-seven figures annually, so if Sony exercises its option years it will invest about $10M in the venture.

Kalkhoven speaks Kalkhoven speaksUPDATE A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I am sure I speak for all Champ Car fans - what a godsend Kevin Kalkhoven has been and what great reporting by AutoRacing1.com.  I'm addicted. Joe Lewis, Houston, TX.  Dear Joe, Let's not forget to give Gerald Forsythe and Paul Gentilozzi credit as well.  They are a key part of the team. Mark C.

07/17/05 AutoRacing1.com spent some time with a very upbeat Kevin Kalkhoven Sunday in Edmonton. Still on a high from his driver Katherine Legge winning her second Toyota Atlantic race, Kalkhoven expressed satisfaction with the inaugural Edmonton Grand Prix and with the progress of the series. (Right: Kevin Kalkhoven (L) talks to AutoRacing1.com President Mark Cipolloni.  Photo by LAT/Mike Levitt)

"The job the group has done here in Edmonton is phenomenal," said Kalkhoven. "We have a larger attendance here than in the two other Canadian races and they are going to be profitable their very first year.

"Things are going exceptionally well with the series and to be honest with you we are ahead of where we thought we would be. We are getting a lot of interest from teams, and especially drivers, and you are going to see these teams begin to land new sponsorship deals pretty soon.

"My main focus right now is to get next year's race and TV schedule out and we have an exciting announcement regarding the Atlantic Series coming in San Jose. And in San Jose we expect to have over 150,000 in attendance for the weekend and Denver is looking great as well. We struggled to get a fraction of that at nearby Laguna Seca. Our business plan (urban races) is working but we still have a lot of work to do to be where we want to be."

SPEED Channel adds NASCAR VOD SPEED Channel adds NASCAR VODSPEED Channel has reached an agreement with NASCAR to make several NASCAR programs available to VOD audiences under the title SPEED NASCAR TV On Demand, it was announced today by Kevin Annison, SPEED Channel VP of Business Development and Operations and Mike Hopkins, SVP, Affiliate Sales for Fox Cable Networks.

Beginning July 25, subscribers of Comcast On Demand and Time Warner Cable On Demand, among other regional operators, will have access to this newly dubbed “fast-turn” product.  With limited timely VOD content available, SPEED Channel and Fox Cable Networks will step up by providing VOD consumers on Mondays an in-depth review of what happened in the world of NASCAR racing in the past week via SPEED’s NASCAR Race Rewind, NASCAR Victory Lane and NASCAR Beyond the Wheel.

“SPEED Channel has been working hard over the last year to increase its VOD offerings,” Annison said. “SPEED On Demand is available to nearly 10 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada, and we believe adding NASCAR to the list of programs available will significantly grow the network’s VOD viewership.”

 “VOD is a platform that NASCAR is looking into actively and this test run with SPEED Channel will help us begin to formulate our long-term strategy,” said Dick Glover, Vice President of Broadcasting and New Media for NASCAR Digital Entertainment.

As part of the deal, SPEED Channel will unveil three initial content packages:

NASCAR Race Rewind – A fast-paced, 10-minute, highlight show from the weekend's NASCAR events, including race analysis and interviews with the NEXTEL Cup Series, the Busch Series and the Craftsman Truck Series participants.
NASCAR Victory Lane – Hour-long, NASCAR post-game show with race highlights, analysis and interviews with key players on location from Victory Lane each weekend.
NASCAR Beyond the Wheel – Unprecedented access provides a unique perspective on each week's NEXTEL Cup race, as wired team members, pre- and post-race interviews and unique camera work -- including a 16mm high-speed "storytelling" camera -- brings fans closer to the sport than ever before.
SPEED Channel currently offers up to 20 hours a month of VOD programming, with popular titles like American Muscle Car, 5th Gear, World’s Greatest Auto Shows, Victory by Design as well as racing from the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA), AMA and Monster Jam.

F1 broadcaster guilty F1 broadcaster guiltyF1 broadcaster ITV has been censured by the British television watchdog after cutting to a commercial break during the exciting climax to the San Marino GP.

'Ofcom' ruled that ITV breached Section 6.7(b) of the industry rules by returning after a nearly three minute break to the Michael Schumacher versus Fernando Alonso battle on the last lap.

''In retrospect,'' a statement cited ITV's defense, ''the break should have been taken earlier but, at the time, it had been a difficult call to make.''

ITV, who took over the F1 mantle from the BBC in 1997, had also been criticized for cutting to another break instead of airing Jenson Button's comments in the post race conference. Ofcom, though - despite the disapproval - took no action.

Cost to run Champ Car or IRL team Cost to run Champ Car or IRL teamUPDATE More research on the Champ Car side reveals that a top Champ Car team is spending in the neighborhood of $7 to 8 million, not substantially less than an IRL team. 07/17/05 Tony Kanaan was asked on Wind Tunnel what it takes to run a top IRL team in the IRL.  His answer, $7 to 9 million per car.
More accolades for Edmonton More accolades for EdmontonIf there was ever any doubt that yesterday's inaugural Grand Prix of Edmonton was a gigantic success, practically the first words out of sport announcer Jim Tatti's mouth when the TV broadcast signed on were "smash hit'' - as he talked about the overflow crowd of more than 80,000, and a total weekend attendance of just under 200,000.

That was quickly followed up by legendary racing announcer Paul Page - the longtime voice of the Indianapolis 500 - declaring that he'd seen a lot of temporary road circuits in his day, but the Finning International Speedway was the "best ever.'' That was high praise, indeed.

Not long after, color commentator Memo Gidley declared the speedway an "unbelievable track.'' On the Speed TV message board, one poster wrote that Champ Car should "hire the promoter of this race as an adviser for the rest of the of the year. I have heard radio stations as far as Grand Forks, North Dakota, advertising the race.''

During the race itself, the Great One, Wayne Gretzky said that the entire Grand Prix experience was "wonderful,'' adding that it was a "great three days ... for the City of Edmonton'' and was another feather in the cap for a "tremendous sports city.'' Aw, shucks.

After that kind of superlative praise, the risk was that the race itself would be a terrible letdown. As it turned out, Edmonton fans were treated to a great race. Going into the race, the ready-made storyline was the heated rivalry between Sebastien Bourdais, the points leader going into yesterday's Grand Prix, and Paul Tracy, sitting in second place in the points standings. But that storyline never directly came into play, even though Bourdais ended up winning the race.

Congratulations to all involved in the Grand Prix of Edmonton for helping the City of Champions make its mark in the world of Champ Cars. It was a great show. And we can't wait until next year. More at Edmonton Sun

Local press calls Edmonton amazing race Local press calls Edmonton amazing raceIt was the Amazing Race in the Amazing Place. "It couldn't have been better for the 90,000 people who came here. They got a real show,'' said legendary movie star Paul Newman, who watched Newman-Haas driver Sebastien Bourdais finish a half second ahead of teammate Oriol Servia in a four-car finish you could have thrown a Canadian flag over. The top four were separated by 1.6 seconds as they took the checkered flag.

It was the best race before the biggest crowds of the season in the series and the largest crowd to witness a Champ Car Series race and weekend in Canada. Ever.

"I think they'll all come back next year. You can bet your ass I will,'' said Newman of the beyond-belief success story of the inaugural Grand Prix of Edmonton, which didn't quite draw the 90,000 fans Newman estimated but a flabbergasting 78,080 for a mind-boggling three-day total of 200,052.

It was Newman-Haas's 12th Champ Car win in Canada and No. 85 since he and Carl Haas met here at a Can-Am race more than 30 years ago and ended up forming the team. It also puts defending series champion Bourdais in an excellent position, at the halfway mark of the schedule, to win a second straight championship and a sixth series title for Newman-Haas.

Couldn't be better - "It couldn't be better than this,'' said Newman. "Or maybe it could.''

Only if he brings three cars next year and finishes 1-2-3. Newman-Haas became the first team to finish 1-2 in a race this year, although 78 laps into the 88-lap race, it looked like RuSPORT team-mates Justin Wilson of England and A.J. Allmendinger of the U.S. were going to turn the trick.

If the story of the Grand Prix of Edmonton was more Edmonton than Grand Prix in the first two days, on race day the race and the place shared equal billing.

"What a race!'' said Bourdais, who took his victory lap with his hands in the air, applauding the fans. "This was just unbelievable. Just amazing. I can't believe it. It was a great, great first race for Edmonton. I am so happy and proud to be the one to win it. It feels great, just great. If there's one point and one moment to be up there in the media centre, it's after this race. I can't be any happier than this. It's been a first-class event. It's just pure joy to win this race.''

Bourdais only led for 12 laps to win his 12th race in 39 starts, making him the fastest driver to get to a dozen in the history of CART/Champ Car.

The race featured eight lead changes.

Bridgestone Motorsport's Joe Barbieri bottom-lined it. "What a race and what an event!'' More at Edmonton Sun

Largest 3 day crowds in Canadian Champ Car history Largest 3 day crowds in Canadian Champ Car historyWayne Gretzky said he told Paul Newman at the Molson Vancouver Indy last year in Vancouver that Edmonton would score.  "I said Edmonton would definitely be a wonderful place to take the race,'' said Gretzky, who was brought back to the city of his greatest hockey accomplishments by series sponsor Ford.

"I told them that Edmonton is a special sports city, a special community which really rallies around events. The people here are such great sports fans.''

Following qualifying session crowds of 55,722 Friday and 66,250 Saturday, the Grand Prix of Edmonton drew 78,080 for a three-day total of 200,052.  It was the largest race-day crowd in Champ Car Series history in Canada and the largest three-day weekend crowd for the series in Canada.

The previous single-day record belonged to the Montreal Molson Indy when 172,000 showed in 2002. The three-day Canadian record belonged to the Molson Vancouver Indy, the race Edmonton replaced, when 169,130 attended in 1995.  In 20 years of the Molson Toronto Indy, the highest three-day total was 169,023 in 2001. Toronto's highest single-day attendance was 71,433 last week. 

Vancouver, in the series for 11 years before losing the event due to a combination of the 2010 Olympic Athletes Village being planned for the area where they ran the race and declining sponsorship due to corporations putting their money into Olympic sponsorship, drew 63,406 for the race last year and 158,420 for the weekend.

Champ Car has raced Montreal for three years, with 64,000 tops on race day.  "People were saying over the winter this wasn't the place to have a race, that it should have been in another venue or in Vancouver. This is the biggest race Canada has ever had,'' said Paul Tracy.  "It's an unbelievable event.''

Champ Car called a special post-race press conference in which VP Joe Chrnelich (pictured right with Greg Macdonald who is closest to camera) said: "This event was absolutely electric.''  "It was a fantastic three days. In our recent history we have not seen this. Greg Macdonald promised us this would happen here and he delivered. This is an absolutely remarkable achievement. Edmonton with this race put itself in the top echelon of cities in the racing world.''

Well, not on top.  The record crowd for an auto race in Canada was 111,000 for this year's Formula One race in Montreal, with a record three-day total of 304,000.

The attendance was the largest for a race day or race weekend in the series so far this year and quite likely means Edmonton will finish third in attendance in the series this year.  The all-time series record for a race weekend is 404,413 [Was actually over 411,000] in Mexico City, an event in which a portion of the race runs through a baseball stadium. More at Edmonton Sun

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